Tuesday, 01 November 2011 12:40

Footsteps

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Lasting Legacy By Awaaz Madatally Manji, 1918-2006 A Grandson's Perspective We sat on the bed searching the map. Bapa, as his grandchildren called him, had asked me to find it so that we could plan a trip. We were in the US, in Augusta, Georgia and we settled on New York, Miami and Houston as places where we knew people, though we later spontaneously added Disney World, a cruise to the Bahamas, and Vancouver. Ma, my grandmother, sat in a chair on the other side of the room, having tea, listening approvingly and occasionally commenting. We would naturally have to…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 12:40

Depths of Despair

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By Rasna Warah I first saw a Deepa Mehta film in Nairobi's Kenya Cinema some eight or nine years ago. It was the controversial Fire, starring Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das, about two traditional middle-class women in Delhi who are married to two brothers and who discover that they are able to achieve more emotional and sexual satisfaction by entering into a lesbian relationship with each other than with their respective husbands. I still remember the hushed silence that pervaded the half-empty cinema hall when the two women were shown passionately embracing each other, and the rapid trickling out of…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 12:39

Unquiet - The Life and Times of Makhan Singh

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By Rasik Shah "The Unsung Hero of Kenya", could well be an alternative title of this book. For those of us who lived in Kenya in the latter half of the twentieth century there is a feast of familiar names here, The story is simply told and one reacts by being moved simply; the sheer persistence of Makhan Singh in the pursuit of his ideals - freedom and democracy for the people of Kenya -- as the theme unfolds in this biography, is quite incredible. No matter whether he received any accolades, or that he succeeded only partially, now and…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 12:38

FIRST WORD

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Filial Harmony and the Entrepreneurial Spirit By: Zahid Rajan The last issue of 2006 is devoted to the 'Entrepreneurial Spirit' of the South Asian Community in Kenya. It also celebrates 3 years of publication with a full colour version. There are two fundamental pillars of the Community in Kenya - Business and the Family, and Awaaz takes a look at both of these facets. In the Entrepreneurial Spirit we have an article by Prof G. Oonk from the Netherlands who examines the success and failures of the community from a historical point of view. It has surprising findings which will…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 12:37

MOSAIC OF INCANTATIONS

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By Rasna Warah Kamal Shah: a man for all colours I first met artist Kamal Shah about ten years ago, when I decided to graduate from buying posters of paintings for my home to original works of art on canvas. My search led me to the French Cultural Centre one Saturday morning, where an exhibition seductively entitled "Mirrors of the Mind" was on. Kamal was the antithesis of what I thought artists should look like - large, bespectacled, he had the air of a Bollywood movie producer, rather than that of a struggling Kenyan artist. But one look at his…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 12:37

WHERE THERE ARE BENGALIS, … THERE IS DURGA PUJA

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By Jayanti Shome There's a saying that every year in autumn, as the sky gets bluer, the sun more golden, the clouds fleecier, when the harvesting is over in Bengal, in eastern India, the heart of Bengal sings……….Ma is coming. She is the vanquisher of Asura, the demon king, who was granted the boon of invincibility by Brahma, the supreme god. He used this power to terrorise heaven and earth, till the gods were forced to use their celestial energy to create Durga, the eternal mother, to destroy him. She was created on the new moon night preceding Navaratri…………….meaning the…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 12:36

CITIZENS OF THE SEA

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By Awaaz Awaaz was invited to attend the 9th ZIFF Festival of the Dhow Countries. And so in mid-July, we packed our bags and made our way to the magical island of Zanzibar. We could not get there for the opening on Saturday 14th but have included a few shots of this fabulous event. The theme of this year's festival was 'sails of history: citizens of the sea'. The Festival itself is concentrated in the Stone Town with some activities happening in surrounding villages and in Pemba. The Festival Secretariat was situated in the Old Fort, Ngome Kongwe. In the…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 12:36

HIS FATHER’S SUN - MO & ME

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By John Sibi-Okumu In this regular column, a teacher and media personality starts from personal anecdote to present an outsider's view of a different community. Whatever the coverage elsewhere, it would be a dereliction of editorial and historical duty if AWAAZ were not to make any comment on "MO AND ME", a cinematic event of the year 2006. The subject matter of this 96 minute documentary is very much the stuff of our stated concerns: Salim Amin, an African of South Asian origin, invites the viewer to accompany him on a voyage of self-discovery as he attempts to unravel the…
By Yasmin Alibhai-Brown one of Britain's leading Asian writers, reveals for the first time how her family was torn apart by racial prejudice… We never marked Father's Day in Kampala, Uganda, where I was born and grew up. Just as well, for it would have amplified the silence, the disconnection between Papa and me. We were released from the pressure to pretend affection for the sake of a ritual. But living in Britain where this bond between fathers and children is affirmed every year, as it will be next month, I feel a mixture of emotions: envy, sorrow, regret, longing,…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 12:34

COVENANT OF TORTURE - MOTHER-IN-LAW AND THE LAW

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By Awaaz Correspondent Mother-in-law / daughter-in-law Confrontations are legendary and seem to exist in families globally. South Asian families are no exception but by and large, the subject is taboo. The silence especially that of the concerned husband, is deafening. It is heartening therefore when, once in a while, there is a breakthrough and this extreme violation of a person's basic human rights, as well as the brutal and deliberate cruelty exercised by a 'mother', is exposed. In this instance, not only did the harassment become a court case but the judge imposed a hefty compensation to be paid by…
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