Issuu on Google+

THE MAGAZINE THAT PROMOTES UNION AND COOPERATION OF AFRICANS AROUND THE GLOBE, ENCOURAGING AN INFORMED, THINKING AND QUESTIONING AFRICAN SOCIETY.

MAR/ APR 2008

By The Way: Welcome To Egypt

A Journey in The Land of The Pharaohs

China Investment in Africa Who Does it Help?

Assessing The Future of Africa In the 21st Century

A Little After Valentine’s Tip

SPOTLIGHTS

INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE

Kaysha Digold Deng Carine Siltz

?

Mr. Shada

"On

Dit Quoi?"


There comes a place where maps won’t help you. Only those who go by the compass will pave the way to innovation.

ACQUIRE

the Pioneering Spirit

Alkatek

A choice of Excellence!


Alkatek, Inc. provides office technologies and services that help companies gain efficiencies and capitalize on opportunities. Our entire organization is focused on the application of practical, innovative business solutions. We tailor solutions to meet our customers’ need allowing them to remain focused on what they do best. Alkatek solutions include a wide range of innovative technologies and good organization management services.

PO Box 54972

|

Irvine, CA 92619

|

info@alkatek.com

|

215.681.5822 alkatek.com

Š 2007 Alkatek, Inc. All rights reserved.


THE MAGAZINE THAT PROMOTES UNION AND COOPERATION OF AFRICANS AROUND THE GLOBE, ENCOURAGING AN INFORMED, THINKING AND QUESTIONING AFRICAN SOCIETY.

IN THIS ISSUE: Editor’s Column................................................................. 6

8 Who Does it Help?

China Investment In Africa

10 In The 21st Century

Assessing The Future of Africa

12 A story by Eric Adunagow Love At First Note

14 Life after flowers and chocolates

A Little After Valentine’s Tip

MAR / APR 2008

16 Pursuit of The Oval Office

African American Presidential Candidates

18 A Poem by Paul Usungu

Little Child of Africa

20 A Journey in The Land of the Pharaohs

By The Way: Welcome To Egypt

SPOTLIGHTS

34 Queen of Congo

24 MrShada: “On Dit Quoi?”

46 BENIN

30 Sudanese Male Model

A Thought From A Young Original Africa 101 - From A to Z

Kaysha

Digol Deng

36 Founder of African Advocates Against AIDS (AAAA) Carine Siltz

24 4

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

30

36 TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


EDITOR’S COLUMN

THE MAGAZINE THAT PROMOTES UNION AND COOPERATION OF AFRICANS AROUND THE GLOBE, ENCOURAGING AN INFORMED, THINKING AND QUESTIONING AFRICAN SOCIETY.

Organizing Yourself and Your Time ERIC ADUNAGOW Chief Editor

W

E ARE ALL GIVEN 24 HOURS IN A DAY, 7 days a week, 52 weeks each year. Yet, when we look at our lives we find some people to be more productive than others.

We often wonder how they do it. The truth of the matter is, although we all share the same amount of time, we do not perform at the same level. Some people tend to be more productive than others, doing more in a day than what some accomplished in a month. What’s the secret? There is not actually any revelation or enlightening to becoming more productive than learning to master two things: time and organization. Organization Skills In the current age, multitasking is a “must” if seeking any employment of any kinds. Nowadays for example, to be a cashier requires more than just knowing how to operate a register. It requires having customer service skills and the ability to use a computer. Organization skills become important when dealing with jobs that require multitasking. A non organized desk is a poor and non-optimzed working area. Acquiring organization skills requires routine and persistence. The following are two useful techniques for anyone wishing to acquire organization skills: 1. Routine Create a routine and process for everything you do. For example, if you drink coffee everyday at work, keep your cup at the same location the entire time. Dedicate specific areas for everything you use and interact with. 2. Sorts Daily Believe it or not, humans love to keep junks around. We fear that by getting rid of our belonging, we may find ourselves needing them the next day. The fact of the matter is that if we did not need it two weeks ago, what are the chances of needing it in the next two? Frequently, go through your ‘stuff’ and clean up. Throw away whatever you don’t need. For people that find it harder to really get rid of their belonging, I have a technique that I frequently use: create at least two bins to store your “must keep” stuffs. When cleaning out, put the most important (Must Keep) belongings in the first bin, then put the somewhat important in the next. The rests go in the trash. As you repeat the process next week, go through your bins first. As you clean them out, you will find that some of the things you kept last week may not be really worth keeping in the bin any longer. What about Time Management? The following are two great steps on organizing your time: 1. Create less daily tasks When it comes to Time organization, the rule of thumb is never create more tasks than you can handle in one day. Your schedule should always have tasks that you’re planning on accomplishing. Having many tasks in your planner does not mean being productive. It only means being busy running around. If the ideas of having written daily tasks is new to you, I will suggest starting by creating smaller tasks. As you get in the routine of following daily tasks, than start scheduling longer tasks. 2. Value your time The more you value your time, the less you will be wasting it. If you start counting every hour of your day as a potential productive time, you will see that you will be scheduling only things that matters to you and your life. There are many more tricks on learning how to organize yourself and your time. Like any other self lessons, it requires consistency and dedication. At the end, a life well organized is more productive and richer.

6

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE “Reaching Africans Around The Globe” PUBLISHER: ADUNAGOW.NET EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Eric Adunagow eric@adunagow.net CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Salimata Barro Omoy Lungange Paul Usungu Rebecca F. Wong Bulelwa Mbangu Sweetsmile MARKETING DIRECTOR: Colombe Adunagow mkt@adunagow.net CONTACT US: editorial@adunagow.net (714) 612-2057 voice URL: http://magazine.adunagow.net http://www.adunagow.net ADUNAGOW Magazine is published bimonthly by Adunagow.net (Reaching Africans Around The Globe) at PO BOX 691728, Tulsa, OK 74169-1728. Telephone: 714.612.2057. Postage is paid at Tulsa, Oklahoma. U..S.. subscription rates are free to qualified subscribers. ADUNAGOW.NET and ADUNAGOW are trademarks of Eric ADUNAGOW. All contents are copyright © 2008 by ADUNAGOW Magazine. All rights are reserved. Right of reprint is granted only to non-commercial educational institutions such as high schools, colleges and universities. No other grants are given. Send address changes to ADUNAGOW Magazine, PO Box 691728, Tulsa OK 74169-1728. The opinions of our writers do not always reflect those of the publisher and while we make every effort to be as accurate as possible, we cannot and do not assume responsibility for damages due to errors or omissions. LEGAL STATEMENT: All information in this magazine is offered without guarantee as to its accuracy and applicability in all circumstances. Please consult an attorney, business advisor, accountant or other professional to discuss your individual circumstances. Use of the information in this magazine is not intended to replace professional counsel. Use of this information is at your own risk and we assume no liability for its use.

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


China Investment in Africa:

C

HINA HAS BEEN DOING ITS BEST to help the Africans, including investment, which may help the African peoples more. Although, we know that both China and the African countries can benefit from this kind of help.

After the summit which was attended by 50 African countries held in Beijing, we know that China will invest 60 billion US dollars in the next decades, and now, the total investment has been up to 10 billion US dollars, covering 49 African countries. Li Haiyan, vice director of China State Development and Reform Commission, said that China’s investment relatively focused on South Africa, Egypt, Sudan, Zambia and other countries in southern and northern Africa. Take the investment in Egypt for example, there are now more than 110 Chinese enterprises, and the number is still increasing. Solomon, vice president of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce said that Sino-African economic and trade cooperation have strongly complementary effect to each other. Africa is a continent rich in natural resources, suitable for the development of agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery. The investment from China can definitely help the development of these industries in Africa. Consequently, the living conditions of the people in Africa

8

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

Convenient transportation will speed the growth of economy.

Who does it help?

can increase much better with an accelerating speed. No doubt, China can gain more resources to meet the demands of the total over 13 billion people. Since the population of China is the largest in the world, the natural resources are relatively lacking. Therefore, both sides can benefit from the deal. Comparing the conditions for living, Africa countries benefit from this kind of investment in many aspects, including industries, medical care, education, transportations, and so on. “If a place wants to get rich faster, the building of roads goes ahead.” Convenient transportation will speed the growth of economy. Also, a better high education level of a county can make the country become richer and more steady. Though there are worries about the possible damages to the environment there, we have to say that the investments from foreign countries, including China, can help the African countries solve the problem of poverty a bit, apart from the efforts of the African people.

Written by Sweetsmile

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


Assessing the future of Africa

in the 21st Century Written by Bulelwa Mbangu

A

FRICA IS A CONTINENT, which has experienced a depressing history of slavery and colonization. Africa, a continent often misunderstood by many, as they stand outside looking in, without an in-depth understanding of its challenges and opportunities. Africa, a continent with more than 50 countries, but still often referred to as a ONE country by some, because they still refuse to get a better understanding or are ignorant to the dynamics of the continent. Africa, a continent alive with possibility amidst the backdrop of challenges, like poverty, unemployment, political motivated conflicts, etc. Africa, a continent gradually but surely moving towards restoring its dignity and its autonomy amidst the global pressures to conform to foreign standards, which, in some instances, proved to be detrimental towards development. Africa, a continent filled with possibilities and geared towards rebirth and unity. This is the Africa of the 21st Century. Africa has been a victim for centuries and has paid severely and still continues to pay for some of the mistakes it has made and suffered. After having lost its human resource through slavery, it once more endured colonization, where it was stripped of its natural resources. Even though, the end of colonization brought with it new governments, what was left of its natural resources was not enough to ensure rapid development of many countries, instead, the cycle of dependency continued as Africa still relied on foreign experts for its new developmental policies.

10

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

This proved to be a fatal mistake as most of these policies were not practical in the African context. As if that was not enough, some African countries experienced corruption and some conflicts and these actions were also detrimental to its development. This was the Africa towards the end of the 20th century, battling with several challenges, and many countries acknowledging the missing factors, and gearing for the 21st Century. The end of the 20th Century brought with it the establishment of various organs aimed at changing gears from a dependency approach to a more selfsustaining advancement. First there was the transition from the Organization of African Unity to the African Union (AU) in to the July 2000. This was followed by a vision and the strategic framework for Africa’s renewal, which was known as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). NEPAD was designed to address issues such as poverty, underdevelopment and the marginalization of the continent. It was quite clear that for Africa to move towards development, a radical approach was needed with set goals and targets. Also of significance was the establishment of the African Parliament through a protocol entered into in December 2003 by the AU member states. Its inaugural meeting was held in Addis Ababa in March 2004. The establishment of the African parliament was also another significant step ensuring the seriousness of the African countries in dealing with matters that affect them and actually gearing

towards having full legislative powers to some of these issues. The dawn of the 21 century came with this scenario in full swing. Africa, taking full control of its destiny and realizing that only Africa will be able to solve Africa’s problems. Member states have more muscle in solving some of the conflicts of the continent and the deployment of AU peacekeepers in conflict areas. The AU gained strength and continues to increase its strength towards Unity and development. NEPAD facilitating programs in various areas for implementation in diverse regions in Africa and actually being taken seriously by member states. A peer review process aimed at monitoring compliance by various member states on policies and regulations for political, economic and corporate governance. Health issues like TB, malaria, HIV/Aids are taking center stage. Even though this is the scenario, there are still various challenges that Africa still needs to deal with to ensure self-sustenance: corruption has not been fully eradicated; some countries still have internal conflicts; education is still failing to address the needs of the continent; and poverty still remains at the center of many countries. Obviously this is not going to be an easy process. This means African countries still have a lot of ground to cover, but the stage has been set to make significant interventions to address these challenges. Africa is looking forward and the future is promising and with set targets, the continent can only take a step further.

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


A story by Eric Adunagow

Love

At First Note

I

WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER the first time I heard classical music. That was also the day that I fell in love with it; I was sixteen years old. It was an 18-hour flight from the Congo to the United States of America, with a stop in France.

As I boarded the flight along with my oldest and only brother, I knew that I was in for a culture shock. I dreamt of meeting different people, eating different food, and seeing different architectures. I never thought that I will also be discovering a new kind of music. I was already accustomed with the American music, which at that time, I defined as hip-hop, rap and R&B alone. Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, LL Cool J were all well-known artists to me prior leaving Africa. For me, they defined the ‘other world’ when it comes to music. It all changed during that first flight leg from Congo to France. Flying above the Sahara Desert, with nothing else to do but counting the amount of minutes left before I was once again in my mother’s arms, I had no choice but turning in to the flight entertainment. The movie was already over and watching that little airplane icon flying towards France on the monitor just reminded me how much longer I had before reaching the Americas. After dreaming countlessly about the new world to the point where I could no longer imagine anything else, I put my headset on and started flipping through the channel selections that the onboard entertainment had to offer. The hip-hop channel was excellent, yet, I knew none of those singers. At some point, they all started to sound similar. I was rapidly bored and decided to move on to the next channel. The entertainment news sounded all blurry. My English was good enough to make me understand that whoever hired that guy as host for that show made a big mistake and I was better off with the tasteless hip-hop songs on the previous channel. I flipped to the next channel, but just to hear nothing but a gibberish language, which later I came to realized that it was Spanish. I started to get a little disappointed. Is this what the ‘other world’ had to offer? I would pick my upbeat African music any time of the day than listening to what started to become noise to me rather than music. I wished I could play my African music cassettes,

12

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

but the airplane did not have that option for me. As I gave up all hopes and started to flip through the remaining channels, something caught my ear on the last channel. The sound was very different than to what I have listened before in my entire life. The instruments sounded weird and unknown, yet pleasing and soothing. I quickly stopped my finger from pressing on to the next channel. For the first time, I was captivated and felt alive during that flight. I pulled my face closer to the controller as if I could see the person or orchestra singing. It didn’t matter; I was in a different world. I was amazed at the notes and music and combination of sounds that my ears were receiving; like butter on a toasted bread, I melted in my seat and somehow a smile was drawing itself on my face. Wow, I thought. I have played the piano before for fun, but I didn’t believe that sound could possibly come from it. If it was a piano, the person playing it must have had more than ten fingers; thirty at a minimum! I was completely taken away by the tempo, the rhythms, the pauses, the tone, and before I knew it, my heart was stolen by that angelical and lovely music. I felt enchanted and somehow very happy at the same time. I pushed the volume button and went as higher as I could. It was still sounding pleasant. Then, it all happened. As I lifted my eyes up and looked at the rest of the passenger in the plane, the stewardess passing by, the crying rosy-cheek baby, the sleeping father, I could not hear anything else but that wonderful song playing in my hears. Everybody somehow seemed to move at the beat and wave of the music. It was magical. I fell in love with what I later find out was called “classical music.” The remaining of the trip flew by like a burst of a winter wind. I was in my mother’s arms, with Mozart on my heart. How do you develop and appreciation to classical music? Well, you don’t. It does it on its own. Classical music lives within our hearts, waiting for the perfect moment to blossom in us. Listen to it daily. When the moment comes, it will sweep you off your feet, better than the first time kiss or the return home of a soldier. It’s simply magical.

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


r e t f A e l t t i L s A ’ e n i t n e l Va Tip

A story by Salimata Barro

wers o l F r e

ft

T

Life A

he excitement of another valentine’s day has passed and married life in America has returned to normalcy. Couples are often very busy in this fast-paced environment and many African wives in addition, have to take care of the household by themselves. Growing up in Ivory Coast, things were a lot different. My father had two wives, thirteen children and more than enough hands to help around the house. And even if the family was small, help would not be an issue, because house keepers were very affordable. My father never made himself a plate of food nor did he clean the dishes after a meal. This is because our African culture embraces this lifestyle, but also because my father’s help was never needed around the house. Now, many years later and in a far away foreign land, things are no longer the same for immigrant couples in the United States. Based on my own experience and the many conversations I have had with my married friend I realized few things. Many wives, especially those from West Africa are overworked and they often feel unappreciated. The men on the other hand, constantly complain that their spouses always claim to be too tired in bed. My response is, “have you tried to help, so she can feel less tired?”

and

tes

ola Choc

In the African culture in general, the husband is supposed to be the bread winner while the wife takes

care of the household, but time has changed and we are not in Africa. Therefore, couples, especially those with both partners working should make some necessary changes and adjust to the new environment while preserving our culture. When a wife works outside the home, just like her husband to generate additional income for the family, which is often necessary in this country; it means a second job for her. Because she still has to perform her daily household responsibilities. She has to work, and then come home to cook, clean and take care of the children. Often, during this

time her husband lays in front of the television with the remote control in his hand. The more this happens in addition to the many marital problems; the more likely it is for the husband to get “the cold shoulder” in bed. On the other hand, when he is considerate enough to help, not only when he wants to have some fun in return later, but simply because his wife is overwhelmed, things are likely to improve. Now ladies, if you can relate to all the things I am writing about and you are excited, because someone finally understands exactly how you feel; you probably would want your husbands to change and change fast. But slow down, there is a right and wrong way to approach them about this; after all they have their men ego. You should first share your feelings with your men and be patient. Try the sweet and loving way went you want to ask for help, “Honey can you please…” and know when to draw the line. Do not expect them to help as much as they usually do when their friends come over. Let them show that they are the kings of their castles for these few hours. It would not kill you, as long as they are there for you when you need them. Remember ladies, you want to be appreciated, but you also need to acknowledge your husbands’ efforts no matter how small they are. I am not an expert on marriage, but I do believe that men and women should share the work load. It makes life easier and more enjoyable for both spouses. For all of the African men out there who have this kind of problem at home, and want things to change for the better, here is a simple tip, offer a helping hand around the house now and then. It does not make you less of a man, no matter what your friends say. Keep in mind that the sooner she finishes with what she has to do and put the children to bed, the more time she will have for you. So, stop complaining and work with your wives to create a more peaceful environment in this fast-paced country.

Salimata was born and raised in Ivory Coast. She Came in the United States in 1994. She recently graduated from Baruch College of business with a Bachelor degree in Finance (Class of 2007). Currently living in New York and working with Chase bank. 14

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


SPECIAL FEATURE

Af r ic a n Am e r i c a n P r es ide n t i a l C a n di da t e s Written by Paul Usungu

B

arack Obama is certainly a recognizable African American figure in this 2008 U.S. Presidential race with chance to lead one of the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years. But let not forget that there are quite a few African Americans who sought the same job before him.

Shirley St. Hill Chisholm (1924 – 2005)

A New Yorker, was the first African America female to be elected to Congress in 1968. In 1972, she ran for the presidential nomination as a democrat, receiving 152 delegate votes, but was unable to win, losing the nomination to South Dakota Senator George McGovern. She strongly spoke out for civil rights and women’s right and the poor. Among the volunteers who were inspired by her campaign was Barbara Lee, who would go on to become a congresswoman some 25 years later. In 1993, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Chisholm also authored two books, Unbought and Unbossed (1970) and The Good Fight (1973).

Jesse Jackson (1941 - present) A Baptist Minister and a civil right activist ran for the

Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988, becoming the second African American (after Shirley Chisholm) to mount a nationwide campaign for President of the United States, running as a Democrat. During his first run, he managed to win 18 percent of the primary votes and won five primaries and caucuses. In 1988, he more than doubled his results compared to his first run in 1984. This time, his successes in the past made him a more credible candidate, and he was both better financed and better organized. Although most people did not seem to believe he had a serious chance at winning, Jackson once again exceeded expectations as he more than doubled his previous results, prompting R.W. Apple of the New York Times to call 1988 “the Year of Jackson”. However, Jackson’s campaign suffered a significant setback less than two weeks later when he was defeated handily in the Wisconsin primary by Michael Dukakis.

Lenora Fulani (1950 - present) - A political activist and psychotherapist, ran for President

for the New Alliance Party (NAP) in 1988 and in 1992. She was the first African American female independent to be on ballot in all 50 states. She also received the most ever votes for a woman for President in a U.S. general election.

16

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


Alan Keyes (1950 - present)

- A political activist and a diplomat under the Ronald Reagan government sought the Republican nomination in 1996, in 2000 and yes in 2008. He had received almost no media coverage compared to Barrack Obama. He did however participate in the Des Moines register’s Republican presidential carried by PBS back in December 12, 2007.

Carol Moseley Braun (1947 - present)

- A US senator representing Illinois briefly ran for the Democratic Party nomination in 2004. She announced her intention to run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in February 2003. On January 15, 2004, four days before the Iowa caucuses, Carol Moseley Braun dropped out of the race and endorsed Howard Dean. She was the first, and to date, the only, African American woman elected to the United States Senate, the first African-American senator to be elected as a Democrat, and the first and to date only woman elected to the Senate from Illinois.

Al Sharpton (1954 - present) - A civil rights activist, a Baptist minister and founder of

the National Action Network. Sharpton ran for the 2004 presidential nomination as a democrat but endorsed John Kerry a year later. In the African Diaspora his name is associated with Amadou Diallo. Sharpton led a protest to raise awareness about the death of Amadou Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea who was shot to death by NYPD officers. Sharpton claimed that Diallo’s death was the result of police brutality and racial profiling. Diallo’s family was later awarded $3 million in a wrongful death suit filed against the city.

Barack Obama (1961- present)

- Unknown to the public until the 2004 Democratic National Convention where he delivered one of the most inspiring keynote speech. From there he gained the celebrity status. But prior to that Obama started his career as a community organizer and a civil rights activist in Illinois. In 2005 he was sworn in as a US senator from Illinois and in February 2007 announced his candidacy for the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Since then he had become one of the leading candidate for the Democratic Party. A product of a Kenyan father and a white America mother, Obama found himself struggling between two divergent races and culture pulling him from both extreme. But it is within this divergence he found his inspirational status. Sure Obama has gone far than his predecessors but whatever is the outcome, he sure was and will be the next milestone to beat, a shining beacon for the next African American candidate or minority who seek the highest office of the land. But whoever wins on the Democratic Party will be making history.

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET

MAR/APR 2008

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

17


FINANCE: How To Setup a Budget

C

REATING A BUDGET is a tough task, especially when it involves more than one person. Yet, having a budget provides a measure for achieving your plan. There are only two main tasks to do when creating a budget. Yet, when talking about financial budget, there are a couple of things to consider prior starting one: A budget must be about your Goal When creating a budget, you need to have a clear understanding on what you want. Focus first on the destination, rather than the current situation. If you want to create a budget for college education for example, think first on where you want to attend and what major you’re planning on obtaining. A budget must be dynamic for long term goals Your budget will vary with time and current conditions. When creating a budget, keep in mind that it must be dynamic. Your budget will require maintenance and routine updates so that you can keep up with your plan. If you’re planning on buying a car that currently cost $5,000 and your budget extends to more than 5 years, expect that car to cost more than double when you’ll have your budgeted money ready. Keep your budget dynamic for long term goals. To start your budget: - Get as many information as possible regarding your plan. If creating a budget for your household for example, start buy listing all your sources of income. Then, list all your expenses by breaking them into categories. The more details you put in, the better accurate your budget will be. So, feel free to list even the weekly cup of mocha latte from Starbucks. - Once all your incomes and expenses have been identified, convert everything into one frequency of occurrence, such as weekly, monthly, or yearly. For example if you want to create your budget on a weekly scale, your monthly rent should be divided by four (4 weeks in a month as rule of thumb) and entered into your list. I always recommend using more than one frequency of occurrence. My budget lists both weekly and monthly columns.

Little Child of Africa Written by Paul Usungu Little Child of Africa Fragile victim of uncertain destiny Hostage of an ethnic calamity Trapped in an inhuman uncertainty You cry but yet no one hears you Helpless Little Child of Africa Hostage of endless wars You are not just another quota to raise money for But a soul, a face, a name and a rich and beautiful history You are not just simply a displaced refugee But a human being, a citizen of this world, a one of us With hopes and dreams Little Child of Africa Beautiful is your smile Simple and yet strong Settle and yet hopeful I see pain and yet hope in your eyes My Little Child of Africa…

Your budget should be done at this point. Nevertheless, your final budget should tell you now whether you’re living wisely or living “la vida loca.” The purpose of a budget is always to make sure that we’re not spending more than we’re bringing in. So, take the time to verify that your income take is larger than your expenses. If not, this is the time to “balance” your budget. Take out your magic pen and start cutting down expenses that are not critical or useful to you, until you have a total expense less than your total income. Word of advice: For a better and safe budget, do not consider sources of income that are occasional, such as overtime, unexpected bonuses and inheritance from Grandma Henrietta (while she’s still breathing). They will throw your budget in the toilet once they don’t happen. It’s better for them to be extras when they do so you can do with them as you please (Finally get that Rolex that you’ve always wanted without affecting your budget!). 18

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


SPECIAL FEATURE

L E V TRA

By the way, Welcome To Egypt Story and Photography by Rebecca F. Wong

A

FTER A VERY CHALLENGING few months spent hiding away in my upstairs study while the lower floor of my home was being demolished – then s.l.o.w.l.y. hammered back together, all I desired was to sit on my new daybed and read my stack of neglected People magazines (and the like). But. . . Out of the blue in late January my girlfriend in Beijing contacted me with a mighty powerful question. “Would you and Pat like to join us on a seven night cruise down the Nile River in Egypt with 32 of our friends? Starting February 7th from Cairo?” Gulp. . . yeah. Sadly, work made it impossible for Pat, my husband, to make the trip but he insisted that I go….. so, With a million ‘what if’s’ on my mind and only 12 days to organize tickets, get a VISA and secure my passage on Abercrombie & Kent’s Sunboat lll, I said yes, I’d love to join you (and 26 people I’ve never met in my life)… sounds like an adventure I can’t turn down. (and thank God for whoever cancelled at the last minute making it

20

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

possible for me to jump right into this very well planned out journey of a lifetime). I hadn’t had time (of course) to do any research on Egypt and I could only hope that I wasn’t flying into a place where they proudly hate all things American. Reading the Cairo newspaper on the flight didn’t relieve my fears. There was an article right on the front page about the trial of two Egyptian students who were arrested in Goose Creek, South Carolina (minutes from where I was born) on suspicion that they might be terrorists. Turns out the weapons in the trunk of their car were simply fireworks and they’d been heading for the beach. I knew nothing of Egypt. I had ambitious hopes of maybe seeing a real hieroglyph up close or at least learning to spell hieroglyph. I saw hundreds, maybe thousands… very well preserved right in front of my face with the freedom to touch and photograph at will. I didn’t touch them but I did photograph them. Expectations exceeded on the first day. One of the reasons I ventured on this ‘spur of the moment’ journey was because we were to be accompanied by

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


a renowned American archeologist/ Egyptologist and Director of the Giza Plateau Mapping Project, Dr. Mark Lehner. He originally mapped out the Sphinx in Giza (by hand – on all fours, no kidding).I don’t know who pulled the strings to get him to join our unschooled group but we were honored to hear his personal tales covering more than thirty years of work unearthing Egypt many secrets of. He shared with us a phenomenal amount of background and history – of which I understood about 65% and retained about 3% .

private opening of the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities (at extra cost but well worth it) in Cairo. In Memphis we visited an excavation site which was a huge, underground chamber that once held 14 mummified bulls. All bulls were stolen many years ago except for one which is in a museum somewhere. Why anyone would mummify a bull is beyond me but their sarcophagi - from the word sarcophagus meaning: a stone coffin, were very grand and made of solid black granite with intricate writing carved in them. Among

Dr. Mark, (as we eventually started calling him) has a heart for Egypt and through the organization AERA (http://www.aeraweb. org/index.asp), of which he is Director, he pioneered a program called the GIZA Field School which trains young Egyptians basic archeological skills through an 8-week hands on study in the field working alongside archeologists. Dr. Mark also revealed to us his all time favorite word… simulacrum: an effigy, image, or representation, or my favorite definition as I understand it : copies of things that no longer have an original. Because we were with Dr. Lehner, we were given special access to many places where the public isn’t allowed - including a walk around the Great Sphinx together with the little open area around the paws where the remains of a small open-air chapel built by Thutmose IV stands. We had a TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET

Horus statue at Edfu Teample

the other perks we were privileged to experience were: a trip to a dig site in Luxor where each archeologist described to us personally what they were doing (and I held in my happy little hand a recently excavated head from a small statue). Also on Day 8, in Luxor we visited ‘Chicago House’ - a major center of Egyptological studies run by the University of Chicago, for cocktails and a tour of the grounds, with a guided tour later to Luxor Temple by their Director. Wow. Wasting no time at all, on the very first morning of our tour we went directly to the Giza Plateau to visit the Great Sphinx and the 4500 year old Pyramids including the Great Pyramid which is the only survivor of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Ancient World’. I was surprised to see that the Pyramids and Sphinx are right on the edge of a bustling city, I’d always assumed they were far away deep in the desert (92% of Egypt is desert). The Pyramids were built for Pharaohs Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus. The Great Sphinx is a statue with the face of a man and the body of a lion. It’s human face is thought to represent that of the Pharaoh Chephren and acts as a guardian of the Pharaoh’s enormous funerary monument. At 57 metres (185 feet) long, 6 m (20 ft) wide, and at a height of 20 m (65 ft), it the largest single-stone statue in the world - made from beautiful blocks of Limestone, each weighing many tons. At MAR/APR 2008

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

21


one point in time the Sphinx was buried up to its shoulders in sand. The first attempt to dig it out dates back to 1400 BC, when a young Thutmose IV (the 8th Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt ), formed an excavation party which, after great effort, managed to dig the front paws out. Ramesses II may have also performed restoration work on the Sphinx. Ramesses II, the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty, was a busy Pharaoh

– He is often regarded as Egypt’s greatest and most powerful pharaoh. I saw his mummy in the Cairo museum, At Abu Simbel I photographed momuments of him and wall reliefs featuring him riding in a chariot in glorious battles and I saw examples of all these at Luxor. It wasn’t until 1817 that the first modern dig, supervised by Captain Caviglia, uncovered the Sphinx’s chest completely. The entirety of the Sphinx was finally dug out in 1925. We spent several hours at the Sphinx and

Pyramids where we deployed all our survival skills to deal with the numerous camel-ride salesmen and militant postcard sellers. (note: don’t ride a camel in Egypt, They harass you saying “camel rides... very cheap”. Then you negotiate a price and pay. Once you get on the camel, they take you away from the group and demand more money from you before they let you get off. This didn’t happen to me - I’m afraid of camels, but it happened to others I knew.) Afterwards we went to the Valley of tombs nearby for a quick (very crowded) tour, then ventured inside the Great Pyramid to the Grand Gallery which has red granite walls and was the final resting place of the King. (We reached this room via a 3 ft. tall tunnel, walking like a duck with bad posture – uphill, with no steps, but with great handrails – it was challenging – but I loved it). Once inside we couldn’t explore much because zealously religious German tourists dressed in white were making lots of unusual noises and taking up space. Many people think there are mysterious

Continued on Page 40

Nancy and Rebecca at the Cairo market

22

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


A picture of a Falluca while riding on a Falluca along the Nile river.


SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE

KAYSHA Interview by Eric Adunagow Photo courtesy of Kaysha - MrShada

?

Mr. Shada

"On

Dit Quoi?"


AM: You were born in Congo. At what age did you leave the Congo? Kaysha: I was born in Kinshasa, Zaire. Left in 1980 for France... Arriving in France, I discovered cold, snow, and another culture... AM: How many siblings do you have? Kaysha: We are 8, 5 girls, 3 boys... AM: Where is home currently? Kaysha: Anywhere my heart and suitcase is. I’m usually in Paris, Bruxelles & Lisbon. AM: Your real name is Edward Mokolo Jr. Where does Kaysha come from? Any meaning associated with it? Kaysha: It means Soul Harmony. In portuguese it also means complaint. It just came one day from nowhere. AM: How many languages do you speak? Kaysha: French, Spanish, English, Portugese, french Creole & Lingala. AM: At what age did you start singing? Have you always wanted to be a performer? Kasha: I started making noise with forks and knives around 6 or 7... At 8 I got my first synth machine and from then on, I was deep into making music. I started writing songs around 14 but was too shy to get on stage... Then got on stage finally and the noise from the ladies made me keep the microphone in the hand...

listeners... I just do music from the heart, the rest is not in my hands. I have no big majors behind me or huge promotions compaigns. So it must be a heart to heart thing... AM: What’s next in the horizon for Kaysha? Kaysha: More music, more love, deep stuff and revolution one step at a time... I’m not one to tell the future, but I know where is the sun and I’m going that way... AM: Have you thought about tackling Hollywood? Kaysha: Better thought, make independant african films the same way I did independant music...I don’t like to have people telling me what I should do and how my art should look or sound. So big studios, only for some big projects, other than that: my own thing... AM: Will you be getting in into the Movie production business? Kaysha: I’m starting with video clips right now, but I have stuff in the workshops... AM: How can you describe your music? What are the sources of your inspirations? Kaysha: My sources are love, life, experience, family, landscapes, travelling,

other musicians. My music ear candy... AM: Do you have any plans in the future in becoming a producer for aspiring African artists? Kaysha: I’m doing that already with my label Sushiraw...I did 3 albums for Elizio, 1 for Teeyah, 3 for Soumia, etc... I already launched the carrers of successful and talented people... AM: What is the craziest thing you have ever experienced during stage performance? Kaysha: Once I was performing and fell badly and hurt myself so bad I couldn’t stand back up for 1 minute.... Fans started screaming thinking it was a dance move, so I stayed there and kept on faking the funk crying in my head... (laughs) AM: Any crazy stalkers/Fans? Kaysha: yeah, people want some crazy stuff... I saw it all, from tattoos with my name on boobs to guys crying to people threatening to kill themselves... It can become scary sometimes... AM: Any plans for collaboration with America artists? i.e. Rihanna? Kaysha: No plans really, but I’m always open... My way of thinking is I got all the

AM: How did you get started in the Music business? Kaysha: I started by believing with a strong faith... There are so many ways, but the truth is, you just need to work hard and believe... AM: How many albums have you released so far and what is you favorite one? Why? Kaysha: 5 solos and a lot of albums for others... I have no favorite because they all represent a moment in my life... From the ready for the world moments to the nothing to prove moments... AM: To what can you attribute your fame/success in Africa? Kaysha: I think that’s a question for the TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET

MAR/APR 2008

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

25


talent I need around me in my crew, but if something pops up, I’ll go for it... AM: Can you tell us about the awards you have won throughout your career? Kaysha: Well, I won a lot. From the useless ones to the big meaningful ones...Let’s just talk about the ones that meant something... 3 Koras: best artist, and 2 best diaspora 1 nomination for the european mtv awards and the best of them all: the pride of my parents AM: Who are your role models in the music industry? In life? Kaysha: In life: My parents. In the music industry? No one AM: What’s a typical day for you? Kaysha: Well, I usually wake up around 1pm because I work late at the studio. Make beats after I surf, update my websites kaysha.com myspace facebook etc... Then go for a drink then the movies, and after that, studio all night... That’s a typical work day... Other times, I take the plane then reach a city to meet fans and perform and connect...

“I started by believing with a strong faith... There are so many ways, but the truth is, you just need to work hard and believe... ” 26

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


AM: Do you take your son with you when you travel? If not, how does it cope during your absence? Kaysha: Nah, he’s too young right now, he’s better at school... We always lived life this way and I hope it’s not too hard for him and I try to make the best of it so he can be proud... AM: Sushiraw: Can you tell us more about your present and future plans? Kaysha: right now we have 10 albums in the works from all the artists... Soumia, Thayna, Elizio, Mika Mendes, Shawnce, etc etc... For the future, we are branching out everywhere... Because everybody has their own dreams and the team is working to fulfill them... But one step at a time... AM: Your videos are very well made. Where do you get your inspirations? Kaysha: Well, the ones I directed are totally improvised on location, like

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET

MAR/APR 2008

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

27


the last one in Brazil” Something going on”... Nothing written, just people and places and I find ideas... Just like the way I make music or write...The others, I have talented people around me... The family... AM: You have traveled the world. What city captivated you the most? Kaysha: Rio de Janeiro... Nuff said... AM: What do you do for fun? Kaysha: I go to movies, clubs, drink cocktails... I can stay online for hours on msn, twitter, facebook, myspace, kaysha.com... I also like to decorate my appartment or do shopping with my buddies, we worse than ladies... AM: Can you name one thing that people will never guess about you? Kaysha: Well, I’d rather keep them in the dark... AM: Any girlfriend? Are you in relationship, or still living the single life? Kaysha: Just got back to the single life last week... Feels bad, but feels good at the same time... I’m freeeeeee !!! (laughs) AM: You’re a successful performer and artist. Will you let your son follow your music path? Kaysha: Whatever he wants to do as long as he works hard and with 28

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

dedication...But as my father told me when I was young... School comes first...

approached by African organizations for promoting goodwill and well fare?

When you get good education, you do what you please...

Kaysha: Not that much...

AM: What’s the number one issue to deal with in Africa? What’s your take (solution) on it? Kaysha: A change in mentalities of the whole continent... I have no solutions, except wait for a new generation to arrive but this said generation is born in places with no education other than the streets... So let’s build a new Africa for the next generation... AM: About Africa: what will you change? What will you keep? Kaysha: Change: Turn all the people with the “help me occident” mindset to people thinking “let us help ourselves and become powerful among ourselves then deal with these people on a different level”

AM: The whole Africa loves you. How did you manage to break through culture differences and be accepted by everyone? Kaysha: Well, I didn’t go the usual african way: “Promote your country, your music, your town, your street”... I’m a real panafricanist. United we will be strong and we fail now because we are everything except united... AM: Any last words? Kaysha: Life is like a river, you are never in the same water twice. AM: Thank you Kaysha for taking the time to chat with us. We wish you success in all your endeavours. New album: Legendary in stores now

Keep: The culture

Download here:

AM: What African town do you enjoy visiting most?

http://kaysha.com/kaysha/store

Kaysha: I gotta visit more of them before I tell that... But I love Kinshasa, Abidjan, Johanesburg, Maputo, Ouagadougou, etc... AM: You are an African icon when it comes to music. Have you ever been

Buy cd at : http://www.cdbaby.com/kaysha5 LINKS http://www.kaysha.com/kaysha http://www.myspace.com/kaysha2

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


Photo courtesy of Kaysha

“Life is like a river; you are never in the same water twice.”

—Kaysha

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET

MAR/APR 2008

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

29


SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE

DD

IGOL ENG

Sudanese Actor and Model

I

n 1983 when the Southern Sudanese took up arms against the central government due to neglect for many decades, the response from the government was to attack all Southern Sudanese villages and towns, shooting at everything that moves, killing children women or elderly raping young women. This is how Digol Deng was displaced from his home. In 1984 Digol fled to the Northern Sudan in which he struggled to complete High school in Arabic, but when his Big brother was placed in jail due to the quarrel between the government of Sudan and the Southern Sudanese politicians he was able to skip to Egypt with the rest of his family where they were able to gain security and peace and seeking the education, but all that came in the end by Sudanese Government slammed the education opportunities in the face of Southern Sudanese studies and required them to go back to war. Digol refused to go

30

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

Interview by Eric Adunagow Photo courtesy of Digol Deng - Photographer : Leo Marshall back and fight against his own people but he didn’t have a choice but seeking for a political asylum in Egypt, but it was denied. Kenya was allowing Southern Sudanese to gain asylum at that moment. Luckily his brother who was in America was able to send him an airplane ticket to Ethiopia and to Kenya. The trip to Kenya was a nightmare and because suddenly the airplane landed in Sudan’s Capital Khartoum the layover took about 20 minutes but those 20 minutes could be dangerous for him. When he arrived in Ethiopia waiting for his flight to Kenya, suddenly he ran to his cousin who was living there for more than six months trying to get to Kenya, so he decided to make a sacrifice and sold his plane ticket so he and his cousin could have food and shelter and go to Kenya together. And that was the beginning of his long journey to America, which included gruesome of two years of poverty and suffering in a refugee camp before coming to America.

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


AM: Please tell us more about your name and your origin. Digol: My real name is Dedgol Gak Deng which means Big Family in my mother’ s native dialect. My family from my father side is a big number; we own the whole village. I have 15 siblings brothers and sisters. My tribe is called Nuer. The Nuers are known in Sudan as the warrior people and are one of the largest tribes in Sudan. AM: How did you get started in modeling? Digol: When I first came to Atlanta, I used to work for Marriott hotel and this regular client for Marriott approached me and told me to be careful with those smiles and said: “don’t you think that you could make a great model?” I also got many approaches from the people in public, around the shopping mall, until one day a man handed me his business card and asked me if I could see him in his office; which I did. Two days later I was assigned to work with Keith Sweat, a platinum recording artist. Keith Sweat inspired me by his words and his work. AM: Was this what you dreamt for when growing up?

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET

Digol: No. My intentions were to become a lawyer and to help with the crisis in Sudan. But that was cut short due to the difficulties at that time. Well, you never know what the future holds. AM: When you’re not working, what are your favorite things to do? Digol: Reading, writing, watching movies, working out and going to social gatherings. AM: Currently, where is home? Where are you located presently? Digol: my home is in Atlanta , GA. AM: What’s a typical day for you? Digol: Well, when I wake up in the morning it is always a busy day for me. I check my e-mails, try to finish projects and seek new modeling opportunities, and also practice on my acting skills in case I get my big break. AM: How do you stay fit in this hectic lifestyle? Digol: I just go to the gym and work out about 4 times a week, and eat the right foods. AM: Tell us, how can someone get involved

in the Modeling world? Digol: If you got what it takes to get the job done and meeting the right people, you can make it. AM: How do you promote and market yourself? Digol: By finding the right agencies and working with the top designers. AM: What are the pros and cons of being a male model? Digol: The pros are meeting the people, networking, and getting a chance to discover new things about others. The cons are when you never get a chance to do anything for your own. AM: Can you tell us something about you that people would never guess? Digol: People wouldn’t guess that I am the luckiest man surviving many fights, animal attacks, due to civil war; and I love GOD for that. AM: Can you tell us about your Sudanese Children’s Foundation? Digol: I am the founder and the president MAR/APR 2008

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

31


of the Sudanese Refugee Children’s Foundation. I strongly believe in building the generation to come and tomorrow’s leaders. The Foundation provides educational opportunities for college students such as tuition, textbooks, and provides all school supplies to all grade levels here at home. My biggest mission is to go global to southern Sudan to help those who are in need.

because we have a new generation that’s growing up in North America, Europe, Australia and those generations are tomorrow’s workforce and leaders.

AM: How can someone get involved in the Foundation?

AM: Other than Fashion world, what other projects are you involved in at the present?

Digol: To get involved with the organization, contact one of our board of directors who have devoted their own time for this worthy cause. You can visit our site at www. sudanesekids .org or you can contact me directly at gakdeng@yahoo.com or www. myspace.com/digoldeng

AM: Tell us; what is the craziest thing you ever done? Digol: Walking on Kenyan desert for a day without water or food. My two years in refugee without hope.

Digol: I’m Involved in Sudanese crisis, helping to stop the genocide in the Darfur Sudan. AM: How often do you visit Africa? Digol: Not much

AM: In your opinion, what’s the number one issue to deal with in Africa? What’s your take (solution) on it?

AM: Can you tell us some places where you’ve been and what is your favorite vacation location?

Digol: The number one issue is to deal with internal problems within self and open the doors of opportunities to our richest nations. By using our natural resources to build mother Africa, we can become a supper power.

Digol: American beaches. My favorite spot is Hawaii because of the tropical weather.

AM: About Africa: what will you keep? What will you change? Digol: I would keep the family based system culture. I would take away negative thoughts, poverty, jealousy. AM: What’s the best food you crave for always when you visit Africa? Digol: Waal waal, which is a common food in the Nuer tribe that is served with fresh cow’s milk. AM: What can Africans do in order to create a strong presence in the America media? Digol: What are we lacking? We need a strong collaboration with American in the terms of business, music, industry, film, Hollywood and the whole nine yards. For the interest of both sides we can do that by using our trade and resources to boot the economy of Africa lacking collaboration. AM: Do you collaborate with other Africans as well? Tell us a little bit about your recent collaborations? Digol: Of course. African supermodel Nöella Coursaris and myself hosted the show miss Africa USA Pageant here in Atlanta, GA recently.

AM: Will you consider transitioning completely to acting in the future? Digol: Of course. That is my biggest dream to appear in major movies. I have already appeared in several movies such as: Drumline , stump the yard, Meet the Browns and various music videos. AM: In the acting world, who would you want to work with, if you had your choice? Digol: I would like to have a chance to work with Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie,Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, and my African brother Akon. AM: Any words of wisdom for all our aspiring models out there? Digol: Well many times, belief makes a person achieves many things that other people consider impossible. But belief is trust and faith without guarantee. You have almost to die to get to your destiny. AM: Any last words? Digol: I would like to thank ADUNAGOW Magazine for having me, thanks. Thank you Digol for taking the time to chat with us. We wish you plenty of success and wisdom in your career.

AM: What do you see in the future for Africa? Digol: I see success and wealth in the future 32

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


Photo courtesy of Digol Deng - Photographer: Leo Marshall

“People wouldn’t guess that I am the luckiest man surviving many fights, animal attacks, due to civil war; and I love GOD for that. ”

—Digol Deng.

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET

MAR/APR 2008

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

33


A story by Omoy Lungange

A thought from a young original Queen of Congo

S

o far I’ve been reading about African’s experience moving to America. As of now I will write about going back to Congo, Africa, as a shaping experience for one of my close relatives’ life. It was the return to her home that changed her mocking vision of her country and its history to an affectionate perception of a place that most generations have not seen but one that we, as Congolese, remember as our own.

cool, but that became even harder when her mother tried to remind her of who she was. That to Pamie was uncool. Adding to that she was poor. As she entered Junior High, Pamie wanted it both ways; she desperately desired to be down with the boyz and girlz but was too “singular” to blend easily with any group. She, a spunky, sensitive high school student, was torn between the traditional values her family has instilled in her and her burning desire to experience the new world.

Right through the heart of the Sakabu family, there is a primary goal, an effort to encourage Pamie to rediscover the riches of her country, its history, its people, and to celebrate the cultural past, and mourn what has been lost. Pamie is a young, smart “sistuh” raised on Chicago’s black South Side. She is the sole daughter of both Jean Claude Sakabu, a Congolese originaire from Katanga, Lumumbashi and Cathy Pierre an original Queen from Haiti. The family arrived in the United States when Pamie was two. She did all she could to be

In her mid high school years, the family condition ameliorated. Life improved and from there, Pamie got her chance to be down with the crowd when she was invited to a cool party. However, life was not without problems: Jean Claude Sakabu was able to take a trip back home, to the Democratic Republic of Congo with his family. Pamie’s knowledge about Africa was reasonably limited. His desires were to teach his daughter of who she was, to educate her, to learn the truth and use it as a fuel to redeem her future. This was problematic for Pamie, for she had no

interest in a one-month trip to discovering her roots. Instead, she wanted to stay in America and have a good time. But her father’s wishes firmly stood and the family took the trip. Though there was no welcoming committee of assorted Africans cheering the return of a family at the airport like Pamie imagined, her mother’s first impressions of Kinshasa were positive. She and Pamie joined her father at the home of some friends in a large government house in a beautiful suburb. The wife of her father’s brother, also a teacher, was very kind to her, teaching her mother and Pamie to cook Congolese dishes (including cassava leaves), taking them on trips to the market, and introducing them to neighbors. On one occasion, her mother’s new friend came from the kitchen with a plate full of small, oily fried meat, explaining that this was one of her father’s favorite dishes. Assuming they were made from beef or lamb, her mother eagerly asked to be taught how to prepare the snacks.

Omoy Lungange is originally from Kinshasa, Congo. She has a keen interest in art, politics, business, sociology, and fashion. She is a highly motivated, enthusiastic, well-organized and passionate young woman, who has faith in God and is not ashamed to acknowledge it. She prides herself on being diverse, a free spirit. 34

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


Her aunt obliged by leading her mother into the kitchen, reaching into a bucket, and pulling a single grub from a large mass of wriggling caterpillars that she had bought live in the market. She held it in place on a cutting board and deftly slit it lengthwise, its guts bulging yellow through the long cut. Then she plopped it into a pan of hot oil. Pamie’s mother, suddenly less anxious to work on her Congolese cooking skills, declined an invitation to try to outdo the performance and politely excused herself. Pamie recalled laughing at her mother as she and her father sat on the couch. Although she flinched at the thought of cooking insects, the smell of them boiling and frying stuck in her mind till this day. Pamie learned that most of the Congolese food is also smoked or dried to preserve for future use rather than being thrown away. Congolese have to be very resourceful for there is a scarcity of resources. Pamie found her staying terribly hard in a country of such grinding poverty. What amazingly struck her was the realistic image of Congo- that people work so hard for so little and we work so little for so much. In the following passage, Pamie introduces her thought.

“Mind you, I had never been to Congo. My first impressions of the richest, but most tormented nation on earth were of the people. The salvation of Congo is its women because I realize that all the essential chores fall to the women. I have never seen so many women carrying loads on their heads, walking along narrow dirt paths that passed for roads on trips to market that take all day, always with flashing eyes and magnificent smiles. One of the memorable scenes I remember is watching two women with gigantic loads on their heads, and one with a baby on her back. Sylvie, one woman, whom I got to know during our stay, was 5’2” and 110 pounds, and the strongest person I know, besides my mother of course. She carried incredible loads, always with grace and in joy. This and other scenes captivated me for they became eye openers. At a small age the truth about my history has been hidden from me. I was brainwashed and as a result, dismissed the importance of my own culture. And as I grow and begin to think about it, the more I realize how little I have learned about not only American history but also the history

of my own and other cultures throughout the world. I am just hoping that in telling my story, the reader’s heart will see with clarity that a trip back to one’s ancestral home can be a positive route to rediscover one’s past and to undermine one’s future. Or maybe I should speak for myself on that part. But really, we will learn more so we can teach one another. This is just a thought from a young original Queen of Congo.” Maybe it’s an intuition, but there are some things, which come quite unnatural, like the self. That is something one creates. Pamie’s persona changed tremendously, from being the young sassy little girl who believed she was less than three-fourth human, to an intellectual, open-minded, graceful and confident woman. I hope with these simple stories being told by our own people, the views and perceptions of those who are still blindly led will change.


SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE

CARINE SILTZ Founder/Exec. Director, African Advocates Against AIDS

A

FRICAN ADVOCATES AGAINST AIDS (AAAA) was started by Carine Siltz. Her objective was to coordinate community outreach projects for prevention and education of HIV/AIDS within African communities in the United States of America.

African Advocates coordinates community outreach projects for prevention and education of HIV/AIDS within African communities in the United States of America. Our goal is to create awareness and educate the African community about HIV/AIDS as well as help people access prevention and treatment services.

36

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


AM: Can you tell us about your organization African Advocates Against A.I.D.S. (AAAA)? How did you start it and what was the inspiration behind it? Carine: Having lost both of my parents to HIV/AIDS at a young age in the Congo, I have been deeply affected by this disease. I chose to dedicate my life to fighting this disease in every way possible. With the help of others, I started African Advocates Against AIDS (AAAA) to bring people together to fight HIV/AIDS. (Originally, our organization was called African Teens Against AIDS. However, I soon saw the need to reach the adult population as well and so we later changed our name from “Teens” to “Advocates”.) We recognized that although there were a large number of African immigrants living here in the USA, there was nothing specifically designed to reach this particular population. Meanwhile, HIV/ AIDS continues to destroy our community and countries in Africa. A culturally appropriate approach to educate this specific population and to help them access services in the USA was needed that addressed the language and culture differences of African immigrants. Ultimately, when it comes to HIV/AIDS, it does not matter if you are black or white

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET

or Hispanic and it does not matter what language you speak…what matters is that this disease is killing humans of all cultures and we need to join our hands and our efforts to combat this disease for a healthier community. AM: What kind of activities does AAAA organize? Carine: Through workshops, HIV101, training conferences, and seminars that are culturally appropriate and designed to reach each particular population, AAAA educates the community and raises awareness. We also refer people to community services such as HIV testing and counseling, and treatment and housing for those who are HIV positive. AM: AIDS in African Communities: what are the facts? Carine: Many Africans need to be educated about this disease. Unfortunately, some aspects of our culture enhance the spread of HIV/AIDS. For example, polygamy is common in many African countries, but it also increases the risk of transmission of HIV. There needs to be education to address this. Our women especially need to know about preventive measures they can take to avoid being infected. • As another example, there is an African myth that says that you will be cured

of HIV/AIDS if you sleep with a virgin. Misinformation and ignorance expose our young girls (and virgins) to infection. • Over 45 million Africans were infected by 2002 of which more than 30 million were still alive. A further 12 million children had already lost one or both of their parents. The effects over the last 15 years have been a catastrophe. Seven countries, all in southern Africa, now have prevalence rates higher than 20%: Botswana (38.8%), Lesotho (31%), Namibia (22.5%), South Africa (20.1%), Swaziland (33.4%), Zambia (21.5%) and Zimbabwe (33.7%). • Uganda remains the only country to have subdued a major HIV/AIDS epidemic, with the adult HIV prevalence rate continuing to dropfrom 8.3% at the end of 1999 to 5% at the end of 2001. Huge challenges persist, however, such as taking care of the 880,000 Ugandan children who have been orphaned by AIDS. 60% of all adults infected are women. AM: Do you think the current media (Especially TV and Magazine) plays a major role in the propagation of AIDS in the Black Community? Carine: Yes, I believe the media has a lot to do with it…often the media promotes certain negative images of black women, through music videos or TV shows, that make girls and women think that it is ok to be called certain

MAR/APR 2008

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

37


names or thought of in a demeaning way. This is not what women were created for. We women have a major role to play in this fight. We have so many positive qualities that we may be unaware of but which are useful in fighting back against this disease. • As women, we bring life into this world and we need to create a positive legacy. We need to encourage mother/daughter communication in order to avoid early pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. I believe everything begins in the home and is reflected in our society. What you happens in your home, is the way your children are educated. Hopefully, they will one day be valuable citizens in our communities • So my call is for women, as well as men, to make sure that we make time for our children to teach them and let them know about the risk factors for HIV/AIDS...make time for it by eating dinner together or family activities so that the children can feel comfortable talking to you. Our agency provides training on communication skills for parents and children, Together we can save our next generation and stop the spread of HIVAIDS forever. AM: Many people are afraid to get tested for HIV/AIDS. Is there any reason to that? How safe are HIV tests? Carine: People need to know their status. Many people who have HIV don’t even know they have it and they pass it on without knowing, which enhances the spread of HIV/AIDS. • KNOW YOUR STATUS! Get tested! The test is confidential and you know that HIV is not AIDS. • HIV is a virus which will later cause your immune system to fail. This is called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). It may take some time for certain people to show any symptoms of HIV infection; for some people it may take more than 10 years. If you get tested and find that you are HIV+, you can take medication and not develop AIDS. You earlier you detect HIV and get on medication, the longer you can live. • Don’t wait until your immune system is destroyed by the virus! • So my friend, if you want to join me in this fight, we first must KNOW GET TESTED AND KNOW OUR STATUS! AM: Which gender (male or female) is most affected by the AIDS virus in the African community? Carine: Women are most affected. The number of women with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) has increased steadily worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 17.5 million women worldwide were infected with HIV by the end of 2005. • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2000 through 2004, the estimated number of AIDS cases in the United States increased 10 percent among females and 7 percent among males. In 2004, women accounted for 27 percent of the 44,615 newly reported AIDS cases among adults and adolescents. HIV disproportionately affects African-American and Hispanic women. Together they represent less than 25 percent of all U.S. women, yet they account for more than 79 percent of AIDS cases in women. • Worldwide, more than 90 percent of all adolescent and adult HIV infections have resulted from heterosexual intercourse. Women are particularly vulnerable to heterosexual transmission of HIV due to substantial mucosal exposure to seminal fluids. This biological fact amplifies the risk of HIV transmission when coupled with the high prevalence of non-consensual sex, sex without condom use, and the unknown and/or high-risk behaviors of their partners. • Women suffer from the same complications of AIDS that afflict men but also suffer gender-specific manifestations of HIV disease, such as recurrent vaginal yeast infections, severe pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and an increased risk TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


of precancerous changes in the cervix including probable increased rates of cervical cancer. Women also exhibit different characteristics from men for many of the same complications of antiretroviral therapy, such as metabolic abnormalities. • Frequently, women with HIV infection have great difficulty accessing health care and carry a heavy burden of caring for children and other family members who may also be HIV-infected. They often lack social support and face other challenges that may interfere with their ability to obtain or adhere to treatment. AM: AIDS in Africa: with the current situation ongoing in Kenya, people are afraid of an increase number of AIDS. Why and what can be done to control it, if true? Carine: I believe that in those types of situation the HIV virus is easily spread because of the circumstance people are in. I think that the local government needs to come to one accord for peace so that the most vulnerable population, women and children who are actually victims of rape and impunity, find peace and support. African leaders need to stop fighting for power for the prize of people and death. Conflict just makes matters worse. We already have so many different issues affecting Africans (poverty, health, HIV, Malaria, and more). We do not need to now add more issues through conflict! Let’s think about our future 10 year from now…where are we going? “Many of the internally displaced are not living in formal camps. They are just gathered around a school or church. Then you have the worst-case scenario - where you don’t have that level of law and order and you have people living on top of each other.” The only way to prevent the almost inevitable spike in violence towards women in times of crisis, she said, is for governments to tackle the sense of impunity. “Before violence breaks out, and during, and after, [governments must] really push the question of impunity, make sure that people know that rape visited upon innocent women and children will be treated for what it is - a crime.” Let’s pray to God, as we all are global citizens, to bring peace that we won’t fight any more giving the HIV virus ways to take over. TOGETHER WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL. AM: Tell us about your team. Carine: AAAA has eight board members, three paid staff, and twenty volunteers. • AAAA also has an orphanage for children who are victims of AIDS, such as myself, in Congo DRC. The orphanage is under the supervision of the catholic diocese to support the children. If you want to support a child, please contact our office in the USA at 1-866-456-AIDS or 1-919-771-0601. • If you want to contact the orphanage in Congo directly, call 00-234-815181786 or visit us at www.africanadvocates.com AM: How do you support your organization financially? Do you take any donation? Carine: Yes. We are operate through donations made by people from the heart. You can support the fight against HIV/AIDS through financial support or donations to the agency that sustain the education programs. You can also donate your time, materials, or items to the fight. AM: How can someone get involved? How can someone contact the organization? Carine: You can get involve by calling us. We have a variety of activities and upcoming programs that you can be a part of to reinforce our efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS. AM: Thank you Carine for taking the time to chat with us.


A picture of the Giza Plateau.

Continued from Page 22 powers in the pyramids. Although it was an awe-inspiring experience, I didn’t feel any supernatural or holy atmosphere in the chamber but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. After a visit to the nearby Solar Boat Museum, which houses the 141-foot long, reassembled funerary boat of King Cheops (discovered in 1954), we returned to our hotel where most of us passed out in our rooms. (Though a few of the die-hards from our group went shopping) Later that evening we visited the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities and it was delightful (and quiet) having it all to ourselves. My favorite part was seeing the treasures from the tomb of King Tutankhamun. He, (King Tut) received an incredible ‘send off’ even though he wasn’t actually a ‘Great King’ like Ramses II. He’s the only King who’s tomb was found still intact and not plundered as the other king’s tombs had been – so he became very famous though Pharaonically speaking, he wasn’t that big of a deal. The other delight in the museum was the Mummy room. It houses the mummified remains of eleven royal Kings and Queens of Ancient Egypt including Ramses II. Every scary mummy 40

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

movie I’d ever seen as a young girl from the 1960’s played in my mind but sadly, I just was not scared. They were eerie looking, especially the ones with hair and the one with a violent gash in his forehead – but they didn’t scare me. (really) Over the next nine days we toured till we dropped. In the order that they happened, our remaining days went like this:

Day 2: We visited Memphis (home of

the mummified bulls) & Sakkara where we visited the famous Step Pyramid of King Zoser which is the oldest of Egypt’s 107 Pyramids. (actually, there are more Pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt) We had lunch at the Oberoi Hotel. Later, we had cocktails at the American Ambassador’s residence in Cairo and witnessed an incredible sunset over the Nile… with the pyramids in the background. Then it was back to our hotel to suffer silently in our rooms because the day was over.

Day 3: Early bird flight to Abu Simbel

in the south of Egypt. Here we visited the Temple of Abu Simbel (consisting of two temples) built by Ramses II. (yes, I was totally impressed with Ramses II ) The temple construction began in approximately 1244 BC and lasted for 20 years. Over time the temple

fell into disuse and was eventually covered by sand. (by the 6th century BC, the sand was already up to the knees of the great statues of Ramses II.) The temple was forgotten until 1813 when Swiss orientalist, JL Burckhardt rediscovered it. With the creation of Lake Nassar, the temple’s existence was threatened. Starting in 1964, this entire temple complex was cut into large blocks, dismantled and reassembled in a new location 65 metres higher than it’s original location. The work was completed in1968. After touring the temples, we boarded a quick flight to Aswan. Upon arrival, we very quickly swung by the Aswan High Dam, a Soviet Union designed and funded project which was built from 1960 – 1970. Then on to the dock where we boarded our luscious cruise ship. The remainder of that day was spent on the boat. Thank God.

Day 4:

In the morning we visited the site of an unfinished obelisk. Dr. Mark described the tedious hard work it took to create an obelisk (and how fruitless the labor was if there is a crack or imperfection in the stone). Afterwards we took a short boat ride to Philae TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


Step Pyramid.


Statues of Ramses II at Abu Simbel Temple.

Temple which (by the way) for centuries was the holiest site for Isis worshippers. It also has the distinction of being the last pagan temple to exist in the Mediterranean world. It was constructed on an island, then Philae’s temple complex was moved, piece by piece, to Agilkai, 550 meters away,(1977 – 1980) where it was reassembled and presently remains. After lunch onboard, we took a ride on a Felucca, an Egyptian sailboat, and after passing amazing scenery, we ended up at the Cataract Hotel, the place where Agatha Christie wrote ‘Death on the Nile’.

dress (even the men). We had bought these in the markets to celebrate ‘Egyptian Night’. Later, looking at the pictures, I realized that there was an amazing amount of evidence that I had celebrated Egyptian Night more than I should have – but I was very happy that night in my red and gold Galabeyya….. as far as I can remember.

Day 6: I had a

moderately

Day 5:

We began this day with a tour of Kom Ombo Temple. We were lucky to have the temple almost completely to ourselves. This temple was unique because everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis. (Which proves that it was NOT designed by me!) One side of the temple is dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world. The other side is dedicated to the falcon god Horus the Elder. (Horus is my favorite) In this temple I saw a mummified crocodile which is no miracle since three-hundred crocodile mummies were discovered in the vicinity of this temple. We cruised during the afternoon, then went to Edfu Temple, (the Temple of Horus the falcon God, at Edfu). After our return, we all dressed up in Galabeyyas – an Egyptian long 42

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

painful headache and remained onboard while most others visited Esna Temple. (more evidence of my over-celebration on Egyptian Night). I spent my time (in dark glasses) on the upper deck. Our seven night cruise up the Nile was amazing. (from Aswan to Luxor, then up to Dendera and back down to Luxor)I was most interested in the way

people live and used my 12X zoom to get as close up as I could. I’d never seen scenery like that which is along the Nile before and it reminded me of the scenes from the Bible. It seems that although the people don’t have much materially, life was happily bustling everywhere. Many homes were made of mud but the stone homes were often decorated with beautiful Arabic designs and were gaily colored. The mud (or sod) homes were well tended and the surroundings were beautiful with several shades of lush green surrounding them. Throughout the cruise I spent a good amount of time on the upper deck in my delirious attempt to photograph every inch of the Nile. I was delighted when we would pass children because almost without exception they would shout out “Welcome to Egypt!”. Sometimes they’d run along the water banks trailing our boat shouting out their welcome. We heard ‘Welcome to Egypt’ from all walks of society in many different situations. I really enjoyed the fact that in the market in downtown Cairo, the sales people weren’t upset if you didn’t buy from them, they’d simply say, “That’s okay. Have a good day and please watch your step”. In Hong Kong where I live, they will hardly tolerate your presence if you don’t buy from them. The banks along the Nile were a different world from the city dwellings I’d seen in Cairo which were crowded and in disrepair. However, they almost always had satellite TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


Great Sphinx


dishes on their rooftops to pick up soccer for the soccer-hungry masses. Egypt won the African Cup while we were there and it was the ONLY time that the traffic was not in complete chaos. I’ve traveled around the world but have never seen worse traffic than in Cairo. Amazingly, they do not have traffic lights or road signs. Occasionally you’ll see a brave traffic director on the road attempting to bring about order. Once there was a car broken down in front of us. The driver and passenger pushed the car at every opportunity and amazingly this did NOT slow down traffic. It also seemed that the drivers never gave way to each other, yet somehow the traffic moved on and people did pass. The scariest thing was to see people crossing the street or highway no matter what was coming. (we also did this) Women in Burkas carrying babies on shoulders and baskets on their heads didn’t even flinch when crossing highways. It also seemed that the Egyptians love music (my brothers) and in the halls of our hotel they played really sexy, music with a great beat. I kept expecting belly dancers to pop out of the doorways. Many of the educational sessions presented by our two Abercrombie & Kent Egyptologists were preceded out with the three little words “By the Way” as if they were adding some extra information to an already incredible story. A shopkeeper we negotiated with also used the same term. I found this very endearing (By the way).

violent acts must have been taking place at the time of its burial. (Glad I wasn’t there – then!) Later that morning we visited the very warm and dry ‘Valley of the Kings’. It is where for a period of nearly 500 years (16th to 11th century BC), magnificent tombs were carved into the desert rocks, richly decorated and filled with afterlife treasures for the kings and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom. Here we saw the mummy of King Tutankhamun. We’d seen the treasures from his tomb already in the museum in Cairo. He was only 19 years old when he died and since I have kids just over that age, all I wanted to do was feed him. He looked very young and way too slim. Later that day we visited Hatshepsut Temple built for Queen Hatshepsut, Ancient Egypt’s only female Pharaoh. Then we went to Chicago House and to Luxor Temple. Luxor Temple was so beautiful at night with the warm, rusty glow of lights on the elegantly towering statues and columns. It was a wondrous way to end the day.

Day 8:

We cruised to Denderah and visited the Temple of Hathor – the Goddess of pleasure and love. (how appropriate that it was Valentine’s Day). It was here that we finally saw a relief of Cleopatra on a huge wall. Her beautiful form caused me and two other ladies to dance ‘Cleopatra style’. I’m sure she would approve. While cruising back

to Luxor I photographed much more of the Nile. We called it a day after a visit to the Luxor Museum

Day 9: We spent our last day at the

largest ancient religious site in the world, Karnak Temple. Karnak Temple was built in a time span of over more than a thousand years by numerous Pharaohs. This temple is so massive that the main hall alone houses 134 columns. It’s size allowed me to get separated from my group and was lost for half an hour. Now THAT was scary. We spent half a day there, then back to the ship and later out for shopping. An excellent way to end this vacation. I had planned on returning to Africa for my 50th birthday in 2010 (and I still hope to), but what a gift to be able to go there twice in two years. Thank you Africa for your hospitality once again and for the warmth of your people - I will be back. Useful websites: http://guardians.net/hawass/chronology.htm http://guardians.net/hawass/index.htm http://www.aeraweb.org/field_schools. asp#top

Day 7:

This day started out with a visit to a REAL archeological dig site which Dr. Mark is in charge of. We received lessons from each archeologist telling about their own particular specialty. These specialists included an ancient botanist specialist – who sifts out plant dust and debris from buckets of water then examines them under a microscope to identify what plants grew thousands of years ago) There was a bone specialist from Berkeley who explained her work while holding a femur which belonged to a very tall and big man (she said) who had broken it in two places and later died from the infection that ravaged inside the bones. We couldn’t understand how she kept perfectly manicured nails on that very dusty dig site. Another young archeologist let us hold some recently excavated artifacts. I loved holding that recently unearthed artifact and wondered to myself what 44

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


Locals riding on camels.


1 0 1 A C I R

AF

BENIN

Geography Location Benin is located in West Africa and covers a land area Of 112,622 Sq. km. and constitutes a long stretch of hand perpendicular to the Coast of the Gulf of Guinea. It is bordered on the North by Burkina Faso and the Republic of Niger, on the East by the Federal Republic of Nigeria and on the West by the Republic of Togo. With a 124 kilometers long coastline, it stretches North to South some 672 kilometers while its breath extends 324 kilometers at the evident point. It is above two third the Size of Portugal. Vegetation The forest thins out considerably in the center and gives way lo grassland. Elsewhere, cultivated crops predominate, including the immense palmgroves of lower Benin and the coconut plantations on the 124 kilometers long coastline and along the lagoons. Climatology Benin is characterized by unusually dry conditions. This is due primarily to two very important factors. First, the situation of the coast which is rather well protected from the western winds; second, the Atakora Barrier in the West and North West which decreases the amount of rainfall. The mean temperature is between 77oF and 82oF (25o to 28oC).

46

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

MAR/APR 2008

The best time to visit the Southern area is from December to March and July/August while visiting period for the Northern part of the Country is between December and April. Communications The geographic setting of Benin serves to integrate the region and provides direct access to the bordering states by water, rail, airlines and railways. 5-seaters ply between Cotonou and Lome, Cotonou and Lagos to name the nearest other capital cities while buses and lorries are available for such long distance trips as Cotonou-Parakou, Parakou-Kandi, ParakouMalanville, Parakou- Djougou . Roads: 8,000 kilometers will 1,000 km or bitumenized roads Railways: 570 kilometers in joint venture with the Republic of NIGER. Airport: Main airport is in Cotonou with many foreign air companies. Port: International harbor with modern facilities in Cotonou. Telecommunications: Infrastructures are performing more than 6,000 lines with direct contact with the external world. There is a full range of postal services in most towns and localities. Telex and Fax facilities are available in Cotonou.

The Constitution at a glance A multi-party system country President/ Head of State/ Head of Government A one-man-one-vote suffrage to elect the President/Head of Government who may be a member to a Party. His tenure of office is five (5) years and is renewed only once. He should be of Beninese nationality for at least ten (10) years. The vacancy (resignation, death...) of the presidency is filled by the Speaker of the National Assembly. The new Head of State is elected within forty (40) days. The President/ Head of State/ Head of Government addresses the Nation on the state of the Nation in the National Assembly Hall once in a year National Assembly A one-man-one-vote suffrage to elect the Members of Parliament (MP). His 4-year mandate is renewable. There is one MP for 70,000 inhabitants. The vacancy (resignation, death...) at the speakership is filled by his successor elected within fifteen (15) days when the House is in session or at an immediate meeting held in compliance with its rules of procedure. The vacancy of an MP is filled by his substitute also elected in the same manner. There are two ordinary sessions starting within the first fortnight of April and the second fortnight of October respectively. Each session cannot exceed three (3) months. The decision is taken by a TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET


simple majority. The Flag The National Flag was, for the first time, hoisted formally on the independence day, August 1, 1960 to replace the French Flag. The colors are green, red and yellow. Demography The population of BENIN is estimated at 4,500,000 inhabitants largely concentrated in Southern coastal region near the major port city of Cotonou (450,000 inhabitants) the chief town of the Atlantic Department, the capital city of Porto Novo (200,000 inhabitants) in the OUEME Department as well as the “Royal City” of Abomey (80,000 inhabitants) in the Central Department of ZOU. The annual growth rate is 3.1%. Other important towns are Ouidah, Allada, Abomey, Grand Popo, Lokossa, Save, Savalou, Parakou, Djougou, Natitingou, Malanville, Kandi. Languages Over half the people speak Fon. Yoruba, Mina, Bariba and Dendi are the other important languages. French is the official language. Beside the French language, English is necessarily one of the two foreign languages taught in secondary schools. Greetings in Fon - Good morning: AH-FON Ghan-Jee-Ah - Good evening: Kou Do Bah Dah - How are you: Ah-Doh Ghan-Jee-Ah - Thank you: Ah-Wah-Nou - Good bye: OH-Dah-Boh

Places of Interest Ouidah: Spelt “WHYDAH” in history books written in English, it is the “Museum City”. It is evocative of European penetration with its ancient Portuguese, English, Danish and French trading posts or strongholds. There can be seen the remains of the ancient port from which slaves were boarded and shipped to the Americas. Abomey: Referred to as the “Royal City”, it is the capital of Dan-Home, the ancient Kingdom. It has one of the most impressive museums of Africa. Its artists and craftsmen, be they weavers, jewelers, woodcarvers, iron and brass workers are famous far beyond the boundaries of the Republic of BENIN. Allada: It is the city, the cradle of “voodoos” in vogue in the Americas, namely in Brazil, West Indies, the Caribbean countries. Porto Novo: The “City with three Names” (Porto TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT

WWW.ADUNAGOW.NET

Novo,Hogbonou,Adjatche) . It is Benin’s administrative capital, right in the middle of the Yoruba land. Nikki: The historic capital of the Baatonu people. Natitiogou: Its castle-type “TATA-Sombas” and the traditional huts of the Tanekas and other tribes in the North where there are the richly varied fauna of the National Parks of Pendjari and “W”. Ganvie: AFRICA’s unique floating villages built on stilts. A population of several thousand. Motorboats or dugouts are available for the trips across the lake to the Ganvie. During the trip, there are Akadjas made of stakes and bushes in the shape of open circles or triangles driven into the bed of the plantless Lake. Seeking shelter among the foliage, the fish can thus be easily caught or kept for breeding.

History

It may be recalled that Benin, former Dahomey, is perhaps the “most beaten track by Europeans of any Africa”. The history of Benin is a succession of kingdoms. In 1704, France received permission to erect a port at Ouidah, and in 1752 the Portuguese founded Porto Novo. On June 22, 1894, the territory was named by decree the “Colony of Dahomey and its dependences” and was granted autonomy which it retained until October 18, 1904 when it became part of French West Africa. On December 4, 1958 the Republic was proclaimed. Dahomey became independent on August 1, 1960 and is a UN member country. If the first independent Government was ousted by a military coup on October 28, 1963, Dahomey, during the ensuing years up to 1972, went through a lot of political upheavals that always climaxed in military coups. That of October 26, 1972 was the starting point of a 17-year regime which three years later went red with a Marxist Leninist ideology. In other words, on November 30, 1975 Dahomey was under a centrally controlled government and eventually became the People’s Republic of Benin. At the National Conference held in

Cotonou (February 19-28, 1990) and at which all walks of life were represented, fundamental decisions were taken, namely: - abolition of Marxist ideology as the State philosophy. - the reversion to the genuine flag. - the reversion to the multi party system. - the dissolution of all one-party structures. - the release of all political detainees and prisoners. - the respect of all Human Rights.

Industry and Trading

Industry accounts for only a small percentage of the gross domestic product. Fishing industry meets only local consumption, so does textile industry. Palm processing facility needs improving; a sugar complex and a cement factory are jointly owned with Negeria. Breweries, soap unit... meet only local demand. Possotome village is, however, known for its internationally recognized mineral water. Apart from limestone found in open quarry at ONIGBOLO, deposits of gold, phosphates, iron ore, marble, clay... are yet to be explored. The development of off- shore fields at SEME and elsewhere are underway. A Benin/Togo hydroelectric power has just been completed on the Mono river (the NANGBETO dam). There are attractive industrial projects and feasibility studies are available for some of them. The Beninese code of investment has been reviewed to insert, among other things, more incentives for investors. Benin is the natural gateway to Togo and Nigeria and to such landlocked countries as Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali. Direct investments by American companies are promoted and strongly encouraged by the Benin Government. There can be joint ventures between Benin private sector and American companies to carry out such industrial undertakings as canning, paper processing units, glass manufacturing, salt processing units, agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, clothing, palm oil, building materials,chemicals and any other items reflective of an industrial developing nation.

Research Sources: The World Factbook; Center for International Research, U.S. Bureau of the Census; The Columbia Encyclopedia; The World Book Encyclopedia; Encyclopædia Britannica; U.S. State Dept., and various newspapers. Population figures are supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau.

MAR/APR 2008

ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE

47


THE MAGAZINE THAT PROMOTES UNION AND COOPERATION OF AFRICANS AROUND THE GLOBE, ENCOURAGING AN INFORMED, THINKING AND QUESTIONING AFRICAN SOCIETY.

HEL P U S STAY FREE OF CH AR GE! We are dedicated on keeping the magazine free of charge. In order to do so, we request all our readers to register and provide proper information needed by our advertisers and sponsors. The more valid registration we have, the better our chance are on keeping the magazine Free of charge for our readers. So, sign up and refer us to friends and family. Let’s stay FREE!

REGISTER TODAY AT: Http://magazine.adunagow.net . IT’S FREE


MAR/APR 2008 Issue