Stories from Quick Reads and Nigeria
Gershom Ndhlovu looks at the reasons why ailing African leaders wont step down:
There have been rumours, innuendoes and even insinuations regarding the health, or the lack of it, of Zambia’s President Michael Chilufya Sata, in office since September 2011. These have been spread by the largely unregulated online media that the Patriotic Front (PF) government is intent on controlling or even shutting down altogether.
The government has not particularly responded to these rumours apart from issuing one-liner statements refuting the stories about the health status of the 76 year-old head of state and veteran politician.
However, when Sata appeared at a May 1 Labour Day parade to receive a traditional salute from workers in the land, the appearance was very brief and only accompanied by a one minute address before getting into his motorcade for a three kilometre drive back to the presidential palace, a lot of people were convinced the President was not well.
If our own children were to go missing we would want the world to come to a standstill and help us find them. We…ask that…you consider why so often women’s bodies become the battlefields upon which wars are fought. This is not a problem that involves a small town in Nigeria, this involves all girls everywhere.
Tillah Willah sends a letter to Goodluck Jonathan, asking that he treat “the disappearance of the 234 school girls in Chibok, Borno…with a bit more urgency.”
In mid-april, over 200 school girls were abducted from a secondary school, in Chibok, Nigeria by Boko Haram, a terrorist group based in the northern region. Although some 57 of the girls have managed to escape, there are still many others at the hands of the kidnappers. On April 30, Nigerian women have organized demonstrations in cities across the country to demand that the government intensifies its efforts to rescue the girls. The Sahara Reporters news site published a photo coverage from Kaduna, Nigeria. Nigerian bloggers have also created a Facebook page with the hashtag #bringourgirlsback, asking to spread the outrage on Internet against this criminal action by extremist rebels.
A group of young volunteers from southern Germany, many of whom have lived in Africa, are calling for photos, essays, videos, blog posts or poems by locals of five major African cities: Lagos, Addis Ababa, Gaborone, Kigali and Kinshasa.
With a forthcoming exhibition called “Sichtwechsel,” their goal is to show another face of Africa than what typically appears in German media — modern, urban, rapidly developing societies.
See their website at Missing-Images.com in English, French and German. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2014.
Nigerian netizen Kola Olaosebikan uses YouTube to address, among other topics, the question of why young Nigerians are running from home:
This video addresses moving back to nigeria, why i left nigeria, brain drain in nigeria, and issues impacting youth and progress in nigeria all wrapped up in a nice little bow of love.
Omg Ghana reports about Joshua Beckford's outstanding academic achievement:
At age 8, you were probably practicing a sport or was preparing for the third grade. Well, meet an 8 year old with a twist, Joshua Beckford. This particular young boy is by far not your average 8 year old. He studied at Oxford University at the age of 6, and he is the face of the National Autistic Society’s Black and Minority (BME) campaign. It’s put in to place to highlight the obstacles that people with black minority background often encounter when trying to obtain the access to support and services they need. Beckford is one of a kind, he is too advanced for his required school grade so that lead him into being homeschooled. He excels in Math, Foreign Languages, History, Philosophy, IT and Science.
We, the under signed Nigerian bloggers, view with grave concern the continued detention of the innocent school girls who were abducted from Chibok on April 15, 2014. We are of the strong view that no amount of social grievance either against the government and or the people of Nigeria can justify such an act of violence against school children. We therefore condemn the abduction in very strong terms.
The also called on their government to expedient action in getting back the abducted high school students from the Boko haram terrorists:
We also call on the government of Nigeria to do everything in its power, even if it includes involving an international security agency, to bring the girls back from the hands of those who currently hold them, and restore a sense of security to the country as soon as possible. Elections are coming up next year. Citizens want to be able to feel safe wherever they are. Democracy thrives best when citizens feel empowered to pursue their daily chores without fear or threat to their lives and property.
The Social Media Week Lagos 2014 (February 17-21) is currently going on in Lagos, Nigeria:
SMW Lagos is only in it’s 2nd year and has already claimed its place as the largest, tech, new media and business conference on the continent of Africa. It attracts some of the continents most forward thinkers, brands, learners and creators. With a population of over 20M Lagos is the largest black city in the world and is arguably the epicenter of the continent and home to the powerhouses of Africa’s creative, business and tech communities. Recognizing the importance of a connected continent, while aiming to encourage collaboration, our 2014 conference them is: A CONNECTED AFRICA IS THE FUTURE.
The only event of it’s kind, Social Media Week Lagos is a world class conference with Africa’s brightest minds that is free and open to the public. SMW Lagos is also unique in that 70% of the weeks amazing panels, parties and workshops are organized by the public
The topic of the post-colonial evolution of francophone versus anglophone African states has always a fodder for intense debate. Cheidozié Dike, from Nigeria, brings a new perspective to the subject :
While the French Loi Cadre system was mostly about integration, the British colonial system sought only exploitation. Creating an air of suspicion between the nations that make up present-day Anglophone Africa, fracturing connections before they were even made, all the better to rule.[.;] Francophone Africans do not feel the need to aspire to western culture, because the French culture was wedded with local customs such that it became an indivisible whole
However, the predominant analysis from francophone Africa is quite different. Ouréguéhi, from Benin, articulates why he thinks francophone Africa is lagging behind its anglophone counterpart financially [fr]:
Les pays anglophones ont été libérés de leur colon sur tous les plans. la France a toujours les regards dans les affaires des colonisés sans oublier la dictée qu'elle fait à ces pays. Quand tu veux voir celui que tu prétends aider évoluer, tu lui donne les conseils tout en lui laissant le choix de sa politique
English-speaking countries were freed from their colonizers at all levels. France still keeps an eye in the affairs of its former colonies, not to mention the fact that she still dictates (a few policies) of these countries. When you want to help someone evolve, you give him/her advice but you let them choose their own policy.