Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Resilient Tree

Posted: July 4, 2012 in Advice, General

Author – Joe Mulumba 

At the heart of Africa, with its luxurious forest that gives planet the necessary lungs to survive, my beloved country Congo rests. When these white men brought their Bible, guns, and stuffed up piece of clothes, they envied these precious stones that our land has always carried. Our chiefs and leaders at the time didn’t know and couldn’t understand to what extent the threat was. When agreement couldn’t be reached, they were quickly dismissed. In the 1950s, African students all over Africa started agitating for freedom. Having received the Western education, they understood that in order to recover their own power, they had to give up their tribal allegiances and unite as a nation. Thousands of lives if not millions of lives were lost in the process to obtain independence. Lumumba was one of the students, ardent believer that no limb or life could be spared in order to fight for independence. His passion led him in jails and receive beatings but in June 1960, with the help of thousands men and women, Congo became free.

Before, during and after colonization, western powers have always used the divide to rein stratagem and not too long after we received our independence, they turned misunderstandings into power struggle between Moise Tshombe, Lumumba, Kasavubu and Mobutu and at the end, Mobutu came out on top, and started his Western powered reign for 35 years. The one legacy he would take from Lumumba is the maintaining of a nationalist spirit where Zairois and Zairoise of all tribes came to identify with their country and their leader.

When he wasn’t useful anymore to his Western allies, Mobutu was taken down and Kabila who took powers got killed a few years later because he sounded too communist for the liking of the Western interests. Kabila Jr. proved himself and is still proving very understanding of those interests of his Western allies to the point that Uganda and Rwanda have made of the East of Congo, their hunting grounds just because they are friendly with the same Western allies that support him.

Rape of women and men, malnutrition, homelessness, prostitution, lack of education, lack of roads and infrastructures, and the list goes on ad nauseam, but despite it all, hope for Congo can’t be quenched.  Every day, healthcare professionals, activists, musicians, artists and débrouillards find ways to make a difference in someone’s life. The spirit that animated Lumumba is still animating many of our vibrant Congolese youth who excel at home and abroad in all disciplines, attaining for themselves and their nations the necessary intellectual tools to match their indomitable spirit to see a better Congo.

I know that a Google search on Congo only gives the grim news, but I know not only from my family that still lives there, but from all those years I grew up there, that Congolese are resilient. Our musical, intellectual talent and our beautiful spirit haven’t been diminished by all the trials and it falls upon each and every one of us to see to it that those deaths of innocent civilians and other warriors for freedom weren’t in vain by digging in our pockets and thinking hard about our place in Congo’s future. It’s all about saving one life, one day at a time while pressuring the political leaders to implement the needed changes.

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Femmes d’affaires, chefs d’Etats, artistes ou défenseurs de l’environnement… les femmes africaines occupent aujourd’hui tous les terrains. Par leurs actions quotidiennes, elles oeuvrent au développement du continent. Le succès et les carrières exceptionnelles de certaines d’entre elles en font des personnalités incontournables sur le continent. Portraits de six femmes d’influence…

Source: http://www.afriqueavenir.org/2011/08/08/ces-femmes-qui-font-bouger-l’afrique/

Wangari Maathai et la muraille verte

Wangari Maathai est la première africaine a avoir obtenu le très prestigieux prix Nobel de la paix, en 2004, pour «sa contribution en faveur du développement durable, de la démocratie et de la paix». En 1977, elle a fondé le mouvement de la Ceinture verte qui a commencé par planter modestement sept arbres. Soutenu par les femmes, leGreen Belt Movement a réussi à planter 30 millions d’arbres en trente ans afin de prévenir l’érosion des sols, devenant ainsi le plus grand projet de reboisement en Afrique. Et la militante écologiste a gagné un surnom: «tree woman», la femme des arbres. «Nous n’avons le droit ni de fatiguer ni de renoncer», aime à dire Wangari Maathai pour qui l’écologie, le féminisme, la politique, la lutte pour la paix et contre la pauvreté veulent dire la même chose.

Posted: May 2, 2012 in Advice, General

We believe the solutions to Congo’s problems come from those living within them.

Sketch of the Week

Posted: May 2, 2012 in General, Random

Juste Pour Rire

Posted: May 2, 2012 in General, Random, Uncategorized
 
On jette une pierre dans la rivière ;
–          le blanc entend : plouf
–          le congolais entend : tshoubou
On frappe à la porte ;
–          le blanc entend : toc toc toc
–          le congolais entend : ko ko ko
On éternue ;
–          le blanc entend : atchoum !
–          le congolais : intshieee !
Le moustique passe ;
–          le blanc entend : zzzzzzzzzz
–          le congolais : nzzzuiiiiiii
On ferme un cadenas ;
–          le blanc entend : clic clac
–          le congolais : kreketshe
LE MËME BRUIT, EST-IL ENTENDU DIFFEREMMENT SELON LA RACE? 
 

SpotLight

Posted: May 2, 2012 in General, News

Founded in 2000 by Petna, Sekombi and Katya Katondolo, Yole! Africa offers arts education, training, and mentoring to youth in eastern DRC.  Drawing the name from the cry used by central African shepards to gather their herds, the artists began Yole! Africa as a way to promote peace and reconciliation through arts and culture.

Yolé!Africa operates a cultural center in Goma which serves as a forum for young people from different backgrounds to come together and express themselves through art, sport, and other media.  The organization provides mentorship and artistic expertise for youth sharing their experiences, opinions, and views on peace and conflict through weekly music, dance and exhibitions at the center.

Yole!Africa also organizes The Salaam Kivu International Film Festival (SKIFF), “A cultural festival at the foot of the volcano”. The signature annual event and a vivid reflection of the rich artistic community and culture of eastern Congo, the 10-day festival highlights African filmmakers through public screenings and conversations, and promotes artist exchange across the central African region through workshops, concerts and performances. In the past two years, SKIFF has attracted more than 16,000 people including filmmakers, musicians and dancers from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Spain, Belgium, Finland, Brazil and the US.
In 2009, Yole!Africa worked with over 500 community youth on art, dance and music projects, with community performances attracting thousands of local residents.

In 2010, Yole!Africa received a $30,000 grant from ECI to train young, talented Congolese in the production of short films and audio pieces, and enable powerful storytelling that forces western audiences to reconsider negative stereotypes of Africa and Congo.

 

Making a Change

Posted: March 26, 2012 in Advice, General

Author – Joe Mulumba 

Create businesses, education centers, engineering projects, agricultural projects that have cultural roots embedded and replayed over and over ad nauseam. Advertisements must always align cultural values with financial goals of selling the product. The land must be worked. The meat, the fish, must be provided. Electricity and water must be privatized.

There are three sectors of growth for the Congo to be the proud, strong, and powerful nation that it ought to be: The political sector: With the third election that just took place in Congo’s history, our generation is slowly awakening to the rights and privileges that ought to be granted to them as deserving citizens of a rich nation. The cultural sector: you can only go as far and as up only as far your roots are deep. Artists, writers, fashion designers, actors, directors, painters and everyone related to the cultural wealth of our nation ought to produce works that will inspire and galvanize the population into producing, manufacturing Congolese products and back and forth.

“We must always be political. I think that culture, for example is always very political. It always has been and always will be….because a culture represents the values, the values for which one fights. If one is fighting for a revolution, one is talking about more than just changing governments and power, and that is changing the value system. What carries that value system is one’s culture….Culture is a cohesive force. It is what keeps people together. Culture is very important in the fight, because a lot of people have fought against their oppressors yet maintained the culture of their oppressors, and culturally they are the same as their oppressors. They haven’t fought for anything actually. All they have done is change powers, but that is not a revolution.

You have to understand that changing powers is not a revolution. Black people in America, Africans who live in America, especially must understand that and begin to alienate our people completely from the culture and values of Western society. That is going to be particularly difficult because all of us live within those values and it is going to be very hard for us to root them out. I mean that it is like people who say that they want to be be black. But being black is an awfully hard job in the United States. It is very, very difficult, and we have to constantly try to understand the rejection of Western values and the pickup of new values. It is very, very difficult. But our first task is all the more to alienate our people at every chance we get from the Western culture and values, because once they are alienated there will be no influence over them. That is what we are seeking. We are seeking to stop all influence of Western culture on our people — completely.” Kwame Toure (land and power)

You can’t look in the future, if you can’t look in the past. These elections were just a blip. Joseph Kabila is a blip. His father was a blip. Mobutu was a blip. Lumumba’s legacy will live on. The concept of a nation: a community formed by its ethnic identity, religion, language, and culture is still new in Africa. 50 years. Just a toddler compared to other nations; the heritage of colonialism and of those pre nation times before colonialism still slow down to the process of building a nation. A lot of us young Congolese sometimes don’t realize our place in history and in the history of our country. It is necessary to pull back as far back as possible and as forward as possible to start thinking in terms of generations instead of our own personal career goals.

We are to embrace the fate of our nation on our shoulders. Doctors, engineers, soldiers, preachers, writers, poets, musicians, activists, entrepreneurs, political leaders, we all have a stone to place to build the nation. We have to be single minded in our pursuit, in our thirst, in our hunger, in our trials, in our wounds and in our deaths. The intellectual and the bourgeois elite has to come to an understanding to be single minded in the destruction of opposition’s forces to Congo and to the support of creative and nurturing endeavors for the Congo. The proletariat, the people has the hunger, the thirst for a leader, for resources to be available to take part in the fight, in the building of a different nation. It will take love, money, leadership, wounds, prayers, medicines, determination, sacrifice but it will happen. We may not see it. Our children may not see it. Our grand children may not see it, but our grand grand children will see it.

Congolese children born in the diaspora, Congolese studying abroad, Congolese with the pockets to go and come as they want should be bringing back home not just western delicacies, but essentials for deprived communities and critical minds to seemingly impossible situations on the ground. We have to connect and keep alive the lines of communication between all Congolese seeking to build a better Congo. We have to recognize and promote the services, the talents, the people who will improve on building the Congo. There are thousand, nameless and selfless workers at different sectors of our nation in education, in religion, in politics, in science, in health, in military who are all in search of a better Congo.

The identification of our skills and talents is a preliminary, but once that’s done, there’s no question as to what should be the purpose of our actions. As a writer, I intend to publish again and again and again against the atrocities, the corruption, the inaptitude of current Congolese leaders and celebrate those who fight selflessly to the peril of their lives to build a better Congo. It will take time. It will take lifetimes, but the fight has to start now. Every morning. Every evening. Every day. Until we honor those who came before us and create a future for our children.

Innovative and inspiring, YCF, a Facebook base page, seeks to expose and promote a new generation of Congolese doing it big both abroad and inland. The concept is fascinating and refreshing. Seeing positive fruits emerging from a soil infested with war and death stirs one’s heart and instills a sense of hope for the future

They are currently looking into expanding: magazine and website, if you are well versed in IT stuff or are a writer feel free to shoot them an email at youngcongoleseandfabulous@gmail.com

Here is a sneak pick of what they have on their page. For more info look them up on Facebook.

Literature :

Fiston Nasser Mwanza

Poet, novelist and playwright. Fiston was Born in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mwanza Mujila Sonny lives in Graz, Austria where he continued his studies in literature.

We deliver, we are in no way imposing any views or opinions to our audience.  Feel free to watch and construct your own viewpoints. 

Original Post:  Joseph Kony Is Still At Large and It’s all My Fault.

Posted on March 9, 2012

Author – Mind of Malaka

I generally like to reserve Friday posts for frivolity, but I have been requested to give my view on KONY2012. Please brace yourself for a rant.

Let’s call Joseph Kony what he is: a narcissist, a pedophile and a terrorist. Virtually unchecked, Joseph Kony has been carrying out his campaign of terror against innocent African civilians in Uganda, Sudan and the DRC since 1986. He and his goons have destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives, raped countless numbers of women and girls, and ripped families apart. His tools are his power of persuasion, and that failing, the barrel of the gun. For over 20 years, this one man – who in interviews described himself as God Almighty – has maimed, pillaged and burned the homes and bodies of innocents while the world twiddled their thumbs.

Now comes this #stopkony / KONY2012 campaign, spearheaded by a group of white kids who hail from California. Their singular focus lies in the capture and conviction of Joseph Kony by the end of this year. And God bless them for it.

Can I speak plainly, reader? I am SO SICK of Black people and their twisted dogma concerning the “White Savior” Syndrome. Oh, you haven’t heard of it? It’s the belief in certain circles of the Black Intelligencia that because Black folk can’t do for themselves, White people have to come in and do for them, or more specifically, solve our problems for us. In the case of Joseph Kony in particular, one rather prolific individual on twitter summed up the KONY2012 (and implied White savior Campaign) movement by saying “the world exists simply to satisfy the needs – including, importantly, the sentimental needs – of white people and Oprah”. Prior to that, he says that “the white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evenings.” This message has been retweeted quite a few times on Twitter, and I do see why. At first glance, this all sounds very witty and well thought out until you think about it, at which point you grasp your head and shout:

Oh My GOD, Black people!!

We decry any effort to stereotype and homogenize us as a race, and then we turn around and do the same thing to white people? Just stop and think. Look at the world around you. The vast majority of people who identify with the Occupy Wall Street Movement are WHITE. The people that they are on a crusade AGAINST are WHITE. How then can we lump all white people together as saying they fund our brutal policies and then swoop in to try and save us from them? It’s an insipid argument, and one that must cease immediately, for it makes us look foolish. How would you react to the assertion that sh*t and chocolate share the same properties, simply because both are brown? Exactly.

All these Africans, sitting at home behind your laptops and your Black Berries, carrying on about how White people will not leave us to our own devices: You all make me SICK. If the victims of Joseph Kony’s terrorist acts were the children of MPs and businessmen, he would have been disposed of long ago. If Joseph Kony expanded his reach into the streets of Pretoria and was brutalizing young white South African children, I wager that there wouldn’t be a jungle dense enough to conceal him. If the people he was killing and raping were of “value”, African governments would ferret him out! If Joseph Kony’s campaign was preventing Chinese “investment” in the areas he is currently pillaging, there would be a special force unit whose only job was to secure his capture.

Here’s the rub. The only people at fault for not bringing Kony in is AFRICANS. What I’m about to say is an “oversimplification” of events, but I don’t have time to give anyone a history lesson, because you’re intelligent enough to do your own research.

We got our independence. We’ve since elected leaders whose only goal for their positions is to rule for life. Africa is not poor, but these leaders exacerbate the image and façade of poverty in order to garner foreign aid, much of which they pocket for themselves and their cronies. They then leave the reviled common man to fend for himself, providing just enough of the very basics in terms of public facilities to give the illusion of a working developing city. Joseph Kony lives in this barely bourgeoning East African city. He goes to public school and is an altar boy, perhaps he’s been sexually assaulted by a priest, perhaps not, I don’t know. But at some point he has a psychotic break because he thinks he’s God. Somehow he gets a hold of some uniforms and some guns, and armed with scripture he decides he’s going to establish a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments. Somehow, “thou shalt not kill” escapes him, but that’s only a minor detail. He pursues his dream of molesting little kids and eating their parents anyway.

Oh Black people. You like to complain and criticize. But where is the action, eh?? Why are we not staging sit- ins at our Ghanaian embassies around the world, demanding that OUR president take a firm stance on Kony until he’s captured. Why are Nigerians, Gambians and Kenyan’s not doing the same? Why are we not speaking out until our voices are impossible to ignore? Here’s a better question: Why did an AFRICAN not start the Kony2012 campaign? It’s because you people care, yes, but you don’t care enough

When the Save Darfur campaign was at its height, who did we see out on the Washington Mall at those rallies? White students! There was a sprinkling of Blacks here and there, but not en masse as it should have been. These are our brothers and sisters after all!

As a continent, we are guided by fear and mistrust of each other, and it is reflected in the leadership we appoint to govern us. We have few visionaries, and fewer leaders with balls. By the time we have a Laurent Gbagbo refusing to step down after losing an election, there is no appealing to the better side of such a man. He HAS no better side. So what did our ECOWAS leadership do? They threatened military action against him, but it was all talk, as usual. Gbagbo was not ousted until the French intervened. Was this a White Savior Complex? Hardly. It was yet another manifestation of Pervasive Black Apathy.

All this chatter about the group Invisible Children, heh? Instead of talking about the “damage” this video has done, has anyone given as much energy into discussing how to bring this man to justice? Why is Uganda now pointing at what the video has done “wrong” instead of discussing what they themselves have been doing wrong these last 26 years? MSTEW!!! If you really want to make a difference on the continent, stop sitting on your Black asses and bitching about what White people are doing. We have film makers. We have photographers. We have WRITERS. Any of these people could have brought attention to this issue, which is not a new one. Lisa Ling did a report on Joseph Kony is 2006! But just like the short lived outrage over blood diamonds, that too escaped our consciousness. Stop knocking people for caring.

Oh Black people. You like to complain and criticize. But where is the action, eh?? Why are we not staging sit- ins at our Ghanaian embassies around the world, demanding that OUR president take a firm stance on Kony until he’s captured. Why are Nigerians, Gambians and Kenyan’s not doing the same? Why are we not speaking out until our voices are impossible to ignore? Here’s a better question: Why did an AFRICAN not start the Kony2012 campaign? It’s because you people care, yes, but you don’t care enough

When the Save Darfur campaign was at its height, who did we see out on the Washington Mall at those rallies? White students! There was a sprinkling of Blacks here and there, but not en masse as it should have been. These are our brothers and sisters after all!

As a continent, we are guided by fear and mistrust of each other, and it is reflected in the leadership we appoint to govern us. We have few visionaries, and fewer leaders with balls. By the time we have a Laurent Gbagbo refusing to step down after losing an election, there is no appealing to the better side of such a man. He HAS no better side. So what did our ECOWAS leadership do? They threatened military action against him, but it was all talk, as usual. Gbagbo was not ousted until the French intervened. Was this a White Savior Complex? Hardly. It was yet another manifestation of Pervasive Black Apathy.

All this chatter about the group Invisible Children, heh? Instead of talking about the “damage” this video has done, has anyone given as much energy into discussing how to bring this man to justice? Why is Uganda now pointing at what the video has done “wrong” instead of discussing what they themselves have been doing wrong these last 26 years? MSTEW!!! If you really want to make a difference on the continent, stop sitting on your Black asses and bitching about what White people are doing. We have film makers. We have photographers. We have WRITERS. Any of these people could have brought attention to this issue, which is not a new one. Lisa Ling did a report on Joseph Kony is 2006! But just like the short lived outrage over blood diamonds, that too escaped our consciousness. Pick a side. Either be a part of the problem or be an agent for the solution, but for God’s sake stop knocking people for caring.