DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.



CONTACT: dynamicafricablog@gmail.com

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Posts tagged "botswana"

A stumbling block hard as a rock
Go to the left, it leftens
Go to the right, it rightens
Climb, it heightens
Go underneath, it deepens
Just a matter of two steps

A thirsty walk on the road
Water just two steps ahead
Two steps towards, it moves two steps away
Is this a case of fate postponed?
Or far too close?

The last two stanzas from Tswana poet Morongwa Matsau’s poem “Far Too Close”.

WOMEN’S MONTH SPORTS: Botswana’s Amantle Monthso won the country’s first medal at the IAAF Championships, so far, after winning silver, coming in second in the women’s 400m race.

The former 400m defending champion lost out to Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu who surged her body forward in the last seconds of the race, giving the Briton a minute but critical lead time of 49.404 seconds with Montsho clockin in second at 49.408.

Watch the race here.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

DYNAMIC AFRICANS: I Love Southern Africa

This blog first caught my attention perhaps a little over a month, or so, ago, and it’s safe to say it was love at first sight.

Dedicated to representing a total of 12 countries, from Angola to Zambia, Madagascar to Lesotho, the individual behind the blog manages to take it all in stride shedding essential knowledge on each country, posting incredibly thorough, diverse and in-depth content that’s is beyond enriching.

Having a thorough appreciation of this blog, and thus it’s curator, it seemed only right to feature them in this series of Dynamic Africans on tumblr. My interview only made me even more of a fan and I’m left even more inspired by the person behind I Love Southern Africa.

In about five sentences or less, can you tell us a little about yourself. Who is the person behind the blog?

I’m a young woman from two of the countries I blog about, currently starting a new chapter in my life after having taken care of family for a while (the African immigrant’s story!). 

What are the main objectives of your blog? What led or inspired you to create it?

My main objective was to shine a light on everything time can permit to blog on Southern Africa.  Outside of the countries themselves, not much is known or spoken of Southern Africa other than HIV/AIDS, Robert Mugabe, Malawi as it pertains to Madonna, Namibia as it pertains to Angelina Jolie and Madagascar as it pertains to the animated movie of the same name. 

Southern Africa is also known primarily for our animals but not the people around them, their history, dreams etc.  It’s a region with a very rich and intense history which influences the vibrant culture and life today. 

Since starting this blog, what has kept you motivated and/or what new things have you learned along the way?

I must admit I also didn’t know too much about the whole region and I feel like I am blogging for myself at times when I get excited about finding something I had never known. 

I am essentially motivated by my own ignorance about the area and my love for it as well. 

Other African diaspora blogs also inspire me to keep digging, sharing and finding what I would’ve never thought to look for.  I’m still stunned by the incredible history and roles played by everyone in shaping the region then and today. 

What do you love most about Southern Africa/being from Southern Africa, and in what ways are you able to connect with Africans from other regions?

Like all folks in the diaspora I love my people, culture, history, politics and self deprecating humour to name a few! I love watching us Southern Africans expand our Pan-Africaness (if there is such a term?) even though we are still unfortunately closed off from the rest of the diaspora in some ways. 

I always thought it would be politics that unite all Africans but I see how our current youth culture, specifically music brings everyone together.  I love reading comments under Youtube videos from people all across the diaspora showing love to a musician whose lyrics they don’t understand but they feel the music. 

I’ve been a wanna-be die-hard Pan Africanist since my early teens and I still fall in love with everything from the fashion from other regions to the literature and political heroes.  Oh and the food - I can finally make Egusi without following instructions on Youtube!

Being an African in the diaspora, what has been the most difficult and/or inspiring element of this experience for you? 

The most inspiring element has also been the most difficult:  Digging in the crates for photographs, books etc is worth every late night and eye bags. 

However, realizing how much of my own history I was never taught, how much of it exists in foreign institutions and not our own and how much of our history was recorded by others while our own methods of recording our history were forcibly wiped out, drove me to tears a few times.  

I’m reassured by current and past artists, musicians, writers, bloggers etc of the diaspora who have and continue to express our souls.

Lastly, where else can you be found online?

Twitter: @SouthRnAfrika - but I am rarely there.  Stuck on Tumblr!

 

iluvsouthernafrica:

Botswana: 1950

Photos of the people of (then) Bechuanaland including Sir Seretse Khama and his wife, Ruth (parents of the current president of Botswana, Ian Khama), by Margaret Bourke-White

(via mixopop)

NOTABLE AFRICANS: Portrait of King Khama III, South Africa, early twentieth century.

Kgosi Khama III became chief of the Ngwato in 1875.

He visited Britain in 1895 on a self-funded journey with other chiefs, and successfully protested against the possible transfer of the administration of the Bechuanaland Protectorate to the British South Africa Company.

A cropped version of this portrait was printed in a leaflet, “Khama: The Great African Chief,” distributed by the London Missionary Society in 1923. Smart & Copley, Bulawato, also published the image as a postcard.

Read more about King Khama III.

An allowance for life had always been made for really vicious people, who for too long had said the kind of things to helpless people which really applied to their own twisted, perverted hearts.

Those who spat at what they thought was inferior were really the ‘low, filthy people’ of the earth, because decent people cannot behave that way.

Excerpt from Maru by Bessie Head.

This book has been an eye-opener in so many ways, highly recommend it.

In Botswana they say: Zebras, Lions, Buffalo and Bushmen live in the Kalahari Desert. If you can catch a Zebra, you can walk up to it, forcefully open its mouth and examine its teeth. The Zebra is not supposed to mind because it is an animal.

Scientists do the same to Bushmen and they are not supposed to mind, because there is no one they can still round to and say, ‘At least I am not a —-‘.

Of all things that are said of oppressed people, the worst things are said and done to the Bushmen. Ask the scientists. Haven’t the yet written a treatise on how Bushmen are an oddity of the human race, who are half the head of a man and half the body of a donkey?

Because you don’t go poking into the organs of people unless they are animals or dead.

Excerpt from Maru by Bessie Head.

One of Botswana’s most outspoken and prolific writers, Bessie Emery Head was born in on July 6th, 1937, in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa to a wealthy South African woman and black male servant at a time when just ten years prior to her birth the government at the time had introduced the Immorality Act which prohibited extramarital sex between white and black people (it was later amended to prohibit sexual relations between whites and non-whites). 

In the 1950s and 60s, Head became a teacher and then a journalist for the popular black publication Drum. In 1964, she relocated to neighbouring Botswana as a refugee as she had been involved with Pan-African politics in South Africa with the anti-Apartheid struggle. She settled in the town of Serowe and after 15 years finally gained citizenship in Botswana.

Most of her most important novels are set in Serowe and involve autobiographical elements, such as the novel Maru which centers around the life of an orphaned Masarwa (Bushman) woman who is orphaned as a baby and raised by an Englishwoman, and eventually becomes a teacher.

Her novel, A Question of Power is based partly on the love-hate relationship she is said to have had with her adopted country of Botswana. Whilst living there, some say she remained somewhat of an outsider and at times she suffered mental health problems, perhaps due to her seclusion, amongst other things. 

On one occasion Head put up a public notice making allegations about then President Sir Seretse Khama, which led to a period in Lobatse Mental Hospital.

Bessie Head passed away in 1986 at the age of 48, from hepatitis. Her early death came at a time when she was beginning to receive recognition from her works.

In 2003 she was awarded the South African “Order of Ikhamanga in Gold” for her “exceptional contribution to literature and the struggle for social change, freedom and peace. In 2007, her birth city of Pietermaritzburg renamed the city library in her honor.

By that time, Ambi had reached Ilmorog, and Beatrice thought that this would be the answer. Had she not, in Limuru, seen girls blacker than herself transformed overnight from ugly sins into white stars by a touch of skin-lightening creams? And men would ogle them, would even talk with exaggerated pride of their newborn girl-friends.

Men were strange creatures, Beatrice thought in moments of searching analysis. They talked heatedly against Ambi, Butone, Firesnow, Moonsnow, wigs, straightened hair; but they always went for a girl with an Ambi-lightened skin and head covered with a wig made in imitation of European or Indian hair.

Beatrice never tried to find the root cause of this black self-hatred, she simply accepted the contradiction and applied herself to Ambi with a vengeance. She had to rub out her black shame.

Excerpt from Ngugi Wa Thiong’o's 'Minutes of Glory', part of a collection of four short stories called 'To Stir the Heart', written by him and South African-born Botswana writer Bessie Head (two written separately by each author).

The story is based in the early 1960s during the time of the Mau Mau Uprising and Kenya’s independence from Britain, but in light of the recent reports of the growing trend of skin-lightening in parts of Africa and the stigma around natural Afro hair, this seems all to relevant, disappointingly so.

amateurbohemians:

NightVision

Gaborone, Botswana

otismunz:

Chillin with my boys #gaborone #iphone #botswana #ipad #instagram #iphonegraphy (Taken with instagram)

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Meleko Mokgosi

Born in Francistown, Botswana, Meleko Mokgosi is a Motswana artist whose work revolves around the intersectionality of world politics, such as conflicts within the African continent - from the internal power struggles in Zimbabwe to the cross-border continuous discord between the two Sudans, in order to show and communicate the complexities of these situations as well as create awareness surrounding them.

"The main theme is world politics, because lately I have become disturbed by where humanity is going. Mainly because when I was home for the summer, the media gave a lot of coverage to the Sudan crisis, the situation in Zimbabwe and American foreign policy. I wanted my work to be more confrontational and political, and less self-absorbed. For these works, the theme is about communicating what I see and what I think."

x

(read more here and here)

CURRENT AFRICAN LEADERS: Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama

Incumbent President of Botswana, Ian Khama, is not the first in his family to hold such a title. His father, Sir Seretse Khama was the country’s foremost independence leader and served as President from 1966 to 1980. His mother, Ruth Williams Khama, also referred to as Lady Khama, was British and met Sir Khama whilst he was studying law in England. 

Their interracial marriage in 1948 provoked discomfort in both South Africa and, initially, Botswana, and they lived as exiles in England until the mid-1950s. In 1956, Seretse and Ruth Khama were allowed to return to Bechuanaland as private citizens, after he had renounced his chieftaincy throne.

Due to their exile, Ian Khama was born to the couple not in Botswana, but in Surrey, England.

Khama has been the President of Botswana since 2008; he is also the Paramount Chief of the Bamangwato tribe. After serving as Commander of the Botswana Defence Force, he entered politics and served as Vice-President of Botswana from 1998 to 2008, then succeeded Festus Mogae as President on 1 April 2008.

President Ian Khama began his first full term in 2009 with a reshuffled Cabinet which saw two women in key positions. However even with few women in primary cabinet positions, the Botswana Democratic Party was able to make a first for Botswana, by electing the first female speaker of Parliament in the form of Ms. Margaret Nasha.

Seen as ‘unusual’ for an African head of state, President Ian Khama has often been referred to as a ‘bachelor President' due to his unwed marital status.

Various members of the Cowboy Metalhead subculture in Botswana

"Metal is given very extreme respect and great dignity in Botswana," explains Mosaka. "A metal gig here is like a religious ritual among the metallers, they become very, very delighted or even crazy sometimes whenever there is an upcoming gig. They will spend weeks preparing their leather pants, boots and other metal attire – it’s like they are preparing for war!"

(via VICE)

The Three Dikgosi Monument (also known as the Monument of the Three Chiefs) featuring the statues of Khama III of the Bangwato, Sebele I of Bakwena and Bathoeng I of Bangwaketse, three digkosi, or chiefs, who traveled to Great Britain in order to stop the incorporation of the land that is now Botswana into Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) or the Union of South Africa.