Africa, Conflict, Women

Two historic stories of Africa in 2011

As the year 2011 closed, December 7 marked a historic day in international justice. The first former head of state Luarent Gbagbo appeared before the International Criminal Criminal for crimes allegedly committed during the Dec 2010-April 2011 post election violence in his country Cote d’ivoire. Gbagbo had take over and retain power by force and trickery. Over 3000 people died in Cote d’Iviore.

He faces four charges of crimes against humanity, including murder and rape. Throughout the conflict I had kept in close touch with friends in the country and their distress was beyond what I could imagine. Everyday Africa was treated to the drama of two people claiming to have won an election. Many thought Ivory Coast could head in the direction of Kenya and Zimbabwe, where compromise had to be reached because Africa’s old men didn’t wish to leave.

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No Political War

It’s been great two weeks.I made a one week stopover in Brussels to catch the Couleur Cafe, an annual music festival that brings out the best of music from the world outside Europe. My inspiration was to watch the Ivorian Reggae legend Tiken Jah Fakoly perform. He’s such an activist who has been unable to live in his home country. He spends most of his time in Mali. I wanted to hear him sing tracks off his 2010 album, African revolution. The album  emphasises the need for a more African education and understanding of the problems of the continent by those that live on the land.

The album couldn’t have come at a better time when in many countries in Africa youth are trying to push for political and economic changes.  There’s another  good one, Political War, which came out right before his country descended into violence late last year and the greater part of this year. Talks about wars and devastation in Liberia, Nigeria and other countries. Coming from Uganda where we are  holding our breath hoping President Museveni will retire after his three decades rule, this album makes so much sense, we want no political war!

Some other songs talks at increasingly irrelevance of some African leaders to their citizens. I captured the great stage in Brussels.

Tiken performing at Couleur Cafe Saturday June 25 2011

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