Laurent Gbagbo is Back in Cote d’Ivoire

Laurent Gbagbo

Joy and tears were mixed in my heart yesterday as I saw our president, Laurent Gbagbo, the blessed child of Gagnoa, the former president of Cote d’Ivoire, land back in his homeland. 10 years of imprisonment, over 20 years of persecution, acquitted by the International Court of Justice at the Hague [Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Ble Goude: Totally Acquitted and Free at Last, Laurent Gbagbo, Former President of Cote d’Ivoire, Acquitted of War Crimes], and finally allowed to go home to the land of his ancestors. Gbagbo’s only crime has been to love his country and his people too much, and want dignity for them! Laurent Gbagbo is really like those of our kings, heads of state, leaders, who have been deported by the oppressors, the French colonizer, in this case via its puppet Ouattara [Deportation of African Heads of States]. We have fought, cried, and tirelessly worked for his freedom. Africa is proud of her son, Laurent Gbagbo. Just look at how many people took to the streets to welcome him home! Then Ouattara sent his troops to beat the people who came to welcome their president home, in the name of trying to prevent troubles. Such a coward! Our president is back! It does not matter what the future holds, today we are happy… we have made progress… Africa’s son is back… tomorrow will take care of itself. 10 years ago, when I watched as the presidential palace was being bombed by French troops, when I watched our president and wife being paraded on TV all over the world [Laurent Gbagbo: No to a complicit silence!], I could not have imagined today! I knew we needed to work hard, but today I will savor this victory. Why don’t these international media who yesterday felt no shame to show our president or his wife being paraded by the rebels on broad TV, why are they not showing his triumphal return today? why are they not placarding it the way they did when he was dragged out? Because it would show that they lost! Shame on the Mainstream Media, shame on them… shame on France… today we stand tall as our son is back. Today, we stand!

So Long to T.B. Joshua: the Fiery Pastor

Pastor T.B, Joshua (Source: Daily Post Nigeria)

It is with sadness that we have learned of the passing of the megachurch pastor T.B. Joshua, the legendary charismatic Nigerian pastor who was visited by presidents, and people from around the world. Just as an example, his YouTube account had over 600 millions views and 1 million subscribers until YouTube suspended it in April. Whether you liked him or not, T.B. Joshua had the attention of millions, and was an amazing televangelist who revolutionized Nigerian megachurches. He created The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) and would host thousands of national and international visitors. People traveled from around the world to witness and receive from the mighty work that God was doing in the life of Prophet T.B. Joshua. According to SCOAN, over 15,000 members attend its weekly Sunday service. Even the Guardian reported that SCOAN attracted more weekly attendees than the combined number of visitors to Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.

Pastor Temitope Balogun (T.B.) Joshua owned one of Nigeria’s largest Christian broadcast stations, Emmanuel TV, and reigned for several decades as a fiery preacher who was passionate about saving souls for Christ. He passed away on Saturday at the age of 57.

Joshua was known for his prophetic visions. He commanded respect from different parts of the world due to his revelations. His church in the Ejigbo area of Lagos State was a religious destination to people suffering from one affliction or the other. His miraculous wonders were the main attractions. His church was said to be Nigeria’s biggest tourist attraction. He was also a big philanthropist, and Forbes magazine reported that Joshua spent over $20 million on “education, healthcare and rehabilitation programs for former Niger Delta militants”; he also had a rehabilitation program for repentant armed robbers, and sex workers. His work was not without controversies, particularly with the collapse of one of the church’s guesthouses which killed over 100 pilgrims in 2014, and his flying in private jets.

From the SCOAN website, “[Pastor T.B. Joshua] was born on June 12th 1963 in Ondo State, Nigeria, [His] journey is a humbling story of how God raised a young man from a poverty-stricken home to lead an international ministry that would attract thousands worldwide to witness the reality of God’s power today. From dropping out of secondary school in his first year and working in a poultry farm; from teaching little children while attending evening classes and washing people’s legs on the muddy streets of Lagos to embarking on a 40-day fast before receiving the divine call and starting a ministry with a mere eight members – the life of T.B. Joshua is a story of amazing grace and unwavering focus. Today, he is a mentor to presidents yet a friend to the widows and less privileged, a role model to his generation yet a humble and hardworking man, toiling tirelessly for the advancement of God’s kingdom. His story is an encouragement that there is hope for the weak.” He was an inspiration to many.

Below is a video of his last preaching. So long Prophet T.B. Joshua. Enjoy!

World Record: Malian Woman gives Birth to Nine Babies

Flag of Mali
Flag of Mali

This is a first in the world: it is 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. They were conceived naturally. Initially, the medical teams both in Mali and then later in Morocco thought she was expecting septuplets, and so they were all surprised to find 9 babies in the end. I salute the wisdom of the country’s leader who saw fit to have her transferred to Morocco for more advanced specialist care… this shows great empathy. Excerpts below are from an article on the Guardian. Congratulations to the proud parents… it is indeed a grace!

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Halima Cisse’s nonuplets all ‘doing well so far’ after delivery by caesarean section at Moroccan hospital.

A Malian woman has given birth to nine babies – all “doing well so far” – in what is thought to be a world record for the most children in a single birth to survive.

Halima Cisse had been expected to give birth to seven babies, but ultrasounds conducted in Morocco and Mali had missed two of the siblings. The nonuplets – five girls and four boys – were all were delivered by caesarean section.

The 25-year-old’s pregnancy has fascinated the west African nation and attracted the attention of its leaders. When doctors said in March that Cisse needed specialist care, the country’s transitional leader, Bah Ndaw, ordered that she be sent to Morocco.

Halima Cisse, mother of nonuplets and the medical team and a family member in Morocco (Source: Africafreedomnetwork.com)

The mother and babies are doing well so far,” Mali’s health minister, Fanta Siby, told Agence France-Presse, adding that she had been kept informed by the Malian doctor who accompanied Cisse to Morocco.

They are due to return home in several weeks’ time, she added.

… Doctors had been concerned about Cisse’s health and her babies’ chances of survival, according to local press reports. Nonuplets are extremely rare and medical complications in multiple births of this kind often mean that some of the babies do not survive.

In pictures widely shared on social media, Cisse could be seen smiling, celebrating with her doctors near her nine children, held in a row of incubators at the hospital.

Cisse’s husband, Adjudant Kader Arby, still in Mali with the couple’s older daughter, told BBC Afrique he had been in constant touch with his wife and he was not worried about the future.

“God gave us these children,” he said. “He is the one to decide what will happen to them. I’m not worried about that. When the almighty does something, he knows why.”

Happy Mother’s Day 2021

Papa Wemba
Papa Wemba

To celebrate all the mothers out there… I thought of sharing this beautiful song by the legendary Papa Wemba “Mama,” from his album Nouvelle Ecriture 1997 dedicated to his mother. I dedicate it to all the mothers out there, and future mothers. Papa Wemba was the King of Rumba and King of La SAPE, and an African Planetary Star. Of his mother who was a professional ‘wailing woman,’ he said: “My mother was my first teacher and my first public. … I grew up with my mother’s melancholic singing. … When I will sing, she will say “my son, block here, and now project your voice“… when I did well, she will clap for me“(source: Tv5 – Africanité). For his mother, he composed Mama and Maria Valencia. Enjoy! Happy Mothers’s Day.

Burkina Faso ex-president Compaoré to face trial over Thomas Sankara murder

Thomas Sankara
Thomas Sankara a Ouagadougou

I know this is like 10 days+ old news… but it is news: the ex-president of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré has been indicted for the murder of Thomas Sankara by a military court in the country. We cannot reiterate enough that France through her minion Blaise Compaoré (with the implication/blessing of Felix Houphouet-Boigny) killed Thomas Sankara. When Compaoré was booted out of office in 2014, he sought refuge in neighboring Cote d’Ivoire which is controlled by another one of France’s minions imposed on Ivorians via France’s bombs, Alassane Ouattara (ADO). Not only did he run to Cote d’Ivoire with his tail between his legs, but he even renounced his Burkinabe citizenship for the Ivorian one so as not be extradited. Everything about the man Compaoré screams cowardice: can you imagine a president of a country for 27 years who changes his citizenship? Such a coward! Now, a Burkina Faso military court has indicted Blaise Compaoré for the murder of Thomas Sankara. What power does this court really have? How to implement its findings? Is it just symbolic? Moreover, this is in absentia, given that Compaoré is hiding in Cote d’Ivoire. Excerpts below are from an article on the Al-Jazeera‘s website.

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Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – A military court in Burkina Faso’s capital has indicted former President Blaise Compaore in connection to the 1987 murder of his charismatic predecessor, Thomas Sankara.

Flag of Burkina Faso

A statement issued by the court on Tuesday cited “complicity in assassination” and an “attack on state security” by Compaore, who ruled the country until 2014, when he was forced to resign in the face of mass demonstrations against an attempt to extend his 27-year rule.

Thirteen others – including Gilbert Diendere, Compaore’s right hand man, and Hyacinthe Kafando, his security chief – were also indicted on charges ranging from “assassination” to “concealment of corpses”.

Benewende Stanislas Sankara, a lawyer representing the relatives of the slain former president, described the indictment as “a victory and a step in the right direction”.

It’s with a sigh of relief the family can now go ahead with all the guarantees that surround Burkinabe justice,” he told Al Jazeera. “We can now calmly go to trial.”

… Following his re-election last year, President Roch Kabore appointed a minister for national reconciliation, Zephirin Diabre, who pledged to address the issue of justice for Sankara.

In 2015, Burkinabe courts had issued an international arrest for Compaore, but Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara has prevented his extradition back to Burkina Faso despite an extradition treaty between the two countries. …

… “The warrant can be executed at any time if Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso implement the existing agreements between the two states properly,” Benewende Sankara said. “I must specify that it can happen very quickly.”…

Dry Your Tears African! – Words from Bernard Dadié

Dry your tears African

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.

 

The poem below is titled “Dry your Tears Afrika” or “Sèche Tes Pleurs,” published in 1967, by Bernard Binlin Dadié (So long to an African Literary Genius: Bernard Dadié).

 

Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Ble Goude: Totally Acquitted and Free at Last

Laurent Gbagbo
Laurent Gbagbo

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!”

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) has upheld the acquittal of Ivory Coast’s ex-President Laurent Gbagbo on charges of crimes against humanity.

Charles Blé Goudé celebrating with his legal team on 01/15/2019 (SkyNews)

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.

Rome Metro Station Named in Honor of Somalian-Italian

Giorgio Marincola in the 1930s

So Italy had a recent case of memory boost, remembering a Black man who gave his life for Italy in World War II. In Rome last month, the city council voted to name a future metro station in honor of an Italian-Somali man who was a member of the Italian resistance, Giorgio Marincola. Marincola was killed by Nazi troops at the age of 21, when they opened fire at a checkpoint on May 4th 1945, 2 days after Germany had officially surrendered in Italy. He was awarded posthumously the Italian medal of honor in 1953, Italy’s highest military honor. Not sure that it means anything [after all, the battles are deeper than that], but we are glad to see Italy recognize some of its forgotten African heroes.

Excerpts below are from the BBC:

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The station, which is currently under construction [let’s hope they actually come through with this], was going to be called Amba Aradam-Ipponio – a reference to an Italian campaign in Ethiopia in 1936 when fascist forces brutally unleashed chemical weapons and committed war crimes at the infamous Battle of Amba Aradam. … The name change came after a campaign was launched in June, in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests around the world … Activists first placed a banner at the metro site stating that no station should be named after “oppression” and pushed for Marincola’s short, but remarkable life to be remembered.

[Marincola] is known as the “partigiano nero” or “black partisan” and was an active member of the resistance. In 1953 he was posthumously awarded Italy’s highest military honour, the Medaglia d’Oro al Valor Militare, in recognition of his efforts and the ultimate sacrifice he made.

Marincola was born in 1923 in Mahaday, a town on the Shebelle River, north of Mogadishu, in what was then known as Italian Somaliland. His mother, Ashkiro Hassan, was Somali and his father an Italian military officer called Giuseppe Marincola.

… At the time few Italian colonists acknowledged children born of their unions with Somali women [true of most Europeans in Africa in those days]. But Giuseppe Marincola bucked the trend and later brought his son and daughter, Isabella, to Italy to be raised by his family.

… Giorgio Marincola too was gifted, excelling at school in Rome and went on to enroll as a medical student. During his studies he came to be inspired by anti-fascist ideology. He decided to enlist in the resistance in 1943 – at a time his country of birth was still under Italian rule.

… He proved a brave fighter, was parachuted into enemy territory and was wounded. At one time he was captured by the SS, who wanted him to speak against the partisans on their radio station. On air he reportedly defied them, saying: “Homeland means freedom and justice for the peoples of the world. This is why I fight the oppressors.”

The broadcast was interrupted – and sounds of a beating could be heard. …

Raila Odinga on President John Magufuli

President John Magufuli of Tanzania

The former prime minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga, said of Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, “He was determined to put Tanzania ahead in the region and Africa through industrialisation. … His primary business was Tanzania. Outside Tanzania, his other business was Africa. He … embraced some of the founding President Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere’s ideals on patriotism, nationalism and self-reliance for his country. In about six-years, he went farther than Mwalimu Nyerere in trying to economically empower his people. While Mwalimu Nyerere embraced internationalism and had a broader view of the world and Tanzania’s place in it, Dr Magufuli was a super nationalist … Where Mwalimu Nyerere was a constant voice on the global stage, especially for Africa and the Third World, Dr Magulfuli reserved his voice and energy for Tanzania…. Dr Magufuli was, however, overly successful in transforming Tanzania in just about six years. He transformed Tanzania’s highways, ports, created Rapid Bus Transit to decongest Dar es Salaam and delivered SGR at a competitive rate, all because of a crackdown on corruption. Despite all these, Dr Magufuli’s … pushed hard the idea that success comes from hard work. In Tanzania today, people report to offices very early and they do not just sit there, they work. … May Dr Magufuli fare well in the next world.” [Raila Odinga, former Prime minister of Kenya in MarketWatch.com]

President John Magufuli in His Own Words

President John Magufuli of Tanzania

President John Pombe Magufuli has shown us, Africans, just like Thomas Sankara, that you do not need 20 or 40 years in power to make palpable improvement to the lives of Africans. Just look at what this man was able to achieve in 5 years! It is so reminiscent of Thomas Sankara‘s 4 years in power where he eradicated hunger, had roads and railways built by the local people, and influenced generations. So to all those African dinosaurs, the sellouts, or to anybody who applaud those treacherous creatures, please let them know that it is possible to get Africans out of poverty! All that is needed is visionary leaders who love their own… who love their fellow humans and not just their pockets! As always, we need to remember not to fall into the trap of democracy [Africans and the Trap of Democracy] laid out by the west, where democracy is a word used by the West against any government which does not abide by their will, and does not sell out to them…

Below are some of the quotes by the great man Dr. John Pombe Magufuli. May he rest in Power! Enjoy!

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As the 5th president of Tanzania, John Magufuli vowed, “My government will put emphasis on fighting corruption, job creation and industrialization.

To fight against corruption he said, “The way to treat a boil is to squeeze it out, and I have made it my responsibility to do that. I know squeezing out a boil hurts but unfortunately, there are no two ways about it.

Flag of Tanzania

Reflecting on his youth, as the son of a farmer, and on his knowledge of the people’s conditions, and need to make their lives better, Magufuli said, “Our home was grass thatched and like many boys I was assigned to herd cattle, as well as selling milk and fish to support my family, I know what it means to be poor. I will strive to help improve people’s welfare.

As soon as he was elected, he divided his own salary by four, making him one of the lowest-paid African heads of state, cut public spending drastically, cancelled independence ceremonies as too costly, and began sweeping the streets of Dar es Salaam himself to set an example. As said earlier, this is reminiscent of what Thomas Sankara did in Burkina Faso.

Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa, and includes about 120 different African tribes. Believing in the unity of Tanzanians, Magufuli said, “It’s now time for us to unite and put our ideological differences aside, I will work hard for all Tanzanians regardless of their tribal, religious or ideological affiliations.”

John Magufuli was a doctor of chemistry, and had both taught chemistry and mathematics at the Sengerema Secondary School, before joining the Nyanza Cooperative Union Limited as an industrial chemist.With a PhD in Chemistry, he was among the top 5 most educated Presidents in Africa. He said, “You cannot talk of preserving the environment when the majority of the citizens are depending on charcoal or wood for most of their energy source;” there needs to be other ways, focusing first on getting them out of poverty.

President John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania

African countries’ economic capacity is not the same as that of developed countries,” Magufuli told a televised meeting of top security organs. He singled out the World Bank, which has been offering new lending to nations on the continent to help them tackle the health crisis. “Instead of offering more loans to fight corona, they should forgive debts,” the president said [see… the west is always eager to give out loans at high rates, why not remove the unfair debt they have put on African countries? remember Thomas Sankara Speech on Debt and Unity?]. Tanzania spends 700 billion shillings ($303.03 million) every month to service its debts, with close to 200 billion shillings going to the World Bank, Magufuli said.

In 2020, after his re-election, he said, “As you are aware, elections have been a source of conflict in many countries, but we Tanzanians have safely passed this test. This is proof to the world that Tanzanians are peace-loving, and we have matured in our democracy.”

Dr John Magufuli was a remarkable economic leader, who understood that food security is a national security issue that needs the highest attention. He fought for his people, and loved them deeply. He was a nationalist!

I live you here with the speech by the Africant poet, Obert Dube. Enjoy!!!