SO LONG A LETTER

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Written by award-winning African novelist Mariama Ba and translated from the original French, So Long a Letter has been recognized as one of Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century. The brief narrative, written as an extended letter, is a sequence of reminiscences—some wistful, some bitter—recounted by recently widowed Senegalese schoolteacher Ramatoulaye Fall. Addressed to a lifelong friend, Aissatou, it is a record of Ramatoulaye’s emotional struggle for survival after her husband betrayed their marriage by taking a second wife.

This semi-autobiographical account is a perceptive testimony to the plight of educated and articulate Muslim women. Angered by the traditions that allow polygyny, they inhabit a social milieu dominated by attitudes and values that deny them status equal to men. Ramatoulaye hopes for a world where the best of old customs and new freedom can be combined.

Considered a classic of contemporary African women’s literature, So Long a Letter is a must-read for anyone interested in African literature and the passage from colonialism to modernism in a Muslim country.

Winner of the prestigious Noma Award for Publishing in Africa.

The Author

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Mariama Bâ (April 17, 1929–August 17, 1981) was a Senegalese author and feminist, who wrote in French. Born in Dakar, she was raised a Muslim, but at an early age came to criticise what she perceived as inequalities between the sexes resulting from African traditions. Raised by her traditional grandparents, she had to struggle even to gain an education, because they did not believe that girls should be taught. Bâ later married a Senegalese member of Parliament, Obèye Diop, but divorced him and was left to care for their nine children.

Her frustration with the fate of African women—as well as her ultimate acceptance of it—is expressed in her first novel, So Long a Letter. In it she depicts the sorrow and resignation of a woman who must share the mourning for her late husband with his second, younger wife. Abiola Irele called it “the most deeply felt presentation of the female condition in African fiction.” This short book was awarded the first Noma Prize for Publishing in Africa in 1980.

Bâ died a year later after a protracted illness, before her second novel, Scarlet Song, which describes the hardships a woman faces when her husband abandons her for a younger woman he knew at youth, was published.

The historian Nzegwu has contended that Bâ’s life was rich in events. Bâ was born in Dakar, Senegal, in 1929, into an educated and well-to-do Senegalese family where she grew up. Her father was a career civil servant who became one of the first ministers of state. He was the Minister of Health in 1956 while her grand father was an interpreter in the French occupation regime.

After her mother’s death, Bâ was largely raised in the traditional manner by her maternal grandparents. She received her early education in French, while at the same time attending Koranic school.

Bâ was a prominent law student at school. During the colonial revolution period and later, girls faced numerous obstacles when they wanted to have a higher education. Bâ’s grandparents did not plan to educate her beyond primary school. However, her father’s insistence on giving her an opportunity to continue her studies eventually persuaded them.

In a teacher training college based in Rufisque (a suburb in Dakar), she won the first prize in the entrance examination and entered the École Normale. In this institution, she was prepared for later career as a school teacher. The school’s principal began to prepare her for the 1943 entrance examination to a teaching career after he noticed Bâ’s intellect and capacity. She taught from 1947 to 1959, before transferring to the Regional Inspectorate of teaching as an educational inspector.

Bâ was a novelist, teacher and feminist, active from 1979 to 1981 in Senegal, West Africa. Bâ’s source of determination and commitment to the feminist cause stemmed from her background, her parents’ life and her schooling. Indeed, her contribution is of absolute importance in modern African studies since she was among the first to illustrate the disadvantaged position of women in African society. Bâ’s work focused on the grandmother, the mother, the sister, the daughter, the cousin and the friend, how they all deserve the title “mother of Africa”, and how important they are for the society.

Mariama Bâ felt the failure of African liberation struggles and movements. Her earliest works were essays she wrote while at the École Normale. Some of her works have now been published. Her first work constitutes essentially a useful method of rejection of the “so-called French assimilationist policy”.

Bâ advocated urgent consideration and reinvigoration of African life.

This consideration and reinvigoration is essentially founded on the social construct of the relationship between man and woman. Indeed, there is an unequal and unbalanced power in the male/female relationship. According to her, these facts can help us become aware of Africa’s needs for societal change, a change more political than merely making speeches.

As a divorcee and “a modern Muslim woman” as she characterized herself, Bâ was active in women’s associations. She also ardently promoted education. She defended women’s rights, delivered speeches, and wrote articles in local newspapers. Thus, her contribution is significant because she explained and described the disadvantaged position of women in general and especially married women.

Bâ also had vision and determined commitment. She felt African people should reduce the deleterious impact of their culture. Women are plunged both psychologically and financially in a sensual indulgence and complete lack of regard for the consequences of men’s actions on families. They are completely blind. These facts led Bâ to believe in her mission to expose and critique the rationalisations employed to justify established power structures.

She thought that distortions of cultural thought and institutions are made to demonstrate masquerades as “tradition” and “culture”. Men and Women have been seduced into accepting the continuation of these “customs”. People should be “persuaded of the inevitable and necessary complementarity of man and woman”.

Bâ wrote many books openly sharing her thoughts and feelings, including: So Long a Letter (1981), Scarlet Songs (1986), and La fonction politique des littératures Africaines écrites (The Political Function of African Written Literatures) (1981).

http://www.amazon.com/Mariama-Ba/e/B000AP5I02

WWE: The Authority Still Fear Ex-Members Of The Shield Without Seth Rollins

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Triple H and wife, Stephanie McMahon: Pride, ego and arrogant couple.

WWE  has been my best entertainment, not only because of my favourite wrestlers that sacrifice their bodies each week, to thrill fans but because of the stories behind it and what unfolds every week.

It’s good for a man to support his wife in running a business, but the pride of Stephanie McMahon, as the daughter of the Vince McMahon, the owner of WWE, has blinded Triple H, to follow his wife unwisely sometimes in running the affairs of WWE.

How many men or wrestlers, has Stephanie slapped across the face, including Daniel Bryan and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson? If she truly wants everyone to believe that she respects and loves her husband, Triple H, then she must give the same respect to wrestlers in and out of WWE.

Pride and ego have taken over her heart to the extent that, she thinks her father’s industry, feeds the entire American nation and all the wrestlers under the canopy of WWE, without realizing that there wouldn’t be any WWE today; if there are no fans or wrestlers.

They can run WWE at 9.99, but as a man dies, dry leaves fall and the mighty dollar falls sometimes, when the WWE fans begin to boycott the matches one day, they will understand that without them WWE is nothing and without the wrestlers, the company has no future.

The question everyone wants to ask Triple H is, why a sudden handshake request from Roman Reigns, after the injury of Seth Rollins? How does he want Reigns to react after masterminding the betrayal of  Dean Ambrose and him, by Seth Rollins? According to Triple H, for a very long time he has Roman Reigns in mind.

That’s a big lie. He lied, trying to build a good relationship with someone he feared. Surprisingly, WWE fans even knew he lied. Since Reigns didn’t cooperate, he has become Triple H’s enemy. Believe me, Triple H will do his underground work or everything to prevent Roman Reign getting hold of the world championship belt, but time will tell.

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Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns: The two biggest threats in WWE today.

The latest development on Monday Night Raw, 11/30/2015, evidently reveals the fear in the eyes of the authority, in regard to Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. At backstage, Reigns is talking to Dean Ambrose and The Usos when Triple H and Stephanie McMahon appear and asked Reigns to return the belt.

He laughs, and instead of Triple H, he gives it to Stephanie. He tells Triple H to tell Sheamus that he will take back the belt at TLC. Triple H replies, he already spoke to the champ, and he wants to put the belt on the line tonight. Roman is delighted, and Stephanie adds that he must win in 5:15. Why to defeat Sheamus within this short time? Since they can’t control Reigns, if he becomes world champion, they will do everything to prevent him from achieving his goals.

Later Triple H tells Dean Ambrose that if Reigns loses he match, then Ambrose loses his shot as number one contender to wrestle Kevin Owens for the Inter-Continental championship belt, because Reigns need to learn that his actions affect others. Why such harsh decisions? All come to the same answer, fear. The authority can’t deny that.

The authority may choose to manage WWE with iron fist, just  to dominate the wrestlers, but not everyone will yield to that domination. We have seen such wrestlers before in Randy Orton, CM Punk, John Cena etc;  now it’s Roman Reigns. He is not scared to hear “You’re firrrred.”

WWE: Did You See The Face Of Seth Rollins When Roman Reigns Defeat Kevin Owens?

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Roman Reigns: A true wrestling hero.

It’s necessary for the authority (Triple -H and Stephanie) to support Seth Rollins to the top in the history of WWE, because they ochestrated and lured Seth Rollins to betray his friends known as ‘The Shield.’ To the authority that betrayal was necessary, because there wasn’t any means to break down that powerful force of ‘The Shiled.’

As a matter of fact, everyone knows that Seth Rollins is the worst WWE world champion in the history of WWE, because WWE fans and past wrestlers haven’t witnessed any WWE champion spoon fed, shoes polished and helped to win championship belts like Seth Rollins. The reason I have said many times that there is discrimination at the center of WWE.

The great wrestler Daniel Bryan’s story reveals all. Stephanie McMahon called Daniel Bryan ‘A-Plus Player.’ Why the authority opposed him? Is he not an American? Is he not a wrestler like all the other wrestlers of WWE? Why the authority wants some wrestlers to be world champion and discriminate against others? I wasn’t surprised to see the return of Alberto Del Rio.

On Monday Night Raw (10/26/2015) Roman Reigns, Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens and Alberto Del Rio clash for the right to challenge Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The No. 1 Contender’s Fatal 4-Way Match ended victorious for Roman Reigns when he speared Kevin Owens.

I wasn’t amazed over the triumph of Roman Reigns but the shocking expression on the face of Seth Rollins, because his nightmare has become a reality. Rollins now should get prepared to face Reigns and for the world to see how great or poor he is, there shouldn’t be any interference, not even the authority, when they step in the ring.