africa

Petina Gappah is an award-winning and widely translated Zimbabwean writer. She is the author of two novels and two short story collections. Her work has also been published in, among others, The New Yorker, Der Spiegel, The Financial Times, and the Africa Report. For many years, Petina worked as an international trade lawyer at the highest levels of diplomacy in Geneva where she advised more than seventy developing countries from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America on trade law and policy. Petina has also been a DAAD Writing Fellow in Berlin, an Open Society Fellow and a Livingstone Scholar at Cambridge University. She has law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University in Austria, and the University of Zimbabwe.

In her latest novel, "Out of Darkness, Shining Light," she imagines the captivating story of the loyal men and women who carried explorer and missionary Dr. Livingstone's body, his papers and maps, fifteen hundred miles across the continent of Africa, so his remains could be returned home to England.

jajjaskids.org

The Jajja’s Kids program is a collaboration between Jajja’s Kids, Inc. in the United States and Jajja’s Kids–Africa based in Kampala, Uganda. Together, they provide support for twenty children and the staff of six who care for them. The ultimate goal is for Jajja’s Kids–Africa to become a self-sustaining program offering former street children a chance to succeed in life.

The USA component of Jajja’s Kids, Inc. is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization in upstate New York. Jajja’s Kids 8th Annual Fundraiser will take place this Sunday, September 22 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Revolution Hall in Troy, New York. The theme of this year's fall fundraiser is "Under One Sky" – based on the song written by Ruth Pelham.

We are joined by Jajja’s Kids, Inc. President Diane Reiner and Jajja’s Kids–Africa Program Director Ronnie Sseruyange.

The birth of South Sudan was celebrated the world round, a triumph for global justice and the end of one of the world’s most devastating wars. The Republic’s historic independence was acclaimed not only by its long-oppressed people, but by three U.S. presidents and the legions of Americans who championed their cause. But the celebration would not last; South Sudan’s freedom-fighters soon plunged their new nation back into chaos, shattering the promise of liberation and exposing the hubris of their American backers.

Drawing on personal stories of identity, liberation, and survival, "A Rope from the Sky" tells an epic story of paradise won and then lost. Zach Vertin’s firsthand accounts from deadly war zones to the halls of Washington power bring readers on an extraordinary journey into the rise and fall of the world’s newest state. South Sudan’s untold story is a unique episode in global history: an unprecedented experiment in international state-building, and a cautionary tale.

The Badilas are a close-knit family of artists whose incredible talent and community spirit have made them a household name in Hudson. The Badila’s unique blend of Central and West African traditions and popular culture resonates at home, and reverberates on the world stage. Elombe and Pamela Badila united to create a family and legacy of education and performance that celebrates their heritage. Elombe passed away in 2012 and his family continues this mission.

Hudson Hall presents a series of Badila family events this weekend. 

We learn more from each of them but do want to make sure it’s clear that there are many other siblings and participants celebrating and performing in Hudson this weekend.

"Spirit of the River" will be performed at Hudson Hall on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Milandou Badila (aka Young Paris) creates Afrobeat hip-hop music with an electronic injection on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. His most recent album is “My Tribe.” Lady Moon and The Eclipse perform on Saturday at 7pm - their EP "Believe" is available now and they are working on their first LP.

Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive. 

In "The Girl Who Smiled Beads," Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.

  Jonathan Starr, once a cutthroat hedge fund manager, is not your traditional do-gooder, and in 2009, when he decided to found Abaarso, a secondary school in Somaliland, the choice seemed crazy to even his closest friends. “Why,” they wondered, “would he turn down a life of relative luxury to relocate to an armed compound in a breakaway region of the world’s #1 failed state?” To achieve his mission, Starr would have to overcome profound cultural differences, broken promises, and threats to his safety and that of his staff.

It Takes a School is the story of how an abstract vision became a transformative reality, as Starr set out to build a school in a place forgotten by the world. It is the story of a skeptical and clan-based society learning to give way to trust. And it’s the story of the students themselves, including a boy from a family of nomads who took off on his own in search of an education and a girl who waged a hunger strike in order to convince her strict parents to send her to Abaarso.

In Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Helene Cooper tells the harrowing and triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women’s movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history.

South Sudan is the world’s newest country. The Central African nation gained independence in 2011, but in December 2013 internal conflicts erupted into civil war. Journalist Justin Lynch, a 25-year-old native of Saratoga Springs, was recently deported from South Sudan after publishing print articles and video on the war.

The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu:  And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts introduces readers to a mild mannered historian and librarian from Timbuktu, who morphed into one of the world’s greatest smugglers and pulled off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven. Joshua Hammer was Bureau Chief for Newsweek and correspondent at large on five continents. He is now a contributing editor to the Smithsonian and frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books.

Todd Moss is chief operating officer and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development a Washington DC think tank, and an adjunct professor at George Town University. From 2007 to 2008 he served a deputy assistant secretary of state and was responsible for diplomatic relations with sixteen West African countries. 

When he left the State Department he decided to write novels. He did so with fictional State Department crisis manager Judd Ryker. His first novel was entitled The Golden Hour; his new novel is called Minute Zero. 

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Police are reportedly guarding the home of Katie Chappell in Rye.
 


    Dinaw Mengestu’s work, including his first two novels, have earned him incredible critical acclaim as well as a MacArthur Foundation genius grant and selection by the New Yorker as one of their “20 Under 40” young writers central to their generation. And writing about his new novel, All Our Names, Kirkus Reviews calls Mengestu, “among the best novelists now at work in America.”

youtube / KTN Kenya

The world is mourning the death in Broome County of a prominent African scholar who had ties to New York's State University system.

Kenyan-born Professor Ali Mazrui died early Monday morning - the 81-year-old was an academic and political writer on African and Islamic studies and North-South relations, as well as professor and director of the Center for Global Cultural Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton.

8/5/14 Panel

Aug 5, 2014

    

  Today's panelists are Political Consultant Libby Post, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain and Helen Desfosses.

Topics include:
Obama on Africa
Midterm Elections
Rikers Inquiry
Women and Supreme Court

  This week in our Ideas Matter segment - we’ll learn about Mass Humanities’ Traveling Humanities Seminar to Ghana.

In 1957 Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve political independence and according to World Bank figures, Ghana is experiencing one of the fastest rates of economic growth in the world. While these credentials inspire enthusiasm both in and about the country, in the face of inefficient financial management by successive governments, high budget deficits, an electoral system in need of reform, high unemployment, and low education results per investment, the critics are questioning if free and fair elections alone defines Ghana as a democracy. The Mass Humanities Traveling Humanities Seminar looks at Ghana's emerging democracy.

    South Sudan is the latest global hot spot.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Chris Gibson — a Republican from the 19th district — tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the U.S. should support African and UN efforts there.

    

  Historian Lincoln Paine has just written a monumental retelling of world history through the lens of maritime enterprise, revealing in breathtaking depth how people first came into contact with one another by ocean and river, lake and stream, and how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world’s waterways, bringing together civilizations and defining what makes us most human.

In his book, Sea and Civilization: A Maitime History of the World, Lincoln Paine takes us back to the origins of long-distance migration by sea with our ancestors’ first forays from Africa and Eurasia to Australia and the Americas.

Paste Magazine

    Born in Benin, Angélique Kidjo is a Grammy award-winning music recording artist deemed "Africa's premier diva" by Time and is the continent's most internationally celebrated female musical exponent.

The BBC has included Angélique Kidjo in its list of the "African continent's 50 most iconic figures". The Guardian has listed her as one of their "Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World" and Angelique is the first woman to be listed among "The 40 Most Powerful Celebrities In Africa" by Forbes Magazine.

Known for her dynamic and uplifting music, she has translated her distinctive work in the arts to that of philanthropy; by promoting education for girls in Africa through her foundation, Batonga and as a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador.

Angélique Kidjo will perform at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA this Saturday, Feb. 23rd at 8pm.