Tag Archives: Rwanda

foundation

Golden heart foundation to host over 5000 youths at the centenary edition of national youth summit

by Jewel Stephen

Golden Heart Foundation is set to host over 5000 youths at the centenary edition of national youth summit coming up on the 25th to the 27th of September, 2014 at the international conference centre, Abuja says the National Coordinator, Mr. Norbert Onaga.

Youths drawn from the 774 local government areas in Nigeria, will converge at the International Conference centre, Abuja, venue of the 7th edition of the National Youth Summit. The convener of the event and Host is the President and founder of the Golden Heart foundation, Dr. David Ogbueli. This year’s summit will play host to youth leaders from other parts of African Countries eg. Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethopia, who have confirmed their participation and attendance. This gives the expression to the Pan African vision of the conference, of which Nigeria has always played a pivotal role.

It is interesting to note that this year’s National Youth Summit, takes place as our dear nation celebrates it Centenary. Indeed this year’s summit has been tagged the Centenary edition with the theme, GENERATIONAL SHIFT: THE EMEGENCE OF TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERS. We believe no greater time exists for the entire nation to reflect on the gains of the past, and make a firm decision to inculcate the values, ethos and skills required for our Nations positive and progressive transformation, into the youth of our dear country, who without prejudice, are the future of our next century.

The summit will have in-depth plenary, seminar and workshop sessions covering but not restricted to the following areas:

  • Peace studies and conflict resolution
  • Business development and wealth creation techniques
  • Social entrepreneurship development
  • Leadership and change management
  • The social media  and ICT

All the training seminars and workshops are entirely open for attendance to all youths in Nigeria, irrespective of their tribe, language and religion.

Nigeria is on the verge of the greatest transition it has ever experienced. That transition is the possibility of seeing the transformation of the youngest and brightest minds in our country today, to becoming patriots and nationalists; young men and women,   who will form the critical mass required to build upon the foundations of our great leaders, past and present, a nation which is driven by strong institutions and rich in strong values.

An understanding that a Nation is as strong as its human resource and their value system led to the formation of National Youth Summit to provide leadership education which is equipping the heart (character); head (intellect); and hands (skills). We focus on the personal development of the youths while modelling the right leadership path through mentorship; who in turn would impact the different spheres of the economy. We believe that the greatest driver for national Transformation is inculcating the spirit of patriotism, respect for moral and ethical values in Nigerian youths and that every Nigerian youth has what it takes to make a difference in the society because the power to transform our society lies within our ability and readiness to engineer change by equipping the next generation of leaders.

Further details of the event are available online on twitter – @NYSonline facebook – NYSumit, instagram – NationalYouthSummit2014, and the events website www.nationalyouthsummit.com.ng

The future of the greatest, most diverse, and most prosperous black nation on earth, is right before us, and in the hands of the youth of this country. Collectively, we all must rise up and seize the moment.

Y! Africa Seyi Shay's Cover

For International Youth Day! Tanzania’s Meck Khalfan and Nigeria’s Seyi Shay shine on cover of Y! Africa (LOOK)

by Isi Esene


Tanzanian Innovator, Meck Khalfan and Nigerian singer, Seyi Shay are the cover stars on the latest issue of Africa’s leading youth-focused magazine, Y! Africa. It is released to commemorate August 12 2014 – the International Day of the Youth.

Khalfan, named the Africa Business Leader of the Year 2013 by the Corporate Council of Africa is chief executive officer of Puku LLC and innovator behind the Puku S8, inspired after Hurricane Sandy kept him hostage in New York City. He talks to Y! Africa about his invention, the inspiration and how he sees the future of business in his home country Tanzania and across Africa.

Y! Africa Meck Khalfan cover

Y! Africa Meck Khalfan cover

Seyi Shay is one of Nigeria’s fastest rising singers who traced her journey from a group founded by Beyonce’s father to being spotted by Sound Sultan, groomed by Cecil Hammond, and finally setting out on her own in a male-dominated environment.

“We continue our mission of inspiring an evolving generation of Africa by telling stories of hope, of inspiration and of purpose,” said Chude Jideonwo, editor in chief of the magazine and managing partner of its group, Red Media Africa. “This edition speaks directly to the aspirations of young Africans working to make it both in and out of the continent.”

Khalfan was photographed in New York by Ade Emihe, and Seyi Shay was photographed in Lagos by TCD.

Y! Africa fashion editorial

Y! Africa fashion editorial


The issue also features an interrogation of the hashtag generation, a contemplation of the Goodluck Jonathan legacy all wrapped up with high fashion, event photos and an interview with 10-year-old global ambassador, Zuriel Oduwole, amongst others.

Y! Africa is available in stores and from vendors across Nigeria, and is also distributed in Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa.

In Nigeria, you can also pay for the magazine with your mobile phone or online at Okada Books www.okadabooks.com and www.exodusestore.com and have it delivered to any part of the country (click on magazine, click on the Y! Africa logo and place your order).

Details are available on yafri.ca or via @YAfricaOnline on Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. Email info@yafri.ca; or call +234 817 300 0001 for more information.

Eagles 1

Why Keshi may not handle Super Eagles for AFCON qualifiers next month

by Mark Bassey

Eagles 1

The Super Eagles might begin their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series under a caretaker manager, as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are still locked in talks with Stephen Keshi over a new deal.

Nigeria play Rwanda next month, but Keshi, who led the Eagles to winning the AFCON trophy last year, is keen to have the finer details of his new contract sorted out, before he officially continues with the team.

“I want to say that we are on track with our negotiations and Keshi is also enthusiastic to coach the Super Eagles again and that is why we sent him our notice of intent last week and by Monday this week he responded positively,” NFF board member Deji Tinubu was quoted by Vanguard.

“Very soon we will send him the proposal that will contain his salary. As we speak, all that you have been reading about salary are mere rumours. What we want everybody to realize is that you don’t have to force negotiations, we have to be careful so as to eliminate the defects of the earlier contract.

“For now we have not selected coaches that will hold the team in an interim capacity but very soon we will be coming out with an arrangement just in case we were not able to conclude with Keshi before September 6 because that match is very important to us as a federation and we must play it regardless of who is in charge.”

The NFF are hoping they can resolve the contract situation before its general elections, scheduled to take place on August 26.

Nigeria have been drawn in Group along with Rwanda, South Africa and Sudan.

Opinion: Rwanda – From horror to hope

by Simi Fajemirokun

1279122545-rwandan-genocide_73396

I left Rwanda torn emotionally, on one hand I felt extremely proud and another extremely ashamed. 

The mantra made popular by the Obama Campaign really does ignite a can do attitude in all of us, in essence, a spirit of hope. In light of the periods in our lives where we are desperate for change, ‘yes we can’ gives that mental push to make the change happen but there’s still a disconnect in knowing you can and actually doing what you know you can. They are certainly not one and the same for instance, knowing is the input and doing is the output. This is the reason why a great speech that is not backed up by some action is an exercise in futility.

I have been near obsessed for a while with the worst human tragedy in my lifetime, the Rwandan genocide. I have watched documentaries and read articles on the evil that man is capable of but still I understood less and my mind remained even more confused. To empathize and consider the survivors who lost loved ones at the hands of their neighbors, friends and colleagues just makes forgiveness such a far-fetched idea. Beyond the act of forgiveness how do you remove the heavy dose of fear that pervades the air once you’ve been stripped of every sense of security you once knew. As we’ve seen, the intrusion of fear in our lives has a multiplier effect that dispels love, unity, trust, purpose and all the other key ingredients to build a nation.

20 years from that devastating act of evil and a new Rwanda has emerged. One that defied all the odds of being classified a failed state to a model African state raising the bar on so many fronts from leadership to development to security to gender empowerment and the list goes on. Once again, Rwanda boggles my mind as I cannot understand how you move from an extreme negative to an extreme positive. It was a great privilege to have witnessed first hand the Kwibohora ceremony, celebrating the 20th Anniversary to the end of the war in 1994. There were several components to it and the one I was privileged to attend was the Pan-African Youth Conference, which included delegates from all over the continent on moving Africa from liberation to economic liberation for all.

Rwanda invited us in to celebrate and chart the way forward as the next generation of leaders but beyond the obvious, what it did was challenge Africa and the world at large that truly impossible is nothing. How do you take a completely split country to be more united than ever before in 20 short years? Kigali boasts of clean streets, gorgeous hills, modern development and a strict adherence to law and order. I felt safer running at odd hours than I would in most European cities. I was proud to be African as the indefatigable President Paul Kagame instills in the youth, a sense of confidence and re-assurance that we as Africans are not inferior to others. I saw young men and women that work in the Presidency not out of tokenism but a deliberate attempt to ensure the majority of the population is at the decision-making table. Throughout my stay, there was an overriding sense that Rwanda means business.

To borrow from President Kenyatta’s keynote speech, ‘from Horror to Hope’ Rwanda truly does serve as a poster child of the power of the collective will of a people to assertively establish themselves despite the insurmountable challenges they faced. It was very emotional observing the sense of pride, purpose and clarity of the future they are actively creating. It was also important to see how they guard so strongly against anything that will stand in the way of that future. For instance, you dare not ask what tribe you are from, ‘I am Rwandan’ is staunchly replied and that is all you need to know and from toddlers to adults everybody abides by that script.

I left Rwanda torn emotionally, on one hand I felt extremely proud and another extremely ashamed. The issues we pretend to have in my dearest country pale in comparison to the Rwandan experience and reflects the opposite: the collective un-seriousness of a people about the future of Nigeria. May we value our diversity, strength and vast beauty. May we guard our bright future so jealously that lousy leadership cannot exist let alone thrive.

To Africa, may we understand clearly that our awesome continent cannot afford any more from ‘Horror to Hope’ stories. Rwanda is an exception we may not be so lucky. Let’s talk, let’s trade, and get rid of foreign aid!

To economic liberation and beyond-God bless Africa!

————————

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

 

Garba Shehu: “Jews (Read: Northerners) unwelcome” – The dangers of ethnic/religious profiling

by Garba Shehu

arrested_boko_haram_suspects_abia

Profiling of citizens in accordance with their religion and ethnicity is wrong and condemnable. 

As the Nazi leaders quickened their preparations for the European war of conquest that they intended to unleash, anti-Semitic legislation in Germany and Austria paved the way for more radical persecution of Jews. These, as the reader may recall, led to the expulsion of millions, as well as the genocidal activity involving the extermination of six million Jews in Germany alone. The government of Adolf Hitler required Jews to identify themselves in ways that would permanently separate them from the rest of the population. In August 1938, German authorities decreed that by January 1, 1939, Jewish men and women bearing first names of “non-Jewish” origin had to add “Israel” and “Sara,” respectively, to their given names. All Jews were obliged to carry identity cards that indicated their Jewish heritage, and, in the autumn of 1938, all Jewish passports were stamped with an identifying letter “J”. (Read Google).

In the build-up to the genocide, Jews were removed from public services and purged from the security services. Their children’s enrolment in schools was curtailed and access to business opportunities and most public buildings were stopped. Signs as indicated above, “Jews Unwelcome” were a common sight at public places.

In addition to Germany, history has shown elsewhere that practices requiring displaced persons to carry ID cards to distinguish them as a non-indigene or “outsider” has only served to promote further discrimination and marginalization. A look at a few more global examples of ID card discrimination may be useful for this discussion.

Rwanda
Starting in 1935, the Belgians began a national ID system in Rwanda that indicated whether a person was “Tutsi”, “Hutu” or “Twa”. The Belgian government supported the Tutsis political power and sought ways to distinguish them from the rest of the inhabitants. The means to determining these classifications was highly arbitrary, based on physical appearances and the personal property of the person in question. The primary justification for this distinction was the “lighter” skin of the Tutsi people, signifying to the occupiers that they may have European ancestry. The privileges afforded by the Tutsis led to increased resentment by the Hutu populations who had been marginalized during Belgian rule, leading to several conflicts and finally the genocide of nearly one million Tutsis in 1994.

South Africa
South Africa has an extensive history in using ID cards, called “passes”, to restrict the movement of black people within the
territory. Passes were used to exclude native populations from the Cape Colony. Later in 1923 the Natives (Urban Areas) Act deemed certain areas in South Africa as “whites”, requiring all black persons in the areas to carry around passes at all times. Any black person found without a pass would be arrested and relocated outside of the “white” area.

So the discriminatory policies gradually being churned out by our brothers in South-Eastern Nigeria, against their own Northern brothers is really nothing new or unique to humanity. The government of Enugu has said that they are embarking on a house-to-house registration of Nigerian citizens of Northern extraction in their midst while the neighbouring Imo state has taken the further step of planning an Identity Card scheme that every Northerner living in the state will henceforth have to carry, and produce upon request. The government of Imo has, in addition, prescribed that northerners (read aliens) who are certified to continue in their state must henceforth show evidence of work that they doing and that any who did not have this will not be allowed to live in the state “to engage in terrorism.”
Another sore issue related to this, but of a different nature, is the increasing profiling of Northerners and Muslims in the region, as exemplified by the stop-and-search operation by the military in the state of Abia, as a result of which nearly fifty buses ferrying about four hundred northerners were barred from prom proceeding to their destination, Port Harcourt. This was on the basis of the allegation that the traders and migrant workers were Boko Haram terrorists. Of this number kept in detention for about two weeks, some were actually wedding parties, delivering a newly-wed bride to her suitor in Calabar
and Port Harcourt.

It is also now known that a large number of these travellers are persons internally displaced by fighting between Boko Haram and Government and others by poverty and killings between tribes and the followers of different religions.

But a few of them, as said by the army, were actually found to be Boko Haram. If Boko Haram are seen and barred from public places because of the harm they can cause, there is nothing wrong with that. Boko Haram is a problem for every one-Christian, Muslim, men and women, children and the aged whom they merrily kill and whose resources they pillage.

Everyone is a victim.

Last year, I bought a three-bedroom apartment in a growing settlement somewhere behind the Bayero University in Kano. I paid two thirds of the money through my cousin who inspected the building and approved the purchase. I was informed that the remaining third of the amount would be paid for the property to be taken over upon vacation by the sitting tenant. Before the man’s time was up, an incident happened in the city which the reader may have been well aware of. The respected late Emir, Ado Bayero, was attacked by terrorists and he barely escaped with his life. After a few days of investigation, the soldiers stormed this same building, taking away the tenant who they said was a suspect in the attack on the emir. On their arrival at the premise, they used a bulldozer to bring down the gate, went inside and grabbed their suspect.

Once the word was out, children and the unemployed in the neighbourhood stormed the house, chased the women and children out and looted the whole place. Before day break, not only had they removed furniture and fittings but that the roof had gone and the blocks were being dissembled. It was a personal loss and a sacrifice one had to bear and there is no where you can obtain a redress. An existing policy in the city is that wherever a terrorist is caught, the entire structure is brought down.

The plight of displaced persons who are mostly economic migrants among the Abia 400+ should be a matter for concern for the international community considering the disturbing lack of interest of the Nigerian Federal government in actions that clearly amount to an assault on the constitution.

The International Federation of Social Workers, IFSW, states that, “marginalised within their own society and facing the emotional trauma of their uprooting experience, displaced people turn into excluded people who suffer loss of economic opportunities, breakdown of cultural identity, loosening of social and familial structures, interruption of schooling and increased poverty levels. They also suffer from grief relating to dead or missing family members and, in extreme cases, resort to delinquency and begging in order to survive.”

I fear that if displaced persons are required to carry ID to distinguish themselves as non-native residents of a territory, we will find ourselves with millions of disenfranchised people whose desperation will cause them to turn to illegal activities to survive. In fact marginalization will only serve to breed resentment that could push people to retaliate with violence.

It is up to us to raise ourselves above such trivial distinctions and to remind ourselves that it is our duty as Nigerians and as a people to respect and help our brethren in need. Nigerians must harness their empathetic instincts and recognize the pain and suffering that internally displaced Nigerians have endured and to make our best efforts towards reintegrating them into society and making them feel comfortable in their new homes regardless of the length of their residency. We must work to remind them that they are still members of the Nigerian family and that there is hope for a better tomorrow.

Profiling of citizens in accordance with their religion and ethnicity is wrong and condemnable. We saw what it led to against the Jews in Europe and the Tutsi minority in Rwanda. State governments trying to create this type of environment with the silent complicity of the Nigerian Federal Government must know that the United Nations has a tribunal trying genocide cases all over the world and that this country is a signatory to that treaty.

 

————————

 

This article was published with permission from Premium Times Newspapers

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

 

Opinion: From Rwanda with much love

by Dolapo Aina

tumblr_ln03ixDzsW1qe9vdto1_500

See you in Rwanda-the land of a thousand hills; a million smiles and a billion opportunities.

Rwanda’s peaceful ambience is perfect for creative minds that need a serene location to be mentally and creatively productive. Rwanda’s business climate is conducive for any straight-forward entrepreneur. Rwanda’s tourism especially historical tourism would leave you with several historical lessons and inevitably make you somewhat of a crisis analyst cum forecaster. Without any iota of doubt, I would be visiting this nation regularly. I do hope you board that RwandAir plane to Rwanda very soon. See you in Rwanda-the land of a thousand hills; a million smiles and a billion opportunities.

After several months of reading articles and watching countless YouTube videos about Rwanda, this writer hopped on a RwandAir plane on Friday, the 25th of April, 2014, for about a 4 hour flight to the land of a thousand hills; better known to you as Rwanda. The trip which also afforded me the avenue to visit the coastal city of Mombasa in Kenya and to be specific the best resort in Africa (Leopard Beach Resort in Diani Beach) was sponsored by RwandAir. Succinctly put, RwandAir organised a familiarisation tour of Rwanda and Kenya for a combined team of corporate and media professionals.

What transpired between this writer, his thoughts and actions i.e. his JJC moments (JJC-Jonny Just Come is a Nigerian phrase for a new person in a new city) should best be saved for another article. But one undeniable truth oozing with pristine immaculacy is that for a large part of the RwandAir flight; this writer didn’t feel he was on a flight. As a first time flier; I was surprised that the RwandAir flight was hitch-free from Lagos to Kigali. We were placed in business class and this writer vowed to always board business and first class. Life should be enjoyed to the fullest.

At arrival at Kigali International Airport, I was shocked to find a lot of Nigerians who were either coming to Rwanda for business or were in transit to Nairobi, Kenya. At the Kigali International Airport, I noticed the orderliness with which the airport and immigration officials conducted themselves. As someone who has attended several Rwanda-related events and shows, I saw a familiar face at the Kigali Airport. The person in question is Anny. Anny runs a tourism outfit which caters for the tourism needs of tourists. I met Anny Batamuriza, the Director General of New Dawn Associates in October 2013 in Lagos and it was pleasant seeing a familiar face in Kigali.

After the aforementioned paragraph, suddenly this writer had a writer’s block at the study desk in his hotel room at the Hotel Des Mille Collines better known to you as Hotel Rwanda on the evening of the 25th of April 2014. Sitting at my study desk and watching the BBC on the Plasma TV, I couldn’t conjure any words. So, I decided to absorb all the experiences in Kigali and write my articles when I return to Lagos. But I began jotting down notes, taking pictures and recording short albeit amateur video clips for my YouTube channel which you can watch on YouTube.
Lagos
Rwanda’s unmistakeable landmark has to be the numerous hills. Anyone who visits this beautiful country would be amazed by nature’s gift to Rwanda. The hills would woo you back to Rwanda. Before this RwandAir-sponsored trip, I had read an overdose of Rwanda-related materials. Alas, reading about Rwanda is one thing, arriving in Rwanda is entirely a different experience. Without any visible/overt security-related personnel or brazen show of weaponry or security braggadocio, you just feel you are in a nation that is safe.
According to my diary (which I began composing while onboard the RwandAir flight to Kigali); the plane touched down at 3.32pm on Friday, the 25th of April 2014. While at the Kigali International Airport; trying to pick up our bags and luggage; I saw a familiar face by the name Anny Batamuriza of NDA-New Dawn Associates, who I had met in Lagos in 2013. After pleasantries and introductions; the team boarded the NDA coaster bus to Hotel Des Mille Collines; where we were met; greeted and welcomed by Christoph M. Strahm and Christian Huschka (General Manager and Director of Sales& Marketing of Hotel des Mille Collines respectively.)
As you would know Hotel des Mille Collines made famous by the Hollywood movie- Hotel Rwanda has so much history behind the name that during the hotel’s welcome cocktail et al for the team; I had to conduct an interview with Mr Huschka where he spoke exclusively on the hotel, her new management by Kapinski in Switzerland), her projections etc. The next day, while having breakfast downstairs; I met Nigerians who were also staying at the hotel and discussed with them. They were in Kigali to set up a business for another Nigerian friend of theirs who had made up her mind to relocate to Kigali. Without any iota of doubt, Rwanda has a billion opportunities for business-minded entrepreneurs.
A tour of Kigali by Anny and Martin of NDA was enlightening as it cemented all I had read and still reading about Rwanda. A trip round Kigali was and is still well-embedded in my mind. Sites like the Kigali Genocide Memorial, the site of the 10 slain Belgian commandos who were protecting the Female Prime Minister were visited. The team passed through the famous conference dome (which would be the eye of global conference organisers); diplomatic avenues; and several hilly estates etc. Some of the media crew visited also visited the slums in Kigali were according to them, they felt safe.

On Saturday, the 26th of April (around 2pm), the team had to catch a RwandAir flight to Mombasa, Kenya. But on the 30th of April at about 12.40pm, we were back in Kigali. But before we checked in; at the prestigious Serena Hotels in Kigali, another NDA bus tour was undertaken; as we visited the Presidential Palace Museum where President Juvenal Habyarimana lived. He was the president in 1994 and whose presidential plane was shot down. Coincidentally, some of the wreckage of the shot down plane fell into his presidential palace compound (as we saw the fuselage et al). But most importantly, for any business-minded individual, we had a business meeting cum press conference with the officials at RDB-Rwanda Development Board at her headquarters on Gishushu Nyarutarama Road.

The RDB
But immediately after the meeting with the RDB spearheaded by Louise Kanyonga (the Registrar General), the team was hosted to a sumptuous lunch at the exclusive Khana Khazana-an Indian restaurant in Kigali (trust Nigerians to request for more pepper).

After stuffing our bellies; we headed to Serena Hotels and there at the impressive lobby, I met another familiar face-Denise Benzinge-Omany. This cool, calm and collected Bella is the Country Sales and Marketing Manager of Serena Hotels Kigali. I met Denise in 2013 at a function in Lagos. After resting for a while, the team attended a RwandAir presentation in one of the conference rooms at Serena Hotels. The RwandAir presentation had in attendance; RwandAir’s CEO in Rwanda and some officials including the senior regional mangers for East and West Africa (Alice Katiti and Fifi Rurangwa respectively).

A night out cum dinner was appropriate and we all went to a restaurant that gave us one of the perfect views of the hilly Kigali I have seen till date. Kigali at night is simply breathtaking. The nocturnal scenery of Kigali is perfect for marriage proposals (there is absolutely no way, the lady won’t be swept off her feet, but the young man must remember to steady her fall.)

Back at the prestigious Serena Hotels, a 5 star hotel edifice which isn’t as expensive as the 5 star hotels in Lagos, I decided to explore the hotel and discovered some interesting bits of information for another interesting article.

On the team’s final day in Kigali, I woke up quite early to work on my laptop and had two interesting interactions with 2 staff members of the Serena Hotels (Rose and Gertrude) who were undertaking their chores in the hotel. At about 11am, a Serena Hotels’ presentation was held. Another sumptuous lunch was inevitable at the Milima Restaurant (I believe).

Around past 2pm, we were off to the Kigali International Airport to board another RwandAir plane to Lagos. Touch down in Lagos was about past 10pm on May 1st 2014 and as I boarded the airport coach bus to the car park, I was really glad to bump into Rwanda’s Ambassador to Nigeria; Ambassador Joseph Habineza who flew into Lagos from another part of Nigeria. The Ambassador enquired about the trip to Rwanda. I tried to explain but I was speechless. With all candour, reading about Rwanda is one thing, travelling to Rwanda is an experience entirely.
Rwanda’s peaceful ambience is perfect for creative minds that need a serene location to be mentally and creatively productive. Rwanda’s business climate is conducive for any ethically straight-forward old or young entrepreneur. Rwanda’s tourism especially historical tourism would leave you with several historical lessons and inevitably make you somewhat of a crisis analyst cum forecaster. Without any iota of doubt, I would be visiting this nation regularly. I do hope you board that RwandAir plane (a 4hour flight) to Rwanda very soon. See you in Rwanda-the land of a thousand hills; a million smiles and a billion opportunities.
More articles of this Rwandan trip to follow. Do search for Dolapo Aina on YouTube for several videos and audio interviews on this trip.

—————————-

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Woman hacked husband to death with a machete out of fear he would give her AIDS

by Oge Okonkwo

BLOODY-KNIFe

A Rwandan woman hacked her husband to death with a machete for fear that he would infect her with HIV, local media reports.

The suspect, Annonciata Kampororo was said to have planned the killing with her son and sister, after she found out her husband, Anaclet Majyambere, 48, had inherited his brother’s HIV-positive wife.

Inheriting the widow of a family member is a common traditional practice in some rural communities in Rwanda.

Daily Mail reports:

It is believed the brother of Mr Majyambere, a resident in Gisagara in southern Rwanda, died of AIDS.

His wife, a local liquor seller, feared that the widow would also be infected and refused to sleep with Mr Majyambere until he took an HIV test.

When he refused to do so, she ‘withheld his conjugal rights’ and began planning the murder, Sowetanlive reported.

 
Downtown in the Rwandan capital, Kigali: Just over 3 per cent of the Rwandan population - between 180,000 and 250,000 people - live with HIV. More than half are women and children, according to UNICEF statistics

+2

Downtown in the Rwandan capital, Kigali: Just over 3 per cent of the Rwandan population – between 180,000 and 250,000 people – live with HIV. More than half are women and children, according to UNICEF statistics

One night, Kampororo, her son and her sister attacked Mr Majyambere with machetes and pestles and killed him.

It is estimated that just over 3 per cent of the Rwandan population – between 180,000 and 250,000 people – live with HIV.

More than half are women and children, according to UNICEF statistics, and in 2011 a reported 170,000 children were orphans as a result of AIDS.

Black gay couple

Opinion: I wish your parents were gay

by Saatah Nubari

Black gay couple

To everybody who supports gay rights, be you a President or anybody, at this juncture I’ll just say to you that I WISH YOUR PARENTS WERE GAY.

I am amazed at the criticisms that has trailed President Obama’s visit to Africa. One thing that catches my attention is the fact that so many Africans, mostly Nigerians, have come to realize that the US, the West and Europe don’t care about us. We have come to realize that it is all about interest and re-colonization.

Africans have always been on the receiving end. Our relationship with the US and its allies has been more of parasitic than symbiotic. The unending quest of the US to control both the natural resources and political structures of African and Arab countries will continue to fuel the hatred against them by Africans and Arabs. We have always been deceived that they (US and its allies) have our best interest at heart, but more often than not, they have been proven wrong. Taking a look at the majority of the conflicts in African and Arab nations, though difficult, a closer look will prove beyond doubt that the West has always had a hand in our problems. Now let’s take a look at the parasitic nature of the West.

IRAQ INVASION

Iraq was never a terrorist nation. Their President then, Saddam Hussein was an ally of the US, and then the relationship between the two nations got frosty. Iraq had oil, US needed Iraqi oil and relationship was not good. It should also be noted that the US supplied weapons to Saddam Hussein. The US doesn’t like Iran and so do Saddam Hussein, so what better way to get the oil than to fund your enemies’ enemy? That’s what the US did, and by 2003 things were no longer going as planned.

By March of 2003, the US army invades Iraq. You know the reason they gave for the invasion? They said Iraq had WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction). How possible? Russia has WMD, why not invade them.  That was the surface reason. The real reason the US invaded Iraq was because of oil. They said Iraq was a breeding ground for terrorists; that was a lie. The US knew that the terrorists they were looking for were in Afghanistan and Pakistan, not Iraq. And to those of you asking why some people were fighting against the US in Iraq, here it is. The fighting’s that was going on in Iraq was between insurgents that were against the US occupation of their home and not terrorists. Now that you have a glimpse of the US and their evil schemes, let’s go further.

RWANDAN GENOCIDE

Anytime I think of this sordid act, I can’t help but cry. A whopping 20% percent of Rwanda’s population, approximately 1,000,000 people killed in a period of 3 months while the world watched. Rwanda has no oil; Rwanda has no natural resources, so why send troops or invade. The funny thing about this genocide is that, while it was going on, foreign troops in the country gradually pulled out. They left without looking back at the people been killed. I remember the US saying “people have been killed”, but they failed to call it genocide. So let me ask you this question: why did the US, the West or Europe not send in troops to salvage the situation in Rwanda? I’ll give you an answer. Rwanda is a country with no natural resources and no political structure that will be relevant to them.

RE-COLONIZATION OF AFRICA

To tell you the truth, the US, the West and Europe don’t want a strong, stable and independent Africa. They prefer a continent filled with lack, want and moral decadence so they can give handouts and continue their exploitation. They are in dire need of a continent without direction, without vision but we won’t give that to them. The US and its allies have continued to insist, or rather force us to accept and cultivate their new found love for moral decadence. It is rather shameful that the US President flew to Africa, and rather than discuss vital issues, he decided to force us into being gay. Africa has a long standing history of high moral standings. Every religion in Africa is against the new epidemic called homosexuality and it is a welcome address that most countries have stood up to defend our moral history by saying no this epidemic. I actually find it abhorring that South Africa actually bowed to the pressure and gave in to their demands. For the first time, our “developing” tag has actually helped us. The good thing about being a “developing” continent is that you learn from the mistakes of the “developed” countries. We might not be doing that perfectly, but we are actually trying not to make the same mistakes.

It is an embarrassment to the Christian faith, that Obama, who claims to profess the religion, supports this scourge called homosexuality. Most people have learnt to interpret the Holy Bible to suit their aims. I had a discussion with a gay activist, and he brought the portion of the Bible that says “love your neighbor” and I asked him if he loved Al Qaeda and he couldn’t answer. He said people have the right to practice what they believe and I replied him with “so does Al Qaeda”. The thing is this; the US and its allies should stop forcing us to accept their mistakes or try to tell us to change our moral standings to suit them. The African religion allows polygamy but the US doesn’t, the Nigerian president has never gone to America to force it on the American people.

I find it exhilarating that we Africans have come to kick against this sinister move to re-colonize us, this move to use us as puppets. We have come to realize that these people don’t wish us well even if we wish them well. In as much as some Africans support this epidemic called homosexuality, majority of us will continue to make it known to the world that we will refuse to be gay.

To everybody who supports gay rights, be you a President or anybody, at this juncture I’ll just say to you that I WISH YOUR PARENTS WERE GAY.

I’ll leave you with a quote from the Irish author Oscar Wilde: “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.”

————————-

Saatah Nubari tweets from @saatah

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

DELE-MOMODU1

Dele Momodu: If I were President Jonathan

by Dele Momodu

DELE-MOMODU1

The first and most important was that I expected a man who comes from my kind of humble background to run a simple and less expensive government.

Fellow Nigerians, I had planned, and hoped, to escape from President Goodluck Jonathan’s unending brouhaha this week but that seems impossible for as long as our President and acolytes continue to titillate us with salacious news every week. My piece today was triggered by a few unrelated events. The first was a chance meeting I had with a distinguished media baron who spent over ten hours with me in Accra early this week. He had apparently read most of my articles and was determined to get me to take a closer look at President Jonathan’s efforts and achievements so far. He acknowledged, unlike most of this government’s apologists, that I had maintained a semblance of objectivity in my writings. He was particularly impressed that I had remained in the National Conscience Party, at a time most politicians would have jumped ship.

I was grateful for the kind sentiments expressed by him and thanked him as was expected of me. He believes we can’t write this Jonathan Administration off despite many daunting challenges. He said it was the collective responsibility of all and sundry to support the President in order to succeed. He could see the evidence of incredulity on my face but he did not give up on his conviction. I listened to him with rapt attention and responded occasionally.

I confessed that I did not see any redeeming grace for this trouble-prone government. My pessimism was not out of what I thought the President had done wrong but from what he has refused to do right. I do not know about other critics of President Jonathan, but God knows I bear no personal animosity against him. I will continue to try my best to support and encourage the President through constructive criticism, but unfortunately, his new-found supporters have never seen anything good in the critical appraisal of those who risked everything to get Jonathan where he is today when they were nowhere to be found. If they truly cared for the man’s well-being, they would have cultivated more friends than the enemies they’ve been amassing for him. And if they were very smart, as expected of close associates of Mr President, they would have differentiated genuine critics from those few who may have personal scores to settle. The astute leader appreciates well-founded criticism and is tolerant of even rabid ones because there is always something good that can be derived from even brutal character assassination.  But since they could not decipher that simple and straight-forward fact, they chose to lump the wheat with the chaff thereby making it difficult to bake an edifying cake out of their mess.

What were the things I expected him to do that he did not do? I shall endeavour to itemise and articulate a few of them. The first and most important was that I expected a man who comes from my kind of humble background to run a simple and less expensive government. That encapsulates most of my grouses against our present leader. Under Jonathan, I think governance has become over-bloated and unnecessarily ceremonial. We have succeeded in elevating frivolity into an art. Look around Abuja and even beyond, there is no sign of ostensible commitment to national rebirth and development. While the Emirates are investing their wealth in enduring monuments, we are frittering away our own like a people without vision and ambition. I’m rigid in my belief that there’s elegance in simplicity and that it removes nothing from us if we reflect austerity measures in our days of tribulations. I’ve studied the history of other nations that went through our kind of socio-political instability and economic woes. None of them ever recovered by spending what they did not have on luxury goods.

They sat back to reflect seriously and intensely on where and how they got things wrong and re-routed their journey from the road to perdition to that of prosperity.  Right now developed nations are engaged in severe austerity measures because of the economic crisis rocking the world but our current crop of leaders choose to bury their head in the sand like ostriches.
Why is it so difficult to accept that we are comatose and agree to administeran intensely painful treatment on our ailments? Rather than do this we continue to live in denial and wallow in deliberate stupidity as if there is no tomorrow.

Examples abound in Africa about countries that rebounded from perfidious and self-immolating crisis to a staggering economic growth and socio-political stability. We don’t have to travel far or look beyond our continent to see and seek examples of miraculous rehabilitation from the shadows of death. Angola, Rwanda, Malawi, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Botswana, Southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania and others are making effort to march forward. What unites them is the discipline to understand that there is no paean without pain and that no one makes omelette without breaking eggs. We can never drink the coconut water if we are unable to crack the nut. It appears like we expect our changes to occur by some esoteric magic without lifting a finger. But that will never happen because God has already endowed us with all we need to be the true giant of Africa.

Two, I expect President Jonathan to emulate the best practises from different places. As a scholar, he should be able to conduct research into how others got out of their own quagmire and learn from them. As they say, knowledge is power. There is nothing happening to us today that had not occurred elsewhere.

I repeat, that I expect a more aggressive way of tackling the issue of poor quality education and mass unemployment because no nation on earth can be great when majority of the youths lack basic and qualitative education and the employable ones lack commensurate jobs. We cannot fight crime in a land overflowing with hunger and ignorance. We cannot exterminate corruption when an average citizen cannot survive on his earnings and there is no credit system as buffer. We can never call ourselves developed or developing when our infrastructures have virtually collapsed almost beyond resuscitation and there seems to be no redemption in sight. We spend so much on over-inflated contracts but get little or nothing in return.

Three, instead of concentrating on his job, our President is allowing himself to be distracted by politicians who have nothing to lose. I would have expected President Jonathan to let his good work speak for him rather than engage the services of bullies who bark at every perceived and imaginary enemy of government. They fail to realise that critics exist everywhere including the most developed countries. Nothing illustrates the dangerous game our leaders are playing than the report I read in THISDAY, June 28, 2013. It was an acerbic response to Dr Muhammed Junaid’s purported attack on Mrs Patience Jonathan for her perceived role in the Rivers State crisis. It was signed by a Mr Timi Briggs on behalf of “League of Rivers Lawyers.”

If the release is a sign of, and dress rehearsal for, what is to come, then Nigeria is in a very serious trouble. It seems some people have already given up on the country and are merely waiting for the opportune time to kill the dream of “one nation, one God, under one Destiny.” I did not see what Dr Junaid said that would warrant such vituperations on behalf of the President’s wife.  According to Mr Briggs, Junaid has no business talking about Rivers politics: “when his region is on fire and its economy broken by activities of Boko Haram, Junaid is dumb and helpless…”

Mr Briggs was not yet done, as he vented his venomous tirade against Junaid in a manner suggesting preference for war over peace: “ If Junaid is looking for what to talk or work to do, the collapse of the Northern economy, rising unemployment, illiteracy and alarming insecurity under his nose are enough engagement rather than abusing Mrs Jonathan.”

My God, when and how did we degenerate to this level? If this is how we hope to secure a second term for our South-South brother, we are missing the road big time. Nobody, and I repeat, nobody can be President of Nigeria by the votes of his own people alone. As I explained to my concerned brother who spoke to me, our people need to wake up from this persecution complex. Our son, or brother, is President today by the grace of God. After God, people from other parts of Nigeria made it possible for him to get to where he is today.

President Olusegun Obasanjo was not an Ijaw man when he concocted the potion that threw up Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Most of those who demonstrated on the streets of Abuja in solidarity with Dr Jonathan when he was being oppressed by the Yar’Adua cabal were not from the Niger Delta. Many of those spitting fire and brimstone today did not utter a whimper.
Dr Jonathan has a good chance of returning to power in 2015, I’m sure. It won’t be on the basis of spectacular performance but because of the way Nigeria is configured. If he fails to make it, the reason would be attributable to the nonsense some people are mumbling all over the place like victims of acute delirium.

Many are boasting that we can break up Nigeria if Jonathan is not allowed to have a second term. Please, tell me the sense in the President of Nigeria downgrading to be President of the Ijaw nation. I’m yet to see a man Nigeria has blessed more than Goodluck Jonathan. I used to think President Olusegun Obasanjo had no rival until the arrival of President Jonathan on the scene. Since he joined politics around 1998, Dr Jonathan has been permanently in power at the highest levels. Why would he want some desperados to break up the country that gave him so much on a platter of gold? It does not make sense to me that someone that God has made a World Heavyweight Champion would seek a Belt in the Featherweight category.

If I were Ebele Jonathan, I will urgently surround myself with those who can think outside the box and roll up my sleeves to hit the ground running. To whom much is given, much is expected. We should stop beating these useless and unreasonable drums of war. We brought nothing to this world and we shall take nothing whenever we return to our father in heaven. What, therefore, is the essence of this hullabaloo? The best way to guarantee Jonathan’s second term ambition is to begin to work like a modern day President and not like some prehistoric demagogue.

And to those spreading the hate campaigns against innocent Nigerians from other parts, please cool temper. You must remember that most Nigerians don’t belong to any political party. They just want to live in peace and earn their daily bread. Why would you inflict maximum damage on people who are minding their business even while the looting goes on unabated?

It would be unfair and unfortunate to throw them into chaos they know nothing about. In doing so those who have dragged us to the precipice may find themselves falling off the edge and descending into a nightmare they never bargained for or one that that they can expect to wake from as the people vent their pent up frustration and anger on those who have destroyed their slumber.

President Goodluck Jonathan must rescue Nigeria from those determined to draw blood.

May God help us all.

————————-

Read this article on ThisDay Newspapers

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Gbenga Olorunpomi

Gbenga Olorunpomi: The Bola Tinubu Colloquium – When a new generation spoke (Y! Politico)

by Gbenga Olorunpomi

Gbenga Olorunpomi

This time around, the youth took centre stage, while the elderly and experienced listened and marveled.

Just over a week before hugely successful Future Awards Symposium, a similar event took place at the Muson Centre, Lagos. It was the 5th Annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium, with the theme, “Beyond Merger: A National Movement for Change, A New Generation speaks.”

This time, there was something unusual about the setting. The past four events had witnessed technocrats, foreign and Nigerian, analysing national issues and pushing forward solutions. This time around, the youth took centre stage, while the elderly and experienced listened and marveled.

On stage that day were names you wouldn’t expect to hear in a room full of politicians and government officials. There was Grammy Award Winner (in-waiting) Banky W; the fiery, yet eloquent, Kola Oyeneyin; the gentle and intellectual Myani Bukar; the banking expert in Femi Edun; and the gentle and insightful Hafsat Abiola Castello. They were there to give their parents something to think about and they did that and some more.

The star of the night was undoubtedly, “Mr. Sleeves Up” himself, Kola Oyeneyin. Maintaining a fine balance between the required respect for the elderly and dishing out the cold hard truth, Kola spoke with the combined passion of 68 million Nigerian Youth that have cried for the opportunity to be heard. He spoke on the subject, “The Responsibility of the Older Generation on the Younger Generation.” His words were laden with the stark reality of what is happening in the hearts and lives of young people and he delivered excellently on his topic.

The most unforgettable part of his speech was when he looked straight into Bola Tinubu’s eyes and screamed, “If this merger will be successful, young Nigerians must be part of this and part of it from the start! And failure is not an option!!”

He proposed that politics be made ‘sexy’ to attract young people to it. “Currently politics is dirty in Nigeria,” he said. He also said there was nothing wrong with Godfatherism. “We must encourage political mentors and positive political godfathers. Proper systems where the right people are nurtured and prepared for political office. There was a way some of the governors that are performing today were discovered – I don’t want to mention names – but that’s proper Godfatherism.”

Kola ended his wonderful speech with these words, “Chief Chinua Achebe said, ‘Nigeria is the way It is because Her Leaders are the way They are.’ The question is not whether the fathers and mothers in this room can; the question is whether the fathers and mothers in this room will. Thank you.”

That brought the house down! The standing ovation he got was thunderous. You could tell it was an Obama Moment. You all should watch out for that guy.

Then, it was the turn of my brilliant friend, Myani Bukar, a lawyer and a Development Economist. He is the Knowledge Management Adviser to the Governors’ Forum. Myani’s topic was, ‘The Issue of Citizenship, Identity and Conflict in Nigeria.”

He started by showing photos of wartime Nigeria, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire and Bosnia. There were ire similarities amongst the scenes and Mynai confirmed this, saying, “All of these crises are a result of conflict based on identity and access to public services, which is the subject matter of citizenship. For every one of them, fellow citizens killed each other because of the competition for access to resource.”

He also added that 88% of conflicts in Africa was based on identity.

In his submission, Myani made a firm case that the criteria for citizenship must be focused on the individual. Focus must be the equality of all individuals before the Law and not sub national groups or ethnicities and residency, not indegenship, should be the operational basis for citizenship and the indigene/settler divide should be operationally and legally done away with. He also asked that the constitution should be so amended.

He also took a stab at the current the federal character principle, saying that it should be overhauled. Land ownership systems ought to be looked into critically, he said, and the existence of institutions like Christian and Muslim pilgrim boards be discontinued.

He ended his speech thus, “On the Economic policy front, the rent state must be killed, paving the way for a multi-resource economy operational within a system of individual entrepreneurship and the development of the local economy. I recommend that we again revisit the recommendations posited here in 2010 by Prof. Hernando de Soto and specifically recommend that everyone here reads his book, ‘Why capitalism triumphs in the West but fails everywhere else.’”

Then, it was the turn of Banky W. His speech was, like his music: soulful, heart-warming and filled with hope. It had numerous punch lines that only a master songwriter could conjure up. He showed the audience photos of Dubai (where he had recently holidayed) in the 1960s and recently. He made a case that Nigeria could be as marketable and developed with the proper kind of leadership and dreams.

“I’m here because I’m a dreamer,” he said. “Everything I have now, that God blessed me with… was born out of my dreams. I dreamt of becoming a singer; dreamt of owning my own record label company, and other businesses. I dream of a changed Nigeria where each child, no matter the background has a dream of his/her own, and is given access to education, healthcare, and basic amenities in life to make those dreams come true.

“I dream of a changed Nigeria where the opportunities abound for anyone willing to work for them; where every man, woman and child is given a fair shot to avoid poverty and become a success at whatever they set their minds to do.

“I’m Banky W, and I stand for change. Do you?”

Last to speak was the Ogun state Special Adviser on MDGs and the daughter of Late MKO Abiola, Hafsat Abiola-Castello. Her voice, gentle and alluring, carried through the room and sharply focused the audience. She spoke on, “The Millennium Development Goals: Where are we in the race and how can we go faster?”

Although, the country is on track on four of the eight MDG, she said, three of the more critical ones were totally off track with one carrying a huge question mark.

“In Nigeria,” Hafsat said, “We have 10.5 million out of school, primarily in the North East and North West. That constitutes the largest body of children out of school in the world. Nigeria has 170 million people; we have countries like China, with 1.4 billion, also India with 1.1 billion but we have more children out of school than (both).”

Youth, not oil, is Nigeria’s most valuable asset, she said, and accelerating MDG attainment requires a functioning economy. She also said Nigeria’s window of opportunity is the imminent global food crisis which could make agriculture the “new gold commodity.”

“This is a golden opportunity to create wealth, employment, ensuring our children are educated, that the maternal and child health is improved by preparing to bridge the gap that China and India may create in global food supply,” she ended.

The event was chaired by Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, who had to leave early in the event while the Chairman of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido, Sanusi, took his place. He responded to the speeches by encouraging the youth to get involved in politics and not wait to be invited.

“Politics needs to be more intelligent, more articulate, more issue-based, and I hope that these 68 million youths that we have will set the agenda, drive it and I will be very happy to vote for a 38 year old president in this country,” Mallam Sanusi said.

Presently, it was the turn of the Guest of Honour, Bola Tinubu. He thanked the speakers for provoking what he called “intellectual inquisitiveness.” He said he disagreed with the Mallam Sanusi, who had earlier challenged the youth to form their own party.

“Come and join us,” he pled. “With a wife like this, (pulling the beautiful Senator Oluremi Tinubu closer), is politics not sexy? Join us, it’s sexy here!”

At the end, there was a common agreement that the ACN and the organisers of the event knocked this one out of the park by handing over such a platform to young ones. They got it spot on by inviting the proper young minds with diverse experience to the Colloquium, which commentators say is now the biggest platform for discussing national issues.

For me, I think via this singular move, the ACN and indeed the merging opposition parties, have won a new set of young supporters for themselves. The 5th Bola Tinubu Colloquium came at the right time and the memories of the day will linger. I only hope all Nigerian youth will catch the opposition’s not too subtle moves to get more of them on their side and also make moves to be assets to them. Instead of adopting the comfy but self-afflicting ‘siddon-look’ posture, friends, let us encourage any move that will ultimately deepen our democracy and cause a positive shift in our land. Our chance is this merger and it is now!

Like Banky W, I also stand for change. Do you?

—————————-

Gbenga Olorunpomi is a senior digital marketing strategist. He has over 5 years in the marketing communications business and has designed social media strategies for major brands like Coca-Cola and The Economist.  He is experienced in the media, having worked for two years at one of the country’s biggest public relations firms as Media Relations and Content Manager. Gbenga is a Principal Consultant with Cyborg Nigeria. He is affiliated to the ACN. He tweets from @gbengagold

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.