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Contents NEW AFRICAN The bestselling pan-African magazine, founded in 1966 JULY 2008 ISSUE 475 WWW.AFRICASIA.COM
Letters 5 Your news and views
Opinion: Media/Africa 8 Show the world the other side of Africa 9 Foxing out Obama?
Cover story/South Africa 10 A national disgrace! 18 Who will save South Africa? 24 Xenophobic South Africans have a lot to learn
South Africa A national disgrace! > Who could have prophesied that some black South Africans could turn on fellow black Africans and kill some of them for merely coming to live and work in South Africa – a people who perhaps benefited the most from African solidarity in their days of woe?
32Kenya To prosecute or not to prosecute > President Kibaki’s party wants to prosecute those who committed violence during the post-election riots. Prime Minister Odinga’s party says no; give them amnesty. Kenya has a justice dilemma on its hands.
fre eINSI DeCollecto r’s i ssu e
New African Woman 42 Welcome to New African Woman 43 Women who inspire 44 Black is beautiful 49 Women of substance 52 Fashion is our culture 56 How to avoid hair loss
Nuggets in a Nutshell 26 Setting and scoring your goals
Features 28 Nigeria: Anti-corruption crusade tests Yar’Adua’s resolve 32 Kenya: Justice dilemma for poll victims 62 Ghana: First woman vice-president?
Under the Neem tree 40 Obama has cleared the way for black achievement
NA Market 46 The irresistible car for Africa
The Arts 58 The economic power of African creativeness
The Interview 66 Liberia: An agent for positive change
Health 71 Sickle Cell: Beware of heroin pumps
Lest We Forget 74 Becoming ‘European’
Comment 76 China may be right in Africa 78 Britain: No freedom from the 1807 Act 80 Debate on Stella’s Jamaicans
Diaspora 84 Obama: A life inside the American dream
Sport 92 Masters of the Olympics
Endtail 98 An ode to New African Letters Your views and news
Western media and Africa I had not read New African till about four months ago when I was posted to The Gambia on business duty. In fact, if I have my own way, I would translate this must-read magazine into a textbook for all African senior high schools. The magazine’s educative contents have changed my perception about Africa and deepened my belief in the continent, while being careful about the West and its trade policies. Your last issue on the Western media’s skewed coverage of Africa was really informative. Continue the good work. You are gradually building a better generation of young Africans. Richmond Cabral Banjul, Gambia
Continued global dominance Clayton Goodwin’s “Bad reporting on fertile soil” (NA June) ruined for me what after all was exceptional exposure of Western bias in reporting Africa. I disagree with his assessment that Africans and Europeans do not interact enough. The majority of the Europeans I grew up with, and they were not just Englishmen but women too – including Scots, Welsh, Irish and other European nationals from Spain, Germany, Italy, etc – do interact enough with Africans and Africa, like the rest of the world matters to them in terms of political stability, economic and social progress, environmental and cultural issues, among other interests. The problem is not about Europeans and Africans not interacting enough, the problem is that in their quest for continued global dominance, the pan-European world are relentlessly engaged in a war of disinformation about parts of the world and cultures dissimilar to them. The disinformation comprises of prejudices born of European and imperial preconceptions, and that is why they still subscribe to the long outdated colonial stereotype of Africa.The lesson for Africa’s media houses is, therefore, to look after the interest of the continent, including the exposure of excesses of African leaders, and not copying the Western media. Opiyo Oryema london, uK
Thank you, and thank you again Thank you New African for your incisive journalism. Your last issue on the Western media coverage of Africa was super. We are so
A lot of hope has been invested in South Africa’s SABC News International to grow into a pan-African network
proud of your publication which has provided us with a forum to rub minds in the true spirit of African brotherhood. By adhering religiously to the tenets of your profession, you are helping to take journalism to a new level. Your avowed resolve to say it as it is has endeared you to us your readers. You are unconsciously championing a revolution by giving an African perspective to the news. Your firm stand against anti-African journalism is worthy of mention. The Western media has failed us all. Where you inform, they disinform. Where you educate, they manipulate. Where you furnish, they tarnish. Where you promote, they demote. And where you report, they distort. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you again. May your pen never run dry. While still at it, the strong partnership between China and Africa is something we Africans should be both happy and excited about. For a long time, the West plundered and under-priced our resources with careless abandon. It supported despots like Mobutu Sese Seko, and watched mindlessly as they ruined our economies. The same West is today trying to deceive us into believing that Mugabe is evil. I am sure that the majority of Africans are becoming aware that the gimmickry is dying out. They still consider Mugabe a respected leader and a pan-Africanist, despite the Western media onslaught on him. Those who ran the apartheid regime in South Africa are walking free while Charles Taylor is sitting in The Hague (not that we support his actions anyway). These contractions portray a perfidious system and leave an irreconcilable paradox. The West, behind its veneer of “civilisa
tion” and the “defender of the oppressed”, is actually geared towards the ancient principle of the survival of the fittest. And they become so ruthless in the pursuit of this principle. Sadly, using their media, they want all of us to tow the line. But with publications such as New African on the scene, we never will. May God bless you. Kennedy Okonkwo Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Time to stop blaming others Having read your cover story on the Western media coverage of Africa, I can say I entirely agree with Baffour Ankomah’s position. However, it’s nothing ground breaking. What I don’t understand is why the Western media should even care to consider reporting Africa in the way in which Africans will consider to be politically, economically and socio-culturally correct? Is that not legitimising the Western media as the world media? Does this way of thinking not smack of the dependency syndrome that we so desperately need to rid ourselves of? It is time for Africa to stop blaming everyone for its problems and get to work. Why don’t we work towards assembling our own media juggernaught to support our ideas and aspirations? John Pilger is not the first to write about Western media bias, others have done so before him; for example, Mort Rosemblum (1979), Yuli Magari (1986), Susan D Moeller (1998), and John Tomlinson (2001). It’s unfortunate that New African has become an anti-Western, instead of a proAfrican, publication. The responsibility that the African media has is to mobilise and instill a new thrust for the socio-economic development of Africans in Africa. First and foremost, Baffour should stop defending characters who have institutionalised hate in their societies. Wealth begins from wisdom and what the African media should do is to change our way of thinking so that we can engage the international community with a chance to make an impact on it. For instance, in the North “time is money” while “there is no hurry in Africa”. How do we then hope to engage the West on the same level economically? The African media has a mandate to spearhead a developmental consciousness. The African renaissance now seems too far to be realised. Tamuka Mtengwa Harare, Zimbabwe
July 2008 NEW AFRICAN n 5