In an effort to reduce the HIV infection rate that comes as a result of traditional circumcision, South African Fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo has come up with a circumcision toolkit. As someone who has gone through the process and seen so many young boys die from it, he has combined tradition with modern medicine to preserve culture, while making it safer.
Ngxokolo has always drawn on the colors, beading and symbolism of Xhosa culture, reinterpreted into a modern knitwear clothing range. Until now, his fascination with the traditional journey into manhood has focused on the formal gentlemanly attire that has to be worn for six months by the amakrwala, the men who have completed the initiation ritual.
His range is sold in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Along with a string of awards, he also got a publicity-boosting shout-out from Beyoncé. But this year, for his master’s project for the Central Saint Martin’s art and design college at the University of Arts London, Ngxokolo decided to create this circumcision toolkit.
“I just wanted to do something that is more meaningful, that is not only confined to design but to social responsibility as well,” the 29-year-old designer told Quartz. “I felt I needed to do something as iXhosa and someone that has the design know-how.”
The satchel is beaded in the straight clean lines Xhosa design is known for and contains an embellished staff like the one healers have carried for centuries. But there is also hand sanitizer, antiseptic ointments, and bandages packaged in beaded holders so that they are more traditionally “acceptable.”
These modern additions “are pretty basic but have high impact,” said Ngxokolo. The toolkit comes with a pamphlet designed to provide simple but life-saving instructions on hand-washing and other safety practices in simple graphics. The tools in the kit don’t speed up the healing process—in keeping with the ritual’s requirements—but they could ensure that the initiates do not contract infection or HIV.
Don’t Give me that Bull shit about Women being too Complex to Understand! A friend sent a picture the other day to an exclusively male whatsApp group I belong to. It had two piles of books. The smaller pile was labeled “Men” and the sky-high pile was titled ‘Women: Part I’.
It got me thinking about how somehow society has succeeded in describing female complexity as a defect that makes them too complicated, pedantic, untenably emotional and illogical, trivial and too serious, over thinking and mostly impractical. This view is in large part because the definition of what are the accepted levels of human complexity have somehow been defined mostly by men.
As a boy, I attended a single-sex boarding school and that shaped the early stages of my manhood. The type of manhood in which you had to somehow increasingly prove how much of a man you were by meeting a set standard of manliness–boys don’t cry, boys must play or love football or basketball, you must not be too expressive of your feelings of hurt or betrayal, you must not duel in conflict, you have to talk about girls and sex in graphic ways, depict yourself as having aggressive control over girls and how they are longing and lusting for you.
Somehow, in all of this, I never got one story of any friend who had experienced pain and heartbreak or who was struggling with those feelings. Everybody was a hard man!
Well, I later learned that some of the stories were made up to feed into the stereotype. Most of us were afraid of talking to girls; talk less of asking them out. But we imprisoned those feelings in this cage of pretence and hardness because we never wanted to be depicted as female-like. Somehow being female-like was a bad thing because you will be too deep in your thinking, prudish about crime and immorality, emotional and too soft, vulnerable to hurt and pain etc. This was the rule and I later learned that most boys had been brought up in similar ways.
Related Article:Ladies Here is How to Spot a Mature Man.
In the university I had a friend who cooked better than his girlfriend and loved doing it but was always shy about people knowing his love for cooking because it would make him look feminine.
I had been told a story of a friend who had broken down into tears when his girlfriend had jilted him and another who had attempted suicide by drinking bleach because his girl cheated on him. In these stories, the boys had been depicted as weak and feminine. They were supposed to just move on, put up a brave face, get another girl and remain hard men!
Vulnerability was not an option. In fact, the one who had attempted suicide had later tried wooing a girl, and we warned the girl to tread carefully because she might one day be handling his corpse if she dares to leave him.
In that sense, then you can understand why men will seem less complex because we have been given this strict guideline on what we must not do to make us look sensitive, vulnerable, and deep. We see women as some sort of aesthetically gratifying gender with very ornamental roles– with sex, domestic work and reproduction being foremost. So when they do not act within this stereotype, they become this complex equation that we can’t seem to crack.
My best friend is female. She is perhaps the most perceptive human I know and she has provided me with so much access to understanding women but also to understanding how less of a man I was by trying so hard to fulfill the stereotypes of a hard man. So since I grew to know her, she has been my sounding board on a whole lot of my emotional issues which ideally I had to bottle up to appear hard.
I began seeing that we were essentially alike. She made me understand how manly it is to accept my vulnerabilities and weaknesses, fears and complications and to see my complexities as clearly as they are. Not just as a man but as a human being. The first time I ever broke down in front of a female, we became closer, she felt she had finally gained access and she appreciated me more because I showed I had several shades.
These shades are what females show which we now give the epithets — too complex, too emotional, too sensitive, difficult to understand, nagging and for the men who have weaned themselves from the slavery of being a hard man, we call them feminine. That’s bullshit!
By Kwoh Elonge
I would like to share with you ‘The Bamenda Story – the North West and its people.
I did my secondary and high school studies in the North West Province. I have done my fair share of travel around what I perceive as the world and I am now settled in Limbe – the South West Region.
Over the years I have met many people who see the North West region as a backward place. Some refer to North Westerners as Nigerians. It is truly sad when such negative or derogatory descriptions of the North West Region are made by those who originated from the Region. It’s similar to Cameroonians in the diaspora who condemn the nation not out of love but just out of some kind of alien pride – since they happen to live in a so-called better country.
There was a project to rebrand Bamenda a few years ago called Project New Bamenda. I must again appreciate those who were behind it.
In the past two years, I have made many trips to Bamenda and each time I am humbled and amazed by the level of hard work and development I see. I also see a huge potential for economic development in the Region, especially if there is more business collaboration between economic players within this Region.
My message of collaboration has been preached through the hosting (by my company 25-45 Business Consulting Plc) of business networking events in Buea and Limbe – they say charity begins at home. The South West Region is currently my immediate home. Bamenda is my natural home.
I am calling the planned networking event scheduled that is to take place in Bamenda on the 7th of October 2016, “THE HOME COMING”. If the nation of Cameroon has to grow, then Cameroonians need to bite the bullet and work towards its growth and not shy away. The same is true for the North West Region and Bamenda.
I want to give a big shout out to the many young Cameroonians that are making remarkable efforts towards the growth of the North West Region, despite its derogatory tags. I can think of the following names: Azenwi Ngwi, Achiri Donald, Adah Atoh, Derrick Musing, Daniel Kenji, Penjo Baba, Musi Wa, Tebo Berinyuy, Mokom Njang, Roland Fomumdam, Ntumgia Walters, Mbah Emmanuel, Comy Musa, Fombi Ruth, etc, etc. Please don’t be offended if I didn’t mention you by name.
I AM CALLING ON ALL OF YOU TO JOIN ME IN DEVELOPING A PLATFORM ON WHICH WE CAN SHOW CASE THE GREAT WORKS THAT ARE BEING DONE IN BAMENDA AS WELL AS COLLABORATE TO ACHIEVE BETTER RESULTS.
We will need leads from the various economic sectors in Bamenda: Agriculture, commerce, manufacturing, service industry, music, movies, etc. We are happy to announce that we already have volunteers who are poised to make this event a success but we will need more.
Event Name: Business Networking (THE HOME COMING)
Venue: Congress Hall, Bamenda.
Date and time: 7th October 2016 at 6:30 pm
By Collins Mazu
While you go about doing other things, some people, especially innovators, are restless somewhere trying to bring a needed difference in your life. Njorku.com under the leadership of Churchill Mambe is at its innovation wits again. This time around, the job search has been made very easy. All you need is a simple SMS and you might just grab your dream job.
Just send your job preferences and email address to the number (+237) 653 308 239 either via WhatsApp or SMS and Njorku will send you the job offers that match your needs.
Njorku.com is the biggest job search engine in Africa. It was founded by Churchill Mambe one of the great minds in Silicon Mountain. Hundreds of thousands of Africans have used Njorku to get jobs.
It’s not only about providing job opportunity alerts but you can also learn some business ideas from Njorku.
At this point in time, you will not always need an internet connection to inform Njorku to help connect you with the job opportunity you are after. With a simple SMS, all you need will be sent to the email address attached to the SMS so you can check out at your convenience.
What are you still waiting for? Just make use of the number above and do not hesitate to share the good news with your friends and family members you know are in search of jobs.
Afro Hustler wishes good luck to all the job seekers.
Out of her love for reading books, and the frustration she got from finding very few books which featured girls of colour, 11-year-old book enthusiast Marley Dias embarked on a campaign which has landed her her dream job. By a dream job, I mean an Editor-in-Chief to her own digital zine called Marley Mag. The magazine which is a collaboration with Elle Magazine will feature on the Elle site.
Marley Dias with the support of her family and community launched #1000BlackGirlBooks. She created the campaign to collect 1000 books with young Black female protagonists. Marley wanted something different, something which talked about girls of her kind. That is how she started a movement that inspired people she didn’t even know.
“It was the desire to see black girls and our experiences in the books that I was given to read at school that forced me to speak my truth. I launched 1000BlackGirlBooks, a book drive to collect the stories of women of color. (To donate, click here!) It took a little while, but I started a movement that inspired people I didn’t even know. I went on TV and was interviewed for some of my favorite websites, including ELLE.com. During our conversation, I said I wanted to edit a magazine some day. I didn’t expect it to happen so fast! A few months later, ELLE.com invited me to create a zine for the website,” said Marley Dias in her Editor’s Letter.
That’s how Marley Dias worked her way up from being a book nerd to occupying a position mostly held by adults. Her journey has brought her in contact with some really powerful women like Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama.
“My passion for books has changed my life. Between school, homework, tests, and play time with my friends, I have worked my butt off to create this space where black girls’ stories are read and celebrated in schools and libraries. I have collected more than 7,000 books, been on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, been honored at events, and even met Oprah and the fantastic Michelle Obama. And yet I am still just a girly tomboy who drinks Blue Raspberry Coolattas, builds Play-Doh people, and watches cat videos.”
We presume this is a lot of work for her, but she’s ready to face the challenges. Well, at eleven I read almost all African novels I came across, developed an interest in drawing and painting (which I somehow dropped along the way). Please share with us in the comment section below what you were doing at the age of eleven.
Read: Full Copy of Editor’s Letter from ELLE Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers and Marley
Some Cameroonians have resoundingly expressed animosity towards the AFCON 2016 Anthem. They are absolutely disappointed with the content of the official video that was aired on the national broadcaster, CRTV. The AFCON 2016 Anthem video features two great Cameroonian artists; Diva Charlotte Dipanda and Richard King, all revered for their great musical talents.
This song titled ‘hommage au footballeuse’ has received a myriad of criticisms from Cameroonians. According to Cameroonian football lovers, this song sounds like a lullaby that lures you to bed or it’s more like a dirge at a requiem ceremony. Cameroonians expected a hit song full of energy and loud beat and not one with a melancholic and slow rhythm.
Judging from other anthems of international games Cameroonians don’t think this official video befits a competition of this magnitude. As a consequence, they are airing their disappointments on social media. Based on some of the comments on social media the following can be seen as reasons the populace is so irked about the AFCON 2016 theme song.
- This video that was shot in Buea was edited in France yet it is of very low graphic and image quality. Whereas Cameroon has got young talented video directors like Dr. Nkeng Stephan of the Cameroon Phase of Entertainment, Ada Akenji. Adrenaline and Shamak. These are talented Cameroonians who have great potentials and their works have gained international recognition. Cameroon should make use of such human resources and promote these young talents.
2. The use of violins and the absence of drums in this video must have added some salt to the injury. Cameroon is a country with diverse cultures and energetic rhythms and traditional drums play an integral role in our cultural heritage. In this direction, Cameroonians feel that an inclusion of traditional drum beats in such a video will give the anthem an original African tune, for example, the official world cup 2010 song Zangalewa by Shakira.
3. Cameroonians were expecting younger home base artists like Stanley Enow, Tata Kingue, Afo Akom, , Mr Leo, Jovi, who have a huge fan base not Cameroonian artist in the Diaspora like Charlotte and Richard who spend all their time in the west and know little of the struggles and hurdles of hustling back in Cameroon. Signing our home-based artists with such a deal is a huge promotion and motivation as it will enable them to grow and gain more international recognition. For example Guinness international made Stanley Enow great with ”I AM MADE OF BLACK DEAL” IN 2014.
4. In all of football history, we have never heard an Anthem with so mixed ideas, lack of cultural representation, poor instrumentals, low sound quality and low spirit. when it comes to celebration the song does not represent it when it comes to trendy, it’s not even around it, talking about sportive, it is way out of place.
Cameroonians are so talented, we have got great potentials in all walks of life but we believe in foreign products, culture, trends, etc. The government should sit up. We prefer Cameroonian football coaches. For instance, if that huge money being paid to foreign coaches as salaries is paid to a Cameroonian coach he will invest it in Cameroon whereas foreign coaches repatriate our money (capital flight).
Drop your comments below about how you feel concerning this AFCON 2016 anthem .
Lupita Nyong’o is one of Africa’s most celebrated stars. She was born in Mexico from Kenyan parents. Lupita is the first Kenyan to win an Oscar, the first African actress to win Best Actress in a Supporting Role and the first Mexican-born actress to win an Oscar.
Are awards all there’s is to know about Lupita? She’s got quite a lot to her credit from acting to dressing style.
Lupita Nyong’o knows how to bring her A-game, be it on the red carpet or on the streets. One thing she never leaves behind is her roots. Even if she’s putting on a Ralph Lauren Cape dress or a custom-made Calvin Klein dress dripping with 6000 pearls, her afro hair always stands out. With her new movie “Queen of Katwe” gaining more public recognition, she has been rocking and promoting Kibonen NY. Kibonen NY is a clothing brand owned by Cameroonian Fashion designer Kibonen Nfi.
Stepping out in Manhattan, Lupita Nyong’o wore a $180 Kibonen NY Diprene Blue Black Dress. The dress with its handwoven designs around the neckline and knee garners inspiration from the traditional attire of the North West people of Cameroon.
Lupita Nyong’o in Kibonen NY Diprene Blue Black Dress
The formfitting dress flattered her body shape as well as her dark beautiful skin. She pulled the look off with a head wrap (which has been one of her fashion statements these days), sunglasses and ruby red Paul Andrew heels.
This is the second time (to the best of our knowledge) that Lupita Nyong’o is rocking a Kibonen NY design. A week ago, she wore a Kibonen NY Spaghetti trap top and Palazzo pants which cost between $80-$110, to the Ellen DeGeneres show. Not leaving out her favourite accessory of the moment- the head wrap.
Lupita Nyong’o at the Ellen DeGeneres Show in Kibonen NY
Skylabase, a Cameroonian technology company based in Buea the silicon mountain, is proud to be a nominee for the African FinTech Award 2016 in the Category of retail banking. Skylabase provides technologies for financial inclusion with the aim of getting a bank account to every single person in Africa. The company was founded in 2015 by Ayuk Etta Akum
What is retail Banking?
The term retail banking is strange to many of us who haven’t got a clue about banking. Retail banking, also known as Consumer Banking, is the provision of services by a bank to individual consumers, rather than to companies, corporations or other banks. Services offered include savings and transactional accounts, mortgages, personal loans, debit cards, and credit cards. The term is generally used to distinguish these banking services from investment banking, commercial banking or wholesale banking. It may also be used to refer to a division or department of a bank dealing with retail customers.
This financial solution provider has made remarkable progress since its creation and has attracted many engineers, consultants, business developers, marketers, designers, well-wishers to push the dream. Skylabase dream to support emergence in Cameroon and economic stability in Africa by providing qualitative, functional and usable solutions.
SmartFinance is a proud product of Skylabase which is a test driving digital innovative platform that Africa build to end poverty.This financial technology solution is aimed at financially including Africans by driving out a technology that enables retail banking institutions like microfinance, SACCOS, Credit unions, Village Lending and Saving groups, and Njangi or peer lending homes to effectively manage their clients or members and enable them to carry out distant and mobile banking from home.
Congratulations to Skylabase as she is currently among the top four FinTech retail banking startups in Africa. In this light, we call on all Cameroonians to give a hand of support to Skylabse to become the winner in their Category. Please VOTE HERE
On September 24, 2016, the Noela Lyonga Foundation set out on a hike to the Mount Cameroon Waterfall. The event which commenced at the Bismarck Foundation at 10:12 a.m. had 22 people in attendance.
While at the Bismarck Fountain Buea, the History of the Noela Lyonga Foundation was presented to all the participants by Ms. Kelly Dipoko. She explained that the Noela Lyonga Foundation was created in 2015 and became legalized in July 2016, with the goal of promoting volunteerism and inspiring youth. She further Emphasized that this noble organization tends to have both short term and long term activities.
The short-term activities involve volunteering for an event for a day or two while the long-term activities are meant for members to work with organizations for a couple of months or years in order to boost and improve their skills while serving the organization.
Participants at the Bismark Foundation
The Founder of this great organization Ms. Noela Lyonga then narrated how the foundation came about and what inspired her to come out with such a great idea. She acknowledged the fact that she started by first volunteering in organizations after having obtained a Bachelors Degree, in which case she started working as a volunteer in 2016. She worked with Konac, after which she won a scholarship to undertake a post graduate degree.
Her inspiration to come up with the foundation stemmed from the fact that the scholarship panel chose her because she had been volunteering with the community. In order to inspire other youths, she decided to come up with the Noela Lyonga Foundation. Some questions were later on raised as to why the said founder prefers using her name rather than the name of an association. Her response was, she wanted a forum where people will freely express themselves.
Another topic she brought up was the sale of T-shirts which is meant to raise funds for the Noela Lyonga Foundation Launch. Those interested in marketing these T-shirts were asked to notify the group. Moreover, the marketers will only give back to the organization 50% of the amount.
The group of hikers then left the Bismarck Foundation for the object of their mission. Along the way, a water point was discovered and everyone paused to have a drink. The journey continued up till upper farms where numerous selfies and photos were taken. The hiking later proceeded to the Mount Cameroon Waterfall, which was the final destination. A small well shaped touristic environment it is, though hidden in a reserved and conferred area.
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Mount Cameroon Waterfall
Just a few minutes after arrival some people washed their faces with the water as instructed by the guard, which is a sign of feeling the new area. Everyone later moved back down to the Bismarck Foundation where they wrapped up the expedition with participants overwhelmed with joy to have had such an opportunity.
By: Nkenglefac Miranda Fotabong
The AFCON 2016 comes with a lot of surprises and gifts for the denizens of the Buea municipality. The Buea municipal council has embarked on a mission to keep the city in order by demolishing dilapidated and unattractive structures along the Buea colonial main way. A majority of these structures had issues with the town planning regulations. A Prior notice was given to these victims to set or upgrade their structures to conform to the council’s expectations such as repainting, putting up a new roof and so on.
Better still, the lord Mayor of the Buea municipality Ekema Patrick is at the forefront of this initiative as he is seen in scenes supervising the demolition process. Probably this gentleman wants the best for his municipality. Notwithstanding, there is a controversy in Buea as some homes are destroyed and some unauthorized structures remain untouched.
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Most of the victims of these demolished structures haven’t got the financial power or resources to erect magnificent edifices at the moment, hence leaving them frustrated. So as of now the city will harbor demolished structures making it look like Syria or Iraq post-war era.
Much is expected from the Buea Council not only in relation to the upcoming AFCON games and demolishing dilapidated structures but to set this city to standard. Buea is Africa’s next hub of innovation harboring the Silicon Mountain and a home of great Africa’s young entrepreneurs. The legendary hospitality of Buea requires a comprehensive town planning and more streets to decongest the one and only colonial main way.