Posts Tagged ‘Kenya’

This was a first among a couple trips I would make to Jo’burg. It was a rousing 4 hour flight from JKIA heading to the legendary- South Africa, to the cradle-land of the Zulu – Kwa Zulu Natal. As I checked in O.R. Tambo International Airport, it was all smiles and Unjani all the way to Kwa Zulu Natal, also known as Durban. That was back in 2010, good times to remember, the outwardly peaceable place, incapable of this lunacy we now call Xenophobia.

Coating the thought away, was the nostalgia of Mombasa in the 1990s – fresh and exotic. Somehow Durban gave me the same feeling. What could possibly loom beneath this serenity? What was the beginning of this epidemic hate?

Smh

https://www.facebook.com/tmanjo/videos/vb.1200635902/10205307194218286/?type=2&theater

Some argued that companies would give out their jobs, to cheap labor from illegal Zimz, Malawian’s or Mozambican immigrants to evade the complexities of affirmative action. On the other divide, the foreigners – they just thought of the black South African as unschooled, lazy criminals. Well, I am not sure of whichever divide, all I know is that I met some really cool and some pretty normal people in South Africa.

smh2

I remember the positivity we read over tête-à-têtes during my stay. We talked of the new age South Africa, post-apartheid through the wilderness on toward the Promised Land. The progressiveness of the new South African. Their inspirations drawn from Rastafari, made on show by dreadlocks and reggae songs. We spoke of legends that once were – Lucky Dube, (then still were – Mandiba). We gossiped of the bitterness of the old racist Boers, and how they now have to deal with it. What optimisms we had, they had, the new South Africa, just through rose colored glasses.

 

#StopXenophobia #SaveSouthAfrica #AfricaCries

Interesting read for #MyDressMyChoice #NudityIsNotMyChoice folk….

decency

By Mohadesa Najumi

When I think about what modesty means in today’s political, cultural and religious environment, I am inclined to believe that the concept itself does not involve choice, or any dimension of freedom or independent thought.  Rather, modesty constitutes a dictatorial concept forced upon women whether they agree with it or not.  For me, modesty is patriarchy.

When I speak about modesty in this context, I speaking specifically about it in relation to clothing, mannerisms and behaviour. Throughout history, women have been judged on how “modest” they are or not.  And this has determined how much of a “lady” they presumably are or not. In a patriarchal society, to be modest is to dress and speak ”appropriately,” and to maintain a “ladylike” image. If you fail to do this, you are not only not modest, but God forbid you choose to wear a low-cut top, then you are simply a whore!

In this way, modesty, to me, means subservience. It means acquiesce. How you dress suddenly becomes someone else’s business, and how “ladylike” you are is determined by a standard you never gave your consent to in the first place. Let’s face it, men are not subject to these kinds of standards.  I mean, have you ever heard someone describe a man as “immodest”?  The dictate and quest for modesty is reserved almost exclusively for women.  And if modesty is simply about avoidance of dressing in a “revealing” manner, why is it predominantly directed at women? Why is a woman’s dress choice suddenly everybody’s business, and why is a woman’s choice to reveal what is her’s, considered “indecent” and “immoral”?

Also, how about this idea that the level of “respect” you should receive is inextricably linked with how “modest” you are. Shouldn’t “respect” be linked with intellect, intelligence, ability to hold an intriguing conversation?  What does respect have to do with the tightness of your dress or the shortness of your skirt?  Too often, we measure respect for women on the basis of how well they fit our standard of “modesty” and “decency.”  This is oppressive.  How about this?  A woman doesn’t leave her house everyday desperate to receive your stamp of approval and rating of modesty? Maybe it’s just her choice to wear what she wants and act the way she desires. It’s a ludicrous idea I know, but just consider it for a moment.

I’ve heard countless men and women use words like “impure” and “unclean” as synonyms for “immodesty.”  Modesty is a way to oppress women and to pressure them into giving into a system of patriarchy that dictates what they wear, how much skin they reveal, and how “sexual” they are.

As a way to attack, marginalize, and oppress women, it is effective. There is nothing innocent about throwing around the term modesty and there are no excuses for the ignorance about what it really implies. I for one have no interest in being “modest.”  Why?  Because who I am and whether or not I deserve respect, should have nothing to do with how I dress, how I express myself, or my gender.  And nobody should be able to dictate this for me–or you.  I refuse to vilify women who do not fit into an illusionary, irrelevant, inaccurate and un-useful standard of “modesty.”  It is a concept that truly disgusts me, and not merely because of its essential meaning, but because of the importance we have given to it.

Published by

http://thefeministwire.com/2013/05/why-the-concept-of-modesty-disgusts-me/#

Numerous challenges stand in the way of Africa’s ambition, one might lax, stuck amidst this tangles of economic and social fails that have crippled progress.

Why do we fail, wandering aimlessly unable to feed our children and yet countries with a fraction of the resources we boast of manage to become first class nations amidst of the worst of economic crises?

More than 218 million people live in extreme poverty. Poverty has made the continent writhe in other opportunities fiends like climate change yet its economies rely on climate-dependent sectors such as water-fed agriculture, and its capacities to cope and adapt are generally limited.

What’s worse when breaks like HIV/AIDS, corruption, conflict and wars keep stagnating this fight against poverty.

So has money set us apart? Yes the lack of it at least. – Undoubtedly, poverty has put an unbearable strain on Africa.

However, while noting Africa’s maladies it would be dispiriting not to mention the improvement in telecom innovation has broadly improved quality of life across sub-Saharan Africa. There has been an increase in African countries that have embraced technology as a driver of development, e.g. Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Rwanda’s rapid ICT growth.  Despite sub-Saharan Africa’s impressive economic performance over the past decade, which has resulted in marginal poverty reduction, her way to economic liberation is still beset with thorny issues that need a massive and quick clean up!

Africa has remained aloof, missing out on technologies and innovations opportunities that have seen other regions massively reaping gains.

And in the face of this, we still do not see much allegiance by parliamentarians in investing in research institutions and efforts towards innovation and entrepreneurship.

The latest world University ranking proves this as only three universities in Africa, all in South Africa, made it to the top 400 in the 2012/2013 Reuters/Times Higher Education.

Countries are making a kill from technology and innovation, yet what we see in our backyards are continuous ranting about political supremacy rather than issue-based politics, a distraction to the public and an amusement backed by our media.

Africa, a great consumer of technological knowledge from other region’s innovations still falters behind, lacking aggressive policies and commitment to build its own capacities.

In order to change this, we need a serious reform of our priorities to fit in reforms that would fast pace our economic issues.

What better way than promoting policies that would boost business science, research agricultural productivity, for example?

Our governments need to encourage its own initiatives aiming at transforming Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) knowledge structures. Initiatives like tech hubs need to be supported by governments and the private sector.

We need to buzz up these young African talents and the works to increase the competitive impact they so aim.

We need to need to tap into the private sector; continual handouts will not liberate us. Our leadership needs to cultivate an environment where entrepreneurs can foster their small and medium–size sized companies.

Access to capital needs to be improved to help firms establish strategic partnerships within and beyond the region.

Most of us have now earned ourselves 50 years of independence, yet we are trapped in the continuance reliance of on NGOs and hand-outs. Crippled with widespread corruption that is costly and that has derailed development and augmented socio-economic disparities.

Our problems may seem complex but one sure thing is that innovation and entrepreneurship are the best comebacks to set us a competitive edge, globally. And true to this cheeky quote, whoever said money can’t buy happiness, just doesn’t know where to shop.