The Embrace Of Illiteracy As Traditional Value In Africa

Female circumcision

A traumatized woman after circumcision

Africa is a vast continent filled with varieties of customs, traditions, cultures and languages. Some of these outdated traditions and customs are seen as senseless, useless, valueless, illiteracy and complete ignorance.

Female Circumcision: It is estimated that about 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with disastrous effects of female circumcision. Horrific procedures have severely traumatized and psychologically affected thousands of women. Female circumcision is practiced in 26 countries across Africa.

In the Republic of Sierra Leone, an ethnic group called “The Bondo Society” still carries this outdated tradition. Gambia launched a three-year program aimed to abolish Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Female circumcision is the number one on my list as illiteracy taken as traditional or custom.

Tribal deformity in Nigeria

Horrible tribal marks of a Yoruba woman

Horrible tribal marks in Nigeria: In the olden days, tribal marks were used as identification, especially in Yoruba lands, such as Ogun, Oyo, Ondo States, and Benin. Should in case something happens to you, your tribal marks would help to identify the tribe you originate or where you come from. The illiteracy behind this barbarous act has disfigured the face of thousands of Nigerians.

Some of the marks are so horrible that they attract people and gossip. Some women have to live with it for the rest of their lives without husbands.  Time changes as we step into the world of technology and development. Disfiguring of the face as tribal marks is gradually fading away or completely stopped in many places thought out the country.

 

In South Africa, is a relatively landlocked country called Swaziland. The king of the country, Mswati III has 14 wives. This illiteracy which had been in existence for years is followed as a tradition.

The 46-year old monarch has ruled over Swaziland, which is on the brink of economic disaster for 28 years. He can’t even solve the problems of 40 per cent of Swazis that are unemployed, the country’s highest HIV infection rate per capita in the world, and the life expectancy of 46 years among the world’s lowest, yet at every annual reed dance, the king takes the opportunity to take a new wife. Is this king ignorant, serious or a joker?

Illiteracy swapped as a custom

Swaziland King Mswati III chooses a wife annually during Reed dance. Photo credit: Reuters

He recently married a girl of fifteen. Apart from the continued abuse of young girls, the king’s  wealth includes  expensive cars (fleets of top-of-the-range Mercedes and BMW cars, at least one Rolls-Royce and a $500,000 Daimler Chrysler flagship Maybach 62) and the private jet ($17 million), while the citizens wallow in poverty. This money can be invested into education and health care to develop his country. Have you seen how stupid and ignorant some of these African leaders are?

 

Illiteracy swapped as a traditional value

Ignorance or illiteracy? Swaziland King Mswati III has made Africa a laughing stock in the eyes of the Advanced World.

When Asia is making headlines around the world, it’s about business, but in the case of Africa, it’s about poverty, corruption, war, conflicts and such stupid traditions and customs, draining Africa’s coffers and under-developing Africa. I have said this and I will repeat once again “If African leaders want the Advanced World to respect them, they should show a little intelligence and maturity because they underestimate and laugh at Africa.

When Will I See You Pippi Longstocking?

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Images of the beautiful chapters of Pippi Longstocking’s life

One of the favourite children’s program channeled worldwide under different languages is Inger Nilsson, alias Pippi Longstocking. The cute little redheaded girl from Sweden, moves into her father’s cottage Villa Villekula, and meets her next door neighbours Tommy and Annika.

The face of wonderful little Pippi, is still shown all over the world, but one will be surprise to see the beautiful chapters of Pippi’s life, as she grows from little naughty girl to a real lady and then to her ripe age.

As an adult, I love watching Pippi too wuth the children. She has a wonderful horse, mouse and monkey, but what I like most about her, is her pointed rough old shoes. The above photographs are some of Pippi’s from a young girl to adulthood.

She is still beautiful, do you agree with me? If I get the opportunity one day, I would love to visit her to get a portion of her magic wand, to lift up heavy objects, since she could lift up a whole horse. 

Culture: White People Learning What It Takes To Be An African

 

Africa

Did curiosity really kill the cat? Why so many white people now interested in the diversity of culture, leading them to Africa, the continent the Western and American media never write anything good about, than Aids, Ebola, war, famine, and crime?

The media plays an important role in the society; unfortunately many don’t see it in that way, because of the type of news they disseminate to the public. I was quite impressed and amazed when I met a white man telling me about his visit to Sierra Leone and Ghana. The fact that he could even speak some of the languages inspired me to find out his reasons for leaving his continent of luxury, to a strange hard living continent like Africa.

“If a white man comes to live in Africa for six months or a year, the Western media hails him  brave and adventurous, with publication appearing in the newspapers, but the same places I visited are where Africans have lived from generation to generation but the media fails to praise them on the same issue,” said the white man. He is right. There is crime everywhere in the world, especially Italy, Britain, Columbia, Brazil, and America, but the media has made South Africa the most dangerous country on earth.

Every year thousands of Europeans travel to Africa, just because they want to know how Africans live, despite the lack of electricity in many villages, medical facilities, water shortage and poor sanitation. It is amazing to see many white people on African streets, with families interacting and learning many things including how to make African meals. Surprisingly some participate in cultural and festival activities dressed in African fashions, especially in Kente cloth.

Despite the lack of teachers and poor educational facilities, an African child can be able to tell one geographically, the capital city of every country in the world, yet ask a white child of the same age, the capital city of Ghana, Sierra Leone, South Africa or any African country. He will tell you “I don’t know,” with quick remarks “Africa is poor,” because that’s all that his geography teacher has taught him.

I am hundred percent sure that if African and European children meet in a quiz competition, the African children would win because they know much about Europe and America than what European and American children know about Africa. This is not an exaggeration but facts based on research I did. Imagine an African student of fourteen in a Belgium school, who doesn’t even know who Patrice Lumumba was, even though her parents come from Congo. This is a tragedy, not sadness. I didn’t blame her because teachers have failed to teach European students enough about Africa.

I wish exchange of program in education and on moral issues, would take some European children to Africa, to learn the reason why despite immense poverty in many parts of Africa, students don’t smoke, commit suicide, no teenage pregnancy, no shooting, stabbing and above all the reason why respect exists in African schools than any school in Europe and America.

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Angela Merkel: A Tireless Woman Carrying The Burden Of The European Union

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There was once Margaret Thatcher, who began her premiership on 4 May 1979, following the victory of the Conservative Party in the 1979 general election. Then Hillary Clinton, serving as United States Secretary of State in Obama’s administration, but despite the toughness of these two ladies in the field of politics, Angela Merkel is considered to be the most powerful woman in both Europe and international politics.

Who Is Angela Merkel?

According to the documentary film ‘Making of Merkel’ presented by Andrew Marr of BBC in 2013,  Angela Merkel was born Angela Dorothea Kasner, to Herlind Kasner, an English and Latin teacher, and Horst Kasner, a theologian and Lutheran minister. Her father moved the family to Templin, in East Germany, approximately an hour from Berlin, few weeks after her birth.

The clever Angela was proficient in academics, excelled in mathematics, science, and languages. Her parents encouraged her to join the Communist Youth Organization, the free German Youth to follow a career in politics. Even though Angela failed in physics course in high school, she decided to pursue a degree in physics from the University of Leipzig.

While studying at the university, she met fellow physics student Ulrich Merkel during a Russian exchange trip. They got married in 1977 and she graduated the following year with a degree in physics and physical chemistry. That wasn’t enough for Angela, she furthered her academic career and excelled to study at the elite German Academy of Sciences, earning a Ph.D. in quantum chemistry, in 1986.

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Angela Merkel at the age of three

Angela worked as a chemist at the Academy of Sciences, as one of the few female researchers, after earning her doctorate.  She was convinced that a career in science would protect her from the constraints of the East German regime. In 1982, Angela divorced her husband and married Joachim Sauer, a chemistry professor.

On November 9, 1989, the night the Berlin Wall fell, Merkel went to a sauna and then out for beers as she did every Thursday night. Her decision to stick to her typical routine is an example of her stark contrast to the way most people in Berlin reacted that night. In 1989, Merkel made a move toward a career in politics and joined the center-right activists of the Democratic Awakening party.

Her first job was unpacking boxes of new computers and setting them up for the office. A year later, she became the party’s spokeswoman, and renamed the party the Allianz für Deutschland, or Alliance for Germany. As a female with a doctorate in quantum chemistry, Merkel immediately stood out in the political realm.

Even in her new, more visible role as a spokeswoman, she kept her cropped haircut, baggy skirts, and sandals — and was criticized for it. Her male counterparts were so distracted by her appearance they offered to pay for new and more suitable clothes for her. Merkel’s rise to the top accelerated when she joined the largest party in West Germany, Christlich Demokratische Union.

She was selected for multiple positions by Helmet Kohl, her mentor and the leader of the Christian Democratic Union, or CDU. He appointed her as minister for women and, a few years later, as minister of the environment, where she oversaw controversial topics like nuclear safety. Kohl called her his “Maedchen,” or little girl, up until she publicly called for his resignation in 1999 after he was caught rewarding party funds to his friends.

“One of the things people don’t always understand about her is she’s actually a ruthless political operator,” former chief of staff to the UK Prime Minister Jonathan Powell told the BBC. “The way she dealt with all of her rivals in the CDU was extraordinarily Machiavellian. She would get rid of them in a twitch of an eyebrow.”

Four years later, she was elected as the new chairman of the CDU, making her the first woman to lead a major German political party. She began her campaign against the ruling Social Democrats leader, Gerhard Schröde. During a live television presidential debate, Schröder yelled at her across the stage, saying she should acknowledge that she was a “clear loser.”

She took the opportunity to calmly respond, a strategy she continues to use to undermine her opponents. Voters began to see her as an even-mannered and classy candidate. She became chancellor shortly thereafter.  Merkel’s most defining moments stem from her central role in managing the eurozone financial crisis. After other European nations began to reveal that they too had unmanageable debt, Merkel analyzed all possible options before agreeing to a massive bailout.

She was criticized for her slow-moving approach and rigid viewpoints. “People often accuse me of not acting fast enough. That I let things go on too long. For me it’s important I deliberate all options … running through scenarios, and not simply theoretical experiments in my head. “But I also try to live with that decision for a while. I think about it for a whole day, to see how it develops. What it will mean, what people are going to say about it, who’s going to write something about it, who’s going to criticize it,” Angela Merkel.

On her first trip as chancellor to the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave her a plush toy dog as a gift after learning she was attacked by a dog in the mid-’90s. At their next meeting, he asked for his black dog, Kony, to be brought into the room. Putin allowed the dog to run around while he sat with his legs widely stretched and a grin on his face. Merkel kept a poker face in front of Putin and later described his behavior as “weakness.”

“He’s afraid of his own weakness. Russia has nothing, no successful politics or economy. All they have is this,” she reportedly told a group of reporters. Ironically, Putin’s aggressive actions in Ukraine corroborate this point.

Source: The GuardianBild.de, and The New Yorker

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Angela Merkel and other world politicians

Merkel is credited for being the first chancellor to appreciate and support sports in her nation. The team declared her as the official mascot for the squad and calls her Muttivation, a play on her nickname, Mutti, meaning mommy. “The chancellor’s visit to the German team during the World Cup shows that she takes people and their interests seriously,” said market researcher Manfred Güllner of the Forsa Institute.

Source: The Guardian

Today German Chancellor Angela Merkel still continues her reign as the most powerful woman on the planet for 10 years running, clinching a third four-year term of Europe’s most vibrant economy in December 2014, making her the longest-serving elected EU head of state. She fought off a national recession during the global economic crisis with stimulus packages and government subsidies for companies that cut hours for workers, and she is in the thick of trying to help Greece revive its economy.

She has used her power against ISIS, breaking the post-Nazi-era taboo of direct involvement in military actions by sending arms to Kurdish fighters. In the Russia-Ukraine crisis, she has been engaging in shuttle diplomacy trying to broker a peace deal with Vladimir Putin. There’s only one woman who has a chance of endangering her tenure as No. 1 in 2016 — the world’s No. 2 most powerful woman.

Source: Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/profile/angela-merkel/

A Throne In Brussels: Britain, The Saxe-Coburgs And The Belgianisation Of Europe

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Paul Belien argues that the pan-European super-state currently in the making will resemble a ‘Greater Belgium’ rather than a ‘Greater Switzerland’, since Europe will also be an artificial construct.

Belgium has infected EU political attitudes and acts as a model for the EU — a failed attempt to’construct a nation’ out of different peoples with separate languages and traditions.

To learn what the EU as a single state might be like, take up this highly readable mix of history, analysis and warning. You’ll never feel the same about Belgium or Europe again.

The Author

Belien

Paul Belien (1959) has a Law degree (specialisations in Social Security Law and European Law) and a doctorate in International Studies. He worked as a professional journalist in both Belgium and the Netherlands. Paul Belien is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and of the Property and Freedom Society.

He is an Adjunct Fellow of the Hudson Institute.  Paul Belien was one of the nine “founding fathers” of the Flemish liberal party VLD in 1991-1992, but he did not join this party when it became obvious that its leader, Guy Verhofstadt, was steering it into a leftist and neutralist, rather than a hayekian/libertarian and Atlanticist direction. Paul Belien is married to Irish-born Dr. Alexandra Colen, a former lecturer in linguistics at the universities of Ghent and Antwerp, and an MP for the Flemish-secessionist party Vlaams Bloksince 1995.

Paul Belien is the author of numerous articles, essays and books, including, most recently, A Throne in Brussels. He is the co-author – together with Lady Thatcher, Lord Tebbit, Philippe Seguin and others – Visions of Europe(Duckworth, 1994) and – with Harvard Business School’s Prof. Regina Herzlinger – Consumer-Driven Health Care (Jossey-Bass, 2004). He has given lectures on European health care systems in various countries, including the U.S., Canada, Japan and Australia.

http://www.amazon.com/Throne-Brussels-Paul-Belien/dp/184540033X/