Monthly Archives: November 2011
“If you know your history, then you will know where you coming from!” These words are excerpts from Bob Marley`s buffalo soldier! So what is this history and where are we coming from? Before i go ahead with this blog, i need to remind you my dear reader that this is a very broad topic, so i will make it as straight to the point with as minimum gobbledygook as possible.
The term African Heritage literally means African roots. This definition has little to do with skin color,language, socio-economic factors, political status, present location and so on.It actually relates to the tracing of the lineage all the way back to where it originally stems from(in this case Africa).
The term Black Person is more like an umbrella term which, unfortunate, is not as straight forward as it seems. I will break this down as clearly,succinctly and briefly as possible below. Do bear with me since i cannot afford to give room for general assumptions and as aforementioned at the beginning of this blog, i cannot cover every angle of this humongous topic.However, i will touch the areas that relate to this discussion. (Image courtesy of Roblespepe)
NEGRO: Shortened Spanish word for Negroid which was a racial classification term used to describe people of the sub-saharan heritage. This word is considered derogatory in most quarters, but is still being used by african people in a historical context.
BLACK : This term actually refers to person/s of african ancestral origin and is a racial classification term used to distinguish person/s of dark-skinned phenotype relative to people of other racial groups. This term has a long service in social, political, and everyday life and is used to denote African ancestry.
AFRICAN : This is a broad term that was first used by the Romans “Africa Terra” which means land of the Afri(Afer Singular) to represent Northern Africa back then(Tunisia today). The term African is a broad term which is not necessarily used by people indigenous to the continent itself, but more of a prefered prefix to distinguish people of African ancestry from each other e.g African American, Afrocarribean.
AFRICAN-CARRIBEAN(or AFROCARRIBEAN) : This term is used to describe people of African origin who migrated via the Caribbean islands, and also used to describe people of Black or Caribbean descent.
AFRICAN AMERICAN : This term refers to person/s who self identifies or is identified by others as African-American. This term strictly applies to descendants of people brought into america as slaves from the sub-saharan part of the African continent in the 17th and 19th century and are completely different from people who migrated on their own in the 20th and 21st century.
BRAZILLIAN(PRETO): Afro-Brazilian is a term that is hardly used by black Brazilians with only 10% of them admitting to having African origin,while most stick to Brazilian origin. Brazil had the highest record of Africans shipped during the slave trade era.Records show that 3.5 to 4 million Africans were believed to have been forcefully shipped between 1500 and 1850 more than anywhere else in the world. Unlike in the U.S, there were no Miscegenation Laws in Brazil hence making it a country with the highest number of multiracial population. During the slave era, there was sexual domination in which the white master imposed an unequal relationship with the slave African woman due to his position in the society. This relationship was sexual slavery which obviously resulted in a growth of the PARDA(Multiracial brown) population. Brazil has the highest number of West African and Bantu heritage and the most diverse society than any other country in the world. There are 5 categories of racial classification in brazil namely Preto(Black), Parda(Multiracial Brown), Branco(White),Amarelo(yellow or East Asian), and Indigena(Amerindian)
A lot has changed within these different breakdown of Africans over the centuries but the question is “How far apart are these differences?” I do not think they are so far apart since we can still tell that there are elements of “Africa” in music, fashion, culture, art and so on across these breakdowns irrespective of skin colour, location and history. A random example is the similarity between the Jamaican patois word “Unu or Uno” which means “You all”(Plural) and the Igbo(South-eastern Nigeria,Africa) word “Unu” which means “All of you”(Plural). Such similarities can only be traced back to history and are not coincidental. We also have the odd broken English words that have almost the same meaning (not necessarily pronunciation) as specific words that can be found in some African language vocabulary.
Even though there has been(and are still) grievances based on history with regards to forceful removal of Africans from Africa, fight for rights of Africans etc, we will always carry the prefix “Africa” or “Afro” as a header denoting our identity because that is who we are, and that is who we will always be. We have to revisit history to know who we are.
One love is all we need! Enjoy the hilarious audio attached from Jamaican stand up comedian Miss Lou!
Adire ((AH-dih-ray)) which means tie and dye is the name given to the indigo-coloured dyed cloth used by women of the south western part of Nigeria, Africa using different types of resist dye techniques. Early records show that these tied designs became commercial in the early 20th century when exposure to imported European textile material materialized, and paved the way for local women dyers to innovate new artistic designs on these materials. However, in earlier centuries, adire appears to have been highly regarded; the tunic pictured solely on the right was acquired in the 1640s by a German collector who said it was the kind given by the “king” in a “knighting” ceremony (i.e., given to warriors by rulers). But by the mid-1950s, adire was considered a “budget” fabric worn only by less well-off women and by men as sleeping cloths, and as a way to recycle faded cloth. Not until the 1960s did adire become fashionable in West Africa, when expatriate African and African-American men started using adire for shirts as attractive way of celebrating their heritage.
The influx of European clothing materials in the mid 1930s did give rise to new techniques of resist dyeing including the practice of hand-painting designs on the cloth with cassava starch paste prior to dyeing known as “Adire Eleko”. This was also a means of cottage-industry income for Moslem women who were rarely permitted to leave their homes. Another method was to use sewn raffia, sometimes in combination with tied sections, while other cloths were simply folded repeatedly and tied or stitched in place. The basic shape of the cloth is that of two pieces of shirting material stitched together to create a women’s wrapper cloth. Examples of popular designs are the jubilee pattern (produced for the King George V and Queen Mary 1935), Olokun (goddess of the sea), Ibadandun (Ibadan is sweet).
Adire has obviously undergone some rapid transformation with regards to production and use over the past few decades. With the introduction of modern technology, innovation in the fashion industry and the Diaspora, there has been the introduction of other multicolour styled adire (other than the traditional blue),lighter tighter woven commercially made cotton materials, brocade, and other luxury textile material. Also, the introduction of the sewing machine allowed the creation of more detailed and elaborate patterns on these fabrics.
Has Adire taken a back seat in the fashion industry? Locall, I would say yes; but we seem to see more and more foreign designers and catwalk models adorning this artistic attire eloquently more than ever before. Combining adire with modern designs gives the ever so brilliant spectrum of colours a dazzling effect which can be spotted a mile away. Adire can be considered as being a natural summer attire which, with the effect of the sunshine on the material, creates a brilliant look…But then, the possibilities with adire are endless.
Spare the rod and spoil the child! This phrase depicts the notion that children will only flourish if chastised physically or otherwise, for any wrongdoing. How true is this and if true,where should the line be drawn with regards to corporal punishment?
Children are naturally prone to being naughty and sometimes, punishment of some form is the only way to make them realize the gravity of whatever it is they might have done to avoid them doing it the next time. The issue however is that how do you communicate this in words to a child who knows that corporal punishment is not acceptable in some societies? How do you punish a child for wrongdoing when all else fails?A lot of us who grew up in African and Afrocarribean environments knowing that if we got out of line, the cane was just around the corner. There was always something about the sting of the cane on your buttocks from the last time which seemed to always deter you from going along that naughty path the next time(or any similar path). But how has the absence of the cane affected the instilling of discipline in children this present day? Is this problem actually the absence of the cane or ineffective parenting?
August 2011 saw an uprising among the youth in unprecedented levels much more than has ever been seen in the U.K. The shooting of a young man by the police resulted in uprising in Tottenham,East London and spread across London to Manchester and Birmingham etc. There were kids as young as 12 years old breaking into shops,looting, throwing stones at the police, torching buildings and causing mayhem.A lot of questions were asked and these questions seemed to point directly to parental breakdown.Where did this all go wrong?
The home is the foundational unit of the society.In my opinion,parents should be trusted with the duty of knowing when to spank a child and when the child “gets the stick” which ironically means to reprimand verbally.The law however should balance the need for punishment against child abuse since there is a very thin line separating these two extremes.Parents do not always have to spank children for every wrong doing because sometimes,the children do not know better in which case verbally reproof, grounding, time-out etc are appropriate lines of action. Spanking should only be a last resort after all else fails. A line of action which should be taken to emphasize the unacceptability of the child`s persistence in repeating the same wrong doing after several attempts to deter them from it. But does spanking mean the parents have lost control?
Whatever the case is, most parents want their child or children to grow up responsible and be able to fit and function in the larger society. The law is there to draw a strict line between discipline and abuse but this should be well-balanced since corporal punishment sometimes could be effective when it comes to deterring children from future attempts at wrongdoing.
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him (Proverbs 22:15).
As usual, your comments and opinions are golden and expected. I would like different view points on this subject matter.
Multi racial is a term used to describe a person or people with ancestries which could be traced to multiple races. The U.S is known to have the highest number of multiracial people as far back as the slave trade era and miscegenation. Contrary to the general belief that the first recorded cases of inter racial relationships occurred during the second half of the mid 20th century among the American people, there are recorded instances dating back to the 18th century as recorded in the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano (former slave turned abolitionist). This kind of relationship (specifically blacks and whites) was frowned at from the start and was not immune to social and legal persecution considering the anti-miscegenation law was passed to discourage the spread of such starting from the 17th to the mid 20th century. It was not till the 1963 that the miscegenation laws were ruled as unconstitutional and repealed.
A child of mixed heritage (in this case black and white) used to be identified first as black due to hypodescent(or one drop rule) laws which places the child automatically into the acclaimed subordinate or inferior group as opposed to the acclaimed superior one. This brings us to the challenging issue of classification of people into different races; who makes the choice the government or the individual? During Barack Obama’s (Incumbent American president) campaign in 2008, he referred to himself as black due to his father being Black African, but also referred to his roots in Hawaii where he was raised by a white mother.But research has always shown that most multiracial people choose to identify wih the so-called “inferior race” since they share a common experience of stigmatism by the “seemingly” superior race.
Enough of the brief history let us talk about how this issue is viewed this present day. My opinion, we are human first and irrespective of social divides, that is what we will always be. Black, White, Asian etc people should be allowed to identify with whichever race they choose to, as long as they have a reason to because that is not what matters. What really matters the most is the society in general. We still have (till this present day) people that frown at interracial marriages the question is “How does it affect you as an individual”? As much as people have a right to marry whoever they want to, their offspring can choose whichever race (of either parent) they choose to affiliate with, or both without any fear of retribution from some quarters. In some core African circles for instance, if a son decides to marry a white lady, there is always that fear that he is about to be lost completely. What is the rationale behind such deductions?
Since the Mid 60s till the present day, there has been a lot of intermarriage between Africans and Europeans which of course has resulted in a multiracial baby boom more than we have seen before then.In the U.S, we have over 6.1 million multiracial people recorded in the 2006.
The question is, how do these children fit into the society and which race do they automatically identify with? My answer, the choice is theirs! We need to erase completely the stigmatism, archaic mentality and social division that the society has attached to race because it does not fit into the bigger picture. There has to be acceptance of people irrespective of skin color and more understanding in the society. There is really no basis for discrimination by color since all human beings evolved from Africa in the first place and the “Color Factor” is strictly for identification in my own opinion and not a basis for social stratification.Multiracial discrimination is a subset of the racial discrimination superset!
The society should take issues of discrimination more seriously and not allow any leeway for preferential treatment of individuals guilty of racial abuse irrespective of their social andor political stance.There have been some issues in the past year that have raised concerns that these sorts of abuse cuts across all social areas and is still a clear and present issue. Take for instance the John Terry (England national football team captain) and Anton Ferdinand (QPR player from the premier league) who is biracial with English and Jamaican heritage. It is alleged that John Terry abused Anton racially on the pitch! Which if proved to be the case (I thought I saw a video somewhere) is a racial abuse from someone deemed to be a role model for kids in multicultural as well as multiracial Britain. Also the case of John Galliano who is a top fashion designer and has ties with big brand names like Versace, Armani, Valentino and others who racially abused two people in a French bar. He got a suspended £6,000 sentence and got a 1 Euro fine (interesting). Let us hope things change and that one day, everyone will see everyone as human first, and any form of discrimination will be a thing of the past.
As usual, your opinion on this matter is golden and expected. Please comment as you wish.
Image courtesy of Ambro
Christianity which literally means “Christ likeness” was established in the 1st century by disciples of Jesus mainly Peter, Matthew, James and John. Their immediate focus or should I say mission was to propagate the gospel (good news) across all nations…but these days, things have changed.
Now let us time travel all the way back to recent times; the Church has all of a sudden become a lucrative business in some quarters. With tax free money from offerings, donations from philanthropists, pledges, tithes and offerings,it is very easy for someone who is amoral in nature to get carried away by the amount of money coming in. This brings me to the subject matter “Stealing in the name of Jesus”.
Who was Jesus by the way? The bible says “He went about doing good, healing the sick and raising the dead”. I am not here to preach but to point out that the agenda of some present day pastors and preachers has obviously shifted from the foundation of their calling. There is more focus on the contents of people`s wallets, purses and bank accounts and how relinquishing their contents will make the bearers more prosperous. These teachings have been misconstrued and purported for selfish interests with no sense of altruism by some present day “Prosperity preachers”.
Over time, the Church has been invaded by corrupt, greedy money conscious people. There are still a whole lot of good hearted, dedicated preachers out there who live up to their God ordained expectations(or at least try to),but as the saying goes, “A few rotten eggs spoil the bunch”. How do you go about preaching to people out there when all they see mainly are the flashy typed, money focused pastors? Some of them say “My God is not a poor God” which I will agree to (as a matter of personal opinion), but he does not take money from innocent hardworking people does he?
Why would a preacher or pastor drive around in a luxury car, security convoy or have an aeroplane? Why should a preacher or pastor be so flashy as to boast of their Armani suits, Mauri shoes and Rolex Wristwatches? Why should a preacher get paid a ridiculously high salary? Why should a preacher or pastor use the Church credit card to purchase personal effects? Why should a “Man of God” be arraigned for tax evasion? The list of questions goes on and on (and I am sure you have some yourself).If the pastor or preacher has a second income then that is fine, but when everyone knows that nothing else comes in, the question is who funds these flamboyant lifestyle then?
Take Nigerian in Africa as an example, we have churches springing up in every nook and cranny, meters apart. I once counted 10 churches on one single street and could not help but wonder what the heck was going on? Most of these churches do not preach about righteousness, holiness and other core principles on which the religion was founded on but rather on the principle of the sower, the Shunamite woman, and chapters from Malachi, Melchizedek, and principles of prosperity (which will involve you dipping into that wallet or purse). They will hardly mention passages like the widows mite, and some other bible passages that involve giving what you can and not ruining your finances in the process. These types of preaching are quite predominant in countries with widespread poverty, economic and social problems hence the need for supernatural interference based on Christian belief.
When you start giving money to your church and get to the point where you cannot provide for your family or take care of your daily needs, the same bible which talks about giving says you are an infidel 1Timothy 5:8. Now why would any preacher ask you to give money which you cannot afford? The whole prosperity promotion agenda has obviously turned into a marketing strategy! Quite similar to buy one get one free, Gala Bingo, 888 or any other gambling operator! Jesus spoke about the principles of giving but never hammered on it, He was not into enriching himself out of the then church’s fund, he was not flashy because the disciples borrowed a donkey when he entered Jerusalem on palm Sunday in Matthew 21 (if he was flashy, he would have bought a horse and chariot or something like that).
I have a message for all those self-enriching pastors, general overseers, reverends (ironically named) etc out there, PRACTICE WHAT CHRIST PREACHED! Instead of using the money got from offerings, tithes and pledges to feed the hungry, support the widows, provide for the jobless, tend to the sick, shelter for the homeless, just like the bible says, you go around driving the latest flashy cars, adorning the “Blings” and living the celebrity lifestyle! Where is the Christlike humility in that?
A word of advice for the “givers” Matt 10:16 “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Become therefore wise as the serpents and guileless as the sheep.” We have to be aware of these kinds of preachers and avoid them like a plague since all they do is usurp money off gullible people to enrich themselves. They focus more on prosperity than the basic principles of the bible which is “Love your neighbour as yourself”. Be choosy when it comes to where you give your money (if you want to give), if you sow seeds on rocky terrain, it will wither away.
It is about time to name and shame all those who enrich themselves “in the name of Jesus”, those who live the lifestyle that they normally cannot afford by digging into God`s pocket, those who do not live up to the basic principles of Christianity but treat their church members like cattle” Fatten them and feed off them”. Be not deceived God is not mocked, whatsoever a man sows, that will he reap. Change your ways before it`s too late! If God does not do anything for now, the Law eventually will.
As usual, your opinions on these matters are golden. Enjoy the video attached, a short documentary showing the moral decadence of some pastors and comment as you wish.
African countries have the oldest, long serving leaders in the world, fact! What I intend to show (with proof) below is a list of African leaders, their age, and tenure so far, and compare them to world leaders outside of Africa. After this, we can then discuss the underlying reasons behind such ridiculously long tenures.
- Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, 69 years old, 32 years(incumbent)
- José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola, 69 years old, 32 years(incumbent)
- Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, 87 years old, 31 years(incumbent)
- Paul Biya of Cameroon, 78 years old, 29 years(incumbent)
- Yoweri Museveni of Uganda , 72 years old, 25 years(incumbent)
- King Mswati III of Swaziland, 43 years old, 24 years(incumbent)
- Blaise Campore of Burkina Fasso, , 60 years old, 24 years(incumbent)
This makes the average tenure of these well known worldwide leaders 28.14 years. That is 7 terms for a British prime minister or an American president! Now let us look at the longest serving “democratically elected” president or prime minister using the 20th century as a benchmark.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 63 years old at the time of death, served 12 years 1 month and 8 days(4 terms in office)
- Margaret Thatcher,86 years old, served 11 years 206 days
I am not saying, and do not get me wrong, that we do not have leaders in other countries of the world who do the same. If we look at Cuba for example, Fidel Castro had been in power since 1965 and only resigned this year due to health reasons. He handed over power to his brother Raul in April hence turning the Cuban government into some makeshift monarchical leadership structure. My Focus in this blog is Africa which leads me to the questions:
- Why does Africa have such long serving presidents?
- Does it boil down to patriotism and the will to serve?
- Could it be for the lack of suitable alternatives?
- Could it possibly be the choice of the populace?
- Is it greed related?
- A continuous need to be in charge?
- Love for power?
- Western support due to the present regime having their interest?
Whatever the case is, the time bomb is ticking tick, tick, tick.
We all know what happened to Colonel Mummar Gaddafi over this past month and how the same people he ruled for some 30 odd years turned against him and hunted him down, killing him like a common criminal and airing it live for the world to see.
The truth is that most of these long serving greedy leaders came into power under very criminal circumstances plagued with murder, coup de tats, false imprisonments of innocent people, exile of officials from the previous government and so on. These vile leaders have therefore decided to hold on to the leadership of their countries and its running to feed their greed and selfish interests while not giving any opportunity to the younger, fresh idea generation to have a go at leadership.
It is also interesting how the Western governments host these individuals and invite them for banquets and important occasions. Well, I feel like this is double standards by all standards but then “Africans” need to resolve “African problems”. If the people do not revolt but mumble under their breaths, how will this continuous holding on to power by self-centred, personal gain focused, shameless African leaders cease?
We cannot move forward as a continent if these leaders remain in power, we cannot develop as a continent with vast resources if some African leaders are more focused on usurping money and amassing wealth. Corruption is spreading across all generations and age bracket, it has become a norm…”Even the president is doing it”!
We need a redress, an overhaul, a change in game plan and leadership, otherwise Africa will always be “THAT JUNGLE”!!!
As usual your opinions on this issue are golden and expected. Please comment as you please.