Posted by: Dr. Y. | February 14, 2019

“Lovinjitis” by Wizboyy Ofuasia ft. Teeyah

A box of Valentine's day chocolate

A box of Valentine’s day chocolate

Has anybody ever heard of Lovinjitis? It is a sickness that catches you unaware… it can catch you anywhere, anyhow, and without notice… It is a disease of the heart: it pierces your heart and there is no way to avoid it. When you suffer from Lovinjitis, you are love struck. Here are the symptoms of Lovinjitis: sometimes you laugh by yourself, sometimes you cannot sleep, and you really desire the contact of that special one … you cannot wait to get home to see that one, you feel a genuine rush when you are with them, you cannot get them out of your head, they embalm your every thought, you are more open to new ideas and activities, you are planning the future with them, … . In short, you are in love!

Wizboyy Ofuasia, in collaboration with Teeyah, says it all and introduces you to Lovinjitis! This song is so good… the melody so good that it will make you suffer from Lovinjitis instantly! Happy Valentine day to all of you, and lots of love to everyone… today is the day to celebrate love, not just the valentine love, but the regular love, acknowledge our loved ones and be good to earth’s children!

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Felix Tshisekedi on investiture day

During the last elections held on 30 December 2018 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),  Félix Tshisekedi was pronounced winner . He  defeated another opposition leader, Martin Fayulu, as well as Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who was supported by term-limited outgoing president Joseph Kabila. Immediately, the ‘international community (I.C.)’ pounced on Tshisekedi claiming that he could not have won, and that it was but Martin Fayulu the second who had won. There were even threats by the ‘international community’ via the French government through her Ambassador to the Congolese government. Tshisekedi’s victory has since then been upheld by the constitutional court of the DRC, and he was installed as president on 24 January 2019.

Maurice Kamto

Maurice Kamto (Maurice Kamto Facebook page)

In Cameroon, the story is a fair tale. After the 7 October 2018 presidential elections, opposition candidate Maurice Kamto, from all indications, came out winner of the elections against outgoing president, Paul Biya, who has been in power for the past 37 years… It was total silence by the I.C., in the case of Cameroon, who saw nothing wrong with a man who had been in power 37 years! They clapped and called those elections a standard of democracy! In the western media, there was no mention of Maurice Kamto, and the international community saw nothing wrong with the results of a presidential election being read 2 weeks after polling took place! This is the same international community that was so eager to get the results out in a timely manner in other countries such as the DRC, Madagascar, etc. Yet, Maurice Kamto won the elections and no mention of what happened to him took place. For Kabila in the DRC, the international community, via its medias, spent long time telling the world how Kabila had been in power for 18 years, and how anti-democratic that was. Yet in Cameroon, Paul Biya has been in power for 37 years, and they are clapping and calling the electoral hold-up democratic!

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Map of Cameroon with all its regions

Since then, Cameroon has further descended into the abyss that it slipped into 37 years ago. Not only is the Cameroon territorial integrity in question: Boko Haram in the North has cut off the 2 northernmost regions from the rest of the country, the 2 English-speaking regions are cut off from the country ; in the East of the country, armed bands coming from the Central African Republic (CAR) are terrorizing the population, and in the Adamawa Region, armed groups coming from CAR are kidnapping people for ransom including traditional chiefs and stealing cattle; there are refugees both inside and outside the country, and post-electoral violence has ushered in a profound exacerbation of tribalism leading to the politics of divide-and-conquer. It looks like the ultimate objective is dividing Cameroon, like in Sudan, with an exacerbation of ethnic differences with a further push toward chaos for better exploitation of the country’s resources and emptying it of its youths.

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Paul Biya, President of Cameroon

If the I.C. can scream for DRC, and publish articles about Martin Fayulu being the winner in its media the day after publication of results, with the catholic church complaining about results, why does it not show any indignation or some concern for Cameroon? How can a 37-year-old rule in Cameroon be applauded and referred to as being democratic by the I.C., while an 18-year rule in DRC is called a dictatorship? Why is 85-year-old Paul Biya’s 37-year rule being applauded when Mugabe in Zimbabwe was vilified? How can Biya, with nothing to show for his stewardship, not even the integrity of his territory, not even roads, but total chaos and backwardness, be applauded by BBCRFI,  The Guardian, and France 24?  How can a president purposely destroy its country including its resources and be applauded by this so-called democratic I.C.? Well, because he serves the interests of the I.C., and has been a good student and puppet in helping the I.C. pillage the resources of his country. Cameroon is so rich in natural resources: oil, cocoa (6th producer), coffee, natural gas, gold, diamond, etc. In the robbery that is so synonymous with France’s predatory behavior in Africa (particularly in its so called “pré-carré”), why should this be a surprise? France’s nature in Africa, and the I.C.’s in general, has been and remain predatory.

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Flag of Cameroon

In Cameroon today, there is a strong dictatorship. The mafia that is synonymous with this regime has been repressing in blood all peaceful demonstrations and marches for the upholding of the genuine electoral results. All protest marches calling for the electoral records to be published are either banned or have seen the winner of the elections Maurice Kamto and his team arrested, including many innocents who have been screaming for a change, for a chance to have better life, roads, jobs, better healthcare, etc. People in the English-speaking provinces have been, hurt, beaten or killed, for simple claims which are basic human rights. A lot of them are currently displaced…  people in the north provinces have been displaced, and hurt by Boko Haram… yet BBCRFI, and the likes of them say nothing! Instead they applaud a government which refuses to negotiate with its own people. We do not ask them to intervene, but if those medias are supposed to be impartial, then they should be impartial, otherwise they should clearly state their agenda: portrayal of Africa as poor and in need of help, pillaging of African resources, promotion of wars on the African continent to help their cronies those western multinationals destroy and get all resources for nothing.

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Thomas Sankara a Ouagadougou

We, Africans, should recognize that we are not, and never were independent. We should protest and fight pacifically like this is our last fight. A mother sending her child to school, a father being able to feed his family, university graduates finding jobs in countries where everything is yet to be built, roads, water, electricity, basic human rights to respect, all of that are rights… and it looks like we will have to earn them  ourselves. Like Thomas Sankara said, “the slave who is not capable of assuming his rebellion does not deserve that we feel sorry for him. This slave will respond only to his misfortune if he is deluding himself about the suspect condescension of a master who claims to free him. Only struggle liberates… [ l’esclave qui n’est pas capable d’assumer sa révolte ne mérite pas que l’on s’apitoie sur son sort. Cet esclave répondra seul de son malheur s’il se fait des illusions sur la condescendance suspecte d’un maître qui prétend l’affranchir. Seule la lutte libère …(Discours de Sankara à l’ONU le 4 octobre 1984 (texte intégral) Speech delivered on October 4, 1984 during the UN general Assembly)].” DO NOT trust this condescending I.C., DO NOT trust their media that is very partial, and were all against Laurent Gbagbo, who today has been acquitted from crimes invented by this I.C. and its cronies. We have to fight for our own rights, our own freedom,  acknowledge that we are in charge of our own destinies, and never expect some partial Western media to report on the truth!

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édenté / toothless

L’édenté ne se mêle pas d’une affaire d’os (Proverbe Bamoun – Cameroun).

The toothless does not get involved with a bone matter (Bamun proverb – Cameroon).

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Rubies mined by Gemfields in Mozambique (businesslive.co.za)

This is a first, and I had to share the article. The precious gemstones miner Gemfields has agreed to pay £5.8 million (about $7.8 million) to community members residing near its Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique, in a “no admission of liability” move that settles a claim of human rights abuses brought against it by locals. Security forces employed by the miner had shot, beat and subjected its clients to humiliating treatment and sexual abuse. I applaud this outcome for the communities and the work of the law firm who fought this, and I also wonder, given that Mozambique gems are now gaining ground because of their higher quality compared to the usual providers (Rise of the Mozambican Ruby), what will be the effect on the gems’ price in Mozambique? how many times have you seen a European firm settle victims in Africa?  For the full article, go to: Mining.com and Journal du Cameroun.

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The United Kingdom mining firm, Gemfields, has agreed to pay £5.8 million to 273 Mozambicans who alleged they were victims of human rights violations at its Montepuez ruby mine in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, APA can report on Wednesday. Gemfields, which is the majority shareholder in Montepuez Ruby Mining Ltd (MRM) has settled the claim on a “no-admission-of-liability basis” and acknowledged that “in the past, instances of violence have occurred on and around the MRM licence area, both before and after Gemfields’ arrival in Montepuez”.

The British legal company Leigh Day, which represented the 273 people in a class action, also recognised that “Gemfields has taken the claimant’s allegations seriously and has been proactive and constructive in addressing the wider issues raised by local communities through this case”.

gemfields-pay-7-8m-settle-claim-human-rights-abuses-mozambique

Montepuez is an open-pit mine, considered the world’s most lucrative ruby operation. (Image courtesy of Gemfields. Mining.com)

Last February, Gemfields noted that the claim alleges that Gemfields and MRM are liable for human rights abuses including the deaths and mistreatment of artisanal miners and the seizure of land without due process.

… In addition to settling the claim through mediation, Gemfields has agreed to provide half a million pounds to establish further community projects to improve the long-term agricultural productivity and livelihoods of residents of Ntoro and Namucho.

It also agreed to establish an independent grievance mechanism for people to obtain a timely response to complaints.

This will be overseen by international experts.

Gemfields’ chief executive Sean Gilbertson stressed that “we wish to ensure that we are regarded as trusted and transparent partners to members of our local communities, rather than legal adversaries”.

According to Leigh Day’s Daniel Leader, the settlement “provides significant redress to our clients and importantly puts in place a credible and independent mechanism for providing remedy to those we have been unable to represent. 

These incidents should never have happened. However, we commend Gemfields for engaging constructively to resolve this case promptly and for putting in place an independent grievance mechanism”. …

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Marmite / Pot

Même si vous avez faim, vous ne mettez pas la main dans la marmite de votre belle-mère (Proverbe Ntomba – RDC). – Il y a des choses qu’on ne fait pas.

Even if you are hungry, you do not put your hand into your mother-in-law’s pot (Ntomba proverb – DRC). – There are things that are not done.

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Felix Tshisekedi on investiture day 24 January 2019

On Thursday January 24th 2019, the Democratic Republic of the Congo saw a new day: the investiture of Félix Antoine Tshilombo Tshisekedi marked the first peaceful transfer of power in the history of the DRC in 60 years, since the Belgium granted it independence. This marked a great day not only for the DRC, but for Central Africa, and for Africa as a whole. Felix Tshisekedi won the presidential elections in DRC, which were also entirely funded by the country itself under the leadership of President Joseph Kabila … this is also a first in the nation’s history and the history of many countries on the African continent. So in clear, this was an election of the Congolese people for the Congolese people, entirely funded by the Congolese themselves.

Tshisekedi said, “We want to build a strong Congo in its cultural diversity.” He further declared, “We will promote its development in peace and security. A Congo for each and everyone, where everybody has his or her own place.

Joseph Kabila, President of DRC

Joseph Kabila, outgoing President of DRC

Felix Tshisekedi is the son of Étienne Tshisekedi, a longtime beloved opposition leader who died in 2017, and has benefitted from the legacy his dad built. Tshisekedi is taking over the presidency from Joseph Kabila, the DRC’s president since 2001.

I take the time here to salute President Joseph Kabila who has allowed, by his selfless resolve to protect the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Joseph Kabila recently outlined some his achievements during his tenure of office, including the organization and total funding of the last democratic elections in 59 years, the construction of new infrastructures, the restoration of peace and the reunification of the country, and the financing of its own elections, and the peaceful passing of the banner to Felix Tshisekedi.

I live you here with Joseph Kabila’s last speech as President, and the passing of the baton, investiture of Felix Tshisekedi.

Posted by: Dr. Y. | January 23, 2019

So long Oliver Mtukudzi: An Afro-Jazz Legend

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Oliver Mtukudzi during a concert (zwnews.com)

Today, Oliver Mtukudzi, one of Zimbabwe’s most renowned musicians, has changed his plane of existence. He passed away to join his ancestors, after over a four-decade career. He, like Bra Hugh, Hugh Masekela, was a giant of African music, particularly Afro-Jazz. Just like Bra Hugh, he passed away on the same day, a year later.

To his fans he was affectionately known as Tuku. With his deep voice, he came to prominence in the 1970s as one of the voices of the revolution fighting white-minority rule.

The singer and guitarist mixed several different styles to create his own distinctive Afro-jazz sound, known to his fans as “Tuku Music“.

In 2018, Mtukudzi spoke to Eyewitness News about why he chose to stay in the music business: “My music is about touching the hearts… never mind how old. If a baby is born today, she/he must be able to relate to my music.”

I live you here with one of my favorite from Tuku: Neria.

Posted by: Dr. Y. | January 21, 2019

Great Warrior Queen of Nubia: Amanirenas

nubia_amanirenas

Sculpture of Candace Amanirenas on a pyramid wall in Barwa, Sudan

Amanirenas was a great Candace, queen, of the Nubian kingdom, mother to queen Amanishakheto, and grandmother to queen AmanitoreAmanirenas was a great warrior queen.  She built considerable pyramids and temples at Wad Ban Naqa, where she was buried with great treasures.

Her full name and title was Amnirense qore li kdwe li (“Ameniras, Qore and Kandake“). She reigned from about 40BC to 10BC, and is one of the most famous Kandakes, because of her role leading Kushite armies against the Romans in a war that lasted five years, from 27 BCE to 22 BCE. After an initial victory when the Kushites attacked Roman Egypt, they were driven out of Egypt by Gaius Petronius and the Romans established a new frontier at Hiere Sycaminos (Maharraqa). Amanirenas was described as brave, and blind in one eye. Some say that her name means Amani is her name. Amani is the Nubian name for Imana/Amon, Unique God of Africa.

nubia_hamadab stela showing amanirenas and akinidad

Hamadab stela showing Queen Amanirenas and Prince Akinidad facing various Egyptian deities Amun and Mut

Meroitic inscriptions give Amanirenas the title of qore as well as Kandake suggesting that she was a ruling queen. She is usually considered to be the queen referred to as “Candace” in Strabo‘s account of the Meroitic war against the Roman Empire. Her name is associated with those of Teriteqas and Akinidad. King Teriteqas died shortly after the beginning of the war. She was succeeded by Akinidad (possibly the son of Teriteqas) who continued the campaign with his mother Amanirenas. Akinidad died at Dakka c. 24BC. The loss of one eye during battle made Amanirenas even stronger and braver. She despised death, and her fearlessness forced the admiration of Strabo, the Greek historian, who said, “this queen has a courage above that of her gender.”

When Aelius Gallus, the Prefect, or chief magistrate, of Egypt, was absent on a campaign in Arabia in 24 BC, the Kushites launched an attack on Egypt. Amanirenas and Akinidad defeated Roman forces at Syene and Philae, and drove the Jews from Elephantine Island. They returned to Kush with prisoners and loot, including several statues of Emperor Augustus ; the Queen buried a bronze likeness of the Emperor beneath the entranceway to her palace so that she and all who came and went could tread on the head of her enemy. The head, found in Meroë in 1912, now resides in the British Museum

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Stela showing Candace Amanirenas crushing Roman enemies. This also appears in Cheikh Anta Diop’s book cited below

The Kushites were driven out of Syene later in the year by Publius Petronius, who now held the office of Roman Prefect in Egypt. According to a detailed report made by Strabo, the Roman troops advanced far into the Kingdom of Kush, and finally reached Napata. Although they withdrew again to the north they left behind a garrison in Qasr Ibrim (Primis), which now became the border of the Roman Empire. The Kushites made a renewed attempt to seize Primis, but Petronius forestalled this attempt.

A peace treaty was signed the Meroites and Augustus in the year 21/20 BC, which  continued until the end of the third century AD, with relations between Meroë  and Roman Egypt remaining generally peaceful during this time. However, the Kingdom of Kush had begun to fade as a power by the first or second century AD.

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Nubia or the Kingdom of Kush in 400BC

Thereafter a preponderant place falls to two queens, Amanirenas and
Amanishakheto. Their husbands remain forgotten and we do not even know the name of Amanishakheto’s. The throne was also occupied for some years by a king, the former prince Akinidad, son of Queen Amanirenas and King Teriteqas. Nevertheless, it is important which of these two queens came first, both of them ‘Candace’, which is the transcription of the Meroitic title Kdke according to the tradition of the classical authors.

To learn more, check out the UNESCO funded book General History of Africa Vol.2, Ancient Civilizations of Africa, P. 307-308Nations Negres et Culture by Cheikh Anta Diop , Presence Africaine 1979 p. 216-217, 50 Greatest Africans — Pharaoh Natakamani and Queen Amanitore & Ngola Ann Nzinga , The Kingdom of Kush by László Török, P. 198 and 461, ISBN 90-04-10448-8. Also check out the Rejected Princess website, Lisayapokama.org, and Face2FaceAfrica.com

Gbagbo

Laurent Gbagbo

Joy is in our hearts! It has taken us 8 years but we have overcome, or rather Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé (How long shall they kill our prophets…?)have overcome. The hour is to joy, and gratitude, because truly perseverance has been their motto for the past few years. All these tough years of claiming their innocence, all these years of constant support and people’s prayers, dedication, love, and determination have born fruits. Yesterday, January 15th 2019, Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé were acquitted of war crimes at the ICC. I rejoice in this step forward. I live you with snippets of the article from the NPR below. In latest news, the prosecution is trying to bar Gbagbo and Blé Goudé from returning to their home country of Côte d’Ivoire, and instead wants to keep them roaming through in Europe: this is another case of Deportation of African Heads of States. We will keep fighting to the last drop! As Agostinho Neto said: “La luta continua e la victoria e certa!”

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Charles Blé Goudé celebrating with his legal team on 01/15/2019 (SkyNews)

A panel of judges at the International Criminal Court has dismissed charges of war crimes against former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, the first former head of state to stand trial at the ICC. Charges against his former youth minister, Charles Blé Goudé, also were dropped.

[…] A majority of the three-judge panel concluded that prosecutors had failed to show that there was a “common plan” to keep Gbagbo in power, nor “the existence of patterns of violence from which it could be inferred that there was a ‘policy to attack a civilian population,’ ” the court said in a press release.

Public speeches by Gbagbo and Blé Goudé did not constitute ordering, soliciting or inducing the alleged crimes, the judges said – adding that they needed no further evidence from the defense.

[…] After refusing to hand over power, Gbagbo was pulled from an underground bunker at the presidential residence in Abidjan in April 2011, and then whisked to The Hague in November 2011. He was held in custody for more than seven years.

Posted by: Dr. Y. | January 14, 2019

Smart Gloves to Turn Sign Language into Audio Speech

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Roy Allela has developed a glove that translates sign language to speech via a bluetooth-enabled smartphone. Photograph: Brett Eloff/Royal Academy of Engineering

I once observed the communication of a mute person on his tablet via Skype to his relative. While waiting in the airport that day, I marveled at the beauty of technology, at what had been made possible: that someone born mute or deaf could communicate, via sign language, to his loved ones, make up a ‘video’ call to tell them ‘I am catching up my plane’ or ‘I made it safely to the airport, we should be taking off shortly’. Now this invention out of Africa tries to make into audible speech Sign language so that all could be able to communicate. Simply love it! The article is from the Guardian.

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Roy Allela’s six-year-old niece was born deaf. She found it difficult to communicate with her family, none of whom knew sign language. So Allela – a 25-year-old Kenyan technology evangelist who works for Intel and tutors data science at Oxford University – invented smart gloves that convert sign language movements into audio speech.

The gloves – named Sign-IO – have flex sensors stitched on to each finger. The sensors quantify the bend of the fingers and process the letter being signed. The gloves are paired via Bluetooth to a mobile phone application that Allela also developed, which then vocalises the letters.

My niece wears the gloves, pairs them to her phone or mine, then starts signing and I’m able to understand what she’s saying,” says Allela. “Like all sign language users, she’s very good at lip reading, so she doesn’t need me to sign back.”

Allela piloted the gloves at a special needs school in rural Migori county, south-west Kenya, where feedback helped inform one of the most important aspects of the gloves: the speed at which the language is converted into audio.

People speak at different speeds and it’s the same with people who sign: some are really fast, others are slow, so we integrated that into the mobile application so that it’s comfortable for anyone to use it.”

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 The Sign-IO app, which vocalises words signed by the person wearing the gloves. Photograph: Brett Eloff/Royal Academy of Engineering

Users can also set the language, gender and pitch of the vocalisation through the app, with accuracy results averaging 93%, says Allela. Perhaps most importantly, the gloves can be packaged in any style the user wants, whether that’s a princess glove or a Spider-Man one, he says. “It fights the stigma associated with being deaf and having a speech impediment. If the gloves look cool, every kid will want to know why you have them on.”

The gloves recently won the hardware trailblazer award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Allela is using the prize money to land more accurate vocal predictions.

His goal is to place at least two pairs of gloves in every special needs school in Kenya, and believes they could be used to help the 34 million children worldwide who suffer disabling hearing loss.

I was trying to envision how my niece’s life would be if she had the same opportunities as everyone else in education, employment, all aspects of life,” says Allela.

The general public in Kenya doesn’t understand sign language so when she goes out, she always needs a translator. Picture over the long term that dependency, how much that plagues or impairs her progress in life … when it affects you personally, you see how hard people have it in life. That’s why I’ve really strived to develop this project to completion.”

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