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.


Find your true life work in Africa.

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

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Light African Dessert Walnuts Honey and Figs

Light African Dessert Walnuts Honey and Figs

North African Dessert Walnuts Honey and Figs 

Light sweet African dessert of walnuts, honey and figs are a delightful way to amaze your guests and are so delicious you will serve this easy fig walnut recipe at every party.


Light African Dessert Walnuts Honey and Figs


5 large dried figs

5 whole walnuts 

3 tablespoon honey


Cut open fig lengthwise and place the whole walnut inside. Close the fig and drizzle honey on top. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts and enjoy!

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tippu Tip Notorious African Slave Trader

Tippu Tip Notorious African Slave Trader

Topics: Arab Slave Traders, African Slaves, African Coasts, Berlin Conference

Arab slave trader Tippu Tip made himself very wealthy in the internal slave trade and ivory trading business by specializing in traveling to the interior of Africa buying and capturing slaves.

Tippu Tip Notorious African Slave Trader

Arab Tippu Tip Notorious African Slave Trader

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

Rev. Dr. David Livingstone was a reverend, doctor, Scottish explorer and Victorian missionary for Britain who was the first European to cross the width of southern Africa. Livingstone opposed the slave trade after witnessing its horrors firsthand in Africa. Tippu Tip and Livingstone paths crossed while Livingstone was searching for the source of the Nile River.

Arab slave trade is a fact of history

Hamid bin Mahamed bin Juma Borajib best known as Tippu Tip was the most notorious Arab slave trader. In the 1840 Tippu Tip was born in Zanzibar and at a very young age, he became involved in the internal slave trade and ivory trading business.  Most of the thousands of slaves taken by Tippu Tip were used to carry ivory to the coast and supplies back to the interior.

Hamid bin Mahamed bin Juma Borajib best known as Tippu Tip was the most notorious Arab slave trader
Tippu Tip
For centuries, Swahili were merchants between the interior of Africa to the coast, dealing mainly in ivory, and slaves from Africa and in textiles and beads from Asia. Swahili identity is unique.

The Swahili see themselves as either African or Asian, but as having their own unique civilization. The Arab traveler and trader Tippu Tip made himself very wealthy in the internal slave trade and ivory trading business by specializing in traveling to the interior of Africa buying and capturing slaves until his slave trade industry was closed down in 1873 by the British.

Tippu Tip Meets Dr. Livingstone

Rev. Dr. David Livingstone was a reverend, doctor, Scottish explorer and Victorian missionary for Britain who was the first European to cross the width of southern Africa. Livingstone opposed the slave trade after witnessing its horrors firsthand in Africa. In 1841, Livingstone was posted to the edge of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa as a doctor and missionary. 

Between 1849 and 1851, Livingstone traveled across the Kalahari, filling huge gaps in western knowledge of the interior of central and southern Africa. In 1855, Livingstone discovered a spectacular waterfall which he named Victoria Falls. 

Livingstone spent his final years in Africa from 1866 to 1873 searching for the source of the Nile, a journey that led him into the slave and ivory trading stronghold of Tippu Tip. Livingstone was ill and destitute; Tippu Tip helped Livingstone with supplies and directions. 

Livingstone wrote this passage in his journal: 29th July, 1867.-Went 2½ hours west to village of Ponda, where a head Arab, called by the natives Tipo Tipo, lives; his name is Hamid bin Mahamed bin Juma Borajib.
Stanley meets Livingstone
Stanley meets Livingstone

After the massacre of the Manyuema women at Nyangwe Livingstone wrote: “To overdraw its evils,” he wrote, “is a simple impossibility. The sights I have seen, though common incidents of the traffic, are so nauseous that I always strive to drive them from memory.” 

The massacre of Nyangwe deeply affected Livingstone, he fell ill and returned to Ujiji, the oldest town in western Tanzania, where Henry Morton Stanley found him in 1871. Upon finding Livingstone, Stanley uttered his famous words “Dr. Livingstone I presume”. In 1874, Livingstone was buried in Westminster Abbey. 

The inscription on his tomb bears a reminder of his lifelong crusade against slavery: All I can add in my solitude, is, may heaven’s rich blessing come down on everyone, American, English, or Turk, who will help to heal this open sore of the world. Tippu Tip became very wealthy from the ivory and slave trade and by 1895; he owned seven plantations on Zanzibar and 10,000 slaves. Tippu Tip died in 1905. 

Before Tippu Tip the Ivory Coast, Grain Coast, Gold Coast, and the Slave Coast were a thriving industry

Centuries before Tippu Tip the Arab slave trader began his money-making slave trading and ivory exporting businesses, French and Portuguese explorers in the early 16th century divided the countries of the west coast Africa into four coasts according to the trade economy, the Ivory Coast, Grain Coast or Pepper Coast, Gold Coast, and Slave Coast.

Ivory Coast
The French named the Côte d'Ivoire literally means Ivory Coast. Côte d'Ivoire was unofficially known as Costa do Marfim by the Portuguese, côte des dents or the teeth coast and the Ivory Coast reflecting the trade in ivory.

Grain Coast
The Grain Coast, Malaguetta Coast or Pepper Coast is the former name of a part of the Atlantic coast that is roughly identical with the coast of modern Liberia.

Gold Coast
The Gold Coast was the former unofficial name for present-day Ghana in West Africa. The Gold Coast is so-called because it was an important source of gold for the British, Portuguese, and Dutch traders.

Slave Coast
The Slave Coast is a historical name formerly used for parts of coastal West Africa from present-day Nigeria, Togo, and along the Bight of Benin. The Slave Coast was a major source of African slaves during the transatlantic slave trade from the16th to 19th century largely by the British, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Berlin Conference Outcome and Effects on Africa

The Berlin Conference did not initiate European colonization of Africa. Following the close of the conference, European powers expanded their claims in Africa such that by 1900, European states had claimed nearly 90 percent of African territory.

The Berlin Conference is also known as the Congo Conference meet Nov. 15, 1884, to Feb. 26, 1885 for a series of negotiations Berlin Germany. The major European nations met to decide to carve up Africa based on their needs not knowing or caring the trauma they were inflicting on the people of Africa. Africa suffered and is still suffering from ethnic division.

Numerous tribes were cut off from their relatives in a neighboring country. Similarly, numerous Africans were forcefully separated from fellow Africans by the way of slavery. The coming together of Africa is a healing process from which Africans will benefit, relatives and long separated ethnic groups will be united.

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Getting to Know Africa

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Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet=

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stewing and Baking African Food Recipes

Stewing and Baking African Food

Food is cooked by simmering or boiling very slowly. Different kinds of vegetables and meats are added to a pot.

Stewing food on a wooden stove
Cooking methods such as stewing may stem from African cooking traditions. Stewing involves making food that requires long-simmering periods of vegetables and sometimes meat. Africans stewed vegetables by laying thick slices of salty meat on top. Stewing is suitable for the least tender cuts of meat that become tender and juicy with the slow moist heat method. Frying is not ingenious to African cooking, Native Americans taught frying techniques to the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806.

Spicy Ostrich Stew

South Africa
Yield 6-8 servings


4 cloves garlic crushed
2 cups peeled yam cut into 1 ″ cubes
3 cups fresh green beans
1 ½ pounds cleaned ostrich
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 medium onion, sliced
2 teaspoons coriander
2 tablespoons red pepper flake
2 cups beef stock
1 cup whole stewed tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot on medium heat, add oil then sauté garlic one minute. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Serve warm.


Baking is the technique of prolonged cooking of food such as breads and meats by dry heat usually in an oven.

Mixing ingredients
Baking is an art, the skill of bread baking throughout the African continent is a traditional talent filled with pride. From Kenyan Chapati flatbread to Egyptian Eesh Baladi the most delicious breads begin with proper ingredients and mixing. The method of mixing is important when several ingredients are combined when making dough for African breads and fritters. Mixing is a universal term that includes stirring, beating, blending, sifting, creaming, cutting in and folding.

Simple Eesh Baladi Egyptian Bread Recipe

Eesh Baladi Egyptian Bread


2 cups whole wheat flour or all-purpose
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup of warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt


    Preheat oven to 425°F. Stir warm water, honey, and yeast in a large bowl let stand about 5 minutes. Add flour and salt dough sound is slightly sticky when you are done mixing. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand. You can also use a mixer with a hook attachment. Roll dough into small balls then flatten. Cover with a cloth let rise in a warm place about 2 hours. Place dough on a light colored lightly greased baking pan and bake until golden about 20 minutes. Serve with Tangy Fig and Honey Syrup.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Curse of the Chameleon African Folktale

Curse of the Chameleon is a fascinating African folktale.

Gogo breathed deeply of the cool evening air. She paused beneath the darkening sky, hands pressed into her back.

"Woza, Gogo!" called little Methembe, who, although he seemed to have unlimited energy, always waited for his granny. "Come on!" he encouraged as he turned and dashed up the final rise toward the homestead. Gogo chuckled, shook her head slowly and forced her feet to continue up the path. "Hawu!" she thought to herself. Soon she would no longer be able to make it down to the river and back. By the time Gogo came within sight of the evening fire, the children had put away the washed clothing and deposited the firewood where it was stored. They were now squatting in a tight circle, the older ones rocking on their heels, waiting for their elders to finish eating that they might then have their dinner.

After everyone had eaten and the pots were filled with water to soak, Gogo and the children settled down before the fire. "Gogo," asked Methembe rather tentatively, choosing to look into the fire rather than at his beloved granny, "why do people grow old and die?" The old woman looked lovingly at her grandson and smiled. She knew his unspoken fears.
"Ahh, my little Hope," she answered, looking into the fire herself. "That is a very interesting tale! Shall I tell you, my children, the story of why people must grow old and die?"

"Yebo, Gogo! Yes!" they all answered as if one.

"Alright then..." And Gogo began. "Kwasuka sukela...."
After God the great Creator finished making all things, he sat back and took a long look at the world he'd made. He smiled and decided that it was very good. He was especially pleased with the people, the first man and woman. They, after all, were the most like him. "Yes," he thought, "this is good!

Very good!"

But as time went on the Creator noticed that man and woman kept injuring their bodies. Oh, the skin would heal with time, but it always left scars. And after many years the first man and woman's bodies were looking old and tatty indeed! "Hmmm," thought Creator, "these bodies are wearing out! Time, I think, for new ones!"

So Creator called Chameleon to himself. "Listen, Chameleon," said Creator, "I have a package that I want you to deliver to man and woman. It is most urgent, so do not delay. Go straight to the people, tell them I sent you, and give them this parcel from me!" With that he pushed a small package into Chameleon's hands. "I trust you, Chameleon, for you are loyal and swift. Go now!"

So Chameleon set off to do as his Lord bid. In those days Chameleon was fast as lightning. He sped toward Earth, the parcel neatly tucked beneath his arm. When he reached the great river he paused to take a drink. And this proved to be his undoing!

Snake just happened to be drinking at the same time. "Hello, Cousin Chameleon," he hissed. "My, you are in a great hurry today! What are you about?"

Chameleon looked up. "Ah, yebo! Sawubona, Nyoka!" he politely replied. (sah-woo-boh'-nah nyoh'kah = "Yes, I see you, Snake!" or "Hello, Snake!") "I have a package to deliver for Creator. Something for the people."
Now Snake hated the people. They walked so far above the ground, often treading on Snake and his family members without even noticing. And Creator seemed to pay so much more attention to them than he did to the other animals. Snake was bitterly jealous of people, and when he heard that Chameleon was taking a gift to them from Creator, Snake began to scheme. How could he make sure that people did not receive this gift?
"Oh, dear Cousin Chameleon," Snake hissed, edging closer to Chameleon and the parcel. "It is so good to see you again! My family has missed you a great deal! All of our other relatives come often to share a meal. But you never seem to have time for us! One would tend to think that perhaps you thought yourself too good to associate with your close kin!"

Now Chameleon was a sensitive fellow. It worried him to think that Snake might have something against him. "Oh, no, dear cousin Nyoka," pleaded Chameleon. "I assure you that I hold you in high regard! I would be honored to come for a meal sometime!"

"Well," Snake answered quickly, "why not now? My wife is at this very moment waiting lunch for me. She would be pleased beyond words to see you dine with us!"

"Oh, dear!" answered Chameleon, looking at the parcel still tucked beneath his arm. "I really have an urgent errand for Creator at the moment. Ummmm....perhaps some other time?"

Panther chameleon at Marwell Zoo photo by William Warby"Yes, yes," hissed Snake turning away with a hint of disgust in his voice. "Just as I thought. Too good for the likes of us! Well, run along then with your all-important business."

Chameleon looked at the sun. It was still high in the sky. He could have the mid-day meal with Snake's family and have plenty of time left to deliver the package. Perhaps he was being too hasty. "Wait, Snake," Chameleon spoke quickly. "I was being too abrupt. I beg your pardon. I really would love to have a meal with you. To prove it I will dine with you now and do my business after the meal!"

Snake smiled to himself before he turned back toward Chameleon. "Oh, Chameleon," Snake replied, sounding quite humble indeed, "Thank you! It is we who will be honored by your presence, I assure you!" And with that he led Chameleon off to his burrow.

Snake's wife had really outdone herself, as usual. She'd prepared a huge and sumptuous meal and truly was delighted to see that Chameleon had come to share it with them. She encouraged him to have more and more, and as it was so delicious, Chameleon helped himself until he was almost too full to move. He was having such a good time, and was especially enjoying Snake's outstanding utshwala (oo-chwah'-lah = a traditional Zulu beer brewed from sorghum), that he forgot all about his special mission. Snake smiled slyly as he watched Chameleon's head nod and his eyelids droop. Snake laughed aloud as Chameleon fell asleep with a satisfied little grunt.

"What is so funny, my husband?" asked Snake's wife, accustomed to the ways of nature to rest after the mid-day meal in the hottest hours of the day. She saw nothing strange or funny about Chameleon's behavior. It was actually a compliment to her as a hostess that she had made her guest so comfortable and welcome.

"Look here," Snake hissed, as he gently lifted the package from under Chameleon's arm.

"What is that?" she asked.

"A gift for us from Creator," Snake laughed. And with that Snake tore open the parcel. "Look, my good wife," he exclaimed, lifting something from the box. "Creator has sent us new skins! New skins, so that whenever our old ones wear out we can change into new ones!" Snake laughed again, louder this time, waking his guest. Chameleon took one look at the parcel and immediately knew what had happened.

"No, Snake!" Chameleon pleaded a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. "Those are not for you! They are for people. You know that! Give them back!" Chameleon stretched out his hands toward the skins. "Please, Nyoka! Give them back!"

But Snake just laughed, holding the skins beyond Chameleon's reach. "No, my cousin. These are my skins now!" And with that Snake slithered away.
As the sun went down Chameleon was sick with sadness for the way in which he'd been betrayed and for the way in which he had disobeyed. He hid away from Creator in the braces of the trees, clinging to the limbs, moving slowly so as not to be detected. He was too afraid to face Creator.
"And so, you see, my children," finished Gogo, "how it was that people were cheated out of new skins by Snake. To this day snake will shed his old skin and don a new one whenever he is feeling his age."

"But that's not fair, Gogo!" cried Methembe. "Creator should make Snake return the skins!"

"Ah, well, my boy," Gogo looked at him and placed a hand on his head, "Life is not always fair. But while Snake got the skins, Creator did not stop the people from standing on Snake from time-to-time. In fact, when most people encounter Snake these days they give him what they think he deserves: a sound thrashing! And, of course, Chameleon is still hiding away in the trees, moving so slowly that he usually goes undetected. And as for people, well, Creator gave them another gift that was better than new skins!"
Curse of the Chameleon African Folktale
"What was that, Gogo?" the children asked
"Oh, my children," Gogo replied with a smile, "That is a story for another time! Now my weary old bones tell me that it is time for a good night's rest!"

And with a great heave Gogo lifted herself from her stump by the fire and walked slowly toward her hut.

"Lalani kahle, bantwana!" (lah-lah'-nee kah'-hlay bah-ntwah'-nah = "Sleep well, children!")

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Sweet Corn Maize Porridge Cereal

Sweet Corn Maize Porridge Cereal

Sweet Corn Maize Porridge Cereal is an inexpensive and delicious African meal to make. 

Making Sweet Corn Maize Porridge Cereal with a mortar and pestle photo by gbaku

Maize or corn is grown mainly with traditional technologies in nearly every country in Africa. Given the population growth in Africa and the need to increase the food supply, maize is a very important food crop. 

Rice, wheat, and maize provided more than 30% of the food calories for over 4.5 billion people in 94 developing countries throughout the world. 

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center or CIMMYT created the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa or DTMA project in 2006. The goal of the DTMA project is to lessen the effects of drought on maize production in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sweet Corn Maize Porridge Cereal Recipe


1 cup coarse cornmeal

3 cups whole or 2% milk

¼ cup honey or to taste

1 tablespoon butter optional


Add all ingredients into a large pot mix well and simmer 30 minutes. Serve as a breakfast meal.

Did you know
Before food processors, grain including corn was ground by hand. In parts of the world grinding of grain is still done by hand using large mortars and pestles.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

DIY African Love Spell

DIY African Love Spell

African spell casters use chants along with everyday household items and plants to cast love spells. Still to this day, many South Africans have a strong belief in the powers of spell casters. Here is an easy DIY African Love Spell.

DIY African Love Spell
DIY African Love Spell

Do it yourself four-day binding love spell from Dr. Sadik, a Southern African spell caster.

DIY African Love Spell

Two small red apples
Long strong sewing needle
Strong white thread
Handful of bitterleaf leaves
1 cup honey
Two candles; white and blue
White paper and pen or pencil
6 cups water and a large bowl

Write down the names of you and your lover on a piece of paper.

Rub the candles with honey.

Light the candles and place them on the candle stands.

Burn the paper, mix with honey, and smear the apples with the mixture.

With the needle and white thread, insert through the middle of the honeyed apples, tie them together tight.

Continue rubbing the apples with honey and speak from your heart about your lover.

Then get a handful of bitterleaf leaves and crush with your hands in the bowl of water.

Wash your body and repeat the same words you said earlier.

Then place the apples in your room.

Early each morning for four-days rub the apples with honey again and put them in the sun.

At the end of four days, you will see your results from the binding love spell.

DIY African Love Spell

Did you know?
Bitterleaf is one of the widely used cooking vegetables in Africa and grows in any part of the world. Visit a Caribbean market in your neighborhood to find bitterleaf. 

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

An Itchy Proverb

African Proverb lesson on no man is an Island.

African Proverb No Man is an Island

African proverb meaning is no one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others.

More African proverb lessons from the ancestors on no man is an island. 

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

One hand alone cannot wash the body.

A man with a cough cannot conceal himself.

Ashes always fly back in the face of him who throws them.

One should either become a pillar or lean against one.

If generously shared, a flea can be bitten twice.

The head that touches the ground a birth, will not fail to touch the ground at death.

One cannot see oneself, a stone cannot push itself.

The neck does not recognize that the head is heavy.

Men’s ideas helped to locate the snake.

One cannot see oneself, a stone cannot push itself.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Why Turtles Live In Water African Folktale

Why Turtles Live in Water is a captivating African folktale. 

Why Turtles Live In Water African Folktale

Why Turtles Live In Water

Turtles used to live on the land, they say, until the time a clever turtle was caught by some hunters.

They brought him to their village and placed the turtle before the Chief, who said, "How shall we cook him?"

"You'll have to kill me first," said the turtle, "and take me out of this shell."

"We'll break your shell with sticks," they said.

"That'll never work," said the turtle, "Why don't you throw me in the water and drown me?!"

"Excellent idea," said the Chief. They took the turtle to the river and threw him into the water to drown him.

They were congratulating themselves on their success in drowning the turtle, when two little green eyes poked up in the water and the laughing turtle said, "Don't get those cooking pots out too fast, foolish people! As he swam away he said, "I think I'll spend most of my time from now on, safely in the water."

It has been that way ever since!

Have you ever wondered
Why you do not tell the person who is carrying you that he stinks? Well, read this true African proverb quote.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gift of a Cow Tail Switch African Folktale

Gift of a Cow Tail Switch is a true fascinating African folktale. 

Gift of a Cow Tail Switch is a true fascinating African folktale.

Gift of a Cow Tail Switch African Folktale

A great warrior did not return from the hunt. His family gave him up for dead, all except his youngest child who each day would ask, "Where is my father? Where is my father?"

The child's older brothers, who were magicians, finally went forth to find him. They came upon his broken spear and a pile of bones

The first son assembled the bones into a skeleton; the second son put flesh upon the bones; the third son breathed life into the flesh.

The warrior arose and walked into the village where there was great celebration. He said, "I will give a fine gift to the one who has brought me back to life."

Each one of his sons cried out, "Give it to me, for I have done the most."

"I will give the gift to my youngest child," said the warrior. "For it is this child who saved my life. A man is never truly dead until he is forgotten!"

What is a cow tail switch?
The hairs of a cow's tail forms a bushy tip called a switch. The cow uses this switch to swat flies and other insects annoying the cow. This bushy end of the cow’s tail is clipped, bounded together with rope and attached to a handle. A cow tail switch is an ancient fly swatter and the best natural indoor and outdoor insect control tool.

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Chic African Culture ... ... ...

Getting Your Goat

Easy Goat-Meat-Recipes Cookbook
cover art: serving dishes, cooking goat
Getting Your Goat: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Goat Meat with Original Recipes and Classic Stories -
Paperback by
4.5 stars - 30 reviews
Price: $12.99 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Publisher: Amazon Company - July 1, 2012 Language: English ISBN-10: 1492995630

Chic African Culture Featured Articles

Find your true life work in Africa.

A bird sits on a tree it likes - African Proverb