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Why are we not proud of our own Culture and Tradition? Why are we ashamed to present our culture with pride? I was at the office yesterday and I overheard a conversation between a Group of men, about how Africans and especially African women sell themselves out. And here are some of the things they said.
I heard there is a new fashion going on among African women and ladies and that is wearing an Indian traditional dress called SARI. I was told that in Nigeria and Ghana today as a woman you don´t belong to the high society if you don´t have at least one piece of this Indian attire. So now let’s ask ourselves, what is wrong with our Kente, Ankara,Kampala and Kangas ? Why can’t we wear it with pride? Also ask yourself, will an Indian woman ever wear an Ankara or Kente?
We also talk about the Phenomena of the Indian hair, Brazilian hair, Peruvian hair e.t.c. Even basket mouth talked about it when he came here to Germany. He said all those fake hairs we African women wear don’t make us any attractive but it depreciates our worth. I have to say that I am also guilty on this matter because I myself also wear all this fake hairs. Why can’t we just leave our natural hair? So I have taken the decision to go natural. If we take good care of our hair it can also grow long and look beautiful. I heard about a trend going on in Japan where people try to make their silky hair look like a ‘fro. There is a revolution going on in the US now where more black women leave their natural hair in its natural state.
Even our politicians send their children to school abroad because they believe that anything made in Africa is worthless. They even deposit their money overseas and that way they are helping other economies to grow stronger. What about our Africa, who is going to build it?
And last why do we have to bleach our skin?!?! Is it because of low self esteem or is it because we just don’t appreciate ourselves and we want to be white at all cost? Thereby mutilating our beautiful skin.
So picture this, an African woman, bleached, dressed in a sari and wearing an Indian or whatever hair. I know and am not hurting anyone’s fundamental human right. Everyone has the right to dress or look how he/she pleases, but something is wrong somewhere.
Africans wake up!!!!
Nigerian born Chibundu Onuzo is the author of 'The Spider King's Daughter' (Faber, 2012.) The novel has won a Betty Task Award and been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize. She recently visited Accra, Ghana for the first time and fell in love with the city. Below is her narative:
With only a 45 minute flight separating Lagos and Accra, you'd think I'd have been to Ghana at least once in my 22-year existence. Unfortunately until July 2013, the concepts holiday and Africa have never gone together in my head.
Holiday was Italy and structurally unsound towers; or America and discount shopping or France and baguettes. Not Ghana, longstanding "frenemy "of Nigeria, with the football team we all rooted for in the last World Cup. Yet, that's no reason to actually visit the place.
I went for a family wedding. If not for love, perhaps another 22 years would have passed before I made it to Accra. The first thing that struck me almost as soon as I stepped off the plane was the manner of the people.
Now I know it is hackneyed and passé and terribly clichéd to praise the hospitality of the locals and so I make the next statement knowing that I tread on imperial ground: Ghanaians are nice.
The friendly coconut seller in the photo to the left is just one of the myriad of fresh produce vendors that are dotted around the city. You spy a coconut, you pick a coconut, he splits the coconut and you drink the water out of it, right there and then on the roadside. No preservatives, no plastic bottles, just coconut.
I've often wondered why the global indexes drawn up only rank things like "Ease of Doing Business" or "Democracy," with criteria that leave African countries nearer the bottom than top. If only someone would draw up a ranking for Fresh Produce Consumption.
This love of fresh food was on one occasion, however, taken to a rather bizarre extreme. My hotel restaurant didn't have half the dinner menu because the necessary ingredients were always bought fresh from the market and the market was closed!
Speaking of hotels, due to exceptionally bad planning, I found myself staying in three hotels over eight nights. The last, The University of Legon Guesthouse, was the best value for money. For $60 a night, I got an air-conditioned ensuite double room, beautifully landscaped grounds, the fastest internet I have used in West Africa and reasonably priced meals in the restaurant.
Now, as an original Lagosian, I haven't been to a place unless I've gone shopping in a place. I hit Oxford Street, Osu, on my second day in town. It's a roadside market that caters to the cravings of an ankara lover like myself, or 'African print' to those not quite in the know.
However, for more upmarket shoppers who want their air-conditioning and shopping trolleys, there's the Accra City Mall in East Legon where Ghanaian designers sell their work alongside international brands. In my humble opinion, local content was winning but I'm a little biased.
There are of course conventional touristy things to do in Accra. For the reasonable sum of six cedis, you can enjoy The Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, final resting place of the first President of Ghana. It's a serene venue for contemplation. The museum on site sheds some light on the man behind the leader that was a pivotal part of the independence movement in Africa.
Yet I also like to see the places not fashionable enough for the beaten track, places that probably wouldn't make it into a glossy tourist brochure. Ghana, beautiful as it is, is still a developing country. There are shopping malls and skyscrapers -- one born every minute -- but there is also Nima, where I met a lady who chops firewood every evening to cook her meals
I had open access to Nima thanks to the organization Invisible Borders and their partnerships in the area. Perhaps not all the Millennium Development Goals have been met in Nima but there were other signs of development that international agencies don't often look for. I had my first private art viewing in Musa's studio in Nima. Only a stone's throw away from that was a photography exhibition in Nima Roundabout.
It wasn't all sightseeing and games though. I also went to Accra for the very serious business of book promoting. I've never been on radio in West Africa. It's no different from being on radio in England except the presenters on Joy and Citi FM understood my accent.
I left Accra determined to go on holiday in more African countries. Forget Paris, Milan and Prague. Maputo here I come!
This African couples have amazed medical experts after their baby daughter was born with white skin, blue eyes and blonde hair. Benjamin and Angela Ihegboro's daughter, Nmachi, has confused genetic experts who are unable to explain why she looks the way she does.
Doctors say the white-skinned newborn is not an albino. The blonde, blue-eyed girl's Nigerian parents say they don't know of any white ancestry in either of their families.
The British couples are both of Igbo Nigerian origin and have dark skin. Father Ben Ihegboro, 44, a customer services adviser, admitted that when he saw the baby he shouted “What the Fuck?' before asking “is she mines?'
Doctors at Queen Mary hospital in Sidcup insist that Nmachi - whose name means 'beauty of God' in the couple's native Igbo language is not an albino.
Her baffled parents, who already have two black children, just 'sat and stared' at their white baby when she arrived, they told the Sun Newspaper. 'We both just sat there after the birth staring at her,' said Mr. Ihegboro. Mum Angela said: 'She is beautiful, a miracle baby.'
Despite jokingly asking whether he was the father, Mr. Igegboro said: 'Of course she is mine. 'My wife is true to me. Even if she hadn't been, the baby wouldn't have looked like that!' Pale skin genes can skip generations but neither Ben nor Angela Ihegboro - who only moved to Britain five years ago - know of any white heritage in either of their families.
'She doesn't look like an albino child anyway,' Mr. Ihegboro said. 'Not like the ones I have seen back in Nigeria or in books. She just looks like a healthy white baby. 'My mum is a black Nigerian although she has a bit fairer skin than mine. But we don't know of any white ancestry.
'We wondered if it was a genetic twist. But even then, what is with the long curly blonde hair.' The couple also have an older daughter, Dumebi, two, and a son, Chisom, four. Mr. Ihegboro said the couple's son was even more confused than them.
He added: 'Our boy keeps coming to look at his sister and sits down looking puzzled. 'We are a black family. Suddenly he has a white sister. 'But all that matters is that she is healthy and that we love her.'
Skin color is believed to be determined by up to seven different genes working together. If a woman is of mixed race, her eggs will usually contain a mixture of genes coding for both black and white skin. Similarly, a man of mixed race will have a variety of different genes in his sperm. When these eggs and sperm come together, they will create a baby of mixed race. But, very occasionally, the egg or sperm might contain genes coding for one skin color. If both the egg and sperm contain all white genes, the baby will be white. And if both contain just the versions necessary for black skin, the baby will be black.
In reaction to the Supreme Court ruling on Thursday, the European Union (EU) Delegation to Ghana, has commended the country for its adherence to the rule of law and praised the Court for a job well done. Ambassador Claude Maerten, Head of Delegation, in a press statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, also called on all parties involved to live up to their publicly stated commitments to accept the verdict of the Court.“Today, Ghana's democracy has grown further and is a leading example for all.
Peace and stability are important assets for the sustainable development of Ghana; it is therefore important that all parties also call on their supporters to respect the verdict, remain peaceful and avoid unnecessary provocations”, the statement said.It praised the people of Ghana for the peaceful and democratic manner in which they conducted themselves during last December's election and throughout the legal process.
“The EU stands ready to support the Electoral Commission of Ghana to address the problems that have been exposed in the petition process", said the statement.
Fact is: Ghana Electoral College must be reformed
The European Union (EU) Delegation to Ghana says it is ready to lend out support to the Electoral Commission (EC) to address the problems that were “exposed” during the election petition hearing.In the final verdict of the Supreme Court, one of the nine justices, Justice Jones Victor Dotsey, granted some of the claims made by the petitions and provided a roadmap for future elections.
A statement issued by the office of the EU office in Ghana commended Ghana for adhering to the rule of law and respect for the constitution. It further praised the Supreme Court for the substantive work done.The statement also called on all parties in the petition to live up to their publicly stated commitments to accept the verdict of the Court.
“Today, Ghana's democracy has grown further and is a leading example for all. Peace and stability are important assets for the sustainable development of Ghana; it is therefore important that all parties also call on their supporters to respect the verdict, remain peaceful and avoid unnecessary provocations,” the statement further said.
“In this regard, the EU Delegation commends the people of Ghana for the peaceful and democratic manner in which they have been conducting themselves during the elections and throughout the process,” it concluded.