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Picket Chabwedzeka, Zimbabwean ecologist

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In Europe and in the United States, when you hear about conservation, you often think about international nonprofits such as the World Wildlife Fund, and of the discussion about zoos in "developed" countries: should animals be kept in captivity for our children and for us to gaze at behind a fence? Is the money they raise for conservation worth the sacrifice of these animals' lifestyle?  On the ground, there are many more people involved in conservation. Southern Africa has a large portion of the world's giraffes, lions, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, elephants, as well as a plethora of various antelopes and birds. Mitchel and Picket at Sinamatella Camp, Hwange, Zimbabwe, 2021 Picket Chabwedzeka is one of these people on the ground. He is a Game Reserve Manager and Senior Ecologist at the Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve in Zimbabwe. He was born and raised in Harare. Growing up, he had no prior knowledge of careers in wildlife preservation, until after finishing his hig

Ashanti Design: Joyful Design and Sustainability

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The store at Kloof Street, Cape Town One of the benefits of social media is that it showcases small businesses at a lesser cost to them than mainstream advertising. From realtors to children's clothing to handicrafts from all over the world, you can find so many wonderful small businesses. In the United States, small businesses create the majority of jobs. Ashanti Design's joyful multicolored striped bean bags and ottomans stand out easily. And the items are made from recycled fabric remnants to boot! Not only does Ashanti have great designs, but it is also a business based on sustainability on many levels, and on helping people in different parts of Sub-Saharan Africa make a living. Away from Africa held an interview with Rob Walker, the founder of Ashanti Design, in Cape Town, South Africa. - How did the business get started? We used to work with an American NGO funded by USAid and other foundations, Aid to Artisans  (ATA). We did a lot of work with them in Mozambique. This

ESSACA in Yaounde meets with Adil Dalbai from DOM Publishers

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The ESSACA architecture school is featured in the Architectural Guide Sub-Saharan Africa, Cameroon chapter. Diane Chehab and Epee Ellong, authors of The African Dwelling from Traditional to Western Style Homes  coordinated the Cameroon chapter, as well as wrote several articles for the Guide. Architectural Guide Sub-Saharan Africa  was published on the ESSACA blog (in French).

Minneapolis Institute of Art

 There is a photo exhibition at the MIA (Minneapolis Institute of Art): Todd Webb in Africa: Outside the Frame . It's free to view online .  As per the MIA website: This exhibition presents a recently recovered photographic series taken by American documentary photographer Todd Webb in 1958. Commissioned by the United Nations to document emerging industries and technologies in Ghana, Kenya, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Somalia, Sudan, Togo, and Tanganyika and Zanzibar (both now Tanzania), these early color photographs went largely unused by the U.N.’s publications. Their neglect or suppression by the organization mandates a closer investigation, and animates our interpretation of the images, as well as our attempts to understand Webb’s intentions in creating them. <br /> Webb’s photographs present an outsider’s view onto the social, political, and cultural dynamics on the continent at a critical period between colonialism and independence.

African foods that have no name in European languages

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Sao on the tree in Douala There were myriad consequences to colonialism in Africa, and as we know, most of the continent still hasn’t recovered. But I will leave that discussion for the experts in geopolitics and history. One of the consequences is not much discussed: the vocabulary of food products, in particular of fruits, leafy greens, and vegetables. If an item doesn’t exist in the “West,” i.e. Europe and North America, it didn’t get a name. For years, there was little travel within the African continent. It was more expensive and convoluted to go from Douala to Dakar than from Douala to Paris.  Nowadays there are many more African airlines, and even if you are on your way to Paris or London, from an African metropolis, you can make a pit stop in Addis Ababa, for example. But if you are going to another country, and would like to eat your favorite food, how do you know if you can find it in that country? For that matter, even when you travel to another town, and you are sure that t

Stop Filming Us: a movie set in the RDC

 "Stop Filming Us" is one of the selections at the Mill Valley Film Festival this year.  It's a documentary set in the city of Goma in the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the shore of Lake Kivu, close to Rwanda.  It's a multi-faceted view not only of the town and its inhabitants, but also how so many Sub-Saharan Africans have to grapple with the consequences of colonization, Young Congolese discuss the need to "decolonize one's brain," and the fact that many traditions, legends, and more have already disappeared from the collective mind. The issue of the multitude of foreign NGOs in Goma is also brought up. From their website : Screening note : This digital screening is available to view between 12:01am PT on Friday, October 9, and 11:59pm PT on Sunday, October 18, and is available to ticket buyers and passholders within the United States.   Dutch documentarian Joris Postema sets out to show life in the Democratic Republic of th

A modern fairy tale from By Kids for Kids about the Coronavirus epidemic

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The By Kids For Kids podcast - usually recording in-studio stories narrated by the under 15 set, for the listening pleasure of children all over - had to quickly reconvert to doing the podcast remotely, as the entire world shelters in place to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is their "intercontinental" narration of a modern fairy tale to explain the need for confinement and the many challenges it presents. Children from Germany, South Africa, Kenya, Mexico, Canada, Singapore, and Australia participated.