Korean Tobacco Company Accused of Racist Ads

American WWII Poster

This one a brouhaha between a Korean Tobacco Company and the Africa Tobacco Producers Council.

Not a good job of winning friends and influencing. Obviously the Korean company didn’t “get” how the imagery might be insulting…

Nice to know Americans aren’t the only idiots out there.

One has to wonder though – if this company’s Marcom department all got their degrees from one of the private conservative colleges in the US. I mean – most real colleges talk about things like diversity and cultural sensitivity as part of Marketing 101, which are verboten topics in the conservative universe. And is one of the reasons conservatives constantly make complete asses of themselves when talking to anyone except over 60 year old white men. Ergo, if I want to market a product to any audience which includes Japanese…

I really don’t want to use the racist imagery common in the US during WWII

The part of this which is disappointing is that this sort of thing has been the subject of criticism of Asian Marketing before in China and Malaysia

 

 

Korean Tobacco Company Pulls ‘Racist’ Monkey Ads For ‘This Africa’ Cigarettes

Following cries of racism, South Korea’s largest tobacco company is pulling an advertisement for its new “This Africa” cigarettes.

The KT&G ads featuring a monkey dressed as a human were launched a month ago to promote the brand’s new “This Africa” cigarettes, according to the Agence France-Presse. The ads to promote cigarettes dried and roasted in “traditional” African style showed monkeys dressed as humans, tagged with the slogan “Africa is coming!”

Zambian Mirriam Simasiku, an African woman living in Seoul, told the Korea Times she found the ads extremely offensive.

“According to those images, Africans are just a bunch of uneducated monkeys,” she told the publication. “We as Africans are still a minority against a multitude of pure Koreans with no law to protect us. By the way, it is named This Africa, which is inappropriate since no one thought of making any connection.”

Going Out in Style in Ghana

Picking a coffin in Ghana for that deceased loved on is a bit more complex than “Do you want the wood one, or the brass handles?”

Funerals are one of the most important events in Ghanaian society. Frederick Nnoma-Addison, a D.C.-based journalist who comes from the West African country, says funerals in Ghana are considered an investment in the memory of the deceased. “Yes, there is mourning, but we also reflect his or her good life, and celebrate,” he told Seth Doane. 

And while a funeral lasts just a few hours, since eternity is, well, eternity, it’s important to spend it in style.

Style?

Check this out! For the ful set – follow the link above.

Ugandan Kids Get Serious About Baseball

Looks like the American Pastime Sport may not die out after all. Africa may provide an entirely new market wich revitalizes the sport.

Ugandan children’s new favorite sport: Baseball

 

KAMPALA, Uganda – Unlike in most of Africa, soccer is not the top sport at the Rev. John Foundation School in Uganda’s capital. Instead, a fairly foreign American game is No. 1 and catching on quickly.

“Baseball is our main game here,” head teacher Emmanuel Bazannye said of his school. “Even the girls love it. The girls want to participate after seeing the boys doing it. We say that what the boys can do, even the girls can do.”

Baseball is not widely played in Africa, but Uganda looks poised to be the launching pad for the game’s entry into this soccer-dominated continent.

Last year a team of young Ugandan ballers made international news in heartbreaking fashion. They qualified for the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., but were denied travel visas by the U.S. State Department because of a lack of documentation.

“We cried for two good days,” said George Mukhobe, the coach who would have led the team to America. “It meant a lot for those kids.”

Augustus Owinyi was the team’s first baseman. Although now too old for Little League, he still shows up during practices, pleasing coaches who see it as a sign of his commitment.

Owinyi wants to be like Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. The 13-year-old Owinyi met Rollins when the American visited Uganda in January and that memory makes him dream of playing Major League Baseball someday. His hopes for a career in baseball made the State Department’s visa denial especially painful.

“I felt very sad,” he said. “They gave us back our passports and said we were not to go. Some of us cried. I love this game. I see my future in this game.”

Ugandan sports followers say the school’s success in international competition has contributed to baseball’s popularity among schools that once were skeptical about the American game.

The school is preparing for a national baseball competition, where the winner will travel to Poland in July. It’s the first international opportunity for Ugandan youngsters following the failure to go to the Little League World Series.

The visa refusal spawned a wave of sympathy, but also inspired a fundraising drive that raised enough money to bring to Uganda a team from Canada that the Ugandans would have faced if they had competed in South Williamsport.

In January, the Ugandans beat the Canadians 2-1. Coach Mukhobe said that the win was more proof that Uganda had baseball talent.

Baseball still lags behind soccer across Uganda. But it’s catching on among schools attracted to its relative novelty and the government now backs the game’s introduction in schools.

About 60 schools encourage baseball, Mukhobe said, and this year a national baseball league was launched after it was endorsed by sports authorities. The baseball season started in mid-March.

Africa – The Mother of All Languages

Africa – the mother of all peoples on earth, was also where the first spoken languages were developed.

LANGUAGES

The Mother of All Languages

The world’s 6,000 or so modern languages may have all descended from a single ancestral tongue spoken by early African humans between 50,000 and 70,000 years ago, a new study suggests.

The finding, published Thursday in the journal Science, could help explain how the first spoken language emerged, spread and contributed to the evolutionary success of the human species.

Quentin Atkinson, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and author of the study, found that the first migrating populations leaving Africa laid the groundwork for all the world’s cultures by taking their single language with them—the mother of all mother tongues.

“It was the catalyst that spurred the human expansion that we all are a product of,” Dr. Atkinson said.

About 50,000 years ago—the exact timeline is debated—there was a sudden and marked shift in how modern humans behaved. They began to create cave art and bone artifacts and developed far more sophisticated hunting tools. Many experts argue that this unusual spurt in creative activity was likely caused by a key innovation: complex language, which enabled abstract thought. The work done by Dr. Atkinson supports this notion.

His research is based on phonemes, distinct units of sound such as vowels, consonants and tones, and an idea borrowed from population genetics known as “the founder effect.” That principle holds that when a very small number of individuals break off from a larger population, there is a gradual loss of genetic variation and complexity in the breakaway group.

Dr. Atkinson figured that if a similar founder effect could be discerned in phonemes, it would support the idea that modern verbal communication originated on that continent and only then expanded elsewhere.

In an analysis of 504 world languages, Dr. Atkinson found that, on average, dialects with the most phonemes are spoken in Africa, while those with the fewest phonemes are spoken in South America and on tropical islands in the Pacific.

The study also found that the pattern of phoneme usage globally mirrors the pattern of human genetic diversity, which also declined as modern humans set up colonies elsewhere. Today, areas such as sub-Saharan Africa that have hosted human life for millennia still use far more phonemes in their languages than more recently colonized regions do.

(more)

Ghaddafi Blackmails Europe… Literally

Oh My! Libyan Leader Col. Gaddafi offers to defend Europe from the Islamic and black Hordes for only a paltry $6 billion US…

Long way from blowing up airplanes full of white people.

Gaddafi demands £4 billion from EU or Europe will turn ‘black’

Gaddafi's Personal Nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska, without whom he refuses to travel was recently exposed by Wikileaks.

Muammar Gaddafi has demanded that the European Union give him more than £4 billion to fight illegal immigration or else Europe will turn “black” and be swamped by Muslims.

During an EU-Africa summit, that ended on Tuesday in Tripoli, theLibyan leader described European’s economic relationship with the African continent as a “failure”.

Unless “Christian, white” countries gave him extra funding, Colonel Gaddafi predicted that Europe would be flooded with illegal immigrants leaving impoverished Africa.

“We should stop this illegal immigration. If we don’t, Europe will become black, it will be overcome by people with different religions, it will change,” he said.

Col Gaddafi has so far received only £42 million in EU funding to improve treatment of refugees heading for Europe amid human rights fears and a recent refusal by Sweden to sell Libya surveillance planes.

The Libyan leader is critical of the EU for linking trade and aid to free markets and progress on human rights. He told EU officials at the summit that African leaders say they are ready to abandon ten years of trade talks because of European demands.

“Africa has other choices,” he said “Let every country and every group govern itself. Every country is free to serve its own interests. Africa can look to any other international bloc such as Latin America, China, India or Russia.”

 

 

 

Ancient Nubians Knew Value of Antibiotics

Turns out Nubians discovered the benefit of antibiotics over 2000 years ago.

ANCIENT NUBIANS DRANK ANTIBIOTIC-LACED BEER

People have been using antibiotics for nearly 2,000 years, suggests a new study, which found large doses of tetracycline embedded in the bones of ancient African mummies.

What’s more, they probably got it through beer, and just about everyone appears to have drank it consistently throughout their lifetimes, beginning early in childhood.

While the modern age of antibiotics began in 1928 with the discovery of penicillin, the new findings suggest that people knew how to fight infections much earlier than that — even if they didn’t actually know what bacteria were.

Some of the first people to use antibiotics, according to the research, may have lived along the shores of the Nile in Sudanese Nubia, which spans the border of modern Egypt and Sudan.

“Given the amount of tetracycline there, they had to know what they were doing,” said lead author George Armelagos, a biological anthropologist at Emory University in Atlanta. “They may not have known what tetracycline was, but they certainly knew something was making them feel better.”

Armelagos was part of a group of anthropologists that excavated the mummies in 1963. His original goal was to study osteoporosis in the Nubians, who lived between about 350 and 550 A.D. But while looking through a microscope at samples of the ancient bone under ultraviolet light, he saw what looked like tetracycline — an antibiotic that was not officially patented in modern times until 1950.

At first, he assumed that some kind of contamination had occurred.

“Imagine if you’re unwrapping a mummy, and all of a sudden, you see a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses on it,” Armelagos said. “Initially, we thought it was a product of modern technology.”

His team’s first report about the finding, bolstered by even more evidence and published in Science in 1980, was met with lots of skepticism. For the new study, he got help dissolving bone samples and extracting tetracycline from them, clearly showing that the antibiotic was deposited into and embedded within the bone, not a result of contamination from the environment.

The analyses also showed that ancient Nubians were consuming large doses of tetracycline — more than is commonly prescribed today as a daily dose for controlling infections from bad acne. The team reported their results in theAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology.

They were also able to trace the antibiotic to its source: Grain that was contaminated with a type of mold-like bacteria called Streptomyces. Common in soil, Strep bacteria produce tetracycline antibiotics to kill off other, competing bacteria.

Grains that are stored underground can easily become moldy with Streptomycescontamination, though these bacteria would only produce small amounts of tetracycline on their own when left to sit or baked into bread. Only when people fermented the grain would tetracycline production explode. Nubians both ate the fermented grains as gruel and used it to make beer.

The scientists are working now to figure out exactly how much tetracycline Nubians were getting, but it appears that doses were high that consumption was consistent, and that drinking started early. Analyses of the bones showed that babies got some tetracycline through their mother’s milk.

Then, between ages two and six, there was a big spike in antibiotics deposited in the bone, Armelagos said, suggesting that fermented grains were used as a weaning food.

Today, most beer is pasteurized to kill Strep and other bacteria, so there should be no antibiotics in the ale you order at a bar, said Dennis Vangerven, an anthropologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

But Armelagos has challenged his students to home-brew beer like the Nubians did, including the addition of Strep bacteria. The resulting brew contains tetracycline, tastes sour but drinkable, and gives off a greenish hue.

There’s still a possibility that ancient antibiotic use was an accident that the Nubians never knew about, though Armelagos has also found tetracycline in the bones of another population that lived in Jordan. And VanGerven has found the antibiotic in a group that lived further south in Egypt during the same period.

Finding tetracycline in these mummies, said VanGerven, was “surprising and unexpected. And at the very least, it gives us a very different time frame in which to understand the dynamic interaction between the bacterial world and the world of antibiotics.”

Serial Killer in Kenya Blames Teacher Blood Cult

Cops Nab Woman Suspected of Leading of Killer Cult

A high school teacher has been detained in Kenya, after a self-confessed serial killer said that she told him to kill 100 people for good fortune. Philip Onyancha, 32, has confessed to killing 17 people, mostly women, and says he did so because teacher Elizabeth Wambui inducted him into her blood-drinking cult when he was in school in 1996, the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation reports. “My target was to kill 100 women,” Onyancha said. “I managed 17 and there were 83 to go.” He said he targeted women and young children because they were weak. Police nabbed Onyancha last Thursday when he called the father of one of his victims to extort money from him. Since then, he’s been remarkably helpful, leading them to various murder sites around the country. He’s neatly resolved so many unsolved murders that some Kenyans suspect he’s lying, a BBC correspondent reports.

One Ghanaian African View of the Gates “Blame” Article

Because we are having a really good discussion here (and I thank James for his contributions to the discussion) – I thought I would throw this one in as indicative of what Africans think of the Gates article. This one is from Modern Ghana by Paul I. Adujie. I haven’t been able to pull up reactions from Nigeria yet.

Ending The Slavery Blame-Game By Henry Louis Gates, A Rejoinder

Nigerian-American Designer Lola Faturoti's New Obama Inspired Attire

It is with considerable agitation, and extreme irritation, with which I read Henry Louis Gates’ pedestrian essay on slave trade and reparations, published in The New York Times, titled Ending The Slavery Blame-Game.

Louis Gates is obviously seeking relevance and redemption after his arrogant altercations with a Cambridge police officer in 2009. Louis Gates it will be recalled, engaged in a shouting match in belligerent, intransigent and cantankerous manner, as he prevented a police officer from carrying out legitimate police work. At that time, it was pointed out by some, that Louis Gates was merely engaged in racial racketeering, as he accused the police officer of racism without basis. An accusation and serious charge of racism against a fine police officer, which was not based on the facts and the evidences.

Perhaps it is Henry Louis Gates’ calling card and nature, to make sundry conclusions while shirking away from the intellectual dexterity required to sift through facts and evidences, and engage in empirical analysis, particularly so, for anyone with pretension to academic credentials, and with desire to be taken seriously. In the all important matter of slave trade, slavery and overdue reparations, Gates has come with a claptrap and a hack job to absolve, exculpate and exonerate his historical tormentors?

Louis Gates lazily, engaged in this silly pretensions to rewrite and revise the well settled history of the profound evil of slavery, the worst evil, in human history, and yet, Gates offered obfuscations and parroting of recycled garbage, and sought to cover all these with his happenstance of being a Harvard University employee!

Gates’ inane contribution to revisionists efforts at retelling of the horrors and brutalities of slave trade is shameful. Gates writes about the slave trade as some sorts of friendly business transactions between willing seller and equally willing buyer, as would seller and buyer of pork barrels or barrels of sweet crude or commodities at the New York or Chicago Stock Exchanges; in which merchants of equal statuses seal deals with warm and endearing handshakes, with scheduled caviar and cocktails to follow.

Gates’ flimsy portrayals of Africans as conspiring, conniving and colluding collaborators, with those who came from thousands of miles to far away Africa, to kidnap, snatch and bundles and brutalize Africans into slavery, is an effort, which is worse than useless on the part of Gates. Gates’ melodramatic lies failed to inform his readers of Oba Ovoramwen of Benin, a king of the Bini Kingdom who was dethroned and exiled outside of his domain, because he opposed Europeans horrors and brutalities and oppression in his kingdom. And there were many others like Oba Ovaramwen and the Mau Mau, during slavery and colonialism, who opposed Europeans, and paid with their lives or were jailed by Europeans! Gates obviously have not read a single page about Belgian Congo and King Leopold? Continue reading

Dr, Boyce Watkins – Gates Full of It!

Watkins lights into Gates with this piece. I agree with Watkins that Gates has missed the key issues relative to slavery and Reparations, and fallen for the white supremacist line which is oft quoted as an excuse.

Henry Louis Gates lets US off the hook in ‘slavery blame game’

Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. recently wrote an interesting piece for the New York Times called, “Ending the Slavery Blame Game.” In the piece, Gates effectively argues that the fight for reparations is convoluted and somewhat mitigated by the fact that African elites participated in the slave trade. While describing complex business deals made between some African leadership and the Europeans who brought Africans to the New World, it almost appears as though Gates is saying that this disturbing relationship somehow undermines the right of African-Americans to hold our government accountable for its involvement in crimes committed against our people.

At very least, I am under the assumption that by “ending the slavery blame game,” Gates is arguing that we should stop blaming the United States government and white America for the rape, murder, castration, lynching and beating of our ancestors.

Sorry Dr. Gates, but I must respectfully (or perhaps not so respectfully) disagree. If a young girl is sold into prostitution by her own parents, the pimp must still pay for the suffering he caused the young woman. He can’t simply say, “Her parents made a deal with me, so you should stop the blame game.”

In other words, the United States, as a broad and powerful industrial entity, benefited from slavery to the tune of several trillion dollars. Much of this wealth was passed down from one white man to another, and was always out of the grasp of the black men, women and children who gave their lives on American soil in order to earn it. As a result, the median net worth of the African-American family is roughly one-tenth that of white American families and we have consistently higher unemployment due to our inability to create jobs, since white Americans own most businesses. Continue reading

Henry Louis Gates – On Slavery and Reparations

Think Professor Gates misses a half a dozen points here in this article, including the issues of generational slavery and Jim Crow being the actual driving issues behind much of the Reparations discussion…

So I believe Gates is wrong here on a number of points. After a snippet from the Gates piece, I will include a response by Boyce Watkins response, which isn’t very dissimilar to my reaction, except for the personal shot at Gates’ ego…

Ending the Slavery Blame-Game

THANKS to an unlikely confluence of history and genetics — the fact that he is African-American and president — Barack Obama has a unique opportunity to reshape the debate over one of the most contentious issues of America’s racial legacy: reparations, the idea that the descendants of American slaves should receive compensation for their ancestors’ unpaid labor and bondage.

There are many thorny issues to resolve before we can arrive at a judicious (if symbolic) gesture to match such a sustained, heinous crime. Perhaps the most vexing is how to parcel out blame to those directly involved in the capture and sale of human beings for immense economic gain.

While we are all familiar with the role played by the United States and the European colonial powers like Britain, France, Holland, Portugal and Spain, there is very little discussion of the role Africans themselves played. And that role, it turns out, was a considerable one, especially for the slave-trading kingdoms of western and central Africa. These included the Akan of the kingdom of Asante in what is now Ghana, the Fon of Dahomey (now Benin), the Mbundu of Ndongo in modern Angola and the Kongo of today’s Congo, among several others. Continue reading

Lost Tribe

The “lost tribes” of the Jewish Faith also settled in Africa.

Lost Jewish tribe ‘found in Zimbabwe’

Lemba wear the skullcap, and practice Jewish traditions, although they are mainly Christians and Moslem today

In many ways, the Lemba tribe of Zimbabwe and South Africa are just like their neighbours.

But in other ways their customs are remarkably similar to Jewish ones.

They do not eat pork, they practise male circumcision, they ritually slaughter their animals, some of their men wear skull caps and they put the Star of David on their gravestones.

Their oral traditions claim that their ancestors were Jews who fled the Holy Land about 2,500 years ago.

It may sound like another myth of a lost tribe of Israel, but British scientists have carried out DNA tests which confirm their Semitic origin.

These tests back up the group’s belief that a group of perhaps seven men married African women and settled on the continent. The Lemba, who number perhaps 80,000, live in central Zimbabwe and the north of South Africa.

Zimbabwean Lemba women

Lemba women do not have Jewish DNA

And they also have a prized religious artefact that they say connects them to their Jewish ancestry – a replica of the Biblical Ark of the Covenant known as the ngoma lungundu, meaning “the drum that thunders”.

The object went on display recently at a Harare museum to much fanfare, and instilled pride in many of the Lemba.

“For me it’s the starting point,” says religious singer Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave.

“Very few people knew about us and this is the time to come out. I’m very proud to realise that we have a rich culture and I’m proud to be a Lemba.

“We have been a very secretive people, because we believe we are a special people.”

Religion vs culture

The Lemba have many customs and regulations that tally with Jewish tradition.

They wear skull caps, practise circumcision, which is not a tradition for most Zimbabweans, avoid eating pork and food with animal blood, and have 12 tribes.

They slaughter animals in the same way as Jewish people, and they put the Jewish Star of David on their tombstones.

Members of the priestly clan of the Lemba, known as the Buba, were even discovered to have a genetic element also found among the Jewish priestly line.

“This was amazing,” said Prof Tudor Parfitt, from the University of London.

“It looks as if the Jewish priesthood continued in the West by people called Cohen, and in same way it was continued by the priestly clan of the Lemba.

“They have a common ancestor who geneticists say lived about 3,000 years ago somewhere in north Arabia, which is the time of Moses and Aaron when the Jewish priesthood started.”

Prof Parfitt is a world-renowned expert, having spent 20 years researching the Lemba, and living with them for six months.

The Lemba have a sacred prayer language which is a mixture of Hebrew and Arabic, pointing to their roots in Israel and Yemen.

Despite their ties to Judaism, many of the Lemba in Zimbabwe are Christians, while some are Muslims.

“Christianity is my religion, and Judaism is my culture,” explains Perez Hamandishe, a pastor and member of parliament from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

iPod, iPhone… iRape

Hat Tip – Truthdig on this bit on Conflict Minerals -

A background on what is going on in the Congo -


more about “iRape – Truthdig“, posted with vodpod

Alicia Keys Changing Lives In Africa (Helping Families Dealing With Aids & More)

Alicia Keys making a difference.

more about “Alicia Keys Changing Lives In Africa …“, posted with vodpod

 

Libyan President Gahdafi Praises Obama

Fox News telecast the President of Libya, Gahdafi’s entire 96 minute speech to the UN today…

Which is one more speech than they have broadcast recently made by President Obama.

Obviously, Faux News feels whatever President Gahdafi had to say to the UN is far more important to Americans…

Than what our own President has to say.

This bit from Faux, where the reporter repeats himself 5 times in 2 minutes over Gahdafi’s reference to Obama as Africa’s Native Son (Our Son) due to his Kenyan father-

File this one under – Racism, will indeed make you stupid.

Second, don’t let conservative racism fool you into believing Gahdafi is a raving lunatic, or stupid. He has become a force to be reckoned with through investing his country’s oil money in Sub Saharan Africa,  and (belatedly) is in the process of a massive infrastructure upgrade in his country, principally being funded on Libya’s own nickel instead of begging for money like many other countries. Since deciding to re-engage with the rest of the world 5 years ago, clearing up the last of the Raygun era Islamic radicalism, the country has been making moves to try and become an economic power.

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

This story of how African women forced the end of the war in Liberia is a stunning act of moral courage. Mayhaps Africa’s greatest and last hope is it’s women.

more about “Pray the Devil Back to Hell“, posted with vodpod

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