Archive for July 2012
However, there have been wide speculations regarding Zenawi’s health after he missed the recent AU summit in Addis Ababa. There were also reports that Zenawi was in hospital in Belgium suffering from a stomach related illness. Mean while one humorous Ethiopian blogger (Addis fortune), went on to claim that the Premier had resurrected from the dead like Jesus. Citing several witnesses the blogger claims Zenawi resurrected on July, 20, 2012. Interestingly, unlike Jesus, the tyrant reportedly returned to Addis Ababa on a Friday evening. According to the bloggers witnesses he may be recovering well from the nameless condition that may be called “Despots Syndrome” or “chronic over rule’’.
The 57 year old Premier has ruled Ethiopia with an iron hand for more than 20 years. His regime is accused of committing crimes against humanity in the Ogaden region. The Ogaden region is home to over 8 million ethnic Somalis living in Ethiopia. Zenawi has been an enemy of the Journalism industry. His country has no media freedoms. Many Journalists are still languishing in prisons, while lucky ones have fled into exile.
If Zenawi finally dies, he will be remembered as a leader who oppressed his people, sent troops to invade neighbouring countries such as Somalia and Eritrea.
Anti-Apartheid icon Ahmed Kathrada has spent his 67 minutes on Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday by cleaning graves of great South Africans who, like Madiba, devoted their lives to improving the lives of others. Kathrada visited the graves of Yusuf Akhalwaya, Lillian Ngoyi, Barney Molokoane and Helen Joseph. He also went to the graves of Joe Slovo, Zeph Mothopeng, Dr Abu Asvat, Hector Pieterson and Tsietsi Mashanini, who are all buried at Avalon Cemetery, Soweto.
The veteran politician later proceeded to Westpark Cemetary where anti-apartheid activists Neil Aggett and David Webster are buried. The struggle icon told reporters that he chose to visit the graves of these South Africans because they selfless fought in quest for freedom. Kathrada who lived and suffered under apartheid, spending nearly 30 years of his adult life in apartheid jails for resisting oppression started his tour of the graves Wednesday morning from the Foundation’s office in Lenasia. The struggle stalwart also thanked South Africans for honouring and respecting Madiba.
Meanwhile Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille on Wednesday said Nelson Mandela’s 94 years on this earth has shown her what it means to be a servant of the people. De Lille said world leaders can take a leaf out of Madiba’s book with selfless service. The mayor wished the former president a happy birthday. “We love you. May you enjoy the day with your family. Every day, when I think about you I remember the words that ring so true, where you said that you stood before the people, not as a prophet but as a servant to the people.” Mandela’s birthday is celebrated world wide as International Mandela Day.
I know some people will say I am writing this only because I am a man. But that’s not the case. This story has to be told, exactly as it happened to us in King Mswati’s land. If I don’t write this piece, I wouldn’t have done justice to myself.
In June, my friend Patrick asked me and a couple of friends to escort him to Swazi-land, where he was supposed to negotiate bride price (Lobola), with his bride’s parents. We drove in a convoy of twelve cars. Patrick a businessman in Johannesburg wanted to show his social status to the parents of his fiancée. When we arrived at the bride’s home, we were warmly welcomed. By the look of things, it seems the whole village had been invited to witness the ceremony. We were supposed to have dressed in the traditional Buganda culture, but Patrick thought otherwise and made us dress in three piece Italian suits. After being welcomed at the home, negotiations started immediately. ‘‘I want 30 cows; my daughter is a medical Doctor. I have invested a lot of money in her.’’ The father of the bride put forward his demand. I looked at Patrick and saw his eyes popping out. Does bride price or Lobola mean a bride is for sale? I quietly asked myself as the negotiations went on. Finally the two parties agreed on 20 cows or R50, 000 cash. Patrick pulled out R.40, 000 and promised to bring the remaining cash, when he visits again. Minutes later, a beautiful bride was officially handed over to Patrick. Traditional songs were performed. People danced, although to me it somewhat appeared commercialised. As people danced and rejoiced, I wondered if bride price was meant to bring families together or it’s a commercialised practice aimed at enriching one side. In most cultures bride price was given voluntarily to the brides family as a sign of appreciation for the girls up bringing, but now days it seems the practice has been over commercialised.
Do you think paying bride price; makes a woman feel like a commodity in a relationship? Does it make a woman loose her self esteem in a relationship? Would I be right to claim that some women are forced to stay in abusive relationships simply because their parents can not afford to refund the cows, they took from the groom’s family? Is it really worthy paying bride price/Lobola?
Feel free to comment.