Tag Archives: Nigeria

Nigerian Women Say ‘MeToo.’ Critics Say ‘Prove It.’

It was, she said, a secret that burned so badly she could no longer keep it inside. So at age 34, Busola Dakolo, a well-known Nigerian photographer, went on television and finally spoke.

She said she had been raped twice as a teenager by her former pastor, Biodun Fatoyinbo, a church leader whose services draw thousands, and whose fans, admiring his flashy lifestyle, have taken to calling him “the Gucci pastor.” He has denied the allegations.

After years in which silence around rape and sexual harassment have been the norm, West Africa is seeing a wave of #MeToo proclamations.

Accusations have come from a Gambian beauty queen who said the former president raped her; a former presidential adviser in Sierra Leone who said she was sexually assaulted by a church leader; and a Nigerian journalist with the BBC who captured hidden camera footage of university professors soliciting sex in exchange for admission and grades.

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Posted by on January 11, 2020 in Africa


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Still Becoming: At Home In Lagos

Lagos will not court you. It is a city that is what it is. I have lived part-time in Lagos for 10 years and I complain about it each time I return from my home in the US — its allergy to order, its stultifying traffic, its power cuts. I like, though, that nothing about Lagos was crafted for the tourist, nothing done to appeal to the visitor. Tourism has its uses, but it can mangle a city, especially a developing city, and flatten it into a permanent shape of service: the city’s default becomes a simpering bow, and its people turn the greyest parts of themselves into colourful props. In this sense, Lagos has a certain authenticity because it is indifferent to ingratiating itself; it will treat your love with an embrace, and your hate with a shrug. What you see in Lagos is what Lagos truly is.

And what do you see? A city in a state of shifting impermanence. A place still becoming. In newer Lagos, houses sprout up on land reclaimed from the sea, and in older Lagos, buildings are knocked down so that ambitious new ones might live. A street last seen six months ago is different today, sometimes imperceptibly so — a tiny store has appeared at a corner — and sometimes baldly so, with a structure gone, or shuttered, or expanded. Shops come and go. Today, a boutique’s slender mannequin in a tightly pinned dress; tomorrow, a home accessories shop with gilt-edged furniture on display.

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Posted by on August 12, 2019 in Africa



Der Reis bringt einen Modernisierungsschub

Im Laufe der vergangenen Jahrzehnte ist Reis in Afrika vom Luxusgut zum Grundnahrungsmittel geworden. Der Konsum nimmt südlich der Sahara jährlich um 3% zu. Die lokalen Bauern können mit der wachsenden Nachfrage nicht Schritt halten. Besonders frappant ist diese Diskrepanz in Nigeria, dem mit 190 Millionen Einwohnern bevölkerungsreichsten Land Afrikas. Die wachsende Nachfrage nach Reis hängt mit der Verstädterung und einem schnelleren Lebensrhythmus zusammen. Die Zubereitung der traditionellen Nahrungsmittel ist arbeits- und zeitintensiv; Reis hingegen lässt sich rasch kochen und ist trotzdem günstig. Aber der Reisanbau in Nigeria ist relativ unproduktiv. 90% der Reisbauern verfügen über weniger als eine Hektare Land. Sie besitzen weder Zugang zu Krediten noch zu verbessertem Saatgut, Dünger und modernem Know-how. Sie produzieren für den Eigenbedarf; nur was übrig bleibt, verkaufen sie. Da ihr Reis qualitativ schlechter ist als der aus Asien importierte, muss er billiger verkauft werden. Die Regierung verkündet, Nigeria werde bald keinen Reis mehr einführen, sondern sogar exportieren; der Import auf dem Landweg wurde verboten. Aber bis jetzt werden erst etwa 40% des Bedarfs durch einheimischen Reis gedeckt.

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Posted by on February 19, 2019 in Africa, Reportages


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The juju curse that binds trafficked Nigerian women into sex slavery

Every night as dusk falls in Piazza Gastone in the Noce district of Palermo, a tall, imposing Ghanaian woman dressed in traditional west African robes stands before a small congregation sweating in rows of plastic chairs before her.The Pentecostal Church of Odasani has been converted from an old garage in a backstreet into a place of worship, albeit one unrecognised by any formal faith group. But what many of the congregation – largely young Nigerian women – have come for tonight is more than prayer; it is freedom.“Nigerian women come to me for help, they have bad spirits that have been put inside their bodies by people who want to make money from them,” says the self-proclaimed prophetess, as she prepares to start her service.

Source: The juju curse that binds trafficked Nigerian women into sex slavery | Global development | The Guardian

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Posted by on September 16, 2017 in Africa, European Union


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The Desperate Journey of a Trafficked Girl

It was close to midnight on the coast of Libya, a few miles west of Tripoli. At the water’s edge, armed Libyan smugglers pumped air into thirty-foot rubber dinghies. Some three thousand refugees and migrants, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, silent and barefoot, stood nearby in rows of ten. Oil platforms glowed in the Mediterranean.

The Libyans ordered male migrants to carry the inflated boats into the water, thirty on each side. They waded in and held the boats steady as a smuggler directed other migrants to board, packing them as tightly as possible. People in the center would suffer chemical burns if the fuel leaked and mixed with water. Those straddling the sides could easily fall into the sea. Officially, at least five thousand and ninety-eight migrants died in the Mediterranean last year, but Libya’s coastline is more than a thousand miles long, and nobody knows how many boats sink without ever being seen. Several of the migrants had written phone numbers on their clothes, so that someone could call their families if their bodies washed ashore.

The smugglers knelt in the sand and prayed, then stood up and ordered the migrants to push off. One pointed to the sky. “Look at this star!” he said. “Follow it.” Each boat left with only enough fuel to reach international waters.

In one dinghy, carrying a hundred and fifty people, a Nigerian teen-ager named Blessing started to cry. She had travelled six months to get to this point, and her face was gaunt and her ribs were showing. She wondered if God had visited her mother in dreams and shown her that she was alive. The boat hit swells and people started vomiting. By dawn, Blessing had fainted. The boat was taking on water.

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Posted by on September 16, 2017 in Africa, Reportages


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Facing Famine, 20 Million People Need Food, Not Bombs

By Amy Goodman and Denis MoynihanDemocracy NowThe world is facing the most serious humanitarian catastrophe since the end of World War II. Twenty million people are at risk of starving to death in Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria and South Sudan.

Source: Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan: Facing Famine, 20 Million People Need Food, Not Bombs

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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Africa, Middle East


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The Oil World in Chaos

Pity the poor petro-states. Once so wealthy from oil sales that they could finance wars, mega-projects, and domestic social peace simultaneously, some of them are now beset by internal strife or are on the brink of collapse as oil prices remain at ruinously low levels. Unlike other countries, which largely finance their governments through taxation, petro-states rely on their oil and natural gas revenues. Russia, for example, obtains about 50% of government income that way; Nigeria, 60%; and Saudi Arabia, a whopping 90%. When oil was selling at $100 per barrel or above, as was the case until 2014, these countries could finance lavish government projects and social welfare operations, ensuring widespread popular support.  Now, with oil below $50 and likely to persist at that level, they find themselves curbing public spending and fending off rising domestic discontent or even incipient revolt.


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Finally it seems as if Ken Saro-Wiwa, my father, may not have died in vain

Twenty years ago today my father and eight other Ogoni men were woken from their sleep and hanged in a prison yard in southern Nigeria. When the news filtered out, shock and outrage reverberated around the world, and everyone from the Queen to Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela condemned the executions.

What I recall of the long days and sleepless nights afterwards was the slogan that caught on with my father’s devastated friends and supporters; we were united in a determination to ensure that “his death must not be in vain”. So has anything changed?

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Posted by on November 11, 2015 in Africa


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Isis, a year of the caliphate: The seven wars in Muslim countries where ‘Islamic State’ is powerful or growing in strength

There are seven wars raging in Muslim countries between the borders of Pakistan in the east and Nigeria in the west. In all seven – Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and north-east Nigeria – local versions of Isis are either already powerful or are gaining in influence. Key to its explosive expansion in Iraq and Syria since 2011 is its capability as a fighting machine, which stems from a combination of religious fanaticism, military expertise and extreme violence. In addition, its successes have been possible because it is opposed by feeble, corrupt or non-existent governments and armies.

via Isis, a year of the caliphate: The seven wars in Muslim countries where ‘Islamic State’ is powerful or growing in strength —

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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Africa, Asia, Middle East


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Nigeria Elections: “A victory for democracy, for the electorate, for the people.”

On Tuesday, General Muhammadu Buhari of the All People’s Congress (APC) unexpectedly emerged as the winner of Nigeria’s fiercely contested presidential poll, defeating the sitting President, Dr Jonathan Goodluck of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), by a considerable margin.

In recent months, news coverage of Nigeria has been dominated by a narrative of corruption, terrorism and violence. Following a six-week postponement of the election earlier this year, officially declared as an opportunity for a newly-formed multinational force to reclaim areas controlled by the Boko Haram insurgency in the country’s North, any forecast of a “peaceful” electoral transition was seen by many as highly improbable, if not impossible. However, General Buhari’s landmark victory, marking the first time in history that Africa’s largest country has elected an opposition party candidate, has, in fact, been achieved with a relatively smooth democratic transition.

via Nigeria Elections: “A victory for democracy, for the electorate, for the people.” —

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Posted by on April 8, 2015 in Africa