Friday, April 27, 2012

What drives Youth of the Sahel

The Arabic word sāḥil ساحل‎ literally means "shore, coast", describing the appearance of the vegetation of the Sahel as a coastline delimiting the sand of the Sahara. Its like a band right across Africa just below the Sahara, so countries in Sahel include Senegal, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Ethiopia Somalia and a few others. 
The Sahelian kingdoms were a series of monarchies centered in the Sahel, between the 9th and 18th centuries Their wealth of the states came from controlling the Trans-Saharan trade routes across the desert, especially the slave trade with the Islamic world
Colonized  as  part of French West Africa. French West Africa (French AOF) was a federation of eight French colonial territories in Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea (now Guinea), Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger. Chad was added in 1900 as part of French Equatorial Africa.

Recent history marred with drought, desertification & Political Rife.

An average Sahel youth  has very close ties to family and relatives, this comes out strongly across all socio-economic groups
Aspirations and ambitions are closely tied to the current socio-economic situation and how to improve one’s living conditions
Main fears and worries resonate around these social settings especially whether the current relatively calm political atmosphere is going to hold to enable personal ambitions to blossom
For the youth who are still in school, their preoccupation is mainly on completing their education and eventually getting a job.
The younger generations are quite positive despite the almost cynical situation in which they live today. They are enterprising, have an open mind and are on the lookout for the slightest chance of success
The atmosphere is rather optimistic and very far from politicians and economists’ alarming speeches. Young people have their own views of life and struggle to live as they can.
The younger generations are quite positive. They believe in hard work and even work on holidays. They are enterprising, have an open mind and are wanting to achieve it themselves and not wait for politicians to deliver it.
They have the ability to laugh in spite of  the hardships  and humour is clearly appreciated given that it ‘uplifts’.
They have the ability to laugh in spite of  the hardships  and humour is clearly appreciated given that it ‘uplifts’.
The cinema of Burkina Faso is an important part of West African and African film industry.
Many of the nation's filmmakers are known internationally and have won international prizes.
No film festival in the world comes close to rivalling the magnificence and ambitious scale of Fespaco – the Festival Panafricain du Cinéma et de la Télévision de Ouagadougou.
Every African country submits work to its selectors, so the films on offer represent a unique snapshot of the contemporary African psyche.
Young People speak about how their community defines what they are, its their identity and hence any personal development needs the validation as well as should lead to betterment of the community.

Top Celebrities in Africa


 Amani, Singer, One8
Vivian Cheruyiot, Athlete, Long Distance Runner, Laureus 2012   Award Winner.
Pamela Jelimo, Athlete, Olympic gold medalist
David Rudisha, Athlete, World Record holder over 800m
Victor Wanyama, Football player, Celtic Glasgow, Scotland.
Just-a-band, Electro/Rap Group.
Camp Mulla, Hip Hop Group.
 Jua Cali, Rapper, “Sikupenda Kwangu”, “baba yao
Juliani, Singer / Rapper, “Biceps”, “Hela”.
 P Unit, Rap Group, “Gentleman”
Daddy Owen, Rapper, “System ya Kapungala”, “Kupe de Kalle

Democratic Republic Of Congo
Baloji, Rapper / Singer, “independence cha cha (le jour d’apres)”, “congo
Fally Ipupa, Rapper, “chaise electrique”, “congo
JB Mpiana, Singer, “mpunda”, “mbetu”, “zadio
Lomani LuaLua, Football Player, Blackpool FC, England.
Papa Wbeme

2 Face, Singer, “only me”, “im feelin good”
D Banj, Singer, “fall in love”, “mr endowed”
Dee Splash, Singer, “loose control”, “aye n be leko
DJ Xclusive, Dj, Nigeria’s best known dj.
Ice Prince, Rapper, “oleku”, “superstar”
Wizkid, Rapper, “don’t pull”, “pakurumo
Dammy Krane, Singer / Rapper, “I like girls”, “ijo krane
John Obi Mikel, Football Player, Chelsea FC, England

Navio, Singer / Rapper, One8
Bebe Cool, Reggae Singer, “Lwaki Seyagala”, “Come to me”.
Esther Nabassa, Singer / Songwriter,
Jose Chameleone, Singer / Rapper, “jamila”, “mama mia
Gaetano Kagwa, Celebrity, Show host, Big brother contestant 2003

JK, Singer, One8
Danny, Singer, “Live”
Macky 2, Rapper, “Seka Uponoke
Slap Dee, Rapper, “Nomba Ninshi”, “Solola
The 2012 Zambia AFC Football Team

Alikiba, Singer, One8
Professor Jay, Rapper, “kama ipo”,
Amanda Ole Sullul, Model, Miss Tanzania 2008.
Flaiana Matata, Model, Miss Universe Tanzania 2007.
Nizar Khalfan, Football Player, Philadelphia Union.

4x4, Rap Group, On
 Michael Essien, Football player, Chelsea FC, England.
Sulley Muntari, Football player, AC Milan, Italy.
Sarkodie, Rapper, “Sa Okodie Noo
Stephanie Karikari, Model, Miss Ghana 2010.

Burkina Faso
Faso Kombat, Rapper, “boin maanin”, “saly
Yeleen, Rap Group, “ca connais pas”, “vision de vie
Samskejah Rapper

Here is a link to a song sung by the top Pan African music celebs

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Interesting Facts about Emerging Africa

One of the oldest universities in the world is in Timbuktu, Mali. By the 12th century Timbuktu was home to three universities. Over 25,000 students attended one of the Timbuktu universities in the 12th century.
About half of the world’s diamonds come from southern and central Africa.
Eighteen people from Africa have been awarded a Nobel prize. They come from Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
The current population of Africa is nearly one billion people. Due to rapid population growth in the continent over the last 40 years, its general population is relatively young. In many African states, more than half of the population is under the age of 25.
More than 17 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have died of AIDS, and experts estimate that at least 25 million more people in Africa are HIV-positive.
Approximately 90% of all cases of malaria worldwide occur in Africa, and 3,000 African children die each day from its effects.fthere are at least 3,000 distinct ethnic groups (tribes) in Africa. Nigeria alone has more than 370 recognized tribes within its population.
Central eastern Africa is believed by most scientists to be the origin place of both humans and great apes. The earliest remains of the modern human species Homo sapiens have been found in Ethiopia and date to roughly 200,000 years ago.
In 1974, the skeleton of “Lucy,” a hominid who lived approximately 3.2 million years ago and has been considered a common ancestor to the human family, was discovered in Hadar, Ethiopia. In 1979, a 165-foot trail of the earliest hominid footprints was discovered in the Kibish region of Tanzania. The two discoveries indisputably marked northeastern Africa as the birthplace of humanity.
The Second Congo War, which began in 1998 and involved eight African nations, is the largest war in African history. An estimated 5.4 million people died as a result of the war and its aftermath, making it the deadliest worldwide conflict since World War II. The war officially ended in 2006, but hostilities still continue today.
Rwanda has the highest number of women in national parliament with 56% of total seats.
The primary school completion rate for eight Sub-Saharan countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Niger) more than doubled between 1990 and 2009.
ne of the most interesting facts about Africa is that the length and breadth of this continent are about the same. It measures around 4,660 from north to south and from east to west.
The African continent has 3000 distinct ethnic groups while Nigeria alone has 370 officially recognized ones.
Around 2000 different languages are spoken in Africa, Arabic is the most common.
The banjo originated in Africa and was brought to America by slaves.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why we travel by Pico Iyer

We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again -- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more. The beauty of this whole process was best described, perhaps, before people even took to frequent flying, by George Santayana in his lapidary essay, "The Philosophy of Travel." We "need sometimes," the Harvard philosopher wrote, "to escape into open solitudes, into aimlessness, into the moral holiday of running some pure hazard, in order to sharpen the edge of life, to taste hardship, and to be compelled to work desperately for a moment at no matter what."

I like that stress on work, since never more than on the road are we shown how proportional our blessings are to the difficulty that precedes them; and I like the stress on a holiday that's "moral" since we fall into our ethical habits as easily as into our beds at night. Few of us ever forget the connection between "travel" and "travail," and I know that I travel in large part in search of hardship -- both my own, which I want to feel, and others', which I need to see.

Abroad is the place where we stay up late, follow impulse and find ourselves as wide open as when we are in love. We live without a past or future, for a moment at least, and are ourselves up for grabs and open to interpretation. We even may become mysterious -- to others, at first, and sometimes to ourselves

Its hard being a traveler

The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road by Paul Theroux,It is hard to be a stranger. A traveler may have no power, no influence, no known identity. That is why a traveler needs optimism and heart, because without confidence travel is misery. Generally, the traveler is anonymous, ignorant, easy to deceive, at the mercy of the people he or she travels among. The traveler might be known as “the American” or “the Foreigner,” and there is no power in that.Among the Batelela in the Sankuru region of central Congo the word for stranger is ongendagenda. It is also one of the most common names for a male child. The reasoning is that when a child is born—and males matter most among the Batelela—he appears from nowhere and is unknown, so he is usually called Stranger, and this name stays with him throughout his life—Stranger is the “John” of the Sankuru region.In Swahili, the word muzungu (plural, wazungu) has its root in the word for ghost or spirit, and cognates of the word—mzungu in Chichewa and murungu in Shona and other Bantu languages—have the meaning of a powerful spirit, even a god. Foreigners had once seemed godlike when they first appeared in some places.

Friday, November 11, 2011

How to write about Africa by award winning author Binyavanga Wainaina

Writing in the literary magazine, Granta, awardwinning author, Binyavanga Wainaina, pens a satirical piece on the Western psyche titled, "How to write about Africa". Wainaina, the Caine award winner of 2001 and editor of the online literary magazine Kwani?, says, in part: "Sunsets and starvation are good. Always use the word Africa or Darkness or Safari in your title. Sub-titles may include the words Zanzibar, Maasai, Zulu, Zambezi, Congo, Nile, Big, Sky, Shadow, Drum, Sun or Bygone. Also useful are words such as Guerrillas, Timeless, Primordial and Tribal. Note that People means Africans who are not black, while The People means black Africans...."

Wainaina adds: "Make sure you show how Africans have music and rhythm deep in their souls, and eat things no other humans eat. Do not mention rice and beef and wheat; monkey-brain is an African's cuisine of choice, along with goat, snake, worms and grubs and all manner of game meat. Make sure you show that you are able to eat such food without flinching, and describe how you learn to enjoy it - because you care. Taboo subjects: Ordinary domestic scenes, love between Africans (unless a death is involved), references to African writers or intellectuals, mention of schoolgoing children who are not suffering from yaws or Ebola fever or female genital mutilation. Throughout the book, adopt a sotto voice, in conspiracy with the reader.."