Posted by: Dr. Y. | June 16, 2019

Visiting the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum

Soweto_HP_3_1I recently visited the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, memorial dedicated to one of the first students to be shot dead during the 16 June 1976 Soweto Massacre. This was 13-year-old Hector Pieterson, who became the symbol of the Soweto Uprising.  The picture of his dead body being carried away by another student, Mbuyisa Makhubo, while his sister  Antoinette Sithole ran beside them in tears, was captured by news photographer Sam Nzima, and made it worldwide. When Hector was shot, he fell on the corner of Moema and Vilakazi Streets, he was picked up by Mbuyisa Makhubo who together with Hector’s sister, Antoinette (then 17 years old), ran towards Sam Nzima‘s car. They bundled him in, and the journalist Sophie Tema drove him to a nearby clinic where he was pronounced dead. Mbuyisa and Nzima were harassed by the police after the incident and both went into hiding.

Soweto_HP_2_1Visiting the museum brought some odd images, because it shows the brutality of the apartheid government against children… Imagine that: an entire government unleashing dogs, police officers, and guns on children! 1500 heavily armed police patrolling the area overnight with automatic rifles, stun guns, and carbines; driving in armored vehicles with helicopters, while the South African army was ordered on standby… for repression on school children. Such barbary!

Well, I am glad there is an entire monument dedicated to the memory of Hector Pieterson, and above all to all those children who lost their lives on 16 June 1976, and who triggered the end of apartheid.




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

Proverbe sur la Médisance / Proverb on Badmouthing


Arbrisseau / Shrub

Ne faites pas vos besoins sous un arbrisseau; un autre peut y chercher de l’ombre (Proverbe Zulu – Afrique du Sud, Zimbabwe). – Ne médire de personne, on aura peut-être besoin de lui.

Do not relieve yourself under a shrub; another could look for shade under it (Zulu proverb – South Africa, Zimbabwe). – Do not badmouth anyone, you may need him.

Belgian Congo_Genocide1

Belgium maiming of children and adults in Congo

This is over a month old, but I had to talk about it. Of all the apologies I expected, I did not expect this one: Belgium apologizes for the abduction of mixed-race children in Congo. Seriously? Do not get me wrong… this is a step forward… but what about the 14-million-people genocide committed by the Belgian king, Leopold II (King Leopold II and The Congolese Genocide)? What about the millions of amputees over several decades? Now Belgium apologizes for the kidnapping of thousands of mixed-race children which happened over 3 years right before and after the independence of Congo, i.e. their very own children with local women … Isn’t that normal? What about the Congolese? So the only time Belgium apologizes about Africa is for their ‘own’ children… what about the genocide? what about the maiming? the rape (we know it was not all consensual)? the imperialism? and the subsequent wars funded by them in Congo? Given that Belgium were recently forced by the UN to apologize, they decided to apologize for kidnapping their very own children! Do they expect us to clap for them? Maybe this is a way to boost up the Belgian population which is in decline (like everywhere in Europe), and again separate these already separated children from their origins.  The excerpt below is from BBC; for the full article, follow the link.


Belgian Congo_Genocide_Leopold II

King Leopold II of Belgium, one of the greatest genocidaires of all times

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has apologised for the kidnapping of thousands of children born to mixed-race couples during colonial rule in Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda.

The “métis” children born to Belgian settlers and local women were forcibly taken to Belgium and fostered by Catholic orders and other institutions.

About 20,000 children are believed to have been affected. Most fathers refused to acknowledge the paternity of their children.

The children were born in the 1940s and 1950s and taken to Belgium from 1959 until the independence [a little after, 1962] of each of the three colonies.

Some of the children never received Belgian nationality and remained stateless.

Speaking in the Belgian parliament, Mr Michel said the country had breached the children’s basic human rights, seeing them as a threat to the colonial system.

Belgian Congo_Genocide2

Picture of men holding cut-off hands (image by Alice S. Harris in Baringa 1904)

It had, he said, stripped them of their identity, stigmatised them and split up siblings.

[…] The groups miXed2020 and Métis de Belgique say many of the kidnapped children “suffered deeply” as a result of their experience.

Many still had no access to birth records and remained unable to find their mothers or their Belgian fathers, who, the groups said, were often well-known figures.

[…] Last month, the UN’s Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent told Belgium to apologise for atrocities committed during its colonial era.

Posted by: Dr. Y. | June 10, 2019

African Joke: Let’s be Clever, rather than Barbaric

Woman worried1

Woman worried (Source:

It is 11PM and a woman worries because her husband is not yet back. She decides to call him.

The wife: “Hello

A woman: “Yes hello

The wife: “Can I please talk to the owner of the phone?

A woman: “No. He is resting. We just finished making love.

The wife: “Can I leave him a message.

A woman: “Talk… you never know.”

The wife: “Tell him that it is his doctor who is calling to make sure that he is taking his antiretrovirals, his antibiotics against chlamydia and the hepatitis B treatment.

african couple morning sex

Couple in bed (Source:

A woman: “What? He has all these illnesses?

The wife: “Yes, and you know how new patients have the tendencies to be negligent; we have to follow up with them all the time.

A woman: “Idiot ! Rise up ! Dirty AIDS sufferer ! Jerk ! Pussy thief ! Get out of my place ! My God oooo, I am dead!”

The wife, quietly: “Thank you Lord, he is coming home.”

The original in French is found on . Translated to English by Dr. Y.


Tam-tam / Drum

Quand on change le tam-tam de place, il a un autre ton (Proverbe Kossi – Cameroun). – Hurler avec les loups; s’adapter aux diverses circonstances de la vie.

When you change the position of the drum, it has another tone (Kossi proverb – Cameroon). – Howling with wolves; Adapt to various circumstances of life.

Ethiopian airlines_1

An Ethiopian Airlines plane

After the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight last March which killed all 157 people on board, and five months after the Lion Air disaster which claimed 189 lives, Boeing boss Dennis Muilenburg has apologized to the families of the victims. Sadly it took the crash of Ethiopian Airlines, and families of the ETH crash suing them, as well as Chinese airline companies, for the CEO of Boeing to finally come out. He has insisted the company is “committed to safety for the long run“, in his first interview since the two 737 Max aircraft crashes. I remember how in the early days of the ETH crash, they tried to put the blame of this accident on the pilot because he was ‘young’ even though he had over 8,000 hours of flying experience, or the co-pilot, or a myriad of other reasons.

Ethiopian Airlines crash_Yared Getachew

Yared Getachew, pilot of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 which crashed in March 2019

Speaking to CBS News yesterday, Boeing’s CEO gave another apology, following his video statement in April. After the April apology, the father of the Ethiopian Airlines flight pilot, Dr. Getachew Tessema, had said that it was too little too late, adding,  “Why did they [Boeing] let them fly [after the Indonesia crash]? Because they were in competition. They want to sell more. Human life has no meaning in some societies.” The airline industry’s trade body IATA has said this week that Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft is unlikely to re-enter service before August.


Slaves on board a ship

I knew that the Catholic Church via the Pope had authorized slavery in the 1400s, but I didn’t know that they had authorized the eradication, subjugation, etc, of African people. Somehow I never connected the two.

The bull,  Pope Nicholas V‘s decree, of 1452 was addressed to Afonso V and conceded Portugal’s right to attack, conquer and subjugate Saracens and pagans; this is also known as Dum Diversas. A papal bull is a document through which a pope of the Roman Catholic Church issues an important public decree, letters patent, or charter


Pope Nicholas V

We grant you [Kings of Spain and Portugal] by these present documents, with our Apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property […] and to reduce their persons into perpetual servitude.”


These clearly refers to the lands along the coast of West Africa. By these decree,  Pope Nicholas V conceded to the King of Portugal Afonso V and Prince Henry and all their successors, all their conquests of Africa, and reduction to perpetual servitude of all people deemed non-believers and enemies of Christ, and all their properties.

A significant subsequent concession given by Nicholas V in a brief issued to King Alfonso in 1454 extended the rights granted to existing territories to all those that might be taken in the future. Together with a second reference to some who have already been enslaved, this has been used to suggest that Nicholas sanctioned the purchase of black slaves from “the infidel”: “… many Guineamen and other negroes, taken by force, and some by barter of unprohibited articles, or by other lawful contract of purchase, have been … converted to the Catholic faith, and it is hoped, by the help of divine mercy, that if such progress be continued with them, either those peoples will be converted to the faith or at least the souls of many of them will be gained for Christ.”

This bull is currently conserved at the Institute of the National Archives of Torre do Tomba in Lisboa, Portugal, under the reference PT/TT/BUL/0007/29 and is fully translated to French in the book “le Péché du pape contre l’Afrique” (The Sin of the Pope against Africa) (éd. Al qalam, Paris, 2002) de Assani Fassassi, P. 10 – 21.

Please find below the Papal bull by Pope Nicholas V.

Dum Diversas_1

Papal bull from Nicholas V (Source: © Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo (Lisboa, Portugal) –

Dum Diversas_2

Papal bull from Nicholas V p. 2 (Source: © Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo (Lisboa, Portugal) –

Dum Diversas_3

Papal bull from Nicholas V p. 3 (Source: © Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo (Lisboa, Portugal) –

PirogueUn grand voyage par eau, on ne part pas précipitamment (Proverbe Ekonda – République Démocratique du Congo (RDC)). – Réfléchir avant d’agir.

A big trip by water, we do not leave hurriedly (Ekonda proverb – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). – Think before acting.

Posted by: Dr. Y. | May 24, 2019

The Orphan and the Wicked Villagers

Troupeau de vaches

Boys leading a herd of cows

There was once, in a village, a very rich man who owned many herds of cows, goats, and sheep. He had only one child, a son, still very young whose mother had passed away after giving him life!
When the old man felt his own death coming, he worried: who was going to advise his son so that he would not get devoured by the man-eating worms, the man-eating worms that migrated between the two great rivers where every day he went to water his flocks? The villagers could not do it. On the contrary, they would be jubilant at the idea of seeing his son devoured by the man-eating worms. They would happily split his herds among themselves!


Cailcedrat (Source: paysdelaTeranga blog)

He was going to entrust his son to a tree, an old cailcedrat :

  • I am going to die, he said. I entrust my son to you so that you counsel him.

Then he passed away.

In the morning, before taking his flocks to pasture, the young boy would sing to the tree.

  • My father entrusted me to you, great cailcedrat. Should I take my flocks to Toubalitou? Or should I lead them to Diabalidia?

The tree shook its heavy branches laden with leaves three times, and said:

  • Go to Toubalitou. Do not go to Diabalida. The man-eating works will be at Diabalida today!

The young boy led his flocks to Toubalitou, and in the evening came back safe and sound to the village. The villagers were astonished and furious. Someone must be advising the boy for him not to be eaten by the worms! They were going to find out who was counseling him. They hired a hunter for that task, who brought back the secret. They cut down the tree, burnt it, and threw the ashes in the river.

Turtledove Cameroon

A turtledove at dusk

When the orphan came for counsel, he found nothing. He cried, and still sang his song. One never knew. It was a turtledove who answered him. And once again he got home safe and sound. People were once again surprised. They were furious at the hunter, he had lied to them.

The hunter once again told them the new secret, and promised them that he would kill the turtledove. However, he never could. He became insane, and still runs to this day firing shots at the sky taking it for his turtledove.

Since that day, wise men and women tell their children never to kill a turtledove.

The French original can be found on Ouologuem Blog. Translated to English by Dr. Y.,


Fumier / Manure

Celui qui marche sur le fumier, devra se laver les pieds (Proverbe Bahumbu – République Démocratique du Congo (RDC)). – Qui s’y frotte, s’y pique.

Whoever walks on manure, will have to wash his feet (Bahumbu proverb – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)). – If you go looking for trouble, you will find it.

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