Archive for the Spotlight Category

HIV/AIDS, WOMEN, AND AFRICA

Posted in CULTURE, Mother Africa, Our Health, Spotlight with tags , on July 23, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Sub-Sahara Africa has the largest population of HIV/AIDS world-wide. An estimated 23 million people carry HIV. An estimated 60% of them are women. Since the onset of the epidemic, over 14 million children have lost their mothers to Aids.

UN Secretary, Kofi Annan said,

“Between 1999 and 2000 more people died of AIDS in Africa than in all the wars on the continent.”

Women and girls are disproportionately affected for several reasons:

  1. Sexual Exploitation
  2. High Occurrence of Rape
  3. Traditions Allowing the Purchase of Women
  4. Lack of Education
  5. Gender Inequality
  6. Gender Violence
  7. Access to Prevention
  8. Stigmas on Wives Who Complain About Philandering Husbands

‘Sugar Daddy’ is the sexual exploitation of young girls age 15 to 19 by older men.

‘Lobola’ is the tradition allowing men to purchase wives.

‘ABC’ prevention (Abstain, Be faithful, or use a Condom) offers monogamous married women with no choices in the epidemic of sexual violence, rape, and gender inequality.

Female condoms give women prevention options if their partners refuse to use male condoms. An outer ring is visible and may be pulled out by an attacker. Some women feel self-conscious using them. Some women feel they are difficult to insert or remove.

The International AIDS Conference in Vienna announced a new anti-HIV gel for women that cuts the risk of transmission in half.

Hugh Masekela; Living Jazz Legend!

Posted in CULTURE, Mother Africa, Spotlight with tags on July 13, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Hugh Ramopolo Masekela was born April 4, 1939, in Witbank, South Africa. As a child he sang and played piano. At age 14, a movie on American Jazz trumpeter, Bix Beiderbecke inspired him to play the trumpet. Anti-apartheid chaplain, Archbishop (then Father) Trevor Huddleston gave him his first trumpet. Archbishop Huddleston also helped him to receive tuition for lessons. He soon played with South Africa’s first youth orchestra; the Huddleston Jazz Band.

Other members of the orchestra were:

  • Jonas Gwangwa
  • Kippie Moeketsi
  • Pianist Dollar Brand, now known as Abdullah Ibrahim

In 1961, Masekela was exiled from South Africa just as so many other activists had been. Harry Belafonte helped him come to the U.S. where he recorded many greats such as Grazing in the Grass.

Masekela met his first wife,  Miriam Makeba,  in the South African-styled musical King Kong. Later he wrote Soweto Blues for Makeba,  and they recorded the politically charged song together.

In 1988, Masekela was nominated for Best Score, Tony Award for the music and lyric collaboration with Mbongeni Ngema, for Sarafina!

In 1999, Masekela married his present wife, Elinam Cofie.

Restrained, Unarmed, and Shot by Police

Posted in Awareness, Humanity, NEWS, North America, Spotlight with tags , on July 12, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Unarmed and restrained, Oscar Grant was fatally shot by Bay Area Rapid transit (BART) officer Johannes Mehserle early morning on News Years Day, 2009. The shooting was caught on tape.

The shooting was described by witnesses as an execution. Yet, on July 9, 2010, Mehserle was only found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Ask yourselves,

  • Was this shooting done without the intention to kill?
  • Did Oscar Grant provoke Mehserle to shoot?
  • Could Mehserle’s mental state be described as diminished capacity?

If you answered no to these questions, Johannes Mehserle did not fit the legal definition of involuntary manslaughter. Ask yourselves one more question . . .

Did this scene remind you of a mob, gang, or domination-styled killing?

Pictorial Review of US Social Forum 2010

Posted in Awareness, CULTURE, Spotlight with tags on July 11, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

US Social Forum (USSF) is a movement to build the people’s solution to the economic and ecological crisis.  From June 22-16, 2010, USSF held their second annual event to build a multi-racial, multi-sector, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that believes another world is possible.

During the five days there were:

  • Workshops
  • Assemblies
  • Plenary
  • Work Projects & Brigades
  • USSF Village & Canopies
  • Arts & Culture – Performances, Exhibitions, Film Festival
  • Children’s Social forum & Youth Camp
  • Detroit Local Organizing
  • International Participation
  • Direct Action
  • Open Spaces
  • Tours
  • Grassroots Fundraising

Thousands gathered in Detroit to promote democracy, diversity and justice. Thousands are looking forward to USSF 2011.

Slide-show pictorial of USSF 2010

SocialVibe and Charity: Water in Ethiopia

Posted in Awareness, Europe, Humanity, Latin America, Mother Africa, NEWS, North America, Oceania, South America, Spotlight with tags on July 2, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

SocialVibe  is a social media with the mission to empower sponsors of charities of “their” choice.  You can be a part of this. Help send girls to school in Africa. It is free. Take part in a few simple activities on the SocialVibe banner on my sidebar.  It is fun and it  will only take a few seconds. Do you have a blog or website? Add SocialVibe to your sidebar.  Join SocialVibe.  Enrich someone’s life.

Reviewing Rwanda and the Genocide of 1994

Posted in HISTORY, Humanity, Mother Africa, Spotlight with tags , , on July 1, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Hills, is located in central Africa. Rwanda has a population of 11,055,976; with 84% of the population Hutu, 15% Tutsi, and 1% Twa. Over half of the population is Roman Catholic.

Hutus and Tutsis in the 15th century lived in independent cooperation, under a system controlled by the Tutsi King. Hutus were farmers and the Tutsis raised cattle. Under this system, Hutu farmers were given cattle and land to farm for their allegiance to the king. Although, both groups had many things in common, the Tutsi were considered elite and had advantages over the Hutus.

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Belgian’s Colonization

  • During World War I the country is occupied,  then colonized by Belgian
  • The country is named Ruanda-Urundi
  • Over time, Belgium instigates power struggle between Hutus and Tutsis
  • Civil war breaks out
  • Over 180,000 Tutsis are exiled

On July 1, 1962, Ruanda-Urundi became the independent nation of Rwanda. For a brief period there was peace and progress. In 1973, the military took power. Discontent stirred among the exiled Tutsi Rwandans. In 1990, under the name of Rwanda Patriotic Force (RPF), the exiled Tutsis demanded rights for an estimated 500,000 Tutsis living in Diaspora globally.

Response to the Demands

Cease fire and peace talks were scheduled. On April 6, 1994, military and militia groups began rounding up and killing all Tutsi and political moderates. The killing spree continued for two months.

  • Over 800,000 Tutsis and Moderate Hutus were killed.
  • Two million Tutsis fled to Zaire (the Democratic Republic of Congo), Tanzania, and Bun.
  • One million became part of the global Diaspora

The genocide ended on July 16, 1994 when the RPF gained control. Since the genocide, democracy in economic, political, and judicial institutions has become Rwanda’s priority to ensure the end to the war crimes that occurred.

Justine Gaga – Artist

Posted in CULTURE, Humanity, NEWS, South America, Spotlight with tags , , , , , on June 29, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

In an interview with Colombia Reports, Justine said,

“My work is about solitude, people who are alone and in need of protection . . . I lived by myself for a long time and not because I wanted to.”

Justine found inspiration in loneliness. Her art explores the isolation that comes from migration or being exiled from your home. For Justine, the theme of loneliness is both personal and political.

In Colombia, where Justine is living and working, there are an estimated 4.9 million refugees. Justine was funded to come to Colombia and hold workshops for poor, predominantly Afro-Colombian, women and children living outside Medellin.

Refugees have been forced to leave their homes due to armed conflict in Colombia. Afro-Colombians have been targeted by illegal armed groups. Justine learned about the conflict from the mouths of children,

“They were very sad, they told me that where they come from there is war . . . to remove violence from their minds by helping them to express themselves . . . perhaps they will learn that life is not only violence.”