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

The 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa

10,000FCFA (BEAC-1992)

An old 10,000 FCFA from Central Africa

This is yet another favorite on the African Heritage blog.

Please take a moment to reflect on this colonial tax African countries have been made to pay for the past 70+ years, particularly in view of the new West African money ECO which is trying to come to life. We applaud the idea of a common currency in West Africa, and in Africa as a whole… remember that this was Kwame Nkrumah‘s dream and the forefathers of the African Union, but when we hear France’s puppet Alassane Ouattara of Côted’Ivoire say  that the ECO will be just another name for the FCFA, we can only scream against it, or rather against France’s scheming yet again to impoverish African countries. What France is doing to African countries, by getting over 500 billion dollars every year for free (Africa is funding Europe!), is the same thing that Nazi Germany did to France with their currency at the time of World War II: the FCFA was inspired from it. Yet… after pillaging Africa yearly and raping her daily, they do not seem to hold their economy down, dealing with unemployment, and the Yellow Vests! Free money is always like that: because you did not work for it, it always seems to run out quickly! It’s about time they think of a partnership… but then it is France, so that will probably never happen!

African Heritage

Carte des pays de la zone CFA Carte des pays de la zone CFA

African countries continue to pay colonial tax to France 50 years after their independence. This system is an abomination destined to keep African countries poor forever! Here are some excerpts from the article by Mawuna R. Koutonin. For the full article, go to France Colonial Tax , and do not forget to check out the article I wrote a while back on the Franc CFA: slave currency! Also, please read the book by Pr. Nicolas Agbohou on the subject:  ‘Le Franc CFA et l’Euro contre l’Afrique.’


Did you know that many African countries continue to pay colonial tax to France since their independence till today?

sekou-toure-time-cover-021959-600 Sekou Toure, Cover Time Magazine, Feb. 16, 1959

Sékou Touré of Guinea decided in 1958 to get out of french colonial empire, and opted for the country’s independence, the french colonial elite in Paris got so…

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Posted by: Dr. Y. | August 13, 2019

‘Love Poem for my Country’ by Sandile Dikeni


Mt Bamboutos in Cameroon

Reblogging this all-time favorite poem on the African Heritage Blog.

A few questions for the readers: what do you like the most about this poem by Sandile Dikeni? What is special? And what made you connect to it? What in this poem describes your country or is there something in it which describes your country?

African Heritage

An antelope at dusk An antelope at dusk in the African Savannah

In the past I have always wished that we, Africans, could be patriotic.  I came across this beautiful poem ‘Love poem for my country‘ by South African writer Sandile Dikeni.  I really enjoy the way the author describes his country, the valleys, the birds, the ancient rivers, and its beauty.  He feels the peace, the wealth, and the health his country brings.  He is one with his country.  He is at home!  His country is not just words or food, or friends, or family, it is more, it is his essence!  That is true patriotism, the bond that links us to the bone to our motherland.  Enjoy!

My country is for love
so say its valleys
where ancient rivers flow
the full circle of life
under the proud eye of birds
adorning the…

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Posted by: Dr. Y. | August 9, 2019

Adinkra Symbols and the Rich Akan Culture

Sankofa symbol

The Sankofa symbol

This is another all-time favorite… The second-most popular post on the history of Adinkra symbols and the Rich Akan culture of the Akan people of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Enjoy!
As we revisit this favorite, please let us know if there are other things you would like to learn on the topic, and we will try to add more.

African Heritage

Adinkra in 1817 Adinkra in 1817

Today, we will talk about Adinkra symbols of the Akan people of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

The Adinkra symbols are believed to originate in Gyaman, a former kingdom in modern day Côte d’Ivoire.  According to an Ashanti (Asante) legend, Adinkra was the name of a king of the Gyaman kingdom, Nana Kofi Adinkra.  King Adinkra was defeated and captured in a battle.  According to the legend, Nana Adinkra wore patterned cloth, which was interpreted as a way of expressing his sorrow on being taken to Kumasi, the capital of Asante.  He was finally killed and his territory was annexed to the kingdom of Asante.  The Asante people, around the 19th century, took to painting of traditional symbols of the Gyamans onto cloth, a tradition which has remained to this day.

Adinkra work, 1825 Adinkra work, 1825

The arrival of the…

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Toni Morrison_1

Toni Morrison (Source:

Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Toni Morrison, the first Black woman to win a Nobel prize in literature, has passed away at the age of 88. I have read some of her books: “The Bluest Eye” which was part of my Dad’s collection and which I devoured, “Beloved” (I saw the movie, and was left with a ‘What just happened?’ feeling at the end of it), “Song of Solomon,” and “Sula“… I have to admit that I started “Jazz” but never finished it for lack of time. To be honest, Toni Morrison and I did not jive… I read the books, but I always felt like I needed to read them more than once to actually understand them. I believe that was her signature: her books were no cookie-cutter type-literature, but profound, heartbreaking, and conscience shakers; they had this earth-shattering effect, where you really walked a mile in the protagonist’s shoes. They also always had this musical and poetic feel to them, … maybe that’s why I kept coming for more?


Toni Morrison_Beloved_3

‘Beloved’ by Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison had an outstanding career. She started late as a writer at age 39 and was editor of textbooks at Random House before fiction: she was the first African American editor there. She then became one of the world acclaimed writer, and professor at some of the best universities in the world: Cornell University and Princeton University. She won the Nobel laureate in Literature in 1993, thereby becoming the first and only Black woman to win it to date. She was even on the cover of Time Magazine in 1998, only the second female writer of fiction and second black writer of fiction to appear on one of the most significant U.S. magazine covers of the era. And … she of course, benefited from the Oprah effect!


Her writing was not just beautiful but meaningful — a challenge to our conscience and a call to greater empathy,” President Obama wrote Tuesday on his Facebook page. “She was as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page.”

Narrative has never been merely entertainment for me,” she said in her Nobel lecture. “It is, I believe, one of the principal ways in which we absorb knowledge.”

She also said, “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”  So get ready… it’s your turn to carry Toni Morrison’s torch!



Samori Touré

This post on Samori Touré has been an all-time favorite post on . I am reblogging it here, because on this 10-year anniversary of the African Heritage Blog, it has been the most viewed and loved article. As you know, Samori Touré, grandfather to the African president Sekou Touré (another resistant to French imperialism – Guinea: the country who dared say ‘NO’ to France), was a leader and ruled over a vast empire which spanned big areas of West Africa from Guinea all the way to modern-day Côte d’Ivoire. He was a strong fighter to France imperialism in Africa, and opposed a great resistance to the French several times. This is to one of Africa’s great kings, warriors, and resistant.

African Heritage

Samori Toure holding the Coran

One of the great kings, and fighters of African freedom was the great Samori Touré. Over 100 years ago, Samori Touré was captured by the French and deported to Gabon where he died of pneumonia.

But who was Samori Touré?

Well, Samori Touré was born in 1830 in Manyambaladugu (some texts mentionSanankoro instead), a village southeast of Kankan in present-day Guinea. Samori was a great warrior who fought imperialism in the 19th century such as many leaders today. He refused to submit to French colonization and thus chose the path of confrontation using warfare and diplomacy.

Until the age of 20, Samori was a trader. After his mother was captured in a slave raid by the king Sori Birama, he offered to serve in his army and excelled by his military prowess and skills.

Samori Touré had a vision of unity for the Malinké people, and…

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10-year-celebrationYesterday, August 1, the  African Heritage blog passed the 2 million views cap. This is particularly moving, and coincidental with the fact that this August will also mark a significant milestone: the 10 years anniversary of blogging on, the  African Heritage blog. Time flies! Goodness Gracious, time flies! It has been a fun and tough 10-years ride. I could fill another blog just to tell you how these past 10-years have been, but I will spare you the details for now. All I can tell you is that YOU, the readers and subscribers, have made it possible with your constant support, comments, corrections, and contributions. This is truly a celebration to you, and to your readership! A big thanks to all of you.

I have always been stunned by the beauty of the flower below (growing up, I was always enthralled by its beauty) because of its vibrancy, its distinction, its determination, and above all its uniqueness… so in upcoming years, this will be our motto here on Afrolegends. As we embark on this new journey, we promise to bring you more good content and stories, and of course capture great memories for the African continent. As you know, the past 10 years have been tough years for Africa, but they have also been years of learning, growth, and rebirth. Like always, “A luta continua e la vitoria e certa.

To celebrate this milestone, for the month of August, we will feature the top articles on the blog for the past 10 years, and bring out the all-time favorites.




Rougir / Blushing

Il vaut mieux rougir que de garder le souci dans votre coeur (proverbe Tunisien – Tunisia).



Souci / Concern

It is better to blush than to keep the concern in your heart (Tunisian proverb – Tunisia).


Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi (Wikipedia)

This past Saturday, July 28 2019, millions of Tunisians bid farewell to their first democratically elected president Mohamed Béji Caïd Essebsi at a state funeral attended by numerous foreign leaders including French President Emanuel MacronQatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Felipe VI of Spain. Essebsi passed away this past Thursday, July 25 at 92 years old. His was a great life of public service, and determination to serve the Tunisian people to the best of his ability.

Essebsi was a seasoned politician whose career spanned over six decades. His first involvement in politics started in 1941, when he joined the Neo Destour youth organization in Hammam-Lif. He was known for his integrity, exceptional public service, and served under Tunisia’s first president Habib Bourguiba, at different positions, including chief of the regional administration, general director of the Sûreté nationale, Interior Minister, Minister-Delegate to the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, and then Ambassador to Paris. The coincidence of him dying on the anniversary of the republic reminded people of the role he played in nation-building since independence.


Flag of Tunisia

In recent years, Essebsi rose to prominence after the overthrow of veteran autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, which was followed by “Arab Spring” revolts against authoritarian leaders across the Middle East and North Africa, including in Libya and Egypt. He was seen as a unifying figure. He founded the Nidaa Tounes political party, which won a plurality in the 2014 parliamentary election. In December 2014, he won the first regular presidential election following the Tunisian Revolution, becoming Tunisia’s first freely elected president.


Essebsi in 2011 (Wikipedia)

Hours after Essebsi’s death, parliament speaker Mohamed Ennaceur was sworn in as interim president in line with the constitution in a smooth transition of power. The presidential election is scheduled for Sept. 15, as stated in the constitution which gives 90-days after the death of the president for new elections to take place; this comes two months earlier than scheduled.

The interim President stated, “[Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi] spent his life in the service of Tunisia, preserving its gains and defending its values.”  “He was a man of consensus, dialogue and national unity.” Don’t we all need dialogue and national unity?

Please take some time to read the good article The Arab Weekly wrote on the life of this great man who always put the interest of the Tunisian people first.

Posted by: Dr. Y. | July 26, 2019

Proverbe sur l’Etranger / Proverb on the Outsider


Poule blanche / White hen

L’étranger est comme une poule blanche: on le reconnaît immédiatement (Proverbe Tumbuka – Malawi, Tanzanie, Zambie).

A stranger is like a white hen: he stands out (Tumbuka proverb – Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia).

Cape to Cairo_Alvin Zhakata_1

Alvin Zhakata in Khartoum, Sudan (Source: Alvin Zhakata)

What would you do for the love of football? How far would you go for a chance to watch the biggest continental football event of the year? Will you cross mountains, rivers, plains, and valleys? Well, Alvin Zhakata, a Zimbabwean man, trekked 10,000 km to cheer for the Zimbabwean warriors at the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 in Cairo this past month. He traveled from Cape Town to Cairo by road enduring visa delays, internet blackouts and revolutionary protests all for the love of football. It took him a total of 44 days; he missed his team who were eliminated in the first round, but the CAF president gave him a VVIP ticket to the final between Algeria and Senegal last Friday.

Cecil Rhodes with his transafrican train project from Cairo to Cape Town - the most imperialist ever

Cecil Rhodes with his transafrican train project from Cairo to Cape Town – the most imperialist ever

What Zhakata did, is no simple feat. He did what even the infamous Cecil Rhodes could not achieve: go from Cape Town at the tip of Africa, to Cairo at the very top of the continent. For those who do not know: the words Cape to Cairo immediately bring to mind the European Scramble for AfricaCecil Rhodes and his ambition for Great Britain to control the whole of Africa from Cape to Cairo, and of course to link all British colonies via the Cape to Cairo Railway crossing Africa from south to north by rail. The Cape to Cairo Road was also planned to roughly connect the same countries; however, it is not praticable today, and has remained more of a dream or rather a possibility, which needs revamping.

What Zhakata did is not just a show of undying love of a fan for football, but also a political statement to all African leaders: we need roads to connect each other; we need better visa system, or rather a borderless Africa for better and safer travel, increased trade among each other: we need a united Africa. Zhakata’s statement is one of Unity,… African Unity. Enjoy the excerpt below from BBC.


CAN 2019

Africa Cup of Nations 2019 in Cairo, Egypt

A Zimbabwean nurse travelled from Cape Town to Cairo by road enduring visa delays, internet blackouts and revolutionary protests all for the love of football.

Alvin “Aluvah” Zhakata had intended to make it to Egypt for the opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations on 21 June, when Zimbabwe’s Warriors took on the hosts.

But he missed the match because his epic journey took much longer than expected.

Yet thanks to those following his adventures on Twitter, he has now become a celebrity – and the African football boss has presented him with a ticket to this Friday’s final between Algeria and Senegal.

When the 32-year-old arrived in the Egyptian capital last week, completing his 44-day 10,000km (6,200-mile) trip, he said it was well worth it despite some nerve-wracking experiences.

Cape to Cairo_Alvin Zhakata_4

Cape to Cairo (Source: BBC)

His other more sobering discovery was that “Africa is not friendly to Africans” – in terms of visas and borders. “And some of the visa fees for African countries, they are actually more expensive than visa fees when you want to go to Europe – and the waiting period takes too long. “I believe we need a borderless Africa.”

The journey began on 27 May on a route passing through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

Cape to Cairo_Alvin Zhakata_2

CAF president recognizing Alvin Zhakata for his feat, and presenting him with a VVIP ticket to the AFCON 2019 final

[…] His one disappointment has been the performance of the Warriors, who crashed out in the first round – amidst rows over pay.

But he says his achievement – which has become one of the biggest stories of this Africa Cup of Nations tournament – shows it pays to “dare to dream“.

If you have a passion for something, go for it. Pursue it until you get it. It may be delayed, but delay is not denial – be patient and be strong, because the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory,” he says.

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