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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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

All About Palm Oil

All About Palm Oil


Palm Oil

The palm oil tree is also known as Elaeis Guineensis and is native to West and South West Africa. Nearly 85 percent of the world’s palm oil comes from Indonesia and Malaysia; the other major growing countries are Thailand, Colombia, Nigeria and Papua New Guinea.

Palm oil collecting in Africa

All About Palm Oil


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture



African palm oil also-known-as macaw-fat
African palm oil also-known-as macaw-fat
African palm oil
African palm oil aka macaw-fat is the world’s most popular and most purchased vegetable oil making up about 35 percent of the total international trade in cooking oils. The Palm oil tree has many uses and no part of the tree goes to waste. The tree is used to make world famous palm wine and local medicines. The leaves may also be used to make thatches, which are often used as roofing material in certain areas.

In West Africa, palm oil is a major food item and it is typically used for making goods with its natural flavor and red color having a unique effect on a dish. Palm oil can be harvested 12 months of the year accounting for 35 percent of the world's vegetable oil market.

Palm oil is produced in countries in which there are a large percentages of the world’s rainforests.
Palm oil kernels
The palm oil tree is indigenous to West Africa, naturally occurring along the 300-mile coastline strip from the Gambia to Angola. Palm oil manufacturing in West Africa has two elementary types. The first, palm oil growing in wild grooves and second palm oil groves that are planted on plantations and small farms. Sustainability in the palm oil industry and emphasizing that producers only source palm oil has been produced in an ecological way is a major issue in the industry.

Palm oil is produced in countries in which there are large percentages of the world’s rainforests. Rainforests are being destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations, as demand for palm oil grows worldwide. Certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) and palm kernel oil (CSPKO) is produced by palm oil plantations that have been independently audited and found to comply with the globally agreed environmental standards devised by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Demand for sustainable palm oil rises
Demand for sustainable palm oil rises 
These stringent sustainability criteria relate to social, environmental and economic good practice. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. In 2008, the first grower/producer received RSPO certification.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Sierra Leone Fried Soup Recipe

Sierra Leone Fried Soup Recipe

Easy Sierra Leone Fried Soup Recipe



Sierra Leone Fried Soup Recipe is fast and easy to prepare, especially useful for families with busy schedules. Boiled yams, cassava tubers, bananas and other starches can be eaten with the soup. Sierra Leone Fried Soup Recipe
Sierra Leone Fried Soup Recipe

Ingredients
1 teaspoon palm oil
2 chicken breasts cut into strips
2 large onions sliced
3 garden eggs diced
1 tablespoon chilli pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water

Directions
Heat oil in a pot and fry the chicken. Add sliced onions, garden eggs and ground chilli pepper. Cover the ingredients with water and add salt. Cook for 20-25 minutes, with a lid on the pot.

Green banana peeling in Africa

About Sierra Leone


Sierra Leone History

Following the American Revolution, a colony was established in 1787 and Sierra Leone became a destination for resettling black loyalists who had originally been resettled in Nova Scotia. After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, British crews delivered thousands of Africans liberated from illegal slave ships to Sierra Leone, particularly Freetown. The colony gradually expanded inland during the course of the 19th century; independence was attained in 1961.

Sierra Leone Civil War

Beginning in 1991 was the start of the Sierra Leone civil war. Former army corporal Foday Sankoh and his Revolutionary United Front (RUF) begin campaign against President Momoh, capturing towns on border with Liberia. In 1992, President Joseph Momoh ousted in military coup led by Capt Valentine Strasser, apparently frustrated by failure to deal with rebels. Under international pressure, Capt Strasser announces plans for the first multi-party elections since 1967. In January 1996, Valentine Strasser ousted in military coup led by his defence minister, Brig Julius Maada Bio. In October 1997 the UN Security Council imposes sanctions on Sierra Leone, barring the supply of arms and petroleum products. Marth 1998, Kabbah makes a triumphant return to Freetown amid scenes of public rejoicing. 1999 January - Rebels backing Revolutionary United Front leader Foday Sankoh seize parts of Freetown from Ecomog. After weeks of bitter fighting they are driven out, leaving behind 5,000 dead and a devastated Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone People

Sierra Leone population clusters are found in the lower elevations of the south and west; the northern third of the country is less populated. Sierra Leone’s large youth makes up about 60 percent of the population is under the age of 25 – continues to struggle with high levels of unemployment, which was one of the major causes of the country’s 1991-2002 civil war and remains a threat to stability today. It's estimated 60 percent youth unemployment rate is attributed to high levels of illiteracy and unskilled labor, a lack of private sector jobs, and low pay.


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Friday, October 25, 2013

Bean Casserole a Healthy African Dinner in 30-minutes

Healthy Bean Casserole Dinner in 30-minutes


 
 
Ingredients
Photo by goodhazel Flickr
1 cup of your favorite canned beans
1 15 oz. pumpkin

1 15 oz. can whole corn
1 15 oz. can tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with sour cream (optional)
 
Directions
Add all ingredients to a large bowl mix well and then add to a casserole dish, heat for 30 minutes. Serve from the casserole dish. Garnish with low-fat sour cream (optional) Great with fish.



Did you know...?

We all share the same oceans, keep our oceans healthy and choose sustainable seafood


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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Off-Grid Challenge

electrical power in africa

Off the grid



Sub-Saharan Africa's lack of electrical power

One of the most persistent problems to creating maintainable economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa is the lack of electrical power.


More than 69% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa has no access to electricity. Sub-Saharan Africa is considered the portion of Africa that lies south of the Sahara Desert: this portion includes all of Central, West, East and South Africa. More than 69% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa has no access to electricity. 

In the rural areas of Africa, the number of people without access to electricity rises to more than 85%. In other words, that is over 600 million people in the 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa lacking access to electricity.

Twelve U.S. government agencies, whose combined capabilities form the backbone of Power Africa, are working closely with African governments to prioritize and address key legal, regulatory and policy constraints to investment, and to implement measures that will sustain growth and enable successful governance of a growing power sector throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Zeneba Louki (67) left, with Etta Brahim (36) outside her home with her children (L-R), Saleh Mahamad (7), Moussa Mahamed (5), Mohamed Ali (2) and Fatima Moussa (2). Her elder sister Ashta hamid is in red. There is only seven days of food for the whole family in their little white bag.
Zeneba Louki (67) left, with Etta Brahim (36) outside her home with her children (L-R), Saleh Mahamad (7), Moussa Mahamed (5), Mohamed Ali (2) and Fatima Moussa (2). Her elder sister Ashta hamid is in red. There is only seven days of food for the whole family in their little white bag.

Notable transactions undertaken in the first year of the initiative include the ongoing negotiation of Corbetti Geothermal, the first phase of a potential 1,000 MW geothermal generation project and Ethiopia’s first independent power project; advancing nearly 500 MW of wind projects in Kenya; financial support for a 10 MW mini-hydro and a 5 MW solar project in Tanzania; and supporting power sector-wide privatization efforts in Nigeria.  Additional efforts include the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) Off-Grid Challenge.

To put 600 million people into perspective, the United States has a total population of 314 million people. Sub-Saharan Africa has enormous natural resources, including natural gas, geothermal, hydro, wind and solar. Geothermal drilling for resources is available in abundance but is very expensive.

In the 21st century, more than 69% of sub-Saharan Africa still has no access to electricity.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cooking in Mali: How to use a pestle and mortar

The mortar and pestle is one of the oldest most recognized pharmacy and kitchen tool used throughout the world. Use a mortar and pestle to grind and mix spices, crush herbs and nuts or pound starches. 


Pestle, mortar and spicesThe mortar and pestle is a kitchen gadget that was found in every urban and rural African kitchen. However, emerging technology in the African food culture is threatening the once common place mortars and pestles of old. Mortars and pestles were once used to husk and dehull grain but village electric grain mills are slowly replacing the hand labor intensive mortars and pestles. There are many recipes where hand mixing and grinding with a mortar and pestle puts the consistency of the mixing and grinding in your hands. Place ingredients in the mortar or bowl portion, using the pestle end slowly move the rounded pestle end against the mortar to grind. In order to pound, move the pestle up and down rhythmically to the desired consistency.  


Using a mortar and pestle in Mali, Africa photo by L. Lee McIntyreThe town of Sévaré aka Sevare is near Mali's border. In the town of Sévaré, a daughter helps her mother prepare a meal by pounding onions in a wooden mortar. To the left is a charcoal stove for cooking along with a container for water and a plate of red pepper. To the right are two traditional earthen jars for water as well as plastic buckets for washing the dishes. Typical meals in Mali consist of some kind of starch, rice or pounded millet, along with a sauce, which can be leafy green or more like gravy. Sometimes the meals may include a little meat.

African spice recipe that makes full use of your pestle and mortar:

All-Purpose Blazing Seasoning Salt
Ingredients
¼ cup garlic salt
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
¼ cup dried onion
2 whole allspice berries
2 dried bay leaves
1 ghost chili pod

Directions
In the mortar, place allspice, bay leaves, peppercorns and cardamom seeds grind with the pestle to the desired consistency. Add remaining ingredients to the mortar and mix well. Store in an air tight container store away from heat and light. Do not store spices in the refrigerator. 

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Africanized Honey bees

What Are Africanized Bees

What Are Africanized Bees


Africanized Honey bees




October 19, 1990, a honeybee swarm unlike never before took over a small south Texas town in the United States. Africanized honeybees dramatically labeled as "killer bees" are the result of honeybees brought from Africa to Brazil in the 1950s in hopes of breeding a bee better adapted to the South American tropical climate. 
Africanized Honey bees
Africanized Honeybees

These honey bees reached the Brazilian wild in 1957 and then spread south and north until they officially reached the United States on October 19, 1990.

Actually all honeybees are imports to the New World and are not native. Those that flourished here before the arrival of Africanized honeybees are considered European honeybees, because European colonists introduced them in the 1600s and 1700s.


Africanized honeybees are so called because it was assumed that the African honey bees spreading out from Brazil would interbreed with existing feral European honeybees and create a hybridized, or Africanized honeybee.

Africanized bees are labeled as having an aggressive nature that make them less than desirable for commercial beekeeping, nevertheless they are the main type of honeybee for beekeeping outside of North America. Africanized bees are also considered superior breeders and build hives very quickly much more quickly than other bees. Africanized bees focus on gathering pollen, which can feed the young, rather than nectar, which is more easily converted into honey. Africanized bees are also considered superior honey producers and pollinators outside the U.S.






What Are Africanized Bees



Africanized bees do not exist in nature or science. The African honeybee is a subspecies, native to most of the central and southern parts of Africa that breed with the European bee thus becoming “Africanized”.



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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cameroon Smoked Bonga Fish Stew Recipe

Learn How to Make Cameroon Smoked Bonga Fish Stew Recipe

African Seafood Recipe
Learn How to Make Cameroon Smoked Bonga Fish Stew Recipe

Cameroon Man Selling Smoked Bonga Fish in 1978

Cameroon Smoked Bonga Fish Stew Recipe


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Fresh bonga fish (Ethmalosa fimbriata) is used in cooking stews and fried fish recipes. Some boil the fresh bonga fish and use it as a side dish for local recipes. Other African home chefs buy bonga fish roasted, salted and dried, or smoked bonga fish.



It is estimated that nearly 70 percent of the total fish supply in West Africa is marketed in the smoked or dried forms. Bonga fish is caught in the coastal and estuarine waters, and lagoons along West Africa from Senegal to Cameroon. During the dry season it is caught far inland when salt water penetrates the rivers.

Cameroon Smoked Bonga Fish Stew


 African Recipes by

Cameroon in West Africa, bonga fish is a popular fish to use in recipes, bonga is usually smoked with lots of fresh vegetables. 

Prep time: Cook time: Total time:


Ingredients
4 smoked bongas or any smoked fish
2 green plantains cut in quarters
2 medium onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 large tomatoes, diced
¼ cup palm oil
2 dried basil leaves
2 cups vegetable broth
Pepper to taste

Directions
In a large pot heat palm oil, add onions and peppers sauté 3 minutes. Add all ingredients into a large pot and simmer 20 minutes. Serve over rice or as a stew.



Did you know?
Processing Smoked Bonga Fish
Cameroon is well known for its land use diversity, which enables farmers to grow a very large number of crops. Pineapples farms in Cameroon are especially productive exports.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How not to overeat 10 rules to follow

How not to overeat 10 rules to follow, give definition to your mealtime, give yourself positive statements, do not immediately turn to food, the next time you feel a food urge, take a deep breath and relax, break your old dietary rules slowly, eat smaller portions and moderate portions, and seek counseling if needed. Consider the following ideas to help you handle the strong urge to overeat.




How not to overeat 10 rules to follow 



1.   Give definition to your mealtime. Have regularly scheduled meals with a healthy variety. Set an eating schedule that suits your needs.



2.   Give yourself positive statements while you examine your struggle to overeat such as: What am I thinking and feeling? What do I need to do with these emotions now, other than overeat?



3.   Do not immediately turn to food. Keep to your regularly scheduled meal plan.


4.   The next time you feel a food urge, take a deep breath and relax. Take a moment and jot down any thoughts or feelings you are having surrounding this urge. Are you stressed? Sad? Bored? Angry? Lonely? Was there anything in particular that stimulated the urge to eat?


5.   Break your old dietary rules slowly. If you have a rule that says you cannot eat breakfast, try eating a little bit.

6.   Eat smaller portions of foods you have been overeating. Since these foods will no longer be forbidden, you’ll probably not dwell on them or become anxious and guilty after eating them.


7.   Try to eat moderate portions, and let go of diet myths that might have controlled your eating behavior. If you are unsure what a standard portion is, use one cup, one-half cup, and one-fourth cup measuring cups, and you will learn how much satisfies your hunger.


8.   If it is difficult for you to digest normal portions, remind yourself that it may be easier for you to eat five smaller meals daily rather than three larger meals.


9.   Seek counseling. Food Addiction is more powerful than just resisting urge to overeat. The most common types of food addiction are binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia. The good news is food addiction is treatable with nutritional and medical counseling.


10.   Depression can lead to overeating.  When you are struggling with depression, your eating habits frequently suffer. Some people overeat by turning to food to lift their mood; this causes weight gain, which then may trigger worsening depression and poor body image. If this cycle sounds familiar, ask your doctor, a hotline or a friend you can trust for help. You are not alone.


Healthy African food recipe


Chickpea curry breakfast
Chickpea curry breakfast

Chickpea Spinach Curry for Breakfast

Chickpea Spinach Curry the fastest way to make a quick healthy curry meal. Using canned and fresh vegetables and spices, this easy vegetable curry recipe will be ready in as little as 15 minutes from start to finish.


Chickpea Spinach Curry for Breakfast


Ingredients
2 cans chickpeas or garbanzo beans
4 cups fresh spinach
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper powder
Salt to taste

Directions
Drain the chickpeas from the cans and set aside. In large lidded pot heat oil on medium high heat, add spices and chickpeas. Cover and heat for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, stir the spinach and serve with eggs and soft bread.

Chickpea Spinach Curry Recipe

Chickpea Spinach Curry Recipe

Did you know?
Chickpeas also called garbanzos are a traditional food staple of Africa, the chickpea is the world's second most widely grown legume after the soybean. Chickpeas are a rich and cheap source of protein for billions of people around the world. Chickpeas are classified into desi chickpea and kabuli chickpea. Grains of desi chickpea are small in size, light to dark brown in color, and have a thick seed coat. Grains of kabuli chickpea are bigger in size, have a whitish-cream color and thin seed coat. The desi type however, is more widely used as it accounts for nearly 80 percent of global chickpea production.

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fried Bean Cakes Super Easy Nigerian Appetizer

Fried Black Eyed Beans Cakes are known by many different names in Western Africa

Ingredients:
1 can of black eyed peas (liquid drained)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
©1998 by L. Lee McIntyre
Oil for frying

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add all ingredients into a large bowl. Form the bean mixture into quarter sized ball, flatten and fry until are a golden-brown in color.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tea Biscuits are eaten throughout the World

Tea Biscuits are eaten throughout the world. African food is a unique fusion of many different cultures. One influence over the centuries is that of European colonialists who colonized Africa from around the 1600’s to 20th century.  Anna Maria Russell, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, is said to have made afternoon teatime a fashionable trend when she complained of "having that sinking feeling" during the late afternoon. Hereafter, a pot of tea and a light snack in the middle of the afternoon became a part of European culture. One very popular light snack is that of the tea biscuit.

Tea Biscuits

Ingredients
2 cups bread flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
¾ cup milk

Directions
Sift the dry ingredients together, mix in fat with the tips of fingers, then add the milk a little at a time or cut it in with a knife. The dough should be as soft as can be easily handled. Roll lightly until one inch thick, cut in rounds and bake 375 degrees for 10 or 12 minutes.



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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

African Hair Art

Life is too short to have boring hair.



African Hair Art

African Hair Art, Life is too short to have boring hair.Just as the human body is outfitted and decorated to look sexy, professional or devout, human hair is a reflection of a person’s outward identity. Hair is looked at as an accompaniment to an outfit; an essential accessory that glams up the whole look.


African Hair identity Why Hair Is Important

Pay attention to your hair because everyone else does. Hair is considered a person’s crowning glory and when a bad hair day happens upon them, some believe they are unattractive and ugly. For centuries, African hair was treated as an artist’s canvas. Unique African hairstyles were a fashion and status statement for women and men. Hair's the thing that makes a person unique.


Ancient African Hairstyle Art


One of the most famous and talented photographer of Nigerian Hairstyles, Johnson Donatus Aihumekeokhai Ojeikere also known as J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere highlighted modern and traditional African perspectives of the art of hair design. Each African hairstyle had its own uniqueness giving a glimpse into the talented camera of a legendary Nigerian photographer.


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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Traditional Recipe for Eggplant Fritters

Solanum melongena or eggplant better known as garden eggs in some regions of Africa are a vegetable grown in the subtropics and tropics. The name eggplant originates from the shape of the fruit. Eggplant has chemicals that can cause digestive upset if eaten raw, so is frequently cooked.  Eggplant can be fried, grilled, stuffed, roasted, and cooked in soups and stews.


Traditional Recipe for Eggplant Fritters 
Ingredients and Directions
Eggplant fritters
1.   Boil your desired amount of eggplants in salted water mixed with a little lemon juice
2.   When tender, skin, drain and mash eggplant
3.   For every cup of pulp, add one-half cup full of flour, two well beaten eggs, and season with salt and pepper to taste
4.   Shape into fritters and fry in vegetable oil until golden brown
5.   Sprinkle with salt, curry powder or your desired spice while still warm






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Friday, October 4, 2013

Akara Fried Black Eyed Peas African Recipe

Akara fried black eyed peas African recipe are a popular street food in Nigeria. Nigeria is not only the cellular phone capital of Africa but also famous for rich, delicious Akara recipes.


Easy-to-Follow Akara Fried Black Eyed Peas African Recipe


Ingredients:
1 15 ounce can black eyed peas with all liquid drained (press down on peas)
1 tablespoon self rising flour
Easy-to-Follow Akara African Recipe photo by Rod Speed
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
Oil for frying


Directions:
In large bowl add all ingredients and with clean hands squeeze the mixture until smooth. Form into small balls, roll in flour and fry until brown about 2 minutes. 

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Mali Tea Ceremony

Welcoming guests with tea is a sign of friendship in the African country of Mali.

Mali Tea Culture
Tea Ceremony in Africa is cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation to honored guests and even strangers.

Welcoming guests with tea is a sign of friendship in the African country of Mali.


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Mali tea ritual is common throughout North Africa.



In Sevare, a town in the Mopti Region of Mali a man is involved in the elaborate tea ceremony as his young son looks on.
The custom in Mali is to welcome people with green tea simmering with mint leaves. The hot, sweet tea is poured from a small teapot into shot-glass size glasses from a great height in order to get a good head of foam on the tea.

The glasses are then offered to guests, who slurp the tea loudly, to indicate politeness and respect for their host. Welcoming guests with tea is a sign of friendship in Mali.

Around 17 percent of the population in Mali has access to electricity, much lower than in other low-income African countries. In Mali's remote Mopti region at the Sahara Desert's edge, nearly 90 percent of the population are farmers who live below the poverty line. However, in Mali no matter the income status, greeting visitors with tea is a sign of welcome and friendship.

In Mali Africa, tea drinking is a very common cultural and social activity for men who join tea groups in their communities called grins.

How to make the perfect cup of Tea 


1. Use one teaspoon of dried loose tea per cup of water, more to taste.
2. When making flower or herbal tea with small leaf and green leaf type plants, you can use a tea strainer. The tea strainer eliminates the need to strain off the small leaves later.
 3. Add your desired amount to a tea strainer or teapot.
 4. Cover with boiling water a let steep for 2- 5 minutes or until you created your perfect cup of tea based on your preference.


Did you know?
In Mali Africa, tea drinking is a very common cultural and social activity for men who join tea groups in their communities called grins.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Timbuktu Elite University in the Desert

Timbuktu is located close to the river Niger which soon became known as a place for business due to its location.



Timbuktu

Founded by the Imagharen Tuareg, Timbuktu Mali was established in the 12th century, almost nine hundred years ago as a place where nomads could pasture and water their camels after traveling through the Sahara desert.

Tuaregs in Timbuktu, Mali


Three important mosques were constructed in Timbuktu, Djingareyber, Sankore and Sidi Yahia. The Djingareyber Mosque, the initial construction in 1327, the Sankore Mosque or The University of Sankoré date it was constructed is unknown, but probably in the 14th century, between 1325 and 1433, not long after the Djingareyber was constructed, and the Sidi Yahia Mosque, was built around 1400. The three mosques compose the famous University of Timbuktu.

Beginning in the 15th century Timbuktu established itself as an important educational, spiritual, cultural, and business hub. Timbuktu was famous for educating important scholars who were well known throughout the Islamic world. Timbuktu in the 16th century became the center of education in Africa characterized by the high level of education achieved by its students, clerics and scholars. 

The reign of Askia al-Hajj Muhammad, saw Timbuktu reach its political and intellectual height. Askia al-Hajj Muhammad better known as Askia the Great was a well-organized and shrewd administrator encouraging learning and literacy while fostering trade and commerce. The eminent scholar Ahmed Baba produced many books on Islamic law during this time period. Mahmoud Kati published Tarik al-Fattah and Abdul-Rahman as-Sadi published Tarik as-Sudan two history books which are still widely used.
Djingareyber Mosque Timbuktu, Mali
by emilio labrador


The Moroccan invasion in 1590 ended Timbuktu’s golden era of scholarship. Ahmed Baba, was exiled with his entire family to Morocco, much of his extensive library was destroyed. Centuries of unrest and conflict continued. Timbuktu came under Fulani control, then occupied by the French in 1894. French rule lasted until independence in 1960.


Timbuktu Elite University in the Desert


Tuaregs in Timbuktu
Tuaregs in Timbuktu by Around the Globe
Timbuktu Africa

Timbuktu three facts

Timbuktu was an intellectual and spiritual capital and a centre for the propagation of Islam throughout Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Timbuktu is located at the gateway to the Sahara desert in Africa.

In 2012, in response to armed conflict in the region, Timbuktu was added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage in danger.



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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

African masks typically have a spiritual significance

Masks are seen as African art in America however, masks are more than a decorative element displayed in the home. African masks are sacramental, ritualistic, and an important piece of the traditional culture and art of the peoples of Africa. African masks typically have a spiritual significance. These masks are used in dances, marriage ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and other special events. Every mask has a sacred meaning.


Masks have always been important to the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  The Gungu Festival first took place 1925-1960 under the name Saga or Luvidi Pende to observe the independence of the Kingdom of Belgium in the capital of the territory of Gungu. From 1986-1998 the festival returned under the name Festival Gungu, but once again the festival became inactive. However, in 2008 the festival was once again renamed the Socio-Cultural Festival Gungu and is now known as the Gungu National Festival.  

The National Festival Gungu or FESNAG is held in Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga province in the southeast of Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The National Festival Gungu aims to promote and make known to the Congolese people diversities of cultures of different communities of the DRC.  Artists from all 11 provinces of the DRC, from Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Congo, Mali, and international artists participate in the festival.
The National Festival Gungu

The National Festival Gungu is usually 3-7 days spent enjoying traditional songs and dances. From July 19 to 22, 2014 the 14th festival took place in Bukavu, capital of South Kivu province, the theme was

"National cohesion, consolidation of peace and the fight against violence against women in the region by the traditional culture." This year’s event is scheduled for July 13-15, 2015 in Gungu, Kikwit in the southwestern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The theme for this year’s festival is “The permanence and revival of cultural values, a catalyst for development."


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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.