Houseboy and No Longer at Ease

Houseboy and No Longer at Ease

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.

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My African hair

My African hair

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….

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Unrivalled blockchain potential for Africa’s business growth

Unrivalled blockchain potential for Africa’s business growth

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.

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My take on weddings in Africa!

My take on weddings in Africa!

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.  

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My take on funerals in Africa

My take on funerals in Africa

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.

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My first visit to Livingstone

My first visit to Livingstone

 

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!!? 

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Music and dance in Africa

Music and dance in Africa

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. 

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Abuja

Abuja

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.

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What Africans have to say about themselves and their continent…

What Africans have to say about themselves and their continent…

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.

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Child mortality rates falling in Tanzania

Child mortality rates falling in Tanzania

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 Navuri

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Obtaining the visa to ‘Somewhere’

Obtaining the visa to ‘Somewhere’

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.

 

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African tales

African tales

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.

 

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Mozambique focuses on agriculture to alleviate youth unemployment

Mozambique focuses on agriculture to alleviate youth unemployment

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 Mangwiro

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