2022 International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

March 8th marks the International Women’s Day (IWD). Growing up, this was a day of celebration of the woman’s place in society, talks and conferences took place, school-age students wrote poems or offered flowers to their female teachers, in some cases parades took place, and much more. For IWD, President Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso made it a day when the men participated in house chores, some would do the groceries for the day, thus getting more acquainted with the family needs, or take over some other chores; this made it so that the men where now aware of the demands and lives of their partners. More recently, the talk has been big on equal pay… yet when attending lectures where women talk about equal pay, few men are present… if real change is to take place, everybody needs to be a part of the conversation. There are probably a lot of men who would appreciate the extra income that their wives being paid equally would bring to the family, perhaps adding money to the children’s school fees, family travels, house repairs, medical bills, retirement funds, to name just a few. This needs to be a common goal. We cannot let the powers that be keep us divided over an issue such as equal pay, where women who work just as hard as men, and the same hours are paid less for the same job… Isn’t that absurd? IWD is not just another day on the calendar, but it is a day for everybody to acknowledge women, recognize their place as equal, and celebrate their contributions to society.

France confirms it will withdraw from Mali … moving to neighboring countries and beyond

Map of Mali with its capital Bamako

France just confirmed that it will withdraw its troops from Mali, 10 years after starting the fight against insurgency in the region. They will most likely go park their troops in neighboring countries like Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania? Who knows?… but we know that France has not spoken its last word… it is impossible for them to let go of the gold (after all, they are the world’s 4th producer of gold), uranium, diamonds, bauxite, of Mali just like that. Below are excerpts from an article from RFI.

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French flag

France and its allies in its anti-jihadist operations in Mali have announced announced they will begin withdrawing troops after nearly a decade fighting a jihadist insurgency in the country.

The political, operational and legal conditions are no longer met to effectively continue their current military engagement in the fight against terrorism in Mali,” [maybe France and its allies can no longer loot in peace] said a joint statement signed by France and European and African allies, announcing a “coordinated withdrawal” of French, European and Canadian forces. The decision applies to both the Barkhane counter-terrorism force in the Sahel and the 14-member European Takuba force that France had been trying to get off the ground.

France deployed troops against jihadists in Mali in 2013, but the insurgency was never fully put down [because the insurgents were funded by none other than…]. Some 2,400 French soldiers are currently in the country as part of the Barkhane and Takuba operations. Relations between France and Mali have deteriorated after the military junta went back on an agreement to organize elections in February, and instead proposed holding on to power until 2025 [Let the Malian people decide their own destiny].

Flag of Mali
Flag of Mali

France and other countries have also accused Mali of using the services of the Wagner Russian mercenary group, which they say is incompatible with their mission [This is against rule #10 of the colonial tax France is imposing African countries, which state that no African country should have other military partners other than France unless authorized by France – The French Colonial Tax at the Heart of Mali-France Tensions].

… The countries [the allied forces] will continue “joint action against terrorism in the Sahel region, including in Niger and in the Gulf of Guinea” [oh, oh, Africa is in trouble!].

French President Emmanuel Macron said that Niger had agreed to host European forces fighting Islamist militants in the Sahel [does Niger really have a choice?… remember The 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa? plus the Niger president is a French puppet].

He also said the remaining forces would provide further assistance for countries in the Gulf of Guinea [let’s invent new troubles everywhere so we can loot in peace, and not pay a dime to the local populations]. “These states are increasingly exposed to efforts by terrorist groups to implant themselves in their territory,” Macron told a press conference in Paris Thursday, shortly before traveling to Brussels for a two-day EU-Africa summit.

Le partage de l'Afrique a la Conference de Berlin de 1884
Le partage de l’Afrique a la Conference de Berlin de 1884

There are a total of 25,000 foreign troops currently deployed in the Sahel region, including the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA established in 2013 and an EU military training mission, the EUTM Mali, along with the Barkhane operation and the Takuba forces [Despite all these forces deployed, insurgencies still manage to flourish?… I wonder why? maybe because the insurgent is paid by … the ‘savior’?]. …

 

3000-Year-old Ancient Egyptian Love Poem

Queen Nefertari and Pharaoh Ramses II at the Queen’s temple at Abu Simbel

Love songs and poems are a part of every culture in the world… Love is a universal language. It does not have any barrier, race, class, and even time! It is Love… simple, overflowing, and boundless… Some of the world’s oldest love poems were found in Egypt written several millenia ago. Amazing how timeless they are! I chose the picture of Pharaoh Ramses II and Queen Nefertari as it is well-known that Ramses II deeply loved her and had a temple built in her honor at Abu Simbel .

For this Valentine Day, enjoy this Love poem from Ancient Egypt, found in Deir el-Medina, dated about 1300 BC. It is part of the Chester Beatty Papyri I. As you read it, savor it slowly, and stop for a moment to ponder as the lover sings of his sweetheart as the fairest of all, her skin as bright as a star, her hair as precious as the lapis lazuli stone, stone highly valued in antiquity, her arms surpassing gold, her legs parading her beauty, and when she steps outside she is as the sun so beautiful she catches everyone’s attention. I have placed two of the most popular translations next to each other. Enjoy!

Sister Without Peer
My one, my soul without peer,

Most beautiful of all!

Rising like the morning star

At the start of happy year.

Shining bright, fair of skin,

Lovely the look of her eyes,

Sweet the speech of her lips,

She has not a word too much.

Upright neck, shining breast,

Hair true lapis lazuli;

Arms surpassing gold,

Fingers like lotus buds.

Heavy thighs, narrow waist,

Her legs parade her beauty;

With graceful steps

she treads the ground,

Captures my heart by her movements.

She causes all men’s necks

To turn about to see her;

Joy has he whom she embraces,

He is like the first of men!

When she steps outside

She seems like the Sun!

“She has no rival,              
  there is no one like her.
She is the fairest of all.

She is like a star goddess arising
…    at the beginning of a new year;
brilliantly white, shining skin;

Such beautiful eyes when she stares,
and sweet lips when she speaks;
she has not one phrase too many.

With a long neck and shining body
her hair of genuine lapis lazuli;
her arm more brilliant than gold;

Her fingers like lotus flowers,
ample behind, tight waist,
her thighs extend her beauty,

Shapely in stride 
 when she steps on the earth.

She has stolen my heart with her embrace,
She has made the neck of every man
turn round at the sight of her.

Whoever embraces her is happy,
he is like the head of lovers,

And she is seen going outside
like That Goddess, the One Goddess.”

The French Colonial Tax at the Heart of Mali-France Tensions

Flag of Mali
Flag of Mali

Below is the colonial tax which is at the heart of Mali-France tensions today. It is part of The 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa which denies Africans the right to other military or economic partners without France’s approval. As stated before, France is angry that Mali has turned to Russia for help in regaining sovereignty over its territory to help fight against the jihadists whose presence have proliferated under the help of France and its buddies, the international community. The old colonial master wants to be the only one to decide the destiny of Malians in Mali… that era is over… Malians have the right to dignity! Malians, and Africans, have the right to choose the partners that can help them in their visions, a vision which seeks the well-being of their communities. Do you realize that France is now number 4 producer of gold in the world, when France does not have mines of gold on its soil? Mali produces upwards of 40 tons every year, and yet it is one of the world’s poorest countries on the globe! Mali’s production increased by 7%, with 65 tons produced, in 2019.  Gold is worth much more than oil! So as you ponder why the prize of gold keeps going up, and people tell you about the economy… maybe it is simply because of tensions in Mali, and maybe you should also root for Mali’s independence from the colonial yoke.

Mali - Conflict map_2
Mali conflict map

The 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa – Component at the heart of the tension

#10. Renunciation to enter into military alliance with any other country unless authorized by France

… In the case of France’s ex-colonies, France forbid them to seek other military alliance except the one it offered them.

Senegal’s Lions of Teranga Win the African Cup of Nations of 2021

Senegal Lions of Teranga celebrate winning the AFCON 2021 (Independent.co.uk)

Yesterday February 6th, Senegal won the 2021 African Cup of Nations against the Pharaohs of Egypt to become the new champions. This was their first win in the history of the game. To be awarded the trophy after so many years of getting so close is a real joy. They came second at the last edition CAN 2019 missing the trophy against the Fennecs of Algeria. I am happy that with their Senegalese coach (not many African teams have African coaches these days), Senegal made us really proud.

Egypt’s forward Mohamed Salah in Garoua (Left) on January 15, 2022; and Senegal’s forward Sadio Mane in Yaounde on February 2, 2022 (Right). (Photo by Daniel BELOUMOU OLOMO and Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP via Getty Images)

The game opposed some of the biggest football players in the world Sadio Mané of Senegal and Mohamed Salah of Egypt, both of Liverpool FC.  Sadio Mané, scored the winning penalty in the shootout against Egypt, having seen a first-half spot-kick saved as Sunday’s game ended in 0-0 after extra time. “It’s the best day of my life and the best trophy of my life,” the 29-year-old Liverpool forward said. “I won the Champions League and some [other] trophies but this is the special one for me. This is more important for me. … I am happy for myself, my people and all of my family.” Mane credits his team-mates with giving him the strength to return in the shootout, where he sealed a 4-2 triumph. “When I missed the first penalty, it was a big blow for me,” he said. “But my team-mates came to me and said ‘Sadio, we lose together and we win together. … The trophy belongs to the whole Senegal team – everyone deserves it.”

Senegal’s coach Aliou Cisse celebrating victory (GhanaWeb.com)

For Senegal’s coach Aliou Cissé, this marks a victory at his third attempt in the Nations’ Cup final. The 45-year-old captained the Teranga Lions when they finished as runners-up in 2002 – missing the decisive penalty in the shootout against Cameroon – and coached Senegal when they lost against Algeria in 2019. He dedicated the 2022 victory to his countrymen before his post-match press conference was interrupted by his squad for celebrations. … He said, “[this] really proves the mental strength of this generation. We are very happy, we dedicate this victory to the Senegalese people, because since independence until now we are running after this first star. … Today, we will also have a star on our shirt.”

As a result of their win, Senegal has declared Monday a national holiday to celebrate winning its first ever Africa Cup of Nations! It is also good to note that the Lions of Teranga of Senegal won against the Pharaohs of Egypt in the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Cameroon. Many locals have claimed that the late Cameroonian President Ahidjo who is still buried in Senegal (story for another day), had been watching over the Senegalese team and blessing them, given that Senegal has been good to the previous president and his entire family.

Tensions Escalating in Mali

Flag of Mali
Flag of Mali

Tensions are escalating between France and Mali as the French ambassador was expelled from Mali and given 72 hours on Monday to leave the country. How did we get here? In reality, Mali has been in disarray since Libya fell in 2011… and has never recovered since then (“Le Mali en miettes. A qui le tour?” de Chems Eddine Chitour – “Mali in pieces. Who is next?” by Chems Eddine Chitour). France came in to “offer” her support to fight the djihadists in the north of the country. Today, as a result, the country is split into pieces, countless Malians have died, and France is now world producer of gold… mind you that France does not have an ounce of gold on her territory, but rather has been pillaging the mines of Mali, disrupting the peace in the region, and getting the “International community” to support her efforts in the plundering of the golden Mali (Africa is funding Europe!). Remember that Emperor Kankan Musa of the Empire of Mali, which encompassed part of modern-day Mali, distributed so much gold during his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 that it took a decade for the Egyptian economy to recover.

Map of Mali with its capital Bamako

Mali has been in pieces… after the coup that got rid of France’s puppet IBK (Bye Bye IBK: Mali Coup), and the military coup that brought the Colonel Assimi Goita to power. Faced with 80% of its territory occupied by foreign forces and terrorists, and in order to regain the sovereignty of its lands, Mali has sought the partnership of Russia, which France has screamed against – remember The 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa which denies Africans the right to other military or economic partners without France’s approval? Well, France is angry that Mali has turned to Russia for help in regaining its territory… The time for us being doormats is over France… We have the right to our dignity! We have the right to choose the partners that can help us in our visions, a vision which seeks the well-being of our communities.

Mali conflict map

Just last week, France’s puppet organization that is ECOWAS (CEDEAO) placed unbelievable sanctions on Mali, closing borders, banking, etc… How can an African organization act in such a way against a sister country, if it is not serving the interest of the enemy?  

I live you here with a more recent timeline published on Al-Jazeera. Bear in mind that it is not told from the eyes of a Malian or an African, so it is biased. For the full timeline, please go to Al-Jazeera

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Colonel Assimi Goita

On August 18, 2020, a group of Malian soldiers led by Colonel Assimi Goïta overthrew elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who was facing angry protests over the government’s failure to stem the violence. The coup is seen as a blow to French President Emmanuel Macron, who had supported Keïta and sought to improve relations with former colonies in Africa.

On March 30, 2021, in a rare criticism of French forces in Mali, United Nations investigators accused the French military of being responsible for the killing of at least 19 civilians at a wedding party in central Mali in an air raid three months before. France denied the findings, saying its forces targeted an “armed terrorist group” and that it had “numerous reservations about the methodology used” in the UN investigation.

On May 25, Goïta pushed out a civilian-led government appointed to oversee a transition period, plunging the country into further uncertainty. He was named interim president on May 28.

In reaction to the power grab, France suspended its joint military operations with Malian forces on June 3 “awaiting guarantees” that civilians return to positions of power.

Conflict map of Mali with internally displaced populations (blog.amnestyusa.org)

On June 10, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a major “transformation” and drawdown of France’s military presence in the Sahel where about 5,100 soldiers – across Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger – operate under its Barkhane operation [no wonder France can afford to have 35-hour week for its workers, or even confine them forever… their riches come from Africa].

France decided on July 3 to resume its military operation in Mali, as well as its advisory missions.

On September 14, France warned Mali against a deal with Wagner as reports emerged the country’s military government was close to hiring 1,000 mercenaries.

A spokesperson for the Malian defence ministry said his country wanted to “diversify its relationships” on security grounds.

French flag

On October 5, Macron called on Mali’s military to restore state authority in large areas of the country. “It’s not the role of the French army to fill in for the ‘non-work’, if I may describe it, of the Malian state,” he told French media. …

Mali’s Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga said on October 8 that he had evidence that France was training “terrorist” groups operating in the country. Maiga said French troops had created an enclave in Kidal, a town in the desert region of northern Mali, and handed it over to a “terrorist group” known as Ansar al-Din, allegedly linked to al-Qaeda.

On December 15, French forces left the city of Timbuktu, marking the scaling down of France’s intervention in northern Mali which had started in 2013 when it helped beat back groups advancing towards Bamako.

France and more than a dozen countries condemned on December 24 the deployment of Wagner mercenaries [i.e. the international community = gang of thieves] – one of the first official acknowledgements by Western capitals of the stationing of fighters from the Russian firm. Mali’s government has denied this, saying the Russian troops are in the country as part of a bilateral agreement.

… On January 7, Russian soldiers were deployed to Timbuktu to train Malian forces at the base vacated earlier by French troops.

On January 9, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed a trade embargo on Mali after the military government postponed elections for up to five years, despite promising to hold a vote by February [ECOWAS = puppet arm of France in Africa].

Two days later, on January 11, France, the United States and the European Union backed the West African bloc’s sanctions [of course… the United Nations of thieves]. With borders closed, the military government branded the sanctions an “extreme … and illegal embargo against our people” and organises mass protests. …

Denmark sent 105 military personnel to Mali on January 18 to join a European special forces mission, known as Takuba, that was set up to help Mali tackle armed groups [see… International Gang of Thieves]. It said its troops had deployed after a “clear invitation” from Mali.

On January 24, the Malian government called on Denmark to “immediately” withdraw its contingent of special forces deployed alongside French and international troops. Denmark’s withdrawal was a headache for France, which had staked much on “Europeanising” its Sahel intervention.

On January 27, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian lashed the [Mali] military transitional cabinet’s “irresponsible” decision, calling it “illegitimate”. And in remarks published on January 30 in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, the French foreign minister accused the Wagner group of plundering Mali’s resources in exchange for protecting the military government [the pot calling the kettle black]. “Wagner uses the weakness of certain states to implant itself … to reinforce Russia’s influence in Africa,” Le Drian added.

But Mali’s Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop hit back saying France was not defending democracy and was angry only because “we have hurt their interests” [we have dared go against The 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa].

On January 31, Mali said it was expelling the French ambassador because of “hostile statements” by French officials.

Syllart Records: The African Equivalent to Motown Records

Syllart Records
Syllart Records

I recently heard about the Syllart Records, a music records label which many considered to be the equivalent of the African continent’s Motown records. The record label leader is Binetou Sylla, the daughter of the founder, the late Senegalese producer Ibrahima Sory Sylla. The label owns the largest African music catalog in the world, spanning the last sixty years of music creation. Its founder, Sylla’s impact on African pop music and its global influence is really wide. Imagine the hard work, the quality, the authenticity, and innovation that went on in his studios! Yet, I had never heard of his name. However, I had heard about some of the artists produced under his label, and danced to their music, such as Ismael Lo, Salif Keïta, Empire Bakuba, Sam Mangwana, Gadji Celi, M’Pongo Love, Tshala Muana, M’bilia Bel, Oumou Sangare, Pépé Kallé, Miriam Makeba, Papa Wemba, or Africando, and so many others.

Syllart Records_Binetou Sylla
Binetou Sylla of Syllart Records (Source: Panafricanspacestation.org.za)

Today, his daughter is working on digitizing all that hard work, and trying to find ways to give rights to the musicians. She says of her father on OkayAfrica, “[My father] preferred to let his work, his music speak for him. He was an ambassador for African music. … [He] excelled at scouting new talent and used Syllart as a launching pad for many who would rise to global stardom.” Enjoy her recent interview to BBC. Check out the Syllart Records YouTube channel.

Happy 2022!

Fireworks
Fireworks

Fellow readers, we are writing here to wish you all a HAPPY 2022! May this new year mark the beginning of new endeavors, the continuation of current ones, and/or the end of old ones. May this new year be filled with health, prosperity, joy, love, happiness, abundance, harmony, and peace!  2021 was quite a year, and many are hoping for something better. Let us turn the 2021 page, and start the 2022 chapter ready to take off for this new year, never losing altitude during this flight, and trusting for better.

Fleur13_20220102
Happy 2022

The top 5 posts of the year 2021 are listed below: an old-time favorite “My Name” by Magoleng wa Selepe took first place as the most read post of the year. We, at Afrolegends.com, would like to express our profound gratitude for your constant support, as your readership has carried us forward. Keep on visiting, sharing, and commenting.  We wish you a full and amazing new year, rich in blessings and greatness. Keep your heads up, and may your year be as beautiful as the petals of this flower! As you can see, everything about this flower is unique, the outer red color and the inner purple which mark a difference that is beautiful to see, thus may 2022 be the beginning of: a new start, a new life, and a new joy! As always, like Agostinho Neto said, “A luta continua … a vitória é certa!

  1. ‘My Name’ by Magoleng wa Selepe
  2. ‘Love Poem for my Country’ by Sandile Dikeni
  3. History of African Fabrics and Textiles
  4. The 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa
  5. “Femme Noire” de Léopold Sédar Senghor / “Black Woman” by Léopold Sédar Senghor

Who/What do we Celebrate in Africa in 2021 ?

Although 2021 has globally been a tough year, there are still events that lend to celebration. As we turn the page of 2021 and delve into 2022, it is good to note that in 2021, a lot of “firsts” have taken place on the African continent. Below are a few of the events that brought joy. There are many more, of course, but I selected 11. Enjoy, and add in the comments other celebratory events that have marked the continent this year.

  1. Hulda Swai_1
    Professor Hulda Swai

    Tanzanian professor Hulda Swai wins the 2020 prize of the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Continental Awards for Scientific Excellence in February [Professor Hulda Swai of Tanzania Wins Distinguished Science Award: ‘Women are as good as men’]. This is a highly prestigious scientific award in Africa.

  2. In May, a Malian woman gives birth to 9 babies (from natural conception). This marks the first single birth and survival of nonuplets in the world. Halima Cisse, a Malian woman, has given birth to nonuplets, 5 girls and 4 boys, in a hospital in Morocco [World Record: Malian Woman gives Birth to Nine Babies].
  3. Herero_chained
    Chained Herero men

    Germany agrees to pay Namibia €1.1bn over historical Herero-Nama genocide in May of this year. This is historic, late, and probably not enough compared to the loss in human lives… yet it is important! The money will be paid over 30 years in aid programs…  (probably a way to siphon money back to Germany, while appearing to be giving something), and pales in comparison to the billions worth of Namibian diamonds and cobalt mine that will profit German companies in fine print [Germany in Namibia: the First Genocide of the 20th Century].

  4. Laurent Gbagbo
    Laurent Gbagbo

    In June, after 10 years of imprisonment, and over 20 years of persecution, Laurent Gbagbo, the former president of Cote d’Ivoire finally lands home amidst celebrations from his supporters in the country and abroad [Laurent Gbagbo is Back in Cote d’Ivoire]. Although there have been subsequent disappointing actions on his part, it is nonetheless a victory over the International Court of Justice, and all the persecution Blé Goude (How long shall they kill our prophets…?), him, and countless others have gone through, and remains a major cause for celebration, as it shows that, for a just cause, perseverance and determination always bear fruits.

  5. In June, Petra Diamonds pays Tanzanians for its abuse [Petra Diamonds pays £4.3m to Tanzanians ‘abused’ by its contractors]; this is significant as it shows that it is not impossible to demand reparations from these giant companies that pollute our lands and abuse us. It sets a precedent.
  6. Tokyo2020
    Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo (Olympics.com)

    Late July marks the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after one year of postponement, and Africa wins new victories. Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui offers the African continent its first medal of the games, by winning gold in the 400m freestyle swimming; Hugues Zango of Burkina Faso gives his country its first ever medal at the Olympics by winning the bronze medal in the men’s triple jump; while Eliud Kipchoge successfully defends his Olympic title at the marathon becoming the 3rd person in the history of the games to win successive marathons [African Wins at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics].

  7. In October, Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah is awarded the Nobel Prize of Literature, making him the fifth African to win the illustrious prize [Tanzanian Abdulrazak Gurnah awarded Nobel Prize of Literature]. As you can see, the African literary scene is flourishing.
  8. Somalia_The Gravedigger Wife
    “The Gravedigger’s Wife” by Khadar Ahmed

    A Somali love story, the Gravediggers’ Wife is this year’s FESPACO winner [Somali Love Story, The Gravedigger’s Wife, is this year’s FESPACO winner]. The FESPACO, which is one of Africa’s biggest film festival, took place this year after the pandemic and lockdowns, and an 8-months delay because of security reasons [FESPACO 2021: One of Africa’s Biggest Film Festival is back!].

  9. 100 years after René Maran, an African wins the prestigious French Prix Goncourt. The award was given to Senegalese writer Mohamed Mbougar Sarr. This is the first time that a Sub-saharan African person wins the prize, and the third time for a Black person in the almost 120-years history of the title [100 years after René Maran, An African wins the Prestigious Prix Goncourt], even though people of African descent make up so much of the French population over the past century.
  10. Benin_Fon statue symbolizing Behanzin Man shark
    Benin Fon statue symbolizing Behanzin man shark (Musee du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac)

    In November, France returns some artifacts of the kingdom of Dahomey to the present-day country of Benin; these were looted when the French burnt down the capital of King Behanzin at Abomey over 120 years ago [France returns 26 Artifacts from Behanzin’s Era to Benin]. Similarly, the Benin Bronze cockerel held at the University of Cambridge from the famed Benin Kingdom [Benin City: the Majestic City the British burnt to the ground] has been returned to Nigeria. This is still little, as they should all be returned to their rightful owners; it should not even be up to negotiation.

  11. Congolese Rumba has been recognized as a UNESCO Intangible World Heritage. Congratulations to both Congos, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for working together. We do hope that this is just the first step in a collaboration that will extend to other domains including economic success and beyond [Congolese Rumba Wins UNESCO Protected Status].

Now, there are a lot more such as David Diop winning the International Booker prize for his book “At Night All Blood is Black” which focuses on Tirailleurs Senegalais; or the Senegalese influencer Khaby Lame being ranked number 2 on Tik Tok for his wordless humor which transcends language barriers and cultures (he is the fastest growing Tik Tok influencer with 120 million followers); or even Madagascar’s secretary of police, Serge Gelle, swimming for about 12 hours to reach shore after his helicopter crashed in the Indian Ocean off the northeast coast of the country. When rescued, Gelle said “My turn to die has not yet come, thank God.” So let us all be grateful for this year, and for the people and events who have brought joy to our lives, and let us move forward to a new year. 

Who/What did we say Goodbye to in Africa in 2021?

2021 was no doubt a tough year the world over, with a continued global pandemic, stressed economies, and much more. What a year! Africa said goodbye to quite a few people, events, and more. Below are a selection of 10 events of 2021. I am sure that I have left quite a few out…

  1. John Magufuli_2
    President John Magufuli of Tanzania

    In March, President John Magufuli of Tanzania changed dimensions. It was heartbreaking to see someone who had done so much for his country go away so suddenly. Nicknamed the “bulldozer” he had a reputation to be incorruptible [So Long to President John Magufuli of Tanzania: The Bulldozer], and under his leadership Tanzania saw growth and development. Magufuli was focused on Tanzania’s economic success and sought to implement ambitious projects that would lift more of his people out of poverty. Under his reign, he expanded free education, and rural electrificationTanzania was one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, thanks to his hard work [President John Magufuli in His Own Words].

  2. SA_Goodwill Zwelithini
    King Goodwill Zwelithini (Source: sahistory.org.za)

    In March, King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu people of South Africa passed away. He had been king of the Zulu for over 50 years, since 1968 when he had succeeded his father, King Cyprian Bhekuzulu. Over these 50 years, he saw his country change from the apartheid regime to the Rainbow nation. At the time of his passing, the King’s Great Wife, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini was appointed as interim leader of the Zulu Nation under the title of queen regent from March 2021 to April 2021, when she passed away suddenly. King Goodwill Zwelithini was succeeded by his son King Misuzulu Zulu.

  3. In June, the very popular Nigerian pastor T.B. Joshua departed from this planet. He was a legendary charismatic pastor who was visited by presidents, and people from around the world; it is said that his church was Nigeria’s biggest tourist attraction.
  4. Kenneth Kaunda
    Kenneth Kaunda

    In June also, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, first president of Zambia joined his ancestors. At 97 years old, he was one of Africa’s last surviving liberation leaders. To a generation of Africans, he epitomized the Africa struggle for independence. Affectionately known as Mzee, Kaunda worked tirelessly towards the freedom of the whole of Southern Africa from white rule; he supported the fight of other countries against repressive, racist regimes in South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique and Southern Rhodesia (Why the name: Zimbabwe?). It took several years, but his support never faltered.

  5. In September, Sultan Ibrahim Mbombo Njoya of the Bamun people of Cameroon perished at the hands of the virus which has paralyzed the planet. He was the 19th reigning monarch of the Bamun Kingdom in the Western province of Cameroon. He had succeeded to his father, the sultan Seidou Njimoluh Njoya in 1992. He has been succeeded by his son Nabil Mbombo Njoya. At 28, Nabil Njoya is now the 20th in the Nchare Yen dynasty of the Bamun people.
  6. In November, F.W. De Klerk, former president of South Africa, and last president of the Apartheid era, passed away. He is known for releasing Nelson Mandela from prison, after 27 years, disassembling the apartheid system, and sharing the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela.
  7. Ethiopia_flag
    Flag of Ethiopia

    Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis started bringing tears to our hearts… Not sure how to explain the Nobel Peace prize given to Ethiopia’s prime minister Ahmed Abiy in 2019, when I see him choosing the war path instead of peace now. He is presiding over a protracted civil war that by many accounts bears the hallmarks of genocide. This leads to skepticism towards these “prizes” handed over by the “international” community. It has been over a year now that Abiy ordered a military offensive in the northern Tigray region with the promise to have it resolved quickly. Thousands are now dead, 2 million people displaced, and much more.

  8. Mozambique_Flag
    Flag of Mozambique

    Loss of peace in Mozambique. Last year, I told you about this amazing oil fields and precious minerals found in Mozambique, and all of sudden the presence of Islamic insurgencies [seriously?… Islamic insurgencies… I think these people probably take us for idiots] starting there right after Total signed one of the biggest contracts ever for over $14 Billions, and the united nations of thieves [seriously check it out, banks for Japan, EU, France, India, US, etc…] descended on the country [Who/What did we say goodbye to in Africa in 2020?].

  9. King Kêfa Sagbadjou Glèlè, monarch of the once-powerful Dahomey kingdom, in the country of Benin, has joined his ancestors. Bear in mind that King Kêfa descended from the Agoli-Agbo line, the one installed (not the rightful bearers of the traditions) by the French after King Behanzin was deported to Martinique and then Algeria.
  10. South Africa_Desmond Tutu_1
    Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Source: The Namibian)

    Just the day after Christmas, we learned that Desmond Tutu, the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner and iconic anti-apartheid fighter was deceased on December 26. As the tributes pour in from around the world, Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta said, Tutu had “inspired a generation of African leaders who embraced his non-violent approaches in the liberation struggle.” At 90, Archbishop Tutu had lived a long fruitful life, battle-tested by life under apartheid. The plans include two days of lying in state before an official state funeral on 1 January in Cape Town.