#RwandaDecides: Don’t be jealous

Don’t be jealous of the Rwandese!

Today the people of Rwanda decide if Paul Kagame can change the constitution to enable his term to increase another 5 years (possibly 30). That’s a long time. Many of us are weary with African leaders who cling to power forever and drag the country down with them.

The Rwandese issue is complicated (what country is not?), but they have a special history. In 1994 close to a million people were slaughtered in the space of one week. The fear of that happening again is ever-present in Rwandese life.

So…if indeed this is a free and fair referendum, the people will make the decision based on their desire to have a prosperous and united Rwanda in the face of their history.

They have a serious number of systems to ensure the country isn’t run like a night-club. Google their parliament systems, judicial systems etc, many are exemplary.

There are alleged human rights violations by the current president, Paul Kagame, google and read about that too.

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How does the African family contribute to corruption?

We talk about corruption a lot. Sometimes we even discuss its causes, but often in very abstract, macroeconomic and historical terms. We talk about corruption in a very “big picture way.” However, for a time, I’ve wondered why we don’t zoom in. But not too far so that we are looking only at the psyche of the singular corrupt-or, but just far enough that we look at his family too. How does the African family contribute to corruption? This year we were given front row seats to the breakdown of football legend Emmanuel Adebayor’s family. In a move that many … Continue reading How does the African family contribute to corruption?

Beyonce, Democracy and the Media we deserve

Somehow, Beyonce’s latest music video release — a sloppy mix of bathroom selfies and dancing-on-a-hotel-balcony-in-a-pantie shots called “7/11”– got me thinking about democracy. The music video and its sloppiness , the crowd-pleasing lows of it, the commonness of it, was not simply a video to me. It was a law in practice that I had only begun to recognize. A law whose name I could not easily find on the first page of google results, so I’ll summarize it as: “at any given moment, we get the Beyonce we deserve.” When we celebrated excellence and talent and hard work, we got excellent, talented, … Continue reading Beyonce, Democracy and the Media we deserve

It’s not about revenge | Why we shouldn’t be so quick to execute rapists

Whenever a rape is reported in the media you can almost always be guaranteed that the majority of people commenting on the news will be calling for the death penalty as a punishment for such the crime. And fittingly so, some would say. Rape is one of the worst crimes one can commit upon a human being.

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Sanjay Kanojia/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

And as a feminist, myself, I will admit that at times my voice has been the loudest in the chorus of people demanding a sterner punishment for rapists.

But that was before I truly began to think about the possible repercussions of establishing the death penalty as the punishment for rape.

Before we jump to conclusions I think these are some questions we must ask ourselves as a community.

What are the possible negative psychological effects executing the rapist could have on a victim?

I began to ask myself a question when I read somewhere that a community had murdered a thirty-seven year-old man that had raped a six year old girl. I was taken aback by a very new thought: ‘what would the little girl think of this as she grew older?’

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Why (some) subscribers to Black Consciousness date “White” people

It was recently brought to my attention that a certain journalist in South Africa, that is known to behave like one who is twenty-minutes away from applying for a trademark on Black Consciousness, dates nothing but women of European Descent (or White women, as I may continue to refer to them for the rest of this article).

Upon seeing that my response was a sarcastic “surprise, surprise” my friend quickly wanted to know why I was so unimpressed by this piece of information, that I went on to say something along the lines of: “these Black Consciousness brothers couldn’t care less about Black Women.”

But there’s a lot more to it than that and I’m going to show you why I think many subscribers to Biko, Fanon, Garvey and Co.’s principles end up with romantic histories that predominantly feature non-Black lovers.

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Before we begin, let me confess something: At the age of fifteen I nearly got arrested for shoplifting Steve Biko’s ‘I write what I like’ from CNA.

That began my path into the wonderful world of Black Consciousness (BC). I ran into the aforementioned contributors to the movement and have since grown to understand a lot about my identity as an African woman and what exactly that means to me.

But I am beginning to suspect that I have outgrown staunch Bikoism and can therefore look at this topic with a detached wisdom on the issue.

Ok?

Ok.

Let’s begin.

Why subscribers some Black Consciousness date White people:

THEORY #1: Deification of Black People leading to disappointment

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Someone Tell Africans | You’re worried about the wrong things

Today, during my regular Twitter stalking I came across an interesting hashtag: “#someonetellBotswana”, I believe it was called. Upon clicking on it, I found myself to have landed on a Twitter page where a group of presumably angry Kenyans were bashing the country of Botswana for a statement released by Botswana’s ministry of Foreign Affairs.

President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta displays the presidential results certificate after receiving it from IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi March 9, 2013.
President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta displays the presidential results certificate after receiving it from IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi March 9, 2013.

Phandu Skelemane was quoted as saying that Kenya President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta is not welcome in the country if he refuses to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC). He went on to tell the Mmegi, a Botswana daily, “If he refuses to go (to The Hague), then we have a problem. That means that they do not know the rule of law. You can’t establish a court and refuse to go when it calls you. If he refuses, he won’t set foot here.”

Apparently it was this statement that drove the Kenyans insane. It became clear to me upon following the hashtag closely that the Kenyans were not pleased by this.

Interestingly, the #someonetellBotswana tweets were an accumulation of “why should we care what you think” tweets to the Botswana nationals on Twitter. Botswana’s small population was brought up and ridiculed. The country’s GDP was also mocked in comparison to the wealth held by certain citizens of Kenya. Essentially, everything but our foreign policy was brought up.

I’m going to go ahead and say how disappointed I am in the Kenyan Nationals for not mentioning the one thing that mattered. To be honest, I spent the first few moments of viewing the Kenyan’s tweets in complete confusion. It seemed as if the tweets were an expression of some deep-rooted anti-Botswana sentiment that had been brewing in the Kenyans for what felt like quite a while.

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