Dr. khan Bridgit Editor university of cairo
Mr. Aliero Robinson Editor, Writer Accra, Ghana
Mr. Blax .O. Nelson Editor-in-chief
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Ms.Akinyi Emily Editor and Writer
Mr.kambale Vingi Matthieu General features Editor
Mr. Royston Tim Editor, Writer Sambara, Russia
Mr. Mugeni Ojiambo Editor and writer
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Inspiring This is a truly entertaining and educative magazine. I recommend it to everybody with the ability to read. I Mercy Johns Canada
Blue virgin magazine A way for the lost A voice for the voiceless A light to the blind A platform for those with desire This is all we require Adan Adams Saudi Arabia
Hard copies Am a South African, a second year law student in my country. I would like to applaud you for the great work you are doing. I am an avid reader of the blue virgin magazine; this is a true manifestation of an endeavor to open the eyes of the society at the same time mentoring our people. We canâ€™t wait for the actual production of the hard copies of the magazines so that we may be able to share it across the digital divide. Mary Ndela
TABLE OF CONTENT Spared for a reason Domestic violence The diary Tresor Mputu A new dawn Ezuronye’s traditional wedding Techinical institutions Ezuronye’s church wedding Your jokes Wrongfully accused Beloved kenya
pg 3 pg 5 pg 6 pg 7 pg10 pg 12 pg 13 pg 16 pg 17 pg 18
SPARED FOR A REASON Emmanuel Jal is 28 years old--approximately. No one knows for sure exactly when the London-based rapper was born. What is known is that Jal left his native south Sudan and its seemingly endless civil war as a child, after his village was razed and his mother was killed. For a time he lived in an Ethiopian refugee camp. Then he, along with other "lost boys," joined the Sudanese rebel army. After two years of battle and frequent flirtations with suicide, starvation and even cannabilism, Jal and 150 of his fellow child soldiers were rescued by British aid worker Emma McCune and taken to Kenya.
EJ: I escaped the refugee camp. There was war in Ethiopia and I end up going south in the army. You're not forced to join the army but rather you volunteer, both for revenge and because you're a child and all your friends are carrying guns. Where are you when Emma McCune finds you? EJ: Emma find me when we escaped from a failed battle of a city that we want to capture called Juba (in southern Sudan). So what happened was there was a fight between the rebels themselves. There was an internal fight, so for us, the young ones, we say, 'Okay, these guys have lost the vision, so let me go and protect my village.' So we all decided to escape. Me, I was just told, 'Okay, let's go.' So we escaped and the journey was intense and a lot of people died on the way. ...................pg 4
HERO'S REWARD Jal's long journey is documented in the film War Child, 2008 Cadillac Award winner for audience choice at the Tribeca Film Festival. VV: In one of the film's very first scenes you perform an a cappella rap of "War Child" for some students, and when you finish you say, 'That's my story.' If it's possible to capture your life in three minutes and 51 seconds, then that song's probably it, right? EJ: Yeah, I have a song called "Forced to Sin" that summarize the intensity and everything and tell the story in a short form. That one is inspired by U.S. hiphop basically. When I listened to Tupac, when I listened to Public Enemy and I listened to some underground. When people talk about 'my story,' in the hood, dealing with the drugs and all that, then I say, 'Let me give my story.' So "Forced to Sin" is the story as much as the title track? EJ: Yes. "War Child" is an intro. "Forced to Sin" is the full blow. Then when you come to "Emma," it's an appreciation of ending. You mentioned Tupac and U.S. hip-hop, and that's as good a segue as any. You're born in Sudan, live in an Ethiopian refugee camp and eventually attend school in Kenya.
by William O Ngeso Being greatly gullible I gave out my most edible Trading trust and kindness For hearts that only cared less Like a fool seeing no truth I reasoned they'd want to soothe My warm and accommodating heart Yet all they did is cause me hurt The damage done is as rewarding As the old African proverb about hiding A hungry hyena that's fleeing From a rage filled crowd fast approaching The good reward comes later After the crowd's unwilling departure And the savior becomes the martyr Carrying the saved's sin And disappears from the scene Unceremoniously
........from pg 3 This is when your best friend dies. EJ: Yeah. And then we're 16 people, the only people left, and then that's when I arrived in Waat, exhausted. And Waat was not the destiny we wanted to go, but we ended up in Waat and that's where I met Emma McCune.
You recorded with (north Sudanese musician) Abdel Galir Salim, and it's missing the Jamaican influence that's present in your solo work. Is the difference that he's traditional and you're modern? That he's Muslim and you're Christian? Or is the difference simply based on north versus south Sudan?
When do you first hear recorded music on a regular basis? When do you first hear American music on a regular basis? EJ: The music that I used to hear was Bob Marley, but I didn't understand the English. But the commanders used to play "Buffalo Soldier." [Here Emmanuel sings a bit of "Buffalo Soldier."]
EJ: If you actually go, properly, to Africa, because let me tell you, there's one place with music that is endless is Africa. Go to any village in Africa. Record it. Tell them to sing. Tell them, 'Sing for me a different song of different moods.' Go with your guitar and your cable. You'll end up either with reggae beats. You'll end up either with blues. You'll either end up with soul. You'll end up with dancing music, jungle music. Like that's how it is. But the Jamaicans, it's in the black peoples' genes, that when they're in pain they create music. Music in Africa is in different form. There's music for war. There's music for sorrowness, when somebody
So you're still a pre-teen. You're not even 10 years old. EJ: I start 7--7, 8, 9--and then I would hear "Get Up Stand Up" [He sings again.] So like those are the commanders who listened to those kind of music. Then some Arab music.
dies. There's music for listening. There's music for loving. There's poetry. There's all kind of different, different sound. And sounds vary from different village, from different place. But there's also the music that has been influenced by Arabs that came to Africa, and that's where you find Abdel Galir Salim's style. It's a mixture of Nubians' culture and Arabs' culture. listened to those kind of music. Then some Arab music. Now when you come to the style that I've brought, it's the way we think in my village [He sings again.] When we ask someone to put a beat into what we're singing, they came with a hip-hop beat. If you give it to somebody else they give it a reggae beat. Because I'm now in the Western world I've tried to make sure I sing the music on the four beat, but in Africa we just sing...........Pg 8 you lose money chasing women but you cant lose women chasing money................ blax nelson
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE I received a call from Effie in the morning checking if we could hook up after work of which I agreed since I had a long week and meeting with the girls on a Friday evening is all I wanted. From the tone of her voice, it was evident something was a bother. We had been friends since childhood and we shared not only music and fun but much more. We were open to each other and we shared secrets and worries despite the fact that she was married, three years by then. I was sure things were not smooth by the way she talked about Mark, her husband; not providing family needs, coming late at home and turning violent whenever asked. We met that evening at Sizzles and she was all in tears. She had a swollen face, marks on her face and a gap on her dentition. “It’s Mark again” she lamented as if she had read what was in my mind. “He is more violent now and I don’t know what to do” added Effie. Being a lawyer, the first thing that came into mind was divorce and she didn’t agree for fear of raising a child without a father; but the question was for how long will she endure this pain because of the child? This is a true and clear depiction of how thousands of Kenyan women go through in the hands of cruel men. This has been a trend where couples engage into quarrels, fights and even killing each other just after a few years of endurance, patience and faithfulness in marriage. This arises questions as to what prompts them to fight, quarrel, kill their partners, children and themselves and a recent case was seen where a girlfriend had the gutsy to cut off the manhood of
his boyfriend. With the dynamic lifestyle and modernity in society, I clearly advocate that we go back to the old ways when there was no divorce but intensive discussion of the involved families. Those were the days when marriage was sacred, there weren’t infidelity and women endured beatings from their husbands as punitive measures for not fulfilling the husbands’ wishes. A saying goes; on the first year of marriage, the husband talks and the wife remains silent, on the second year the wife talks and the husband remains silent, on the third year both talk and the neighbours listen. This isn’t what is vowed during marriage certificate signing and the married couples ought to learn how to live with one another, embrace each other’s weakness and correct one another. They ought to keep the promises made during marriage.
He should be able to think ahead of the woman and learn to be silent, control his tempers, walk out of the house and come back when things have calmed. To avoid inconveniences and to build a healthy relationship, people should always seek counseling before marriage. Domestic violence affects both parents and children, and children might develop a negative attitude towards marriage. The daughters might grow to fear and hate men while the sons might carry on the behaviors of their fathers to their own houses. A healthy marriage makes up a healthy family; quite evident when one visits a home with the unity and love. Parents are not only open but friendly to the children and the vice versa is true. Only open dialogue, honesty and understanding is virtual ingredient of the same rather than infliction of bodily injuries. People should not be tied in brutal marriages because of the children. Women in such marriages can go and seek help from FIDA in charge of women affairs. However, women should also learn how to control their tempers and not shout at men or even do something that can irritate their husband. They should learn how to balance work and family, how to love and take care of their husbands in order to maintain their marriages instead of ignorance.
The alpha woman is independent and thinks about her work and career development. She forgets about her family and her role in the family and sometimes end up disrespecting her husband, only leaving her husband under the care of a househelp which ends up into an affair between the two later making the househelp the second wife. Why should a husband beat up his wife anyway? This is the least expected out of an intelligent, reasonable and Emily akinyi Law student, Nairobi. Kenya educated man.
THE DIARY....................MUGENI OJIAMBO THUMBS UP “KENYANS FOR KENYA”, GOD WILL BLESS YOU ALL FOR YOUR HUMANITY
The month of July had come with its own challenges and hardships where economic malnutrition had hit so hard pockets of many Kenyans and cataclysm of drought manifested in several parts of the country. Weather forecasts had vividly providing an augury that could have been averted if only the concerned bodies could have taken actions earlier…but this is Kenya anyway, our beloved country which we have always dreamt of positive change since our childhood, youthful to manhood dynamisms. Just ahead of July, there was the holy month of Ramadhan waiting to shower its blessing and all the good things it entails to the Muslim brothers and sisters and full of mercy from Allah. It was one of the cold evenings of July in Nairobi, and the month was approaching the end; something to cheer up the many working Kenyans whose bank accounts had been left with very large dents by midmonth. I was having a stroll in town to window shop for a few stuffs I will have to buy at the end month and a few of my alpha mates had accompanied me from their various daily chores. The streets were obviously crammed with people while the major roads out of town had been clogged with traffic; and from within the crowded boulevards I met a long lost female friend whom I once had a crush on and that was a perfect moment to show my friends that I also happened to know beautiful ladies in town. She had been surprised just as I had; and just like any other Nairobian lady she stretched her arms (even if it is a taboo from whichever county she comes from) and I gladly squeezed her bosoms to my chest for a very tight hug that almost crushed her ribs. We had parted minutes later, my thumb playing around with the
digits of my phone to store her contacts and a smile coiled on my lips. However, this was spoilt by the news as we branched into a restaurant to catch up with the evening updates. Many people have always been updated by the news of how things were going within and without the country and had no greater expectations than any other day. I had also passed by a supermarket and seen a very saddening photo on the front page of the day's newspaper -twenty eighth; and I obviously had a hint of what might be in the news…but it was so sad that people could say that there was no Kenyan dying of hunger! I strongly chided such and looked at it as so callous!We all have our eccentricities, but some are beyond any reasonable doubt below the society threshold and such a queer conscience from any Kenyan at that moment of time could clearly be confuted by the news on different channels and the newspapers. It had been shown all over how human beings were suffering from hunger in Turkana and other parts of North-Eastern and it was at the least of any Kenyan’s expectation for anyone to ask for evidence rather than finding a solution to the problem that had befallen us as a country. This is not a target to anyone, but rather an honest opinion of a Kenyan with feelings. Our leaders should try to think of the welfare of their subjects. For certain, the magnitude of suffering couldn’t have gone that far if only our leaders had taken an initiative to show some care (even if pretending). A number of fundraisings have been carried out for different M.Ps (which is good of course as it shows brotherhood and solidarity) like the one done for the Ocampo six. If the same thing could have been done by our
leaders, very few Kenyans could have suffered and “Kenyans for Kenya” could just be a supplement and not the reverse. Please don’t leave Kenyans to die, because if u do so you will have no one to vote for you and there will be no one to pay the tax where your heavy salaries come from. My sincere gratitude goes to all Kenyans who came up with solutions to the problems, those who never questioned but given out whole heartedly, those who came up with the “Kenyans for Kenya” and the international community. May God bless all those who contributed a coin, a grain of cereal, and anything that contributed towards saving lives of dying Kenyans. We are not yet done however; please lets come out in big numbers and contribute whatever we can to save our fellow Kenyans from the rearing teeth of death due to hunger. This can easily be done by the procedures at the end of this article. Ironically, other parts of the country have abundance of foodstuff and some are rotting from the farms. It’s my prayer that the government would do something to avert the imbalance where one group is craving for a single light meal while the other group is belching while lying on food that has inadequate storage and market! I am deeply convinced that with my contribution, your contribution, her contribution and his contribution we are going to help thousands. And God will bless you and give you even more because “blessed is the hand that giveth than the one that takes it” if I can be allowed to quote one late and great Lucky Dube.
THE DIARY....................MUGENI OJIAMBO As I wish all my Muslim brothers and Sister a happy, blessed and generous Ramadhan I hope that August is going to be different from July by a positive transition in humanitarian crisis and more generous contributions from individuals and the corporate world. Remember this is not a time to point fingers but to help and also plan for the future! My hopes for this August and months to come are that adequate interventions will be taken and no one will have to trek miles looking for food, no one will have do die of hunger and that proper measurements by responsible stakeholders will start being laid down for long-term resolutions of such problems. It is within my hopes that the Ministry of energy too plus relevant bodies would look for suitable measures of averting power shortages in industries. The ministry should know that thousands lose their jobs just because of shortage in power supply due to problems that could have been taken care of long ago. I hope this August, unlike July, there would be no any other shortages arising This August, I hope there would be more corrupt leaders and individuals being accounted for their venalities by KACC and other relevant bodies. As the month of July fades away and replaced by a string of thoughts about what August has in store for us, the unabated hwyl of a different scenario is etched at the back of my brain. Squeezed within the crevices of my heart is an upsurge of humanity, and I also ought to recommend the Kâ€™ogelo fans for the discipline they displayed during their match with AFC Leopards on July. I pass my condolence to family, friends and relatives of the late Mr. Kifoto. In sports
If you want happiness: For an hour take a nap For a day go fishing For a month get married For a year inherit a fortune For a lifetime help someone in need If youâ€™ve decided for a lifetime, here comes a very easy way to do so: M-PESA CONTRIBUTIONS Go to Safaricom Pay bill Select business number Enter Account number: 11111 Enter amount you wish to donate and press OK Enter pin and press OK AIRTEL CONTRIBUTION Scroll to menu and select SEND MONEY option Enter REDCROSS as nickname Enter amount Enter your pin KCB SPECIAL ACCOUNT 11 33 33 33 38 BE BLESSED!
A NEW DAWN, A SECOND CHANCE
Suspension of Tresor Mputu ends Thursday, August 11. His suspension was imposed by FIFA (federation of international football association) following an incident that occurred in Kigali Rwanda on 29th march 2010, during a match between APR of Rwanda and TP Mazembe of Lubumbashi for the kigame cup. In an interview with radiookapi.net, Mputu Tresor expresses his appreciation to return to the field. He also claims to have kept all his form and his talent. BN: How do you feel now that you have served your suspension? Tresor Mputu: I feel good. I have continued training to remain in shape, But I also took the opportunity to make my own business. BN: Prior to your suspension, you were considered one of the best players in the country. Did you keep the form? Yes. I'm still the same Treasury Mputu. I have not changed. Nothing can change that, my fans shoul expect the same. BN: How did you feel watching your teammates on the field? I had a weird feeling I must admit, but I encouraged myself always whenever they lost a match, mazembe I my team, I can never accept defeat, I was powerless though since I was suspended, Overall, they performed well during my absence despite everything that happened[The Caf disqualified the TP Mazembe of the Champions League in 2011. It accuses the Congolese club to have improperly aligned the player during the January 16th Besala-finals of the competition].
BN: The match that you missed the most during your suspension? The game that Mazembe lost to Widad Casablanca in Morocco (1-0) in eighth finals of the Champions League in 2011, I had not made the trip. BN: Mazembe recruited other players including expatriates. What is your take? Yes. And that's football. Even if you do not speak the same language, on ground you will hear. They came to do their job. I'll do mine. BN: Many fanatics Leopards look to you for the match against Senegal. We are obliged to win this game still hope for a qualification. I do my best if the coach holds me back for this game. We have already failed to attend two editions of the African Cup of Nations. We must do everything to bring smiles to the Congolese people. I ask my fans continue to support me. They will be happy with my services more than ever. Mr VINGI Matthieu
You're a young man who has lived a long life already and you've taken on some heavy responsibilities. In "Forced to Sin" you talk about fighting for the children of Darfur, Sudan, all of Africa. And of course the War Child documentary endeavors to gain attention to the situation in your home country. But if the conflict in Africa is the most important message, is it diluted by including songs like "No Bling," "Skirt Too Short" and "50 Cent"? EJ: This is me as a musician. What's my perspective? What's my reaction to the situation I have? That is me talking. So my story, I want to use it to inspire people, to show them where I come from and what I stand for. That's what the whole album is for. Like there's a song called "Vagina." That is because I have seen what is happening in Africa and I know what it is and I feel responsible. I'm here. I've lost my childhood. I have adulthood. Let me use the story to inspire people. If it doesn't highlight the situation in Africa, but somewhere somehow somebody's heart will be touched because a lady called Emma McCune rescued me and rescued about 150 child soldiers. And poverty's all over the world. Make a difference. That's one message I want to pass. And also to remind people what hip-hop started for in America. It was something to speak for the community, but now it has gone into blings and prostitutions of women and all those things. Like the song "No Bling" came when I was in England because no record label want to sign me. The reason they didn't want to sign me is because I'm not hardcore. I'm a simple person. When I'm in the public, I don't carry the state of saying, 'I'm important. I'm a celebrity. You're supposed to take me as this great, amazing person.' I'm just a normal person. So they tell me, 'You need to have an image. You need to be hard. You need to have the big cross or bling here (he points to his chest). You need to have that look. You need to wear fine shoes. And that way we'll be able to sell you.' Then I say, 'No. I can't go for that. I'm in pain now. My family's destroyed. My country's at war. I'm a refugee. I've been a refugee for 25 years. I've starved. I have nothing to live for, but I have a lot to say.'
Again, I'm not disagreeing with your point. All I'm asking is, When you're talking to the record label in London and saying, 'Look, I lost my childhood. My family's destroyed and people are starving,' does the inclusion of "No Bling," "50 Cent," "Skirt Too Short" dilute your message regarding the situation in Africa? EJ: No, it doesn't because it's my response to an experience that I've had. Understand, the music that come out is come out of energy. If you do me something wrong now I'll come up with a song about it, so that when you go I don't want to fight you. I don't want to cuss about you, but take that energy and convert it into something positive. I don't want to put the cart too far ahead of the horse, but you talked about not having written about your experiences with love. Given that this is your identity now, that there's a documentary and an album and you are the War Child, how tough is it going to be to leave that behind? Can you record an album, even five years down the road, where the main theme is something other than the situation in Africa? EJ: You see, music go with timing and people grow. Now I'm at a different point when dealing with issues. My next album may not sound like War Child. My third album may sound different. I'm an artist. I'm still growing. And there's still more room for improvement, you know. Like I've got some love songs about women. I've got different stuff. But I'm saying, 'Is it the right time for me to put them on this album?' And I guess the answer is, 'Not yet.' EJ: It's not the right time. Next time. Next time maybe. But you have written love songs? EJ: I have some love songs. I even have a love song where I'm saying I'm going to find myself an American girl. Yeah, I think that's Tom Petty. EJ: [laughs]
The song "War Child" begins, 'I believe I've survived/For a reason/To tell my story/To touch lives.' Given all of the horrible, inhumane things you have seen and lived through, when do you begin to believe in God? There have to be moments of desperation when you questioned whether or not anyone was looking out for you, right? EJ: Yeah, but like if you watch the film you find there are points I was tired of life. I want to commit suicide. I want to die. I hated life. I say, 'Why was I born?' I used to cuss my life every time, and when I was broke in Kenya when Emma died, that was a breakdown for me because I had to go to slums. I couldn't afford sometimes one meal a day. We eat the next day. So that happened. And that kind of pain is what brought the music that you hear today. But when do you begin to believe that your life has a larger purpose? I assume that you felt that way when Emma McCune rescues you, but when Emma dies I would guess that you would question again. It's saying something for someone who has gone through as much as you have to believe that there's a higher power with a plan and who is looking out for you. EJ: One question I would ask myself is, 'Why didn't I die when there was bombing? Why did I not die in my village when my village was attacked? Why did I not die when our house was safe and our neighbor's house got bombed? Why did I not die? Why did I not get shot in the time I was there? Why did I not die in the ship that capsized? Why did I survive that? Why did I survive the trek in the desert? Why did Emma McCune rescue me and brought me to Kenya?' So those were the questions I was asking myself. And the answer is . . . EJ: I believe I survived for a reason. To tell my story. And that belief comes . . .
EJ: In London. When I came to London. Because I've seen the impact when I'm invited somewhere. Though it depresses me to talk about my story, how powerful. It make people to respond and want to do something. And then I say, 'Look, my country's at pain. I'm War Child. I lost my childhood.' Everybody want to know my story. Let me just give it to them. It's going to help somebody. So what else do I have to lose? I've lost everything that I've owned. But if this touch somebody's life to help somebody then it's worth it. Okay, tell me something that you've never ever done before in your life. EJ: I've never eaten a crab. [Laughs.] That's a good one. Tell me something you've done once and one time only. EJ: I cooked avocado, mixed it with onions and tomatoes with eggs. I fried all of them together. I was hungry. I ate it, but I'll never eat it again. Really? Because that actually sounds kind of good. EJ: You know the way you make an omelet of avocado, tomatoes, onion and mushroom, all that together? Because I like eating avocado. It tastes nice when it's not cooked. So I thought, 'How nice will it taste when it's cooked?' Tell me the name of a movie that you've seen at least three times. EJ: Apart from War Child. I can't say War Child. Which movie have I watched three times? Shrek [Laughs hysterically]. That shows how weird I am. No, that's a wonderful answer. EJ: It just make me laugh. The donkey was funny. I think the ogre itself was funny. And the girlfriend. Like the whole crew. And if you could have everyone in the world listen to one Emmanuel Jal song, what song would it be? EJ: Ah, you're very clever. "War Child."
Published on Aug 29, 2011
10 Mr. Blax .O. Nelson Editor-in-chief Mr.kambale Vingi Matthieu General features Editor LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Mr. Aliero Robinson Editor, W...