Sunday, December 10, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Ever since the country regained its sovereignty, it has tried to spark western interests and investments back into the country. Which so far seems to be working, at least up until Judge Bruguière decided to call for President Kagame to be tried for alleged complicity in the killing of the former head of state Juvénal Habyarimana. The assassination of whom triggered the genocide. Judge Bruguière says that the families of that plane's crew, being french, filed a case in France in 1998 and Judge Bruguière issued warrants for the arrest of nine aides of the Rwandan leader and himself over the killing.
The situation has now escalated and Rwanda has taken off the air Radio France Internationale and stopped all activities of French state institutions, including the French international school, Ecole Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and the Centre Culturel Franco-Rwandais. The French ambassador left Kigali on Saturday, and all other French agencies had until late Monday to close and evacuate their staff.
Paul Kagame, the Rwandese President said in a radio interview that:"Le monde aujourd’hui est à un stade où les puissants n’ont pas forcément raison comme se fut le cas à une époque." Basically he said that the world today isn't a place where the almighty is right all the time as it used to be. And by almighty he means superpowers.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Among the charges, rape, murder and complicity are cited, but France has always denied any involvement since the days of former French head of state, François Mitterand. Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie took the decision on the recommendation of France's defence secrets commission.
French troops were sent to Rwanda as part of a United Nations humanitarian force but failed to stop the massacres, and since they were stationed in the south west part of the country, all they managed to do was to give safe haven to the fleeing murderers. Another accusation vividly denied by France.
After hearing testimony from witnesses, the Rwandan panel will rule on whether to file a suit at the International Court of Justice, BBC online reports.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
The Unicef estimates that aproximately 80% of young adults do not know how to properly protect themselves from the disease, hell, the South African presidential candidate, Mr Zuma, once confessed to have taken a shower after having unprotected sex with an HIV+ woman, to "lower" the chances of contracting the virus.
In the Unicef game, players choose from different options as two male and two female characters embark on relationships and the game is set up in swahili which is a language spoken by more than 100 million people from North East Africa all the way down to South East Africa.
Friday, October 27, 2006
The prize will be exceeding the Nobel prize which is estimated to be $1.3m and was applauded by Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton and a few others. But spurred equal scepticism from some critics, including Patrick Smith, of specialist publication Africa Confidential, who believes those leaders already doing good will keep on, but the corrupted ones won't change anything because they know they won't qualify at the end of their term since Harvard University will be assessing how well the president has served his or her people while in office.
More than 300 million africans live on less than a dollar a day, but the continent has one of the richest concentration of precious minerals if not the richest on earth.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Leading muslim women quickly responded and called upon him to apologize. Some even petitioned to have him deported. However, a spokesperson from Hilali's camps said the quote had been taken out of context and referred not to sexual assault but to sexual infidelity for people in commited unions. Keyword here is sexual infidelity. Now, I'm not one to speak blasphemy, since I'm an atheist, but isn't Islam the one religion mostly known for allowing polygamy? Since when did IT change its position when it comes to how many women a man can sleep with outside of marriage, or in some cases marriages? Maybe I don't understand Islam that well.
Now, Sheikh Hilali has been known for inflammatory remarks, namely claiming the attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001 to be "God's work against oppressors". Upon making the latest remarks, he also criticized women who wore make-up to be the ones to blame for sexual assaults and then cussed out court judges who gave harsh prison sentences to rapists some of whom were recently given up to 65 years for gang rapes that were commited in Sydney a few years back by gangs of lebanese australians.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Lebo Mathosa, one of south Africa's most venerated pop singers has died after her car hit a tree.
She was one of the stars of Kwaito, a South African fusion of hip-hop, funk and traditional rhythms, and was believed to be the Beyonçé of South Africa. She was 29 years old and she was so good that she got nominated for UK's MOBO (Music of Black Origin), she performed at Nelson Mandela's 85th birthday.
She debuted in the 1990s with the group Boom Shaka, before launching her solo career. And she's believed to have single handedly given birth to Kwaito. She was also known for her dyed blonde hair and energetic shows and her fans are left devastated by the unfortunate incident.
Friday, October 20, 2006
I've always thought that Forest Whitaker was one of America's best actors. Especially after seeing him in Jason's Lyric (1994) and Panic Room (2002). I don't know, there's just something so penetrating about his acting.
He just does it so well that at the end of the day, it's almost impossible to distinguish him from the actual character he's playing. In this biopic of the Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, Forest was so sunken into the character that it took him a while to lose the ugandan accent he had adopted. He also puts into light the tyrant's obsession with Scotland, at the peek of which he had adopted wearing a kilt and such.
Premiered at the 31st Annual Toronto International Film Festival, the motion picture is believed to be one of the best films of the year. But then again that's what critics say about each and every movie that comes out. Well at least this one deals with an actual real life character that has affected my life one way or another. I can't wait to see it.
The story is actually told from the viewpoint of his personal physician, Nicholas Garrigan, played by James McAvoy, and the hell that was Uganda in the 1970's. Kay Amin, his wife, is played by none other than beautiful Kerry Washington.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Why do I always get to be last in "discovering" certain things? Why didn't someone tell me about Van Hunt, peoples? I am currently listening to Seconds of Pleasure and boy, what a pleasure. Lawd!! And apparently the album is as old as the universe. Well that is if you believe the universe to be older than my last diesel shoes. I also enjoyed Dust but for some reason Down Here in Hell tops them all. Speaking of topping, does anyone think he could be...? I mean...And he's a cutie too.
Madonna's adoption saga heats up even more. Some Malawian children rights groups are imploring the government to reconsider its decision to allow Madonna and hubby Guy, a temporary custody of 13 month old David Banda.
According to Malawian law, couples who want to adopt must wait almost two years before being allowed temp custody. In Madonna's case, this was just done in a matter of weeks. Some in her camps are adamant the case had been pending for quite some time now, the last two weeks were just to finalize the process.
Under the same law, child welfare officers are ordered to track an adopted child and its progress and see if there's anything that needs to be reported back to the judge who in return might revoke the order and the custody could be permanently withdrawn. In Madonna's case though, the country has no resources to follow her around, given the very highly mobile lifestyle she conducts.
Now if you ask me, I personally have no issue with the sudden infatuation that celebrities seem to have developped for Africa since the Shiloh-Jolie-Brad saga or whatever the name of that poor child is, however as someone mentioned in one of the comments I read somewhere, I think it'd make more sense to actually invest in a big time child welfare system onsite, where those kids not only will be taken care of but will also have a sense of security and belonging since they would be raised by and in their very native country. I mean, bless Madonna and the likes, who are trying to do their best to reduce the AIDS orphans plight in Africa and elsewhere, I just think they're going at it the "wrong" way. BBConline has some very interesting comments from around the globe on the subject.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
A report conducted by Ending Violence Against Women reveals that nearly 60% of Ethiopian women were sexually violated at least once in their lifetime while half of their Zambian counterparts revealed attacks from domestic partners.
The report also points out that the phenomenon takes place in most societies throughout the world and that more than 100 countries had no laws prohibiting domestic abuse while in 50 other countries, marital rape wasn't a crime to be prosecuted.
"On average, at least one in three women is subjected to intimate partner violence in the course of her lifetime." The report says.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Seven adults and four children are the only survivors of a ship that was carrying more than twenty people and broke down in the middle of the Atlantic. They were picked up by a merchant ship that was passing by the high seas.
This year alone, more than 25 thousand people have reached the Canary Islands( Spain) but more than 3000 are estimated to have perished along the way.
Most migrants make attempt to reach the " western eldorado" by any means necessary. They embark on open, shaky wooden boats. Spain has invested billions of euros in preventing entry to those africans trying to cross over and is still unable to cope with the issue, calling it a humanitarian crisis.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Up until recently he was working for the international tribunal in charge of trying people who've been accused, falsely or not, of carrying out the killings. And he had been working as a defence investigator up until 2001 under a pseudo name. The Rwandan government has complained that several people implicated in the genocide were employed by defence teams at the Arusha based court, BBC online reports.
Just last week another lawyer was forced to resign after the Rwandese government issued a warrant on him since he's wanted for similar charges as well. Check out this link for details on the horrific killings.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
From Cambodia to South Africa to London, thousands of people are expected to gather in protest and call out to the Sudanese authorities to allow UN peacekeepers into Darfur, where tens of thousands of people have been killed. Up to two million have been displaced in three years of conflict in Darfur. France and the US are already calling the conflict a genocide and the US has publicly and directly accused Khartoum of responsibility.
In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, devastated by the Khmer Rouge genocide in the 1970s, a candle-lit vigil was held in the capital. Among those involved are Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, who headed the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda during that country's genocide in 1994 and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
"Unfortunately, the people there in the West, in Europe and the United States are moved by the media and the media is unfortunately moved by political agendas," Khartoum says. Sudan's junior foreign minister, Ali Karti, said the demonstrators were misunderstanding the situation in Darfur as the country is "defending the territorial integrity of Sudan against rebels backed by neighbouring Chad."
Thursday, September 07, 2006
The South African government has said it will change the way its Aids message is communicated. But Mr Mbeki, the president has rejected previous calls to sack Ms Tshabalala-Msimang.
Monday, August 21, 2006
It's amazing how quickly the world is changing. Just years ago, it would have been impossible to see any hint of guy on guy action on prime time tv. Heck, it would have been unthinkable to see guy on guy anything. But lately, we've seen anything from comedy shows to gay themed ads and everything in between.
As I was watching the Teen Choice 2006 awards last nite, I was amused and kinda surprised to see this Axe-Clix commercial where Nick Lachey gets lustful attention from both men and women and appears to have no issue with his masculine suitors. Way to go!
Friday, August 18, 2006
Twelve years after a horrific genocide that left a million people dead and twice as many displaced, the country known to have been struggling to rebuild a rundown infrastructure, bring justice to the survivors and engage in talks with rebellious factions, is doing a hell of job in dropping some of its questionable practices such as the death penalty. After a well known genocide suspect, Emmanuel Nteziryayo, was apprehended in England and could possibly be extradited to the ICTR(the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, based in Arusha, Tanzania), the authorities in Kigali are considering discarding that extreme measure since a lot of western countries are continuously refusing to hand in some suspects due to the use of torture and execution. Details for the country's profile can be found here.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Needless to say that the said peacekeeping troops are there to oversee the congolese first ever democratic elections.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Congolese men, in Africa, are known to be sharp dressers since day one. But nowadays, men from all walks of life aren't afraid of getting their finger nails trimmed and toe nails varnished. Cedric Mukoko, 16, says he has been looking after the nails of Kinshasa (the capital)'s elite, men and sometimes women, for four years and uses colored varnish on women and clear varnish for men. In Congo, men have been known to pluck their eye brows since the invention of a mirror. With the scorching heat, most people wear sandals and, well, men just want to show what they got. For details, check out these interesting pictures!
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Over twenty six thousand people from 170 countries attended this afternoon the 16th International AIDS conference at the Rogers Center. Among them were guests of honor with opening remarks. For instance Bill and Melinda Gates; co-chairman Dr Mark Wainberg; Governor of Canada, Haiti-born Michaëlle Jean; Toronto mayor David Miller; co-chairwoman of AIDS 2006, Dr Helene Gayle and the Executive Director for UNAIDS, Dr Peter Piot.
"We are dismayed that the prime minister of Canada, Mr. Stephen Harper, is not here this evening," Dr Wainberg said, prompting a standing ovation from the crowd with signs that read "Sleep in Steve? HIV Never Sleeps!"
The prime minister is said to have turned down the invitation to open with a speech due to "previous commitments". Dr Wainberg also said that "...Mr. Harper, the role of prime minister includes the responsibility to show leadership on the world stage. Your absence sends a message that you do not regard HIV/AIDS as a critical priority and clearly all of us here tonight disagree with you!"
Bill Gates mentioned Microbicides which are products designed to help prevent the sexual transmission of HIV and other STIs when applied either in the vagina or rectum. They can be developped in many forms, including gels, creams, sponges, etc. They are still being tested and are not available on the market as of yet. He also mentioned President Bush's promise to dedicate $15 billion in AIDS prevention, the mention of which the crowd booed in contempt. He explained how male circumcision has recently been scientifically proven to be effective in reducing the risk of contracting the virus. But also reminded the crowd that in some cultures women have no control over their spouses willingness to take those measures. Melinda Gates took a moment to raise awareness once again that stigma is one of the biggest obstacles to prevention and treatment. She gave the example of a hospital the couple visited in India where women and men are separated in a segragationist way, in which men have the best care from hospital staff and family members but right across the hall, the women's lives are wasting away. And finished her speech with a quote that prompted a standing ovation from the crowd. She said that "Saving lives is the HIGHEST ethical act!"
The week long conference will include speeches from actor and activist Richard Gere, former president Bill Clinton on Tuesday as well as NAACP chairman Julian Bond. There will be a vigil on Thursday and the closing on Friday. Click here for an in depth coverage of the ceremonies.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Curvaceous Kudah, as I like to call him (stage name Kudah Samuriwo), one of Zimbabwe's out and about drag queens, has revealed what his life was like back in his native country. During the 90's, he was the first black drag queen to win the "Jacaranda" beauty contest. A crown usually limited to "colored" transvestites (mixed race). Standing over 6 feet tall, he is a rather impressive performer. He was disinherited after revealing his sexuality to his parents and had to flee to neighboring South Africa, where he modeled himself after such African female artists as Brenda Fassie and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
He remembers constantly being harassed and abused by the police, whom he'd eventually bribe with sexual favors in order to be released. A practice imprisoned gays still follow nowadays. He now lives in England.
"I don't know what Mugabe has against pigs and dogs; he must have had the worst sex ever with them...Maybe he's had gays as well that's why he makes comparisons. Experts can be so one-sided," he sarcastically says during an interview with BBC.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
As most of South Africa was celebrating a national holiday on August 9th, a well known female DJ took the day off without her employer's approval, to celebrate with hundreds of thousands of other women across the nation, only to get suspended for not following the station's policies. "Unathi Nkayi is facing a disciplinary hearing by her employer, youth station YFM, and is accused of insubordination", BBC online reports.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
On August 9th, 1956 over twenty thousand women from all over the country protested in front of the Union Buildings, in order to get a "pass book" law abolished. The said law was an attempt to restrict non white women on where they could live, work or travel. The march was led by former Mandela's wife and partner, Winnie, and current spouse Graça Machel, the widow of late Mozambican president Samora Machel. Early in the morning, women started pouring in. Estimated in the tens of thousands, they came in via hundreds of buses, some dressed in tradional others in more modern clothing. BBC online has detailed pictures.
I got the idea of posting this youtube commercial after finding out through Rod 2.0 that his double in the said commercial was arrested on robbery charges. Nothing fancy about the video...It's just that it's Thierry and by now everyone who visits this site knows how much Je l'adore.
Monday, August 07, 2006
While most media networks are focused on what's happening in the middle east, not too far from there, precisely in the Horn of Africa, things are quickly getting out of hand. Heavy rains that poured non stop on saturday night caused the Dechatu river to burst its banks and sweep away a small township called Dire Dawa as its residents were asleep. The death toll is estimated to be between 150-200. My whole family is gone! Shouts a young man who had been out clubbing with his friends."The destruction caused to property could run into millions of dollars," one police inspector said. Let's hope that the Middle-east crisis doesn't overshadow the International Community's responsibility to intervene.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
The Christian aid agency has expressed its concern and asked for more international funding to African Churches in order to fight AIDS.
It has applauded the progress made by some churches regarding their support for people infected with AIDS but also condemned the overwelming negative attitude towards sex by the majority of some Christian denominations.
The act was welcomed by some analysts who also worry that the Church ongoing practice of preaching abstinence instead of safe sex as well as their inability to talk openly about sex was getting in the way of such efforts. BBC online has more.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Nokia Face of Africa is the continent's own version of Next Supermodel. It started as a way to bring African beauty and fashion to the international stage. The finals are to be held next week. The top ten finalists will progress to the Nokia Face of Africa 2006 final, which will be broadcast live on M-Net (South Africa's entertainment channel) on Sunday, August 13. The finalists are Kea Basima from Botswana, Sandra Bigirimana from Burundi, Mirash Davis from Ghana, Catherine Hemans Yankey from Ghana as well, Andenyi Anjalo from Kenya, Venantia Otto from Namibia, Ishioma Onyebo from Nigeria, Melody Zulu from SA, Mulenga Mubanga from Zambia and Munira Namakula from Uganda.
Check out the official site for details on the young women who will be competing.
Yes you guessed it!! Caribana week end is upon us. I was supposed to fly back to Toronto for the festivities but I couldn't. Oh darn. Well, there's still next year.
As you all know Caribana began as Toronto Afro-Caribbean community's salute to the country centennial year, exactly 39 years ago. It's been going on ever since. Attracting more than a million participants from around the Globe, it has become one of North America's biggest celebrations. You could experience any musical styles from Jamaican reggae, African djembe rhythms, Brazilian Samba, Haitian zouk or urban sounds, mixed in with calypso and soca vibes.
Check out the official site for details at caribana.ca . The event coincides with Toronto Black Pride . An eventful week end indeed since they both happen side to side. Happy Pride for those who'll attend.
During a recent quick trip to the Great Lakes region of Africa, the wealthiest man on earth funded a Center for Training and Operation Research to serve five nations: Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The center to be built and operated in Kigali, Rwanda, which he visited allegedly along side Oprah ( the latter could not be confirmed), will be an ultra-modern facility run by experts under the coordination of Rwanda's AIDS Treatment and Research Center, said Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, executive secretary of Rwanda's National Aids Commission. Rod 2.0 has an excellent article on the philanthropist couple.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Jews,Muslims and Christians alike unite to condemn Madonna for her latest stunt. A mock crucifixion during her latest show, where she appears on a giant cross wearing a crown of thorns. She defended herself saying that it was an attempt to appeal to her audience for an AIDS charity. BBC Online has more.
She made headlines almost two decades ago with her controversial black Christ (Leon Robinson as Jesus in the Like a prayer video) and burning crosses but she doesn't seem to be bothered by religious outrage prompted by her stunts.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Born August 12th,1981 in Arles, France, Djibril is an international player for both France and Olympique de Marseilles. Of Ivorian descent he signed with Auxerre at age 15 and made an amazing debut on the international scene against Belgium in 2002. He had a leg injury that almost got him amputated. Which would have been unfortunate since we LOVE his notorious sexy legs.
Standing 6'1 and weighing 170 lbs, he is a handfull glass of hot chocolate.Yum!
The now infamous headbutt from "Zizou" to Italy's Marco Materazzi during the World Cup final has inspired a new video clip that's making "ravages" in Europe as the new summer hit. Although it's sung with a heavy "African" accent and beat, for those who speak french, it's a pretty dumb but funny video. Check it out!!
Monday, July 31, 2006
On sunday night, grenade blasts have killed three people and injured dozens in two different bars in Bujumbura. Gun traficking has become open currency ever since the FNL, a rebel group, has begun talks with the government. And although the rebel group hasn't admitted anything yet, it is speculated that the crimes were perpetrated by them. Some also suggests that it could be just another gang related issue. BBC online has more.