Welcome to the
An African Predicament
History has stripped Africa’s people of the dignity of building their nations on their own indigenous values, institutions, and heritage. The modern African state is the product of Europe, not Africa. To attempt at this late date to return to ancestral identities and resources as bases for building the modern African nation would risk the collapse of many countries. At the same time, to disregard ethnic realities would be to build on loose sand, also a high-risk exercise. Is it possible to consolidate the framework of the modern African state while giving recognition and maximum utility to the component elements of ethnicities, cultures, and aspirations for self-determination?
This year has seen exceptional tension between the US and North Korea. A recent (Aug 29th) North Korean missile test flew a rocket through Japanese airspace for the first time ever, before it was exploded in an unknown location. This follows months of hostilities as the US administration has repeatedly made threats against the country. For decades the United States and South Korean armed forces have carried out twice annual military drills which are clearly aimed at threatening North Korea and asserting US military might in the Yellow and East Seas. For decades the response of North Korea has been to either carry out tests and displays of its own nuclear capabilities, or to make aggressive comments as to the consequences of a potential American attack.
Jerry Lewis & Dick Gregory
have earned their place in history
Within just two days of each other – on 19 and 20 August – two comedic giants, Dick Gregory and Jerry Lewis, passed away after many decades of path-breaking careers in entertainment. Gregory had been a pioneer in bringing comedy with a politically and racially barbed point to audiences – black and white – across the nation, opening the doors wide for two generations of African American comedians who would follow in his footsteps. Lewis, meanwhile, demonstrated mastery and multiple gifts and versatility across nearly every aspect of entertainment, well into his 80s – from slapstick to tragicomedy – on stage, on television and radio, in the cinema, and even on best-selling recordings. And for four decades he hosted an annual fundraising telethon for research and support for muscular dystrophy sufferers, bringing in billions of dollars for this cause.
5 Car Brands Made in Africa by Africans
Slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism shaped our continent and left us underdeveloped, writes Baleka Mbete. As we concluded Africa Month, when we celebrated the birth in 1963 of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now known as the African Union (AU), we must take the time to sharpen our resolve to overcome the challenges standing in the way of building a better Africa.
Dawn Butler MP appointed shadow minister
for women and equalities
Dawn Butler has been promoted to shadow minister for women and equalities, seven months after resigning from the cabinet. On February 1, Ms Butler, MP for Brent Central, wrote to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to say that she would be stepping down from her role as shadow minister for diverse communities because of Mr Corbyn’s decision to back the government on triggering Brexit. Ms Butler said that she had ‘campaigned passionately to remain in the EU’ which led to her decision to resign in order to defy the Labour whip and vote against triggering Article 50.In June this year, Ms Butler was re-appointed to the cabinet as shadow minister for diverse communities.
Making Sense of the Violence in CharlottesvilleBroad swaths of the American public repudiated the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville and President Trump’s response to them. But even in their condemnations, many officials asserted that the hate-filled demonstration and racist violence was un-American. “This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for,” tweeted Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. “The hate being spewed in Virginia is … deeply disturbing and un-American,” wrote Colorado Senator Cory Gardner. The hashtag #ThisIsNotUs trended on Twitter.But America is a country in which racially motivated white-on-black violent crime forms a clear, unbroken pattern across every generation. Slaves arrived in America through violent crime, and whites have used violence ever since to maintain the racial hierarchy of white supremacy. And yet many Americans of good will honestly, if erroneously, believe that what happened in Charlottesville is “not us.”
Ghana Launches Its First Radio Astronomy
Observatory to Assist in Planet Explorations
The telescope was converted from a 32-metre telecommunications antenna by the Intelsat Satellite Earth Station at Kuntunse. It will help astronomers enjoy high angular resolutions. The launch was preceded by the Fourth Ministerial Conference in the capital Accra, which brought together the nine partner states of the African Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Consortium to discuss how they can institutionalize cooperation in radio astronomy in Africa. They also agreed to establish a joint cooperation in the implementation of Phase Two of the international SKA project in their countries. Thursday’s launch makes Ghana the first partner country of the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) network, a web of telescopes in Africa, to fully convert a communications antenna into a fully functioning radio telescope.
10 of Nairobi’s Most Luxurious Homes
In the upmarket Rosslyn, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by a myriad of luxurious homes, but one of them stands out epically. Lone Tree Villas House No. 3 is an exquisite five-bedroom house built in classic Dutch style. It is designed by leading Nairobi architect, Tom Bowman, and the interiors are done by Karen Baillie of Pink Interior Designs. House No. 3 of the Lone Tree Villas is adorned with casement windows allowing for light and ample air circulation. The house is one of ten elegantly designed houses sitting on five acres of lush, tranquil gardens planted with banana, acacia, and jacaranda trees.
Maxim's Machine Gun Slaughter
During the early morning of Oct. 25, 1893, a column of 700 soldiers from the British South African Police camped in a defensive position next to the Shangani River. While they slept, the Matabele king Lobengula ordered an attack on the column, sending a force of up to 6,000 men—some armed with spears, but many with Martini-Henry rifles. Among its weapons, the column possessed several Maxim machine guns. Once a bugler sounded the alert, the Maxims spun into action—and the results were horrific. The Maxim gunners mowed down more than 1,600 of the attacking Matabele tribesman. As for the British column, it suffered four casualties.
Life on Board Slave ships
Slave ships spent several months traveling to different parts of the coast, buying their cargo. The captives were often in poor health from the physical and mental abuse they had suffered. They were taken on board, stripped naked and examined from head to toe by the captain or surgeon.Conditions on board ship during the Middle Passage were appalling. The men were packed together below deck and were secured by leg irons. Space was so cramped they were forced to crouch or lie down. Women and children were kept in separate quarters, sometimes on deck, allowing them limited freedom of movement, but this also exposed them to violence and sexual abuse from the crew.