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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.

Ireland, Nelson Mandela and Irish Anti-Apartheid: The tangled path history weaves

The highest and most prestigious award the City of Dublin can bestow in 1988 was awarded to Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela

Turning point in Irish perceptions of Apartheid South Africa was the Sharpeville massacre of 1960.

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

The Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement became, over the years, one of the most successful movement’s social movements against Apartheid.

In 1948 when the South African National Party instated Apartheid, the South African population was now officially categorized as white, black and colored. 

Racially mixed housing areas were declared illegal and black and colored populations were banished to live in black settlements and needed passes to travel into white-only areas.

The Irish took up offers by the South African government for living in white settlements and by the 1960’s, roughly 60,000 Irish in South Africa. 

Apartheid South Africa
sign in English and Afrikaans 

According to The Irish Story, “the turning point in Irish perceptions of Apartheid South Africa was the Sharpeville massacre of 1960.” The African National Congress, protesting about the laws of racial segregation during a demonstration innocent protesters was fired on by the police in Sharpeville, near Johannesburg, killing 69 peaceful demonstrators.

The Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement (IAAM) was founded Kader Asmal in 1963 to support the Anti-Apartheid crusade of South Africa for freedom from the South African National Party established Apartheid laws. 

The IAAM helped organize the Dunne’s Stores Workers march against apartheid in Dublin 1984. Also, protests at the visit of the South African Rugby team to Ireland in 1970. The IAAM became, over the years, one of the most successful movement’s social movements against Apartheid.

Nelson Mandela July 18, 1918-December 5, 2013
Kader Asmal  October 8, 1934-June 22, 2011

In 1983, there was discussion of awarding Nelson Mandela the esteemed Freedom of the City of Dublin which is the highest and most prestigious award the City of Dublin Ireland could bestow on an individual. 

 Some Dublin leaders thought the city might be criticized view it as inappropriate to honor an individual who advocated use of physical force. 

However, in 1988 the City of Dublin saw this risk outweighed by “Mandela’s stature as a leader of black South Africa, as a focus in the struggle against apartheid, and as an international figure.”

Mandela was awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin in September 1988, which, due to his incarceration, was accepted on behalf of his then wife Adelaide Tambo. 

On July 1, 1990, almost two years after the Freedom of the City of Dublin had been awarded to him, Nelson Mandela accepted the honor in person from the then Lord Mayor, Sean Haughey. 

Lord Mayor Sean Haughey, before the assembled dignitaries, told Mr. Mandela: "The people of Dublin walk taller because you are amongst us".

According to Dublin City, The Freedom of the City of Dublin is the highest and most prestigious award the City can bestow. The founder of the Home Rule Party, Isaac Butt, was the first person to receive the Honorary Freedom of Dublin in 1876.

Freedom of the City of Dublin 

The ancient Freedom of the City was instituted at the time of the Norman Invasion in the late twelfth century. Holders of the Freedom were known as “Free Citizens” and were entitled to significant trading privileges and certain duties.

Holders of the ancient Freedom of Dublin received the following rights: ·
The right to vote in municipal and parliamentary elections. · The right to bring goods into Dublin through the city gates without paying customs duties. · The right to pasture sheep on common ground in the city known as Hoggen Green (now College Green) or St. Stephen’s Green. · The right to marry without obtaining the King’s license. · The right to sell land or to bequeath it to their descendants. · The right to have guilds. · The right to trial by jury. · Exemption from having soldiers billeted in their homes. · Exemption from serving as city coroner or city bailiff

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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.

Chic African Culture


Be better than average and support African history and culture. Since 2008 Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet highlight Africa through her food and culture. Contact us culture1africangourmet@gmail.com