The full-on, amped-up sanza
sounds of Konono No. 1
have been celebrated here at MeFi not once
, and they are indeed wonderful. Björk
's been working with them a bit lately, too. But let's go back a few decades, and take a listen to the unplugged version of this type of music: mesdames et messiurs, Papa Kourand
, the grand old man of the sanza! [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Oct 10, 2007 -
There is time, and there is "African time"
. The Ivory Coast is fighting chronic lateness
with a contest that offered a $60,000 villa as its grand prize. The winner, legal adviser Narcisse Aka, is known by his colleagues as "Mr. White Man's Time" and said
that his punctuality makes him feel like "an extra-terrestrial."
posted by stbalbach
on Oct 9, 2007 -
Are Zebras black with white stripes, or white with black stripes? Find the answer to this, plus many other fun zebra facts and many great zebra pictures and photos for your desktop at the appropriately titled Fun Zebra Pictures & Facts
website. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000
on Oct 5, 2007 -
, who spent most of her life in Kenya, was a noted naturalist and filmmaker (along with her (former) husband
. She was murdered
by gunmen at point-blank range in January, 2006 in her home on Lake Naivasha
. Lake Naivasha is the only fresh water source in the Great Rift Valley
, and has become increasingly endangered by pollution and overuse for irrigation, and Root spent considerable time fighting to protect it. Today, a Kenyan magistrate acquitted
the four suspects in her murder, calling the testimony of 13 witnesses "defective".
posted by mkultra
on Aug 10, 2007 -
"Thanks to tremendous progress achieved by the General Packet Radio System (GPRS), the wireless communication protocol, it is now possible for Africans to send articles and images (still and moving) about events taking place in their countries without using a computer and without having internet connection. Under those circumstances, the bigger the number of people expressing their opinions through that technology, the stronger becomes democracy, and the more valuable is the contribution to good governance efforts in Africa" - Voices of Africa
, Mobile stories and videos from Africa. Quote above from article Mobile Reporters in Africa
posted by infini
on Jul 27, 2007 -
Four endangered gorillas were found shot dead
in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a conservation group announced today.
For all the evil bastards that do this, there are many, many more good people
fighting the good fight to help keep gorillas healthy. One
, even has a blog
posted by james_cpi
on Jul 26, 2007 -
decided to build a windmill to power lights in his home: "For many years we had only paraffin candles to light my home at night. They are expensive, smoky, smelly and have to be purchased about 8 km from home."
posted by letitrain
on Jul 5, 2007 -
David Oluwale arrived in Britain in 1949, one of many African immigrants. By the close of 1969, he was dead
. Two years later, two police officers were charged with his murder, although they got away almost scot-free despite a massive amount of evidence against them. Although it caused a national scandal at the time, more because of police malpractice than racism, Oluwale's sad story has been forgotten since (apart from a play, written by Jeremy Sandford
, a few years later). However, it deserves to be remembered not just because of a tragic and unnecessary death, but because it was the first recorded death of a British black person as a result of police racism
. A new book, Nationality: Wog, The Hounding of David Oluwale
is helping bring Oluwale's plight back into public consciousness. Via the BBC's Thinking Allowed.
posted by humblepigeon
on Jun 6, 2007 -
Ready or Not.
"South Africa is a great place to have a party, and people are incredibly generous of spirit. What we should be doing is trying to make the World Cup experience uniquely African: where the bus comes 10 minutes late but nobody gives a toss because they are having such a good time. Instead, the organisers seem to want to try to run the World Cup as efficiently as the Germans did. What a load of bull. The Germans could invade Poland in three days. We could not invade Swaziland in three months." Article in today's Observer about preparations in South Africa for the soccer World Cup in 2010.
posted by hydatius
on Jun 3, 2007 -
Where's the money?
[YouTube] In a short interview with the BBC, Bob Geldof and Bono discuss ongoing efforts to get G8 members to fulfil commitments made at the Gleneagles summit, their own credibility or lack of, and whether or not the current focus on climate change is taking attention away from the situation in Africa. This Guardian article
has more details.
posted by teleskiving
on May 16, 2007 -
Mary Uduru of Nigeria.
Although we see lots of single-image representations of African poverty (usually in the form of a swollen-bellied child on the brink of starvation) it's rare to find a photo-essay like this one one, which brings us an intimate, informative and non-sensationalist view of the life of the working poor there.
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Apr 11, 2007 -
Spend a blissful 59 minutes and 7 seconds traversing the continent of Africa through her traditional music. This excellent stream (featuring just the right amount of background info)
from the folks at Afropop Worldwide [previously]
features plenty of the kind of effortlessly rolling, lilting rhythmic vibes that make African traditional music some of the most sublime in the world. "So don't expect over-the-top ethnography, just relax and enjoy acoustic Africa."
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Mar 19, 2007 -
You will be thoroughly beaten.
Zimbabwe, in economic decline for years, may be accelerating towards collapse. Its inflation rate recently hit 1281%
, the highest in the world, and a strike by public doctors
that began six weeks ago has now spread to nurses
, electrical workers
and (today) teachers
. Those that aren't allowed to strike, like police
, are quitting. Last month, Zimbabwe's top judge warned
that underfunding had (possibly intentionally) left its judiciary largely unable to function, the nation's electricity provider recently announced that it's broke
, its sewage plants started breaking down
and polluting urban water supplies, and international observers warned (based on satellite photos, since the government won't allow them in) that famine is looming
. In the past, President Robert Mugabe's response to the growing destitution has been to forcibly evict
poor urban slum residents into the countryside and bulldoze their homes, to prevent them from organizing politically and to make it difficult for rights organizations to monitor them. Now, he's canceling the 2008 presidential elections
(for now, saying that they'll be held in 2010, in conjunction with parliamentary elections, to save money) and ordering security forces to jail and torture
political activists. The situation may be approaching a breaking point.
posted by gsteff
on Feb 5, 2007 -
is a non-profit bringing technology to the developing world. They've got several projects
going in Africa to connect, train, and equip villages but their latest push is an interesting one: The Thumb Drive Drive
. In the era of $50 2Gb USB drives, many of us probably have discarded 16-128Mb drives sitting around. Send them to Inveneo and they'll get used in places where broadband isn't an option and quick storage is necessary.
posted by mathowie
on Dec 13, 2006 -
A representative of the World Trade Organization proposes foreign corporate "stewardship" of workers in Africa from the moment they are hired until they die, describing it as "the best available solution to African poverty, and the inevitable result of free-market theory".
posted by Pastabagel
on Nov 14, 2006 -
of French Guiana and Surinam (Bush Negroes or Maroons
) are a unique, and little-known group of peoples (Boni or Aluku
) who escaped from Dutch plantations in the early 1700's, who battled for independence which was recognized through various treaties -- notably by the Treaty of Albina which France and the Netherlands signed in 1860 (I can't find any info on the net), and who still live an African-type life largely based around the Maroni River
between French Guiana
, as citizens of either one country or the other. Their language is Sranan Tongo
(a mixture of African Languages, English, Dutch, Portuguese and Hebrew -- also known as Taki-Taki -- click for a listen
Historical and scholarly works are scarce, but they exist
(In English but mostly in Dutch or French).
Some pictures of typical houses
. Symbolic Woodwork
. More art
. Images of the people of French Guyana
. Images of various canoes in French Guiana. More photos of the Maroni River
. Amazonie Francaise
posted by pwedza
on Aug 26, 2006 -