humansofnewyork:

"I’m trying to find money for African start-ups. But I’m much too African for this cold weather.""What sort of start-ups?""Most of them combine agriculture and mobile technology.""How do those two things go together?""Africa is is an interesting case because it skipped the PC age and went straight to mobile. The economy is still largely based on agriculture, and farmers are beginning to use mobile technology to keep track of weather updates, market prices, and improved farming techniques."

humansofnewyork:

"I’m trying to find money for African start-ups. But I’m much too African for this cold weather."
"What sort of start-ups?"
"Most of them combine agriculture and mobile technology."
"How do those two things go together?"
"Africa is is an interesting case because it skipped the PC age and went straight to mobile. The economy is still largely based on agriculture, and farmers are beginning to use mobile technology to keep track of weather updates, market prices, and improved farming techniques."

latimes:

'A last testament' to Africa's wildlife

Times photographer Barbara Davidson sat down recently with renowned photographer Nick Brandt, whose current focus is on the dwindling wildlife of Africa.

Brandt said of his focused choice of subjects:

There is something profoundly iconic, mythological even, about the animals and landscapes of East Africa. There is also something deeply, emotionally stirring and affecting about those vast green rolling plains under the huge skies.

It just affects me, as I think it almost inevitably does many people, in a very fundamental, possibly primordial way.

See more of Brandt’s work over at Framework.

Photos: Nick Brandt

diasporicroots:

How ancient Africans were the first nerds: Birth of technology traced back 70,000 years to the continent’s southern tip.
Modern human technology began more than 70,000 years ago in South Africa before spreading to communities elsewhere, a new study claims. It was there that our ancestors made the first bone tools, the first abstract art, the first jewellery and probably the first stone tipped spears and arrows, research shows. The claims, based on archaeological findings over the past decade, contradict the widely held belief that modern human behaviour originated in Europe about 40,000 years ago.The first nerds? A reconstruction of a Homo sapiens hunting party from the BBC documentary Planet of the Apeman. New research traces the birth of technology 70,000 years to southern AfricaThey chime with findings published just last month which suggested that the development of long-range weapons in Africa was the technological breakthrough which allowed humans to become the dominant species.
Click here for the full article.

diasporicroots:

How ancient Africans were the first nerds: Birth of technology traced back 70,000 years to the continent’s southern tip.

Modern human technology began more than 70,000 years ago in South Africa before spreading to communities elsewhere, a new study claims.

It was there that our ancestors made the first bone tools, the first abstract art, the first jewellery and probably the first stone tipped spears and arrows, research shows.

The claims, based on archaeological findings over the past decade, contradict the widely held belief that modern human behaviour originated in Europe about 40,000 years ago.


The first nerds? A reconstruction of a Homo sapiens hunting party from the BBC documentary Planet of the Apeman. New research traces the birth of technology 70,000 years to southern Africa

They chime with findings published just last month which suggested that the development of long-range weapons in Africa was the technological breakthrough which allowed humans to become the dominant species.

Click here for the full article.

tedx:

In his 2012 TEDxEuston talk, “Why fear is stopping the African Internet revolution,” Nigerian Internet entrepreneur Jason Njoku asks, Why aren’t there more African Internet companies? and proposes an answer — Fear of failure and lack of support. From his talk:

People fear failure — but what they really fear is … shame. The shame from their peers; the expectations of their parents. The expectations of what their peers are doing at any particular time: be it promotions, be it mortgages, be it getting married, be it whatever … There’s some sort of expectation that you’re not meeting up with your peers

…No matter how much you package it, no matter how much you hide it, failure is failure is failure. The more we embrace it, the more we are honest with ourselves, the more easily we can move on…

There’s a revolution waiting to happen in Africa. If someone like me can achieve what I’ve done in such a short period of time, think of what would happen if you actual smart people … go out and do something.

And like all good ideas worth spreading, Njoku and his business partner Bastian Gotter, have transformed this talk into an action worth doing: SPARK, a Lagos, Nigeria-based company designed to help developing African Internet and tech companies launch and thrive.

"In Africa, we’re witnessing an exciting metamorphosis, from a tech ‘scene’ to a tech ‘revolution,’" he told Bella Naija in an interview about SPARK. “…Lagos is very much the gateway for the entire continent. The creativity, talent, the spirit of entrepreneurship is here but Nigeria’s business eco system isn’t set up to adequately support start-ups in their earliest days. Our intention with SPARK is to act as the catalyst to a period of aggressive and exciting growth in Africa’s Internet sector.”

So far, SPARK has supported a wide variety of African tech start-ups, from a web app for house renting to an online dating site, and more are certainly to come. For all you techies out there, watch Jason’s talk for some inspiration on building a company of your own, or check out what SPARK is up to here.

(Above: Jason Njoku at TEDxEuston and the SPARK team in Lagos via Bella Naija)

diasporicroots:

the-nile-river:

African Gods of the Nile from history

Below is a brief overview of ancient gods that existed along the Nile from present day Egypt all the way to Ethiopia

Amesemi
Protective goddess and wife of Apedemak, the lion-god. She was represented with a crown shaped as a falcon, or with a crescent moon on her head on top of which a falcon was standing. 

Apedemak

Apedemak, was a lion-headed warrior god worshiped in Nubia by Meroiticpeoples. A number of Meroitic temples dedicated to Apedemak are known from the Butanaregion: NaqaMeroe, and Musawwarat es-Sufra, which seems to be his chief cult place. In the temple of Naqa built by the rulers of Meroe he was depicted as a three-headed leonine god with four arms, but he is also depicted as a single-headed leonine deity.

Apedemak played little role in Egyptian religion, being a product of the Meroitic culture.

Arensnuphis

Arensnuphis (in Egyptian: Iryhemesnefer, ỉrỉ-ḥms-nfr, “the good companion”) is a deity from the Kingdom of Kush in ancient Nubia, first attested at Musawwarat el-Sufra in the 3rd century BC. His worship spread to the Egyptian-controlled portion of Nubia in the Ptolemaic Period(305–30 BC). His mythological role is unknown; he was depicted as a lion and as a human with a crown of feathers and sometimes a spear.

Arensnuphis was worshipped at Philae, where he was called the “companion” of the Egyptian goddess Isis, and at Dendur. The Egyptians syncretized him with their gods Anhur and Shu.

Dedwen

Dedun (or Dedwen) was a Nubian god worshipped during ancient times in that part of Africa and attested as early as 2400 BC. There is much uncertainty about his original nature, especially since he was depicted as a lion, a role which usually was assigned to the son of another deity. Nothing is known of the earlier Nubian mythology from which this deity arose, however. The earliest known information in Egyptian writings about Dedun indicates that he already had become a god of incense by the time of the writings. Since at this historical point, incense was an extremely expensive luxury commodity and Nubia was the source of much of it, he was quite an important deity. The wealth that the trade in incense delivered to Nubia led to his being identified by them as the god of prosperity, and of wealth in particular.

He is said to have been associated with a fire that threatened to destroy the other deities, however, leading many Nubiologists to speculate that there may have been a great fire at a shared complex of temples to different deities, that started in a temple of Dedun, although there are no candidate events known for this.

Although mentioned in the pyramid texts of Ancient Egypt as being a Nubian deity,[1] there is no evidence that Dedun was worshipped by the Egyptians, nor that he was worshipped in any location north of Swenet (contemporary Aswan), which was considered the most southerly city of Ancient Egypt. Nevertheless, in the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, during the Egyptian rule over Kush, Dedun was said by the Egyptians to be the protector of deceased Nubian rulers and their god of incense, thereby associated with funerary rites.

Mandulis

The Temple of Kalabsha in Nubia was dedicated to Mandulis which was a Nubian form ofHorus. A cult dedicated to Mandulis can also be found in Egypt, at Philae.

Mandulis was often depicted wearing an elaborate headdress of ram’s horns, cobras and plumes surmounted by sun discs. He was sometimes shown in the form of a hawk, but wearing a human head.

Mehit

Lioness-goddess and wife of Onuris; she was in Egyptian myths told to be from Nubia. She appears to have been a vengeful goddess, representing the “Eye of Re.” Another spelling was Mekhit.

Sebiumeker

God of procreation, originating in Meroë region. He was represented in human form. His main cult centres were at Musawwarat al-Sufra, east of the 6th catararct. He was either associated with, or transferred into Atum, through Egyptian influences.

It is important to note that in MOST African spiritual systems the feminine principle of god is generally present.

nok-ind:

Mansa Musa, ‘The Lion of Mali’ was the tenth mansa, better known as “king of kings” or “emperor”, of the Malian Empire of Mali West Africa. He became one of the most powerful and wealthiest leaders of his time. He made Mali’s name renowned in the imaginations of European…

reuters:

Researchers have found what could be the earliest known dinosaur to walk the Earth lurking in the corridors of London’s Natural History Museum.
A mysterious fossil specimen that has been in the museum’s collection for decades has now been identified as most likely coming from a dinosaur that lived about 245 million years ago - 10 to 15 million years earlier than any previously discovered examples.
The creature was about the size of a Labrador dog and has been named Nyasasaurus parringtoni after southern Africa’s Lake Nyasa, today called Lake Malawi, and Cambridge University’s Rex Parrington, who collected the specimen at a site near the lake in the 1930s.READ ON: Earliest known dinosaur discovered 

This is so much better than any of the things I’ve discovered in the back of my closet.

reuters:

Researchers have found what could be the earliest known dinosaur to walk the Earth lurking in the corridors of London’s Natural History Museum.

A mysterious fossil specimen that has been in the museum’s collection for decades has now been identified as most likely coming from a dinosaur that lived about 245 million years ago - 10 to 15 million years earlier than any previously discovered examples.

The creature was about the size of a Labrador dog and has been named Nyasasaurus parringtoni after southern Africa’s Lake Nyasa, today called Lake Malawi, and Cambridge University’s Rex Parrington, who collected the specimen at a site near the lake in the 1930s.

READ ON: Earliest known dinosaur discovered 

This is so much better than any of the things I’ve discovered in the back of my closet.

How did Lake Nyos suddenly kill 1,700 people?

Lake Nyos had long been quiet before it happened. Farmers and migratory herders in the West African country of Cameroon knew the lake as large, still and blue.

But on the evening of Aug. 21, 1986, farmers living near the lake heard rumbling. At the same time, a frothy spray shot hundreds of feet out of the lake, and a white cloud collected over the water. From the gro­und, the cloud grew to 328 feet (100 meters) tall and flowed across the land. When farmers near the lake left their houses to investigate the noise, they lost consciousness.

The heavy cloud sunk into a valley, which channeled it into settlements. People in the affected areas collapsed in their tracks — at home, on roads or in the field — losing consciousness or dying in a few breaths. In Nyos an­d Kam, the first villages hit by the cloud, everyone but four inhabitants on high ground died.

The valley split, and the cloud followed, killing people up to 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) away from the lake. Over the next two days, people from surrounding areas entered the valley to find the bodies of humans and cows lying on the ground.

By Aug. 23, the cloud had mostly blown away, and the silence had lifted. After being unconscious for up to 36 hours, some people revived to find, horrifically, that their family members, neighbors and livestock were dead.

The lake had changed, too. It was now shallower; plants and leaves floated in it; and its formerly picturesque blue hue had darkened into rust. What was the deadly force at Nyos?

Keep reading to find out…