Adidi, le chat, courant apres la souris

Adidi, le chat, courant apres la souris

Un chat poursuit une souris qui se refugie dans un trou.  Le chat ayant très faim l’attend pendant plusieurs jours.  Un jour de sa cachette, la souris entend des aboiements.  Rassurée, elle sort et le chat bondit sur elle. “Mais,” demande-t-elle au chat, “tu es un chat et tu aboies ?”  Le chat répond : “Ben oui, tu sais pas que les temps sont durs maintenant ? Je suis devenu bilingue.”


A cat runs after a mice which seeks refuge inside a hole.  The cat being very hungry, waits for it several days.  One day, from its hole, the mice hears barking.  Reassured, she steps out of her hiding place, and the cat jumps on it. “But,” she asks the cat, “ you are a cat and you bark?” the cat answers “oh yes, don’t you know that times are hard now? I have become bilingual.”

Posted by: humilityjoy | April 14, 2014

Why the name: Djibouti?

Map of Djibouti

Map of Djibouti

Ever wondered why a country would be carrying the same name as its capital city?  Well … I always wondered what was the meaning of Djibouti, and then why the country carried the same name as its capital city.

Located in the coastal Djibouti region on the Gulf of Tadjoura, Djibouti is known as the Pearl of the Gulf of Tadjoura.  The origin of the name Djibouti is very controversial.  However, there are two versions which are more or less plausible.

The first one is based on an ancient Issa legend whereby the name Djibouti (Jab Bouti) came from a fabulous animal Bouti which used to live in those areas and was a ferocious beast killing goats, and sheeps, and terrorizing people.  After a relentless hunt, the men defeated the beast, and named the area Jab Bouti or the Bouti’s defeat.

The second version comes from the Afar people.  The Afar named the current region of Djibouti Gabod (plateaux or uplands).  The Arab sailors called it Gabouti, and later on, the French turned it into Djibouti.

Djibouti in 1940 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Djibouti in 1940 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

As you read these two versions, you realize quickly that Djibouti is the land of two main groups: the Issa and the Afar.  From 1860 to 1894, the region north of the Gulf of Tadjoura was known as Obock, and was ruled by Issa Somali, and Afar Sultans, with whom the French signed several treaties to start the colonization of the area.  That is why they (the French) later (between 1967 and 1977) called it the French Territory of the Afars and Issas (Territoire Français the Afars et des Issas (TFAI)).  The French founded Djibouti city in 1888, and later made it the capital of French Somaliland in 1896.  In the 1900s, the city considerably grew in size thanks to the construction of the Imperial Ethiopian Railway which linked Djibouti to southern Ethiopia and the Ogaden.

Djibouti, today (

Djibouti, today (

Djibouti city is strategically positioned near the world’s busiest shipping lanes (the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden) and acts as a refueling and transshipment center.  The Port of Djibouti is the principal maritime port for imports to and exports from neighboring Ethiopia.  Additionally, the city hosts a number of foreign embassies, foreign military bases (French, American, German, Japanese, etc), and is the headquarters of many international organizations, non-profit organizations and companies. Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport is the main domestic airport, connecting the capital to various major global destinations.  Since 1977, the city has served as the capital of the Republic of Djibouti.  Together with northern Somalia, Eritrea, and the Red Sea territory of Sudan, the Republic of Djibouti is thought to be the most likely location of the land known to ancient Egyptians as Punt, a kingdom which had close ties with Ancient Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Sahure and Queen Hatshepsut.

As I live you with this video of the pearl of Gulf of Tadjoura, Djibouti, I would like to ask this question: which of the two legends, in your opinion, is closer to the real origin of the name Djibouti?


La Cote d'Ivoire

La Cote d’Ivoire

In memory of the victims of the post-electoral crisis of 2011 in Côte d’Ivoire, I selected this movie titled “A minute of silence from Côte d’Ivoire” for you.  Everyone remembers those days in early April 2011, and in particular 11 April, when the planes of the ONUCI and the French army bombed all strategic sites in Abidjan including the military camps, the TV station, and the presidential palace, killing thousands, and dragging the president out like a mere bandit.  Now, to have just one side of the post-electoral crisis present at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is simply a farce!  To have Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé at the Hague is a farce, when we all know that the violence grew out of a contentious presidential election between two parties.  Where are Alassane Ouattara and Guillaume Soro?  It is also sad to note that only Africans are being judged at The Hague, when crimes were also committed in Irak, Afghanistan, Syria, etc.  This video is to all the victims of the post-electoral crisis of Côte d’Ivoire, to all those who stood for their convictions, to all those who believed in casting a peaceful vote, and to all those who believed in their beautiful country, peace to all.


Paniers a base de raphia

Paniers a base de raphia/ raffia baskets

Une parole est comme un fil de raphia, si vous le tirez de la natte, vous ne pourrez le remettre à sa place (proverbe Bornu – Tchad).

A word is like a raffia thread, if you pull it from the mat, you cannot put it back (Bornu proverb – Chad).

Posted by: humilityjoy | April 8, 2014

Cock and Jackal



COCK, it is said, was once overtaken by Jackal, and caught.  Cock said to Jackal, “Please, pray first (before you kill me), as the man does.

Jackal asked, “In what manner does he pray? Tell me.



He folds his hands in praying,” said Cock.  Jackal folded his hands and prayed.  Then Cock spoke again: “You ought not to look about you as you do.  You had better shut your eyes.”  He did so; and Cock flew away, upbraiding at the same time Jackal with these words, “You rogue! do you also pray?

There sat Jackal, speechless, because he had been outdone.

South African Folk Tales, by James A. Honey, 1910, Baker & Taylor Company.

Posted by: humilityjoy | April 5, 2014

Capt. Mbaye Diagne on BBC

Capt Mbaye

Capt Mbaye in Rwanda

Dear All,

I was admirably surprised to see this article on BBC on Capt Mbaye Diagne, the forgotten angel of Rwanda.  Remember that I wrote an article about Capt Mbaye Diagne’s bravery, courage, and strength in the face of horrors in Rwanda, back in 2009.  I am grateful for this recognition from the BBC, even though it has taken this long.  I want you to go back and read the great article I wrote a few years ago on this African hero, the forgotten angel of Rwanda here.  Don’t forget to check out the BBC article as well.


Une autruche / an ostrich

Une autruche / an ostrich

L’autruche, quand il faut voler, dit: Je suis un chameau;  et quand il faut porter un fardeau, elle dit: je suis un oiseau (proverbe africain). – Le paresseux avance toujours des raisons pour fuir le travail.

The ostrich, when it is time to fly, says: I am a camel; and when it it is time to carry a burden, she says: I am a bird (African proverb). – The lazy one always gives reasons to escape work.




To celebrate April fool’s day, I have decided to start a new category, that of laughter.  Enjoy this great joke!


Un jour, à la leçon de calcul, le maître demande à Yao, 5+5 égal combien ? Yao répond : 10 ! Alors le maître dit : Bien ! 10 bonbons pour Yao ! Et toi Ali, 6+7 ? Ali répond : 13 ! Et le maître dit : Très bien ! 13 bonbons pour Ali ! A toi Grégoire, 1+1 ? Grégoire se dit intérieurement : Djahaa, il croit que je suis bête pour dire 2 et puis il va dire : Bien ! 2 bonbons pour Grégoire ! Alors Grégoire crie : Ça fait paquet, Monsieur, ça fait paquet de bonbons ! Le maître était de teint clair, il a viré au rouge sang. S’il n’a pas eu une crise cardiaque, c’est déjà pas mal !


One day, during math class, the teacher asks Yao, how much is 5 + 5? Yao answers: 10 ! The teacher then says: Good ! 10 sweets for Yao ! And you Ali, 6 + 7 ? Ali answers: 13 ! And the teacher says: very good ! 13 sweets for Ali ! To you Gregoire, 1 + 1 ? Gregoire thinks to himself: “Djahaa, he thinks I am stupid to say 2, and then he will say: Good ! 2 sweets for Gregoire !” Alors Gregoire answers : “it is a pack, sir, it is a pack of sweets ! ” The teacher was light in complexion, he instantly turned read. The fact that he did not die of a heart attack is already a good sign !

2014 FIFA World Cup

2014 FIFA World Cup Logo (

Ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, I have decided to talk about Brazilians of African descent who have influenced their country in some way or fashion.  I know this is rare, in a country where the plight of the Blacks is still very dire.  Today, we will talk about Marina Silva.

Marina Silva (

Marina Silva (

If you were watching the Brazilian elections, you probably saw that it saw the election of the first woman president of Brazil Dilma Rousseff.  Most importantly, the 2010 Brazilian presidential election not only saw a woman winning the election, but also a woman deciding the turn of the elections.  I am talking about Marina Silva, a Black Brazilian from humble beginnings, who came from a family of rubber tappers, and only learned to read and write at the age of 16, and later became a senator, and then a minister in Brazil under President Lula.  Hers is a story like none other!  A beautiful story!  A story of hardship and overcoming those hardships.  Imagine that: a Black woman (in a country where Blacks almost have no say) who was once a maid, and lived by tapping rubber on plantations could become a senator, then a minister under president Lula, and then a presidential candidate, and more the balance maker of the 2010 Brazilian elections!  Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  Who said women had no voice?  Who said Blacks had no say?

A Marina Silva's campaign poster for the 2010 presidential election (

A Marina Silva’s campaign poster for the 2010 presidential election (

Marina Silva grew up in Rio Branco the western province of Acre in Brazil in the Amazon rainforest.  Silva helped create Acre’s first workers’ union, and led demonstrations with  Chico Mendes to warn against  deforestation and the outplacement of forest communities from their traditional locations.  She has become an activist, a senator and a minister, entirely dedicated to securing the largest and richest ecosystem on earth: the Amazon rainforest. Her efforts, courage, and achievements are without comparison.

Hers was the defining moment of the 2010 Brazilian elections!  Enjoy Marina Silva TEDX’s speech titled “Everyone can do it!” and feel the need to rise and unleash your inner genius!



Ce qui se dit près du cadavre d’un lion, ne se dit pas quand il est encore vivant (Proverbe Bambara – Mali).

What is said near the corpse of a lion, is not said while he is still living (Bambara proverb – Mali).

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