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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Music review – Vijana Jazz Band

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Being a musician in Tanzania in the 1970s had its blessings and downturns. On the one side, the government sponsored several bands, allowing young artists to blossom even though they were penniless. On the other side, Tanzania was not the best place to be a musician. To put as the envoy of the Washington Post…

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Film – The rugged priest

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  2011 Zanzibar International Film Festival’s top winner was The Rugged Priest. The film received the Golden Dhow and won the Verona Award, the prize the African Film Festival of Verona awards at the Zanzibar’s event. It also won in eight categories of the Kalasha awards. The film premiered in Europe during the African Film…

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Human Trafficking – The house of Isoke

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  Isoke Aikpitanyi is one of the many victims of human trafficking. She was able to run away from a world of abuse, and now spends her energy to work for other victims. She has become well known in Italy for her courage to denounce perpetrators and the awareness campaigns she runs. She wrote to…

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Arts – African hue

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 I was introduced to Malangatana Valente Ngwanya’s work a few years back. I had been impressed by what I saw. A year ago, a friend told me that the Mozambican artist was ill. He died shortly afterwards on January 5, 2011, while in Portugal for treatment. He was known by his first name, and he…

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Lesotho – Good news in the waves

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Following a trend that swept through Africa in the 1990s, the Episcopal Conference of Lesotho decided to open a radio station to serve both Church and society. The Catholic Church is firmly established in the country, and cooperates with the government in many areas, from education to health. At the same time, it needs its…

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DR Congo – Mental health

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  Kasereka’s face reveals a disproportionate fear. A month ago he should have undergone a hernia operation in Goma’s provincial hospital, but as he was being taken to the theatre the 14-year old boy was gripped by such a panic that the doctors decided to take him for psychiatric treatment. When I met him he…

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Dialogue – In the depth there is love

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  Sheikh Hussein, head of the Sufi fraternity al-Bayyumiyya, invited me to participate to a convention in Busayliyya, a village in Upper Egypt, near Edfu. In the past Edfu was known for a temple dedicated to the god Horus, today it is known for the arson that burnt the Coptic church on September 30, 2001,…

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South Africa – Where the sun rises

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 South Africa is a new frontier for us Comboni Missionaries Sisters. We arrived in Pretoria at the end of 2010. We were at first hosted by the bishop, we moved to a community of German lay missionaries, and finally found a home in Mamelodi. Mamelodi is a large town outside Pretoria. About one million people…

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Synod/4 – Rise up!

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  The Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops focused its work on reconciliation. When the second Synod for Africa was proposed, the continent was coming out of a prolonged war in the Great Lakes region, a conflict not yet concluded today, wars in the Horn of Africa, and various instances of…

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Synod/3 – Celebration of life

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  At the heart of the first part of the document there is a section entitled: Behold, I make all things new. It is a long a long section on the African vision of life, the huge capital Africans can count on. The excitement of life, the joy of opening your eyes and contemplate creation, the…

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Synod/2 – New dynamics

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  The reception of the first African Synod was modest for several reasons. When the document of the first Synod, Ecclesia in Africa, was published in 1995, Africa was in a transition. The continent and its peoples were very weak both at home and on the international scene. The Church was still living in a ‘yes, sir’ mentality.…

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African Synod – On the world stage

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 To understand Africae Munus – the final document arising from the Second Synod of Bishops for Africa and signed by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Benin last November – one has to cast an observant eye on today’s Africa. It is not the same Africa of the first Synod, celebrated in Rome in 1994. The…

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Advocacy

A Museum for advocacy?

A Museum can surely be an action of advocacy, if it provides awareness towards empowerment. The National Museum of African American History and Culture that ex…

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Baobab

Why the sea is salty.

Long ago, the sea was not salty. People got their salt from the mountain of salt across the sea. One day, the people in the village…

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Youth & Mission

Bennie was the wrong person, in the wrong place at…

Bennie had a thin, hollow face, the picture of malnutrition at 22 years of age, he had never been to school for more than a few…

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