Friday, January 30, 2009

A Story of Forgiveness

Jean Paul Samputu

'I forgive friend who killed my family'

John Paul Samputu's family was murdered during Rwanda's genocide of 1994 by a friend and a neighbour. He still calls him a friend because he has forgiven him.

John Paul is now an ambassador of peace and next month he will take part in an international forgiveness conference in his homeland. The BBC World Service's Mark Whitaker spoke to him:

JP: "In Rwanda we need to heal the wounds of the past. It's now 15 years but when you look at what happened in the genocide people are still affected."

MW: "Do you think 15 years is long enough?"

JP: "It's like one year. People still have bitterness, anger and the spirit of revenge."

MW: "You talk about reconciliation and your own reconciliation is perhaps one of the most remarkable that I have heard. Your entire family was killed by your neighbour, someone who was a friend, and you have now forgiven him?"

JP: "Yes I have forgiven him because I didn't have any choice. By forgiving him, I was healed. And me and him together, we are now dedicated to promoting peace and reconciliation."

MW: "Why do you say you didn't have a choice?"

JP: "After the genocide, when I went to my village and I learnt that my best friend was the one who killed my parents, it destroyed me. I couldn't understand why a very good friend would do that. I lost my mind.

"It took nine years dealing with anger and bitterness. I lost my career. I was addicted... drugs. At the end, I realised I was destroying myself."

MW: "You must have wanted to kill him?"

JP: "Yeah - the first time. I didn't see him but I was going to kill him. I have never killed in my life. I decided to forgive him because I wanted to get healing."

MW: "Your friend is a killer. What did he say to you when you said: 'I want to forgive you'?"

JP: "The first time he thought it was a political game. He was thinking: 'How can he forgive me when I can not forgive myself?' It was hard to understand."

MW: "Has he ever explained to you why he did it?"

JP: "Of course. Because now we are together we talk about everything.

"He said: 'You know Samputu, your father was a very good friend. More than you.

"And I asked him: 'If he was your friend, why did you kill him?'

"He said: 'You don't understand. We had the laws of the genocide. In the genocide, the law was that your best friend, your close neighbour, was the one who must be killed by you, because you were close. And I had to kill your father because I was the closest'."

MW: "And that was repeated across Rwanda? Those sort of interpersonal relationships were distorted?"

JP: "Even the husband killed his wife. It was not killing for them, it was working. If you kill many people then you are rewarded."

MW: "Do you think your father will be proud of you?"

JP: "If I revenge or I kill because he was killed, I think he (my father) would not accept that...

"I can't do what they did... If I don't forgive, what do we do to the other children?

"It's a cycle of violence. A cycle of hatred. It's generations. The world, where we live, carries the wounds of not forgiving and future peace depends on what we do with that."

Monday, January 26, 2009

World Cup 2010 - Let the Count Down Begin

Man pikin "had" funds set aside for this monumental event...but it get as it be.

For those going please update us O! Who knows with this $825B stimulus package, it might be a possibility after all.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Superb Artistic Talent by way of the Mothaland

Ariztos meet Nneka, Nneka watch out for those Ariztos especially the one with eye balls like a globe...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thief Transforms to Goat

This is not the thief...I mean goat...I mean thief in question, but the picture for una whey no know what a goat is.

Do any of ya'll remember goat burgers back in the village?

Newspaper claims suspect transformed into a goat

LAGOS, Nigeria – One of Nigeria's biggest daily newspapers reported that police implicated a goat in an attempted automobile theft. In a front-page article on Friday, the Vanguard newspaper said that two men tried to steal a Mazda car two days earlier in Kwara State, with one suspect transforming himself into a goat as vigilantes cornered him.

The paper quoted police spokesman Tunde Mohammed as saying that while one suspect escaped, the other transformed into a goat as he was about to be apprehended.

The newspaper reported that police paraded the goat before journalists, and published a picture of the animal.

Police in the state couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Belief in black magic is widespread in Nigeria, particularly in far-flung rural areas.

SOURCE: Yahoo News

Friday, January 23, 2009

Another Made in Africa Model - Kiara Kabukuru

Straight out of Uganda...I no go lie o, Uganda dey produce some fine models o!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Back to School...

Back to school for all the students out there. Here is a small brain teaser to get you warmed up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2009 U.S. Presidential Inauguration

Truly a historic day. Washington, D.C. is jam packed. Security is off the chain. "Yes We Can O!"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Make Una Get Dream - Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

..."I have a dream" ~ MLK

...and see now o, tomorrow the dream go come true.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Zimbabwe Hyperinflation: Z$100tr note

Make we talk true...Zimbabwe's hyperinflation is far beyond "getting out of control" Chei!

Zimbabwe is introducing a Z$100 trillion note, currently worth about US$30 (£20), state media reports.

Other notes in trillion-dollar denominations of 10, 20 and 50 are also being released to help Zimbabweans cope with hyperinflation.

However, the dollarisation of the economy means that few products are available in the local currency.

On Thursday, the opposition leader said he was still committed to power-sharing intended to rescue the failing economy.

Since September, when the deal was signed, talks have stalled over who should control key ministries.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he was due to hold talks with President Robert Mugabe "within this coming week" to try to resolve the political crisis.

He described Mr Mugabe as "part of the problem but also part of the solution".

The latest annual figure for inflation, estimated in July last year, was 231m% - the world's highest.

"In a move meant to ensure that the public has access to their money from banks, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has introduced a new family of banknotes which will gradually come into circulation, starting with the Z$10 trillion," Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper quotes a bank statement as saying.

But previous issues of new banknotes - and the dropping of several zeros from the currency - have done little to help Zimbabweans cope with inflation.

On Tuesday, a 50bn Zimbabwean dollar note was issued, less than a month after a Z$500m bill was released.

Correspondents say prices can double every day, and food and fuel - for those without US dollars - are in short supply.

Last month, the daily bank cash withdrawal limit - which at one stage was only enough for several loaves of bread - was abandoned.

However, most banks do not have enough cash to meet demand.

Some shops are licensed to sells goods in foreign currency but everyone from vegetable sellers to mobile phone service providers peg their prices to the US dollar.

Most groceries are brought in by Zimbabweans from neighbouring South Africa, Botswana or Zambia, further driving up prices.

There is more than 80% unemployment in the country and those with jobs find their salary is worthless unless they are paid in foreign currency.


Mr Tsvangirai is expected to return to Zimbabwe on Saturday after two months abroad.

At a press conference in Johannesburg, Mr Tsvangirai again appealed for prominent human rights activist Jestina Mukoko, who appeared in court on Thursday, and other such detainees, to be released.

"Those abducted and illegally detained must be released unconditionally if this agreement is to be consummated," Reuters news agency quotes Mr Tsvangirai as saying.

Ms Mukoko - director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project - denies charges of organising military training to topple President Mugabe.

She broke down in tears in court as she spoke about her ordeal when she was abducted from her home by armed security agents at the beginning of December.

She described how she was beaten on her feet during questioning.

"The experience was frightening. I would not wish it upon anyone," she said.

Under September's power-sharing agreement, Mr Tsvangirai is to become prime minister while Mr Mugabe remains as president.

But the deal faltered after the MDC accused Zanu-PF of keeping the most powerful ministries - including the one that controls the police - to itself.

As the political wrangling continued, Zimbabwe has been hit by a cholera epidemic that has claimed more than 2,000 lives, made worse by the collapse of the water, health and sanitation systems.

Mr Tsvangirai, and Western nations, accuse Mr Mugabe of not being sincere about power-sharing.

Mr Mugabe insists he welcomes the power-sharing deal, and has resisted growing international pressure to resign.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Buses Built in Ivory Coast

Commuters in Ivory Coast can now travel around town on the first ever buses designed for and built in the region.

The engineering arm of the national transport company, Sotra, decided it could save money and create a bus better suited to African conditions.

"We want the transfer of technology in Africa, and we want to build our own buses with our own specification," says Sotra's director Mamadou Coulibaly.

"In Europe the technology is very sophisticated with lots of electronic devices. In Africa we don't need this.

"We just need robust buses because our roads are not very well done like in Europe. This is an African design for Africa."

The first three buses hit the streets on Thursday, and more of the vehicles are rolling off the production line.


Public buses in Abidjan are extremely popular and are frequently tightly packed despite the sweltering heat and lack of air-conditioning.

The new urban bus has fewer seats than a Western bus, meaning up to 100 people can be squeezed inside.

"I think it's a good thing. It'll help students to move about in more comfort," says Isaac Gueu, who is studying accountancy in Abidjan.

But not all bus users are in favour of this launch.

"If we import buses it's better because we already know their endurance, the pros and cons, so really, I'm a bit hesitant about making buses here," Ahmed Wague said.

The buses are designed and built in the main city of Abidjan on a chassis and engine base that is supplied in parts from European truck-maker Iveco.

What is intriguing is that almost all the work on this project was done while Ivory Coast has been in a political crisis prompted by the civil war.


In 2003, a year after the conflict started, Sotra started producing its own boat-buses which speed up and down the lagoon on which Abidjan is built.

"We tried to launch these projects because we can prepare for the post-crisis period by launching such projects," said Mr Coulibaly.
"It's not true that if you're in a civil war you can't do things because you see yourself that during the crisis we tried to build big projects."

The Ivorian company has designed three types of buses - a coach, an urban bus and a tourist bus.

The tourist bus will make weekly trips from Abidjan to one of the world's biggest churches in the capital, Yamoussoukro.

Orders are already coming in from other countries in Africa.

The company plans to build 100 buses this year and scale up to producing 300 a year.

"I think that we have to begin one day because it's not very difficult. We have been to school in Europe and we think that we are able today to build our own buses; there are no special difficulties," Mr Coulibaly said.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In Terms of Soccer, Cameroon Dominates...

According to the latest FIFA/Coca Cola World Ranking

Cameroon, The Indomitable Lions lie at the 14th spot while Egypt climbed one place up to the 15th position to be the first-runner up in Africa. Nigeria moved up two places to the 17th spot trailing Egypt as the third best.

Ranking / Team
1 Spain
2 Germany
3 Netherlands
4 Italy
5 Brazil
6 Argentina
7 Croatia
8 England
9 Russia
10 Turkey
11 France
11 Portugal
11 Czech Republic
14 Cameroon
15 Egypt
16 Ukraine
17 Nigeria
18 Paraguay
19 Israel
20 Greece

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Upcoming South African Election: Drama in the making...

Don't you just hate it when a photographer catches you in a very awkward moment?

Let's call this picture "the finger".

This one..."I'm ready to whoop some ass"

...this one is too easy. I'll let you provide the title

Jacob Zuma appears likely to be South Africa's next President, but this brotha comes with some drama.


* South African President Thabo Mbeki's decision to sack Zuma in June 2005 after he was implicated in a high-profile graft trial in which his former financial adviser was convicted, provoked outrage among rank-and-file ANC members who alleged a political plot within the party to deny him a shot at the presidency.

-- Zuma won leadership of the ANC on Tuesday which almost certainly assures him of the South African presidency in the 20O9 general election because of the ANC's electoral dominance.


-- Zuma's former financial adviser Schabir Shaik was found guilty of trying to solicit a 500,000 rand ($72,500) a year bribe for Zuma from French arms company Thint in return for protecting it from an investigation into an arms deal arranged by South Africa in the late 1990s.

-- Another corruption count on which he was convicted said Shaik had paid Zuma 1.3 million rand ($187,100) in bribes to induce him to use his political influence to further Shaik's business interests. The fraud conviction related to accounting for these payments.

-- Prosecutors later filed charges against Zuma himself, accusing him of receiving bribes from Thint. The case was dropped but prosecutors have reopened their investigation of Zuma in that case.


* Zuma's case was thrown out on a technicality but a high court ruling earlier this year cleared the way for evidence to be used against him in any future prosecution. In a separate case, Zuma was acquitted of rape charges in May 2006.

* Last week the Directorate of Special Operations filed an affidavit in the Constitutional Court containing what it called substantial new evidence that Zuma had received larger payments in a corruption case than originally thought.

* The affidavit said that payments based on the old and the new evidence are more than three times greater than those based on the old evidence alone.

* If Zuma is re-charged with graft, it raises the prospect South Africa's future president could be jailed long before he is sworn in. Zuma has said if he wins the ANC'S top job, he would step down only if a court proves he is guilty.

SOURCE: Reuters


However, the reinstatement of the charges of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money-laundering against Jacob Zuma are certain to be an unwelcome distraction for the ANC president during the election campaign.

The ANC is facing a significant challenge from the newly-formed Congress of the People (Cope) which has emerged from bitter in-fighting within the ANC over the past three years.

The ruling party is going to have to work hard for every vote in this year's elections, in the knowledge that it could easily lose its two-thirds majority in parliament.

Not since it took power in 1994 has the ANC faced such a test from the ranks of the opposition.

Political analyst Steven Friedman says Jacob Zuma is the frontrunner to become the next president of the country.

"Some in the ANC leadership would prefer not to have to support Zuma. But as we draw closer to the elections, Zuma's position is strengthening all the time," he said.

"The ANC will try to make the corruption charges go away politically. One way is to appoint a national director of public prosecutions who won't prosecute Zuma.

"Another way is to… pass a parliamentary resolution indemnifying Zuma. If we get to a situation where Zuma is president and facing charges, there will be an attempt to make this go away politically."

A date for the elections has still to be announced, but the Johannesburg-based newspaper The Star says 15 April is one possibility.

What is not in doubt is that unofficial campaigning has already begun.

'Robust and interesting'

"We are now fully in election mode," says ANC spokesman Carl Niehaus.

"We respect the law and the decisions of our courts, but at the same time the ANC will vigorously exert its right to have Jacob Zuma as our candidate (for president).

"It is our right in terms of freedom of association and does not impact in any way on the legal processes," he added.

The ANC is certain to win at the polls, albeit with a reduced majority.

However, the corruption charges against Jacob Zuma have not yet gone away in the manner in which the ANC leader might have hoped. That makes an appeal to the Constitutional Court, and an application for a permanent stay of prosecution, increasingly likely.

Jacob Zuma was spot on when he told a gala dinner in East London last Friday: "This year's election campaign will be robust and interesting."


Friday, January 09, 2009

Which is better: to be Madoffed or 419ed

"cough" "cough" the naija 419 guys need to step up their game? I wasn't gonna bring this up but haba...$50 Billion scheme, still sending out gifts worth millions to friends, transferring millions overseas and has the privilege of waiting for trial in his $7 Million crib. Chei...pensions have been wiped out, some guy has committed suicide, and some charities have to fold up shop...

for over ten years...

whereas there are "taskforces" still pursuing 419 aka yahoozee ala peckam guys. Perhaps those taskforce efforts would be better served by focusing on the "ogbologbo" scam artists.

I'm just saying

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Another Made in Africa Model - Camilla Barungi

Meet Camilla Barungi from Uganda. You might recognize her from Project Runway

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Very Best (Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit), "Kamphopo"


Ghana's New President-Elect: John Atta Mills

Ghana's President-elect, John Atta Mills, is to be sworn in after his cliff-hanger election victory.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate beat the ruling party's Nana Akufo-Addo in a hotly contested poll by a margin of less than 0.5% of votes.

A BBC reporter says there is a carnival atmosphere in the capital with tens of thousands packed into Independence Square for the inauguration.

President John Kufuor is standing down after serving the maximum two terms.

He will be the second elected head of state in Ghana's history to hand over to an opposition politician.

Crowds began forming at the stadium before dawn - decked out in the national colours of green, yellow, red and black - amid an air of intense excitement after one of the closest election races in Africa's recent history.

Dignatories have begun arriving for the ceremony, although the BBC's Will Ross in Accra says that in their excitement people broke through to the area reserved for VIPs.

Click here for full story.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Through the Glass

Stephanie Okereke is stepping behind the camera for a change and has offered her movie "Through the Glass"
I haven't seen it yet so I can't really render any insight, but judging from the trailer...

I'll let you be the judge.


Thursday, January 01, 2009