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5 things to know about Kwanzaa

Just like Hanukkah and Christmas, Kwanzaa takes place during the month of December, specifically from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Also like Christmas and Hanukkah, Kwanzaa has a large and devoted following. Here are five things that you should know about the upcoming holiday: 1. It is a fairly new holiday Dating back to only the 1960s, Kwanzaa is a fairly new holiday. While it may not have a long tenure like Hanukkah or Christmas, the time period in which it was created is significant–– Kwanzaa emerged during a time of black empowerment in a racially-charged America. Associate professor of employment law and legal studies Dawn D. Bennett-Alexander said that she feels that the creation of Kwanzaa was a search for African Americans to create something that was their own at a time when they were not included in much. “We began to see all sorts of manifestations of rejection and a search to create our own version of things,” Bennett-Alexander said. “From clothes to cooking, from curriculum to celeb..

Re-bonding through business, culture, history: Developing story of Turkey's ties with Africa

Turkish footprints in Africa may be hard to trace in history, but their future is easier to guess because both sides are willing to improve political and economic relations as repetitively stressed during President Erdoğan's recent visit to the continentTurkey's centuries-old rapport with Africa has once again been cherished with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to Sudan, Chad and Tunisia. Resulting in 33 agreements in total, last week's trip emphasized Turkey's determination to reinforce its ties with the country via an approach that attains the status of partnership with both sides. The iterative call on Turkish investors to expand their operations in Africa aims to both boost bilateral economic ties and capitalize on the common cultural heritage that has formed a brotherly friendship between Turkey and Africa, as Turkish businesspeople emphasized. It has been more than 500 years since the continent of Africa saw the first Turkish conquest when the Turk..

South Africa's Zulu King Wants Circumcision Culture To Be Preserved

Details Published on Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:53View CommentsGoodwill Zwelithini KOKSTAD, SOUTH AFRICA -- South Africa's Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has encouraged communities, especially those in KwaZulu-Natal Province, to preserve the circumcision culture, saying the practice is to ensure that it contributes towards the fight against HIV and AIDS. The Zulu monarch was addressing hundreds of young males who have just been circumcised and completed initiation during a traditional homecoming ceremony held in this small town on the border between KwaZulu-Natal Province and Eastern Cape Province on Tuesday for young men who have successfully undergone circumcision. Eighteen-year-old Bahlakoana Mahasele is one of the new initiates. He has just completed traditional circumcision under the supervision of a medical doctor. Mahasela says he has gained a lot about life in general during his stay at the mountain. “I saw that boys who had been to the mountains are more disciplined and ..

“Mama Tinga Tinga”, the African version of Santa? [Culture on The Morning Call]

Christmas is celebrated throughout the African continent by Christian communities both large and small on December 25. Except in Ethiopia and Egypt who celebrate Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar- which means that they celebrate Christmas on January 7. Many western Christmas traditions are now part of African Christmas culture, including buying trees, singing Christmas carols and children waiting for Christmas presents from Father Christmas. Speaking about Father Christmas or Santa Claus. He is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on Christmas Eve and the early morning hours of Christmas Day. As African children, the image we get while growing up is that of a portly, joyous, white-bearded man—sometimes with spectacles—wearing a red coat with white fur collar and cuffs, white-fur-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots and who carries a bag full of gifts for children. But..

Let's make the campaign on reading culture a success

The recently launched campaign by Rwandan publishers to ingrain a reading culture in the country is not only imaginative, but could not have been kick-started at a better time. Themed “Gira Igitabo Aho Uri (loosely, ‘read a book wherever you are’), it is apt that the first full month of the projected year-long campaign should have coincided with December. The aptness of the coincidence is that it should appear obvious that the long holidays that define the month present an excellent opportunity for adults and children alike to enjoy a book before work and school resumes in January. Yet this rarely happens with many of us. Thus, the elaborate campaign targets homes as well as institutions and corporates, with an eventual launch of the Igitabo Bus Initiative to avail books in public transport service vehicles. The bus initiative will be the first of its kind in the region, if not the world. And, if it successfully comes to pass, the multi-pronged campaign doesn’t get more imaginative th..

Why Ramaphosa won't be able to deliver three urgent fixes South Africa needs

The competition for the top six leadership positions in the ANC, was no carefully choreographed script such as the one-candidate-per-election of Chinese Communist Party congresses. It was a rip-roaring, full-throated democratic contestation – as raucous as US primary elections. Even more so, with delegates’ repeated singing and dancing. This point bears emphasising. As recently as 2016, one hardline ANC critic published a book-length argument that ANC political practice and culture is shaped by an exile culture of avoiding or rigging elections. The ANC’s 2017 national elective conference proves him wrong. At a cost of tens of millions of rand to host 4 776 delegates – and 1 200 accredited journalists – for a five day conference, the ANC achieved the closest possible thing to internal democracy. By contrast, the UK Prime Minister has, on occasion, been chosen by less than four hundred MPs in a party parliamentary caucus. This refutes those who predicted “the end of the ANC”. In the end..

Kwanzaa comes to Boathouse Row

This year marks the 51st anniversary of Kwanzaa, a cultural holiday observed for seven days beginning Dec. 26 and ending Jan. 1. Neither a religious nor a political holiday, Kwanzaa was established in 1996 by noted Black American scholar and activist Maulana Karenga to introduce and spread “Nguzo Saba,” which in Swahili means the seven principles that he developed from his ongoing African culture studies. Translated, these are: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics (building Black businesses), purpose, creativity and faith. A candle is lit on each day to celebrate each principle. On the last day, a Black candle is lit and gifts are shared. According to The Associated Press, the name “Kwanzaa” is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits” in Swahili, the most widely spoken African language. However, Kwanzaa, the holiday, did not exist in Africa. “Kwanzaa is a celebration of the family which first forms us, names..

Trump's vulgar remark on Haiti, Africa leaves immigrants baffled

After President Donald Trump asked why the United States would want people from "shithole countries," referring to Haiti and those in Africa, Judelande Calix of Maryland had a query of her own. "My question is, why not?" said Calix, who is in her mid-30s and came to the United States from Haiti in the late 1990s. Calix went to college; her husband Marc, also from Haiti, is a neurophysiologist, and "countless" other people they know are immigrants who are contributing to this country, she said Thursday in a phone interview. The White House did not deny Trump's choice of language. His comment also referred to the Central American country of El Salvador, the Washington Post reported. "I don't know how else to describe those words except being racist and ... to betray the complete ignorance of history," Arturo Viscarra, 38, a U.S. citizen who came to the United States from El Salvador when he was 4 years old and who is director of organizing and policy at the Central Amer..

Why South Africa is laying a welcome mat for Muslim visitors

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNN) -- With more than one million visitors in 2016, Cape Town already ranks highly among the most popular destinations in Africa. But South Africa's legislative capital and its tourism industry is now targeting a new niche: Muslims. Travel expenditure by Muslim travelers is expected to exceed $200 billion by 2020, according to a 2016 report by Mastercard, and there are high hopes that many can be attracted to the city of Table Mountain. "Traditionally, Cape Town was perceived as mainly a European city with a bit of Africanism to it," says Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism. "We needed another narrative to meet the (Muslim) market's wants and needs, to make sure we deliver in a professional way but also a respectful way by firstly understanding the culture." That includes adapting the city's leisure facilities to cater specifically to Muslim travelers. Major chains such as Hilton already offer bespoke Muslim-friendly rooms, complete with pr..

Afro Prints Etal …

Ensuring that every woman is not just noticed, but is remembered, is the tag line for the African inspired EtAl Clothing store. Located at Shop 6 on 9-11 Phoenix Avenue, Kingston 5, the afrocentric boutique is the brainchild of Nigerian-based, Jamaican and New York attorney, Deean Fontaine. The inception of EtAl began with a passion for art and the quest for embodying African culture and beauty. Fontaine was inspired by the clothing, jewellery, and art that she encountered on her travels throughout Africa. "People are fascinated by African culture. I would handpick these items and take them back," said Fontaine.The store itself has evolved from a mobile jewellery business to a fully functioning store that was later housed in Ms Fontaine's home basement. As the interest in the concept progressed, Fontaine was inspired to expand her offerings to include clothing made from modern styles using African print, as well as African art. EtAl's clothing line is inspired by a desire to ..

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