Sopravvivendo A Scortese Roma Attraverso La Musica Dei Miei Musicisti Preferiti

VendittiAntonello Venditti, uno dei musicisti preferiti in Italia.

La vita è molto dura in generale ma a volte è più difficile quando si vive in un ambiente ostile. Negli anni novanta a Roma, la vita era come il Sudafrica dell’Apartheid. Non c’è amore e nessuna cura da parte di chiunque e se siete fortunati ad essere amati, le sorelle romane mostrano ancora un po ‘ discriminazione.

Se determinato a sopravvivere, si lotta per sopravvivere quando in piedi nella neve o fuoco. Questo è esattamente quello che ho fatto, ma attraverso l’ispirazione di alcuni musicisti ho ammirato. Ho ascoltato i miei musicisti preferiti come Lucio Dalla – Attenti al Lupo, Umberto Tozzi – Gente di Mare, Andrea Bocelli-Con te patiro, Laura Pausini ecc.

Ma un musicista italiano, cui la musica mi ha ispirato per sopravvivere ogni avversità a Roma era Antonello Venditti. La sua canzone meraviglioso chiamato ‘Amici Mai’ ridotto miei dolori, mi ha fatti dimenticare i miei problemi, riempito il mio stomaco quando ho fame e mi ha spinto a vivere una vita felice e libera dalla criminalità a Roma.

Mio grazie a tutti questi grandi musicisti loro musica ha cambiato la mia vita a Roma.

Listen to Antonello Venditti sings ‘Amici Mai.’

NB. (This short article is to try if I still remember my Italian language, because since 1993, I left the Italian community I’ve never spoken the language.)

How Kennedy’s Years of Lightning, Day of Drums Stole The Heart Of Ghanaians

DePree 1People’s Republic of Mozambique President Samora Machel meeting with U.S. Ambassador Willard DePree in July 1980. Photo: Courtesy of Willard DePree

Years after waiting to get to Africa, WILLARD DE PREE, US Political Officer, finally had his chance. He was initially assigned to Kaduna, in Nigeria, but that appointment was cancelled  Bill Edmondson, who was head of the political section in Accra had to return to the United States for family reasons.

Oliver Troxel, the DCM, asked De Pree, if I would be interested in going out to replace Bill Edmondson. He was very pleased with the assignment, especially in a country under one of Africa’s strongest leaders, Kwame Nkrumah. America played a significant role in Ghana’s politics and which cost Nkrumah at the end, when he was overthrown-ed a coup orchestrated by the CIA.

Ambassador Willard De Pree born in Michigan in 1928 and received his B.A. from Harvard University and an M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1952, was assigned to Ghana from 1964 to 1968. During his tenure of office in Accra, the US embassy received copies of the film that USIA had put out entitled, “Years of Lightning, Day of Drums,” about the Kennedy Administration.

Shortly before that film was produced, the embassy had sent the regional governors of Ghana to the United States for a tour. They had been escorted by Jack Matlock, who was then an officer at the embassy in Ghana. When the film arrived, the embassy decided to show it around Ghana at each of the regional capitals.

De Pree together with Jack Matlock, went to Blogatanga, in the northern region of Ghana and the governor put the screen in the middle of the town square and thousands of people, seated on all sides of the screen, showed up to see it. It was incredible, the reaction and feeling of black Africa toward Kennedy and the Kennedy Administration.

Ken 1

Link of the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvN5ecqCFk0

Sanitation in Ghana: A Disaster or a Challenge?

Ghana 3After many years of independence Ghana is one of the countries in Africa facing waste disposal, recycling and poor drainage problems.

Original article published in Huffingtonpost.com by Karen Curley

When one walks down the streets in Makola Market, you are overwhelmed by all of the trash that litters the streets. Trash and waste are everywhere. Accra is the capital of Ghana and is a modern city, yet there is garbage all over. There are many reasons for this:

Lack of Proper Sanitation Only 77.5% of homes have toilets. Only 30% have flush toilets. The average person in Accra has to share toilets with 10 or more persons in public latrines. Lack of plumbing has led to huge amounts of water being dumped on the streets.

Lack of a Working Sanitation System Waste removal is for the wealthy because they can afford it. Only 60% of the population has regular waste collection. As of June 17th, all 3 refuse dump sites were closed down. Because of this open sewers and rains are full of trash. Most of the pipes are in polluted gutters. Broken or vandalized ones are open to germs.

Lack of Public Awareness and Proper Education about Causes and Prevention of Diseases There is a lack of information to the public about how diseases spread because of germs and poor sanitation.

Most people are not aware that Accra’s trash problem is a growing cause of many of its diseases. In 2008 over 700US million dollars was spent on treating malaria in Ghana. That figure has not slowed down. Malaria is the number one health problem all over Ghana, especially in Accra.

Malaria accounted for 53% of Accra’s illnesses last year. According to the National Malaria Control Programme, “During 2009, a person in Ghana died from malaria about every 3 hours. This means about 3,000 people died of malaria in Ghana that year alone, most of them children. Cholera is another big problem in Ghana. As of November 2011, cholera has claimed 101 lives.

There have been 10,002 cases reported in Ghana. The cholera outbreak has been directly linked to a lack of proper refuse dumping sites and improper disposal of waste. Deputy Health Minister Rojo Mettle Nunoo has asked assemblies to implement their sanitation by-laws.

Ghana 4

When will Africa or Ghana rise above this? Ghana needs to embark on underground drainage system. 

He has stated that Accra and other larger cities face a 13% chance of a cholera epidemic. He also stated that frequent occurrences of the outbreak happen because many homes, work places, and public places do not have facilities.

So where does Accra go from here? The biggest problem facing Accra is that of mindset. Accra’s people need to adjust their mindset to the changing times. It is no longer ok to throw trash on the ground and in their gutters.

People must educate themselves on the dangers of inadequate sanitation and begin using garbage containers. Authorities from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) must implement proper sanitation planning. Without, the above Accra will continue on its course with disease and death.

The Writer

Karen 2

Karen Curley is an international photographer based out of Los Angeles, CA. Her pictures have been seen in many publications including Spin Magazine, US Weekly, and InStyle Magazine.

Her pictures have also been featured on the Conan O’Brien show. She has worked internationally for The Accra Mail in Ghana Africa. Her passion is urban photography. Her work with the homeless has been shown in galleries all over Los Angeles.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-curley/sanitation-in-ghana-a-dis_b_1197217.html

Life As Immigrant At The Notorious Pantanella In Via Casilina Rome

Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupato da centinaia di immigrati asiatici provenienti dal Pakistan e Bangladesh.Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupied by hundreds of Asian immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Roma Novembre 1990 Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupato da centinaia di immigrati asiatici provenienti dal Pakistan, Bangladesh, Africani tra cui (Joel Savage) Panoramica della Pantanella. Rome

As a child growing up in a strongly religious family, I was thought that everything which is opposite to the teachings of the Holy Bible, including laziness is a sin. I tried my best to live a clean life. We were thought to believe that Israel, Jerusalem, and other Biblical countries were all in heaven, without a slight knowledge those countries were on the same earth we are living today.

When I left my family looking for a job, I tried to be sincere and prevented doing anything wrong which could land me in jail. I read that jail changes people’s attitude to be good or worse. But I wasn’t interested to know the positive or negative influences of jail on people. My only interest is never to be there because it’s not the right place for me.

In the year 1990, from Lagos, Nigeria, I made a transit in Rome, on my way to German. In Rome, I was detained at the Fiumicino airport. The Italian immigration regularly does that to many foreigners, especially Africans. Like a tourist, I walked around the airport lounge without a room to sleep and food for three days. On the third, I was really starving, so I approached one of the immigration officials and said to him that I am hungry. He looked at my face and asked me “Am I your father?” Then he walked away.

Without knowing what the officials have in store for me, I handed over an application for asylum as a journalist and it worked, because I have some few publications over my profession on me. On the fourth day, from nowhere came one of the immigration officers, he said to me: “Your application has been accepted, today the police will come to take you to Rome.” I was shocked beyond expression.

Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupato da centinaia di immigrati asiatici provenienti dal Pakistan e Bangladesh.Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupied by hundreds of Asian immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Roma 31 gennaio 1991 Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupato da centinaia di immigrati asiatici provenienti dal Pakistan e Bangladesh. Le forze dell’Ordine sgombrano la Pantanella. Rome, January 31, 1991 Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupied by hundreds of Asian immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Police evacuate the Pantanella.

 The good Samaritan didn’t only deliver the unexpected message, but he pulled out from his pocket a number of notes and said to me: “I don’t want my colleagues to see me giving you money, buy some food to eat at the airport.” I didn’t take the money. I told him: “This important information you have given to me has taken all the hunger away, thank you.” He walked away with his money.

On the fourth day, the police came, just as the officer told me and took me in a police car to the city, Rome, and left me there to fight for my survival. Without anywhere to sleep, I passed all my nights at the Central Train Station. Among other Africans, we watched a big television screen during the day to forget our misery, then in the night, I go to sleep at my hiding place. The police and the workers at the train station never discovered the place I slept.

After some time, I discovered places where I could eat every day without paying for food. I could take my bath and take some clothes. One of such places was at ‘Via Dandolo.’ Daniela, the head of the Caritas (Charity) at Via Dandolo, was a very good woman, but one of her female workers was a very bad woman. A thief. Since we had no address, our letters passed through the Caritas at Via Dandola and this woman took the opportunity to steal money from our letters.

I caught her twice, so I wasn’t surprised when I lost the 10 pounds a friend sent me from England, but I didn’t tell Daniela about it. Through the Caritas, I had my initial lessons and attended classes to learn the Italian. I was one of the best immigrants who could write and speak the language fluently, yet my life was miserable because I was still sleeping at the train station.

In Rome, I was robbed, admitted and operated at a hospital, but the nurse refused to touch me, because of my color, thus; every morning when on duty, she calls someone to attend to me, but she had time for every Italian patient at the hospital. I was once sitting in the hospital’s garden after the operation, when an Italian old man, one of the patients came close to me, looked at my face and said to me: “Marocchino motaccizoa.” – an insult, after mistakenly taken me as a Moroccan. I didn’t say a word.

Then all of a sudden, as if it was announced on the radio, all the immigrants in Rome, without accommodation, discovered an abandoned Pasta factory called ‘Pantanella.’ Pantanella is notoriously known for all criminal activities, including drug peddling and crime, similar to drug cartel zones of Mexico. One needs strength, courage, heart and braveness to survive at that place. Italians think they are brave, but many of them dare to pass Via Casilina, the street Pantanella is located in the night.

That was the place I lived and worked as a toilet cleaner for thousands of immigrants, using six containers as toilets, to raise money to feed. I was employed by the Muslim head at the place. It’s terrible and frightening to live at Pantenella. It wasn’t a prison, but the place, I think was tough like Alcatraz, because of the criminal activities many illegal immigrants engaged in feeding.

 

Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupato da centinaia di immigrati asiatici provenienti dal Pakistan e Bangladesh.Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupied by hundreds of Asian immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Roma 31 gennaio 1991 Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupato da centinaia di immigrati asiatici provenienti dal Pakistan e Bangladesh. Le forze dell’Ordine sgombrano la Pantanella. Scoppia un incendio durante lo sgombero Rome, January 31, 1991 Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupied by hundreds of Asian immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Police evacuate the Pantanella.A fire during the evacuation

The abandoned factory accommodated both soft and hardened criminals from various countries, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Africa etc. I lived in Pantanella for four months, and the Italian government tired of the crimes going on in that abandoned Pasta factory ejected all the foreigners.

But the Italian government did something great for the African immigrants. Something we weren’t expecting. The government paid for two weeks stay in a hotel for all the Africans, with the ultimatum that before the two weeks expired, we should find a place on our own to live.

Through a very good sympathetic woman called Nana, (she died in Rome a few years ago) I got a job as a houseboy to serve one journalist called Claudio Lavazza, working at television station TG2, belonging to the former Italian Prime Minister, Sylvio Berlusconi. He provided me accommodation and paid me well. Besides, he gave me the new version of Fiat Cinque Cento (500) to drive. It may be likely that I was the first black man in the entire Italy to drive the new Fiat Cinque Cento when it freshly came out. I met other journalist friends of Claudio, including Michele Cucuzza.

After three years, I said goodbye to Rome and returned to Africa. I married and returned to Europe once again but this time choosing Amsterdam. ‘Overseas Chronicle: The Rome and Amsterdam Experience’ is a book once started you’ll find it hard to put away, because of the shocking intriguing stories in the book. Find out more of what happened to me in Rome and later in Holland, which led me to detention in Amsterdam.

 

Come sono sopravvissuto come un immigrato nella Pantanella pericoloso può essere letto in: 
Chronicle 3

My Name Is Savage, But I am Not Savage

Big Joe 5“Whatever happens to me benefits me.” – Joel Savage

Why many do ask me if ‘Savage’ is my real name? Once a British woman told me she hates her name ‘Mrs Ball’ and worst of all, my father’s name is ‘Mr. Underworld,’  she said. Yes, many of us have strange names. Some do change and others keep them.

I was born Joel Savage, at Cape Coast, in the central region of Ghana, on January 19, 1957, to Justin Savage, a professional journalist and Nancy-Elizabeth Hudson, an accomplished seamstress and a sewing teacher.

Last year, during my summer holidays in Barcelona, Spain, I gave one of my books to a student I met at the hotel I lodged. At the computer hall, I was flabbergasted when I saw his friends laughing at my name. I pretended I wasn’t listening to their conversation.

Then on January 1, 2016, history repeats itself. At the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, when ready to board my flight, an officer at the last checkpoint controlled my passport and the only question he threw at me is: How do you pronounce this word? Pointing directly to the name, “Savage,” I answered.

“Well, I’m glad that you mentioned it yourself, because I thought that may provoke you if I had said the same thing.” He said and gave back my passport to me.

If names have impact on people, then I am exceptional. I am happily married since 1993 and still live with the same woman. If I’m savage, uncivilized, cruel or a beast, my wife wouldn’t have been with me today. My three sons can stand behind me and tell everyone how caring and compassionate their father is.

What I know about myself is, I have intrepid sort of character. I don’t give up and no one can break me down physically, psychologically, emotionally or spiritually. In my life, I take any misfortune as beneficial and every problem as a challenge, because you can’t survive in this world if you submit to problems.

This is the reason many people are depressed, alcoholics or drug addicts. Because they don’t have the will power to fight and overcome those destructive tendencies. Savage is just a name but it has no influence on me. I believe in God and the Bible is my shield and Armour.

Journalist Frankie Asare-Donkoh’s Wisdom Of The Ancient

Asare 4

In the early nineties, when writing as a freelance journalist to some newspapers, including ‘Daily Graphic’ in Accra, certain journalists helped me to develop and acquired the skills in writing. Apart George Sydney Abugri and K.B. Asante, Frankie Asare-Donkoh played a significant role in my life as an aspiring writer.

I read many of the afore-mentioned writers’ articles and used their expertise to boost my style of writing, which turned out to be very good for me. Daily Graphic never rejects any article I submit. Sometimes, ‘Ghanaian Times’ will use the same article and change the title.

What makes Frankie’s articles more interesting is the way he articulates and combines his humorous writings. In my recent visit to Cape Coast, I posted a picture on Facebook and immediately heard Frankie’s voice. His comments reminded me of the good old days in Ghana, when contributing regularly to the features, while he writes a column ‘Frankly Speaking’ in Daily Graphic.

Frankie said “Dasssright – see the real Fantes (Ghanaians from Central and Western regions of Ghana) and their usual ‘abrofodzin. (White matters)  In my days at Graphic we usually teased our senior colleague Llyod Evans as being part of the remnants of European Imperialists immorality, and he would usually stop whatever he was doing and chase whoever said it. And here Uncle Savage, Uncle Smith, and Uncle Ephraim bring me those newsroom memories.”

“But one thing is certain: the coastal Fantes no doubt still lead the country when it comes to real ‘brofo’ (English) and it’s not surprisingly Uncle Savage from his Belgium base continuously and savagely takes on the Europeans any time they try to humiliate Africans. Kudos, my brother, you didn’t only inherit the European name, but also the language with which you tell them what others are not able to.”

While in Britain, Mr. Asare-Donkoh also worked on one of my books. I give my thanks to him and all the journalists that partially and wholly helped to shape my career as a writer. I have really enjoyed my profession without regrets.

Frankie Asare-Donkoh’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fasado

Read ‘The Daily Graphic online.’: http://graphic.com.gh/

The Cost Of Terror In Brussels

Brussels 5Brussels, the heart of Belgium’s capital in the night

Article originally published in Global Risks Insight: Know Your World

Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the European Union, is experiencing some immediate economic effects resulting from recent terror threats in 2015. This city’s experience may prove to be a blueprint for other cities in 2016.

Following the deadly terrorist attacks that shocked France and the world on November 13th 2015, the global attention turned to Brussels as the majority of the Islamist militants that took part in the French massacre had links to the European capital. In addition, in late November Belgian authorities temporarily raised the terrorist threat level to its highest tier given the presence of a reportedly imminent terrorist threat.

This led to substantial disruptions in the capital in what came to be defined as “Brussels Lockdown”. The terrorist threat again came as an obstacle to the normal life of Brussels’ residents when authorities banned all public New Year’s Eve festivities on December 31st because of a reported plan to carry out an attack in the capital.

This prolonged state of insecurity has had a negative impact on the economic and social life of the capital. Since November 2015, Brussels, along with other European capitals, has been experiencing first-hand the cost of terror. The most overt statistics pertaining to touristic activities, social outings, and public gatherings show a general change in the perception of the city and an overall evolution in the local mood.

Throughout the duration of the “Brussels Lockdown”, thousands of travellers planning to reach the capital cancelled their flights. At the highest point of this trend, more than 2,000 flight cancellations were recorded on November 25th. While this push to avoid Brussels slowly stopped after the terrorist threat level was lowered, there were in average 6,000 flights per day to Brussels in early December 2015, approximately 1,500 less than in the same period of 2014.

A similar trend has been verified for the overall occupation rate of hotels in the capital. In early December, approximately 55% of Brussels’ hotel rooms were occupied against more than 73% during the same period of 2014.

Ubiquitous precautions

This situation had a direct impact on the economic and social life of the European capital throughout the Christmas and New Year’s festivities. The annual Christmas market organised and held in the historical centre of Brussels has experienced a drop in attendance of more than 30%. In addition, New Year’s Eve saw a major drop in demand for restaurant bookings and, as such, at least one out of every two restaurants in the capital closed their doors on the last night of 2015.

The aforementioned statistics are only an initial effect of the impact that the emergence of a new terror threat is having on western European economies. The Belgian example is noteworthy as local security and intelligence agencies have so far been successful in countering the threat posed by Islamist militants, and no major mass-casualty attack has occurred in the country.

However, the enhanced presence of military personnel in the streets of Brussels as well as the ongoing discourse over the current will of terrorist organisations to target the capital led to a mood change among the local population. The fear of potential attacks is playing as a long-term obstacle to private expenditures, tourism and the participation in major public social events.

As such, beyond the immediate security concerns raised by the risk of terrorist attacks, public officials face the need to adapt the ongoing counter-terrorist strategy in order not to hinder the socio-economic life of western European countries.

http://globalriskinsights.com/2016/01/the-cost-of-terror-in-brussels/