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

kenya_sign-io inventor roy allela

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.”

kenya_sign-io

 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.”

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

Proverbe Douala sur la sagesse / Duala Proverb on Wisdom

Knife2On lâche vite un couteau qu’on a pris par la lame (Proverbe Douala – Cameroun). – Ne vous mesurez pas à de plus forts que vous.

One quickly releases a knife taken by the blade (Duala proverb – Cameroon). – Do not measure yourself to stronger ones than you.

Posted by: Dr. Y. | January 8, 2019

Turning Air into Drinking Water: An African Invention

kenya_majik water inventor beth koigi

Beth Koigi plans to use her Majik Water innovation to increase access to drinking water among low-income households. Photograph: Brett Eloff/Royal Academy of Engineering

I had to share this beautiful invention coming out of Africa, helping thousands get clean water, and water in times of drought. The article can be found on The Guardian‘s website.

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When Beth Koigi moved into her university dormitory in eastern Kenya, she was horrified that the water coming out of the tap was filthy and laden with bacteria. Within months, she had built her first filter and was soon selling filters to others. When drought hit in 2016 and water restrictions saw Koigi’s water supply turned off entirely, she began thinking about water scarcity and its relation to climate change.

Going for months without any tap water became a very bad situation,” she says. “Where I used to live, we didn’t get any tap water at all, so even doing simple things like going to the toilet – I would go to the mall instead. Having no water at all is worse than just having unpurified water, so I started thinking about a way to not have to rely on the council.”

While on a four-month programme at the Silicon Valley-based thinktank Singularity University, Koigi, 27, joined up with two other women – American environmental scientist Anastasia Kaschenko and British economist Clare Sewell – to create Majik Water, which captures water from the air and converts it into drinking water using solar technology.

The device – which won first prize this year at the EDF Africa awards – could provide a solution for the 1.8 billion people predicted to have a shortage of water by 2025, according to the UN, says Kaschenko.

kenya_majik water system

The Majik Water system, which can generate up to 10 litres of filtered water a day. Photograph: Brett Eloff/Royal Academy of Engineering

There’s an interesting relationship between climate change and the water in the atmosphere,” she says.

There’s six times more water in the air than in all the rivers in the world. With every 1F increase in temperature, water begins to evaporate on the ground but increases by about 4% in the atmosphere, and that’s water that’s not being tapped.”

Majik Water – from the Swahili maji for water and “k” for kuna (harvest) – uses desiccants such as silica gels to draw water from the air. The gels are then heated up with solar power to release the water. The current system can generate up to 10 litres of filtered water per day, with the team looking to scale up to 100-litre systems at a cost of only £0.08 per 10 litres.

The solar panels used for the prototype are the most expensive input on the device, says Koigi, who is looking for ways to drive those costs down.

pouleUn grain de maïs a toujours tord devant une poule (Proverbe Mina – Togo, Benin).

A grain of corn is always wrong in front of a hen (Mina proverb – Togo, Benin).

Posted by: Dr. Y. | January 2, 2019

Happy 2019!

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fellow readers, we wish you all an AMAZING new year. May the year 2019 mark the beginning of new chapters, the fulfillment of some, and also the closure of old ones. May this new year bring you a lot of joy, may your dreams be fulfilled, and last a lifetime. We would like to express our profound gratitude for your constant support, as your readership has carried us forward. Thank you to all those who visited the blog, reblogged articles, commented, corrected us, and to all future visitors. 2018 was a beautiful year: Afrolegends.com had lots of views, subscribers, contributors, and many articles reblogged on multiple sites.

Fleur6

Happy 2019!

The top 6 posts of 2018 are listed below. For this new year, 2019, we will bring you even more amazing, fun, and rich articles. Keep trusting, reading, sharing, reblogging, and liking. We wish you all a beautiful, full, and amazing new year, rich in blessings, and rich in greatness. May 2019 be the year of greatness! Keep your heads up, and may your year be as bright and plentiful as the petals of this flower! As always, like Agostinho Neto said, “A luta continua … a vitória é certa!

  1. Scarification: an ‘Ancient’ African Tattoo Culture

2. The 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa

3. Adinkra Symbols and the Rich Akan Culture

4. Sarah Baartman: The Black Venus

5. 

6. La Charte du Mandé: Première déclaration de droits de l’Homme au Monde?

Posted by: Dr. Y. | December 31, 2018

Who/What did we Celebrate in Africa in 2018

Who or what did we celebrate in 2018 in Africa. Here are 10 people, events and things, which marked the year 2018 (if there are some other you would like to share, please send them in):

Zewde_Ahmed

Sahle-Work Zewde, Ethiopia’s first female president, with the Prime minister Abiy Ahmed, on the day she was elected

1. Abiy Ahmed Ali became prime minister of Ethiopia this year, and brought in a wave of new measures. He is particularly noted for ending decades of border disputes between Eritrea and Ethiopia, bringing in the 2 sisters back together, releasing thousands of political prisoners and for having half of his government made up of women, some in key positions including the ministry of defense.

2. Ethiopia welcomed its first female president in the person of Sahle-Work Zewde. Mrs. Zewde was unanimously elected president by members of the Federal Parliamentary Assembly on 25 October 2018. Sahle-Work’s appointment makes her the first female Ethiopian head of state since Empress Zewditu.

3. Peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Peace at last with the end of the border dispute in June and July of this year, marking the end to decades of tension between the 2 sisters.

4. The release from jail of Simone Gbagbo. The former first lady of Côte d’Ivoire was released on 8 August 2018, after 7 years in prison. We are so grateful; it took us 7 years, but Simone is free at last. Free at Last: Simone Gbagbo Liberated.

Mukwege

Denis Mukwege, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner

5. First person of Somali descent elected in American congress, Ilhan Omar.On November 6, 2018, Omar became the first Somali American elected to the United States Congress, representing Minnesota’s 5th congressional district

6. The Nobel peace was attributed to the Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, for saving women victims of war in the Great Lakes region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Mukwege is a Congolese gynecologist and Pentecostal pastor, who founded and works in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been raped by armed rebels. His work was recognized with the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.

7.  Jean-Pierre Bemba, Congolese politician who had even won the presidential elections, has been released from jail at the International Criminal Court, after almost 10 years at the Hague. Many believe he was released because he was better contender for the presidency of the Democratic Republic of the Congo against Joseph Kabila or anybody chosen by  Kabila.

8. The new Secretary General of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) is a lady from Rwanda,  Louise Mushikiwabo; she comes after the Haitian-Canadian Michaëlle Jean. Mrs. Mushikiwabo becomes the first African woman to serve as president of the francophonie.

MCN_2

Musee des Civilisations Noires (MCN) in Dakar, Senegal

9. Senegal inaugurated its Museum of Black Civilizations (Musée des Civilisations noires (MCN)) in Dakar: Senegal unveils Museum of Black Civilizations, and Sprawling Museum of Black Civilizations Opens in Senegal. Senegal, like many other African countries, would like the restitution of all the looted African arts taken by Europeans and still hosted in European museums.

10. Not sure whether to applaud this or not: Major museums across Europe have agreed to loan important artifacts back to Nigeria for a new museum the country plans to open in 2021 (Europe’s Largest Museums to “Loan” Looted Benin (Nigerian) Artifacts back to Nigeria). How someone can loan you something they stole from you is beyond me! They should just return it!

Posted by: Dr. Y. | December 28, 2018

Who/What did We Say Goodbye to in Africa in 2018?

In the year 2018, we said goodbye to some people, some events, and some things.  Here are 10 of those:

  1. Winnie Mandela_5

    Winnie Madikizela Mandela

    Winnie Madikizela-Mandela the Great: the Mother of the Nation, and a Warrior like No Other! Everyone celebrates Nelson Mandela, but everybody forgets that without Winnie Mandela, there would have been no Nelson. While he was in jail, she carried on the battle, carried his name high, and carried the nation: Strong African Women and History Amnesia, Patriarchy, Sexism, and Racism: the Case of Winnie Mandela. Below is the strong and powerful eulogy given by Julius Malema,  for an exceptional woman.

  2. The trumpetist Hugh Masekela… no more “Strawberries” for me… but I still love dancing to the sound of the “The Boy is doing it!“. His genius, spirit and music remain with us. So Long to Africa’s Jazz Maestro: Hugh Masekela
  3. Hugh Masekela4

    Hugh Masekela

    Kofi Annan , the previous UN Secretary-General passed away, and was buried in Ghana.

  4.  We said bye-bye to division between Eritrea and Ethiopia, as peace treaties were signed:  Peace at last between the 2 sisters Eritrea and Ethiopia.
  5.  We said goodbye to the name ‘Swaziland‘ for the country Swaziland, and welcomed Eswatini, officially known as the Kingdom of Eswatini.
  6. The world said goodbye to Aretha Franklin, the African American singer, who reveled us with ‘I say a little prayer for you‘, ‘Respect‘, and so many other hit tubes.
  7. Aretha Franklin

    Aretha Franklin

    We also said goodbye to Joseph Kadji Defosso, the great Cameroonian business magnate head of a conglomerate of companies, creator of the Kadji Sport Academy from which world-renowned football player Samuel Eto’o, and others like Idriss Carlos KameniNicolas Nkoulou and Benjamin Moukandjo came out of. Kadji was 95 years old.

  8. The statue of ‘racist’ Gandhi was removed from the University of Ghana campus. It is important to have our own African heroes represented on our campuses and  textbooks.
  9. Over 200 people lost their lives when a ferry capsized on Lake Victoria, in Tanzania. This marked the second-most deadliest ferry disaster in Tanzania.
  10. This was the last world cup for the Egyptian Goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, who at 45 was the oldest player at the World cup. And lastly, the African Teams at the 2018 FIFA World Cup performed poorly. We wish for a better one next time.

Cafard

Cafard / Cockroach

On écrase une punaise contre le mur (proverbe Basuto – Lesotho, Afrique du Sud). – Battre l’ennemi là où il est le plus vulnerable.

We crush a bug against the wall (Sotho proverb – Lesotho, South Africa). – Defeat the enemy where he is the most vulnerable

Posted by: Dr. Y. | December 19, 2018

Why the Name: Johannesburg ?

Johannesburg_South_Africa_in_1896

Johannesburg in 1896

If you are like me, you have probably thought that the city of Johannesburg, the largest city of South Africa, was named after some dude named Johannes, and that Johannesburg translates to something like “the town or city of Johannes.” How far are we from the truth?

 

Johannesburg-c1910 Pritchard St

Pritchard St in Johannesburg, ca 1910

Not too far actually! There are some controversies around the naming, i.e. whose name it was. After all, the name Johannes was quite common in the Dutch community in the 19th century, and simply translates to ‘John’ in English; in this day and age, think of how many Johns there are…, then think about 19th century: numerous, not to say ubiquitous!  To get back to Johannesburg, there were quite a few people with the name ‘Johannes‘ involved in the early history of the city. Among them was Christiaan Johannes Joubert who was a member of the Volksraad and was Republic’s chief of mining. Another was Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (better known as Paul Kruger), president of the South African Republic (ZAR) from 18831900. Johannes Meyer, the first government official in the area is another possibility. Precise records for the choice of the name for the city have been ‘conveniently’ lost. Most likely it came from Johannes Rissik and Christiaan Johannes Joubert who were members of a delegation sent to England to obtain mining rights for the area. Joubert had a park in the city named after him and Rissik had his name on one of the main streets in the city. So it was probably a joint appeal between these 2 Johanneses, Joubert and Rissik, that gave rise to the name of the city of Johannesburg.

 

San (Basarwa/Bushmen) hunters

San (Basarwa/Bushmen) hunters

The region surrounding Johannesburg was originally inhabited by San people. By the 13th century, groups of Bantu-speaking people started moving southwards from central Africa and encroached on the indigenous San population. By the mid-18th century, the broader region was largely settled by various Sotho–Tswana communities, whose villages, towns and kingdoms stretched from what is now Botswana in the west, to present day Lesotho in the south, to the present day Pedi areas of the Northern Province. More specifically, the stone-walled ruins of Sotho–Tswana towns and villages are scattered around the parts of the former Transvaal province in which Johannesburg is situated.

Johannesburg 1911

Aerial view of Johannesburg in 1911

The Witwatersrand Gold Rush triggered the founding of Johannesburg in 1886. As everywhere in the world, the discovery of gold rapidly attracted people to the area. Within ten years, the city of Johannesburg included 100,000 people; in that sense, it is quite similar to the California gold rush which saw the boom of the city of San Francisco. In 1917, Johannesburg became the headquarters of the Anglo-American Corporation, which ultimately became one of the world’s largest corporations, dominating both gold-mining and diamond-mining in South Africa. Major building developments took place in the 1930s, after South Africa went off the gold standard. In the 1950s and early 1960s, the apartheid government constructed the massive agglomeration of townships that became known as Soweto to house their cheap black labor.

 

Johannesburg 2008

Aerial view of Johannesburg in 2008

Locals have several names for their city: Jozi, Joburg, and eGoli (“the city of gold” in Zulu). Located in the Witwatersrand (“white waters ridge” in Afrikaans) hills at the center of the large-scale gold and diamond trade, Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world. It is the capital city of South Africa’s wealthiest province, Gauteng. So as you visit Johannesburg, and enjoy its popular museums, theme parks, and rich history. Enjoy the gold hills, or rather those mounds covered with gold dusts scattered around the city. Enjoy eGoli!

 

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