Morocco Launches First Africa’s High Speed Train

Morocco has inaugurated Africa’s first high-speed train line, able to go as fast as 200 miles per hour.

The train line was launched on Thursday, CNN reports, with the French President Emmanuel Macron and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI in attendance.

The high-speed trains will travel from Tangier to Casablanca, cutting the journey time by more than half.

The project, which has been in development for ten years, costs $2 billion and was financed by the governments of Morocco, France, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE.

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Cee-C, Dakore Egbuson Akande, Dorcas Shola Fabson & Others At #OneAfricaMusic Fest In Dubai

The highly anticipated One Africa Music Festival which is said to be one of the biggest and most exciting festivals is currently happening in Dubai

See first photos of Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Cee C, Dorcas Shola Fapson and a whole lot more of your favourite celebrities at the music festival below.

Cee-C
Dakore Egbuson Akande
Dorcas Shola Fabson
Swanky Jerry
Princess

The Top Secrets Of The Obamas You Never Knew

The Obamas have opened up about what many would describe as their biggest secret – having to go through in vitro fertilization to conceive their two daughters.

The two resorted to IVF after the former First Lady, Michelle Obama was left feeling “lost and alone” following a miscarriage 20 years ago.

“We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going well.”

“We had one pregnancy test come back positive, which caused us both to forget every worry and swoon with joy, but a couple of weeks later I had a miscarriage, which left me physically uncomfortable and cratered any optimism we felt,” the 54-year-old Mrs Obama wrote in her upcoming memoir “Becoming,” cited by The Associated Press.

Touching on their IVF, Mrs Obama said her “sweet, attentive husband” was then at the state legislature, “leaving me largely on my own to manipulate my reproductive system into peak efficiency.”

The Obamas – Time Magazine

In an interview with Robin Roberts, which aired in part on Good Morning America on Friday, the former first lady said she decided to come public with her painful experience to help others who have had to go through a similar situation.

“I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them,” she said. “We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”

“That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s important to talk to young mothers about the fact that miscarriages happen,” she explained.

IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

Despite its high cost, most women are now sorting for IVF as it has been generally successful, especially for women under age 35 and those using donor eggs.

For women of all ages, the odds of a live birth are between 34 and 42 per cent over three cycles, according to verywellfamily.com.

The daughters of the Obamas – Sasha and Malia, now 17 and 20 respectively were conceived through IVF when Mrs Obama was between 34 and 35 years, she told the ABC special.

Her revelations come on the back of the announcement by actress, Gabrielle Union that she and husband Dwyane Wade are parents to a baby girl.

The child, whose name is yet to be disclosed, was born on November 7 via surrogate, the actress said in an Instagram post on Thursday.

Since their marriage in 2014, this is the first child between Union and Wade. The “Being Mary Jane” star recently came public about her struggles with infertility in her book, “We’re Going to Need More Wine,” saying that she had multiple miscarriages.

Union and her husband have been raising three children together, two of Wade’s he had in an earlier relationship and his nephew. She is now a new mum to the excitement of many people.

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama is expected to launch the sale of her memoir, “Becoming” this Tuesday.

The memoir, according to wmagazine.com, “chronicles the story of how she grew up in a brick bungalow on the South Side of Chicago with her parents Fraser and Marian Robinson, attended Princeton University as a first-generation college student, graduated from Harvard Law, met and married Barack Obama, and became the inspirational icon that many look up to today.”

 

Great Walls of Benin Kingdom, One of The Largest Man-Made Earth Structures Presently In Ruins

It may not be as famous as the Great Wall of China, but it was at one time in history the largest man-made structure in the world.

Constructed over a period of 600 years, the Great Walls of Benin was located at the southern border of the defunct Benin Kingdom, which was one of the oldest and most highly developed states in West Africa.

For the over 400 years the Walls existed, it protected the inhabitants of the kingdom, particularly, the traditions and civilisations of the Edo people, until it was ravaged in 1897 by the British.

What else is there to know about this amazing structure?

The walls, which are four times longer than the Great Wall of China, are a combination of strong materials like ramparts and moats, which predated the use of modern earth-moving equipment and technology, and were used for defensive purposes.

Construction work on the wall began around 800 AD and ended mid-1400.

Archaeologists say it took an estimated 150 million hours of digging by local people to construct the wall and the structure is considered as the largest single archaeological phenomenon on earth.

The Great Walls of Benin was estimated to extend for about 16,000 km in length; both the exterior and interior walls.

It occupied a land mass of 6,500 km2, which is about 37 percent of the present land mass of Edo State.

Photo credit: Globalsecurity.org

Less than 500 years after the completion of the Great Wall, the British ravaged the walls in what has come to be known as the Punitive Expedition. This expedition was said to have destroyed more than a thousand years of Benin history and one of the earliest evidence of African civilization.

Currently, scattered pieces of the structure remain in Edo, with locals using some of these pieces for building purposes.

Parts of the walls are also being torn down for real estate developments.

In 1995, the historical structure was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in the cultural category.

Though in ruins now, its existence continues to evoke memories of the once wealthy, powerful and industrious kingdoms that ever lived in African history. culled from face2faceafrica

Photos: Chichi Okonkwo’s U.U Couture Glows At The Orlando African Fashion Show

Orlando African Fashion show is an annual event in Orlando Florida USA. The event aims to highlight and promote African Culture through fashion.

This year’s event was no exception as the show highlighted 4 top African designer in Diaspora from 4 African Countries Nigeria, Cameroon, Guinea and Tanzania.

Our very own U.U. Couture By Chichi Okonkwo represented Nigeria and wowed the audience in attendance when she presented her collection.

The audience screamed and cheered to her breathtaking designs which comes in beautiful colors. The designs are elegant and classy.

Here are some of her collections.

 

The Crime of An African Widow: A Nigerian Man, Anayo Nwosu Narrated How His Mother Suffered Hatred In The Hands Of Her Late Husband’s Male Relatives For Refusing To Marry Anyone Of Them

In a tribute paid to his late mother, one Anayo Nwosu narrated how his mother incurred the wrath of his father’s relations particularly the men because she denied them their traditional entitlement known as “ikuchi nwaanyi? or “?machili nwaanyi?”.

Read below:

 ”ONE OF THE SINS MY LATE MOTHER COMMITTED AGAINST MY PEOPLE
 Mama Obiora, my mother, was not that loved by some of my father’s relations, especially the menfolk and some ?m?ada (i.e the married sisters from my father’s family). The enmity she attracted to herself by her strange conduct when my father died was to haunt her and us, her children for a long time.
It was not until I became an adult that I came to exonerate my uncles and forgave them for the years of ill treatment and inexplicable hostility towards my mother and my siblings.  Perhaps, I could have reacted the same way if I were in their shoes. My mum invited the trouble to herself and her children, pure and simple.
The problem started after my father was buried in June 1978. It had to do with who my mother chose as her foster husband.
In core Igbo tradition, once one’s husband is buried, the head of the widow is shaven clean, and the women who shaved the widow would hand over the shaving knife also known as ag?ba to the widow to give to a man of her choice.
Lined up before the widow would be all the willing brothers of the deceased and their male cousins. ?m?ada and other women of the compound present are mere spectators. It is an extended family affair.
Whosoever the widow gives the shaving knife would automatically take her home as a concubine in a process known as “ikuchi nwaany?” or “?machili nwaany?”.
If the deceased and the widow already have a homestead, the lucky or chosen man would be the official visitor to the house and is entitled to whatever benefits the widow used to give her dead husband. This Igbo tradition ensures that the widow and her children are not forsaken or uncared for.
The caretaker husband picks the bills in the deceased home and also provides the bed warmth to the widow. This keeps interlopping widow predators at bay and prevents birthing of a prodigal bastard into the ?m?nna or family stock.
However, any child that is born out of this arrangement belongs to the dead husband of the widow unless the caretaker husband performs what we refer to as “?k?ghar? nkw? nwaany?” which entails visiting the widow’s people to announce the change of marital status. The ceremony for this is not as elaborated as that for fresh marriage.
Even though my father’s relations were so pained by his death, my mother and her children must be catered for in line with our tradition but my mother had another plan.
While my uncles were grinning from their left ears to the right ones, my mom bypassed them and asked that her 23 years old first son be called. Obiora appeared and my mother gave him the ag?ba or shaving knife to a loud applause by the married women of the extended family. It was a selfish clap as my mom wouldn’t have to come share their husbands with them.
That was how the acrimony started.
My father’s only brother, who already had three wives, felt particularly deflated. His male cousins also felt that my mum, referred to as nwa?kp? ?kp?nyo Nnewichi or the woman from ?kp?nyo Nnewichi had done her worst.
They must teach her a lesson.
Many of my uncles refused to help my mum during her mandatory stay at home mourning period and years after. They told her “b?a b?r? Af? ?kp? ka ? z??” meaning “let us see how you can do it alone”!
At 45 years of age in 1978, my mother who hailed from Nnewi had all the attributes of a woman indigenous to Adazi Enu, Adazi Nnukwu and Adazi An?. She was so beautiful and naturally endowed with physique admired by saintly and sinful men alike. So you can now imagine why my uncles were livid with anger.
Could it be that my mother had an unmatchable attention from my father, a former soldier and masterful romance dispenser?
Probably, my mother didn’t see in all my uncles, any man who approximated my father’s attributes.
Could it be that my father’s death made Mama Obiora to become so frigid and unresponsive to my uncles later day overtures? It could be possible because my dad had harvested 12 children from her before before he died .
But I doubt if that was enough for a woman to close her sex log book at 45.
Mama Obiora surely had to stew in her own juice.
And she did.
She braced up to the challenges of raising her children by herself and she succeeded.
I was to realise later that my mum, who had an early child education at Holy Rosary Primary School Enugu, run by reverend sisters, initially wanted to become a nun before marriage came upon her. I guess she saw my father’s death as an opportunity to live that celibate and acetic life she had craved for as a teen.
I can now understand why I never, as a child, saw any uncle or strange family friend sneak in and out of our house or my mum keeping late nights or travelling without any of her kids. I rather saw a rosary clutching mum who most of the times “punished” us with her insistence that we pray 15 decades of Holy Rosary and would continue praying even when, we her children, we had slept off.
As I pray for the repose of the soul of my mercurial and examplary Mama Obiora, I also remember those my uncles in prayers. Theirs was a righteous anger caused by my mum who denied them their traditional entitlement.”
Nigerian man narrates how his mother was hated by her late husband

Angelique Kidjo Featured At The 2018 Africa Festival Wuerzburg, Germany [Photos]

AFRICA FESTIVAL WUERZBURG INITIATED BY DR. STEFAN OSCHMANN & ALI SCHUSTER CELEBRATES 30TH ANNIVERSARY.

It was thirty years ago when Dr Stefan Oschmann and Ali Schuster, two young German men, initiated the International Afro Roots Festival, popularly known as  International Africa Festival, with the aim of bringing the music and culture of Africa to Germans.

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photo: festivals2go.com

The story of the event, which has meanwhile become the biggest of its kind in Europe and last year attracted more than 100,000 visitors, began in the early 1980s. Oschmann and Schuster had attended a concert in Amsterdam at which the band Africa Soli performed. The two Germans were so fascinated with the rhythms and dancing of the group that when they returned home they were determined to organise a similar concert in their native Wuerzburg, in the state of Bavaria. They tried to find a promoter to organise the event but were unsuccessful.

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photo: ceres.org

Convinced that such a concert would find acceptance in Wuerzburg, they took matters into their own hands. In 1988, they finally brought Africa Soli to the city. The concert’s resounding success far exceeded Oschmann and Schuster’s already high expectations. With the evidence that Germans were really open to African music, the duo organised the first Africa Festival on 9-11 June 1989 at which N’Gewel Saf Sap from Senegal headlined, performing to a crowd of 600 fans.

The open stage at the Africa Festival – Afro Project e.v.

Thirty years down the road, Wuerzburg has not only become the No 1 Africa-focused cultural event in Europe, it has also inspired the annual summer season of African festivals celebrated across the continent with various events, including live music concerts.

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For the past 29 years, Africa Festival has played host to the heavyweights of African and Caribbean music and provided a unique theatre for the meeting of continent and its diaspora. Many artists have gone from Wuerzburg to achieve spectacular international success.

Over 6750 musicians and artists from 56 African and Caribbean countries have performed in Würzburg so far and more than 2,320,000 visitors have attended the annual fiesta.

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According report by Vivian Asamoah, Afro Project, the non-profit outfit that organises the annual event, put together a special programme to mark the silver jubilee of the festival from 31 May to 3 June 2018.

Heavyweights billed to entertain fans of African music in Wuerzburg this year include legendary Manu Dibango, Habib Koité, Salif Keita, Fatoumata Diawara, Lokua Kanza, Angélique Kidjo and Alpha Blondy.

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In all, more than 100 artistes gave a good account of themselves at the Mainwiesen, the venue of the festival on the bank of the River Main.

Apart from music, Wuerzburg featured bazaars, workshops, film programmes, art exhibitions, podium discussions and other activities that all turned the town into a veritable African cultural experience.

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photo: Zulemax

Africans Adopted the Roman Culture Before the Arab Conquest in 18th Century AD

Roman Africans were derivatives of the Roman takeover in the early middle ages (6th century to the 10th  century AD) before the Arab conquest of North Africa.

They were the ancient North African populations of Roman North Africa.

Africans were enslaved and brought to Rome and other European cities. Nonetheless, they were not discriminated against or restricted to certain titles or jobs. They held prominent positions such as senator and emperor.

Roman Africans were Berbers or Punics /Carthaginians and descendants of African people in Rome.

They spoke their own variation of Latin and incorporated Roman culture into their native customs without protest.

Black warrior and Roman soldier matyred for Christianity in the 3rd Century – Ealy Mays Artworks

They inhabited the coastal portions of eastern Algeria, western Libya and Tunisia.  This region came to be known as Ifriqiya, the African outlying areas of the  Roman Empire.

The African province boasted of much wealth, resulting into immigration into the region by many individuals.

By the end of the western Roman Empire, the majority of the African province was romanised.  Thus, African Romans enjoyed a privileged life unlike the Garamantes and the Getuli.

Roman Africans were Christian and spoke Latin, which consisted of Berber languages and Maghrebi Arabic.

In the 12th century under the rule of the Almohads and due to the Islamic conquest, they eventually converted to Islam.

Muslim conquerors were well established in the 7th century. They developed three classes of populations, the Byzantines (the Rūm), the Afāriqah (Roman Africans) and Barbar – Berber farmers.

Culled from face2faceafrica.com