Chic African Culture Blog

Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. African tech startups raise billions of dollars annually, seven African start-ups were included in the World Economic Forum 2021 cohort of 100 Technology Pioneers: 54gene, mPharma, Cambridge Industries, FlexFinTx, Kuda, Moringa School and Sokowatch.

Pop Culture and Swahili words used by Disney, Lionel Richie, and Star Trek

Pop Culture and Swahili words used by Disney, Lionel Richie, and Star Trek

Swahili is spoken in the African countries of Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Swahili is also one of the official languages of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. About 35 percent of the Swahili vocabulary derives from the Arabic language.

Lionel Richie

Pop Culture Quiz Swahili words used by Disney, Lionel Richie, and Star Trek


Disney's animated film The Lion King contains several Swahili references. Simba, the main character's name, means lion, Rafiki means friend, Sarabi means mirage and Pumbaa means foolish.

Gene Roddenberry took the name of Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek from the Swahili word uhuru meaning freedom.

Do you remember Lionel Richie’s 1983 hit song All Night Long? The line “We're going to, party Karamu, fiesta, forever, come on and sing along; Karamu means party in Swahili. 

The game Jenga is derived from the Swahili word kujenga, the Swahili verb to build.

The DreamWorks Animation movie Madagascar 2, the hippo is named Moto Moto which means Hot Hot in Swahili.
 

How did Lieutenant Uhura get her name

Nyota Uhura is a fictional character in the Star Trek franchise. The character was portrayed by Nichelle Nichols through the sixth Star Trek film. Uhura is a translator and communications officer who specializes in linguistics, cryptography, and philology. She was an important part of the original series' multicultural crew and one of the first black actors to be featured in a non-menial role on an American television series.

Nichols states in her book Beyond Uhura that the name was inspired by Robert Ruark's book Uhuru, which she had with her on the day she read for the part. When producer Robert Justman explained to Roddenberry what the word Uhuru meant, he changed it to Uhura and adopted that as the character's name.

Uhura that the name was inspired by Robert Ruark's book Uhuru

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Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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