Bloggers in West Africa, harsh migration, low bandwidth and Who Killed Deyda?

We get to know more about two bloggers in West Africa this week. Keith Smith in Burkina Faso shares his photos, and George Ngwane in Cameroon re-publishes an interview with a local newsmagazine.

Blogger, Keith Smith, has been a missionary in Burkina Faso since 1989 and has been blogging at Under the acacias. He shares a comment he has been hearing in recent time. However, he wants No Comment:

You’re Looking Old!

Keith in rice field Keith at home

This was another unwanted comment, made twice by different people in the last few days here in Burkina. Apparently, my beard is significantly whiter than when I was here a couple of years ago. The comment was probably meant as a compliment, and might have been joined by the other unwanted compliment: “You’re looking fat!”

You can make up your own mind from these photos of me from 2003 in the rice field, and this week in Gorom. Maybe on this occasion it is just as well the comment section is closed…

Cameroonian blogger, George Ngwane, has recently been interviewed by Post Newsmagazine.

NGWANE republishes the interview: George Ngwane: The Independent Intellectual:

Mwalimu George Ngwane is a man of many parts. Writer, poet, peace activist, educationist, political analyst, pan-Africanist, and executive director of AFRICAphonie are all parts of this intellectual machine. Although he could amass easy lucre by simply praise-singing as most Cameroonian “intellectuals” have done, Mwalimu has remained consistent in voicing the peoples’ causes. His uncompromising stance for the people has had dire and sometimes heart-rending professional consequences. Yet, he remains undaunted and his active participation as spokesperson of the Committee for the Participation of Independent Candidates in the Electoral Process in Cameroon stands out as eloquent testimony.

The Trials & Tribulations of a Freshly-Arrived Denizen…of Ghana writes about the migration of Malians to Spain, and the horrendous experiences they go through. He was motivated to blog about this issue due to a programme called “Witness” he watched on AlJazeera English, via Metro TV in Accra, Ghana:

…Throughout the programme, I kept on pondering over the psychological compulsion for Malians to go to Spain for a better life. Even when Reuters photographer Juan—a surprisingly compassionate man who made his way all the way to Mali to see the family of one of the Malians who survived the ordeal in those waters of Spain, and with whom he had become close, some of this Malian’s family members maintained Malians had “no choice”, and that it is their “destiny”, and that “les prieres de ses parents ont sauve notre fils”.

Quite whether the prayers of parents saved this Malian prompts speculation that God must, assumedly, not have been listening to those who were also praying.

Ramblings of an African Geek raises very important issues about Internet bandwidth, open-source software and software piracy in Ghana in Linux in areas of low bandwidth:

I’ve been meaning to complain about this for a while.

One of the things I do here is help in linux outreach. Getting people to at least consider the use of open source software in their daily work. I end up helping quite a few people install linux on their machines.

The crux of the matter is however at the last paragraph of this blog entry:

I just wish there was some awareness on the part of the people who are trying to promote open source in developing countries that bandwidth can be a huge issue here and can affect how ‘free’ something is vs. readily available pirated software.

Oluniyi David Ajao is happy and blogs: “For once, we asserted ourselves

Libyan leader Col Gaddafi was very recently involved in an impasse at Abuja airport in Nigeria with the dispute being his over 200 bodyguard entering the west African nation with thier heavy arms. Col Gadaffi who was attending a summit in Nigeria was not happy, yet the Nigerian officials at the airport insisted, and only allowed 8 pistols after much argument with the Libyan security officials.

Thank God, for once, we asserted ourselves. Under no circumstances should the Nigerian officials have allowed 200 heavily armed bodyguards into our country. Do they want to take us over? Haba! Ki lo de? Wetin happen?

We conclude this week's round-up of West African blogs with Gambian blog Home of the mandinmories asking Who Killed Deyda?:

Readers of this blog have come to live with a permanent fixture on the right side of the blog in the form of a photo, a poem and a question: who killed Deyda? It has been two years since he was murdered in cold blood on a deserted street in Kanifing. His killers still roam the street of the Gambia for all I know. His murder join the list of many more that has never been adjudicated in the annals of Gambian history. Names such as Ousman Koro Ceesay, Ebrima Barry and the martyrs of the student demonstration that followed his death at the hands of Brikama firemen. Ousman Sillah escape their bullet, but will live the rest of his life reflecting on how lucky he was to escape the assasins bullet. The scar of that fateful day will live with him till kingdom cometh.

I am not a member of the journalistic fraternity. Never claimed or aspired to be one, but I have an affinity for what they do and respect those that stick to the ideals of the profession. I don't know Deyda Hydara, never met him, but will forever respect him. He paid the ultimate price for something he believed in. That counts for something in my book.

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