African Dance and Music: Kids Safe


Weeks ago I completed teaching a course I called, “The Wonders of Africa.” The essence of  the class was to introduce young people to African philosophies. For example:  Food, music, art, dance, indigenous spiritualities, fashion etc. Despite Eurocentric bombardment of  ideas in the United States, I was surprised that my students had room for new worldview. Parents reported how their kids would not stop talking about what they have learned.This, motivated me to continue sharing, instilling positive, affirming black/ African portraits.

I am humbled. I hope this short catalog of  dance and music from the continent of Africa and its diaspora nurtures and thrills your kids as they did my students. I dedicate this write up to my 2017 students, particularly to the brilliant- beautiful daughters of Africa, Sankara and Della for persisting everyday, “Yoknyam, please play, ‘Natural Girls.’ ”

  1.  Natural Girl by Mzvee ft.Stonebwoy  ( Ghana, West Africa)
  2.  Black and Proud – Nah Bleach ( Jamaica, Caribbean) 
  3. Mama Africa by Bracket ( Nigeria, West Africa)
  4.  Khona by Mafikizolo ft Uhuru ( South Africa, Southern Africa)
  5. Doundounba Dance  ( Conakry, West Africa)
  6. Sangaan, Makishi and Nyau Dance ( Zimbabwe, Southern Africa)
  7. Revelations’ by Alvin Ailey  ( African-American, U.S.A)
  8. Capoeira , African Martial Art/Dance (Brazil, South America)
  9.  Shupe  by Mc Galaxy  ( Nigeria, West Africa)









A thought: Protect Yourself from Rape


“Rape campaigner live-blogged her own ‘sexual assault’ – just minutes after alleged attack took place – to set an example for other survivors who ‘need to speak up’


Amber Amour is a  black American woman  who went to South Africa to  promote her anti-rape campaign. One would think she is armed with basic cultural knowledge. Amour decided to shower with her male neighbor. Apparently the man asked and she said yes!
“I said yes because the water at my current hostel is pretty cold and after two days of being sick, I just really wanted a hot shower…As soon as I got in the bathroom, he forced me to my knees. I said “stop!” but he just got more violent.”

My questions are , why would you get in a shower with a man:

  1. You had uncomfortable interaction with prior?
  2. That is not your husband?
  3. That is not your boyfriend”
    It seem as though Amour decided to play a role in a rape situation so that she could get media attention.However, I agree with her that being naked in public is not an invitation for sexual violence. As a village woman, nudity is not a big deal to me. I grew up seeing naked bodies.I take off my clothes in front of my siblings. And have walked topless in our family compound, all in context. A woman in my village would never shower with a man she is not intimate with, unless she is planning to entice him.As adults  it is important that we make wise decisions to keep ourselves safe, in the same way we don’t walk in front of a moving vehicle. Amour  didn’t do that and she got raped. Ladies and gentlemen, be safe as you promote your missions in life!

Read more of Amour’s story here:

African-Themed Reading List: Awaken Your Imagination


Village people work around the clock. Being idle is not part of who we are. Now that I am temporary in the diaspora I still find it difficult to relax without worrying about chores.Besides, I recalled as I embark to study overseas, my mother reminded me that “education is your farm.” Bearing that principle in mind, over the years I figured out a way to mix my reading bag. I do not want to  become the “farmer” who is burnt-out  halfway, subsequently abandons her farm all together. I frequently read academic books related to my research in religion and gender in Africa but I also read writings that are not connected to my field, and some are entirely non-academic. There are many benefits to reading: it energies me to think about different aspects of life that I would never have thought about. It calms me down, enrich my vocabulary ( I often read with a dictionary to look up unfamiliar terms), encourages me to write better, and wait for it— takes me into the world of the author.This is just the tip of the iceberg and I hope the list sails you away:))

African Centered book shelf...

  1. The Joys of Motherhood, Buchi Emecheta (Nigerian)
  2.  Because of Women, Mbella Sonne Dipoko (Cameroonian)
  3. How to Write about Africa, Binyavanga Wainaina (Kenyan)
  4. So Long a Letter, Mariama Ba (Senegalese)
  5. The Sport of the Gods,  Paul Laurence Dunbar ( African American)
  6. The Autobiography of my Mother, Jamaica  Kincaid (Antiguan)
  7. Weep Not, Child, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o ( Kenyan)
  8. The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah, Kwame Nkrumah (Ghanaian- First president of the country)
  9. King Leopold’s Ghost, Adam Hochschild  (White American- journalist)
  10. Sex and the Empire that is no more, J.Lorand Matory (African American- Anthropologist)
  11. The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander ( African American)
  12. Shrines of the Slave Trade:Diola Religion and Society in Precolonial Senegambia, Robert M.Baum ( White American)
  13. Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves, Clenora Hudson-Weems ( African American – Pan-African)
  14. African Philosophy An Anthology, ( Pan-African)
  15. Dipo and the Politics of Culture in Ghana, Marijke Steegstra ( Swedish- Anthropologist)
  16. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Walter Rodney  (Guyanese)
  17. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley (African American)
  18.  Nervous Condition, Tsitsi Dangarembga  ( Zimbabwean)
  19. African Roots/American Cultures: Africa in the Creation of the Americas ,Sheila S.Walker ( editor,  anthology)
  20.  The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy and the Order of Knowledge, V.Y.Mudimbe (Congolese)
  21.  Fela: The Bitch of a life, Carlos Moore  ( Afro Cuban)
  22.  I Put a Spell on You: The Autobiography of Nina Simone ( African American/ Pan-African)
  23. Juan the Chamula , Ricardo Pozas  ( Mexican anthropologist )
  24. The Lonely African, Colin M.Turnbull ( British- American, Anthropogist)
  25. Teacher’s Dead, Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah ( Jamaican- Afro-British dub poet, writer, Rastafari.)

©Yoknyam Dabale

Coloring your blackboard: Makeup ideas to enhancing your amazing dark skin


For some of us, makeup enhances what is already in place. I think it is important that we take care of our inner being as well as our physical appearance. Even though it is only recently that I started wearing makeup because I focused more on my intellectual gorgeousness, I find the art of body beautifying exciting.

Amongst African Americans and other diasporans I understand that dark skin women are often told to avoid  bright colors. For example, when I was an undergraduate in Texas, my mixed race Caribbean roommate would always highlight the fact that I was “charcoal” black and discouraged me from wearing bright colors. Her “warnings” did not have much of an effect on me, however, I was intrigued. After years of studying and life experiences in the diaspora, I concluded that our brothers and sisters are sick. This serves as a motivation for me to contribute in the healing process. Ladies, our dark skin is like a blackboard, it complements any color of chalk. I find inspiration from other women, and I hope these images awake your creativity.Color that board hunny!








Yoknyam Dabale aka professor Dabale













White Power in Africa Today


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Africans often pride themselves of not having race issues like their diasporan counterparts. When people of African descent highlight the impacts of racism /white supremacy on their daily lives, many continental Africans view them as excuses.These differences are especially apparent when tragedies occur such as the recent killing of an unarmed African American boy, Michael Brown, by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri. On social media, many Africans are indifferent to the event because they believe, wrongly, that racism is not a problem. The belief that racism doesn’t exist or rarely happens in Africa is incorrect. Here’s why:

1.Even though African workers take  heavier work loads, white workers for Non Governmental  Organizations ( NGOs) make thousands of dollars a month, while their African counterparts barely survive on their salary.

2. In initiatives to “partner” with Africans, whites typically dictate how things must be done. Africans are constantly encouraged to abandon all things African and depend on European methods of doing things.


3. Less-educated whites in Africa get more opportunities than highly educated Africans.

4. African made goods are  considered inferior to foreign products. For example, Dutch wax (ankara) is relatively expensive and many Nigerians would rather buy it than the Nigerian made wax that is of equal quality. In my home region, Middle-belt (aka Northeast Nigeria), when people want to insult your choice of clothing, they can say “your clothes are local.”



6.Middle and upper class Africans are now abandoning the tradition of naming for European names. This is also becoming a growing trend amongst urbanized rural citizens. When you go to my hometown, you will find Africans with names like Celine Dion or George Bush.

7.  White beauty standards are becoming prevalent, especially amongst urban communities. Women and, less frequently, men bleach their skin to look like white people. Others are determined to marry white women or men in order to make  mixed race children. These Africans have internalized the belief that dark skin is inferior. I have frequently heard Africans insisting that “mixed race children are more beautiful.”

Bleached African Woman

Vera Sidika before and after bleaching her skin

8. Religion- Even though Christians and Muslim are often at odds with each other, they agree on one thing: the demonization of African indigenous religions. Many Africans are opposed to indigenous African spiritual systems. They consider African religions  to be pagan, superstitious beliefs. These racist ideas were imposed by Arab (Muslim) and  European (Christian) colonialism.Today, Africans are reproducing these ideas that they have internalized.


9. White power in Africa also applies to Asians and Arabs. African governments frequently favor their non black population–Indians, Lebanese, Chinese, white Americans, etc.–more than their black citizens.These groups are given opportunities to start businesses while natives are ignored. I noticed this, for example, in Sierra Leone and Liberia where most of the businesses are owned by Lebanese. When black citizens ask for loans to start their business they are often denied, but these governments give their support and resources to anyone that has “white” skin.

What is the way forward?

1. Admit there is a problem

2. Talk about it with your children at home, school, religious  and secular spaces

3. Work towards solutions

Additional information 

1.“Wealthy Kenyans inject themselves with creams to become white”

2.”Apartheid may be dead, but racism is still with us”

3.”Practitioners of African Traditional Religion (ATR) in Ghana have expressed disappointment…”

4. Why Do Africans (People of African Descent ) Bleach Their Beautiful Dark Skin,Perm Their Natural Kinky Hair,And Have “Pointed Nose” Operations?

5.“Model Irene Major: ‘I spend thousands of pounds to lighten my skin’

Watch her interview here:

6.”Lebanon FM pushes trade in Africa”

Extraordinary African American Boys Making Us Proud


African American boys/males are often viewed through a narrow lens. In order to keep alive racist views about them, you hardly hear about their numerous contribution to the American society. This dangerous beast often rear its ugly head whenever a continental African or non indigenous black gets a little recognition. Recently Katherine Cohen, CEO and founder of IvyWise, a New York-based consulting firm. While offering her views on Kwasi Enin (Ghanian origin) being accepted into 8 ivy league universities.Cohen could not help but to be divisive and racist about it, she reportedly states, “Being a first-generation American from Ghana also helps him stand out…“He’s not a typical African-American kid.”

It is unfortunate that many African immigrants in the US and other people of African descent ( i.e from Jamaica, the Bahamas etc.) buy into the stereotype, they participate in spreading its venom.This poison is eating and destroying us. For example, you would often hear without any factual context from cycles of African Immigrants and Caribbean that, “African Americans (AA) are not taking advantage of the opportunities that the US offers them,” “AA do not like education,” or AA are lazy.”etc.

Below are few examples amongst many achievements and contributions of African American boys/ males. These young people are keeping the  tradition of AA ingenuity despite being in a society that does not often appreciate nor celebrate their contributions.They remind me of folks like Paul Robeson, James Baldwin, Paul Laurence Dunbar,Percy Lavon Julian and Ossie Davis.

1. Akintunde Ahmad aka Tunde accepted to top 12 universities including Ivy League





2. James Martin -Molecular biology

  • James-Martin17 years old
  • Youngest in his graduating class
  • Graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a 3.9 GPA in Molecular biology
  • He is working towards earning a PhD in order to be a professor
  • Watch him graduate here :

3.Carson Huey-You -youngest student to attend Texas Christian University (TCU)


4. Aylen Bledsoe – motivational speaker, president/ CEO of his IT company  worth $3.5 million



  • Started his company at 12 years old using his home computer
  • High school student
  • Company $3.5 mullion and growing!
  • Plans to attend law school to become copyright lawyer
  • Besides being a student, he held several leadership and volunteer roles in his community: “president of the Student Council and the Parent Teacher Student Association.Served as the chief technology officer of St. Louis Volunteen, a program to promote teen volunteerism, according to Patch. He was even partly responsible for bringing vegetarian options to his former middle school’s cafeteria.”
  • He started with 2 employees and now has 150 contracted employees
  • Read more of his story here:

5. Joshua Williams – homeless through most of his college career, started  his own scholarship to help other students 



6. Chad Thomas – offered 150 scholarship for his skill as a musician and football player 

Chad-ThomasNike Football Training Camp

7. Avery Coffey applied to 5 ivy league Universities and got accepted by all of them


Note: I dedicate this entry to parents that are doing their best to raise young African/black boys.

Ideas to help you cope with stress






Life is stressful, how we deal with our problems make living “enjoyable.” Our environment contributes to ways in which we cope with stress. Some people in an attempt to escape their problems they seek out quick solutions that often lead to long term destructive behavior. For example, extreme anger, drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, over eating, misbehavior towards elders, waywardness, etc. Rarely do we hear stories about troubled people who gravitate towards empowering strategies in order to cope with life. As a person that has gone through series of life changing events, I am often ask, “how do you maintain your sanity?” Below are few suggestions for those of you that are going through something, may you find your balance!

  • Do not compare yourself with others
    I tell this to some of my family members that are always trying to be something that they are not. If you want to make it in life, you must avoid comparing your life with other peoples’. Be the best you!
  • Cry on your friends’ shoulders
    Loyal friends would celebrate your victories and mourn your struggles.
    Tears of a woman
  • Learn from others struggles and victories
    The gods/spirits/ universe brought us together to inspire each other.
  • Exercise
    It would relax your body and keep you fit, I have utilized jogging for many years and it works.
  • Take a nap 
    Like exercising, it would calm you down and energizes you when you are awake.
  • Praying and waiting on “God” would not change your situation.
    You must be proactive in finding solutions. I.e Set your goals and then find ways to accomplish them. There are many route to solve a problem, do not be dependent on one method just because it is popular.
  • You are not special,others are dealing with stress too!
    This is a hard one, do not be a source of stress for others just because you are unhappy. Even in pain, be compassionate towards people around you.
    For example, I know grown folks who would ignite hell fire for their parents when they are in need, ignoring the fact that they have ill health, struggling with younger siblings and grandchildren.rescue
  •  Have a sense of humor, laugh alot:)o-OLDER-AFRICAN-AMERICAN-COUPLE-facebook


Blacks/Africans need their indigenous Methods of Education: Islamic or Western Educational Models are not Enough


Many Africans on the continent and in the diaspora are setting themselves aback. They believe that the only form of education that they need is Islamic or European.Anything indigenous is considered backwards and worthless. For example, in Nigeria, Christians often seek European forms of education and English is their primary language. While for Muslims, they insist that  their children must attend Qur’anic school.



The problem with this approach is that, African children from an early age are conditioned to believe they are inferior and nothing good can come from their place of origin.These schools often rely heavily on colonial models, books that are outdated and profoundly racist. As a result many African students upon graduation they are convinced that :

  •  Africans were in the dark until Christianity and Islam brought light to the continent. African indigenous spirituality that predates both religions are satanic, pagan and simply superstitious beliefs.
  •  It is African to be violent especially towards women. I have read and debated with both African men and women who expressed such sentiments.
  •  Ethnic languages are useless. i.e I noticed for many years and it became  apparent the last time I was in my home village, Bawagarik in Northern Nigeria.Young people who spend time in the city, working or getting their “Education,” upon their arrival to the village they exhale air of arrogance that is toxic for many of us concern “uncivilized” people. When relatives speak to them in Yotti/Bali our language, they replied in Hausa or English,even though they were aware that those relatives do not speak English.
  • That Africans did not resist slavery and colonialism, because it brought civilization to them.
  •  Africans do not have the intelligence to build or invent anything.
  •  Dignified careers are “office” jobs, handy work are inferior, etc.

I am not suggesting that Western or Islamic education are bad. As a people who have for centuries interacted, exchanged ideas with foreigners ( i.e Africans were early innovators of smelting steel, c-section, agricultural  techniques etc), traded ( ink, gold, fabric ) and later were violently enslaved and colonized. It is important for us to introduce our students to Islamic and European education. As a people on the continent and in the diaspora we cannot move forward without knowing about our past. Additionally, those that  enslaved and colonized us are still benefiting from their acts of violence (i.e.FranceBritain,Belgium, U.S. etc), as a result they control majority of the world’s monetary wealth. We must learn their craft combine with our indigenous ideas to protect our lands, create a truly liberated independent African world on the continent and in the diaspora that does not depend on its “former” enslaver and colonizer for “aid” but on African intellect and innovation.

What is the way forward?


We must reorient ourselves by learning African indigenous/village ideas and skills. Below are few ideas:

  • Doing things with our hands. We must encourage our youth to be innovative instead of teaching them to memorize exam questions and after graduation they seat at home waiting for a savior. Africa has many “graduates” looking for work instead of them creating work for themselves.555209_328890327160980_135207673195914_791181_1453615157_n© Yoknyam Dabale
  •  Group work, we need to teach our youth the value of collaborating with their peers to produce something. A community cannot survival without the participation of everybody. I.e The great wall of Zimbabwe was built by community participation.
  • Teach our youth their history at home and in school. This can happen using oral history ( great  way to keep their brains sharp ) or written history ( for those whose memory is not that great ). A people that know nothing about their past are setting themselves up for failure and elimination. Here are three examples of how we have failed our youth by not teaching them our history.Genevieve Nnaji a nigerian actress during her interview on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight in Canada, she was asked about her thoughts on Biafara since she was on the movie cast of Half of a Yellow Sun based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book.To the audience dismay Genevieve told the interviewer that she is young and does not know anything about that history, and she added that even though she is from the  Igbo “tribe” a group that was central to the conflict she was not informed about that period ( watch the interview below)

    Black british of Nigerian Igbo origin, actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, was asked by Woopi Goldberg on The View ( U.S talk show) along side his cast mate Lupita Nyong’o for their roles in Steven McQueen’s movie 12 years a slave, wether they were “aware” of the breath of slavery in America, given they are not African Americans. Ejiofor staggered through the interview, highlighting that to him the storyline is a human story. One can clearly tell that he knows little about his history.
    Porsha Stewart (Williams), cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA) and granddaughter of Hosea Lorenzo Williams one of the well known civil rights leaders. Porsha often brags about her family name, evidently she does not  know much about slavery and what her (our) ancestors had to endured. In one  of the  RHOA episode Porsha insisted to her cast mates ( who are more knowledgable of the history ) that the underground railroad, enslaved Africans used to escape oppression was a real train. ( video clip below)

5. Rites of passage through gender based secret society. Where young people are taught about their sexuality and the importance of leadership in their community. For example Dipo in South Eastern Ghana.

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 6. Do away with colonial ideas and things. For example, the outrageous blond wigs that African lawyers in Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana wear. Stop defecating on our ancestors who fought for our freedom.


Additional Information

Listen to Mmatshilo Motsei a renowned writer,poet, gender activist & spiritual healer on how village knowledge is important for African development. She talks about finding strength and new meaning in life from rural South African communities.

Saki Mafundikwa founder of Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts and author of African alphabets. Below he talks about little known fact that Africans had writing systems. He teaches this information to his students.

Dr. Ben (Yosef Alfredo Antonio Ben-Jochannan) talks about how African knowledge provides foundation for what we know today as  Western Civilization

Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina encourages Africans to ” Free Our Imaginations.”  Wainaina is convinced that many Africans especially the “middle class” are limiting themselves, their children and the continent more generally because they believe that success is only possible if Africans approximate white people’s culture.

Healthy Diet for Healthy Skin : Skin Care Tips for Black/African Women





Many city ( urban ) women have being conditioned by marketers to believe that what they rub on their skin is more effective than what they put on their plates. As a result, many African/black women think buying all the “beauty” products that they see in advertisement would help them get smooth and healthy skin. For example, older city women in Africa encourage  young ladies that are suffering with acne and skin disease to use skin bleaching cream. The understanding is that, bleaching creams such as tura, top gel, G&G, fair&white, etc fade dark spots and discoloration instantly, that is true.

However, the long term side effects of bleaching creams include sensitive skin (you get bruises easily), skin cancer ( because the dark pigmentation/melanin that protects you from sun is removed hence living you vulnerable ) nasty body odor, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, mercury poison damaging your liver and kidney ( pictures below ).

Jeremy Durkin




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This is not to suggest that I don’t do daily facial routine. But my focus is mostly on what I eat, because our skin reflects the health of our organs.My tips are simply encouraging you/us to eat foods that are nutritious for a wholistic health of both our internal and external organs.


  1. Before every meal, drink a large cup of hot  water ( as you would tea ). This helps you with digestion and  it would prevent you from over eating.
  2. Avoid anything white, e.g rice, eggs, sugar,etc. Food companies especially in the “developed” world would bleach food items for cosmetics purposes, in the process they  remove nutrients. Dark foods are better for you.
  3. Eat lots of raw vegetables and fruits. This is the best way for you to get        nutrition, vitamins C, D etc. One of the many benefits of growing up in the village is that, I have the advantage of knowing food items that can be eaten raw.For example,a. Sweet Potatoes ( Americans call it Yams)


b. Cassava ( Yuca)

Digging cassava in Bawagraki, my village in Middle-Belt, Nigeria

Digging cassava in Bawagraki, my village in Middle-Belt, Nigeria

If you are anti raw food, you can juice your fruits and vegetables. For those that have frequent electricity, you can blend your vegetables ( spinach, parsley, ginger,moringa leaves, etc) and add honey  to make it tasty. If your community lacks electricity you can sun dry your vegetables, then pound it into powder ( this is common sense for most villagers like myself ). When you are ready to have a drink, simply add it in room temperature water mixed with honey or just drink it plain.

Here is an example, I/we just made this. We juice twice a day with different fruits and vegetables. Ingredient ( all natural and organic ): ground cinnamon, mango, almond nuts, berry, carrots, celery, ginger and honey.

© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz, Yotti:Chamba village woman from Middle Belt, Nigeria© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz, Yotti:Chamba village woman from Middle Belt, Nigeria (2)

4. Roast or bake instead of fry
.  For example, instead of frying your  “irish potatoes” bake it, if you do not have a stove and electricity, simply roast them over an open fire.

5. Cook your meals with little to no oil, but if you must, stick to olive oil and for those in Africa, coconut or peanut butter  ( groundnut) oils are easy to find and are fantastic. below is an example, I cooked this last night and did not use oil. Ingredient: organic chicken ( I hardly eat meat but when I cook it this is how I hook it up ), onion, spinach, pepper, garlic, salt and brown rice ( boiled).

© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz Yotti:Chamba Village woman of Middle-Belt, Nigeria (3)

6. If you are not active, excise regularly.

7. Drink a lot of water, if you do not like to drink plain water, you can always add drops of tamarind or lemon. 

8. Avoid “fast foods” burger, fries,etc. But if you are an addict, once a month fast food is okay. I know that many young people in Africa, especially in Nigeria consider eating at “Mr Biggies” a “civilized lifestyle” because that is what they see on western tv, I get the mentality,  but if you want to live long and have a healthy skin you must avoid fast food. Most of the food they sell are processed and genetically modified.


9. Say no to sugar and sweets.

If you have sugar rush, make sweets on your own with ingredients that are less harmful to your body. For example, I make banana bread a few times a year.
Ingredients all natural and organic:  wheat flour, brown sugar, butter, olive oil, vanilla extract, almond nuts, vegetarian brown eggs, gluten free baking powder, and of course ripened bananas.

© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz Yotti:Chamba Village woman of Middle-Belt, Nigeria (4)

© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz Yotti:Chamba Village woman of Middle-Belt, Nigeria (4)banana bread


10. Do not drink soft drinks ( soda, pop,etc)

they are empty calories, would make you break out and destroy your teeth.


11. Do not cook with maggi, it is poison.I know that many Africans use this condiment, claiming it is indigenous to Africa, but it is actually not. And most importantly, it has ingredients that are harmful to your/our health for example, disodium guanylate.


Maggi is Poison


Additional Information

Acne Treatment

  • Wash your face with black soap ( or face wash of your choice ), pat your face dry with towel, using cotton balls or your fingers tips rub tea tree oil all over your face. Repeat this at least twice a day,
  • Drink  lots of room temperature water as always,

When you are on your period/cycle and you have breakouts. Drink hot water ( as you would tea ) with lots of lemon   See “Taking Care of Your Vagina is Important to Your Overall Health: Suggestions for Sisters.”© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabaz, Yotti:Bali village woman, Shea Butter Moisturizing Your Skin

Raw  organic shea butter ( they are mostly made in Africa, Ghana is one place that has a large production ) it prevents “ashy” dryness of the skin, burns, helps and maintain your silky beautiful black skin. This is the only thing I use, I have a smooth, even dark skin, from head to toes because I do not use hash chemicals in pursuit of healthy skin. If you do not like the natural smell of shea butter, you can mix it with scents of your choice.  For example, the picture above shows my final product. I mixed shea butter from Ghana and coconut oil from Middle-belt, Nigeria .

Learning About Africa: Step by Step Suggestions by a Nigerian Village Woman

“Can you build an identity without awareness?” Malin Falu ( broadcaster, Afro-Latina ). Falu asked an important question, many times the underrepresented are not aware of their margination because they have being in that position for generations. A number of uninformed Africans/ blacks on the continent and in the diaspora assume their subjugated position as the status quo. They are convinced that disproportionate unemployment,discrimination, poor living conditions,civil wars in Africa, lack of African representation on the global platform, and in world history are self inflicted and also they are results of Africans inferior “race.” Many Black/African people in contemporary times are not aware of their oppression. I often write about the importance of decolonizing the African mind individually and collectively.But sometimes I forget that not everyone is aware of the source of their second class citizenship. Below are  fews suggestions I hope they  assist you/us with the awakening process.

Early Civilization/ Africa the birth place of humanity and inventions  ( African History in General )


Before Islam and Christianity were created,  Africans practiced African Traditional Religions (ATRs). To date on the continent and in diaspora, there are Africans that practice ATRs and many are reclaiming, unchaining themselves from the grip of “colonial religions” ( Islam and Christianity) and are going back to their roots.

  • African Religions and Philosophy by John S. Mbiti


  • African Spirituality Forms Meanings and Expressions by Jacob K.Olupona
  • The history of the Islamic faith on the continent of Africa spans fourteen centuries. by Nehamia  Levtzion
  • Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Interpretation of Religion by Charles H. Long
  • Of Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Patrice Some
  • The Religious and Political power of African women. “Women of Zimbabwe as Keepers of Sacred Space”
  • A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present by Elizabeth Allo Isichei
  • “Duke University Professor J. Lorand Matory discusses Voodoo and other African-inspired faiths”


  • George Ayittey: Africa’s cheetahs versus hippos
  • Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa by Dambisa Moyo
  • “Black Wall Street, Little Africa, Tulsa, Oklahoma 1921” full version http://
  • How Europe Under Developed Africa by Walter Rodney






10 Ways to Survive United States of America and Abroad in General

I was not born with a “silver spoon in my mouth” and I am eternally grateful that the gods and my ancestors  (Mwari, Kimpa Luh, Su ) did not chose that path for me. Because of my rural, village Yotti/Bali up bringing, I have bush knowledge.
Our day to day activities in the village were in of the themselves lessons on how to be self-sufficient. Granted life in rural space is not often glamours particularly in contemporary times when most of our resources are scarce because of natural disasters, governmental exploitation etc. The knowledge that I have sustains me as I pursuit my “formal” education abroad.

Contrary to what many Africans are fed with on mainstream media, living abroad is not easy. Many of us are simply trying to survive and you must have a strong backbone in order to be successful. If you are black/African things could be tougher for you compared to let say poor white Eastern Europeans that migrated to the US. In general you must have strength and wisdom to keep you going when things get difficult.

  1. Humility, this mostly applies to children of “wealthy” Africans in the diaspora who think they have “arrived”. It would be impossible for you to survive abroad, if you are not willing to get off your high horse and learn from other people in your new destination. The fact of the matter is, no one cares whether you came from money. What will matter much more to them is that you are black.
  2. Learn about the history and the roles  black/ African Americans played in building the US  and learn about the black /African contributions in other country that you currently live in.
    Vicissitudes Ring under water sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor in honor of enslaved African ancestors  thrown overboard, off the crowded slave ship Zong off the coast of Grenada

    Vicissitudes Ring under water sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor in honor of enslaved African ancestors thrown overboard, off the crowded slave ship Zong off the coast of Grenada

    For example  Sidis in India, Kaffir in Sri Lanka, Afrika kokenli Turkler in Turkey, Afro Cubans, African-Iraqis, Afro-Brazilians, Afro-Mexicans and Afro-Ecuadorians etc.This is important because it would help you have a healthy relationship with people of African origin.Many continental Africans have little to no historical knowledge of what has happened to their ancestors that were enslaved and or migrated as warriors to other parts of the world, centuries ago. A lot of continental Africans have the tendency to discredit diasporans because they believe they are not doing enough to earn wealth. I recall being told by a Nigerian woman at her church’s charity event that African Americans are lazy, she went further to say, “president Obama doesn’t have African American mentality, that is why he succeeded in life.” If the Nigerian immigrant knew her history she would know that African Americans made it possible for immigrants from all around the world to live in the US, they are constantly fighting for the equality of all people especially for people of African descent in a white dominated country. Despite hundreds of years of racism, African Americans have fought and accomplished what 160 million Nigerians in a country that is predominately black has not done with all the wealth ( human and mineral ) at their disposal.The Nigerian nation state is often in cohort with white power to subjugate its citizens. 

    African Americans built US white house

    African Americans built US white house

  3. As Paul Robeson would say “remain loyal to your convictions’ I would say stay faithful to your goals,do not be overwhelm by fast and materialistic life style that many people live. Think beyond here and now. Remind yourself that you are in the diaspora for a purpose, and therefore you have no business “uselessing” yourself.
  4. Attend African centered festivals/events. For example, in Pakistan Sheedi Mela have annual festival in honor of their African ancestors they, “gather at the shrine of Mangho Pir in Karachi to hold a sacred festival,”  in the US  there are several events such as National Black Theater Festival (NBTF) that attracts 60,000 black/African people,Juneteenth festival celebrates the end of slavery (June 19 ), Kwanzaa December 26-January 1 etc.This would provide you with opportunities to interact with Africans/ people of African descent and participate in keeping African cultures alive. To parents, your children would learn about their heritage and also see positive portrayal of African people. Research shows black children with strong African/black cultural identity do well in school.
  5. Exercise, it will help you stay in shape and focus mentally.Below are two ideas, African dance by Werrason congolese girls, and Black Girls Slim 
  6. Do for self, you can make your own shampoo, hair grease, etc.
  7. Speak up and don’t allow others to exploit you simply because you are black/African!
  8. Join /create groups that are meant to empower and enlighten you. Cultures in the western world are highly individualistic, so if you don’t have a support system it would be difficult for you to accomplish your goals. You have to be proactive in being part of a community, be pan-african and join hands with other black people to uplift each other.
  9. Leave within your means
  • Cook your own food, fast food is not healthy and it is mostly synthetic. That is to say it is man made with toxic additives that are cancer causing, the food does not digest properly so it sits in your stomach longer compared to natural food. This is one of the reasons why majority of Americans are obese and many Africans after few years in the diaspora they too become extremely fat. You can buy natural vegetables and food items at farmers market, ethnic food stores. If you can’t afford natural foods you could come together with others ( the power of collectivism, village style ) and put together some money then buy in bulk then share.
  • If you must buy new clothes, don’t buy anything on full price, there is always  sales. Personally I have been doing online shopping for years,they often have sales that are not available in stores, sometimes they have free shipping and handling.And if you don’t have a car this is a great way to shop!
  • Buy from thrift/second hand store, this is where they sell used books,electronics, magazines, tables, clothes, kitchen utensils etc. Many times you could find good quality things as cheap as 50 cents. You could even take bus trips to wealthy neighborhoods, their thrift stores are usually great.The things I would discourage  you from buying at thrift store are underwear, mattress, pillow and  fabric couch/sofa. You have to buy these things new for health reasons.
  • Avoid buying cheap food, they are not good for you. The companies that make majority of American foods are only interested in making money so your health is not a priority. For example, fake sugar, salt, flour are often mixed with real ingredients to increase quantity of the product. And they are sold very cheap, advertisements get you to think you are paying less for more but in reality,the food will killing you slowly.
  • Attend events/lectures that serve free food ( college/graduate students) this should be on your daily time table. This way when you get home tired, you don’t have to cook.
  • Take public transportation this is the cheapest way you can live in the diaspora. You don’t have to bother about gas money, car insurance and monthly car payment. You will live a responsible environmental friendly lifestyle and it opens up a different world for you. You would get to meet people of all works of life. For example if you live in Boston,Massachusetts majority (black, white, Asian etc)  of the population takes public transportation, while in small town e.g Winston Salem, North Carolina it is predominately African Americans and Mexicans.
  • Do not get credit card, the interest rate is high many Americans live the rest of their lives paying it off. Live within your means, I have never had a credit card and I intent to keep it that way.

10.  Ask questions, if you don’t understand something ask for clarification. Yotti/Bali people of Northwest Cameroon and Middle-Belt Nigeria have a proverb that goes,“a person that ask questions will never get lost.”

Additional Information 

1.“The Monsanto menace takes over”

2. “Food Additives to Avoid”

3. How to Eat to Live  by Elijah Muhammad

4.How Cuban Villagers Learned They Descended From Sierra Leone

5.“National Black Theatre Festival to present more than 40 shows” Generates over $14 million dollars

6.“Arab Racism against Black People in Iraq”

7.How to live without a credit card