haircut5Même si on ne t’aime pas, tu trouveras toujours quelqu’un pour couper tes cheveux (Proverbe Kikuyu – Kenya). – Dans le malheur on n’est jamais seul!

haircut4aEven if no one likes you, you will always find someone to cut your hair (Kikuyu proverb – Kenya). – In misfortune, we are never alone!

Posted by: Dr. Y. | December 26, 2017

“If You Want to Know Me” by Noémia de Sousa

Noemia de Sousa

Noemia de Sousa (Source: Estudos Lusofonos)

Today I give you a poem by the world-renowned Mozambican author Noémia de Sousa. This poem gives vivid pictures: from the empty eye sockets which have lost hope, the mouth torn open in an anguished wound, a body tattooed with wounds unseen and seen… etc. Just reading it, one can feel the pain, see it, and touch it; it is so profound! Yet, she claims that this body is magnificent, that through the pain, it is beautiful. So what body is she talking about? Why, Africa, of course! She wrote this at a time when African countries were still under colonialism, and through this she introduces us to a beautiful Africa, which has gone through so much pain, but yet is still beautiful, and still rises. In general, I will take it a step further, and say that no matter what pain we go through today, we are still beautiful, and we will still rise! (* Maconde — uma das etnias de Moçambique.) Enjoy!

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Se Me Quiseres Conhecer
By Noémia de Sousa

Se me quiseres conhecer,
estuda com olhos de bem ver
esse pedaço de pau preto
que um desconhecido irmão maconde*
de mãos inspiradas
talhou e trabalhou
em terras distantes lá do Norte.

Ah, essa sou eu:
órbitas vazias no desespero de possuir a vida.
boca rasgada em feridas de angústia,
mãos enormes espalmadas,
erguendo-se em jeito de quem implora e ameaça,
corpo tatuado de feridas visíveis e invisíveis
pelos chicotes da escravatura…
Torturada e magnífica.
Altiva e mística.
Africa da cabeça aos pés
— Ah, essa sou eu!

Se quiseres compreender-me
vem debruçar-te sobre minha alma de Africa,
nos gemidos dos negros no cais
nos batuques frenéticos dos muchopes
na rebeldia dos machanganas
na estranha melancolia se evolando…
duma canção nativa, noite dentro…

E nada mais me perguntes,
se é que me queres conhecer…
Que eu não sou mais que um búzio de carne
onde a revolta de África congelou
seu grito inchado de esperança.

If You Want to Know Me
By Noémia de Sousa

If you want to know who I am,
Examine with careful eyes
That piece of black wood
Which an unknown Maconde brother
With inspired hands
Carved and worked
In distant lands to the North.

Ah, she is who I am:
Empty eye sockets despairing of possessing life
A mouth slashed with wounds of anguish
Raised as though to implore and threaten
Body tattooed with visible and invisible scars
By the hard whips of slavery
Tortured and magnificent,
Proud and mystical,
Africa from head to toe,
-ah, she is who I am!

If you want to understand me
Come and bend over my African soul,
In the groans of the Negroes on the docks
In the frenzied dances of the Chopes
In the rebelliousness of the Shaganas
In the strange melancholy evaporating
From a native song, into the night …

And ask me nothing more
If you really wish to know me…
For I am no more than a shell of flesh
In which the revolt of Africa congealed
Its cry swollen with hope

field_champ

Pâturages / Pastures

Si on te vante les pâturages d’un pays, continue à faire paître le tien (proverbe Maure – Mauritanie, Algerie, Mali, Niger, Maroc, Tunisie, Sahara Occidental).

If someone brags about the pastures of a country, continue to graze yours (Moor proverb – Mauritania, Algeria, Mali, Niger, Morocco, Tunisia, Western Sahara).

Beer

Il y a cinq ans que j’ai lu dans la presse que l’alcool tue ; j’ai arrêté de boire. Il y a un an que j’ai lu dans un journal que le tabac tue ; j’ai arrêté de fumer. Cette année, je lis que faire l’amour tue? ; là que faire ? Ah moi, j’ai arrêté de lire journal dèh ; c’est mieux.

======

tobaccoFive years ago, I read in the press that alcohol kills; I stopped drinking. A year ago, I read in the newspaper that tobacco kills; I stopped smoking. This year, I read that making love kills; then what to do? Ah! me, I decided to stop reading the newspaper; it is better.

Posted by: Dr. Y. | December 13, 2017

Proverbe sur la Sagesse / Proverb on Wisdom

20150610_Pirogues_Senegal

Pirogues de Pecheurs a Dakar, Senegal / Fishermen’s boats in Dakar, Senegal

C’est en voyage qu’on trouve la sagesse (Proverbe Bantou).

It is on a journey that wisdom is found (Bantu proverb).

Posted by: Dr. Y. | December 11, 2017

‘Thiaroye Massacre’ by Ousmane Sembene

The great Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene made a movie about the Thiaroye massacre committed by French forces in Senegal during the night of 30 November – 1 December 1944! The movie, Camp de Thiaroye, was made in 1988. It took almost 20 years for a French president, Francois Hollande in 2012, to acknowledge it. A massacre which occurred because the Tirailleurs Senegalais asked to be given the pay they had been promised for services rendered, defending France in France against Hitler’s Nazi forces. Those Senegalese men were killed by French men for asking to be paid after defending France with their lives!

Posted by: Dr. Y. | December 8, 2017

Thiaroye: A French Massacre in Senegal

I just learned of the story of the Thiaroye massacre by French forces on African troops which occurred during the night of 30 November to 1 December 1944. African soldiers who had fought alongside French people to liberate France of the Nazi menace, were shot by Frenchmen, for asking for their pay! Can you believe it! They were promised a pay, they fought for France in France to liberate France, and when they got back to Senegal they were not paid; so they asked for their pay, and they were shot! Even the French president François Hollande in October 2012 had to acknowledge this atrocity… of course, he just acknowledged it, and never apologized! As you can see, France has committed some of the greatest atrocities in this world, but no one says a word, well because it is against Africans, so ‘it does not count’? Even today, they continue, with the FCFA, impoverishing and living off of Africans’ sweat! The great Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene made a movie about it!

Posted by: Dr. Y. | December 6, 2017

Libya and Slavery: Sheep without a Shepherd

Slavery_capture

Slave capture

For several weeks now, we have seen many people scream loud about the enslavement of Black people in Libya. I have seen Claudy Siar, whom I love, stand up outraged about the treatment of Black people in Libya, yet, I did not see him outraged when Libya was being bombed by NATO; I did not see him this outraged when migrants drowned in the Mediterranean Sea; I have not seen him outraged because MartiniqueGuadeloupe (where his family is from), and French Guiana, have been deprived of independence and are still Overseas territories of France today. I saw Samuel Eto’o and other footballers come out outraged, yet… I never saw Eto’o outraged that there are no roads to go to his village in Cameroon, I never saw him outraged that international companies exploit huge plantations in Cameroon without paying taxes (was he outraged when Lapiro de Mbanga was imprisoned for asking those companies to pay some little taxes?). I never saw these big footballers outraged that African youths are unemployed largely due to their presidents working hand-in-hand with European interests. Faure Gnassingbé, president of Togo even raised his voice against the enslavement of Africans in Libya, and was outraged! Are you serious, when he inherited the throne, presidency of Togo, after 38 years of Gnassingbé Eyadéma, his father’s reign? Alpha Blondy never said a word when Côte d’Ivoire was being bombed by France in 2011, yet today he opens his mouth for Libya, and wants the migrants to take up arms! Seriously?

Libya, the Prey of the West

Libya, the Prey of the West

I do not understand why we always act like sheep without a shepherd! Back in the middle of the 2000s, we were served with the genocide in Darfur, when Hollywood stars such as George Clooney came out in numbers claiming to care about the plight of the Black man, and saying that the Black people of Darfur Sudan were enslaved by their lighter skinned Sudanese brothers. This led to the creation of South Sudan, and Darfur, well… nothing happened in Darfur… so it had all been a scheme to split Sudan into 2, and take away its rich southern oil fields from the nation itself!

Children begging

Children begging

Do you think that African youths, if they had jobs in their countries, will not stay home? Do you think that if the FCFA was not this tax imposed on African countries (The 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa), they will not be developed? This outrage I hear should not be taken out on Libyans who had no say when their country was bombed by the Coalition that is NATO, but rather against our presidents who continue to stay in the FCFA zone (FCFA: France’s Colonial Tax on Africa), who continue to give at least 50% of our economies to France! France gets $500 Billions every year from 14 countries in Africa just from the currency, plus of course the free uranium of Niger, the free gold of Mali, the free plantations of Cameroon, the free cocoa of Côte d’Ivoire, etc. This has to stop! Our outrage cannot be taken out on Libyans, but rather on NATO, and now more than ever on those puppets that we call our presidents, who serve the interests of the Hexagon. Get out of the FCFA zone, and create jobs! Stop importing pencils, pens, and food, when you can grow and make your own and become sustainable economies to serve your youths! Africa is the continent with the youngest population, and with so many resources, and thus so much to develop! Africa is the future!

500 Fcfa_BEAO

500 Fcfa_BEAO

Yesterday, I heard a talk by Robert Bourgi who was the adviser to so many African presidents, good servants of Imperialist forces: MobutuOmar Bongo, etc; and he said that, what Africans were asking for was governmental alternance, i.e. election of new presidents. NO, we do not need new presidents who are just puppets of the West like Macky Sall or Alassane Ouattara who will sign off our future to the IMF and World Bank. We need a definite change, we want to be in charge of our economic destiny; we want to have our own currency, we do not want to pay a colonial tax when our forefathers died in WWI and WWII to liberate the French and the whole of Europe, when our ancestors were taken into slavery by Europeans to the Americas where their sweat was used to build Western economies. We want economic freedom to decide on our own terms whether we live or die. We will rather be poor with our own currency, than be a happy slave with a fake currency pegged to the Bank of Paris, which used to take 85% of our revenues and now takes 50%. All the same, We have had enough! So our outrage should not be at our Libyan brothers, because we do know that our true Libyan brothers will never do that, Khadafi fought for us Africans to be free from imperialist forces, but to our presidents, to our elites, who refuse to free us, who refuse to stand up and seize the moment! We, the people, want freedom, economic freedom! No More FCFA!

Posted by: Dr. Y. | December 4, 2017

Amilcar Cabral on Racism

Amilcar Cabral

Amilcar Cabral

We are not racists. We are fundamentally and deeply against any kind of racism. Even when people are subjected to racism we are against racism from those who have been oppressed by it. In our opinion – not from dreaming but from a deep analysis of the real condition of the existence of mankind and the division of societies – racism is a result of certain circumstances. It is not eternal in any latitude in the world. It is the result of historical and economic conditions. And we cannot answer racism with racism. It is not possible. In our country, despite some racist manifestations by the Portuguese, we are not fighting against the Portuguese people or whites. We are fighting for the freedom of our people – to free our people and to allow them to be able to love any kind of human being. You cannot love when you are a slave… In combating racism we don’t make progress if we combat the people themselves. We have to combat the causes of racism. If a bandit comes into my house and I have a gun I cannot shoot the shadow of this bandit. I have to shoot the bandit. Many people lose energy and effort, and make sacrifices combating shadows.”

Amilcar Cabral, 20 October 1972, New York, Pambazuka

Posted by: Dr. Y. | November 29, 2017

Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe, a Short Biography

Flag of Zimbabwe

Flag of Zimbabwe

Here is a documentary about Robert Mugabe and his history, his life, and his leadership. This video talks about him, the fight for independence, the loss of his first son while imprisoned by the British in Rhodesia, and the renaming of the country from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe, after the Great Zimbabwe  Empire. I only recently found out that Mugabe had been influenced by Kwame Nkrumah: African Visionary and Ghana’s First President. He had lived and trained at the Takoradi Teacher Training College in Ghana, where he met his first wife Sally Hayfron Mugabe. It is sort of a short biography.

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