Thursday, 26 May 2016

African Cultures - Good Cultures and Bad Cultures

Africa, as in other parts of the world, there are many traditions 

which the fore-fathers instituted.  Some of these traditions 
are good in that they tend to guide the people to 
maintain law and order in the communities.

Some are actually bad and are being rejected, especially by the civilised society, the Islamic and Christian societies. These bad beliefs and practices were instituted in the olden days, mainly due to ignorance and superstition but are still practiced today in some communities with strong enforcement. 

Ill-Treatment of Widows.....
Areas of bad cultures, in Africa, which affect women most are where widows are made to shave their head and move about in complete black clothing everywhere they go for one year. This is a compulsory act of respect for the dead husband which the widow must carry out whether she likes it or not. In fact this is practised in almost every community in Africa, the civilised groups are making effort to modify it so that the widow may not shave her head but should mourn the dead husband in black clothing, and some places white clothing for only six months. But this modification is rejected in many communities where they demand full observation of the mourning right.

Widows To Drink Water Used To Wash Dead Husband…..
 In some communities widows are subjected to some wicked belief where they are told to drink the water used to wash the dead husband’s body. The reason given for this is to show that she is innocent of the husband’s death. If she did not die within certain number of days after drinking the water, that will exonerate her from killing her husband. Of ‘curse, this act is being kicked against by the religious groups but is still practised in many communities with strong enforcement. Any refusal by the widow to carry out this part of the culture is met with grievous punishment, including madness. 

Killing of Twins……
 A little child is not only precious to behold, but also one among the beauties nature bestows on mankind; a child is therefore a wondrous creature and as such ought to have some dignity attached to his or her personality. Among the Yoruba people of Nigeria, twins are called ibejis after Ibeji. People believe that, depending on how they are treated, twins can bring either fortune or misfortune to their families and communities. For this reason, twins receive special attention. Also, in some parts of the Ivory Coast, twins are also said to be able to stop the rain and are often called upon when there are manifestations or events and the weather turns inclement. In Guinea and in the Ivory Coast, when one twin is getting married, the other is also treated like the bride.

Unfortunately, not all communities share favourable superstitious belief about twins. Some communities believe those twins, or any birth exceeding one at a time is an abomination and that the twins should be killed as soon as possible. In most cases a sacrifice should be carried out by the family to appease the gods. It might surprise you that this horrible and wicked practise still exist today in many parts of Africa with strong enforcement. I remember where I used to work in south southern part of Nigeria. A young man was telling us that it should not be heard or spoken that a twin is born in their place. I told him that I love twins but he told me not to speak it outside because it is abomination. I was surprised, but he was defending the practice with strong confidence, even boasting about it….I wondered, how can culture be this wicked? 

In the Calabar region of Nigeria, killing of twins was practiced strongly but the good old Mary Mitchell Slessor, a Scottish Missionary to [Calabar] Nigeria, fought strongly against it bringing the practise to a stop. When she started the fight against the killing of twins, people called her names, regarding her as eccentric but she determined and brought the killing to a stop.

First Daughters – Not Allowed to Marry….
In some parts of Africa, first daughters are not allowed to marry They are to stay in the family to reproduce in other to perpetuate the family name. This is mostly practised by the Ikwere, Ogoni, etc. tribes of Nigeria. Even as the Christian groups are fighting against this practise, the traditionalists still strongly enforce it. 

 …..Just take a simple instance of where a young girl finds a handsome man of her choice that she wants to take as her husband. The parents say she must not marry the man because the custom is that she must not marry [as she is the first daughter who must not marry]. She refuses, and she is castigated, even cursed with madness…..

The above mentioned are some examples of bad cultures [More in later posts] which were ignorantly instituted in the olden days by the fore-fathers. Not only that these cultures are bad, but that some wicked and evil men trickily hide under its guise to oppress the weak. 
I am not writing this to make it look like Africa is so bad a continent or her countries so bad a place to live. But we should look into the bad cultures and make effort to stop them. These bad cultures not only cause grief and sadness to the people, but they also portray Africa as a primitive, if not wicked type of race. 

Take the case of castigating a healthy, energetic person to madness. This act is so shrouded in secrecy by the traditionalists. False stories are told about the poor fellow so that people will treat him/her as mad, ill-treating him, even using all sort of witchcraft on him. Eventually the poor fellow falls sick or loses control of self. Why should we have cultures that bring unhappiness to the people or maintain cultures that allow people to use for wickedness?

SMGEO is here to educate the society about bad beliefs
Join with us

Aspire to Lead: Why Confidence is Necessary for Women’s Leadership

Startup Stock Photos
On March 8th, International Women’s Day opened up a multitude of conversations about the value and role of women in society today. But while it is one thing to sit back and congratulate ourselves on having come so far, it is quite another to realize just how much better we can be, and furthermore, take action in order to make that change happen.
It is time consider how to empower and create leaders to drive the gender equality debate further. There is a gap in regards to women in leadership. According to UN Women, in the corporate world, only a measly 5 per cent of the CEOs leading the Fortune 500 companies are women. Likewise, in parliament, only 22 per cent of those participating are women.
These are intimidating numbers. And yet, studies and quotes have continually shown that breaking down the barriers of gender equality and allowing for the inclusion of women are not merely altruistic for the company, the society, and the nation, but also highly beneficial.
Women and men, alike, need to take the stand—to be bold, speak up, and take action for change. Ask yourselves, what would you do if you were not afraid?
Last month, PwC hosted their second global “Aspire to Lead” webcast centred around this very question, in the efforts of giving women the confidence to lead. The webcast featured Mike Fenlon, PwC’s Global and US Talent Leader, Eileen Naughton, Managing Director of Google UK and Ireland, and Claire Shipman and Kathy Kay, authors of The Confidence Code.
It’s a double-sided issue. Women are fighting against stereotypes on both fronts, that from society, and that from themselves. We are all familiar with how society views women and how that needs to change. But here, we confront a different side of the coin: how the way women view and portray themselves have tremendous impact on their role and potential to be leaders.
It is becoming increasingly clear that people—women and men alike—need to move past their fears and embrace confidence. This is the first step to take in embodying the traits of a leader, and also the first step towards breaking down gender barriers.
As Nora Wu, PwC Vice Chairwoman and Global Human Capital Leader, so candidly asks, “If you do not have confidence in yourself, how can you expect other people to have confidence in you?” Here are some valuable lessons from the webcast and various leaders in PwC.


 Confidence is taking ownership of yourself and your skills. It is being willing to step forward despite a self-perceived lack of confidence. It is knowing what you can do to make a difference and not being afraid to be different. Confidence is purpose, and it is motivation. Such confidence is what makes leadership possible.

Taking risks

This is the only way in order to grow in leaps and bounds. If complacency is the mark of a wasted life, then taking risks is the mark of a productive one. Having the confidence to take risks means taking purposeful action, and thereby informing your sense of self and others’ perception thereof. Creating yourself as a leader is a risk in and of itself. By pushing yourself to contribute, grow, and evolve in today’s fast-paced society, you are cultivating your potential.
The typical trend with women has been that they tend to be more passive. A speaker mentioned in the talk how women are only willing to apply for a position if they feel they have 100% of the qualifications, whereas men would be willing if they felt just 60%. Women should take initiative for themselves as well.

Know yourself

The advice “be yourself” might be a bit cliché but clichés have their root in truth. According to the Harvard Business Review, people become leaderships by internalizing a leadership identity, and thereby developing a sense of purpose. This sort of self-awareness is invaluable for any individual—when you know what you want, what you don’t, and what is important to you, you become much more effective and productive as a person.

Speak Up, Step Up, Be Resilient

Fear should be nothing but motivation to overcome it. Leaders are not scared to make impressions, to ask questions, or to learn. Confidence comes from building up resilience over time, being able to bounce back from problems and challenges over time. After all, we can have a lot more to learn from our failures than our successes.
Leaders should not be afraid of going out of the comfort zone, doing things differently, innovation. If one has the passion and ambition, one simply has to step forward and look for the opportunities, the people, the resources, and make it happen.

Share successes

This is arguably one of the prevalent strengths of the gender equality movement—that individuals are given a voice and a presence where they didn’t have one previously. It gives them a story, and what’s more, a story worth sharing. This is the backbone of solidarity movements like HeforShe, organizations such as Lean In, and campaigns such as #NotThere(by the No Ceilings initiative).
The point here is to let others know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and why it matters. Only then, can the impact be unleashed, through telling the full story.
The world has begun to realize that this is not so much a gender problem as it is a human problem. Now, more than ever, it is all about the equal value of every individual, and resulting equal opportunity. Indeed, today’s quickly evolving society fosters a culture of growth, in which opportunities abound.
For the gender debate, it is hugely important to discuss how the unbalanced proportion of opportunity is slanted towards the male population, yes, but it is also equally important to empower women towards taking action for themselves.
“Aspire to Lead” focuses on this very issue—raising awareness has been done, many times. There has been a plethora of different discussions and exchanges of ideas. Now it is all about confidence and the resulting proactivity. By collectively taking ownership and taking action, we become leaders who can propel people forward into a more inclusive, accepting society.

5 Successful Societies Run By Women

Although women have made great strides in terms of equality over the years, worldwide, men still own more businesses and run more countries and communities—it’s still a man’s world. There are precious few examples of societies that are truly governed and actually led by women, but they’re out there. And we could stand to learn a thing or two from them: here are five women-run societies from around the world, and the governing philosophies that make them unique.

The Ede of Vietnam

Traditionally, in Ede villages, women own all of the property and they pass it on to their daughters. Ede women are expected to propose to their husbands; the husband then takes the name of the woman’s family and lives in the family’s longhouse. The eldest woman in the longhouse even gets her own handmade chair, which must be carved painstakingly from one piece of wood. Land is owned communally by the village while the forests are sacred, part of their ancient animistic religion. While vestiges of ancient customs still remain, the Ede of today are primarily Protestant Christians.

The Mosuo People of China

In Mosuo society, women make most of the business decisions and they run the households completely. The Ah Mi is the ultimate leader of a household, typically the eldest female. Children are raised communally. Often one household will take in another household’s child, and raise them as part of the family. While everyone else shares a communal space, women over 13 years old get the privacy of their own room, called a “flowering room.” The Mosuo practice walking marriage, which basically means a woman can pick a partner but aren’t really bound to them. Children are raised by the whole household and uncles are expected to play the male role in the lives of their nieces and nephews. It’s a dynamic, fluid society in which women have dominant power roles.

The Native American Hopi Tribe

The Hopi Indians call themselves “The Peaceful People.” They based their way of life on a respect for their environment, and Hopis traditionally organize themselves matrilinearly. Women hold most of the power, even though the labor is divided equally. All of the women come together whenever a baby in the tribe is 20 days old in order to name it. It’s a remarkably cooperative society, and one that evokes communal principles on every level.

The Chambri of Papua New Guinea

Margaret Mead’s writings about the Chambri people from the 1930’s helped bolster feminism in the United States. Mead wrote about how women did the fishing and provided for their family and community in Chambri society. Anthropologists later concluded that although Mead’s observations were right, the power dynamic in Chambri relationships is more equal than she let on. Nonetheless, the Chambri still provide an example of a society with a atypical sexual politics — where women maintain control of many aspects of the culture.


Okay, so Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 1910 classic is complete fiction, and includes the supernatural (and convenient) element of virgin birth… still, Herland reveals what we, as a society, think of women and how they would run the world. In Herland, the women value motherhood above all, they raise children communally, they are devoted to education — and they’re completely peaceful. In other words, the aggressive, war-like tendencies of men fade away, and the desires for progress and democratic harmony are advanced.

When Women Lead?

From this cursory view of women-run societies, some fundamental differences from predominantly male-run communities become pretty clear. Most strikingly, these cultures appear to have quite a different view of ownership than the one that dominates in Western culture today — a far greater emphasis is placed on communal participation than in societies run by men, which tend to be more hegemonic. Children, for example, belong to the whole community rather than to a single family, and land is shared instead of partitioned off. Of course, this was just a casual look at some incredibly complex and unique communities around the globe — but if they’re any indication, societies run by women stand to be more egalitarian, more nurturing, and perhaps more just.

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Tanzania Maternal Child


maternal & newborn health
© UNICEF Tanzania/2010/Pudlowski
Leha, 30, with her three-month old baby Shefari. She has 7 children, all were born at home. In Tanzania, only half of all deliveries take place at health facilities.
Tanzania’s progress in maternal and child health
Fast facts
  • Under-five mortality 81/1,000 live births
  • Neonatal mortality 26/1,000 live births
  • Infant mortality 51/1,000 live births
  • Maternal mortality 454/100,000 live births
  • Delivery in health facility 51%
  • Pregnant women immunized against Tetanus (TT2+) 48%
  • Children (12-23 months) fully immunized 75%
  • Children under five sleeping under an insecticide treated net 64%
  • Proportion of infants with low birth weight (<2.5kg) 7%
Tanzania is making considerable progress in the reduction of child mortality. Under-five mortality rates continue to drop from 112 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005 to 81 in 2010. The deaths of infants under one year also decreased from 68 to 51 per 1,000 live births over the same period.
The continuing decline can be attributed to Government commitments to increase use of key health interventions, such as sustained high coverage of routine under-five immunization, Vitamin A supplementation, the use of insecticide treated bed nets and better drugs to treat malaria. Despite improvements, about 390 children under five die every day of mainly preventable and treatable conditions.
Tanzania is close to meeting the 2015 Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality (MDG 4). However, current efforts need to be sustained and scaled up in some areas in order to maintain and build on the achievements. High population growth places additional strain on service provision at all levels. Pockets of low performance for key interventions also have an impact. For example, fluctuations in routine measles immunization of children under-five years has led to outbreaks and necessitated emergency measles campaigns.
Neonatal conditions like birth asphyxia and infections are the major causes of death in young children, followed by pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria. AIDS is also a major killer, responsible for about 9 per cent of under-five deaths. Poor nutrition is a significant compounding factor in child mortality.
© UNICEF Tanzania
In Tanzania, only 23 per cent of children are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.
Mothers and babies
Of great concern are the high death rates of newborn babies and mothers. Around 32 per cent of all under-five deaths occur in the first 28 days of life – many infants survive for only a few days.
These deaths occur in a context where about half of all births take place at home, with assistance from a relative or traditional birth attendant. Most of these births take place in unhygienic conditions. If life threatening complications develop at home the realization and decision making often comes too late to reach appropriate care at health facilities in time.  
Neonatal deaths are inextricably linked to the health of the mother during pregnancy and to the conditions of delivery and newborn care. Close to 8,000 women die every year during pregnancy and child birth as a result of conditions that could have been prevented or treated. Poor quality of care due to an insufficient number of skilled health workers and lack of basic equipment, as well as long distances from home to health care facilities are major deterrents to facility delivery. Women living in rural areas, those who come from the poorest families and those who are less educated, have the least access to skilled attendance at delivery. Women who start having children in adolescence tend to have more children and shorter spacing between pregnancies – all of which are risk factors for maternal and neonatal mortality. The neonatal mortality rate is highest among mothers under-20 years of age at 45 per 1000 live births compared with 29 per 1000 for mothers aged 20 to 29 years.
Maternal death rates are closely linked with the high fertility rates and low socio-economic status of women, especially the lack of influence that women have over their own health care or over the daily household budget. About 40 per cent of Tanzanian women do not participate in significant decisions regarding their own health care. On average, every Tanzanian woman gives birth to 5 or 6 children and 1 in 3 of them begins childbearing before the 18th birthday.
Tanzania is very far from achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing Maternal Mortality (MDG5). According to 2009/10 Demographic and Health Survey,  every year 454 women die from pregnancy related complications for every 100,000 live births. Causes of maternal death include obstetric haemorrhage, unsafe abortions, eclampsia, obstructed labour and infections. Low availability of emergency obstetric and new born care services, chronic shortage of skilled health providers together with a weak referral system contribute to the observed high maternal deaths.

mwanamke makini

mwanamke kamili ni mwanamke ambaye anafanya kazi , si idler, lakini pia si mwanamke ili mradi mwanamke bali ni yule ambaye anatumia mikono yake, kichwa chake na moyo wake kwa wema wa wengine,‪#‎mrembotz‬Amka,jitume, mafanikio hayaji tu

Facts and Figures: Ending Violence against Women

1 in 3 women still experience physical or sexual violence.

Various forms of violence

  • It is estimated that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. However, some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime [1].
  • Women who have been physically or sexually abused by their partners are more than twice as likely to have an abortion, almost twice as likely to experience depression, and in some regions, 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV, as compared to women who have not experienced partner violence [2].
  • Although little data is available—and great variation in how psychological violence is measured across countries and cultures—existing evidence shows high prevalence rates. Forty-three per cent of women in the 28 European Union Member States have experienced some form of psychological violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime [3].
  • It is estimated that of all women who were the victims of homicide globally in 2012, almost half were killed by intimate partners or family members, compared to less than six per cent of men killed in the same year [4].
  • In 2012, a study conducted in New Delhi found that 92 per cent of women reported having experienced some form of sexual violence in public spaces in their lifetime, and 88 per cent of women reported having experienced some form of verbal sexual harassment (including unwelcome comments of a sexual nature, whistling, leering or making obscene gestures) in their lifetime [5].
  • Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children (below 18 years of age). Of those women, more than 1 in 3—or some 250 million—were married before 15. Child brides are often unable to effectively negotiate safe sex, leaving them vulnerable to early pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted infections, including HIV [6].
  • Around 120 million girls worldwide (slightly more than 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. By far the most common perpetrators of sexual violence against girls are current or former husbands, partners or boyfriends [7].
  • At least 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting in 30 countries, according to new estimates published on the United Nations’ International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation in 2016. In most of these countries, the majority of girls were cut before age 5. [8].
  • Adult women account for almost half of all human trafficking victims detected globally. Women and girls together account for about 70 per cent, with girls representing two out of every three child trafficking victims [9].
  • One in 10 women in the European Union report having experienced cyber-harassment since the age of 15 (including having received unwanted, offensive sexually explicit emails or SMS messages, or offensive, inappropriate advances on social networking sites). The risk is highest among young women between 18 and 29 years of age [10].
  • An estimated 246 million girls and boys experience school-related violence every year and one in four girls say that they never feel comfortable using school latrines, according to a survey on youth conducted across four regions. The extent and forms of school-related violence that girls and boys experience differ, but evidence suggests that girls are at greater risk of sexual violence, harassment and exploitation. In addition to the resulting adverse psychological, sexual and reproductive health consequences, school-related gender-based violence is a major obstacle to universal schooling and the right to education for girls [11].

Measures to address violence

  • In the majority of countries with available data, less than 40 per cent of the women who experience violence seek help of any sort. Among women who do, most look to family and friends and very few look to formal institutions and mechanisms, such as police and health services. Less than 10 per cent of those women seeking help for experience of violence sought help by appealing to the police [12].
  • At least 119 countries have passed laws on domestic violence, 125 have laws on sexual harassment and 52 have laws on marital rape. However, even when laws exist, this does not mean they are always compliant with international standards and recommendations or implemented [13].
  • Availability of data on violence against women has increased significantly in recent years. Since 1995, more than 100 countries have conducted at least one survey addressing the issue. Forty-four countries undertook a survey in the period between 1995 and 2004, and 89 countries did so in the period between 2005 and 2014, suggesting growing interest in this issue. More than 40 countries conducted at least two surveys in the period between 1995 and 2014, which means that, depending on the comparability of the surveys, changes over time could be analysed [14].

Violence among vulnerable groups

  • Evidence suggests that certain characteristics of women, such as sexual orientation, disability status or ethnicity, and some contextual factors, such as humanitarian crises, including conflict and post-conflict situations, may increase women’s vulnerability to violence [15].
  • In 2014, 23 per cent of non-heterosexual women (those who identified their sexual orientation as lesbian, bisexual or other) interviewed in the European Union indicated having experienced physical and/or sexual violence by both male and female non-partner perpetrators, compared with five per cent of heterosexual women [16].
  • Also, 34 per cent of women with a health problem or disability reported having experienced any physical or sexual violence by a partner in their lifetime, compared to 19 per cent of women without a health problem or disability, also based on data from the European Union [17].


[1] World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, South African Medical Research Council (2013). Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence, p.2. For individual country information, see The World’s Women 2015, Trends and Statistics, Chapter 6, Violence against Women, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2015.
[2] Ibid.
[3] European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2014). Violence against women: an EU-wide survey, p. 71.
[4] United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2014). Global Study on Homicide 2013, p. 14.
[6] UNICEF (2014). Ending Child Marriage: Progress and Prospects, p. 2, 4.
[9] UNODC (2014). Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, p. 5, 11.
[10] See European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2014). Violence against women: an EU-wide survey, p. 104.
[11] Data taken from (i) Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EFA GMR), UNESCO, United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) (2015). School-related gender-based violence is preventing the achievement of quality education for all, Policy Paper 17, and (ii) UNGEI (2014). End School-related gender-based violence (SRGBVB) infographic.
[12] United Nations Economic and Social Affairs (2015). The World’s Women 2015, Trends and Statisticsp. 159.
[13] Ibid, p. 160.
[14] Ibid, p. 140.
[15] See European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2014). Violence against women: an EU-wide survey, Annex 3, p. 184-188.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Ibid.
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The west perceives Africa as the dark continent plagued with basic troubles which have rendered her incapable of advancing herself! Oh mother Africa, your beloved children are the root cause of your problems! Why is Africa still unadvanced in the midst of precious natural resources in huge quantities?

This question sounds simple to most of us, but the answer is ridiculously complex! And only a fool says that being black is condemned darkness and inferiority, because blacks and whites were all created in the image of God!

Moreover, I still cannot fathom out why Africa finds it impossible to solve her basic troubles like poverty, diseases, ignorance, conflicts, hunger, corruption etc! However, my candid observation shows that the apathy of blacks is to blame for this phenomenon! Our apathy as blacks is slowly killing our dear continent! Also, do you believe that the whites are only destined to advance Africa for us? That is acute slave mentality emanating from Africa's colonisation and now neocolonisation! Gosh, we blacks need to undergo personal mental and attitudinal metamorphosis!

Damn it, we blacks must take responsibility for the advancement of Africa, because the future of Africa is great! Oh Lord help me complete my transformational contribution to the advancement of Africa! As a teenage Pan-Africanist, I am creating the future of Africa in my world, because I want a secure continent for my descendants in Africa! Fellow teenage Africans, we are the future of Africa and we must work to eventually save our dear continent from her resource curse! #IAmAProudBlackAfrican

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