Archbishop Tutu says Time’s Up

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the man commonly referred to as the conscience of South Africa, announced a few days ago that he was retiring from public service in order to spend more time with his family. TalkAfrique takes this opportunity to pay tribute to Arch. Tutu for his service to South Africa, the African continent and humanity in general. It was Desmond Tutu’s firebrand criticism that built the foundation to eventually bring an end to South Africa’s horrible apartheid system. Archbishop Tutu is 79. It is our hope that he will have joy and peace in the many more years that he will be with us, and that his example will guide current and future leaders of the continent

Arch. Tutu in Video

A Breakthrough in Malaria Research

Scientists from Scotland have reported a major breakthrough  in fight against malaria.

The team from Edinburgh University in collaboration with  a team in Portugal  have discovered a gene that offers the drug resistance trait to the parasite. Drug-resistant plasmodium falciparum parasites are a major hindrance in the battle against the deadly disease. Chloroquine, the most commonly prescribed medicine against malaria has lost its effectiveness due to the proliferation of chloroquine resistant parasites.

Scientists think this is a  major development in malaria research. Malarial kills one to three million people annually, mostly children. These findings may pave a way for a new class of anti-malarials.

The study has been published in Biomedical Central (Sept 2010)

The Hero Mosquito in Sierra Leone

In 2008, Ian McLeod-McClean, a sex offender from Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom, fled to Sierra Leone after he was charged with abusing three girls. Mr.  McLeod-McClean, 48, has just been deported to the UK after visiting a hospital in Sierra Leone after he was hit with malaria. Last week, at a court in Maidstone Crown, he admitted to 23 sex crimes against several girls. His sentence is due Oct 28.

But for the relentless effort of the hero mosquito, the sex offender Mr. McLeod-McClean would be hiding in Sierra Leone doing his own thing to other innocent girls. In an ideal world, we would wish that all mosquitoes will emulate this hero. Unfortunately, a child dies of malarial every 30 seconds. What does that translate to  in a year?

The African Cup of Nations versus European Coaches

The African Cup of Nations is traditionally played during January and February every other year. Over the past few years, African players in Europe and other places and their coaches have on several occasions pleaded with the CAF management to either change the schedule to every 4 years or change the timing to coincide with the European leagues’ off season. Please use the space below to share your thoughts on what you think should be done.

Oprah Disappointed at Abuse Trial

Source: BBC News

The former matron of Oprah Winfrey’s school in South Africa has been cleared on charges of abusing girls there.

Virginia Mokgobo had faced 14 charges relating to the sexual and physical abuse of six girls.

Oprah Winfrey has expressed her disappointment at the verdict but said she was proud of the girls for having the courage to testify.

The US talk-show host has said she was herself abused as a child and has campaigned against abuse in the US.

Her Leadership Academy near Johannesburg, was opened in 2007 at a cost of $40m (£25m).

Ms Winfrey pledged to build the academy after meeting former South African President Nelson Mandela in 2002, and personally interviewed many of the South African girls from low-income families who applied for the initial 150 places at the school.

The prosecution said it was not intending to appeal against the verdict.

The elite boarding school was also hit by another sex scandal last year.

Seven students were suspended for allegedly harassing a school mate

African-American Leaders Should Stand for Africa?

When it comes to political agenda or manifesto, African  matters are included in the  ‘any other business (AOB)’. It is never part of the main discussion. Perhaps African American leaders and black politicians could play a significant role in reversing this trend. Anyone who has lived in this country can attest to the fact the Hispanic politicians never hide, never run away and never apologize when it comes to issues affecting Hispanics. What is even admirable is the realization that it does not matter whether a Hispanic politician has lived in the US for 1 or 999 years, they always come out and speak out forcefully when issues affecting Latinos worldwide are brought unto the table, even when the Latino leaders in question are not directly affected by the issue.

A few months ago, after Arizona passed its tough immigration law, almost all Hispanic politicians reacted with vehemence. Some even compared the decision to apartheid, and I think they cannot be wrong. They reasoned that if the law affects one Latino citizen, then it affect all Latinos. They make a case to their people until the politician who supports such a bill is seen as anti-Latino 

It has always baffled me that we do not see African American or black leaders do the same when it comes to matters impacting the 800 million on the African continent. African American politicians andblack leaders in general speak narrowly, though very well, about issues touching the ‘African American’ in the US. Unlike their Latino counterparts who speak for Mexico, for example, as though they are Mexicans, black leaders address African American problems and that enough for them.

Several reasons can be attributed to this, one being the fact that Africans in the America do not constitute an indispensable voting block. Again the image of Africa in the Westerner makes it hard for one to associate himself with the African continent and African people. Most readers will agree with me that Bill & Melinda Gates, Bono and Oprah speak more proudly and frequently of Africa than most black politicians.

It is my hope that all African Americans: black leaders, black students, black musicians, and black pastors will realize, one day, that our destiny is tied together. The African American will not be accorded the respect and dignity he or she deserves in this country or elsewhere, until the current perception of Africa in the mind of the Westerner is erased. And this requires work, not only by the African people but also by the African American brothers and sisters.