#Kwibuka20 – Standing with the People of #Rwanda

8 Apr

Nwachukwu Egbunike

Kwibuka - May We Never Forget and May this Never Occur Again!

Kwibuka – May We Never Forget and May this Never Occur Again!

Yesterday, across Rwanda, thousands converged in stadiums and churches to commemorate Kwibuka – Remembrance. Two decades ago marked the start of 100 of the darkest days in human history. 1 million people were killed in the Rwandan Genocide.

I stand with the survivors and will not let the million lost be forgotten! 

Post Script: 

Immaculée Ilibagiza’sLet to Tell: Discovering God in the Rwandan Holocaust” (2006) remains one of the most harrowing autobiographies I have ever consumed. Immaculée’s narration is like a movie set in hell. The blurb of the book says it all:

Immaculee Ilibagiza grew up in a country she loved, surrounded by a family she cherished. But in 1994 her idyllic world was ripped apart as Rwanda descended into a bloody genocide. Immaculee’s family was brutally murdered during a killing spree that lasted three months and claimed the lives of nearly a million Rwandans.Incredibly, Immaculee survived the slaughter. For 91 days, she and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor while hundreds of machete-wielding killers hunted for them. The triumphant story of this remarkable young woman’s journey through the darkness of genocide will inspire anyone whose life has been touched by fear, suffering, and loss.

You might also like to watch this YouTube Video and listen to Immaculee speak about how she went through the valley of death during the Rwandan genocide. How she was hidden in a bathroom for months, while her own people slaughtered each other. How her entire family were wiped out from the face of the earth. And how she forgave all those who killed her family and her healing.



A story about Emeka and GDP rebasing

6 Apr


Nonso Obikili shares his thoughts on Rebasing the Nigerian GDP and other stories…

Originally posted on Nonso Obikili's Blog:

I have a friend called Emeka. Emeka loves to run. Every morning Emeka runs from Obalende bus stop to Eko bridge and back. Of course the point of running for Emeka is to stay healthy. He heard running 5km a day is good enough to remain healthy. Emeka isn’t sure but by his estimates running from Obalende bus stop to Eko bridge and back is about 6.5km so that’s fine for him.

On April 6th 2014 Emeka upgraded. On that day his aunt bought a hi-tech GPS enabled running tracker for him. His running tracker informs him that the distance he runs every morning from Obalende bus stop to Eko bridge and back is actually 7km. Emeka is happy because he now knows that he had been running 7km all along.

Of course Emeka still ran from Obalende to Eko bridge and back that morning, same as he did…

View original 113 more words

Ojinwayo: Ochie Dike Mama!

30 Mar

By Nwachukwu Egbunike

This cord

Ties the loop
to the base
to the root

This bond
breaks space
makes peace

The firmament
arrayed in grace
fades in littleness

For angels
stare with awe
so deep a love

For those eyes
sees into the heart
bores into the being

For her love
so unrepentant
admits no shame

Don Luici

19 Mar

By Nwachukwu Egbunike

Spill not shared times
Nor soil the splendour of a living past
Cast as stone in Agbowo
Seeds sprouted into a virile canopies

Bloody saccharine
Enticed by words, scalpel-like wit
Eyes beaming unending warmth
Humour that glares with charm

Proud of the green passport
Unabashed tenderness for these seven hills
Immersed in Trenchard
Impressed with Orisha and Ekpe across the seas

A speedy spiral, hedged in peace
Grabbing Joseph’s sturdy hands
Climbed those stairs
Same like sixty moons past

Great party you aroused
Telling tales of chivalry yore
Like here surrounded by younglings
So there engulfed by family

Those rascals
Reflection of silvery hair
Adventure of youth
Frail but ever young

The loins grants not fatherhood
Dance now, surfeit with symphony
Pains scourged once, flows now with flames
Pipes piques not tar but beatific fragrance

Now you rest after labouring with no rest
Preaching and teaching love
Seduced first under dimly flare
Contemplate forever with blazing stare

Introducing AfricanHadithi

14 Feb

By Nwachukwu Egbunike

The African continent is broad and vast. The stories she nurtures should also be diverse and breathless. That should be the norm for a continent full of vibrant people with stories unending, a combination of all that is human – the good, bad and not so pretty. Yet this is not always the case.

Unfortunately most stories from Africa is coated in the hue of a jaundiced and improvised people. No one doubts that poverty clings fastidiously like a wet garment on many parts of the continent, yet is this not the only story about us? Do we have an exclusive global franchise over hunger, disease, infirmity and all the other vicious things that are being made to look as though it has its foundation in this continent?

What is AfricanHadithi?

AfricanHadithi (Logo)

AfricanHadithi (Logo)

KM: While there are numerous websites that report on African news, not many web resources speak adequately to the experience of the daily lives of Africans. In addition, many Africans are not attentive to the occurrences that take place outside their own countries. AfricanHadithi is a grand experiment borne out of the need to diminish this type of experiential exclusivity. This online portal will exploit this niche opportunity by offering reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons, poetry and documentaries with a focus on the cultural life in Africa. With the help of our contributors, we hope to get new, unique and exciting work on content not limited to Politics, Democracy, Fashion, Tourism, Family Life, and Cultural Identity etc. For example, we want your ideas and views on our fast changing socio-cultural context. Is the economic boom even real? Is Africa itself hopeful? Is Africa in a better position to succeed in relation to the rest of the world? How divergent is the African experience from Lagos to Lilongwe?

AfricanHadithi wants to tell the story about Africa. This web portal intends to create a factual and faithful narration about Africa and Africans. A hadithi (Swahili for story) that is neither a sentimental rendition of a forlorn past nor a cosmetic tale of high street modernity. AfricanHadithi will tell the true tale of Africa and Africans – from Alexandria to Lagos; Mombasa to Douala.

This is an ambitious project and it has our support.

Tony Elumelu Invests in Revolutionary Satellite Technology

28 Jan

Tony Elumelu’s Heir Holdings has announced its investment in US start-up Planet Labs’ innovative satellite manufacturing technology

Tony O. Elumelu, CON (Chairman of Heirs Holdings)

Tony O. Elumelu, CON (Chairman of Heirs Holdings)

Heirs Holdings, the pan-African proprietary investment company founded by Tony O. Elumelu, CON, has announced its investment in US start-up Planet Labs’ innovative satellite manufacturing technology. Heirs Holdings is the only African investor in the project, which is based in San Francisco.

Planet Labs‘ vision  is to “help people understand the planet and make better decisions.” This in their view will be achieved “by giving people a view of the Earth in near real-time” and thus “spur people, companies, and governments to action.” A release made available to us by the African Press Organisation explains that Planet Labs aims to transform the way imaging of the Earth is carried out, through the introduction of ultra-small satellites called “doves.” These “doves” circle the planet in low orbit and are significantly cheaper to produce and deploy than existing technology. Moreover, as they orbit closer to the Earth, they are able to take higher-resolution images than traditional satellites.

Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, commented, “As the only African investor in Planet Labs’ project, we are incredibly proud to have supported such an innovative and dynamic company, which has already achieved significant success. As part of our business philosophy of Africapitalism, we are committed to supporting entrepreneurs and start-ups to enable them to bring scale to their projects and we look forward to following Planet Labs’ achievements over the coming years.”

Planet Labs has already achieved some significant milestones. In 2013 alone, the company launched four satellites on three rockets, and delivered their first fleet of 28 satellites, which are expected to head into space shortly.

Planet Labs’ co-founder, Robbie Schingler, said, “We are very excited to welcome Heirs Holdings to our team of investors and thank them for their support. The funding that they and other partners provide is vital for our development as a company and we are particularly pleased to be working with an African company, as our technology has the potential to support Africa’s development by monitoring and mapping the continent’s natural resources and agriculture.”

Labeling to Silence

20 Jan

By Nwachukwu Egbunike

Also I cannot but ask: where were you all when this bill went through the first, second and third readings in the Senate and House of Representatives respectively? Has the talk about this bill not been on for the past three to four years? But as soon as the president gave his assent to the legislation, we have been singing non-stop.

The shattering chatter in Nigerian blogosphere that followed the presidential assent to Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2013 is yet to fade out. Gay marriage is a sensitive issue and expectedly, there has been dissent and praise from Nigerians. However, as is wont in Twitter Nigeria, the dissenters have been quite vocal and have left none in doubt about their views. They have raised their voices in anger and have tried to label those who disagree with them or cow them into shameful silence.

Let me make it clear right from the outset – I do not hate gays [actually I try not to hate anyone – be they polygamists, bigamists or whatever] but I support the law. I have no wahala with what two men/women do in the privacy of their rooms. It’s just that I prefer that they keep it to their rooms but when they decide to marry, I think it becomes public business. And when it becomes public business, I reserve the right to comment, a right which our dissenters and new defenders of unfettered conjugal freedoms would want to deny me. And they try to do this with a vehemence which I find offensive.

The position on Twitter of these advocates of unfettered rights to all forms of connubial arrangements can be summarized thus; anyone who supports this bill is ignorant and needs to be “educated”. However, this education by our Gnostic-like intellectuals spares no fools and by necessity is achieved via arrogance. For the simpletons who are so daft to accept this legislation, do so because they are prisoners of religious superstition. The slurs have been creative: it goes from “hypocritical bigoted bigot” to “fanatical religious moron”. I have stumbled on others like: arsenic homophobe, close-minded, barbaric dim-wit, etc. The list is endless.

It’s a matter of love and we have been told that it’s vile to deny marriage to gays. However, marriage is not available to all who are in love. Loving a person does not give you the right to marry them. A man cannot marry a woman who is already married; a woman who loves two men cannot marry them both. Besides, allowing gays to marry will not stop marriage discrimination for two consenting adult siblings or a mother and her son. The same applies to the over-hyped expression of sex being between two consenting adults. What happens when those ‘adults’ are two siblings or a father and her daughter?

Also I cannot but ask: where were you all when this bill went through the first, second and third readings in the Senate and House of Representatives respectively? Has the talk about this bill not been on for the past three or four years? But as soon as the president gave his assent to the legislation, we have been singing non-stop. This is democracy, if you want to change this law, join a political party and contest for HOR or Senate from your constituency. After all, 2015 is the year for general elections.

Besides, this law was not made ex nihilo! The pro-gay lobby has been voracious for quite some time now. This bill, to my mind is a reaction – perhaps an over-reaction – but a reaction nonetheless to this lobby. Going by the oft-repeated logic by the dissenters, gay marriage is the least of our problems in Nigeria – corruption and reliable electricity supply are the more pressing problems and these should have occupied the attention of legislature and the executive. Arguing like this is very unhelpful since it is tantamount to saying that all other pursuits of government must be put on hold because we have not yet killed corruption or attained constant electricity? Nothing else should matter, just these two. Arguments like this ignore the multidimensionality of governance and the possibility for a government to pursue multiple targets at the same time.

And it’s quite appalling reading misrepresentations like “14 years in prison for being gay in Nigeria!” Gosh, and from those who should know better that the jail term is not for being gay, but for contracting a same-sex “marriage”. Google is your friend, use it – the bill is here, download and read it.

Let me emphasize that not everything that has an emotional appeal is right, or culturally suitable or biologically proper or in consonance with social norms. And the spirit of all laws derives from the meeting point between these influences from culture, biology and social norms. Wisdom, they say is a bag, let each person carry his own.

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