Choco-Togo: Organic Chocolate made in Togo by Togolese Students

Flag of Togo

Introducing to you Choco-Togo, a brand of chocolate made in Togo by Togolese students. This is an organic brand of chocolate made in Togo, by Togolese, with Togolese as the main consumers! Their chocolates are without additives, and chemical products; they are 80% cocoa with natural ingredients. Check out their website, Choco-Togo.

Great Quote by Miriam Makeba on Equality

Miriam Makeba, True African Beauty (

I ask you and all the leaders of the world: Would you act differently, would you keep silent and do nothing if you were in our place? Would you not resist if you were allowed no rights in your own country because the color of your skin is different to that of the rulers, and if you were punished for even asking for equality? I appeal to you, and through you to all the countries of the world, to do everything you can to stop the coming tragedy. I appeal to you to save the lives of our leaders, to empty the prisons of all those who should never have been there.” Miriam Makeba

Africa is funding Europe!

Mallence Bart-Williams

I had to share this snippet of Mallence Bart-Williams’ TEDx talk. It is so good. It says it all! We, Africans, are made to think that we are poor, when in reality, like Jacques Chirac, previous French president, said “without Africa, France will be relegated to a third world power.”

Mallence says it so well…”why is it that, 5000 units of our currency is worth 1 unit of your currency, when we are the ones with the actual gold reserves! It is quite evident that the aid is in fact not coming from the west to Africa, but from Africa to the Western world, the Western world depends on Africa in every possible way!“…  “So sweet of you to come with your colored paper for our gold and diamond.” “we want to share with you our wealth and invite you to share with us.” And “…in nature, any species that is over hunting, over exploiting the resources they depend on for nourishment, natural selection will sooner or later take the predator out because it offsets the balance!” This is to all Africans, stop thinking yourself poor, and rise!

The Rudd Concession – 30 October 1888

Zimbabwe_Matabele kraal 1836_Ndebele people
A Kraal in Matabeleland in 1836

Below is the text for the Treacherous Rudd Concession which granted exclusive mining rights in Matabeleland, Mashonaland, and surrounding areas between King Lobengula of the Matabeleland, and James Rudd (representing Cecil Rhodes). This eventually paved the way for the colonization of then-Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). As you can see, the concession: (1) forbade Lobengula from signing further concessions with other European powers without the consent of Cecil Rhodes/ BSAC; (2) No more than ten Europeans were to enter Lobengula’s territory at any given time; (3) Gave Cecil Rhodes and the BSAC mining monopoly in Matabeleland; (4) In return, Lobengula would get (i) A monthly payment of $ 100, (ii) 1000 rifles and ammunition, (iii) A gun boat to patrol the Zambezi... which he mostly did not get, and the terms were never respected by the British (what else is new)!!!



Map of Zimbabwe

Know all men by these presents, that whereas Charles Dunell Rudd, of Kimberley; Rochfort Maguire, of London; and Francis Robert Thompson, of Kimberley, hereinafter called the grantees, have covenanted and agreed, and do hereby covenant and agree, to pay to me, my heirs and successors, the sum of one hundred pounds sterling, British currency, on the first day of every lunar month; and further, to deliver at my royal kraal one thousand Martini-Henry breech-loading rifles, together with one hundred thousand rounds of suitable ball cartridge, five hundred of the said rifles and fifty thousand of the said cartridges to be ordered from England forthwith and delivered with reasonable despatch, and the remainder of the said rifles and cartridges to be delivered as soon as the said grantees shall have commenced to work mining machinery within my territory; and further, to deliver on the Zambesi River a steamboat with guns suitable for defensive purposes upon the said river, or in lieu of the said steamboat, should I so elect, to pay to me the sum of five hundred pounds sterling, British currency. On the execution of these presents, I, Lobengula, King of Matabeleland, Mashonaland, and other adjoining territories, in exercise of my sovereign powers, and in the presence and with the consent of my council of indunas, do hereby grant and assign unto the said grantees, their heirs, representatives, and assigns, jointly and severally, the complete and exclusive charge over all metals and minerals situated and contained in my kingdoms, principalities, and dominions, together with full power to do all things that they may deem necessary to win and procure the same, and to hold, collect, and enjoy the profits and revenues, if any, derivable from the said metals and minerals, subject to the aforesaid payment; and whereas I have been much molested of late by divers persons seeking and desiring to obtain grants and concessions of land and mining rights in my territories, I do hereby authorise the said grantees, their heirs, representatives and assigns, to take all necessary and lawful steps to exclude from my kingdom, principalities, and dominions all persons seeking land, metals, minerals, or mining rights therein, and I do hereby undertake to render them all such needful assistance as they may from time to time require for the exclusion of such persons, and to grant no concessions of land or mining rights from and after this date without their consent and concurrence; provided that, if at any time the said monthy payment of one hundred pounds shall be in arrear for a period of three months, then this grant shall cease and determine from the date of the last-made payment; and further provided that nothing contained in these presents shall extend to or affect a grant made by me of certain mining rights in a portion of my territory south of the Ramaquaban River, which grant is commonly known as the Tati Concession.


(signed by Lobengula, Rudd, Maguire, Thompson, Helm and Dreyer)

I hereby certify that the accompanying document has been fully interpreted and explained by me to the Chief Lobengula and his full Council of Indunas and that all the Constitutional usages of the Matabele Nation had been complied with prior to his executing the same.

(signed by Helm)

Zimbabwe_Rudd_Concession between Cecil Rhodes and Lobengula 1880s
The Rudd Concession of 30 October 1888

British Colonial Treaties in Africa: The Ruud Concession in Zimbabwe 30 Oct 1888

Zimbabwe_Rudd_Concession between Cecil Rhodes and Lobengula 1880s
The Rudd Concession

One treacherous treaty signed by the British in Africa is the Rudd Concession, a written concession for exclusive mining rights in Matabeleland, Mashonaland and other adjoining territories in what is today Zimbabwe, signed between King Lobengula of Matabeleland and Charles Rudd, James Rochfort Maguire and Francis Thompson, three agents acting on behalf of the British imperialist South African-based politician and businessman Cecil Rhodes, on 30 October 1888. Despite Lobengula’s retrospective attempts to disavow it, it proved the foundation for the royal charter granted by the United Kingdom to Rhodes’s British South Africa Company in October 1889, and thereafter for the Pioneer Column‘s occupation of Mashonaland in 1890, which marked the beginning of white settlement, administration and development in the country that eventually became Rhodesia, named after Rhodes, in 1895.

King Lobengula of Matabeleland

In reality, the Rudd Concession was a deceitful perfidious trick played by the British on King Lobengula to: 1) take his lands, and 2) appropriate the entire country then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) from local chiefs who of course knew no English (or very little of it), with translators who very often were also cheating the kings of their lands.

The fact that Lobengula was a force to reckon with is not to be ignored. Cecil Rhodes himself confided to Rothschild saying, “I have always been afraid of the difficulty of dealing with the Matabele King. He is the only block to central Africa, as, once we have his territory, the rest is easy … the rest is simply a village system with separate headmen …” So trickery was the only way to go for Rhodes in order to get Lobengula.

Charles Rudd

Moreover, when you read the concession itself, it’s written on a piece of common paper, as in a 6th grader homework sheet, not legible even by those days’ standards, let alone by a non-native speaker such as Lobengula. It was not a colonial treaty of sovereignty, but a written concession awarding exclusive mining rights in Matabeleland, Mashonaland, and surrounding areas between King Lobengula of the Matabeleland, and James Rudd (representing Cecil Rhodes). For example, King Lobengula never ever discussed nor negotiated a single term in the fraudulent Rudd Concession with the British. Typical of European colonization in Africa!

Zimbabwe_Cecil Rhodes
Cecil Rhodes

This was signed on 30 October 1880. As early as 1889, King Lobengula tried to disavow the treaty, after realizing that he had been tricked. Once King Lobengula grasped the extent of this treachery (I mean, who would think that by talking to some people, ‘putting an X’ – signing some documents you don’t even understand, you are giving your entire land, sovereignty, humanity, inheritance, burial grounds, and people?), he sent a delegation to talk to the ‘White’ queen, Queen Victoria (similar to delegations sent by other African Kings, Prempeh, Behanzin to France, Duala Kings in Kamerun to Germany, etc) about the misappropriation, but his delegation was made to linger in London and was eventually never received, all while the British occupied the lands.

Cecil Rhodes was so happy about the Rudd Concession that he said, it is “so gigantic it is like giving a man, the whole of Australia”… OUTRAGEOUS!!!

For more information, please do check out the website of the late Jenny Bennett who did outstanding work detailing the story of , Lobengula and the concession hunters, and Lobengula’s betrayal, and the , or read  Arthur Keppel-Jones, Rhodes Rhodesia Conquest book.


Why the Name: Harare ?

A street of Harare, then Salisbury, in 1930

Many cities around the globe have had their names changed during colonization times (by Europeans colonizers) and were made to carry names foreign to the local people, as denoted in Bombay (Mumbai), Léopoldville (Kinshasa), and Canton (Guangdong) to name just a few. Ever since independence, many of these cities and countries have been renamed to reflect the local culture. Harare is one such city. Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe (which used to be Rhodesia during colonial times), used to be named Salisbury.

So what’s in a name? Well, a name is everything, and characterizes who you are, and your connection to the place. So why shouldn’t Bombay remain Bombay…. Why the need to change it back to Mumbai after over a century as Bombay? Well simply because Mumbai or Guangdong is the way the local people call it, and these cities and their names should be seen through their eyes and not those of a foreigner who oftentimes loathes the local people, and sees them as inferior.

Harare’s skyline today (Wikipedia)

Back to Harare… During the time that the British with the infamous Barbarian Cecil Rhodes ‘colonized’ the place, it was known as Fort Salisbury. The city was founded in 1890 by the Pioneer Column, a small military force in the service of the British South Africa Company, and named Fort Salisbury after the British Prime Minister Lord Salisbury. It retained the name Salisbury until 1982, when it was renamed Harare on the second anniversary of Zimbabwean independence.

zimbabwe_mapSo Harare, the most populous, and capital city of Zimbabwe owes its present-day name to a local Shona chief by the name of Ne-Harawa, whose name meant “He who does not sleep.” The name of the city was changed to Harare on 18 April 1982, taking its name from the village near Harare Kopje of the Shona chief Ne-Harawa. Prior to independence, “Harare” was the name of the black residential area (indigenous area where the Black locals where allowed to live) now known as Mbare. It used to also be known as the Sunshine City.

A Conical tower at Great Zimbabwe

Situated at an elevation of 1,483 metres (4,865 feet) above sea level, Harare’s climate falls into the subtropical highland category. Administratively, Harare is a metropolitan province. It is Zimbabwe’s leading financial, commercial, and communications centre, and a trade centre for tobacco, maize, cotton, and citrus fruits. Manufactured goods include textiles, steel and chemicals, and gold is mined in the area.

National Heroes Acre (

My Dad visited Harare in the early 90s and loved every part of it. So if you ever visit Harare, remember that its name is for “He who does not sleep, and enjoy its streets full of Msasa trees which color neighborhoods wine red in late August, and other streets filled with Jacaranda and Flamboyant trees. If you love colonial architecture, you will have your fill. If you are in search of African arts, visit the National Gallery (a side note, if you ever visit the Atlanta airport, one of the transition corridors is filled with Zimbabwean Shona sculptures); for flora lovers, the botanic garden is full of species only found there. The Mukuvisi Woodlands reserve is not too far, and you can visit the Shona village of Chapungu Kraal, as well as check out the Epworth rocks, the National Archives, and the Heroes Cemetery.

Happy Mother’s Day 2017: “L’Amour d’Une Mère (A Mother’s Love)” by Patience Dabany

HappyMotherDayTo celebrate this upcoming Mother’s day, I wanted to share Patience Dabany‘s “L’Amour d’Une Mère” (A Mother’s Love) which is a classic. Patience Dabany is a baronness of African music with a career which has spun over several decades. She also served as the First Lady of Gabon from 1967 to 1988, at which time she boldly divorced her husband, the late Gabonese President Omar Bongo Ondimba. This song, “L’Amour d’Une Mère” is quite special and I dedicate it to all the mothers out there! I have translated the words to English here: Translation Dr. Y.,  Happy Mother’s Day 2017!


A Mother’s Love (by Patience Dabany)

The first time you opened your eyes

at that moment, God granted my wish

Holding you against me was my only comfort

oh yes my baby, it was you my gold

when the time came for you to take off

I prayed a long time for you to never fall

and if you ever, hesitate to re-open my door

remember that Mommy will always love you


Even if you went to other loves

you always have a place in my yard

we will find the strength to overcome obstacles

and if you ever stumble, I will work miracles

and since that time, when you took off

I prayed for a long time that you never fall

and if you have hairs, do not hesitate to re-open my door

You know very well, that my heart will always be open to you

A Mother’s love, never goes out

A Mommy’s love, never goes out, never, never

A Mother’s love, never goes out

A Mommy’s love, never goes out, never, never

I raised you with love, from the day you were born

And I will always give you love, love you only as mother can love

A Mother’s love, never goes out

A Mommy’s love, never goes out

even if you fly on your own wings

even if obligations call you

your place will always be in my heart, because Mommy will always love you

A Mother’s love, never goes out

A Mommy’s love, never goes out

and if life teaches you things, and that you can’t take her blows

you have to know to go back, open Mommy’s door

A Mother’s love, never goes out

A Mommy’s love, never goes out

A Mother’s love, never goes out

A Mommy’s love, never goes out

Even in the afterlife.

Eight Little Girls and Hyena

8 little girls

Eight little girls liked to play in the surrounding fields. One day, while out picking flowers, it started to rain. They sought a shelter, and found a cave. They got in. It was the house of Surukuba, the Hyena.

A few moments later, Hyena arrived galloping.


As soon as she got near the cave, she stopped and exclaimed:

  • Hum ! It smells like a little girl here !

Then she got close to the the cave, and looking inside, exclaimed:

  • How many are you, little girls ?

The eight girls answered with a single voice singing:

  • Eight little girls !
  • We are indeed eight little girls, to fill Hyena’s mouth !

Overjoyed, Hyena jumped up, and galloped away. She wanted to tell another hyena. If she ate them right away, and then told that one day she had found eight little girls in her house, nobody would believe her ! She had to find a witness.

She galloped away, repeating the the little girls’ song:

  • Eight little girls, to fill Hyena’s mouth .

She found a comrade and invited her to come see what she had found in her cave. In her very own house : eight little chubby girls ! But before their arrival, two little girls ran out of the cave and went back to the village.

The remaining 6 little girls

The remaining six answered:

  • Yes, we are really eight little girls to amuse the fangs of eight hyenas !

The two hyenas went away galloping. They needed to find a third one ? Why not a fourth one ? Then a fifth one ? Then … after all, there were really eight little girls.

But when the hyenas got back and asked:

  • How many are you ? Girls ?
2 hyenas

Only one voice replied. And when the hyenas ran into the cave, they only found a small ring that the oldest of the little girls had put down. It was this little ring which had replied.

Furious, they ran after the little girls. They arrived in the village, as the oldest of the little girls was climbing the fence. A hyena grabbed her foot:

  • I got you, little cunning one. And I am going to eat you !

The oldest of the little girls burst out laughing :

  • Oh! Big moron ! It is not my foot that you hold there, but a wood on the fence .

The hyena let go of the girl’s foot and grabbed the wood. The little girl then jumped into the village and alerted the hunters.

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