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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Thursday, 29 July 2010

"Welcome To Lagos" Continued

The second episode contains more of the first, except the setting is the Makoko slum.  Likened to Venice (hmmmmm really?!), it is a place where people have taken matters into their own hands and have built their own houses in the lagoon that surrounds Lagos and get from here to there in boats.  Their story is linked to the sawmills, as that is where the timber that is the primary material for slum houses is processed.

Once again the resourcefulness and entrepreneurial spirit is displayed.  However, with the man we follow this episode, there is something more.  You can really see a pride in this man.  A pride bourne from being able to retain his customs while moving into the future by being a part of the megacity.  A pride of thinking of innovative ways to make sure that his children and grandchildren are able to go to school and university.  A pride that allows him to gather all his family for a meal every day to teach them his ways. A pride from knowing that even if the Government seeks to destroy rather than help to build his community, he and his neighbours have found ways to reclaim land, erect their houses and make their own expansion plans.  Combining the old with the new.  That is Africa in a nutshell really.

This sense of community is also shown when the workers at the sawmills gather money together to pay for a fellow worker's funeral and for his family to be taken back to the village.  People are not waiting around for someone to take care of them, they are finding ways to take care of each other. It was also nice to see a woman running one of the sawmills. With many a story about how women are subjugated on the continent, I thought it was refreshing to see the other side being told.  There are many a businesswoman and entrepreneuress about too.  However the two children who had run away from home and lied about their age and were fighting to work at the woman's sawmill is disturbing.  But which society in the world has never profitted from child labour at some point in its transition to being fully modern?  At least it didn't look like they were being worked to the bone.  And they did have time to be able to be children and make kites and fly them.  With modernity come its ills unfortunately.

Here are links to Episode 2:

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