Category Archives: Africa

Who showed up for the Black Empowerment Association clean-up of Bussa? Nobody… not even the BEA.

Like every news organisation in town Barbados Free Press received a news release from the mysterious anonymous ‘Black Empowerment Association’ calling for a clean-up of the Bussa Emancipation Statue on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 7am.

Nope, I didn’t go. We (she and me) almost intended to, but we were kind of hung over.

Okay, I lie. Never intended to go. Got the press release on Saturday afternoon at 1:17pm. I never got up on Sunday until 1pm. I had a great time on Saturday night. Must ‘ave.

Looking in the news media, don’t see any coverage or photos of the called-for clean-up of Bussa. Nope. Not a word, not a photo.

Checked the emails: nothing from the ‘Black Empowerment Association’. No emails, no photos of the clean-up.

I’d wager a week’s beer money that nobody showed, and that the ‘Black Empowerment Association’ is some lone anonymous guy on the internet. We get twenty emails a week like this.

But ya know what?

At least one blog published the press release just like the ‘Black Empowerment Association’ was some real organisation with a real spokesperson, a membership, an address and a phone number. They called the article “Bussa Outrage Clean-up Project”

What a joke!

The ‘press release’ came from ‘Matt’ (no last name) at a gmail address. That’s it! Now it’s been picked up by the secondary internet news channels just like it is a real story. Go ahead, google search “Black Empowerment Association Bussa” and you’ll see have I mean.

I’m going to print the press release in full here so our readers can further tune their bullshit meters.

At BFP we try to sort the legitimate from the fake. Sometimes we fail and when we do we apologise and learn. But so far we’ve never to our knowledge presented our readers with such obvious fakery made up bullshit as this prime example. Enjoy…

Here is the nonsense that others printed as real… Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados

We tight tonight!

Comments Off on We tight tonight!

Filed under Africa, Music

Another cry for the Africa that could have been

How Robert Mugabe went from a man of the people to believing that he was God’s own gift to Zimbabwe, with a singular focus on maintaining his own power.

Quotes from the documentary, “Robert Mugabe… what happened?”

“Democracy in Africa is a difficult proposition because always the Opposition will want much more than it deserves…”

…Robert Mugabe

“The man’s hands are tied behind his back with wire.”

…Documentary film maker unearthing secret graves

“What do you do to a hero or to a father who has gone wayward? What do you do? Can you discipline your hero? Can you discipline your father?”

…Trevor Ncube

8 Comments

Filed under Africa, History, Human Rights

Uganda: Thrilling morning visit from gorillas

One of our regular readers sent us the above video shot last December. I don’t know if I would have the courage to film as these tourists did.

I once said I would trade my house for a low orbit flight on Sir Richard Branson’s new space line. Forget that… I’d trade my house to be the guy who got the kiss and grooming from the troop.

Unbelievable!

Thanks so much to an old friend.

2 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Wildlife

Wally Serote on the International Monetary Fund, Fox News… and your life

“I will therefore not allow myself to be trapped in Western thinking, which has presided over thought and ideas and has dictated to the world what to think.”

Wally Serote’s article in the Thinker 31 poses serious questions:

“We can no longer be professional students of the west.”

I hope that magazines like the Thinker will help in the debate on the path forward. We need to change the “terms of trade” as Best would say and we need to develop solutions that fit our reality.

The crisis in the Caribbean economy finds little debate within the region and all that is proffered is the failed mantra from the IMF and other Western sources.

Can we not do better?

Is it that the we allow CNN and Fox to fracture our thinking and believe all that is offered by them as gospel?

Where are the critical thinkers? All we are hearing is the voice of the right trying to prop up a failed model.

We must and can do better.

Regards

Godfrey J. Martin

We Hope to be in Time for Dialogue

by Wally Serote

The issue here is, since I believe that the Western sun is setting, most of the answers we seek for the 21st century exist outside of the West and among people of the South. Wherever we are, although belatedly, we have to search for a paradigm shift to survive during this century and set the basis for the survival of future generations.

“We have, from an African perspective, to make a decision that we can no longer be professional students of the West.”

Africa is in a position to play this role, given its cultural diversity, historical experiences and continental resources, human and natural. It will therefore be necessary to think outside of boxes, but not re-invent wheels. I will therefore not allow myself to be trapped in Western thinking, which has presided over thought and ideas and has dictated to the world what to think. Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Consumer Issues, Culture & Race Issues, Economy

Jim Bailey: Battle of Britain fighter pilot and anti-apartheid warrior

(click photo for large)

The wondrous life of James R. A. Bailey, DFC – founder of DRUM Magazine, South Africa

Anybody who has spent any time at all in South Africa knows DRUM Magazine, a publication that has had its ups and downs in the past six decades but was always on the front line of the struggle for freedom. Since I spent some time in Jo’burg in the early 1990’s, DRUM has turned into more of a black urban lifestyle publication but there was a time when the tabloid told stories that no one else could without getting banned.

What I didn’t know before now, and only just discovered this past week, is that DRUM was started and financed for decades by a white ex-Royal Air Force fighter pilot named Jim Bailey. To my great delight an old friend presented me with a birthday gift of Bailey’s wartime biography The Sky Suspended – A fighter pilot’s story. That led me to looking up the author online and there I found the story of Jim Bailey and DRUM. Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing?

As near as I can discern from the online stories, Bailey poured much of his inherited wealth into starting DRUM as a “black” publication in 1950. It was a true tabloid with girls, crime and violence to keep the readers titillated and the numbers up but it developed a reputation for coming right up to and crossing the line about freedom issues. I think BFP’s readers will understand our appreciation of that marketing philosophy. 🙂

When the police beat Steve Biko to death in 1977, DRUM showed the activist in his coffin. When Desmond Tutu wanted to tell the people why he met with the South African apartheid government, he did so in the pages of DRUM. When the bodies piled up on the streets in the townships, DRUM showed them beside the photos of the white police who shot them down. These were dangerous stories to cover, but DRUM did so and made a difference.

Jim Bailey died in early 2000 but he left a legacy of books and poetry that I’ve yet to read. I’m only 40 pages into The Sky Suspended, but other than writing this post I doubt I’ll do any work for the next few days until I finish the book.

Later this week I’ll put up a few more posts on Bailey and his role in Sooth Africa at the time, but for now here’s what he says about what it takes to be a fighter pilot…

It became a study of mine, one I pursued meticulously at this time, to discover what type of man makes the best fighter-pilot. I found, for example, that only children, pilots without brothers or sisters, were particularly helpless. When a new pilot came to us, I would try to guess after a day or two whether he came from a large family or not and then go and ask him. If he did, he had a better chance to survive.

Good pilots are common, good fighter-pilots were rare. It is as with polo: many can ride, but few play polo well; and among those who play well, many ride in a crude and efficient way, without good hands or precision. I arrived at a few conclusions. The qualities that made for success in a fighter-pilot seemed to be just those sturdy qualities that made for success in other professions; observation, initiative, determination, courage, including the courage to run away.

Battle of Britain veteran Jim Bailey on what makes a great fighter pilot

3 Comments

Filed under Africa, Aviation, Culture & Race Issues, History, Human Rights, Military, Race

Robert Mugabe’s Christmas dinner!


I love the internet… Last Dictator Standing!

All your favourites are here: Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, P.W. Botha, Colonel Gaddafi… courtesy of South Africa’s NANDO.

Chicken anyone?

17 Comments

Filed under Africa, Human Rights