All Articles Tagged "african women"
That’s a first, huh? We’re constantly talking about black men and their obsession with silky straight hair that goes down to a woman’s butt, but you can count Ghanaian rap artist Gyedu Blay Ambolley out of that fan club. Joy Online caught some of the musician’s recent interview during the Black Pot segment on Taxi Driver on Hitz FM, and Gyedu was very upfront about his no fake hair policy for women he performs with. According to the site:
The highlife mogul said “I disagree with women performing with me and carrying Brazilian, Indian or any other wig.”
He also added that, female artistes who will perform with him should portray themselves as true Africans since it is important to portray our culture and identity.
He stated that we need to portray to the world and showcase what we have as black people and not what other countries have since there is a reason why God gave us our hair.
He indicated that Ghanaian women should be on the alert in view of the fact that if we condemn our own hair then it signifies that we are not satisfied with what God has given to us.
Ambolley also disclosed that he will stop any performance with any lady who goes contrary to his anti-wig and Brazilian hair campaign.
Somebody is anxious to put women on blast.
With so much of the pressure on our physical appearance—particularly our hair—coming from black men, it’s refreshing to hear an African man encouraging African women to display their hair in its natural state and showcase the beauty they were created with.
There is one semi-unfortunate caveat to this story though. I’m not personally familiar with this artist but according to some commenters on Joy Online, while Gyedu may prefer women he performs with to be all black everything, the woman he jumped the broom with is actually white. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a self-hating negro or hypocrite but it is always interesting when black men’s admiration of black women as they were created doesn’t extend to their choice for a spouse.
What do you think about Gyedu’s words? Do you think his white wife discredits his stance?
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If you go to Kenya, you may find that beer is the dominant drink choice for most of the population. But according to Bloomberg Businessweek, Diageo Plc, the world’s biggest distiller, is implementing a new campaign ad to bring women drinkers away from the beer and to their new product Snapp. Their ads feature the “Snapp Sisters,” independent minded women with a high taste for everything, including the beverages that they drink.
“Women are thinking about themselves in a new light,” Cristina Diezhandino, Diageo’s head of marketing in Africa told Bloomberg Businessweek. “They’re relying on their own means.”
Snapp speaks to the glamorous, sophisticated woman. The apple flavored drink contains five percent alcohol and is a cocktail-like option for female drinkers. It costs about the same price as a beer in the country, but is translucent and fizzy. Although it comes in a bottle similar to Smirnoff Ice, Diageo recommends serving it in tall Champagne flutes.
As the economy picks up speed across Africa, more people are moving into the middle class and more women are becoming financially independent. Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy, with a projected annual economic growth rate of 10 percent by 2030.
Diageo, which is based in London, is known for Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie whisky although Tusker and Serengeti beers and Guinness comprise its big sellers in Africa. The company owes nearly 14 percent of its sales to Africa. Last year, sales on the continent rose to about $2.1 billion.
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Yesterday, I was sitting begrudgingly at my desk, trudging along through some paperwork when I decided to take a sanity break and catch up on what the blogosphere was outraged about today. Today’s point of contention was over a cake. But this was no ordinary Betty Crocker concoction. No, this cake depicted a black African woman with a minstrel-esque face, being sliced open in the genital region by Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, a self-proclaimed anti-racist, who also just happens to be the Swedish minister of culture. The pictures alone were horrifying but the video of the spectacle is enough to reduce many to tears.
The display came courtesy of Makode Aj Linde, a black Swede who actually played the head of the cake as part of an art installation at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. In the footage from the event, you can see and hear Aj Linde screaming in agony as Liljeroth proceeded to cut and then feed that part of the cake, which is her vagina, to the performance artist while several established members of the Stockholm cultural elite watched, laughed and merrily devoured the body.
Linde said that the cake was meant to be provocative social commentary on the issue of female circumcision in Africa as it’s viewed by the West. And according his Facebook page, he writes, “This is after getting my vagaga mutilated by the minister of culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth. Before cutting me up she whispered ‘Your life will be better after this’ in my ear.”
Needless to say, I was floored at the open display of cannibalism at the expense of a grotesquely caricaturized image of a Black woman. My initial reaction was “what kind of fuckery is this?” And I wasn’t alone. A spokesperson from the National Afro-Swedish Association thought that the piece “adds to the mockery of racism in Sweden.”
But after a day of reflecting and a good night’s rest, I woke up, thought about it some more and said: On second consideration, now I get it.
To fully conceptualize the artist’s message, we have to first consider Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman, who was the most famous Southern African slave women to be exhibited as freak show attractions in 19th-century Europe under the name Hottentot Venus. Baartman was exhibited around Britain, France and places in between, entertaining people by showing what were thought of as highly unusual bodily features, mainly her large buttocks and elongated labia. Once the novelty of the Hottentot wore thin, Baartman was “freed” and eventually died from an undetermined ailment (many suspect her death was the result of the prostitution she endured in order to support herself after the being discarded by society). After her death in 1815, Baartman’s skeleton, which included her genitals, were placed on display in Paris until as recent as 1974.
Just today I read an article at “The State Column”. Under the headline, “Contraceptive may increase risk of HIV in women: Study” the teaser read: ” A new study released Monday finds that African-American women using an injectable hormone contraceptive are twice as likely to spread the virus (HIV) to their male partners, compared to women who use no contraception.”
Whoa that’s some serious stuff. So I read on to find out exactly what this was about.
The study claimed that women who already had HIV were more likely to spread the disease to their uninfected partner, over the course of two years, if they used this injectable contraceptive than those who had not. Make sense so far. But the study involved 4,000 African couples. One person (the woman) tested positive for HIV while her partner did not. The couples were located in Bostwana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia to be exact. Researchers are hypothesizing that the women who use this drug have higher concentrations of HIV inside their cervixes.
So herein lies my confusion. If the study was conducted on African women, why were the results being applied to African-American women?
As an African American woman I’m not trying to further distinguish myself from our sisters in Africa. There’s been plenty of that. I realize our physiological makeup still holds several similarities to the women in Africa. And I won’t pretend that HIV isn’t a serious issue within the black community, devastatingly so. But I’m also not ignorant enough to believe that black women are the only women who suffer from the disease. If not one African American women participated in the study then I don’t understand how the results can be applied.
Can someone help me?
Even if the results are applicable to African-American women, how do we know they don’t transfer to all women equally. In fact, at the end of the article “The State Column” mentions that 12 million women in sub-Saharan Africa use this injectable contraceptive compared 1.2 million women in the United States. Women, not African American women. From my knowledge the study didn’t include European or American white women or any other racial/ethnic combination, so how do we know only African-American women need to be on alarm?
I won’t say outright that this is racial targeting but I will give “The State Column” a severe side eye.
You can read the entire article and results of the study over at “The State Column”.
The women of Africa are doing big things, to say the least. As politicians, business executives, NGO leaders and policy makers, women are demonstrating that they are passionate about driving Africa’s economic and political growth. Based off of Forbes’ list, here are just several of Africa’s female prime players:
In 2005, Johnson Sirleaf made history when she was elected as the first female president of Liberia and all of Africa.The highlight of her time in office has been reducing Liberia’s national debt, which stood at approximately $4.9 billion in 2006. Her administration successfully negotiated for debt relief from international creditors, and in June 2010, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund waived off Liberia’s $4.9 billion foreign debt. Johnson-Sirleaf has limited excess borrowing by restricting annual borrowing to 3 percent of GDP and by limiting expenditure of borrowed funds to only one-off infrastructure projects.
Cameroonian photographer Mario Epanya went all out in his campaign to make Vogue Africa a reality. In order to get publisher Conde Nast to see the potential in the magazine–that would pay homage to African women–he created fictional covers, featuring gorgeous images, but it looks like it wasn’t enough.
World renowned musician Shakira says her performance in the World Cup closing ceremony will be a tribute to African women.