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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Music – Gambian Night

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  Western Africa has produced some of the most celebrated musicians of the continent. There music has an important role in society, and musicians are considered not only for their personal ability, but by their lineage also. This is why West African musicians are eager to show they come from a line of great musicians…

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Cesária Évora – Barefoot singer

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She knew poverty. As a young girl, she suffered the humiliation to be taken to an orphanage after her father’s death, because her mother could not afford to raise all her seven children.  She never forgot that, nor did she forget the long hours spent as a waitress in the local bars of Mindelo, a…

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Contemporary art – Afran

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  Francis Abiamba, known in the art circles as Afran, is a Cameroonian born in 1983 in Bidjap from Equato-Guinean parents. He studied at the Institute of Artistic Formation in Mbalmayo and received a degree in ceramic work. He then joined a studio where great Cameroonian and Congolese painters work, working side by side with…

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Islam – In the heart of Islam

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 All Muslim have to abide to the five pillars: to believe in one God (shahada), to pray daily (salat), to fast at Ramadan, to give to the poor (zakat) and to go in pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime (hajj). The first four pillars can be shared by people of other faith.…

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UAE – Life of witness

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  The Comboni Missionary Sisters have been in Dubai, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), since 1977. In the last two decades, however, the city became a symbol of grandiosity and extravaganza with its colossal and fanciful buildings. The discovery of oil in 1966 led to a massive influx of…

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Namibia – Prevention and education

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  Father Richard Bauer is a Maryknoll Missionary who has worked in Africa since 1997. He came to Namibia in 2003 and he is now serving as Director of Catholic Aids Action, the Namibia Catholic Bishops’ Conference outreach program for Hiv/Aids. “This is the largest nongovernmental provider of services for people with Aids in the…

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African Synod II – Inculturation

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  In the Catholic Church we held to the principle of inculturation of the Faith, particularly since Vatican II… but only so far! We are always caught in the uneasy balance between Unity (sometimes read as Uniformity) and Diversity (sometimes called heterodoxy or heresy). How far can we make accommodations in practices or beliefs? Not…

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African Synod II – Deeper and wider dialogue

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  The Synod theme of Catholics in public life recurs throughout the Africae Munus, the document Pope Benedict XVI handed over to the African Church during his visit of Benin. Catholics, particularly laity, are called to witness their faith through their work. Admirable though this is, neither the Synod nor Benedict seems able to say…

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Church – Service and development

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The first missionaries to reach Namibia were from the Anglican London Mission Society coming from the Cape region of South Africa. They operated in southern Namibia at the beginning of the XIX century and were soon joined by Lutheran Missionaries. Missions became trading posts and meeting places, and had an ambiguous role during the wars…

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Economy – Fake growth

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Since independence Namibia has enjoyed steady – but deceiving – economic growth. Per capita income in 2010 was estimated at US$5600, a high figure compared to other African countries. However, numbers hide the reality, since there is great inequality in income distribution. 35% of the population lives below the poverty line, and over 50% lives…

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Society – In the making

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After independence, the country adopted economic structures that cannot allow for growth. At the moment, the country experiences a yearly growth around 3%. To plan for real development, Namibia would need much more than that, 7 to 10%. There is 51% unemployment; among the youth it is more than 60%. The government is the largest…

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History – Wandering nation

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  People have been wandering the vast plains of what today is Namibia from time immemorial. Ancient cave paintings in the southern Huns Mountains are dated 27,000 B.C. and similar rock art has also been found in northwest Namibia. These are believed to have been the work of hunter-gatherers, successful at surviving in the bush…

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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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