Tuesday, 26 July 2016

STATUE SYMBOLISM: Let’s support our people

It seems both African governments and people are doing less in supporting the ‘African brand’ initiative that is meant to promote African made goods among Africans and the rest of the world at large. Furthermore, this initiative was suggested as a wake-up call for Africans to counter off competition from foreign imported goods that flooded the African markets. And besides countless efforts and campaigns to implement the initiative, African government seem rather relaxed to consider the initiative as law or something near to a law. With that in head, it’s no doubt African will always be dependent to foreign manufactured goods that are of low quality and expensive.

Statue symbolism syndrome
Further, it can be observed that most African governments and people are tolerant to foreign goods in spite its quality and price to locally produced goods. And the reason can be attributed to what I will term as ‘status symbolism’ or just an African syndrome which I will diagnose and with time a suitable prescription will be suggested to help cure it. A status symbol is a perceived indicator of economic or social status and ownership of a foreign good is seen as a major breakthrough in many African setup and this has left a lot of families in debts due to wanting to fulfill the statue symbol syndrome. And it is even more shocking to learn that supporting of Europeans footballs teams and buying its expensive merchandise is more of a economic or social success while never supporting or buying merchandise of an African team. To make it clear, I would want to state that the is no harm in supporting a foreign team or good, but the question still remains who will support African teams and goods if we do not support them and secondly, is there a possibility of non-Africans outside the continent supporting our football teams like we support Manchester united or Barcelona? And on days that the famous el classic is to be played in Spain, one can observe a parade of jerseys in Africa of either Barcelona or Real Madrid and It is possible to think of a public holiday only to discover it is just a football match, but the atmosphere is completely different when TP Mazembe or Zanaco United is playing nobody seems to care even our local newspapers would prefer to run headlines of the Barcelona match to Asante Kotoko match.

Being in Zambia after four years away, introduced me to a new reality of financial stress among yet to be couples who found themselves locked up in heated financial stress and pressure of wanting to please everyone. The crunch of financial stress turns most brides and grooms into beggars who are willing to auction they marriage for few donations from family members for a fairy-tale wedding. It is this harsh reality that most young couples find themselves in even before the announcement of wedding dates. And more drama unfolds when the bridegroom is charged an out of space bridal price fee also known as ‘Lobola’, that puts the now confused young man in a state of shock while asking if the bridal price could be reduced since he is unemployed, but madly in love with the yet to be bride. As the bride helplessly looks on with eyes facing the ground and hands held together as a gesture of respect as the bridegroom humbles himself in a last plea for mercy to the yet to be in laws who seem willing to listen, but not convinced to reduce the fee. Notably, after negotiations, wedding announcements are made, relatives from all walks of life appear and hijack the moment and a new hunt for elegant gowns begins while relatives battle each other for wanting to be matrons with some enrolling their whole clans as bridesmaids or knife boys. And in all these things the bride and groom have little or no say because their wedding has been turned into a ‘family affair that’s sends out a message of statue symbolism to enemies’, under these circumstances, young couples are forced into a state of financial stress in the name of pleasing the now extended family.
And the point mostly overlooked is, the is life after wedding receptions that will require a lot of finances, hence spending lifesaving's on a wedding reception without a steady income is suicidal and chances of recovering is low. On the positive side, wedding receptions are beautiful and a source of lifetime memories, although this may be true, never play ‘fairy-tale’ with finances.

And not long ago, I begun to embrace the concept of ‘minimalism’ a phenomenon that practices full minimization in capital, time and relationship. Even though, this phenomenon dates back to the sixties, it is important to understand that it touches all activities of our lives. And in connection with what I observed in Zambia weddings, I am fully convinced the idea of minimalism can be ideal for many young couples who are undergoing pre and post wedding financial stress.

Pre wedding financial stress can be prevented by firstly knowing your financial status as an individual and then as a couples, then ask yourself the question of what you can afford without seeking assistance from the bank or relatives. The knowledge of one’s financial status before looking at what others did for they wedding will save the young couples headaches. The idea to operate without competition of ‘who did that’, under the supervision of a wedding expert we give the couple the will to seek new ideas without pressure, but within they means.   

As for the post wedding financial stress, I must accept that it has caused a lot of premature marriage break-ups because as soon as the wedding and honey moon ends the blaming games starts then fights and regret cements the beginning of the crisis. But all this can be prevented, when a couple knows its financial muscles and having attended atleast five weddings that ended up within 24 months, I can confidently state that the is more to a marriage than a fairy-tale wedding and minimalism can be a long awaited answer.

And to conclude with a caution, statue symbolism is a good achievement but it should not kill our dreams and reality and I want to state that the ideal of minimalism also works for students not only couples. As a student this has helped me save money and generate more to lend to fellow students, therefore, for those of you who would like to embark on the journey of minimalism remember money depreciates and appreciates every second, with that in mind use it with a caution of what you would want to do next.


The African Union and its many challenges          
Indeed agony is wanting to be taken seriously when African leaders shout slogans from a Chinese-built headquarter in Addis Abba whose budget is funded by the west. And it’s no surprise that the annual African union is characterized by same twisted speeches of hope that do not yield any fruits at all and that’s why it is nicknamed the biggest talk show on the continent. From Mugabe ranting against the Europeans to Mugabe again advocating for the Chinese’ dominance on continental affairs offers valid prove that Addis Abba once in a while turns into a theater  of comedians.

Journey of Death
A cry of Africans immigrants drowning in the Mediterranean is heard and seen all over the news, but yet they cry and pain falls on deaf ears and blind eyes of our able leaders as they showcase in long motorcades and long endless speeches of promises that never come to effect. Do our leaders really see the need of stopping this ‘journey of death’ of young capability Africans to Europe or maybe the sweetness of power has accumulated they body, souls and spirit to realize the crisis in front of us.  And accordingly to statistic as of 2016 already 2515 Africans have lost they lives and I have waited to hear a statement or solution in relations to the matter, but the African Union seems too busy for it discuss its citizens’ well-being.

African youth entrepreneurship programs is a myth that only exist on paper and since Africa has cemented its spot on top as a theater for lost dreams and hope due to harsh governmental policies to youths. The youths are now in a state of rush and are willingness to do anything for the money like the advertisement I came across of a smartly dressed handsome man who offers a ‘Rent A Gent Valentine’s Promotion’ for single ladies. The advertisement on the flyer included services such as selfie pictures as a couple, holding of hands, ‘Miss you love’ status post on social media and kissing in front of friends and family to mention a few all for hundred dollars. Dear readers as innovative or fun this many sound, I want you to understand that failures by African leaders to discuss real youth empowerment will lead to more youths endangering their lives and integrity.

Shackled by chains and dressed in prison scrubs
Other than valentine, the month of February was filled with so much activities and most notable was when we thought our music had lost its value and connection to reality, then came up performances by Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar that ignited a new creative revolution that speaks out against systemic racism and modern 21st century mental oppression. And it is no surprise that they performances received major criticism, but I believe they performances showed how far the struggle for equality has come which has undermined the unite of the country.

Struggle Is Real
The systemic racism in America is seen in the profiling of black men and police brutality that has been seen and shocked the world. Systemic racism also known as institutional and structural racism are rooted in major social institutions, but it is important to understand that institutional or structural racism was and is not an accident of history in America, but is something that was and is created intentionally to disadvantages minorities such as the African Americans.

America as a country was found on principles of racism and sexism and the struggle for equality has existed for more than 150 years, and what is seen today is as a result of a seed of inequalities that was planted more than 150 years ago. Indeed, America is the ‘land of the free’, and prides itself because of its diversity, but yet most of its minorities are enslaved institutionally which is the same as lock them up in chains.

The visa free Africa
The free visa Africa is a great initiative, but is Africa really ready for such a big move that abolishes passports and any type of border control. Like a certain Mrs. Tembo said, Africa is filled with adopted ideologies that we embrace fast and has both indirect and direct impact on our population, the visa free initiative by the Africa Union is adopted from the controversial European Union (EU) signed in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg in 1985. And the main purpose of its establishment was to strengthen ties between trading countries and ease traveling loads, but the migration crisis of poor members to rich members led to a number of countries to reintroduce border control and not forgetting acts of terrors.

Difference between the African Union and European Union:
African Union
European Union
54 countries
28 countries
800 million people
510 million people
Consists mostly of the world’s poorest country
Consist mostly of the world’s  richest country
Headquarters: Addis Ababa
Headquarters: Brussels
Motto: ‘a united and strong Africa’
Motto: ‘united in diversity’

With the above already said, does the African Union(AU) have the same muscle power as the European Union (EU) to combat an migration crisis and acts of terrorism. A border less Africa will be a challenge due to militant groups such as Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab terrorizing the west and east Africa respectively and public health will be at risk with Ebola already killing a lot of people.
Therefore, before the African Union (AU) makes a conclusion on this matter it is important for them to firstly establish  intra-African trade which will facilitate the free movement of goods and services around the continent to encourage equal socio-economic development. Then the idea of free visas can be introduced at regional block levels such as SADC, ECOWAS have they own free visa process for security purpose. For I know the African Union lacks the muscle and experience to deal with a major crisis compared to the European Union.

And as we wait for the outcome of the African Union meeting in Kigali, we cross our fingers hoping that whenever will be discussed there will yield fruits for we are tired of long mean less speeches filled with  a lot of promises in meetings filled with smartly dressed men and women.  All we need are speeches accompanied with action and we hope morocco will join the union so that we achieve the united Africa movement.

Sunday, 17 July 2016


It is unarguable fact that Africa is characterized by rich countries with poor people and an elite that does not seem to care much, and the same can be said that an elite of worst or least qualified citizens are at the helm of national leadership. And the best, term to describe the phases outlined above is ‘kakistocracy’ and this has affected the state of affairs due to incompetence. And not to confuse kakistocracy from aristocracy, aristocracy is governance by the small privileged ruling class.

Elections of Chaos
In Africa, anything is possible, a man with no achievement record can be celebrated and glorified overnight while a man who works hard and has an achievement record is vilified and labeled as a certified Satanists. Furthermore, what’s even more surprising is that a mentally disturbed ‘honorable’ is given and guaranteed media coverage than an economic expert to comment and analyze economic situations at the expense of a people that has lost hope and national pride.

And in relation with the above, Africa’s many problems never be solved any time soon since the loss of vision on democracy and embarkment on a self-destructive kakistocracy journey that heads into the wildness of confusion and corruption. With many upcoming elections scheduled for his year, it is a known fact that any song composed by any singer under the influence of narcotics is good enough to earn any candidate the highest office of the land in some parts of the continent. And this can be seen from the so called revolutionary songs and slogans that grace our communities that put the integrity of the state at stake.

And it is during elections, that it is better not to possess a television set, radio, phone or tablet because they all seem to be instructs of propaganda that influence our attitudes towards a people, race or tribe than being instructs of information. Indeed, it is a known fact that, African Medias are playgrounds of the incumbent and his hired guns, worshipers and cheer leaders to mention a few and that automatically eliminates the purpose of freedom of expression on the opposition factions.

And with elections campaigns hitting a boiling point, it is no surprise that willingness to practice the art of tribalism openly is one of the qualifications needed to be considered a visionary leader in modern elections. And as we wait for results of elections all over the continental we hope good governance that requires governmental institutions to embrace citizens irrespective of different political opinions will be observed.


Having spent two weeks at the dermatology department, I observed many skin related diseases, but three appeared on most patients we examined and the most common symptom seen during physical examination was a reddish itchy rash. Skin conditions such as scleroderma, psoriasis and lichen planus were the most common and by statistics I can say that 1 in 4 patients we examined had one of the three diseases. Therefore, it is the purpose of this article to outline scleriderna its definition, etiology, pathogenesis, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. This article will also highlight complications in relation to the disease, not forgetting differential diagnose.

The terminology ‘scleroderma’ is derived from the Greek words ‘skleros’ hard and ‘derma’ for skin and was first described as a condition of thickened skin by Hippocrates and Carlo Curzio fully described the details of the disease in 1752 on a patient.  It is important to understand that Hippocrates described the condition of thickened skin, but did not call it ‘scleroderma’. Therefore, it was Giovambattisa Fantonetti who first used the term ’skleroderma’ after observing a patient with a ‘dark-leather like skin’ that somehow caused the skin to tighten in 1836 and later on in 1945, Robert H. Goetz coined the systemic manifestation of the disease which he profoundly described as progressive.
Therefore, scleroderma can be defined as a progressive autoimmune characterized by skin hardening. And in line with its history, scleroderma’s cause is unknown, that’s why it is termed as autoimmune because it is suspected that it occurs when ones immune system attacks and destroys  healthy body tissue by mistake and this dramatically changes the function of the immune system which is to protect from disease and infection. And it is a known fact that the cause of scleroderma is as a result of overproduction and accumulation of collagen (main component of connective tissue), but yet what prompts the abnormal collagen production is stil unknown.

And in accordance to its pathogenesis, genetics and environmental factors have been implicated to be in the etiology of scleroderma. While changes in metabolism, immune and microcirculatory disturbance have been associated to the disease, not forgetting abortion, retroviruses, coal dust and chemotherapy.

Furthermore, it is important to understand that scleroderma is divided into; localized (limited) and systemic. Localized scleroderma has a benign course and mainly affects fingers, hands and face while systemic scleroderma is characterized by affecting connective tissues, lesions of the skin, musculoskeletal system and internal organs such as the heart, kidneys and digestive tract.
Furthermore, localized scleroderma can be divided into linear and morphea while systemic also has limited and diffused scleroderma and are characterized by symptoms such as sores on fingertips, weight loss, diarrhea, heartburn, muscle weakness, calcinosis, Raynaud phenomenon, telangiectasia, esophageal dysfunction and sclerodactyly. The above symptoms are important in the diagnosis of localized and systemic scleroderma respectively.

Even though, scleroderma affects many different parts of the body and can appear in many forms, its diagnose is somehow difficult. Despite that being the case, a proper physical examination and blood tests are one of the vital stages in checking if certain antibodies produced in the immune system have elevated the blood levels. Also pulmonary function test, ct scan of scan and echocardiogram of heart are helpful techniques to diagnosis systemic scleroderma due to its ability to cause complication in digestive tract and heart.

In conclusion, no drug has been created to stop the overproduction of collagen, but treatment is directed towards individual symptoms affecting different areas of the body.

extracted from my 2015 fifth student conference Tambov State University