Archive for October, 2011

Asa: Dreamer Girl

Posted: October 21, 2011 in General, Music

On my quest for new musical sound, something kept bringing me back to Asa (pronounced Asha). For those of you not familiar, Asa is a Nigerian-French singer-songwriter and recording artist, and may I also add that she is one of my FAVORITE. I was first introduced to Asa a few years back when her single “Jailer”  was released and I have been hooked ever since.  So when her album “Beautiful Imperfection” was made available earlier this year, I made sure to grab my own personal copy of the master piece. So when I was trying to make selections on which songs to share with you on this month’s post, Asa’s soulful and popish music kept coming to mind. So I finally gave in on the search and popped the CD on my computer and made a pick, a very tough one to say the least. 

Dreamer Girl was the tittle I finally settle for, however, I highly encourage you to check her out on YouTube/iTunes etc.. 


Living On & Offline

Posted: October 21, 2011 in Advice, General

Author – Aurelie

Facebook started out as a communication tool invented by a few university students, so they could have a fun and interactive way of checking up on each other and staying in touch through the busy student life. As cliché would go the website took on a life of its own, growing quite large, becoming world renowned and being available to anyone who had access to internet. Fast forward to the present day and age, facebook has evolved from the simple reason it was created to having multiple uses available to its users.

On facebook you can start a fan page of your favorite artist, you can advertise for your business or a particular skill that you might have that would be beneficial to a specific audience category. You can start petitions for causes important to you and have a facebook page for that, you can start a facebook group about any topic you wish to discuss and create a platform where people can interact and make friends. You can network on facebook with people you otherwise would have a challenging time to locate offline, and of course expressing yourself by updating your status, and maybe sharing with a larger amount of people up to the minute developments about your day, or a news story you have just watched, or anything that comes to mind.

Finding long lost relatives, school friends you weren’t in touch with for years, and just an easier way of keeping in touch with your loved ones. With the growth of technology there are now tons of cell phone providers that include a facebook application programmed in your phone so facebook is any and everywhere you can go where cell phones are permitted. However for all the cool and awesome things facebook can do, the negative aspects have been astronomical ending long standing friendships, marriages, getting people fired from their jobs, investigations leading to arrests, and the list goes on and on and on.

Because of all these negativity, subscribers started reading about the privacy information and making changes to their privacy settings. Subscribers also realized that once you put information on your facebook page including photos, statuses, and any other data actually belongs to the site, even if you are to delete your profile that information will stay theirs for centuries to come. This is definitely an eye opener for any future users trying to subscribe to the site and even some existing ones pondering closing their pages.

What I find amazing too is that this social media outlet is being blamed for ending marriages, and all sorts of relationships. People are the ones opening pages, people are the ones putting out information and doing all the leg work, facebook has not solicited anyone; people do it out of their own free will. I find it ridiculous that people cannot take responsibility for their actions and their own bad choices. Unfortunately the negative uses have now become more of the norm than the original idea, cyber bullying, child pornography rings, cussing out the girl your boyfriend, husband, or significant other cheated on you with, and promoting all around hate.

I feel that people should take control of their online lives and keep it separate from their offline lives. The above described events should be a clear indication of the fact that the two lives don’t mix, and if you decide to put out personal private information, take ownership when things go south because people are the ones who can control what goes on the internet and what doesn’t.

I also came across a very funny video by the popular animated series “SouthPark” which uses its humor to illustrate just how seriously people have been affected by facebook and how ridiculous it can be.

Picture of the Week

Posted: October 21, 2011 in General

Breaking the Silence: Electronics = Coltan = The Death of Congolese men/women

A Movie Review: The Social Network

Posted: October 21, 2011 in General

Author – Joe Mulumba 

The social Network is the story of a obsessive compulsive, brilliant, program writer Harvard sophomore then drop out who faces a dilemma: How do you get in the most exclusive clubs of Harvard that will assure you wealth and fame when you don’t have the connections or the willingness to jump through the hoops they establish for you? Create facebook where all the students who are part or not of those clubs could be friends with each other with the simple click of “Add me as friend”. Despite the fact that it took Mark Zuckeberg played by Jesse Einsenberg six months to get the website going, it was the easiest part to do. “Facebook”, which is visited everyday a millionth time by millions of visitors who are friends and stalkers between each other, started out in the spirit of competition and camaraderie.

According to the movie, it was competition between Wicklevoss twins and Mark Zuckerberg and camaraderie between Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin. I say camaraderie between Mark and Eduardo because Mark as portrayed in the movie doesn’t have a “normal” understanding of friendship. Friendship is only meaningful when he’s able to get something out of it and when Eduardo, who has been generous to Mark, can’t keep up with the charming, internet guru, partygoer Sean Parker, founder of Napster, Mark goes on with the winner. But not before Mark takes Eduardo’s money to expand and grow and then pulls him out of main shareholders of the company. They were a great team: Eduardo provided the cash flow while Mark took care of the programming, but when all the chips were on the table, Mark proved a more cunning business partner thanks toShannon. The movie goes back and forth between the “present” where Mark is dealing with the lawsuits coming from Eduardo and the twins and the “past” of how everything started.

For the sakes of a captivating narrative, facts were twisted here and there to provide the audience a thrilling story. Mark Zuckenberg had and still has a girlfriend while in Harvard. Her name is Priscilla Chan and she is currently finishing internship to become a pediatrician. Mark Zuckerbeg did actually helped the twins start Harvard Connection, but then left them to start facebook. It’s true that he wasn’t entirely honest with all his associates when he started his venture, but in the end he outsmarted them even though he settled with all of them. According to him, it has never been about the money, he’s been offered millions for Synapse, software that’s like an early version of Pandora, by AOL and Microsoft but he turned them down. MTV offered him seventy-five million in 2005; Terry Semel, former CEO of Yahoo! proposed  1 billion but he kept saying no. Responding to an interview by Jose Antonio Vargas, New Yorker writer, Zuckerberg said : “it’s not about the price. This is my baby, and I want to keep running it, I want to keep growing it.”

About the movie he admits that people wouldn’t believe he has changed from the way he’s portrayed in the movie: “ I think a lot of people will look at that stuff, you know, when I was nineteen, and say, ‘Oh, well, he was like that…He must still be like that, right?” Sorkin, the screenwriter behind “The West Wing” and for “The Social Network” admits that he didn’t know much about facebook before he was given the project and he says: “The movie is not meant as an attack. Zuckerberg spends the first one hour and fifty-five minutes as an antihero and the last five minutes as a tragic hero.

I don’t want to be unfair to this young man whom I don’t know, who’s never done anything to me, who doesn’t deserve a punch in the face. I honestly believe that I have not done that.” Responding to a question on Quora, Dustin Moskovitz, who is one of the co-founder of Facebook, said that the film “emphasizes things that didn’t matter (like the Winklevosses, who I’ve still never even met and had no part in the work we did to create the site over the past 6 years) and leaves out things that really did (like the many other people in our lives at the time, who supported us in innumerable ways)” . I personally think that he actually did just that, but Zuckerberg could care less about his image because he has managed to stick to open, free and honest, bottom up approach in his business and in his life. It wasn’t money that got him where he is, it was a genius idea so he keeps his eyes open on young programmers like himself who could keep expanding his company with new addictive apps that are on Facebook.


Artistic Impression ~ Kalif Kalume

Posted: October 21, 2011 in General, Random

Breaking the Silence: Congo Week

Posted: October 21, 2011 in General, News

Dear Readers,

I greet you in the name of the Congolese youth who feel the wind of change in Africa that blew from the youth revolution in Soweto in 1976 in the South to the streets of Cairo this year in the North of the African continent.

As we embark upon the fourth annual Breaking The Silence: Congo Week, October 16-22, 2011, I wanted bring you up-to-date on the global movement in support of the Congo.

Congo Week continues to grow both inside and outside of the Congo as people throughout the globe utilize Congo Week to articulate the challenges and potential that exist in the heart of Africa. Since we launched Congo Week in October 2008, over 60 countries and 300 university campuses and communities have joined us in the global call for justice for the people of Congo.

Your role in Breaking the Silence, by demanding justice for the people, is making a difference. More people are becoming informed, educated and engaged. Your actions, no matter how small, are strengthening the resolve of the youth and others inside the Congo who are waging a courageous fight, day and night to bring about peace, stability and human dignity. Knowing that they have the support of people of goodwill throughout the globe makes a tremendous difference.

The key teaching tool for Congo Week IV is Friends of the Congo’s short documentary, “Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth.” Since its launch, over 100,000 people have viewed the film on YouTube and over 1,000 people have downloaded it to view or screen in their homes and communities. Youth throughout the Congo are using the film as a teaching tool during Congo Week.

The youth of the Congo who represent the majority of the people are encouraging you to continue to support our fight for justice and human dignity. In the past year, youth groups we support have made great strides in strengthening their capacity in their quest to bring about lasting peace and stability in the Congo. We encourage you to participate in our special contest to support the youth of the Congo and their pursuit for social change.

Key organizers in Japan, Australia, France, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and many other countries are joining with our partners inside the Congo to call for justice for the people. Organize or participate in an event or activity for Congo Week on your university campus, in your home, religious institution, community center or any other venue in your community. Should you be in New York during Congo Week, join us for Congo in Harlem, a week of film screenings, performances, panel discussions, exhibitions, tributes, and special events highlighting Congolese cultures and its people’s contribution to the global community.

This is an historic opportunity for you to be a part of the global movement to bring an end to what is the greatest humanitarian crisis at the dawn of the 21st century and the deadliest conflict since World War Two. Seize the moment and become a part of a noble pursuit for justice and human dignity in the heart of Africa, my home, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kambale Musavuli
Student Coordinator
Friends of the Congo

Author – Amadou Toumani TOURÉ

« Pour comprendre la logique des conflits en Afrique, il convient d’abord de connaître les fondements de la démocratie et d’y réfléchir. En Occident, la démocratie est une philosophie politique individualiste. Elle s’est lentement édifiée sur les ruines de la société de l’Ancien Régime et de ses structures communautaires.

En Afrique, la situation est différente : les structures communautaires sont bien vivantes. Aujourd’hui encore, elles constituent le soubassement des sociétés, même dans les villes. Contrairement à ce que certains pensent, le pouvoir dans l’Afrique traditionnelle ne s’exerçait pas d’une manière tyrannique : il obéissait à des règles, à des coutumes, fondées sur l’équilibre des forces, sur la discussion. Aujourd’hui, on dirait le dialogue. Les rois, les chefs traditionnels n’imposaient rien sans de longues palabres ; ils écoutaient, négociaient, recherchaient toujours le consensus. À la fin, le détenteur de l’autorité tranchait en prenant bien soin de respecter la dignité de chacun et en ménageant les susceptibilités.L’institution de la palabre jouait un rôle de soupape : elle est la forme africaine la plus authentique de démocratie participative.

Contrairement à ce que certains observateurs ont cru y voir, la palabre n’était pas une interminable discussion stérile mais une expression de l’opinion populaire. En se rendant au lieu de palabre, et en y prenant la parole, les hommes affirmaient également leur statut d’hommes libres. Mais le pouvoir ne sortait pas de la palabre : ce n’était ni une assemblée constituante ni une assemblée législative. Le pouvoir n’était pas despotique car, dans la plupart des sociétés traditionnelles, existaient des conseils des anciens, des conseils des sages ainsi que des initiés pour assister le détenteur de l’autorité. Par exemple, chez les Sérères au Sénégal, les maîtres « du feu » furent jusqu’au XIVe siècle les détenteurs du pouvoir ; en Afrique de l’Ouest, chez les Mandés, le chef politique était le Fama, maître des terres et chef de groupe de villages, et la confédération de villages choisissait son Fama, par tirage au sort ; au Nigéria, chez les Ibos, le choix se faisait dans le cadre des classes d’âges. Avec le multipartisme et le suffrage universel, les sociétés traditionnelles africaines ont découvert la démocratie occidentale. Mais l’Afrique ne pourra releverles défis du modèle démocratique qu’en étant elle-même, sans se couper de ses racines, en gardant son identité.

L’Afrique a essayé depuis la décolonisation la plupart des modèles importés de l’extérieur : marxisme révolutionnaire, socialisme, tiers-mondisme, libéralisme…Le retour « à grande vitesse » de la société traditionnelle dans toutes les sphères de la société est la seule chancede l’Afrique. Il faut arriver à concilier les valeurs universelles de la démocratie, qui sont incontournables, avec les institutions de l’Afrique ancienne en les modernisant. C’est ce qu’a fait le Botswana en modernisant l’assemblée des chefs traditionnels qui composentle Sénat, et en conservant ainsi ses racines. »

Making Your Voice Heard

Posted: October 21, 2011 in Music
tittle/titre:  Liberons Le Congo
author/auteur: Herleo Muntu
From our Staff:
we are not campaigning for any candidates, nor pushing viewers to favor one candidate over another. However we are urging all those able to vote, to make use of their right and march to the pools for the November elections.

Just for Fun wkly Poll

Posted: October 21, 2011 in General, Poll