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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Music – Mouse Boys

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  Malawi is the first country in Africa I visited. Once I left Blantyre and moved south towards the border with Mozambique in Gambula – and the then on-going war – I saw children selling mice along the road. My guide explained that people prized roasted mice with their maize meal at night. Children, in…

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ZIFF – Evaluation time

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  After six years at the helm of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), Martin Mhando moves on. Mhando is a Tanzanian filmmaker. He has directed feature films and documentaries. His Maangamizi has won a number of awards and was selected to represent Tanzania at the Oscar in 2002 for the Best Foreign Film. He is…

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Zimbabwe – The afterlife club

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  Many cultures in Southern Africa place great importance in death and the rituals that revolve around it. The death of a member of the community challenges the life of the whole community. This is why funeral rites must be observed carefully. On the one hand, only properly performed rituals ensure the complete passage to…

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Fast food – New trends

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  Travelling through most of Africa, people realize how difficult it is to find proper eating places. It is not question of lacking restaurants or food kiosks. The main problem is how much to trust local ingredients and hygiene. As many travellers experienced, even the smartest of joints may conceal unforeseen outcomes, usually very nasty…

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Uganda – A kind of missionary

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  Aboard a domestic flight, as I was contemplating on my 2010 new year’s resolution, my thoughts turned to an advertisement in the in-flight magazine. It was a call for volunteers to share skills and change lives as part of a non-governmental organization. Without hesitation, I sent in my application as I sensed that seeing…

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South Africa – Service to refugees

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  Moved by the situation of the Vietnamese boat people and following his visit to the Asian region, Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ, then Superior General of the Jesuits, decided to start some concerted effort by Jesuits to help the displaced people. This decision led to the establishment of an apostolate which came to be known…

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Zambia – Missionary growth

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  “A number of developments have taken place in the recent past in Zambia. Last year, in September, there was a change of government. The ruling party lost the elections and there was a smooth transition of power. We are yet to see in which direction the Government will take the country”, Fr. Bernard Makadani…

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Uganda – A legend sleeps

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  With the passing of Fr Agostoni, I have lost a friend, a missionary brother, a spiritual director, a mentor and ‘an elder’. I became a friend of Fr Agostoni when I was a novice of the Comboni Missionaries in the late 1980s. In all our conversations, I could see the love he had for…

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Regional fears

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  The situation in Mali worries many in Africa and beyond. Neighbouring countries – politically united in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – swing from fear of being involved in a war it is not theirs and the uncertainty of dealing with thousands of refugees. The African Union wishes to resolve matters…

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Shifting sands

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  With the proclamation of total war against terrorism following Al Qaida attacks in the USA, the American Department of State promoted several regional initiatives, among them the Pan Sahel Initiative (2002). This is a military agreement between Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad and the USA to contain the expansion of Islamic terror groups in the…

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The shadow of Al Qaida

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  On April 6th, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (Mnla) declared the independence of the Republic of Azawad. This new country, not recognized by the international community, comprises the regions of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu; regions that the French colonizers annexed to Mali at the time of independence. The Mnla stressed that…

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Azawad

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  It was an open secret; the tension in the north had been mounting for years. No one in Mali was surprised when, last January, the Tuareg took up arms fighting for the liberation of Azawad, the collective name of the three Malian northern regions. Since the beginning, the leaders of the National Movement for…

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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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