Tag Archive | "Africa"

Will Education in South Africa ever speak to the African Child?

Let us all begin by agreeing that our past was bad, racist, anti-progressive and has killed much of our potential as a country. Only one race benefited from education then, the whites.

It will not help us at all looking at Bantu education today, since no one who studied Bantu education is still at school. It has been almost twenty years now, and when we discuss education, our discussion will be focused on education in the new dispensation of democracy. By so saying, I am not suggesting that the effects of Bantu education can still be seen today, but that is a topic for another day.

I am finding it hard to understand why Basic Education and Higher Education are separate ministries? Higher Education exists because of Basic Education, and what one does invariably affects the other, so I would have expected a sound single Education department to deal with the state of education. But we have two.

Politics aside, when will education in this country become relevant to the needs and aspirations of an African child?

Some of you might swear and make statistical arguments why an African-centred education is not desirable in a global economy, and the likes, but all these arguments are nonsense.

Starting with Basic Education, what are the subjects that pupils can take? Languages, Economics, Business Economics, Accounting, Maths, History, Geography, and the like. Since some quarters of our society see red every time it is said science and technology should be taught in our languages, for now let us exclude science from the discussion. Is there any other reason why the rest of these subjects are not taught in our languages?

Let me make two examples to stress my point. Let us take Economics as an example. Is there any reason at all why Economics content is not based on the African economies? Even today pupils still learn economic histories of European and American societies. What is wrong with providing an economic history of Africa when learning Economics? Wouldn’t that provide pupils a better chance to be good in the subject since what is being taught is what they know and can identify with? Wouldn’t that allow them to further develop economic theories when they reach varsity level since all these would be part of their everyday lives?

On History. Can anyone tell me what is significance of teaching our children the history of Europe and America? While none about Africa is provided? Are you telling me that twenty years into democracy we have failed to make changes even in small matters like these? When a Mosotho child is taught History at school and is told about all the European figures and states, none of which they know, how alienated is that child? Do Africans lack a history that we do not teach African History in our schools?

I must say that our government has let me down on education. Instead, they have gone all out to import education models that have not been tried anywhere else in the world. How much would it have cost us to simply prescribe African History in schools? How much effort would be required to bring the vast collection of history books written by Africans about Africa into our schools?

Before I talk about Higher Education, which is mysteriously no longer Tertiary Education, allow me to pose a simple question. What is the purpose of education, formal and informal, in society?

Our Higher Education seems to be worse than Basic Education in its content. I am currently a student at UNISA studying for a BA with majors in Linguistics and Theory of Literature. Initially, Read the full story

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The Naija Dream: Genevieve Nnaji

Nigerian actress, singer, model

Genevieve Nnaji was born in Mbaise in the Imo state of Nigeria and grew up in Lagos. The actress, who has starred in over 80 Nollywood movies, started her acting career in a popular soapie named Ripples at the age of 8. Her movie credits include the award-winning movie The Journey and the movie Most Wanted.

Genevieve is considered one of the best paid actresses in Nollywood. CNN profiled her after Oprah referred to her as the Julia Roberts of Africa. She was also profiled on the Oprah Winfrey Show in an episode called ‘Meet the most famous people in the world.’ Though she is commonly known as an actress, Genevieve is also a model, singer and a fashion designer. In 2004 she signed with EKB Records and released her debut album titled One Logologo Line. In 2004 she became the face of Lux Nigeria in a highly lucrative sponsorship deal. She has featured in television commercials for OMO the detergent and the beverage Pronto. Earlier this year she was named the global face of Luna Milk and starred in the television commercial that airs all across Africa.

In 2008 she launched a clothing label St Genevieve, which donates its proceeds to charity. In May 2010 she was chosen as the official face of MUD cosmetics in Nigeria. Genevieve has received numerous awards including the best actress award in the 2001 City People Awards and best actress in a leading role at the 2005 African Movie Academy Awards.

A true African goddess, Genevieve is living the African dream.

By Innocent Ndlovu
Twitter: @IamInnocentN
Facebook: Innocent Ndlovu
Blog: www.studioinn.tumblr.com

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Wizkid Makes it to America

21 year old rapper, Wizkid is the latest Nigerian artist to break into the U.S market. The young rapper who recently fathered a child with a university student was spotted in the US with Akon. Word on the street is that he recorded a song with Akon which is set to be an instant hit. A snippet of the song was leaked  on the internet and features more of Akon verses.

All l can is Nigerian artists are taking over Africa and America, ya’ll better keep up!

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Book Review: You’re Not a Country, Africa

Long gone are the days when folks used to stand on the beach and gaze into the alluring curves of the ocean and wonder what lay beyond the illusive horizon. I imagine regal warriors, curious children, and thoughtful mothers all taking a moment out of their respective 13th century day to dare to imagine what secrets the oceans were yet to spit out.

Blink. Hundreds of years pass and such wonderings are quickly quenched. Facebook, Twitter, Google, radio and TV all combine to make it simple and fast to know exactly what’s potting over the ocean. In fact the situation is now such that I’m regularly guilty of knowing what’s going on in some country hundreds of kilometres away and yet be clueless about the goings on in the lives of people I live with (Hi Mom).

Today, cultures rub against each other, fuse into each other, mimic each other, and borrow from each other on a daily basis. In Johannesburg alone, it is expected for you to be multilingual, for instance it is not uncommon to speak English with your colleagues, Zulu with your friend and Tswana with your favourite aunt and throw in some Afrikaans when dealing traffic officers.

Reading this book, ‘You’re Not a Country’ by Pius Adesanmi, my attention was not only drawn to how culturally diverse the world we I live in is, but also on the definition of ‘African’ these days. I think nothing of having croissants for breakfast (French) on Sunday morning, pasta (Italian) for dinner on Wednesday, and vetkoeks for lunch on Saturday, with liberal doses of emailing, texting, tweeting, and ‘liking’ all through the week about royal weddings, Asian tsunamis, South American soccer players, and American rappers. What is so African about my Africa?

This book transported me back to the lecture rooms of Wits and mostly fond memories of my African literature studies. Names like Franz Fanon, Wole Soyinka and Ngugi wa Thiong’o are littered all across this book like radiant lilies on a fresh green plateau. Naturally Chinua Achebe enjoys prominent placement. The book opens with a message from him and characters from Things Fall Apart are constantly being turned to further elaborate whatever point Pius is trying to make.

In his book, Pius shares his personal experiences of being an African, more specifically, a Nigerian man who has had the privilege of surfing the waves of culture around the world. His insights range from amusing, enlightening to brain-knottingly (is that a word? Well, it is now) academic. An amusing experience he had was when he moved to America and found that African Americans did not share his love for Country Music.

He writes: “By far the most delicate situations came with my African American friends. What the heck was this African brotha doing? What’s with him and the music of the southern white racists? That was pretty much the situation the first time I hosted some African American graduate students who had graduated and were leaving town. They couldn’t get over my investment in country music. Not even the evidence of my no less passionate investment in jazz, rap, and R&B helped. The fact that my collection of the musical masters of the Harlem Renaissance was almost complete made matters worse. One of them wondered aloud, albeit jokingly, how I could defile the masters by stacking country music trash so close to them in my collection. I even dared to put Dolly Parton on top of Satchmo (Louis Armstrong) in my CD rack.”

Apart from the amusing, the book takes a serious look at tribal and religious friction within Nigeria, in addition to his international experiences. Honestly, Nigeria sounds crazy! The picture Pius paints is one of corruption, poverty, corruption, country music, corruption, Chinua Achebe… and some more corruption. It’s quite interesting to read about the world our Nigerian brodas come from. Learning more about our fellow Africans will do South African’s good – especially as we try scotch this Xenophobia nonsense.

Do read this one and ponder the thoughts and views this perspicacious man shares. How are you surviving the milieu of this new millennium? Are you merely consuming and regurgitating it or are you taking the time to adapt it to yourself and perhaps even change and affect it in some way (preferably positive, thanks). What is your definition of South Africa and Africa, in fact, let’s be honest… when was the last time you thought of yourself as an African? I know South Africans are regularly guilty of referring to “those Africans” as if we ourselves are not just as African as they are.

Warning: Pius is actually a Professor – a Professor of English in Ottawa, Canada no less – what that means is that he uses words like fissiparous, impasse, comeuppance, concatenating on a very, very regular basis. So do make sure your dictionary app is good and ready to be abused. Being a logophile I devoured these delicious words. For the first few chapters of the book I tossed about in them like Scrooge McDuck swam about in his coins! But around about the third section of the book I had had my fill of the verbiage and my mind was bloated from the gluttony – frankly I was tired of looking up every fourth word.

That, however, is no reason for you to not read the book. Read it. I will make you feel smarter and you’ll have something intelligent to say next time you’re at a chisa nyama, eating boerewors, sipping on Irish brandy and American coke, wearing Italian sneakers, whilst leaning on your German luxury vehicle.
Keitumetse Segoai

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