A Global State of Mind

Raiza Biza is a rapper from Kigali, Rwanda. He moved to Gisborne, New Zealand from Africa as a teenager, and Hamilton soon became his home. As a child, Raiza Biza’s family had to relocate several times. He was conceived in Rwanda, but his mother gave birth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He lived there for two years, and then his family moved to Zambia. After some time, they moved to South Africa. The family’s final move was to New Zealand, when Raiza Biza was 13 years old.

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Deeply Indebted

The well known rapper SHAD is another Kenyan artist who has defied the odds. SHAD was born in Kenya in 1982 but was raised in London, Ontario. His parents moved their family to Canada when he was just a year old. His parents were Rwandan so he grew up knowing a lot about his culture. The stories that his parents told him about their life and hardships in Rwanda always stuck with him. In an interview SHAD said “My mother continuously instilled in me a sense that my life, my presence, and my personal integrity were all rooted in a history—a history of Rwandan people who were (and are) full of goodness, complexity, dignity and fortitude.” Continue reading “Deeply Indebted”

The other holocaust

People often talk about Hitler’s atrocities in world war two as the ultimatum of horrible human rights violations and despicable acts  done against humanity. It is indisputable that the actions carried out were absolutely horrible but why do we treat it like it’s something isolated and not happening elsewhere? There are many other world holocaust-like events that have happened and been happening around the globe for quite some time but it seems like only certain people get recognition for it. Lets take Stalin for example. He infamously handled the Ukrainian people wanting independence rebellion by starving seven million people to death. Is this common knowledge? no it isn’t because propaganda against the Russians wasn’t built up until after the second world war, during the cold war. since this event took place prior to that there isn’t much out there shaming Stalin for this like there is for Hitler and the holocaust. Now what if I told you that America and other western nations currently support, weather it be directly or indirectly, a regime in Africa that has caused the death of 7 million+ people since 1996. most of those who have died are children. The reason for this stems back to when King Leopold acquired the Congo. He used inhumane, murderous tactics to exploit the population for free labor, producing ivory and rubber. When he discovered mineral rich mining deposits all over the country it brought attention to the region as a hub for further economic exploitation. Ever since then, western nations have been financially backing the Congo, removing and placing dictators to suit their needs. Under these dictators millions of people have been raped massacred and displaced and the western nations, who aid this region with billions, have imposed no sanctions or pulled economic support due to the genocide that is currently going on there. Even though they knew about the atrocities happening in almost real time, they turned their heads and let it occur due to the gold, cobalt, col-tan and various other minerals used in first world countries, basically it suits the western world economically to turn a blind eye. There are no regulations on how these minerals are mined, processed and shipped so it is very cheap to go the illegal, inhumane route and not remedy the situation. When you look at how the world is silent about such a horrible situation occurring it makes you wonder, are people really passionate or are they brainwashed about what they should and should not care about. Food for thought.

Gender Equality Through Hip-Hop in Rwanda

Once considered a territory traditionally dominated by men, today, women rap and sometimes do it better than their male competitors. It all started with MC Lyte in the 1980’s in the US, and now continues with Rwandan female hip hop artist Paccy and Joyce Namande, commonly known as Kitty. Hip hop artists worldwide have a bad reputation because some have criminal records. Even an innocent woman who joins the industry is regarded as bad character which makes it even more difficult for female artists to balance life and hip hop music. Also Female rappers have to perform better than men to make. But Paccy is determined to make unusual efforts to succeed because if she fails, they will say, women don’t have what it takes, and she will not let that happen.