Why the name: Kinshasa?

Boulevard of 30 June, in Kinshasa
Boulevard of 30 June, in Kinshasa

Today I would like to talk about Kinshasa, the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  It is located on the Congo River, which happens to be Africa’s largest river, the deepest river in the world, and the third largest in the world by the volume it discharges.  Kinshasa is a city of over 9 million inhabitants and directly faces Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo: these two sister cities are separated only by the river Congo (the only place in the world where two capitals of two countries face each other). Residents of Kinshasa are known as Kinois.

When did it all start? Well, Kinshasa was founded in 1881 as a trading post by the explorer Henry Morton Stanley who named it Leopoldville in honor of the Belgian king Leopold II, who controled the immense territory of DRC as his private property and not just as a colony.  Prior to 1920, all goods arriving by sea in Congo were carried by porters from Matadi (the main port city of Congo), and Leopoldville over 150 km from the coast.  From 1886 to 1926, Boma (located on the Congo estuary) was the capital of the Belgian Congo; but after 1926, Leopoldville became the capital.

Kinshasa, seen from the Congo river
Kinshasa, seen from the Congo river

In 1965, Joseph-Desire Mobutu who had risen to power after coups d’etat against Patrice Lumumba in 1960, and a second one in 1965,  renamed the city Kinshasa in an effort to africanize the names of the people and places in the country.  Kinshassa was the name of a village which used to be near the site of the present city.  In Kikongo, Kinshasa means “the salt market“:nshasa = salt” and locator ‘ki‘.

The region of Pool Malebo, where Kinshasa is located, has been inhabited since at least the first millenium before our era.  However, before colonization, different Bantu groups have occupied the area.  During the 16th and 17th centuries, the region of Pool Malebo became a major commercial hub between the river basin and the coastal regions.  The Bobangis (also called Bangala, or people of the river) managed the major part of the commerce with the equatorial forest by navigating the river up to the Téké villages of Pool.  During the 18th and 19th centuries, more villages develop themselves in the area, which became known as the Batéké plateau.  The principal Téké villages were Nsasa with almost 5,000 inhabitants, and Ntambo with at least 3,000.  By the time Henry Morton Stanley reached the area on 12 March 1878, the region was already home to 66 villages, and a total population of over 30,000 inhabitants.  Stanley chose this location as it was the area where the Congo river became navigable.

Map of the DRC
Map of the DRC

By the time the city changed its name from Leopoldville to Kinshasa in 1966, the city rapidly grew due to rural exodus of people coming from all parts of the country in search of a better life.  In 1974, Kinshasa hosted ‘The Rumble in the Jungleboxing match, a historic match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, in which Ali defeated Foreman to regain the World Heavyweight title.  This has been one of Ali’s most famous matches: if you watch the movie Ali, you can see scenes of Kinshasa there.

Situated in an area belonging to the Batéké and Bahumbu people, the lingua franca of the city is the Lingala, while the administrative language is French.  Kinshasa is also a province of DRC (a bit like the district of Columbia in the US), and is the second largest francophone city in the world, after Paris.  Its current population is 9 million inhabitants, making it Africa’s second largest cities after Lagos in Nigeria.  Please check out the website for the city of Kinshasa, and Kinshasa-Congo travel to learn about the great city of music and art; I also liked the blog kosubaawate which goes through the evolution of Kinshasa then and now (i.e. before independence and now).  Enjoy the video below which I enjoyed for its quality, music, and of course its great content.

A Guinean solves a 270 years old Mathematics Problem

Ibrahima Sambegou Diallo (Credit: Creative Commons)
Ibrahima Sambegou Diallo (Credit: Creative Commons)

Ibrahima Sambégou Diallo may have become the first African mathematician of the contemporary era to have elaborated a theorem.  This Guinean journalist who recently reconverted himself into mathematics has found the solution to the Goldbach’s conjecture, which is one of the oldest best unsolved mathematics problems of all times.  The Goldbach’s conjecture was elaborated 270 years ago by Christian Goldbach, tutor of the tsar Peter II, and employee in the Russian Foreign affairs’s ministry.  In 1742, Goldbach sent a letter to Euler, stating the Goldbach’s conjecture: “Every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two primes.” For instance, 6 = 3 + 3; 8 = 3 + 5; 10 = 3 + 7 = 5 + 5; 30 = 11 + 19 = 13 + 17; 100 = 17 + 83 … This mathematical problem was so hard to solve that it took 270 years, and hundreds of mathematicians around the globe working on it.

It took Ibrahima 14 years of hard work to finally come up with the answer; this projects him in the court of the great mathematicians of this world.  He had been in contest with some well-known and well-supported American researchers.  Ibrahima Sambégou Diallo has been knocking at all doors to validate his work.  Finding no support in his own country, Guinea, Ibrahima has decided to go to Dakar to validate his results at the mathematics institute there. He hopes to find support so as to become the first contemporary African to have elaborated a theorem.  For the full article, go to diasporas-noires.com.

Chinua Achebe in His Own Words

Chinua Achebe
Chinua Achebe

Africa just lost a giant… the world just lost a literary genius.  Chinua Achebe was made of the cloth of kings.  He was the emperor of words and just made reality seems so funny.  He wrote in English, but yet made it his own; he made it African.  Please hear the maestro in his own words.

Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered.  As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings.”  – Things Fall Apart.

The white man is very clever.  He came quietly and peaceably with his religion.  We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our  brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one.  He has put a knife on the  things that held us together and we have fallen apart,” –  Things fall Apart.

Achebe was a man of character, who could not be corrupted by honors.  He twice turned down the offer of a title Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic, once in 2004 from Nigeria’s then President Olusegun Obasanjo and again in 2011 from President Goodluck Jonathan. He explained on the BBC: “What’s the good of being a democracy if people are hungry and despondent and the infrastructure is not there,” … “There is no security of life. Parts of the country are alienated. Religious conflicts spring up now and again. The country is not working.” Declining the honor, he wrote that “for some time now I have watched events in Nigeria with alarm and dismay.  I have watched particularly the chaos in my own state of Anambra where a small clique of renegades, openly boasting its connections in high places, seems determined to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom.  I am appalled by the brazenness of this clique and the silence, if not connivance, of the presidency …  Nigeria’s condition today under your watch is, however, too dangerous for silence.  I must register my disappointment and protest by declining to accept the high honour awarded me in the 2004 honours list.”

'Things Fall Apart' by Chinua Achebe
‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe

He wrote: “You see we, the little people of the world, are ever expendable.”

It is sometimes good to be brave and courageous, but sometimes it is better to be a coward.  We often stand in the compound of the fool and point at the ruins where a brave man used to live.  He who has never submitted to anything will one day submit to his burial mat.” – Things fall apart.

While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.”  – Anthills of the Savannah.

To me, being an intellectual doesn’t mean knowing about intellectual issues; it means taking pleasure in them.”

Nobody can teach me who I am. You can describe parts of me, but who I am – and what I need – is something I have to find out myself.”

One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised. ”

We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own. The Igbo, always practical, put it concretely in their proverb Onye ji onye n’ani ji onwe ya: “He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down.”  – The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays.

'A Man of the People' by Chinua Achebe
‘A Man of the People’ by Chinua Achebe

‘It’s true that a child belongs to its father.  But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother’s hut.  A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet.  But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland.  Your mother is there to protect you.  She is buried there.  And that is why we say that mother is supreme.” – Things fall Apart.

Unfortunately, oppression does not automatically produce only meaningful struggle.  It has the ability to call into being a wide range of responses between partial acceptance and violent rebellion.  In between you can have, for instance, a vague, unfocused dissatisfaction; or, worst of all, savage infighting among the oppressed, a fierce love-hate entanglement with one another like crabs inside the fisherman’s bucket, which ensures that no crab gets away.  This is a serious issue for African-American deliberation…. To answer oppression with appropriate resistance requires knowledge of two kinds: in the first place, self-knowledge by the victim, which means awareness that oppression exists, an awareness that the victim has fallen from a great height of glory or promise into the present depths; secondly, the victim must know who the enemy is.  He must know his oppressor’s real name, not an alias, a pseudonym, or a nom de plume!” The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays.

Women and music should not be dated.”  – No Longer at Ease

A man who pays respect to the great, paves the way for his own greatness.

'No Longer at Ease' by Chinua Achebe
‘No Longer at Ease’ by Chinua Achebe

I would be quite satisfied if my novels (especially the ones I set in the past) did no more than teach my readers that their past – with all its imperfections – was not one long night of savagery from which the first Europeans acting on God’s behalf delivered them.”

Procrastination is a lazy man’s apology.”  – Anthills of the Savannah

About his gift of writing, he said: “There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. … Once I realized that, I had to be a writer. I had to be that historian.”… “It’s not one man’s job.  It’s not one person’s job.  But it is something we have to do, so that the story of the hunt will also reflect the agony, the travail — the bravery, even, of the lions.”

Tributes are pouring out from all corners of the world.  Truly to have written a book which has been translated in over 50 languages is a great achievement for an African, and for anybody in this world.  To boast over 20 literary works is amazing.  As the Igbo proverb says: ” it is simply impossible for an iroko tree to fall and the forest to remain quiet.” A giant left us today, but his fingerprints will remain forever.

If the nobel prize was made to celebrate excellence, Chinua Achebe, should have certainly gotten it.  Today his work is celebrated in every corner of the world!

Chinua Achebe, the Maestro is no Longer

Chinua Achebe
Chinua Achebe

This morning, I woke up to the horrible news of Chinua Achebe’s passing.  Weird, how just yesterday I had ordered his latest book “There was a Country”, a memoir on the Biafran war.  My goodness, how can Achebe be gone?  I have all his books in my home library.  Just yesterday, I was talking about how great his sense of humor was.  My goodness, I was dreaming about reading more books from Achebe.  What kind of thing is this?Chinua Achebe, you have inspired me… you have made me want to be a blogger… You have made me want to be a writer, an activist, and a truth speaker … hopefully, one day I will write books as funny as you did.

A friend’s dad went to school with Chinua Achebe, and he had this moral story to tell about Achebe: ” You can never be who you are not and never force your child to be what they were NOT meant to be.  Achebe’s parents always wanted him to be a medical doctor.  While in school, science was a struggle for him.  But once he got back into himself and did what God had planned for him, the sky became his limit.”

So long to the Father of African literature, the inspiration to generations of writers, the maestro himself.  Today, I truly felt like ‘things were falling apart.’

Here is a peace I wrote about him back at the very beginning of my blog: see… he was the first article I published in my ‘Great Literature’ section. Chinua Achebe: A Writer like No Other.

Les Lignes de la Main

Les lignes de la main
Les lignes de la main

Regarde la paume de la main.  Elle  est toute striée de lignes.  De lignes.  Certaines sont longues et profondes.  Les autres sont moins profondes mais plus serrées.  C’est leur dessin qu’on appelle empreintes digitales.Et bien, il parait qu’autrefois nos ancêtres ne connaissaient pas ces lignes: la paume de leurs mains était parfaitement lisse.  Si tu veux savoir comment elles sont apparues, écoute l’histoire que m’a racontée, un soir, le vieux koriste.

Un pécheur avait deux femmes.  L’une, Ahou, était la mère de nombreux enfants.  L’autre, Adjoua, ne pouvait en avoir: elle était stérile.

Naturellement, Ahou et ses enfants se moquaient sans cesse d’Adjoua  et celle-ci ne pouvait que pleurer devant les railleries et les insolences de sa rivale.

Au début le pêcheur avait défendu Adjoua, mais peu à peu il se désintéressait d’elle et l’avenir, sans enfants, lui apparaissait bien triste.

Un jour qu’elle se sentait particulièrement malheureuse, Adjoua prit une décision : elle irait consulter la vieille Aya et grâce à ses remèdes, elle aurait des enfants.

Aya était une très vieille femme qui connaissait parfaitement toutes les plantes de la forêt.  Elle connaissait non seulement le nom secret de ces plantes mais aussi la façon de les récolter, de les préparer pour obtenir des remèdes efficaces.  On racontait que grâce à Aya beaucoup de femmes qu’on croyait définitivement stériles avaient pu avoir de nombreux enfants.

Seulement il n’était pas facile de se rendre auprès de cette guérisseuse car elle vivait à l’écart de tout village et bien des femmes l’avaient cherchée en vain.  Les difficultés de l’entreprise ne découragent pas Adjoua.  Pendant toute une lune, elle prépare soigneusement son voyage, en grand secret.  Et le matin prévu pour le départ arrive.  Le pêcheur est alors sur la lagune, en train de relever ses nasses.  Ahou, la rivale, entourée de tous ses enfants, est occupée à piler des bananes plantations pour le foutou.  Adjoua pose une grande calebasse sur sa tête et fait semblant d’aller chercher de l’eau au marigot.  Mais dans la calebasse elle a dissimulé un petit ballot bien serré contenant des pagnes et tous les bijoux qu’elle possède.

Les mains
Les mains

Les dernières cases du village dépassées, elle commence à courir.  Elle pense: Si je ne rencontre pas Aya ou si ses remèdes sont impuissants, je ne rentrerai  plus jamais au village !  Le voyage dure huit jours et pourtant elle s’arrête à peine pour se reposer.  Le soir du huitième jour elle aperçoit la case de la guérisseuse.  La vieille femme est occupée à écraser des graines rouges entre deux pierres.  Sans lever la tête, sans interrompre son travail, elle prend la parole:  Tu es Adjoua, je  sais pourquoi tu viens me voir ton courage sera récompensé.  Je t’ai préparé un remède qui te donnera l’enfant que tu désires.  Prends le paquet de feuilles posé sur la pierre du foyer: tu en feras une infusion que tu boiras.  Mais attention!  Veille à ce que l’enfant ne pleure pas et, surtout, qu’il ne s’approche jamais de la lagune.  Sinon, il ne serait plus à toi.  Tu peux partir.  Tu ne me dois rien.Et la vieille continue à écraser ses graines rouges sur la meule dormante.  Elle n’a même pas levé la tête.  Adjoua, stupéfaite, n’a même pas vu son visage.  Elle se retrouve sur le chemin du retour, serrant contre elle son précieux  paquet d’herbes.

Quelques mois plus tard, elle donne naissance à un garçon.  Ahou est folle de jalousie.  Ses enfants et elle cherche toutes les occasions possible de faire de la peine à Adjoua; ils appellent son fils : Enfant de plantes.

Adjoua fait semblant de ne pas entendre et l’enfant grandit heureux, serré dans un pagne sur le dos de sa mère.  Un jour Ahou prétend que le fils d’Adjoua a mordu le doigt de sa fille.  Elle frappe l’enfant et le chasse sur le sentier qui descend vers la lagune.  Il avance de plus en plus vite, comme attiré par l’eau.  Alertée par les hurlement de sa rivale, Adjoua ,qui est aux champs, accourt.  Mais il est trop tard.  Et il continue d’avancer, sourd aux appels de sa mère.  Elle réussit à le rattraper et à l’empoigner par les cheveux.  Hélas!  seuls les cheveux lui restent dans la main.  C’est tout ce qu’elle garde de son enfant.

Et c’est ce que nous conservons aussi dans la paume de nos mains.

Conte tiré de “Contes des Lagunes et Savanes,” Collection ‘Fleuve et Flamme,’ édition Edicef, 1975

Queen Nzingha: Great Queen of Angola

Queen Nzingha of Angola
Queen Nzingha of Angola

Today, I will be talking about another great queen of Africa: the Queen Nzingha of Angola, who defended her kingdom against the Portuguese for 40 years and defeated them.  Yes! DEFEATED THE PORTUGUESE IN THE 1600s!  See… another gap in our textbooks: anybody heard of this great queen and of her military and diplomatic genius?

Well, the great Queen Nzingha was born in Angola at the end of the 1500s, just over 100 years after the Portuguese started slavery ports across Africa.  She was born to Ndambi Kiluanji, Ngola (king) of the Mbundu and Ndongo people and his second wife Kangela, in 1582.  At her birth, a wise woman predicted that she will one day become queen, which was unheard of since there were no women rulers in those days.

In her youth, Nzingha was strongly favored by her father, who allowed her to witness as he governed his kingdom, and who carried her with him to war.  She participated in all the intense training for warriors. Nzingha grew up in a world normally suited for males.  She was educated in the fields of hunting and archery, and in diplomay and trade.  Nzingha was a true politician, and showed true military and intellectual genius.  She also had two sisters Kifunji and Mukambu, and a brother Mbandi.

Queen Nzingha sitting on the back of her servant
Queen Nzingha sitting on the back of her servant, during her audience with the Portuguese governor

Nzingha was special in the sense that she was well-educated and spoke and wrote fluent Portuguese.  As the Portuguese were setting a slave port in Luanda (present-day capital of Angola), and capturing the people for slavery, Ngola Kiluanji tried to work diplomatically with the Portuguese to keep the Mbundu people safe, but many were captured and taken into slavery.  At the death of her father in 1617, Nzingha’s brother, Mbandi, took over the throne as required by tradition.  In 1622, Nzingha went to Luanda working for Mbandi as a special emissary to negociate peace treaties with the Portuguese.  When she met with the Portuguese governor of Luanda, João Correia de Sousa, she was refused a seat.  As a mark of power, she sat on the back of one of her male servants and made him a human bench, to show the governor that she would not negociate with him from an inferior footing.  This was a woman ahead of her time, and who would not be made inferior!  There she succeeded in negociating a peace treatment.

After her return to Kabasa (the capital of the Mbundu kingdom), Mbandi committed suicide.  The Portuguese profited from this moment of weakness to attack Kabasa and burnt it to the ground.  Nzingha fleed with her people, and moved her people to the mountains where she formed an army to fight against the Portuguese.  She was named Ngola of the Mbundu people in 1624, with two of her war leaders and closest advisors being her sisters Kifunji and Mukambu.  In 1626, after the Portuguese betrayed yet another treaty, she was led to move her people further west and establish a kingdom in Matamba.  There, she organized several alliances with neighboring people such as the Imbangala people, and developed a new form of military organization known as kilombo, in which youths moved away from their families, and were raised communally in militias.  Nzingha also made alliances with the Dutch to fight the Portuguese, but to realize later that they were all the same as the Portuguese: treacherous, and only there to enslave the Mbundu people.  From 1630 to her death in 1663, Nzingha, Queen General of Matamba, launched a formidable opposition to the Portuguese regime from the rocky slopes of Matamba.  The Portuguese came to respect her for her strength, dignity, pride, shrewdness, and her intransigence.  She was their strongest enemy in Angola.  Nzingha ruled for almost 40 years in both Ndongo and Matamba.

Nzingha's Kingdom
Nzingha’s Kingdom

Nzingha died in 1663, at the age of 82. She was succeeded on the throne by her sister Mukambu (also known as Barbara).  Mukambu gave Nzingha a burial befitting of the greatest Ngolas: Nzingha was laid to rest in her leopard skins and with her bow over her shoulder and arrows in her hand.  This was the first time in history that the Mbundu people had been led by a woman, and everyone remembered Nzingha as an outstanding, impressive, female warrior, ruler and field commander.  For the Mbundu people, she is remembered for her love of her people, her strength, charisma, and her fight for their sovereignty and freedom.  No wonder, her influence was felt centuries later, when African slaves in Brazil organized themselves in Quilombo to fight their white masters and retain their freedom.

Pedras Negras mountains of Pungo Andongo
Pedras Negras mountains of Pungo Andongo (once the capital of Ndongo kingdom)

It took me 3 christmas and new year holidays to finally realize this video of Queen Nzingha de Mbande of Angola.  It took me this long not only because I only worked on it a few days of the year, but also because the time and references had to be right.  I am so glad to be able to present to you this great video which talks about another great queen of Africa, one who defended, and defeated the Portuguese for over 40 years.  See… another thing that is not written in African history books; we tend to think that our leaders were all weaklings, but we had real kings and real leaders like Samori Toure, Behanzin, Ranavalona I, Amanishakheto, Beatrice of Congo, and Nzingha who fought the foreign invaders for the freedom of their people.  Enjoy learning about Queen Nzingha of Angola. You can also read Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola by Patricia McKissack, as well as Black Women of Antiquity by Ivan van Sertima; don’t forget to check out this piece on Metropolitan Museum‘s website.

Did you know about Nzingha? How do you feel, now that you know that there was a great queen like her?

Elections in Kenya: a Great Win for Democracy on the Continent

Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya's fourth president
Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s new president

I had to talk about the recent elections (last week) in Kenya.  They were peaceful, classy, and above all democratic (i.e. the choice was made by the people, for the people).  In only one round, Uhuru Kenyatta defeated the ‘machine’-chosen guy, i.e. Raila Odinga (Obama’s cousin).  It was such an important victory for Kenya.  Kenyans actually worked very hard not to have a repeat of 2007-2008 violence, and succeeded.  It was a true example of perseverance on the part of Kenyans who realized that they were making their choice, not the west… and it did not matter that their chosen candidate had been summoned to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, because they had chosen him.  I am proud of the Kenyans for showing such class in the election of Kenyatta.  As usual, the poor loser Odinga wants to take Kenya to brink of demolition (as in 2007-2008, by making it about tribes) by filing at the Supreme court, but it would not matter, because the people have spoken! Long live Kenya!

He said “Today, we celebrate the triumph of democracy, the triumph of peace, the triumph of nationhood. Despite the misgivings of many in the world, we demonstrated a level of political maturity that surpassed expectations.”

Check out the Daily Nation, Standard Media, The Star on the victory of Uhuru Kenyatta and the road ahead.

“Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou

In celebration of the Women International Day on March 8th, I decided to post this poem by the great African American poet, Maya Angelou.  It is dedicated to all the women of the world, the gorgeous, natural, and phenomenal women who make up our lives.  Enjoy Phenomenal Woman.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou

Love for Hugo Chavez’ legacy

Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chavez
Venezuelans accompanying Chavez' procession in Caracas
Venezuelans accompanying Chavez’ procession through the streets of Caracas

I was immensely touched by the outpouring of love for Chavez coming from all corners of the world.  Tell me: how many leaders of this world, have had this great show of love?  How many can boast the millions of Venezuelans who have been mourning for Chavez?  How many can boast popular support in their respective countries like Chavez did?  Remember, he won a third term in office.

Over 55 foreign delegations with 32 head of states were present in Caracas (the capital of Venezuela) to give a last hommage to the great Comandante.  Even Spain sent in the crown prince.  An immense crowd was there to salute Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.  Chavez’ passing has shown to the world what a true leader is.  Besides his Venezuelan funerals, 55 countries across the globe have declared a national day of mourning.  Argentina declared 5 days of national mourning, Brazil 2, Bolivia 5, Nigeria and Benin 7, and so on and so forth.  Imagine that: 55 countries declaring national days of mourning for the president of another country!  Who can boast better? Can you believe it? Praise be given to the great Comandante, the man who gave us hope, love, courage, and resilience.  Find below videos showing Hugo Chavez’s great work… and love, applaud, and be proud to have lived in a time when a great man gave love and freedom to his people, and the world.

Hugo Chavez: ‘Love is the Combustible of Revolution’

Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chavez

Words cannot express my extreme sadness at the loss of yet another one of our revolutionaries.  ‘El Comandante‘, Hugo Chavez, has left us yesterday to join the land of his ancestors.  I am extremely saddened at his passing, but I am also grateful to have lived in a time when I could see Hugo Chavez at work for his country, at a time when I could see what it meant for a leader of a poor country to have love and vision for his country.  Few leaders in the world have fought against western imperialism as Hugo Chavez did.  He led the bolivarian revolution against the US influence in Venezuela, and Latin America.  He gave back hope to his people, emancipated millions of Venezuelans, regained control of the economy of Venezuela, and worked for world peace by openly opposing the US and its colonial wars.  Millions of Venezuelans regained sight, were taught how to read, or just visited the doctor for the first time, because of Chavez’ laws.  Those will remember him forever.  Hugo Chavez was a bright star who gave hope to millions across the globe.  He gave us the strength to believe that we, the oppressed of the world, could one day be free.  He was often depicted in the Western media as a dictator (but then again, which progressist or revolutionary has ever been depicted otherwise in the western press?) because of his frankness and clear fight for the interest of the Venezuelan people. Chavez was a true sincere politician and loyal to his people.

El Comandante de la Revolucion, Hugo Chavez
El Comandante de la Revolucion, Hugo Chavez

El Comandante used to say: “Let the dogs of the empire bark, that’s their job. Our job is to fight to achieve the true liberation of our people.” You (Chavez) gone, who will fight again for us? who will voice our opinions? who will lead us? We have to keep true to your ideals, and keep our head up.  Thank you Commandante, for showing us the way, for showing us beauty and hope in this world.

Hugo Chavez also said: “Love is the combustible of a revolution.” El Comandante gave us just that: love, hope, dignity, and peace. So long, brother. Like Franklin Boukaka said “your work is that of humanity“… you have now joined the greats of this world: Che Guevara, Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, Kwame Nkrumah, Mouammar Kadhafi, Amilcar Cabral, … Long live to your ideals!

Please enjoy this video “The revolution will not be televised” which shows the coup fomented by the US against Hugo Chavez in 2002 where Chavez was removed from power by American military; and for the first time in world history, a president was brought back to power by his people who refused to give into American threats. The people defeated the machine! This documentary was made possible because of the presence of some European journalists from Arte who were in the country at the moment of the coup.