Did you know Afro-Bolivians are still around today?
Burkina Faso’s former president, Blaise Compaore, has reportedly been indicted by a military court in the country’s capital for the 1987 assassination of political revolutionary, Thomas Sankara. Hailed as a national hero, Sankara was assassinated alongside 12 other government officials in a coup led by Compaore before he ascended to power. In 2014, Compaore was forced to resign from his 27-year-long rule and seek exile in the Ivory Coast after continued mass demonstrations. Thirteen other people were charged in connection with the killing, including Compaore’s former right-hand man, Gen. Gilbert Diendere. Charges against Compaore include undermining state security and concealing corpses, according to military documents seen by The Associated Press
According to AFP, lawyer to the family of Sankara, Guy Hervé Kam, responded to the news saying, “The time for justice has finally come. A trial can begin. It will be up to the military prosecutor to determine a date for the hearing.”
The indictment is certainly a pivotal moment in the now 34-year-long quest for justice for not only Sankara’s family, but the entire nation. While Compaore had repeatedly denied calls to exhume Sankara’s remains during his time in office, following his resignation, Sankara’s remains were exhumed in 2015 and described by his widow, Mariam Sankara, as having been “riddled with more than a dozen bullets,” Al Jazeera reports.
Sankara, who was known as a vocal Pan-Africanist and anti-imperialist, was beloved among the Burkinabe people with his assassination at the tender age of just 37, cutting deep into the socio-political fabric of the country even till today.
In four years as president, he became the first African leader to denounce the menace of AIDS, took a stand against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and promoted women’s rights by opposing female genital mutilation and polygamy.
While a date for the trial has not as yet been set or announced, Kam is optimistic that it will be soon. There have also been several attempts to extradite Compaore in the past, however, Ivory Coast has refused to hand him over.
Twitter announced today that they are building a team in Ghana to establish their presence on the continent. Twitter’s mission is to serve the public conversation, and the positive power of Twitter is what connects them and allows them to impact the world around us. “To truly serve the public conversation, we must be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities that drive the conversations taking place every day across the African continent,” they wrote in a company blog post today
Twitter is now present on the continent.
— jack (@jack) April 12, 2021
Twitter posted job openings for a variety of positions ranging from product and engineering to design, marketing, and communications. Individuals will occupy these positions remotely, though, as Twitter expects to open an office in the country later.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo expressed delight at the news, saying, “the choice of Ghana as HQ for Twitter’s Africa operations is excellent news. Government and Ghanaians welcome very much this announcement and the confidence reposed in our country.”
He also announced that he met with Dorsey virtually on April 7th, where the two parties may have finalized the contract.
“As I indicated to Jack in our virtual meeting on 7th April 2021, this is the start of a beautiful partnership between Twitter and Ghana, which is critical for the development of Ghana’s hugely important tech sector. These are exciting times to be in and to do business in Ghana,” he added
Twitter’s decision to begin its African expansion with Ghana is based on the country’s AfCFTA negotiations and access to the internet, according to the company.
“As a champion for democracy, Ghana is a supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet, of which Twitter is also an advocate. Furthermore, Ghana’s recent appointment to host The Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area aligns with our overarching goal to establish a presence in the region that will support our efforts to improve and tailor our service across Africa,” the statement read.
Your parents, grandparents, or distant relatives could be your ticket to dual citizenship.
Several countries around the globe will grant citizenship if your parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents were born in said country. Not only will you become a citizen of your family’s native land, but it allows you to have a variety of opportunities such as living, working, voting, and even owning property without the need for a visa.
While a number of countries including France, Australia, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Nigeria, Kenya, Brazil, South Korea, and the Philippines—require applicants to have at least one parent who was a citizen of the country at the time of the applicant’s birth, others are a bit looser when it comes to demonstrating jus sanguinis, or the right of blood. If you can dig up the birth certificates and other required documentation that proves your family ties are legitimate, and you are willing to pony up the administration fees, you could be looking at dual citizenship between six months to three years, which is still far more expedient than if you were to seek citizenship through naturalization.
If you’ve been looking to acquire dual citizenship, here are five countries that will issue you a secondary passport if you meet their requirements.
Brazil was one of the most frequented destinations during enslavement. Its culture and history are deeply rooted in African and Portuguese ideology.
Requirements: Have at least one parent that is a Brazilian citizen at the time of your birth.
When Ghana declared 2019 the Year of Return, one of the major goals of the program was to inspire members of the African diaspora—specifically Black Americans descended from victims of the transatlantic slave trade—to embark on a birthright journey to their ancestral homeland. The country granted citizenship to more than 100 interested African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans as part of the initiative. Now Ghana is following up its successful Year of Return with a decade-long project called Beyond the Return, aimed at promoting tourism, bettering economic relations between countries, and carving out a clear pathway to citizenship for people of African descent whose parents or grandparents are not Ghanaian. This expands upon the country’s pre-existing Right of Abode law passed in 2000, which allows a person of African descent to apply for the right to stay in Ghana indefinitely. Those with a Ghanaian parent can currently apply for dual citizenship by providing proof of the parent’s nationality through a birth certificate or passport, as well as the names and addresses of two relatives residing in Ghana.
Learn more here.
South Africa extends citizenship opportunities to people born abroad who have at least one parent that was a citizen at the time of their birth. The law also applies to people whose adopted parents are or were South African citizens. South Africa also extends citizenship to children whose parents were in the service of the South African Government, an associated individual or an international organization to which South Africa is a member
Ireland, also known as “The Emerald Isle” for their deep peaks and valleys of greenery, have over 32 million descendants living in the United States.
Irish descendants are mostly found in cities like Boston, New York and New Jersey.
Requirements: Must have at least one parent or grandparent with Irish citizenship.
In Italy, descendants of Italian citizens are often eligible to become citizens themselves — and there is no limit on how many generations ago your ancestors left the country as long as they maintained their own Italian citizenship until they had kids of their own, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy. You can prove this lineage through things like birth and marriage certificates.
British-Zimbabwean actress Thandie Newton will revert to her original name ‘Thandiwe’ in what she describes as ‘taking back’ what is rightfully hers
The British-born star announced her decision to go back to using the Zulu-inspired name her mother gave her at birth. “That’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine,” Newton told British Vogue in an interview published over the weekend.
Thandiwe, which means “beloved” in Zulu, was given to her by her Zimbabwe-born mother. Her mother Nyasha worked as a healthcare worker for the Shona tribe with her British-born father Nick Newton working as a lab technician, IMDB reports
The Mission Impossible II star said the whitewashing of her name started when she was a young student in Catholic school. “Where the W of her name drifted inward, out of sight and earshot, in a futile hope to make her feel less different,” British Vogue notes. Up until her recent announcement, the “W” in her name remained “missed out” from her first profile on IMDB and remained that way for decades. But, as of this writing, a Google search of the For Colored Girls star lists her as “Melanie Thandiwe Newton Parker OBE, formerly credited as Thandie Newton.”
“The thing I’m most grateful for in our business right now is being in the company of others who truly see me,” she shared. “And to not be complicit in the objectification of Black people as ‘others’, which is what happens when you’re the only one.”
Last year, Newton opened up about the blatant racism she’s experienced while working in Hollywood. “Being Black is important,” she told Vulture. “Because certainly at the beginning of my career, when it was just, like, me and Halle Berry in our age group going up for every role.” She also explained why she shares more photos of her Black mother on Instagram than she does with her white father. “Because I want Black people to feel they can trust me and feel safe with me,” she revealed. “That I’m not a representative of this Establishment that degrades people of color.”
Daniel Kaluuya made his Saturday Night Live hosting debut tonight, and his funny monologue skewered a serious topic, made fun of a Golden Globes glitch and served as a thank-you to a long-running cast member of NBC’s late-night staple.
The London-born actor started off by saying, “First of all, I know you’re hearing my accent and thinking, ‘Oh no, he’s not Black — he’s British.” After affirming that he indeed is both, he said, “Basically I’m what the royal family was worried the baby would look like.
”The joke — which elicited some of the biggest laughs of the night — was in reference to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s high-profile interview with Oprah in which they alleged that an unnamed palace official questioned them, while she was pregnant, about supposed concerns over their baby’s skin tone.
Kaluuya ran with the topic, saying people ask him what’s worse — British racism or American racism. “Let me put it this way,” he said. “British racism is so bad, white people left. They wanted to be free — free to create their own kind of racism. So that’s why they created Australia, South Africa and Boston.
He then talked about his Oscar-nominated supporting role as Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in Judas and the Black Messiah, and a clip was played of his Zoomed acceptance speech.
“I was muted — can you believe that? I told the best joke of my life, and I was muted. I felt like I was in a sunken place,” a reference to his other Oscar-nominated role in 2017’s Get Out.
Turning semi-serious, Kaluuya said he was grateful to be hosting and name-checked a certain 1990s Nickelodeon series.
“When I was 9 years old,” he said, “I wrote a play that got performed at Hampshire Theatre with real actors and everything. This is a true story — that play was based on Kenan & Kel. And that play led me down a path that got me to this stage tonight with Kenan [Thompson] backstage right now. And I just want to take this moment to in front of Kenan and the whole world to say: Thank you, Mom. Thank you, God. And thank you Kel.”
Aw, here it goes.
Watch Kaluuya’s monologue
Kenya has imposed a new lockdown to combat a surge in coronavirus infections.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday announced a ban on all inland travel in the capital Nairobi and out four other counties.
Kenya’s Covid-19 positivity rate has jumped from 2% to 22% between January and March and Nairobi accounts for nearly 60% of the cases-
Kenyatta said that hospital admissions had increased 52% in the past two weeks and that at least seven people are dying every day from coronavirus.
What do the new measures mean?
No road, rail or air transport will be permitted in Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos and Nakuru.
In person, meetings will also be banned.
As for curfew, hours now start at 20:00 until 04:00 am (instead of 22:00 until 04:00 am`) in the five counties. Special passes that allowed people to travel during curfew hours have also been revoked.
Alcohol sales in the areas have also been banned and restaurants can only provide takeaway services.
The president also ordered “an immediate suspension of all face-to-face teaching, which includes universities”, with the exception of students currently taking exams.
Kenya reopened its schools and colleges in early January, which had been closed for ten months.
All sporting events are also suspended.
International travel is permitted but subject to a negative coronavirus test.
The new measures begin on Friday at midnight.
Coronavirus in Kenya
This week Kenya recorded between 1,000 and 1,500 cases per day.
“According to our health experts, our third wave started to gain strength in early March,” said Kenyatta.
The peak of this wave is expected in the next 30 days, with more than 2,500 to 3,000 cases per day,” he added.
Recognising the impact these decisions will have on the economy, Kenyatta added that these “measures are temporary and necessary to contain the spread of the disease and therefore to stop further loss of life.”
“I am convinced that the cost of inaction would be much worse,” he said.
From a Yoruba family in Lagos State, Nigeria, Babatunde Olatunji, while living in the U.S. after winning a scholarship to study at Morehouse College in Atlanta, wanted to become a diplomat. Thus, after graduating from Morehouse in 1954, he enrolled in the Graduate School of Public Administration and International Relations at New York University.
But two things later moved him towards a career in music. The first was his visit to Ghana as a delegate to the All African People’s Conference organized by Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah, who told him he thinks he should be a cultural ambassador. The second was his meeting with Columbia Records producer John Hammond after a concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Hammond would help Olatunji produce his 1959 debut Drums of Passion album which some say may have been the first African music release recorded in a modern U.S. studio.
That album became a major hit, selling millions of copies globally and helping introduce Americans to world music. Olatunji would go on to promote African music, earning a Grammy nomination, being behind compositions for Broadway and Hollywood, as well as appearing on programs including the Tonight Show, the Mike Douglas Show and the Bell Telephone Hour.
In 1964, after performing at the New York World Fair’s African Pavilion, he used the proceeds to open his own Olatunji Center for African Culture in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, where he offered classes in African dance, music, language, folklore, and history. Soon, Olatunji became highly recognized as a pioneer in the fusion of African music and jazz. “…We were playing ‘Afro-jazz’ before anybody called it that,” the recording artiste, who grew up in a fishing village in Nigeria where drumming accompanied every celebration, recalled in an interview.
But while his contribution to music is well known, his commitment to social activism is rarely talked about. “He really deserves to be remembered more for his role as a political activist in the US civil rights movement – before it was even a movement,” Robert Atkinson, who collaborated with Olatunji on his autobiography The Beat of My Drum, was quoted by the BBC in a report.
Indeed, Olatunji’s social activism work started right from his days at Morehouse, where he debunked common myths about Africa.
“They [classmates] had no concept of Africa,” he recalled. “They asked all kinds of questions: ‘Do lions really roam the streets? Do people sleep in trees?’ They even asked me if Africans had tails! They thought Africa was like the Tarzan movies. Ignorance is bliss, but it is a dangerous bliss.
“Africa had given so much to world culture, but they didn’t know it.”
Thus, Olatunji started educating his colleagues about Africa, including its cultural traditions and music. He then went ahead to play African music at university social gatherings while organizing and performing at concerts featuring African and African-American students. These activities were during the height of Jim Crow, and soon, Olatunji was organizing students to challenge the status quo in the south.
Even before Rosa Parks would spark the Montgomery bus boycott, Olatunji was already staging protests on public buses with some of his fellow students.
As president of the Morehouse student body in the 1950s, he was able to meet scores of civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X. As a matter of fact, when King delivered his historic I Have a Dream speech in August 1963 during the March on Washington, Olatunji was among the over 200,000 people at the event. The percussionist, social activist and educator performed many times for the NAACP and King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference.