Curiosity is the key to knowledge.

African facts are endless. 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 an African learning tool to meet the demand for better education about Africa.


Don't major in minor things - with love from your ancestors

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Shady Friend African Folklore

Shady Friend African Folklore Story

Nothing but sadness for Basi who unfortunately puts his trust and good reputation on the line for a shady friend.

Putting yourself on the line African Folklore teaches us not to put our good reputation on the line for a shady friend.

Aza the Shady Friend African Folklore thought the golden blanket should be his.
Golden blanket

Aza the Shady Friend African Folklore

Aza received a prestigious invitation, to visit his old friend chief Basi in a faraway village to celebrate the birth of his first child.

Aza is well treated because he is a friend of the chief, and he is given one of the best rooms in the chief’s home to rest after his long journey. 

In his room, a hand woven golden blanket was stored. The blanket was to be presented to the chief during the feast at tomorrow’s festival celebrating the chiefs’ first-born son.

Putting yourself on the line African Folklore teaches us not to put our good reputation on the line for a shady friend.Aza discovers the blanket and decides such a fine blanket should belong to his son. 

He takes the golden blanket, stuffs it in his travel bag and leaves the village, telling the people that urgent business requires him to go home and he is unable to attend the festival.

On the riverbank nearby, Aza arranges with the ferryman, to be carried across the river; but before they embark, the people of the chiefs’ village run up, crying to the ferryman not to take Aza across, because he has stolen the chiefs golden blanket. 

Aza denies it, and declares that it is a lie to ruin his good name. Nevertheless, the people insist Aza is a thief.

Aza yells, “If you don’t believe me, bring my good friend chief Basi to search me for the blanket!

Chief Basi is upset about his guest and dearest friend accused of being a thief and begins to reluctantly search him. 

To his surprise, he finds the stolen golden blanket on Aza but does not have the heart to disgrace his old friend. 

Chief Basi loudly declares to the people of his village that he has found no golden blanket.

Because the chief is known as an honest, fair and powerful man, his people believe him without question and return to their homes saying, "If chief Basi says Aza is innocent then it is so for our chief is an honest trustworthy man!”

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Vetkoek South African Fat Cake Recipe

Vetkoek South African Fat Cake Recipe
South African Cake Recipe

Options are endless when it comes to vetkoek recipes. Vetkoek has been a staple on the South African kitchen table longer than anyone can remember.

Vetkoek South African Fat Cake Recipe

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture
African food recipe
Vetkoek South African Fat Cake
Culture and food of Africa would not be complete without including the South African food recipe Vetkoek South African Fat Cake. South African Vetkoek is deep fried dough eaten as a sandwich with sausages, made into desserts and handheld snacks stuffed with meat, relish and cheese.

Vetkoek South African Fat Cake

Serves 10
South African food

Vetkoek South African Fat Cake

South African Vetkoek is deep fried dough eaten as a sandwich with sausages, made into desserts and handheld snacks stuffed with meat, relish and cheese.
Sweet Fat Cakes 
2 cups self-rising flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
Oil for deep-frying

In a large pot heat oil. In a large bowl mix flour and salt together by hand or with a fork. In another bowl whisk egg, milk and sugar. Make a well in the dry ingredients then add the wet, mix to until a soft dough forms. Divide the dough into equal size flattened balls and deep fry on both sides until golden brown. Set on paper towel to drain off the excess fat. Split dough down the middle and stuff with your favorite recipe or leave whole drizzle with honey, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve as a coffee or tea beignet

Vetkoek South African Fat Cake Recipe Star Rating

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

How to Unlock the Flavor of Herbs and Spices

Many African spices and spice blends will taste fuller and more complex if they are bloomed, or briefly cooked in oil.

Blooming spices does not have to be complicated, it is as simple as heating the spices in oil a few seconds ahead of the other ingredients in your dish.

Chicken African Groundnut Stew Recipe

Many African spices and spice blends will taste fuller and more complex if they are bloomed, or briefly cooked in oil. #blooming #spices #herbsIngredients:
2 large chicken breasts, chopped
1 medium sliced onion
1 medium chopped green pepper
1 cup smooth peanut butter
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups baby carrots
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flake
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt to taste


Boil chopped chicken in 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth in a large pot for 10 minutes. Heat oil over medium heat; add curry powder and bloom (fry) for 1 minute. Add onion, chopped pepper, carrots, tomato paste, salt, pepper flakes and chicken broth. Cook for 10 minutes. Add remaining broth to peanut butter and mix well. Add peanut butter to remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over rice.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Foolish Tongue African Folktale

Foolish Tongue African Folktale Story

Fools words get them into endless troubles African Folktale

Fools words get them into endless troubles African Folktale

Foolish Tongue African Folktale

The chief of a village once asked, “Who are more in number in our village, the women or the men?” 

Koa, the village jester answered without hesitation, “Men are the minority, women the majority!”

Koas' wife turned to him puzzled and asked, “How do you know this?”

Koa laughed and said, “The reason why there are more women in our village dear wife is that men who listen to what women say are counted as women!”  

As soon as he spoke the words, Koa knew he would soon have one foot in this world and one in the next for his wife answered, “It is your foolish tongue that will carry you to your grave husband!”

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Explore the International Aisle of Your Supermarket

Explore the International Aisle of Your Supermarket

Supermarket International Aisle

Every supermarket in your neighborhood has an international aisle, and if you do not know, what is on those shelves then it is time to check it out. You will find a variety of countries represented here, for example, those jars of curry pastes are international flavor powerhouses.

Just a tablespoon of curry paste, a staple in the international aisle of any supermarket, can add potent, exotic flavor to many dishes. Golden brown Curry Garri Fritters are a favorite recipe of Western Africa made with ground cassava flour, hot curry paste and spices fried into delicious snacks.

A typical curry paste contains many complex ingredients, including garlic and shallot, galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime peel. Just a spoonful or two of curry paste infuses countless recipes with international flavor.

Western African Curry Garri Fritters

Western African Curry Garri Fritters

2 cups cassava flour
1 teaspoon hot curry paste
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 - 1/3 cups water
1-2 cups oil for frying

In a large frying pan heat vegetable oil. Add all ingredients, mix well and form small fritters, fry until golden brown about 3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with extra salt or curry powder before serving.

Western African Curry Garri Fritters Recipe Star Rating

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Braai Isonka Samanzi Grilled Bread

Isonka samanzi is Xhosa for bread in water or steamed bread. 

Braai Isonka samanzi or grilled bread is made by steaming dough in a cast iron pot on top of braai or BBQ coals until the bread is soft on the inside and brown on the outside. Isonka samanzi is Xhosa for bread in water or steamed bread.  

The uniqueness of this recipe is not the ingredients but the way the bread is baked in a cast iron pot. This local Southern African delicacy of homemade baked bread will leave you wanting more.

Braai Isonka Samanzi Grilled Bread


Braai Isonka samanzi or grilled bread is made by steaming dough in a cast iron pot on top of braai or BBQ coals until the bread is soft on the inside and brown on the outside.
Braai Isonka Samanzi by chris liang 82

3 ¼ cups bread flour

1 package active dry yeast (.25 ounce)

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 ¼ cups warm water

2 tablespoons soft butter

1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. In a separate bowl, add butter and salt mix well. Lightly alternate stirring in flour and water. 

When the dough slightly sticky to the touch, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes or use the bread hook attachment on your mixer, mix 4-5 minutes. 

Lightly oil a cast iron pot with a lid, place the dough in the pot cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Place lid on pot (oil the top of the lid also) and place on hot coals with no flames for 2 hours. 

Bread is ready when a skewer is inserted in the middle of the bread and it comes out clean.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Why Weasels Have a Bad Reputation African Folklore

African Folklore of a Weasel and his Wife explains why weasels have a bad reputation to this very day.

The wife of a weasel gave birth to a baby, and then called her husband and said, "Go out and find some clothes I would like for the baby and bring them to me." The husband listened to his wife's word, and said to her, "What kind of clothes do you like?" The wife replied to her husband, "I like the hide of an elephant."

The husband attended to his wife's wish, arose, and went to a fowl, saying, "Sister fowl, listen, and I will tell you something which my wife told me." The fowl replied to the weasel, "Tell me what you have to say!"

The weasel said to the fowl, "Sister fowl, yesterday, when my wife gave birth to our first child, she said to me that she does not like any kind of clothes, except an elephant's hide: now what shall I do to obtain an elephant's hide?"

African Folklore of a Weasel and his Wife explains why weasels have a bad reputation to this very day.The fowl said to the weasel, "Stop and I will teach you a trick get an elephant's hide.  Go call the muckworm, the fowl, the cat, the dog, the hyena, the leopard, the lion, and the elephant, call them all and ask them to 'Please come to my farm, it is overgrown with grass,' and when they come, you can obtain the elephant's hide."

The weasel listened to what the fowl said and he called the muckworm, the fowl, the cat, the dog, the hyena, the leopard, the lion, and the elephant.

Next morning the muckworm arose first, took his hoe and went to the farm of the weasel and began to hoe. The weasel was sitting in the midst of his farm, while the muckworm hoed, and the fowl came. The fowl having come, she said to the weasel, "Who came before me?" The weasel replied, "The muckworm has come and is at work." As soon as the fowl had seen the muckworm, she chased and swallowed it, and then began to work.

When the cat arose and went to the farm, she asked the weasel, "Brother weasel, who came before me?" When the weasel replied, "The muckworm came," the cat asked, "Where is the muckworm?" and being told that the fowl had swallowed it, she asked, "Where is the fowl?" The answer was, "Yonder the fowl is at work." The cat went, seized and swallowed the fowl, and then fell to work alone.

The dog arose, and on arriving at the farm, asked the weasel, "Brother weasel, who came before me?" The weasel replied, "The muckworm came." He asked the weasel, "Where is the muckworm?" The weasel replied, "The fowl swallowed the muckworm." He asked again, "Where is the fowl?" The answer was, "The cat has swallowed the fowl." Next question, "Where is the cat?" Answer, "There is the cat at work." The dog took and swallowed the cat, and then began to work alone on the farm.

The hyena arose, and when he came to the farm, asked the weasel, "Who came before me?" The weasel answered, "The muckworm came before you." He asked again, „Where is the muckworm?" Answer, "The fowl swallowed the muckworm." "Where is the fowl?" asked the hyena. The weasel said "The cat swallowed the fowl."  "Where is the cat?" asked the hyena.  The weasel said "The dog swallowed the cat." "Where is the dog?" The weasel answered to the hyena, "Yonder the dog is at work." When the hyena saw the dog, he went, seized and swallowed him, and then went, and began to work alone.

Next the leopard arose, took his hoe, and went to the farm. When he had come and asked the weasel, the weasel said, "The muckworm came first." He asked, "Where is the muckworm?"  "The fowl swallowed it." "Where is the fowl?" "The cat swallowed it."  "Where is the cat?" "The dog swallowed it."  "Where is the dog?" "The hyena swallowed it."  "Where is the hyena?" "Yonder he is at work."  As soon as the leopard saw the hyena, he went, seized, killed, ate it, and then began to work alone.

Next the lion arose, took his hoe and went to the farm. When he came, and saw the weasel sitting, he asked him, "Brother weasel, who came first, before me?" The weasel replied, "The muckworm came." He asked again, "Where is the muckworm?" "The fowl swallowed it."  "Where is the fowl?" "The cat swallowed it."  "Where is the cat?" "The dog swallowed it." "Where is the dog?" "The hyena swallowed it." "Where is the hyena?" "The leopard swallowed it." "Where is the leopard?" The weasel answered to the lion, "Yonder the leopard is at work." When the lion looked before him, he saw the leopard at work. Then he went, seized the leopard, and, after some wrestling, killed him, upon which he went and began to work alone.

Next, the elephant arose, took his hoe, and went to the farm. When the elephant asked the weasel, "Brother weasel, who came before me?" The weasel replied, "The muckworm came." The elephant asked again, "Where is the muckworm?" The weasel said, "The fowl swallowed it." "Where is the fowl?" "The cat swallowed it" "Where is the cat?" "The dog swallowed it." "Where is the dog?"  "The hyena swallowed it." "Where is the hyena?" "The leopard swallowed it." "Where is the leopard?" "The lion swallowed it." "Where is the lion?" The weasel replied to the elephant, "The lion is working yonder."

The elephant listened to what the weasel said, but did not know that the weasel was cunning. The weasel dug a large hole, fastened many pointed sticks inside it, covered the hole with a mat, and covered the mat with dirt.

The elephant did not see the hole, so when he went and attacked the lion, and they fought and wrestled, they came near the hole, and the elephant fell in. When the elephant had fallen in the hole, the lion ran back to his home.

Then the weasel crept up to the hole, peeked in and he saw the elephant inside speared to death. As soon as he saw this, he fetched his knife, flayed the elephant's skin, and brought it to his wife, saying, "As you
said to me, that you did not like any clothes, except an elephant's hide. Behold wife! Here it is!" Smiling with joy, the weasels wife took the hide from her husband, and covered the child with the elephant's hide.

The animals did not know that the weasel was more cunning than all of them. Now, to this day, it is said of any one who is a cunning and sneaky person, they are as tricky as a weasel.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Intelligence Saved the Partridge Eggs African Folklore

How the Intelligent Ants Saved the Partridge's Eggs African Folklore

As the elders say, there once lived a Partridge having laid her eggs was driven from them by a Python, who took possession of them by coiling herself round and round the eggs.

The Partridge, seeing she had been deprived of her eggs, began to call for help. A Buffalo, hearing her, came and asked what the matter was. The Partridge said, "The Python has rolled herself round my eggs, and I want a wise body to save them for me."

How the Intelligent Ants Saved the Partridge's Eggs African Folklore"Don't worry," said the Buffalo, "I will go and stamp on her." "Not you," cried the Partridge; "while you are stamping on her you will smash my eggs. I am looking for a wise body to help me."

The Partridge continued to call, and the Elephant came asking what the matter was. "Oh!" sobbed the Partridge, "the Python has curled round my eggs, and I want a wise body to save them."

"Never mind," replied the Elephant, "I will go and smash her to pulp." "Not you," cried the Partridge, "you will break all my eggs."

One animal after another offered help, but they were rejected, as they could not drive the Python away without endangering the eggs.

The poor Partridge was at her wits' end, when an army of ants arrived and asked the reason of her calling for help. When they heard the problem, they marched right up to where the Python was, and at once began to bite, nip, and pinch the Python.

The Python unrolled herself and glided away as fast as she could. Thus, the smallest creatures, ants’ intelligence rescued the stolen eggs that would otherwise have been broken by the clumsy strength of the big Buffalo and Elephant.

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tortoise and Leopard Fighting for Love African Folklore

Tortoise and Leopard Fighting for Love African Folklore

Fighting for Love
Would you rather have super physical strength or super intelligence? The African folklore story of Tortoise and Leopard examines the true meaning of strength.

Tortoise and Leopard Fighting for Love African Folklore

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

Tortoise and Leopard Fighting for Love

As the elders say, in the time when Mankind and all other Animals lived together, to all the Beasts the news came that there was a Merchant in a far country, who had a daughter, for whom he was seeking a marriage. And he had said, "I do not want money to be the dowry that shall be paid by a suitor for my daughter. But, whosoever shall do some difficult works, which I shall assign him, to him I will give her."

All the Beasts were competing for the prize.

First, Elephant went on that errand. The merchant said to him, "Do five impossible tasks and you shall marry my daughter. More than that, I will give you wealth also." Elephant went at the tasks, tried, and failed; and came back saying he could not succeed.

Next, Gorilla stood up; he went and the merchant told
him, in the same way as to Elephant, that he was to do impossible tasks. Gorilla tried, and failed, and came back disgusted.

Then, Hippopotamus advanced, and said he would attempt to win the woman. His companions encouraged him with hopes of success, because of his size and strength. He went, tried, and failed.

Thus, almost all beasts attempted, one after another; they tried to do the tasks, and failed.

At last there were left as contestants, only Leopard and Tortoise. Neither was disheartened by the failure of the others; each asserted that he would succeed in marrying that rich daughter. Tortoise said, "I'm going now!" But Leopard said, "No! I first!" Tortoise yielded, "Well, go; you are the elder. I will not compete with you. Go you, first!" Leopard went, and made his bid. The merchant said to him, "Good! that you have come. But, the others came, and failed. Try you." Leopard said, "Very well." He tried, and failed, and went back angry.

Tortoise then went. On the day that Tortoise started on the journey to seek the merchant's daughter, Leopard had been heard to say, "If Tortoise succeeds in getting that wife; I will take her from him by force."

Tortoise greeted the merchant, and told him he had come to marry his daughter. The merchant said, "Do so; but try to do five impossible tasks first."

The first task was that of a calabash dipper that was cracked. The merchant said to Tortoise, "You take this cracked calabash and bring it to me full of water all the way from the spring to this town." Tortoise looking and examining, objected, "This calabash! cracked! how can it carry water?" The merchant replied, "You yourself must find out. If you succeed you will marry my daughter."

Tortoise took the calabash to the spring. Putting it into the water, he lifted it. However, the water all ran out before he had gone a few steps. Again, he did this, five times; and the water was always running out. Sitting, he meditated, "What is this? How can it be done?" Thinking again, he said, "I'll do it! I know the art how!" 

He went to the forest, took gum of the Okume tree lighted a fire, melted the gum, smeared it over the crack, and made it water-tight; then, dipping the calabash into the spring, it did not leak. He took it full to the father-in-law, and called out, "Father-in-law! 
African women
This is the calabash of water." The merchant asked, "But what did you do to it?" He answered "I mended it with gum." The father said, "Good for you! The others did not think of that easy simple solution. You have sense!"

Tortoise then said, "I have finished this one task; today has passed. Tomorrow I will begin on the other four." The next morning, he came to receive his direction from the merchant, who said, "Tortoise, you see that tall tree far away? At the top are fruits. 

If you want my daughter, pluck the fruits from the top, and you shall marry her.'' Tortoise went and stood watching, looking, and examining the tree. Its trunk was all covered with soap, and impossible to be climbed. He returned to the merchant, and asked, "That fruit you wish, may it be obtained in any way, even if one does not climb the tree?" He was answered,"Yes, in any way, except cutting down the tree. Only so that I get the fruit, I am satisfied." 

Tortoise had already tried from morning to afternoon to climb that tree, but could not. So, after he had asked the merchant his question, he went back to the tree; and from evening, all night and until morning, he dug about the roots till they were all free. 

And the tree fell, without his having "cut" the trunk at all. So he took the fruit to the Merchant, and told him that he had not "cut down" the tree, but that he had it "dug up." The merchant said, "You have done well. People who came before you failed to think of that. Good for you!"

On the third day, the merchant said to the spectators, "I will not name the other three tasks. You, my assistants, may name them." So they thought of one task after another. But one and another said, "No, that is not hard; let us search for a harder." 

Finally, they found three hard tasks. Tortoise was ready for and accomplished them all. Then the merchant announced, "Now, you may marry my daughter; and tomorrow you shall make your journey."

They made a great feast; an ox was killed; and they had songs and music all night, clear on till morning. But, while all this was going on, Leopard, who was left at his town, was saying to himself, "This Tortoise! He has stayed five days! Had he failed, he would not have stayed so long! So! he has been able to do the tasks!"

When Tortoise was ready to start on his return journey with his new wife, the father-in-law gave him many fine things; slaves and goats and a variety of goods, and said, "Go, you and your wife and these things. I send people to escort you part of the way. They are not to go clear on to your town, but are to turn back on the way."

Tortoise and company journeyed. When the escort were about to turn back, Tortoise said, "Day is past let us make camp here. We sleep here; and, in the morning, you shall go back." That night he thought, "Leopard said he would rob me of my wife. Perhaps he may come to meet me on the way!" So, he swallowed all of the things, to hide them,—wife, servants, and all.

While Tortoise was thus on the way, Leopard had planned not to wait his return to town, but had set out to meet him. So, in the morning, the two, journeying in opposite directions met. Tortoise gave Leopard a respectful "Hello!" and Leopard returned the salutation.

Leopard asked, "What news? That woman, have you married her?" Tortoise answered, "That woman! Not at all!" Leopard looking at Tortoise's style and manner as of one proud of success, said, "Surely you have married; for you look happy, and show signs of success."

Tortoise swore he had not married. Leopard only said, "Good." Then Tortoise asked, "But, where are you going?" Leopard answered, "I am going out walking and hunting. But you, where are you going?" Tortoise replied, "I did not succeed in marrying the woman; so I am going back to town. I tried, but
I failed."

African women"But," said Leopard, "what then makes your belly so big?" Tortoise replied, "On the way I found an abundance of mushrooms, and I ate heartily of them. If you do not believe it, I can show you them by vomiting them up." Leopard said, "Never mind to vomit. Go on your journey."

Leopard went on his way. But, soon he thought, "Ah! Tortoise has lied to me!" So he ran around back, and came forward to meet Tortoise again. Tortoise looked and saw Leopard coming, and observed that his face was full of wrath. 

He feared, but said to himself, "If I flee, Leopard will catch me. I will go forward and try to outsmart him." As he approached Leopard, the latter was very angry, and said, "You play with me! You say you have not married the woman I wanted. Tell me the truth!"

Tortoise again swore an oath, "No! I have not married the woman! I told you I ate mushrooms, and offered to show you; and you refused." So Leopard said, "Well, then, vomit." Tortoise bent over, and vomited and vomited mushrooms and mushrooms; and then said triumphantly,
"So! Leopard you see!" 

Leopard looked, and said, "But, Tortoise, your belly is still full,—go on vomiting." Tortoise tried to excuse himself, "I have done vomiting." Leopard persisted, "No! keep on at it." Tortoise went on retching; and a box of goods fell out of his mouth. Leopard still said, "Go on!" and Tortoise vomited in succession a table and other furniture. He was compelled to go on retching; and slaves came out. And at last, up was vomited the woman!

Leopard shouted, "Ah! Tortoise! you lied! You said you had not married! I will take this woman!" And he took her, sarcastically saying, "Tortoise, you have done me a good work! You have brought me all these things, these goods, and slaves, and a wife! Thank you!"

Tortoise thought to himself, "I have no strength for war."

So, though anger was in his heart, he showed no displeasure in his face. And they all went on together toward their town. With wrath still in his heart, he went clear on to the town, and then made his complaint to each of the townspeople. But they all were afraid of Leopard, and said nothing, nor dared to give Tortoise even sympathy.

African womenThere was in that country among the mountains, an enormous Goat lived. The other beasts, all except Leopard, were accustomed to go to that Goat, when hungry, and say, "We have no meat to eat." And the Goat allowed them to cut pieces of flesh from his body. He could let any part of the interior of his body be taken except his heart.

All the Animals had agreed among themselves not to tell Leopard
know where they got their meat, lest he, in his greediness, would go and eat the heart. So they told him they got their meat as he did, hunting.

Tortoise, angry because Leopard has taken his wife, said to himself, "I will make a cause of complaint against Leopard that shall bring punishment upon him from our King. I will cause Leopard to kill that Goat."

On another day, Tortoise went and got meat from the Goat, and came back to town, and did not hide it from Leopard. Leopard said to him, "Tortoise! Where did you get this meat?" Tortoise whispered, "Come to my house, and I will tell you." They went. And Tortoise divided the meat with him, and said, "Do not tell on me: but, we get the meat off at a great Goat. Tomorrow, I go; and you, follow behind me."

So, the next day, they went, Tortoise as if by himself, and Leopard following, off to the great Goat. Arrived there, Leopard wondered at the sight, "O! this great Goat! But, from where do you take its meat?" Tortoise replied, "Wait for me! You will see!"

Tortoise said to the Goat, "We are hungry: we come to seek meat from you." The Goat's mouth was open as usual; Tortoise entered, and Leopard followed, to get flesh from inside. In the Goat's interior was a house, full of meat.

Leopard wondered at its size; and Tortoise told him, "Cut where you please, but not from the heart, lest the Goat die." And they began to take meat. Leopard, with greediness, coveting the forbidden heart,
went with knife near to it.

Tortoise exclaimed, "There! There! Be careful." But Leopard, though he had enough other flesh, longed for the heart, and was not satisfied. He again approached with the knife near it: and Tortoise warned and protested. Leopard wanted to have his own way and his greediness overcame him. He cut the heart: and the Goat fell dead!

Tortoise exclaimed, "Eh! Leopard! I told you not to touch the heart! Because of this matter I will inform on you." And he added, "Since it is so, let us go." But Leopard said, "Goat's mouth is shut. How shall we
get out? Let us hide in this house." 

And he asked, "Where will you hide?" Tortoise replied, "In the stomach." Leopard said, "Stomach! It is the very thing for me, Leopard, myself!" So Tortoise consented, "Well! take it! I will hide in the gallbladder."

African womenSo they hid, each in his place. Soon, as they listened, they heard voices shouting, "The great Goat is dead! A fearful thing! The Goat is dead!"
News spread, and all who had been accustomed to get flesh from the great goat, came to see what was the matter.

They all agreed the great Goat was dead, it was best to cut and divide him. They split open the belly, and said, "Lay aside this big stomach; it is good; but throw away the bitter gallbladder."

They looked for the heart; but there was none! A child, to whom had been handed the gallbladder to throw it away into some bushes. As he did so, out jumped Tortoise from among the bushes; and the child asked, "Who are you?" Tortoise replied, pretending to be angry, "I am Tortoise; I come here with the others to get meat, and you, just as I arrived, throw that dirty gallbladder in my face!"

The other people pacified him, "Do not get angry. Excuse the child. He did not see you. You shall have your share."

Then Tortoise called out, "Silence! Silence! Silence!"

They all stood ready to listen, and he said, "Do not cut up the Goat till we first know who killed it. That stomach there! What makes it so big?" Leopard, in the stomach, heard; but he did not believe that Tortoise meant it, and thought to himself, "What a fool is this Tortoise, in pretending to tell on me, by directing attention to the stomach!"

Tortoise ordered, "All you, take your spears, and stick that stomach! For the one who killed Goat is in it!"

They all got their spears ready but Leopard did not speak or move; for, he still thought Tortoise was only joking. Tortoise began with his spear, and the others all thrust in. Leopard holding the heart fell out of the great Goat’s stomach dead! All shouted, "Ah! Leopard killed our Goat! Ah! He’s the one who killed it."

Tortoise taunted Leopard," Asai! Shame for you Leopard for you took my wife; and now you are dead!"  Tortoise returned to town, took again his wife and all his goods now that Leopard was dead and was happy that his intelligence beat Leopard's strength.

Jar of love

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Mining Africa's Health | Child Labor, Lead Poisoning and Accidents

Artisanal and Small-scale mining (ASM) refers to unlawful mining in Africa and other countries by miners using low technology or minimal mining machinery usually under dangerous conditions.

Workers in artisanal and small-scale mines dig, crush, grind and wash gems, gold, silver, copper, and mine coal and uranium.  In Africa, Artisanal and Small-scale mining or ASM’s has been linked to a decline of agriculture, conflicts and civil war, natural disasters, and economic crisis. Individuals rarely carry out artisanal mining; it is often a family activity where children of all ages engage in various types of mining activities where their parents work.

Workers in artisanal and small-scale mines dig, crush, grind and wash gems, gold, silver, copper, and mine coal and uranium.
Workers in artisanal
and small-scale mine photo by WHO
Poverty is the most important reason for the age 15-24 population to quit school and go to work. Children may enter mining work for lack of alternative options such as school or other employment opportunities.  

Youth unemployment for ages 15-24 without work but available for and seeking employment is a 2013 average of  16.7 percent in Africa with South Africa having the most at 53.6 percent and Rwanda at .7 percent.

Since ASM’s are unlicensed, they are not regulated and health and safety issues, pollution to the environment, and child labor are chief concerns. Accidents and injuries from mining in unsafe tunnels, unprotected open pits and use of explosives lead to severe and fatal accidents. Chemical exposure and limited access to safety equipment are a day-to-day risk for poor miners.

The term artisanal and small-scale mining generally refers to mining practiced by individuals, groups or communities often illegally. ASM’s usually operate without legal mining titles in most African countries. ASM does not have a standard definition since local definitions vary from country to country. 

People are drawn to ASM’s in Africa for the potential of making a lot of money quickly similar to the California gold rush miners from 1848-1855 in the United States.

According to Doctors Without Borders /Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), there was a major crisis with lead poisoning due to ASM mining. The health impacts of ASM’s in Zamfara, Northwestern Nigeria March 2010 led MSF to detect lead poisoning in over 1,000 children. There were an estimated 400 deaths. 

Artisanal and Small-scale mining (ASM) refers to unauthorized mining activities carried out using low technology or with minimal machinery.
Artisanal and Small-scale mining photo by WHO
In the town of Bagega, Nigeria there were an estimated 1,500 children exposed to lead poisoning. In both cases the lead poisoning was due to extraction of mercury-gold amalgam with high lead content. Even if lead poisoning is treated, effective treatment is not available if people continue to live in contaminated areas and practice unsafe mining and ore processing activities. 

Children under five are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning, and they are most at risk for severe illness and death. Children are closer to the ground often crawling and getting laden lead dust on their hands, which then ends up being ingested as they eat put their hands in their mouths.

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