Where am I?

Created this blog to document my travels, experiences & thoughts thru Central & South America but hell plan to blog my travels to where ever. Goofy harmless Free Spirit hoping to spend most of my time with locals & enjoy the world! So hang on as I travel, drink cervezas, raise a little hell, maybe piss off a few people & hopefully not give Canadians a bad reputation! Of course don't do these things on purpose but while having a good time well "Shit Happens"!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Going to South Africa, Madagascar & a couple other countries in southern Africa! So did a little research mainly to South Africa bcuz always been really intrigued to see the country of Nelson Mandela & the downfall of Apartheid!!!!!

Cuz to me like most peep I believe that Nelson Mandela is the so called Father of South Africa who spent his entire life fighting segregation & Apartheid!!!

A documentary of Nelson Mandela's Life

So want to see today how Black peep are treated in a country where the population break down is:
Population group
% of total
41 000 938
4 586 838
4 615 401
1 286 930
280 454
51 770 560

So got to wonder as want to see if racism and apartheid still exists in South Africa!!

So as quoted from a former S. African “Returning to South Africa, I am always confronted by the extent to which this is a country of such stark contradictions.

“First world- Third World” Is a common phrase often mentioned, in a tone of nonchalant acceptance. On the one side elaborate hotels and grandiose residences share the same vicinity as tin roofed slums; while people beg weaving through the panoply of  Mercedes CLKs and 4 by 4’s.

Since the two years that I last visited, there have been visible changes- new airports and international conference centres and stadiums to cater for last year’s much anticipated and symbolic World Cup. South Africa is a country keen to exonerate itself of its not so distant apartheid past.

Road signs have been assiduously changed from the Afrikaans names of the architects of apartheid to the now African names synonymous with its demise. However, although the institutions, structures and laws have changed, alarmingly remnants of colour consciousness still exist.

Watching a common national lifestyle television programme, a presenter is shown around the ostentatious home of Sorisha Naidoo- a former Asian beauty queen and now part of the bourgeoisie and highest echelon of society. She made a successful business out of selling “Pure Perfect”- a skin lightening cream. Apparently the 32 year old looks objectively paler in recent years, a phenomenon she seems eager to exhibit and market to others, but that I and many others find offensive and disgraceful.

Absurdly, clients can either chose the Pure Perfect Cream “that will lift as much as 2-4 shades” or  the Pure Perfect Parfait a gel-based moisturiser that will lift as much as “4-7 shades or as much as your body will allow”.

Alas, the archaic practice of skin bleaching has existed for centuries and I am aware that such practices are still commonplace in Pakistan and India. However, I expected more of South Africans; that they would not fall prey to such explicit messages that equates whiteness with beauty.
Perhaps what is more upsetting is not that such products exist in the first place and are readily available but that they are condoned and not boycotted like they ought to be- Further reinforcement that those of us of colour are somewhat lesser beings.

There can be a myriad of structural changes; names of roads can be changed for miles across the country, but there has to be something else.

Mindsets have to change, and people of colour need to somehow reconcile their own insecurities of their oppressed colonial past with how they wish to be perceived positively in the future.


Human Rights
By developing country standards, Madagascar has a moderately good human rights record. However, numerous human rights violations, largely committed during the Ratsiraka regime, have caused concern among international humanitarian agencies. In the late 1970s, the government enacted a law concerning Information against X for Plotting and Attack State Security under which anyone can be arrested without warrant and held indefinitely without trial. The law also enables the security forces to arrest, search, or seize property. Under the French penal code, arrest is limited to forty-eight hours, but in Madagascar the arrest time is extended to fifteen days and is renewable indefinitely. The authorities never release information about the status of the detainees who often are real or suspected opponents of Ratsiraka. Many individuals in custody are beaten, tortured, or deprived of medical care.

Apart from s few these and similar incidents, Madagascar has taken some steps to improve its human rights record. In December 1990, the government abolished press censorship; by mid1991 , the state-owned Malagasy Radio-Television allowed opposition figures to appear on a weekly discussion program. - See more at: http://www.wildmadagascar.org/overview/loc/54-human_rights.html#sthash.PEqpgoOY.dpuf

Human Rights Context
The political situation in Madagascar has been characterised by violent unrest and struggles for power since the country gained independence in 1960. In January 2009, many people died as a result of violence that took place in Antananarivo and elsewhere in the country and more than 25 people were reported to have been killed on 7 February 2009 when security forces fired on a gathering of protestors outside one of the country’s presidential palaces. The protest was staged by supporters of the then elected mayor of Antananarivo, Mr. Andry Rajoelina, who had declared an intention to overthrow the government. In March 2009, President Marc Ravalomanana fled the country in the midst of a popular uprising and power was conferred to Mr Rajoelina, who is now President of the transitional government in power. Demonstrations have been held intermittently by the ex-President Ravalomanana’s supporters to show disapproval.
The instability of Madagascar’s political situation has resulted in an economic downturn in the country and international donors have been reluctant to continue with development aid, amid insecurities of how the money will be spent. However, the `Feuille de route` or ‘the roadmap’, was signed on 16 September 2012, essentially an agreement between parties to the political dispute, to work towards the holding of democratic elections in 2012. OHCHR will offer support to the Government in re-establishing a democratic system of governance and ensuring that the human rights of the Malagasy people are observed.

Madagascar is among the world's poorest countries. As such, people's day-to-day survival is dependent upon natural resource use. Most Malagasy never have an option to become doctors, sports stars, factory workers, or secretaries; they must live off the land that surrounds them, making use of whatever resources they can find. Their poverty costs the country and the world through the loss of the island's endemic biodiversity.

Madagascar's major environmental problems include:
Overexploitation of living resources including hunting and over-collection of species from the wild.

Madagascar is among the world's poorest countries. As such, people's day-to-day survival is dependent upon natural resource use. Most Malagasy never have an option to become doctors, sports stars, factory workers, or secretaries; they must live off the land that surrounds them, making use of whatever resources they can find. Their poverty costs the country and the world through the loss of the island's endemic biodiversity.

We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Madagascar at this time due to the unpredictable political situation.
Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media and other local sources of information about possible new safety or security risks.
Political tensions remain and the security situation could deteriorate without warning. See Safety and security: Civil unrest / political tension for more information.
Australians should avoid all protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent. In 2012, protests and riots occurred in central Antananarivo and near the airport.

Cyclone season is November to April. See the Natural Disasters, Severe Weather and Climate section below for more detailed advice.

Security and Safety
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to Andohahela National Park and against all travel on road RN13 between Ambovombe and Ihosy. Take great care and follow local advice if you are travelling in the south east of the country. See Local Travel
In 2012 there were around 7,700 British visitors to Madagascar. Most visits are trouble free.
There has been continued political instability in Madagascar since January 2009. The situation in the centre of Antananarivo remains volatile and demonstrations at short notice are likely. You should keep away from crowded areas and avoid going out at night in the centre of the capital. See Local travel and Political situation
There is a low threat from terrorism. See Terrorism
There is widespread crime in Madagascar. Take particular care on beaches where there have been attacks and robberies. See Crime and Local travel
Visitors to Madagascar should travel with established organisations or travel firms who have the capacity to monitor the local media and warn of possible trouble. Remain vigilant and maintain a low profile while moving around the country, in particular if travelling alone. If travelling independently we advise that you monitor the local media closely and keep abreast of the situation for the duration of your visit. See Local Travel
The cyclone season in Madagascar normally runs from November to April. Coastal areas are particularly affected. See Natural Disasters
Piracy is a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, and has occurred in excess of 1,000 nautical miles from the coast of Somalia.


Mozambique 2012 OSAC Crime and Safety Report
Overall Crime and Safety
Mozambique is a developing country in southern Africa which has been steadily rebuilding its economy and civic institutions since ending a 16-year civil war in 1992.  The country stabilized following Mozambique's first multi-party elections in October 1994, and the current president was reelected in October 2009.  Despite high economic growth rates in recent years, Mozambique remains among the world's poorest countries, with a GDP per capita of $440.  Facilities for tourism in Maputo, the capital city, are steadily improving but remain limited in other areas as many of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries are not yet available.  The official language is Portuguese, although English is spoken in many tourist areas, and in some rural areas only local languages are widely spoken.

The number of violent crimes in Mozambique is comparable to most other African countries.  The chances of being victimized by crime in Mozambique are approximately the same as in most major U.S. cities.  In Mozambique, the assailants often use forceful tactics, operate in semi-organized groups, and carry crude weapons to facilitate their activities, increasing the possibility of physical harm.  As is common in most developing countries, expatriates are frequent targets due to their perceived wealth.  Therefore, it is essential that visitors to Mozambique maintain heightened awareness and take the necessary security precautions.

The majority of crimes against Americans are non-violent confrontations characterized as crimes of opportunity (i.e., pick pocketing, theft of unattended possessions in public places or hotel rooms, and bag snatching).
Narco-trafficking in Mozambique is an increasing problem.  Porous borders, coupled with endemic poverty and its proximity to South African markets makes Mozambique vulnerable to organized criminal elements.  Narco-trafficking and human smuggling represents a growing threat to stability and security in Mozambique and the region.

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