Africa World Scene

Africa - list of articles in the section Africa World Scene

  • Dutch Child Wonder of the 50’s: Christiaan Bor
    A vintage Radio Netherlands interview with a proud father in Amsterdam of five musical and artistic boys. The youngest, Christiaan, showed so much promise on the violin that by the time he was six, …
  • Pete Myers interviews Miriam Makeba
    In this edition of the BBC’s programme “PM”, Pete Myers meets South African singer, songwriter and political activist Miriam Makeba (1932-2008), who opened the world’s ears to …
  • Short Stories Africa: Golden windmill contest 1971 : 9 [Out Of 10] Stories / 1972-11-10
    Radio Nederland Golden Windmill Short-Story Contest 1971 Radio Nederland Golden Windmill Short-Story Contest 1971 B327059.01 Short Stories Africa, Golden Windmill Contest 1971 : Sunset over Nairobi …
  • Glenda Jackson
    Pete Myers hosts the BBC’s “PM”: African Independence/ Glenda Jackson
    Before joining us at Radio Netherlands in 1976, Pete Myers hosted BBC programmes like “Late Night Extra” and “PM” and spoke with some of the greatest artists in musical and …
  • Pete Myers – “Sizwe Bansi is dead” (BBC)
    In this edition of the BBC’s programme “PM”, Pete Myers introduces us to a South African play that took the world by storm in the mid-1970’s. “Sizwe Bansi is dead” …
  • Zambia and President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia
      Zambia, once known as Northern Rhodesia, was fused with Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953, and gained complete independence as a separate nation in 1964. The country’s first …
  • Nate Kohn: producer of “Zulu Dawn”
    An interview with the producer of “Zulu Dawn”. This epic cinema production about the Battle of Isandlwana is about the defeat of British forces by an overwhelming force of 25 thousand …
  • Nadine Gordimer on the ban of her novel Burgher’s Daughter
    Done by Geoffrey Simms for Afro-Scene Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Afroscene: interview with Prince Nico Mbarga
    Prince Nico Mbarga, born in Nigeria in 1950, was a highlife musician, renowned for his hit song “Sweet Mother”, which he recorded with his band Rocafil Jazz in 1976. Although it was his …
  • The Bilal’s fourth wife
    In 1982, the Radio Netherlands’ Transcription Service produced a series of African short stories. This was the last in the series. By: Sembene Ousmane (Senegal) Reader: Luis Mahoney Produced …
  • African short stories – Part 1
    In 1982, the Radio Netherlands’ Transcription Service produced a number of African short stories. Most of them have survived. A number of them were later (in 1985) also broadast in our regular …
  • African short stories – Part 2
    The Sun Roasted Me By: R. Mugo Gatheru (Kenya) Reader: Gordon Tialobi Produced and directed by: Jumoke Debayo The Old Woman By: Luis Honwana (Mozambique) Reader: George Browne Produced and directed …
  • African short stories – Part 3
    In 1982, the Radio Netherlands’ Transcription Service produced a series of African short stories. The False Prophet By: Sembene Ousamane (Senegal) Reader: Luis Mahoney Produced and directed by: …
  • African Short Stories – Part 4
    In 1982, the Radio Netherlands’ Transcription Service produced a series of African short stories. The Old Must Go By: Peggy Appiah (Ghana) Reader: Eliabeth Adare Produced and directed by Jumoke …
  • Afro-scene – African musicians 1984-1985
    The interviews with African musicians were lifted from Afro-Scene in the 1984-1985 season. Nigerian singer/musician Chief Ebenezer Obey – July 1984 1a. Zimbabwean musician Thomas Mafumo – …
  • Afro-Scene: African writers 1984
      These interviews with African writers, produced and presented by John Hammond and Veronica Wilson,  were first broadcast in “Afro-Scene” in 1984.   John Hammond meets …
  • A kind of marriage
    In the early 1980’s, the Radio Netherlands’ Transcription Service commissioned a series of African radio plays. This one seems to be the only one to have survived. It was broadcast on …
  • Afro-Scene: More politicial highlights from 1985
    The highlights were lifted from the 1985 Afro-Scene season. John Hammond lists all the (attempted) coups in the continent that year – November 1985 Reverend Beyers-Naudé, Secretary General of …
  • African farmer with a hoe
    We made a hoe and went along: Part 8 – the history of African agriculture
    This entry is part of the series We made a hoe and went alongA 13-part series on the history of Africa. The programme traces the development of farming from pre-colonial days of producing for …
  • African farmer with a hoe
    We made a hoe and went along: Part 9 – I left my village for a job
    In 1986, the Radio Netherlands’ Transcription Service production a 13-part series on the histories of Africa, entitled “We mad a hoe and went along”. Part 9 goes to Nairobi to give …
  • We made a hoe and went along: Part 10 – The magnificent African cake
    In 1986, the Radio Netherlands’ Transcription Service produced a 13-part series on the history of Africa, entitled “We made a hoe and went along”.  Part 10 gives a vivid and …
  • African farmer with a hoe
    We made a hoe and went along: Part 11 – Particularly artificial boundaries
    This entry is part of the series We made a hoe and went alongIn 1986, the Radio Netherlands’ Transcription Service produced a 13-part series on the hisotry of Africa, entitled “We made a …
  • History of Africa – This blessed town of Djenné
    The history of West African states and cities. In the 17th century, the town of Djenné in Mali was a major trading centre in West Africa (gold, slaves, salt, etc.) The programme focuses also on the …
  • African farmer with a hoe
    We made a hoe and went along: Part 1 – A well-preserved layer
    This entry is part of the series We made a hoe and went alongIn 1986, the Radio Netherlands’ Transcription Service produced a 13-part series on the history of Africa, called “We made a …
  • African farmer with a hoe
    We made a hoe and went along: Part 2 – We took off to our farms
    In 1986, Radio Netherlands’ Transcription Service produced a 13-part series on the history of Africa, called “We made a hoe and went along”. In the second programme, experts explain …
  • African farmer with a hoe
    We made a hoe and went along: Part 3 – Perpetuating scenes for all eternity
    This entry is part of the series We made a hoe and went alongThe programme is part of of the Radio Netherlands’ Transcription Service series “We made a hoe and went along”, produced …
  • African farmer with a hoe
    We made a hoe and went along: Part 4 – Land, women and cattle – the history of Bantu migration
    This entry is part of the series We made a hoe and went alongThe programme is part of the Radio Netherlands’ Transcription Series “We made a hoe and went along”, produced in 1986. …
  • African farmer with a hoe
    We made a hoe and went along: Part 7 – Portrait of a king
    This entry is part of the series We made a hoe and went alongThe programme is part of the Radio Netherlands’ Transcription Series “We made a hoe and went along”, produced in 1986. The programme …
  • We made a hoe and went along: Part 12, I will always remember that date- the African independence struggle
    This entry is part of the series We made a hoe and went alongThe African struggle for independence. Based on the experiences of a scholar and a schoolboy, we hear the story of Zimbabwe’s …
  • We Made a Hoe and Went Along: Part 13, “I am an Afrikaner”, the origins of apartheid
    This entry is part of the series We made a hoe and went alongThis is the final part of a 13-part series called “We Made a Hoe and Went Along” on the history of Africa.  In this …
  • The Prince and the Panda: an interview with Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands
    This is an uncut interview made in 1988 with prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (1911-2004), husband of Juliana, queen of the Netherlands from 1948 to 1980.  In 1961 prince Bernhard was a …
  • Interview with South African anti-apartheid activist Reverend Beyers Naudé
    The Reverend Christian Frederick Beyers Naudé (1915-2004) was a South African theologian born and raised in the Afrikaner Christian community. His father was a minister in the white Dutch reformed …
  • Afro-Scene Special: Osibisa
    In this special edition of the programme, Veronica Wilson’s studio guest is Del Richardson, lead singer and lead guitarist with Osibisa, the first African (pop) band that had a world-wide …
  • Afro-Scene: Mixed marriages special
    In this special edition of the programme, Veronica Wilson looks at mixed marriages. Her guests, both African and Dutch, talk about the impact their choice of a partner has had on their relationship, …
  • A Good Life: Western Sahara
    In this special edition of the programme, Sylvia Smith visits the Western Sahara and refugee camps in neighbouring Algeria. Control over the Western Sahara, an expanse of desert half the size of …
  • Maputo's Botanical Garden
    Things are looking up in Mozambique
    Shortly after Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975, a long and bitter civil war broke out between the ruling FRELIMO government and the RENAMO rebels. Over one million people were …
  • Happy Station – Ghost singers
      Part One: Part Two: Pete Myers takes a look at the voices behind the gorgeous and glamorous actors who could not sing– the ghost singers who sang for  stars like Rita Hayworth and …
  • Airtime Africa: Eric Miyeni special
    Veronica Wilson meets this young (26) black South African standup comedian who was in Holland with his show “Twisted and Vile”. He uses comedy to tackle social issues such as alcoholism, …
  • Mirror Images: Dance and theatre in South Africa
    South African artists have been involved in a struggle for an integrated society. In this programme, produced by David Swatling, we found out how dance and theatre have been setting an example for a …
  • Tygerberg Hills, South Africa
    The land belongs to us – land reform in South Africa
    One of the major challenges facing the new government in South Africa is the issue of land reform. The apartheid regime confiscated vast tracts of land from the black majority as well as from …
  • Mirror Images: South Africa’s struggling film industry
    How will South Africa’s arts community fare now that the country is about to get a black majority government? Uncertainty abounds because as always it will depend on how much money is …
  • Beyond the walls of apartheid
    After the collapse of apartheid, people will have to come to terms with the new reality in South Africa. As it will be the young generation who will have to build a new society, Eric Beauchemin spoke …
  • Research File special: The environmental legacy of apartheid
    Deforestation and soil degradation in many of the areas were blak people were forced to live are only two of the problems created by apartheid. Another is toxic waste dumping. Eric Beauchemin …
  • Poetry International: 25 years of African poetry
    In 1994 the now world famous annual Poetry International festival in Rotterdam celebrated its 25th anniversary. One of our programmes marked the occasion by featuring several of the African poets who …
  • We need you back – Uganda
    In this first documentary which Hélène Michaud made for the English Service, she visited Uganda, more than 20 years after Idi Amin ordered 50,000 Asians to leave Uganda, accusing them of sabotaging …
  • Monument of National Unity in Bujumbura, Burundi
    History will judge us harshly – stalemate in Burundi
    Ever since Burundi gained independence in 1962, politicians representing the  nation’s two main ethnic groups – the Hutu and the Tutsi – have tried but failed to reach lasting …
  • Médecins sans Frontières
    Healers without borders
    In early 1995, the Dutch branch of Médecins sans Frontières or Doctors without Borders had just celebrated its tenth anniversary. It had projects in a wide variety of countries ranging from …
  • Ntarama Church Genocide Memorial
    Burying the machete in Rwanda
    Seven months after the 1994 genocide, most Rwandans were still struggling to come to terms with the slaughter of nearly a million of their compatriots. How does a society cope with the murder of …
  • Rwandan child
    Children of the genocide in Rwanda
    A year after the start of the 1994 genocide, Rwanda’s children are still trying to put their lives back together. Hundreds of thousands were killed, lost their families or are separated from …
  • Landmine awareness programme for children
    Seeds of death – landmines in Angola
    Angola is one of the countries that has been most heavily affected by landmines and unexploded ordnance. In the 1990s, the United Nations estimated that Angola had over 10 million landmines, nearly …
  • The Brothers – Street children in Nairobi
    Africa is faced with a growing number of street children. They converge on the cities, hoping to make enough money to build a life for themselves back in their village. However, few succeed. Many end …
  • Afro-Scene: Female circumcision
    This edition of the programme is dedicated entirely to female circumcision. There are interviews with several experts from Africa on this practice (why it is done) and efforts to stamp it out. Share …
  • Girls of the night – child prostitution in Africa
    Child prostitution in Africa is on the increase. Growing poverty, the HIV epidemic and civil strife are just some of the reasons leading more and more children and teenagers, both girls and boys, to …
  • Member of the newly trained Emergency Response Unit of the Liberian National Police, after identifying a suspect, conducts a search of his body for drugs and illegal weapons, during patrol downtown. 9/Nov/2008. UN Photo/Christopher Herwig. http://www.unmultimedia.org/photo/
    The African connection
    Drug addiction is a phenomenon normally associated with the developed world, in particular North America and Europe, and with the producing countries in Asia and South America. Now the drugs cartels …
  • A Good Life: Flying Doctors
    Hélène Michaud presents a special edition of the programme focusing on flying doctors services in Africa. One of the pioneers was a French woman, Dr. Anne Spoerry, who retired at 80. It was with her …
  • Rwandan refugee camp in Goma, Zaire
    The long wait – the Rwandan refugees in Zaire
    In the wake of the genocide in Rwanda in the spring of 1994, hundreds of thousands of people fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo or Zaire, as it was then known. Most of them wound up in refugee …
  • Kenyan street children
    The Gift – a Christmas tale about street children in Nairobi
    When Kenyan filmmaker Anne Mungai was awarded a prize by UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and asked to make another movie, she chose to make a film about street children. In the Kenyan …
  • French Foreign Ministry
    Coming of age – the changing relations between France and its former colonies in Africa
    France granted independence to most of its colonies in West and Central Africa in 1960, but French politicians believed it was essential for France to maintain close ties with these new nations for …
  • Street children in Mombassa
    Survival of the youngest
    In 1973, a Dutch priest began seeing more and more children on the streets of the Kenyan capital Nairobi. Most of them were working as parking boys, and Father Arnold Grol wanted to help get them off …
  • Siren Song: Richard Leakey & Bill Sutherland
    This edition of the programme features an interview by Jaldeep Katwala with Kenyan palaentologist Richard Leakey, son of the famous Louis and Mary Leakey, about his extraordinary life and family. …
  • Never Kneel Down: Rebuilding Eritrea
    In 1993 Eritrea became Africa’s newest independent country, after a bitter war against Ethiopia in which over one hundred thousand people died. The hostilities lasted 30 years, longer than any …
  • Wide Angle: Traditional life – modernisation and the Himba
    The semi-nomadic Himba people, who live in a remote corner of Namibia, are one of the last traditional tribes of Africa. Their way of life nearly vanished towards the end of the last century, when …
  • Outline Namibia
    Michele Ernsting visits Namibia, seven years after independence, which was preceded by decades of civil war. Sam Nujoma became the country’s first president. He poured money into education and …
  • Under African Skies
    Reporter Jaldeep Katwala takes a very personal look at relations between Asians and Africans in Kenya. Jaldeep was born in western Kenya at a time when the country was still ruled by the British. For …
  • AIDS orphan painting
    Rays of hope – children and AIDS in Africa
    In many parts of Africa, the Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS has become the main cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 45, in other words for those who are both sexually …
  • Chet Lowe
    Chet Lowe – an American missionary working with Liberia’s former child soldiers
    It’s estimated that up to 15,000 children, mostly boys, actively took part in Liberia’s 7-year civil war. That’s about 15% of the total number of fighters. Children were amongst the most brutal …
  • Tom, a former child soldier
    Faceless warriors – Child soldiers in Liberia
    In 1989, civil war broke out in the West African nation of Liberia. During the seven year battle for power, it’s estimated that over 150,000 people were killed, and one in two was forced to …
  • Cameroon dancing
    Aural Tapestry – Cameroon (musical tradition)
    Martha Hawley visits Cameroon where music is an integral part of everyday life and reflects the diversity of the country. Traditionally it was part of the search for solution to social problems. The …
  • Searching for peace in Burundi
    For nearly five years, the Central African country of Burundi has been in the throws of a civil war. 200,000 people have been killed, hundreds of thousands displaced, and half a million more …
  • Aural Tapestry: Pieter-Dirk Uys – 10 years in Holland (1988-1998)
    David Swatling presents a portrait of South African writer, performer and satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys based on his four visits to the Netherlands: in 1988, 1991, 1994 and 1998. During each of these …
  • The other tribunal
    In Arusha, Tanzania, a low-profile tribunal is working on the aftermath of a terrible war. Yet the Rwanda tribunal has been criticised for inefficiency and lack of facilities. The few dozen …
  • The Exodus – Street children in Ghana
    It’s estimated that there are at least 30,000 children living on the streets of Ghana. Eric Beauchemin has visited the country several times. Most recently he spent four months with a …
  • DNA
    DNA – The essence of life
    Liesbeth de Bakker investigates the possible impact of the unraveling of the exact coe of our DNA. Can we really weed out bad genes, and do we really want to? Are human beings really defined only by …
  • Operation Vula: a secret Dutch network against apartheid
    This award-winning programme focuses on a secret operation involving the Netherlands Anti-Apartheid Movement, the AABN, during Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment and the apartheid years in South …
  • Know your HIV status
    The socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe
      In 1999, UNAIDS released a report on the socio-economic impact of the epidemic in Africa. The report confirms what researchers had suspected for several years: AIDS is exacerbating poverty and …
  • Tom
    Tom’s story – a Zimbabwean AIDS orphan at the turn of the century
    In Zimbabwe at the end of the 20th century, it was estimated that nearly one in five children had lost a parent to AIDS. Often it was just a question of time before the other parent died. Some …
  • AIDS orphan
    Children of the plague in Zimbabwe
    In 1999, Zimbabwe continued to be one of the countries that was seeing the worst of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Hundreds of thousands of children had lost their parents to the pandemic, and more and more …
  • Miriam was raped during the war
    The memories should be their punishment – War rape in Sierra Leone
    The 1990s in Sierra Leone, West Africa. A civil war raged there for nearly the entire decade. It’s been described as one of the most brutal wars in modern times. Rape was an integral part of the war …
  • Rebel soldiers in Sierra Leone
    Sierra Leone – getting away with murder, mutilation, rape
    A year ago this month, rebels launched an offensive on the capital of Sierra Leone in West Africa. The invasion went largely unreported, though the human rights abuses that occurred there have been …
  • Child soldiers
    Innocence Lost – the child soldiers of Sierra Leone
    It’s estimated that over 5000 children fought in Sierra Leone’s civil war, but the figure could be as high as 10,000. One rebel group admitted in late 1999 that 30% of its combatants were …
  • Angola's national bank
    Luanda – portrait of a city
    Angola’s capital, Luanda, was the first city founded by the Europeans on the west coast of Africa. The Portuguese colonisers initially settled on an island off the coast of Luanda in 1575. A …
  • Scarred souls – the emotional toll of Sierra Leone’s civil war
    The war that raged in the West African nation of Sierra Leone for nearly a decade knew no bounds. Speak to any Sierra Leonean and you’ll hear stories of unimaginable pain and horror. As Médecins sans …
  • In rebel-held territory, a few hours' drive from Freetown
    Sierra Leone – a personal odyssey
    Eric Beauchemin has covered the aftermath of numerous wars. Throughout the 1990s, he kept being drawn to places where the world saw the worst in man come to the surface – places like the Great …
  • Boy learning pottery in a refugee camp in Guinea
    The tattered welcome mat – Guinea’s refugee burden
    Guinea has opened its doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees, despite its extreme poverty. In the spring of the year 2000, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees urged the world to …
  • Interview with Prince Willem Alexander about being a flying doctor
    In this short interview recorded in Nairobi, Kenya, Willem Alexander talks about his involvement as a pilot with AMREF, the African Medical Research Foundation. He flew with the legendary flying …
  • Somebody must be held responsible – Impunity in Zimbabwe
    Since Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980, the authorities have repeatedly committed massive human rights violations against their own people. The government has never acknowledged its role …
  • AIDS in Africa
    Dr. Alan Whiteside – the socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS
    Dr. Alan Whiteside teaches at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa and has been studying the socio-economic impact of the AIDS epidemic for the past decade. This coming Sunday, the 13th …
  • The Tides of Change: the Netherlands and South Africa
    Time has brought about enormous change in relations between the Netherlands and South Africa: from the days when Dutch settlers founded Capetown and formed the Boer community to the days of Afrikaner …
  • Downtown Huambo, Angola, 2002
    Stories from Huambo
    One of the most brutal episodes in Angola’s long civil war began in early 1993. Rebels belonging to UNITA (the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) besieged and then occupied several …
  • A young girl tests out a new seesaw on a playground built by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation at the Mkhulamini Clinic in Swaziland
    AIDS in Swaziland
    The 13th International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa, focused attention on southern Africa, a region reeling from the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. No country in the region has been …
  • Flag of Burundi
    Jan van Eck – peace mediator in Burundi
    Since 1993, Burundi has been in the throes of a civil war between the Tutsi minority and the Hutu majority. In 2000, Burundi’s military leader  took members of the opposition Hutu FRODEBU …
  • Young boys in Kuito
    Children of war in Angola
    Despite the gradual disintegration of Angolan society, neither the Angolan government nor UNITA seems prepared yet to embrace peace and national reconciliation. Many Angolans and Western diplomats …
  • A Good Life Special – Elandsdoorn
    In this two-part special, Hélène Michaud visits Dutch doctors Hugo and Liesje Tempelman, who set up a desperately needed medical centre in a township in South Africa in 1994.   Their Ndlovu …
  • Luwewe Cemetery - three funerals were taking place that afternoon; in the morning, there were 10 funerals taking place simultaneously
    Another goodbye – Death and mourning in the era of AIDS
    In Zimbabwe, every week 2500 people die of AIDS. Zimbabwe’s HIV rates are similar to those in the rest of southern Africa. The pandemic is changing the face of Zimbabwean society and the way people …
  • The Diplomat, The Netherlands and Africa
    Peter van Walsum is a distinguished Dutch diplomat who retired in early 2001 after a career that lasted over 35 years. His last posting was at the United Nations in New York. During those two years, …
  • Interview with retired senior Dutch diplomat Peter van Walsum
    In 1999 and 2000, Peter van Walsum was Dutch ambassador to the United Nations, at a time when the Netherlands had a seat on the Security Council. Much of the interview focuses on Africa. Van Walsum …
  • Dutch Horizons – Slavery Special
    This programme is an updated version of the Slavery Special, broadcast on the December 24, 2000, when the location and the design of the National Slavery Monument had not yet been decided. The …
  • Ten years of excellence
    Patricia’s People with Eric Beauchemin
    Radio journalist Eric Beauchemin started making documentaries for the Dutch international service about 10 years ago, when he covered the growing numbers of Africans crossing the Straits of Gibraltar …
  • Chris Chambers meets Filip Reyntjens
    In this unedited interview (for Talking it Over), Chris Chambers talks to Filip Reyntjens, Belgian African expert on the Great Lakes region: Rwanda, Burundi, Congo and Uganda. He talks about what he …
  • HIV/AIDS in Nigeria in 2001
    Eric Beauchemin visits Nigeria and discovers hos serous and how under-reported the HIV/AIDS epidemi is and how the virus is being spread.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new …
  • AIDS orphan painting
    Stories from the front – AIDS and children in South Africa
    13 million children in Africa have lost their mother or father or both parents to AIDS. In South Africa alone, 5 million people are infected with the HIV virus. KwaZulu Natal is the province with the …
  • Nigerian boy
    Overcoming fear – Nigeria’s quest for justice
    For nearly three decades, Nigeria was ruled by a succession of military dictators. Thousands of Nigerians were the victims from massive human rights violations, including summary executions, …
  • Oil pipeline explosion in Ogoniland
    Shades of grey – Shell vs. Nigeria’s Ogoni people
    Over a decade after it began, the conflict between the Anglo-Dutch oil multinational, Shell, and one of Nigeria’s smaller ethnic groups – the Ogoni people – has lost little of its intensity. It’s one …
  • A gay Nigerian who wished to remain anonymous
    The Nigerian Closet
    In Nigeria, homosexuality not only is a taboo, it is illegal. In the north of the country, the maximum punishment is death by stoning. In southern Nigeria, people convicted of same-sex sexual …
  • Wide Angle: AIDS in South Africa
    With President Mbeki publicly rejecting the idea that AIDS is caused by a virus, treating people with HIV/AIDS has become even more difficult.  Eric Beauchemin talks to members of the Treatment …
  • The Dutch doctor and the river spirit
    In Africa, some 2 million women have VVF or vesico vaginal fistula, a condition caused by prolonged labour. According to Dr. Kees Waaldijk, a Dutch doctor who works in northern Nigeria, “these women …
  • A Good Life: Mothers’ Welfare Group in Nigeria
    Eric Beauchemin meets Kathy Barrera whose organisation, the Mothers’ Welfare Group, has for the 13 years, been working in a poor, remote village around the central Nigerian town of Kaduna. She …
  • Former Angolan soldiers who lost limbs during the war
    The enduring legacy of landmines in Angola
    One of the most lasting legacies of war in many countries are landmines. Somewhere between 60 and 100 million mines have been planted in over 70 countries. They kill or maim 3 people per hour or more …
  • Shari Eppel
    Make them run – human rights in Zimbabwe
    Following the re-election of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in March 2003, violence continued unabated. Victims could not submit complaints because the rule of law had collapsed. Throughout …
  • Aural Tapestry: Gnawa – Songs of the night
    Gnawa is a term used to describe both a North African type of music (originating in West Africa centuries before) as well as the people belonging to a Muslim religious brotherhood. Daniel Frankl …
  • Children in a centre in Luanda
    Angola’s long journey from independence to peace
    “Hopefully now with the return to peace, Angolans will be able to go back home, rebuild their lives and restore their dignity”, says Tony Hodges, one of the world’s leading experts on the southern …
  • Blood, Sweat and Tears: the enduring impact of the Atlantic slave trade
    Africans on a slave ship bound for Brazil, (by Johann Rugendas 1830 (© Wikimedia) In his book Two Thousand Seasons, African writer Ayi Kwei Armah says that it will take two thousand seasons to work …
  • Maria: "Doctors told me I was suffering from the plague"
    AIDS in Angola
    HIV/AIDS remains the number one killer in all countries of southern Africa. The one exception is Angola. Paradoxically, a quarter of a century of war largely protected Angolans from the growing …
  • The Story of Nemo and Ebyan: Two Somali Refugee Children in the Netherlands
    In 1988 a civil war broke out in Somalia, in the horn of Africa. Nearly a million people had to flee the fighting. Some settled in other African countries, but many also went to the United States and …
  • Billboard under a fly-over in downtown Lagos, with the port in the background
    The chaos of Lagos
    The president of Nigeria once described Lagos as an urban jungle. Others call it hell on earth. 13 million people live in Nigeria’s commercial capital. In the 1970s, there were barely a million …
  • Fisherman in Ekoli Creek
    Rivers of the World: The Niger River
    The Niger River is one of Africa’s great waterways. It runs over 4000 kilometres before spilling out into the Gulf of Guinea. The last segment runs through south-eastern Nigeria, known as the …
  • Huambo, Angola
    Looking into the mirror – Angolans and their dark past
    In 2003, the African nation of Angola was emerging from a quarter of a century of civil war and massive human rights abuses. 1½ million people were killed during the fighting and one in three had to …
  • Enemies on Common Ground
    Roger Lucey was a white South African growing up in apartheid South Africa. He loved music and he loved his country. Paul Erasmus was a white South African growing up in apartheid South Africa. He …
  • Boy in Luanda
    Angola’s scarred generation
    In Angola, more than one generation of children has known nothing more than war all their lives. This is a nation where people in their 30s can get furious at you for asking about their dreams as …
  • Mother Bush: Freeing the airwaves in South Africa
    The struggle to free the airwaves from state control was part of the larger anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. In Cape Town, Bush Radio was at the forefront, training broadcasters and …
  • Young boy in search of his family
    Angola’s lost children
    Over 100,000 children were separated from their families during Angola’s long civil war. Tens of thousands of adults have also lost contact with their loved ones. The cease-fire agreed in April 2002 …
  • Yvonne Vera, Zimbabwean author
    In conversation with Yvonne Vera, Zimbabwean writer
    Zimbabwe’s extreme economic decline after 2000 eroded the ability of artists to create and of the public to experience art. Dr. Yvonne Vera was a novelist and for six years, she was the …
  • Inside the Third Chimurenga cover
    On the rampage – Zimbabwe’s youth militia
    In 2000, the Zimbabwean government created the National Youth Service, allegedly to provide skills and teach patriotism to the southern African nation’s youth. But the National Youth Service had a …
  • Boy playing in Bulawayo neighbourhood
    South Africa and the Zimbabwe crisis
    At the turn of the century, the ongoing political crisis in Zimbabwe was having increasingly disastrous consequences for the country’s 11 million people. The collapse of Zimbabwe was also being …
  • Archbishop Pius Ncube
    Under siege – God’s men in Zimbabwe
    In Zimbabwe at the turn of the century, Christian leaders were coming under increasing pressure because of their criticism of the authoritarian rule of President Robert Mugabe. The church were one of …
  • One hundred trillion Zim dollars
    The deepening crisis in Zimbabwe
    The deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe occasionally draws headlines elsewhere, and the news is never good. The economic situation has gone into steep decline, in part due to the expensive costs of …
  • Long queues at a petrol station
    Searching for fuel and other tales from Zimbabwe
    Zimbabwe’s economy used to be one of the most vibrant in Africa. But in 2003, the country’s economy had collapsed. It’s estimated that up to a fourth of Zimbabwe’s 11 million people …
  • Jan van Maanen
    Under Foreign Skies – Jan van Maanen
    This entry is part of the series Under Foreign SkiesJan van Maanen has lived and worked in Guinea Bissau for nearly a quarter of a century. He initially went to the West African nation to set up an …
  • Crossing the Line; the Story of Emma McCune (1964-1993)
    Emma McCune was a young British national, who went to Sudan as an international aid worker. She met and married the southern Sudanese rebel guerilla leader Riek Machar and was killed in Kenya. Her …
  • LGBT Uganda flag
    Wide Angle – gays in Uganda
    Homosexuality is illegal under Victorian-era legislation still in force in Uganda and many other English-speaking countries in Africa. The laws reflect a deep aversion among many Africans to …
  • Bev and Simon: a South African “love story”
      Bev Ditsie was 17 when she first met Simon Nkoli, founder of South Africa’s first gay and lesbian organization: GLOW.  Simon became her mentor, her role model and, most of all, her …
  • Painting representing children who managed to escape from the Lord's Resistance Army
    Innocent targets – the children of northern Uganda
    In 2004, children in northern Uganda were living in fear. A rebel movement, called the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), had abducted over 20,000 children since it began fighting the Ugandan government …
  • Camp for displaced persons on the outskirts of Lira in northern Uganda
    Talking with the devil in northern Uganda
    In northern Uganda in 2004, war had been raging for nearly two decades, and it was showing no signs of abating. People had grown tired of the government’s pledges that it would end the rebellion by …
  • The Music House
    In the rainforests of central Africa, the Baka pygmies have one of the oldest and most sensitive musical cultures on Earth. They sing to draw animals prior to a hunt, to wake the forest spirits to …
  • Boy with his memory book
    In case I forget – coping with AIDS in Uganda
    When the HIV/AIDS epidemic began in the early 1980s, one of the hardest hit countries was Uganda. By the early 1990s, over 18% of the population was infected with HIV, and in some areas, the figure …
  • Stop blaming immigrants
    Unwanted – African immigrants in South Africa
    Since the end of apartheid a decade ago, growing numbers of refugees from across Africa have been heading to the continent’s richest and most industrialised country. No one knows how many African …
  • Releasing the River: Restoring the Rhythms of the Zambian Wetlands
    Imagine an African landscape nearly half the size of the Netherlands; antelopes and zebra grazing a huge, flat wetland full of storks, cranes and wading birds. This is the Kafue Flats of Zambia …
  • Condom valley, Limpopo Province, South Africa
    The challenge – coping with AIDS in Africa
    In Africa, 7 million people have AIDS, the acquired immune deficiency syndrome. 11 million more Africans have the HIV virus which causes the disease. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 65% of the …
  • A "home" in Matabeleland
    A deep cancer: the collapse of Zimbabwe – Part 3 in a series on failed states
    Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of southern Africa. Today it cannot feed itself. It has the world’s highest inflation rate. According to the Zimbabwean government it is over 1000%. …
  • Hut built by a family evicted from their home
    Driving out the filth in Zimbabwe
    In May 2005, the Zimbabwean government launched Operation Murambatsvina. The authorities translated this as “Operation Clean-up” or “Operation Restore Order”, but the more literal translation is …