The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘Nigeria’

#BringBackOurGirls

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Dear World,

Every girl in this world deserves to go to school without having to worry about being kidnapped.

We cannot allow terrorists to have their way!

Boko Haram is a group of religious extremists who exercise their beliefs through acts of terror. The group does not promote world peace, reconciliation and most importantly LOVE.

Moreover, in Nigeria, the group is against the education of girls seeing it as forbidden. This was their reason behind kidnapping more than 200 girls from boarding school. The kidnapped girls are being sold as child brides for about $12 each.

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Let us join hands with Nigeria and the rest of the world as we fight against terrorism and raise our voices on social media through the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls

Also, you can sign this Change.org petition to ensure that world leaders come together and stand up to this act of terrorism. This time it could be Nigeria, hopefully our leaders will work to ensure that there is no next time in any other part of the world.

We have come too far as humankind to let the future heirs and heiresses of our planet to live in fear of getting educated because of cowardly acts by radical religious groups.

Click here to know more about various campaigns from around the world supporting #BringBackOurGirls.

Love,
Ayuma.

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THE ANKARA FABRIC

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An Ankara print dress by RED MUS that I wore during a fashion shoot at the Kuona Trust Art Center in Nairobi

 

Did you know that the famous African Ankara fabric originated from the Netherlands under the name “Dutch Wax”?

In Nigeria, Ankara (also called the “African Wax”) had only been used by low class citizens as a cheap alternative to special occasion outfits.

 

Brian in a blue shirt with touch of Ankara print

Brian in a blue shirt with touch of Ankara print. For special occasions

 

This was the case until the then Nigerian President Obasanjo embraced Ankara for his official wardrobe. He was known as a Nigerian cultural ambassador. Importation of foreign fabrics was banned and so Nigerian designers had to make do with what they had available; Ankara.

Susan in a dazzling orange dress and clutchbag with a touch of Ankara print

Susan in a dazzling orange dress and clutchbag with a touch of Ankara print

 

After years of modern day expression of the African Wax, this beautiful print made it’s way to international fashion runways and a massive following by Hollywood celebrities.

 

Hollywood songstress Solange Knowles rocking an Ankara print outfit

Hollywood songstress Solange Knowles rocking an Ankara print outfit

 

Also, much as the capital of Turkey is called Ankara, this has got no relation with the wax fabric.

 

Kevin in a red shirt with a touch of Ankara print. Casual wear.

Kevin in a red shirt with a touch of Ankara print. Casual wear

 

Regardless of it’s production in the Netherlands, what matters most is the history and level of importance associated with the Ankara fabric by Africans. It is our pride and we wear it bold!

 

I totally loved wearing this Ankara outfit with heaps of retro vybe.

I totally loved wearing this Ankara print outfit with a retro feel

 

How’s that for a quick history lesson?

Viva Ankara Fashion!

 

Love,

Ayuma.

 

The Lonely War in Kenya

Poaching for Ivory in Kenya

Poaching for Ivory in Kenya

My opinion is that poaching in Kenya is a great result of corruption in our government. I totally support the fact that Hands off our Elephants is a great campaign to address this matter but my worry is that this time it’s our elephants; next time, it might be our lions, then perhaps our flamingos which are already facing a population crisis. Or perhaps our forest covers which continue to be echoed by the late Wangari Maathai’s Green Belt Movement.

I say “I will not cry over elephants”, not because I don’t care about our elephants but because crying and worrying are emotional reactions to a situation that I feel is caused by our very own leaders. Yes! There is no way that all that ivory keeps escaping our borders without even one of our leaders knowing about it, leave alone blowing a whistle.

Our rangers can’t be out there risking their lives to fight poachers yet our leaders are part of the problem! This is the main reason behind my loud rant and I am glad that I have stepped on a few toes to make people speak up even in the social networks. The problem isn’t just the fact that our elephants are being killed by “foreign” poachers often pinned to the Chinese, China Wu Yi… The numbers of suspects are endless. But the problem is that while we are having sleepless nights about the poaching menace and how our economy is failing us, our very own leaders are part of the problem. This is why I strongly support the fight against corruption. This is the root cause of the problem!

I just wish, truly wish that all the vigour used in the anti-poaching campaign – the determination, the research and filming efforts (which I strongly feel Kenyan filmmakers should take lead on and not foreign filmmakers), the heavy emotion towards the loss of our country’s treasure (elephants) through the poaching crackdown – was put into fighting corruption which is the mother of this poaching menace.

How can we as Kenyan citizens best fight this poaching menace? How can I help to fight in the anti-poaching war in my daily life? Honestly, there aren’t too many options for us that will produce quick results that we need given the current state of the situation. My guess is that it might somehow boil down to raising funds just as we did with protecting the Mau forest, bringing Zack back home, Kenyans for Kenya and many other public appeals to take care of our own people and natural resources. But this shouldn’t be the case in my view. Instead, the country should be appealed to participate in a massive cleaning up of our house in our quest to fight impunity in our country. Yes, it might seem farfetched but I truly believe that if we as a nation put more effort in collectively fighting the big fire and not the sparks, then we would start seeing the change that we need.

Corruption is the mother of all evil

Corruption is the mother of all evil

Guess what? We don’t have to raise funds to fight corruption in our country! In fact, we’ll save loads of money by ensuring that resources go where they ought to go. You and I can simply start the war on corruption in our very own homes; the change begins with us! We could speak up and support the very few leaders in our country with a passion for a corruption-free Kenya.

I believe that all’s not lost and that we do have the opportunity to be a better Kenya and stop hitting global headlines as one of the world’s top 10 corrupt countries. This shouldn’t be, not with all the beauty I still see in my country. If Nigeria was able to fight this monster and be in a better place after the war on corruption…We can do it, we can make it. Not by getting together to raise funds but by collectively deciding, “WE AS KENYANS DO NOT TOLERATE CORRUPTION!”

We need to support true leaders who are managers, not crusaders who we often see in the evening news. It shouldn’t always be about them so let’s give them the silence that they deserve. We need to support our leaders who are true managers and focus on making do with what we have, not demand for more. Those who make strict policies to protect the dignity of Kenyan citizens. Those who don’t complain to every camera that points at them, but those who work and give results.
Then our elephants will forget the scent of poachers and roting blood of their own. Then Kenya will no longer be one of the highest taxed counties in the world. Then our children will grow up to taste the sweet fruit of integrity within our country.

The fight against corruption is big, insanely big, but we do need to start it soon before it’s too late.

Storymoja Hay Festival September 19th -22nd 2013

Storymoja Hay Festival September 19th -22nd 2013

The Storymoja Hay Festival is on September 19 – 22, 2013. Mark the Date. You will definitely leave the festival thinking in a whole new way! Imagine the World.
Follow Storymoja Hay Festival on Facebook and on @SMHayFest on Twitter for updates on tickets, travel & accomodation, guest authors, pre-fest events and event programming. see also our official website.

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

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