How “Black Lives Matter” re-ignited my blog’s purpose

Last time I checked with you for my monthly musing, was in May when I did a round-up of the 2020 first quarter. I mainly discussed the rise of the COVID -19 pandemic and the top events, thus far, of the year. Today I’m telling you how world’s events of the past week, the Black Lives Matter movement especially, have helped me re-ignite my blog’s purpose.

A mural in honor of George Floyd.
A mural in honor of George Floyd.

Things have been even more eventful (and draining) with the eruptions of the Black Lives Matter protests, following the senseless killings of black people in the USA. So draining that I could not put my feelings and emotions into words (considering that we’re still battling the pandemic).

I can’t breathe”

On May 25, the killing in Minneapolis (USA) of Georges Floyd, an-African-American man, by 3 policemen, sparked national anger. The videophone footage shows Derek Chauvin, one of the policemen, kneeling on George’s neck for almost 9 minutes. Two other policemen are seen pinning his body on the floor, while George was repeatedly imploring them to stop, by saying “I can’t breathe”. He later lost his consciousness and subsequently died.

The shock and exasperation spread worldwide, with protests erupting around the world.

Black Lives Matter

Protestors around the world have rallied across the slogan Black Lives Matter, that first started as a hashtag created in 2013, in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the murderer of Trayvon Martin, another unarmed teen back boy. Since then, the hashtag is getting used widely on social media to highlight the senseless, and often racially motivated killings, of black people, especially young black men.

A few weeks before Floyd’s killing, Breonna Taylor, a 26 years-old female, was shot and killed in her bed, while police officers entered her apartment, to execute a ‘no-knock warrant search’. Her family is still seeking justice.

Before Breonna, Ahmaud Arbery, a young black man was killed while jogging in his neighborhood. He was pursued, confronted and killed by 2 white residents. His killing was recorded by another neighbor, who was later charged alongside the other two.

The shock and exasperation of these killings spread worldwide, with protests erupting across many cities around the world. In France, the movement has found resonance with the killing of Adama Traore by French policemen, in a condition similar to George Floyd.

#BlackLivesMatter goes global

This year people from every background of life, race and nationality have joined the movement. It has also sparked conversations about racism and prejudice in our society. Social media in particular, has become a very powerful platform, because it has given black people all over the world a platform to share their painful experiences with institutionalized racism.

Powerful brands and companies have all been forced to reflect and enforce changes in their organisations to actively combat racism. Ex-colonial powers such as France, Belgium and the UK are also facing a growing discontentment with Afro-descendants wanting them to be accountable for practicing slavery and colonization. They want these countries to recognize the atrocities committed under such practices and discuss reparations. Symbols and statues of colonization and slavery are being toppled in major cities across Europe and the US.

If anything, the events of these past weeks, have shown us that racism is one of the most enduring pandemic that black, and other non-white people, have been subjected too for centuries. It has permeated, in the most insidious ways every aspect of our lives.

A renewed purpose and re-commitment to my blog’s vision

The tragic killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests have reignited my purpose and the vision of House of Nzinga. It reminded me that, I created this platform to contribute to an afro-centric and afro-optimistic worldview and narrative.

My mission, when I started this blog, was to counter all the negative, stereotyped portraying of black people, especially women, by amplifying our voices and stories, while celebrating our past.

Although my platform and voice, is a tiny one in this world wide web, I strongly believe every voice counts in the fight against institutionalized racism and Neo-colonialism.  Every signed petition, every tweet, every post changing the narrative counts. As I read somewhere “activism has many lanes”, and social media activism is certainly become a powerful modern tool for activism when used correctly of course).

So stay tuned for more inspiring, educating and empowering content.

H.O.N Weekly : Your Weekly Roundup of Trending News

Picture of the 2 protagonists in Atlantics. Picture Netflix.

Welcome to my second installation of HON Weekly.

Last week, we discussed the Covid-19 crisis and how some African countries are managing the pandemic.

25 May it’s Africa Day !

Today, it’s all about celebrating the motherland. Happy Africa Day!

A bit of history

Africa Day was first held in 1963 in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, when 32 countries formed the Organisation of Africa Unity (O.A.U). The O.A.U was renamed the Africa Union (A.U) in 2002 and includes today 55 countries.  This year’s theme is: “Silencing the guns by 2020 and creating conductive conditions for Africa’s socio-economic development, and intensifying the fight against Covid-19”. (Sources African Union).

While we celebrate Africa day, let’s all make sure that all these unity and development goals are implemented and don’t remain wishful slogans.

Virtual Africa day events

Africa day is usually commemorated and celebrated across the continent via diplomatic and cultural events. This year virtual events will take place instead, such as the Africa Day benefits concert hosted by Idris Elba on MTV Base Africa (DSTV channel 322) and I am WAN event, hosted on YouTube and Facebook. Both events will feature international African artists and from the diaspora, such as Fally Ipupa, Burna Boy, Yemi Alade, Youssou N’dour and Khadja Nin just to name a few.

3D Fashion show by designer Anifa Mvuemba breaks the internet

On May 22, Congolese Anifa Mvuemba literally broke the internet when she debuted the latest collection of her contemporary fashion brand, with a revolutionary digital fashion show on Instagram live, featuring 3D models. Clips of the innovative show quickly became viral short afterwards, and trended all week-end. Talking to Teen vogue magazine, the Maryland born said she had ideas of putting a 3D show long before the stay-at-home regulations where put into place.

“The news came out about how serious things [ then pandemic] were and I started to feel a bit anxious about everything going on. I started feeling like maybe it would be insensitive to create and share a new collection online while people were facing very difficult realities”. She continues “my decision to keep going could impact our customers for the better in ways I never imagined. That’s when I knew it was time”. Anifa began the fashion with a documentary to raise awareness on the issue of conflicts minerals and how it affects women and children in her country of origin, Congo-Kinshasa, stating how storytelling and being intentional is important in her craft.

African Proverb

“I am not African because I was born in Africa, but because Africa was born in me” Kwame N’krumah”, first president of Ghana and of the architect of panafricanism.

Watch+ Read + Listen

Do not forget to catch up with Netflix’s Made In Africa collection in honor of Africa month ( see last week post)

Editor’s pick : Atlantics

Atlantics ( 2019) is an award-wining supernatural love story, directed by Franco-Senegalese director Mati Diop. Set in Dakar (Senegal), Atlantics highlights the issues of exploitation of cheap labor by crooked bosses, the weight of traditions on young women, their dream of freedom, against the backdrop of clandestine immigration.

Quiz : so you think you know Africa?

Bantunauts Raydio wants to know how well do you know Africa. Take this quiz and tell us your results. Share it with your friends on your social media pages and tag us!

Have a great week ahead !

Xx, PYM

Let’s get social, let’s connect!

Website:    http://houseofnzinga.com/

Facebook page : https://web.facebook.com/houseofnzinga/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/fabulous_trysh/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/house_of_Nzinga/ 

Podcast: https://anchor.fm/houseofnzinga

Portfolio : linktr.ee/PatriciaYumba

5 facts you should know about Ghana

View from Elmina Castle, A slave dungeon and fort in Cape Coast Ghana.
One of the view from the large Elmina Castle wide top windows. Picture (House Of Nzinga)

Last year, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Ghana for work. I wish I was a travel blogger to create tons of vlogs and take incredible pictures and videos to convey the real magic that is Ghana. There is so much to take in that is impossible to convey everything into one blog post. But I’m sure last year your social media were flooded by beautiful pictures of Ghana, while the country was celebrating the Year of Return.

Here is a top 5 about modern and ancient facts you should know about Ghana. Also if this country is on your wish-list, go ahead and visit it, you will absolutely love it.

  1. The Year of return

Last year Ghana successfully launched a campaign aimed at encouraging people of African descent to return home to Ghana. The year of 2019 was chosen because it marks 400 years since the first slaves ships arrived in the city of Jamestown, in Virginia (1619, USA). This anniversary was marked with a series of arts and cultural events that culminated in December with events such as AfroNation and Afrochella among many others high-profile events. The campaign is estimated to have attracted around 1 million visitors and injected 1.9 billion US dollars in the economy (source bbc.com). Unless you’ve been living under a rock, social media were buzzing with content from the Year of return, from the celebrities flocking into Accra, to the public attending and enjoying music events or visiting historic landmarks; Accra gave us all the feels last year.

PS: To continue reaping off the benefits of this hugely successful marketing campaign, and build sustainable results Ghana has launched the campaign Beyond the return.

2. The Door of the No return

Like many West-African coastal countries, Ghana has many historic sites that is a testament of the cruelty of the slavery practice. It is estimated that 75 per cents of these dungeons are situated in West Africa, in countries such as Seengal, Benin, Nigeria among others. I visited the Elmina castle on the Cape Coast Castle and Museum, with an amazing guide and storyteller whose narration plunge you in one of the saddest and most atrocious period of our common history. A very emotional visit but a must see for anyone who want to learn about such an important period of human history.

Entry to one of the Female slaves dungeon . Pictures (House Of Nzinga).

3. Yaa Asantewaa and the battle for the golden stool

Born around 1840 into the Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana, Yaa Asantewaa was another African female leader known as brave and fierce.  Yaa Asantewaa fought the British invaders in the famously named “The golden stool fight” (1900). After British Governor Sir Frederick Hodgson demanded that he owns and seat on the Golden stool, a sacred symbol of the Ashanti empire, Yaa Asantewaa called her people to resist in these words: “If you, the men of Ashanti will not go forward, then we will. I call upon my fellow women. We will fight till the last of us die in those battlefields”. Women occupied prominent roles in the Ashanti culture and were involved in the government and judicial and affairs including deciding when to launch or to stop a war. The Ashanti people fought a long and fierce battle, since the beginning of British led invasions, but unfortunately were defeated in 1902. Yaa AAntewaa and other prominent figures of the empire were deported to the Seychelles where she died.

4. Many celebrities and high profiles personalities in the US and UK diaspora are from Ghana heritage.

These includes, Idris Elba, Boris Kodjoe, Kofi Siriboe and Marketing executive Bozoma Saint John. Boris Kodjoe and Bozoma Saint John have been instrumental in using their star power and influence for the Year of Return campaign, by inviting celebrities to join them, at the Essence Full circle festival.

5. The actual country Ghana’s name was inspired by the ancient Ghana Kingdom

Previously called Gold Coast and under British administration, Ghana get renamed after its independence on 6 March 1957. Kwame Nkrumah is the 1st president of the republic of Ghana. Actual Ghana must not be confused with the ancient empire of Ghana, which was situated further north, in the area of present-day south-eastern Mauritania and Western Mali. Ghana means warriors kings and was the name given to kings in the empire. Before its decline, the Ghana empire was a very wealth kingdom that traded mainly gold and salt.

Have you ever been to Ghana? how was your trip? or perhaps you have visited another dungeon, Door Of No Return in another country. How was your experiences?

The Year Of Return Promo video

Xx, PYM

Let’s get social, let’s connect!

Website:    http://houseofnzinga.com/

Facebook page : https://web.facebook.com/houseofnzinga/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/fabulous_trysh/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/house_of_Nzinga/ 

Podcast: https://anchor.fm/houseofnzinga

Portfolio : linktr.ee/PatriciaYumbaM

H.O.N Weekly :Your Weekly Roundup of Trending News

HON WEEKLY-16 May 2020

Hey there and welcome to H.O.N Weekly (I hope you know by now that H.O.N stands for House of Nzinga, if not, what kind of friend are you?! serious eyes rolls, lol). It’s a feature, that I plan to bring to you weekly, where I share with you my commentary on the top stories of the week, in lifestyle, pop culture and current affairs or the latest buzz or trends on social media. I will also talk about not to be missed important events and things to look out for during the week.

Trending/Worldwide/Health&Wellness

To kick off this series, I wanted to tackle a subject still trending worldwide: the COVID-19 pandemic naturally, and to look at some African countries’ response.

  • South Africa’s response to the crisis

In South Africa, we just reached the “50 days into under lock-down” milestone. The government has divided the lock-down into phases and, since May 1st, we were downgraded from phase 5 ( the highest level alert) to phase 4. Most of the general public are however still confined at home, with just few more essential workers and business activities being able to operate such as : Uber, Uber Eats and delivery services at restaurants.  South Africa has among the highest numbers on the continent and understandably one of the strictest lock-downs. It is interesting to watch how the lock-down situation is igniting robust discussions on social classes and races divide, privileges, etc. in post-apartheid South Africa.

  • Why is Africa still not ravaged by the pandemic ?

Many western health experts are wondering why Africa is not as badly affected as it was predicted. These interrogations go from genuine medical questions to some more condescending, rooted in Afro-pessimism (even racists) affirmations. It feels as if the world is waiting, sadly, on the pandemic to ravage the ‘dark continent’, natural habitat to deaths, famine and diseases. In the world of Senegalese scholar Felwine Sarr, “Europeans are worried about us, but we’re worried about them.”  

Some experts have started to give some tentative explanations to this like the low median age in Africa, which is only 19, in contrast to the aging population in Europe and elsewhere. Also, Africa is still relatively less connected (in term of international traffic) than the rest of the world and has probably been shielded from the pandemic longer than other countries.

  • It is time to value Africa’s expertise?

One major thing that seems to be underestimated in media reports, is that most Africans government, have been proactive and implemented early measures to control the pandemic, despite the many local difficulties encountered.  

For instance, South African management of the pandemic has been praised by the WHO (early and strict lock-down measures and nation-wide scale testings). Furthermore, Senegal has been developing rapid and cheap tests kits (1 dollar testing kit used to test Dengue fever) and engineers are developing locally manufactured ventilators. All this combined has afforded the West-African country one of the lowest mortality rate combined with some of the highest recoveries rate worldwide. 

Above all this, Africa’s health practitioners have a wealth of experience in dealing with life threatening epidemics and large-scale public health issues such as HIV (South Africa) malaria (most of sub-Saharan countries) and recently Ebola (DRC & West-Africa). It’s easier for them to replicate some treatments and protocols put in places for these diseases to the COVID-19 recent pandemic.

Although we still at the beginning of the pandemic, and it is way too soon to declare victory and relax, (we should absolutely not), let’s hope that the pandemic evolution in Africa continues to defy these somber predictions.  

Finally, it is time for the world to listen to Africa’s contribution and expertise in global public health, medical and pharmaceutical research.

Watch+ Read + Listen

Social media

Although there is not much life happening right now in the big outside world, artists and content creators are carrying us all through this weird time. From social media challenges like the #DontRushChallenge, which show the multi-faceted beauty of black women (quickly emulated and declined into men, babies, doctors, lawyers, bearded men versions), to Tik Tok viral dance challenges and finally to the epic Versuz Instagram battles..I must say, black content creators are literally giving me life! I’m sure you’ve watched or heard of the epic Babyface/TeddyRiley battle, followed up by the soul-soothing, battle of nu-soul divas, Jill Scott/Erikah Badu last week. Be sure to catch the next one, rappers Ludacris Vs Nelly, tonight.

Don’t miss on Netflix’s Made In Africa content

To celebrate Africa Day on 25 May and following its announcement of curating more African content, Netflix has launched “Made In Africa” and made available a collection of African titles on the platform. Be sure to catch Atlantics (Senegal), The boy who harnessed the wind (Malawi), Chief Daddy (Nigeria), Queen Sono, and many more documentaries and series. See the promotion below for more available titles.

Important dates and things to look out for :

To celebrate Africa Day, on 25 May, and to continue to raise awareness around the Covid19 pandemic effect on the continent, several initiatives will take place from this week-end and beyond.

  • 16 May : Africa at home, an evening with artists and international African celebrities such as Congolese rumba artists Fally Ipupa and Ivoirian group Magic system, hosted on the FrenchTV channel Canal Plus.
  • 25 May : #IAMWAN/ #JeSuisWAN : another pan-African initiative with the participation of superstars like Youssou N’dour (Senegal), Oumou Sangare (Mali) , Wizkid (Nigerian) and Kassav  (French Caribbean) to name a few. For more info, check here.

What have you been up to this week?

Xx, PYM

Let’s get social, let’s connect!

Website:    http://houseofnzinga.com/

Facebook page : https://web.facebook.com/houseofnzinga/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/fabulous_trysh/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/house_of_Nzinga/ 

Podcast: https://anchor.fm/houseofnzinga

Portfolio : linktr.ee/PatriciaYumba

1 2 3 4 5 10

css.php