I love this poem by Bernard Dadié which I have posted earlier “Seche tes pleurs, Afrique / Dry Your Tears, Afrika“. The imagery is so clear and the words so deep: O Africa, “our senses are now opened to the splendor of your beauty, the smell of your forests, … your charms…” Africa is so rich,… and it is about time that her sons and daughters stand up to reclaim their inheritance, and feel her beauty, and enjoy her bounty-ness… Yes there is so much adversity, but dry your tears African… and rise up!
Sèche tes pleurs, Afrique Ayant bu À toutes les fontaines d’infortune et de gloire, Nos sens se sont ouverts à la splendeur de ta beauté à la senteur de tes forêts, à l’enchantement de tes eaux à la limpidité de ton ciel à la caresse de ton soleil Et au charme de ta verdure emperlée de rosée.
Dry your tears, Africa! We have drunk From all the springs of ill fortune and of glory, Our senses are now opened To the splendor of your beauty To the smell of your forests, To the charm of your waters To the clearness of your skies To the cares of your sun And to the charm of your foliage pearled by the dew.
Do you know about the Italian-run Broglio Space Centre (previously known as the San Marco Equatorial Range) located off the coasts of Kenya? Yes… you heard me right, there is an an Italian space center in Malindi, Kenya. As you recall, Malindi was the first African city the most venerated Chinese maritime admiral Zheng He reached on the horn of Africa in 1418, even before Vasco da Gama? Indeed, Zheng He’s great armada rich of more than 300 ships and as many as 30,000 troops entered the coastal town of Malindi, in modern day Kenya, in 1418. If you are like me, this is quite a news: a space center off the coast of an African country (if you know of others, please let me know), and an Italian presence in Africa tends to be sparse, especially since its defeat at the hands of Ethiopia at the Battle of Adwa, and later during world war II. Can you imagine that the presence of this space center has created such a Kenyan-Italian synergy to the point that the lingua franca on Malindi is Italian? I wonder if they ever hire or train the locals to operate this space center, or to be engineers, technical workforce? From past experience, they probably don’t. Excerpts below are from the BBC. Enjoy!
Malindi, a seaside town by the Indian Ocean that was founded in the 13th Century, is 120km (about 75 miles) north-east of Mombasa and has been known as “Little Italy” since the late 1960s.
The tourist resort is brimming with Italian restaurants, pizzerias, delis and gelato shops – billboards advertise in Italian, restaurant menus offer after-dinner liquors such as Limoncello and Amaro.
Most people speak Italian – from the Kenyan housekeeper where I stayed and the tuk-tuk drivers who ferried me around, to the waiters and the fisherman hanging around on the beach.
It is the town’s lingua franca. …
The history of the Italians in Malindi goes back to the opening of the Italian-run Broglio Space Centre off Kenya’s coast [32 kmfrom Malindi] in the Indian Ocean. [It started as a partnership between the Italian Space Research Commission and NASA, with 2 offshore launch sites made from old oil platforms, and a mainland communications station].
The first Italians to arrive in the town were engineers and scientists, who loved what they found. Word soon spread about Malindi’s miles of pristine beaches, abundance of seafood and good-natured inhabitants [colonization was always like that: good-natured inhabitants who could be fooled easily, and their lands grabbed away].
By the 1970s the community began to take shape, with many settling in Malindi and pursuing opportunities in the tourism industry.
They opened hotels, restaurants, built beach villas and became economically integral in the town.
… The town had its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s when tourism boomed and estimates suggest 4,000 Italians lived in the town and 30,000 visited annually.
But a shadier side to Malindi also emerged with allegations that the underage sex trade was rampant, as was the drugs trade and even whispers of the Italian mafia’s presence.
Still the tropical paradise with its hint of noir flourished until a slump began with Italy’s financial crash of 2008.
… But it is still a blissful place to relax and enjoy if you can visit, and while tucking into a delicious plate of crab linguine, I felt transported back in time if not place.
Doing archaeology in Egypt is really a dream come true! Every day reveals new findings… it is amazing to witness the rediscoveries of this ancient African civilization… and each time as more artifacts are unearthed, we are in awe because current world civilizations seem so less advanced than the civilization of the Egyptian pharaohs! Today, in Egypt, the discovery of a 3,000 years old lost city was announced. This is not just any city, this is Aten; it dates back to the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, one of Egypt’s most powerful pharaohs who ruled from 1391 to 1353 BC. Excerpts below are from the Guardian… Enjoy!
Archaeologists have hailed the discovery of what is believed to be the largest ancient city found in Egypt, buried under sand for millennia, which experts said was one of the most important finds since the unearthing of Tutankhamun’s tomb.
The famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced the discovery of the “lost golden city”, saying the site was uncovered near Luxor, home of the Valley of the Kings.
“The Egyptian mission under Dr Zahi Hawass found the city that was lost under the sands,” the archeology team said. “The city is 3,000 years old, dates to the reign of Amenhotep III, and continued to be used by Tutankhamun and Ay.”
It called the find the largest ancient city, known as Aten, ever uncovered in Egypt.
Betsy Bryan, Professor of Egyptian art and archaeology at Johns Hopkins University, said the find was the “second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun”, according to the team’s statement.
… Items of jewellery such as rings have been unearthed, along with coloured pottery vessels, scarab beetle amulets and mud bricks bearing the seals of Amenhotep III.
… “The archaeological layers have laid untouched for thousands of years, left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday,” the team’s statement said.
Last week, on March 31st, the International Criminal Court justice court appeals judges finally upheld the acquittal of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo and his minister Charles Blé Goudé (How long shall they kill our prophets…?). They were acquitted 2 years ago in January 2019, but the prosecution stalled, keeping them in Europe, trying to find ways to overturn the decision, and blocking all their movements. Now the ICC judges upheld their acquittal, and technically Gbagbo and Blé Goudé should be free to go home to Ivory Coast! After this witch hunt which has lasted over 10 years, and his arrest and detention in the Hague, Laurent Gbagbo is now free to go home! Can you imagine? Did the ICC apologize for all the years of hurt? the tarnished image? And of course mainstream media, which yesterday published those images of Gbagbo and his wife Simone in their room surrounded by the rebels, now publish one line if at all anything! Unbelievable! They should be sued for playing such major roles in destroying countries, obliterating people’s images, and causing wars! I live you here with excerpts from an article from the BBC. 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. Truth always wins! It may take years… but it prevails! Now it is said that the government of Ouattara, the one installed with French war chars and cannons will try to have Gbagbo go through another trial once he lands in Cote d’Ivoire… Oh, he does not know that even then, like Thomas Sankara said, “La Patrie ou la mort, nous vaincrons!” We will keep fighting to the last drop! As Agostinho Neto said: “La luta continua e la victoria e certa!”
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has upheld the acquittal of Ivory Coast’s ex-President Laurent Gbagbo on charges of crimes against humanity.
It paves the way for his return to Ivory Coast, where he remains an influential figure.
… The former president was in court alongside ally and former youth leader Charles Blé Goudé, who was accused of leading a militia backing him.
They were both acquitted in 2019, but the prosecution had appealed what was seen as the shock decision to clear them. It argued that there were procedural errors in how the original verdict was delivered and insisted that thousands of documents and 96 witnesses presented during the trial had proved their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
But presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said: “The appeals chamber, by majority, has found no error that could have materially affected the decision of the trial chamber.
“The appeals chamber hereby revokes all remaining conditions on the release of Mr Gbagbo and Mr Blé Goudé as a result of this judgement.”
… Whenever a case collapses at the ICC, it damages the perception of the court as a credible tool of international justice, our reporter says.
The appeals judges agreed that the evidence in this case was extremely weak, raising questions about how this trial went as far as it did, she says. It is not the first case that has collapsed at the ICC.