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Showing posts with label Africa Culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Africa Culture. Show all posts

119 Villages Abolish Osu Caste System Practice In Nsukka Enugu State

 The 119 villages in the nine autonomous communities in Nsukka town, Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, Wednesday, formalised the eradication of Osu Caste system in their communities.



The decision which was taken by the monarchs, town unions and other traditional institutions in the communities in collaboration with the Initiative for the Eradication of Traditional and Cultural Stigmatization in our Society, IFETACSIOS, was capped up with an interdenominational prayer session cum declarations and ‘Isu Oho’ by the chief priests and ‘Akpuraruas’ from the three quarters which make up Nsukka town.


Speaking during the interdenominational prayer session at the St. John’s Primary School, Ugwuorie, Nsukka, the Catholic bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Most Rev. Godffrey Onah, condemned the reprehensive traditional practice.


Quoting Galatians 3:28, the clergy explained that there was no need for discriminatory practices amongst people created by God.


The bishop who was represented by the Cathedral Administrator, Rev Fr. Eugene Odo, also said “this is the first of its kind in Nsukka cultural zone. There cannot be development amidst strife and discrimination. The Osu caste system needs to be eradicted to enable all memebers of the society contribute their quota in moving the communities forward because we cannot make progress when we discriminate against ourselves,” the cleric said.


He also called for other communities within the Nsukka cultural zone to emulate Nsukka town by initiating steps towards ending harmful cultural practices that are anti people.


Speaking to journalists during the event, the President General of Nsukka Town Union, Chief Joseph Onyeke, while commending the nine autonomous communities in Nsukka town for the landmark achievement, said “By history, we cannot forget the efforts of our noble men and women like William Wilberforce, Mary Slessor who, about 200 years ago, volunteered their lives to make sure slave trade was abolished. Even though they achieved great height in securing legal freedom for the enslaved, some deprivations remained in practice till this day.


“In practice, discriminations have continued even in this part of the continent. They include denials of intermarriage, title-taking_Oha and Umuada, placement of Oho and Oduatu together and ascending to the height of ‘Onyeishi Aruah among others. The consequences of the above were restiveness and underdevelopment in all sectors of life.


“In Nsukka town, the crises of 1946-1955 regarding the discrimination practices worsened the matter, and ever since then, the problems were managed and never solved,” he said.


Also in his remarks, the traditional ruler of Ihe Nsukka Autonomous Community, HRH, Igwe George Asadu said , that Osu was a creation of humans and not God.


“The segregation lives here on earth and not in heaven. Even the Bible upholds all humans as equal before God,” he said.


He also said that with the eradication of Osu caste system, there would be hitch free intermarriage and equal economic rights which hitherto were not the case before now.


His counterpart of Owerre Nsukka Autonomous Community, HRH, Igwe Emeka Ugwu, said he was happy over the development, adding that he was the first monarch in Nsukka cultural zone to initiate the move towards the abolishment of the discriminatory practices.


In his contribution, the Visioner and Coordinator of IFETACSIOS, Nwada Stella Ogechukwu, while expressing her joy over the abolishment of the practice said “I take full cognizance of other communities that have abolished the caste system, but I call the Nsukka people the pace setters because you came together in strength, might and love to jettison the evil practice.


“I know the kind of efforts that go into achieving such a milestone. Your actions towards achieving this feat are commendable and worthy of emulation,” she said.


Earlier in his address, the chairman of the committee on Total Eradication of Discrimination between Ohu and Amu in Nsukka Town, Barr Peter Odo, described the development as a new dawn in the communities.


“After elaborate deliberations, it was unanimously agreed that the discriminatory practices between ‘Osu and Amu’ be totally eradicated and eliminated,” he announced.


He said that the committee set up to effect the abolishment came up with three solutions of “appeasement, compensation and reparation, adding that those who felt wronged and those whose forefathers may have also wronged others have fully forgiven one another.


Source: Vangaurd News

Today in History, On March 23, 1998, the President of U.S.A, Bill Clinton arrived in Ghana

 Today in History, On March 23, 1998, the President of U.S.A, Bill Clinton arrived in Ghana. His visit made him the first Sitting US president to ever visit the nation. His visit was part of a 12-day visit to 6 African countries and Ghana was the first African country he visited.

As the first United States president to visit Ghana, President Bill Clinton speaks to the people of Ghana about Africa’s growing appreciation for tolerance and human rights as well as improving U.S. ties with Ghana.


PHOTOS BELOW:













March 23, 1998: Remarks to the People of Ghana

Thank you. President and Mrs. Rawlings, honorable ministers, honorable members of the Council of State, honorable Members of Parliament, honorable members of the Judiciary, nananom [to the chiefs], and the people of Ghana. Mitsea mu. America fuo kyia mo [My greetings to you. Greetings from America]. Now you have shown me what akwaaba [welcome] really means. Thank you, thank you so much.


I am proud to be the first American President ever to visit Ghana and to go on to Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana, and Senegal. It is a journey long overdue. America should have done it before, and I am proud to be on that journey. Thank you for welcoming me.


I want to listen and to learn. I want to build a future partnership between our two people, and I want to introduce the people of the United States, through my trip, to the new face of Africa. From Kampala to Cape Town, from Dakar to Dar-Es-Salaam, Africans are being stirred by new hopes for democracy and peace and prosperity.

Challenges remain, but they must be to all of you a call to action, not a cause for despair. You must draw strength from the past and energy from the promise of a new future. My dream for this trip is that together we might do the things so that, 100 years from now, your grandchildren and mine will look back and say this was the beginning of a new African renaissance.


With a new century coming into view, old patterns are fading away: The cold war is gone; colonialism is gone; apartheid is gone. Remnants of past troubles remain. But surely, there will come a time when everywhere reconciliation will replace recrimination. Now, nations and individuals finally are free to seek a newer world where democracy and peace and prosperity are not slogans but the essence of a new Africa.


Africa has changed so much in just 10 years. Dictatorship has been replaced so many places. Half of the 48 nations in sub-Saharan Africa choose their own governments, leading a new generation willing to learn from the past and imagine a future. Though democracy has not yet gained a permanent foothold even in most successful nations, there is everywhere a growing respect for tolerance, diversity, and elemental human rights. A decade ago, business was stifled. Now, Africans are embracing economic reform. Today from Ghana to Mozambique, from Cote d'Ivoire to Uganda, growing economies are fueling a transformation in Africa.


For all this promise, you and I know Africa is not free from peril: the genocide in Rwanda; civil wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia, both Congos; pariah states that export violence and terror; military dictatorship in Nigeria; and high levels of poverty, malnutrition, disease, illiteracy, and unemployment. To fulfill the vast promise of a new era, Africa must face these challenges. We must build classrooms and companies, increase the food supply and save the environment, and prevent disease before deadly epidemics break out.


The United States is ready to help you. First, my fellow Americans must leave behind the stereotypes that have warped our view and weakened our understanding of Africa. We need to come to know Africa as a place of new beginning and ancient wisdom from which, as my wife, our First Lady, said in her book, we have so much to learn. It is time for Americans to put a new Africa on our map.


Here in Independence Square, Ghana blazed the path of that new Africa. More than four decades ago, Kwame Nkrumah proposed what he called a "motion of destiny" as Ghana stepped forward as a free and independent nation. Today, Ghana again lights the way for Africa. Democracy is spreading. Business is growing. Trade and investment are rising. Ghana has the only African-owned company today on our New York Stock Exchange.


You have worked hard to preserve the peace in Africa and around the world—from Liberia to Lebanon, from Croatia to Cambodia. And you have given the world a statesman and peacemaker in Kofi Annan to lead the United Nations. The world admires your success. The United States admires your success. We see it taking root throughout the new Africa. And we stand ready to support it.


First, we want to work with Africa to nurture democracy, knowing it is never perfect or complete. We have learned in over 200 years that every day democracy must be defended and a more perfect union can always lie ahead. Democracy requires more than the insults and injustice and inequality that so many societies have known and America has known. Democracy requires human rights for everyone, everywhere, for men and women, for children and the elderly, for people of different cultures and tribes and backgrounds. A good society honors its entire family.


Second, democracy must have prosperity. Americans of both political parties want to increase trade and investment in Africa. We have an "African Growth and Opportunity Act" now before Congress. Both parties' leadership are supporting it. By opening markets and building businesses and creating jobs, we can help and strengthen each other. By supporting the education of your people, we can strengthen your future and help each other. For centuries, other nations exploited Africa's gold, Africa's diamonds, Africa's minerals. Now is the time for Africans to cultivate something more precious, the mind and heart of the people of Africa, through education.


Third, we must allow democracy and prosperity to take root without violence. We must work to resolve the war and genocide that still tear at the heart of Africa. We must help Africans to prevent future conflicts.

Here in Ghana, you have shown the world that different peoples can live together in harmony. You have proved that Africans of different countries can unite to help solve disputes in neighboring countries. Peace everywhere in Africa will give more free time and more money to the pressing needs of our children's future. The killing must stop if a new future is to begin.


Fourth and finally, for peace and prosperity and democracy to prevail, you must protect your magnificent natural domain. Africa is mankind's first home. We all came out of Africa. We must preserve the magnificent natural environment that is left. We must manage the water and forest. We must learn to live in harmony with other species. You must learn how to fight drought and famine and global warming. And we must share with you the technology that will enable you to preserve your environment and provide more economic opportunity to your people.



America has good reason to work with Africa: 30 million Americans, more than one in ten, proudly trace their heritage here. The first Peace Corps volunteers from America came to Ghana over 35 years ago; over 57,000 have served in Africa since then. Through blood ties and common endeavors, we know we share the same hopes and dreams to provide for ourselves and our children, to live in peace and worship freely, to build a better life than our parents knew and pass a brighter future on to our children. America needs Africa, America needs Ghana as a partner in the fight for a better future.

So many of our problems do not stop at any nation's border, international crime and terrorism and drug trafficking, the degradation of the environment, the spread of diseases like AIDS and malaria, and so many of our opportunities cannot stop at a nation's border. We need partners to deepen the meaning of democracy in America, in Africa, and throughout the world. We need partners to build prosperity. We need partners to live in peace. We will not build this new partnership overnight, but perseverance creates its own reward.


An Ashanti proverb tells us that by coming and going, a bird builds its nest. We will come and go with you and do all we can as you build the new Africa, a work that must begin here in Africa, not with aid or trade, though they are important, but first with ordinary citizens, especially the young people in this audience today. You must feel the winds of freedom blowing at your back, pushing you onward to a brighter future.

There are roughly 700 days left until the end of this century and the beginning of a new millennium. There are roughly 700 million Africans in sub-Saharan Africa. Every day and every individual is a precious opportunity. We do not have a moment to lose, and we do not have a person to lose.

I ask you, my friends, to let me indulge a moment of our shared history in closing. In 1957 our great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, came to Accra to help represent our country as Ghana celebrated its independence. He was deeply moved by the birth of your nation.


Six years later, on the day after W.E.B. Du Bois died here in Ghana in 1963, Dr. King spoke to an enormous gathering like this in Washington. He said these simple words: "I have a dream, a dream that all Americans might live free and equal as brothers and sisters." His dream became the dream of our Nation and changed us in ways we could never have imagined. We are hardly finished, but we have traveled a long way on the wings of that dream.

Dr. Du Bois, a towering African-American intellectual, died here as a citizen of Ghana and a friend of Kwame Nkrumah. He once wrote, "The habit of democracy must be to encircle the Earth." Let us together resolve to complete the circle of democracy, to dream the dream that all people on the entire Earth will be free and equal, to begin a new century with that commitment to freedom and justice for all, to redeem the promise inscribed right here on Independence Arch. Let us find a future here in Africa, the cradle of humanity.

Medase. America dase [I thank you. America thanks you]. Thank you, and God bless you.

PUBLISHER BINNABOOK


In the Other News 

The leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, says the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), won’t hand over power to the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu.

You can Also Read: Tinubu is Deceiving Himself Buhari will not Handover power to him in 2023-Yoruba Leader Chief Ayo Adebanjo Said

President Muhammadu Buhari met behind closed doors with President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic at the State House, Abuja.

 


President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met behind closed doors with President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic at the State House, Abuja.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Beninese leader, who arrived at the forecourt of the presidential villa at 11.09 a.m., was received by Mr Buhari.


The agenda of the meeting between the two leaders, who immediately went into a closed-door meeting, was unknown to journalists, Igbere TV reports.



NAN, however, gathered that Mr Talon, who last met with the Nigerian leader in June 2019, was in the villa to thank Mr Buhari for ordering the re-opening of Nigerian borders in December 2020.


Mr Buhari had in August 2019 ordered closure of Nigeria’s land borders to check smuggling of rice and other foodstuff as well as small arms and light weapons.


The president and the visiting Beninese leader are also expected to discuss security and bilateral matters as well as other sub-regional issues.

Goodluck Jonathan: We Are In Trouble, Nigeria’s Unity Questionable



Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has said the unity of Nigeria is questionable.


Jonathan stated this while speaking during an exclusive command performance by the Port-Harcourt Male Ensemble International tagged ‘Peace for All Nations’ at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja.


He stated that Nigerian youths sometimes engaged in all kinds of confrontation, recalling his conversation with one of his friends.


“And I was discussing with somebody, one of my friends and I said look, in Nigeria, they appear not to even have a national youth body. Because in most cases, the regional youth bodies are stronger than the national youth body.


“Ordinarily, the national youth body is supposed to be stronger than the regional youth body. If you go to my state, Bayelsa state for example, if I am a national member of the Nigerian Youth Council, the IYC, Ijaw Youth Council, feels that they are your boss.


“If you go to the Southwest and to the North, the Arewa Youth Group, they feel they are superior to the national youth body.


“If you go to the Southwest, the same thing. If you go to the Southeast, the same thing. That shows clearly that as a nation, we are in trouble. The unity of the country is questionable,” Jonathan said.

The lovely Nigerian city in Akwa Ibom State "Ikot Ekpene"

 Ikot ekpene is actually a great city to live in Nigeria, it's very affordable and you avoid the high rent in Uyo the capital city while you are 20 mins drive from uyo in a dualized autobahn.


Ikot ekpene is a great place for you adults just starting live, but you must have entrepreneurial drive,  there are no jobs like every where else in Nigeria.


Ikot ekpene has the federal government college, state polytechnic , and the federal poly ukana is a stone throw, it also has the Ritman University ikot ekpene, for those who are school age.


A city park, for picnics and family hangout, a numbers of relaxation spots and Raffia Arts is the major handwork of the people of this area.


Raffia arts made in ikot ekpene is famous worldwide, even the colonialists have been known to dabble in arts from this area, the wooden mask carved in Ikot ekpene is also very famous.


The Oil palm business and rubber business is at it peak here .


Ikot ekpene is a much older city than Uyo, it was the first Experimental Local government in British west Africa, ie this is where the British started the idea of local government administration in west Africa. Ikot ekpene has lots of colonial architecture that will mesmerize you, especially the churches.










four point hotel 












View of Four Point Hotel Ikot Ekpene


St. ANNE CATHOLIC cathedral ikot Ekpene.

An Architectural masterpiece.

A sight worth visiting, if you are interested in old European architecture.

This is just one of several old colonial buildings in ikot Ekpene.

The first African catholic cardinal in Nigeria and West African, cardinal Dominic Ekandem was the bishop of Ikot Ekpene.

Hence lots of catholic relics in this city.

St. ANNE CATHOLIC cathedral ikot Ekpene.





If you are young an just starting life and looking for a place with good roads, good schools, low crime rate, affordable city and a perfect place to raise kids,


Look no further Ikot Ekpene is the place for you. Its 15mins. From Uyo Akwa ibom state capital with well articulated road networks that will mesmerize you.


Its 70mins from Victor attah international airport.


And very close to Aba and umuahia though the road to aba and umuahia are terrible.
Ikot ekpene Stadium 

Writer :Obinna Pascal Amajuoyi
Publisher Binnabook Magazine

APC reveals alleged plots by PDP, Obaseki to rig Edo gov election

 The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate in Edo State, Godwin Obaseki of plots to rig the September 19 election in the state.

The chairman of the APC media campaign council for the Edo election, John Mayaki said in a statement on Monday, that the alleged plot by the PDP and Obaseki was to engage the services of a former senior staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi to rig the election.

Mayaki described Osaze-Uzzi as a first cousin of Obaseki, and claimed that he had been engaged as a private consultant “in a plot to trade-sensitive inside information on results collation process of the electoral body with the PDP in exchange for unnamed benefits.”

POWER FAILURE: Gov Obaseki sends BEDC boss out of his office

He said, “As an upgrade to the server scam that failed the PDP in the 2019 general elections because it ignorantly went with the fraud without insight on the result collation process of INEC, the party of tax-collectors, having lost all hopes of winning the Edo election in a fair contest, are concluding plans on another rigging strategy with the recent secret conscription of one Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi.

”Mr. Osaze-Uzzi, Obaseki’s first cousin, who served for many years at INEC and had to be forced out of commission despite his stalling tactics to stay put until the conclusion of the election which he had planned to manipulate by offering sensitive inside information to his cousin, has now fully joined the Obaseki campaign, though secretly as a private consultant.

”His mandate, and those of others assigned to serve as his aides in the secret location where has been lodged, is to develop strategies and tactics for the party on how to substitute results obtained at the polls with fake, pre-written ballots and a corresponding reflection of the electoral fraud in any electronic transfer, using his experience at the Commission.”

Meanwhile, the Edo State publicity secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare has debunked the claim, describing it as laughable.

Source: Ripplesnigeria

Aisha Buhari Flown To Dubai For Medical Treatment

 

The First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, has been flown to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for medical treatment.

Daily Trust learned that the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari travelled out of the country at the Sallah weekend due to persistent neck pain after returning to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, from Lagos.

Last month, Hajiya Buhari paid a condolence visit to Florence Ajimobi, widow of the former governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, at the Glover Road, Ikoyi residence of the Ajimobis in Lagos.Ajimobi had died on June 25 due to complications from the infectious coronavirus disease.


Source:Dailytrust

The first lady was said to have undergone self-isolation for 14 days after the Lagos trip because of the neck pain that refused to stop for close to one month after the condolence journey.

The frightening scenario shortly after the self-isolation safety protocol was said to have prompted the decision to move her to Dubai for immediate medical attention.

Daily Trust gathered that the first lady, who is now observing bed rest at an undisclosed hospital, is in a stable condition.

On July 31, she observed the Eid El-Kabir prayers at home with her family to adhere to the advisories from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). She also took pictures with members of her family on the day.

When contacted on phone, Barrister Aliyu Abdullahi, Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the First Lady, neither denied nor confirmed the information.Barr. Aliyu said: “I have not been around in the office for two weeks.So, I’m not in a position to know.”

Nigeria's Oscar race entry Lionheart disqualified by Academy

Producer Chinny Onwugbenu, left, actor Nkem Owoh, centre, and filmmaker Genevieve Nnaji, right, from the film Lionheart at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival [Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images]
Producer Chinny Onwugbenu, left, actor Nkem Owoh, centre, and filmmaker Genevieve Nnaji, right, from the film Lionheart at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival 
The organisers of the Oscars have disqualified Nigeria's first-ever entry for consideration in the International Feature Film category because it has too much dialogue in English, according to reports.

The disqualification of Lionheart - directed by and starring Genevieve Nnaji, one of the biggest stars in the Nigerian film industry widely known as Nollywood - was conveyed in an email to voters for the category, The Wrap reported on Monday.

According to the rules by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, "an international film is defined as a feature-length motion picture (defined as over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track."

Lionheart has just under 12 minutes of dialogue that is in the Igbo language, while the rest of the 95-minute feature is in English, according to Hollywood Reporter.

The movie was scheduled to be screened to voters for the category, formerly known as best foreign language film, on Wednesday.

'Proudly Nigerian'

Lionheart, in which Nnaji plays Adaeze, a woman who tries to keep her family's transportation business afloat after her father suffers a heart attack, is currently streaming on Netflix.

Nnaji took to Twitter to express her disapproval of the Academy's decision.

Twitter tweets



Source:Aljazeera News

BINNABOOK PUBLISHERS


All you Need to know About Benin Empire:Rise,Fall and Legacy in the present day Nigeria

Image result for Benin empire

Benin, one of the principal historic kingdoms of the western African According to  traditional account, the original people and founders of the Benin Empire, the Bini (or Edo people),

At first they lived in small family groups, but gradually these groups developed into a kingdom.
The kingdom was called Igodomigodo. It was ruled by a series of kings, known as Ogisos, which means ‘rulers of the sky’. The city of Ibinu (later called Benin City) was founded in 1180 C.E.

About 36 known Ogiso are accounted for as rulers of the empire; in the 1100s there were struggles for power and the Ogisos lost control of their kingdom. On the death of the last Ogiso, his son and heir apparent Ekaladerhan was banished from Benin as a result of one of the Queens changing the message from the oracle to the Ogiso. Ekaladerhan was a powerful warrior and well loved Prince. On leaving Benin he travelled to the west of the present day Nigeria to the land of the Yorubas. At that time the Yoruba oracle said that their King will come out of the forest and when Ekaladerhan arrived at Ife, he was received as a King.
He changed his name to Imadoduwa meaning "I did not misplace my royalty" and became The Great Oduduwa of The Yoruba Land.



In Benin Kingdom,there was struggle for power and supremacy after the death of the last Ogiso the Edo people feared that their country would fall into chaos, so they asked their neighbour, the King of Ife, for help. The king sent his son Prince Oranmiyan to restore peace to the Edo kingdom. Oranmiyan, the son of Ekaladerhan aka Oduduwa, agreed to go to Benin. He spent some years in Benin;  married and gave birth to a son named Eweka,after many years he came back to Ife And Oranmiyan chose his son Eweka to be the first Oba of Benin. Eweka was the first in a long line of Obas, who reached the peak of their power in the 1500s

Related image
Benin Art

How did Benin become an empire?

Around 1440, Ewuare became the new Oba of Benin.He  rebuilt Benin City and the royal palace.Around 1470, and  named the new state Edo.The Oba had become the paramount power within the region. Oba Ewuare (reigned 1440 until 1473), the first Golden Age Oba, is credited with turning Benin City into a military fortress protected by moats and walls. It was from this bastion that he launched his military campaigns and began the expansion of the kingdom from the Edo-speaking heartlands  and started winning land.  The lands of Idah, Owo, Akure all came under the central authority of the Edo Empire.

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Warriors Benin Kingdom
Oba Ewuare was the first of five great warrior kings. His son Oba Ozolua was believed to have won 200 battles. He was followed by Oba Esigie who expanded his kingdom eastwards to form an empire and won land from the Kingdom of Ife. Ozolua and Esigie both encouraged trade with the Portuguese. They used their wealth from trade to build up a vast army.

The fourth warrior king was Oba Orhogbua. During his reign, the empire reached its largest size. At its maximum extent the empire is claimed by the Edos to have extended from Onitsha in the east, through the forested southwestern region of Nigeria and into the present-day nation of Ghana. The Ga peoples of Ghana trace their ancestry to the ancient Kingdom of Benin.

The state developed an advanced artistic culture especially in its famous artifacts of bronze, iron and ivory. These include bronze wall plaques and life-sized bronze heads of the Obas of Benin.

Oba Ehengbuda was the last of the warrior kings. But he spent most of his reign stopping rebellions led by local chiefs. After his death in 1601, Benin’s empire gradually shrank in size.

Government and People

The empire was ruled by a regent called the Oba. Today, the Oba of Benin is still very respected in Nigeria; he is the most revered traditional ruler in Nigeria though his powers are largely ceremonial and religious. The capital of the Benin Empire was Edo, now known as Benin City in what is now southwestern Nigeria.

The Benin Empire derives its name from the Bini people who dominated the area. The ethnonym may possibly derive from groups in western Nigeria, where the term "ibinu" means "anger" reflecting the warring nature of the Binis or from central and north-central Nigeria, where the term birnin means "gated" or "walled area." The city and its people are more properly called the Edo. Today, this population is found mostly in and around modern day Benin City. It is from Portuguese explorers that we get the name the Benin Empire. However, the Bini name for the land and even the capital city was Edo.

European contact

The first European travelers to reach Benin were Portuguese explorers in about 1485. A strong mercantile relationship developed, with the Portuguese trading tropical products, and increasingly slaves, for European goods and guns. In the early sixteenth century the Oba sent an ambassador to Lisbon, and the king of Portugal sent Christian missionaries to Benin. Some residents of Benin could still speak a pidgin Portuguese in the late nineteenth century.

The first English expedition to Benin was in 1553. Visitors in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries brought back to Europe tales of "the Great Benin," a fabulous city of noble buildings, ruled over by a powerful king. A significant trade soon grew up between England and Benin based on the export of ivory, palm oil, and pepper. Trade consisted of: 20 percent ivory, 30 percent slaves, and 50 percent other things.

Decline

The city and empire of Benin declined after 1700, but revived in the nineteenth century with the development of the trade in palm oil, enslaved captives, and textiles. Benin grew increasingly rich during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries on account of the slave trade with Europe; slaves from enemy states of the interior were sold, and carried to the Americas in Dutch and Portuguese ships. The Bight of Benin's shore soon came to be known as the "Slave Coast."

WooCommerce 

How did the kingdom end?

By the 1860s Benin was no longer a powerful empire and the Obas struggled to rule their people.
Benin was also under threat from Britain. The British wanted to gain control of Benin so they could get rich by selling its palm oil and rubber. The Oba tried to stop all contact with Britain, but the British insisted on their right to trade. Benin resisted signing a protectorate treaty with Great Britain through most of the 1880s and 1890s. 

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Palace

 

In 1897 a group of British officials tried to visit Benin. They were sent away because the Oba was busy with a religious ceremony. As they approached the borders of Benin, a group of warriors ambushed them and several British men were killed. However, after the slaying of eight British representatives in Benin territory, a 'Punitive Expedition' was launched in 1897, in which a British force, under the command of Admiral Sir Harry Rawson, Benin City was burnt to the ground, conquered and burned the city, destroying much of the kingdom treasured art and dispersing nearly all that remained.  and the kingdom of Benin became part of the British Empire.The portrait figures, busts, and groups created in iron, carved ivory, and especially in brass (conventionally called the "Benin Bronzes") made in Benin are now displayed in museums around the world.This attack made the British furious. They sent over a thousand soldiers to invade Benin. 

Edo pendant mask
Edo marks

Jetpack

Legacy

The Oba was captured and eventually allowed to live in exile until his death in 1914. However, the office of Oba continued to be recognized in colonial Nigeria. Eweka II (1914-1933) built a new palace to replace the one that the British destroyed when they burned the city. Akenzua II (1933-1978) received Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom during her state visit to Nigeria in 1956. In 1966 he became Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria. The Oba is advised by a Traditional Council. Both the Obo and the Nigerian Government (which has purchased back some items) have requested the return of what they describe as "stolen" art to Nigeria

Source:New World Encyclopedia
Wikepedia
BBC

BINNABOOK PUBLISHERS
HISTORY BOOK

The Real Owners of Jerusalem are the Ijebu Ode from Nigeria:Reno Omokri

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Reno Omokri
 The Ijebu, The Yoruba and Their Influence on The Bible

Elsewhere, I have written about the biblical Nimrod (the first world emperor) in Genesis 10. I showed in actual fact that there was nothing like Nimrod. His real name is Namrud in Aramaic and Arabic. From where the European translators got the name Nimrod, I would not know. But the name found in the Pentateuch is Namrud. Do not take my word for it. Google it. Or go to a reference library.

I had also said that that Namrud was no other person than Lamurudu, the father of Oduduwa, the father of the Yoruba people. If you want evidence, Google my article ‘Why Black Man dey Suffer today.’

But today, I want to reveal the truth about a place called Jerusalem.

Many people do not realise that the original name for Jerusalem was not Jerusalem but actually Jebus. If you doubt me, stop reading right now and Google the word Jebus. Or go to a reference library.The Jebus, were a tribe that occupied the modern day Jerusalem before they were conquered by King David. This is a historical fact. It is also recorded in the Bible.

In Joshua 11:3, we read:

“And to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh.”

Now, note those words “the Jebusite in the mountains”. It is very important, as I will explain later.

Do not be confused by the use of the generic term ite after the names of tribes. They were not used in the original Hebrew Scriptures. It was the European and specifically the English translators of the Hebrew Scriptures, that added the generic suffix, ite.

So for example, in their eyes, a person from Canaan would be a Canaanite. The children of Ammon would be called Ammonites. And those from Jebus were called Jebusites.

I do not know why they did this. Did they do it to deceive, confuse, or hide the truth? Or, did they do it for ease of reference? Your guess is as good as mine.

Now, if you read 2 Samuel 5:6, it says:

“The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there.”The King here, refers to David. David attacked Jebus and defeated them as we can see in verse 8 of 2 Samuel 5 which says:

“David had said, "Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft to reach those 'lame and blind' who are David's enemies."

In verse 9, we read that David defeated the Jebusites, but did not take up residence in the mountains, where most of them lived (remember I told you to remember the mountains).

He chose to reside in the lowlands surrounding the mountains as we read in verse 9:

“David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the terraces inward.”

In actual fact, the name Jebus that you read about in The Bible, refers to a tribe now known as Ijebu in Southwest Nigeria.

I have just blown your mind. I know. It sounds like blasphemy. Heresy. But please let me land!

The Ijebu do not really call themselves I-J-E-B-U, the way an outsider would pronounce all syllables. They actually call themselves J-E-B-U, with the I before jebu silent.

And the Ijebu people are unlike other Yoruba tribes in that they do not claim Yoruba heritage. They have something you would find nowhere else in Yoruba land. They have a king called Awujale.

The Awujale of Ijebu, Sikiru Adetona, revealed in an interview, (which I urge every reader of this article to read: simply Google Middle East origins of the Ijebu), that the Ijebu originally came from the area around the Middle East to the Sudan.

This agrees with the biblical references in Joshua 11:3 and 12:10 as well as 2 Samuel 5:6-10.

So if the Jebus were the original inhabitants of Jerusalem, where does the word Jerusalem come from? You see, the Ijebu or Jebu is the name of the tribe. However, they name their towns, villages and habitations after the topography of their environment.

So for instance, in modern day Nigeria, the Ijebu towns are known by the prefix Ijebu, followed by a suffix indicating their topography. Today, the Ijebu towns are known as Ijebu-Ode (which may loosely mean outer Ijebu), Ijebu-Igbo (which may loosely mean forested Ijebu). You also have Ijebu-Remo, Ijebu-Isiwo and other Ijebu towns, villages and communities that begin with the prefix Ijebu and end with a suffix depicting their topography or to a lesser extent, their history.

Now, recall that I urged my readers to remember that in Joshua 11:3, the Jebus were referred to as living in the mountains, but in 2 Samuel 5:6, the Bible records that the Jebus lived in Jerusalem.

Psalm 125:2 reads:

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.” Jerusalem is a town surrounded by mountains. Even today, some residents of Jerusalem live in the mountains, others live in the lowlands or valley.

The Jebus who were living in the lowlands of Jerusalem and who were conquered by King David in 2 Samuel chapter 5 were Ijebu-Isale, loosely meaning Ijebu of the lowland or valley.

It is that Ijebu-Isale, which the natives would have called Jebu-sale (both i’s after Ijebu and Isale would have been silent) that was mispronounced as Jeru-Sale by King David and his men, because 2 Samuel chapter 5 quite clearly states that King David built the city of David in the lowland. Jeru-Sale became Jerusalem.

The challenge many Black People have is that we do not read. It is still true today that if you want to hide something from a Black man, you hide it in a book. These things you just read are not secrets. They have been hidden in the most popular book in the world for centuries! They are in The Bible!


By Reno Omokri

Origin of Ogun gods of Iron

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Ogun
Many myths and legends exist as to the origin of Ogun. Much of the knowledge of the deity is based on the fact that he was one of the earliest divinities. He loved hunting and was referred to as “Osin-Imole”, that is, the Chief among the divinities.

He cleared the thick impenetrable way with his iron implements for other the divinities when he was coming from heaven to possess the earth. Being a ruthless deity, he lived in seclusion at the top of the hill where he went about hunting. Tired of secluded life, he decided to go for a settled life, which he had rejected earlier on.

He came down from the hilltop in a garment of fire and blood but could not find an abode in any community. So he borrowed fronds from the palm-tree and headed for Ire where he was made king. Hence, the name Ogun Onire (Ogun, the Lord of Ire) was given to him.

The Ogun Festival in Ondo: The Ogun festival is celebrated in Ondo between the months of August and September every year. According to Olupona the preparation for the festival commences seventeen days before the actual Ogun day at the appearance of the new moon. At an early morning ceremony in the house of Ayadi, the ritual specialist of Ogun public worship, the upe (a traditional trumpet made from a long gourd) is sounded to notify the people of the on-coming festival.

The sound of upe then becomes a common feature throughout the period of the festival, which lasts seven days. The sound of the upe is very significant because it carries messages which are sometimes complimentary and at other times abusive from one youth to the other.

During the seventeen-day interval, the worshippers of Ogun assemble in groups to praise the divinity and other past cultural heroes associated with him, such as Jomun Ila.

On a major market day, which is nine days before the festival, the king’s emissary makes the official announcement of the ceremony. Many activities are usually carried out in preparation for the festival, among which is the communal clearing of paths and the repairing of bridges and other footpaths. Five days to the festival, a few households perform a ceremony called aleho.

There are usually three parts to the ceremony – aisun ogun (night vigil), ogun ale (night ogun) and ogun owuo (morning ogun celebration). The procession involves all traditional and modern day professionals and guilds. Every possible professional group in Ondo – such as blacksmiths, medicine men and women, drivers, hunters, tailors, barbers, to mention just a few, participate in this celebration.

The only exceptions are probably civil servants and white-collar workers. Most of them are usually dressed in rags, palm- fronds with their faces and bodies smeared with blue dye, white powder and or charcoal. Some, however, use that period to show affluence and nobility by wearing unusually beautiful multicoloured outfits.

The Osemawe is not left out of this festivity. He usually leads the early morning procession. He wears a beaded crown that covers his whole face with white sheet tied on his left shoulder over his agbada (flowing gown). Others such the high chiefs, medicine men and other trades men follow the king’s procession. Every professional demonstrates his trade.



The most esteemed group is the traditional medicine men referred to as oloogun (medicine people). They are attired in medicine garments laced with all kinds of frightening herbal substances. This group usually engages young school children to write signposts, which display the name of their pedigree and praise names, some with warnings written in proverbs and the metaphorical magico-medical expertise of the oloogun.

This serves as a warning to the general public. The following are examples of such signposts:
i). Eni ti o ba fi oju ana wo oku
He who looks upon today’s dead with the same eyes that saw the living.


ii). Ebora a bo l’aso.
Will have his clothe removed by the spirit.

iii). Ati pe eni ti oju eni ti ju eni lo.
He who is above one is above one.

iv). Bi uya lila ba a gbonen sanle.
If one is brought down by big trouble.

v). Kekee a ka gun oiho onen
Smaller problems come up too.
vi). Opekete ndagba
As the palm-tree grows up,

vii). Inu Adama nbaje
The palm wine tapper becomes sad

viii). Ase i s’amodoun
Many happy returns of this festival

ix). Ogun ye mo ye
Ogun lives and I live too.

When Ayadi ushers Ogun in, he must sacrifice dogs (aja) and tortoise (aghon) and pour libations at the shrine of Ogun. It is the general belief in Ondo that a dog is Ogun’s favourite meat. Thus during Ogun festival, dogs are usually mercilessly immolated.

The Ondo people do not in any way regard a dog as a pet as the western people do. Ondo people seldom eat dog meat but they frequently sacrifice dogs to appease Ogun. Hence, their neighbours nicknamed them Ondo aj’aja that is, Ondo the dog eater. The sacrifice of dogs is the climax of the ritual and by this, the blood flows into the shrine.

Ogun is the kernel of Ondo’s popular religion for many reasons. During Ogun festival, every section of the society is represented. It is only during this festival that children, domestic servants, foreigners, artisans, traditional circumcision doctors, religious and political authorities perform as devotees of Ogun.

As the divinity is tied to professionalism, everybody participates. For example, warriors, blacksmiths, traders and even women who hardly participate in other Ondo festivals play very significant roles in these festivities. Certainly, it is a time when women-dominated professions such as traditional medical paediatrics (alagbo omode or olomitutu) and women’s market associations display their wares and advertise their profession.

Furthermore, during this festival, people show their indebtedness to Ogun as the founder of iron and metals, which are essential ingredients for technological development. It should be noted that sacrifices are made to ogun from time to time, particularly whenever a journey is going to be undertaken.

It is not surprising then that the importance and fierceness of ogun is captured in this proverb: “Onen yo ri ibi ogun ti gbe’je de sa eyin jija e fa i”. (Whoever sees ogun where it is taking blood and does not run, certainly has problem with his heels).

It should also be emphasized that Ogun festival serves as an occasion whereby the memory of deceased ancestors and cultural heroes are commemorated.

The worshippers of Ogun proclaim Ogun’s praise-names as follows:

  • Ogun lakaiye, osin imole – Ogun, the strong one of the earth, Chief among the deities
  • Ogun alada meji, ofi okan san’ko, o fi Okan ye’na – Ogun, the possessor of two matchets; with one he prepares the farm, and with the other he clears the road.
  • Ojo Ogun nti ori oke bo – The day Ogun was coming down from the hilltop.
  • Aso ina l’o mu bora, ewu eje l’o wo – He was clothed in fire and bloodstained garment.
  • Ogun onile owo, olona ola – Ogun, the owner of the house of money, the owner of the house of riches.
  • Ogun onile kangunkangun orun – The owner of the innumerable houses of heaven.
  • O pon omi s’ile f’eje we – He has water in the house but takes his bath with blood.
  • Ogun awon l’eyin ju, egbe lehin omo orukan – Ogun whose eyeballs are rare (to behold), protector of orphans.
  • Ogun m’eje l’ogun mi – There are seven ogun who belong to me.
  • Ogun Alara ni igba’ja – Ogun of Alara takes dogs
  • Ogun Onire a gba’ gbo – Ogun of Onire habitually takes rams.
  • Ogun ikola a gba’ gbin – Ogun of surgery habitually takes snails.
  • Ogun Elemona nii gba esun ’su – Ogun Elemona takes roasted yam.
  • Ogun a ki’run ni iwo agbo – Ogun a ki’run habitually takes ram’s horn.
  • Ogun gbena gbena eran awun nii je – Ogun of the artisans eats the flesh of tortoise.
  • Ogun Makinde ti d’ogun l’ehin odi – Ogun Makinde has become the ogun after the city wall.
  • Nje nibo l’ati pade Ogun? – By the way, where did we meet Ogun?
  • A pade ogun nibi ija – We met ogun in the battlefield.
  • A Pade Ogun nibi ita – We met Ogun at the junction.
  • A pade re nibi agbara eje naa – We also met him at the pool of blood.
  • A gbara eje ti i de ni l’orun bi omi ago – The pool of blood that reaches the neck like a cup of water.
  • Orisa t’o ni t’ogun ko to nkan – Whichever divinity regards ogun as of no consequence.
  • A f’owo je’su re nigba aimoye – Will eat his yams with his hands (without a knife) times without number.
  • E ma b’ogun fi ija sere – Do not joke about war with Ogun.
  • Ara Ogun kan go-go-go – Ogun is anxiously waiting to strike.


Source From: Ondo Development Committee Achieve.
HISTORYBOOK

Evolution of Nigeria Pidgin "Naija"Language

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Prince Charles Speak Nigeria Pidgin each time he visit Nigeria.

The evolution of the Nigerian Pidgin, the language developed in Nigeria upon the people’s first contact with the colonials, to its present form, Naija language, a new name identifying the evolution of that contact language that has taken a life of its own,sixty years after independence

Originally known as Nigerian Pidgin, it was a creole and first language spoken in the Niger-Delta area, with larger concentration of its speakers in Warri, Sapele, and the Ajengule district of Lagos.



Today, the language has evolved to from a contact language, language created from the meeting of two languages; to an indigenous and a second unofficial language, spoken by a majority of Nigerians regardless of their geographical origin, education and social background.

Its evolution stems from its changing form from a contact to a native one. There are people for whom Naija is language they have spoken from birth, thus nativizing the language. For others it’s a second language, one they use as a means of inter-ethnic communication, as is often the practice when people travel from one part of the country to another, where Naija is often the only means of intelligible conversation.

The evolution is also seen in its ability to function in several domains. This, Ph.D student at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, UNIbadan, and Junior Researcher and annotator, Naijasyncor Project, Mr. Emeka F. Onwuegbuzia, says only occurs with the elaboration of a language.

Naija language has expanded from the non-formal spoken domains (entertainment – music and comedy) and some formal domains of traditional media (Radio and TV) into newer domains of ICT (internet, social media, and mobile phone services) where predominantly young literate audience speak and write in the language on social media, according to the conference’s report.

Naija has further expanded to be used in political campaigns, religious and commercial activities and in literature (drama, prose, poetry) with several texts such as Bible translation, literature adaptation, written and spoken poetry and advertisements.

Currently, adaptations of William Shakespeare’s works Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet, into Naija language exist, as Rukewe na Julie, Hamlet for Pidgin by Theatre and linguist scholar, Bernard Ogini. Likewise, the flourishing of pidgin poems chaired by former president of the Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, and founder of PIN Poetry Contest, Mr. Eriata Eribhabor.

“Naija language has lots of potential,” Onwuegbuzia says. “As the language with which a majority of Nigerians communicate, especially in a multi-ethnic nation as ours, it has the potential of broadening participation in national discourse.”

With the expansion of its use in the traditional media channels and literature comes the challenge and the need for a systematized version that harmonizes all the variations in different ethnicities dialect of Naija.

Onwuegbuzia notes that for the most part, Naija language is homogeneous. “Naija is mutually intelligible. There maybe a few words peculiar to a particular area, or a peculiar way in which a word is pronounced in another area, but a lot is generally the same all over the country.”

He says NaijaSyncor Project supported (and supervised) by the IFRA, investigated the orthography used online to ensure a more systematic language. About 500,000 word corpus (collected writings) provided adequate materials to develop a definite pattern, with some recorded progress.

Notators had to come up with ways to distinguish homonymous words, words that have same pronunciation but different meanings; as well as decisions on how to represent English words that have found their way into Naija, and other indigenous languages that in Naija language.

“Some of the English words that have found its way into Naija include the pronoun ‘they’. ‘They’ is sometimes written as ‘dey’. To make it more systematic, we decided to use ‘de’ as the pronoun, and ‘dey’ as a verb. ‘Come’ functions as both auxiliary and verb, with ‘con’ as auxiliary and ‘come’ as verb.

In spite of challenges Naija language still undergoing evolution and we are optimistic of its future as it works towards the creation of an online Encyclopaedic Grammar of Naija Language.

Is Warri Pidgin English The Original Nigerian Pidgin?



HISTORYBOOK

Read Origin Article On Leadership

How the first Black Nation Paid France $21 Billion to be Free from Slavery

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Thankfully, modern economists are coming to terms with how much the exploited gave to the exploiters prior to the Industrial Age in Europe. Hitherto, the term “exploitation” was even problematic to discourse in classical economics.

We have been witnesses to scholarship by usually white men which speculate that the West’s current prosperity has little to do with slavery; that colonialism and imperialism are not to blame for the insufficiency of African and continental blacks.

Every October 17 , the world marks International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

On this year’s occasion of the event, I am reminded of Haiti and the morally reprehensible and fate-defining bullying by France in 1825.I am also reminded about how very few speak of Haiti as a country that was doomed from birth.

Haiti is the result of the first successful slave uprising that resulted in an independent state in 1804. The Guardian also calls the Haitian Revolution “the greatest revolt against slavery since Spartacus” tried to take over Rome in the 1st century BC.

Prior to the revolt, the island that is modern Haiti was known as Saint-Domingue. It was France’s most successful colony in the Caribbean but seethed with racial tension.

James Perry falls on historian Paul Fregosi who wrote describing the social situation in Haiti: “Whites, mulattos and blacks loathed each other. The poor whites couldn’t stand the rich whites, the rich whites despised the poor whites, the middle-class whites were jealous of the aristocratic whites, the whites born in France looked down upon the locally born whites, mulattoes envied the whites, despised the blacks and were despised by the whites; free Negroes brutalized those who were still slaves, Haitian born blacks regarded those from Africa as savages. Everyone quite rightly lived in terror of everyone else … Haiti was hell, but Haiti was rich.”

Haiti was a house divided against itself and as such, the charismatic and militarily-smart Toussaint L’Ouverture, took advantage.Before the man popularly known today as General Toussaint died in 1803, he organised and led both free and enslaved blacks to fight against the rich white slave owners.

Indeed, historians put the end of the revolution in 1804 although much of the battle had settled by Toussaint’s death. Whatever we make of it, France was not happy that black people did not want to be owned by white people.

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In 1825, with warships readied, France demanded that Haiti pay them 150 million francs. The French also ordered Haiti to cut by 50%, the cost of every export the country sent to France and its colonies.

Justification for the payment? Slave and plantation owning white families were not pleased that they could no more own their properties and they wanted to be paid for damages.

In 1838, Haiti pleaded with France to cut its demands to 90 million francs but it would take the first independent black country 122 years to pay the amount.

Forbes Magazine analysed in 2017 that the cost of all the money Haiti paid with its interests amount to $21 billion in present-day money.

The moral deplorability of the whole affair is strangely lost on the French. In 2015, they declined a request by the Haitian government to pay any of the bulk amount back.

France’s rejection, I argue, is rooted in the same white supremacist tendencies to construe Africans and peoples of African descent as the arbiters of their political fates.

This is not even revisionist history; it is worse. It is the denial of the causal link between yesterday and today, necessarily because white people would have to concede they did something wrong.

France outlawed the slave trade in 1826 and slavery in 1848. Yet, the country found nothing wrong in collecting restitution for the evils until 1947 from Haiti.

Haiti definitely had it worse but it is not different from francophone African countries in their relationship with France. These countries are supposed, by the agreement of independence, to keep their national reserves in France and pay France for all the “good” it did during colonisation.

France isn’t alone. Until 2015, Britain was paying descendants of families that owned slaves.

Karl Marx wrote: “Without slavery, you have no cotton; without cotton, you have no modern industry. It is slavery that has given the colonies their value. It is the colonies that have created world trade, and it is world trade that is the pre-condition of large-scale industry. Thus slavery is an economic category of the greatest importance.”

Marx is provably right, even if right-wing talking points would have you doubt.



It should be interesting to be educated on the sort of understanding that permits one to say, “we owe slave-owners because they once owned human beings and we have deprived them of their property. That is unfair.”
Today, Haiti is one of the world’s poorest with one of four people unable to afford $1.25 a day.

Haiti’s Duvalier family of father and son, who ruled the country from 1957 to 1986, are the favourites punching bags of Western pundits who say Haiti caused its own problems.

The sheer historical inaccuracy, inadequate comparison and gaslighting are a bit troubling.

Haiti was destined to fail. The first black slave successful revolt that established a nation had to be punished. The white supremacy garden had to be watered.



HISTORYBOOK

Fathia Nkrumah the Egyptian Born first Lady of Ghana:Road to Stardom

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Nkrumah and Fathia at state functions
Fathia Nkrumah enjoys a near-mythical place in postcolonial Ghanaian history. Her skin colour mattered; she was not a black African. Her native country mattered; Egypt is ancient, biblical and mystical.

Yet, the wife of Ghana’s first president is known exactly for that: being the wife of Ghana’s first president.

As she was, without the light and glamour of her husband’s eminence, Fathia is to an embarrassing extent, unknown to those who should. This should not be surprising since Nkrumah towered above most he stood close to. Of course, there is also the age-old tradition in which women are supposed to passively adorn and humanise their husbands and so we are not often educated in their backstories.

But Fathia Halim Ritzk held her own. Born into a middle-class Egyptian family in 1932, Fathia’s mother had to raise her and four other siblings as a widower. Fathia’s father, a clerk at a telephone company in Cairo, passed when she was young.

Her family was Coptic. She schooled at Zeitoun’s Notre Dame des Apôtres or Our Lady of Apostles, where she became literate in French.After school, Fathia taught for a while at her alma mater but was reportedly not enthused with the job. So she went to work in a bank. And that’s where fate and politics would find her.
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Fathia Nkrumah 

About 2,500 miles south-west of Egypt, a young intellectual was making himself a nuisance for the British colonial government in the Gold Coast.

Kwame Nkrumah had fast established himself as the people’s man in the country that he would lead to independence. The colonial administrators were not pleased. So when Nkrumah got Isis Nashid, an Egyptian working for the colonial government, pregnant, he had to hide it.

In the little-known story revealed in 2015 by Souad El Rouby Sinare, Nashid had to leave Nkrumah and the Gold Coast to her native Egypt. Upon arrival, she quickly got married to avoid the shame of having a child out of wedlock. Nkrumah continued with the freedom struggle.

But not long after the episode with Nashid, Nkrumah was convinced by Said Saleh Sinare, a businessman and personal friend, to look for a wife, preferably the woman who had his child in Egypt. But instead of Nashid, Fathia was found available and ready.



Souad Sinare recounted: “When we informed Dr. Nkrumah of our find of a bride [to-be], he was very happy that he also informed the President of Egypt, Gamel Abdul Nasser, who was happy that his friend…had decided to marry from his [Nasser’s] country.”

Both had not met before. But she was also excited even if her mother did not like the idea of marrying a foreigner.Her brother had already married an English woman in the 1950s and had gone away. Fathia tried to convince her mother that Nkrumah was like Nasser, a freedom fighter, but the older woman would have none of that.

Fathia effectively travelled to Ghana in 1957 to marry a man whom she did not know except for his reputation. And she did so with just one uncle but without her family’s blessings.

Gamel Nkrumah, her first son, would later say of his mother: “The new bride, who had cut herself off from her family and country by marrying Nkrumah, was isolated in more ways than one.”She spoke little to no English and Nkrumah spoke neither French nor Arabic. She had to learn so that by the end of her first year, Fathia was delivering speeches in English.

Fathia was happy, not only about her marriage but also about Ghana. It was not a conservative society in the same mould as Egypt. The Ghanaian women Fathia knew in the early 1960s were fiercely independent, educated and wealthy.

She endeared herself to this wealthy category of women who were mostly retailers of wax prints and the famous traditionally woven cloth called kente.

By their wealth, these “market women” were powerful and influential. They named a kind of kente after the first lady, calling it “Fathia fata Nkrumah”, Akan for “Fathia is perfect for Nkrumah”.

But before they would accept her, the market women and wives of powerful men, were actually very angry with Kwame Nkrumah. He was going to marry a “white woman”.

The women’s wing of Nkrumah’s own Convention People’s Party (CPP), reacted in the harshest way possible, telling Nkrumah they were disappointed in him.

Nkrumah had to explain to them that in spite of her skin colour, Fathia was African. This tension is microcosmic of modern-day discussions around the Africanness of continental North Africans.

But Nkrumah’s determination to defend Fathia’s Africanness also raises questions about whether he thought of her as a tool of political expedience to his hopes of Pan-Africanism.

Gamel Nkrumah himself wrote: “It was not meant to be a marriage made in heaven. It was a political union between Mediterranean-oriented North Africa and the rest of the continent, often pejoratively termed sub-Saharan or Black Africa.”

Carina Ray writing in 2006, also said of the marriage: “The US State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were rumoured to be primarily concerned with whether the marriage was intended to create a political union between Egypt and Ghana”.

Whether she was a tool in their game or a completely loved wife, Fathia Nkrumah found meaning for her role and she played it well.

Before going to Ghana, Fathia, it is said, spoke to Egyptian President Nasser. He wanted to be sure if the wife of a powerful man from a place she had no idea about is what she wanted to be.

The young woman reiterated her readiness, maybe naively.

Despite the culture shocks and noticeable temperature differences for an Egyptian in Ghana, Fathia would go on to play hostess to some of the world’s most powerful leaders; an unofficial envoy for her country, and the wife of a man whose life was constantly under threat.

In 1966, when Fathia’s eldest child was only seven, Nkrumah was overthrown in a coup d’etat. She herself was 34, still youthful and energetic.

Fathia flew out of Ghana with her three kids to Egypt, from where she would once again be an outsider looking in. It is not known if she ever saw Nkrumah again until his own death in 1972.

That was not the end of her relationship with Ghana. She was invited to live in the country but in 1979, Fathia’s mother-in-law, Nkrumah’s mother Nyaneba, died in the arms of a bitterly sad Fathia, at the age of 102.

Feeling like those who loved her were no more, Fathia left Ghana again, this time by choice and not compulsion. She would return to visit in 1997 for the country’s 40th independence.

In 2007, she died in Cairo aged 75.


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Fathia Nkrumah

Fathia had been a young woman with convictions of grandeur but also the victim of political nastiness. Above all, she had dared to follow her dreams and that is what probably matters.




HISTORYBOOK

Source:Face2faceAfrica.

Fall In Love With A Samburu Lady And Expect This Wedding Ceremony




If you fall in love with a Samburu lady.....This is how a wedding ceremony will go.




Milk plays a large role in a Samburu wedding; it has a magic and religious presence and is used for anointing during the rituals.

The elders walk around the couple with a wand-like creation containing either cow, giraffe, or wildebeest tail hair, and wisp drops of milk over the couple whilst sharing their wisdom with the married couple.

Substantial quantities of milk are prepared for the ceremony as traditionally the bodies of the newly-weds are actually smeared in the milk.

Once the elders’ have finished sharing their wisdom with the newly-weds, and the vows have been exchanged, it’s time to celebrate the union,Of course in Samburu tradition, the moran that can jump the highest, is the one that will attract the attention of the single ladies at the wedding!

Much dancing and celebrations continue – with everyone joining in. Traditionally, the newly-weds then spend their honeymoon in a ‘white’ or ‘pure’ house (a house that has not yet been lived in) to begin their life together.

Ghanaian Traditional Culture; Art and Craft.

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Ghana is renowned for producing the best in authentic African arts and crafts, these range from wood carvings brass works, sculptures, jewellery and a range of textiles.

Craftsmen painstakingly fashion exquisite artistic masterpieces from wood, bamboo, leather, cement and textiles. These indigenous and skilled craftsmen in the country can be found in virtually every village, town and city. Arts and crafts are an integral part of everyday life in Africa; and in Ghana it can be identified with all tribes and regions. Appreciation of arts and crafts is necessitated by cultures and traditions rather than aesthetic possessions and serves meaningful purposes in the communities.


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The people of Ghana are warm and friendly. They are polite, open and trusting even with strangers. In Ghanaian society, it is traditional to take life at a relaxed pace and view time as a series of events rather than a matter of hours or minutes, “Let’s get to business” conversation is considered rude. It is custom for Ghanaians to exchange pleasantries and inquire about family before beginning business. They greet one another, making extra effort to greet older people. With the men, it is tradition for handshakes to almost always accompany greetings.

The six larger groups are the Akan (Ashanti and Fanti), the Ewe, the Ga-Adangbe, the Mole-Dagbani, the Guan and the Gruma. Like most other African nations, Ghana has rich, traditional cultures that differ from one ethnic group to another.

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Along with different ethnic groups and cultures, 52 separate languages and hundreds of dialects are spoken in Ghana. The official language is English — a residual of British colonial rule, from which modern Ghana gained independence in 1957.Until its independence, Ghana was known as the Gold Coast. It was renamed Ghana, meaning “Warrior King,” to reflect the ancient Ghana Empire that flourished in West Africa during the 10th century.

Today, the Ghanaian government is a unitary republic consisting of a president, parliament, cabinet, council of state, and an independent judiciary. It is tradition to hold elections every 4 years. The government administration operates out of the central business district of Accra, the country’s capital city. Accra is also the country’s largest city with a population of roughly 2.27 million.

Ghana still lives up to its reputation as a country with vast reserves of minerals (gold, diamond, silver, bronze, etc) providing an abundance of resources for artists to produce exquisitely designed contemporary and traditional jewellery.

Ghana is often described as a land of festivals, music, and traditional dances


[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Traditions of Ghana: Warrior King Festival Dance[/caption]

The traditional cloth identified with Ghana is ‘Kente’. This multi-coloured, hand woven, quilted cloth is central to Ghanaian culture and traditionally worn as a wrap around by both men and women with slight variations. In the modern day Kente is now sewn in a wide variety of styles, ranging from shirts, blouses, and a two piece dress known as the “Kaba and Slit”.

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The preservation and telling of Ghanaian traditional culture and art has become increasingly important as the country and people continue to adopt modern and foreign influences. Organisations such as the Nubuke Foundation have been established to provide a space where people can come and explore traditional and contemporary art and culture. The Foundation organises exhibitions, storytelling, poetry reading and a series of workshops to engage a wide range of audiences.

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[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1100"]Image result for Nubuke Foundation Nubuke Foundation[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1600"]Image result for art and craft market ghana Accra Art Center[/caption]

Music and dance is an essential part of Ghanaian culture and it is through this media that historic events are narrated verbally and visually. Traditional music and dance are played and performed both on joyous and sad occasions in an expression of the event and to lift moral. Traditional music has recently given way to highlife and hip life, modern beats and rhythms with an African influence. The former is popular with the older generation and the latter, with younger people.

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Ghana is a peaceful and welcoming Country.  Home for All!


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I’m Parish Pascal a consultant; Africa Travel and Tour Agent, An Article Writer and Editor Binnabook.    Africa Travelbook    Contact:+233558113406. Email.amajuoyiop@gmail.com.



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