Curiosity is the key to knowledge.

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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How Africa Celebrates the New Year


Countdown to the New Year!
Countdown to the New Year In Africa


African New Year
New Year in Africa's Zanzibar, the New Year in South Africa, the New Year in Mauritius, the New Year in Ethiopia and the Berber New Year in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia are celebrated by eating, dancing, singing, and laughing with family and friends.
Buying fireworks for the New Year in North Africa

Countdown to the New Year In Africa


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




The New Year in Africa brings time for reflection, expectation and hope for a happy New Year ahead.


How Africa Celebrates the New Year



New Year in Zanzibar


Around the 3rd week in July, Africa's Zanzibar Mwakakogwa Festival is a four-day long celebration of the Shirazi New Year. The festivities vary from village to village, but Makunduchi is where the biggest events take place. All are welcome for the festival because it is a local belief that anyone without a guest for this holiday is unhappy.



New Year in South Africa


The Kaapse Klopse is a New Year’s carnival that usually takes place in the streets of Cape Town on January 2nd, a date known as Tweede Nuwejaar. Tweede Nuwejaar minstrel street parade that goes back to the days of slavery to celebrate the day slaves received off from their masters.


Muslims throughout Africa (the world)


The Islamic New Year on the first day of Muharram, moves from year to year but is usually observed in October and November. Muharram is the month which Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah Calendar. Muharram is observed by the Muslim community across the world.



New Year in Mauritius


In Mauritius, the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is celebrated at the end of January or the beginning of February depending on the year. The Chinese New Year is a time to bring the family together for renewing ties, eating, fireworks and enjoying company.



New Year in Ethiopia


The Ethiopian New Year Enkutatash or gift of jewels is celebrated on September 11. Enkutatash occurs on Meskerem 1, the first day of the month on the Ethiopian calendar. Enkutatash is celebrated by ringing in New Year as a family in the comforts of home.



New Year in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia


The Berber New Year is known as Yennayer and is celebrated around January 13th each year. Part of Yennayer festivities is the traditional Timechret, a ritual that honors the saints and sacrifice of cattle allowing villagers to share the same meal no matter what the social rank or economic status.




New Year in Africa and the World

Celebrating the New Year, common traditions include attending parties, eating special foods such as black-eyed peas or grapes, making resolutions, kissing at midnight, attending special concerts and performances with the biggest stars and of course, watching fireworks displays. In countless villages, towns and cities, large public events and small intimate events are held to celebrate the New Year.  The New Year brings time for reflection, expectation and hope for a happy New Year ahead. 


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Monday, December 30, 2013

Boa-Constrictor African Folktale

Boa-Constrictor is an excellent African folktale. African folktales are stories forming part of an oral storytelling tradition shaped by the tongues of African elders passed down from one generation to the next. African storytelling folktales reflect the morals, superstitions and customs of the African people.


The Boa-Constrictor

Okando, the famous hunter, lived to such a great age that he was no longer able to go into the forest and chase the deer and the leopard.

Life had no other pleasure for him than hunting, so he went to a magician and asked for some charm which would enable him to continue his occupation.
Boa-Constrictor is an excellent African folktale.

The magician gave him two pots, each containing a charm. Every day Okando dipped his head into the first pot and was at once transformed into a boa-constrictor, in which form he glided into the forest and hunted to his heart’s content. At night he returned and dipped his head into the second pot, and so became a man again.

This went on for a long time without the knowledge of the old hunter’s family, but when at last they chanced to discover the secret, they were filled with horror, and his son in a rage kicked at the pots and overturned them both.

Okando was at that moment hunting in the forest, and when he returned to his house and found the magic pots overturned and empty, he was filled with dismay, for he had no means of regaining his human form. For some days the boa-constrictor glided about near the house, seeking for a few drops of the charm, but in vain, and at last he disappeared into the forest and was never seen by his family again.

 Have you ever wondered...

Why Worms are Blind and Why the Elephant has Small Eyes African folktale

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cooking Goat Meat | Easy Curry Goat

Cooking goat meat, easy classic curry stewed goat recipe.


One of the pleasures in life is good eating. Goat meat, also known as Chevon in Northern Europe, Capretto in Australia and Southern Europe and Cabrito in Latin America and has been an important source of meat for centuries around the world. Regardless of the name, Goat meat is a popular recipe to people in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, and South America. Cooking goat meat recipes have found a new market in the US.

Easy classic curry stewed goat recipe

Cooking goat meat, easy classic curry stewed goat recipe
Easy goat meat recipes cookbook
             
Ingredients:
2 pounds cubed goat meat
2 heaping tablespoons good quality curry powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
2 large white potatoes cubed
2 large carrots sliced evenly
1 red pepper chopped
1 hot pepper whole
5 cups water
Salt to taste

Directions:

Add all the ingredients to a large pot, cover and simmer on medium low 2-3 hours until goat is tender.


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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Coconut Relish for Pork and Seafood

The coconut industry is an important source of employment for most farmers in rural communities. The coconut palm is throughout coastal Africa. The coconut is a very versatile crop requiring little care. Coconut trees are often referred to as the “Tree of Life” and have many uses from food, fiber, fuel, water and shelter, every part of the coconut palm is used. They mature within 2 – 7 years and the first fruit appears one year after flowering. One tree can yield on average 70-150 coconuts per year remaining productive for 50 – 100 years. With all those coconuts available Africa is brimming with coconut recipes. Quick and easy coconut relish recipe is a great accompaniment for pork. The sweet flavor of this coconut relish creates an interesting garnish to seafood as well.

Coconut Relish for Pork and Seafood

Ingredients:
2 cups coconut flakes
1 tablespoon red pepper flake (optional)
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon lime juice
1 cup plain yogurt

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Healthy Tea: South African Rooibos Tea Recipes

South African Rooibos Tea Recipes


The year 1904 was a special year for all Rooibos tea lovers, Benjamin Ginsberg a Russian businessperson living in South Africa started promoting the red bush, Rooibos tea. Aspalathus linearis is a shrub found in the western mountainous parts of the Western Cape that Rooibos (pronounced Roy-bos) or red bush tea is grown. Rooibos tea is made from selected forms of the shrub, which is found mainly on the Cederberg Mountains north of Cape Town centered on the town of Clanwilliam.


Unprocessed Rooibos Tea

South African rooibos tea is a herbal tea that is non-caffeinated with a reddish-brown color. Rooibos has high level of antioxidants and is considered a healthy tea. The leaves are used to make the herbal tea also called red bush tea. Rooibos is a popular drink in Southern Africa for generations. Rooibos tea is made the same as black tea.
Drinking herbal tea brewed from fresh rooibos is an easy way to get nature's healing strength into your body. Rooibos teas can be hot, at room temperature or iced. There are not hard and fast rules about rooibos tea brewing. Everyone’s tastes and preferences are different. Some like strong rooibos teas and other prefer mild or lightly flavored infusions. You can also buy your rooibos dried from health food stores, and this is an excellent source for more exotic herbals. Dried rooibos will have a stronger flavor.
Try these three simple dried rooibos tea recipes combinations for one cup (8 ounces) of warmish hot water.
1.   1 teaspoon dried peppermint leaves and 1 teaspoon dried rooibos
2.   1 teaspoon dried rooibos and 1 teaspoon lemongrass
3.   1 small piece ginseng root and 1 teaspoon dried rooibos


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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Alloco Fried Plantains with Tomato Sauce Recipe

Alloco or Fried Plantains with Tomato Sauce is usually eaten as a side dish with fish. Alloco is a popular dish throughout Africa, but goes by many names depending on the region.


Alloco Fried Plantains with Tomato Sauce
Ingredients:
4 ripe yellow plantains
Alloco Fried Plantains with Tomato Sauce
1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce
Palm oil for frying (substitute peanut oil)

Directions:

Heat a small amount of oil in a large frying pan. Cut plantain into medium slices, fry the plantain until golden brown on each side. Remove plantains from pan, cover with warmed sauce and serve warm.


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Antongil Bay Humpback Whale Watching in Madagascar

Antongil Bay Humpback Whale Watching in Madagascar

Humpback Whales
Africa's Madagascar Antongil Bay is the most important breeding place for humpback whales in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Africa's Madagascar Antongil Bay is the most important breeding place for humpback whales in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Antongil Bay Humpback Whale Watching in Madagascar


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Go whale watching in Madagascar.



Humpback whale watching
Humpback whale watching
In 1997, the 2,175 sq km, 840 sq. mile or 537,600 acre Masoala National Park which is located on the Masoala peninsula in the northeast of Madagascar was created. 

The Masoala peninsula is enclosed by the Indian Ocean in the east and Antongil Bay in the west. Today the Masoala can only be reached by boat, hiking or bike riding through miles of wilderness. Masoala is a multipart protected area having four land tracts and three marine.

One important area is Antongil Bay, the largest bay in Madagascar. Antongil Bay is a refuge for humpback whales that gather in the bay during mating season feeding on tiny shrimp-like krill, plankton, and small fish. 


Swimming with Humpback Whales
Swimming with a Humpback Whale
Every year between June and September, thousands of humpback whales migrate to Antongil Bay Madagascar to breed and nurse their calves. 

Mothers and calves swim close together, often touching one another with their flippers with what appear to be signals of love one reason for the bond is females nurse their calves for almost a year. Humpback whales are known for their magical songs, which travel for great distances through the Bay. 




Did you know?
Whale songs are a series of moans, howls, cries, and other noises are rather intricate sounds that can last for hours. It is most likely that humpback whales sing to communicate with others and to attract prospective mates.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Apricot Chutney Recipe

Use chutney in place of relish, mustard, ketchup and salsa

 Chutney tastes great on any grilled meat.

Apricot Chutney

Ingredients:
1/2 cups white vinegar
1 lb. dried chopped apricots
1 lb. seedless raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons dried onions
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients together and simmer 30 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly pour chutney into a 2 quart jar. Allow to cool on the counter. 


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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus in Africa | Christmas in Africa

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus in Africa | Christmas across Africa

Christmas in Africa
Celebrating Christmas in Africa. On this day, Christmas day December 25, over 400 million Christians in Africa commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Christmas in Africa brings friends and family together for food, laughter and gifts. Christmas in Africa, Santa Claus is popular and takes many forms.

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus in Africa | Christmas in Africa


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Christmas Africa, Santa Claus in Africa, both bring smiles to African children faces.




Christmas across AfricaEgypt's Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7. About 10% of Egyptians are Coptic Christians, making up the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. Baba Noel is the Arabic name for England's Father Christmas, in the United States Baba Noel is better known as Santa Claus. Africans South Africans call him Vader Kersfees while in Morocco Santa Claus is known as Black Peter.

Christmas and Santa Claus in Africa

In the Netherlands where many Moroccan expats live, the annual appearance of Black Peter or Black Pete takes on an entirely different meaning for the season of goodwill and joy depending on who you ask.

Who is Black Pete? Today Black Pete is a white person made up, wearing black face-paint and an Afro. Originally, some believe he was a 300-year-old mischievous black servant who worked for Saint Nickolas gathering naughty children into his sack and taking them away. Others believe Black Peter was a freed slave who chooses to stay and assist Saint Nickolas.

In 2015, the most common explanation of Black Pete's dark skin is soot gathered during his midnight trips up and down chimneys, delivering presents to good boys and girls. The Dutch iconic figure of Black Pete’s on parade marks the beginning of the Dutch holiday season. Many Dutch see dressing up as Black Pete, Saint Nickolas sidekick, as harmless fun.

There is a Santa Claus in Africa who has many names and traditions but no matter the beliefs or customs in Africa or abroad, may peace be your gift, love, laughter and blessings live within you all year through.

Did you know?

Here are 17 ways to say Merry Christmas in the African language.


Afrikaans- Gesëende Kersfees

Akan- Afishapa

Christmas across Africa brings friends and family together for food, laughter and gifts. Amharic- Melkam Yelidet Beaal

Arabic- Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah

Dutch- Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig 

Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast

English- Merry Christmas

Farsi- Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad

French- Joyeux Noel

German- Froehliche Weihnachten

Hausa- Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!

Sotho-Matswalo a Morena a Mabotse

Spanish- Feliz Navidad

Swahili- Kuwa na Krismasi njema

Swazi- Sinifisela Khisimusi Lomuhle

Yoruba- E ku odun, e ku iye'dun!

Zulu- Sinifisela Ukhisimusi Omuhle


Merry Christmas Africa


Merry Christmas Africa

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Destination Togo Africa Where One Family Has Ruled For 50 Years

Destination Togo Africa Where One Family Has Ruled For 50 Years

About Togo Africa
French Togoland became Togo in 1960, Togo, officially the Togolese Republic, is a tiny West African country next to Ghana, Benin, and Burkina Faso.
Seamstresses at work at Djamina Couture in Lome Togo

Togo is known as the tiny African country where the same family has been in power for five decades.


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Togo name derived from the Ewe words - to (water) and go - (shore); originally the name applied to the town of Togo, now Togoville, but the name was eventually extended to the entire country.



Destination Togo Africa

Togo’s landscape is diverse, with five environmental zones: mountains, Savannah, rainforest and coastal areas.
Togo Capital - Lome
Togo Area - 56,785 sq km or 35,284 sq miles
Togo Total Population - 6.8 Million
Togo Rural Population - 62%
Togo Gross National Income (GNI) Per Capita - US $500 per household a year

Togo’s landscape is diverse, with five environmental zones: mountains, Savannah, rainforest and coastal areas. Togo is one of the smallest countries in Africa with more than one million people living in Lomé, its capital city.

With more than 6 million residents, for the most part live in rural areas. Voodoo worshipers from the Guen tribe worship at the annual Epe Ekpe festival in Togo.

For one week each year in September the small town of Glidji located in the Southern most region of Togo, hundreds of voodoo or vodun worshipers make a pilgrimage to the sacred village.

In 1884 the German protectorate of Togoland was established. Togo was occupied since the 1700’s by the Danish, Germans, British and French received independence in 1960 with Sylvanus Olympio elected as first president.

Togo is an agriculturally based society. Commercial crops include coffee, cocoa, and cotton. Mined resources include phosphates, diamonds, and gold; phosphate mining is the largest non-agricultural industry. The United States imports cocoa and coffee from Togo.


Togo Flag


Togo's flag
Five equal horizontal bands of green alternating with yellow; a white five-pointed star on a red square is in the upper hoist-side corner; the five horizontal stripes stand for the five different regions of the country; the red square is meant to express the loyalty and patriotism of the people; green symbolizes hope, fertility, and agriculture; yellow represents mineral wealth and faith that hard work and strength will bring prosperity; the star symbolizes life, purity, peace, and dignity.


Did you know?
Togo is among the world's largest producers of phosphate; the most important use of phosphate is in the production of phosphate fertilizers for agriculture use.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Chewing the Khat | Social Custom the Drug Khat

Khat is a stimulant drug containing cathinone and cathine, chewing Khat is a historic traditional drug or illegal depending where you live in Africa. Khat stimulant drug is derived from a shrub named Catha edulis. 


Chewing the Khat: The Social Custom of Chewing the Drug Khat photo by F Fleck
Khat (pronounced cot) is an evergreen shrub that grows in areas bordering the Red Sea, including countries in East Africa particularly Ethiopia. 
Cathinone and cathine are chemicals similar to the effects of amphetamines and result in similar stimulant effects in the brain and body. Khat is the locally chewed social drug in places such as Ethiopia and has a long history as social routine dating back thousands of years.

Khat plant is widely cultivated and known by a variety of names, including qaat and jaad in Somalia, and chat in Ethiopia. Khat is grown in groves and three to four hours per day is devoted to striping the branches chewing the leaves releasing the drug. The khat chewer plucks the tender leaves from the branches and tucks the leaves into their cheeks, eventually forming a wad similar to chewing tobacco. Khat is a stimulant that speeds up the heart and breathing and increases blood pressure. Khat makes a person feel alert and relieves stress, that makes it a popular simulate among students.


At the Chat Market by A. DaveyIn some countries 15–20% of children under the age of 12 are also daily users of khat. Khat is a controlled substance in some countries, such as the United States, Canada and Germany, while its production, sale, and consumption are legal in other nations, including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Water Bird African Folktale

Water Bird African folktale

African folktale
the Water Bird is a story forming part of an oral storytelling tradition shaped by the tongues of African elders passed down from one generation to the next.

Water Bird African folktale

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture


The water-bird always stands on one leg, and this is why


The Water Bird


A water-bird once, in search of food, swallowed the King of the crabs, and the whole tribes of crabs were so enraged that they swore they would have their revenge.


The water-bird always stands on one leg African Folktale
Water Bird African Folktale
“We will find this horrible bird,” they declared, “and nip off its legs. We shall not fail to find it, for its legs are bright p pink in color and its feathers are pink and white.”


But the water-rat overheard the crabs plotting, and hastened to tell the water-bird.


“Oh! Oh!” cried the water-bird. “They will nip off my beautiful pink legs, and then what will become of me? Whatever can I do?”


“It is very simple,” replied the water-rat. “If you stand on one leg, they will think you are some other creature.”


The bird thanked him and tucked up one leg. When the crabs came, they saw, as they thought, a very tall pink bird with one leg and a large beak.


“Our enemy has two legs,” they said. “This cannot be he.” And they passed by.




Ever wondered what happened to...
The Three Brothers and the Pot of Porridge an African Folktale


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What does the term Third World really mean?


·.•.· Africa ·.•.·

Third World Countries Are Not Shitholes
Pastoral ▒ Countryside ▒ Rural

Third World Countries Are Not Shitholes Ase

Typical street in Ghana Africa
Typical street in Ghana Africa

What does the term Third World really mean?



The phrase Third World, there is no official agreed upon definition of the term however, people in their everyday conversations use the term third world to describe poor developing countries and inferior individuals.

Alfred Sauvy coined the original meaning of third world, in 1952. Third world meant countries that were unaligned with either the Communist Soviet bloc or the Capitalist NATO bloc during the Cold War.

The term Third World implies counties and their people are inferior due to widespread poverty and other factors. The term Third World obscures all parts of a country's culture and contributions that are not of an economic nature.

Female farm owners in Sierra Leone  Africa
Female farm owners in Sierra Leone  Africa

Who are the first, second and third world countries? First World refers to developed, capitalist, industrial countries, North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia. Second World refers to Russia, Eastern Europe and some of the Turkish States as well as China. The term Third World includes developing nations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Lately the term Third World is used interchangeably with Developing Countries or as US President Donald Trump colorfully said shitholes in regards to the economic development of a country. However, rather than ignoring and dismissing a country and its peoples culture based solely on economics we need to look at the culture, history and most importantly the people as human beings.

Every culture has something special and important to share. Every world citizen has beautiful stories and songs, delicious food, fabulous creative arts and wonders of nature to reveal. Do not allow terms like Third World or Developing Countries or Shitholes end your journey of learning about different cultures before it begins.

Mother selling avocados in her small rural town
Mother selling avocados in her small rural town 

Different roads sometimes lead to the same home.

▒ Ase

Ase pronounced ah-shay is a Yoruba word meaning the power to make things happen and produce change.


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Thursday, December 12, 2013

July 18th is Nelson Mandela Day

In 2009, the United Nations declared July 18th as Mandela Day 


The year 2009 was a special one, that’s the year the General Assembly of the United Nations declared the date of July 18th as Mandela Day to honor Nelson Mandela’s lifelong dedication to helping the human race throughout South Africa and by extension the world. Also, July 18th is the date of the anti-apartheid icon’s birth and December 5, 2013 is the date of his death. 


"If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man."- Nelson Mandela

In 2009, the United Nations declared July 18th as Mandela Day




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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

John Langalibalele Dube First African National Congress President


John Langalibalele Dube was born in now eastern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa in the Inanda district on February 22, 1871. Dube whose nickname was “Mafukuzela” was an educator, minister, politician, author, and activist. He was the son of the low ranking Zulu chief Reverend James Dube one of the first ordained pastors of the American Zulu Mission.



John Langalibalele Dube First African National Congress President
John Langalibalele Dube
At the age of 16, in 1887, he accompanied missionaries to the United States of America, where he studied at Oberlin College while working his way through school however, despite his hard work due to the lack of money, he never received an official degree. Nevertheless, the talents that he nurtured during these Oberlin years laid the foundations for his future endeavors.

In 1897 when Dube returned to the United States he enrolled at the Union Missionary Seminary in Brooklyn, in New York and in March 1899, Dube was ordained as a priest by the Congregational Church. On August 8, 1900, Dube and his first wife Nokutela Dube established the Ohlange institute on 200 acres of land in the Inanda district with 63 male students.

Chief Mqhawe of the AmaQadi donated the land on which Ohlange institute was built. The Ohlange institute became the first Black-directed institution and rivaled Tuskegee Institute. The imposition of apartheid had a negative impact on the school.

In 1953, the government passed the Bantu Education Act which had a negative impact on Ohlange institute resulting in its decline. When apartheid eventually collapsed and the first democratic elections were held in 1994, Nelson Mandela chose to cast his vote at Ohlange.


The Ohlange Institute in the Inanda district
The Ohlange Institute in the Inanda district
Around 1903, Dube began the first Zulu newspaper Ilanga lase Natal or Sun of Natal. In 1912, Dube was a founder member and first president of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC), which was renamed as the African National Congress (ANC) in 1923. He died in Durban near his birthplace of Inanda on February 11, 1946.

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Chic African Culture Featured Articles

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.
Be the good

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.