- Editorial: Focus on Cameroon by
Dr. Gloria Emeagwali, Chief Editor
- Dr. Funso Aiyejina, GANI FAWEHINMI
- Dr. Elvis Ngolle Ngolle, Multiparty
Democracy in Cameroon
- African Cinema: Notes on Quartier Mozart,
Jean Silvia, Student at C.C.S.U
- Booknotes: Cameroon Studies, General
editors: E. M. Chilver, Shirley Ardener and Ian Fowler Queen Elizabeth
House, International Development Centre, Universityof Oxford
- Dr. Haines Brown, History Dept., C.C.S.U., Africa
and the Net
- Dr. Warren Perry, New York City's African
- Dr. Mpho G. Molomo, Multiparty Democracy
in Botswana (conclusion)
Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Nigeria's most famous human rights
lawyer, was arrested on 30th January 1996, and since then has been incacerated
in Bauchi, Nigeria without access to medical care or family. He is suffering
from acute malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. Fawehinmi joins the ranks
of Beko Ransome-Kuti, Femi Falana, Frank Kokori, Shehu Sani, Chris Anyanwu
and other brave and valiant heroes who have dared to speak out against
forms of harassment and injustice under the Abacha regime. He is a veteran
in the struggle against human rights violations and his distinguished
career spans three decades. In this issue of AfricaUpdate, Funso
Aiyejina, formerly of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, honors the
valiant warrior, Gani Fawehinmi. Generally though, this issue focuses
on Cameroon, one of the four countries which share a border with Nigeria.
In keeping with our analysis of multiparty democracy,
a subject which was the focus of the previous issue of AfricaUpdate
we briefly look at Cameroon. Dr. Elvis Ngolle Ngolle of the University
of Yaounde, Cameroon, reflects on the democratic process under "the
New Deal" and the post-1982 era, with particular reference to the
last few years and what he refers to as the "second phase",
as this relates to multipartism. Ngolle lists some problems associated
with the process and considers most of these as characteristic of "developing"
countries. As the U.S. 1996 election campaign has shown, however, multipartism
is not without its problems in the so-called "developed" countries
in terms of fraudulent campaign funding, lack of serious debate, incivility,
and low voter turn-out. We have included in this issue the final instalment
of Molomo's analysis of multipartism in Botswana. We have also included
information about some recent books on Cameroon with focus on the Bakweri
Kingdom and contact with Portuguese, Dutch, British and German colonial
agents. From Cameroon itself two recent works stand out: Essomba's recent
text in honor of the distinguished Senegalese egyptologist and physicist,
Cheik Anta Diop and Jean-Pierre Bekolo's "Quartier Mozart",
a jewel of indigenous African cinema. New York City's African Burial
Ground is the subject of discussion by Dr. Warren Perry. Dr. Perry examines
the historical background and significance of the project and the major
areas of importance to historians of Africa and the African diaspora.
He identifies indicators of the flagrant abuse of human rights in the
four hundred excavated Ancestral African remains. We express our thanks
to all the contributors of this issue of AfricaUpdate.
Gloria Emeagwali - Chief Editor
Return to table of Contents
by Dr. Funso Aiyejina
University of the West Indies,
St. Augustine, Trinidad
Legion are the names by which they call
him to facilitate the hanging of his dream . ..
Not him; he has refused to alter his inflection
in the manner of parrots with no conviction .. .
Not him; he has refused to change his persuasion
to please our nation's many apostles of caution:
those who would rather he sought refuge
in dark cracks like cockroaches surprised in their midnight tracks.
He has refused to temper his instincts
about the General: the spinner of webs who has donated his name and
image towards the beautification of squares
hitherto named for dead-and-buried ancestors.
He has refused to rationalise in measured
phrases in fine prints and reprints, in limited editions
like men lacking the regenerative will
of porcupines: the crown princes in the underbelly of our forests:
merchants with limitless supplies of battle
quills. Ajantala: fish bone lodged across gluttonous throats
if they swallow you, they swallow a pestle
and shall know no rest, standing or lying.
Ajanaku: the elephant sighs in distant
farms and kills his detractors in the safety of their homes.
Ogbodogbodo, Ajagunmolu: grandchild of
Ifa valiant warrior, custodian of Ogun's power .. .
wherever you may be, I salute you. I salute
Return to table of Contents
By Dr. Elvis Ngolle Ngolle
Director of Studies, I.R.I.C., University of Yaounde II,
With the advent of the New Deal administration in 1982,
Cameroon seemed relieved of a burden. A commentator described the moment
in these terms, "the new regime of president Biya has dramatically
reversed the trend and given the future of the private press a new hope.Cameroonians
now breathe a new air of freedom which they never had for more than
twenty years of Ahidjo rule."
I. The Democratic Process Under the New Deal
As proposed in the initial declarations of Biya's administration,
liberalization and democratization were to be the hallmarks of the New
Deal program of government. To the successor President himself, liberalization
involved the restoration of public freedoms, in particular, freedom
of thought and speech. Democratization meant the introduction of pluralism
into national political life.
This process included elections based on free choice and
multiple candidacies. The questions that have to be asked are, What
made this second wave of democratic politics different from the pre-1966
first wave or was there no difference? What factors engendered this
second wave? What are the dimensions of the process? What are the problems?
What are the future prospects? These are the questions that form the
thrust of the rest of this paper.
The first and second waves of democratic politics in Cameroon
were different in at least three respects. While the first was fragmentary
in terms of the federation, the second was cohesive and national in
character. In the first wave the political parties were regional parties,
whereas in the second wave the political parties are to a large extent
national parties. In the first wave there were three constitutions at
play; in the second wave therei s only one single constitution at play.
In the first wave the form of the state was a federation, whereas in
the second wave,the form of state is a unitary republic. What is common
to both waves is the existence of competing freely formed political
parties engaging in pluralistic debate and electoral competition with
a multiplicity of candidates. This common denominator of the democratic
process in the two eras fits well into the democratic concept as defined
in democratic theory. The essential quality being that it is a process
based on the rule of law, elected representative government, civil rights,
majority rule, protection of minorities, separation of powers and popular
sovereignty. In such a process, the elected government is responsive
to the people and the people possess the liberty to make a choice. The
structure and composition of the government exists in an atmosphere
of civility and order. In this context, multipartism denotes the existence
and functioning of a multiplicity of political parties, all competing
for public office on the basis of freedom of choice and within formal
rules of law.
II. The Dynamics of the Post-1982 Process
The post-1982 democratic process proceeded along two wave-lengths
or two speeds. The first wave length or speed involved preparing the
then single ruling party for multiparty competition. This phase involved
introducing multiple candidacies within the party in elections for local
party officials as early as 1983. The phase also involved reorganizing
and transforming the CNU into the CPDM as a way of emphasizing the democratic
resolve of the New Deal. The minds of militants and party barons were
also stimulated to prepare for competition with other parties. This
phase lasted till 1990 when the law on multipartism was passed by the
National Assembly opening up the political landscape to a multitude
of freely formed political parties and associations all vying for political
expression and public office. In the second phase multipartism took
shape, and on occasion it seemed unmanageable. This phase also marked
the proliferation of the private media which violently took on the government
and the ruling party in its commentaries.These activities were coupled
with sometimes violent social movements all claiming to express their
freedom of speech and expression.These movements nearly rendered the
entire national life dysfunctional but for the inter vention of forces
of law and order and appeals from wise politicians of political parties
that saw no value in political radicalism. After a year or more of radical
political expression, three major developments marked the second phase
of the process: March 1992 legislative elections, October 1992 presidential
elections of , and the November 1991 Tripartite meeting. These events
were all characterized by multiparty participation culminating in the
formation of the current Coalition Governmentand Multiparty National
assembly. With the ongoing constitutional talks there seems to be ample
evidence to suggest that the second phase of the post-1982 process would
result in an outcome that would make multipartism a permanent and vital
feature of the democratic process in Cameroon.
III.Problems Associated with Multipartism
Multipartism in the democratic process has generally tended
to be associated with tensions,
conflicts, blocages and sometimes violence on the part
of some actors and political parties. This is more frequent in societies
in which democratic tradition has not yet taken root in terms of tolerance,
civility, courtesy, rationalization of choices of candidates and issues.
It is also more frequent where socioeconomic conditions are inadequate
to sustain free discussion and tolerance.Such conditions include economic
problems, low literacy, poori nfrastructure, low rate of urbanization,
etc. Problems associated with multipartism as a form of democratic expression
in Cameroon have reflected this general developing country pattern.
Other problems that are related to the former category are the tendency
to have parchochial, regionally-based or "tribal" parties,
the tendency to violate the law out of ignorance or out of passion,
the tendency to vote without due rationalization of issues or candidates,
the tendency to engage in vote rigging and intimidation tactics, the
tendency to deny respect for other parties and the tendency to refuse
electoral outcomes that are unfavorable. This is true for Cameron and
elsewhere. Another important problem that has characterized multipartism
in Cameroon and most of the Third World is the confusion that has often
been manifested by parties of the opposition in terms of their role
in the democratic process and their objectives as political actors.
As the Cameroonian experience has shown, the party or parties that have
not become part of the majority coalition or the majority party have
tended to function as if they were equal to the party or parties in
power in terms of their role in the political process. They have also
limited their objective to the sole goal of attaining a position of
power. Not only has this tendency hurt some parties in the democratic
process, but they have denied themselves the opportunity to engage in
other activities for which political parties play a vital role. These
activities include educating the electorate on burning issues, raising
and shaping issues in an attempt to mold public opinion positively,
serving as a moderating influence on the political process and preparing
for future electoral contests. As the Cameroonian experience has shown,
the tendency for some parties has been to refuse results and claim that
nothing of consequence took place. For some political parties, their
awarenessof the role of the political party in the democratic process
seems quite high, and for these the prospects seem good that they will
contribute enormously to the sustenance of not only multipartism, but
also of the democratic process. Return to Table of Contents
By Jean Silvia, Student at C.C.S.U.
Quartier Mozart takes place in Yaound, the capital
of Cameroon,which is located in the western region of Africa. Like the
film's"Queen of the Hood," there are many African women who
have become aware of their importance and who hold strong views.These
women have a desire to express their views and several have succeeded
over the last forty or so years in getting their voices heard through
their literature. I do not believe that Quartier Mozart is just
a film version of the "narrative of victimology." I don't
see it as a portrayal of weak, whining, complaining women who are victims.
I see it as a triumph for all women who seek a more positive-stronger
image in society. Because the film is done with a sense of humor, it
gives both men and women a chance to view it with less gender bias than
if it was a drama with very serious dialogue. I believe the humor relaxes
you and allows you to have a more open mind towards the views of the
opposite sex. Quartier Mozart's director, Jean-Pierre Bekolo,
addresses a serious issue - gender roles, with a humorous approach,
making his film more accessible to both male and female audiences.
Return to table of Contents
General editors: E. M. Chilver, Shirley Ardener and Ian
Queen Elizabeth House, International Development Centre,
This new series features historical and anthropological
works on Cameroon - Africa in microcosm. Its linguistic, cultural and
ecological diversity, and its historical experience of the different
German, French and British regimes, provide material pertinent to the
wider continent. The aim is to pool in one series the best of new works
of contemporary scholars and selected reissues of classic ethnographic
texts and translations of early German exploration and missiological
KINGDOM ON MOUNT CAMEROON:
Studies in the History of the Cameroon Coast 1500-1970
Edited and with an Introduction by Shirley Ardener, Centre
for Cross-Cultural Research on Women, Oxford
The Bakweri people of Mount Cameroon, which is an active
volcano on the coast of West Africa a few degrees north of the equator,have
had a varied and at times exciting history which has brought them not
only into contact with other West African peoples, but with merchants,
missionaries, soldiers and administrators from Portugal, Holland, England,
Jamaica, Sweden, Germany and more recently France. Edwin Ardener, the
distinguished social anthropologist, spoke their language and wrote
a number of studies on the culture and history of the Bakweri kingdom.
Some unpublished writings, and some published but now out of print materials
are here brought together for the first time. The book covers the early
contacts with the Portuguese and Dutch from the sixteenth century, the
arrival of the missionaries in the nineteenth century, the dramatic
defeat of the first German punitive expedition, the subsequent establishment
by the Germans of the plantation system, the BritishTrusteeship period,
and the reunified Republic of Cameroon to 1970.
June 400 pages - photos, maps, bibliog.
ISBN 1-57818-929-0 . hardback . pub. price
Intersections between History and Anthropology in Cameroon
Edited by Ian Fowler, School of Social Sciences, Oxford
Brookes University and Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford,
and David Zeitlyn, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology,
Eliot College, University of Kent
Cameroon is characterized by an extraordinary geographical,
cultural, and linguistic diversity. This collection of essays by eminent
historians and anthropologists summarizes three generations of research
in Cameroon that began with the collaboration of Phyllis Kaberry and
E. M. Chilver soon after the Second World War and continues to this
day. The idea for this book arose from a concern to recognize the continuing
influence of E. M. Chilver on a wide variety of social, historical,
political and economic studies.The result is a volume with a broad historical
scope yet one that also focuses on major contemporary theoretical issues
such as the meaning and construction of ethnic identities and the anthropological
study of historical processes. June . 208 pages . photos, maps,bibliog.
ISBN 1-57181-859-6 . h/bk
ISBN 1-57181-926-6 . p/bk.
History/Anthropology, African Studies/Material Culture
Published by Berghahn Books
Fax (401) 521-0046
A new book on Chiekh Anta Diop
Professor Joseph Marie Essomba of the Department of History,
University of Yaounde, Cameroon,
recently published a text on the famous Senegalese Egyptologist
and physicist, Cheikh Anta Diop, who died ten years ago this year.The
text consists of a variety of speeches public lectures and papers of
the controversial scholar who in 1954 defended a thesis that examined
African contributions to Greece and identified the ancient Egyptians
as being predominantly Black African. A few months ago a colloqium on
his work and achievement was held in Dakar, Senegal. The University
of Dakar, Senegal, his birthplace, was named after him. Essomba's book
also contains an address delivered at the Yaounde Congress Center, Cameroon,
by Cheikh Anta Diopa month before his death, in February 7th 1986.
Return to table of Contents
by Haines Brown, C.C.S.U.
There have been a number of initiatives this year to promote
African telecommunication development policies that aim to ensure maximal
economic returns and which therefore marginalize
social considerations. Howard University and the UN DevelopmentProgram
(UNDP) held an international conference on the "Privatization of
Telecommunications and Information Systems in Africa and the Caribbean"
on March 12-15, 1996. Howard TISAC-96was in response to the Clinton
Administration's commitment to building the Global Information Infrastructure
(GII) and a prelude to the G-7 Conference on the Information Society
held on May13-15 in Johannesburg.The UNDP Regional Project (RAF/96/002:
Support to Development of Internet Services in the Sub-Sahara Africa),
in conjunction with the World Bank and USAID, brought privatization
requirements to bear at the Internet Conference held on 8-10 October
in Guinea-Bissau. Represented there were Guinea-Conakry,Senegal, Cape-Verde,
Mali and Mauritania. Meanwhile, the UN System-WideSpecial Initiative
on Africa is joining with USAID to invest $25 million to enable Africa
to catch up to world telecommuncation standards. "The perception
of African countries has been that our problems are basic; why should
we think of electronic-mail when we do not have electricity, when we
do not have roads," explained Luis Honwana, resident representative
of the UNESCO in South Africa. "The attitude has been that it is
a waste of resources to try and be in sync with the most advanced countries,
yet information is vital and accelerates the development process."
The UN Economic Commission of Africa (ECA) and the World
Bank are re-assessing their strategy for Africa and will prioritise
information technology. At the forefront of this is InfoDev, the Bank's
global intiative to facilitate developing countries access to the information
superhighway. UNESCO is promoting its Intergovernmental Informatics
Program with the International Telecommunications Union and the ECA
to improve informatics. The program urges policy "reforms"
that encourage private initiatives, deregulate telecommunications and
set up the infrastructure for full Internet connectivity in pilot countries.
Twenty countries are to participate in the $11.5 million project, and
so far, Egypt, Senegal and South Africa have pledged to take a leading
role and will sit on the UN initiative's steering committee. Another
twenty countries will come under a similar initiative expected to be
approved by the US Agency for International Development(USAID). The
USAID's AfricaLink program focuses on the development of e-mail facilities
within the context of existing infrastructural and regulatory environments
so that outside capital investmentis protected from any publically owned
and subsidized resources.
That these policies could work to the advantage of the
urban middle class and further widen the gap between them and the rural
masses is well recognized. "The challenge is that once the infrastructure
is in place in Africa, it is not confined to multinational corporations
in urban areas," notes Anriette Esterhuysen, of SANGONeT, a Johannesburg-
based organisation which provides e-mail and Internet access to development-oriented
NGOs in southern Africa.
For electronic connectivity with Africa: http://www.earth.org/~lips/Africa.html
Norwegian Council for Africa resource links: http://www.africaindex.africainfo.no/
UN FAO and Univ. Guelph Dept. Rural Extension Studies
"The Internet and Rural Development:" http://www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/sustdev/CDdirect/CDDO/intro.htm
Return to table of Contents
by Dr. Warren Perry, Anthropology Department,
The African Burial Ground is a five-to-six acre site located
in New York City. Human remains were accidently discovered by construction
crews laying the foundations for a federal ofiice building in 1991.
After a protracted struggle between the African-descendant community
and the Government Service Agency over control ofthe burial ground and
the remains from 1991 to 1993 the excavations were halted. The 400 plus
excavated African ancestral remains were shipped to the Cobb Biological
Anthropology Laboratory at Howard University for analyses, and the African
Burial Ground attained landmark status
The first African captives arrived in Dutch New Amsterdam
in1626 from West and Central Africa and later from Caribbean plantations.In
1664 when the British colonized New Amsterdam, Africans were40% of the
population. New York State was the next to last northerncolony to abolish
slavery in 1799, but the law was so ineffectualthat New York had to
emancipate Africans again in 1827.
Significance of the African Burial Ground
The African Burial Ground is unique by virtue of its size,
ageand location. To date, it is the oldest excavated African burial
ground with the largest skeletal sample to be scientifically examinedin
the United States. The cemetery, its skeletal remains andthe ancestors
possessions are the only material evidence so far recovered of the life
and labor of the first generation of Africans in New York City. This
project affords the opportunity to tie theory and practice by detailing
how the African American descendent community, buoyed by outrage, engaged
in a power struggle for dignity and respect and seized intellectual
power. They demanded that if science was to give voice to the ancestors,
African and African-American scholars, students and institutions had
to be involved in all facets of the project. Questions of who gives
voice to the past, who defines the problems, and how they are analyzed
and interpreted are matters of critical social importance.The African
Burial Ground project will for the first time represent a voice of African
descendants analyzing and interpreting the scientific materials. The
project involves archaeological anthropologists, soil scientists, conservators,
historians, sociocultural anthropologists, biological anthropologists,
geneticists, art historians, and architects. Scholars involved in the
project are from the US and Africa, with expertise in all areas of the
Africa diaspora. Involvement of African scholars is particularly significant
at a time when African American history is marginalized, and/or distorted
by colonial depictions of Africans.
The interdisciplinary nature of the research project provides
an opportunity to generate new and different kinds of information,while
contributing to methodological developments for future projects. It
also allows for a more informed approach to questions of genetics, environments,
demography, epidemiology, nutrition, social history, and cultural transmission
and creation. Only through such research can we provide a holistic interpretation
of the African diaspora. The final product- a report - will be a multidimensional
contextual understanding of our African ancestors.
Questions of the Burial Ground Project
Researchers will focus on four major questions to help
understand the African diaspora historically and globally.
1. What are the cultural and geographical origins of individuals
interred in the African Burial Ground?
African biological and cultural identity of individuals
can be ascertained through the analysis of multiple data sets to determine
any overlap in geographical regions, biological communities, and cultural
practices indicating probable parental populations. For example, a combination
of skeletal measurements and DNA studies can determine specific biological
affinities, and can aid in pinpointing the areas of origin for individuals
buried at the site. Material culture studies involving archaeological
collections of the same time period from the United States, Africa and
the Caribbean, can inform on probable African "donor" populations.
Ethno-graphic and historic documents can provide cultural explanations
for dental modification patterns, and mortuary practices in "donor"societies.
Finally, an analysis of dental chemistry can reveal mineral elements
that indicate diet, and ground water. These are clues to location. Nitrogen
content and carbon isotopes in bone collagen can also reveal something
about diets, and thus the culture and climate in which they developed.
2. What were the living conditions and the physical quality
of life for Africans enslaved in New York City during the colonial period?
To evaluatethe changes in severity of life for African captives under
European colonialism, we must not only consider the physical stress
of captivity, but also the effects of urban residential and occupational
segmentation, and a capitalist wage labor economy. Human bones reveal
stress through hypertrophic muscle attachments and arthritic changes.
Human biological responses to various natural toxins and industrial
pollutants can also be investigated. Botanical samples from the stomachs,
the thoracic region and the sacrum area can yield evidence of pathological
organisms, parasite infestations and calcified organic material to inform
on health, disease and nutrition.
3. What were the biological and cultural transformations
taking place during the colonial period, that would influence the development
of African American society? What traditions and physical characteristics
remained unchanged? These questions involve the transition from African
to African American culture.
4. What were the modes of resistance utilized by the African
community to understand broader patterns of race relations in colonial
New York City? For example, what is the skeletal and demographic evidence
for specific practices of corporal punishment, physical restraint, and
deterants to resistance - evidence of traumatic fractures related to
violence like shackles, amputation,burning, parry fractures, and the
like? How material culture and mortuary practices were retained or modified
to symbolize resistance through the maintenance of African cultural
practices and social customs? The fact that the African Burial Ground
was the only place where African Americans were allowed to congregate
in NYC is particularly significant. An understanding of the social uses
of space will contribute to an understanding of the active role that
Africans played in creating a social identity or identities in 18th
century New York City.
In conclusion, it is archaeology that has provided physical
evidence of racism and of resistance in 18th century New York City.
That same archaeology has unified the African-American descendant community
in its efforts to reclaim this sacred space and recapture its stolen
legacy. The political and ideological struggle over control of the site,
its contents and interpretation demonstrate that the significance of
the site lies as much in the past as in the present. The knowledge and
information provided by the African Burial Ground Project is essential
for the spiritual, inspirational and political struggle of African people
throughout the diaspora. The African Burial Ground Project is part of
Return to table of Contents
by Mpho G. Molomo
In conclusion, we wish to observe that choosing an electoral
system involves a number of trade-offs because no one system is flawless.
The best system, we think, is one that broadly addresses matters of
democracy such as; accountability, representativeness, strong and effective
leadership. Since, it would appear that no single model satisfies all
the ingredients of democracy, it's probably better to opt for a hybrid
system - one that combines the best of two worlds. Our considered opinion
is that the SPS was probably appropriate for Botswana during the period
immediatly after independence. This was a transitional period and as
such Botswana needed a system that would cause greater stability. Now
that Botswana has consolidated political power there is need to adopt
a system which is more democratic such as the PR system. For purposes
of Botswana we propose a "hybrid" system which, while adopting
the PR model, retains the essential elements of the Westminster model,
to make it more stable and accountable.The South African model of the
PR system, at least on the part of the African National Congress (ANC),
has tried to bridge the gap between the party and the electorate, created
by the party list system's creation of regional party offices. In this
way the party has, to a large extent, identified elected members with
such offices as a way bringing the candidates closer to the people and
as a result more accountable. Botswana can also draw from their lessons.
In the final analysis, in all these debates we are only posturing pros
and cons and not certainties.Every situation is a unique historical
experience, so no one can with absolute certainty guarantee one system
The theories that we are projecting with respect to the
various electoral systems, in the absence of prescribing a blue print,which
would spell doom, are to keep alive the "debate on the role of
alternative democratic institutions in building stable,accountable,
transparent and representative democracies.
Return to table of Contents
Student Commentary on "Feminism in
a lecture by Prof. Molara Ogundipe-Leslie
delivered on November 5, 1996, Founders
I attended Professor Molara Ogundipe-Leslie's talk on
African feminism. She is a fascinating and obviously brilliant woman.She
discussed many of the topics from her book, Recreating Ourselves,that
we had discussed in class. A few points she made that I found interesting
and that stuck in my mind were that African men are still locked into
gender roles and don't want African women to read the works of feminists
who often challenge the traditional gender roles. A quote that I remember,
". . .people shouldn't completely disregard biological roles, but
should not be constructed by them." I think I remembered her discussion
on gender and sex roles so vividly because I agree with her position
I was also interested in her discussions on violence,
MarriedWomen Inc., and especially about how the government and military
would be afraid if women stripped and showed their nakedness.I believe
she said something like , "Men are afraid of the breasts from which
they once fed."
The songs we sang together were fun and lightened up the
tone.The story of the woman playwrite who wrote the songs was sad and
very touching. I was very glad that we had the opportunity to have a
question and answer period with her on a smaller,more personal, level
because she touched upon many issues she did not address in her talk.
I was particularly glad she talked about the church, saying that some
churches stand in the way of direct worship of God because they are
structured institutions.I agree with her in that it is not necessary
to attend church to worship a god. I'm pleased that I decided to attend
the lecture and that I had the opportunity to talk with and learn from
such a brilliant woman.
World Civilization (Hist. 121).
Having Molara Ogundipe-Leslie (the author of Recreating
Ourselves) come to Central to discuss her book was a brilliant idea.
Not only was the question and answer session informative, but I had
a rare chance to actually understand the mind-set and intention of the
author. I really enjoyed her willingness to discuss her work and her
acceptance of criticism.
World Civilization (Hist. 122).
On November 5th, 1996, Professor Molara Ogundipe-Leslie
spoketo the students of CCSU at 2:00- 4:00 in Founders Hall. Her talk
was focused on African Feminism of Nigerian women. She stated that women
in that country believed in this saying, "What a woman can do,
a man cannot do." Nigerian women do not compete with men; males
are not seen as models by women. Ogundipealso talked about incest and
how it is looked upon negatively.
Return to table of Contents
Music From Africa
Tune to WFCS 107.7 FM. New Britain/Hartford
Saturdays, from 9-11 pm.
Dr. Gabriel Alungbe is your
The Regional Editors of AfricaUpdate
Zenebworke Bissrat served for several
years as Senior Management Expert at the Ethiopian Management Institute,
Addis Ababa. She is at present associated with the CMRS, Ethiopian Catholic
Church,Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Maimouna Diallo is an economist and also
a consultant to the United Nations Development Program. She resides
in the Cte d'Ivoire,West Africa.
Julius Ihonvbere is a Professor of Government
at the Universityof Texas, Austin. Among his books are Nigeria, the
Politics ofAdjustment and Democracy (New Brunswick: Transaction, 1993)
andThe Political Economy of Crisis and Underdevelopment in Africa(Lagos:
Jad Press, 1989).
Paulus Gerdes is the Rector of Mozambique's
Universidade Pedagogoco,Maputo, Mozambique. He has extensive publications
on African mathematics and is the Chair of the Commission on the Historyof
Mathematics in Africa.
Mosebjane Malatsi is a Senior Policy
Analyst at the DevelopmentBank of Southern Africa, based in Johannesburg.
He is a leadingmember of the Pan-African Congress.
Alfred Zack-Williams is from Sierra Leone.
He teaches in theDepartment of Historical and Critical Studies at the
Universityof Central Lancaster, UK. He is also a member of the Editorial
Board of the Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE), UnitedKingdom.
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