J.J. Rawlings in His Own Words: African Identity, Betrayal, and More

President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana (Source: thecable.ng)

A couple of years ago, we published the words of President J.J. Rawlings of Ghana on Betrayal. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to revisit that article published here on Afrolegends in 2020, where Rawlings talks about African identity, betrayal and much more. As Amilcar Cabral said, “Let no one tell us that Nkrumah died of a cancer to the throat or some other disease; no, Nkrumah has been killed by the cancer of betrayal …“; the cancer of betrayal is a true gangrene to progress in Africa, how many leaders has it claimed?

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In the video below, you will hear J.J. Rawlings talk about the issues always discussed on this blog: the loss of the African soul to westernization, the danger of traitors within the ranks, and more importantly the dangers of globalization. People should really pay attention to all he has to say about betrayal, African identity, and also about the manipulations of the people by the triumvirate that is the multinationals, the media, and the intelligence.

Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah, First President of Ghana

On betrayal, Jerry Rawlings said, “Something that is worse than an enemy is a traitor.” This is very reminiscent of the speech Amilcar Cabral gave at the funeral of Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah on May 13, 1972, which I translated to English here on Afrolegends, “The Cancer of Betrayal” by Amilcar Cabral. J.J. adds, “As bad as an enemy can be, … something worse than an enemy is a traitor.”

On African identity, Rawlings affirmed, “In the process of trying to modernize, we [Africans] have ended up being westernized. … When I wanted to even name my children African names, heroic names, … the catholic church said no… they will have to be catholic names … [which] are European names.“… “I have a right to my identity, don’t take away my identity!

Christianize me if you may, but don’t westernize me!” He talks about the issues of African identity, which is powerfully shown in the poem ‘My Name’ by Magoleng wa Selepe.

On globalization, “The world is manipulated by the multinational corporations, the media, and the intelligence apparatus, … they work as a triumvirate and they are neatly sandwiched… in between the governed people and the governors… the sooner we begin to return, restore, some sense of morality in business ethics, in politics, in the media, intelligence apparatus, …” apply the same morality to all, especially when talking about globalization, applying the same moral standards to all.

“The Cancer of Betrayal” by Amilcar Cabral

Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah

This week marks the anniversary of the assassination of Amilcar Cabral, the father of the independence of Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau. To celebrate his life, I have decided to re-post Cabral’s speech given during President Kwame Nkrumah‘s state funerals in Conakry on 13 – 14 May 1972 “The Cancer of Betrayal” which I transcribed to French (“Le Cancer de la Trahison“) and translated to English (“The Cancer of Betrayal”) and published on Afrolegends in 2012. As Cabral states, betrayal has been at the heart of so many issues faced by Africa today: ” from class struggle, … from contributions to social structures, from the role of party or other instructions, including armed forces….  My idea on this question will allow us to better understand the greatness of Nkrumah’s work, to understand the complexity of problems he had to face so many times alone,… …. we, Africans, firmly believe that the dead continue living by our sides… .  Nkrumah will resuscitate each dawn in the hearts and in the determinations of freedom fighters, in the action of all true African patriots.”

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In his last public speech in Conakry, at the funeral of the former Ghanaian president Nkrumah, Amilcar Cabral had denounced the cancer of betrayal that eats up African movements.  His comments today take a strange resonance in Guinea as in Angola, and Mozambique, where many movements are demanding power which the Portuguese have not yet abandoned.

Amilcar Cabral
Amilcar Cabral

… What to say? but we must speak otherwise at this point, if we don’t talk, our hearts may burst.  Our tears should not infiltrate the truth.  We, freedom fighters, we do not mourn the death of a man, even a man who was a comrade and an exemplary revolutionary, because as President Ahmed Sekou Toure often says ‘what is man in front of the infinite being and transgressing of the people and of humanity?’  We do not mourn the people of Ghana scoffed in its most beautiful realisations, in its most legitimate aspirations.   We are not crying for Africa, betrayed.  We are mourning, yes, of hatred towards those who were able to betray NKRUMAH to serve the ignoble imperialism …  Mr President, Africa by requiring through the voice of the people of the Republic of Guinea, as always fairly represented by President Ahmed Sekou Toure, whom NKRUMAH had put in his right place on the Kilimandjaro’s highest summits of the African revolution, Africa rehabilitates itself and through history.  President NKRUMAH, which we honor is primarily the great strategist of the struggle against classic colonialism, he is the one who created what we call African positivism, what he called “positive action”, affirmative action.  We pay tribute to the declared enemy of neocolonialism in Africa and elsewhere, the strategist of economic development in his country.  Mr President, we praise the freedom fighter of the African people who always gave his full support to national liberation movements, and we want to tell you here that we, in Guinea and Cape Verde islands, even though it is true that the most important factor for the development of our struggle outside our country was the independence of the Republic of Guinea, the heroic ‘no’ of the people of Guinea on 28 September 1958.   It is also true that if we went through the struggle regenerated, it was essentially due to the concrete support of Ghana and particularly of President Nkrumah …

Mr. President, we should however in this moment remember that all coins in life have two faces, all realities have positive and negative sides… to all positive action, is opposed a negative action. To what extent is betrayal’s success in Ghana linked to problems of class struggle, from contributions to social structures, from the role of party or other instructions, including armed forces as part of a new independent state.  To what level, we shall ask ourselves, is betrayal’s success in Ghana linked to a correct definition of this historical entity and craftsman of history that is the people and their daily work, in defending its own independence conquests?  Or to what extent is betrayal’s success not linked to the major problem of the choice of men in the revolution?  My idea on this question will allow us to better understand the greatness of Nkrumah’s work, to understand the complexity of problems he had to face so many times alone… problems that will allow us to conclude that, as imperialism exists, an independent state in Africa should be a liberation movement to power or it would not exist.  Let no one tell us that Nkrumah died of a cancer to the throat or some other disease; no, Nkrumah has been killed by the cancer of betrayal that we should uproot… by the cancer of betrayal, that we should root out of Africa if we really want to definitely crush the imperialist domination on this continent.  But, we, Africans, firmly believe that the dead continue living by our sides, we are a society of dead and living.  Nkrumah will resuscitate each dawn in the hearts and in the determinations of freedom fighters, in the action of all true African patriots.  Our liberation movement will not forgive those who betrayed Nkrumah, the people of Ghana will not forgive, Africa will not forgive, progressive mankind will not forgive!”

Translated from French by Dr. Y., afrolegends.com (12 October 2012)

French version here Amilcar Cabral – Le Cancer de la Trahison

Pelé in Africa

A Young Pele at Santos FC smiling at the camera (Source: Daniel Edwards, Goal.com)

Football has played an integral part to the lives of many around the globe. The 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup this past November is a testimony to that. The legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento, often known as Pelé, believed by many to be the greatest player that ever lived, passed away at the end of last year. Three-time World Cup winner, Pelé managed to score 757 goals in 831 games throughout his 20 year career although his club Santos claims his tally was closer to one thousand. Pelé was deeply loved in Africa; he was a gifted Black Brazilian footballer, among the first of African heritage to receive such international acclaim, no wonder that in the African independence era, Africans identified with him. His story with Africa was a great love story. To Black Brazilians, he was key in carving out space and recognition for black people in Brazilian football, acclaimed by the masses, without being directly involved in the fight against racism. To Africans and multitudes in the world, he was simply Pelé, the king. Below are excerpts from the BBC article. Enjoy!

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Being one of the very first young black sporting superstars of the television era, Pelé drew the love and affinity of Africans across the continent.

As decolonisation movements swept across Africa in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Pelé was invited by newly independent countries to play in prestigious friendlies with his club Santos FC and the Brazilian national team.

In his autobiography, Pelé said that the following decades and subsequent repeated trips to the African continent, “changed not only my view of the world, but also the way the world perceived me“.

The author of the Almanac of FC Santos, Guilherme Nascimento, correctly pointed out that the African trips were “so full of stories that there is no clear boundary between legend and fact“.

His time in Algeria, for instance, was like something out of a film. In 1965, the 24-year-old arrived while film director Gillo Pontecorvo was shooting The Battle of Algiers. As a result, it was perfectly normal to see battle tanks shuttle across Algiers from downtown to the Casbah. Algeria’s football-loving President Ahmed Ben Bella scheduled two friendly matches for the occasion – one in Oran on 15 June, and one in the capital, Algiers, four days later. However, on 17 June, Ben Bella’s own Minister of Defence Houari Boumediene carried out a coup d’etat, deposing the president and cancelling the second match. Some credible journalists and historians believe that Boumediene may have used the commotion around Pele’s arrival as a distraction in order to carry out his coup.

Pele’s trips to Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo have also become shrouded in lore. During both trips, he was apocryphally credited with instilling peace in the country that was hosting him. The Nigerian Civil War raged from 1967-1970, yet when Pele visited in 1969 to play in an exhibition match versus the Nigerian national team, there were claims that a 48-hour ceasefire had been declared. I’m not sure it’s completely true,” Pelé said in his book. But the Nigerians certainly made sure the Biafrans wouldn’t invade Lagos while we were there,” he said, recalling a huge military presence. There was never much of a chance of that happening though, as the Biafran separatists were at least 500km (310 miles) away and being pushed back by the army.

A bientôt fier guerrier: Jean Paul Yitamben et le microcosme de la fragmentation de l’Afrique

Une grande lumiere

Une grande lumière a rejoint les étoiles. Sa Majesté, Jean Paul Yitamben, Chef du Village Batcheu au Cameroun, a changé de dimensions et maintenant s’est élèvé au rang d’ancêtres qui guidera nos pas. Grand économiste, professeur, historien, père, frere, époux, il s’en est allé. Comme Behanzin avant et beaucoup d’autres rois, il a consacré sa vie au service de sa communauté et son peuple. La bataille a changé ! Les rois locaux ne sont plus deportés, mais des royaumes et cultures sont toujours fragmentés, écrasés sous le poids du « faux » modernisme assisté par des administrations (excroissance du colonialisme) qui sont au service de forces exterieures qui continue le travail de l’annihilation et/ou de la spoliation de l’identité Africaine.

Descendants de grands rois avant lui, Jean Paul Yitamben était un avide historien et un perfectionniste qui recherchait inlassablement la perfection dans tout ce qu’il faisait. Méticuleux à la lettre, il ne tolérait pas le travail à moitié fait. Avec son épouse, entrepreneur sociale de renommée internationale, Gisèle Yitamben, il a travaillé sans relâche pour permettre aux femmes d’avoir accès à la micro-finance, aux jeunes moins privilégiés de trouver des emplois dans nos économies locales difficiles, et plus important encore, il a affecté la vie d’innombrables autres personnes en dehors de son propre village, communauté, ville, et au-delà. Le projet avorté de palmeraie d’huile de palme et de développement indigène du village de Kugwe dans la région du Nord-Ouest du Cameroun en est un exemple clair.

Le soleil / The sun

Yitamben était très méthodique. Il avait beaucoup de projets! Il a travaillé pour amener l’énergie solaire dans son village, a envoyé des villageoises locales se former en Inde pour devenir des ingénieures solaires à une époque où ce n’était pas encore courant. Il a envoyé d’autres en Australie et au Danemark, et fut le premier dans la région à organiser la «quinzaine»: deux semaines de compétitions sportives pour encourager la fierté locale et distribuer des prix aux gagnants, encourageant les enfants à s’appliquer pour leur éducation; l’attribution de bourses aux jeunes et de prix aux mères et grands-mères. Il était en avance sur son temps, en Afrique subsaharienne où des millions de personnes ont un faible accès à l’électricité, le bois de chauffage et le charbon de bois sont la principale source d’énergie pour la cuisson des repas, représentant les trois quarts de la demande énergétique totale ; Yitamben a apporté les foyers améliorés qui sont plus efficaces et meilleurs pour l’environnement. Il a fait venir des collaborateurs internationaux parce qu’il voulait élever son village et son peuple à une place formidable. Prennons exemple sur sa force et son courage!

Libya, the Prey of the West
Libye, la proie de l’Occident

Son plus grand combat était celui de son village. La colonisation ne s’est pas arrêtée en 1884, or en 1960 avec l’avènement des pseudo-indépendances, elle est bien vivante et s’intensifie de plus belle. La bataille n’est pas frontale, mais comme en Libye en 2011 ou au Mali aujourd’hui, le but est toujours de fragmenter, de diviser et de conquérir; briser en mille morceaux et piller les richesses locales tout en écrasant l’esprit des populations indigènes. L’objectif global est toujours la destruction des initiatives locales pour s’accaparer les terres et ressources ; Ça n’a pas changé.

La bataille au niveau du village de Chef Yitamben est un ample microcosme de ce qui arrive à l’échelle nationale et continentale en Afrique : quand une terre est riche, ou lorsque l’ennemi convoite une zone, il promeut la division entre les frères (Ethiopie – Erythrée, Soudan – Sud Soudan), division sur les frontières (Cameroun – Nigeria sur Bakassi, Tanzanie – Malawi sur le Lac Nyassa/Malawi), et division sur les ressources (RDC – Rwanda).

Behanzin, king of Dahomey
Behanzin, Roi du Dahomey

Rappellez-vous que du temps de Béhanzin, après sa déportation, la tactique utilisée avait été l’installation de Agoli-Agbo comme marionette; un qui n’avait pas été choisi par les traditions du terroir, mais par les Européens dans le but d’affaiblir et éradiquer les traditions, et promouvoir les divisions (Côte d’Ivoire ou Alassane Ouattara avait été installé par les chars Français en 2011).

Flash infos…

Les combats qui ont eu lieu plus de 100 ans dans le royaume du Dahomey, ou d’autres parties de l’Afrique, sont toujours en cours, bien qu’à petite échelle (et à grande échelle également). Les villages sont divisés, fragmentés et les institutions locales affaiblies. Les gouvernements qui, dans la plupart des pays africains ne servent pas les locaux mais les forces étrangères, sont complices de la destruction des traditions et des institutions africaines. Yitamben croyait qu’il était possible de changer le cours du temps, en réveillant au moins son propre peuple contre la division. Il s’est battu sans relâche pour l’unité et contre la division ; refusant catégoriquement la fragmentation orchestrée par une partie de son peuple aidé par une administration complice aux pulsions coloniales. Il ne pouvait pas comprendre comment son peuple pouvait se laisser utiliser pour détruire sa propre terre. Il était une force de la nature. Il avait une force titanesque; mais c’est un combat difficile.

Fier Guerrier, tu as placé les briques sur la foundation, et la tâche sera achevée. Tu t’es donné inlassablement pour cela. La bataille continue. O grand Guerrier! Ton héritage perdure.

Lorsque nous avons perdu un leader, nous devons regarder vers l’avenir et construire pour les générations futures. Yitamben avait une forte présence, était charismatique, et généreux dans le partage de son temps, ses ressources, et ses connaissances.

A bientot frère, père, époux, ami, … que tes graines portent beaucoup de fruits. Je me souviendrai de ton rire, de ton grand sourire, de ton intelligence, de ton combat pour la perfection, et surtout de tes enseignements. J’ai eu le privilège de te connaître, et de recevoir tes enseignements. Tu nous as montré le chemin. Maintenant nous devons porter ta lumière plus haut.

Que les ancêtres te reçoivent et te chèrissent.

So long Proud Warrior: Jean Paul Yitamben and the Microcosm of Africa’s Fragmentation

A great light

A great light has joined the stars. His Majesty, Jean Paul Yitamben, Chief of Batcheu Village, in Cameroon, has changed dimensions, and now graduated to be an ancestor to guide our paths. A great Economist, Teacher, Historian, Father, Brother, Husband, Friend, has moved on. Like Behanzin, before and many other kings, he devoted his life to the service of his community and his people. The fight has changed! Local kings are no longer deported, but kingdoms and cultures are still fragmented, crushed under the load of ‘fake’ modernism assisted by “administrations” (excrescence of colonialism) which are at the service of foreign forces to continue the work of the annihilation and/or spoliation of the African identity.  

Descendant of great kings before him, Jean Paul Yitamben was an avid historian and a perfectionist who tirelessly sought perfection in everything he did. Meticulous to a letter, he did not tolerate half-done work. With his wife, world-renowned social entrepreneur, Gisele Yitamben, he worked tirelessly to empower women in micro-finance, less-privileged youth to find jobs in our tough local economies, and more importantly he affected the lives of countless others outside of his own village, community, city, and beyond. The aborted Kugwe village Palm oil and indigenous development project in the North West Region of Cameroon is a clear example.

Le soleil / The sun

Yitamben was very methodical. He had so many great projects! He worked to bring solar power to his village, sent local village women to be trained in India on how to become solar engineers at a time when it was not yet common. He sent others to Australia and Denmark, and was the first in the area to organize the ‘quinzaine’: two weeks of sports competitions to encourage local pride, and distribute prizes to the winners, encouraging children to strive in education; awarding scholarships to youths, and prizes to mothers and grandmothers. He was ahead of his time, in sub-Saharan Africa where millions of people have low access to electricity, firewood and charcoal are the main source of energy for cooking meals, representing three quarters of total energy demand; Yitamben brought in improved households (foyers améliorés) which are more efficient and better for environmental protection. He brought in international collaborators because he sought a great place for his village and his people. Let us build on Yitamben’s strength!

Libya, the Prey of the West
Libya, the Prey of the West

His biggest fight was that of his village. See, colonization did not stop in 1884, or in 1960 with the advent of pseudo-independences, it is well and alive and waxing on even stronger than before. The fight is not open, but like in Libya in 2011 or Mali today, the goal is still to fragment, to divide and conquer; to break into thousand pieces and loot local wealth while crushing the spirits of the indigenous populations. The overall objective is still the destruction of local initiatives to take the land and resources; it has not changed.

The fight at the level of Chief Yitamben’s village is an ample microcosm of what happens at the national or continental level in Africa: when a land is rich, or when the enemy covets the area, he promotes in-fighting among brothers (Ethiopia – Eritrea, Sudan – South Sudan), division over boundaries (Cameroon – Nigeria over Bakassi, Tanzania – Malawi over Lake Nyasa/Malawi), and division over resources (DRC – Rwanda).

Behanzin, king of Dahomey
Behanzin, king of Dahomey

Remember that in the time of Behanzin, after his deportation, the tactic used was to install Agoli-Agbo as a puppet King; one who was not chosen by the traditions of the land, but by Europeans to help in weakening and eradicating traditions, and promoting divisions (Côte d’Ivoire where Alassane Ouattara was installed by French war tanks in 2011).

Flash news…

The fights that occurred over 100 years ago in Dahomey kingdom, or other parts of Africa, are still ongoing, albeit on a smaller scale (and big scale as well). Villages are divided, fragmented, and local institutions weakened. The governments which, in most African countries do not serve the locals but foreign forces, are complicit in the destruction of African traditions and institutions. Yitamben believed that it was possible to change the tides of time, by at least awakening his own people against division. He fought tirelessly for unity, and against division; adamantly refusing the fragmentation orchestrated by some of his people helped by a complicit administration with colonial instincts. He could not understand how his people could let themselves be used to destroy their very own land. He was a force to reckon with. He had a titanic strength; but it is a difficult fight.

Proud warrior, you have placed the bricks on its foundation, and the task will be completed. You tirelessly gave yourself for it. The fight continues. O great warrior! Your legacy lives on!

When we have lost a leader, we need to look forward, and build for future generations. Yitamben had a strong presence, was so confident, and so generous in sharing his time, resources, and knowledge. 

So long brother, father, husband, friend, … May your seeds bear lots of fruits. I will remember your laughter, your big smile, your intelligence, your fight for perfection, and above all your teachings. I feel so privileged to have had you in my life, and received your teachings. You showed us the way. Now we have to carry on your light.

May the Ancestors receive and cherish you.

Young Togolese builds 4×4 Car by Himself all from Scrap Materials

Sourou-Edjareyo Malazouwe with the prime minister Victoire Tomégah-Dogbé (Source: LaUneTogo.info)

A while back, I introduced you to the Kantanka: a 4×4 AWD Made in Ghana by Ghanaians for Ghanaians which was the brainchild of Dr. Kwadwo Safo, and whose work had been featured on the BBC, Forbes, and Al-Jazeera. Today, I would like to introduce you to a young Togolese inventor in Togo who made his own homemade 4×4 AWD with all recycled materials, all by himself in a year. We salute his creativity, and wish for more great inventions and sponsoring of the youth by our governments and private sectors. Africa needs her sons and daughters to partake in her development, and creativity should be supported. Excerpts below are from AfricaNews. Enjoy!

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A young Togolese inventor is making waves with his self-made 4X4 car, constructed using mostly recycled materials.

Sourou-Edjareyo Malazouwe, 25, is a self-taught engineer with a passion for sports cars. But as he could not afford to buy one himself, he decided his only option was to build one himself.

I finished secondary school in 2016 and after that, I started my own business, selling and repairing mobile phones and computers. It’s because of that that I could afford to build this car,’ he said.

Work got underway about a year ago in his workshop in the Forever district of the capital, Lomé, and the first model has been out on the road for some time now. The young inventor has named the car the ‘RAF-X Raptor’, a play on his own nickname, Raouf.

I used a lot of recycled parts. I paid for a few new ones. In this box you can see parts from Titan buses, from motorcycles, from cars, it depends. I get the parts from everywhere which is how I manage,’ he says.

Malazouwe says there are plenty of people who are impressed by the car and he has received several orders for one, …

In the meantime, he is the pride of Togo. In May, he met with the country’s Prime Minister, Victoire Tomégah-Dogbé Dogbé, who later tweeted that she was amazed and charmed by his genius.

I told him how proud we were and reiterated the government’s commitment to support him,’ she said, adding that her government was proud to help develop the enormous potential of Togo’s youth.

‘On Top of Africa’ by B. Tejani

Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Have you ever dreamed of climbing Africa’s tallest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro? Of watching its snow-capped peaks under the tropics, near the equator? Mount Kilimanjaro rises to an elevation of 5,895 m above sea level and about 4,900 m above its plateau base in Tanzania; it is the largest and tallest free-standing mountain rise in the world, meaning that it is not part of a mountain range. The majestic Mount Kilimanjaro is an inactive snow-capped stratovolcano that extends for about 80 km from east-west and is made up of three principal volcanic cones namely Mawenzi, Kibo, and Shira. The highest summit of Kilimanjaro is located on the crater rim of Kibo volcano and has been named the Uhuru Peak, where ‘Uhuru’ means ‘freedom’ in the native Swahili language. Scientists estimate the glaciers may be completely gone in 50 years. Mount Kilimanjaro is often referred to as the “Roof of Africa”. Thus one can imagine what poet B. Tejani, and anyone who reaches the 4th tallest peak in the world, must have felt after ascending the mountain… on top of Africa, which is the title of Tejani’s poem about the joy of ascending Mt Kilimanjaro. Bahadur Tejani is a Kenyan author and poet, born of Gujarati parents in Kenya. He studied at the Makerere University in Uganda, Cambridge University, and the University of Nairobi. He later taught at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, as well as the University of Sokoto in Nigeria. As you read the poem, you are really transported to the slopes of the majestic mountain. As you watch the snow, ‘an ageless majesty‘ fills you. As you reach the summit, there is definitely at that moment ‘no great triumph in the soul‘, after the ‘agonied 20,000 steps upwards and onwards‘. Truly, only when the ordeal is finished ‘I shall remember the dogged voice of conscience self-pity warring with will‘. This poem is part of Poems from East Africa, ed. by D. Cook and D. Rubadiri (1971), p. 176. Enjoy!,

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Mt Kilimanjaro in 1911

On Top of Africa‘ by B. Tejani

Nothing but the stillness

of the snow

and an ageless majesty

matched

by those enduring horizons that bridge the heights of you and me.

The phosphorescent sun gliding from the dark cloud under us

shone a brief once while we lay

retching in the rarefied air.

No great triumph in the soul of those

twenty thousand agonied steps upwards, always onward.

Only anguish of an ending -the vacuumed intestines shivering at

another onslaught of mountain sickness.

An ice-axe prod in the back and with it the terrible thought of the

awful retreat down the cold slopes of possible deaths; dumb eyes and

feet

lit by a single tireless search for slumber

which is as far away from us as we from the plains.

Only when the nightmare is over I shall remember the dogged voice of

conscience

self-pity warring with will

of the brown body

to keep up

with the black flesh

forging ahead

on the way

to Kilimanjaro.

Ivorian Researcher, Adjata Kamara, recognized for her work on Yam Preservation

Yams
Yams

Yam is a staple food in many countries of Africa, particularly in West Africa. So it comes with a bit of surprise to those not versed in agriculture, that there will is work to protect yam. Why would yam need protection? and from what? Ivorian researcher Adjata Kamara is one of this year’s 20 L’Oreal Foundation laureates from sub-Saharan Africa; she won for her project on the development of post-harvest biopesticides for the protection of yam crops. At the Biopesticides unit of the University of Bingerville where she is a doctoral student, her research has determined that “soil-depleting” chemical pesticides and the harvesting methods of farmers who “injure the yam”, favored the rapid appearance of fungi that rot the plant and eventually make it unfit for consumption. Thus the urgency of developing natural pesticides. Kamara will receive 10,000 Euros for her work. Excerpts below are from AfricaNews. Enjoy!

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L'igname (yam)
L’igname (yam)

Adjata Kamara is one of the 20 winners of the For women in science initiative of the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO, which aims to give visibility to women researchers worldwide.

The 25-year-old Ivorian was chosen for her work on biopesticides to protect yam crops, a root that is highly prized in sub-Saharan Africa.

Her passion for research stems from her childhood when her father’s mango crops were ravaged by fungi.

“It allows me to show my research to other women, to other countries and it puts a little pressure on me because I tell myself that now, I have to be a role model for young girls in science,” said Adjata.

Adjata explains that her goal is to develop “biopesticides based on plant extracts, fungi and beneficial bacteria,” in order to treat without chemicals this anomaly that disrupts the production of a plant that is the basis of staple food in several regions of Africa.

“I work on the development of biopesticides based on plant extracts, bacteria and also fungi. But these bacteria and fungi are said to be beneficial and so I’m trying to find methods to control the fungi that attack post-harvest yams,” …

… “From an early age, my father had a mango plantation. And this plantation was attacked by mushrooms, but at that time we did not know it. And as the years passed, there was a drop in production. And from then on, I wanted to know why these mangoes were being attacked (by fungi), and why production was falling. And it’s since then that I devoted myself to it and that I loved science,” said Adjata.

Charles Blé Goudé Returns Home at Last

Charles Blé Goudé (Source: Dailymail.co.uk)

Joy fills my heart… Charles Blé Goudé is home at last! How long has it been? How long has it taken? The battle has been long, but Truth has prevailed! As a reminder, Charles Blé Goudé, Youth minister under Laurent Gbagbo, had been captured in 2013 in Ghana after the foreign attacks on Cote d’Ivoire by France that forced him to find refuge there [How long shall they kill our prophets…?]. He has spent almost a decade in captivity at the Hague at the International Criminal Court justice with Laurent Gbagbo, like many of our leaders who were deported for standing for their people [Deportation of African Heads of States]. They were both acquitted in January 2019, but the prosecution stalled, keeping them in Europe, trying to find ways to overturn the decision, and blocking all their movements. Two years later in 2021, Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Ble Goude were totally acquitted and free at Last, however, only Laurent Gbagbo was allowed to return home which he did in June of last year [Laurent Gbagbo is Back in Cote d’Ivoire].  Blé Goudé has had to beg for many years to get an Ivorian passport from the Ivorian government (Unbelievable right?).

Did the ICC apologize for all the years of hurt? the tarnished image? the ruined life? And of course mainstream media, which yesterday eagerly published those images of Gbagbo and his wife Simone in their room surrounded by rebels, or Blé Goudé now publish one line if anything at all! 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. Note, the love the people have for him has caused the government to ask for the population not to show up at his arrival. All these tough years of claiming his 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!

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Charles Blé Goudé cheered by supporters upon his arrival in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on Saturday (Source: Associated Press – USNews.com)

Ivory Coast politician Charles Blé Goudé, once seen as a divisive figure, has flown home after being acquitted by the International Criminal Court.

His charisma and fiery rhetoric led to his nickname “street general”.

Mr Blé Goudé, 50, arrived in Ivory Coast’s main city, Abidjan, on a commercial flight from neighbouring Ghana on Saturday afternoon [Charles Blé Goudé was actually met at the airport by former First Lady, Simone Gbagbo, accompanied by around a dozen people – these foreign media are always trying to remove Simone from history, but they will not succeed].

There was heavy security at the airport and his supporters were advised not to go there to show respect for all the victims of the 2010 conflict.

But thousands of them gathered in the suburb of Youpougon – a former stronghold of Mr Blé Goudé’s – where he was expected to make a statement, according to his entourage.

….

Mr Blé Goudé fled Ivory Coast the day before Mr Gbagbo’s capture, going to Ghana by road where he lived in hiding for almost two years.

He was then arrested and transferred to the ICC where he first appeared in 2014 charged with committing crimes against humanity, including accusations that he led a militia.

But both Mr Gbagbo and Mr Blé Goudé were acquitted in 2019 after the judges said that the prosecution had failed to prove its case. The decision was confirmed by the ICC’s Appeals Chamber last year.

The former president returned to Ivory Coast in June 2021, where he has since tried to play the role of a peacemaker urging reconciliation.

Mr Blé Goudé obtained a passport from the Ivorian authorities in May and shortly after got the green light to go home.

The Importance of Nioussérê Kalala Omotunde’s Work

Today, education in Africa is Eurocentric, meaning that African history is rarely well-taught in African schools. In Francophone Africa, the school manuals are written by Frenchmen on the continent, or in France, so there is barely any emphasis on Africa. We learn about Europe, China, Japan, Napoleon, all the French dynasties, wars, etc, but very little about OUR history. Thus, most Africans grow up without knowing anything about the Ishango bone, the Blombos Cave, Lucy, the Lebombo bone, or the fact that Pythagoras or Thales theorems were actually written in Egypt by the scribe Ahmose over 1000 years before Pythagoras visited Africa; or even that C-sections were a normal part of African medicine for centuries while in Europe, women were still dying during pregnancies, or even that ancient Egyptians were black! There are countless examples showing that the falsification of African history has been ongoing for centuries, and that there is so much missing in African school manuals.

A Conical tower at Great Zimbabwe

Why is Nioussérê Kalala Omotunde’s work important for Africans? NKO’s work is fundamental because he, like some other illustrious Africans, worked tirelessly to restore Africa’s place in the world. However, his work was not just telling us Africans that we were once great, but more importantly focused on shaking the consciences of many: if my ancestor was great, if my ancestors built the great pyramids of Egypt, how can I, African today, believe that I am meant to live in tin shacks? If my ancestors were the great architects and metallurgists of Great Zimbabwe, why should I keep adopting the European materials for building when ours have lasted over centuries? how can I wait for foreign aid, when I have been blessed with fertile lands? How can I be eating wheat from Ukraine, when I could go back to ancient grains such as fonio, sorghum, millet which have always been a part of my diet for centuries (How Africa Copes with The War in Ukraine: Alternatives to Wheat – Ancient Grains?)? How can I import paper, when my ancestors developed the first support medium for writing (paper comes from papyrus)? How can I act like I do not know mathematics, when my ancestors where the amazing Egyptian mathematicians? How can I feel so lost in medicine or just focus on European medicine, when in Bunyoro kingdom, we had master gynecologists who could perform c-sections centuries before Europe? How can I be stuck with the FCFA when my ancestors invented currencies using silver? How can I, an African child, feel so small? How can I, an African child, focus only on misery, as opposed to what nature has given me? I need to raise my head, and see, and take the grain God has given me, and turn it into a tree!

I invite you to read some of his books, which can be found at: Anyjart.