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Established 2008 Chic African Culture teaches the history of African-food recipes and African-cultures, art, music, and oral literature.

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The person who is not patient cannot eat well-cooked dishes. -African Proverb

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Light African Dessert Walnuts Honey and Figs

North African Dessert Walnuts Honey and Figs 


Complete your meal with this light sweet African dessert of walnuts, honey and figs and fall in love at very first bite. African desserts are a delightful way to amaze your guests and are so delicious you will be tempted to eat dessert first.

Light African Dessert Walnuts Honey and Figs 



Ingredients:

5 large dried figs
5 whole walnuts 
3 tablespoon honey

Directions:
Cut open fig lengthwise and place the whole walnut inside. Close the fig and drizzle honey on top. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts and enjoy!


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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tippu Tip Notorious African Slave Trader

Arab Tippu Tip Notorious Trader of African Slaves

Arab Slave Traders, African Slaves
Arab slave trader Tippu Tip made himself very wealthy in the internal slave trade and ivory trading business by specializing in traveling to the interior of Africa buying and capturing slaves.

Arab slave trader Tippu Tip made himself very wealthy in the internal slave trade and ivory trading business

Arab Tippu Tip Notorious African Slave Trader


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Rev. Dr. David Livingstone was a reverend, doctor, Scottish explorer and Victorian missionary for Britain who was the first European to cross the width of southern Africa. Livingstone opposed the slave trade after witnessing its horrors firsthand in Africa. Tippu Tip and Livingstone paths crossed while Livingstone was searching for the source of the Nile River.


Arab slave trade is a fact of history
Hamid bin Mahamed bin Juma Borajib best known as Tippu Tip was the most notorious Arab slave trader
Tippu Tip
Hamid bin Mahamed bin Juma Borajib best known as Tippu Tip was the most notorious Arab slave trader. In the 1840 Tippu Tip was born in Zanzibar and at a very young age he became involved in the internal slave trade and ivory trading business.  Most of the thousands of slaves taken by Tippu Tip were used to carry ivory to the coast and supplies back to the interior.
For centuries, Swahili were merchants between the interior of Africa to the coast, dealing mainly in ivory, and slaves from Africa and in textiles and beads from Asia. Swahili identity is unique. 
The Swahili see themselves as either African or Asian, but as having their own unique civilization. The Arab traveler and trader Tippu Tip made himself very wealthy in the internal slave trade and ivory trading business by specializing in traveling to the interior of Africa buying and capturing slaves until his slave trade industry was closed down in 1873 by the British.
Rev. Dr. David Livingstone was a reverend, doctor, Scottish explorer and Victorian missionary for Britain who was the first European to cross the width of southern Africa. Livingstone opposed the slave trade after witnessing its horrors firsthand in Africa.
In 1841, Livingstone was posted to the edge of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa as a doctor and missionary. Between 1849 and 1851, Livingstone traveled across the Kalahari, filling huge gaps in western knowledge of the interior of central and southern Africa. In 1855, Livingstone discovered a spectacular waterfall which he named Victoria Falls. Livingstone spent his final years in Africa from 1866 to 1873 searching for the source of the Nile, a journey that led him into the slave and ivory trading stronghold of Tippu Tip. 
Livingstone was ill and destitute; Tippu Tip helped Livingstone with supplies and directions. Livingstone wrote this passage in his journal: 29th July, 1867.-Went 2½ hours west to village of Ponda, where a head Arab, called by the natives Tipo Tipo, lives; his name is Hamid bin Mahamed bin Juma Borajib.
Stanley meets Livingstone
Stanley meets Livingstone

After the massacre of the Manyuema women at Nyangwe Livingstone wrote: “To overdraw its evils,” he wrote, “is a simple impossibility. The sights I have seen, though common incidents of the traffic, are so nauseous that I always strive to drive them from memory.”
The massacre of Nyangwe deeply affected Livingstone, he fell ill and returned to Ujiji, the oldest town in western Tanzania, where Henry Morton Stanley found him in 1871.
Upon finding Livingstone, Stanley uttered his famous words “Dr. Livingstone I presume”. In 1874, Livingstone was buried in Westminster Abbey. 
The inscription on his tomb bears a reminder of his lifelong crusade against slavery: All I can add in my solitude, is, may heaven’s rich blessing come down on every one, American, English, or Turk, who will help to heal this open sore of the world. Tippu Tip became very wealthy from the ivory and slave trade and by 1895; he owned seven plantations on Zanzibar and 10,000 slaves. Tippu Tip died in 1905.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stewing and Baking African Food Recipes

Stewing and Baking African Food

Stewing:
Food is cooked by simmering or boiling very slowly. Different kinds of vegetables and meats are added to a pot.

Cooking methods such as stewing may stem from African cooking traditions. Stewing involves making food that requires long simmering periods of vegetables and sometimes meat. Africans stewed vegetables by laying thick slices of salty meat on top. Stewing is suitable for the least tender cuts of meat that become tender and juicy with the slow moist heat method. Frying is not ingenious to African cooking, Native Americans taught frying techniques to the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806.

Spicy Ostrich Stew
South Africa
Stewing food on a wooden stove
Yield 6-8 servings
Ingredients:
4 cloves garlic crushed
2 cups peeled yam cut into 1 ″ cubes
3 cups fresh green beans
1 ½ pounds cleaned ostrich
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 medium onion, sliced
2 teaspoons coriander
2 tablespoons red pepper flake
2 cups beef stock
1 cup whole stewed tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
In a large pot on medium heat, add oil then sauté garlic one minute. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Baking

Baking is the technique of prolonged cooking of food such as breads and meats by dry heat usually in an oven.

Mixing ingredients
Baking is an art, the skill of bread baking throughout the African continent is a traditional talent filled with pride. From Kenyan Chapati flatbread to Egyptian Eesh Baladi the most delicious breads begin with proper ingredients and mixing. The method of mixing is important when several ingredients are combined when making dough for African breads and fritters. Mixing is a universal term that includes stirring, beating, blending, sifting, creaming, cutting in and folding.


Simple Eesh Baladi Egyptian Bread Recipe

Eesh Baladi Egyptian Bread
Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour or all purpose
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

    Preheat oven to 425°F. Stir warm water, honey, and yeast in a large bowl let stand about 5 minutes. Add flour and salt dough sound is slightly sticky when you are done mixing. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand. You can also use a mixer with a hook attachment. Roll dough into small balls then flatten. Cover with a cloth let rise in a warm place about 2 hours. Place dough on a light colored lightly greased baking pan and bake until golden about 20 minutes. Serve with Tangy Fig and Honey Syrup.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Curse of the Chameleon African Folktale

Curse of the Chameleon is a fascinating African folktale.


Gogo breathed deeply of the cool evening air. She paused beneath the darkening sky, hands pressed into her back.

"Woza, Gogo!" called little Methembe, who, although he seemed to have unlimited energy, always waited for his granny. "Come on!" he encouraged as he turned and dashed up the final rise toward the homestead. Gogo chuckled, shook her head slowly and forced her feet to continue up the path. "Hawu!" she thought to herself. Soon she would no longer be able to make it down to the river and back. By the time Gogo came within sight of the evening fire, the children had put away the washed clothing and deposited the firewood where it was stored. They were now squatting in a tight circle, the older ones rocking on their heels, waiting for their elders to finish eating that they might then have their dinner.

After everyone had eaten and the pots were filled with water to soak, Gogo and the children settled down before the fire. "Gogo," asked Methembe rather tentatively, choosing to look into the fire rather than at his beloved granny, "why do people grow old and die?" The old woman looked lovingly at her grandson and smiled. She knew his unspoken fears.
"Ahh, my little Hope," she answered, looking into the fire herself. "That is a very interesting tale! Shall I tell you, my children, the story of why people must grow old and die?"

"Yebo, Gogo! Yes!" they all answered as if one.

"Alright then..." And Gogo began. "Kwasuka sukela...."
After God the great Creator finished making all things, he sat back and took a long look at the world he'd made. He smiled and decided that it was very good. He was especially pleased with the people, the first man and woman. They, after all, were the most like him. "Yes," he thought, "this is good!

Very good!"

But as time went on the Creator noticed that man and woman kept injuring their bodies. Oh, the skin would heal with time, but it always left scars. And after many years the first man and woman's bodies were looking old and tatty indeed! "Hmmm," thought Creator, "these bodies are wearing out! Time, I think, for new ones!"

So Creator called Chameleon to himself. "Listen, Chameleon," said Creator, "I have a package that I want you to deliver to man and woman. It is most urgent, so do not delay. Go straight to the people, tell them I sent you, and give them this parcel from me!" With that he pushed a small package into Chameleon's hands. "I trust you, Chameleon, for you are loyal and swift. Go now!"

So Chameleon set off to do as his Lord bid. In those days Chameleon was fast as lightning. He sped toward Earth, the parcel neatly tucked beneath his arm. When he reached the great river he paused to take a drink. And this proved to be his undoing!

Snake just happened to be drinking at the same time. "Hello, Cousin Chameleon," he hissed. "My, you are in a great hurry today! What are you about?"

Chameleon looked up. "Ah, yebo! Sawubona, Nyoka!" he politely replied. (sah-woo-boh'-nah nyoh'kah = "Yes, I see you, Snake!" or "Hello, Snake!") "I have a package to deliver for Creator. Something for the people."
Now Snake hated the people. They walked so far above the ground, often treading on Snake and his family members without even noticing. And Creator seemed to pay so much more attention to them than he did to the other animals. Snake was bitterly jealous of people, and when he heard that Chameleon was taking a gift to them from Creator, Snake began to scheme. How could he make sure that people did not receive this gift?
"Oh, dear Cousin Chameleon," Snake hissed, edging closer to Chameleon and the parcel. "It is so good to see you again! My family has missed you a great deal! All of our other relatives come often to share a meal. But you never seem to have time for us! One would tend to think that perhaps you thought yourself too good to associate with your close kin!"

Now Chameleon was a sensitive fellow. It worried him to think that Snake might have something against him. "Oh, no, dear cousin Nyoka," pleaded Chameleon. "I assure you that I hold you in high regard! I would be honored to come for a meal sometime!"

"Well," Snake answered quickly, "why not now? My wife is at this very moment waiting lunch for me. She would be pleased beyond words to see you dine with us!"

"Oh, dear!" answered Chameleon, looking at the parcel still tucked beneath his arm. "I really have an urgent errand for Creator at the moment. Ummmm....perhaps some other time?"

Panther chameleon at Marwell Zoo photo by William Warby"Yes, yes," hissed Snake turning away with a hint of disgust in his voice. "Just as I thought. Too good for the likes of us! Well, run along then with your all-important business."

Chameleon looked at the sun. It was still high in the sky. He could have the mid-day meal with Snake's family and have plenty of time left to deliver the package. Perhaps he was being too hasty. "Wait, Snake," Chameleon spoke quickly. "I was being too abrupt. I beg your pardon. I really would love to have a meal with you. To prove it I will dine with you now and do my business after the meal!"

Snake smiled to himself before he turned back toward Chameleon. "Oh, Chameleon," Snake replied, sounding quite humble indeed, "Thank you! It is we who will be honored by your presence, I assure you!" And with that he led Chameleon off to his burrow.

Snake's wife had really outdone herself, as usual. She'd prepared a huge and sumptuous meal and truly was delighted to see that Chameleon had come to share it with them. She encouraged him to have more and more, and as it was so delicious, Chameleon helped himself until he was almost too full to move. He was having such a good time, and was especially enjoying Snake's outstanding utshwala (oo-chwah'-lah = a traditional Zulu beer brewed from sorghum), that he forgot all about his special mission. Snake smiled slyly as he watched Chameleon's head nod and his eyelids droop. Snake laughed aloud as Chameleon fell asleep with a satisfied little grunt.

"What is so funny, my husband?" asked Snake's wife, accustomed to the ways of nature to rest after the mid-day meal in the hottest hours of the day. She saw nothing strange or funny about Chameleon's behavior. It was actually a compliment to her as a hostess that she had made her guest so comfortable and welcome.

"Look here," Snake hissed, as he gently lifted the package from under Chameleon's arm.

"What is that?" she asked.

"A gift for us from Creator," Snake laughed. And with that Snake tore open the parcel. "Look, my good wife," he exclaimed, lifting something from the box. "Creator has sent us new skins! New skins, so that whenever our old ones wear out we can change into new ones!" Snake laughed again, louder this time, waking his guest. Chameleon took one look at the parcel and immediately knew what had happened.


"No, Snake!" Chameleon pleaded a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. "Those are not for you! They are for people. You know that! Give them back!" Chameleon stretched out his hands toward the skins. "Please, Nyoka! Give them back!"

But Snake just laughed, holding the skins beyond Chameleon's reach. "No, my cousin. These are my skins now!" And with that Snake slithered away.
As the sun went down Chameleon was sick with sadness for the way in which he'd been betrayed and for the way in which he had disobeyed. He hid away from Creator in the braces of the trees, clinging to the limbs, moving slowly so as not to be detected. He was too afraid to face Creator.
"And so, you see, my children," finished Gogo, "how it was that people were cheated out of new skins by Snake. To this day snake will shed his old skin and don a new one whenever he is feeling his age."

"But that's not fair, Gogo!" cried Methembe. "Creator should make Snake return the skins!"

"Ah, well, my boy," Gogo looked at him and placed a hand on his head, "Life is not always fair. But while Snake got the skins, Creator did not stop the people from standing on Snake from time-to-time. In fact, when most people encounter Snake these days they give him what they think he deserves: a sound thrashing! And, of course, Chameleon is still hiding away in the trees, moving so slowly that he usually goes undetected. And as for people, well, Creator gave them another gift that was better than new skins!"
Curse of the Chameleon African Folktale
"What was that, Gogo?" the children asked
"Oh, my children," Gogo replied with a smile, "That is a story for another time! Now my weary old bones tell me that it is time for a good night's rest!"

And with a great heave Gogo lifted herself from her stump by the fire and walked slowly toward her hut.


"Lalani kahle, bantwana!" (lah-lah'-nee kah'-hlay bah-ntwah'-nah = "Sleep well, children!")

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Sweet Corn Maize Porridge Cereal

Sweet Corn Maize Porridge Cereal is an inexpensive and delicious African meal to make. 


Maize or corn is grown mainly with traditional technologies in nearly every country in Africa. Given the population growth in Africa and the need to increase the food supply, maize is a very important food crop. Rice, wheat, and maize provided more than 30% of the food calories for over 4.5 billion people in 94 developing countries throughout the world. 

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center or CIMMYT created the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa or DTMA project in 2006. The goal of the DTMA project is to lessen the effects of drought on maize production in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sweet Corn Maize Porridge Cereal


Making Sweet Corn Maize Porridge Cereal with a mortar and pestle photo by gbaku
Ingredients:

1 cup course cornmeal

3 cups whole or 2% milk

¼ cup honey or to taste

1 tablespoon butter optional


Directions:

Add all ingredients into a large pot mix well and simmer 30 minutes. Serve as a breakfast meal.



Did you know...?
Before food processors grain including corn was ground by hand. In parts of the world grinding of grain is still done by hand using large mortars and pestles.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

DIY African Love Spell

African spell casters use chants along with everyday household items and plants to cast love spells. Still to this day, many South Africans have a strong belief in the powers of spell casters. Here is an easy DIY African Love Spell.



Do it yourself four-day binding love spell from Dr. Sadik, a Southern African spell caster.

DIY African Love Spell
DIY African Love Spell

DIY African Love Spell


Ingredients
Two small red apples
Long strong sewing needle
Strong white thread
Handful of bitterleaf leaves
1 cup honey
Two candles; white and blue
White paper and pen or pencil
6 cups water and a large bowl

Directions
Write down the names of you and your lover on a piece of paper.

Rub the candles with honey.

Light the candles and place them on the candle stands.

Burn the paper, mix with honey, and smear the apples with the mixture.

With the needle and white thread, insert through the middle of the honeyed apples, tie them together tight.

Continue rubbing the apples with honey and speak from your heart about your lover.
Then get a handful of bitterleaf leaves and crush with your hands in the bowl of water.

DIY African Love SpellWash your body and repeat the same words you said earlier.

Then place the apples in your room.

Early each morning for four-days rub the apples with honey again and put them in the sun.

At the end of four days, you will see your results from the binding love spell.


Did you know?

Bitterleaf is one of the widely used cooking vegetables in Africa and grows in any part of the world. Visit a Caribbean market in your neighborhood to find bitterleaf. 


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Thursday, August 11, 2011

An Itchy Proverb

African Proverb


When an animal has an itch that needs scratching, it goes to a tree. When a human being has one, he looks for a fellow human being -Igbo Proverb


Did you know...?
The spiritual system of the Igbo people is one of the most ancient religious practices on Earth.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Why Turtles Live In Water African Folktale

Why Turtles Live in Water is a captivating African folktale. 

Why Turtles Live In Water

Turtles used to live on the land, they say, until the time a clever turtle was caught by some hunters.

Why Turtles Live In Water African Folktale photo taken by Tambako the JaguarThey brought him to their village and placed the turtle before the Chief, who said, "How shall we cook him?"

"You'll have to kill me first," said the turtle, "and take me out of this shell."

"We'll break your shell with sticks," they said.

"That'll never work," said the turtle, "Why don't you throw me in the water and drown me?!"

"Excellent idea," said the Chief. They took the turtle to the river and threw him into the water to drown him.

They were congratulating themselves on their success in drowning the turtle, when two little green eyes poked up in the water and the laughing turtle said, "Don't get those cooking pots out too fast, foolish people! As he swam away he said, "I think I'll spend most of my time from now on, safely in the water."


It has been that way ever since!


 Have you ever wondered...
How the Chipmunk got its stripes, African folktale

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gift of a Cow Tail Switch African Folktale

Gift of a Cow Tail Switch is a fascinating African folktale. African folktales are stories forming part of an oral storytelling tradition shaped by the tongues of African elders passed down through generations. Folktales reflect the morals, superstitions and customs of the African people. 


Gift of a Cow Tail Switch African Folktale

Gift of a Cow Tail Switch African FolktaleA great warrior did not return from the hunt. His family gave him up for dead, all except his youngest child who each day would ask, "Where is my father? Where is my father?"

The child's older brothers, who were magicians, finally went forth to find him. They came upon his broken spear and a pile of bones. The first son assembled the bones into a skeleton; the second son put flesh upon the bones; the third son breathed life into the flesh.

The warrior arose and walked into the village where there was great celebration. He said, "I will give a fine gift to the one who has brought me back to life."

Each one of his sons cried out, "Give it to me, for I have done the most."


"I will give the gift to my youngest child," said the warrior. "For it is this child who saved my life. A man is never truly dead until he is forgotten!"

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mungongo Fruit Sweet Porridge Cereal

It would be hard to find a simpler recipe to create than Africa Mungongo fruit sweet porridge cereal to satisfy your hunger

The African native Mundalama or Mungongo tree produces an egg-shaped fuzzy fruit in parts of Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe between March and May. The Schinziophyton rautanenii or Mungongo tree is important to sub-Saharan Africa due to its extreme drought tolerance once established.

Some believe it is not the fruit, but the Mungongo tree’s seed that it is valued.  Mungongo tree’s fruit seed does produce rich edible and therapeutic oil. However, the fruit is used in all manner of African cooking from soup and stews, sweet porridge, dips and relishes.  The fruit tastes like a plum and can be eaten fresh, dried or cooked. Mungongo fruit sweet porridge cereal is an inexpensive and delicious African breakfast meal to make. 


Mungongo Fruit Sweet Porridge Cereal


Mungongo Fruit Sweet Porridge by anasararojas
Ingredients:

3 large plums chopped

1 cup course cornmeal

3 cups whole or 2% milk

¼ cup sugar or honey or to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients into a large pot mix well and simmer 20 minutes. Serve as a breakfast meal.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

African Biltong Cabbage Stew

Africa Food Recipe

What is Biltong

Biltong is a traditional snack from Southern Africa made of dried meat.


Biltong is not jerky; it can be eaten on its own, sliced into rice and pasta dishes, used as a topping on salads, soups, and stews and even made into sandwiches. 

Biltong is substantially softer and thicker than jerky because it is air-dried whole for around 20 days and then cut into the desired amount. 

Biltong is an Afrikaans word meaning narrow strip of dried meat, the word originates from Dutch with “bil” meaning buttock and “tong” meaning tongue or strip. 

Many different types of meat are used to produce biltong, which comes shredded, ground, sliced, in sticks and made into slabs. Biltong is marinated, seasoned and air-dried.

African Biltong Cabbage Stew

Biltong is an Afrikaans word meaning narrow strip of dried meat, the word originates from Dutch with “bil” meaning buttock and “tong” meaning tongue or strip. Many different types of meat are used to produce biltong, which comes shredded, ground, sliced, in sticks and made into slabs. Biltong is marinated, seasoned and air-dried. 

Biltong is not jerky; it can be eaten on its own, sliced into rice and pasta dishes, used as a topping on salads, soups, and stews and even made into sandwiches. Biltong is substantially softer and thicker than jerky because it is air-dried whole for around 20 days and then cut into the desired amount. 

By Biltong Cabbage Stew

It would be hard to find a simpler meal to create than South Africa biltong cabbage stew to fill your hunger. Simply add cabbage, biltong, tomatoes, onions and carrots to create a filling delicious meal.

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

African Biltong Cabbage Stew

Serves 4 Tags: Low fat
Nutrition facts: 140 calories, 2 grams fat

Biltong dried meat is eaten on its own, sliced into rice and pasta dishes, used as a topping on salads, soups, and stews and made into sandwiches.

Ingredients:
4 Cups Chopped Cabbage
1 Cup Shredded Biltong,
2 Medium Diced Tomatoes,
1 Medium Chopped Onion,
2 Medium Sliced Carrots
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
4 Cups Water

Directions: 
Add all ingredients into a large pot and simmer 20 minutes or until carrots are soft. Serve warm with crusty bread.

Rated 4.5/5 based on 101 customer reviews

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Taboo Subject in Africa, Mental Illness

Africa mental illness

What is Africa's mental health impact of displacement, war, sexual violence and rape, famine, and disaster in Africa? Mental illness and mental health problems are taboo subjects that leaves people stigmatized in much of Africa. Mental health issues often come last on the list of priorities. 


Most developing countries dedicate less than 2 percent of governmental healthcare budgets to mental health care. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 56 percent of African countries have community-based mental health facilities, 37 percent have mental health facilities for children and 15 percent for the elderly.

Mental illness is a taboo subject that is stigmatized in much of
Africa but people in Africa don’t suffer any less because they are African and believe mental illness is caused by the wrath of God, witchcraft, or possessed by spirits. We don’t often think about the long-term mental health impact of the issues that they are living through such as conflict, homeliness, famine, drug use and disaster.

Mental illness is a taboo subject that is stigmatized in much of Africa
WHO's Chain Free Initiative  
Former child soldiers in Africa did not go back to being happy school children when the conflict ended, however when the peace agreements were signed people went about their daily lives as if it was over. Most developing countries dedicate less than 2% of government health budgets to mental health care. Mental health issues are usually given very low priority in health service policies and services that are funded are poorly staffed. Mental health issues often come last on the list of priorities for policy-makers. Where mortality is still mostly the result of infectious diseases and malnutrition, the morbidity and disablement due to mental illness receive very little attention from the government.  

In parts of Africa, people’s attitudes towards mental illness are still strongly influenced by traditional beliefs. These beliefs are sometimes so prevalent it affects the policy funding of mental healthcare services. In Uganda, "Locally people say Mulalu, which literally means you're mad, you're useless" says Jimmy Odoki, who also has bipolar disorder. "Where I come from people say 'that one he's a walking dead'." according to the BBC. This belief system often leads to unhelpful or health-damaging responses to mental illness, and to stigmatization of the mentally ill. Young girls and women that are from families that are known to have a history of mental illness marriage prospects are severely limited. Fear means people with mental illnesses and their family can end up being abandoned by society.

In some regions of Africa the solution for caring for the mentally ill is to shackle the person by the ankle and hide them away for years. At home people with mental illness are commonly chained by their parents or other relatives to control the mentally ill person. WHO’s chain-free initiative evolved in response to an urgent need to provide training and support for hospital reform, improve domestic conditions for people with mental illness, develop community programs, raise mental health awareness throughout Africa, and ensure the basic rights of the mentally ill. Many volunteer organizations provide temporary psychological care to the vulnerable citizens of Africa in humanitarian emergencies however; appropriate government funding of mental health programs is needed for a long-term solution to mental healthcare in Africa.

The African Mental Health Foundation (AMHF) was established in 2004 by Professor David M. Ndetei, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Nairobi. AMHF was created in the response to national tragedies such as the school fire tragedy in 2002 in which 67 school children were burnt to death. Members of AMHF saw a great need provide mental health services to survivors and victims’ families. Conflict situations also fuel sexual violence and rape which require specialized psychological care which are urgently needed in some parts of Africa. Governmental and non-governmental agencies must work together to ensure a comprehensive approach towards a solution to suitable mental healthcare in Africa.

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Chic African Culture Featured Articles

Truth is treason in the empire of lies.

Mental Discovery

The eye never forgets what the heart has seen - African Proverb

Wise Words


A wise person does not fall down on the same hill twice.