Find your true life work in Africa.

Find your true life work in Africa. Africa is home to more unknown history than known. A map of Africa does not begin to show the vastness of people, culture, food, living and ancient history of the African continent. Established 2008 Chic African Culture is a learning tool to meet the demand for better education about the entire continent of Africa.

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Find your true life work in Africa.

A lion that is caged will hate the one that is free. - with love from your ancestors

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Past years are in moonlight, the years to come are in darkness

Past years are in moonlight, the years to come are in darkness

Would it be a relief to know what comes next in life, to foresee the outcome before it occurred? The Kenyan proverb "The past years are in moonlight, the years to come are in darkness," teaches the past is revealed because it has been unveiled, however, no matter the clever gadgets and predictions, the future remains unknown.




The past years are in moonlight, the years to come are in darkness. ~ Kenyan Proverb



A proverb is to speech what salt is to food. Proverbs, however quaintly expressed, contain the essence of some moral truth or practical lesson; they are drawn from real life, and are generally the fruit of philosophy grafted on the stem of experience.

Life lessons African proverbs and sayings


He cuts off the head and pretends to preserve the hair.

Like the tusk and teeth of an elephant, one set for show and another for use.

One who has nothing to lose can be reckless to any extent.

The gossip causes the downfall of a kingdom.

However strong the grain, it cannot break the cooking pot.

She asks a dying man asked to sing.

The greedy advised to eat with eyes closed before children.

A snake is never grateful.

Born but yesterday and to-day a giant.

The goat has paid with its life, yet its meat is not tasty.

The earless woman wishing for earrings.

An old parrot never gets tame.

A dog is brave at his own door.

Dear at his native place, and cheap at the market.

He who has suffered can sympathize with those in pain.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Umkhiwa Salted Figs with Honey Recipe

Umkhiwa Salted Figs with Honey RecipeFigs are one of the world’s oldest trees and were held in such high regard by the Greeks that laws were once created to prevent their export. Fig trees grow from South Africa to Senegal and Egypt, Madagascar and the Union of Comoros. 


Ficus sycomorus or fig tree goes by many names Mukuyu in the Shona language, Vyeboom in Afrikaans, Umkhiwa in Ndebele, شجرة التين in Arabic, and figueria in Portuguese. As regards the Fig tree, the popular belief is that it was the tree Judas had hung himself. 



The Fig tree never again bore fruit and that the Fig was the identical Fig tree cursed by God; and that all the wild Fig trees sprang from this accursed tree. Interestedly, according to a Southern Italy tradition, Judas did not hang himself on a Fig but on a Tamarisk-tree called Vruca or Tamarix Africana. Vruca is now only a shrub, although formerly it was a noble tree; at the time of Judas’ suicide, it was cursed by God, and thereafter became a shrub that is ugly, misshapen, and useless.


Figs Recipe


Uses for fresh figs


Umkhiwa Recipe Salted Figs with Honey

Umkhiwa Recipe Salted Figs with Honey


Ingredients
4 large fresh figs
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup orange blossom honey
¼ teaspoon salt


Directions
Preheat oven to 325°F. Gently wash and pat dry figs. Toss figs with oil place stem side up in a shallow baking pan. 

Roast for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and quarter without cutting completely through the figs. 

Meanwhile, add honey to a heatproof cup and microwave for 1 minute. Pour honey evenly over figs, sprinkle with salt and serve warm.




Did you know…?

The fig tree is one of the first plants cultivated by humans



The fig tree is one of the first plants cultivated by humans




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Monday, December 29, 2014

Suffering in Silence It is the calm and silent water that drowns a man

Suffering in Silence African Proverbs

Suffering in Silence




People quietly drown only a few strokes away from help because of pride and fear. Silent people can be dangerous, suffering alone is dangerous, and despair is more destructive than physical illness.

African proverbs express the timeless wisdom of African people.


African proverbs teach us the smartest people have drowned in calm waters. Drowning in negative thoughts and emotions, the deepest waters have the smoothest surfaces but move very fast and are tumultuous on the underneath.




African proverb silent water kills

It is the calm and silent water that drowns a man African proverb


More quotes and wise sayings about pride


Swallow your pride occasionally, it's non-fattening. - Unknown


Be mindful of humility: the gale that breaks the pine does not bruise the violet. - Austin O'Malley


A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle. - Benjamin Franklin


It was not until late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say "I don't know." - W. Somerset Maugham


Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. - Malcolm S. Forbes



Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity. - Frank Leahy

None are so empty as those who are full of themselves

African Proverbs

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wisdom with love from your ancestors

Wisdom with love from your ancestors

Wisdom African proverbs with love from the ancestors



African proverbs are popular short sayings created from ancestral insight hand down from generation to generation. Wise sayings in the language of proverbs have been passed down for generations in African culture.

Don't put the key to happiness in someone else's pocket.

African proverbs express the timeless wisdom of African people.

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture


The frown on the face of the goat will not stop it from being taken to the market.

To wash a donkey's tail is loss of time and soap


The disobedient fowl obeys in a pot of soup.


The person who is not patient cannot eat well cooked  dishes


The past years are in moonlight, the years to come are in darkness.



Wisdom with love from your ancestors

Don't put the key to happiness in someone else's pocket.

The frown on the face of the goat will not stop it from being taken to the market.

To wash a donkey's tail is loss of time and soap.

The disobedient fowl obeys in a pot of soup.

The person who is not patient cannot eatwell-cooked dishes.


The past years are in moonlight, the years to come are in darkness.

African proverbs express the timeless wisdom of African people

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Kaldi, a goat herder who lived in Ethiopia accidentally discovered coffee

Who accidentally discovered coffee

Legend has it that Kaldi, a goat herder who lived in Ethiopia, accidentally discovered coffee.


Kaldi, a goat herder who lived in Ethiopia, accidentally discovered coffee.

Coffee was accidentally discovered by a goat

One day, Kaldi observed his herd of goats chewing on red cherries from a tree he had never noticed before, after which they became energized.  


After trying them himself, Kaldi brought the cherries to a local monastery, where the monks tossed them in the fire as they disapproved of the idea of using the strange fruit. 


Instead of burning the beans, it actually roasted them. Those roasted beans were used to create the first coffee.



Coffee Beans Growing on a Small Farm
Coffee Beans Growing on a Small Farm



Did you know?

Ethiopia currently has an estimated population of 94 million people with 15 million or 16% of the population depends on coffee for their means of income. Coffee is Ethiopia's most important cash crop and largest export commodity. 


In 2001, Ethiopia's Federal Cooperative Commission opened its coffee export market to direct participation of farming communities. 

What does that mean? It means, coffee grower cooperatives can sell directly to export markets allowing their unions to negotiate Fairtrade agreements, research and comprehensive training and education for Ethiopian cooperative leaders, particularly women and youths.


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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Liberian Cassava Bong Fries Recipe

Liberian Cassava Bong Fries Recipe

Liberia’s name means Land of the Free because it was founded by freed slaves from the United States. The food of Liberia is a fusion of African, Americo-Liberians and Congoes. Bong fries are a favorite in Liberian restaurants and bars. Seasoned cassava bong fries resemble potato chips and are eaten in the same manner.



The food of Liberia is a fusion of cultures and bong fries are a favorite in Liberian restaurants and bars. 


Liberian Cassava Bong Fries

Liberian Cassava Bong Fries

African Recipes by

All you need are cassavas and vegetable oil to make this favorite Liberian cassava chips. For the best possible cassava chips, the slices of cassava need to be paper-thin. 

Prep time: Cook time: Total time:

Ingredients

2 fresh cassava roots
Oil for deep-frying
Salt to taste

Directions

In a large frying pan heat 2 cups of oil, peel the cassava, slice thin wash and dry. Fry in hot oil until a light brown and crisp. Drain the chips on paper towels, sprinkle with salt and enjoy.



Did you know?

Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, was named for U.S. president James Monroe.


Liberia's national flag, the "Lone Star," reminiscent of the American "Stars and Stripes," appears in the lower right corner. The single star in the blue field representing the African continent signifies Liberia's claim to be the first African "independent republic." Lagoons and mangrove swamps mark Liberia's beautiful coastline. Liberia is slightly larger than Tennessee and recently Liberia's surfing tourism has begun to become popular and gaining a reputation for having spectacular beaches. 


 



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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Daydreaming for a better Africa

Daydreaming for a better Africa

Daydreaming helps expand new ideas developing better solutions for Africa.

Daydreaming helps expand new ideas developing better solutions for Africa. Daydreaming photo by Stefano Montagner



How does an idea come into being for a better Africa?


Daydreaming produces ideas and ideas come before business innovation. Daydreaming keeps our minds active while helping us manage life and be creative. Africa's community of entrepreneurs is growing and new ideas and innovations are vital.

Daydreaming produces ideas and ideas come before the business innovation. Daydreaming is so routine that we usually think little about it or how it affects us. The types are so varied that there is still no definition of daydreaming that researchers agree upon. However, what is agreed upon is daydreaming is an important, intriguing and necessary part of mental life. 

This liberating idea of encouraging daydreaming is radical. However, creating designs and solutions for collaborating with other thinkers on how to make Africa self-reliant is not radical but essential. The idea for self-reliance comes before action. Those who take action before having an idea are unprepared and thus find themselves lacking.


Daydreaming is the gateway to creativity, problem solving and boosting productivity. School girl in Gordil, Central African Republic photoby Pierre Holtz UNICEF

Our minds constantly flip from one thought to another and one type of daydream to another. New knowledge is being created about food security or environmental management for Africa. 

Daydreaming is the gateway to creativity, problem-solving and boosting productivity. Daydreaming creates new spaces for collaboration and innovation, daydreaming is an essential cognitive tool. 

When you are daydreaming, your mind naturally cycles through different modes of thinking, and different areas of your brain are involved in a completed tango. Our brains are built to daydream. Daydreaming keeps our minds active while helping us manage life and be creative. Ideas shape action, daydreaming is the gateway to creativity, problem-solving and boosting productivity for a better Africa. 


Daydreams are your source for ideas, when daydreaming; you can visualize the idea, mimic events, and are free to look from every angle. Going to school in Johannesburg, South Africa by Mads Bodker

You must be a part of cultivating innovation around the clock. Many innovators jot down ideas that pop up throughout the day. Daydreams are your source for ideas when daydreaming; you can visualize the idea, mimic events, and are free to look from every angle. 

You get ideas from daydreaming, projects start as ideas, ideas and drive turn into action and action creates change for a better Africa. Daydreaming is just the first step on the long path to successful innovation.


 
 

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

True Size of Africa Not The Distorted Mercator Projection

True Size of Africa Not The Distorted Mercator Projection

Size of Africa
On the Mercator projection map, Africa incorrectly appears small in size.

The Blue Marble, Africa

The Blue Marble, Size of Africa

True Size of Africa Not The Distorted Mercator Projection.


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Africa is 11.68 million square miles or 30.22 million km2 and covers 20.4 percent of the total land area on Earth but on the Mercator projection map, Africa appears small in size, why is that? Mexico, China, Eastern and Western Europe, India, The USA and Japan can all fit into Africa's total land area very comfortably.


The True Size of Africa: Immappancy Creates a Distorted Worldview

How BIG is Africa


The Mercator projection of 1569 was one of the first important navigation maps produced. The map was created by Gerard Mercator who was a Flemish mapmaker attempting to solve the problem of sailors navigate the world accurately. 

However, the accuracy of the Mercator projection is for traveling purposes and not an accurate visual representation of the world.  
The east-west and north-south lines are straight lines. Because the world is round, this makes for some not-so-accurate geographical representations. 

Antarctica and Greenland, in particular, look far larger on a Mercator projection than they are in real life. Alternative projections use an equal area projection that shows the countries' areas correctly while minimizing shape distortion. Some projections preserve the shapes of countries but misrepresent their areas as does the Mercator projection.



Why it is that today the Mercator projection is still such a widely recognized image used to represent the globe? The biggest challenge for mapmakers is that it is impossible to portray the reality of sphere-shaped world on a flat map. 


Mapmakers refer to the inability to compare size on a Mercator projection as "the Greenland Problem." Greenland appears to be the same size as Africa, yet Africa's land mass is actually fourteen times larger. Because the Mercator distorts size so much at the poles, it is common to crop Antarctica off the map. 


This practice results in the Northern Hemisphere appearing much larger than it actually is, the U.S. looks the same size as Africa but Africa is more than three times the size of the U.S.



In October of 2010 at an exhibition in a London gallery by the Royal Geographic Society a German software computer-graphics engineer Mr. Kai Krause set out to show the world that "immappancy" or insufficient geographical knowledge is a major social issue. 


Krause was puzzled why the true size of Africa was a worldwide misjudgment. Krause partly blamed it on the distorted nature of mapping estimates using the Mercator projection. Krause point is you should know the map Mercator projection limits your view of what you see and learning geography plays an important role in the evolution of people, ideas and development.


This image of Earth’s city lights was created with data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
NASA Earth's Light


Did you know?
The Mercator projection of 1569 was one of the first navigation maps produced, the Mercator projection is for traveling purposes and not an accurate visual representation of Africa. The Mercator projection was not developed to accurately show the true size of Africa but projection from the Mercator projection are still in use today.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Died in Their Sleep | Cameroon Lake Nyos Carbon Dioxide Tragedy of 1986

Died in Their Sleep | Cameroon Lake Nyos Carbon Dioxide Tragedy of 1986

Carbon Dioxide Mass Death
The environmental disaster that occurred at Lake Nyos, Cameroon is one of the most destructive carbon dioxide natural disasters in modern times. This is due to Lake Nyos being a naturally gas-rich lake.
Lake Nyos, Cameroon is one of the most destructive carbon dioxide natural disasters in modern times

Died in Their Sleep | Cameroon Lake Nyos Carbon Dioxide Tragedy of 1986


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




It has been 28 years since the tragedy at Lake Nyos and the Cameroon Lake is still at dangerous Carbon Dioxide levels.

The Cameroon line is a 994-mile or 1,600 km chain of volcanoes. The oldest rocks have been dated at 70 million years old. Nine volcanoes along the line are active. A fissure eruption occurred at Mt. Cameroon in 1982.  Lake Nyos is a water-filled crater of an old volcano, deep and funnel-shaped.
Lake Nyos is a naturally gas-rich lake

In Cameroon, West Africa on August 21, 1986 Lake Nyos, belched a lethal carbon dioxide gas because a landslide disturbed the lake. At least 1,800 people died and in one village, everyone was killed. 

Most of the victims died in their sleep of carbon dioxide poisoning. The gas killed all living things within a 15 mile or 25km radius of the lake. 

The signs of asphyxiation are similar to strangulation, as like being gassed by a kitchen stove. The tragedy happened at Lake Nyos, about 200 miles or 322 km northwest of the capital, Yaoundé, during the night.

The lake's lower levels became flooded by carbon dioxide gas due to gaseous springs, which bubbled up from the extinct volcano beneath. Carbon dioxide is denser than air, the massive bubble of carbon dioxide gas hugged the ground and flowed down the stream like fog. Sadly, many villagers were in the carbon dioxide fog’s path and were killed.

The auto-siphon project began in 2001 by scientists from the United States, France and Cameroon. Pipes have now been put in place in Lake Nyos to siphon water from the lower layers up to the surface and allow the carbon dioxide at the bottom of the lake to slowly bubble out, avoiding a repeat of the August 21, 1986  Lake Nyos catastrophe.  The very long pipes eject 90 percent carbon dioxide and 10 percent water. Lake Nyos is slowly being degassed but it is still dangerous. 


It has been 28 years since the tragedy at Lake Nyos and the Cameroon Lake is still at dangerous Carbon Dioxide levels.

Did you know?
Lake Nyos is a dangerous lake in Northwest Cameroon which tragically released a huge cloud of lethal carbon dioxide on August 21st, 1986, killing 1,800 sleeping African villagers and 3,500 of their livestock.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

History of African Author Grace Emily Akinyi Ogot

History of African Author Grace Emily Akinyi Ogot

Female African Author
One of Kenya's first black female pioneers of cultural empowerment, Kenyan African author Grace Emily Akinyi Ogot writes about the tensions between tribal customs and modern life.
Reading equals love

All About Kenyan African Author Grace Emily Akinyi Ogot


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Grace Ogot place in Kenyan African History


Grace Emily Akinyi Ogot was born in Kenya's Central Nyanza district in 1930 to Christian parents. She began her career working as a nurse and midwife at Maseno Hospital and Makerere University College. Ogot then began working as a scriptwriter and broadcaster for the BBC. 


Ogot made another career change as a community development officer in the Kisumu District Kenya. She also worked as a public relations officer for Air India. Ogot then made another career turnaround opening clothing boutiques in Kenya’s largest city of Nairobi.


African Author Grace Emily Akinyi Ogot
Hon. Dr. Grace Emily Akinyi Ogot 
During this time period of many career changes as nurse, journalist, radio host and business owner Ogot never stopped writing. In 1966 she published The Promised Land, making her one of Kenya's first generation of published writers in English and one of the first black female Kenyan novelists. 


Grace Ogot wrote The Promised Land and the Nigerian author Flora Nwapa who wrote Efuru, both published books in 1966 and both were groundbreaking books by black African female writers. Ogot was a founding member of the Writers' Association of Kenya she served as its chairman from 1975 to 1980.


Ogot was named a delegate to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1975 and as a member of the Kenya delegation to UNESCO in 1976. In 1984 Ogot served as a Member of Parliament and the only assistant minister for culture in the cabinet of Ex-President Daniel Arap Moi who served as the second President of Kenya from 1978 to 2002. Ogot is 84 years old and married to her husband of 55 years Bethwell Allan Ogot who is also a writer and politician.

Major Works by Grace Ogot

Major Works by Grace OgotThe promised land- 1966

Land without thunder - 1968

The other women - selected short stories- 1976

The graduate- 1980

The strange bride- 1983



Ogot recently published the story of her life entitled “Days of My Life: An Autobiography. She gives accounts of how she and her husband went through a lot of pain to have access to Ex-President Daniel Arap Moi in order to organize fund-raising meetings to develop her constituency. 

The book, however, shows how Grace Ogot badly let down writers and thespians as Assistant Minister for Culture and Social Services. She never worked to improve the working climate of Kenya Cultural Center in general and the Kenya National Theater in particular.


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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Warm Pineapple Banana Couscous Breakfast Recipe

Warm Pineapple Banana Couscous Breakfast Recipe

Warm Pineapple Banana Couscous Breakfast Recipe


Warm Pineapple Banana Couscous Breakfast Recipe

African Recipes by

Couscous is a neutral favored dish that combines with just about every ingredient imaginable. No wonder it’s one of North Africa’s staple foods. 

Prep time: Cook time: Total time:
A dish so nice they named it twice, Kuskus or Couscous is actually pasta though it looks like rice. Kuskus is stocked in most grocery stores on the rice and pasta isles. Instant and non-instant varieties are available. 


Ingredients

2 cups dry couscous
2 cups low fat milk
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup finely diced pineapples
1 sliced banana


Directions

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, honey, and cinnamon. As soon as it comes to a boil, stir in the Kuskus. Turn off the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in pineapples and top with sliced bananas. Serve warm for breakfast.


Links

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kenya's Samburu and Maasai Tribes Forcefully Evicted from African Land

Kenya's Samburu and Maasai Tribes Forcefully Evicted from African Land


Kenya Tribes Evicted

Kenya Samburu and Maasai tribes had de facto ownership of Eland Downs Ranch by virtue of living on the land for generations. However, Eland Downs Ranch was legally privately owned by former Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi who sold the land for $4 million to conservation charities thus began the forceful evictions of Samburu and Maasai families from their ancestral lands.

Kenya's Samburu and Maasai Tribes Forcefully Evicted from African Land



Which Is More Important the People of Africa or the African Land



The conflict over natural resources across Africa is a serious issue. The Samburu of Kisargei in Kenya were on the losing end of the 17,100 acre Laikipia National Park (formally known as Eland Downs Ranch) land ownership dispute with the Nature Conservancy, and the African Wildlife Foundation and the Kenya Wildlife Service.

The Samburu were semi-nomadic pastoralists on the Eland Downs ranch. Cattle, as well as sheep, goats and camels, are of utmost importance to the Samburu culture and way of life. The Samburu are extremely dependent on their animals for survival.

On November 11, 2011, 1,000 cattle and 2,000 sheep and goats of the Samburu livestock were impounded due to a violent dispute over land ownership with the Nature Conservancy and the African Wildlife Foundation who purchased the land and gave it as a gift to Kenya for a national park, Laikipia National Park. As reported by the Star Kenya on December 1, 2011 Kenya Wildlife Service officers guarding Eland Downs ranch were murdered and in return, an elder identified as Brian Lelekina was shot to death.
 The Samburu of Kenya
The Samburu of Kenya 
The Samburu legal case over the Eland Downs ranch was heard in the town of Nyeri on December 14, 2011 and the court ruled the Kenya Wildlife Service had secured legal registration of the land. The Samburu were forced to vacate the land after generations of living on Eland Downs ranch. The Samburu had no squatters rights ownership of Eland Downs Ranch, the Ranch was upheld legally as owned by former Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi.

The Samburu of Kisargei were pitted against the conservation charities, the government and the former president, Daniel arap Moi, who owned the land. The 17,100 acre Laikipia National Park or Eland Downs ranch was purchased from former Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi by the Nature Conservancy and the African Wildlife Foundation.

Daniel arap Moi who was in power for 24 years in Kenya from 1978-2002. Eland Downs had previously been part of the nearby 90,000 acre Ol Pejeta Ranch. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the Largest Black Rhino Sanctuary in East Africa housing Mount Kenya Wildlife Estate with homes for sale on the eastern corner, camps and tours. The question remains in this case, which is more important the people or the land.

Maasai Tribes Forcefully Evicted from African Land

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Find your true life work in Africa.

A bird sits on a tree it likes - African Proverb

Chic African Culture Featured Articles

Find your true life work in Africa.


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