Happy 2023!

Fireworks
Fireworks

Readers, friends, I wish you a beautiful and prosperous year 2023! There were so many joys and losses in 2022, and we hope for the best in 2023. May this new year mark the beginning of new endeavors, the continuation of current ones, and/or the end of old ones.  2022 was quite a year, and many are hoping for something better. Let us turn the 2022 chapter, and start 2023 ready to take off for this new year, never losing altitude during this flight, and trusting for better. May it be filled with health, prosperity, joy, love, happiness, abundance, harmony, and peace!

Happy 2023

The top 6 posts of the year 2022 are listed below: an old-time favorite “Love Poem for my Country” by Sandile Dikeni took first place as the most read post of the year, while another favorite poem “My Name” by Magoleng wa Selepe took second place. The surprise of the year was the post “Why the Name: Morocco ?” which came in, in fifth position, no doubt thanks to Morocco’s outstanding performance at the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup where Morocco made Africa proud by becoming the first African country to reach the semi-finals in the history of the World Cup. We, at Afrolegends.com, would like to express our profound gratitude for your constant support, as your readership has carried us forward. Keep trusting, reading, sharing, commenting, reblogging, and liking.  We wish you a full and amazing new year, rich in blessings and greatness. Keep your heads up, and may your year bring in new fruits, bright fruits, that stem from unity as beautiful as the fruits in the picture! I love this picture because not only does it symbolize unity, it only symbolizes growth, and beauty! As always, like Agostinho Neto said, “A luta continua … a vitória é certa!

  1. ‘Love Poem for my Country’ by Sandile Dikeni
  2. ‘My Name’ by Magoleng wa Selepe
  3. History of African Fabrics and Textiles
  4. The Charter of Imperialism
  5. Why the Name: Morocco ?
  6. The Lebombo Bone: The Oldest Mathematical Artifact in the World

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.

Partager la peine des autres / Proverb on Shared Pain

Un buisson epineux / thorny bush

L’épine dans la chair de l’autre est facile à enlever (proverbe Burundais – Burundi). – La peine de l’autre est facile à supporter.

The thorn in another’s flesh is easy to remove (Kirundi proverb – Burundi). – Someone’s pain is easy to bear.

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.