As the World bids farewell to the yearly celebrations of the birth of the savior Jesus Christ characterized by pompous decorations and characterization of a mystical Santa in the western world, the black people communities in America and different parts of the Caribbean communities begin the celebration of a seven days long holiday fondly known as Kwanzaa!

For folks like Chief Rev. Wayne Onkphra Wells the chairperson of the Barbados Pan African Coalition of Organizations, Kwanzaa is one of the many ways Africans living in the diaspora can rejuvenate the spirit of Pan-Africanism
by embracing customs relevant to their roots!

“I was introduced to the principles of Kwanzaa before I even knew about Kwanzaa” Rev.Wells reiterates.

He recollects a time in the year 1970 when a revolution broke out on the Island of Trinidad leading to the awakening of the nation to black people consciousness.

The strife opened Trinidad and Tobago to the Principles of Kwanzaa based on which the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) was formed.

NJAC was formed to advocate for the abolition of the injustices against the black majority in Trinidad and Tobago at the time.

“Barbados is still struggling with the aftermath of the colonial era” adds Rev. Wayne as he talks about the scope at which Kwanzaa is embraced in Barbados.

“ Even though it involves elements of white supremacy, the majority of the people here still widely celebrate the Christmas holiday” he says.

However, Rev. Wayne adds that each year a considerable number of people continue to join the awakening towards advocating for reparations.

“We have been lucky to have support from the prime minister Mia Amor Mottley’s office through the special envoy for reparations and enfranchisement Trevor Prescod” the Rev. Says.

Government support of this kind has been instrumental in exerting reparations movements in Barbados leading to at least 95% of the schools joining in the celebration of the African awareness month annually in the month of February.

“Kwanzaa does not seek to replace Christmas, but provides an alternative for those who seek a more afro centered holiday celebration” Rev. Wayne reiterates as he adds that unlike white supremacists portraying the western world as the pioneers of Faith beliefs, Africans have always been spiritual.

The seven days long ceremony stands on Pan Africanist Dr. Maulana Karenga ’s shared creation of this collective celebration of Afrakan family, community, culture, heritage and sovereignty that existed in different harvest and village healing prosperity celebrations for millennia.

The celebration stands on the principles of Unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and Faith.

“Africans should embrace practices that rejuvenate the spirit of Pan-Africanism” Rev.Wells concludes.

Written by : Agnes Namale
AIDO Press Secretary.

Email :info@aidonetwork.org
Web : www.aidonetwork.org

There is a common tale among my people of a magnificent black spotted god who manifested in the form of a Leopard! \”Mayanja the god of the waters\”

From time immemorial, the leopard has been revered in the Buganda culture as an elusive symbol of the divine god of the waters!

Even though many tales depict Mayanja as but a single symbol, the legends still depict his manifestation in the form of a leopard as a remarkable part of our history!

The Luganda-French dictionary produced at the beginning of the 20th century by the White Fathers indicated, in the entry for Mayanja: “deity incarnated in the leopard” that Apolo Kagwa, the Protestant politician and a great scholar of colonial Buganda, added to this description in 1907 these words: “Mayanja was a river, at Seguku, which gave oracles”

“The river was afterwards worshiped under the form of a leopard, which some people account for by saying that the leopard was drowned in it. It is said that the ghost of this leopard afterwards took possession of a man, who, when under its influence, gave his oracle in gruff tone and made noises like a leopard.”

Mayanja was not the only spirit incarnated in a leopard, far from it. On the other hand, it is very unusual to find a leopard accidentally drowned.

These animals normally belong to the category of spirits referred to as misambwa. This term designates the spirits of nature and the spirits of place (trees, rocks, springs, etc.). For example, the musambwa of the Lubigi swamp that feeds into the Mayanja at the capital was a python spirit (Stock 2019). But Mayanja is different, it belongs to another category: that of the baluubale, the national or regional gods.

Mayanja exemplified the transformation of certain misambwa into baluubale and the birth of a new religion, more powerful and more flexible. This was the cult of the spirit of a river which crosses the heart of the kingdom of Buganda and which, later (between 1400 and 1600, according to Schoenbrun), was transformed into a national god.

However, in Ancient African Egyptian Kemetic Spirituality, symbols played a central role in conveying complex spiritual concepts. The leopard skin was one such symbol that held immense significance in the religious practices of the Kemetic Priesthood or Masons.

The Leopard, known for its intelligence and mastery of the land, water, and tree domains, was considered the most superior predator in the eyes of the Kemites. As such, the Leopard skin came to represent divinity and authority.

Agnes Namale
AIDO SECRETARIAT

Born Claudia Etornam Kudzi to Nicholas Yao Kudzi of Gbi-Abansi and Elizabeth Nyewolemah of Gbi-Kpeme, Mama Dzidoasi I is a sub-divisional queen from Gbi Traditional Area; the queen of Abansi-Asedukluvi.

At the young age of 20, in the year 2006, while studying marketing at the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) – now University of Professional Studies (UPS) – Ms. Kudzi was enstooled as Mama Dzidoasi I by the elders of Gbi-Abansi. She effectively occupied a brand-new stool representing the Asedukluvi clan of the town and began her reign as the very first from Abansi in that position.

For Mama Dzidoasi I, traditional leadership is a family thing. Her paternal grandfather, Fidelix Yao kudzi, of blessed memory, was the first Asafoatse of Gbi-Abansi. Her maternal great grandfather (mother’s maternal grandfather), Daniel Zikpi Anyigba, also was the first Asafoatse of Gbi Kpeme.

During her reign, she has been able to become: the Regional Chair: Volta Lands Commission, Member: National Lands Commission and Co-organizer of seminar for chiefs and queens of Hohoe Municipal Area as part of the Ghana at 50 Celebration.

She successfully solicited support from the Austrian High Commission through the Volta Foundation to build a six-sitter environmentally friendly latrine for Abansi-Adzage Kofe, secured sponsorship from Tigo, lobbed support from Ghana Education Service and Ghana Aids Commission through her office, Dzidoasi Community Development, to organize an AIDS’ day quiz to mark World AIDS’ Day observation for junior high schools in the Hohoe municipality.

Mama Dzidoasi joined Aido Network in 2019 and was one of Aido Royal delegation to South Africa for the world Peace Summit. Although highly placed in the government ladder as chair of the Volta land Commission, she is an accomplished businesses woman in Ghana, a lawyer by profession and an advocate for a Global Africa.

Namale Agnes
AIDO Sectariat.

Email: info@aidonetwork.org
Web: www.aidonetwork.org

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The Fulani people, also known as the Fula or Fulbe, are an ethnic group spread across several countries in West and Central Africa.

They are known for their pastoralist lifestyle, which revolves around herding cattle, sheep, and goats. The Fulani are traditionally nomadic or semi-nomadic, moving with their herds in search of grazing land and water.

These people are linguistically diverse, with various dialects and languages belonging to the Niger-Congo language family. Their culture is rich and varied, with distinct clothing, jewelry, music, and oral traditions. Many Fulani communities are organized around a hierarchical social structure, with cattle ownership often determining one\’s status.

While historically focused on livestock, many Fulani people have also engaged in trade, farming, and other occupations. Over time, factors such as urbanization, modernization, and changing land use patterns have led to some Fulani groups settling in towns and cities.

It\’s important to note that the Fulani population spans across different countries, including Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Niger, Cameroon, and more. Due to this dispersion, there is a range of cultural variations among Fulani communities.

The Fulani culture is rich and diverse, reflecting their history as nomadic pastoralists and their widespread distribution across West and Central Africa. Here are some highlights of their culture:

  1. Nomadism and Pastoralism: The core of traditional Fulani culture revolves around cattle herding. Cattle are not just livestock; they are a symbol of wealth, status, and cultural identity. Fulani herders are known for their deep knowledge of the land and the seasonal migrations (transhumance) to find pasture.
  2. Housing: Traditionally, the Fulani who maintained a nomadic lifestyle lived in temporary huts known as \”sukalus.\” These are easily assembled and disassembled, suiting their mobile lifestyle.
  3. Dress: Fulani attire is often distinctive. Women wear long flowing robes with matching headscarves and are known for their elaborate jewelry, including large golden earrings called \”kwottenai kanye.\” Men often wear large hats with intricate embroidery and carry walking sticks.
  4. Tattoos and Scarification: Both Fulani men and women may have facial tattoos and scarifications, which are considered marks of beauty and identity.
  5. Music and Dance: Fulani music often revolves around the themes of love, cattle, and pastoral life. They play instruments like the \”hoddu\” (a type of lute) and the \”rity\” (a fiddle). Traditional dances, such as the \”Yaalali\” and \”Bolojo,\” are performed during social gatherings and ceremonies.
  6. Social Structure: Fulani society is hierarchically structured. At the top are the \”Fulbe Woɗaaɓe\” (nobles), who are cattle owners and herders. Below them are the artisanal and servile classes.
  7. Language: The Fulani speak Fula (or Fulfulde/Pulaar, depending on the region), which belongs to the Niger-Congo language family. There are various dialects due to their wide geographical spread.
  8. Religion: The majority of the Fulani are Sunni Muslims. They have been instrumental in the spread of Islam across West Africa, especially during the jihad states\’ establishment in the 19th century.
  9. Festivals: Like other Muslim communities, the Fulani celebrate Islamic festivals like Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. They also have ceremonies related to pastoral life, like the \”gerewol,\” a male beauty contest and courtship ritual among the Wodaabe subgroup.
  10. Craftsmanship: Fulani are known for their craftsmanship, particularly in leatherwork, weaving, and metalwork (especially in making jewelry).

Given their vast dispersion across Africa, it\’s essential to understand that these cultural practices might vary among different Fulani groups. However, these highlights provide an insight into the shared and celebrated aspects of their culture.

Source :His Majesty King Bashir Abdulsalam [Toro Of Bade) and Chairman AIDO Yumbe state, Nigeria.

Namale Agnes.
AIDO Sectariat.
Email: info@aidonetwork.org
Web: www.aidonetwork.org

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