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10 Popular African Folktales for Children

Just like people in other parts of the world, Africans, have values that they consider worthwhile and vital for the preservation and wellbeing of their culture. Due to this, societal values are embodied and communicated by their system of education.

In most African societies, a necessary part of traditional education is concerned with teaching oral literature using riddles, proverbs, and folktales, which aim to mold character and provide moral values like honesty, integrity, courage, and solidarity to children.

Folktales are usually used as a tool for transmitting and preserving shared values and collective experience. Contemporary African folktales are imaginatively refined to inject new meanings, ideas, and values, based on society’s contemporary experiences and relations.

Characteristics of African Folktales

African folktales, also called myths, are believed to hold the community together – the ancestors, the living, and children unborn. They serve to communicate traditions, customs, lessons, and morals to the younger generation to prepare them for the obstacles life will throw at them.

Traditionally, parents passed these stories down by word-of-mouth to children while gathered around a village fire, under the moonlight. This practice is known as “Tales by Moonlight.”

In most instances, the storyline goes like this:

  • The main character is overzealous, jovial, and nice, but has a huge flaw, like greed, pride, and naivety.
  • These shortcomings soon become weaknesses and the adversary or antagonist soon exploits them, leading to the demise of the main character in most instances.

Now, let’s take a look at 10 popular African folktales for children.

  1. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears

When a mosquito tells a tall tale to a lizard, he sets in action a chain of events that has tragic consequences. A stunningly illustrated story about the consequences of lying; originally published in 1975, this Caldecott award book should be enjoyed by every child.

  1. Who is in Rabbit’s House?

This story captures the attention of kids.  It is presented as a play, a conceit for which most readers have a particular fondness. Masai villagers gather together to perform the story of a group of animals who attempt to get a mysterious creature, the “long one”, out of the rabbit’s house. As happens in many folktales, it is the smallest creature that has the most success.

  1. Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky

Water wonders why he is never invited to Sun’s house.  Sun replies that his house is not large enough and sets out building a new one to accommodate his friend. But when water comes to visit, he fills the entire house and there is no longer room enough for Sun and his spouse, Moon. Can you guess where they found a new home?

  1. A Story, a Story

Beautiful, vibrant woodcut illustrations accompany the legend of how Ananse, or the Spider-Man, is poised to get stories from the Sky-God. The Sky-God sends Ananse off on several quests, never believing that a weak and old man will fulfill the tasks. Only, he realizes too late that Ananse is rather clever.

  1. Why the Sky is Far Away

Long ago, anyone who was hungry could pluck what they needed from the sky but the sky got tired and angry at the people who are wasting his bounty. The story has a positive message about the importance of not taking things for granted and good stewardship of the planet. This gorgeous book was also a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year.

  1. Head, Body, Legs

This is a tale of how the human body came to be in its form today and is also a story of the importance of cooperation and determination. Author Won-Lady Paye has several other books based folktales from the Dan people of Liberia.

  1. The Hat Seller and the Monkeys

This is a fun retelling of the same story that inspired the much-loved classic, “Caps for Sale.” The theme of monkeys tricking a hat seller appears in many cultures. This story is set in Mali. The hat seller is joyful is in this book and has a little lesson about the importance of breakfast. It also has some great background information about the style of hats in the book.

  1. The Woman with Two Skins

This is a tale about Eyamba I. of Calabar a very powerful king. He fought and conquered all the surrounding countries, killing all the old men and women, but the able-bodied men and girls he caught and brought back as slaves, and worked on the farms until they died.

This king had two hundred wives, but none of them had borne a son to him. His subjects, seeing that he was becoming an old man, begged him to marry one of the spider’s daughters, as they always had plenty of children.

  1. The Ape, the Snake, and the Lion

Long, long ago there lived, in a village called Keejee′jee, a woman whose husband died, leaving her with a baby boy. She worked hard all day to get food for herself and child, but they lived very poorly and were most of the time half-starved.

  1. Name of the Tree

There has been a drought and the animals are hungry. Without enough grass, they turn to a tree filled with fruit too high to reach. To obtain the fruit, they must learn the name of the tree, which only the lion knows. This book had a great storytelling tradition feel. It is the most patient and determined that wins in the end.

LEGENDS OF AFRICAN MUSIC Part 2

Music, a genre of the performing arts and a means of entertainment have evolved over the years, and it keeps evolving. From the percussion beats to the introduction of string instruments, music, the world over has traversed lands and climes and defined times and ages. In Africa, music is a social activity that brings people together. Music highlights African values and traditions when accompanied by a melody. Many events including birth, marriage, rite-of-passage, rituals, and liturgies are often spiced with music.

However, popular music in Africa has graduated from the drum, percussion, gong, flute, and xylophone beats to accommodate modern instruments like the guitar, trumpet, saxophone, piano, keyboard, electronic drum, etc. For instance, highlife music that swept through the West African coast in the 1960s through the early 70s was defined by the horn influence. Before late Fela Anikulapo Kuti popularised the saxophone through his afrobeat music, the likes of late Osibisa, Bobby Benson, Eddie Okonta, ET Mensah, and Victor Olaiya, were great trumpeters. Fela also started his career with the highlife clan before he was radicalized.

In South Africa, images of the late Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Brenda Fassie, Lucky Dube, Yvonne Chaka Chaka are huge. Salif Keita and Omar Sangare held sway in Mali and close by in Senegal, Yussou N’dor and Akon are valuable exports. The aforementioned have explored popular genres of Africa which include, highlife, juju, makossa, afrobeat, and kizomba to the glory of the continent. We’re doing a spotlight on some legends, living or dead who used their musical talents to put Africa on the world map. Quite some names are examples worthy of exploring:

Fela Anikulapo Kuti (15 October 1938–2nd August 1997).*

Born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, the man who is also known as Abami Eda (the weird one) was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, and bandleader, composer, political activist, and Pan-Africanist. He is regarded as the pioneer of afrobeat, a genre that combines traditional some West African percussion and vocal styles with American funk and jazz.

He’s considered one of the greatest from Africa, Fela started out as a highlife crooner on his return from the London School of Music in 1963. The musician first trained as a radio producer with the FRCN, Lagos had a stint with Victor Olaiya’s All-Stars Band before he formed Fela and the Koola Lobitos which was domiciled in Kakadu Nightclub in Yaba, Lagos. A 10-month trip and musical tour of the United States during the civil rights struggle of 1969-1970 brought him in contact with Sandra Izsadore, a Los Angeles-based member of the Black Panthers. Izsadore would influence his political radicalization by encouraging Fela to read books like The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

That relationship changed Fela’s worldview and his music. He dropped his English name Ransome and replaced it with Anikulapo. Fela also changed his music from the melodies of highlife to a jazz-laced ensemble which he called afrobeat.

Abami Eda the name he adopted thereafter, used his music to fight societal ills. He was not pretentious about his aversion to the military’s incursion into politics and everything it symbolized. For instance, his song “jeun k’oku” (gluttony) was satirical of the regime of the Nigeria Military leader of the time, General Yakubu Gowon in the early 1970s. Zombie was a lampoon of the invasion of his residence known as Kalakuta Republic by soldiers in 1978. Fela followed up with albums like “Teacher don’t teach me nonsense” and “Beast of no nation” which he mocked. alleged human rights abuses under another national leader, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, and Tunde Idiagbon’s regime and the hypocrisy of the world body, the United Nations.

Fela was so versatile, that he could not be boxed into a corner. Although a social crusader of some sort, he also sang about some societal malaise of the period. Some of the issues are addressed in his hit songs Shakara, lady, palava, water no get enemy, dead body, oju elegba, among others.

Fela was considered a deviant by successive military regimes in the 1970s an.80s. He was in and out of detention because he was always having brushes with the law. His last brush with the law was when he was arrested for being in possession of marijuana. He was detained and shortly after his release fell ill. He died on August 27, 1997. Fela narrowly missed being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last recently.

As a promoter of African culture and traditions, Fela was a polygamist. On a particular day, he married 27 women in one fell swoop. Nevertheless, Abami Eda bequeathed a legacy of music to his children, a legacy being spearheaded by his first son, Femi, followed by Seun, and Femi’s son, Made. There have been many artists who have gained a lot of success in the music industry, but none have possibly matched Fela Kuti’s legacy.

 

EUTHANASIA

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This word is remote to many, sounds like something that is known but not really encountered in common use, for many people the word conveys an idea of something that is not really done but they are wrong, Euthanasia is a process already being accessed by many. There are people that see it as their best option to approach life’s exit door. This word does not describe a service, nor does it convey a practice that is agreed to by many but once a thing is fully debated by the representative of the people and duly signed into law, it becomes our accepted norm.

Euthanasia means the killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or an irreversible coma as approved by the law of that land. It is also known as ‘Mercy Killing’ or ‘Assisted Suicide’ or ‘Mercy Release’. Evidently, the word killing strikes the heart of the practitioner, hence the preference for a word that either may mean or sound harmless in the ear or some form of a proper noun that may be generally unknown to people, like Euthanasia, or to describe it with words that shift the responsibility to the ‘victim’ e.g. assisted suicide or rather, allow the dying person own the decision because life is so precious and its termination definitely remains in the domain of the Higher powers, but why are we doing it?

Societies generally abhor unnatural death, for which suicide is one of them; deaths are tolerated or acceptable when they came involuntarily or even through a contest of wills like wars. It is acceptable when it comes through sicknesses or age, accidents, or disaster; so that it is considered an act of God but when self-inflicted as a form of escape, the society groans; perhaps because it seems to distort the philosophy of their lives, it could challenge the notion that self-preservation is the first order of nature.

So why will parliaments authorize Euthanasia? Perhaps because people willed it, that means society has reached a point at which their caution of the supernatural has been overwhelmed. The more religious a country is, the less is the likelihood of approving Euthanasia because choosing to die clearly demonstrates an unwillingness to live any further, that the current existence is no longer tolerable and the consequence of the action of seeking death is an option that is explorable. Euthanasia came in because there are those who thought it is a way of creating room for a legal, dignifying, and less terrifying death.

It is difficult to live with continuous pains, but there could be other reasons that people may seek an exit, one of them the being failure of organs so that the sufferer becomes dependent permanently on the support and assistance of others. Those that are under the complete personal care of others may feel intruded upon as persons no longer having personal autonomy, it is devastating to personal pride and sense of self-worth not to be able to cater to one’s basic personal needs, when an adult nave needs as much as a baby, it can be a sad existence. Not only for the sufferer but for the family member that gives the care as well, this is helped by placing such persons in long-term care.

Physicians can recommend or approve treatment stoppages when certain conditions are met, the first being that the patient expressly requested it; usually when suffering from an incurable disease or condition; when hope is lost and feasibility of change is zero, sustaining the life may just be a waste of exercise leading to fatigue on everyone. The patient may seek stoppages of treatments or withdrawal of life-supporting items and pass on. This is considered passive euthanasia; when supports are taken off leading to the failure of the natural systems.

On the other hand, people in continuous pain may wish to end it all because the sufferings are no longer acceptable, and the patient looks eagerly and wishes for death as a relief. When the physicians are convinced of the inevitability of death and all efforts of pain relief are exhausted, it is possible to recommend life-ending drugs; this active euthanasia is a very difficult decision but many countries of the West have approved it, but are opposed by the religious group across the board in every country that has legislated it.

Euthanasia underlines one of the human struggles in living in dignity and dying peacefully because death has been part of life and no one will deny or refuse to die but that it comes simply with minimal pain is the desire of all. For those that believe in life after death, and fear the judgment of God, is Euthanasia a way to end it all? Is it not an affront to the creator for man to “take the law into their own hands” by ending life unnaturally? No matter where the answer lie, living and dying without a need to preference for taking one’s own life is the best way to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Popular Foods from Across Africa

Africa is a continent having various attractions. Visitors are often drawn to the many positive features such as friendly and energetic people, an inviting climate, natural wonders, and exquisite cuisines among others.

There’s a huge diversity of food cultures within Africa, often gotten from the kinds of fruits, vegetables, and cereals that grow well in the region. You are spoiled, not only for choice; but when you taste the sumptuous meals your eyes get opened to the very cultural essence of the tribes/races on the continent.

The typical African meal comes from paying great attention to detail – you’ll discover those cooks employ a rich array of base ingredients, spices, and other condiments to produce a culinary paradise. From the desert lands in North Africa to the lush greens of the West and the Sahel plains of the East, every area has a delicacy that will surpass your expectations.

As you travel across the African countries, you will discover that there are regional likenesses in most neighboring countries but each country has an exceptional culinary signature.

Below is a list of 10 popular foods from across Africa.

  1. Jollof Rice (Nigeria/Ghana)

Jollof rice is a meal prepared and enjoyed across the West African sub-region. It is a favorite food for Nigerians. The food is an unparalleled delicious food that will tempt your taste bud. Don’t leave West Africa without sampling jollof rice; it is a perfect meal for lunch.

Jollof is a pot of rice prepared with tomato sauce and served with chicken, meat, or fish. Fried plantain is another common accompaniment to Jollof. Feast your eyes and later, your taste buds, as you watch the rice soak up the prepared juices/sauces and turn orange as it reaches readiness.

  1. Koki – Bean Cake (Cameroon)

If you find yourself in Central Africa, particularly Cameroun, then do not let this delightful appetizer pass you by. Ask for it, seek it, and eat it!

Made with cowpeas, Koki arises when the peas are mashed, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed. It gets its characteristic bright red color and flavor from red palm oil (or palm nut sauce) and other condiments such as crayfish, pieces of fish, and chili peppers.

  1. Injera and tibs (Ethiopia)

This is a classic food combination, like rice and peas or fish and chips! This meal is a bit like a large pancake made from the cereal teff and food is simply heaped on top of it! You use the Inerja to pick up all the yummy mixes, such as tibs, which is a popular dish made using various meats.

  1. Cachupa (Cape Verde)

Any time you visit Cape Verde, you should have a taste of their famous dish called Cachupa. The meal is prepared with hominy corn, beans, vegetables, fish, or meat – beef, goat, chicken, or marinated pork. It is one of the traditional and staple foods in Cape Verde.

  1. Kisra (Sudan)

A popular staple in Sudanese cuisine is kisra, which is a special type of bread that is made from durra, sorghum, or corn. It is the main accompaniment of stews including waika, bussaara, and sabaroag, which are mainly made from dried meat, dried onions, spices, and peanut butter, with milk and yogurt as additional options.

  1. Biltong (South Africa)

No culinary trip to South Africa is complete without you having a taste of Biltong. If you love meat, you will love Biltong – a special kind of all-meat product that originates from South Africa. Biltong is prepared by drying and spicing up the meat in strips.

  1. Ugali (Kenya)

Ugali or sima is a famous staple accompaniment that is eaten with dishes such as sukuma wiki, which is made up of a leafy green vegetable such as kale, tomatoes, onion and a spice mix known as mchuzi mix, and sukuma ya nyama, which is the meat version of sukuma wiki.

Ugali is mostly made from cornmeal and boiling water in a pot, and it is cooked until it gets stiff. This meal is also eaten in Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda, and is made with cornmeal, cassava flour, sorghum, or millet.

  1. Chicken Kebabs (Egypt)

This North African meal is a favorite in Cairo and across Egypt. Before giving your tongue an unforgettable treat, watch as dexterous chefs turn boneless chicken breasts into mouth-watering kebabs, complete and spiced with cardamom, black pepper, and other ingredients that you should discover yourself. As it is said, the taste of the pudding is in the eating!

  1. Alloco (Ivory Coast)

If you find yourself on vacation in West Africa, stop by this beautiful country to savor a meal for all time – the irresistible Alloco. Often seen as a snack, Alloco is made up of Ivorian fried plantain served with chili pepper, onions, or egg, and tasty tomato sauce.

Popular for its unique taste and ease of preparation, you will not have to keep the wolves in your tummy at bay for too long as a result.

  1. Couscous Royale (Tunisia)

Couscous is a staple dish, enjoyed across the large North African landscape. It is made up of steamed semolina. If you want this meal taken up a notch, ask for Couscous Royale, with infusions of lamb cuttings. At other times, ask for specially spiced chicken as an accompaniment. Saffron is also included to give you a memorable eating experience.

Written By;

Joshua Gyang

The Youth Justice Program

NCCEEP’s Youth Justice Program held its distinguished summer job workshop for youth in the Windsor region. This event was held on May 29th at Mackenzie Hall Cultural Center in the west part of Windsor. The event was for those ages 12-18 and had around 20 people attend. The Youth Justice Program’s summer job workshop was organized to help the youth in the community learn how to create a professional resume that will secure them job offers and learn how to present themselves to employers in order to come off as qualified workers capable of helping a company.

The individuals that attended the event learned what key traits employers are looking for, different places to apply for jobs, and how to prepare for the interview. The event was led by Sima Nwaesei & Caleb Akinsanya. The students were shown a slideshow presentation filled with helpful information that would not only benefit their job search this summer but their future as well. The group was given notebooks to write important information down and take it home at the end of the event. Questions were asked, experiences were shared and an interactive mock interview was held. Here they could practice answering questions that employers would ask in an interview to prepare them for what’s to come. At the end of the event, the group enjoyed themselves with good food given out, music, and conversation amongst one another.

Some valuable takeaways from the event were that the majority of the participants were black individuals from the community meaning that the minorities in our society are making a conscious effort to get a head start in their careers compared to their peers. This event is useful because a lot of this information is not told in schools in a comfortable environment where you can freely ask questions and learn from people who have experience in searching for jobs. The Youth Justice Program will hold more of these events in the future for those interested and you can find out when by following and seeing when we post on the Facebook page, Instagram, TikTok, and our website NCCEEP.com

Omoluabi Club

After a long-awaited time, the Omoluabi Club had their first meeting together on May 27th at 6 pm at the Bcceep center on Tecumseh Road West. There was a turnout of around 15 kids who attended the first meeting with hopes of this number increasing with each meeting. This event was organized to provide a safe and educational place for young kids and teens in our community to come and learn while having fun with their peers. From the laughter and energy in the room, it is safe to say that we achieved our goals with the kids by entertaining them and having a good time.

The kids that came out to the Omoluabi club really enjoy collaborative games and challenges where they have to compete in order to win prizes and be crowned the victor. At the start of the event, the kids watched and participated in a presentation on the meaning of “Omoluabi” and what the purpose of the club is. After this, they competed for prizes by playing different kahoots on their devices, some as teams and some individually. We made sure to make the event casual to ensure the children were challenged but still anxious to come back every week because they enjoyed themselves. We ended up eating food and watching Netflix while giving recommendations for what we should do the next week including prizes to be given, what to learn and compete for, and what activities they enjoy.

What was valuable about the event was that the kids had a place to be on a Friday that encouraged them to be in the company of their peers doing something fun and productive instead of being bored at home or causing trouble out in their community. This is important for kids these days because they are constantly being influenced by what they see online so this gives them a chance to be positively influenced by the leaders of the Omoluabi club.

Cyber Security Tips for Canadian Businesses in 2022

While working remotely in Canada used to be considered a luxury, it has become a necessity due to the Coronavirus pandemic as employees worldwide practice self-isolation.

While you work remotely, you may experience new cyber security risks that may attempt to take advantage of you during these unprecedented times. Your home office security must be a top priority.

Remote working in Canada presents its own set of security risks. These tips will help you secure sensitive information and protect yourself and your business from cyber security threats.

  • Use trustworthy antivirus software

When these attacks are successful, they could leave you, your workers, and your business open to malware, ransomware, and spyware attacks.

Antivirus software takes the most difficult work off your hands by providing automatic remote working security against various threats.

In addition to completely fighting online security threats, an antivirus also automatically updates itself to remain on top of new and emerging security threats.

It runs secretly in the background of your other operations, so you’ll not even notice that it’s there.

  • Safeguard your router

Attackers seek ways to exploit passwords on home routers because most people don’t change them. This leaves the home network vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

It is simple to change the default password on your router to something difficult to guess. You’ll protect your home network from malicious actors who want access to your devices when you do this.

  • Protect sensitive information

When you need to transfer confidential files from your office to your home, keep them out of sight and under lock and key. If you don’t have a file cabinet at home, keep the files in a locked room.

  • Be cautious when creating passwords

In our digital age, we have passwords for almost everything – from banking apps to social media accounts – there are several passwords you have to manage.

Most people use the same password for all their accounts because they feel like it’s easier to remember. But doing this is an open invitation to be hacked – on all your accounts.

Some other people use passwords that are easy to guess – such as their nicknames, anniversary date, date of birth, birthdays of family members, and worst – 12345.

Your passwords are the first things that reveal your identity online. If a hacker manages to breach them, that could cause you big trouble.

There are several attacks that hackers can use to access your passwords, such as credential stuffing, brute force attacks, or hash cracking.

  • Don’t overshare your screen

As you take meetings or conferences online, be cautious when sharing your screen. If you don’t want to share a window, don’t leave it open. Someone could accidentally see it, and you’ll end up sharing something sensitive.

Although it seems awkward, it is a privacy concern. Be cautious enough to avoid oversharing content that is not meant to be seen by others.

  • Verify your accounts

This should be the top priority of every employee in Canada, particularly those that work remotely. When it comes to personal information such as your banking details, private messages, and pictures on your social media accounts, authentication can make your accounts more secure.

Almost all social media platforms and cloud storage accounts provide two-factor authentication to users. This provides an extra layer of security to your accounts. This step shouldn’t be an afterthought. Sometimes attackers can use employees as bait to reach the confidential data of an organization.

  • Back up your data

Some hackers use malware to perform ransomware attacks that could prevent businesses from accessing their systems unless they pay a ransom. Such attacks are getting more popular. According to research by IBM, those attacks have risen by 6,000 percent worldwide since 2016.

There have been more reports of ransomware attacks during the coronavirus pandemic because hackers are now targeting the IT systems of hospitals and healthcare providers.

  • Never share personal information

Phishing is similar to scams. Never share your emails, messages, or information. Also, avoid sharing images of your home workspace on social media. You might end up accidentally sharing sensitive information.

  • Always update your OS

To reduce the risk of cyber-attacks, make sure that your operating systems are up-to-date. A lot of modern devices will automatically update by default but you’ll have to restart your computer to complete the process.

  • Enable automatic locking 

Anytime you move away from your device; whether at the office, coffee shop, or home, you should lock it. We always forget to do this; this is why you should enable automatic locking to protect your devices. Ensure that you configure the time that will be most convenient for your device to lock.

Bottom Line

The internet is now a place rife with dangerous viruses, Trojans, and contacts. While developers are regularly coming up with newer ways of fighting against cyber-attacks, hackers are becoming more cunning.

Most Canadian businesses understand the importance of security measures. These cyber security tips will help you remain ahead of hackers and cyber-attackers.

Written By; 

Senkat Nden

EMPHATIC GRAND OPENING OF EKNORS AUTO GUELPH

Eknors Auto, Guelph echoes the saying that the days of little beginnings must not be despised. This Auto Company is a trailblazer of sorts for all black youths with the vision that all things are possible. Eknors Auto is a black-owned business that started small, selling one car at a time without an office; the business started as one man on the road, operating as a jobber linking buyers of used cars to auto dealers. The business progressed by words of mouth and networking with others and assisting in car purchases but from there came the vision to obtain an auto dealer license which when obtained kick-started the opportunity of a new vista.

The Visioner is Bosun Ige that upped his game, interacting and learning from them in the business, through networking with dealers and sustained hard work, and honesty, gained the confidence and support of industry practitioners, which made it possible for him to take Eknors Auto to the new height that it is today. On Saturday, April 30, the dealership opened in a grand manner with city leaders present to lend a hand to the upward-looking black business that started in a Guelph personal garage and is now in a visible business district, this is commendable.

Eknors Auto prides itself as a premium used car dealership with a huge inventory that guarantees a good ride of pre-owned cars, with supporting financing, so that it is a one-stop-shop that meets the need of customers. A good point of take-off for interested customers could be a visit to their website www.eknorsauto.ca where contacts for test rides or viewing visits can be booked. The Company director had joyfully organized a barbecue and other great refreshments on the day of their showing and wishes to welcome everyone to join in the celebration and become a customer. Being a black business that started very small, the leader is keen and willing to be a resource fellow that can build others up. NCCEEP is also proud to be associated with Eknors Auto Sales.

FINANCIAL LITERACY

Money making is a possibility that originates from the mind and who will not be interested in such a thing? Almost everyone believes in saving but most people simply do not do so, having convinced themselves that it is difficult, considering their current level of income but in every human life, there are always some leakages that can be plugged that amount to a big figure when aggregated; for example, for a person that takes a cup of coffee a day, five hundred dollars ($500) will be the saving per year if that individual makes the coffee at home rather than make a purchase in a coffee shop!

Lots of people of color are in the conundrum of perpetuating poverty by not being very literate in financial matters, which if they do, the people that come after them will lead a greater quality of life through their inheritance. There are many ways to build generational wealth; an often overlooked one is life insurance that many do not invest in. It is a way to transfer wealth to the oncoming generations by making contributions for them as you journey in life.

A good number of people believe that they won’t die anytime soon, so why will they need life insurance? Some take it easy by just signing up with their employer’s group life insurance, where there may be no need for medical check-ups. Others get it free from their company; however, the company may not provide enough coverage moreover if their employment terminates, they may lose coverage and not have protection, which may translate into having difficulties in getting life insurance, particularly if they have health problems and need more coverage.

ARE YOU INSURABLE?

Most life insurances require a medical examination, blood test, and medical records before a policy is issued. If you have health problems, a life insurance company may deny your applications or they may charge a higher rate which is similar to how car insurance companies treat drivers with bad driving records. A lot of people are not uninsurable and may not know it, an estimated 80million Americans have one or more types of heart disease. One out of two men and one out of three women have the risk of developing cancer in their lifetime and Canadians face similar issues, with 90% of Canadians having at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke.

So the very best time to have insurance is to do it as soon as you can. Indeed, you need to begin when young. This will be very good in many respects, the rates will be cheaper and a case of it being too late will not arise. There are circumstances when limited questions or guaranteed insurance is possible, the case may be that the premiums will be higher and are usually available only for lower coverage amounts. Imagine being able to get insurance for your house at say $500 per annum which can get you $500,000 in case of fire. Should the house burn down, and you have so much to rebuild, that definitely will be a good investment.

UNDERSTANDING LIFE INSURANCE

Most people do not understand Life insurance; even those who buy it do not necessarily understand or appreciate its importance in building and preserving wealth. As a result, many people do not have any life insurance and if they do buy it, it is usually not enough. Today there are several kinds of insurance: Car, phones, appliances, travel, etc.,  which people often take but when it comes to issues of life insurance, which is the most important insurance that covers family and children, they treat it with levity. Life Insurance does not insure your life, it ensures your family’s ability to continue on without being financially devastated.

It is critical not to see Insurance as an expense, it has to be dealt with in the mind; individuals must imagine Insurance, particularly Life insurance as some kind of “smart Savings” that is critical for the future, when well-conceived and implemented a better life can be expected for those coming behind; yet there also are insurance options that can be taken advantage of by the owner in their lifetimes, it all begins by getting information and being determined to save, as an expression of love for the loved ones around.

By Rudy Tull

 

The Evolution of Music in Africa and the African Diaspora

African American music, also called Black Music is an umbrella term for a diverse range of music and musical genres developed by African Americans (who were generally known as enslaved Africans). For example, today’s soul music evolved from the negro spirituals. These are soulful songs of slaves taken from Africa to the Americas to work on plantations prior to the civil war I America.

Some of the popular music genres today, such as rock and roll, country, rock, funk, jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, etc were created and influenced by Africans hence the saying “Every genre that is born from America has black roots”

While the white slave masters and owners tortured their slaves physically, mentally, and spiritually, these African slaves used music and drumming to make themselves happy thus converting their dehumanization of their owners. These black Americans were oppressed for being blacks hence some of their music portrayed their deep experiences. The music became a creative distraction from all forms of oppression.

Black American music evolved gradually when they played in the military bands after the civil war and a new style of music called ragtime came into being and gradually transited to Jazz. This had a wide range of influences on the development of music within the United States during the 20th century; the earliest jazz and blues recordings were made in the 1920’s African American musicians developed related styles such as rhythm and blues

The songs captured the hardship of slavery and the hope for freedom from enslavement, in those times, it even helped the slaves shout songs that relayed coded messages of escape from slave camps to the underground railroads and to freedom, even when the slave owners heard these songs, they never knew they were coded messages of escape

The celebrated freedom lover, Harriet Tubman (an American political activist, born into slavery) sang coded messages to her mother and other slaves in the field to make them aware she was escaping to the underground railroads, one of them is ” I’m sorry I’m going to leave you. Farewell, oh farewell: But I’ll meet you in the morning. I’m bound for the promised land, on the other side of Jordan, bound for the promised land”.

Another way enslaved people communicated messages of escape in music was through drums.

In West Africa, drums are used for communication, celebration, and other spiritual ceremonies which were also deployed by the West African people enslaved in the United States to send coded messages to other slaves across the plantations.

The making and use of drums by enslaved Americans was outlawed after the slave’s rebellion in South Carolina in 1739 because it was identified by the oppressors as a tool in communicating with other slaves when they are in any form of revolt/revolution; This was the main reasons the white slave owners banned the creation and use of drums on the plantation/fields. For a people used to rhythmic sounds, the banning of drums was challenging, they made do, though, by slapping their knees, thighs, arms, and other parts of their body to create sounds that were later to be referred to as “Pattin Juba”

The Juba dance was originally brought by Congo slaves to Charleston South Carolina. It became an African American plantation dance that was performed by slaves during their gatherings when instruments like drums were no longer allowed due to the fear of secret codes hidden in the drumming.

*Note:*

Africa is a highly musical continent with genres spanning from Afrobeat, Ndombolo, Rhumba, Bongo, Benga, and Kwaito to Reggae, Hip Hop and R&B. To be continued with genres of music and musical legends across Africa