#BLACKLIVESMATTER: How Racism Manifests Itself in Africa

To any African saying  #Blacklivesmatter is not their concern: Racism doesn’t care if you are African or African American. You will still face injustices in your African country because racism has made us believe that White people and everything White is Superior. 

This week has been hard for so many Black people especially our African American Family. I’m taking this time to post about what I am feeling: so many feelings but mostly ANGER.

Racism is a virus that needs to be eradicated. It is so far reaching. As someone who has experienced both overt and covert racism, this is something that I talk and think about all the time. As a teen, I lived in a community that was very anti-black and valued whiteness so much that microaggressions and blatant racist behavior became a normal thing for me. I couldn’t speak out because I was a minority. Experiences like that and many others have shaped the way I view the world.
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I am an African, a black African. And there are many Africans who think that there is little to no racism in our African countries. They think that this #BLACKLIVESMATTER is an African American battle. But that is so far from the truth. Racism is very alive in our communities and it is so ingrained in most of us that we do not even notice it. Racism in Africa is believing that White people and everything White is Superior.

Racism in Africa is why:

  1. We ignorantly retort to all lives matter so we can appease our White friends/connections.
  2. We witness establishments in Africa give attention to Bazungu and then turn around and treat us like we don’t matter.
  3. We prefer to listen to country music and judge hip hop, R&B, reggae, dance hall, etc. Even when the message is the same.
  4. We have and prefer White/non-Africans in management positions in business establishments.
  5. We look down on our local cuisines and food.
  6. We utter things like ‘I need to go to America or [insert any western country] to live a better life’
  7. We cut our hair with the excuse that it is hard to manage/looks improper but let students of non-African descent keep their hair.
  8. We see and experience police brutality but remain indifferent.
  9. We see how our African governments treat Africans citizens like shit.
  10. We go through the Ugandan education system and we can tell you all about Canadian prairies
  11. We are aware how a lighter shade in complexion grants us entry into certain spaces.
  12. Almost everyone wants to work, volunteer or at least intern with the UN, Oxfam, Save the Children, World Vision.
  13. We bend over backwards to grab the attention of and entertain our white guests in hopes that they will ‘see us’ even to the destruction of our fellow Africans.
  14. We work so hard to get an ‘accent’ because we know the privilege it affords us.
  15. When we go abroad, we distance ourselves from our African American kin because ‘we are not like them’.
  16. We don’t consider ‘abroad’ as Kenya, Nigeria, South Sudan or any African country aside from South Africa
  17. We prefer to marry men or women lighter than us because God forbid, the child is darker than the parent.
  18. It is easier for a white person to open a company/NGO. When a black person does, we are thoroughly interrogated especially when it comes to the source of funds.
  19. We would rather have a White guest speaker than a Black speaker for a graduation, conference, evangelistic meeting, etc.
  20. We jokingly or irritably say ‘my hair is like steel wire. If only I had munyerere’
  21. We find that western passport holders can easily enter our countries but we have to prove ourselves worthy of western visas.
  22. We doubt a Black person’s credibility until they mention their ties to USA, UK, etc.
  23. We casually dismiss black pain, suffering and death because we’ve been told we are strong and have tough skin as compared to Bazungu.
  24. We think being called a Northerner or South Sudanese is an insult especially when we are not.
  25. We know proximity to Whiteness: spouses, children, best friends, lovers, coworkers, classmates will grant us access to certain places and things.
  26. We dismiss or know little about our history but somehow know all about the Third Reich, the American revolution (minus the African Americans), the Berlin Ball, the Great Wall of China etc.
  27. We treat our brothers and sisters in the north (of Uganda) and South Sudan like shit until western media tells us they have the most gorgeous skin!
  28. We ask ‘abadugavu, ani yatuloga?’ regarding our lack of economic growth and development.
  29. We are indifferent seeing Black bodies suffering, impoverished, poverty stricken but immediately feel empathy when a White body is shown in similar situations.

To any African saying  #Blacklivesmatter is not their concern: Racism doesn’t care if you are African or African American. You will still face injustices in your African country because racism has made us believe that White people and everything White is Superior. I’m praying that this is the year we as Africans realize that Whiteness and gate-keeping Whiteness does NOT benefit us.

I am Angry. But I’m also calling upon Africans and anyone who follows me to join the fight against racism. Thinking that our struggles are not linked to African American struggles divides us. We all know that there is power in numbers. Let us, Africans, join the fight against racism because the change coming will affect all of us for the better. Their Liberation is our liberation.

To support black people and educate yourself, follow the links below:

  1. Follow this link to get more reading resources on racism and how to Understand it as a Ugandan.
  2. Trevor Noah put into words what most people are failing to understand about the fight for black freedom in this video.
  3. No White Saviors is a Ugandan organisation committed to dismantling the harmful ways in which whiteness presents itself on the African continent and non-white communities all around the world. They also have a podcast here.
  4. The Conscious Kid is committed to educating white people and parents about their privilege and how they can use it for the good of their fellow men through diverse educational materials.
  5. Rachel Cargle is offering lectures  on the same topic for people committed to learning to dismantle racism.
  6. And lastly, actions speak louder than words, so donate what you can to the protests.

 

Until next time, FIGHT FOR WHAT IS RIGHT.

Easy to Make Moist and Delicious Cornbread

Easy to make moist and crumbly interior and golden crunchy exterior 10 ingredient cornbread.  This cornbread can be made in less than 60 minutes with ingredients readily available in your kitchen/ pantry.  

 

While the world is falling down the banana bread making rabbit hole, I am still on the edge because I have no bananas on me (where do y’all get bananas?) And even if I had them, I would eat them immediately before even thinking of making the bread. So I have instead resorted to making the next best thing: cornbread. We all have maize in our pantries/ stores and this bread is so easy to put together. And believe me when I say that it is possibly the easiest bread you will ever have to make because it uses pantry staples like flour, maize, baking powder and sugar and in an hour’s time, you will have the bread ready. So next time you feel bad for not having bananas to make banana bread, make this cornbread instead. You will not regret it.

 

 Easy to Make Moist and Delicious Cornbread Recipe

What you will need:

1 C. Corn/maize flour
2 C. Wheat flour
1 1/3 C. Milk
3 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Baking powder
1 Egg
1/3 C.Oil
1/2 Tsp. Lemon zest
1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg
Cheese (optional)

Observations

  1. I used yellow maize four. You can use white maize flour as well. 
  2. You can easily double the ingredients to make two loaves.
  3. The bread keeps well in the fridge.

 

Method

  1. Add maize/corn, wheat flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix well. 
  2. Next pour oil and milk in the dry mix. Crack the egg in  and mix well. You can use a whisk to further mix the batter till it is smooth and without flour bubbles. 
  3. Grate some lemon zest and cheese (optional) into the batter and mix well. 
  4. Grease your baking pan with butter/margarine and pour the batter into the pan. Grate some more cheese on top of the batter.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.  The loaf will rise, crack and have a golden yellow exterior when done.

 

This bread is good on its own, with tea or with your favorite stew. I personally like eating it with a rich bean stew like this one.

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How to Make Spicy Mukene (Silver Fish) Paste at Home

Cheap and nutritious Mukene (silver fish/ silver cyprinid​) made into a rich versatile paste/sauce with aromatics such as garlic, ginger, and scotch bonnets.  Perfect for adding to sauces, stews and vegetables for flavor.  
One of the few food writers I absolutely love is Mandy of Lady and Pups. I love getting lost in her angry accounts of food stories so much that when her book  Escapism Cooking came out I knew I had to get a copy. A few weeks ago I was poring over her book and she was talking about how shrimp paste is essential to Asian cooking. The way she talked about it made me wish I ate shrimp.  I don’t. And shrimp isn’t an easy food to find in landlocked countries,  unless you are willing to ignore the fact that the frozen section in the supermarket is fully stocked.  Anyways what I am trying to say is that a good writer like Mandy will have you making food you never even intended to because that is what I did.
Yes, a few minutes of feeling restless after reading a captivating  paragraph on shrimp paste,  a light bulb idea  hit.  We have an abundance of mukene. So much so, that I have written about it in the past here and here. It is even called the Lake Victoria Sardine on Wikipedia.   What if I made mukene paste/sauce?  So I got to work.
The process  of soaking the mukene,  chopping the aromatics,  frying, blending and simmering made me feel like I was preparing apeta (if you know you know) for  boarding school children. Ah the good old days. But this is not apeta…actually it might be, depending on how you treat it.  To me it’s a multipurpose fish sauce/ paste that will be great with almost anything. Frying some vegetables, add a spoonful of this sauce. Making groundnut stew,  this sauce will be great with it.  I love putting it in noodles and sauteed vegetables. It keeps well due to the high oil and salt content.
How to Make Spicy Mukene (Silver Fish) Paste Recipe
What you will need:
1 C. Mukene (250g)
1 C. Mushrooms, sliced
7 Garlic cloves
4 Large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 stick of green onion/ spring onion/ scallions, roughly chopped
1/4 C. Ginger, roughly chopped
1 Scotch bonnet/chili peppers, roughly chopped
2 Large onions, roughly chopped
1 green pepper, roughly chopped
1 1/2 C. Oil
1/4 C. Salt
1 Tbsp, smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. Black pepper
Observations
  1. If you notice, I do not chop the garlic and ginger. I also roughly chop the other ingredients since I will be pureeing them in a blender.
  2. Soaking the mukene helps soften it so that it can absorb flavor as compared to when you cook it dry.
  3. The mushrooms and tomatoes help elevate the umami flavor.
  4. The salt and oil helps preserve the sauce hence their large amount.
  5. Add your spice (chili/ cayenne/ scotch bonnets) depending on the heat you desire.
  6. After adding all the ingredients, the tomatoes will release water and it will become stewy.
Method
  1. Soak the Mukene for 20 minutes in clean water with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Rinse it twice and set aside.
  2. Pour a half cup of oil in a clean pan and put it on meduim heat. Add the garlic, ginger and  scallions. Let them cook in the oil till wilted but not burnt. Remove the ginger, garlic and scallions from the oil and set a side.
  3. In the same oil, Add the rinsed mukene and mushrooms and let them fry for about 10 minutes or until it starts turning golden brown on medium heat.
  4. Add  back the scallions, ginger and garlic and stir well. Next add your salt, chilli/ scotch bonnet (or any spice of your choice), green pepper, onion,  and tomatoes. Let it cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the mukene ‘stew’ from fire and set aside for it to cool down. After cooling (about 20 minutes) Pour the ‘stew’ in the blender with the remaining 1 cup of oil and blend till pureed.
  6. Pour back the blended mukene puree in the same pan and put it back on fire. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about an hour (or more) until it has completely cooked down (not burnt) to a paste, turned a deep rich brown color and a silky oil is floating on top.
  7. Remove the paste from fire and let it cool. Store in a clean container/bottle for up to two months at room temperature. Stores for longer in a refrigerator.

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