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My African Clichés ( English)
10 minutes | Dec 19, 2022
Are you aware of the Fashoda Complex?
Hello friends, I am back again, finally, after more than 5 months of a forced absence. Thank you to those who have taken news! don't worry, my prolonged absence is not due to a lack of inspiration, of topics to share with you, or a breakdown of our Sankofa, it was really a much more prosaic reason, simply professional. One must pay the bills, right? 😊… Unfortunately, I’m sure we lost some faithful listeners along the way, but new ones joined us! I want to welcome them all. Many of you have asked me, where I went, I have been asked, is there no internet at that new place? is it so hidden? in which country? I replied jokingly many times, that I went to Fashoda! That response usually led to a bit of silence... Fashoda, is today just a lost town in the Republic of South Sudan, on the banks of the Nile. Although the name doesn’t speak to you, that place nevertheless holds an important place in the colonial, and even postcolonial imagination, to the point of having given its name to a French “complex” of inferiority towards the English, if not the Anglo-Saxons. I’m talking about the so-called “Fashoda Complex”.
9 minutes | Mar 14, 2022
Searching for Mary: African Queen of Copenhagen
This woman, Mary Thomas, a courageous 19th-century slave from St. Croix (now part of the U.S. Virgin Islands), rebelled against indignity, along with two other women leaders, Agnes and Mathilda, "the three queens," to spark the largest labour revolt in Danish colonial history, an uprising known as the "Fireburn," in which fifty plantations and most of the town of Frederiksted on St. Croix were burned. This rebellion was brutally suppressed, and the three queens were arrested, tried and convicted. They served their prison terms in Copenhagen, a little over a mile from where the statue stands today.
8 minutes | Mar 10, 2022
The Nana Benz story: the harder they fall
Join us in Part 2 to learn how the reign of the Nana Benz ended and the efforts of their daughters, ( the Nanettes) who actually went to business schools in the US and Europe to try and keep the sun shining! Enjoy!
7 minutes | Mar 4, 2022
The Nana Benz: The quicker they rise...
The Nana Benz is first and foremost a collective adventure that refers to the economic mutations of an entire continent, from the early days of the colonial age to the arrival in force of China. To understand their story, we have to go back a long way, to the middle of the 19th century, and take the road to Indonesia, then under the domination of the Netherlands. During their wanderings in the island, Dutch merchants discovered cotton fabrics printed on both sides and covered with wax, a process that allows better fixing colors. The Dutch quickly had these brightly colored fabrics manufactured in Europe, renamed "Dutch wax" and intended primarily for African markets.
11 minutes | Dec 13, 2021
What are you the name and the color of?
Who are you? What are you the name of? Where are you going? and what are you looking for?
9 minutes | Oct 14, 2021
The unbearable authenticity of Kojo T Houenou, the francophone Marcus Garvey
To close this third season, whose frequency of episodes has been somewhat disturbed by the writing of the book on African pioneers, I would like to tell you about an article, that was published in the New York Times in August 1923, which dealt with the movie “ The Birth of a Nation ” by D. W Griffiths released in 1915. A technically groundbreaking film, the first film shot in the White House, but terribly racist, described by some as the most racist film in the history of cinema. Incidentally a great box office success in its time. Why did France, which was also responsible of inhuman exploitation in its colonies, ban a film that paid tribute to white superiority?
10 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
Munich1972: the olympic births of John Akii Bua, Uganda and the tradition of the lap of honor.
Yes, it is an African guy who was the first to perform a lap of honor in the history of the Olympics! And so logically, every time an athlete does a lap of honor, we should say they did an Akii Bua! it's not that complicated, and yet none of the Tokyo TV consultants will say it, it doesn’t matter which country you are in! bets are open!
3 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
Show us your love: order a copy of your "50 African pioneers book"!
As you know, we have been working hard on compiling in a nicely illustrated book, the lives and stories of 25 women and 25 men, who were the first to achieve feats hitherto unattainable in the African continent. Read more about this book at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/821165653/50-pionnieres-africaines-50-african-pioneers
10 minutes | May 2, 2021
Sierra Leone, 1961: Birth of a Nation
If you too are SL, then tell me about the cotton tree, Bunce island, Dublin in Banana island, York, St John’s Maroon Church, Old Fourah Bay College, the Martello tower, the 3 old city boundaries guns, the Wharf steps, and old guardhouse, yes do justice to your amazing country, probably the most pan-African in Africa, if we judge by the origins of all its people!
10 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
Sierra Leone,1789: the rise and fall of a British colony!
It’s a country whose recent history was overshadowed by a brutal civil war, but with a rich history, with one of the largest natural deep-water harbor in the world; it’s the first country to appoint a woman as a cabinet minister within Sub-Saharan Africa, in 1962, the first country in the world to invent a self-adhesive stamp, , and even more important, a country where women have started voting in 1792, 120 years before those in Britain, and almost 200 years before Switzerland.
9 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
The epic of rumba: Part 2- The African gift to Cuba and the world.
My African cliché of the day is a date. November 30, 2016. On that day that, UNESCO acknowledged Cuban rumba to the list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. And that same day, on the same list, the same honor was given to another historical monument called hahaha, Belgian beers! Don’t laugh, both of them can make you dizzy so why not! Well, Congo and Belgium's destinies are really tied forever to each other.
10 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
The New Moscow: The birth and death of a Russian colony in Africa
My African cliché of the day is that of certain Ethiopian friends, who do not hesitate to brag to other Africans, that they have never been colonized. This is obviously not true, since Mussolini's Italy well settled in Ethiopia from 1936 to 1941, avenging in the humiliating defeat40 years earlier. Of course, it was a very short colonization period compared to other African countries but it’s not the right account of history. Anyway, I wonder, if these Ethiopians would be less proud, if they knew that this whole bragging, they owe it …… .. to a sheep, and a cow, these blessed ones without whom, they would be bragging in Russian cause that would be their official language, the same way their national dishes, served on Ethiopian Airlines flights, perhaps would be the grechka, the pirozhki, the borscht soup (made from beetroot); and, of course, the pelmeni, those Russian meat dumplings,
10 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
My African female pioneers from Sao Tome to Zimbabwe
My African cliche of the day is a book! the first bilingual book that lists African pioneers. I didn't say heroes, and I didn't say black, I said pioneers and Africans. The combination of these 2 words suffers to appear in Google and other search engines. Why ? for many reasons, but mostly because we are failing to document our own pioneers, and expecting someone else to do it for us, just as we do for anything else! 50 little-known figures from recent African history in an illustrated book to inspire children and adults that is the promise. And for you, I will be to support an Africa that writes its own beautiful history. Will you be a pioneer? will you be part of that?
7 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
Exploring African philosophy: Life and Works of Ahmed Baba ( Part 3)
Ahmed Baba is not known to the general public. In reality, only a small number of people (mostly researchers) know of its existence. Most of them are researchers interested in the scholarly works of the so-called medieval African era that we were talking about earlier, in particular Timbuktu. But in general, this ignorance of Baba is the reflection of a greater ignorance of African intellectual history: I mean about African history as a whole. Regardless of the time, this story remains largely unknown, hardly ever being taught.
8 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
Exploring African Philosophy: Ahmed Baba Of Timbuktu (Part 2)
We are discussing today with Dr Luc NGOWET, a researcher, a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Paris Sorbonne. He was Program Director at the International College of Philosophy where he led, from 2013 to 2019, seminars on what he names "The theoretical foundations of African political modernity". He is a published author and is currently preparing a book on African political thought as well as an intellectual biography on the great black American philosopher, historian, sociologist, and activist WEB Du Bois, an incredible character that Luc will of course discuss with me in this podcast very soon.
8 minutes | Feb 6, 2021
Exploring African philosophy: Ahmed Baba of Timbuktu with Dr. Luc Ngowet ( Part 1)
Some say Africa never had philosophers. They say and preach it loud but they haven't listened yet to Dr. Luc Ngowet, an expert of the matter who speaks in this series of 3 episodes about Ahmed Baba Soudani, a great philosopher from Timbuktu, Mali in medieval African times.
10 minutes | Jan 18, 2021
The fantastic epic of Rumba: From Kongo Empire to Cuba! (Part 1/3)
If you take a close look at history books, you will certainly find examples of decisive moments where music and power crossed paths. And by now, there must be some of those examples of moments already jostling in your head? Perhaps you are thinking of the encounter between the genius of Mozart conquered by the Freemasons? Or maybe between the composer Richard Wagner, dreamed but impossible love of King Louis the Second of Bavaria? And what about the one between Russian composer Dmitry Shostakovich manhandled like a toy by Stalin? Or the one between the Italian French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully, who only lived to magnify French King Louis the Fourteen? Last but not least and perhaps the most spectacular of all, is the encounter between the incredible British talent, Ethel Smyth, and the Suffragette revolution in Great Britain. Yes, the list is very long of this type of encounters, but as you notice, most are examples from Europe. Yet in Africa, such encounters exist, a major one that deserves mention is a crossing between a man of power, the former president of Zaire, (current DRC), President Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga, and a type of music, but can you guess which one? We will find this out soon…
9 minutes | Nov 28, 2020
Rose Lomathinda: Snatched from the grave- Malawi National figure
On 12 January 2016, a woman died, described by the youth as “that pretty face on our MK 200 banknote”, the third powerful banknote after the MK1000 (Kamuzu Banda) and the MK500 (John Chilembwe). Three male faces come after her including, ironically, her Inkosi ya Makosi (Chief of chiefs) the late M’Mbelwa 2. In one of the last interviews she gave, ironically to a local youth radio, she lamented how freedom fighters are side-lined in key government events, highlighting the 50-Year Independence celebrations in 2014. Who is this heroin largely ignored in democratic Malawi, until Bingu Wa Mutharika, Malawi’s third president, gave her that honour? Dear friends, welcome aboard a Sankofa flight heading to south-east Africa, Malawi, to discover Rose Chibambo, a prominent leader in the fight against British colonialism and the first woman cabinet minister in independent Malawi, whose real name Lomathinda, means « Snatched from the grave ». And you will understand why in this episode
10 minutes | Nov 28, 2020
Why is Kwanzaa a MUST for all Africans?
August 11, 1965, in the city of Watts, a suburb of Los Angeles. Community members witnessed the police hurting a pregnant woman, which started 6-long days of civil unrest. It was the city's worst unrest until the Rodney King riots of 1992 The total toll of the crisis? 34 deaths, over $40 million in property damage and then more unexpected, a celebration. Yes, a celebration called Kwanzaa, directly inspired by this crisis. Didn’t Winston Churchill himself advise to Never let a good crisis go to waste? Kwanzaa is paradoxically located somewhere: between some African deepest values and strong stereotypes, between rituals, evidence and reason, between the current Black lives struggles of the past and BLM fights today and finally, because I find it quite interesting to know and celebrate.
10 minutes | Nov 9, 2020
Telling our own stories: conversations with African explorer, Dr Quinta ( Part 2)
Dr Quinta is an African traveller and adventurer. Hailing from Nigeria, Cameroon, and Zambia, she has travelled to all 7 continents and 60 countries, with 21 of them in Africa. Her favourite experiences include climbing to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, bungee jumping in South Africa, and hang-gliding in Rio de Janeiro. In addition to travelling, she enjoys learning about history, especially African history. She regularly promotes African culture and provides opportunities for other Africans to do the same. Our pilot Dr Quinta recently published a collection of African fables titled “The Hare and Baboon and Other Stories”. Both books are available on Amazon or on SquintiBooks.com and a book about her travel adventures titled “From Antarctica to Zimbabwe: How I hit the reset button on my life”.
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