Category Archives: Africa

Sheri Veronica – As school children in Barbados we were taught to hate Jamaicans

Sheri Veronica Barbados

“Respect Jamaicans”

by Sheri Veronica

THE TRUTH IS, we were taught to hate JAMAICANS.  As a little girl in primary school, our teacher taught us that Barbados was the jewel of the Caribbean.  We were taught that any mad/crazy slave or any slave who could not take instructions, were shipped off to Jamaica.  This was the mandate, I supposed in my little head (or was that taught to me also), of every Caribbean island.  Send the mad and **aggressive slaves to Jamaica.  Then as time passed and you start to see clearer, meet people and question things, you soon realize that the insurgent slaves were the brave ones.  They were the men and women who could not be broken…

… continue with a good read at Sheri Veronica’s blog

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Jamaica, Race, Slavery, Sugar

Nigeria Barbados student programme disaster – Donna St. Hill says Sharon Brathwaite unable to account for major funds

Nigerian Deputy Governor Utuama and Donna St. Hill

Nigerian Deputy Governor Amos Utuama and Donna St. Hill

Barbados Today journalist Emmanuel Joseph interviewed Donna St. Hill – programme director for the Nigeria-Barbados student disaster that continues to unfold.

The full interview is worth your time to read if only to see once again how these foreign student and employment initiatives always fall apart in Barbados. Always. Everybody tries to squeeze a little bit of the funds for themselves and their brothers and in the end there are never enough funds to complete the original goals and standards of the project. All the time. Every time.

But this time there were some major feeders at the trough… or so says Donna St. Hill.

From what St. Hill says, once again there was little or no oversight of employees in Barbados as St. Hill ran her end from Africa (taking her little bit of squeeze for sure).

Now St. Hill is blaming Barbadian Sharon Brathwaite for misdirecting, misspending and generally being unable to account for hundreds of thousands of dollars over a relatively short four month period. It’s the students who are suffering in the end, and the money is gone gone gone.

Sharon Brathwaite told her side of the story to Barbados Today (see article I’m Sorry)

Some selected quotes from the Donna St. Hill interview…

“My company Donna St Hill International manages this contract… I live in Africa, so I hire local project administrators, of which Miss Brathwaite [Sharon] was the one who was working on the Barbados project…   I thought that with some close supervision, more mentoring, she could achieve more than what she even knew she was capable of.”

“I have heard Sharon Brathwaite had travelled to Nigeria to see my clients, to see how she could, not take over the responsibilities and the headaches, but control more of the financing and have it paid directly to her. That failed.”

“So at no time could we think about bringing the money back because every other month we were coming and it needed to be there –– you know, salaries to pay and some small things, but certainly not $750,000 . . . . We are all shocked because I know what I have approved; and even with some seepage here and there, it can’t be right.”

“So what happened with that money? Well we are trying to find out.”

Read the entire story at Barbados Today

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Nigeria

The politics of Ebola

Barbados ebola

“There is no need for the pharmaceutical companies to covertly engage in genocide in Africa. The Africans are doing an excellent job of genocide on themselves.”

The Editor
Barbados Free Press
Grape Hall, Barbados
West Indies

Dear Sir/Madam,

There was a letter in the Daily Nation of September 30, 2014, entitled: “Ebola a weapon of mass destruction?” written by Mr. Leonard St.Hill. The gist of what he had to say is as follows: he advises that the absence of speculation (presumably its origins) over Ebola virus raises some suspicion.

He goes on to state “that too many epidemics in Africa seem to have the effect of weapons of mass destruction which can result in genocide.” He concludes that Africa is serving as a laboratory where the pharmaceutical (western) industry, use native Africans as test subjects to ascertain the efficacy of the pathogen and antidote, whilst making a financial killing.

In the past in your newspapers, I have stated that persons should always stick to their areas of technical expertise and that the majority of Barbadians are scientific illiterates. Mr. St. Hill falls under both headings. He displays gross ignorance of microbiology and biotechnology and is guilty of disseminating false innuendos to an uninitiated public.

The major pharmaceutical companies have little interest in doing research into little known tropical diseases. The returns on their investment are not worth it. The people of Africa are too poor and cannot afford the cost of a complete regimen of treatment. Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Health

Barbarians: Sudan Muslim government sentences pregnant woman to death for being Christian

Meriam Ibrahim Execution

And it’s all according to the Holy Koran

Muslim animals force Christian mother to give birth while wearing prison shackles.

In the early hours of May 27, 2014, Meriam Ibrahim gave birth while chained to a wall in a prison in Sudan. The Sudanese court recently confirmed she will be executed now that her child has been born. How civilized of the Muslim court to wait until the child is born.

The 27 year old’s crime was to marry a Christian. She was always raised a Christian, but her father (who left before she was born) was a Muslim. And that makes her a Muslim in the eyes of the court, and apostate. The Koran says apostates should be killed so that’s the end of that.

With Meriam in prison is her 20 month old son.

There is no difference at all between the Islam of Sudan, and Islam elsewhere. The only difference is the percentage of the population that is Muslim. When that percentage reaches a certain level, Sharia Law kicks into play, and Sharia Law is the law.

Let those millions of Muslims come forward who do not believe that Meriam Ibrahim and other ‘apostates’ should be executed for choosing another religion.

(Sound of crickets chirping)

Meriam Ibrahim: Apostasy Sudanese woman sentenced to hang ‘may not be freed’, her lawyers warn

The treatment of Ibrahim by the Sudanese authorities was internationally condemned in early May, when the then heavily pregnant woman was sentenced to death for refusing to renounce Christianity, and reportedly imprisoned with her 20-month-old son.

Pressure on Sudan to release Ibrahim increased last week, when the 27-year-old was forced to give birth to her daughter while restrained by shackles.  Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Religion

Daughters of the Niger Delta “The oil has spoiled everything for us…”

BFP has been invited to see this documentary on Saturday March 8th. We’ll let you know what we think. Here is a description from the film’s website:

Daughters of the Niger Delta
Documentary (55:30 min)

Daughters of the Niger Delta is an intimate film portrait of three everyday heroines who manage to make ends meet against all odds. As their personal stories unfold, we come to see that the widely ignored environmental pollution in their backyard is not the only human rights issue affecting their lives.

The Stories

The film radically differs from the usual media reports about oil outputs, conflict, and kidnapping. It gives a taste of everyday life in the Niger Delta through the eyes of three ordinary women: Hannah, Naomi & Rebecca. Their struggle to survive in the delta’s beautiful but pollution-marred wetlands confronts us with the human impact of corporate irresponsibility, gender injustice, and failing government service delivery.

The stories of Hannah, Naomi, and Rebecca are sobering as well as uplifting. They shed light on day-to-day injustices that we rarely hear about in the news. But they also highlight women’s strength and resilience. Despite the hardship affecting their lives, the filmed women are determined to give their children a better future. Women may be the best captains to navigate the Niger Delta out of its troubled waters – if only they were given the chance.

Women’s Voices

It’s time to listen to women’s voices. Their priorities are relevant not only for the Niger Delta, but also for other parts of Nigeria that currently are marred by violence and social unrest. Women’s experiences can enrich the policy discourse – if only we are willing to listen.

Film website: Daughters of the Niger Delta

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Filed under Africa, Disaster, Environment, Human Rights

“Cumba” – the story of one slave woman owned by Captain John Burch, Christ Church. From Africa to Barbados to England

slavery-barbados.jpg

“Mr. Maverick was desirous to have a breed of Negroes, and therefore seeing she would not yield by perswasions to company with a Negro young man he had in his house…”

… from John Josselyn as recounted in Two Voyages to New England, published 1674

One story of millions

by West Side Davie

“Cumba” was her name. She died a slave in Romford, England in April, 1668 – the property of John Burch and his wife Margaret of Hogsty Plantation. (I’m not sure whether Captain John Burch of Barbados is also referred to and is the same as Colonel John Burch of Barbados, but this family history and other websites seem to say it is the same man. I remain open for correction!)

Today, Cumba is remembered as Havering’s first black resident in an excellent article by Professor Ged Martin just published in the Romford Recorder:

It was 350 years ago this year that a fabulously rich couple, John and Margaret Burch, arrived in Romford.

They’d made their money in Barbados, exploiting slave labour to produce the bonanza crop: sugar.

In 1664, they retired to England, buying Romford’s biggest estate, Gidea Hall, then usually called Giddy Hall. The mansion, demolished in 1930, stood just east of Raphael Park.

Madam Burch, as she was fawningly called, brought her personal maidservant from Barbados, the ultimate status symbol.

Cumba was Havering’s first black resident. A slave, a piece of property, Cumba survived the English climate just four years.

But when she died, in April 1668, somebody had the humanity to record her name in the register of Romford’s St Edward’s church. “Cumber, a ffemale Blackamore servant from Guyddy Hall, buried.”

Today, “blackamore” is an offensive term. But in 1668, when “black” was used to ­describe complexion, it was an attempt to identify Cumba with some dignity. The double “ff” ­indicated a capital letter.

… read the entire article Cumba: Havering’s first black resident remembered on the 350th anniversary of her arrival.

We know very little about Cumba, but we still know far more about her than we do about millions of other people who were enslaved with her and since. We know about the times in which she lived, and we also know a little about the socially-condoned cruelty of slave owners. I believe that much of history has been ‘cleansed’, but not all of it. What passed for ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ when Cumba lived gives us some idea of her personal circumstances, what she probably saw even if she was not herself subject to all of the abuses. We simply don’t know the details of her life, but we know the times.

So to learn more about Cumba, we will talk of the people around her: the powerful elites of society at the time… Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Human Rights, Race, Slavery

One year since the passing of Nenyin Alison Attah (Coleman): How a Bajan ended up First Lady of Akwa Ibom State Nigeria

Alison-Attah Barbados Nigeria

“When we finally reached Nigeria, I was certain that I had reached my resting place on earth. There would be no return to Barbados or UK”.

… Mrs Alison Attah, April, 2012, in an interview in Lagos.

Tuesday October 29, 2013 will mark exactly one year since Mrs Nenyin Alison Attah, the former First Lady of Akwa Ibom State departed this world for eternal life. For the two children, Felicia and Christopher, and for His Excellency, Obong Victor Attah, the Father of Akwa Ibom State, it has been a long year; made longer by the absence of the centre-piece of every home – a loving wife and mother. Life had ceased to be the same for them; but life must go on.

But it was not only the husband and kids who will miss her. Eno, the house help of over three decades, who through the generousity of the former First Lady, had sent two kids to university and is the proud owner of three bedroom bungalow, with boys quarters attached, had refused to go. Like the Biblical Ruth she had decided that even in death “Your people shall be my people”. She represents a lot of people who are still to come to terms that their long term benefactor had gone – never to return…

Read the entire article at the Vanguard Nigeria: From Barbados with love for Nigerians

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, History