Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
Last week, the top diplomats of the United States of America and Russia have crisscrossed the continent of Africa by scheduling trips in some strategic countries for them. Sergei Lavrov started on Monday by visiting Angola, then Namibia, Zimbabwe,Zambia and Ethiopia. Rex Tillerson started his, with a visit in Ethiopia where the headquarters of African Union is located. He also planned a visit in Kenya and Nigeria. During this visits, there has been a communication war between these top world diplomats . The American Rex Tillerson criticized Chinese economic approach when dealing with the continent. In fact, he warned the countries of Africa to be careful in signing contracts with China. He thinks China encourages dependency policies while dealing with Africa. By utilizing corrupt deals and endangering natural resources.
Russia’s Sergei Lavrov on it parts , criticized the top American diplomats for criticizing China. What is really going on? Why all of the sudden, Africa is becoming like a woman that everyone wants to court? What is at stake for the Chinese, the Americans and the Russians? Is the continent prepared for this sudden courtship in order to preserve its interests.
The continent of Africa has always been an object of attraction. Beginning with ancient time, people from ancient Grèce came to the continent for knowledge. It is reported in the work of those who have study ancient Egypt such us cheikh Anta Diop. Socrates and others during their time had been in the continent to acquire knowledge. The second wave of attractiveness started in the 15th century with the Portuguese who were the world power at the time. This is the period that started misery of historical proportions for Africa with the slaves trade and the destruction of entire kingdoms and culture through the christianisation of Africans
The 18th century enlightenment and the industrial revolution, created a need for natural resources in order to develop industry in Europe. This eventually transformed the slaves trade to colonialism. Colonisation of the entire continent, that was not limited to the christianisation but open the door to the exploitation of natural resources. With colonialism, Europe took over the continent sharing among themselves territories during the Berlin conference in the 19 century 1884-1885) , a conference that is also called the Congo conference. This conference proceeded to not only divid the content, but also to regulate trade with Africa, regulations that designated Europeans as masters of the African lands.
In the middle of the 20th century, although most countries of Africa became independent from their colonial masters, they did not completely free themselves from them. This is the case of the 15 countries in west Africa and central Africa that were under France authority. Africa has always been in the middle of the geopolitical strategies of the world power. What is at stake for the new wave of attraction by Africa.
At the end of the 20th century, while many developed countries neglected Africa, considered it as a country in need and limited their dealings with the continent to aid, China progressively position itself as Africa number one partner. The continent had been turning to China for aid and trade. China has surpassed the US as the trade partner since 2009. It has invested in infrastructure in Africa using Chinese firm and labor. China is also provided African countries loans .
As far as the US is concerned, the objective is reconquer the continent. It is a fact that the US limited their relationship to aid. The US contributes a lot in the humanitarian aid that goes to Africa. The us invested a lot of resources during the ebola crisis more than two years ago. According to Reuters, the last past three years, Kenya has received 100 millions annually in security assistance. But the gap of direct trading is really large. In fact, while us concentrates in aid China invest in infrastructure. Kenya has inaugurated a 3.2 billion railways funded by China last year. The top US diplomat trip purpose is also to reassure its African partners of the friendship besides the reported « shithole countries incidents ».
Russia on its part has been fighting to regain its position as a superpower on the world stage. With the other members of the so called BRICS pôle ( Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa), Russia has been countering western way of conducting world business. In fact, Russia has been calling the West has neocolonialist. They have been offering the African countries a partnership that will not go against the cultural value of the continent.
With all this unfolding in front of our own eyes, what are the strategies for Africa? How does Africa need to respond to all these powers flattering her. At this moment, it does not appear that the African Union has a strategy that will guarantee the well being of its people. Hopefully, with the awakening of the African youth , Africa will secure its interests. It will deal with the partners that have a better plan that will lead the continent to free itself from its foes ( those who wish that colonialism or neocolonialism continue).
Picture from un.org (celebration of November 25 in Monrovia)
The last thirty years have been difficult for the Congo Brazzaville. It started with the abondamment of the socialist regime which has been adopted by the country since 1963. In 1991, after a national conference, during which the country has decided to change the form of government, the Congo adopted a democratic regime with a president that was elected. Since then, the country has been affected by an instability due to civil unrest, war and really serious conflict that takes roots in the tribal diversity.With this instability, the Congolese women conditions have been deteriorated. Women have seen a rise of violence against them that was not known before the multiple wars that the country went to.the nature of violence against women can been notice in the rise of cases of rape, violence that are rooted in’ the traditions and customs still persists. Besides, all these cases there is a lack of judiciary protections for women. Our thoughts on this month of March, the women month as it has been referred, are focused on these issues.
After the multiple civil wars and the political instability that followed, the Congo Brazzaville have a significant amount of cases of rape. The other form of violence is rooted on the custom and tradition.
Rape against women
In recent years, rape has been become the number one cause of violence against women. Rape has not always been common in Congolese society. The cases of rape were really rare. However, by the the early 90´s , the country went into a lot of political events that created a lot of civil unrest, tribal conflicts and wars. We think about the war, in 1993 and 1994, another armed conflict in 1997 and 1998, and the most recent one that started in 2016 and it is still going on.
This atmosphere of war has left the Congolese women very vulnerable. In fact, a report by a NGO Medecin sans frontières , published in french by Francoise Bouchet-Saulnier, it said that a thousand of women raped during the civil war presented themselves at the hospital called Makelekele in Brazzaville in 1999.These are only the cases that have been reported. With the new war that is going on at this very moment, some new cases of rape have been reported by sources that have not been verified yet by leschroniquesdeladiaspora.com
Other form of violence
In Brazzaville, violence of other nature than rape, still exist. In fact many women are still being beaten by their husbands, partners or significant other. In most cases, it is not reported on the media because it has been commonly accepted that it is ok for a man to correct his wife by beating them. This is not ok and it should not be.A study conducted in 2015, by the Congo Brazzaville minister of women rights promotion concluded that among the 600 women that were surveyed , 62% of them were victims of physical, emotional, mental and psychological violence.(ref actualités.agenceinfonet.com).The sad part is that there seem to be a lack of protection.
Lack of protection from violence
In the Congo Brazzaville , the laws to protect women against violence of all nature exist. The Congo model his judiciary system to that of France. Therefore, most laws that are recognized in France are in the Congo. The penal code of the Congo Brazzaville recognizes all sort of violence that women can be subject to. And the same code goes even further by recognizing sexual abuse during conflicts. This is the case of article 330 and 340.
However, these laws that were meant to protect women are not well known in the country. Often, all cases of rape, physical and psychological abuse are not reported to the authorities. Women are still vulnerable and lack protection against all sort of violence against them.
The cases of rape during war is even worst. In fact, for these particular cases the government or maybe the entire society failed to protect those women who were victims of sexuel violence during the events or civil war of 1993-1994, 1997, and 1997-1998. A law number 21-99, of December 20 1999, gave an amnesty to all those who committed war crimes such as rape…The purpose of this amnesty was to reconcile the Congolese society with itself, to promote peace. However the well being of women was not taken in consideration.
The Congolese women are still vulnerable to violence. Society has so far failed to protect women. That why,on this day of women international day, our thoughts really go to those women who have all their life have to live with the burden of violence and its consequences. So many of them are raped everyday. May God protect all women who victims of violence all around the world.
Cassava leaves are one of the most popular dish in the Congo. They are served during big family diners and special occasions such as weddings, birthday parties, kids baptism and Eucharist. It a pretty complicated dish to prepare. Normally the first step is to pound the leaves in a big mortar with its pillar. This is the traditional way of getting the leaves ready.
However, modern life has saved us from that step. So we get buy already pounded cassava leaves in the store. There are plenty of brand to Choose from. And in the Congo Brazzaville there are two versions of cassava leaves . Here are the ingredients forversion number ;
In a big pan, put the cassava leaves and add 1/2 liter of water. Let it boil until the water completely dry out add an other 1/2 liter of water. Let it dry out again . This step is really important because it helps get rid of the green color of the cassava leaves . Once the leaves turn into a more yellowish green , cut the eggplants into pieces add them to the pan with another 2 cups of water or 1/2 liter.
Meanwhile, wash and cut onions, garlic, scallions and green peppers. Then put them in a blender to get a purée. Add it the pan along with salt and black peppers. Let it boil until it completely blend with the cassava leaves an the eggplants.
Meanwhile, in another pan, put the fish to a boil. Once it is cooked, get rid of the bones and add it to the cassava leaves pan and follow it with the peanut butter. Let it cook at a low temperature. Once the peanut butter is completely melted and blended with the cassava leave, the next step will be to add the palm oil.
For this last step, cut another onion and 4 to 6 garlic into pieces. In a frying pan pour a 1/2 liter of palm oil . Once the oil is hot add garlic and onions to it. Once these are cooked pour the oil into the cassava leaves pan. Let it boil for another 15 to 30 minutes at low temperature. Your cassava leaves are ready to be served.
tip: serve your cassava leaves with rice, foufou and either fried fish or chicken.
Today, leschroniquesdeladiaspora.com is sharing natural recipes that helps nourish and hydrate our natural hair. Afro natural hair tend to be dry and fragile. In tropical regions, this phenomenon is not often experienced because of humidity. However, in the temperate climate, it is necessary to keep hair nourished and hydrated in order to avoid breakage. The first recipe is a capillaire masque that is made of ingredients found in our own kitchen.
– ½ Avocado ( a whole avocado depending on the length of your hair)
– 1 egg yolk ( for the shine)
½ Banana ( a whole banana depending on your length)
– 1 tablespoon of honey
– 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Put avocado and banana in a bowl. Smash and mix it together, add a tablespoon of honey, an egg yolk, and a tablespoon spoon of olive oil. Once you get a homogenous mix, this ultra nourishing mix can be used once a week to hydrate natural hair.
Before shampooing your hair, separate them into four parts . Apply this natural mix on your hair from the roots to the end. Cover your hair with a warm towel or a shower cap. Let the mix sit on your hair for about 2 hours. For ultra dryness, the mix can be kept on your hair overnight.
Then you can shampoo your hair using your normal shampooing process( shampoo, conditioner, and after shampoo).
The effective way of getting rid of the mask residues is to do a dry shampoo first. This by applying the shampoo in your hair with a tiny bit of water, you rinse your hair. You will secondly apply shampoo on your wet hair. This process is really effective to completely wash the mask out your hair.
For better results, the mask need to be used once a week for at least a month. Also, if you have any leftover, you can keep it in the fridge for 3 days.
According to multiple news agencies ( CNN, Radio France Inter and Reuters) Zuma , président of South Africa has announced his resignation as president of the republic of South Africa on Wednesday February the 14th. This resignation come after the ruling party, ANC has decided to call for a no confidence vote against the president.
This resignation is a bit extraordinary because it happens in Africa where, it is uncommon for powerful people to quit easily. The institutions are usually weakened by the power that leadership has. It is therefore interesting for the ANC to show to other political parties in the continent,what a political party should be and the power should belong to the people through their institutions.
The other interesting thing is just the African youth is getting wiser in a way that the realized that they need to fight their life and put an end to the non sense that is going on in the political life in the continent. President Zuma even refer to them as “clever blacks” in 2012. According to Reuters, Zuma , during an address to South Africa national house of traditional leaders said “black people became too clever. They became the most eloquent in criticizing themselves about their own traditions. This just to say how the youth is becoming really informed about the issues.
These resignation put an end to a presidency plagued with a lot of scandals and controversy. Among those scandals are:
-1990 the president of South Africa was facing 783 counts of corruption over $2.5 billlion government arms deal when he was deputy president of ANC.
– He faced accusations of raping his friend daughter and was actually charged and acquitted in 2006
-2010 President Zuma apologized to South African for fathering a child out of wedlock with a friend daughter.
These are scandals among many more cases of corruption that plagued Zuma during his tenure as president of South Africa. Hopefully this resignation and the circumstances that led to it will shine a light on the fact that the institutions must always have to be powerful. And maybe this will put a end to seing corruption as business as usual in many countries of Africa.
Image by Marvel
Black Panther is the most anticipated movie of the year. It is coming out in the theater on February the 14th.The particularity of this movie is that it is the first superhero movie in which the entire cast is all black. And as we can imagine, the community is really thrilled about that. It is showing a lot of enthusiasm because of the A list melanin casting, but the movie portrait an “ideal” i think that people of African descendants, whether there are in the diaspora or in the continent, can look up too. This is what caught our attention and give us reasons not to miss this one.
First it is the casting . Black Panther a movie directed by Ryan Coogler has a A list cast that includes Chadwick Boseman who plays T’Challa or black Panther, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Fuke, the legendary Angela Bassett and of course Forest Whitaker. This is a group of African diaspora in its diversity. This being said, we can assume that they gave their best performance given their respective backgrounds and the subject matter.
This brings us to the second reason why I am not missing this one. In fact, it is my main reason. The movie is about a man (Black Panther)who becomes king and faces challenges and conflict that has global implications. And his adversary ( Killmonger) main issue is that wakanda( the country where the story takes place) has not done enough to help the black communities around the world who had their life shattered by slavery and colonialism according to Todd Vanderwerff on vox.com.
This movie definitely touches an interesting political issue . It discusses about how wakanda can better deal with kingdom succession and also the world out there or simply diplomacy.These deep subjects are usually discussed in the continent and its diaspora. In recent years, there have been a lot issues in the continent related to power succession or simply political alternance. The relationship between the continent and the former colonial power is often discussed as well. In fact, many countries especially those French speaking countries are still feeling the burdens of colonialism legacy. The issue of the cfa which is a currency used by the 15 African countries colonized by France. Most of them are independent since 1960 but their economy is completely dependent of that of France, which controls the CFA Franc. Recently they have been a movement led By the African economist Kemi Seba which suggests that the economic development delay of these countries is deeply rooted in clauses related to this currency. A campaign has been going on this subject . Hopefully, this movie shine the awareness on how an “ideal society” should have been if there were not any historical circumstances to stop it.
This brings us the another reason why we can’t miss this movie Wakanda. It is the scenery where the story of black Panther took place. When talking to BBC Lupita Nyong’o described Wakanda as a mythical country, a hidden African Kingdom with incredible technological power, due to its reserves of the world most useful metal. The subject of natural resources or reserves is current subject. But we will leave it alone today.
Wakanda reminds me of those African Kingdoms before colonisation. I know any African will be able to name any, depending on which part of the continent they are from. Personally, I am reminded of the Kongo kingdom which is well documented and had a really political structure, military structure, social structure and even economical structure . The kingdom had its own currency which was made of shell money. The exploitation of cooper was even done by then.The kingdom was located central Africa specifically in Angola, Cabinda, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon. It was discovered by the Portuguese explorer Diego Cao in 1483. From 1390 to 1830, this kingdom was independent. It was apparently destroyed by slavery and colonialism.
Indeed , this makes me better understand the statement by Lupita Nyong’o :“ we are in Africa and we meet an entirely new nation that is highly developed and there are so because they did not get interrupted by or assaulted by colonialism.” Wakanda is really a mythical country . However it reminds us of what this place would have been without the contact with the rest of the world. It is also important to note that it wouldn’t be good for a given kingdom or country to be isolated from the rest of the world, to disregard the suffering of other society.
Of course, the movie has all that we usually expect from superhero movies: fantasy,fights, special effects and romance. But because it went beyond what we usually see in most superhero movies, we had to give it its merits. Also we can not finish how important it is for the little black kids to have a superhero that is relatable for them. These are the main reasons why we can’t miss this one
Recently, there have been a multitude YouTube videos on the benefit of Vicks vapo for black hair. After watching , couple of those videos, which I have to say have been viewed many times, some of them reaching million views, they seem to suggest that Vick’s vapo stimulate hair growth. What in Vicks vaporub stimulate hair growth and is it used to help grow hair.
Vicks vaporub is normally the number one selling brand of children’s cough products. It is medicated and age appropriate for kids from two years old and up. The way it works is that it contains medicated vapors that enter the nose and mouth and help smooth the cough. According to the label of Vicks vaporub, this product contain eucalyptus, camphor, menthol, cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil, petroleum, thymol and turpentine oil. What among these ingredients stimulates hair growth? To get an answer to this question, we had to consult black doctor.org
On blackdoctor.org ,it is said that the ingredients that stimulate hair growth are eucalyptus oil, camphor and menthol and lavender. These are the ingredients in the product that is responsible for hair growth. Eucalyptus oil stimulate hair follicles and prevents itchy scalp. It also strengthens and improves the elasticity of hair. Camphor in its part , is an essential oil that is cooling, refreshing and improve circulation . Lavender is very effective in hair loss treatments. Menthol clears the pores so that hair can grow easily. That is why menthol is found in most of the shampoo and conditioner.
With all these ingredients and their benefit no wonder Vick’s is becoming the number one hair product used to stimulate growth. And it is actually the trending subject among “ YouTubers that are specialized in hair growth. Some of the videos are claiming that you see the results after sixty days.
So how this magical potion is used. The directions are simple. Mix Vicks vapor rub, castor oil and coconut oil. Then apply the solution to your scalp and hair. This is a pre wash treatment there for, after applying the solution you have leave it on your hair for about 10 to 15 minutes then wash, rinse and condition your hair as you do on your normal routine. This will grow your hair according to all those YouTube videos trending right now on the subject.
However we still have to caution that we haven’t try this method to garantie any results. Also we wouldn’t recommend this for children under 12 because the kids can run the risk of having their eyes irritated. Vicks vaporub also has another ingredients that is problematic :petroleum. I do not know hot this chemical affects your scalp or hair. As a dermatologist based in New York City said “while Vick’s is generally safe, a closer look at the ingredients mentioned several oils that could potentially cause skin irritations or allergies.”
By now, we all know that on Tuesday January the 9 th of 2018, it was revealed that during a meeting with the senators on the DACA, the president of the USA was wondering why we have to bring people from the “shithole countries” of Africa and Haiti. We should bring people from Norway instead. The entire world was shocked by these comments, qualifying them of racist comments.
In the USA , the media and governining elite was in shock . And call these comments in general unfortunate and beneath the dignity of the office. They mostly considered these comments as reaching a new level of vulgarity given what the president has been let them used to. It is not a laughing matter anymore because some of the elite in the African Americans community are from Haitian descents, African descents. The Haitian ambassador in the USA has ask for an explanation of the president comments from the US officials according to the Washington post article of Friday January the 12. The ambassador went on to say that “ the president was either misinformed or miseducated about people from Haiti” . Most people in the black community was not shocked because they knew he was racist anyway. Their attitude was we told you so. All we can do is beat him at the the ballot. When someone show you who he is the first time you ought to believe him.
In Africa, the elite was quick to condemn this comments. The African Union through its spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo said “the African Union Commission is frankly alarmed at statements by the president of the United States of America when referring to migrants from African countries and other in such contemptuous terms. Considering the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the USA during the Atlantic slaves trade, this flies in face of all accepted behavior”. A South African broadcaster in South Africa start his greeting by “ good morning from the greatest, the most beautiful shithole country in the world”. The serious reaction came the deputy secretary of ANC who said “ours is not a shithole country neither is Haiti or any other country”. The president of Senegal where the Gorree island that symbolizes the Atlantic slaves trade put out statements in French sayin that he rejects the statement by the president of the US and that Africa deserves respect and consideration “ je les rejette et les condamne fermement. L’Afrique mérite le respect et la considération de tous”. The entire world was en fire everyone reacted in their way condemning racism and bigotry. There was however a particular reactions from people living in Africa and the African diaspora of the France and other that caught my attention.
The Africans in Africa who live the political, economical and social reality of the continent and those who in the diaspora are directly impacted by these reality had a different take to the president of the United comments. First they applauded the president if USA for showing to the world that he is an adversary for those shitehole countries. At least he is not like some other who welcome you today and stub you in your back. This is a comment read on the RFI( radio France international) page à comment made by an African “voilà un adversaire de taille! Lui au moins on le qualifie d’adversauté qui ne mâche pas ses mots, qui ne cache pas ses sentiments aux yeux des africains. Il n’est pas comme ceux qui t’accueillent aujourd’hui et qui te poignardent sur ton”.
Some others turn the “shithole countries” comments to a protest against the governing elite of African countries. Many of them wonder why these African elite where quickly becoming emotionally shocked by these comments. The truth is that there is a sentiment among African in the diaspora and those in Africa that the African governing elite, and the elite of the ex colonial master work against the interest of the people of Africa. This strange relationship based on natural resources exploitation and corruption is the main cause of misery in Africa. Needless to say that Africa is the land to a bunch of natural resources ( Colton, oil, gold, diamonds and so for) that are used by multinational companies and the people in those land do not enjoy wealth coming from their own land. The war in the Democratic republic of Congo(DRC ) and even in the republic of Congo is an example among many others. The comment by president of the USA was used against the African governing elite by reminding them the abuse they exercise against their own people which actually help them to practice mal governance and stay by force in power for a long time . According to one commentary, these African elite do not honor the continent by their practices anyway, they abuse their power and they are bunch of sale out to the multinationals that exploit the African resources so this African said exactly this “ je n’en veux pas a Trump. J’en veux aux dirigeants africains. Quand on analyse bien, on trouve une part de vérité dans ce qu’il dit. Nos dirigeants ne font rien qui puisse donner l’honneur à notre continent. Ils pillent nos richesses, ils s’etermisent au pouvoir.” Comment from the RFI page of Friday January 12.
These réactions from the African did attract my attention because beyond the emotional aspect of the president of the USA calling some countries “shithole countries, there have to be some time of strategy on the part of the African elite. To tell you the truth, there is an awakening that is going on the part of the people Africa in Africa and the diaspora. We need level our reaction beyond the emotional aspect and focus on the strategic aspect of the issues. We need to strategize in order to find ways to destroy the relationship between natural resources exploitation, corruption, bad governance, wars and misery. The people of the world have the obligation to address these issues. It does not have to be that the happiness of certain people need to be found in the misery of other.
Les chroniques de la diaspora NEWSLETTER
Novembre 18 2017
The march against the enslavement of African in Libya
On Saturday, November the 18th Paris woke up to big march organized by a collective of black rights organizations to protest against the inhuman detentions of Africans who are trying to reach Europe for a better life. The march was announced by Claude Siar after a video shown on CNN which was telling the story of the young African who are being sold as merchandise in Libya.
What is going on with these images? Apparently, during the last few years ,many young Africans have been trying to reach Europe through a human trafficking organized by smugglers on the Mediterranean Sea. These young people spend a lot of money from their countries of origin mostly in the sub saharan Africa. Many of them do not reach their destination because of the dangers they encounter during the trip on the Mediterranean Sea . Many of them have lost their life on the Mediterranean. This situation has become what is called an immigration crisis. According to a lot of media, to remedy to the immigration crisis, the Eu has signed an agreement with the Libyan government to stop the flow of immigrants by detaining those who cross the Sahara in order to reach the Mediterranean Sea for a chance to reach Europe, in Libya. Some other medias are reporting that the idea of ” welcome centers was thrown out last August during a conference held in Paris in front of some European countries and some African countries especially Niger and Libya. And according to what they are reporting the idea was abandoned.
However, these detentions ( or life in these welcoming centers ) have been awful, inhuman and because of the lawlessness of the political situation in Libya, the African youth have beaten, rapped and even sold as slaves in a slave markets in an organized auction as we have seen in movies like “Roots”.These is an abomination, a crime against humanity. Slavery in the 21 st century is unacceptable and should be condemned in all its forms
These young Africans are willing to put their life in danger for a hope to get a better life in the western society. The misery that we see in Africa is unbelievable. Many of these countries have all sort of natural resources that are used in the western oil, gold, uranium, bauxite, diamonds and so for..Multinational companies exploit these resources in the continent however the lives of the people of Africa have not changed they live in most miserable conditions. On top of these multinationals exploitation of resources that do not improve the living standards of Africans, have the head of states who are acting poorly. They do not impove living conditions to try to retain their youth in the continent. Most of these states are dictatorships, where corruption and bad governance are the name of the game. They do not have real plans for education, for security, for jobs, the youth is completely hopeless. Only a minority of people enjoy a decent lifestyle and they exhibit their opulence toward those who don’t have.
That is why ,at the march at the Libya representation in Paris, the organizer of the march were condemning, Libya, the Eu and the Africans head of states for the enslavement of the Africans in Libya.
we are also learning that an investigation has been open in Tripoli and those who are doing these barbaric acts will be held accountable for their actions.
By Prisca p