Posted by: fancywriter | April 3, 2012

Kenya Nubians Celebrate ACERWC rulling

The year 2012 brings with it a great hope and high expectations for the Nubian community on Kenya. This is so because in September 2011, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of Child published its first ever decision, relating to discrimination in access to nationality for Nubian children in Kenya. ACERWC was responding to a communication filed under its complaints procedure. The committee found the case to be admissible because the national proceeding here in Kenya had effectively stalled making the case an exception to the requirement to exhaust domestic remedies before turning to the committee.
The arguements put forward to the Committee of Experts are:
1. Violation of the rights to acquire nationality at birth for Nubian children.
2. Unlawful discrimination against Nubian children on basis of their ethnic background.
3. Consequential violations: as a result of historical tre- atment as foreigners, citizen status was uncertain, denial of equal access to essential services such as education and healthcare.

The Committee found Kenya’s action violated Article 6 of the African Charter provision protecting children’s right. The COmmittee then made its recommendations to the government of Kenya to correct the violatins within six month after the rulling.
ACERWC decision’s significance extends well beyond Kenya. Nubians are concious that their case could have far reaching implications for other marginalised groups in Kenya and Africa as a whole. Their example should also be a source of hope and encouragement for stateless communoties struggling to claim their rights all over the world.

Posted by: fancywriter | April 2, 2012

Nubian Culture

This blog is about the culture of Nubian community who live in East Africa, particularly in Kenya. The writer has sensed the danger of dwindling in the values or activity of the Nubian culture in this area.

Culture can be described as the way of life of a particular society or a group of people including pattern of thought, belief, behaviour, customs, traditions, rotuals, dress and language, as well as art, music and literature.
Culture is a powerful human tool for survival, but is a frigile phenomenon. It is constantly changing and is easily lost because it is not written.
Nubians need to keep their traditions and culture alive so that they can continue to pass it on from one generation to another.
To revive the Nubian culture and make it vibrant, the starting point would probably be to borrow from the work of Craig Constantine and continue to build up from there.
The art exhibition is one way of viewing their identity and its contribution to the entire Nubian heritage over the course of history.
Nubians can start a local gallery and display paintings and photography on the walls of the exhibition gallery.
. Paintings and photographs of their traditional houses.
. Colourful ttaditional Nubian clothing.
. Photographs of, and display of traditional hand woven bag, baskets, mats and other accessories.
. Stylish braiding of women hair.
. Nubian misical instruments, etc.

Posted by: fancywriter | April 2, 2012

The Voice of the Marginalized People

“Kibra is an area on the outskirt of Nairobi, the capitol city of Kenya. This piece of land, measuring approximately 4100 acres was a reward given to the Nubian soldiers by the then British colonial government. The Nubian soldiers fought alongside the British army from the 19th century up to the two world wars of 1914 and 1945.
Although the politics of this country has changed Kibra to what it is now, the largest slum in Africa. The Nubians who live in Kibra, which is their home, are now a small minority in the ratio of 1 to 12, after their land was invaded by outsiders brought in by selfish politicians. The Nubians still cherish and have passion for Kibra, even with the faint hope of obtaining the land ownership document from the government. And even as the numbet of poor and excluded people among the community is incteasing rapidly.

Expression of Passion for Kibra
1. We all know that there is a great ‘passion’ among our community for out Kibra. People love the ambience, the natural setting, the country side, the history, the heritage and much mote. These feelings have unfortunately been largely destroyed by the politics of this country.
2. There is a strong sense of community. We ate proud of ourselves, our community organizations and our neighbourhoods.
3. There is a sense of entrennchment. As people say, ‘we all love progress, it is the change we hate’.
4. Nonetheless, we recognize the opportunity in persuing fresh ideas/ attitudes. Thete is a desire to cteate a new vission, plan for the future and coordinate efforts accross the community.
5. Too much focus on issues and weaknesses. We need to promote our strengths among ourselves. Then we will be better able to present our strengths to visitors and others outside our community.
6. There are specific issues that are foremost in our minds:
a. To unite our people so that we speak from same voice.
b. To get the ownership documents for thr Kibra land.
c. To protect our quality of life and address the well being of our people.
7. There are strengths to build upon in the community and opportunities to pursue:
a. Coordinating the talents and energies of our people to achieve a common vision.
b. To promote our arts, cultute, recreation and leisure
c. Heritage.
d. Under utilised resources
e. Honesty.
8. Our people are knowledgeable, experienced and brimming with interesting and innovative ideas. The challenge is to make good use of these valuable tesourses.

Posted by: fancywriter | March 31, 2012

Modern day Slavery

Forced labour in the Middle East.
Recent news in one of kenyan daily news paper regarding injustices done to workers from Kenya in Saudi Arabia is shocking and disgusting. The report allege that an international human traffiking ring is collaborating with some employees of some middle east embassies in Kenya to recruit unsuspecting Kenyans for jobs in Saudi Arabia. The criminal network is actually sending these people to forced labour. The cartel lure the victims by placing advertisements of well paying job oportunities in those countries.
In the recent past, scores of Kenyans have fallen prey to these crooks.
The reports about the forced labour came out after several incidents of human right abuse were reported to the Kenya government by the relatoves of the victims. Some deaths of victims were also reported in the last two years. But unfortunately the Kenya government has so far not taken the matters seriously. Who then can shield the Kenyans from this kind of abuse?
Why Kenyan youth take the risk.
Yoiths are easy prey because of serious unemployment on the country. The number of unemployed youths in Kenya has grown so much. Hence the incrrsing number of poor and rxcluded people who are at thereceaving end of the himan right violations.
The policy of exclution practiced by those in authority is not spoken, but os never the less building with respect to social disparities caused by poverty and unemployment of literate youth, which remain a political tiime bomb of numbers running ino millions.

Posted by: fancywriter | March 5, 2012

The Sufferings of The Minority Communities

What sufferings do the marginalized / minority groups experience?

Marginalized or minority groups suffer mainly from discrimination, be it social, economical, infringement of rights etc. ( exclusion from government services, programs and policies ).  Material deprivation ( such as food, shelter ) is another common cause of suffering. Ensuing poverty, psycho emotional damage and its resulting deceases, often result, in catastrophic damage to lives, health and psychiatry.

How does one get out of this “slavery” ?

The answer is “struggle”. However, before you start the struggle, challenging the authorities, the community has to first of all have an accurate assessment of who they are and where they are, and where they want to be.

  1.  They have to have full trust of themselves
  2. They have to believe that all nations, and for that matter, all communities are made up of people of diverse background; putting these diversities to use will help uplift the community.
  3. Each one must learn to respect the strength of their diversity.
  4. And that for a community the power lies not in its numbers, but in the diverse skills and resources of its members.
  5. There are elements to which we must adhere to succeed as a community :
  • .Always be united, unity is crucial to delivering a clear message to your opponent ( authorities concerned )
  • Maintain your identity as a people and be proud of your culture.
  • Engage constructively with authorities without resorting to militancy, as militancy only begets militancy.
  • Use existing law to deliberate your issues.
  • In extreme cases, internationalize your issues. Use international organizations to apply pressure on your government.

Lastly, but not the least, after fulfilling all the above, then go ahead and start your challenge!

Posted by: fancywriter | March 4, 2012

Access to New Media by Minority Groups

Marginalized / minority groups are urged to use new technology to drive social change

The marginalized / minority tribes in Kenya, and indeed all over Africa and the World are urged to use the new technology to connect with people internationally to fight and drive away the social evil they are facing in the name of marginalization.

Through community forums these groups could use the technologies which include mobile platforms and the internet which can now be used for promoting democratic practices, civic participation, learning, and youth empowerment. Also can be used for economic and social entrepreneurship among other issues.

Empower young people

The communities should put more emphasis on young people who are particularly receptive to new technologies and adopt to its demands with clarity when given the chance.

Youth can use the technology to engage in human right activities.

Posted by: fancywriter | March 3, 2012

Marginalised Groups / Tribes

What is it being marginalized or what is marginalization?

In sociology marginalization is the social process of becoming or being relegated to the fringe of society.

Many communities experience marginalization all over the world. For example marginalization of Aboriginal community in Australia is a product of colonization; as a result, Aboriginal community lost their land and were forced into destitute areas. They lost whatever source of income they were getting and were excluded from their rights.

On the other hand, today, especially in Africa, various communities continue to be marginalized from society due to the developments of practices, policies and programs that meet the needs of influential people in the government or from the major tribes, and not the needs of the marginalized groups themselves. As a result the marginalized people are denied basic human rights and even citizenship status. These communities are seen as ” undeserving foreigners “.

Can a community come out of this problem? And how?

Yes is the answer. I am a firm believer that a marginalized community can do a  lot to free themselves from this discriminatory situation.

It is said that attributes of  wisdom include being able to take initiative. And that every action you take today is a seed for tomorrow.

Having said that, I would like to single out one marginalized group in Kenya who have been neglected by the government of Kenya for decades. This community, the Nubian community, has woken up and are challenging the government for their rights. The community has realized that they cannot afford any longer to wake up in the morning and take life as it comes, and go to sleep at night not knowing whether they made any progress that day or not. Which is called existing, not living. They felt that there is need to learn how to plan for future life. The community realized that if they can plan, they can fulfill their destinies.

The struggle against marginalization

Over the last decade, two bodies were formed by the Nubian community to fight for their rights. The Kibra Land Committee and The Nubian Council of Elders were formed to pursue the twin issues of Nubian ethnic recognition and the land rights in Kibra.

The struggle on the formal Nubian recognition was internationalized through media, Human Right bodies and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of Child (ACERWC).

The struggle on the ethnic recognition was successful after ACERWC, in its ruling found the Kenya government had violated Chapter 6 of the African Charter provision protecting the rights of children to nationality. The committee then made recommendations to the government of Kenya to correct the situations.

Strategic Planning

The community felt that drastic changes were required to be able to transform, but what does it entail?

First, to begin the process of transformation the community must have an accurate assessment of who they are, where they are and who they want to be. It was established that the community problem was mainly lack of vision.

Therefore to have any meaningful transformation, the community decided to use the analytical method of assessment, SWOT, ( Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity and Threats ).

With this method it is possible to define success for different areas of life, financial, social, economical and even spiritual. Once this has been done, the next thing is to take each area and come up with the demands that each area will require.

What are the skills needed to develop? What are the relationships needed to cultivate? What are the investments needed to make?

Lastly, but not the least, it should be realized that many visions do not come to pass because even though the vision is good, people are not able to pay the price to bring it to pass.

Every vision comes with a price tag. The ability to pay the price will determine how probable your chances of succeeding are. You need to define what you need to see and the timelines to assure you that you are making progress. This is vital so you don’t just engage in motions without progress.

Posted by: fancywriter | February 25, 2012

History of Kibra

The Home of the Marginalized Nubians

Facts about Kibra
Kibra is a village on the outskirt of Nairobi, about six kilomters from the city center. It is a home for the Nubian community whose forefathers were settled there by the then British colonial government after conscription from the army, the Kings African Rifles (KAR). Nubians originated from the northern Sudan.
Kibra Nubian village as it is known, came into being early last century, after the area was designated a military reserve for the demobilized KAR soldiers.
Kibra was already there when Nairobi was made a city in 1902. Kibra was registered in 1917/18, and survey map reproduced in 1934.
The official original area of Kibra was 1497.5 acres. This area has however been reduced to its current 600 or so acres by the successive governments employing the policy of marginalization, and land grabbing by
Kibra Problems
Kibra lost its origin soon after indipendence. These problems were started by selfish politicians who wanted to keep control over their voters. The first change we saw in Kibra was the change of the name from Kibra to Kibera, the corrupted name adapted soon after indipendence. This was intentionally done to distort the history of the area.
Kibra is now a home to more than 500,000 people, a figure released by the civil society organizations. The national sensus done in the year 2009 put the figure at 250,000, this latter figure is largely believed to be a distoted figure.
Majority of the population are people who invaded the area for political or economic reasons. Cheap and affordable housing in the area made it attractive to people who earn low salaries, and at the same time politicians invited their supporters to gain voting power.
This great influx of people in Kibra made it to be the largest slum on Africa.
Challenges facing the Kenya Government.
Among the challenges facing the government and those who want to resolve the land question in Kibra are:
1. Competing rights between the Nubians, who settled in Kibra more than 100 years ago, even before Nairobi bevame a city, and migrants who have continuously been settling there since after indipendence.
2. Polotocal competition between major tribes like the Luos and the Kikuyus. Each one trying to outnumber the other.
3. Economical interest of those who believe tjey have a right to the piece of land they have invaded: owning a land in Kibra is a bog deal, and they will use any means available to protect their interests.
Challenges facing the Nubian Community
1. Uncertainty about the government giving back the Kibra land to the Nubian community. This issue of Kibra land has been internationalized through media, Human Right bodies, and the African Court. But the government s still quiet.
2. The community has to continue keeping the government under pressure claiming their rights and onternationalize the issue. Use international organizations and international law. Tickle the mind of decision makers.
3. Thecommunity must always remain united, inity is critical to delivering a clear message to the government.
4. Community must be organised.
5. The community must be sensitive to the unfulfilled promises given by the successive governments about the Kibra land. On the contrary, tensions were created between the Nubians and other comminities, while the politicians from the major tribes incited their followers to violence.

Posted by: fancywriter | February 16, 2012

Self-fulfilling Prophecies

When you tell yourself that I cannot do this or that, you actually ensure that you can’t do it. How do you change that thinking?
The Nubian community in Kenya, and especially so in Kibra, are divided into groups who have always been at loggerheads and cannot agree with each others ideas. There is a common belief among people in this community that it is dofficult or even impossible to unite because there has always been disagreements among groups since the time of our forefathers. This mythical belief has spread like fire and is really hampering progress.
Who are the Nubians?
Nubian community is a minority tribe in Kenya, originally from Sudan, whose fore fathers were settled in Kenya over one century ago by the then British colonial government, after conscription from the army.
Going back to the mythical belief the community holds, this state of mind has made difficult to change the community in order to forge forward in development.
A great discoverer, Albert Einstain said ‘ You cant solve a problem with the same mind that created it’. In this regard, the community way of thinking make it stuck to where they are, no development. If the community does not change its way of thinking, chances are the community will end up in the exact same situatipn.
Our children grew up believing that Nubians will never unite. This is the repeated message that they get from their parrents.
Change your way of thinking!
Many of the members of the community still relate with the idea that they cannot unite, because it has never been possible in the past. Are we waiting for someone to come and tell us we can do it? The truth of the matter is there aint going to someone to tell us that.
Change your way of thinking, do not limit yourself to this false belief, say ‘Yes we can’, and move forward..

Posted by: fancywriter | October 9, 2010

One Body Part I'd Change

One body part I would like to change is my face. I would design a new face which looks more attractive.

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