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TRUST VS FEEDBACK

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It is said that building trust in the workplace comes down to one’s competence and character. More so, that one’s performance score is largely dependent on the perception of one’s stakeholder i.e. someone that one deals with and can comment on the quality of his or her work.

Now, what if such a stakeholder has a negative perception of the other? It may that he or she does not like their guts, style of dressing, car, height, or appearance. Is this person expected to pass a good judgment on the other? The fact remains that the chances of one getting a better score are higher if there is a good rapport between both parties so much so that certain areas of weakness may be overlooked. After all, we are humans; emotional beings who strive every day to suppress our feelings to stick to our respective professional ethics.

Now isn’t this one of the flaws of 360 degrees feedback? People are made to comment on your performance with no date to back up their claim? I had a case where someone noted ‘I don’t know her much yet commented ‘her response rate is poor’. Can you see the gap/missing link? How come such a person can pass such a comment? I had to question the commentator by asking ‘how did you arrive at this conclusion?’. I also had to draw the attention of others to be as objective as possible.

For me, I reckoned that in as much as it is said that one shouldn’t be defensive when receiving feedback, an avenue should be created where one can seek further clarification on the rationale behind the stakeholder’s comment. Not in a confrontational manner but rather, as a learning curve.

I once underwent a coaching program where 2 areas out of 10 were identified as my weak points. Surprisingly, I thought I was good at them. Nevertheless, I swallowed my pride and followed agreements made by my coach on how to improve.  In one of such sessions I asked my coach, ‘if my performance is dependent on the perception of my stakeholders, does that mean I should always agree with them? I should henceforth be a YES SIR/Ma person? Her response was ‘NO but …’ which didn’t drive home the point for me. I still need a more convincing answer to that. The repercussion is obvious, you tend to disagree despite being on the right path.

For instance, I had a stakeholder of mine who noted ‘poor response to disciplinary issues’ on his feedback about me (response was anonymous). I was informed of this and I could tell at once who the person was. Luckily, we’re on good terms so 3 months down the line, and in a bid to manage his ego and truly understand ourselves, I asked, ‘how can I serve better?’ what are your expectations of me’. He went on and on while I listened. Lastly, I jokingly and politely reminded him of the comment he’d given on my ‘poor response to disciplinary issues’ and he owned up. His response was ‘you don’t usually sack or fire when I ask you to?’.

I, however, took all his comments in strides and explained to him the reasons behind some of my decisions which he did understand.

My take is that these same stakeholders forget to remember that we are all employees and not shareholders, so we are on the same boat. More so, being HR, we have received several, similar requests to ‘sack’ them (him and others in his cadre) but as professionals blocked such moves by enlightening the BOSS that ‘things are not done this way’ + ‘we’ve got laid down rules and procedures that must be followed’. These policies are to provide a fair and consistent approach to all people’s issues.

In essence, ‘we’ can’t just sack a staff because he or she being a stakeholder has said so while neglecting laid down rules on disciplinary issues. Remember, what goes around comes around. More so, it’s not a case of gross misconduct where staff can be summarily dismissed, but rather, performance.  Now this same person has passed such comments on me and I don’t have the room to defend such. Where is justice?

In conclusion, I have decided to embark on a series of Knowledge Sharing sessions to re-enlighten these stakeholders on relevant day-to-day policies, so they could understand some of these basic things and more importantly, the rationale behind my decision as a HR professional with the hope that people would be fair when passing judgments on my work and others as well.

 

How to Stop Oversleeping

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It is common knowledge that staying up too late, waking up too early, and sleeping too little is dangerous. Another practice that may negatively impact your health is oversleeping, which is also known to lead to negative side effects.

Getting better sleep can impact your entire day – as well as your health. Understanding how to stop oversleeping (and implementing those strategies) can make a powerful difference.

Oversleeping – What does it mean?

Sleeping longer than one’s intended wake-up time on any given day is known as oversleeping. Their excessive sleep can affect their health negatively, leading to increased risks for diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. After recovering from oversleeping, many people feel fatigued throughout the rest of the day.

How do you know if you’re oversleeping?

Getting too much sleep can lead to weight gain, headaches, backaches, depression, and fatigue. Without making healthy lifestyle changes or seeking medical advice, these symptoms could become long-term. Infertility and cognitive decline may be long-term health consequences.

How Much Sleep Should You Get? 

Having a fixed amount of sleep that each person needs would be nice. It is ultimately determined by your lifestyle, health, and activity level, as well as your general health and health status. To make sure you’re getting enough sleep, you should follow the general recommendations based on your age.

  • Young kids (ages 3-5): 10 to 13 hours
  • School-age kids (ages 6-12): 9 to 12 hours
  • Teenagers (ages 13-18): 8 to 10 hours
  • Adults (ages 18-65+): 7 to 9 hours

Stop Oversleeping With These Tips

When you’ve done something for a long time, it can be hard to break the habit. But you can do specific things to stop oversleeping so you can start getting more sleep (and fewer sleep disturbances).

If you do not see results right away, don’t get discouraged. It takes more effort to change some habits than others. Instead, keep trying new things to see what helps you the most.

  1. Sleep on a regular schedule

Regular patterns are best for our bodies. In addition to meal timing, sleep habits and wakefulness habits should also be considered.

Getting sleepy around the same time every night is a result of going to bed at the same time every night. Make sure you get to bed at the right time after figuring out how much sleep you need and when you want to rise.

  1. Create the perfect sleeping atmosphere

As you’ll be getting the right amount of sleep for your body, falling asleep at your preferred bedtime can also help you wake up at your preferred time. When you create a relaxing environment, like having the right blanket or mattress, your body and mind can relax, allowing you to more easily fall asleep.

Consider wearing earplugs or using a sound system to filter out background noise if it’s noisy. The temperature in the room should also be taken into account. When it’s too cold or too hot, it’s unlikely that you’ll fall asleep (or stay asleep).

  1. Change your alarm habits and avoid snoozing

You could reduce if not take out your alarm clock altogether, or at least improve your relationship with it if you’re too sleepy. The best way to wake up in the morning is to wake naturally rather than forcing your body out of bed. Consider using an alarm clock that gradually wakes you up if you are one of those people who needs an alarm clock desperately.

  1. Have a consistent wake-up time

Ideally, you should wake up at around the same time every day to end your oversleeping problem. That includes weekends as well.

Sleeping well takes time, not a sprint. The best way to help your body is to go to sleep at around the same time every night, get at least seven hours of sleep, and then wake up at around the same time every morning.

  1. Try not to overthink it

Keep your day-to-day routine in check and check that you’re on track so that you can get a better night’s sleep. You will not sleep well if you worry and overthink. Change should be implemented gradually and you should allow yourself time to adjust.

Trying to solve a problem right away can be frustrating. Don’t get frustrated. If nothing works, a medical professional may be best able to assist you.

Bottom Line

Even though an alarm clock can be an indispensable part of waking up in the morning, using it wisely will eliminate the need for snoozing. To get the help you need from a sleep physician, you should speak with your doctor if you wake up feeling tired or unrested after enough sleep.

You can get on track to a healthier lifestyle if you know how to stop oversleeping. If you are struggling to find sleep, try different tactics such as those mentioned above.

 

Famous African Kingdoms

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Most African kingdoms left a great mark on the world with their construction methods, advanced irrigation and farming systems, their system of mathematics and medicine, and their famous leaders.

While Europe was going through its Dark Ages, a time of intellectual, cultural, and economic regression, from the 6th to the 13th centuries, Africans were going through an almost continent-wide renaissance after the decline of the Nile Valley civilizations of Egypt and Nubia.

There were various African kingdoms and empires spread out across the continent, and regional and political powerhouses like those found in our history books. Let’s take a look at some of Africa’s most notable kingdoms and civilizations.

  1. The Kingdom of Kush

Even though it is mostly overshadowed by its Egyptian neighbors to the north, the Kingdom of Kush stood as a regional power in Africa for more than a thousand years.

This ancient Nubian empire got to its peak in the second millennium B.C., when it ruled over a vast swath of territory along the Nile River in what is now Sudan.

  1. The Aksumite Empire

Also referred to as the Kingdom of Aksum (or Axum), this ancient society is one of the oldest of the African kingdoms and is spread across what is today Ethiopia and Eritrea in an area where evidence of farming dates back 10,000 years.

The Aksumites were important in the commercial trading routes which existed between the Romans and Ancient India, and they were seen as one of the four great powers of their time together with China, Rome, and Persia.

  1. The Kingdom of Ghana

Commonly referred to as Wagadu, this kingdom was a vital stop along the trans-Saharan trade route which connected African societies in the Sahel to the markets found along the coastlines of the Mediterranean Sea and the trans-Saharan gold trade.

They specialized in the trade of gold and kola nuts. The decline of the Kingdom of Ghana was cemented when it became part of the kingdom of Mali around the year 1240 CE.

  1. The Songhai Empire

For just their size, few states in African history can compare to the Songhai Empire. Created in the 15th century from some of the former regions of the Mali Empire, this West African kingdom was larger than Western Europe and comprised parts of a dozen modern-day nations.

It got to its peak in the early 16th century under the rule of the devout King Muhammad I Askia, who conquered new lands, forged an alliance with the Muslim Caliph of Egypt, and established hundreds of Islamic schools in Timbuktu.

  1. The Mali Empire

After the decline of the Kingdom of Wagadu, it was annexed by the Kingdom of Mali. While the Ghana Empire traded in gold, the Malian Empire mined gold from its mines which, by the end of the 1200s, was the source of approximately 50 percent of the gold supply of the Old World.

The most famous ruler of the Malian Empire, Mansa Musa, was the richest back then – even by the standards today. He is seen as one of the richest people in world history with records suggesting that Mali was the largest producer of gold on Earth during his reign.

  1. The Kingdom of Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe is one of the most impressive monuments in sub-Saharan Africa. It has an imposing collection of stacked boulders, stone towers, and defensive walls assembled from cut granite blocks.

This kingdom ruled over a large chunk of modern-day Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. It was especially rich in cattle and precious metals and stood astride a trade route that connected the goldfields of the region with ports on the Indian Ocean coast.

  1. The Kingdom of Mutapa

The Mutapa Empire encompassed a large portion of Southern Africa, from the Limpopo and Zambezi Rivers to the Indian Ocean coastline. Its territory was so large that if it were around today, it would stretch across parts of six Southern African countries.

Legend has it that a warrior prince from the Kingdom of Zimbabwe created the Kingdom of Mutapa. Within a generation, Mutapa eclipsed the glory that was Great Zimbabwe and its surroundings.

  1. The Kingdom of Kongo

Before European powers shared the African continent during the Scramble for Africa, the modern-day countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo both formed part of the Kingdom of Kongo.

Even though the precise boundaries of the kingdom are uncertain today, this empire eventually stretched into both modern-day Congos and Angola under the leadership of a Kikongo warrior, Luken Lua Nimi, whose military and political prowess dominated central Africa for centuries.

  1. The Benin Empire

Found in modern-day Nigeria, the Benin Empire was seen as one of the oldest and most developed states in West Africa until its annexation by the British Empire.

Famous artisans crafted masterpieces from bronze, ivory, and iron. The Benin Empire had a strong trading relationship with the Portuguese, exchanging palm oil, pepper, and ivory for Manilla (a form of currency used in West Africa) and firearms.

Britain’s first expedition to Benin occurred in 1553 and a mutually beneficial trading relationship existed throughout the 16th and 17th centuries until Benin suspected Britain of making controlling advancements. Dutch, British, and Portuguese explorers brought numerous tales back to Europe of the beauty, wealth, and sophistication of Benin.

 

CULTURAL EVENTS, CELEBRATIONS, AND SOCIETIES

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Cultural practices and expressions showcase the understanding of a people, what life is all about, the way of communicating, and also a means of preserving and transmitting their received civilization. Culture is a broad subject with very wide and diverse exhibits in every place where people are; it can be said that the closer a practice is between people, the closer their ancestors are likely to be. So when looking at some regular activities of a society, such as the annual celebrations, an idea of what that society values will be decipherable.

Festivals, celebrations, or annual events are commonplace in virtually all societies of the world, and it has the value of bringing individuals together for bonding and to emphasize togetherness. Generally, the events are joyous occasions and full of fun, so people love them and look forward to them; it has aided businesses over the years in form of tourist spending. Without a doubt, there will be some festivals that are atrophied due to loss of interest, perhaps also because the values or subtle message being transmitted has lost currency and is possibly no longer needed.

Cultures are like living things because they can transform, absorb others, drop certain aspects as well as go extinct. The people themselves absorb new ideas, the values received through the festivals may no longer be of interest. The activities of the festival will show its origin which could be religious, tribal/ancestral, national, commercial, or hegemonic. There are critical works of art that get preserved as a result of certain festivals. A musical festival will lead to the introduction of new instruments or new musical styles and new ideas of manufacture.

A festival geared at the remembrance of past residents, for example, the African festival of masquerades which seems to promote the recognition of communing with the departed, or to say humans are not alone in the world involved certain costumes. The kinds of face masks, or even magical words to be said will require some initiation or training. Some festivals are quasi-religious because while the masquerade festivals brought people together to have fun, they can also be described as ancestor worship.

Cultural and religious practices of individual regions do not make the world agree on any one thing; for example, when is the turn of the year? Which day is the first day of the year, which comes first, night or day? What this shows, is that the societies placed values on certain days, for example, the Sabbath day or day of rest for a set of people is not valued by some others and they will rather do as they please by referencing the days of value to them.

Some festivals can be considered a variant of the same because it seems to be directed at the same thing in different cultures; for example, the day of the dead that is popular in the Latino community seems to correspond to Halloween in the western world and quite similar to masquerades of Africans. The Anglo-world or societies associated with Western Christianity somehow dominates the world in what they hold as some divine order to determine time; create the calendar, and determine the center of the world to use as a reference point for other things.

So dominant are western thoughts that they virtually got the world to adopt their New Year date, and celebrate with them their religious festival of Christmas and New Year. Other ones like Halloween, St Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s day have also become and gained worldwide acceptance, just that the way each of them is celebrated is different. Quite clearly, the religious festivals are the most intensely celebrated and most attended.

A new kind of festival is brewing worldwide, which is commercial; it began as business or product shows, but it is being backed up with adverts and commercial thoughts in a manner that they are becoming a source of societal income. Be it a farm show, Car show, music show, or fashion show, when the society accepts it, a large gathering ensues, which could become a yearly event. Once a show becomes yearly and massively attended with economic benefit to everyone, it is possible to sustain it, but nothing stands like the religious festivals because it seeks to re-enact an event in history that is divinely orchestrated.

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.