Nelson Mandela Doing Well After Procedure

nelson-mandela-photo-by-rhodri-r-davies.jpg

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 23:25 PM EDT, 25 February 2012

Nelson Mandela, 2008JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Nelson Mandela, the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner and former South African President has been hospitalized. The 93-year old is undergoing test to identify the cause of an undisclosed stomach ailment.

In a statement, President Jacob Zuma said that Mandela isn’t in any immediate danger, but asked that the press respect his privacy. Mandela has “had was had a long-standing abdominal complaint and doctors feel it needs proper specialist medical attention.”

Mandela became South Africa’s first president of color to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Then President F. W. de Klerk bowed to international pressure and freed the anti-apartheid leader on 11 February 1990 after he had served 27 years of a life sentence.

Mandela subsequently led his party, Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC) in the first multi-party negotiations that resulted in the country’s first multi-racial elections. South Africans duly elected Mandela as president, a position which he held from 1994 to 1999.

Mandela continues to be active in numerous causes including the eradication of AIDS, the disease to which his son succumbed in 2005. He is also one of the founding members of a group of world leaders known as, The Elders. This group is comprised of prominent people of diverse backgrounds and heritage who are dedicated to addressing humanitarian issues from around the world.

The current Chairman of The Elders, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 80, is another prominent South African and Noble Laureate. We recently wrote about his visit to India with other Elders to spearhead a global movement called “Girls Not Brides” which is aimed at ending child marriages.

By contrast, Mandela's public appearances have become increasingly rare which may be a consequence of his health issues. According to the Associated Press, he was last publicly seen at the closing ceremonies of the 2010 World Cup, and met privately with First Lady Michelle Obama when she traveled to South Africa in 2011.

Mandela underwent some “planned, diagnostic tests” and is expected to be released from hospital on Sunday or Monday. Though the results of the tests were not released to the public, the doctors believe that the abdominal distress is consistent with someone of Mandela’s age." In an effort to calm the public Zuma concluded by saying, “We are happy that he is not in any danger.”

Getting High with Infected Blood

Getting High with Infected Blood

Yesterday we posted a piece which lauded a potential life saving break-through in the development of a HIV vaccination which could save millions of lives. Today, this news is tempered by a recent announcement by PlusNews a Global HIV/AIDS news and analysis publication which reports that HIV infection rates are on the increase among the intravenous drug user (IDU) populations of many African countries. Health officials in Tanzania are worried about rising HIV-prevalence levels among IDUs, who often use a dangerous cash-saving technique known as "flash blood", in which a user injects heroin or another illegal drug, and then draws a syringe full of blood for a second user to inject.

Read More

Anti-Rape Device | The Barbed Revenge

Finally, there may be a modicum of justice for rape victims. No longer will a woman have to prove that she did not ask to be raped because of her manner of dress, circumstances or any other arbitrary means of casting aspersions on the victim. South African Dr. Sonnet Ehlers has finally released to the market forty years later Rape-aXe, a latex condom that a woman inserts like a tampon. Jagged rows of teeth-like hooks line its inside and attach on a man's penis during penetration, Ehlers said.

Once it lodges, only a doctor can remove it -- a procedure Ehlers hopes will be done with authorities on standby to make an arrest.

"It hurts, he cannot pee and walk when it's on," she said. "If he tries to remove it, it will clasp even tighter... however, it doesn't break the skin, and there's no danger of fluid exposure."

Read More

Cesaria Evora | Celia Cruz | Mama Afrika

In Tanzania and Nigeria where I grew up, "everyone is an artist because art in Africa is not a commercial enterprise but is part of life itself." This is true of all the disciplines, sculpture, art, and music; however, unlike sculpture and art, music is immediately accessible. Whether the vocalist sings in Xhosa, Portuguese or French the listener comprehends the essence of these songs. Music is the lyre of our souls and though there are many great voices that hail from all parts of the Diaspora, for me these matriarchs of Africa have created a lasting legacy capable of transporting us from the ennui of our daily existence to the coasts of Cape Verde, the sensuality of Cuba, the heart of a South African township, or to the vaulted halls and stages of Paris, France.

Read More

Apartheid Reparation Case

“Corporations have been enthroned …. An era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people… until wealth is aggregated in a few hands … and the Republic is destroyed.” ~ Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). A landmark "lawsuit is being brought by black South Africans who were abused by the military and security forces of apartheid South Africa against a number of companies that provided the tools to the military and security for them to perpetrate the abuse."

Read More