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Letters Readers’ views

nothing to do with women, power or lead- ership. The lead article revolves basically

around one thing only. Sex. Sex that men need and need badly. Te issue of women’s impact on leadership somehow gets sidelined. What a denigrating view of women

does the author intend to promote. Te world is finally becoming more serious about respecting women as human beings with skills, talents and the potential to influence the future of humankind, and above all, as individuals entitled to have rights equal to men. But no, we read that a woman is just

a thing to give a man sexual satisfaction! When she “fulfils her role”, the world is in balance! Te conclusion of the author’s “analy-

sis” of woman power? It is sexual power! Bizarre as it is, still, how can any-

one claim that a woman, being a First Lady, has power over man through sex? In a gender-unbalanced society (and this means everywhere on the globe), most men have access to sex easily. Let alone powerful men. If they don’t get it at home, there are many other women at their dis- posal. Te “downfall” of Dominique Strauss-

Khan is not due to sexual power, but be- cause the people in at least some parts of the world do not want to tolerate the impunity of powerful men. In any case, to first argue that the wife has sexual power over the husband and then to write, on page 20, that a First Lady can be easily disposed of and changed for a (younger) version, somehow weakens the whole ar- gument – doesn’t it? In general, the “arguments” in the arti-

cle are based on selective Biblical referenc- es, the writings of one author (Chinweizu) and some (unknown) male interviewees (with what power of representation regard- ing general views?). Where are the views of women, since they are the subject of the article?

Nonetheless, one thing came out quite

strongly while reading the cover article. For all the boasting about this huge “fe- male” power over men, why is the position of so many women and girls in Africa today still so vulnerable? Te part on men as providers for wom-

en was equally ridiculous. Maybe, instead of interviewing taxi drivers, the author should have bothered to talk to at least some African women who are shouldering the weight of looking after their family while the husband goes drinking with his buddies. How many abandoned women are there

in various countries that would laugh and cry at the same time, reading this line? It’s the idea many African men have about themselves, but to what extent do they live up to the image of providers? Why not give more space and present

more details about achievements of the First Ladies and other women in politics or other forms of leadership? Why not talk more about Ellen John-

son-Sirleaf? Surely, she was elected as presi- dent due to different kinds of qualities in

ATTENTION READERS: FULL ADDRESS PLEASE Letters for publication should bear the full name and address of the writer, whether sent by post or email. We can withhold your name and address on request but we cannot publish letters that do not bear the full names and addresses of the writers. Could you also please keep the letters short and straight to the point (maximum length: 300 words).

8 | October 2011 | New African


45th Year • July 2011 • N°508

her leadership than the misguided Mr Mbakwe writes about! Surely, many women in positions of

The bestselling pan-African magazine Women Power Africa’s first ladies Gloria Ngema-Zuma Zineb Yahya Jammeh Sylvia Valentin Chnatal Biya Grace Mugabe Côte d’Ivoire

Foreign intervention, good or bad?

Desmond Tutu

‘God is not a Christian’ Libya

Africans for and against NATO

New African’s July issue attracted a lively response

• Euro Zone €4.50 • UK £3.00 • USA $4.95 • Algeria DA 300 • Angola 700 Kwanza (AOA) • Australia A$ 7.50 • Bahrain BD 2.00 • Canada $6.00 • CFA Zone CFA 2.500 • Cyprus 3.85 • Denmark DKr 35 • Egypt E£ 20 • Ethiopia R 50 • Gambia Da 100 • Ghana GH¢ 5.00 • Indonesia R35,000 • Jamaica $300 • Jordan JD 3.500 • Kenya KShs 300 • Kuwait KD 1.500 • Lebanon LL 7500.00 • Malaysia RM 14.90 • Mauritius MR 150 • Morocco Dh 30 • Nigeria N 500 • Norway NOK 59 • Oman OR2.00 n

Qatar QR 20 • Rwanda RWF 3000 n Saudi Arabia Rls 20 • Sierra Leone LE 15000

• Singapore $6,90 • South Africa R29.95 (inc. tax) • Other Southern African Countries R 26.30 (excl. tax) • Sweden SKr 33 • Switzerland SFr 8.70 • Tanzania TShs 5,400 • Tunisia TD 3500 • Turkey 7.00YTL • UAE Dh 20 • Uganda USh 8,700 • Zambia K 16000

NA_COVER_0611A.indd 1

power have not used it well. But we need to hear about that too. Tis is the reality.

Marcela Ondekova Bratislava, Slovakia

African mother’s lament Having read with keen fascination Akua Djanie’s column, “Where Is the Safest Place to Raise Children” (NA, July), I think she has answered this question herself in the line: “Ghana is still a very safe place for children to live...”. End of discussion. Did not Akua’s own testing-the-waters

14/06/2011 20:55

experiment in London demonstrate why Western climates are not the ideal environ- ment, especially for African males? Here is a thing that needs to be said to

all African mothers: Please stop attempt- ing to raise African males to submit to the Eurocentric paradigms of functioning in the world, as these traits run counter to our innate African warrior and explorer nature. Not every child needs to have an edu-

cation that includes degrees upon degrees that leave them still non-functional. Look at those kids demonstrating on the streets of Lisbon, London and Paris not too long ago. Look at our educated African brothers of the northern countries demonstrating and self-immolating themselves. If neither of Akua’s sons is destined to

be the next Samuel Eto’o or Roger Milla and/or cannot get around the red ball as a bowler or a grand batsman in all whites, have your Ghanaian brother, Ayi Kwei Armah become their private tutor or send them down to Harare for summer ses- sions to observe the Mwalimu Mugabe at work. Tese two fine African men will ensure that Akua’s sons matriculate along a correct path towards African maleness. Te worst thing an African mother/

woman can do is raise their sons to sub- mit to the maintenance of this corrosive economic functioning that is codified in gaining Western degrees for pursuing em- ployment in Western-based paradigm in- stitutions that bit by bit negate their very existence. Better to drown the child than to make them suffer a slow, far worse death of the spirit, soul and finally the body. K Felix Mjumbe

Berkeley, California, USA


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