Sunday 2 November 2014

Weekend WOW Factor : on Culture Africa and Identity

I've never known much about Burkina Faso.
In fact.. I know only one man from there. I was very pleased at the time to be able to speak to him about Thomas Sankara, and the meaning behind the name, Burkina Faso. He is a very pleasant and humble man.. who, before I revealed knowing anything, remarked that no one ever knows about his tiny country.
So.. he was pleasantly surprised.

I think however, that a great many more people know about Burkina Faso now. This week saw a huge uprising and the setting alight of Parliament. The [then] President of some 27 years one of Africa's longest post colonial leaders, Blaise Compaoré, was ousted. He has apparently fled to Ghana.

Parliament ablaze

It is reported that the uprising was triggered by Blaise's attempt to alter the constitution to enable him to continue as president. That sounds odd to me as he had been in power for so long .. so who amended the constitution that he should need to make any changes at all?

Politics is a dirty game.
Blasie Comparore was once the closest friend of the popular and much loved Pan African leader and freedom fighter Thomas Sankara. Yet many say it was Blaise who was behind the killing of Sankara as he sort power himself.

Now, the military have since named a new leader, rival forces seek thier own man for the top job. The people are not happy.. and will take to the streets again.. today.

The Army's choice and Burkina's Interim leader Isaac Zida

Sankara and Castro

Previous post on Thomas Sankara [click]

Article in News Africa [click]

The Guardian [click]

DVD Burkina Faso A Revolution Rectified [click]


The man who evolked memories of a colonial past - and neo-colonial present? [click]

Guy Scott

Guy Scott took over as Interim leader of Zambia following the death of President Michael Sata. May he rest in peace.

Whilst the western media went into overdrive as they announced the news of the 1st white man to be President of an African country since Apartheid leader De Klerk prevailed over South Africa's bloody oppressive and murderous regime of terror... I realized again, the importance and power of symbolism
It's worth noting that Guy cannot stand as President due to a clause in the constitution which requires that his grandparents-parents be born in Zambia.

But there is a question to consider....
Is Africa and are Africans ready for a 'white' leader?'

Until Africa and Africans free themselves from the yolk of neo-colonialism and the colonial mindset that remains prevalent, choking the oxygen required for unbridled thought, whilst the continent remains divided, in denial, and unable to deal with the legacy of colonialism, whilst tribalism, clanship, and eurocentric classism reigns across lands and regions, until Africans across the diaspora: England the Caribbean and other corners of the globe understand the history of the impact of separation and are no longer apologists for white supremacy in order to get ahead, get a life, or in search of peace for peace sake then...
I don't think they/we [be] ready.

Guy Scott may be a nice guy. But theoretically speaking, and if we put the cat among the pigeon's for a moment....if an African Caribbean Black British individual can't be leader.. then he definitely cant.

A Chinaman born in Jamaica may adopt Jamaican nationality..and be very proud of it. But... he's still a Chinaman.. don't believe me?..ask him.

However.. I remember a similar argument being made by republicans over the appointment of Obama.
Wasn't his birth certificate demanded by Donald Trump?

Trump needn't have worried.. the system is safe in his hands...

Culture and Identity is not always logical.. it is not always's historical, it's controversal perhaps, socially constructed yes, but remains powerful in the hearts and minds of many.
It's an issue that Britain faces today as we continue to wonder why 2nd and 3rd generation 'Asian Muslims' [for example] feel attachment to their [or thier parents] country of origin. Britain's struggle to understand radicalism is a failure to understand Identity - perhaps.

Today I think, build a strong national identity. It works.
But can also be very dangerous


Tohk to me.

Increasingly many parents are not teaching thier children thier 'mother tongue'. Rather 'English' is prized as the main and only language one needs to know. I understand the reasoning behind that. They want to ensure that thier children have the tools needed to acquire a 'prized education' and good job later in life.
It's great to be able to communicate with large numbers or different types of people isn't it?
However.. we should remember that English is not the only language... and..nevertheless, there is more to communicating than merely an exchange of words.
Languages however, do preserve aspects of culture, identity, and belonging-ness. It can be an emotional thing. Languages should be free of the kind of hierarchy we have attached to them in terms of importance and credibility.

Languages should be shared enjoyed, explored. They can build cultural understanding, and can strengthen relationships. Lately, in considering topics for further research I've been giving a great deal of thought to transnationalism, cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation.
On the train last night I listened to a man who looked like 'Frank Bruno' who had adopted an accent which was discombobulating to my senses. I wondered about cultural imperialism and remembered when growing up many Caribbean parents didn't really approve if you spoke (like they did) with a Caribbean accent.
They were fearful for thier children.

Miss Lou - the famous Jamaican poet was a staunch supporter of preserving Patois. She was active in trying to get Patois into the national curriculum ( in Jamaica) I hope her work continues.
I am not of Jamaican parentage btw.. but as Caribbean I can relate

Well.. do you remember that in my bucket list I said I wanted to improve/Learn French, Learn Krio and Twi. I'm getting on well with Krio ( for a beginner) and had my 1st Twi class yesterday.. which was alot of fun.. A word that has stuck in my mind is the word that I struggled with.
Obubuo = November
Like most things it will take practice ( great teacher too)

Yes ( drumroll please) it has begun.... Film Africa 2014

I saw 'come back Africa ' last night [click]
Very engaging.
I hope to enjoy more

Happy Sunday all and Happy Obubuox

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