Editorâ€™s Notes Feature Story:
June Food Fashion Sense Color & Choice Health Talk G-Spot Book Review Tech Buzz Celebrating Fela Kuti No Evil Chew on this Inspiration Adverts
Editor : Wangechi Ruguaru
Editor : Linda Obel
Contributor : Gerald Montgomery
Contributor : Kabura Wahome
Contributor : Ahmed Maawy
Contributor : Tony Odufuye
Editor : Eva Githina
Contributor : Wambui Wamutongoria
Sam the Designer
The “List” I think it is very important to write down a to-do list, it can be a list of anything, your dreams, goals, grocery list etc. I am an avid list writer, I feel a sense of being on top of my life with a list, I even have things that I know that might never happen but I hold on to that hope, so just in case it does…I can joyfully cross it out. Crossing things off your list is the best therapy one can possibly get. My number one advice to people that come to me stressed is “write down everything that is bothering you, if there is nothing you can do about it, cross it out.” Why you ask? We are allowing ourselves to dwell on petty things and stressing over things we have no control. The minute you cross off something on your list, another list is born, so take it as life happenings, but deal with only those that you have control over.
Life is full of surprises, we have no control of what happens, but at the same time we have control of how to react to life’s surprises . Avoid using the word “STRESS” unless you lost your job, lost a loved one or your car broke down on the same day. I believe we are given only that we can handle. Positive thinking is very crucial in life, always think of the worst that can happen other than your worst. Focus on important things, life is so simple. ONE!
Mutua Matheka is a photographer that is determined to put Kenya on the map through his work. I have followed his work dilligently and you can clearly see through his work that he has a passion about Kenya. His talent is obvious and I am sure that slowly but surely, he will accomplish his goal of showing the true face of this country to Kenyan citizens and the rest of the world. We took some time to ask Mutua a couple of questions about how he got here.... Q: What is your full name and where are you from? A: I am Mutua Matheka & I am from Machakos, a small town in the eastern province of Kenya. Q: When did you become interested in photography? A: I took an interest in photography specifically as a form of self expression around 2008, I think, as a 5th year student in JKUAT, a university in Kenya. I got a camera about a year later and started taking photos. Q: How did you discover that you had a talent for photography and how did you develop that talent? A: I have always been an artist all my life and anything artistic kinda comes easier for me. When I picked up a camera about
2.5 years ago, it was for fun and to make images I can use for graphic design projects. I then felt like I needed to grow and be better so I got onto a daily shoot program that had me shoot 1 good image daily. I grew a lot because of this. Q: How did your family help or challenge you as a far as your photography is concerned? A: My family has always really supported anything I do(it’s not like I gave them a choice anyway :). My mom has encouraged my art from as early as 3yrs old so it wasn’t a problem. Q: What do you see as Photographer’s contribution to society? A: I believe photographers can show societal ills, culture & beauty. I think we are the visual record keepers of society just like historical writers and the field we choose to photograph sheds light on a time period and mannerisms of a certain people. I also believe photography can change mindsets especially in Africa. We have so much beauty yet we are bombarded with our shortcomings. I think we can show such a beautiful side that we start feeling good about ourselves and behave like it. Q: Do you have a favorite picture and if so, could you provide a copy and tell us why the photograph is so special to you? A: I honestly do not have a favorite photo. I can’t choose. True story. Q: What issues, places or spaces inspire you? A: I’m inspired by Africa in general. When I see photos of places I haven’t visited, I literally want to jump out and go there
and take a photograph. Our culture, colors, textures, food & sights. Q: What have been your favorite projects to date and why? A: I am at my best when out there shooting Urban landscapes & cityscapes and shooting landscapes. Nairobi streets and architecture have a special place in my heart. I do believe that seeing Jim Chuchuâ€™s work is what got me interested in photography. I like that he seems fearless in converting his photographs into art pieces & I like that. Jeremy Cowart inspires me so much because of his artistic approach and attitude toward life & photography. Trey Ratcliff captures landscapes in a way that gets me very jealous so he has to land in this list. Let me end it here, the list is longer. Q: What causes or issues are you passionate about? What about Africa is special to you? A: As I said earlier, the diversity of our culture, color, texture, food.
All this really is special to me and I hope to take as many photos depicting this as possible. I believe we have much much more than decease, famine and kids with running noses & flies on their eyes. Q: What advice would you give to young and upcoming photographers? A: Keep shooting, this way you keep improving and getting better. Choose what you want to communicate using your photography and use it as your voice. Do not settle for mediocre because awesome, emotion provoking photographs is how we shall get Kenyan photography on the global map.
To get in touch with Mutua Matheka.... mail [email@example.com] website [mutuamatheka.co.ke] twitter [@truthslinger]
So you have been working so hard all winter so that you can look great in that swimsuit you promised yourself you would wear come summer time. Now that summer is here, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some tasty food while still watching your waistline. Here are a couple summer time recipes for you to enjoy without feeling too guilty!!
Lamb Lettuce Wraps Ingredients (Serves 4) • 1 ½ lb. Ground Lamb • 1 Whole Egg • ½ Cup Egg Whites • 1 tbsp Chopped Garlic • ½ tsp Salt • ½ tsp Pepper • 2 Large Tomatoes • 1 Large Onion • 1 Cup Mushrooms, Sliced • 1 Head Iceberg Lettuce Directions 1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until the ingredients are evenly distributed 2. Divide the lamb into 4 and shape each portion into a round patty about a half inch thick 3. Place the burgers on the grill and
cook on each side for 3-5 minutes 4. Slice up some tomatoes, onions and mushrooms (if desired) 5. Heat up a tablespoon on olive oil in a frying pan and add the onions 6. Sautee the onions and mushrooms until they are translucent. Season with salt and pepper to taste Lamb wraps can be assembled as desired with lettuce, sautéed vegetables and tomatoes. Serve with Sweet Potato Fries (recipe shown below) Baked Sweet Potato Fries Ingredients (Serves 4) • Olive Oil, for Tossing • 4 Medium Sweet Potatoes • 1 tsp Salt • 1/2 tsp Pepper
Directions 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 2. Peel and Slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch long slices, then 1/4 wide inch strips 3. Line a sheet tray with parchment or spray with non-stick cooking spray 4. In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat 5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper 6. Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd 7. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. 8. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Do it like an African Africa is something to behold, beyond the bad PR that the entire continent is subjected to. Being ethnic or tribal isn’t how most of us like to be described, but if you put down the cool aid for a moment and look around you’ll find the dopest, freshest looks in tribal African looks. Here are a few ideas on how Tribal Africa can add swag to you image.
Body Paint Body paint has been used since the first moon by Africans to adorn their body, treat their skin and give the illusion of being dressed up. Today’s fashion statements are shorter and more see through than ever before, the perfect solution is body paint. What say ye?
Chop It Off Hair is so overrated, though it’s a symbol of beauty it shouldn’t define you so much that the though of cutting it off makes you break out in violent cold sweats. From experience I know that when I cut my hair my accessory and makeup game steps way up. African Woman never had a problem chopping off their locs and laying on their beaded neck pieces and earrings. Try it, you will feel more beautiful than ever.
Waist Beads Waist beads and slowly creeping back in our closets. This sexy sultry way to accessorize has been used by African couples as an intimate beautiful piece that the woman would wear just for her lover or husband.
Poetry and Photos by Nana Kofi Acquah http://africaphotographer.blogspot.com/ I just hitchhiked my way into And slapped my tired bum On the soft leather seats Of a locomotive train That is going no where. If I owned a Sushi-bar I’d serve choice chameleon meat So you can have lean viande In any colour of your choice. Some people can’t see beyond colour. How does one tell a sick Puppeteer? By looking at what the puppets do. A bunch of malnourished hyenas Would have been kinder to the dying Gadaffi.
I hear lots of young African migrants Are busy donating their green cards to FIFA But Blatter’s squad prefer red and yellow If you insist on green, they prefer bills. The saddest African faces aren’t the starving In the East. They are the over-stressed in the West. There’s a reason snails and turtles are slow: They carry their troubles all by themselves. The chameleon though, is slow for another reason: He still doesn’t know who he really is.
3 ways to keep your arms in shape Drum for great looking arms! Drumming is a fantastic way of keeping the arms in shape. It is fantastic exercise, that allows you to make music and be part of a community! Drumming allows you to use your core, shoulders, triceps, biceps and forearms. In addition to engaging all these muscles, your heart-rate is also elevated while you drum which has great cardio vascular and emotional benefit. Make music and improve the muscle definition in your arms!
Dance your way to fierce arms! Dancing is a great form of exercise. It is a fun and fantastic way of easing into physical activity and can be easliy adjusted to the differemt levels of fitness. African dance incorporates a lot of arm movements which are fantastic for raising your heart rate and work effectively in toning your arms, shoulders and back. In Latin dance, there is a lot of styling that requires balance, good posture in the upper back and strength in the arms which over time work well in improving your posture making you look and feel strong and lean.
Dig for toned arms! Gardening is a fun activity that allows for plenty of time outdoors and use of muscle strength depending on the weight of equipment. There is also a lot of digging which makes good use of your core, back, arms and legs. This is a fantastic form of low-impact exercise that also improves mental health.
A Mother’s Day Tribute The only thing more precious than a woman, is a woman with a child; a mother! She is truly among Earth’s greatest commodities. I recognized the importance of fathers in the AIM July 2009 edition. So this long overdue G-Spot article is a tribute to mothers; past, present and future! “The Unequivocal Mother” A Mother is God’s Love incarnate. For which no wrong is too great to eradicate! She smiles; and promises are fulfilled. She touches; and hope is renewed. She cries; and debts are paid in full. And if her blood is shed a legion of angels will avenge her! Any amount of food becomes just enough in a mother’s hands. Bellies are filled and tummies are rubbed. Her kitchen is a place of miracles; sacrifice is her special ingredient. Her spit-covered thumb washes ash and sins away in a single swipe. Her sweet kisses are the most potent medicine. When her children share their talents with the world she claps with the thunder of a thousand church choirs; she esteems her children. Her lungs are filled with borrowed breath. Her life is an extension of her children; indeed they are her life! Alas, God is jealous because she loves her man with all of her being, in hopes that he will love her children half as much in return. Truly a woman’s glory is her hair and a man’s his woman. But a mother’s glory is the well-being of her children. Children revere they father and covet their mother. She is immaculate in caring for her children, yet still has time for her own vanity. Her love for her children is her burden and vanity is her curse. On the surface she is a wife, a sister, co-worker and daughter. But through and through, she is all Mother! Mother is a noun; it’s what she is. Father is a verb; it’s what he does! It takes a hundred fathers to protect a village from a mighty foe, but only one Mother to nurture all of its children. A child is safe in the arms of any Mother. As children, our first words are “da-da.” But at the height of greatest we bellow, “hi mom!” She is the Eve of Creation; Daughter of the Sun. From her womb comes a nation. Her breast feeds the leaders of men. Subjects bow to their king; the greatest kings are subject to their mothers. A house is supported by its foundation, but a home rests upon the mother! I dedicate these accolades, these emotions to the only person, besides Jesus, who might successfully advocate for my salvation; my grandmother, Earlene Montgomery. To all the mothers out there, I love y’all! Happy Mother’s Day! Iron sharpens iron, so let’s be better because of it!
Aboke Girls by Els De Temmerman This is a collection of experiences of the abducted children, the people who were involved in taking care of the children after they were able to escape and other humanitarian bodies that are working to end it all. It is 2012 and child abduction is still rampant. The last sentence in this epilogue states as follows: “In the year 2000, more than four hundred children were again abducted by rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army; one was only two years old.........” St. Mary’s College in Aboke was a reputable girls’ school in Northern Ugandan. On October 9th,1996 a hundred and thirty nine girls, between twelve and fifteen years old were abducted by LRA rebels. The attack was not like any before. The rebels did not go straight to the nuns. This time they went straight to the dormitories and broke through the wall. It was the only way in. One of the rebels got in and opened the door. The girls were ordered to put on clothes that would help them survive in the bush; dark clothes, no white or red or yellow. They were tied to each other with ropes or with their own clothes, in groups of five or six, and pushed outside. Sister Rachele, the Deputy Headmistress of St. Mary’s College along with two other sisters who worked at the school had hidden when the rebels attacked. When the finally came out of hiding they were appalled to discover that the girls had been taken, Sister Rachele along with John Bosco a teacher at the school decided to follow the rebels and get the girls back. Sister Rachele took money from the safe and they went to pay for their girls. Aboke Girls recounts how Sister Rachele insisted on speaking to the commander in charge to negotiate for the release of the abducted girls as she and John Bosco were treated to a cup of tea and biscuits. Sister Rachele insisted on having all the girls released to her. It was while she was asking for her girls that it became clear to her that there were other abducted children in the camp. After consulting with his superior the commander in charge of the group released 109 girls and kept 30. As Sister Rachele was walking away with the 109 she asked the remaining girls not to look at them as they left. Aboke Girls recounts the experiences of the girls left in the hands of the LRA led by Joseph Kony, such as their trek to Sudan, rape and the preference for abducting brown girls. Once in Sudan the girls met the leader of the rebel movement, Kony and were distributed as wives to the commanders like trophies. Meanwhile Sister Rachele organized and joined forces with the parents of the missing girls and other Human rights organizations to campaign for the release of the 30 remaining girls. This book does a wonderful job of highlighting the difficulties of negotiating for the release of the 30. Some of the parents of the abducted girls wanted to hide the fact that their daughters had been abducted as they were either ashamed or were afraid of drawing attention from the LRA. The Ugandan government’s role in the conflict is also highlighted. The same children that were being abducted were able to help in answering a question that had been on everybody’s mind: What was the matter with this man- Kony? Why was he doing what he was doing? The people that Kony and his rebels had been attacking and terrorizing were his own people, the Acholi people. It did not make sense to everyone else but to Kony it did. According to Kony, the Acholi people had been disloyal to him, they had turned their backs to him and were serving other gods and his number one enemy Museveni, for which they needed to be punished. Kony was not killing he was cleansing his people so that only the pure ones would remain. The pure ones would be the ones born in Sudan, a new and pure Acholi race that would become powerful enough to overthrow the government of Uganda and rule the country according to the Ten commandments.
Ushahidi and Crowdmap Ushahidi is a non-profit tech company that specializes in developing free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. This company was founded by Kenyans. “Ushahidi”, which means “testimony” in Swahili, was a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Since then, the name “Ushahidi” has come to represent the people behind the “Ushahidi Platform”.
Our roots are in the collaboration of Kenyan citizen journalists during a time of crisis. The original website was used to map incidents of violence and peace efforts throughout the country based on reports submitted via the web and mobile phones. This website had 45,000 users in Kenya, and was the catalyst for us realizing there was a need for a platform based on it, which could be used by others around the world. Since early 2008 Ushahidi has grown from an ad hoc group of volunteers to a focused organization.
One of their most revolutionary products is Crowdmap. Crowdmap is the fastest, simplest installation of the Ushahidi platform. Within minutes you’ll be up and running with your own installation, mapping reports events and visualizing information.
Things You Can Do With Crowdmap • Monitor Elections - Use the power of the crowd to monitor and visualize what went right, and what went wrong, in an election. • Map Crisis Information - Whether it’s a natural disaster, epidemic or political crisis, Crowdmap is built to handle information coming out of a crisis. • Curate Local Resources - Crowdsourcing isn’t just for emergencies, you can use it for local knowledge and business too. • Document A Zombie Invasion - How else will you survive the coming apocalypse?
For more information go to http://ushahidi.com/
by Anthony Odufuye Fela Anikulapo Kuti. That name means so much to many people all over the world. To me, Fela was a musician, political activist, rebel and an all-round bad ass. He was born in 1938 in my mother’s hometown of Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria to a father who was a Reverend in the church and a mother who was a feminist activist. Fela showed signs of being a rebel from a very young age. This ranged from causing all sorts of trouble in high school in Nigeria, to refusing to study medicine as both of his brothers had done. He instead chose to pursue his passion of music. As a child, I remember watching Fela perform on television and being so amazed at the range of instruments he played and mastered. Besides being well accomplished at playing the saxophone, guitar, drums, piano and the trumpet, he was also a gifted composer and singer. One of his more widely known accomplishments is that he was the father of Afrobeat, a musical style he created which fused Jazz, highlife, funk and Yoruba music to create a style still recognized today. I grew up hearing about various things that Fela had done in the past and was still doing while he was still alive. I learned that Fela had declared his compound to be independent of Nigeria and named it Kalakuta Republic. I knew he had many wives, 27 to be exact, whom he married in protest of the foreign western religions that were introduced into Nigeria. Fela married all his wives in a traditional ceremony that was highly publicized around the world. While most people think of him as a polygamist, Fela later changed his views on marriage and divorced all of his wives because he believed the institution of marriage only served to promote jealousy. According to Fela, humans should strive to rid themselves of jealous thoughts and feelings. If they did that, marriage would become unnecessary. Most of all, Fela was widely known for his political activism. He was the most vocal opponent against the Nigerian government during his lifetime. He not only wrote about his opinions in a national newspaper, but also made numerous songs damning the ruling political parties and the military for rampant corruption, and for their ties to the formal colonial
countries. He called for the country to unite and embrace their own culture and develop their own natural resources and industry instead of relying on western industries. As a result of all this, he was targeted by many of the subsequent ruling military powers. Fela was beaten time and again; he was thrown in jail, and even survived a raid of one thousand soldiers on his home of Kalakuta Republic. During this massive raid, he lost most of his musical instruments, master tapes and wealth when the soldiers burned down the entire commune, which was home to all his wives and band players. The most painful loss, however, was the passing of his mother who fell terminally ill after being thrown from a window. His son recalls him sobbing when he went to view his mother’s body, as well as the fact that he had to compose himself as he readied to face the public because he knew everyone would be watching. He needed to show that no matter what the military did to him, he would still continue to stand for what he believed in. The military pretended to conduct an investigation into the raid, and subsequently blamed the fire on an unknown soldier. In protest, Fela released two songs titled “Coffin for Head of State” and “Unknown Soldier” the following year. He also formed his own political party and unsuccessfully tried to run for president for 10 years. His name was refused for the ballot by the ruling Head of State. Fela eventually died in 1997 and his brother later publicized that his death was due to complications with AIDS. Despite being shunned by Christians and Muslims alike for his religious views, the government for his opposition, and even some of the people for his open sexuality and ideas about marriage, Fela was widely respected and treasured by not only his fellow countrymen in Nigeria, but all over Africa and beyond. Fela inspired my generation to always stand for our beliefs even when faced with overwhelming adversity.
See No Evil ...no evil about big women. Instead focus on the beautiful depictions on canvas by the famous Augistin Kassi. His pieces are vibrant and colourful and they do justice to the big boned African Sisters in a way that shows their beauty. For more on Augistin Kassi, go to http://augustin.kassi.blog.free. fr/
Hear No Evil ...no evil about Seun Kuti. His latest album “From Africa with Fury” is a masterpiece that does justice to the Kuti name. He sets himself apart with strong lyrics, well directed videos. Take a listen and decide for yourself by going to https://www.facebook.com/seunkutiofficial
Speak No Evil ...no evil about Africa. Instead, focus on what African Films have to offer by signing on to the African Film Library to watch the 110 or so films that the AFL current offers. According to their site, “The library forms an important archive of the continent’s cultural cinematic heritage, and also, for the first time, makes the African artists’ works easily accessible by a wide viewership around the globe – creating a new audience for existing and emerging filmmakers...our library covers a wide range of themes and topics some of which include African music and culture, drama, entertainment, history, arts and many other subjects. The AFL will charge $5.00 per movie rental and allow users to watch the films for a 36-hour period. For more information go to http://www. africanfilmlibrary.com/
The Perfect Pair:
Wine & Chocolate There is something better than a nice chilled glass of wine at the end of the day. Although a glass of wine is heavenly all by itself, it tastes even better when paired with chocolate. There are as many varieties of chocolate as there are of wine, I would guess. I have not yet taken the time to find out the exact numbers of each, so please forgive my assumptions and hear me on this. Depending on how delicate or not your palate is, you can be very particular about just getting your favorite chocolate and your favorite wine and calling it a nice relaxing dessert or being very particular about what wine goes with which chocolate. Although I tend to pair my favorites from each category, the experts around have suggestions on what goes better with what as a general rule of thumb. To simplify things so that you can get to selecting your favorite wine and chocolate as fast as possible, this is what most experts agree on: • •
Lighter flavored wines are best served with by similarly flavored chocolates i.e. the darker, flavored and mostly red wines taste better with darker or bittersweet chocolates. For more adventurous types try contrasting light flavored wines with darker chocolates or vice versa e.g. pair a white zinfandel with a white, milk chocolate.
Here are some suggested pairings as provided by some pros... Pair Dark, Bittersweet chocolates with: • Zinfandel • Syrah • Port (ruby/tawny) Pair Semisweet and milk chocolate with: • Merlot • Riesling • Sauvignon Blanc The fun is in tasting as many pairings of wine and chocolate as possible. So take the time to find the perfect pairing for your palate. Cheers!
A picture of Stella, the office admin for Bungoma.
The main gate to the IPA office in Bungoma
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a nonprofit dedicated to discovering what works to help the world’s poor. We design and evaluate programs in real contexts with real people, and provide hands-on assistance to bring successful programs to scale. What they do in Kakamega and Bungoma (Kenya)
One of the office rooms. Shadack is inside the room.
IPA has its WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Basin project coordinated from Kakamega, and has another office in Bungoma. Andrew Hoekzema - Project Associate for WASH is based in the Bungoma office, where I was situated for the whole week during my visit in early May 2012. I was working as a Software Consultant for them; assisting in the set up their survey solution (creating an electronic survey for the WASH Benefits Project that will be done mainly in Western Kenya and other relevant parts of the country (later on). Other details on IPA What makes us different?
Bungoma office compound
Board room / meeting room. Ramadhan and Andrew are inside the office..
IPA evaluates what works in fighting poverty using the most rigorous methodology available: the randomized controlled trial. We are led by researchers including some of the most recognized names in development economics, many holding faculty positions at universities such as Harvard, Yale, MIT, and LSE. • We have experience working in over 40 countries around the world. • Our research spans a variety of fields, including microfinance, education, health, agriculture, charitable giving, political participation, and social capital. • We work with a variety of different organizations, including non-profits, governments, and for-profit companies. • Our staff receive rigorous training in implementing randomized controlled trials in the field, so that we always maintain the highest scientific standards for our evaluations. • We are committed to not just measuring the impact of a program, but also working with organizations to facilitate integration of research results into operations to ensure continuous improvement and the replication of successful ideas. We strive to bridge the gap between cutting-edge academic research and action by nonprofits, governments, and firms. We share the evidence we generate with development practitioners, policymakers and donors. Where appropriate, we work closely with partners to facilitate the replication of effective programs in other areas of the world. You can visit the IPA website at http://poverty-action.org/