• Breaking News: Ex-president Morsi of Egypt sentenced to life imprisonment!

    18/Jun/2016 // 687 Viewers

     

    Paris, June 18, 2016: (DGW) - Reports filtering in from Cairo, Egypt have it that ex-President Morsi has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

    The embattled former leader was found guilty of espionage.

    Details were still sketchy as of the time of filing this report, however, ex-president Morsi has been in prison since he was overthrown by the military in July 2013 following mass protests a year after he took office as the country's first democratically elected leader.

    During his 12 months in power, Morsi was seen by many Egyptians as preoccupied with establishing political control rather than tackling economic and social problems.

    We will bring you details of this unfolding news story later.... 


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  • Breaking: Heavy explosion kills over 73, injures 100 others

    18/Nov/2016 // 1220 Viewers

     

    PARIS, NOVEMBER 18, 2016: (DGW) TEARS, sorrow tailed the blast of a fuel tanker killing at least seventy-three people and critically  injuring over  one-hundred others  while trying to scoop petrol  from the truck in the village of Caphiridzange in Mozambique, officials say.

    A government statement said the truck  exploded in  Caphiridzange in Tete province, near the border with Malawi. 

    One report said that the truck had crashed and people had been trying to siphon off fuel.

    Announcing an investigation, information ministry director Joao Manasses said it was also possible that the vehicle had been ambushed by residents.

    Government ministers are due to arrive in the area on Friday to oversee the rescue work and the inquiry.

    The tanker had been carrying fuel to Malawi from the port city of Beira.

    Mozambique is one of the world’s poorest countries, with more than half the 24 million population living below the poverty line.

    It gained independence from Portugal in 1975 but is still suffering from the effects of a 16-year civil war that ended in 1992, reports the BBC.


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  • Africa's future has no space for stupid black men - Pwaangulongi Dauod lashes out at gay men

    18/Oct/2016 // 169 Viewers

     

    1

    Boy, that night was energy.

    2

    It was the night that I’d last see C. Boy, for a couple of weeks later, in March, he would be found dead in his backyard. The night was full of energy. The kind of energy that Africa needs to reinvent itself. Fierce. Electrifying. Full.

    3

    13 January 2015. On the second anniversary of the day and year Nigeria signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act into law, I honoured an email invitation from C. Boy to attend a secret party for homosexuals he was hosting in a nightclub in Kaduna. The invite mentioned coming along with a partner who had enough discipline to keep a secret. ‘The partner may be “straight” but must not be homophobic; an artist is preferable,’ it emphasised. And beneath it was an NB that read ‘There will be a brainstorming session on the word “afro-modernism”. We are giving it a new meaning. Kindly pre-study the word.’

    It sounded like a great idea, so I called a lesbian friend (a photographer-cum-designer-cum-blogger) and we headed to the nightclub, somewhere in Kaduna South, in a district known as Barnawa.

    The year before, I had attended a dance concert curated by C. Boy in Gombe. It was meant to be a fundraiser, through ticket sales, for the gay club he had just founded. Though the event was a public show, the intention behind it was kept secret except for a few of his cronies. I was one of them. But it eventually turned out to be a total flop. It poured all day, and the hired loudspeakers and the improvised stage already set up in the middle of a primary-school field were destroyed. Later that night, we sat in the lobby of a cheap motel and talked over bottles of beer about the loss of funds put into the concert. He kept smiling in his seat, constantly rubbing his moustache, and joining the conversation in monosyllables.

    C. Boy was from Adamawa, in north-eastern Nigeria. His father had sent him to Zaria to study engineering at the Ahmadu Bello University, because he ‘wanted his family to produce the first engineer in his home town’. But C. Boy had another plan: on arriving in Zaria he deferred his admission, rented a flat off campus and began learning software applications, website creation and concept development, all by himself. He did this until the following term, when he began his classes. But still, he wasn’t excited. Most of the time, he was out of Zaria, travelling by night bus to far-away Port Harcourt to visit his lover, a boy he had met and fallen in love with through Facebook just before he was granted admission to university. ‘My father was thinking I was the “obedient” budding engineer from his home town. But leaving his house was leaving his ways and dreams. Everyone got his drives. My father’s is not mine,’ he said to a group of students in his apartment one Sunday morning in 2013. We were having a Sunday brunch.

    It was from his numerous visits to Port Harcourt that he found a gay community and thought of founding one himself in Zaria. So, that night in the lobby of the motel, he mourned the loss of another chance to fund the club. A club he held so dear.

    That day, as I headed to the nightclub, I wondered why he sat in that lobby as though he had just lost someone close to him, and also why this particular party was not a ticketed event.

    11 p.m. We arrived late. A friend dropped us off a street away from the club, and we begged him to return for us at five in the morning. He drove off, and we crossed the road to our destination. My partner led the way; I walked behind, carrying her camera, a notepad and a spare pullover. The harmattan was a bitch.

    I swear. The bouncers at the doorway would scare the hell out of John Cena. They allowed us entrance when we showed an e-copy of the invite on my friend’s phone.

    There was a check-in desk in the hall. We were issued tags. Mine read, we are the future democracy, and hers, in our father’s house, there are many loves. we chant it cos it’s so. Soon we walked inside to join the party.

    C. Boy, our host, saw us from where he was standing by the DJ’s booth and started toward us, smiling. His jeans, dyed dreadlocked hair and dashiki matched the colour of wine in the glass in his hand: burgundy.

    The party was pulsating. It was a festival of energy, of music, of hair, of ideas, of gays, of happiness, of fashion. Of language, love, meaning. A festival of dreams and assertion.

    My friend headed to the bar for a drink, and I jumped to the dance floor to rock lost-but-found folks and long-time brothers.

    4

    I first met C. Boy on 14 September 2012. He had been invited to perform at a poetry slam I was hosting on the rooftop of a house in Samaru, a neighbourhood in Zaria. Apart from stealing the show with his epic spoken-word performance, he got in a fight with a guy who had performed a poem that mocked homosexuals. He was mad like a bull that night. He would have killed the guy if not for the crowd that fought to restrain him. After the event, I recall, he sat apart from everyone in a yellow plastic chair and wept like a child. We became friends and soon got to know each other well: I am bisexual, he’s homosexual.

    C. Boy was the engineering student who could recite all the scholars in the humanities and their theories by heart. He had read the postcolonial texts and hated Walter Rodney’s theories. I heard rumours that he had dropped out. ‘Yes, I left engineering,’ he told me. ‘It wasn’t a dropout, it’s a changeover.’

    Cliché, but the true nature of things: if you are found to be gay in Nigeria, you are on your way to prison, to rot away for the next six hundred and something weeks of your fucking life. And that’s if you’re lucky. Because you don’t always get it, you can’t always get it. Why? Because you are the demon that needs to be exorcised, lynched, stoned to death, hacked to death, burned to death, beaten to death, or done something to death. It doesn’t matter how: you must die, before the law manages to stroll by to see your predicament. So, to avoid rotting away in prison or getting killed, you take to secret love and/or a pretend heterosexual orientation.

    All over Nigeria, your kind is harassed and troubled daily. From Bauchi to Zamfara, from Kano to Yobe, from Kaduna to Borno, from Abuja to Benue, Kogi, Plateau and Lagos, from Warri to Benin, all the way to Nnewi, your kind suffers public thrashings, stonings and judgements. They do. We do.

    It was to reinterrogate this narrative that C. Boy dropped out of school. It sounded like a crazy and risky idea for a 24-year-old to be leaving school for such a project, but C. Boy had guts. All he wanted was to found a club that served LGBT people, a space where they could network and find expression. A warm brotherhood for people of ‘like passions’ living in a society that demonises them. ‘The club has to be an energetic underground space,’ he once told me. ‘They don’t see us, but we exist. It has to be this way until the crazies in the government reverse that fucking law.’

    21 October 2013, on his birthday, he founded the club by hosting a party of fifteen people (all gay) in the small flat off campus that he was still renting. He named it Party BomBoy (PBB).

    5

    This party brought to eleven the number of PBB events I had attended. From concerts, open mikes, readings, exhibitions and symposia, retreats and picnics to poetry slams.

    6

    The DJ scratched the groove and it seemed the roof would come down on us. Highlife is energy. My dancing partner at the moment was Maima, a writer from Lokoja. We rocked on. Two prisoners just let loose. Energy.

    It was that time in every party, that time when it turns into a whirlwind. Booze and Afrobeat-enhanced ecstasy. That time when you lose your partner to the crowd, indifferent to the loss because you are absorbed in rocking with someone else. Everybody becomes generous with his partner, his spirit, his smells and his sweat.

    C. Boy and I left the party to chat a bit. Two months earlier, I had told him that I was writing about the gay movement in northern Nigeria and needed an interview with him. So, since we both were so overscheduled, we had arranged a brief interview for that night.

    We sat by the doorway, on the seats by the check-in desk. We talked, sharing cigarettes and drinks. He appeared fatigued and slimmed-down. The bags under his eyes sagged in an unsettling way. ‘I am just battling depression, but trust me always, your nigga is fine,’ he said when I tried to find out what was wrong. We laughed; pecked each other. I asked for his permission to record our interview and he sipped his drink, smacked, and nodded. ‘You are asking that? Come on, dude; don’t make this nigga feel like a celeb. Come on.’

    When C. Boy founded PBB he never knew the extent to which the club would play important roles in the lives of young men and women like him. He had only thought of using the money he made from designing games and websites to support and house in his small flat in Zaria seven to ten people who had been displaced because of their sexual orientation. He was shocked by the reality that surfaced soon after the club was founded. In less than a year, about twenty people showed interest and joined the club: young men and women, Christians, Muslims, students and non-students from across Nigeria. Most of them were scared to come out to family and friends, others had been disowned and driven from home, homeless, needy and hungry. C. Boy was in a fix: money, meeting tuition and housing costs were huge challenges.

    I asked how he coped with the situation. He lit a cigarette and thought for a moment before starting to respond.

    ‘Man, it was fucking tough. You know, starting a group, a movement like this one is not like running a political party. It’s not a project anyone, including the NGOs here, wants to support. How can you register a group that is already criminalised and demonised even before its emergence? Man, it was fucking tough.’ He stopped speaking for another drag, tapped the ash on the ashtray and continued. ‘The solace was only in the reality that I could bring troubled people together so they could share their problems in a close but warm space. Survival was a challenge but you know, just as they say, a problem shared is half solved.’

    Early in 2014, PBB was able to pay for two flats, in Kaduna and Zaria respectively, for any homeless and troubled member to live in. Both were equipped with studies, computers and Wi-Fi. PBB was able to pay tuition for twenty-three students of its ‘parentless’ and homeless members in different colleges and universities across Nigeria, and also provide living stipends from all these sources.

    Though the main funding for PBB came from C. Boy, the club was able to diversify its sources of funding. Having paid to train some members in photography, film-making, fashion design and app creation, the burden of funding lessened. Almost everyone was a freelance of some kind. More funds came from tickets sales for open mikes, poetry slams, exhibitions and concerts. ‘These events are the major strategies through which PBB sends coded signs to society that homosexuals exist here, and are ready to continue existing regardless of any law against them,’ C. Boy told me. Most of the artistic outdoor events in Kaduna, Zaria, Jos and Gombe were hosted and managed by PBB’s team of concept developers. And of course, strict measures were laid down and followed to keep secret the identities of the people behind the events. ‘We are making society feel our energy by curating these events.’ 

    C. Boy chuckled and shook his head when I asked why he wasn’t allowing PBB to reach out to foreign organisations sympathetic to the cause of LGBT. ‘I don’t believe in that bullshit,’ he began, rubbing his eyes. He stood up and scurried to the DJ’s booth, spoke into the ear of the DJ and returned immediately.

    ‘So sorry for that. Just reminded him to allow time for our brainstorming session. It’s important.’

    He sat facing me, his back to the dance floor. I looked across his shoulders into the crowd to see if I could find my partner. I didn’t see her. It seemed like everyone had found the space and time to dance for the first time in their lives. The music blared, the groove kept on.

    I lit another cigarette. C. Boy stared at me with those bored eyes. I reminded him of the question I had asked; he rubbed his eyes again.

    He didn’t like the idea of foreign aid to Africa in whatever form or guise, particularly ‘using Africa as a sympathy tool to benefit from an organised system called “corporate responsibility” ’.

    ‘You see, it’s so easy to attract sympathy for this kind of cause. Internet and all that, you know,’ he said, snapping his finger to show how easy and fast it is to let the world know. ‘But the issue is this, we, these guys here, all of us, don’t want to be used as ads’ contents and objects. I don’t want any social media sympathy campaigns, especially those inspired and promoted toward Western organisations. Doing that would be objectifying our dreams, our passions and our bodies. It would be like organised prostitution. It’s cheap, and fucking cruel to what we are trying to do.’

    ‘We are learning to stop looking up there (to the West) by working out how we can help ourselves here. How long are we going to keep asking for aid and foreign assistance?’ He stopped talking, and reached for his wine.

    7

    C. Boy told me about his guests – stories defying mainstream narratives about LGBT people in repressive societies like Africa. Stories of pride, ambition and rebellion. There was Musa (not his real name), twenty-three, an Igala Muslim on the dance floor, whose widowed illiterate mother accepted his sexuality; he worked as a studio engineer to support his family. There was Kenny, twenty-seven, a graffiti artist and a born-again Christian who had left home two years ago in search of love. He was hoping for things to improve for gays in Nigeria so he could marry in a church. C. Boy showed me a girl, twenty-two, in a jacket and miniskirt and heels, who was studying biochemistry and working on a book on women, Islam and sexuality in northern Nigeria. She was yet to let any family member know her sexuality. Sitting round a table with friends was Joshua, a married 45-year-old man and a lecturer in a polytechnic. He was the oldest man in the club. C. Boy told me Joshua was preparing a divorce, and hoped to leave the country afterwards. He seemed to be the only one there seeking a new place.

    Everyone here recognised the legitimacy of their sexuality. ‘We’ll be happy knowing this until death comes,’ C. Boy said in conclusion. ‘And we’re glad we know this. Our feelings are legitimate. Fuck whoever thinks otherwise.’

    He sipped his drink, heaved the sigh of someone with a lot of things to say, facing huge difficulties saying them.

    He lit a cigarette. Instead of smoking it, he held it between his fingers and stared at it glowing and slowly shortening.

    8

    Depression is so disrespectful, so harassing.

    I once confided in a boy when I was at university about my battle with depression since childhood and he gave me this are-you-fucking-serious look. ‘Africans don’t suffer from depression,’ he said. ‘It’s one of those fashionable things black men say now to sound sophisticated like the white man, like being gay,’ he continued, to further undermine the genuineness of my feeling. His opinion broke me down for two reasons. One, the flimsy way humans treat each other. Two, he was a final-year student in social sciences. How could he be so stupid?

    11.43 a.m. 11 March 2015, my phone beeped with this text: ‘It’s here today again. Like never before. Fucking me up like never before. I lost, lost today. Cowardly disappointing. That’s me. Sorry!’

    It was from C. Boy.

    The door was locked from the inside. We broke in. He was nowhere in the room. The windows were flung open. And when we reached the window by his bed and looked down, we saw him. He lay in a pool of coagulated blood on the concrete floor of the backyard. For all these hours he lay there dead with his split-up head, and none of his neighbours knew. He lay there and nobody knew. Death is a solo business anyway. Like depression, it is always a solo transaction. Always.

    We called the ambulance. And when we reached his family, they pleaded with us not to reveal to anyone the manner of his death. ‘I’m an elder in the church, please protect our name,’ his father said on the phone.

    The clothes on his bed, floor and chairs seemed like he had contemplated what to put on before climbing out that window and diving off. There were half-closed books on his bed and table, and pencils, dictionaries, notepads, papers, a teacup, ashtray, spoons, erasers, pencil sharpeners, spiral-bound manuscripts, wrapped weed, a Bible, devotional books, unfinished cards of paracetamol and aspirin, bangles and an HP laptop. He had been working on a book, a collection of essays reflecting on Africa’s future. ‘Dude, this book will shake this continent to its root. Fucking draggy, but I’m called to write this shit. You know, good books always drag,’ he said with enthusiasm one night in his flat. He had just returned from seeing his family in Adamawa. Two brothers and a sister and their father. He said he was going to reveal his sexuality to his siblings, and they would be fine with it.

    From where I stood in the room I could see a paper pasted on the wall. I walked closer to read the words on it. It read africa’s future has no space for fucking stupid black men. He signed the statement with his name.

    After two weeks in the mortuary, the burial was eventually held on a hot afternoon in Zaria. His siblings and his father didn’t show up.

    9

    About 3 a.m. A dance contest and spoken-word/rap battle were under way. C. Boy suggested we finally rejoin the party. I paused the recording. We moved to the dance floor. And for first time since we came, I saw my partner, in a sweat, on the dance floor, trouncing her challenger.

    We are the contestants. In us, Africa finds its true rhythm to contest.

    If you stepped in here, you would see all of us – gays, lesbians, bisexuals: oppressed people – refusing to mourn the anti-gay laws. We are making a mockery of it; mourning, for us, is not a virtue. We are reinforcing our passion and existence in this hall, right now, in our own way. Unknown to the world, we are buzzing in here with energy and stamina and dreams. We are laughs. We are smart laughing fires. Our feet are fires; so are our waists, our tongues, our eyes and our passions. You would see us blazing, emitting prophecies. We are fires: smoky hot fires, ready to choke to death the places and imaginations that threaten our survival.

    If you were in this hall, you would feel how we assert ourselves through music, words, dance, hair, fashion, technology, ideas and spirits. We are spirits. If you were here, you would notice that we are not the demons roaming your cities and villages with evil and sin in our bosoms. We are not wayward, perverse, queer or funny lovers. We are children of our parents, children of this continent, children of nature, of imagination and of hunger. If you were in this club seeing the tears roll down our eyes, feeling the sweat on our bodies, pouring down our torsos to our pants, as we move to Afrobeat, Afropop, highlife and juju, you would realise that WE ARE CHILDREN OF OUR GODS. We exist.

    We are buddies, roomies, comrades; breaking loose from our chains and jumping off the ships, sailing to places where our dreams and our existence would be lynched. We are the holy spirits, and we prefer battling and drowning in fierce oceans and keeping our prophecies safe than to be lynched by foolish black men.

    We are children of Africa. And we care to be so.

    10

    The contests were concluded. We took a break for tea, for cigarettes, for booze, for toilets: for transition. We are the most prominent feature of Africa’s transitioning; in us Africa truly rises. Girls headed to the restroom carried handbags, toothbrushes and pullovers. The men seemed not to care; they loitered around, chatting, wine glasses and teacups in hand, wiping off sweat from their bodies, smoking. I grabbed my partner’s camera; I snapped anything and anyone I could see. Bottles, shoes, cigarette packs strewn all over the floor; silhouettes of couples smooching around the corners; guys mixing drinks at the bar and yelling at each other; the Afro or dyed or locked or Mohawk or plain hairdos, I snapped them all, the girls returning from the restroom and the boys rearranging the seats. I snapped them. Here, we are the photographs of Africa’s budding pluralities.

    And when we settled down to begin the brainstorming session we all smelled of sweat, booze, cigarettes, confidence and excitement. This is the best part of every party, the time when you don’t complain of your neighbour’s smell because it’s a familiar smell, because it mingles with your own. Smells of mutual experience and lust.

    Switching from party mode to intellectual discourse was a drag. Everyone whispered and yawned and chewed and belched: the hangovers from partying. The seats had been rearranged in a circle so we faced one another no matter where we sat. I ran my eyes through to figure our number. We were forty-one. Seventeen girls.

    C. Boy and Jenny, the tallest girl and person in the party, launched the session with impassioned speeches.

    I continued recording. We were talking about Afro-modernism.

    Insights. Theories and counter-theories. Quotations and misquotations, and their debunking and deconstructions. Insults. Anger. Fierceness. Applause. Table banging. Wisdom. Foolishness. Completedness. Unfinishedness. Smelling mouths. Tongues of fire. Energy!

     

    11

     

    Africa is enlarging itself to become a CENTRE too. Africa is coming out to make visible its own CENTRES, headquarters, laboratories and metropolises. Africa is rising. Rising from the centuries-old folly of stupid black people. Africa is de-scribing itself, re-scribing itself and pre-scribing its future; it is reinventing itself through the mouths and imaginations of its babes and sucklings. For out of the mouths of babes and sucklings shall come forth mysteries and inventions and innovations and assertions.

    We are babes and sucklings. And our tongues and imaginations are fire.

    12

    These are the various points and insights from the brainstorming session.

    We are neither a theory nor a movement. We are open space: Africa’s newest genre. We are the unemployables, dissidents, techies, pan-Africanists, designers, etc., coming out, in the twenty-first century, in our different corners, to challenge the centuries-old notion that Africa does little thinking, trades badly and is even worse at buying.

    ‘Afro-moderns do nothing but look at and in and with and for Africa and its future, with the hope of reinventing and re-energising it,’ Baban Gida says. ‘We are economists, industrialists and investors renegotiating Africa’s trade terms and conditions. We are not white-collar aspirants or mere civil servants or lame creatives. Afro-modernism makes the case to stretch “all of this” continent to the space where it becomes the centre of the world.’ He concludes his point to thunderous applause and yells.

    Afro-moderns are renegotiating and/or terminating the skewed contracts, contracts signed by our forefathers and their stupid descendants in power who are still ruining the continent today.

    Afro-moderns know how badly their stupid forefathers performed in the past and are now refusing to mourn it. They know about colonialism and slavery and neocolonialism and imperialism and other isms unfavourable to Africa, but are not going to keep wailing over the deeds and greed of devilish, vile, horrendous and criminal white people like those idiotic postcolonial scholars did, the people who squandered a precious chance, before and after independence, to create a true continent. Afro-moderns are neither Afro-romantics nor Negritudes. They are not critics and insulters of white people, or the other kinds of crap.

    Afro-moderns are interested in a non-romantic view of Africa. That’s how they hope to see it, and thereby recreate it. That’s how to create its new curricula, its new politics, its new arts and aesthetics, its new business, its new industry, its pluralities.

    Afro-moderns are men and women whose only family, industry and business is Africa. And the constant pursuit is to expand, diversify, energise, imagine and reimagine it. We are farmers, engineers, artists, technocrats, industrialists, scientists, negotiators; professionals living and working for Africa with the sole aim of growing, raising and branding it. We are homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals, transexuals and whateversexuals burning to rescue this continent from the ruins of stupid black men. We are not only the turning-point generation; we are also Africa’s hugest turning, biggest point and boldest generation.

     

    13

     

    Ishaku, twenty-four, was on his feet describing what he preferred Afro-modernism to be known as when one of the bouncers walked in to C. Boy and whispered something in his ear. They left for the door together, speaking in a low voice.

    It wasn’t long. C. Boy hurried back into the hall, to the DJ’s booth and pulled out a bag. He put something that I didn’t see in his back pocket and walked back to the door. He looked troubled.

    It was 4.15 a.m. Something was wrong.

    One by one, everyone moved to the door.

    We heard sirens blaring at a distance, approaching the club. There was a push at the door. A scamper, as everyone ran back to the hall. No one seemed to know what it was exactly, but the word ‘police’ was on everyone’s lips. ‘They’ve come for us. We are busted,’ someone, I don’t remember who, said.

    The sirens were outside. Someone gave C. Boy a hard push from the door and he fell backwards into the hall. He quickly stood back on his feet, as seven masked policemen, armed with guns, walked inside. There was a huge silence. Another officer, without a mask or a gun, walked in after his men. The officers began searching the DJ’s booth, the restrooms, the bar and the dark corners here and there. It took ten to fifteen minutes.

    They returned and, guns pointing, asked all of us to sit on the floor. We sat. Nobody dared to speak.

    ‘Who’s Marshal here? Marshal Dominic?’ the officer asked no one in particular.

    There was no one. No Marshal here.

    ‘No one here goes by that name.’ It was Joshua speaking.

    At this time, one of the policemen located a light switch to the brighter lights in the club and turned them on. The club’s laser lights were too weak to make out people’s faces. The officer had a photograph in his hand; he started moving from person to person, comparing their faces to the picture. He walked round and didn’t find a match.

    He came back to where he first stood, and nodded to the policemen to move to the door. It was tense. I felt a pain in my chest. Everyone stared at him with eyes that spoke of fear of lynching or imprisonment.

    He looked at the photograph again before bringing his eyes to us, searching. Then he cleared his throat. ‘This guy is a murderer and we got tipped he would be here this night. He clubs here.’ He moved closer to us, raised the photograph for us to see. ‘Anyone seen this guy?’

    We shook our heads.

    He walked out. They walked out. The sirens started again. And they left.

    Fear dehumanises.

    Fear of being caught as gay in Nigeria demeans one’s humanity. Fear of Nigeria’s police arresting you for being homosexual crushes every gut you have.

    Jenny burst out crying. Joshua rushed to her, put his hand round her and started crying too. Leila joined in, Kenny was groaning, and my partner walked up to me and let out a loud cry. Then everyone began crying as if we had just turned orphans.

    Tears taste like salt. Our tears. We are salts. Africa’s salt. And we are here shedding tears because we are trampled upon on every side. But these men don’t know this: that the more they trample upon us, the tastier we become.

    Musa stood up, started for the restroom. As he turned to the door, he fell down. A heavy crash. We rushed to him. He was having a fit, the fiercest convulsion I have seen all my life. His hands and legs shook turbulently, like they had a life of their own.

    There was commotion. We ran back and forth, with water from the restroom. We pulled off our clothes and fanned him with them. I ran outside, and our friend with the car was there waiting. I ran back in, and we carried him into the car. Joshua and Kenny sat in the back and we laid him on their legs. My partner sat in front. They drove off to the hospital.

    It was 5.13 a.m.

    Everyone sat about in the hall, fatigued and broken. C. Boy sat on the seat by the check-in. I joined him. We sat in silence.

    I lit a cigarette and gave it to him. He refused.

    ‘Look at the boy, the poor boy. Did you see him?’ He started talking, his voice nearing a cry. ‘What had he done to be frightened in that way? For being something else?’ I didn’t answer.

    ‘We may have ended this event on a bad note, but I tell you we’ve made a huge statement. We’ve started something.’ He brought out a revolver from his back pocket and kept it on the table.

    ‘I can’t close my eyes and let anyone hurt any of these people. I can’t. Dude, I can’t.’

    We sat in silence. A few people started to leave the club.

    ‘I need to go,’ I said. C. Boy didn’t respond. He stared down. I walked to the bar for water, and when I returned he was no longer sitting. He was on the floor, crying and asking, ‘What have we done to be scared to death like that? What did that small boy do to deserve such a scare? What?’

    I didn’t answer. If I did, tears would start running from my eyes. So, I just stood and watched this 27-year-old man sitting on the floor and weeping because he was homosexual. I didn’t answer.


    14

    Boy, that night was energy. The night I last saw C. Boy.

    Suicide is a means of taking flight to hibernate too, a means of kinetic energy too.

    The post Africa's future has no space for stupid black men appeared first on Africa View magazine.


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  • DR Congo commutes policeman's death sentence for murder of rights activist

    18/Sep/2015 // 114 Viewers

    A military court in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday commuted a police officer's death sentence over the 2010 murder of prominent rights activist Floribert Chebeya and his driver.

    On appeal, the Supreme Military Court reduced Colonel Daniel Mukalay's sentence to 15 years in prison and acquitted another officer, Captain Michel Mwila, who had been facing a life sentence. The court upheld the acquittal of three other officers.

    Chebeya, the renowned founder of the Voice of the Voiceless rights charity, was found dead in his car on the outskirts of Kinshasa on June 2, 2010, a day after he was driven to police headquarters for an appointment with the chief of police.

    "This (new verdict) trivialises a state crime," said Richard Bondo, head of the plaintiffs' legal team, vowing to return to court for another review.

    A military court in 2011 convicted Mukalay, the deputy chief of police special services, and sentenced him to death while handing Mwila a life term.

    Chebeya's chauffeur, Fidele Bazana, also vanished and his body has never been found. During the first trial, the court concluded that Bazana had also been murdered.

    The appeal process began in June 2012 but was suspended 11 months later, only to resume in April 2015.

    The military court on Thursday maintained its conclusion that a double murder had taken place but cited "extenuating circumstances" – without specifying what these were.

    Voice of the Voiceless director Dolly Ibefo has previously said the group was "very sceptical" that the truth about Chebeya's murder would ever come to light, although President Joseph Kabila's regime gave him a national funeral.

    (AFP)


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  • 500,000 more children uprooted by Boko Haram: Unicef

    18/Sep/2015 // 145 Viewers

    AFP/File | Nigeria is the country worst affected, with nearly 1.2 million children uprooted by the Islamist insurgency

     

    LAGOS (AFP) - 

    Some 500,000 children have been forced to flee Boko Haram militants in the last five months after an upsurge in attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, the UN children's agency said on Friday.

    The additional numbers of children made homeless has taken the total number of youngsters in the Lake Chad region who have been forced to flee to 1.4 million, Unicef said in a statement.

    Nigeria was worst affected, with nearly 1.2 million children -- more than half of them under five -- uprooted by the Islamist insurgency, which is concentrated in the country's remote northeast.

    Some 265,000 other children have been affected in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, which Boko Haram has increasingly targeted after they joined Nigeria's military in a regional counter-offensive.

    "Each of these children running for their lives is a childhood cut short," said Unicef's regional director for West and Central Africa, Manuel Fontaine.

    "It's truly alarming to see that children and women continue to be killed, abducted and used to carry bombs."

    Boko Haram has been fighting to establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria since 2009.

    At least 15,000 people have been killed since then, some 1,100 of them in a wave of suicide bombings, deadly raids and bomb attacks since Muhammadu Buhari became Nigerian president on May 29.

    Buhari has said he is confident "conventional" attacks will be stopped by November, although suicide and homemade bomb attacks could continue.

     

    - Help, funding needed -

     

    Earlier this month, the International Organization for Migration revised upwards its estimate of those internally displaced by the conflict from 1.5 million to more than 2.1 million because of the recent surge in attacks.

    The IOM's head of mission in Nigeria, Enira Krdzalic, said many IDPs living in host communities had yet to receive basic food and shelter, calling for more to be done.

    On Wednesday, the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres also appealed for international help after 16 people died and 172 fell ill in a cholera outbreak at three IDP camps in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria.

    The UN regional humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel region Toby Lanzer, told AFP thousands of Nigerians who fled to a refugee camp in southeast Niger were in an "atrocious" situation.

    Unicef said it had increased its operations in the Lake Chad region, including child vaccination programmes, education and psychological counselling.

    Nearly 65,000 children under five had received treatment for severe acute malnutrition, it added.

    But Fontaine said more funding was needed because the agency had only received a third of the $50.3 million required to finance its operations in the Lake Chad region this year.

    That has left more than 124,000 children hit by the violence unvaccinated against measles. Some 208,000 are out of school and more than 83,000 lack access to safe drinking water.

    "With more refugees and not enough resources, our ability to deliver lifesaving assistance on the ground is now seriously compromised," said Fontaine.

    "Without additional support, hundreds of thousands of children in need will lack access to basic health care, safe drinking water and education."

     

    ? 2015 AFP


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  • Ambode's 100 Days: APC Knocks PDP

    18/Sep/2015 // 209 Viewers

    The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos State has blasted the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for scoring  Governor Akinwunmi Ambode low, describing the assessment as laughable.

    Speaking through its Publicity Secretary in the state, Joe Igbokwe, APC said PDP could not recognize achievement when it saw one and wondered how a party that wrecked Nigeria in 16 years of disastrous leadership could assess performance of a party that had taken Lagos to new heights as one of the few mega cities of the world.

    APC said Lagos PDP lacked sense of reasoning on what performance was.
    It stated: “We see the laughable outings of Lagos PDP in the media after its last disastrous electoral woes as tortuous efforts to stave off its certain death.

    “We see their laughable efforts to critique the government in Lagos as borne out of the near-death struggle to survive its own huge liabilities as a failed party that ran a failed government that prodded Nigeria to the precincts of a failed nation.

    “We wonder what else could make a party that failed woefully in 16 years and which suffered a disastrous electoral defeat as a consequence, to be so obsessed with performance in the first one hundred days than trying to stay afloat when it is being washed away by the tides of history.”

    “However, we want to educate Lagos PDP on performance in office, should they continue to deliberately believe that Nigerians are fooled by their antics.

    Source: Vanguard


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  • Showdown looms as African Union backs BUHARI as mediator to unseat JAMMEH

    19/Dec/2016 // 2243 Viewers

     

    The Chairman of the African Union (AU), Mr. Idriss Deby, on Monday expressed full support for the decisions adopted by the ECOWAS Heads of State on the political situation in The Gambia.

    In a statement issued in Addis Ababa, Deby commended the ECOWAS Heads of State for their “principled stand with regards to the situation in The Gambia.

    He said the AU was in full support of the decisions reached at the meeting held in Abuja on December 16, including “the consideration to use all necessary means to ensure the respect of the will of the people of The Gambia.’’

    “The Chairman of AU reaffirms its readiness to pursue and intensify coordination efforts with ECOWAS and the United Nations,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the statement as saying on Monday.

    “This is in order to facilitate the speedy and orderly transfer of power to the President-elect, including its full support to President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as ECOWAS Mediator in The Gambia.’’

    Deby, who is the President of Chad, repeated his call on The Gambia’s outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to facilitate the smooth transfer of power to the newly elected president, Adama Barrow, as decided by The Gambians.

    He also called on members of the security forces in The Gambia to strictly abide by the country’s Constitution and the rule of law.


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  • Boutros Boutros-Ghali laid to rest with full military honours

    19/Feb/2016 // 194 Viewers

     

    Egypt’s president has led the funeral procession for the country’s veteran diplomat and former chief of the UN Boutros Boutros-Ghali as he was laid to rest with full state honours.
     
    Abdel Fatah al-Sisi walked at the front of the cortege as a horse-drawn hearse carried the flag-draped coffin.
     
    Boutros-Ghali was a scion of a prominent Christian political family: the head of Egypt’s Coptic Church attended the service in Cairo, along with senior church dignitaries. The Coptic patriarch, Pope Tawadros II, said Egypt was bidding farewell to “this fine example in Egyptian life and in Egyptian history”.
     
    The diplomat, who died on Tuesday at the age of 93, helped negotiate Egypt’s peace deal with Israel, signed in 1979, but then clashed with the US when he served a single term as the UN’s secretary general. He was the UN’s first chief from the African continent.
     
    He is survived by his Jewish wife, Leia Maria. They had no children.
     
    The current UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, described him as a respected statesman and scholar of international law who brought “formidable experience and intellectual power” to the job.
     
    He headed the world body during one of its most difficult periods marked by crises in Somalia, Rwanda, the Middle East and the former Yugoslavia.

     


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  • ‘Christianity is growing faster in Africa than anywhere else in the world’ - World Council of Churches (WCC)

    19/Feb/2017 // 793 Viewers

     

    CHRISTIANITY is growing faster in Africa than anywhere else in the world, says Reverend Fr (Dr) Lawrence Iwuamadi, Professor of Ecumenical Biblical Hermeneutics, at the Ecumenical Institute, Bossey.

    According to a report published on the WCC website, in which he was the convener of a discussion on the Anthology of African Christianity, held by the World Council of Churches (WCC) with a panel of experts at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Iwuamadi said: “It is said that in the next four years, a quarter of the world’s Christians will be living in Africa, and that is why the anthology is so timely, as well as the 1,400-page book being an invaluable historical and analytical resource.”

    Its 160 essays address, with 30 regional and denominational surveys, along with 50 national surveys, the contemporary social and political issues facing Christians on the continent.

    “Education was the most important factor in the spread of Christianity in Africa,” Iwuamadi added.

    The book also looks at the role of women in the church in Africa where they form the backbone of Christianity.

    Anthology of African Christianity is edited by Isabel Apawo Phiri and Dietrich Werner, Chammah Kaunda and Kennedy Owino and is published by Regnum Studies in Global Christianity, 2016.

    Phiri is the World Council of Churches deputy general secretary for Public Witness and Diakonia. Werner, a former WCC staff member is Senior Theological Advisor for Bread for the World.

    “This is a tool for informed ecumenism,” said Werner. “Ecumenism will have a future only if it is informed ecumenism. We have so many common declarations but have so little of accurate knowledge on contemporary Christianity.”

    Bringing together regions

    “We wanted to bring together regional survey articles on contemporary (21st century) African Christianity and churches in Northern Africa, Western Africa, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa,” said Phiri.

    In an answer to a question, Phiri said: “The theology of African Christianity is influenced by its social context. What are the signs of our times in Africa that we should be responding to?”

    She noted that human sexuality is a big issue “dividing churches” across denominations and between partners from the global south and the global north, and within the families.

    “The aim of the book is to look at how Africans look at their own faith. It is deeply root. It is not artificial Christianity. It is Christianity that makes me who I am in every aspect of my life. Christianity is an African religion. People look at Christianity as defining who they are,” said Phiri, a Malawian, who was a university professor in South Africa.

    Werner observed: “There are several tasks after the production of this books. We need to create a network of research institutions, and of networks doing business ethics. We also have to invent an African scholarship fund.”

    ‘Needed for governments and the United Nations’

    The knowledge about Christianity is needed for governments, and the United Nations is “crying out” to work with faith-based organisations (FBOs), said Werner.

    “We need good knowledge” to aid many endeavours including intercontinental dialogue.

    In an answer to a question he said: “There is no network of African Christian entrepreneurs, as far as I know, and we have not seen developed African Christian business ethics, although in Nigeria and Ghana, there are some beginnings of associations of Christian businesses.”

    A Professor of Ecumenical Missiology at the Ecumenical Institute, Bossey, Reverend (Dr) Benjamin Simon, described the anthology as a wonderful “bouquet of flowers”.

    He spoke about the chapter on African Christianity and Ecumenism.

    “With its 20 articles from famous theologians from African backgrounds, this chapter could have been a book of its own and still been a bouquet of flowers as it contains a variety of positions and opinions as well as perspectives and viewpoints,” said Simon.

    Role of Christian councils

    “Agnes Abuom, the president of WCC, concluded in her outstanding contribution that, ‘Christian Councils have a place and role in African Christianity…enabling internalisation of Christianity as an African faith’.”

    “We have many churches of the African diaspora all over the world,” said Simon citing America and Europe. Many of their members were born in a foreign country and then transformed through the generations of their members, providing an area where research needs to be done. (NIGERIAN TRIBUNE)


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  • Al Qaeda displays firepower in Africa to defy Islamic State group

    19/Jan/2016 // 346 Viewers

     

    The terrorist attack that struck the capital of Burkina Faso last week was claimed by al Qaeda’s north African branch. Experts worry it was a show of force in response to the rise of the Islamic State (IS) group on the African continent.

    If global jihad were a race, it would be hard to deny that the IS group is leading the pack of murderous extremists.

    The IS group has taken control of large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, orchestrated brazen attacks and video executions and, in the process, grabbed the attention of global media.

    In a relatively short amount of time, the IS group – sometimes referred to as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh – has also exported its brand by rallying other prominent terrorist groups, like Boko Haram in Nigeria, to its cause.

    However, the IS group now looks set for some stiff competition. The most recent merger between radical Islamist groups in Africa does not include the group, and in fact represents a strategic setback for the group’s so-called caliphate.

    Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in December announced that, after several years of fraught relations, it had reunited with Algerian jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar and his Al-Mourabitoune group.

    The January 15 siege on an upscale hotel in the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou was quickly claimed by AQIM, but carried out by Al-Mourabitoune militants, as if to serve as proof that the two groups were really back together.

    The attack, which lasted 12 hours and claimed the lives of 30 civilians from at least seven countries, also served to convey another message: AQIM will strike Western targets in Africa that lie beyond the Maghreb – the expansive region between Libya and Western Morocco that has largely defined its territory in the past.

    Embedded image permalink

     The carnage in Ouagadougou is not the first bloody upshot of the new al Qaeda-Al-Mourabitoune union and its expansionist drive. The attack on the Radisson hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako in November 2015 was already a joint operation.

    Moving south

    Wassim Nasr, FRANCE 24’s expert on jihadist movements, says Belmokhtar’s decision to rejoin AQIM is closely linked to his personal antipathy towards the IS group.

    He was excluded from the al Qaeda branch in October 2012 for insubordination, setting up Al-Mourabitoune as a result of the split. But in May 2015 he was himself confronted with mutiny when one of his top deputies defected to the IS group.

    The number of Al-Mourabitoune jihadists who defected with the dissident commander is unknown. Nevertheless, three months later, the Libyan branch of the Islamic State group issued a notice calling for Belmokhtar’s “elimination”.

    Since its founding in 2007, AQIM has resisted carrying out attacks outside northern Africa, reportedly one of the disagreements that led Belmokhtar to temporarily leave the terrorist group. The attacks in Bamako and Ouagadougou would appear to indicate the question of expansion is no longer a matter of debate.

    “The fact that al Qaeda claimed the operation in Ouagadougou proves that the organisation has accepted this expansion,” Nasr said. “This decision is of course part of a struggle for influence, namely with the IS group.”

    Rival ambitions

    With the battle lines between the two jihadists groups drawn in Africa, AQIM is now eager to show it is still a force to be reckoned with.

    “AQIM wants to display its firepower in defiance of both Western forces and the surging Islamic State group”, said Nasr, adding that the two militant Salafist groups were engaged in a gruesome “one-upmanship”.

    That is not to say the two groups have adopted the same mode of operation on the ground.

    While the IS group aims to sustainably establish itself in a particular territory, such as in Libya or in Nigeria (with the help of Boko Haram), al Qaeda’s priority is carrying out anti-Western operations.

    “AQIM’s enemy is the West, not local regimes,” Nasr pointed out. The attack on Ouagadougou’s upscale Hotel Splendid and the nearby eatery Le Cappuccino seems to be a case in point.

    The two places were known to be very popular with foreigners, especially among French soldiers stationed in the region. The victims included six Canadians, three French, two Swiss and one US national.

     

    France24


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