Vimbai Chats with Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane on SA Tourism1 minute read
News Central’s Vimbai Mutinhiri chats with Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, South Africa’s Minister of Tourism on the prospects of tourism in the rainbow nation.
A Nation Making Huge Strides in Rebuilding
Rwanda is making significant progress in moving on from its ugly past
In April 1994, ethnic tensions between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority boiled over, and what had been decades of mutual distrust ultimately escalated into a full-blown catastrophe. Over 800,000 Tutsi were murdered by Hutu militant groups, with many women raped, and hundreds of thousands of children rendered homeless.
The genocide, which stretched for three months, was met with a slow response from the international community, and many people were forced to flee into neighbouring countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The events of that dark period in Rwandan history illustrated in movies like “Hotel Rwanda” and “Sometimes in April”, left a trail of effects, some of which included post-violence trauma, increased distrust, hate and proliferation of pregnancies as a result of rape.
Twenty-five years have passed, and it has been a long, tortuous road to healing for all Rwandans, but commendable efforts have been made. Reconciliation and rehabilitation centres abound in various parts of the country, and there has been significant investment in technology, making Rwanda one of the few shining lights in a continent plagued by poverty and corruption. It is also worthy of note that there is significant female representation in Rwanda’s legislative houses: for context, Rwanda has one of the world’s highest proportions of women in power as 61% of members of parliament and 50% of the cabinet are female.
One aspect of the reconciliation process that needs elaboration, though, is the social work profession. Established after the genocide, social work has been integral to Rwanda’s healing process, through homegrown solutions or indigenous models of development that address the many layers of social wounds. Social workers in Rwanda have been heavily involved in programmes such as community work, local collective action and the indigenous practice of girinka, which makes for the provision of one cow for every poor family. There are also initiatives, such as the Hope and Homes for Children, which cater to children who may have been abandoned as a result of parental trauma resulting from rape, family isolation, drug abuse, vulnerability and stigma towards children with disabilities.
Rwanda’s success story is one that many African nations can take a cue from. Who is to say that countries like Sierra Leone would not be a lot better off if there were more women in positions of power? What if there had been more concrete efforts to ensure reconciliation between the Igbo and the rest of Nigeria after the civil war? These are the unanswered questions, but it is beautiful watching Rwanda thrive after the horror show of 1994.
How young people are changing the African narrative
For non-Africans who have never visited the continent, the perception of the second largest continent in the world has always been that of a place of impoverishment and raw savagery; a place ravaged by horrible epidemic and war.
This is largely attributable to an agenda-driven western media which sell these bogus tales about Africa to their global audience viewing the world through their reportage. Sadly, some of our local media are also guilty of this disservice to the mother continent.
As much as Africa, like other continents have its challenges, the positive stories to tell about the continent far outweighs the negativity found therein.
The good news, however, is that young Africans – the new generation, are striving to change the negative narrative of Africa through their excellence in different fields within and outside the continent.
These young Africans are pushing the frontiers of knowledge in their respective fields of interests, discovering new things and making landmark achievements. Whether in Technology, Fashion, Literature, Music and more, they are forging paths necessary for the sustenance of development in Africa. These crop of individuals are passing the message that Africa has a lot to offer the world through its rich human resources. What better way to be true ambassadors of the continent?
Let us take a look at some of the young individuals championing the change of an age-long African perception in their different fields.
Technology & Innovation
Over the years, we have seen some of the most innovative minds in technology come from Africa. Notable figures like Philip Emeagwali who invented the world’s fastest computer and who also won the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize for an application of the CM-2 massively-parallel computer, Jelani Aliyu who designed the Chevrolet Volt, Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, among very many others make this list.
One young African that is gradually making waves in technology is 35-year-old Jamila Abbas. Abbas is a Kenyan computer scientist and software engineer who is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of MFarm Kenya Limited. MFarm is an android application that Abbas developed to solve the challenge of lack of pricing transparency Kenyan farmers faced.
UNESCO adds Morroco’s Gnawa culture to list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Gnawa culture, a centuries-old Moroccan practice rooted in music, African rituals and Sufi traditions, has been added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
UNESCO announced this via its Twitter account, on Thursday, December 12, 2019.
Gnawa refers to a “set of musical productions, fraternal practices and therapeutic rituals where the secular mixes with the sacred”, according to the nomination submitted by Morocco.
Often dressed in colourful outfits, Gnawa musicians play the guenbri, a type of lute with three strings, accompanied by steel castanets called krakebs.
They practice “a therapeutic ritual of possession… which takes the form of all-night ceremonies of rhythms and trance combining ancestral African practices, Arab-Muslim influences and native Berber cultural performances. The tradition, which includes the veneration of Islamic holy men, dates back to at least the 16th century.
Originally practised and transmitted by groups and individuals from slavery and the slave trade”, today it is one of the many facets of Moroccan culture and identity.
Gnawa was popularised by a festival that started in 1997 in the southern port city of Essaouira.
Until then, Gnawa brotherhoods had been little known, even marginalised.
Now, they attract waves of fans each year from across the globe to the Gnawa and World Music Festival in Essaouira that highlights a unique mix of musical styles.
Gnawa groups “form associations and organise festivals” year-round, which enable the younger generation “to have knowledge of both the lyrics and musical instruments as well as practices and rituals” linked to Gnawa culture.
Politics4 days ago
Boko Haram executes Nigerian Christian cleric, Lawan Andimi
Politics1 week ago
Isabel dos Santos considers running for Angola’s presidency
News1 week ago
Nigeria’s opposition demands resignation of Chief Justice Mohammed, wants Imo judgment reversed
Politics4 days ago
Nigerian Army chief warns against foreign interference in Boko Haram, ISWAP fight
Business1 week ago
Kenya recovers $20 million worth of stolen assets
Feature News1 week ago
The gradual extinction of a world wonder?
Politics1 week ago
Bus explosion in Nigeria leaves nine dead
Politics1 week ago
Nigeria’s dark secret haunts new generation, 50years after Biafra war