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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Gambia Hibiscus Flower Jam Recipe

Hibiscus Flower Jam

The Gambia Hibiscus Flower Jam Recipe by Benson Kua
African Recipes by

Hibiscus flower jam is very popular in the African country of The Gambia. This tasty easy to make hibiscus flower tropical jam is used as a filling for cakes, pies and cupcakes or used to spread on biscuits, toast and crackers. 

Prep time: Cook time: Total time:

Ingredients
1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
3 cups of water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups water

Directions

Steep dried blossom in hot water for 2 hours then strain using 1 cup of hibiscus flower water. Add sugar boil until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. Pour into prepared jars and serve on toast, crackers or uses as a filling for cakes, pies and cupcakes. 

The Gambia Hibiscus Flower Jam Recipe by Benson Kua

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Kikuyu Tribe Money and Wealth African Proverbs

Kikuyu Tribe of Kenya African Proverbs on Money and Wealth.



The Kikuyus, also known as Gikuyu or Agikuyu, make up Kenya’s largest ethnic group around 22 percent. The Kikuyu tribe is a Bantu tribe that neighbors the Embu, Mbeere and Meru tribes around Mount Kenya. Kikuyus speak the Kikuyu language, and most of them live around the fertile central highlands and Mount Kenya where they mainly grow tea and coffee. The Kikuyu tribe dominates leadership and politics in Kenya.

Kenya African Proverbs in Kikuyu language and English Language:


Gutiri mbura itari gitonga kiayo.
There is no rain that does not bring wealth to someone.


Kenyan Police force Utonga wa muici nduthuunaga, na ni uteeaga wake.
Unlawful riches do not prosper; they ruin even the legitimate ones.


Guthinga kurugite gutonga
Virtue is better than riches.


Muriio wa njoohi niuriukagwo, no wa indo nduriukagwo.
The drunkenness of beer passes away, but that of wealth does not.


Iroobagia ha muoni.
Vultures haunt the yard of a wealthy man.

The Kenyan Shilling is the currency of Kenya

Gukiaga na gutonga ititiganaga.
Poverty and riches do not leave each other.


Indo ni kurimithanio
Wealth comes by cultivating together.


Andu ni indo.
People are wealth.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Best of African Sports Stick Fighting Games

The Best of African Sports

Intonga Stick Fighting
The ancient African art of intonga or stick fighting has been practiced in rural South Africa for centuries and is long considered the best African sport.

African Xhosa women

Before the sports of futbol and football, there was the best of African sports the ancient African Xhosa game of intonga or stick fighting.


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Just as with any other African sport there are rules to follow. In Intonga stick fighting there is a penalty for Kumhlaba Wamadoda or hitting in the “Land of Men” otherwise known as hitting below the belt.


The ancient African art of intonga or stick fighting has been practiced in rural South Africa for centuries. In the past when a Xhosa boy went to initiation school, one of the skills he would learn and practice daily was stick fighting. A young Xhosa man who carried himself well as a stick fighter won respect wherever he went. 
African art of intonga or stick fighting in action
One of the first skills five-year-old Nelson Mandela learned as a herd boy was that of stick fighting. In his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom written in 1995, Mandela says, "I learned to stick-fight which is essential knowledge to any rural African boy – and became adept at its various techniques, parrying blows, feinting in one direction and striking in another, breaking away from an opponent with quick footwork."
The sport of stick fighting is one of South Africa’s oldest games developed hundreds of years ago in the rural parts of South Africa where it served as an important rite of passage in Xhosa culture. In today’s stick fighting games, competitors are armed with two sticks and protection for the head and hands. 

People from the age of five upwards are eligible to participate in the game. When you hit the head you get six points. When you hit the neck you get four points, hitting the hip scores you five points, while a blow to the leg gains you six points. The player that can hit the other with the stick the most in this play-fighting, wins.

Before there was football, there was stick fighting. Rules of the stick fighting game:


The referee will regulate the game by using a white stick to separate the players if there are illegal throws or strikes. Two fighters take up position inside the ring. Each fighter carries two sticks, namely the attack and the defense stick. The referee blows a whistle to start the game and the fighters try to hit their opponent with their stick, while defending themselves with the defense stick. 

Three judges judge the match and record points scored by each combatant. They also record deductible points where there are infringements of the rules. Points are awarded according to the number of blows that hit the opponent’s body. A bout consists of three rounds of one minute each.

Penalty points are deducted for every penalty committed. The following constitutes a penalty:

• Hitting no hit areas, namely “below the belt” or kumhlaba wamadoda, meaning the land of men, and also behind the head.
• Hitting an opponent during a break.
• Hitting an opponent when they are down.
• Prodding or attacking the opponent with the defense stick.
• Poking the opponent.
• Hooking or grabbing with a stick.
• Using sharpened sticks.

A Win

The player who has scored the most points at the end of the game is the winner, unless one of the players quits before the end of the game.



Did you know?
The most popular sports in South Africa are cricket, rugby and futbol (soccer).

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Nyamanda ”Until There is Peace in Africa” Human Rights Project

Nyamanda ”Until There is Peace in Africa” Human Rights Project


Suri Boy Ethiopia, photo by Rod WaddingtonNyamanda ”Until There is Peace in Africa” human rights project lectures to high school students about acting globally assisting the most fragile regions of Africa. Nyamanda teaches one person can make a difference in the lives of millions.  




“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” -Nelson Mandela


Nyamanda free Saturday outreach program for high school students in grades 9-12 creates a welcoming environment that fosters diversity and global perspectives. The project engages students by preparing foods and creating crafts representing the African country being presented that month. Sales from our online jewelry store 100% fund the project.

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Seven African Countries Are On Both Sides Of The Equator

All About The African Equator Countries

African Equator Countries
There are seven African countries that are on both sides of the Equator.

Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Sao Tome and Principe, Uganda, Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia are the seven African countries that are on both sides of the Equator.


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture



An equator is an imaginary line around the middle earth. Cities and towns located on the Earth’s equator have the fastest sunrises and sunsets and the transition from day to night takes only a few minutes.

Republic of the Congo

Mother elephant with twins in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, East Africa by Diana Robinson

About 70% of the population of the Congo lives in its capital of Brazzaville, city of Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between the two cities. 

Republic of the Congo is located in Central Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon. The ethnic groups are Kongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M'Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%.



Kenya


Fruit Market in Libreville Gabon by Brian GratwickeKenya is located in Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania. Nanyuki Kenya is sort of like the main office for people pursuing the adventure of climbing the highest mountain in Kenya. 

Mount Kenya is an ancient extinct volcano and is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The median age of the Kenyan people is 19 years old.




Sao Tome and Principe


In the 16th century colonized by the Portuguese becomes a post for slave trade. Sao Tome and Principe was granted independence in 1975. The islands of Sao Tome and Principe are located in Central Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, just north of the Equator, and west of Gabon.



Uganda


The median age of Ugandans is 15 years old. Uganda is a landlocked, fertile, country with many lakes and rivers. One such lake, Lake Victoria is the second largest lake in the world. Uganda is located East-Central Africa, west of Kenya, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.



Gabon


Gabon is located in Central Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator, between Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea. Gabon's small population of a little more than 1.5 million, rich natural resources, and sizeable foreign support have helped make it one of the more stable African countries.


Democratic Republic of the Congo


Democratic Republic of the Congo or DRC is located in Central Africa, northeast of Angola. Nyamuragira is Africa's most active volcano and is located in the Virunga Mountains of the DRC. Nyamuragira has erupted over 40 times in 130 years.



Somalia


Somalian grandmother and grandson by TrocaireSomalia has been under Egyptian, French, British, and Italian control in 1960 becomes independent. The median age of Somalis is around 17 years old. 

The local name for Somalia is Soomaaliya, the official name is Federal Republic of Somalia.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Add African Culture to Your Wrists | DIY African Fabric-Wrapped Bangles

Add African culture to your wrists and up your bracelet game with a few easy steps. Create beautiful DIY fabric-wrapped bangles while adding African culture to your accessory wardrobe. You can make African wrapped bangles for pennies, garage sales, are a great place to find bangles.

DIY African Fabric-Wrapped BanglesSupplies
·        Simple bangle bracelets
·        A variety of African prints
·        Fabric scissors
·        Fabric glue
·        An iron and ironing board

Directions

Cut a long strip of fabric that measures double the width of your bangle.

Lay the fabric down on the ironing board, fold the edges in toward the center, and iron flat. Your strip should now have a front side that is clean and a back side with an ironed seam.

Add African culture to your wrists Place the end of the strip inside the bangle, with the front side facing out, apply a drop of glue and tightly wrap the strip around the bangle, fully covering the glued end to keep the strip in place.

Continue tightly wrapping the fabric strip around the bangle until you cover the entire bracelet. Apply a bit of glue inside the bangle under the final wrap. Cut the strip just after the glued section, and hold it in place until the glue dries.

Now show off your beautiful DIY African fabric-wrapped bangles to the world!

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

African Honey Acne Treatment

Before the introduction of acne treatments, honey was used as a main ingredient for skin problem cures. For centuries throughout Africa, people use honey as a skin treatment for acne, eczema, cuts and sores. Africa has a wealth of traditional knowledge of apitherapy, the healing properties of bee products. 


Pure acne treatment honey photo by Oxfam East AfricaHoney is a sweet thick syrup produced by honeybees. Bees deposit nectar into honeycombs and seal them with beeswax to preserve the honey. Honey is made up of a solution of sugars and minerals in water, and is twice as sweet as sugar. Honey has a fairly long shelf-life, microbial activity is restricted and the product is stable for many months.

Honey has long been used as medicine. Africa has a wealth of traditional knowledge of apitherapy, the healing properties of bee products. Honey has antibiotic properties: it is a sterile solution with a high sugar concentration that prevents the growth of microorganisms. It is highly acid. It contains enzymes which produce hydrogen peroxide that kills bacteria. Honey is good for healing wounds and for skin treatment.

African Honey Acne Treatment

On clean dry shin using a cotton swab, dab high-grade honey on blemish; leave on 5 minutes then rinse skin with luke-warm water and pat dry. African Honey Acne Treatment seems to work well on most types of skin issues such as a rash, acne, eczema, or psoriasis.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Love Never Loses Its Way Home | The Language of African Symbols

Love Never Loses Its Way Home | The Language of African Symbols

African Symbols, Adinkra symbols
African Adinkra symbols meanings originally created by the Ashanti of Ghana.

African Adinkra symbols meanings Bi Nka Bi (harmony), Ese Ne Tekrema (interdependence), Denkyem (adaptability), Fihankra (security), Gye Nyame (importance of God)

Love Never Loses Its Way Home | The Language of African Symbols


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture


West Africa Adinkra symbols represent ideas, proverbs, expressions, attitudes and behavior depicted in simple drawn figure. Adinkra symbols are well-known visual symbols that have a hidden meaning, deciphering Adinkra symbols is the same as reading a sentence as long as you know what is the symbols true meaning. 







Odo Nnyew Fie Kwan - secret meaning is “Love never loses its way home" Odo Nnyew Fie Kwan is the symbol for the power of love.








Akoma Ntoso - secret meaning isunderstanding, agreement and unity” Akoma Ntoso is the symbol for extension of the heart.






Osram Ne Nsoromma - secret meaning is “love, faithfulness, harmony” Osram Ne Nsoromma represents the moon and the star reflecting the harmony that exists in the bonding between loved ones.







Akoma - secret meaning is “take heart” using patience, love and faithfulness.

Bi Nka Bi - secret meaning is "do not bite one another" symbol of peace and harmony. This symbol cautions against incitement and conflict. The image is based on two fish biting each other tails.



"The flowers of tomorrows are in the seeds of today." – African Proverb. Love binds us all together in perfect unity.

I need a hug

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Kenyan Proverbs on Avoiding Stupid Mistakes

Kenyan African proverbs on the virtues of discerning what is true and wise and avoiding stupid mistakes; being wise is different from being smart. Being wise can save you needless unhappiness and negativity in life.



Wise Maasai elder of KenyaWhat was withheld as a secret thought will come out through a slip of the tongue.


You do not benefit from a lie, a lier does not benefit from another lier.


The plan kills; the weapon only does the deed.


However long it may grow, the neck will never surpass the head.


A climbing plant with tendrils cannot grow on its own without the support of a tree.


Maasai of Kenya mother and child
One should either become a pillar or lean against one.



A distant shelter does not shield one from cold.


A wise man plans for tomorrow, a fool plans only for today.


Without patience we cannot reach an honorable position.




Proverbs credited and collected by Angelica Chelo and Benon Chelo in memoriam of Calvin Chelo

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Indigenous Healing

African Indigenous Healing

There are around 27 million consumers of indigenous healing medicine in South Africa

African Indigenous Healing

In Zulu societies, the Sangoma is a highly respected indigenous healing person and Nyanga is the esteemed herbalist. Men and women take up the profession after a long training period in Southern African society.



Indigenous Healing


The Traditional Healers and Indigenous Healing Organization organizes about 69,000 traditional health practitioners in South Africa to promote African Traditional healing as a holistic healthcare practice. Traditional indigenous medicines use herbal, animal, and mineral materials for physiological and symbolic purposes. Twenty seven million South Africans use traditional medicine in one form or another because pharmaceutical drugs are too expensive or traditional methods are considered an appropriate tradition.

The traditional indigenous medicine trade in South Africa is a large and growing industry. There are some 27 million consumers of traditional medicine, for many people in South Africa indigenous traditional medicine is not considered an inferior alternative to western medicine but a desirable complement or alternative necessary for treating a range of health problems. 

Traditional Healers contribute to the economy by expanding commercial trade in plants and animal parts for use in the traditional medicine practice. The importance of the trade in indigenous plant species for traditional medicine in South Africa is estimated at 40 million dollars a year.

Despite the persistence of customary controls on use of many species, the trade in animal parts in South Africa still persists. Indications by the Traditional Healers Organization research journal is that roughly 200 animal species and 550 plant species are actively traded for traditional medicine in KwaZulu-Natal. 

The most popular species traded as traditional medicine are the African Rock Pythons, Black Mambas, Black Rhinos, Dwarf Chameleons, Giant Golden Moles, Hyaenas, Monitor Lizards, Crocodiles and Vultures.



African Indigenous Healing


Indigenous Healing

Traditional indigenous healing is linked to wider belief systems and remains integral to the lives of most Africans. People consult indigenous healers whether or not they can afford medical services. A true indigenous healer cannot take part in any action that can harm or negatively influence another person and believes God has the ultimate power, it is a spiritual calling.

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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Hertzoggies African Classic Tartlet Recipe

Hertzoggies African Classic Tartlet Recipe


African Recipes by

What is even better than a cookie? A tartlet! Hertzoggies are a delicious classic South African dessert of tartlets filled with apricot jam and coconut topped with meringue. 

Prep time: Cook time: Total time:

Hertzoggies are named after General Hertzog, who was South Africa's Prime Minister between 1924 and 1939.

Ingredients
Dough
2 cups self-rising flour
¼ cup castor sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Filling
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Meringue
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

Directions
For the dough, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined. Chill the dough for at least 15 minutes.

For the filling, beat together all ingredients until well combined.
To assemble tartlet, take a golf ball sized chunk of dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten the dough into a disc between your hands and place into prepared muffin pans. Place a teaspoonful of filling into the center of each.


For the meringue, in large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture forms stiff peaks. Top each stuffed cookie with a dollop of meringue. Bake tartlet at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until the lightly golden.
Hertzoggies African Classic Tartlet photo by decor 8

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Bitter Kola Nuts, Good for What Ails You

Bitter kola is a cherished and revered ancient nut plant with real major health benefits to West and Central African people.


Bitter Kola is not to be confused with the kola nut.Bitter kola is a type of nut mostly found in tropical zones in the forests throughout West and Central Africa. Bitter cola nuts come from the Garcinia kola tree, traditionally these nuts were used as medicine and nowadays the nuts of the tree is still used to treat many ailments. Bitter kola’s value as medication for weight loss, a sore throat, upset stomach, ulcers, and liver disorders is priceless medicinally and spiritually to West and Central African people.

Bitter kola energizer drink is very popular in Serra Leone and is used as a substitute for hops in brewing beer in some African countries. Bitter Kola is especially useful in preventing beer spoilage. Bitter kola is also known as a food that has the ability to ward off evil spirits. Chewing on the seeds of the bitter kola tree is rumored to have the same effect as “a little blue pill” treating sexual dysfunction. In 2014 there were fake reports bitter kola cured infectious diseases such as HIV-AIDS and the Ebola virus. In central Nigeria it was reported Ebola was cured after warm water mixed with salt and then eating bitter kola nuts were consumed by a woman. Bitter kola was thought to possess antiviral properties.


Selling nuts at an African market by qteaBitter Kola is not to be confused with the caffeine rich larger sized kola nut. The kola nut is culturally very important for West and Central tribes in traditional ceremonies, special events and welcoming visitors. But deforestation and the conversion of forests for development and plantations has reduced the number of wild bitter cola trees. Demand for bitter kola is great in Nigeria and the ability to store the nuts and use them fresh or dried makes this an ideally versatile product to generate income for the family.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Ingceke African Sunscreen Lotion

African Sunscreen Lotion

Ingceke African Sunscreen Lotion




Ever wonder why the Xhosa people of Africa smear their faces white?

African Sunscreen Lotion



Why do the South African Xhosa people of smear their faces white?The white creamy lotion is called ingceke and it's used as a sunscreen and skin ointment for protection and healing. Xhosa ingceke cream may look like paint for a traditional dance performance but it’s simply sunscreen. Sunscreen for dark skin is essential in the South Africa sun.


The Xhosa traditionally make ingceke cream

The reason why the Xhosa people smear their faces white is for sunscreen against the African sun. The Xhosa traditionally make ingceke cream which is a mixture of water and clay to protect themselves from the burning rays of the sun and used as skin ointment to treat rashes and eczema.

The popular ingceke cream is made from the fruit of the sausage tree. The fruits are ground to a pulp, burnt to ash and pounded with water to make a white paste to apply to the face and body.

Traditional Xhosa ingceke cream is not paint but the ash of the fruit of the sausage tree. The mature fruits of the bat pollinated Kigelia pinnata or sausage tree dangle from the long rope-like stalks.

Xhosa ingceke cream is not paint but the ash of the fruit of the sausage tree.

The sausage shaped fruits are up to two feet long and weigh up to 17 pounds. Ingceke cream is applied on the face and other exposed areas blocking the UV harmful rays of the sun. The ingceke cream is used by everyone who comes in contact with the sun and harsh wind, from male and female and the young and old Xhosa people.

Xhosa ingceke cream is not paint but the ash of the fruit of the sausage tree. Sunscreen for dark skin is essential in the unrelenting South Africa sun. The Xhosa people of southeastern South Africa are the second largest cultural group in South Africa. The region has Subtropical weather, during the summer months temperatures range from 74℉ - 92℉ (23℃ - 33℃) between September and April. January is usually the hottest month with hot and humid days.

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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

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