Nigeria

momo

Padawan Learner
Hello,

last summer, I went to my husbands home for the first time - we've known each other and been a couple for 14 years now.

He's a Yoruba from Nigeria.
I'm an Austrian with ancestors from all parts of middle Europe.
This connects into a really interesting mix of quite different cultures - and makes it a little easier to get to the bottom of what being "human" might mean, because there are aspects that are different, and aspects that are equal.

He took me and the children to Badagry, which used to be THE place for slave trade not very long ago.

We went to see one place where they kept the slaves - separated by gender, in tiny buildings with only one small window at the top of the wall.
We also saw what was traded for the slaves - the most important thing that "cost" a lot of slaves (i think the guide called it 200) was a huge umbrella, there were mugs (one was from bavaria, with german writing on it - a traditional beer mug), bowls, glass-beads and such.
And the chains and tools they used to keep the slaves, along with pictures of people being led to the ship.

After being brought to that place, they had to wait - often for weeks and longer - in those little "prisons", until the ship came. When it was time, they were chained together by the neck, had to walk across the beach and were taken on little boats to an island offshore where the ship was waiting for them. They were given some potion that - and the guide insisted it worked and still works today - made them forget everything: their name, where they came from, basically everything about who they were before.
The point on the beach where they drank that potion is still called "The Point of No Return".

It was a really tough experience to stand right at that spot, and there is a very helpless energy around there. I cannot explain this with words now.

Then, in the backyard, there is something like a shrine, and I was really shocked to find out that it is the grave (a building, actually) for the man who was then running the slave business. At the time, he was a highly appreciated member of the society. He was a servant (the guide thinks in Brazil) before, and the "white" people had instructed him and set up his business, so he continued being their servant while being a "free", "successful" and respected business person amongst the Yoruba he was trading.

Some of his ancestors are living right there on the same compound up to today. Their wealth is gone.
The way the guide speaks about them is as if they were not human, but on a "lower" level of existence.

Just about 100 m away, we went to see how this part of Africa became "enlightened" by the British: we saw the First Storey building of Nigeria.
Everyone I met in Nigeria knows about it, and there is an old Yoruba christian man that offered to be a guide.
The building served as what they call "the first school" in Nigeria, a British priest lived there, and this is where the first bible was translated to Yoruba (there is a transcript still in there, but the original is in a museum in England).

The old Yoruba christian man impersonated the complexity of the confusion that is around everywhere I went in Lagos: Lagos is a place of the Yoruba, but there are people from all over Nigeria - with the most diverse cultures - and from the rest of Africa, plus from China, India, Europe, the Americas, basically from all over the world. There are so many contradicting forces - the British system, the Christians (with so many diverse "religions" - or rather businesses - that deserve an extra chapter), the Muslims, those who follow the traditional Yoruba (which is the basis for Voodoo, I was told - so maybe the potion did not work - at least not on the spiritual level), the other people of Nigeria - Igbo, Haussa, the many smaller people from the Benin area...

And thus, when showing us around in the building, he got torn apart hailing what enlightenment, perfection, precision and technological progress the British brought while (only after realizing my husband is not a Christian) regretting that the basis of the Yoruba culture has been drowned in disrespect.

So much for now - I am continuously working on this trans-cultural aspect in my life and so eager to learn new concepts, new languages, just to get onto the basis it all came from.

I hope you enjoy my little story, and might write some more if you like it...
Still very insecure about sharing and exchanging, don't know exactly what to do about my feeling "obsolete".

greetings,
momo
 

HiThere

The Living Force
Thank you for sharing momo, it is an interesting story and one rarely told in my part of the world. :)
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Momo, your story is very interesting, thank you. I was myself married, when young, to a Senegalese. I also went to an island when all the slaves departed, the island of Gorée. This places are always very sad places, in fact when I went there I felt shame. My dream is to return to Senegal. I think that experiences with other cultures are amazing and permit us to grow and give us the opportunity to be aware of this magnificent planet that is an inferno thanks to the empires. And going to Africa is a very hard lesson, but a necessary lesson. And I also think that when you have been in Africa you always wanted to come back in Africa. In my case I visited Togo but it was so different from Senegal. And that's also a lesson: every country is different, for whatever reasons, cultural, religion, language, etc, and that is amazing too. Of Nigeria I just know the airport that we stopped there going to Togo.

Thanks again!
 

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
momo said:
I hope you enjoy my little story, and might write some more if you like it...
Still very insecure about sharing and exchanging, don't know exactly what to do about my feeling "obsolete".

greetings,
momo

Your feeling obsolete is probably a program. :)

Sharing Africa's history with us is not obsolete at all, OSIT.
Consider the French war in Mali. It seems to me, that the Malian people have forgotten their history. Why would they thank Hollande (president or something of France) and treat him like a saviour? Have they forgotten that they were a French colony not so long ago (50 years ago or so). Have they forgotten what the French did to them?
The other day I spoke to someone about the war. According to him the people now wish to cooperate with the French in order to stamp out all rebels. He also said that they were kept in the dark about the war and that you don't get to see pictures of the people that died and other devastation. Which I don't get. AFAICT, you have all these small internet cafes where people could easily find more information. I take it that they could find French SOTT, if they wanted to, even with a slower computer.
I can only conclude that many Africans have already been poisoned and dumbed down by Western influence. Or have they censored the internet? :/

loreta said:
Momo, your story is very interesting, thank you. I was myself married, when young, to a Senegalese. I also went to an island when all the slaves departed, the island of Gorée. This places are always very sad places, in fact when I went there I felt shame. My dream is to return to Senegal. I think that experiences with other cultures are amazing and permit us to grow and give us the opportunity to be aware of this magnificent planet that is an inferno thanks to the empires. And going to Africa is a very hard lesson, but a necessary lesson. And I also think that when you have been in Africa you always wanted to come back in Africa. In my case I visited Togo but it was so different from Senegal. And that's also a lesson: every country is different, for whatever reasons, cultural, religion, language, etc, and that is amazing too. Of Nigeria I just know the airport that we stopped there going to Togo.

Thanks again!

I agree, Loreta, once you have been infected by the Africa virus you keep thinking of going back. :)
There is still some special energy to be found, despite the PTB trying its hardest to eradicate the creativity and stamina of the Africans. And I love the red earth, the skies, the way women and men dress in Muslim countries. I also felt relatively safe.
I visited several African countries, years before I started working on myself. But looking back I think that my experiences abroad jumpstarted something very valuable. Because I could see and admit how prejudiced I was. And how ignorant.

Please, write more Momo, if you wish. I would love to hear more of your and your husband's experiences. Thank you for reminding us of the history of Nigeria/the African continent. By writing about it you are contributing to a different mindset and you are supporting those Africans that wish to remain aware of their past. Because history is repeating itself. :(

Added:

Found this in the picture book 'Tree of Forgetfulness' by Laura and Hans Samsom:
Slavery is a product of the human condition. It is integral to human history and was already firmly entrenched in African societies before the arrival of the Europeans, but the magnitude of the trans-Atlantic slave trade was unprecedented. The Netherlands also profited, and the Dutch West-India Company developed into a multinational company trading in slaves. This African diaspora changed the face of the planet more than any war. Depopulating the countries along the Slave Coast resulted in this part of the world falling generations behind, as happened in Benin. The accompanying dehumanization of the people of Africa remains closely connect to the underestimation of the continent to this day. Africans in the Western hemisphere were kept as slaves for three centuries. Some slaves in Surinam managed to escape into the forests: these fugitives were called Maroons. Their story is one of sadness and degradation, but most of all it is a testament to their courage, creativity, will to survive and vigilance.
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
To continue with this subject, and I hope I don't do noise, I remember the difference between Togo and Senegal. Senegal is a majority Muslim country, and Muslims are extremely generous, warm and hospitable. That I saw and lived in Senegal. Togo was very different and in part because the Catholic religion is very strong in the country, how strange. So my trip in Togo was very hard, we meet very nice people but how different from the Senegalese. In fact the most interesting people I meet in Togo were Senegalese. Catholic religion is terrible, really.

From Senegal I have stories of warm that make me cry just to remember how people can be good people even if they don't know you, can give you their food, their bed even they don't know you. But from Togo I don't have the same remembrance. I really respect Muslims.

Me too before going to Africa was very, extremely ignorant.
 

momo

Padawan Learner
hello again,

thank you!

Hithere said:
I'm from Norway. :)

Thanks Hithere, lovely Northern Europe - I have never been there, and would like to experience both the long nights of winter and the long days of summer!
It's quite a contrast to be close to the equator, I guess - in Lagos the night literally dropped on us around 7 pm, and the day started without a morning - the sun simply popped up, or so it felt. My mummy in law cannot imagine that it gets dark here in Austria at 4 pm in winter...

loreta said:
Momo, your story is very interesting, thank you. I was myself married, when young, to a Senegalese. I also went to an island when all the slaves departed, the island of Gorée. This places are always very sad places, in fact when I went there I felt shame.

If I may ask:
Why did you feel shame?


loreta said:
My dream is to return to Senegal. I think that experiences with other cultures are amazing and permit us to grow and give us the opportunity to be aware of this magnificent planet that is an inferno thanks to the empires. And going to Africa is a very hard lesson, but a necessary lesson. And I also think that when you have been in Africa you always wanted to come back in Africa. In my case I visited Togo but it was so different from Senegal. And that's also a lesson: every country is different, for whatever reasons, cultural, religion, language, etc, and that is amazing too. Of Nigeria I just know the airport that we stopped there going to Togo.

Thanks again!

Yes, I feel the same way about having to come back - although it is really tough, and much more dangerous than middle Europe (which is rather like a garden, no real wilderness or threats).

What is far beyond imagination to me, is the diversity of the cultures - here just one little aspect: the Yoruba see the birth of twins as a great blessing to the whole family, but as I read in Chinua Achebe's wonderful book "Things fall apart", the Igbo, a people living right next to the Yoruba, used to carry newborn twins to a specific place in the woods to abandon them there, for it is contrary than with the Yoruba.

So many concepts to discover, so many different ways of creating community and culture, so many ways of organizing society.
So many superstitions that are so far away from any logic, and if compared to superstitions from my culture, it all dissolves into nothing (or at least a big stunned laughter) during conversations with my husbands family and friends.


Mariama said:
momo said:
I hope you enjoy my little story, and might write some more if you like it...
Still very insecure about sharing and exchanging, don't know exactly what to do about my feeling "obsolete".

greetings,
momo

Your feeling obsolete is probably a program. :)

Yes, I think so - and a very tough one. It has a flipside: feeling superior. At least so I think. It is really worrysome and dangerous - and I am full of fear about it, because I have not found a way of letting it go.
I am just about discovering some kind of hidden depression with Tinnitus, cervical syndrome and such. It is one of the realizations I made enforcing the conscious journey again that I was on when I was a child up until being a teenager.
And I am really trying to be brave and keep my eyes open.
Reading, questioning, and now also interacting might help - so I hope.
I'm not sure if I'll remain a seed or be courageous enough to try to sprout, so to say ;).

Mariama said:
Sharing Africa's history with us is not obsolete at all, OSIT.
Consider the French war in Mali. It seems to me, that the Malian people have forgotten their history. Why would they thank Hollande (president or something of France) and treat him like a saviour? Have they forgotten that they were a French colony not so long ago (50 years ago or so). Have they forgotten what the French did to them?
The other day I spoke to someone about the war. According to him the people now wish to cooperate with the French in order to stamp out all rebels. He also said that they were kept in the dark about the war and that you don't get to see pictures of the people that died and other devastation. Which I don't get. AFAICT, you have all these small internet cafes where people could easily find more information. I take it that they could find French SOTT, if they wanted to, even with a slower computer.
I can only conclude that many Africans have already been poisoned and dumbed down by Western influence. Or have they censored the internet? :/

There is not much that I know about Mali.
But in Nigeria, everyone in the cities - and majority of the people live in the cities - have access to uncensored Internet - on their cellphones (which everyone possesses) and in internet cafes.

But what I observed during my stay is that the

- gap between rich and poor in the country (I know extremely wealthy Nigerians, as well as extremely poor - and both are very "educated", meaning they have completed British-style university programs),
- the confusion of cultures and religions,
- the mixture of people (imagine forcing all the people in middle Europe into one country, and giving them a new name, a political system that contradicts their owns and telling them they are inferior - but that is another long story) and
- the stories of Hollywood and of expatriates,

plus quite a number of other factors still unmentioned in this little portrait, just keep everyone extremely busy and confused.
Not just dumbed down by Western influence, but confused by the diversity and contradictions of the situation.
This makes it rather impossible to unite and stand up against whichever outsider who needs ressources or "helps" fight a war and such. Apart from that it is very very deeply implanted in the people that lighter skin equals superiority, and riches.

Mariama said:
loreta said:
Momo, your story is very interesting, thank you. I was myself married, when young, to a Senegalese. I also went to an island when all the slaves departed, the island of Gorée. This places are always very sad places, in fact when I went there I felt shame. My dream is to return to Senegal. I think that experiences with other cultures are amazing and permit us to grow and give us the opportunity to be aware of this magnificent planet that is an inferno thanks to the empires. And going to Africa is a very hard lesson, but a necessary lesson. And I also think that when you have been in Africa you always wanted to come back in Africa. In my case I visited Togo but it was so different from Senegal. And that's also a lesson: every country is different, for whatever reasons, cultural, religion, language, etc, and that is amazing too. Of Nigeria I just know the airport that we stopped there going to Togo.

Thanks again!

I agree, Loreta, once you have been infected by the Africa virus you keep thinking of going back. :)
There is still some special energy to be found, despite the PTB trying its hardest to eradicate the creativity and stamina of the Africans. And I love the red earth, the skies, the way women and men dress in Muslim countries. I also felt relatively safe.
I visited several African countries, years before I started working on myself. But looking back I think that my experiences abroad jumpstarted something very valuable. Because I could see and admit how prejudiced I was. And how ignorant.

Please, write more Momo, if you wish. I would love to hear more of your and your husband's experiences. Thank you for reminding us of the history of Nigeria/the African continent. By writing about it you are contributing to a different mindset and you are supporting those Africans that wish to remain aware of their past. Because history is repeating itself. :(

Added:

Found this in the picture book 'Tree of Forgetfulness' by Laura and Hans Samsom:
Slavery is a product of the human condition. It is integral to human history and was already firmly entrenched in African societies before the arrival of the Europeans, but the magnitude of the trans-Atlantic slave trade was unprecedented. The Netherlands also profited, and the Dutch West-India Company developed into a multinational company trading in slaves. This African diaspora changed the face of the planet more than any war. Depopulating the countries along the Slave Coast resulted in this part of the world falling generations behind, as happened in Benin. The accompanying dehumanization of the people of Africa remains closely connect to the underestimation of the continent to this day. Africans in the Western hemisphere were kept as slaves for three centuries. Some slaves in Surinam managed to escape into the forests: these fugitives were called Maroons. Their story is one of sadness and degradation, but most of all it is a testament to their courage, creativity, will to survive and vigilance.

Feeling safe seems to be a thing of the past - one needs to be quite careful, then it is definitely not too unsafe, but this has a very good side to it: one remains awake and alert...

Sorry, what is the PTB?

Thank you also for the quote about slavery. From what I have experienced, I have a feeling - which I cannot quite prove - that the inferiority-complex in "Africa" is a bad side-effect of the European superiority and definiteness (thinking we can prove how the world works, and speaking about it with self-assurance) meeting the "Africain" submission to a complex reality and remaining open to world. But I have not really developed this thought far enough...

Thank you very much for your encouragement - I will give my best to continue writing down my experiences.

So much for now!
Greetings,
momo
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Momo, you asked me why I felt shame at the Gorée island, simply I felt shame of the atrocity of slavery that white people did like I feel now shame of all the wars that Occident is doing in Africa, Middle East. Shame of being part of this humanity. Not shame about me in particular, but me being part of this humanity that permits and is complicit of all of this.

Momo, there is a very interesting book by Franz Fanon that specifically study the complex of inferiority of black people (but in fact this book is about white people also): "Black Skin, White Masks". Maybe you know this book, but if you don't know it it is really important to read it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Skin,_White_Masks

In this book Fanon analyses also colonialism, racism. Even if it is a book that he wrote many years ago (1952) it is amazing how actual it is.
 

Kisito

Jedi Council Member
Hello Loreta, It's not because you are white that you have to be ashamed of the slavery! The Austrians don't have to be ashamed of Hitler. If we consider that the human beings are been reincarnated souls, you same Loreta maybe as you were a slave!
My mother is white is French and my Cameroonian father. He explained me that his grandfather had three slaves, of whom one that he killed.
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Kisito said:
Hello Loreta, It's not because you are white that you have to be ashamed of the slavery! The Austrians don't have to be ashamed of Hitler. If we consider that the human beings are been reincarnated souls, you same Loreta maybe as you were a slave!
My mother is white is French and my Cameroonian father. He explained me that his grandfather had three slaves, of whom one that he killed.

Kisito, when I went to Africa I was very young, around my 20, and ignorant. But when you read about slavery you are shocked of this tragedy, in fact you are more than shocked. The shame is to be part of the white race, yes. Then, now that I am a little more conscious, to be part of this terrible humanity where the color of my skin is not the important thing. I am not ashamed to be white, I am ashamed, sometimes, to be a human being. So my color of skin has nothing to do with my shame but my conscience.

It is a shame of what humans do to others people. Slavery, war, torture, genocide,etc... It is a shame.

So maybe yes, in another life I was a slave, who knows, and that's why I was so shocked. Or maybe I was a black person. Or a slave dealer....
 

momo

Padawan Learner
loreta said:
Momo, there is a very interesting book by Franz Fanon that specifically study the complex of inferiority of black people (but in fact this book is about white people also): "Black Skin, White Masks". Maybe you know this book, but if you don't know it it is really important to read it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Skin,_White_Masks

In this book Fanon analyses also colonialism, racism. Even if it is a book that he wrote many years ago (1952) it is amazing how actual it is.

Loreta, I have read the Wikipedia link, thank you!
And on Amazon I could look into it: _http://www.amazon.de/Black-White-Masks-Anthony-Appiah/dp/0802143008/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361699404&sr=8-1-spell

And I do agree that the villain/black connection is not beneficial, and that mimicking a culture is not a good activity - it all diverts from the individuals work to be done.
I will put this book on my pile as soon as possible, it will be very interesting!

In exchange, I would like to point you to Chimamanda - she's a really wonderful individual, approaching this topic from her own personal side: _http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story.html

At about the age of seven … I wrote exactly the kinds of stories I was reading: All my characters were white and blue-eyed, they played in the snow, they ate apples, and they talked a lot about the weather: how lovely it was that the sun had come out. This despite the fact that I lived in Nigeria; we didn’t have snow, we ate mangoes, and we never talked about the weather, because there was no need to.

Because of writers like Chinua Achebe and Camara Laye … I realized that people like me, girls with skin the color of chocolate, whose kinky hair could not form ponytails, could also exist in literature.

She's just wonderful!
And she's right: Stories are powerful.

But I have also thought about the shame issue:
I looked deep into myself, even before I met my husband - when we were learning about the second world war at school, for example.
I was also curious about my own ancestors, for I came to the conclusion that it was only their actions that could possibly result in some kind of genuine shame or guilt and such. My research brought both sides to the table - I have family members that could adequately be described as Nazis, and others that were quite actively involved in "Widerstand" and had to hide. What they all have in common that all families lost their wealth during the wars - some of them, particularly the whole family on my mothers side, because they did not want to participate in what the "establishment" during those times was into.
And when I travelled to France with my family when I was a teenager, I got to know other youngsters and we enjoyed spending time together. When their parents realized I am from Austria, they wanted to forbid their children to continue to meet me - they were Jewish and their families had gone through a lot during and even before the Second World War. My new friends and their parents discussed for quite a while (I was not really very involved, for I had just begun learning French), and they came to the conclusion that the children wouldn't have to act based on our shared history, but rather based on individual choice. That was a big learning for all of us. We continued the friendship with letters for a while, until I sank into an unpleasant phase of my life.
Another experience that touches the shame issue: When I was about 16, I went out to see friends - there was a concert on that evening - and I was a little early. At the entrance, an African man - he turned out to be Senegalese - asked for my name, I told him, asked back - and he answered, adding the question: "Do you want to f****?" I was so disgusted and pushed off by his boldness and language that I just turned away and simply said "No." He started screaming out loud, complaining with his voice and his whole body: I was a racist, and I had insulted him. E-v-e-r-y-o-n-e around started blaming me, nobody considered that he might be wrong. Everyone expected me to apologize. When I calmly told them that I couldn't do so, some walked off - convinced I was an uncurable rasist - and others started asking.

I am quite sure: had I had this almost in-born feeling of shame, the story would have a quite different ending.
And it made me suffer and think for a long time: I normally (used to and still do) like to try to please everybody, and try not to be too visible, but this situation just forced me to react this way.

Kisito said:
Hello Loreta, It's not because you are white that you have to be ashamed of the slavery! The Austrians don't have to be ashamed of Hitler. If we consider that the human beings are been reincarnated souls, you same Loreta maybe as you were a slave!
My mother is white is French and my Cameroonian father. He explained me that his grandfather had three slaves, of whom one that he killed.

I agree, Kisito! My husband told me the Yoruba had slaves themselves, slavery existed and still exists in so many different parts of the world.

loreta said:
It is a shame of what humans do to others people. Slavery, war, torture, genocide,etc... It is a shame.

So maybe yes, in another life I was a slave, who knows, and that's why I was so shocked. Or maybe I was a black person. Or a slave dealer....

It is true that there are horrible things happening, triggered by "humans". And I do understand the feeling of shame. But this feeling is dangerous, and when I read Ouspenskys Psychology, I realized it could be described as identification, or so I think. I think it serves the wrong purpose, and it deviates attention from the real work to be done.
What do you think?


Greetings,
momo
 

bngenoh

The Living Force
Mariama said:
Consider the French war in Mali. It seems to me, that the Malian people have forgotten their history. Why would they thank Hollande (president or something of France) and treat him like a saviour? Have they forgotten that they were a French colony not so long ago (50 years ago or so). Have they forgotten what the French did to them?

Don't even mention Obama to a mainstream Kenyan, they will become all wild eyed, upon just hearing the mention of their "son," a quite comical in a very sad sort of way thing.

It is merely a consequence of the adage, "the victors write the history books," in Kenya, the people there have forgotten what happened just yesterday, in the story of humans on earth. Maybe it's because those who stood up and fought the British, were largely killed. It is 1984, as in "he who controls the present, controls the past, he who controls the past controls the future."

Mariama said:
The other day I spoke to someone about the war. According to him the people now wish to cooperate with the French in order to stamp out all rebels. He also said that they were kept in the dark about the war and that you don't get to see pictures of the people that died and other devastation. Which I don't get. AFAICT, you have all these small internet cafes where people could easily find more information. I take it that they could find French SOTT, if they wanted to, even with a slower computer.

Yeah, the program of indoctrination (brainwashing) is worldwide, even though the opportunity is there, it is not seen, because the people have become blind to it.

Mariama said:
There is still some special energy to be found, despite the PTB trying its hardest to eradicate the creativity and stamina of the Africans.

Although a very subjective statement, there is something about the air and earth in Africa, it is different, there is a closeness to the earth, that I have felt only there.
 

momo

Padawan Learner
bngenoh said:
Mariama said:
Consider the French war in Mali. It seems to me, that the Malian people have forgotten their history. Why would they thank Hollande (president or something of France) and treat him like a saviour? Have they forgotten that they were a French colony not so long ago (50 years ago or so). Have they forgotten what the French did to them?

Don't even mention Obama to a mainstream Kenyan, they will become all wild eyed, upon just hearing the mention of their "son," a quite comical in a very sad sort of way thing.

It is merely a consequence of the adage, "the victors write the history books," in Kenya, the people there have forgotten what happened just yesterday, in the story of humans on earth. Maybe it's because those who stood up and fought the British, were largely killed. It is 1984, as in "he who controls the present, controls the past, he who controls the past controls the future."

I don't think they have forgotten, they are being kept in confusion, not even in ignorance.
There are those who speak the truth, who stand up - not just against the British, but now against the whole control system, at least so I saw in Nigeria.
They and their whole families are constantly in life danger, but they speak out loud, and everyone speaks about them.
Most also speak about them as being right, but there is such a strong feeling of helplessness, of being to irrelevant and small. And when something happens to those who speak up against the PTB (I looked it up ;) ), everyone just goes like: "there you go - this is why you better keep quiet". And they struggle on.

The concept of being a politician is also a very interesting one - quite different from here in Middle Europe. Whole families (and I mean big, extended ones) live off of one single family member that is into politics. The pressure from the family - now you're a politician, now you can take care of all of us - and the responsibility they feel to respond to the family create an easy environment for keeping corruption up.

The old traditional tools that kept the society together and the British system of society make the confusion stronger, for representatives of
both sides look down on each other, demonizing the other side. There are a few now that are ready to take the best from both systems and integrate. But they are not successful so far.

bngenoh said:
Mariama said:
There is still some special energy to be found, despite the PTB trying its hardest to eradicate the creativity and stamina of the Africans.

Although a very subjective statement, there is something about the air and earth in Africa, it is different, there is a closeness to the earth, that I have felt only there.

I completely agree with you, maybe - now that we are three - it is becoming more objective.
(My maths professor used to say that if a rule works thrice, it is proven... ;))

And there is one more person - who has seen far more of Africa than I will probably ever do in this life - who's book I can strongly recommend to uncrust the prejudices each of us must have due to the lack of direct experience with this vast continent:
Ryszard Kapuscinski - The Shadow of the Sun (My African Life):
_http://www.amazon.de/The-Shadow-Sun-African-Life/dp/0140292624/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361796055&sr=8-1


Greetings!
momo
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Momo, it is true that shame can be a wall. But when I was young, the first time I went to Senegal, this shame was an open door for me to inquest about slavery. I read, read read about this subject. The second time I went to Africa I felt shame also, and in that case you are right: it was a bad feeling that I felt during all the trip and made of this travel a fiasco because my shame was interwoven with guilty. The shame I felt in Senegal was just when I went to the isle of Gorée, after that I immerse myself completely between the Senegalese people forgetting that I was a white woman, forgetting my culture and education. So I think that shame can be a door or a wall. Depends on your individual situation.

When I see now the wars in Africa and the future wars that will come I feel shame but also anger, more anger than shame. I think that shame with guilty is not good. Sorry for my English.
 
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