Cyrus Kabiru (b. 1974, Nairobi, Kenya)
Lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya
African Resources (from the “C-Stunner” series), 2012
Mixed media (perforated scrap metal, glass beads and plastic bottle caps) Courtesy the artist
Aardwolf (Proteles Christata) -
Despite its name, the aardwolf is a member of the hyena family. It is smaller than its Hyaenidae cousins and it does not hunt large prey. Instead, it has a modified, long sticky tongue that it uses to eat insects and termites. Occasionally, it will scavenge for carrion. Because of its diet, sometimes their teeth wear or fall out.
They are nocturnal and live in burrows. They are social and pairs will both work to raise pups. However during foraging, they will typically separate and feed alone.
Since they cannot run very quickly, they rely on their foul smelling spray, and their mohawk like manes that can be raised to seem more threatening.
Africa’s Oldest Known Boat8000 years ago, in the region now known as Nigeria. ”Africa’s oldest known boat” the Dufuna Canoe was discovered near the region of the River Yobe. The Canoe was discovered by a Fulani herdsman in May 1987, in Dufuna Village while digging a well. The canoe’s “almost black wood”, said to be African mahogany, as “entirely an organic material”. Various Radio-Carbon tests conducted in laboratories of reputable Universities in Europe and America indicate that the Canoe is over 8000 years old, thus making it the oldest in Africa and 3rd oldest in the World. Little is known of the period to which the boat belongs, in archaeological terms it is described as an early phase of the Later Stone Age, which began rather more than 12,000 years ago and ended with the appearance of pottery.The lab results redefined the pre-history of African water transport, ranking the Dufuna canoe as the world’s third oldest known dugout. Older than it are the dugouts from Pesse, Netherlands, and Noyen-sur-Seine, France. But evidence of an 8,000-year-old tradition of boat building in Africa throws cold water on the assumption that maritime transport developed much later there in comparison with Europe. Peter Breunig of the University of Frankfurt, Germany, an archaeologist involved in the project, says the canoe’s age “forces a reconsideration of Africa’s role in the history of water transport”. It shows, he adds, “that the cultural history of Africa was not determined by Near Eastern and European influences but took its own, in many cases parallel, course”. Breunig, adding that it even outranks in style European finds of similar age. According to him, “The bow and stern are both carefully worked to points, giving the boat a notably more elegant form”, compared to “the dugout made of conifer wood from Pesse in the Netherlands, whose blunt ends and thick sides seem crude”. To go by its stylistic sophistication, he reasons, “It is highly probable that the Dufuna boat does not represent the beginning of a tradition, but had already undergone a long development, and that the origins of water transport in Africa lie even further back in time.”Egypt’s oldest known boat is 5000 years old.P. Breunig, The 8000-year-old dugout canoe from Dufuna (NE Nigeria), G. Pwiti and R. Soper (eds.), Aspects of African Archaeology. Papers from the 10th Congress of the PanAfrican Association for Prehistory and related Studies. University of Zimbabwe Publications (Harare 1996) 461-468.ISBN: 0908307551
Oh, so what you’re saying is… they finally realized we’re not their racist stereotype of primitive and fecund nativity? Clap.
Let me add some more deliciousness to this knowledge soup by discussing Mansa (King) Abubakari II of Africa’s ancient Mali empire.
Citing the book written by the famous Egyptian scholar, Ibn Fadi Al-Umari in 1342, there were two large voyages across the Atlantic Ocean preceding that of Columbus. Both expeditions were pioneered by one man, Abubakari or to give him his rightful name, Mansa (King) Abubakari II.
In the time of the Malian Empire, the general conception was that on the other end of the Atlantic lied the end of the world. This delusion took its roots from then primitive Europe. Abubakari on the other hand was far from convinced. If the Niger had its beginning and its end, then the Atlantic Ocean must have its end with people living on its shores. He also felt this could be a sea root to Mecca (The kings of the Mali Empire had already converted to Islam).
With the quest for knowledge burning in him, Abubakari sent out 200 ships. Their duty was to sail across the Atlantic, with the aim of finding out what lied beyond. It was recorded that only one of the ships returned. Its captain claimed to have turned around when he saw the other ships disappear into the wild ocean.
Abubakari was not convinced by the captain’s testimony. This further increased his thirst to discover what lied on the other end of the Ocean.
13th century Mali was a center of excellence in Abubakari’s time, though reaching its peak after his era with Timbuktu having the second oldest University at that time with students numbering more than that of New York University. Courses such as mathematics, geography, history, astronomy, chemistry as well as Islamic studies flourished in Timbuktu. Mali was a center for trade, the exact spot to meet all who made the world spin. With the aid of the ship builders from Egypt and Mali, Abubakari built ships off the coast of Senegambia. His ships were 2000 in number. With this, he was to use to discover the end of the ocean. Abubakari was no coward. He insisted on accompanying the ships across the ocean.
In the year 1311, Abubakari abdicated his thrown to Mansa Musa. Not a son of his (contrary to contemporary literature). Abubakari equipped 1000 of his ships with the finest men, sorcerers, physicians, sailors and navigators. Every ship had supply ship attached to it. The number of ships totaled 2000. The other 1000 ships were loaded with foodstuffs, drugs, fruits and drinks to last his team for 2yrs. It was believed that Abubakari arrived on the other end of the Atlantic in the year 1312. Proof of the Malian expedition can be noted in the names given to places in Haiti as the Malians renamed places after themselves. Examples of such are Mandinga Port, Mandinga Bay and Sierre de Mali.
Lots of other proof abound and many more keep unfolding. There is also a Malian folktale which gives reference to this great expedition.
How could this be possible in Abubakari’s time? From a scientific point of view, the Atlantic is governed by 2 currents, which usually remain the same irrespective of month or season. These are the Guinea Current and the Canary Current. Both possess currents powerful enough to pull a ship form the coast of West Africa to the Americas. It is at end of these currents that you see the signs of negroid presence in the Americas.
It would therefore be suspected that Columbus employed similar knowledge of the currents of the Atlantic to sail across to the Americas. Such could only have been possible through the help of someone familiar with the rout. Hence the speculation that Columbus was accompanied by an African, Pedro Alonso Nino, who helped him navigate the Atlantic, appears more credible. It must be made clear that Columbus recorded seeing blacks in America. He also recorded seeing a building which looked like a mosque. The Malians were Muslims and hence there is a possibility that the mosque could have been erected by Malians. Columbus also recorded seeing a ship, filled with goods just departing the coast of Guinea and heading in the direction of America.
In addition to the above, another proof of this voyage comes from words of Mansa Musa, the successor to the thrown. Upon his arrival in Egypt, it was obvious the Egyptians were expecting to see Abubakari for the Hajj. On arriving in Egypt, Mansa Musa was quoted as explaining how ascended the thrown of Mali. Once again citing the manner King Abubakari had given up his thrown to contribute to global knowledge.
The presence of the Malians on American soil may thus be the reason for the presence of African crops such as Banana Plants and mango to mention a few.
My professor also said that some of the gold in the Americas has been traced back to Mali.
And to reiterate, Columbus reported the presence of Negroesin the “New World” on his third voyage. Even after the very first voyage, Columbus knew that Africans had already “discovered” America because he received a present of “guanines” from the Native Americans he encountered.
“…and he (Columbus) wanted to find out what the Indians of Hispaniola had told him, that there had come to it from the south and southeast Negro people, who brought those spear points made of metal which they call guanin, of which he had sent to the king and queen for assaying, and which was found to have in thirty-two parts, eighteen of gold, six of silver, and eight of copper”
Save Africa poster (detail) by Alex Griendling
how INCREDIBLY insulting
how dehumanizing and racist . ugh.
western charities exploiting an entire continent to further their own environment agendas. fuck you alex.
Does no one see how horrific this image is? Not in the way that the ‘artist’ intended for those who live in an isolated bubble of historical ignorance, but horrific for those who have and still do sufferer from colonialism, horrific for those who are on the continent.
Interesting how they never talk about why there is water scarcity and how it was caused. There’s water scarcity in the US. There are entire food deserts in the US. Our so-called representatives in government pass legislation that keeps whole families from having access to [healthy] food (food stamps). Our political leaders who are so in love with the idea of capitalism have used the system to starve 99% of us for their own economic gain. The poverty level is the highest it’s been since 1965, even though the unemployment rate has dropped. And even though unemployment has dropped, the majority of the jobs are going to cis-men. And even though the jobs are going to cis-men, they still receive different pay due to their ethnic and socioeconomic status. We’re in the middle of one of the worst droughts in this country, our poverty level has risen, our people have limited access to food, the people who harvest our food are treated like shit, and some are actually enslaved, our jobs are continually outsourced to meet a corporation’s bottom line, our legislators are passing horrific bills that limit the rights of women* and you want to “save” Africa? Are you insane? Where’s the Save the USA campaign?
Why don’t you talk about the new grab for Africa 2.0 and neocolonialism 2.0 is having an effect on the peoples and economies of Africa? Why don’t you talk about all of the wars that our nation and other nations are perpetuating? Why don’t you talk about how our nation and other nations are re-enslaving Africans? Why don’t you talk about how Capitalism benefits from globalization, forced labor, enslavement and war? Why don’t you talk about how several of the “leaders” of African countries were put in power thanks to Western intervention, because they would pass laws and create structures that would benefit those in the West? And how that is still having an effect on Africa? Why don’t you talk about how Western governments have made it that much harder for African peoples to have access to AIDS medicines? Why don’t you talk about how African nations export crops to the West while millions on the continent starve, thanks to political and legal maneuverings from Japan, China, the EU and the US?
No. Let’s create an image of the death of all of 1 billion+ Africans, (minus the European ones, of course!). Let’s continually roll out the poverty porn of emaciated children, cause let’s face it, they’re killing themselves anyway, right? They’re childlike and ignorant and warmongering and they treat their women like shit, right? So we have to help save them from themselves, right?
Just like we have to save them from their gold (largest export), silver, copper, oil, diamonds, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, precious metals like chromite, cobalt, manganese natural & industrial diamond, phosphate rock, especially coltan, coal, mineral fuels (including coal) & petroleum, uranium, and just about anything else that we can get our hands on, right?
I despise people who engage in willful ignorance, and those who are only too eager to receive fame and fortune from it.
On a side note, his image of Africa is way too small. It’s the second largest continent in the world. I bet he was using that map from the 1560’s as his basis.
- Don’t assume those you intend to help even wanted your help.
- You are not there to ‘help’ anyone. Help assumes you are in authority and they depend on you.
- You are there to work with people.
- Those people are not charity cases: they are human beings with feelings history and personal identities. Like you. Treat them as such.
- That means stop thinking its so goddamn ’beautiful’ to hold a black child’s hand or ‘inspiring’ when you wear their clothes and practice their customs or ‘amazing’ when you see a person wear western clothes.
- You’re exotifying people based on racist and ignorant ideas you had of them. Go back to no. 4
- The people you work with don’t exist to make you/your life look better.
- Don’t assume you know what’s best for them. Ask. Listen.
- Listen to them more than those you view as your ‘equals’ (fellow volunteers/white ppl)
- Don’t expect those you work with to be thankful to you. They didn’t ask you to work with them in the first place.
- You are not there to ‘save the day’.
- Treat them the way you treat your friends; be there for them when they want/need you, offer advice but don’t act butthurt if they don’t take it.
- You do not have all the answers. Nobody does. So don’t act like you do. It shows.
- Don’t describe those you work with as ‘underprivileged’ or other demeaning eurocentric words. What you are doing is comparing your own life to theirs and assuming everyone wants the type of life you have. Go back to no. 6 & 7
(this also goes for working with kids, women’s groups, people with certain disabilites etc. whether in your own country or abroad. Feel free to add more points that hasn’t been covered and reblog. End the White Saviour Complex)