Tag: Cameroon

Here are 20 Africans That Should Inspire Your 2016 – The Nerve Africa

article via thenerveafrica.com

The Africa rising narrative has been called into question several times. It was called a myth by former deputy governor of Nigeria’s central bank, Kingsley Moghalu and Tanzanian millionaire Ali Mufuruki called it false.

Although the old clichés of Africa being a continent where war and poverty reign with pestilence have not completely changed as several parts of the continent still grapple with poverty, as well as war and terror, but the continent has one thing going for it,  which makes the hopeful ‘Africa rising’ narrative bold enough to hold on to; its people.

Even if Africa is not rising as claimed by Mufuruki, Africans are rising and are impacting the continent and the world at large. Their lives inspire other Africans to follow their dreams and they are moving Africa closer to the future we all hope for, one step at a time.

Patrick Njoroge

Patrick Njoroge  

When Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed Patrick Njoroge as central bank governor, he was relatively unknown, so the president was criticized over his choice. But getting to know Njoroge changed everything. What struck Kenyans was not his PhD in Economics. It was also not his years of experience working for global lender International Monetary Fund (IMF). What was captivating for most Kenyans was his modest lifestyle. Who rejects the perks of public office? Patrick Njoroge said no to three official cars and a palatial apartment.

It is just six months into his reign as central bank governor but the impact of his ingenuity is already being felt. He brought inflation under control in his first month and helped stabilise the shilling. Banks in Kenya know he is not going to overlook any incontinence and flouting of the law. Two banks have been hammered already. He is not the typical African public office holder. He made Africa proud in 2015.

Akinwumi Adesina

Akinwumi Adesina 

Adesina’s story is a story of sheer determination to succeed. Born to a farmer in southwestern Nigerian State, Ogun, he didn’t quite leave the path he knew from infancy; agriculture was everything. But he would not be the type of farmer his father was, he wanted more and Agricultural Economics seemed perfect. He stayed true to his dream and saw it through. Continue reading “Here are 20 Africans That Should Inspire Your 2016 – The Nerve Africa”

Central Africa’s 1st Gaming Studio is Creating Games that Embody African Myths and Culture

Aurion Legacy of Kori-Odan (Photograph — gameblog.fr)
Aurion Legacy of Kori-Odan (Photograph — gameblog.fr)

article by Hadassah Egbedi via venturesafrica.com:

The growth of Africa’s comic culture has given rise to the likes of Comic Republic with superhero characters and lifestyles that Africans can finally relate with and the reception so far has been incredible. However, a young Cameroonian may just have taken this initiative to the next level. Madiba Olivier, who has always enjoyed video games, is now pioneering his own brand of games with African content and characters in central Africa by incorporating African folklore.

Olivier decided to invest in his passion by establishing Kiro’o Games, central Africa’s first video game studio that is creating a new narrative and visual benchmark for the gaming industry. With their latest project, Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan, an action-RPG (Role Playing Game), the studio intends to unify and transmit African culture by combining various myths, tales and traditional values into the gaming experience.

“The history of our continent is rich … we took inspiration from local Cameroonian traditions, like the Ngondo festival celebrated by the Sawa people, and we also incorporated symbolism adapted from that of the Akan people of Ghana, specifically the Adinkra writing style,” said Olivier.

“Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan” is set in a world of elemental energies and ancestral powers, where players assume the role of a traditional ruler, Enzo Kori-Odan, rightful ruler of the Zama kingdom, who uses the Aurion power granted him by his ancestors to regain control of his kingdom.

Credit - Kickstarter.com
Credit – Kickstarter.com

Initially named Madibao Corporation Studio, Kiro’o Games was established in 2003 by Olivier Madiba with two of his friends, Yakan Dominique and Waffo Hugues. The name Kiro’o is derived from “kiroho maonno” Swahili for “spiritual vision.” However, establishing and pioneering one of Central Africa’s first indigenous video games was not easy. Aside tackling daily power outages, the company’s business director, Boyogueno Roland, said it was quite difficult to get initial funding because investors were sceptical of the project.

“We started the project in 2003 but it was very difficult for us to find funding in the first place,” he said. But with the support of Cameroon’s ministry of arts and culture, Kiro’o Games got the much needed credibility it sought.

The project also got a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter gaining $50,000 in support from backers. And regarding power cuts, the company has resorted to the use of solar energy for future projects. However, the company would like to gain more trust and support from local investors. According to Roland, the business can be profitable, and its success would encourage other Africans to delve into the gaming industry.

To read more, go to: http://venturesafrica.com/kiroo-games-central-africas-first-gaming-studio-is-creating-games-with-a-combination-of-african-myths-tales-and-traditional-values/

Sisters Create Cross-Cultural Organization Connecting U.S. and African Youth

Twin sisters and founders of Focal Point Global, Hassanatu and Hussainatu Blake (photo: black enterprise.com)

Twin sisters and founders of Focal Point Global, Hassanatu Blake and Hussainatu Blake are on a mission to provide a global experience that enlightens youths in Africa and the United States about different cultures, countries, and lifestyles. Using modern technology such as Skype and Google Hangout, Focal Point Global makes it possible for youths to connect, learn, and address social issues together, and become leaders in their communities.

As 2012 White House Champions of Change, the dynamic duo has accomplished a great deal since launching the organization in 2010. This includes creating The U.S.-Southern Africa HIV Education Initiative (2010), the US-Cameroon Child Trafficking Awareness Project (2012), the Gambia-Namibia HIV/Ebola Education Initiative (2014), preparing 150 global youth alumni, and serving as 2013 TEDxEmory Keynote Speakers.

BlackEnterprise.com caught up with the Cameroonian-American sisters to delve into their background and learn more about their plans for 2016.

BlackEnterprise.com: Tell us a bit about your background.
 I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University, a Masters degree from Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and a law degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. I have lived and worked in Germany, South Africa, Namibia, and The Gambia. While living in Germany, I assisted the NAACP with educating Africans about their legal rights. I also worked for the International Organization for Migration’s Counter-Trafficking Department in South Africa, aiding trafficked Africans. I have published articles about slavery in Mauritania for International Affairs Forum, a publication of the Center for International Relations in Washington, D.C.

Hassanatu: I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University, a Master of Public Health degree from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Plymouth State University. I’ve also lived, worked, and studied in Germany, Jamaica, Namibia, Zambia, Antigua, St. Lucia, Cameroon, The Gambia, and South Africa. I have focused on improving health issues globally. Recently I worked with BroadReach Healthcare to implement a national management and leadership training program for health professionals in Zambia. I also conducted maternal/child health research with the National Institutes of Health and University of Alabama in Jamaica, worked with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Namibia to support Namibia’s national fight against HIV/AIDS, and managed technical assistance projects in Africa and Asia with USAID Global Health Technical Project in Washington, D.C. I’ve also written on a variety of health topics for the African American online health resource, BlackDoctor.org.

Tell us about the defining moment that inspired you to launch Focal Point Global.
Seven years ago, Focal Point Global started as an idea while we were sitting in our parents’ living room. We had just returned from working overseas and we read a New York Times article about the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the D.C. metro area being as high as 3%. Although 3% may not seem high for many people, based on our global public health and international development backgrounds, we knew this prevalence rate was high for an industrialized country like the U.S., and also comparable to some prevalence rates in West African cities. What makes it more alarming is that many who are impacted are youths between the ages of 15 and 25. After reading the article, we did research on how HIV was being addressed in the U.S., particularly in the youth population. We realized there was a critical gap that wasn’t being fully utilized — global peer education. Right then, we decided to create a project connecting youths in the U.S. and in Namibia (Southern Africa) so they could have a cross-cultural educational platform to discuss HIV and a space to create solutions to address this disease in their communities. Continue reading “Sisters Create Cross-Cultural Organization Connecting U.S. and African Youth”

World’s 1st Black Flight Attendant Léopoldine Doualla-Bell Smith Honored by Black Flight Attendants of America

Léopoldine Doualla-Bell Smith
Léopoldine Doualla-Bell Smith honored in Denver. (PHOTO COURTESY DANIEL SMITH)

Léopoldine Doualla-Bell Smith vividly remembers her first flight at the tender age of 17.

“I was yelling and screaming and [the other flight attendant] was telling me to calm down,” she recalls, laughing at the memory of the first time she’d experienced soaring amid the clouds in an airplane. “I kept thinking, ‘what if I die?'”

Doualla-Bell Smith had no idea that first flight – as terrifying as it seemed – would mark the beginning of an illustrious aviation industry career that would ultimately span nearly five decades and earn the honorable distinction of being known as one of the world’s first black flight attendants.

In celebration of their 40th anniversary, the Black Flight Attendants of America recently honored Doualla-Bell Smith, 76, now retired in Denver, for her years of service at the Flight Path Museum at the Los Angeles International Airport.

Léopoldine Doualla-Bell Smith
Léopoldine Doualla-Bell Smith honored in Denver by the Black Flight Attendants of America. (PHOTO COURTESY DANIEL SMITH)

“When I heard of Mrs. Smith’s generous humanitarian efforts and spirit of volunteerism, I knew she had to have been a woman of substance of whom we all should be proud,” explains event chairperson Diane Hunter. “Everyone should know of her ‘journey’ to become the first black flight attendant in the world: on every continent and particularly in this country where we were emerged in a historic struggle for equal civil rights under the laws of the [U.S.] Constitution.”

History buffs may know that Ruth Carol Taylor is on record as the first African-American flight attendant in the United States. Her initial flight was reportedly February 11, 1958 on a Mohawk Airlines flight from Ithaca to New York. Unfortunately her career abruptly ended six months later due to a common practice among airlines of the day of releasing flight attendants who got married or became pregnant.

As a stewardess with Union Aéromaritime de Transport (UAT) Doualla-Bell Smith, who was born in the West African nation of Cameroon, actually took flight for the first time the year before Taylor in 1957.

“When I was young there were only white men and women working on the plane,” she remembers. “I was one of the first blacks to be hired and it was a big deal; everybody in my town was talking about it. It was even in the newspaper.”

Her aviation career took off early on when Doualla-Bell Smith, a princess of the royal Douala family of Cameroon, accepted an after-school job as a ground hostess with UAT (which later merged into the Union de Transports Aériens or UTA), the airline that, along with Air France served, France’s African routes. She stayed on for two years and after graduating from high school in 1956 at the age of 17, Doualla-Bell Smith was recruited and sent to Paris for flight training by Air France.

She joined UAT a year later as an “hôtesse de l’air,” what flight attendants were called then. By 1960, she was recruited by Air Afrique, a Pan-African airline mainly owned by many West African countries created to serve 11 newly independent French-speaking nations.

In fact, her stellar credentials as an African with French aviation experience helped her stand out so much she became the airline’s first official hire (in fact, her employee identification card literally read “no. 001”). It didn’t take long for her to get promoted to Air Afrique’s first cabin chief position.

Continue reading “World’s 1st Black Flight Attendant Léopoldine Doualla-Bell Smith Honored by Black Flight Attendants of America”