Suddenly the scene changed from comedy to sheer terror when all at once the bathroom door swung open and the granny flew at us with a nice, long, slim switch from the weeping willow that grew outside in the front yard. “I told you all to be quiet!” she yelled at us. The switch landed briefly on the back of my legs and we all screamed as we scampered out of the bathroom and ran for it. After that, we naturally stayed away from that particular friend’s house until her grandmother left.Read More
I remember enjoying Oyono’s Houseboy (published in 1956) which I found to be an honest but humorous work. For instance, I could not, for the life of me, picture Toundi, an African man, working as a “houseboy” and washing his Madame’s soiled undergarments. This was just too appalling in the African context. I must confess that back then, I might not have fully understood that as the storyline progressed and Toundi struggled to find his identity, having moved from his rural village, it was also a time when Africa, in the wider context, was trying to maintain its unique identity and shake off colonial rule and some of its atrocious consequences.Read More
A part of my Africanness that I have battled with all my life is my hair. In its natural state, an afro is not always an easy hair-do to wear. If you lean back in your chair, for example, it gets messed up.
The dilemma is compounded when Afros are not considered a ‘professional’ look in most circles. So now I find myself travelling the middle road of braids and weaves – wearing my hair natural only when ‘occasions’ permit….Read More
African women have shaped the continent’s history, and many more others are still shaping its course today. However, it is not often that women who have contributed to and shaped history in their respective fields and capacities are fully acknowledged. History tends to largely overlook women’s achievements. It is time that history starts to be rewritten.Read More
In looking at Africa as the last frontier for business investment and growing markets, the World Economic Forum reports that since 2000, at least half of the world’s fastest-growing economies have been in Africa. In addition, by 2030, the continent will be home to 1.7 billion people, whose combined consumer and business spending will total $6.7 trillion.3 It is in this environment that tech savvy African entrepreneurs are looking for solutions that add to ease with which business can be conducted. Blockchain offers just that - the potential to boost the growth of Africa’s businesses.Read More
A question casually and frequently asked to single adults is, “So when are you getting married?” Perhaps young men do not feel the pressure to get married as much as young women do. A certain lady I once met lamented that the question was thrown her way from the time she barely turned 20. When one bumps into long lost friends it is not long before talk on mutual acquaintances gravitates towards the question as to whether mutual friends are married and how many children they now have. Marriage on the continent is definitely a family affair and at best even a whole community’s business.Read More
Funerals in Africa can be huge crowd pullers. In countries south of the Sahara, they tend to go something like this. When a person dies, relatives and friends from far and wide gather at the deceased’s home or a home of a relative designated as the ‘funeral’ or ‘mourning’ house, where mourners stay until the deceased is buried, often within a week or two.
In some West African countries like Ghana and Nigeria, however, certain tribes often delay the burial of their loved one for weeks or even months, in order to ensure that they are given a proper send-off when the time is right.Read More
Acting very much like a tourist while I was in Livingstone, I was amazed to find out that not all people that live there have been to see the Victoria Falls, not even once. They simply do not make the time. I, on the other hand was fortunate enough not to emulate the locals but decided to dig in with my teeth and enjoy myself as much as I could. How often does a person step outside their hotel and bump into zebras grazing on the lawn? I felt very fortunate indeed sitting on a deck on the banks of the Zambezi, watching the ‘smoke’ from Vic Falls in the distance as the sun slowly set. The only unwelcome visitors during my stay was a horde of the fiercest mosquitoes I have ever come across. As evening descended, the mosquitoes grew bold and managed to give my legs bites all the way through my jeans. I never knew this was even possible!!?Read More
Music and dance seem to flow freely in the veins of almost every African, with some having greater success than others in the area of making a career out of it. Some say that nations that have experienced the most oppression, turbulence and violence in their recent historical past have the people with the best voices. Perhaps there is some truth in this with a country like South Africa that has produced legends like Mirriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.Read More
My trip to Abuja a few years ago was highly rewarding. I found Nigerians to be friendly and felt right at home in the capital city. Getting around the city was very easy with its well-laid out roads. Sustainable water and electricity can be a real challenge in parts of Nigeria though. Generators have since become standard household items and it is quite normal to buy drinking water.Read More
My ethnicity is my identity. There is more to my skin tone and my “foreign accent.” It is the privilege I have to live in two different worlds. I am able to enjoy the benefits of globalisation from the western world and at the same time enjoy the simplicity of my culture. Being African to me is a mind-set. I have a list of rules and beliefs engraved in my mind. A set of rules and beliefs that cannot be altered by external influences. My mother’s voice is my conscious and my family are my examples. Her word goes and going against them is my sin. My family is my identity.Read More
Asha Mchinjita, 37 years old, gave birth to a baby boy at Muhimbili hospital in the country’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This is her third pregnancy and this time around matters went well compared to the previous condition when she delivered her first born. Living in Mwananyamala suburb, Asha claims accessing hospital care is no longer a challenge anymore as health centres are available in almost every corner in the city. - by Angel NavuriRead More
Seeing as we now live in a global village, a few years ago I took it upon myself to also try my hand at globetrotting. If Africa can receive millions of foreign visitors upon its soils year in and year out, I saw no reason why I too could not visit foreign lands to broaden my horizons. I will not mention any specific destination, but I recall that upon embarking on one such voyage, the encumbrances I was faced with began even before I left Africa.
Africa would just not be the same without the age-old tradition of storytelling. Unfortunately for me, I never had the experience of sitting under the stars beside a fire in the evening, listening spellbound to folklores narrated by village elders. The closest I ever came to experiencing something similar was when we had electricity power cuts and used candles for light. Once in a while our parents would then tell us a story or two.
Ashton Robinson, one of Musoma’s students, was ready to withdraw from Texas A&M University because she needed to take care of her baby. Musoma, went as far as teaching with Emit in his arms, just to make it easier for Ashton to gain the needed knowledge. - by Luyando NyoniRead More
Amelia is one of the millions of victims of the consequences of the armed conflict, which erupted between Renamo and the Frelimo government, soon after Portuguese colonial rule in 1975. Without formal education and having five children to look after, her dreams to become a teacher were unattainable; yet she and her dependents had to survive. - by Charles MangwiroRead More
You are still in slavery if you don’t know you are free. Africa is perpetuating the legacy of its captors and in various aspects we have become mere relics of colonialism, unaware of our identity. What good is being African if you don’t know you are African? - by Dora MwaisegheRead More
African trends are also set or influenced by Nigeria’s film industry, Nollywood, with its movies broadcast on numerous channels in all regions of the continent. Cultural identities are also pranced by fashion designers from around the continent that combine African prints with modern twists that match ethnic hair-dos. - by Mwanja Ng'anjoRead More
As long as somebody is perceived to have more money than the next person, or might even be earning the same amount as peers, a broke neighbour will usually first target that person for a loan, as bank loans are often a deterrent, since credit is often granted with hefty interest. - Mwanja Ng'anjoRead More