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Showing posts from November, 2008

My Brown Baby, THE Space For Moms

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I've been following MyBrownBaby for a few months now and I absolutely love the joint! Founder and Editor Denene Millner has a terrific sense of humor and has created a warm, inviting place where moms share wonderful tidbits about motherhood. And, from time to time she runs fabulous contests such as the one I am broadcasting here today.

This week, the give-away is a solid set of four incredible autographed books penned and illustrated by the prolific husband and wife duo, Andrea and Brian Pinkney.

One winner will receive Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation; Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince & His Orchestra; Peggony Po: A Whale Of a Tale, and; Mim’s Christmas Jam.

Hebu (just) imagine?!

Don't delay, the contest ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 30, 2008, and with the holidays coming up, these will make wonderful gifts. Visit MyBrownBaby, enter the contest and tell them MamaShujaa sent you.
Sawa?

Africa is Not a Country

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Just recently, I took my son and his best buddy to watch Madagascar Escape 2 Africa. It seems there are quite a number of folks in America who think Africa is a country. Gloria, the curvaceous hippo is in contention with Sarah Palin for the Mama Shujaa2008 Seriously Uninformed Character Award.
Picture this scene: Moto Moto, the massive watering-hole womanizer swaggers over to Gloria as she lounges on a cool rock somewhere in Africa, sipping a Martini. L.U.V. is on his mind and with a name like Moto Moto you’d expect more than the thought-terminating platitudes that issue from his bulbous lips. You learn very quickly that he is all mass, no substance.
Miss Thing on the other hand has got it going on. She knows the meaning of his name: Moto Moto means Hot Hot in “African!” Uh, Africa is not a country, Missy. It is a vast continent made up of 53 countries with an estimated 2000 languages spoken. DreamWorks and its writers should take note. Going forward, we want far more inspiring and rel…

Just Want To Say Asante Sana. Thank You.

Paa Ya Paa Creative Arts Center is located in Nairobi, Kenya. Paa Ya Paa is a Kiswahili phrase which means “the antelope rises,” a symbol of new creative adventures, a place where ideas flourish and flow freely. This is where we get the Utu I speak about in my From Kenya With Love post. Enjoy the video andAsante kina Baba na MamaAsante FamiliaAsante MunguCopyright © Hana Njau-Okolo 2008. All Rights Reserved.

This Is Not My Africa

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Map Source: AP

13 Year Old Somali Girl Stoned To Death

A thirteen year old girl was stoned to death before one thousand spectators in a stadium in the southern port of Kismayo, Somalia.

On October 27, 2008 Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was stoned to death by members of Al-Shabab. What did Aisha do? In breach of Islamic law, she had committed adultery.

The truth is that Aisha was gang-raped by three men. When Aisha attempted to report this to the Al-Shabab, they accused her of adultery, and detained her. None of the three accused men were arrested.

It all began in August 2008 when Aisha traveled from a refugee camp in Northern Kenya to Kimayo, and was held there against her will by the militants. As the days went by, she grew distressed and it was reported that she became emotional, or mentally unstable.

Initial reports stated that Aisha was 23 years old, but her father confirmed to Amnesty International that her actual age was 13. Under Islamic law, convicting a girl of 13 for adultery is illegal. …

Essential Utensils

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This year I’m tweaking our traditional menu. I’m thinking about cooking roasted Turducken, a partially de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed with a small de-boned chicken. That sounds like GOODNESS to me!

I am going to roll up my sleeves and learn how to de-bone and stuff poultry because I love the decadent, excessive act of slicing into a layered multi-bird roast and devouring it. Mmpphh! Oh, and my side dishes will include jollof rice, chapatis and dengu - African dishes that I can prepare with eyes wide shut.

You see, as is customary in many African cultures my Shangazi (paternal Aunt), taught me how to cook when I was a pubescent teen. For that I am truly thankful. I do feel a little cheated though because some of my sisters from Uganda received extra training. In the Baganda and Basoga cultures, the Ssenga (paternal Aunt), delivered skills for the kitchen as well as the bedroom.

Using utensils such as the pestl…

Barometric Pressure

On this post-election Sunday I’m mulling over two interesting occurrences of social contact that materialized on Friday. Help me angaza; shed some light here as the historical magnitude of this election sinks in.

The day began like it was going to be a horrible, no good, very bad day. I developed a headache very early in the morning. It was slow in its emergence and persistent in its pounding. Sharon, a co-worker diagnosed it as a barometric pressure headache. According to meteorologists there was a storm on the way and sensitive folks like me are usually affected. I was inclined to trust her diagnosis as she is an experienced migraine sufferer. So I took two of the strongest stuff in the office, Back & Muscle Relief tablets.

It was close to mid-morning when the buoyant, good-looking Caucasian office services guy stopped by on a routine mail drop-off and pick-up.

“T. G. I. F!” He said cheerfully, pausing at my cubicle. Thankfully, the throbbing at my temples had somewhat subsided.

“Ye…

From Kenya With Love

Barack Obama’s win is good for my Kenyan soul. This morning, my husband said he noticed that there was more ounce in my bounce. I too was surprised at how refreshed I felt, considering I'd clocked a mere three hours of sleep after a momentous 2008 election night.

Just as fresh on my mind this morning, is that last night I was quite okay with our oldest daughter's emotional comment that she was finally proud to call herself an American.

Aside from a momentary tinge of guilt that we had probably succeeded in robbing her and her siblings of an allegiance to the American flag (more on that later), I felt more strongly the overwhelmingly redeeming quality of Barack Obama’s victory.

At last, the distortions that have made up the fabric of American socio-cultural relations would exist no more. Finally, the suffocating guilt that bleeds into relationships and chokes them into premature death would be eradicated as time went by.

Indeed, our children can now brandish their U.S. passports, b…