Sunday, May 13, 2012
Members of the business community in Cotonou woke up this morning to be greeted by the menacing presence of hundreds of armed soldiers, policemen, combat-geared fire-service personnel and a couple of bulldozers probably deployed overnight by some government agencies to completely demolish the historical international market of Cotonou popularly known as Missebo market. This market established in 1972 by Biafran refugees has up till this moment been serving traders from as far as South Africa to the two Congos among other African countries. It also accommodates a good percentage of wholesale merchants from the middle and far east. One of the images shows stranded traders standing in clusters, unable to rescue some of their merchandise that have been covered in the pile of rubbles. Other images emerging from the scene prove that the demolition exercise has not been completely free from being bloody. One of the images captured by anonymous observer shows a woman wounded on her back with blood oozing from the deep cut said to have been inflicted on her by some members of the armed policemen. Amidst the crowd of helpless onlookers are some of the international traders who are unable to locate their customers except to track them by mobile phone calls. No official from the government agency in-charge of markets administration in Cotonou has agreed to speak to me. Surprisingly, the entire Benin press is blacked out from covering the event. No statement is issuing from any quarters whatsoever as to resettlement plans for the more than 1.5million displaced traders. STOP PRESS: A woman has just dug up the remains of her one-year old baby said to have been crushed by the bulldozer while sleeping in the woman's stall as she was trying to scavenge some of her burried merchandise.
Saturday, May 05, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
Imagine having to leave a high-paid job as Principal of the prestigious Federal Government College which is regarded across West Africa as the best among equals in the field of education. That was exactly what His Royal Majesty UKOHA did when his maternal uncle passed on from the throne. The Community wanted no other than the distinguished academician who knew nothing of traditional headship but had spent the greater part of his life within the four walls of classrooms either as a student or teacher. Ever since his ascension to the throne in a kingdom founded by a woman, His Majesty has changed the perception of his people from that of hewers of wood and pitchers of water, peasant farmers and warriors to that of intellectuals, successful industrialists and international merchants. He has also completely eradicated illiteracy, gender discrimination, laziness and hooliganism from amongst his people. In a culture where Kings are entitled to marry as many wives as there are beautiful maidens around, His Majesty is constrained by his religious inclination to remain attached to his glamorous wife who also had to subjugate her role as school Headmistress to adorning the regal beads and playing the role of “First Lady.” Their twenty years on the throne is being marked this month with pomp and pageantry and by exhibition of cultural displays amidst recognition of eminent citizens among whom is one Chief EBULU whose illustrations spanning over a period of more than fifty years, could be found in the pages of most school textbooks used across Africa and beyond. Surely, this event and the personalities deserve emulation; to serve as role model to other communities where the primitive lifestyle has remain unchanged.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
As we approach the end of count-down to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Benin republic, it can easily be seen that Cotonou the commercial nerve-centre is becoming cleaner than ever before. This new look of a city that was almost hitherto assuming an epidemic level of filthiness is not, however, without collateral damage. Structures adjoining the pavement of most roads and boulevards across the city which serve as business centres or workshops for various types of economic activities have been completely pulled down by agents of the Municipal Council. Ironically, it is the same Council that collects various taxes and rates in respect of these business places on monthly basis, and one wonders how they hope to make up for the losses which happen to constitute a greater percentage of their revenue base. The effect of this demolition exercise is that more than 30% of businesses in the city have suddenly come to indefinite standstill with the attendant hardship it has brought to hundreds of thousands of breadwinners. The Pontif's visit is to last just four days, but the demolition exercise started since more than one month, and the big question is how much longer the victims will stay without regular income. The ripple effect is already being felt at the international markets and restaurants and bars which have suddenly started recorded low or zero customer traffic. Some desperate traders are said to be planning a mild display of placards during the reception of the august visitor in front of the national stadium to register their plight.Their argument is that since the theme of the Pope's visit is "RECONCILIATION," that government should also consider RECONSTRUCTION of their knocked-down structures or REHABILITATION of law-abiding business people.
Monday, October 24, 2011
1 Any dark coloured plastic bowl
2 Recyclable carton sheets
3 Black waterproof sheets
4 Inexpensive reflective louvre blades
5 Super glue
METHOD OF ASSEMBLAGE
Recyclable sheets of carton are trimmed to fit round the interior of the plastic bowl to act as insulation against heat loss. Back side of the tinted reflective louvre blades are further darkened by pasting black waterproof sheets to intensify reflectiveness of the mirrored surface. These blades are thereafter layered round the plastic bowl. The cooking pot is set on top of a little piece of wood at the centre of the bowl ensuring that sun rays act directly on the pot from all angles. Water pasteurization point can be achieved in less than 30 minutes. Most cereals car be cooked in less than one hour.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Vincent NNANNA has successfully concluded working tour of parts of Ohafia Educational sub-zone in Abia State Nigeria conducting on-hands solar cooker training of students and teachers of selected secondary schools. Above video shows students of Federal Government College building their own solar cookit.
Students of another international school entertain the trainer with some home-made delicary after the workshop.
Friday, August 05, 2011
Vincent Nnanna has spent the past five months teaching students of Secondary schools and some selected international schools within Ohafia Educational Sub-zone how to build various types of solar cookers. Video above shows students of Federal Government College going to practicals after a demonstration by the Solar Cooker Ambassador. The even was rounded up with