ON BEING AFRICAN

The danger of a single story. You will recall Chimamanda’s fabulous TED talk on when complex human beings and situations are reduced to a single narrative. It is often that we are very quick to bash all those non-Africans saying to be travelling to Africa, we want them to mention the specific country or region. We don’t like a narrative applied to Africa as a whole. There must be a specificity to one or some of the 54 African countries. Because if we are reduced to one, it’s our humanity being taken away, we say.

Africa is rising. The African emancipation. LOL. We are not. It is more of a reaction, a response to globalisation. I mean the global evolution is imposing us to adopt new measures and build infrastructure just to adapt.

Anyway, that’s not my point. I want to point out how we approach our emancipation. We now identify as one. We are 54 identical children of mother Africa.

I see the danger of the single story within us and that’s exactly what we reflect to the world, being one. Before being elected President of the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF), I was fortunate enough to hold several other positions within the African region. It gave me an opportunity to engage with many other Africans — from, I can confidently say, 45 of the 54 countries. As I discussed and asked questions about society, lifestyle and history, the fact is our differences in culture, principles and history is quite striking. We grow up being taught that before colonisation we had monarchs and everything was similar everywhere, well, except for Egyptians and the Ethiopians who made it to the bible.

I don’t like to use this example, but you can easily distinguish a German from a Portuguese when you talk to them. They will always reflect their unique values. They — at least those I have had a chance to interact with — rarely identify themselves as “proud Europeans.” I have also come to believe that the strength of the European Union is in what each country contributes, its uniqueness and how to leverage that for the best of all.

The danger of a single story within our “emancipation” won’t allow us to identify what is unique about each of us and to a maximum advantage, acknowledge and build on each society’s uniqueness and strength. Pan-Africanism initiatives, African Leadership Academy or, say, the Young African Leaders Initiative and other school of thought that are supposed to be driving our emancipation tend to make us think that we are similar and we need a one-size-fits-all solution to our problems.

We think we all (or want to) share the same values and cultural principles, and want to call them ‘African roots’, and it is okay. Is it okay? I wonder.

I used to think… Now I think…

I used to think… that because I am young, I would not be able to do amazing things I really want to do.
Now I think… that I can do anything I set my mind to if I do not let anything hold me back. Only I can prevent myself from achieving my goals and my passion.

I used to think… If you come from a broken home, would live in a broken future.
Now I think… You can shape your own future and get away from the brokenness.

I used to think… think outside the box
Now I think… think like there’s no box

I used to think… that life is about wake up, survive and sleep again
Now I think… I was to be a history maker

I used to think… life is unpredictable; everything is hazard
Now I think… life is predictable, with options and choices we make

I used to think… life is about hard work, die rich and leave a name
Now I think… live for yourself and become insignificant but live for others and make history

I used to think… Rwanda would never rise again
Now I think… we can make it to a first world nation, can’t wait…

I used to think… loosing friends was really fatal
Now I think… You don’t really lose friends. You just find out who was real and who never was

What We Can Do to Fix Youth Unemployment

The global youth unemployment rate increased to 12.4% in 2012 and has continued to grow to 12.6% in 2013. With nearly 74 million young people unemployed worldwide, youth-guarantees programs may help keep youth connected to the labor market by boosting skills and giving them support to find jobs.

Rwanda must strategically develop its youth to be the drivers of its economic growth. The Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2), Rwanda’s plan to reach medium-term development over the next five years, states that youth employment is one of the four thematic areas on which EDPRS2 will focus — the others being economic transformation, rural development, and accountable governance.

The target of EDPRS 2 is to create at least 200,000 new jobs annually. This can be accomplished by developing skills through reform of the national education curricula, strengthening technical and vocational training, promoting technology, stimulating entrepreneurship, and increasing access to finance.

Many young people graduate with high hopes of getting a job, but they don’t really know how it works. They don’t know how to apply for a job or write a resume. It can take up to six months or longer to find a job, and even when found, it’s likely to be part-time or temporary.

The government has to make building bridges between young people and jobs a priority. The youth have the right to learn how to write a CV, to see if they have the ability to start a new business, and to get coached on how to meet employers. They should receive help acquiring internships and work practices so they can gain experience, make contacts, and try different kinds of jobs. Youth guarantees can prevent permanent disconnect from the labor market in times of crisis.

Born to lead… Facts about First Born

First born children are welcome into a tightly primped environment diddled with elevated standards and high expectations.

We are negatively affected by being first born, we are children with adult problems, alone and young, we must overcome our sentence, being an older brother or sister but to the younger we’re parents, some of us left school early to become interim, all household expenses are always ours.
Amateur parents’ inevitable anxiety can often seep into a first born, resulting in a lifetime of worry and self consciousness, we carry curses from harm of our parents and have to erase the stain and transmit to our brothers and the next generation the blessing.

On the other Optimistic side, these children often develop a diverse vocabulary at an early age, are independent, strong-willed and able to adapt easily in many situations.
We are known to be highly organized; we are confident, determined because the family depends on us; we are good about finishing our projects.
We are often excellent leaders as we get early training in being the boss when baby-sitting and taking care of the house and we’re eager to please, as well, pursuing carriers in education, politics and entrepreneurship.
We often take the role of peace maker attempting to resolve financial and all kind of problems. We mediate and abstain from initiating more conflict; this can lead to perpetual passive aggressiveness.
First born children also tend to be over-achievers and can be greatly discouraged by perceived failures relating to school, career or personal relationships.

Facts about first-borns

  • Newscasters and TV talk show hosts ten to be first born or only children. Prominent examples include: Walter Cronkite, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, Ted Koppel, Oprah, Donahue, Geraldo, Arsenio Hall and Rush Limbaugh.
  • Over half of U.S presidents were firstborns, Twenty-two (22) presidents were first born, note that Barack and Michelle Obama are first-borns.
  • same in Africa, more than half of presidents are first born
  • Firstborn children are over-represented among Nobel Prize winners

Hints for First-borns

  • You can have high standards and expectations without being a perfectionist. Try loosening up a bit, and don’t expect that others should adhere to the same standards that you set for yourself.
  • When people try to influence you to take risks, stick with your first inclination—which is probably to be cautious. Take pride in your ability to be responsible.
  • Learn to laugh at yourself. Sometimes you’ll be wrong— just admit it!

We were born to lead…

Social Network Impact on Youth

Introduction

Online social media have gained astounding worldwide growth and popularity which has led to attracting attention from variety of researchers globally. Although with time all generations have come to embrace the changes social network has brought about, teenagers and young adults are the most fanatic users of these sites. According to various research studies in the field of online social networks, it has been revealed that these sites are impacting the lives of the youth greatly. When using these sites such as Twitter, Facebook or MySpace, there are both positive and negative effects on the youth.

Positive impacts

It is inevitable to ignore the fact that nowadays social network plays an essential role in teenagers’ lives. Most youths are spending at least an hour in these popular social media sites. Generally, 1 out of 7 minutes which are spent online by most of those who can access internet is spent on Facebook and WhatsApp. One may ask how spending all that time on the social media sites may have a positive impact on them. Well, social media helps the youth and any other user updated with what is happening around the world, help the teenagers stay connected and interact with each other even if they are many miles apart. This strengthens their relationship even if they finished school and moved to different locations they stay connected and update one another.

In addition, social media sites have provided a platform whereby the youth can create groups and pages based on their common discipline and end up building connections and opportunities for their respective careers by updating various topics to discuss. Youth who have been interviewed they say that social media has become their lifestyle and it makes their lives easier and efficient.

Negative impacts

While on one hand social network sites seems to bring people together and connected on the other hand it creates social isolation in regard to BBC News report. As the youth tend to spend many hours on these sites, they rarely have face-to-face interaction. According various studies, scientists’ evaluation determined that social isolation can lead to a lost of emotional, psychological, physical and mental problems which include anxiety, depression and somatic complaints among many others.

Other negative effects of social networking various people suggested included encouraging poor spelling and grammar, exposing underage to online predators, allowing spread of misinformation that is perceived as fact, decreasing productivity as those who are supposed to be working spend time in the sites to chat, provide a perfect platform for cyber bullying and providing details that increase risks of identity theft.

Conclusion

Social networking clearly portrays both positive and negative effects on the youth. It is decision of an individual to make whether to continue using the sites or not. The users mostly face problems such as unwanted messages, unwanted friends request and controversial political links and unethical pictures and links, irrelevant religious and anti-religious messages and useless information. The negative images, messages, video links, voice messages are creating negative influence in the society and social groups at the minor level to penetrate to destabilize the inter-state harmony in the international relations.

Dr Theoneste SIKUBWABO

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Eating 3 Bananas a Day

Bananas are incredibly versatile fruits that can be used to make refreshing smoothies, add delicious flavor to a baked meal, or simply eaten on-the-go. That might explain why they are one of the world most popular fruits: Over 96 percent of households in the U.S purchase bananas at least once a month, according to this report.

So we love eating bananas. But is this obsession good for us?

The research says yes. Bananas have a lot more going for them than simply an affordable price and sweet flavor. Studies indicate that the magic number is three by eating three bananas per day, you provide your body with about 1500mg of potassium, and loads of health benefits.

So what exactly are the benefits?

Here are 10 amazing health benefits of eating bananas every day:

  1. Bananas lower high blood pressure.

Studies show eating as little as three bananas a day may lower your blood pressure significantly. A medium-sized banana has about 422 mg of potassium and is nearly sodium-free. The high potassium-to-sodium ratio helps to neutralize the blood pressure-rising effect of sodium in the diet.

So it would seem that your Mums admonition to reach for a banana instead of that bag of crisps is very sound advice.

  1. Bananas improve digestion.

Bananas are loaded with fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Fiber is an important nutrient in the body because it helps regulate the speed of digestion, slowing it down. Eating a banana will make you feel full longer and can also help with the problem of constipation.

No wonder bananas are often included in breakfast meals. They help you start your day energized and keep you satisfied longer.

  1. Bananas improve cardiovascular health.

Eating foods high in fiber is good for the heart, and bananas are full of fiber. A high-fiber diet has been linked with a lower risk of both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD). The soluble fiber present in banana is, in particular, associated with a decreased risk of heart disease.

A healthy, balanced diet will provide the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body need stop it off with a banana or two for an extra 4 grams of fiber per fruit.

  1. Bananas help create healthy cells.

Bananas are rich in vitamin B6, containing 20 percent of the daily amount required for adult intake. Vitamin B6 helps the body produce insulin, hemoglobin and nonessential amino acids necessary to create healthy cells. It also helps with the production of antibodies that fight infections.

Maybe we should have been saying it different all along: A banana a day, keeps the doctor away.

  1. Bananas improve GI tract heath.

Since bananas are relatively easy to digest, they are considered non-irritating for the human gastrointestinal tract, or GI tract. In fact, bananas not only ease digestive strain, but also sooth the digestive tract and help restore lost minerals after diarrhea. That is why they are among the first solid foods introduced to babies.

This is also one of the reasons bananas make up part of the clinical BRAT diet bananas, rice, apple cause and dry toast that dietitians use to treat acute diarrhea.

  1. Bananas are rich in Vitamin C.

When you think of vitamin C, oranges and strawberries might be the first fruits that come to mind. But a full serving of bananas provides a whopping 15 percent of the daily requirement for this essential nutrient. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that neutralizes harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals are uncharged atoms, molecules or ions (the bad guys) that are constantly destroying cells in your body. Vitamin C also aids in keeping blood vessels healthy and produces collagen that holds muscles, bones and other tissues together.

  1. Bananas improve athletic performance.

If you have ever wondered why many athletes love bananas, here is the reason: Bananas boost the muscles and provide antioxidants and other nutrients naturally. According to a study at the Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab, consuming half a banana every 15 minutes during a cycling time trial test was as effective as drinking a carbohydrate matched sports drink every 15 minutes. No wonder Yohan Blake, the Jamaican Olympics sprinter, reportedly eats 16 bananas a day!

  1. Bananas fight anemia.

Because bananas are high in iron, consuming them can stimulate production of hemoglobin in the blood and help fight anemia. Anemia is a condition where there is a decrease in the number of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood, leading to fatigue, paleness and shortness of breath.

Moreover, Vitamin B6 present in banana regulates blood glucose levels, which can also help those suffering from anemia.

  1. Bananas suppress hunger pangs.

This happens not merely because eating bananas makes you feel full for longer, but also due to their pleasant smell. That’s right, the scent of bananas can apparently suppress appetite and hunger pangs! According to this study by Dr Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, smelling bananas when you are hungry can trick your brain into thinking that you’ve actually eaten them.

So, yes, bananas can help you lose weight.

  1. Bananas lift mood and help you feel happy.

A medium-size banana provides about 27 mg magnesium. This mineral can help boost your mood and aid good sleep. Men and women need 420 mg and 320 mg of magnesium per day, respectively. If you’re low on magnesium, you’re likely to suffer from anxiety, irritability, depression and other disorders.

Since many of us don’t get enough magnesium in our diets, consider eating a banana next time you’re having a case of the 3 p.m. munchies. It will fill you up and leave you feeling positive.
Bonus non-health benefits

You should also know dried ground banana peels make fantastic mulch for seedlings and new plants in the garden. Bananas are also a perfectly safe and healthy treat for your beloved dog!

A final tick for the pro column: If you are dying for some pearly white teeth, rubbing banana peel on your teeth for about two minutes after you brush can contribute to a perfect smile.

But don’t take it from me. Try a few bananas today!

     Dr Theoneste SIKUBWABO (VMD)

SHOULD PEOPLE HAVE SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE?

Marriage means that each spouse is committed to make a greater effort to care for each other than they were making before marriage — a greater effort to meet each other’s intimate needs and make decisions that benefit each other. But unfortunately, couples who live together don’t seem to care for each other after marriage as much as they did before marriage. They assume that they can get away with more. Instead of being motivated to do a better job, they tend to relax with the assumption that their spouse will put up with them, regardless of what they do. They believe that they don’t need to do much to keep their spouse around after he or she makes that commitment.
So the commitment of marriage usually has an effect opposite of that which couples who live together hope it will have. Instead of encouraging each spouse to make a greater effort to care, it actually takes away the incentive to care. After all, when you live together, your success in caring for each other is the only thing keeping you together. If that care is taken away, you’re history. But as Becky discovered, when care disappears after marriage, her commitment was expected to keep them together.
Premarital sex has come under fire because of the rise of promiscuity of young adults, common law living arrangements, gay relationships, and marital affairs. The truth is that premarital sex has happened and will always happen, but is it “immoral”?
I do not believe that premarital sex is immoral and I believe that people should engage in a sexual relationship before marriage. Like it or not, sexual attraction is a key factor in how the couple first came together. You do not date anyone who you believe is grotesque or repulsive. You date someone who makes you tingle in all the right areas.
Premarital sex within a loving, monogamous relationship is healthy. If the couple is truly in love with one another and considering marriage, why should they not have sex? My ex-girlfriend’s father once told me: “Son, you have to test drive the car before you buy it” when we announced our “promise” in high school. He was not telling her or I to be promiscuous. He was telling us that we needed to make sure that we can please each other sexually as well as compassionately and romantically. It is like buying a new car. You do not just rush out and jump into a new car without thinking about the financial repercussions. You have to first figure out if the relationship is something you need, not just want. You have to figure out how you are going to maintain the relationship, both financially and psychologically. Then, after you have decided to make a “purchase,” you have to choose which one is right for you. This may mean “test driving” a few candidates before finally settling on one. You cannot just fall in love with a Mini Cooper and later complain that it is too small. You have to analyze every aspect of the relationship and make a final decision. Usually, people are satisfied by the first “test drive” because they have “researched” and pondered which “car” is right for them.

Today, marriage has become arbitrary, mainly a legal agreement between two people. Now, with domestic partnerships and common law marriage, traditional legal marriage is becoming more ceremonial rather than necessary. When a couple finally decides that they want to be together forever, then they should get married, combining their estates and their souls in a holy union. There are far too many divorces in this world to jump into a life-altering decision without considering all options.

NEGATIVE CONSEQUNCES OF HAVING SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE WHICH IS ALSO KNOWN AS PREMARTAL SEX.
There are always consequences to sin. Some of those effects can be devastating. An unwanted pregnancy, a decision to have an abortion or place a child for adoption, broken relationships with family and friends , these are just a few of the possible outcomes we face when we choose to have sex outside of marriage. We should be sure to consider the snow ball effect of sin. And what if the relationship does not last? Hebrews 12:1 shows that sin hinders our lives and easily entangles us. We will be much better off if we avoid these negative consequences,
. Accidental pregnancy – can happen when you’re married as well.
. Future heartbreak – your heart isn’t between your legs, so don’t put it there.

. The spread of stds – again, can happen when you’re married as well unless you’re both virgins going in.
. God doesnt approve – no, God doesn’t exist, at least not in the way the Christian religion would have you believe.
.Virginity Pledges: Virginity pledges are effective in encouraging teens to delay sexual initiation, but a pledge by itself is not sufficient. Young people also need to participate in an abstinence program and to have family and friends who support and encourage them to remain chaste.
.Emotional Consequences of Premarital Sex: Along with being at risk for STDs, young people who engage in unwed sex are likely to experience negative emotional consequences. A 2005 study of youth in grades 7-11 found that engaging in premarital sex often leads to depression. Compared to girls who abstain, girls who engage in premarital sex are two to three times more likely to be depressed one year later.[29] Teens who engage in premarital sex are also likely to experience regret, guilt, lowered self-respect, fear of commitment and fears about pregnancy and STDs. Many divorces will occur,
. Increased Risk of Promiscuity and Divorce: Early premarital sex is also likely to lead to promiscuity and future marital breakup. A 2002 study of over 1,000 sexually experienced high school students found that among those who had sex before age 15, females were more than five times as likely, and males were 11 times more likely to have multiple sexual partners than were those who delayed having sex.[32] Another recent study found that women who have premarital sex, cohabit or bear children out of wedlock are at higher risk for divorce than women who do not.
Conclusion
My dear friends, waiting is a Test of True Love, Love is patient. That’s about as simple as it gets. We can learn the sincerity of our partner’s love by their willingness, or lack thereof, to wait. For the side of Christian means that those who believe in God, love is patient again, love is kind. IT does not envy , it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking

Abstinence-until-marriage programs have proven to be very effective in reducing sexual activity among young people. Their success in changing young people’s views and behavior is due to the fact that they teach young people that saving sex for marriage is the best choice, one that will benefit them now and in the future. In addition, these programs give students the knowledge and skills they need to abstain until marriage.
Unfortunately, many abstinence organizations lack the financial resources to expand their programs. These organizations are small non-profits with shoe-string budgets, relying on donations, the sale of their materials, and government funding for survival. Due to their limited resources, they are often unable to meet the demand for their programs. I would like to focus on RWANDA my beloved country that education on sex should be supported by by both government and parents so that Rwandan youth should have enough information on that issue otherwise all youth will be infected by HIV/AIDS and many divorces will occur which is considered as destruction of Rwandan family, also we know that the are taken as future leaders: leaders of tomorrow that why government may set budget programs that encourage youth to abstain until marriage.that is why the answer of the question we were asked before is
not!!

Theoneste SIKUBWABO, Writer from University of Rwanda