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Jubilee Issue


Jubilee Issue

Contents Editors Notes • Feature : 50 year Independence Feature 2: Golden Moments • Tribute: Tabu Ley Chew on this • Food • Health • Fashion: Mali in the 60’s Hair: Reflecting on styles • G-spot No Evil • Bloggable • Poetry


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Editor : W

angechi R

uguaru Editor : E

va Githina Co-Editor : Wambui Wamuto


Contribu Gerald M tor : ontgome



or : Kabu

ra Waho



or : Kenn

Designer- S

y Mwang


am Gathen


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Editor’s Notes In this issue we are reflecting on 50 years of the OAU,

that had nations that had strong economies, cultures and

and celebrating the fact that most African countries

cohesive societies. They all came into leadership at different

have been independent for over 50 years. AIM tried

ages and with different experiences under their belt. Who

to capture what the world was like for Africans 50

are the Lumumbas, Nkrumahs and Kenyattas of today?

years ago when the OAU was being formed and most African countries were celebrating their independence.

Although we are 50 years strong, we are still in need of

To accomplish this, we studied the independence day

leaders to inspire, propel and harness the potential we have

speeches of three very pivotal personalities: Kwame

of leading the world in a new direction in the next 50 years.

Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba and Jomo Kenyatta. Wambui provides timelines for independence of African

I recently heard Emeli Sande sing, “You’ve got the words

countries, Dr. G gives us context for what was going on

to change a nation/ but you’re biting your tongue/ You’ve

in US at that time that was relevant to the struggle for

spent a life time stuck in silence/ afraid you’ll say something

independence in Africa and beyond.

wrong/ If no one ever hears it how we gonna learn your song.../You’ve got a heart as loud as lions /So why let your

Lumumba, Nkrumah and Kenyatta all travelled

voice be tamed/ Maybe we’re a little different/ there’s

different paths and overcame varied and particular

no need to be ashamed/ You’ve got the light to fight the

challenges that led them to the front-lines on the fight

shadows/ so stop hiding it away/ Come on, Come on”

for independence of Africans regardless of where they were in the world and this led them back to their

This is us #africansinmotion, we are half-stepping it unsure

nations where they also stood and fought for their

of where we want to drive this continent of ours, worried

people to be free and hold their destinies in their own

that we are not experienced enough, smart enough, strong

hands. What I want us to realize is that they stood and

enough to conquer the challenges that lie ahead. Let us

fought, motivated by speech and action without studying

draw strength from our ancestors and our dearly departed

any really helpful blueprints. They were very fluid in the

leaders so that we are empowered to give it all we’ve got

way they learned and implemented the knowledge they

without reservation.

acquired. What they also had was an instinct for what was fundamental in getting their people to heal from colonialism and inspire them to build a strong continent


Harambee [Let us pull together]!


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“I know your life On earth was troubled And only you could know the pain You weren’t afraid to face the devil You were no stranger to the rain Go rest high on that mountain Son, you work on earth is done Go to heaven a shoutin’” by Vince Gill Rest In Peace Elder Mandela


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50 Years Of Independence Africa’s Midlife Crisis

In African tradition, we are taught to honor our elders. This is because with age comes a certain level of wisdom. In my tribe for example, you cannot be considered an elder unless you are above 50, you get the honorary title of elder once you hit a certain age. The past couple of years have seen a number of African countries hit the 50 mark. Here’s a chronological list of independence dates for African countries.


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Country Independence Date Prior ruling country Liberia, Republic of 26 July 1847 South Africa, Republic of 31 May 1910 Britain Egypt, Arab Republic of 28 February 1922 Britain Ethiopia 1, People’s Democratic Republic of 5 May 1941 Italy Libya (Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) 24 December 1951 Britain Sudan, Democratic Republic of 1 January 1956 Britain/Egypt Morocco 2, Kingdom of 2 March 1956 France 2 Tunisia, Republic of 20 March 1956 France Ghana, Republic of 6 March 1957 Britain Guinea, Republic of 2 October 1958 France Cameroon 3, Republic of 1 January 1960 France Senegal, Republic of 4 April 1960 France Togo, Republic of 27 April 1960 France Mali, Republic of 22 September 1960 France Madagascar, Democratic Republic of 26 June 1960 France Congo (Kinshasa), Democratic Republic of the 30 June 1960 Belgium Somalia, Democratic Republic of 1 July 1960 Britain Benin, Republic of 1 August 1960 France Niger, Republic of 3 August 1960 France Burkina Faso, Popular Democratic Republic of 5 August 1960 France Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of (Ivory Coast) 7 August 1960 France Chad, Republic of 11 August 1960 France Central African Republic 13 August 1960 France Congo (Brazzaville), Republic of the 15 August 1960 France Gabon, Republic of 17 August 1960 France Nigeria 4, Federal Republic of 1 October 1960 Britain Mauritania, Islamic Republic of 28 November 1960 France Sierra Leone, Republic of 27 April 1961 Britain Tanzania, United Republic of 9 December 1961 Britain Burundi, Republic of 1 July 1962 Belgium Rwanda, Republic of 1 July 1962 Belgium Algeria, Democratic and Popular Republic of 3 July 1962 France Uganda, Republic of 9 October 1962 Britain Kenya, Republic of 12 December 1963 Britain Malawi, Republic of 6 July 1964 Britain Zambia, Republic of 24 October 1964 Britain Gambia, Republic of The 18 February 1965 Britain Botswana, Republic of 30 September 1966 Britain Lesotho, Kingdom of 4 October 1966 Britain Mauritius, State of 12 March 1968 Britain Swaziland, Kingdom of 6 September 1968 Britain Equatorial Guinea, Republic of 12 October 1968 Spain Guinea-Bissau5, Republic of 24 September 1973 (alt. 10 September 1974) Portugal Mozambique, Republic of 25 June 1975 Portugal Cape Verde, Republic of 5 July 1975 Portugal Comoros, Federal Islamic Republic of the 6 July 1975 France São Tomé and Principe, Democratic Republic of 12 July 1975 Portugal Angola, People’s Republic of 11 November 1975 Portugal Western Sahara 6 28 February 1976 Spain Seychelles, Republic of 29 June 1976 Britain Djibouti, Republic of 27 June 1977 France Zimbabwe, Republic of 18 April 1980 Britain Namibia, Republic of 21 March 1990 South Africa Eritrea, State of 24 May 1993 Ethiopia


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Ethiopia LiberiaEgypt


The year 1960


Cameroon (British part) TanzaniaSierra Leone




Zanzibar (union with Tanganyika 1964)Kenya


MalawiZambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia)






MauritiusSwazilandEquatorial Guinea


Guinea Bissau


MozambiqueCape VerdeComorosSao Tome and PrincipeAngolaWestern Sahara






Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia)


Namibia (formerly South West Africa)


purpose of the number 50 is to attain greater stability. The law of 5 is ‘freedom in action’, and when coupled with the vibration of the number 0, this energy is amplified. The 50 / 5 energy will be filled with freedom, constant change, curiosity, adventure and unattachment.Africa is in a very special time in history, the time when growing up is no longer an option but a requirement. A lot of questions have been raised in the past couple of years on Africa’s dependence on foreign Aid, personal responsibility, political leadership or lack thereof and our overall contribution to the world. We are seeing a return of African science, innovative new technology developed by Africans for Africans as well as interesting power sharing political deals that were unheard of in the 1960’s when so many of us were getting our independence. There has been progress and setbacks in our journey to the restoration of our people and nations as the fathers and mothers of civilisation, but this 50 year landmark is a reminder that we must rise to the occasion and live up to our potential.

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In brief: Golden Moments at Independence 50+ years ago‌


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by Eva Githina

As we stand, we are stable because the ground we stand on was pounded flat by the freedom fighters that came before us. Many of them lost the battle to the treacherous colonial governments and ravages of war. Many bowed to the will of the colonialists simply so that they could live long enough to take care of their families who hopefully would be smarter and stronger than they were so that they could then fight.

December 12, 1963 [Excerpt]: Source - Gathering Seaweed: African Prison Writing edited by Jack Mapanje In an address to the nation, President Jomo Kenyatta, aged 73 and known by his fellow Kikuyu as “Burning Spear”, called for tribal and racial differences to be buried in favour of national unity under “the principles of democratic African socialism”.

Few were nimble enough to fight the colonists and the savage governments they represented. Even fewer were lucky, smart, wily and fiery enough to cow the colonialists. These, scarce few ended up leading their respective countries through independence 50 years ago. The world we know now is nothing like they imagined in many ways but in a few it is achingly similar.

“It is with great pride and pleasure that I receive these constitutional instruments today as the embodiment of Kenya’s freedom. This is the greatest day in Kenya’s history, and the happiest day of my life...Today we start on the great adventure of building the Kenya nation...Today is rightly a day of great rejoicing. But it must also be a day of dedication. Freedom is a right and without it the dignity of man is violated. But freedom by itself is not enough...My friends we are now an independent nation and our destiny is henceforward in our own hands. I call on every Kenyan to join me today in this great adventure of nation building. In the spirit of HARAMBEE, let us work together so to mould our country that it will set an example to the world in progress”

Now and then the people are always in need of great leaders who show the way forward in action and know what to do or say to move nations of people to reach beyond their imaginations. Leaders need better inner-vision and imagination than the people they lead. This is what Presidents Nkrumah, Kenyatta and Lumumba had in spades and that is why we reflect on the speeches they made to their nations of people to inspire them to build to the Africa we have today. These speeches planted seeds on the fertile ground of hopeful Africans that had finally lived to achieve independence. As we stand on the ground that has been prepared by 50 years of independence it is wise to look back and be refreshed a new to keep pushing further by the powerful words of our leaders. Kwame Nkurumah’s Speech at Independence of Ghana, March 6, 1957 [Excerpt]: Source - worldservice/focusonafrica/news/story/2007/02/070129_ ghana50_independence_speech.shtml

“At long last, the battle has ended! And thus Ghana, your beloved country is free forever….I want to take the opportunity to thank the chiefs and people of this country, the youth, the farmers, the women who have so nobly fought and won this battle. Also I want to thank the valiant ex-servicemen who have so co-operated with me in this mighty task of freeing our country from foreign rule and imperialism. ...– today – we must change our attitudes, our minds, we must realise that from now on, we are no more a colonial but a free and independent people. Seeing you in this… it doesn’t matter how far my eye goes, I can see that you are here in your millions and my last warning to you is that you are to stand firm behind us so that we can prove to the world that when the African is given a chance he can show the world that he is somebody! We have awakened. We will not sleep anymore. Today, from now on, there is a new African in the world!” “Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa.” Jomo Kenyatta’s Speech at Independence of Kenya,

Patrice Lumumba’s Speech at Independence of Congo, June 30, 1960 [Excerpt]: Source - http://www.friendsofthecongo. org/speeches.html

“Men and women of the Congo, Victorious fighters for independence, today victorious, I greet you in the name of the Congolese Government. All of you, my friends, who have fought tirelessly at our sides, I ask you to make this June 30, 1960, an illustrious date that you will keep indelibly engraved in your hearts, a date of significance of which you will teach to your children, so that they will make known to their sons and to their grandchildren the glorious history of our fight for liberty...The Republic of the Congo has been proclaimed, and our country is now in the hands of its own children. Together, my brothers, my sisters, we are going to begin a new struggle, a sublime struggle, which will lead our country to peace, prosperity, and greatness...We are going to show the world what the black man can do when he works in freedom, and we are going to make of the Congo the center of the sun’s radiance for all of Africa. We are going to keep watch over the lands of our country so that they truly profit her children. We are going to restore ancient laws and make new ones which will be just and noble. We are going to put an end to suppression of free thought and see to it that all our citizens enjoy to the full the fundamental liberties foreseen in the Declaration of the Rights of Man [applause]. We are going to do away with all discrimination of every variety and assure for each and all the position to which human dignity, work, and dedication entitles him...We are going to rule not by the peace of guns and bayonets but by a peace of the heart and the will [applause]...I ask all of you to forget your tribal quarrels. They exhaust us.”


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Tribute to Tabu Ley A Musical Great Tabu Ley Rochereau was born Pascal-Emmanuel Sinamoyi Tabu on November 30, 1940. We all remember him as a leading African rumba singer-songwriter from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was the leader of Orchestre Afrisa International, as well as one of Africa’s most influential vocalists and prolific songwriters. Along with guitarist Dr Nico Kasanda, Tabu Ley pioneered soukous (African rumba) and internationalised his music by fusing elements of Congolese folk music with Cuban, Caribbean, and Latin American rumba. He has been described as “the Congolese personality who, along with [the dictator] Mobutu, [most] marked Africa’s 20th century history. After the fall of the Mobutu regime, Tabu Ley also pursued a political career.

Tabu Ley composed over 3,000 songs and produced 250 albums most of which are still very popular worldwide. Tabu Ley’s death was felt worldwide and most took to social media to pay tribute: Daily Nation@dailynation30 Nov Congolese musician #TabuLey dies of stroke http://bit. ly/1hoF7Zr Beatrice Gachenge@bgachenge30 Nov Tribute: Now playing #Sorozo by the late #TabuLey Divine voice, wonderful semblance of instruments. Legendary rhumba maestro, RIP Abantu Baitwababo@danymiles30 Nov Sad #TabuLey, one of Africa’s Music heavy weights passes on. Playing #Muzina in memory MILCA M.@MendesMilca30 Nov Paix à son âme, le vrai, le grand de la musique congolaise. #TabuLey Blinky Bill@247blink30 Nov R.I.P Tabu ley. #legend. hWC7AIm6PL/ Expand Bentley Lumumba@MrBasabose #RIP Le “Seigneur” #Rochereau #TabuLey... #Congo pic. AIM MAGAZINE

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Nutty for

Nuts Chew on this


Jubilee Issue There has been a lot of conflicting information that I have read as far as nuts are concerned. It is important to know that not all nuts are created equal. Some have more fibre, fat and protein than others and depending on how you eat them; raw, fried or roasted makes a huge difference in the long run. Here is a rough guide of nuts and the general categories in which they fall: Source- howto/guide/health-benefits-nuts

the active thyroid hormone. Selenium also supports immunity and helps wounds to heal. You only need three or four Brazil nuts a day to get all the selenium you require. Cashews They contribute a good level of protein and are a useful source of minerals like iron and zinc, cashews make an excellent choice if you’re following a vegetarian diet. They’re also rich in the mineral magnesium, which is thought to improve recall and delay, age-related memory loss. Add a handful to a vegetarian stir-fry or use as a nut butter on crackers or bread. Chestnuts Chestnuts have the lowest fat and calories, chestnuts are rich in starchy carbs and fibre, and in their raw form are a good source of vitamin C. They’re lower in protein than other nuts but make a useful contribution of B vitamins including B6. Ground chestnut flour can be used as a gluten-free flour for cakes and bakes, or buy fresh and roast for a tasty snack.

Red (high saturated fat content) Brazil nuts, Macadamias. Cashews

Hazelnuts Go for hazelnuts if you’re concerned about high levels of homocysteine, an amino acid which has been associated with heart problems as well as conditions like Parkinsons. Hazelnuts are a good source of folate, which plays a key role in keeping homocysteine within normal levels. Macadamias Macadamias have the highest fat content and are often used to add flavour and texture to dishes and work well in both savoury and sweet recipes. They do supply good levels of the healthy mono-unsaturated variety. They’re a rich source of fibre and make a useful contribution of minerals including magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Amber (medium saturated fat content) Walnuts, Pecans, Pistachios

Green (low saturated fat content) Hazelnuts, Almonds, Chestnuts Almonds If you avoid dairy, calcium-rich almonds are a good choice to ensure you’re getting enough of this bone-building mineral. Almonds are also high in vitamin E, a nutrient which helps to improve the condition and appearance of your skin. Brazil nuts Ideal for those with low thyroid function, Brazils are a good source of the mineral selenium, which we need to produce

Pecans Heart-friendly pecans are packed with plant sterols, valuable compounds that are effective at lowering cholesterol levels. Pecans are also antioxidant-rich which helps prevent the plaque formation that causes hardening of the arteries. They’re rich in oleic acid, the healthy fat found in olives and avocado. As a good source of vitamin B3 pecans are the perfect option if you’re fighting fatigue because this vitamin helps us access the energy in our food. Pistachios They are especially rich in vitamin B6, which is important for keeping hormones balanced and healthy, pistachios are a good option for those with problem periods. They’re the only nut to contain reasonable levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that play an important role in protecting the eyes. Pistachios also contain potassium and fibre - in fact a 30g serving has more than three times that supplied by the equivalent weight of plums. Walnuts Their superior antioxidant content means walnuts are useful in the fight against cancer. They’re also a good source of mono-unsaturated, heart-friendly fats, and studies show they help to lower the bad form of cholesterol (LDL). Finally, they’re rich in omega-3, so they’re a great alternative if you don’t eat oily fish. AIM MAGAZINE

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Mukimo Mukimo is a Kikuyu dish that was popular

To prepare the mukimo, place all the

and readily eaten back in the 60’s. The

potatoes to boil 15 to 20 minutes until

recipe below is a modern variation.

the potatoes are tender then add the amaranth greens and and add pre boiled

Potatoes- 1 kg (diced)

beans and maize then boil for an additional

Amaranth leaves (terere) - 3 bunches

10 minutes. Remove the pot from the

(washed and finely chopped)

stove, drain the water while leaving all

4 cups Black Beans

ingredients in the pot. Add salt, butter or

2 cups Green maize off the cob

cream and mash until all is mixed well.

Water- 10 cups 1 cup Butter or fresh cream

Serve hot with a spicy vegetable broth.

Salt to taste

Feel free to replace the amaranth leaves with kale or any other greens you prefer.


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5 Things you should know about running a halfmarathon

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by Kenneth Mwangi

Firstly, the fact that I’m Kenyan doesn’t automatically make me a marathoner. Neither does a year of half-marathons under my belt. Having said that, Kenya is home and training ground to the most dominating long distance runners in the world. RIP Samuel Wanjiru. We all have our reasons for doing running. It personally started off as a good idea proposed by a good buddy Louis V who was introduced to it by an equally good buddy Nyambura and so on and so I now run with a bunch of friends. Losing weight seems to be a popular reason to exercise. It is also great for balancing one’s health given the kind of eating and drinking that takes place in our generation. Most folks I know like running because they get to socialise. It is during some of the after-run socialising that I get some of the best advice from strangers that I see on the running trail as they passed us at full speed, going uphill like it was nothing while we struggled to catch our breath and gasping for air. We usually catch up with them at the clubhouse later and their advice has been pretty useful. 1. Running is an addictive lifestyle, however keep it fun.

It is okay to push it but if you come to find that after giving it your all you’re only at the 10-km mark, then it is alright to take a breath. Most people who push themselves too far the 1st few runs don’t hack it in the long run because they get traumatised and remember nothing but the suffering. Those who started with doing less than 5-km at a time(like me) do it for years and may even graduate to the 42-kms. God bless their souls. 2. Avoid Alcohol the night before a run

Most marathons happen over the weekend. It’s usually good to have the ‘’organiser’’ whose job is to include a few fun things to do as a team on the day before. Sightseeing, watching movies, playing card games, etc. With camping, of course jokes and telling stories tend to be more fun if you sit around the bonfire without a couple cold ones but whatever you do, do not get smashed. Hydrate more than usual before going to bed for at least two days prior to the run. It made the difference for a Flu stricken running mate at the Nairobi StanChart Marathon.

3. Have the right shoe for the job

So you’ve registered for the run, check. Marked the calendar, check. Made travelling arrangements with the team, check. Most people have these down and what they usually don’t account for is the right attire for the terrain and the weather. Apparently, it is not a good idea to run with a brand new running shoe. I found that out the hard way when at around 14-km I was forced to run the rest of the race on blisters. Speak to a professional about the right shoe for the terrain beforehand. Some of the recommended brands are Asics, Mizuno, Saucony and Adidas 4. Keep off the water bottle on the first few check points

Most runs have their watering stations at every 5-km mark. Lewa Marathon, one of the better sponsored runs went as far as offering fruit and energy drinks in between and in addition, had cooling points that sprinkled you with cold water droplets as you ran through a tunnel. Absolutely heavenly. As I was advised, just because it has been offered doesn’t mean you have to have it. While there is nothing wrong with having fruit and sipping on energy drinks, skip the water on the first few watering stations at all costs and only take a sip or two at the other stations. A stitch is quite the motivation killer while doing a long run. 5. Stick to the running plan but also, respect the hills

There are always a few amateurs that take off from the starting line at full speed. I usually pass them by the 5-km mark. There’s also those that clog the trail at the beginning, forcing you to work extra hard to separate yourself from the crowd. I have learned to start slow and gradually pick up pace with every other Kilometre. I peak at about the 14 to 15 Km point. Most people find the 19th kilometre the hardest of them all so I leave enough energy reserve for the last 3-kms. If the hills are moderate I will run them but I have found some a bit too extreme especially those in Central Kenya’s Ndakaini Marathon. My advice, respect the hills if you want to finish the race. Walk up-hill and make up for lost time going downhill. You will be glad you walked. Keep these first five in mind and stay tuned for more information and tips on running. See you on the trail! AIM MAGAZINE

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Sidibe’s Fashionable Images: Mali in the 60’s

Princess Elizabeth Of Toro, Ugandan Supermodel, dignitary and lawyer AIM MAGAZINE

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Studio Photographers

Couple on the dance floor

Sidibé was born in Bamako, Mali. He grew up on the farm until the age of six when he was sent to school. During his first year he became interested in art and by high school he was doing drawings for official events. The Major admired his talent and selected him to go to the School of Sudanese Craftsmen in Bamako. It was at this school where Sidibé was approached by a photographer and learned the skills which he would pursue for the rest of his life. 

in Bamako and specialized in documentary photography, focusing particularly on the youth culture of the Malian capital. Sidibé took photographs at sport events, the beach, nightclubs, concerts, and even tagged along while the young men seduced girls. Sidibé became noted for his black-andwhite studies of popular culture inthe 1960s in Bamako. 

In 1955, he undertook an apprenticeship at Gérard GuillatGuignard’s Photo Service Boutique, also known as Gégé la pellicule. In 1958, he opened his own studio (Studio Malick)

Couple at the beach

In the 1970s, he turned towards the making of studio portraits. His background in drawing became useful in a way that he was able to position people so they still appeared alive in photos rather than mummie like.


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Jubilee Issue by Kabura Wahome Dr. Kofi Awoonor, was born George Awoonor-Williams on a Friday, March 13th 1935 in the Gold Coast, now known as Ghana. Awoonor was closely tied to the first president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah. Shortly after Nkrumah was driven out by a coup in 1966, Awoonor went into exile. During the time he was abroad, he completed graduate and doctoral studies, receiving a Ph.D. in literature from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1972. He returned to Ghana in 1975. Soon thereafter, he was detained for his alleged involvement with an Ewe coup plot. The House by the Sea (1978), a book of poetry, recounts his jail time. His work was based on African oral poetry, his early works were inspired by the singing and verse of his native Ewe people.He sought to incorporate African vernacular traditions into modern poetic form. He was a Poet, author, academic and a diplomat. His works include: Poetry: Rediscovery & Other Poems Night of My Blood The House By the Sea The Promise of Hope: Now and Selected Poems (to be published in 2014 Novels: This Earth my brother Comes the Voyager at Last Non Fiction: The Breast of the Earth Ghana: A Political History from Pre-European to Modern Times He travelled to Kenya to do what he does best, the “science” of oratory, storytelling at the Storymoja Hay Festival, where he was caught up in a tragedy and unfortunate crossfire that lead to his passing. AIM Magazine asks that #africansinmotion pay tribute to Dr. Kofo Awoonor, by seeking his voice and reflecting on all that he did to inform our imagination and culture. GRAINS AND TEARS by Dr. Kofi Awoonor

.... Go and tell them I paid the price, I stood by the truth, I fought anger and hatred on behalf of the people. I ate their meagre meals in the barracks, shared their footsteps and tears, in freedom’s name. I promised once in a slave house in Ussher, to postpone dying until, the morning after freedom. I promise.”


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Help Wanted: Villagers Needed! As you have no doubt already read in a preceding article, or two, the Organisation of African Unity was established 50 years ago; on May 25, 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. But what you may not know is that one year later Malcolm X, so inspired by the OAU when he visited Africa in April and May, 1964, founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) in America. The OAAU was an organization focused on the fight for human rights of Afro-Americans and promoting cooperation among Africans and people of African descent in the Americas. Sadly today, 50 years later, OAAU is no more. Persons of African heritage in the U.S. have been fighting for freedom, economic independence, individual sovereignty, civil rights, or basic human dignity since day one of this great nation. But more importantly we have been fighting against our indoctrinated self-hatred; which might explain the gaps and spurts of stagnation in the progress of my people, in the main. Moreover, for the past 150 years the black American struggle has gone on congruently to the continental African struggle unbeknownst to the average black America on the street. Simply put, very few of us had any idea Africans were fighting for independence and control of their own countries. Indeed; where in the world can Africans feel free to be Africans? 50 years ago Martin Luther King Jr. famously marched on Washington D.C., August 28th; which is viewed by many as the Civil Rights struggle’s turning point. Then just18 days later, September 15th, 4 little black girls, Americans of African descent, were killed when an Alabama church was bombed in retaliation of the Civil Rights Movement. Still, many believe the fall of 1963 was the “beginning of the beginning” of Civil Rights for blacks. But 1963 was also arguably the “beginning of the end” of America’s African village. The generation of African-Americans that were children in those days, i.e. my mother’s generation, were for all intents and purposes the last generation that could be spanked by a concerned neighbor and then spanked again when they got home—because that neighbor would call to report what he or she saw that child do. In those glorious days any African-American adult could rebuke any African-American child because we were one community—a village, if you will—of displaced Africans; a people still emerging from the shadow of American slavery. Every adult felt a responsibility towards every child; particularly those children from the same neighborhood. They were all aunties and uncles, or a big momma or old pa to every child. Sound familiar? But as the dominate American culture encroached more and more on our sub-culture, members of our community grew further and further apart; which made this practice less and less acceptable. In our nationwide pursuit to be recognized as full-fledged Americans many of my people began to forget how important it was, or rather is, to also remain as African as

we can. And since African migration to the U.S. wasn’t as commonplace as it is now many of us hadn’t interacted with Africans; an encounter which would have helped to confirm we did in fact have African ways. Things family members did in my youth; like eating collard greens and cornbread with our bare hands, or big Sunday dinners so plentiful they rivaled Thanksgiving feasts, or how we held our elders in such high regard—the highest in fact, or how arriving on time to an event was never as important as showing up in style, hence the phrase CPT (for color people time), or our communal spirit, or… all of these African things that still course through our veins. It was about 50 years ago that my people became “AfricanAmerican.” Before that we were Negroes; a race of black people, globally. We were Negroes, but so were the black people across the Atlantic; at least initially. When the concept of a Negro was introduced to the world all black people were believed to be Negroes. But now… now, according to our most outspoken sources, only the descendants of American slaves that descended from West African tribes are considered African-American (hence the controversy over President Obama’s African-American designation). And socially this is a most tragic happenstance because it cuts my people off from the fullness of what it means to be African; our African ethnicity. And ethnicity is the anchor of a people’s humanity; it is the source of a people’s pride of ancestry. To better understand what I am saying one need look no further than the precedent set by white Americans. White Americans will tell you that racially they are white. But they will also tell you that they are German, or Italian, or Irish, or part this and that. They will tell you this because somewhere deep down inside they know that their ancestry (which is another way to say ethnicity) is essential to their American identity; as in when and how their people came to this country. They may not know or perhaps haven’t given much thought as to why this is, but it is knowledge they value enough to pass down to their children. And it is this pride of ancestry from which an oppressed or subjugated people will draw strength. But alas, my people have been made to believe we are simply a race of black men; no longer African; no ethnicities to speak of; no sufficient argument for our humanity. 50 years ago the black American community was an African village in the midst of America. 50 years ago we were more like our African cousins across the Atlantic. Today there isn’t a village of aunties and uncles helping to raise our children. Today my people are in more need of “villagers” than perhaps any time in our history! Iron sharpens iron, so let’s be better because of it! Gerald Montgomery AIM MAGAZINE

Jubilee Issue

NO EVIL See No Evil

Usoni, TV Series Usoni, which is set in 2062, tells the story of European refugees fleeing to Africa. Created by Marc Rigaudis of the United States International University in Nairobi, the film casts Africa as an oasis – the only place where the sun continues to shine. It follows a young couple who embark on a dangerous journey to reach the continent but before their dream can be realised, they must overcome the worst of humanity and beat impossible odds. Check out the trailer of Usoni at MJMM


Jubilee Issue

Hear No Evil Africa 50 Years of Music Disc Set Speak No Evil Gathering Seaweed: African Prison Writing edited by Jack Mapanje This anthology introduces the African literature of incarceration to the general reader, the scholar, the activist and the student. The visions and prison cries of the few African nationalists imprisoned by colonialists, who later became leaders of their independent dictatorships and in turn imprisoned their own writers and other radicals, are brought into sharper focus, thereby critically exposing the ironies of varied generations of the efforts of freedom fighters. Contributors include: Kunle Ajibade, Obafemi Awolowo, Steve Biko, Breyten Breytenbach, Dennis Brutus, Nawal El Saadawi, M J Kariuki, Kenneth Kaunda, Caesarina Kona Makhoere, Nelson Mandela, Emma Mashinini, Felix Mnthali, Augustino Nato, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Kwame Nkrumah, Abe Sachs, Ken Saro Wiwa, Wole Soyinka, and Koigi wa Wamwere.

Africa 50 Years of Music collects 183 classic recordings by 183 important artists from 38 countries in North, South, East and West Africa. The artists include universal stars such as Miriam Makeba, Fela Kuti, Youssou N Dour, Franco, Cheb Khaled, Cesaria Evora, Mulatu Astatke, Salif Keita, Manu Dibango and Oum Kalsoum. The tracks, licensed from some of the world s most respected record companies, are all original studio recordings or, in a few cases, famous concert performances. Most of them were made in the 50 years from 1960 to 2010 the era of African independence but two landmark Egyptian classics date from the 1940s. Some of the songs included are: Pata Pata, Soul Makossa, Yeke Yeke, Sweet Mother, Mario, Shakara, Jive Soweto. Others will be revelations to even the most dedicated record collectors. The deluxe longbox set includes a 60-page book of photographs, record-cover reproductions, specially-commissioned artwork and essays by experts on each of Africa’s popular styles. AIM MAGAZINE

Jubilee Issue

g g o l B les b a -

Elsie Mtembezi

We have been feeling the itch to travel around lately and these are the travel blogs we have been enjoying: Adventure With Mash

Elsie describes her blog as “a Kenyan travel junkie’s experiences while roaming around her beautiful country. My African name Ng’endo actually means nomad or traveller, but the domain name was already taken and so I had to resort to plan b in creating the name for my travel blog! That done I am putting down my experiences in traveling around this awesome country and also have some friends contribute on their travels both in Kenya and around the continent! Hope you enjoy the adventures!” Follow her at OneTouch Media Kenya They describe themselves as “a group of photographers, cinematographers, writers and adventure travelers on a quest to showcase the beauty of African People, Cultures, Wildlife and Landscapes. Mash describes his blog as follows: “My name is Macharia Njuguna. However, most people that I interact with call me Mash. I love travel for adventure, and every new day I yearn for a new experience through being away from my comfort zone (home). I like interacting with people of different cultures so as to learn from them in a bid to better understand the world and mankind. I also try my hand at photography, especially portraits where the emotions of a soul can be captured in a shot and preserved. I am an African adventurer (Kenyan), eager to see all that the world has to offer and what I can give back. Here I share with you my random adventure experiences. Your feedback as comments, suggestions and contributions will be highly appreciated. Live and Love Life! Everyday is an adventure” Follow him at


OneTouch is made up of 15 official members. What initially started as photographer friends meeting every Tuesday to critique and share photographic experiences and projects, OneTouch quickly morphed into something “More than a Tuesday meeting”. We soon discovered we all, as individually branded and connected as everyone is, had one goal, one mission in mind; Change the story of Africa through the lens, through the pen and through travel. “OneTouch” basically means bringing excellence and brilliance to the industry and Africa, One click at a time, as is custom of all the members in their individual rights. Ranging from Wedding, Wildlife, Travel, Landscape, Portrait and Street photographers, OneTouch is a highly diverse and skilled group with a passion for excellence and creativity.” Get to know these brilliant 15 #africansinmotion and follow them on their travels and admire their beautiful shots at

Jubilee Issue

Hair: Reflecting on styles popular in the 60’s by Eva Githina Hair Care: Cornrows and Afros were popular in the 60’s. Most African tribes dressed their hair in plaits wrapped in thread, tight to the scalp, either in straight rows (hence the name) or intricate patterns and the ends were secured with thread and/ or decorated with beads. An ancient and traditional way of styling hair in Africa and for African-descended people worldwide, cornrows became fashionable again in the ’60s and ’70s due to the black pride and Pan-African movements. Products were limited to natural oils found in plants like Shea, coconut, aloe, tea-tree, jojoba, hibiscus or by-products remaining from separating things like milk from animals. As manufacturing spread so did the use of processed petroleum, aloe, coconut made into pomades. Credits: Photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere spent the Sixties and Seventies documenting the hairstyles of the women he encountered in his native Nigeria. He snapped over 1,000 photos of these complex coiffures, from subjects he found on the streets, in offices, and at wedding celebrations.


Jubilee Issue

REDISCOVERY by Dr. Kofi AwoonorWhen our tears are dry on the shoreand the fishermen carry their nets homeand the seagulls return to bird islandand the laughter of the children recedes at night,there shall still linger here the communion we forged,the feast of oneness which we partook of.There shall still be the eternal gatemanWho will close the cemetery doorsAnd send the late mourners away.It cannot be the music we heard that nightThat still lingers in the chambers of memory.It is the new chorus of our forgotten comradesAnd the halleluyahs of our second selves.

Insert photo of Uhuru Gardens monuments and the following: “Independence commemorative monument, constructed in 1973 upon the spot where Uhuru (freedom/independence) from colonial rule was declared. The  monument is a 24-meter high triumphal column, supporting a pair of clasped hands and a dove of peace. On one side of this monument is a statue of freedom fighters raising the Kenyan flag.” Source: AIM MAGAZINE

Jubilee Issue


Jubilee Issue


AIM Magazine December 2013  
AIM Magazine December 2013  

AIM Magazine December 2013 -Celebrating 50 Years of Independence