Tag Archives: Africa

Internet Attention Span and Kony 2012

Remember that Kony 2012 video that got 6 million 88 million views?

Right so 4-20 rolled around and I was saddened to notice the news media appeared to publish more on pot smokers than the cover the night campaign. I did, however, observe some red cups spelling out the words on one of the overpasses running across 290 heading eastbound into Chicago, not far from UIC, which felt uplifting. I think at this point the criticisms of the film’s focus are well-known, and most of us here would agree that seeing to a self-sustained independent Africa isn’t going to have much to do with US special forces tracking down some crazy dude, but what I thought was worth point out here was the astronomical drop in attention for the topic as it has gone on. First up, is this girl’s response, which yielded ~4 million views:

Now, check the views (176k) on their response to some of the criticism:

It seems to me that there wasn’t much of a worthwhile dialogue about all of this, and if there was it took place amongst a small fraction of the people originally interested. In fact people have probably paid far more attention to 12 seconds of this poor guy’s emotional breakdown than issues like the real challenges Africa faces.

People make me sad sometimes.

Selfish thinking taken to a new level

In one of the more blatant acts of selfishness I have heard of, a group of American families hurt by the USS Cole-incident, is suing the government of Sudan for $100 million. Some facts for you: The bombing of the USS Cole killed 17 sailors in October of 2000. Since 2003, the genocide in Sudan has taken the lives of probably 400,000 people and displaced a further 2.5 million. If this law suit goes through and the Sudanese do pay, I think we all know where it’s going to come from. It’s one thing to file ridiculous law suits within the US where we’re all relatively well-off, but this is unconscionable.
A “BBC article”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6444449.stm on the subject.
A very well-referenced “Wikipedia page”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darfur_conflict on the Darfur tragedy.

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Newton Aduaka takes home the Golden Stallion of Yennega

I know you were sitting on the edge of your seats waiting to hear who had won the grand prize at FESPACO, the biennial African film festival. The winner was Nigerian film Ezra by director Newton Aduaka. The film’s plot focuses on the plight of a child soldier in Cote d’Ivoire and won for its artistic direction and relevant subject matter. Here is a picture of the winning director with his award, the Golden Stallion of Yennega.

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Ghana beats Liberia for Amputee Cup championship

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Sierra Leone would be hosting the first African Amputee Nations Cup. Well the tournament ended five days ago with second-seed Ghana emerging as the champions. Ghana, along with Sierra Leone and Liberia will represent Africa in the Amputee World Cup to be held in Turkey later this year.

There are some great pictures of the tournament “here”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/07/africa_amputee_cup/html/1.stm Also a link to my “previous post”:http://duenos.net/article/28/amputee-cup-hosted-in-sierra-leone about the tournament.

An ironic news cycle for Zimbabwe

In a twist of irony that only the truly cynical could find funny, two news stories are coming out of debt/war-torn Zimbabwe. The first story is that Zimbabwe has hit yet another world-record inflation mark, this time allowing their ‘currency’ to rise at 1,593.6%. At the same time as the world looks on in horror at the meteoric (and yet somehow sustained) fall of Zimbabwe‚Äôs economy, President Robert Mugabe has set about his own agenda with very little attention to the economic catastrophe in his country. That agenda seems to be solely focused on celebrating his 83rd birthday at an estimated cost of 1.2 million dollars. Of course the government of Zimbabwe doesn’t actually have that kind of money, so President Mugabe has sent out a plea to the people of the country (80% of whom are chronically unemployed) to donate funds for the party.

Don’t believe me? Check out these articles published not 8 minutes apart from each other: “Birthday”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6354337.stm “Inflation.”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6354783.stm

Amputee Cup hosted in Sierra Leone

Anyone who has taken the time to think about it, the horrendous potential of machete-wielding fighters in war-torn African countries could be enormous, and the resulting prevalence of amputees in countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone is quite overwhelming. To celebrate the continued survival of those people who have lost a limb, Sierra Leone will be hosting the first African Amputee Football Cup, starting this afternoon. Competing teams will consist of 6 one-legged fielders and a one-armed goalkeeper. Check out this AP photo of amputees playing, very inspiring.
African amputees playing soccer