BBC WHYS: Do ancestors hold us back?

31/01/2011 § 1 Comment

Should we continue to worship the memory of our forefathers or is it an expensive waste of time? Devotion to ancestors is widespread across the African continent where many people consult the shrines of spiritual mediums as a way of seeking advice from those that have died.

Religious leaders in the continent are alarmed by the rise in ancestral worship and claim it has no place in today’s society.


How much do ancestors influence your life? Does their memory inspire or scare you? Do you have ancestral duties yourself? Are your ancestors holding you back? Or giving you spiritual guidance?

Read comments on this and listen to World Have Your Say here.

Ugandan spiritual medium sitting by a sacred tree

The beginning of the program:

Presenter: “Abdul, [22yrs old male in the studio] do you identify youself as Somalian or British?”
“To what extent are you Somalian?”
-Ummm, as a person of Somalia, but I grew up in United Kingdom.
-Where were you born?
-Saudi Arabia.
-In Saudi Arabia… – and have you been to Somalia?
-Um yeh, I’ve been twice.
-You’ve been twice… When you go and come back, do you feel a sense of connectedness in a way you havent felt it before or does it just feel like you’ve gone to visit a certain place, that you have a heritage with but are coming back home, to the United Kingdom.
-Ummm. Nah I feel like when i go back i feel like I’ve had a connection because you meet a lot of your family, you see your culture and your heritage first hand and you see what, you know, what good life people are living there, because the media makes it seem that – you know – that Somalia is a terrible place.
-Is there a good life in Somalia? presenter asks very doubtfully.
-Yeh, there is.
-What did you see?
-People living healthy. Ah, you know, even people that dont have that much to eat – the community supports them – where I went. So it shows that its not just that, you know, third world county where its just refugee camps everywhere. People are living quite well. And you get to meet a LOT of your family with is very special.
-Strong sense of community.
-“Sumsa! [18 year old girl in the studio] I can see you smiling!” – the interviewer says chuckling. “Do you feel well percieved by other British young people? – Your peers, here in the United Kingdom… as a, as a young Somali?’
-Like do I feel connected, do you mean?
-Yes do you feel connected?
– Yes!
-Like do you feel accepted?
-You do feel accepted?
-Yes, I do.
Listen to hear the rest.

…”I get  a sense right now as i speak to the young Somalis right now…  there appears to be a gap between the two generations, a different way of thinking and perception I hear the young people, and I could be wrong, saying that well that was then, this is now, that was them, this is us. Would you say you’re getting a similar sence ther in Manisota?”….

This is also interesting because you get to witness a conversation between two radio stations and two studios across the Pacific, the vast space between them have never been so obvious to me. It also becomes obvious how much rests on the attractiveness of the new homeland culture to the individual immigrant.

The young people in the UK studio; 22 born in Saudi Arabia, 21 born in Italy, 23 born in Somalia moved to Holland at the age of 2, 18 born in UK. How can these people own their identity so well – speak with ethnic accents!?


5 Tips for Taking a Really Great Travel Portrait (via WanderLust)

15/10/2010 § Leave a comment

Interesting story of how photos which have become something of a genre come into being. WanderLust tells of the rules he follows to gain the peoples’ permission, shows a broad selection of portraits and shares the circumstances that allowed them to be taken. Im not sure if I’m just too much of a sceptic – whether its valid to ask – is its just photo-hunting?

“This is optional, but the difference between a techncially good photo, and a photo which makes people sit up and take notice, is that with the latter, they’re experiencing something new. The beauty of travel photography is that there’s always a story to be told, something new to see, something that’s exotic to the viewer back home, so try and think of what that story might be.” – WanderLust

5 Tips for Taking a Really Great Travel Portrait Portraiture is something I’ve increasingly aspired to as a photographer. I love a good landscape- in fact, my landscape shots are often what people seem to enjoy in my shots. Portraiture is a different skill-set though. While light changes over a landscape in such a way that you may only have a few minutes to get the shot you want, the challenge of portraiture is even greater- you may have just fractions of a second to capture the image that you … Read More

via WanderLust

Zim Poetry Slamming Strong

19/03/2010 § Leave a comment

From BBC Strand in March 2010: click here to listen

Vibrant piece from inside a cafe in Harare, a collage of interview and the poems performed. A place where pro government voices are not excluded, where everyone comes to have fun and to share.

“…so when people are coming out in these numbers, where there is really not much for a lot of them to get out of this, for me this mean its passion, and passion is something you can’t kill.” – FlowChild
“…because ideals are what define me not our P. I. G. M. E. N. T. our rivers will rise soon and then you’ll see!”

My favourite part here, ive transcribed for the day that the link no longer works.

Spoken word artist from Zimbabwe – Comrade Fatso

What’s my identity,
Whats my identity meant to be
Is my identity meant to be white boy from Zimbabwe,
Is my identity meant to be felt skins and rugby.
Or is my identity meant to be an English boy drinking tea,
Watching Arsenal on tv listening to rock and reg beats,
Shopping on Oxford streets.
Or should my identity defy expectation,
Defy nation,
Defy time and place
Defy class and race.

Where Am I?

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