A Conscious Traveller – an African viewpoint in the City of Love. (3mins Read)

I will like to consider myself a conscious traveller when visiting new places especially if those places (countries) have had interactions in the past with my beloved Africa (Afrique). This impetus was first imbibed in me as a student visiting Hong Kong in the early 2000s; we were doing late night crawling in Kowloon night market when the local police jumped out of their vans with batons to round up Chinese from the mainland for deportation. I wonder if this still occurs today since Beijing now has full control over the former British enclave.

This is in parallel to what I witnessed on a recent trip to Paris and suburbs – the City of Love. I like to look and feel beyond the aesthetic beauty of the Eiffel and the lovely boutiques displaying their arrays of luxury items on the Champs Elysees or the charming and soothing view of the River Seine.

Why we call Paris the city of love and romance... but is it really?

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On my many trips to this great city I have always chosen to stay and visit the beauty spots only; however, I decided to take the family to other parts especially where the Africans resides legally and illegally – Chateau Rouge.

Oh Boy, I must say I was disappointed. My disappointed primarily lies with Africa. A continent that has continually allowed ethnic, religion and political issues; be it internal or externally imposed to stalled our developments and greatness thus allowing our young men and women to take huge personal risks to sojourn across the Sahara to conflicted Libya for further voyage to become unwanted labourers in another man’s country with no documentation.

What does it mean to live in a country where you have no status?

It means no right to live, no right to education, no right to welfare, in essence no right to LIFE thereby casting aspersion on the Universal Suffrage the city of Paris is known for. This further illustrates why these young men will take more risks by jumping into Lorries at Calais to cross the channel into Dover. If I ignorantly did not understand in the past, I do now. Any man would take such risk, because the bottom line is you die penniless on the streets in the City of Love. It appears the city of love is not reciprocating love to the illegals in Chateau Rouge.

Equally, was also disappointed to see police harassing and conducting raids in the markets where these ordinary people are trying to earn a living by selling roasted corn to their fellow kinsfolk.

Generally, any city of international reckoning will also have its own dark underbelly exposed by events as has been demonstrated across major cities from Grenfell in London, to protests in Charlottesville and more.

My summation is two-fold. Firstly, in other to stem the flow of illegal immigration to the west; the western nations (France, Britain, Germany) must not only use their influence to effect positive political changes but must move sincerely to remove the remaining invisible shackles of colonization that still restrict Africa from real development and freedom.

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Secondly, African authorities and her people must move beyond real or ‘imagined’ issues of ethnicity, tribal affiliations and endemic corruption to know that it is the continent that bears the lost when her youths are roaming aimlessly and rudderless in countries that refused them legal entry.

Please feel free to comment, share and debate.

Thank you for reading!

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It takes a village to raise a child – an African proverb

This proverb implies that when a child is born, the entire community bears the responsibilities towards the upbringing and rearing of the child. They will ensure that he or she is equipped with the norms, traditions and customs of the land. The name given to the child will be in accordance with the family profession or line of work such as if they were goldsmiths, warriors, hunters or royalty.

The tribal marks below signifies the family edicts and origins of the tribes. In traditional Yoruba societies, every child is born into a patrilineal clan called idile baba in Yoruba language. The clan share clan names (orile), oriki (poetry), taboos (eewo) and facial marks (ila). The facial marks on the child assigns the child full clan membership rights. The children with facial marks are called Okola. Families or individuals lacking the normal features consistent with the tribe are not considered as acquiring full standing as agents in Yoruba society. They would also lack the capacity for meaningful behavior, such as greeting, stating and commanding.

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I must now say that these practices have now largely ceased in accordance with Child Rights Law across the land (a ban I totally support).

I sighed heavily though because now in the modern era, a lot of this precepts that gave us ‘true identity’ has now been eroded largely in part by colonialism and the unfortunate transatlantic voyages did untold and irreversible damages.

This brings me to the issue of immigration. Migrating from one part of the globe to another is what the world was built upon. People across centuries have always fled to various parts because of religious intolerance and persecutions, wars and conflicts. Some migrated because of trade in spices and commodities (such as the Silk Road), others fled because of natural phenomenon such as adverse weathers, rising sea levels, earthquakes and so on.

Humans like other species have constantly been on the move. We ‘humans’ are not created to be stagnant, we are ‘moving’ beings. Hence, it will be helpful to bear this in mind over this contentious immigrants debates in the West. Perhaps, we must ask ourselves, what role did our ancestors or (nature) play that has now resulted in having someone of different breed and colour has your neighbour, doctor, accountant or even as a lover!

The crust of my observations is that in light of modernity and enlightenment, we must hold on to the practices and customs that gave us our true meaning as a race, or culture. An example is that here in the west, there is the concept of ‘live and let live‘ – an idiom expressing the ideal of allowing each other to live their lives as each sees fit. However, sometimes this does not ring true in some cultures hence the reason for lack of assimilation and integrations in some communities.

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As an African (plus a Brit I must say), I get frustrated when I see some (and I say some in terms of few) African descents not living to the ideals of their proud origin. Frustratingly in the sense, that if we cannot correct or teach them to the norms of what is expected in fear of evading somebody space. This meant that for us as a community we have been rendered powerless in raising our children (and our neighbours children) for fear of retribution.

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In drawing to a close, we must seek to respect everybody’s rights (old and young) equally, however that respects also infers correction where it is needed. It is our collective societies that looses out in the end, if we do not correct bad behaviours in our several communities be it in the black, white or Asian communities.

Finally, the best antidote to this looming immigration issues is partly economic developments and good governance in the affected countries. People will rather stay in their own land to be part of the growth story and live their lives in accordance to their beliefs.

Let me know if you have differing thoughts and contributions…

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving Auntie Theresa!

I believe the title above sums up the mood for this unnecessary snap election. In the last two years, the same party has thrown away its landslide victory and advantages for getting the nation’s finances in balance by calling for a referendum in the midst of austerity cuts and so on.

GENERAL ELECTION: HUNG PARLIAMENT CONFIRMED

PARTY SEATS +/- VOTES VOTE SHARE % +/-
Conservative 316 -12 13,568,716 42.4 +5.5%
Labour 261 +29 12,824,737 40.1 +9.5
SNP 35 -21 977,569 3.1 -1.7
Lib Dem 12 +4 2,327,425 7.3 -0.5
DUP 10 +2 292,316 0.9 +0.3
Plaid Cymru 4 +1 164,466 0.5 -0.1
Green 1 0 523,269 1.6 -2.1
UKIP 0 -1 593,852 1.9 -10.8

My opinionated view is that the conservative party should have embarked on policies that will impact positively on people’s lives rather than seeking a huge mandate to govern or focusing too much on the Brexit negotiations (a soft brexit will be better for the country in the long run!). The populace understood that cuts have to be made, but introducing policies for the elderly to sell their homes to pay for an inefficient social care package amongst a badly rushed-out manifesto is a stretch too far.

What lesson(s) can be drawn from this result – I will advise the government that we are not going to get the perfect Brexit deals as there are other external factors that are now in play. First of all, we have a pro-EU leader in France, meaning that there is no #Frexit, nor #Grexit on the table. It appears that EU leaders are now waking up from their grandeur Brussels palaces that the people will vote against unpopular policies in individual nation states. Secondly, Trump America’s isolationism (Paris Climate Accord – a case in point) will strengthen EU leaders to get their house in order as recently noted by Chancellor Angela Merkel about the US reliability as an ally.

Other interesting notions I have drawn is that, as in in life as well as in politics, you cannot count yourself out of the game. No matter your current circumstances, you never know what tide will carry you in or out of the sea of life.

As emphasised by a man that I adore, Warren Buffet (the Sage of Omaha) said “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked”The tide has certainly gone out for conservative’s Auntie Theresa. Will Uncle Corbyn be ridden in on a tide of real change and hope. Well, we have to wait for the next elections maybe in six months time as I wrote in one of my blogs dated 17th May 2017 – Elections, elections and more elections – democracy galore!

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend…

Elections, elections & more elections… democracy galore! (3mins read)

It is high time I challenge my own liberal views (I studied International Relations as a postgraduate @warwick – since then I have shaped my world views from a realism standpoint). However, in this current climate, I am coming round to the notion that I want my vote in this UK General Elections on June 8th to count.

How does this fit into my main topics such as health, lifestyle, fitness, travel etc; please allow my indulgence.

It first started with the GOP conventions across the pond in America, followed by our French neighbours across the channel and various austerity-induced parties in continental Europe springing up and gaining seats (not to talk of our supposedly Brexit – I was a Remainer). Nobody told us that it will cost us £100 billion to come out of this union! Well, as a Brit we just have to get on with it, don’t we!

Let me quickly cross over to motherland (Nigeria to be precise), I will say to those stakeholders at the seat of power that you must handle this ongoing issue with a lot of gusto. The Vice president role is not a co-ordinator of government, although it is partly, the primary function of this role is to lead in an acting capacity in the absence of the president (I wish PMB well). I will say, let us do the right thing for a change for Nigeria and Africa at large; afterall it is you the so-called elites that will continue to benefit regardless.

This brings me back to blighty (an informal term for Britain), the people are angry because it seems as if governments here and around the globe are against the citizens. Government policies Versus the People

Let me moan please, this government increased taxation on my side hustle in April, cutting off an important source of income to reside in one of the most expensive cities in the world and the opposition party is talking of raising more taxes whilst living in London. C’mon, somebody give me a break.

Taxes are important and essential if we want to enjoy the daily necessities such as good roads, NHS, schools, care for the elderly, infrastructure etc… and we do see evidence of improvements in some areas.

However, the people are still angry because there is no safety net for the working class anymore; some industrial cities have become ghost towns and are now blighted with substance abuse, families structure are now broken, there are many households and entire streets without any form of paid employment, senseless killings of young people by young people perhaps due to absent fathers, lack of proper policing, lack of discipline and respect at home (sorry for being judgemental!). In addition, there are no real consequences for the offenders across the board – a slap on the wrist at the most due to our liberalism emphasis on rehabilitation.

To sum up, I believe governments must make ambitious investments for the future, but must also balance the needs of the people especially those that contribute to the treasury coffers.

If you are in the UK, are you voting? Please refer to the voter’s registration below and if you are reading this blog anywhere else in the world, please hold your governments accountable with your votes.

Thank you for reading.

https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/how-do-i-vote

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