New African review/August-September

African Update – 02/09/10

Every year, around summer time, one New African issue covers two months. This is the one this year.

In this issue among other articles:

Mandela: what lies beneath the legend

Africa at 50: losing our colonial mentality

Health; African nurses and doctors can now sleep easy

Uganda; is paying dowry a bad thing?

New African Football

Mandela; What lies beneath the legend?

This is the cover story. Based on a review of a book, Young Mandela, written by David James Smith, the article explores the other side of Mandela's life that is less known or talked about. The book dwells on the life of Mandela until shortly before he was imprisoned in 1964.

New African reports that, in the words of the author, the issues explored 'are sensitive delicate personal issues, not only involving Mandela but others too—they speak of hidden tragedy and blighted lives.'

It would appear that the book is a good complement to 'Long Walk to Freedom', Mandela's memoirs published in 1995, in which it is felt that 'Mandela was economical with the truth about certain incidents, events and his personal life.'

It is reported that all the author's sources for the book came 'from within Mandela's trusted circle, and though none betrayed him, they have spoken candidly about his life and his strained and difficult relationship with his wives and children.'

'It is difficult to knock a legend. Only a wife, a lover or a mistress has that privilege. Only they are privy to the intimate man,' so wrote Lady Nadira Naipul. How true is it of Mandela?

Africa at 50; ridding ourselves of colonial mentality

This article coming at a time when several African states are celebrating their 50th anniversary 'takes a retrospective look at the continent and its place in the world.' It challenges many 'who [still] think it is a dark continent or even a hopeless one, to look at themselves again.'

It looks at the genesis of trends in labelling Africa, and the large part played by the western media in casting Africa negatively. The contribution of colonialism is not left out either. In particular, its detrimental influence on establishing African economies as producers of raw materials for exportation, yet even without the power to set the prices for their produce.

In the end the article challenges anyone seriously interested in Africa to take the trouble of visiting Africa to experience it first hand; for 'seeing things with ones own eyes is the best way of learning about places.'

African nurses and doctors can now sleep easy

This is the title of a special article published by New African, but expressed entirely in the words of Dr.Lenias Hwenda.

It reports of a breakthrough in negotiations involving the World Health Organization and African amd other poor countries, for a fair global code on the way nurses and doctors from developing countries would be recruited to work in rich countries.

It is reported that the breakthrough came about in May. The adoption of the Global Code of Practice on the Recruitment of Health Personnel (in short the Global Code) has been described as historic.

It is believed that it will put a check on international health personnel migration, which is particularly undermining the health systems in poor countries. In so doing, it will also address th global imbalance in health personnel distribution.

That the Global Code was drummed for predominantly by African countries is a great sign that 'in the new dynamics of international negotiations, Africa and other poor countries are no longer necessarily insignificant players but active contributors in shaping international policies.'

Will it lead to the realization of the envisaged cooperation in sustainable health worker training and ethical recruitment practises by countries?

Uganda; is paying dowry a bad thing?

African countries stand out from among others because of their deep and extensive cultural heritage, which is as diverse as their are ethnic groups across the continent. Africa possesses a unique richness and symbolic nature in most of the activities and parts that constitute the culture of her communities.

One such long standing tradition is the giving of dowry, in modern era more often erroneously described as a payment to acquire a spouse.

In this article, citing a case brought before a Ugandan court in which a group of women wanted the 'payment of dowry' to be outlawed, New African exposes the growing divide between modernism, perhaps in the guise of individual human rights, and long standing traditional beliefs and practises.

NEW AFRICAN FOOTBALL

In this issue, coming hot on the heels of the World Cup in its 80th year, held for the first time in Africa, New African Football reviews what went on at the tournament in South Africa. On the spot is the controversial FIFA rules that allow teams to qualify even in the light of unethical practises, as the case was in the quarter final match between Ghana and Uruguay.

It also considers other situations that certainly should push FIFA to introduce video technology to improve referee decisions, especially at the goal mouth.

The dismal performance of African teams, especially the giants like Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria is also given great weight. Considering that the tournament was on African soil, the early exit of African teams was a disappointment. Only Ghana went as far as the quarter finals.

The Star Interview features Asamoah Gyan, the Ghanaian player who missed the decisive penalty that would have put Ghana in the books of history as the first African country to reach the semi final at the world cup.

What next for South Africa? The World Cup is gone. They have entered history as the first host nation to exit the competition at the group stage. They have ultra modern facilities that will be an uphill task to maintain. Have they reaped enough from the tournament to justify the investment?

For these and more stories, get a copy of New African Magazine August/September Issue.

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Reviewed by Swegenyi S.K.Daniel for Humanitas Africa

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Book of the month

Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya Kwasekhaya

Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya KwasekhayaTastes from Nelson Mandela’s kitchen

A collection of recipes by Nelson Mandela's personal chef, this book contains the food served to visiting heads of state, celebrities, politicians for more than 20 years. Featuring some of the favourite former South African president's favourite meals including samp and beans, farm chicken, tripe, this book also features paella, peri-peri chicken, prawn curry, and myriad of other delights. With simple, delicious and nourishing recipes, it will interest those who wish to prepare meals that are both elegant and healthy.More

New arrivals

New titles in our library 12/2016

Our library has aquired a number of new and interesting books. Here is the list of the latest titles.

  • Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith
  • Fashion Cities Africa by Hannah Azieb Pool
  • Frantz Fanon: Toward a Revolutionary Humanismby Christopher Lee
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Robinson, James A., Acemoglu, Daron
  • Shakespeare in Swahililand: Adventures With the Ever-Living Poet by Edward Wilson-Lee
  • A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present by Richard J. Reid
  • Authentically African: Arts and the Transnational Politics of Congolese Culture by Sarah Van Beurden
  • Children in Slavery through the Ages by by Gwyn CampbellSuzanne MiersJoseph C. Miller
  • Global Health in Africa: Historical Perspectives on Disease Control by Tamara Giles-Vernick
  • Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos by Gary  Stewart
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 1: Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 2: The Modern Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Cahier d'un Retour Au Pays Natal by Aimé Cesaire
  • Healing Traditions: African Medicine, Cultural Exchange and Competition in South Africa, 1820-1948 by Karen Elizabeth  Flint
  • Global Education Policy and International Development: New Agendas, Issues and Policies by Antoni Verger
  • Black Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry by Matthew M. Heaton
   

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