Refugee " Son" in his father's rented "home"

The air was heavy with odors of hatred 
He soon will have to discover that he was not his father’s only son
It has happened before in this very house 
He held in within his teeth a memory of a forgotten love
He was brought here by his Congolese only father he has never seen 
He thought he will be loved for a day, a month, a year; he thought he will be loved for life 
He was only twelve, ohhhhh ! He was nine when he was taken from his native Congo to Togo
To be a refugee in his father’s rented house.
Today, he is fourteen and already has on his CV four years of working experiences
He still held in within his teeth a memory of a forgotten love, a forgotten ghost smile
He is not yet an adult but he knows he has to get up and go to work, go to the market and find a daily work,
To be abused and come back home with 500 or 1000 CFA just enough to buy himself pure water in a funny shaped plastic container.
He has been my dear friend for the past 10 days or so 
I took him to the Police to seek help for him, with a secret hope to have his Congolese dad arrested, for abuse, negligence and stupidity
In my world, this would have carried few years of jail time
but he knew nothing will come out of it
He was afraid to lose a day of work for nothing 
He has been to the Police before, three years ago, two years ago, and last year.
He is only fourteen 
He has no faith in the system, he has no faith in the adult world. 
He has functioned in within the adult world for over four years
He is only fourteen and today is his birthday
I wish him well.

Update. . . Unrefined Shea Butter -KARITE MAKEDA

KARITE MAKEDA is now on most shelves throughout Québec.

We have been mostly focussing in Montréal and its greater region and targeting natural products shops.  I am pleased to announce that our product has now made it to AVRIL, one of the leading natural products shops in our province. And it is also doing very well.

We always make sure that our product is displayed right next to the competition, in most cases; KARITE Makeda is the one that get picked.

As of now, with the exception of Rachelle Bérri, our product can be found in most of the natural products shops, beginning with the largest and Canadian #1 health food store in the country, “La Moisson”.

Karité Makeda is very well appreciated, the feed backs are fabulous, and customers love our product.

As we wrap up the year 2014, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to all of you who have shown interest in our product. We appreciate your support.

For 2015 we plan to slowly expand westward and concentrate on major cities one at the time.

We wish you a wonderful holiday and happy New Year. 

What are they dying for?

What are they dying for?

Why have we come to the west? Why did we stay? What are we doing here? Why do more young Africans struggling to come here and die trying to cross the Mediterranean?

Is the dream still worth dying for?

I gave up my TV some ten years ago. But nowadays, you don’t need a TV to know what is going on around the world. News is everywhere.

A boat carrying over 300 African immigrants reached Italian coast . . . That is no news, happens all the time. . .   Inside the boat were hope, but also death and tragedy, half of the migrants died on the way. . .

 What are the young Africans, still dying for?

Some were brought here very young; they grew up, went to school and became productive members of the society. Others came here in the prime of their life; they were in their late teens, some in their twenties. They gave up everything they have ever known and came. Others even gave up their high paying job in Africa and came to the developed world.

What are they doing here? What are we doing here?

There is this guy I used to know. His name is John.

John is from Nigeria, highly educated man. John went to the US in his twenties, in the prime of his life. He was an Engineer, lived and held high paying jobs in the US, made lot of money.

Talking to him some time, you have a feeling that John wish he contributed with all his talent and abilities into building his home country, Nigeria.  But now, John is an old man, but still very intelligent (even more so), talent and abilities do not disappear with age, but John skills are no longer needed in this society. So John wish he had returned to Africa while he was still able to help build his native land.

Of course, John has tried to move back to Nigeria, in the early 80s, but he couldn’t live there, the country was too unstable politically, so he went back to the US and contributed to the host country through his talent, training and abilities. John once had a wonderful family but is now divorced. His kids are now grown and don’t need him anymore. So, John often finds himself alone these days.

He said he won’t mind returning to Africa, and maybe teach in university, pass on all the experiences and knowledge he has acquired throughout his years living and working in the US.

Not every immigrant is as lucky as John.  The 300 + that were saved by the Italian marine will definitely not be as lucky as John. So, what kind of job is waiting for them? What type of life is waiting for them on the other side of the Mediterranean?

I look at the image, I can’t help but think of slavery, except this time the passengers are volunteers. Empty souls.

I ask myself, what create the desire so strong that people are willing to risk their life in order to make it to this side of the world? We see it in many places around the world. South America, Africa, Haiti, etc. . . 

What are they dying for?

I took my friend to the airport this week; he was flying to Harare (Zimbabwe).  He will be gone for a little over a month.  Christmas and New Year coming.

In my friend’s luggage few presents for friends and family, some money in his pocket for the few weeks that he will be staying in Harare.  He is on vacation; once there, he will have to go see this family member . . .  this cousin . . .  this friend . . .  and on it goes.  And of course he needs money for all that.

I personally don’t go see anybody when I go there, but that is just me. I don’t buy any gift for anybody. But my Zimbabwean friend has to. He hasn't been back in his native country in over five years. So in the desire to be nice to people back home and enjoy himself a bit, he will eventually end up creating and nourishing the idea that somehow life is easier and better in this side of the world. And truth be told, life can somehow be easier and better in this part of the world; depending on how one looks at it.

But is it still worth dying for? I keep asking myself!

For those of you, like my Zimbabwean friend, who will be traveling home this holiday season, please keep in mind that people are dying in order to reach this part of the world, partly because of the dream that you help create.  

Happy holiday to all 



The cold weather as we know it, In the process of been abolished?

This year will be remembered for a long time and by future generations as the beginning of the end of the cold weather, commonly known as winter, as we have come to define it. The period of the year that roughly stretched from November to around Mid-April.  It is embedded in our systems so much that we don’t  think about it anymore, it has become part of our lives and the only thing we think of around this time of the year is to get our winter gear ready in order to go through these four, five or six months  of cold and snowy temperatures. (Depending on where you live on the planet)

Well, for those of you who might not know, I have news for you.

 It has been decided to put an end to winter as we know it. It will certainly be replaced by something else, but winter as we know it today is in the process of been abolished.

Governments around the world including our own in Canada have been secretly meeting on this subject for the past few years and have recently decided to abolish it altogether.

Yes, you have read it right.

Winter, as we know it is in the process of been cancelled.

This has come as a surprise to some of us who were involved in the secret meetings with a handful of decision makers around the world.

A little bit of history.  F.Y.I, (For your information.)

The decision of consciously introduced winter in our lives was made sometime before you were born, following a long and lengthy discussions, secret meetings, and confidential reports. It was so secret that only a handful of people were aware of it. It was a conscious decision, made by some of the powerful people at the time.

The thinking behind the plan, back then, was, in order to keep the people as long as possible inside their houses, possibly for few months at the time. This allows governments officials to conduct secret operations on behalf of the people and without fear of been discovered.

The implementation of the decision was left to the discretion of each government. Some governments chose to go light on their people, mostly the southern European governments, but others, like ours in Canada have chosen to go the hard way, making winter one of the most difficult period, to deal with in this part of the world.

Well, the chicken has now come home to roost.

The people are finding out about the government secret behaviors, sending small airplanes to high altitude to pour chemicals in the air for it to be cold. Well people are slowly finding out the truth.

We all know that governments around the world, most of the time don’t work for the benefit of their people, and are usually involved in most of the worse deals. But with all their capabilities and intelligence agencies, they never thought that this one will eventually be discovered

Now that most of the information in that regards are coming out, they started to literally shake.

They have recently decided to secretly pass a law that will put an end to winter as we know it.

Of course all information regarding this matter is highly sensitive and very confidential.

As you are probably aware of, I am not supposed to be putting this information in the open. I will therefore urge you to keep it “very” secret until it is done, but before that, please get ready for another year of snowy, cold and ugly temperature.

Happy winter.

Ps: Updates to follow on this sensitive topic.

Makeda Shea Butter – A Natural, Fairly Traded Choice for Eczema

by sabraway on May 28, 2013

Today I’m featuring a Q&A with one of my suppliers, Akovi of Makeda Shea Butter. ( Akovi is always so happy and full of life. Every time I pick up some fresh shea butter from him I find myself in the best mood as his take on life is just contagious. Do you have anyone in your life like that?

Akovi’s spirit may be bigger than life, but I wanted to introduce him to you for another reason as he is the man behind the deliciously raw, unrefined Makeda Shea Butter. His shea butter is fairly traded in Togo where he works with local villagers to package up the butter and bring it back fresh for his customers. Shea butter is awesome for eczema – use it directly on the skin or melted down in the bath. (If you’re concerned about tree nut allergies, please read this post.) But I digress…..

Please welcome Akovi!

Q: Akovi, Please tell us more about your self.

A: I was born in a little village in Togo, West Africa, second child out of seven that my parents had.  I’ve lived in France, USA (New York and San Francisco), and Switzerland before eventually moving to Montreal, Canada.  While in Geneva, Switzerland  I was blessed with the birth of my daughter, Makeda, in 2003.

Makeda: Unrefined, Raw AfricanShea Butter

Q: What inspired you to start selling raw, unrefined shea butter?

A: To be honest, the whole thing started as an accident. Selling shea butter wasn’t part of the plan.  I opened an African shop in Montreal in the winter of 2005, with the purpose of selling African arts, made by the folks in my village, but customers were mostly asking for shea butter. 

So I thought back to the shea butter I use to this day, the one hand crafted in my village in Togo,  the only cream that I knew growing up.  There are different types of shea butter around that I’ve tried since, but none are better than the one I grew up with. I decided I would sell the raw shea butter from my village. The real stuff. I had the opportunity to refine it, to put perfume in it, but I chose not too. I wanted to keep it pure, natural, unrefined. Customer feedback has been amazing.

Q: Where did the name Makeda come from?

A: Well, I guess you have figured it out by now. Also known as Queen of Sheba, She is said to have been born some time in the 10th century BC.  She was the queen of Ethiopia. She was said to be very pretty, extremely rich, and very powerful. She was an African Queen, and married to King Solomon. It is said that the beauty of Queen Makeda comes from her extensive use of shea butter. Makeda is the name I gave to my daughter. Giving that name to my product as well, is “a clin d’oeil” to my daughter.

 Q: Tell us a little more about the village, and it’s people, where the shea butter comes from. How is Makeda Shea Butter fairly traded?

A: The beauty of  Makeda Shea Butter is that it comes directly from the people who make it, directly from the village I’m from in Togo. Growing up, after school and after soccer we all made shea butter. It is a small village, just like any other village in Africa, the only difference is that the people of my village have been making shea butter for centuries, it is part of our daily life. And we use it for EVERYTHING! We cook with it, we put it on our skin to prevent dryness and stretch marks, and we pretty much use it for everything, ranging from mosquito bites to eczema and all sort of skin problems. 

Q: What is the journey like from the shea seeds to the unrefined Makeda Shea Butter on your shelf?

A: Well, the nuts are picked, cracked, grilled and pounded to extract the butter which is then boiled in water until the fresh shea butter rises to the surface. It is then scooped into gourds and left to cool and set. All this is done in an open field, using a natural wood fire. From this stage, I have a team of people who fill up little shelf-ready jars with the shea butter, put them in a large shipping container, then ship them to me from Togo to Montreal.

Raw Shea Butter

Q: Do you, or any family members, use the shea butter personally? What kind of skin benefits have you seen?

A: I personally can not put anything else on my skin apart from Makeda Shea Butter. I apply it at least twice a day and I spend about 10 min each time gently massaging it into my skin. It makes my skin unbelievably smooth.

Q: I’ve heard you can melt it down under warm water and use it as an oil in the bath. Are there any other unusual uses for shea butter?

 A: Shea butter naturally melts in hot water, so it’s great melted down in the bath.  The sensation is absolutely wonderful. Makeda Shea Butter is very effective when used as  a remedy for cracked heels. Apply the shea butter every night and results are almost guaranteed. It works extraordinarily well for eczema too. Makeda Shea Butter is good for your skin, use it everyday, any moment of the day, and you are sure to have softer and smother skin.

Thank you Akovi!

Talent and abilities

Intelligence, talent and abilities are not evenly distributed.  I am sure most of you (highly intelligent people) already know that.  So I kept asking myself, what happens if the ones with talent, skills and abilities decided not to use their talent anymore? What if they choose to retire their talent permanently? What if they choose to just sit around and do nothing?

What would happen to the rest of us? What would happen to the rest of the country, humanity?

We take it for granted that intelligent people, talented people have to use their abilities to benefit the rest of the planet. Who said they should do that?

Where is the law, regulation that stipulates that the talented must use their talent because other people depend upon them?

You meet stupid people every day, why should anyone with “intelligence “somehow want to associate himself with a stupid person?

What if the ones with talent and abilities decided not to use their talent and abilities anymore?

What would happen to the rest of the world?

I bet you are asking yourself where am getting at.

Right! Keep reading.

You know? These days, there are dollar stores everywhere. You walk into a dollarama, and everything is there for just a dollar. Take anything you want, and just pay a dollar. Anything!

And they put security guard in the store, so he can check on people.  

. . . So the guy followed me, as if he was told that I might steal something.

Do I look like I’m the type of person that would steal anything from dollars store?  

Never mind. How do you react to that?

So I was like “why do you keep following me?  He said he is not following me; he is just doing his job, of keeping the place secured so nobody takes anything without paying for it.

Right! I get it.

He is paid to do that.

So who makes those products?

How much does the security guy get paid to follow people?  Never mind.

Slavery has been abolished, right? Except that these days, people get paid to be and act like slaves.

 It is all in their head. Their mind has been hijacked.  

I used to get very mad at that.

Now days, I just laugh at the stupidity of the scene. I guess I have gained in maturity and have been around long enough to understand how their “hijacked” brain functions.   

. . . So the security guy thought someone who looks like “him”, with dreadlocks might steal something from “his” dollar store.

He figured he should follow me.  OK!

So, who pays this guy to follow me? I bet he probably doesn’t know. 

How much does he get paid to do that? Does he really make a living been a security guy at dollarama?

Should I complain to his boss? Who does he work for?

What If I stop buying from that particular dollars store? What if I stop buying from all dollars stores? What if we all stop buying from all dollars stores?

Will this guy continue making a living? May be he will get another security job somewhere else; and continue doing the same thing.  

Will he understand why “his” dollars store gets less and less customers? Is he intelligent enough to understand that?

So what if all the talented people out there stop using their talent and ability to create businesses so this particular security guy can get a job (can make a living!)

Help has to be deserved.

I repeat: Talent is not evenly distributed; therefore, the talented have a right to decide whom they want to help out with their abilities.

There was no point talking to this guy. That was what I told myself.

There is a time lag between his thinking and mine. AND the time lag is years.

I know it.  I have calculated it. 

Tale from the archives-New Series-1

Tale from the archives

His name is Andrew.

Andrew was an older man from Utah, a dear friend of mine. I had known Andrew for over five years, back in the day. He was my neighbor. Andrew was an alcoholic; as a result, not many people wanted to speak to him. He smells of alcohol day and night, He lives by himself so he spent most of his time drinking with the little money the government sent his way, for Andrew was a veteran.

Andrew was once married and had a beautiful family back in Utah, but he has not seen his family in years. A lot of time has passed and Andrew did not even remember his son’s name anymore. The only thing left from that moment was a black and white photography that Andrew kept on his fridge over the years. Andrew is now a very old man and does not remember much from his past.

I was lucky to have been Andrew’s neighbor for some years for I enjoyed talking to him. I did not mind the smell of alcohol too much and it gave me opportunity to speak to someone from Utah.

Andrew was raised a Mormon, but he did not like been a Mormon so he moved out of Utah to San Francisco after his divorce. He said California is very liberal and he won’t fill any guilt not living by his religion, he didn't miss Utah for he never liked it anyway. So he said.

Not many people came to see Andrew over the years, in fact no one as I am aware of has ever come to see Andrew. The only time he has opportunity to talk to someone was when he entered the elevator on his way outside, but even that, people avoided the elevator after Andrew entered it. They said Andrew leaves a bad smell in the elevator, so they would rather take the stairs, for they don’t want to have a bad smell on their nice shirts.

Andrew had a bad habit of standing at people’s doorway in the middle of the night and starting a loud conversation with himself. That makes people nervous, so they called the Police for him. That was when I usually come out for I enjoyed watching the scene. 
The Police never arrested Andrew, nor gave him a ticket; they said they did not know what to do with him. Everyone in the department knew Andrew, so they usually took him back to his apartment and asked him to lock the door behind himself. That was what Andrew usually did after the Police asked him to do so.

Been his neighbor I knew that Andrew rarely locked his door, in fact he usually forgets to do so. The few moments that Andrew was asked by the police to lock himself inside, because it was the middle of the night, I realized that the next day, it usually takes Andrew a long time to come out. My guess was that Andrew was unable to re-locate the keys so he could unlock his door. He usually screams inside his one room apartment, but he eventually comes out.

That was how it happened, every now and then, until that early morning, when we all got woken up by the police and the fire department. The flames were huge and were coming out of Andrew’s window. The fire fighters broke my door. That was when I woke up and saw the flames. The fire fighters needed to access Andrew’s apartment by cracking the wall of my room. My first instinct was to save myself by running out just like everyone else. 
The last thing I saw was the paramedics carrying Andrew away. He was alive but badly burnt. 
The Red Cross put us all in a fancy hotel for the next few weeks free of charge, except Andrew. He probably ended up in a hospital.
The landlords offered me $6000 so I could move out of the apartment for them to renovate and rent it for more money. I accepted, took the money and moved to the Tenderloin. That was the only place I could afford a new apartment back then.

I wonder how much that one bedroom apartment on Bush and Jones street is going for today?

I never knew what happened to my dear friend, Andrew. That was the last time I saw him.

My guess was, he never got any offer from the landlords, and he most likely lost his apartment and his black and white photography and probably his life.

Where ever my dear friend Andrew happen to be today, I hope he finds people willing to talk to him.

Enemies Within- Series on my people -1

It has become a cliché now days to talk about moving back to Africa, because “that is where the opportunities are.”
Some have already done it, some of us will eventually do it, most will never move back to Africa, because it is easier to sit in this part of the world and talk about how good, things are getting on the continent.
Among those who did it, half of them moved there because with their “connections” they enjoy fabulous life that they can only dream of in the west, so even though they moved there, they live as if they are still living in the West, going around complaining constantly about how inefficient things are, how the electricity doesn’t work all the time, as it does in Canada. 
I call them ‘enemies within”. 
We see them in Accra all the time and they are the same as the ones you will see in most African cities. It reminds me of this rich man I have come in contact with in Accra few years ago. The man moved there from Canada almost ten years ago but he is still very well aware of the cultural life of Montreal as if he was still living here. Meanwhile he has no idea of what is happening in his backyard. He kept his Montreal magazine subscription from ten years ago that he still gets from Canada, which keeps him up to date about Montreal night life. Last time I spoke to him, he was considering opening a bar that will be called “ADANAC”. You would have guessed easily that this is another attempt to show the world that he came from Canada. This big man, with all his money and government connections, enjoys fabulous life on the continent, but he is totally not interested in associating himself with anything happening there.
They are the enemies within.
They have cable TV and get their African news from CNN. Everyone he associates himself with, either lives in the West or has once lived in the west. Most of their conversations have something to do with what is happening in Montreal, Toronto or London. They call themselves Africans, we call them enemies. One of these days, you might run into an enemy,
Following are some of the signs to spot an enemy if you happen to find yourself in the streets of Lagos, Accra, Nairobi, Ouagadougou or Lome
• He hangs out almost exclusively in the best clubs in town, usually with his expats friends.
• He complains about mosquitoes all the time 
• He has difficulties adjusting himself to the speed of people in Africa
• He constantly talks about how great things work outside of Africa
• He is a champion of voicing his complaints about pretty much everything including the electricity that never works in Africa
• He wears white T-shirt with sunglasses on constantly, because he has recently figured out that, the sun in Africa is very hot.
• He has many girlfriends, most of them 15 years younger than himself and he enjoys parading them around
• He gets very moody if he cannot have his coffee in the morning and goes around talking about how easy it is to find a Starbucks in Canada 
• He most of the time drive an SUV that he has shipped from the West many years ago
• In certain cities, they live among themselves. Please avoid the following areas if you don’t want to run into enemies. In Accra, avoid the Labone and Tessano. In Ouagadougou, you will find them in Ouaga 2000. And in Lome, you will mostly find them in Lome 2 area.
• They get very fat after few years of living on the continent because they don’t see themselves exercising with the general population on the beach. They are too “chic” for that.

Reflexions: Burkina Faso 2014-10

As most people across the globe applause and celebrate what will be remembered as the victory of “the people” over 27 years of tyranny and dictatorship in Burkina Faso, we need to remind ourselves that the real challenge only start today. The need to hold the country together becomes an urgent one.

We still have to prove to the world that beyond the people’s revolution, there are men and women capable enough to give a real meaning to the revolution and a sense of pride to this generation of Black Africans. The time has long come for things to start moving in the right direction.

The people at the helm of power today in Burkina Faso only need to turn the latest page of African history and take a look at South Soudan. The joy and pride were immense among the world population, and specifically among people of African descent as that country won its freedom not so long ago, after many years of bloody civil war. The deception was also equally immense as we watched it descend into chaos after just a fewer months of freedom.

The liberators of yesterday became the oppressors of today. African History is full of that.

This revolution will be useless if the new leaders in Burkina Faso are not able to turn it into a vehicle that will use all the energy of the young people we saw in the streets of Ouagadougou to inject new blood of hard work into the population. 
Among thousands of urgent things to improve in the country, education will be the key that will help uplift the population out of poverty.

Burkina Faso with a population of almost 18 M people, only 17% have access to secondary school. As a consequence, the literacy rate for adults is about 32%, one of the lowest in the world. (If not the lowest).

It is also urgent to re-open the book of the green revolution, which President Thomas Sankara started many years ago and which was unfortunately closed by the now “gone president”.

During my last trip to Burkina Faso, few years ago, I was amazed to see how dry the land is and how fast the desert is expanding. It will be wise for the new leaders to use all these young people we saw during the revolution in a vast program of three planting, which will not only give Non-OGM fruits to the population but also prevent the desert to expand any further.

The responsibility that lies on the shoulders of those who have been given the immense task to rule the country during this new era of liberty is huge.
Their country men and women hope lies on them.

The world will be watching, Africa will be watching.

These are just thoughts of an ordinary African man.

People's Revolution: Burkina Faso 2014-10

October 31 2014 will go down in history as the day that saw the first black African country’s revolution which ousted the president of Burkina Faso. The fact that the people in power in Ouagadougou did not see this coming is most puzzling but thinking about it one will notice that the same people have ruled the country since the death of President Thomas Sankara, 27years ago and they have enjoyed all the privileges that come with power, including but not limited to access to the most powerful people around the world. They were therefore completely disconnected from the realities of the people in the streets of Ouagadougou; and this for a very long time.
Any serious observer of African politics in large would have noticed that in most countries on the continent, specifically, in francophone Africa the center of power does not lie in the capital city but rather in Paris. It is very well known to us that those who put one in power and keep one in power are the ones that call the shot. So the leaders in those countries have imagined for far too long that they do not owe anything to their people, therefor do not take any specific action to better the life of their country men and women. 
A president of a country like Burkina Faso would rather take action that pleases the resident of “Palais de l’elysee in Paris” than actions that will make the life of his people easier and better. No one on the African continent expects his government to do anything for him, but we do not expect them to prevent us from reaching our full potential either. And that is exactly what they do. Preventing people from reaching their full potential.
Governments around the world and specifically in Africa, have the most basic roles in the world.
1. Provide security for the population
2. Build roads to connect cities in order for the people to move goods and to circulate
Everything else will be taken care of by the private sector. Even the very simple things that they are supposed to do, they don’t do because they don’t owe anything to their people. That is exactly how they feel. As long as the man in Palais de l’Elysee is happy, everything will be fine. 
In 2005 after the death of President Eyadema of Togo, the army in a crazy show of power, went on national Television and announced that the son of the deceased will become the next president. After few days of chaos in the country, the army eventually decided to hold elections. And we all saw on foreign TVs how the soldiers literally run away with ballots boxes. The images were and still there for everyone to see. Despite that, the next day, the then president of France, Mr. Jacques Chirac went on national TV to tell the world that Togo now has held elections and he congratulated the winner who happened to be the son of the “dead president”. So what does such people should expect from this president? My guess is nothing, and because he knows that very well, he, of course does not deliver anything to the people. 
Africans are some of the hardest working people that I know of. Most of what are on the continent are built by the people with no help from their government what so ever. People build schools, most of the time, build roads to connect villages, etc. . . They don’t wait for the government to come and do anything for them. 
For a long time, people in Africa think that was how things were, around the world. But now, every city in Africa is connected to the internet. Abuja has more open wi-fi than most cities in the west, everyone has a cell phone, most people have iPhone, people have gone to schools and are very well educated, capable of functioning in within complex systems, aware of what is happening around the world and know very well how things function, but because the ruling elite, as Professor Adjetey of Ghana would call them, “The Hippos of the continent. . . ” are so disconnected from the realities of their people, that they are not capable to read the writings on the wall. 
Africa is no longer the strategic continent that it once was during the cold war. Africa raw minerals are no longer as essential as they once were. Today, Nigeria still produces thousands barrels of crude oil, even though that is not irrelevant, oil is no longer what it once was. The world is now going green. 
Botswana is still the number one raw diamond producer of the world, but the trend now is more ethnic jewelry, so there is no reason today for France or for any other country of the powers that be to protect and keep someone as Mr. Compaore in power in Burkina Faso. 
The fact that any of his cabinet members, including the president himself wasn’t able to visualize that is most puzzling. It only demonstrate how disconnected he was from the realities of his people. 
For him to imagine that he could go ahead and for one more time, modify the country’s constitution so he could remain in power for another 15 years is just so absurd. 
What happened in Burkina Faso today is a wakeup call for the rest of the hippos. The writings are clearly visible on the wall for those who are wise enough to read them. 
This is just the beginning, it is not a revolt; it is a revolution