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Tourism Spots of Africa

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TOURISM IS BACK

The land of the blacks, Africa which lies between the Atlantic and the Indian ocean is rich in history, populated by diverse tribes with its incredible landscape teeming with wildlife that is worth seeing, Africa is simply endowed by nature that offers amazing sights from Sunrise to sunset.

From Mediterranean beaches on the North coast to South Africa, there are wonders of landscapes and formations, through the deserts across the mid-African forest down to the capes of the Southern tip. Senegal Indian Ocean to the east bounds Africa to the west while the Horn of Africa and Kenya dip into the Indian Ocean to the East of Africa, In there are nature’s beauty, rich culture, and historical sites worth checking out.

These soothing gifts of nature and monuments have over the years been preserved admirations of local and international visitors which indicated that special land formations or nature by itself are some forms of riches. Let us take an overview of a few places of attraction in some select countries of Africa as a guide for prospective tourists about what this continent can offer in terms of tourism and hospitality.

In North Most of Africa lies Egypt, the established cradle of civilization where the great learnings and thoughts of the ancient tribes have been preserved for posterity. The land of the Pharaohs as Egypt is well known is synonymous with the river Nile, a very long river that stretches across several countries including Ethiopia and Sudan. The Nile is significant for the drive it provides for energy generation and agricultural productivity in its path.

Egypt has the most visited place in Africa, particularly because of the ancient wisdom coded in the ancient pyramids located in the neighborhood of Giza, another Egyptian city. The pyramids are determined to be about 5000 years old based on archaeological findings and historical records. In Giza is the great Sphinx, an imposing limestone statue of a mythical creature with the body of a human and the head of a lion. Its purpose and the sheer creativity in building such a thing in ancient times are amazing.

Other sites of interest in Egypt are the Cairo Tower, Mohammed Alli’s mosque, and the modern museum in Cairo among others.

Wildlife and the harmony of nature are the key allure of East Africa. Kenya offers the best of wildlife and nature’s blend. The country’s forest reserves radiate romance and pleasure. For instance, the Masai Mara National Park is rated as one of the world’s most magnificent game reserves. The abundance of wildlife in this reserve is dizzying. Tourists will feed their eyes with the freely roving, elephants, crocodiles, hyenas, hippos, cheetahs, etc.

The same goes for the Nairobi national park. The city of Nairobi itself symbolizes the nation’s fun haven. Visitors will be welcomed at the stunning beaches, the cultural life, and the capital city’s bustling nightlife. Moreover, the Park of Mombasa, a coastal city promises visitors as well experience.

In the West African region, All Countries there have something to offer, bearing security concerns which is taking the shine off places like Nigeria but they include the sublime beach sites, the native customs that are merely trimmed at the edges by modernity remain things of curiosity. Lots of artifacts are still available where records and objects of slavery are kept for coming generations to see.

The African traditional worshippers never disappeared in West Africa, “Osun grove” in the Southwest of Nigeria attracts hordes of local and international tourists to the yearly Osun-Osogbo Festival. The grove is found in the rainforest part of a town called Osogbo, by the way, Osun is the name of a river. It has been elevated to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the Centre overlooks the great Osun River, the spiritual PowerPoint of the people as they view it. The festival is held in August and has developed into a season grown into entertainment and business, particularly for marketing cultural and artistic merchandise.

The greater offerings of attraction of West Africa lie more in its cultural practices and festivals much more than landscapes or wildlife, although such are also available but not in the scales of East and South Africa, Well celebrated Cultures of West Africa and important spots worth visiting will be Ojude Oba Festival, The Kano Durbar, Calabar Carnival, Argungu Fishing Festival, Obudu hills, the confluence city of Lokoja in Nigeria.  UNESCO heritage sites in West Africa include The Elmina Castle in Ghana, being the first slave-trading port set up by the Europeans in Africa. There is also the Cape Coast Castle. Not to leave out the serene beaches in Labadi and Busua, as well as the Kakum National Park.

Down South of Africa, The Republic of South Africa is filled with classic tourist sites. It is the place where several cultures blend where oceans meet, and histories are made. The contacts and contrasts of various cultures in the Southern part of Africa created struggles and legends and when merged with the geography and ingenuity of the peoples, a great environment was created that is worth visiting all year round. South African museums of historical artifacts and memorials of her struggle against apartheid are well kept. The Robben Island stands out for its political significance because the       Iconic Nelson Mandela was imprisoned there for 27 years. There’s the Krueger National Park, Addo Elephant Park, and a botanical garden at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town.

Neighboring the Nation of South Africa is Zimbabwe where the majestic Victoria Falls is located, the fall stands at 350 feet high, more than twice the height of Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada.  There are places to test human stamina like climbing Mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania or crossing the Sahara Desert by foot with the Tuaregs. Bold visitors had stayed in Masai mara in proximity to the African big five which refers to Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Hippopotamus, and wildebeest. The season is opening, and the travel season has come, Africa is also a place to check out

Black History Month

Early twentieth-century historian Carter G. Woodson wanted to look into the accomplishments of African Americans, which led to the creation of Black History Month. Mainstream historians have systematically omitted African Americans from the study of American history before the 1960s, and Woodson has dedicated his whole career to rectifying this omission. In 1926, he established Negro History Week, which prepared the way for the establishment of Black History Month in 1976.

Week of Black History

Woodson established the Society for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915. (today known as the Society for the Study of African American Life and History or ASALH). When Woodson was discussing the release of the racist film; The Birth of a Nation, he had the idea for the Black Historical Society. At a YMCA in Chicago, Woodson discussed it with a group of African-American males. The group persuaded the group that African Americans needed a group dedicated to achieving a more equitable history.

In 1916, the group launched its main newspaper, The Journal of Negro History, and ten years later, Woodson was tasked with planning an African-American history week of activities and anniversaries. The inaugural Negro History Week was held during the week of February 7, 1926, because it coincided with Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (February 12). The Emancipation Proclamation, which emancipated many American slaves, and the renegade and former slave Frederick Douglass were two of his most famous accomplishments (Februar14).

Woodson anticipated that Negro History Week would improve relations between blacks and whites in the United States and encourage young African Americans to honor their forefathers’ accomplishments and efforts. Woodson noted in his book, Negro Education of the Negro (1933): “Only eighteen of the hundreds of Negro high schools inspected by a US Bureau of Education specialist lately offer a history of the Negro course. In most Negro institutions and universities, the race is only studied as an issue or downplayed as a minor factor.” The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History is receiving increased requests for further information as a result of Negro History Week. The Negro History Bulletin, published in 1937, was aimed at African-American instructors who sought to incorporate black history into their lessons.

Black History Month.

Negro History Week was quickly accepted by African Americans, and by the 1960s, during the American Civil Rights Movement, American educators, both white and black were celebrating it. At the same time, orthodox historians began to incorporate African Americans in the American historical narrative (as well as women and other previously ignored groups). When the United States turned twenty-second in 1976, the ASALH decided to extend the annual week-long commemoration of African-American history to a month, giving birth to Black History Month.

President Gerald Ford in the same year encouraged Americans to think about black History Month, but it was President Jimmy Carter who officially acknowledged Black History Month in 1978. Black History Month has become a regular occurrence in American classrooms because of the government’s support. Some questioned whether Black History Month should be retained in the twenty-first century, especially following the election of Barack Obama, the country’s first African-American president, in 2008. Others, on the other hand, maintain that black history month is still necessary.

The expansion of the first Negro History Week will no sure thrill Woodson. His purpose in establishing Negro History Week was to emphasize African-American achievements alongside those of white Americans. The narrative of the Negro Retold (1935) argues that the book “is not so much of Negro history as it is a global history,” according to Woodson. Woodson saw Negro History Week as an opportunity to teach all Americans about their accomplishments and to correct a national history story that he saw as little more than racial slander.

Written By Senkat J.J  Nden

Thinking About the Future – A Reflection on Black History Month

The establishment and the annual celebration of Black History month is a good thing because it seeks to look for positives in the monstrous historical abuse meted out to the Black over centuries; The period enables us to remember our forebears that faced great deprivations as slaves in the new lands, we mourn them and must not forget their contributions, their labors, and their very life spent for others.

A closer look at the events of slavery tells a story of weakness on the part of the Africans; Disunity, low-level vision, the poor organization of society, and bad leadership; are the same ailments that are still very much current in Black African societies. I suspect that for many black people, the celebration in the month of February is not necessarily a joyful one, but a reminder of the history that can repeat itself and lessons unlearned.

In his great research work titled African Triple Heritage, Kenyan Professor of African Studies, Dr. Ali Mazrui (1933-2014) opined that Black African Cultures usually accept anything large, big, or great as special, with the likelihood of divine backing and the challenge such natural phenomenon offers may signal a reference point, a place to stop and proceed no further; for example large rivers, great mountains or special land structural formations that form barriers may be God’s idea of boundaries for tribes.

The professor thought this may be a reason why Africans never developed great technologies to conquer their landscape in addition to their Philosophies of adjusting to nature, rather than adjusting nature to themselves, an extension of ancestral and nature worship. However, there is a need to break this barrier even because so many black people still operate within their clans; they are in Europe and in America but still refuse to think big, break new grounds, cross boundaries and establish new bonds.

Those men that traversed boundaries like Magellan, and Columbus meet new peoples, learn new means and methods, obtain greater wealth and show the way to others. Poverty lives with men that roam in small circles. Expanded coasts open the eyes to new opportunities. Those that interact with others partake in the opportunities encountered. This is the lesson of organizations like Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc, very large numbers of people pass through them leaving the owners with riches, when Black people also network, the interactions will circulate riches. It is time to expand our coast, cross frontiers, build new bridges, make new friends and receive the blessing that goes with it.

THE CULTURAL NORM – What is New in your Personal Life?

A multi-cultural society is quite interesting because a clash of different languages, norms symbols, values, etc. will be brought together in proximity raising the possibility of a backlash. It is known that the various cultures took centuries to form, and strong values are held, so that a change may be violently defended. It will be an interesting thought experiment for individuals to search in their minds, as to what they had given up, to identify with or fully integrate into the new society.

Any good list of what constitutes culture will at least include Language, values, Belief Systems, Norms, Government/Institutions, and foods. It can also be said that a link exists between the environment and the stable prevailing culture. When a society is formed over years and holds certain beliefs and value systems, it often will never easily yield to changes except a conquest takes place by a completely different group that imposed a new culture or some catastrophic social upheaval that overthrew everything held dear, and now made worthless.

Culture is a term used to describe the received way of life of a people. It can be further simplified to mean the best solution provided to a widespread problem or an accepted way of doing things. When a group of people is a descendant from common ancestors, they are often found to speak the same language or some form of a dialect of a language; so generally speaking, language could be the closest indicator of a people of common ancestry, when the language is not one that came about by reason of conquest or imposition.

Sociologists have mused among themselves about the validity of all cultures, some thought that when different societal ideas are allowed to exist side by side, one will ultimately dissolve into the other. Some opined that cultures should be propped up, so as not to die a natural death. This may be why certain hegemonic vanguards are allowed to exist because a section of the people view them as strong believers in what their ancestors had handed over to them, although the overall interests of societies will always seek to impose peaceful coexistence.

Yet it will be a good idea to understand that ways of life, marriages, religions, languages, clothing, customs, norms, foods, etc., and the many styles of engaging these issues by different kinds of people are worth examining.  In fact, everyone should be fascinated by the practices of others and by seeking to know what the original question was that cultural practice was attempting to answer. This will enrich humanity, promote peace and understanding. Is there a new cultural practice you had imbibed in Canada and what old practice have you dropped?

Children’s Book Authors Engage in Discussion Around Education and Race

Start2Finish Canada’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty by providing ongoing educational support to Canada’s at-risk children throughout their school years. On February 26, 2022 the children’s organization hosted the virtual event ‘Voices: A Black Canadian Reading Circle’, as part of its ongoing platform ‘The Thinkers and Doers Series’.  The Black History month event helped kick off Start2Finish’s 2022 theme entitled ‘Otherwise Futures’.

The feature guests were Curtis Carmichael, an award-winning social entrepreneur, who has written ‘Butterflies in the Trenches’, the candid story of his life in the public housing projects in Scarborough, Ontario, where he grew up surrounded by trap houses, attending underfunded schools, and avoiding drive-by shootings. The second guest was Yolanda T. Marshall, a Guyanese-born Canadian author, who has written many children’s books including one of CBC’s best picture books of 2020 “My Soca Birthday Party: with Jollof Rice and Steel Pans.” She is also from Scarborough.

As a children’s author who has kids of her own, Yolanda had a lot to say about the role of education and the implications of false narratives. “The system is set out to make you fail,” she opined. “There are so many people who are so colonialized that they don’t know themselves or their history.” She insisted that education had to an extent fostered this sad reality. “That’s what it’s supposed to do – make you feel like you’re nobody.”

Yolanda counts the birth of her son as a pivotal point in her anxiety regarding elements of the education system. She said it suddenly dawned on her that she was raising a child in a society that she knew was racist and set up to make him fail as a boy. “I said to myself, I’m giving birth to a black boy in Canada, who will go to school, will not see himself in books, will not feel that his identity is culturally relevant.”

Curtis Carmichael learned about the publishing industry in three years. His debut memoir ‘Butterflies in the Trenches’ was the world’s first augmented reality memoir. There are 100 photos in the book, and when you scan photos with an app it displays interactive augmented reality experiences in video, audio and 3D.

When it comes to educating children, Curtis felt that there is more needed than just ensuring representation in books. He stressed that education heavily relied on the enthusiasm of the teachers as well. “Children need to have things that bring them to life,” he remarked. “Having a diverse decolonized library is important,” Curtis agreed, “but also your approach to engaging with that task of teaching is of utmost importance as well.”

He said that teachers need to actually believe in those high values. “You can’t just have them because you are reading them,” he said, “yet not really showing that you understand the value.” He cautioned that children pick up on cues that you are not intimate with the book and the values it stands for. They’re gonna know that you actually inherently care about those communities.”

Written By Mbonisi Zikhali

Illumination 2019: Telling Our Stories Through the Arts

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Artists from across North America gathered together to celebrate diversity in the art world with the 12th Annual, Illumination 2019: Telling Our Stories Through the Arts. Located in the historically rich McKenzie Hall, attendees had the opportunity to enjoy the exhibit which was on display from May 3rd to 12th.

An array of events took place in conjunction with the exhibit, including guest speaker, Certified Wellness Coach and Yoga teacher, Janet Haughton Quarshie, performances by The Jazzuz and poetry by Teajai Travis. This year marked the first ever Illumination Fashion Show, which included African, East and West Indian fashions, as well as Fashions by Dokas and Rastafari Dynasty. The Black Canadians for Cultural, Educational and Economic Progress (BCCEEP) were eager to participate and show their support for the event.

Artist of Colour Vice President, Lana Talbot, was excited to bring different cultures together to celebrate art in its many forms,

“Its called illumination! All cultures should be Illuminated, brought to light! There are a lot of cultures here…and we all get along!”.

Talbot’s art was on display in the exhibit, as well as renowned artists: Priscilla Phifer, Loretta Brown, Onzie Norman and Mei Sun. Windsorites who missed out on the festivities can look forward to attending the annual event same time next year.

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Carrousel of Nations: African Village

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The Black Canadians for Cultural, Educational and Economic Progress (BCCEEP) were honoured to host the first ever African Village.  As visionaries and leaders in the Windsor community, BCCEEP was proud to join the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County to promote acceptance and diversity in the community.

The goal was to create a welcoming environment where people felt free to explore and enjoy African culture and over the course of three days, attendees had the opportunity to relish in food, fashion, music and entertainment from across Africa.  Food was a main attraction and even though many people were not familiar with the dishes, a surprisingly large number of people were excited and open to try a variety of the African foods.

Attendees also had the opportunity to learn about African traditions through informative, “Did you Know” sessions, head wrap tutorials and African Moonlight Stories, which tells tales of morality through traditional fables.   Other activities included: African face painting and games, dance lessons, fashion shows, dance performances and a special guest appearance from the Bangladesh Tribal Dance Group.

         

2019 Multinational Mother Language Fest

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February 21st recognizes the rare instance in history when people sacrificed their lives for the right to speak in their mother tongue. This year, Harmony, Cultural Research and Exchange Forum, chose to celebrate International Mother Language Day with the 2019, “Multinational Mother Language Fest” (MMLF).

Including 20 countries and more than 25 mother languages, countries from across the world gathered in Windsor’s Caboto Club. The Nigerian Canadians for Cultural, Educational and Economic Progress (NCCEEP) and Omoluabi Newspaper were proud to be one of the sponsors for the event and had the opportunity to showcase Nigeria with a performance.

A ‘Nigerian Moon Light Story’, was presented first in English by Abiola Afolabi and followed in Yoruba by Pastor O. Afolabi. The iridescent background set the stage visually and the crowd was encouraged to sing along to the beat of the drums played by Kolawole Akinbinu. NCCEEP offered a variety of traditional food for sale including puff puff, jollof rice, pepper soup and zobo drink.

Countries including Poland, Nepal, China, and the Philippines displayed their cultures through a variety of art forms such as song, dance and storytelling. Attendees can look forward to enjoying the festivities again as Harmony plans on celebrating MMLF every year in Windsor!