They Call Her “Mother of The Nation”

Beloved…

“Mother of the Nation”…

Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela Mandela…the western world knows as Ms. Winnie Mandela, has transitioned from her earthly body today at the age of 81.

Ms. Mandela, may you live eternally in peace.

May other women, both young and more seasoned pick up your torch, stand strong and courageously, determined to never give up or give in until freedom and equity is fully and truly achieved in every sense of their meanings.

Ms. Mandela was and is a force to be reckoned with, that propaganda machines tried to destroy, but failed to do.

Women are to be seen and only heard when called on to speak, and only allowed to say what is deemed respectable and respectful by man. And Black women have less rights than that, especially during the apartheid-era in South Africa.

Some of the culprits have even come forward and admitted their roles and explained that they had to do it to keep her from growing in power and influence; they couldn’t afford having this woman convince her then-husband, Nelson Mandela, to do and say the bold things that would’ve elevated all of South Africa to a status equal to those nations that had colonized and controlled it; they couldn’t risk the domino effect it would create throughout the African continent.

So the propaganda machine worked instead on a strategy of divide and conquer.

They divided the Mandela family.

They divided Black leadership.

They divided the ANC.

They divided a nation.

They almost turned the world against Ms. Mandela.

Almost.

Propaganda machines are fueled by and rely upon the ignorant and uninformed.

However, with every conspiracy there are always the enlightened who you will never fall for the trick and never will convert.

Those of us who see clearly the deception, smoke and mirrors, and the games, also saw the plot against Ms. Mandela.

Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela Mandela, we will continue to speak up, speak out, act timely, hold accountable, and demand that all of God’s people live and die with dignity, with the same resources, advantages, and opportunities as those who once and still do oppress them.

You fought an amazing fight Ms. Mandela. You can now rest and watch over your beloved nation. 💗

Here is a snippet of a nice tribute that ABC News created for Ms. Mandela: https://twitter.com/abc/status/980870784833945602?s=21

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant. The Paradigm Life.

>Mother Africa Speaks: News for the Diaspora

>RWANDA

The Obama administration says it is “concerned” by disturbing acts by
the Rwandan government in the run up to the country’s elections that
President Paul Kagame won. These disturbing acts include the expulsion of a human rights researcher, the suspension of two newspapers, the arrest of journalists, and the barring of two opposition parties from taking part in the election. Kagame won with almost 93% of the votes, and who were his opponents? Three of his former political partners. Is there any reason to question why voters and observers have reservations about the legitimacy of this election? “Democracy is about more than holding elections,” the White House said two weeks ago. Rwanda has come a distance since its post-genocidal period, but that is more due to the commitment and desire of the people than the government that rules them.  

Here is a quick headline that should catch your attention- Rwanda National Police (RNP) strongly refutes the misleading reports published by Rwanda News Agency and on Africa news websites indicating that the grenade attack on civilians which occurred in Kigali on August 12, 2010 killed six people. They said that several people were injured and taken to the hospital, and that of the injured only two people died. 

SOUTH AFRICA

 As over 1 million workers stayed away from work on Wednesday; courts,
 schools, hospitals and other government institutions remained empty. Despite this, 
 Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi was emphatic
 yesterday that the government would not budge from its final offer of
 a 7% wage increase and a R700-a-month housing allowance for the public
 service, despite the escalating strike, because this was already R5bn
 more than it could afford. The government had given the unions until last Thursday to agree to the current public sector salary increase offer of 7 percent.

The strikers want an 8.6% wage increase and a monthly housing allowance of R1000 (which is roughly $137 U.S. dollars per month)   

On Friday, the Johannesburg Labour Court ordered that doctors, nurses and other essential services staff had to return to work. Saturday afternoon, the KwaZulu-Natal government secured a court interdict preventing striking public servants from barricading hospitals and intimidating nonstriking workers. The state has threatened action against all essential service workers who refuse to return to work. Their main argument is that the strike has caused the deaths of people who were either refused treatment or never had the chance to receive or be denied service because the hospitals were closed. They have also argued that this strike has meant no school for the youth. 

I will keep you posted on these developments.   
 

SWAZILAND
A key advisor to the king of Swaziland is under fire for saying the
 country’s AIDS epidemic has been exaggerated to benefit pharmaceutical
 companies. Prince Mangaliso – chair of King Mswati III’s advisory
 council – also questioned the effectiveness of programs that promote
 circumcision and condoms as a way of preventing the spread of HIV. 

Although it is understandable to be hyper-critical of the medical community that has historically experimented on people, especially within Africa, it seems as though Prince Mangaliso needs an intense lesson on the effectiveness of condoms…even if the circumcision argument does not seem plausible (which some medical professionals in the United States may also agree). But let’s be real, to say that “water and a bath” would be equally effective in helping prevent the spread of HIV is illogical, when roughly 43% of the country’s women were infected with the virus in 2008, and that rate has increased over the past two years; and Swaziland holds the position as having the highest rate of HIV in the world!

So could anything top this? Well it has been confirmed by a joint government and UN report that “anecdotal evidence” that entrenched cultural beliefs among Swazis actively encourage the spread of HIV/AIDS. Yes, you read that right. Although the common sense approach to HIV/AIDS is that “AIDS cannot be stopped unless there is a change in people’s sexual behaviour,” there is a commonplace practice in Swaziland to have unprotected sex with multiple partners regardless of the risks of contracting HIV/AIDS.

“All humans have sexual urges, but behaviour is determined by social norms. Swazis still believe that a woman’s role is to bear children continuously, and that a man’s role is to impregnate multiple partners, which is why polygamy is so strong here, both as an institution and in the minds of young men, who may not ever get married but still have many children from multiple girlfriends,” Joseph Dlamini, a youth pastor and counselor was reported as saying. 

A culture where polygamy is the norm, where the men dictate how many children and wives they will have; where the average birth rate is 5 children per mother, and the ultimate goal is to have boys since they continue the lineage (so they keep trying until they have multiple sons); and where they practice “kungena”, or wife inheritance, where a widow becomes the wife of the deceased man’s brother, a practice found to spread HIV. When isolated from other cultures, and lower access to educational sources, trust of outsiders is rare. 

This is such a sad story to read because you see a life expectancy that was age 61 ten years ago, drop tragically to the age of 32 (according to the Human Development Index of the UN Development Programme.)…I’m about to turn 35 in two months…technically if I was Swazi and living there, I would not have been expected to live this long. 
 
I will let you ponder that.

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. 

 
SOURCES:

Rwanda Sources:
The New Times.  http://www.newtimes.co.
The Monitor http://www.monitor.co.ug

Swaziland Sources: 
RFI http://www.english.rfi.fr/africa/20100818-aids-epidemic-exaggerated-says-swazi-prince

IRIN http://www.plusnews.org/

South Africa Sources:
Sue Blaine. BUSINESSDAY. http://www.Businessday.co.za
http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=118761

>Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu: Poetically Highlighted

>I read an awesome article and tribute to the man more commonly known to the world as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, that I just had to share. Unless you’re an avid researcher and reader of African news and articles, then you don’t get the opportunity to read about the good, bad, ugly, and beautiful of Mother Africa and her resilient children.  

The article “Mpilo Desmond Tutu” was written by Tinyiko Sam Maluleke, a blogger, and academic from the University of South Africa-UNISA. Mr. Maluleke delivered the Annual Desmond Tutu Memorial Lecture at the University of Western Cape in 2008, and has proudly watched and followed the Archbishop as he chartered courses that many dared not venture. 

Mr. Maluleke shared some touching remarks about the Archbishop writing that, “Yet it would be wrong to portray Tutu as a latter day ‘action hero’ who single-handedly and heroically defeated the ‘forces of darkness’. The truth is that Tutu is a product of a heroic and resilient people. He is born out of the South African struggle of liberation. He is a product of the church – local and global. Without the people, the struggle and the church there would be no Desmond Tutu as we have come to know him. His story cannot be only about him as an individual. Indeed his story is the story of his immediate family, especially his wife and children.”

Maluleke continues by adding that, “…Another grievous mistake would be to pretend that Tutu is only and merely a South African. He is the definitive global citizen – who has tirelessly fought for the powerless and excluded not just in South Africa but everywhere. Name a worthy cause from anywhere in the world – Desmond Tutu has been there to support it. He was and remains the archbishop without province, without diocese and without borders. Retirement is something he has been threatening for the past fifteen years. Will he really retire this time around?…”

In my opinion, even if the Nobel Peace Prize winning Archbishop retires this October, he will continue on some level and in some realm “in the business of serving the poor, promoting justice, defending the marginalized and struggling for the restoration of human dignity to all” as Maluleke expressed beautifully. 

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman

Source:
Tinyiko Sam Maluleke. Mpilo Desmond Tutu.  http://tsmaluleke.blogspot.com/2010/07/mpilo-desmond-tutu.html
 

>Sharing Pieces of Mother Africa with the Diaspora

>I have wanted to share information about various countries within Africa with the diaspora for some time now…today is the day…Let me share highlights on three countries (states), Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa.

ETHIOPIA

Part of my roots come from this country…on my mother’s side of the family. I look forward to the day when my feet touch ground here. My curiosity keeps this researching queen focused on the latest happenings throughout Ethiopia. I hope my findings encourage you to learn about this country and others throughout Mother Africa. 

We may hear stories about larger cities and villages within Ethiopia…many of us know the name Addis Ababa, but how many of us know about the village and people of Abreha we Atsebeha? The village of Abreha we Atsebeha, in northern Ethiopia, about 45km from Mekele, (capital of the Tigray region) is confident that in another 10 years they will not need food aid, according to their chairman, Gebremichael Giday. 

It took 10 years for this village to see a rise in the water table allowing them the chance to dig shallow wells for irrigation.  They learned the process with the help of Managing Environmental Resources to Enable Transitions to More Sustainable Livelihoods,  also known by the acronym, MERET, meaning “land” in Amharic, the local language. MERET is a program developed by the World Food Programme (WFP) and implemented by the government. 

According to IRIN humanitarian news and analysis, “MERET provided Giday with the opportunity to learn about cross-breeding techniques and obtain new seeds for quick-growing varieties of maize. Since then he has cross-bred mangoes with apples – a delicacy that fetches good money in the markets of the national capital, Addis Ababa – and has introduced many new vegetables to the villagers.” They have grown as a people whose only food source was cereal, and now they have an abundant supply of fruits, vegetables, and money to purchase necessities. 

There are more than 5 million Ethiopians in need of food aid each year, but many do not support the idea of accepting aid as a form of charity or welfare…they don’t want a handout they want a hand up…many argue that there is a risk of dependency on aid (as seen in many countries, especially the U.S.) and sources such as MERET would be viable if they were providing the watershed management resources through loans and not aid. 

Without funding MERET may not be sustainable. Many donors would rather give cash, some preferring to donate to another food-for-work program with a watershed management component,  Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP). In order for MERET to survive they will need to raise $21.3 million US (33,000mt of food) to provide food-for-work incentives to up to 610,000 people. In order to avoid a major pipeline break in 2010, WFP spokewoman Judith Schuler told IRIN that they “urgently need $12.6 million.” Schuler also responded to the concern of aid dependency by saying that participants are only on aid the first three months in the program where they get 3kg of maize per day; preventing possible aid dependency.

Can MERET be the solution for all of Ethiopia? Can participants learn farming trades in order to be self-sufficient enough where no aid is needed throughout the entire country? Is there potential to reverse the effects of the 1984 famine that killed more men, women, and children than our memory will allow us to recall? I will continue following the efforts of MERET, the growth of  Abreha we Atsebeha, and how the rest of Ethiopia responds to MERET’s progress.

SOUTH AFRICA

In addition to the World Cup taking place in South Africa, this country can be proud of launching an effort to educate all children through the 1Goal Campaign. BusinessDay reported today that 1Goal has partnered with President Jacob Zuma and Fifa president Sepp Blatter to make educating all of South Africa’s youth a top priority starting now; with the ultimate goal, that all children worldwide are enrolled in schools by the next World Cup in Brazil. July 7th 1Goal is holding a summit with world leaders to create a road map for this campaign.
 
The Global Campaign for Education, yesterday highlighted that 72-million children worldwide did not attend school, and half of them lived in Africa. Within South Africa, a new survey shows that 3.4% of the country’s children are not in school, and in the 16-18 age group the numbers show 9.8% of youth not in school, South African Democratic Teachers Union president Thobile Ntola said in an interview with BusinessDay. This campaign has the potential of bridging the gap between all nations of the world, so that all of our children are afforded the opportunity to live a fruitful life as educated producers in this competitive game we call life.  

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (also known as the DRC and the DR Congo)

I have been following this African state for many years, supporting efforts to fight crimes against women and children, and hoping that with added exposure the Democratic Republic of Congo  could one day be a nation of democracy, freedom, and opportunities of advancement for all. 

Today I read an article written by the Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi) that caught my attention, but sadly did not surprise me. It focused on the findings of Margot Wallstrom, the UN’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, who urged the Security Council to punish the perpetrators of rape against women in DR Congo. Wallstrom is reported as saying that the DRC is “rape capital of the world”. Evidence shows that during the fighting that took place last year, over 8,000 women were raped by men, and there are no laws protecting women and punishing rapists. 

In the eastern region, specifically in areas such as South Kivu, women are being raped oftentimes gang raped by armed men. Women are not safe walking on the streets, and now not safe within their homes as recently released reports have discovered that at least 60 percent of women were raped inside their homes by civilians. There are still numerous cases of violence especially against women by the army and militia; the five-year war may have officially ended on a grand scale in 2003, but the crimes against women and young girls are still taking place regularly.

The UN’s mission, Munoc is trying to help by escorting women to their homes, working with local authorities, and developing an early warning system. There has to be more that can be done. Are human lives not valuable enough resources to save? Women in the DR Congo have no rights; forget being second class citizens, the animals get more respect in this state and in others throughout Africa, and the rest of the world. What will it take to save these women from having to live in constant fear?  

IN CLOSING

Reflecting on the three countries I highlighted in this post do you see what connects them, what they have in common? The potential for positive change…growth…healing and prosperity…people who have fought, struggled, overcame, and survived because they have hope and faith in a better life. You have to believe that ‘better’ is possible, within grasp, and in our lifetime. Can you see it? Can you feel it? Do you believe?

                                         Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved. Natasha L. Foreman

Sources:
BusinessDay http://www.businessday.co.za/
Catholic Information Services for Africa (Nairobi) http://www.cisanewsafrica.org/
IRIN  http://www.irinnews.org/