Final African Tally at the Rio 2016 Olympics

Rio2016_145 medals for Africa this year. A record. Wayde Van Niekerk, the South African, being the first African to win a gold medal in sprint, and also broke the world record established by Michael Johnson in 1999 on 400 m. Ethiopian Almaz Ayana also broke the 1993 record in 10000m.  Here are the remaining medals from the tally I published before the end of the games.

Cheikh Salla Cisse gave Côte d’Ivoire its very first Gold medal (in less than 80 kg Taekwondo men)

 

Cisse1
Cheikh Salla Cisse

Caster Semenya – 800 m women (South Africa) – Gold

 

Ruth Gbagbi – Taekwondo less than 67 kg women (Côte d’Ivoire) – Bronze

Francine Niyonsaba – 800 m women (Burundi) – Silver

Margaret Nyairera Wambui – 800 m women (Kenya) – Bronze

Nigeria men Soccer team – Bronze

Semenya
Caster Semenya

Eliud Kipchoge – Men Marathon (Kenya) – Gold

Julius Yego – Men Javelin (Kenya) – Silver

Almaz Ayana – 5000 m women (Ethiopia) – Bronze

Hagos Gebrhiwet – 5000 m men (Ethiopia)- Bronze

Feyisa Lilesa – Men Marathon (Ethiopia) – Silver

Taoufik Makhloufi – 1500 m Men (Algeria) – Silver

Abdoulrazak Issoufou Alfaga – over 80kg Taekwondo men (Niger) – Silver

Oussama Oueslati – less than 80 kg Taekwondo men (Tunisia) – Bronze

Hellen Obiri – 5000 m women (Kenya) – Silver

Vivian Cheruiyot – 5000 m women (Kenya) – Gold

 

 

 

 

How to Heal Fear

There once was a man who was walking alone in the forest. He walked for so long that he got hungry. He stopped in a village. There, he was given food, ate so well that he renounced to continue on his trip. He took a wife among the young women of the village, started a home, and no longer thought of leaving.

Lion
Lion

One day, after a good meal, the man decided to go to the forest which, unfortunately, was full of beasts, especially lions. The man knew not this.  As soon as he walked in, the king of the jungle came out with a long roar. Scared, the trembling old man peed on himself. The lion got close, and the old man  rushed into a thorny bush. The lion searched in vain; it could not find the man. However, it remained on the lookout for a week, then left disgusted. Then the old man stayed in his bush, completely stunned by his fate. A hunter came around. The man heard his footsteps and called out:

  • Who goes there?
  • It’s me
  • Who are you?
  • I am a hunter looking for game.
  • Hunter friend, could you please get me out of here?
  • But how did you manage to get in there?
  • It is big fear that drove me in here.
  • Then! It is a big fear that will get you out soon!
  • So what will you do?
  • You will know shortly.
feu3
Fire

Then the hunter started collecting firewood under the bush. All of a sudden, he put a fire in several places around the bush. Frightened, the old man rushed out, and with a violent head kick in the thorns, got himself out of danger.

The hunter welcomed him with a large smile. They hugged and became friends.

Told by Amsata Dieye, Contes Wolof du Baol, J. Copans and P. Couty, Ed. Karthala, 1988, p. 81. Translated to English by Dr. Y., Afrolegends.com

The Egg Lover

poule3
La poule / The hen

There once was a man who loved eggs above all. He bought several chickens and went to pay a visit to his fiancée. She was invited to cook rice. He gave her the chickens and a great quantity of rice. Once she was done cooking, all the young girls from the village showed up, responding to her invitation; it was a true feast. After the feast, the young girls all left. From a corner in the bedroom, near a drinking pot, a hen came out, capturing the visitor’s attention. He then thought to himself:

If there is a hen, then there are eggs!

It was then impossible for him to stand still in the room, given that he wanted to take the eggs. He thus decided to leave, and told his beloved, who tried to stop him from leaving. His horse was readied, but before mounting, he told the young girl:

Hold my horse, I will go drink a little before leaving.”

egg
La poule / The hen

He advanced toward the pot, grabbed all the eggs, and put them in his pants. He then went out with his fragile cargo. But just as he climbed on his horse, one egg fell from his pants, then a second one, then a third, and so on.

Oh! What is it? What is coming out of your pants, my honorable host?” says the girl.

It is nothing,” replies the man, “in my country, this is the time of the day when men lay eggs.”

Told by Tamsir Dieye, Contes Wolof du Baol, J. Copans and P. Couty, Ed. Karthala, 1988, p. 64. Translated to English by Dr. Y., Afrolegends.com

 

 

How Malawi Technology is teaching UK Children

This is a continuation to the previous post, Technology helping students in Malawi, where the technology used to teach children in Malawi, is helping children in the  United Kingdom (UK). Educators found out that the apps used to teach primary school children in Malawi was helpful to improve the education of children in the UK. Talk about globalization!

Vogue Spain Declares ‘Black Is Beautiful’ with Cover Model Aya Jones Rocking Cornrows

Originally posted on Good Black News.
Very happy to see the cover of Vogue Spain which claims ‘Black is Beautiful’ and to see model Aya Jones rocking cornrows (on a cover). See… this made me think of the poem ‘African Hair’ by Esmeralda Yitamben and its beauty, the photographs taken by J.D. Okhai Ojeikere of different African hairstyles posted on my blog recently. Enjoy!

GOOD BLACK NEWS

voguespainmarch16ayaarticle Aya Jones on the cover of Vogue Spain (Vogue España) 

article by Yesha Callahan via theroot.com

It’s not too often that a major fashion magazine declares, “Black is beautiful,” but Vogue Spain (Vogue España) just did for its March issue.

Not only is Ivorian-British model Aya Jones giving all types of #BlackGirlMagic on the cover, but she’s also rocking a simple set of cornrows. The photo editorial was shot in Botswana, with Karim Belghiran styling Jones’ hair, and photos shot by photographer Nico Bustos and styled by Belen Antolín.

To read more, go to: http://www.theroot.com/blogs/the_grapevine/2016/03/vogue_spain_declares_black_is_beautiful_with_black_cover_model_rocking_cornrows.html

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Happy International Woman’s Day!

March8th_2For today, in celebration of millions, and billions of women out there, I choose to re-post this poem which always stood on the door to my Mother’s office for many years. This poem, “WOMAN” is from Gold Touch International, and was originally posted on March 8th, 2012 on Afrolegends. Enjoy, and yes salute all the strong women in your lives.

WOMAN

Be tough, woman.

Be brave

Go out fearlessly and do the things

That your heart desires to do.

You will be counted in the world.

Don’t allow fear to paralyze you.

Stand up and face the challenges of life,

Squarely in the face, however great

They may be.

Forge ahead and conquer.

March on to the victory that awaits you.

No one will toss victory onto you.

You have to win it yourself.

Carve out a place for yourself in the sun, woman.

Let not fear destroy that great dream of yours.

Don’t fear to be laughed at;

Don’t fear to be criticized;

Don’t fear to fail;

Don’t fear to be thought crazy when you dare

To do the things that others fear to do.

Be tough and march on.

You will conquer, woman.

You have what it takes to

To win all the victories

That your heart desires to win.

Be tough and win.

This is a message from Gold Touch International.

J.D. Okhai Ojeikere: Capturing Afro Hair for History

Ojeikere_Agaracha
J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere – Agaracha hairstyle (A. Magnin/ J.D.O.Ojeikere Photographs)

The following words are from Nigerian photographer J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere who decided to take pictures of Nigerian Afro Hairstyles as a way of preserving history. The pictures were taken from 1950 – 1970s. You will see that some of the styles are no longer made today. The text below and the pictures can be found in André Magnin: J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere/ Photographs, First Scalo Edition 2000.

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… I never stopped taking photographs as both a memory of the past and a witness to a culture in constant evolution.

Hairstyling is a practice to increase beauty. It is not specific to Nigeria. It is found throughout… the continent. There are hundreds of ethnic groups in Nigeria, each with its own language, traditions and as many different hairstyles. … The hairstyles are never exactly the same; each one has its own beauty. … Most of my pictures are of quotidian hairstyles, but there are also ceremonial hairstyles. …

Ojeikere_Roundabout
J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere – Roundabout style (Source: A. Magnin/ J.D.O. Ojeikere Photographs)

The styles are determined by the type of ceremony, the social position of the family or of the woman and the artistic talent of the hairstylist. Some have lost their original meaning to new meanings assigned to them. You can easily identify a woman by her hairstyle: a woman who has become an adult; a woman who is preparing for marriage… It is difficult today to know the origins of some hairstyles because different groups mix and adapt to modern culture. … There are many new hairstyles everywhere, but many of them are inspired by older models.

Hairstyling is a form of art. When you see a hairstylist do this or that, every single movement is precise and  rapid. She creates a hairstyle the way a sculptor would work – from nothing. It’s fascinating. These hairstyles pass from one woman to another; from one style to another without every repeating. It’s like a school, but some have a real talent that makes them stand out.

Okhai
Different hairstyles as captured by J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere (Source: A. Magnin: J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere / Photographs)

 

 

Proverbe sur l’essentiel / Proverb on the essential

AfroHair8Si un seul cheveu de votre tête tombe, cela ne gêne pas votre tête (Proverbe Zigula – Tanzanie). – Ne pas s’occuper de détails, mais de l’essentiel.

If one hair of your head falls, it does not bother your head (Zigula proverb – Tanzania).- Do not deal with details, but with the essential.

Nelson Mandela in his Own Words

Nelson and Winnie Mandela, on Nelson's release from prison on 11 Feb. 1990
Nelson and Winnie Mandela, on Nelson’s release from prison on 11 Feb. 1990

I remember the day Nelson Mandela was freed from jail after 27 years of imprisonment.  It was on 11 February 1990.  This being a national holiday in Cameroon, we were all at home, and could watch live as Nelson Mandela was released from prison and walked hand in hand with Winnie Mandela, both with their fists raised high up.  Later that day, Mandela stood outside the balcony with his fist raised high up, and said: “Amandla!” to which the overjoyed crowd replied “Ngawethu!”, in other words, “Power to the People!” And he finished “iAfrika!”  I am leaving you here with some words by Mandela himself.

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“I raised my right fist and there was a roar.  I had not been able to do that for 27 years and it gave me a surge of strength and joy.” Describing the day of his release from prison in 1990 – Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, 1994.

I am fundamentally an optimist.  Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say.  Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.  There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair.  That way lays defeat and death.” Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, 1994.

Nelson Mandela ca 1955
Nelson Mandela ca 1955

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, 1994.

Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”  Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, 1994.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, 1994.

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”  Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, 1994.

I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.” Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, 1994.

Madiba
Madiba

“I found solitary confinement the most forbidding aspect of prison life. There is no end and no beginning; there is only one’s own mind, which can begin to play tricks. Was that a dream or did it really happen? One begins to question everything. Did I make the right decision, was my sacrifice worth it? … But the human body has an enormous capacity for adjusting to trying circumstances. I have found that one can bear the unbearable if one can keep one’s spirits strong even when one’s body is being tested. Strong convictions are the secret of surviving deprivation; your spirit can be full even when your stomach is empty. On Prison – Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, 1994.

Zindzi Mandela reading her father's refusal to leave prison - 1985
Zindzi Mandela reading her father’s refusal to leave prison – 1985

In the name of the law, I found myself treated as a criminal… not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for, because of my conscience. No-one in his right senses would choose such a life, but there comes a time when a man is denied the right to live a normal life, when he can only live the life of an outlaw because the government has so decreed to use the law. … The question being asked up and down the country is this: Is it politically correct to continue preaching peace and non-violence when dealing with a government whose barbaric practices have brought so much suffering and misery to Africans? I cannot and will not give any undertaking at a time when I, and you, the people, are not free. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated. I will return.Message read by his daughter, Zindzi Mandela, at a rally in Soweto in 1985.

It seems the destiny of freedom fighters to have unstable personal lives… to be the father of a nation is a great honour, but to be the father of a family is a greater joy.  But it was a job I had far too little of.”  Talking about fatherhood – Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, 1994.

A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness…  The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.” On prison – Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, 1994.

Nelson Mandela raising the freedom fist
Nelson Mandela raising the freedom fist

The value of our shared reward will and must be measured by the joyful peace which will triumph, because the common humanity that bonds both black and white into one human race will have said to each one of us that we shall all live like the children of paradise…  But there are still some within our country who wrongly believe they can make a contribution to the cause of justice and peace by clinging to the shibboleths [dogmas] that have been proved to spell nothing but disaster.  It remains our hope that these, too, will be blessed with sufficient reason to realize that history will not be denied and that the new society cannot be created by reproducing the repugnant past, however refined or enticingly repackaged.” On receiving the Nobel Peace Prize with F.W. de Klerk, 1993.

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”  Presidential Inauguration, 10 May 1994.

Never, never, and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another…  The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement.  Let freedom reign.  God bless Africa!” Presidential inauguration, 10 May 1994.

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.” Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, 1994.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 - 05 Dec 2013)
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 05 Dec 2013)

I am confident that nobody … will accuse me of selfishness if I ask to spend time, while I am still in good health with my family, my friends, and also with myself.” On stepping down after his first term as president.

Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom. Of course the task will not be easy. But not to do this would be a crime against humanity, against which I ask all humanity now to rise up.” Message at the Live 8 Concert in Edinburgh, July 2005.