Sunday 29 January 2017

How to capture a Man's Heart - 'The House of Commons' debate

Pascal - "what do you mean capture?" ... lol.


H.E. Adama Barrow's 1st Press Conference as President of The Gambia

Joe - So I Can Have You Back

I haven't listened to Joe for awhile... funny, as he's my favourite RnB singer
( 'I hope he makes the biggest mistake...' :) bit mean Joe!.. but real I guess)
Nice track

Happy Sunday
Peace x

People Power

Travelling on a crowded train recently, my eyes were drawn to a magazine a woman was holding and in it, an article on travelling to Victoria falls, and alongside the text, beautiful pictures of the falls and hotel accommodation etc.

The second paragraph, began with the words.. 'President Mugabe' and in brackets..'Yep... still there'
Amused, I wondered how many non Africa visitors to Zimbabwe even care about the President or give thought to the history of the struggle he was acutely involved in.
I also wondered about the number of non black/African visitors to Africa, per year.

Travel migration and immigration has for as long as I can remember tended to focus on non whites, and has been framed as a black 'problem'( more recently a muslim 'problem')
Non black/African travellers to more 'exotic' climes are more often than not viewed as 'travellers' progressive, curious, and... entitled.. and it's that sense of 'entitlement' that I wish to explore further.

I remember attending a lecture at Birkeck delivered by the head of the NGO, MSF, and he was asked at the time why so many Aid workers were white, with so very few seemingly black individuals taking up a career in International development.
His reply at the time was that it had been noted, and it was a question he had been asked before, what he didn't say was what ( if anything) they intend to do about it ( many in the room thought 'they' MSF, and other NGO's...should)
Yet why would he
Many, if not most Aid agencies ( as much as I love them ) remain a throwback to colonialism.
The image portrayed, is that of a white saviour helping the poor unfortunate black 'other' ( in any given country) which, whether we like to admit it or not, does have an impact on the psychology of those receiving assistance from them [click]

I know of no large aid agencies with senior managers/directors who are not white. ( there may be some, but it's definitely not the status quo) The indigenous people of countries receiving 'aid assistance' may work for these agencies, but are routinely in positions which involved following orders, but never actually making decisions.
Does it matter?
Well...what do you think?...

[click for article]

This is why I admire examples which go against the grain such as The Panizi foundation and the numerous individual activists doing thier best regardless

Our media likes to portray the African continent as a scary place... yet who are they really trying to scare?.. and why.
Who benefits from this often one sided media representation?

Today, I wondered of our very own population here in the Uk.
As it's Sunday my desire to research fully is somewhat diminished so forgive me...but I will offer you this

The UK's black population ranks at about 3%

The white population in South Africa alone, ranks at about 8%

The UK's black populous are far more likely to face discrimination (institutional and other wise), than the white population of South Africa.

Thanks to America's ( and friends) foreign and economic policy, wars have been raged and lands exploited to such a degree that the numbers of people displaced internally and externally have risen to its highest, and the threat (or fear) of terrorism has increased.
Yet, countries like the United States are intending to clamp down further on immigration from 'certain' counties, in a bid to keep America for 'Americans', and make America great again, despite the mess it contributes to abroad.
( and despite the welcome many Americans receive when they travel abroad)

The root of many of these issues remain the same as they have for many years, and the sooner those in positions of state power or privilege own up to that fact and address the issues the every day increasing numbers of people are beginning to see the wood.. and the trees.

In this day and age, I really believe the task ahead.. is finding balance and joy amidst the madness.
Generations from now it is highly likely that we will find that balance, and that racism will cease. It has been slow to end because despite the efforts of many, the campaigns, marches, policies, and laws, racism divides people into two categories.
Those who gain from it.. and those who do not.
(winners and losers in other words for those who prefer that term).

and those who gain, have been in no hurry to relinquish that gain.. even if they are, the nicest of people.
We know the world can be very unjust, yet there is beauty..regardless so have faith.
I believe that we will however, begin to see a reemergence and increase of people rallying around a shared goal...It's called the power of the people.

Sunday 22 January 2017

Selebobo ft Yemi Alade - Conquer

Fuse ODG - Jinja

Don Husky - Live My Life & Gappy Ranks - Dream Land

Sunday Sunday; What's on the menu?

Today I opted for a Gambian dish I was taught many years ago. It's a dish that's quick and easy to make, nutritious and tasty. It's also (I'm told) a very popular dish in the Gambia, although it travels well as they also serve it up in Sierra Leone & Senegal.

That dish is Domoda.

Gambian Peanut Stew.
( I don't eat 'meat' so Ive used fish and Pumpkin)


Hmmmm..all done

..and I'm happy with the result!

It has been an interesting time in the Gambia and I dare say very emotional for the Gambian people, the incoming President, and especially the outgoing.
So, in memory of my time there, I thought I'd have my own mini thanks giving, that things turned out as well as can be

Ive only ever known Jammeh so it will be interesting to see what changes will occur under Barrow.
Maybe once things have settled I'll go back for awhile.. see for myself

Apparently ex President Jammeh has sought refuge in Equatorial Guinea, a country not without its own issues.

In my opinion, Jammeh's leaving is the end of a particular type of era. An era when men stood for something, fought against colonialism, and attempted to retain autonomy, and preserve the various cultures amidst 'Western/Eastern' economic pressure.

Jammeh was only 29yrs old when he came into power.

How many 29yr olds do you know these days with interests outside of the size of Kim Kardashians arse ( so to speak) Yes I'm sure there are some but hopefully you get my jist.

I hope that writers, and historians will judge Jammeh fairly in their analysis. The good, and the bad.
His leaving for me is tinged with sadness
Even if his successor is... well... extremely handsome!.. with his .. I'll fall asleep at any moment as I'm just so darn cool kinda way!

I digress...

I guess my point is, however optimistic I try to be, I tend to face an ongoing dilemma with our African Leadership
Where there is Oil, there is extreme poverty, corruption, and violence.
Leaders.. comfortable in their leadership, no longer seem to have the passion of...a Garvey or an early Mugabe, Mandela Biko, or Lumumba.. no.. times have certainly changed.

Money and wealth is King, which in itself is not a problem, (wealth is good) the problem is when your citizens are dying early due to poor sanitation, health care, cannot afford education, food, or are living on a dollar a day ( or less) .
No clean water, no 24hr electricity... and one has spent the money on one-self and homes and trinkets for the family..
Whilst there will always be environmental challenges with regards to development, theft of resources should not become the norm.
Money/huge wealth.. flows out of Africa at a rate that would stun me I'm sure

I wonder what will happen when the last remaining crop of Pan African leaders, leave.
What, or who, will we be left with?
Which ideology?

Neocolonialism remains an ongoing threat to the development of Africa
... yes, that... and the rest
as the biggest threat appears to be... the people themselves

Bye jammeh.

Peace x

Saturday 21 January 2017

Transitions of Power - ft music from Randy Valentine; You & I

I know this look so well.. as do many of you
Yes.. nuff said. lol!

Wonderful pictures abound after such a historic day.
President Obama handed over power to President Trump... and President Yahya held on to power, way past his deadline despite ECOWAS Troops ( Economic Community of West African States) deployed to remove him forcibly if required.
No scaring that ex military man
Still, there was/is little choice, Barrow has been sworn in at a momentous ceremony in Senegal, and Yahya's cabinet has resigned.
Sorry to him him go that way but him time in power.. is up.

Yes, It was an Interesting day in world affairs.

Seriously though.. just what (or who) was Bill looking at so intently.. yawn

Hilary's look said it all.

So, a day past his deadline and Yahya Jammeh finally agrees to leave, and will accept refuge in Guinea

President Adama Barrow

Power transitions. How is it possible, some may ask, that a country who voted for Barack Obama could turn around 8 yrs later and vote for Trump?
...and I wish America well.
At least the police didn't shoot any protestors yesterday despite them smashing windows and going on a wild rampage...
...I wonder why?

:) Peace x

Jammeh must be feeling quite rejected...
Here's a song sir

Saturday 14 January 2017

Destra Garcia - Closer

Bunji Garlin - Whine Up Your Body & Olatunji - Tun Fo Meh

Bottom Power vs African Feminism

Why does the term 'African Feminism' anger so many African men...
Yet the term 'Bottom Power' does not?
I've heard the debate that 'Feminism' is distinctly 'un-African'.. (even if you ever so cutely attach the word African in front of it)
I've heard the debate that Feminism actually causes more harm to black women in general, than patriarchy.

Yet 'Bottom Power'.. in a curious definition, amounts to a form of prostitution. ( an extreme summary perhaps, but hear me out)
If a woman uses sex/her body/ sexuality to obtain favours from men, what definition would you give it?
Some would say 'smart'.. but lets be serious for a moment :)

Could Patriacrhy and African feminism work hand in hand?. After all, A woman given equal rights, dignity, and treated fairly in society is ultimately.. one happy and contented woman.

And a happy woman = a happy man. Period.

Ok, but as a woman who was raised in a patriarchal but 'fair-ish' home, with more males than females, I can honestly say I'm not sure what the problem is with regards to female empowerment.

My own father raised me to believe in myself and not to consider myself less than anyone.. and to be honest, gender was rarely mentioned.
There were clear lines of delineation in the home with regards to roles, but it worked well.

Whilst the term Feminism may be a European exported construct.. African Feminism concerns itself with looking at the difficulties many women on the continent face for no other reason other than the fact that they are women. African Feminism therefore, trys to raise awareness of those issues and address them.

Or should we turn a blind eye to war rapes, domestic violence, FGM, child marriages and little or no access to education for those poorest women in society?
If So... why?

Besides, I can think of many other European/Western or'foreign' exports that many African societies are quite happy to embrace.
Chinese labour being one.
I wont mention European religious symbols.

So... am I to believe that our men don't love us enough to care about our rights as human beings?
What about men with daughters?
No... I refuse to believe that.
They love and need us just as much as we love and need them
So what's the deal?

I try not to get too hooked on labels, but as far as I'm aware, and contrary to popular belief, African feminism is not about hating men, wanting to be men, or even taking away the power they feel they have. It's simply about recognising the humanity that exists within women, in your counterpart, and acting accordingly.

Something that has come to my attention however, is that vast numbers of women on the continent don't seem concerned about it at all. They may have the occasional moan to their girlfriends, but in the main, appear fairly content within their patriarchal structures, with more attention paid to new hair, clothes, and all the other trinkets we women often tend to love.
In fact, those who speak the loudest on 'African Feminism', appear to be women in the Diaspora.
..and are often single ladies (not sure if there's a correlation)
So.. my questions are...

Why are the women on the continent so silent?..
and... If they are not concerned... should we really be?

To be fair I think I can understand ( a little) why so many black/African men are against it. Perhaps they feel it's synonymous with rude, lewd or out of control behaviour, preferring therefore to suppress it before it gets out of hand :)
but do they really feel that behaviour is inherent in all women?
A girl child?

Music time :)
as I'm love with this song at the moment...

Peace x

Why watching Eastenders can be a very bad idea

I haven't watched Eastenders in years.
It was by chance that I caught the episode in which Denise gives birth. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm quite disgusted at Eastenders historic and ongoing portrayal of black people in general as being... dysfunctional.
So, Denise, an intelligent black woman not without an aura of attractiveness gets pregnant for Phil Mitchell, an ex druggy hostile aggressive drunk who has done the rounds with regards to women

Not only that, but she then decides to give the baby up for adoption in what was quite a harrowing episode, more so because it was at that very moment that her own sister (whom she's every close to) realises that the gorgeous new born baby boy was taken away..for good.

Years ago I used to watch Eastenders with a view to becoming one of their script writers. Well.. having put that idea to bed I must say I'm still not buoyed by their ability to make black women in particular, come across as 'messed up' and inhabiting limiting, or questionable standards.

One could argue that every cast member is dysfunctional, but there is a trend with Eastenders that is glaring obvious to anyone with eyes, and that 'trend' is the tendency is to portray some segments of our everyday society.. in.. well.. an ongoing negative light.

In addition.. Just who else did she sleep with why she wouldn't have known immediately the father of the baby was Phil??.
Jesesh... don't answer that:)
You may say.. "Its just TV Dawna".. and you would be right, yes it is, but Television is possibly one of the largest propaganda tools of our times, and the show is watched by millions of people!
We really shouldn't accept such nonsense.

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Seyi Shay - Yolo Yolo

My of the year so far
Great track, warrants an equally great vid

Nice 1 my sister

Sunday 8 January 2017

Prince Malachi - Great Welcome

The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights. Possibly the most important Pan African court 'no-one' has heard of..

The African Court on Human and Peoples Rights was established in 1998,  and entered into force on 25 January 2004;  once ratified by 15 countries.
Whilst many of you will be familiar with the ICC, it's highly likely that many of you will be less familiar with the 'African Court'.

I know I was.

So... ( Avoiding any BBC Period Drama)  I checked it out.
Surely a court set up to defend human and peoples rights ( not sure what the difference is  as people are human after all, ...but nevermind) would be a great thing.. no?

The Vision is clear and honourable:

  • The vision of the Court is an Africa with a viable human rights culture.

The Core Values are clear and honourable:

Core values

  • Judicial independence from any partisanship, bias, influence, whether it comes from States, NGOs, funding agencies or individuals.
  • Fair and impartial application and interpretation of the provisions of the African Charter, the Protocol, the Rules and other relevant international human rights instruments.
  • Transparent and ethical accountability in the operations of the Court.
  • Fundamental rights of every individual to enjoy basic civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights are upheld.
  • Collaboration with relevant stakeholders in pursuance of the Court’s objective of protecting human and peoples’ rights.
  • Non-discrimination and equality in performance of the work of the Court.
  • Integrity of the Judges and staff working at the Court.
  • Provide equal access to all potential users of the Court.
  • Be responsive to the needs of those who approach the Court.
  • Strategic objectives[edit]
  • Exercise jurisdiction in all cases and disputes brought before it concerning the interpretation and application of the Charter, the protocol and any other relevant instrument relating to human rights ratified by the States concerned;
  • Collaborate with sub-regional and national judicial bodies to enhance the protection of human rights on the continent;
  • To enhance the participation of the African people in the work of the Court;
  • To enhance the capacity of the Registry of the Court to be able to fulfill its mandate; and
  • To enhance working relationship between the Court and the African Commission.

What's not clear is why so few people know of this court and why out of 54 member states, only 7 will allow individuals and NGOs to files cases.

The seven states are:
Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Malawi, Rwanda and Tanzania.

States that have ratified the Protocol include;  Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Lesotho, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Nigeria, Niger, Rwanda, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda.

But Is this court really a court at all?
Or a case of an overly complicated and bureaucratic system of virtual democracy?
Bureaucracy.... we've all been there. Many have rolled their eyes ( inwardly) at an overly long or pointless meeting or two, filled in forms that will instruct us to fill in another, and yes, whilst it's possible that these systems are designed with  the best of intentions to ensure accountability, transparency and good practice. In truth, more often than not, they can be a hindrance to real progress.

In truth... how many courts does 'Africa' need?.
Individual countries have their own legal systems, and whilst this overarching ( Pan African) court of protection of people's rights may make sense on paper, if, in more serious cases, individuals cannot file a case.. then what's the point?.

To be fair, those who devised the court must know its  purpose..
but as we know...he who pays the piper ...plays the tune...
( the court is funded by member states)

Sorry to say it but this court simply has no teeth
Either that.. or it needs better PR :)

Anyway...congratulations to the Court on its 10yr Anniversary

Sources: Aljazeera, A.U, Wikpedia
African Charter on Democracy , Elections and Governance

Caribbean Pea Soup Sunday - ft music from Morientez - Sofunmi - Yemi Alade - Tumbum & Mad Over You - Runtown

Happy Sunday! x.

Sunday is usually 'Rice n Peas' day.. but not today
Today, I'm opting for a delicious red bean soup

Ive just discovered that I'm out of Pumpkin and Christophine however, ( aka Cho Cho) so a trip across the road to the store may be required.

Easy to make and nutritious. A good option for these cold winter days.

Sunday, Sunday...A Laundry and catch up day, time to chill, read and relax.

Then once my preparation for the new week is complete, Im Looking forward to enjoying a glass or two of Irish cream, and whatever else takes my fancy

Mmmm..almost done, and Yummy..

Peace, and have a great day x

Friday 6 January 2017

Randy Valentine - Too Late

LXG - Are Nor Go Cry

East is East; As relevant today as it was in the 90's

Actor Om Puri has died.
A huge Bollywood star, with international success, Om was probably best known to British fans for his roles in films 'My son the Fanatic', and the 1999 British classic, 'East is East' in which he played 'long suffering..'George Khan'.

The film depicted wonderfully, the life of a Pakistani migrant, struggling to retain his culture and ensure his family also remain true to their 'roots'. Married to an Irish wife, (of whom he often threatens to replace with his Pakistani 1st wife back home) George struggles daily, as his family continue to embrace 'British Culture'

It's a story which many migrants to the UK can possibly relate to, whether from Pakistan, India, Africa, or the Caribbean, and given the current social climate, is possibly as relevant today, as it was back then.
If you haven't seen East is East, I recommend it.

It remains a funny and thought provoking film, with and excellent cast.
'..bastard bitch' Is a phrase I will not forget in a hurry.
May he rest in peace for what has been an outstanding career, and contribution to the Arts.


Thursday 5 January 2017

Black women's choices and society's double standards

Janet Jackson has had a baby at 50 , and Serena Williams is engaged to a white guy
Let the backlash commence..
or so it seems. Janet has been regarded by many as selfish, and Serena a 'coon'.
Black men are ( in their droves at the alleged 'betrayal by Serena) not happy with her at all.

Please give me a moment.. as I hold back the laughter
Why is it that this double standard of what black women can and cannot do continues to exist?

Biologically, if a women can continue to have children later in age.. then she can have children. Period. (no pun intended)
Society dictates far to much with regards to women in general, but the obsession over black women's bodies has got to be one of the most hipocritical and frankly intolerable means of abuse and subjugation that for some reason relentlessly goes unchecked.

Serena's finance has chosen a beautiful hard working and intellegent woman whose fortune far surpasses his own. He's not silly.
I could quite easily critically analyse the black men that have been dating and marrying white women for eons, but I wont bother, suffice to say that in many cases what is appalling is the denouncement of black women many men go on to make to justify a choice that should in reality need no justification other than to say.. I love her.

Ive read and heard it all

'Black women are too this'..
'I gave up on black women..'
'Black women are too that..'

the list of attacks continue, but often is purely to mask what (for those who feel the need to do so) an inauthentic decision, often stemming from a colonial mentality and a case of white supremacitis
Many of the lies told about back women are told by men who really should.. know better

Neither woman deserves the negative backlash for their life choice.

but they will get it..
and it will go unchecked
Because they are women..
and they are black

Ironically, if black men fail to support, back up, or protect black women... then who will?
hmmm..could that explain their choices?

As a woman myself I suspect that the choices they have made, they have made out of love.. with no ulterior motive at all
Now that's a novel idea...Go figure

Coincidentally, whilst white women who date black men are often viewed as 'heroes' 'courageous' 'beacons of liberalism' 'willing to embrace another culture' 'fearless' (in dealing with any family dissaproval) 'taught to cook , dance learn another language, and are fully women who date outside of their own racial group, or even cultural group, are seen as... well... quite the opposite, and in more cases that not, treated entirely differently .


Tuesday 3 January 2017

Patrice Roberts - Big Girl Now

Heavy-K - Indaba Zemali (feat. Ntombi) & ft Thulasizwe - Thabile

Such beautiful voices, my lord. Heavy K aka Drum Boss.. nice 1

Vybz Kartel - Western Union

Ive wondered this for a while, but how is Vybz Kartel managing to remain so prolific? tune after tune..
Is he not still in jail?
Ok Jamaica..

I rarely feature him ( if ever) but he's a talented artist, still. Remains very popular with many dancehall fans.
I'll leave it at that.

Love the track at the start of the video

Dancehall fans.. you're Up


I-Octane - Passionate Love

New for 2017..

Nice as always, great performer
Hopefully he'll return to the UK in the not too distant future

**The chorus of Demarcos version is quite hilarious depending on your mood

Lutan Fyah - Life Means Everything.

New year Flex with Lutan Fyah on the playlist
I thought today...If I achieve only one positive thing per day I'm happy with that
More?... then rain on blessings! great are the gods

Had mum and bro over for Christmas. Was a pleasure
Did you know... I'm a really good cook
I've only in the last few years come to discover that I have the ability to cook very well
I can still only make one cake however and have never made bread
Some may argue that equates to not being much of a cook at all!
Get thee behind me satan doubters... we all have our gifts!

I like cooking for others, ( guests) very much

Anyway.. enough of my trivia
I'm sure you'll all appreciate some updates on the goings on across the light continent

Fret not.. I'm on the case
Ive a camera to master remember

Good afternoon
Peace x

Monday 2 January 2017

LXG - CHER AM - and Happy New Year!

Saw in 2017 in good company.
Nice night
Finally invested in a nice camera (my treat to me)
( a picture is worth a thousand words its been said)
Me?..I'm gonna take this 2017 thing one day at a time..this time around, just keep cool

Happy new year to you and yours x

Peace x

Thanks to Sulay for the heads up on this track