Ok, show of hands: who here's been eaten by a hippo? Anyone? No? Then you'll want to keep reading, because Chris Broughton has and his story is frigging horrific.
While he was in his twenties, Broughton ran a business that saw him guiding tourists down the Zambezi river, near Africa's Victoria Falls. During the years that he worked this gig, Broughton had made it a habit to avoid a particularly grumpy male hippo while he and his clients were out on the water. Hippos, you see, are wicked territorial. The beast had launched a couple of half-assed attacked against him and his customers in the past. No damage was done, but it was enough to make him wary of pissing the hippo off.
On one occasion, Broughton took a group of tourists out on the water along with three apprentice guides that he was showing the ropes to. One of the apprentices was attacked by the hippo, flinging him into the air. Broughton ordered the other two guides to get the tourists to safety while he went after his apprentice. What happened next, told in Broughton's own words, is absolutely insane.
From The Guardian:
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I reached over to grab his outstretched hand but as our fingers were about to touch, I was engulfed in darkness. There was no transition at all, no sense of approaching danger. It was as if I had suddenly gone blind and deaf.
I was aware that my legs were surrounded by water, but my top half was almost dry.
"A cheetah decided to explore our vehicle on a safari I was leading for Grand Ruaha Safaris (in the Serengeti National Park," wrote wildlife photographer Peter Heistein on Instagram. "Another one jumped up on the hood and was staring at us through the windshield. They were just curious, we kept calm and let them go about their business. Quite a thrill to be this close!
"Our guide Alex Mnyangabe... helped us through the encounter with instructions on how to treat the animal 'with respect.'"
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What Went Wrong? is a citizen journalism project started in sub-Saharan Africa to document all the unsustainable aid projects started by Westerners who fail to follow through after their PR blitz. Journalist Peter DeCampo spoke with BRIGHT magazine about the project, where Africans can text reports on local fiascoes and boondoggles: Read the rest
After the Argentine economic collapse in 2001, Juan Villarino realized that he was probably going to be poor for the rest of his life; he tried moving to Belfast and working low-waged jobs, but couldn't get ahead there either, so he decided to become a lifelong, professional hitchhiker, and got very, very good at it.
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It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from the door chime in this Volvo 240. Why? Because it plays an 8-bit version of Toto's "Africa."
This sweet mod was created by Chris NG, a fan of the YouTube channel 8 bit Universe. NG's currently got a Kickstarter going for custom vehicle door chimes.
Need more Toto?:
-- Toto's "Africa" playing in an abandoned mall
-- Toto's 'Africa,' as performed by a computer hardware orchestra
-- The story behind Toto's 'Africa'
-- Pop music genres illustrated with Toto's Africa on a lightweight portable keyboard
"I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become"
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Cecil Robert posted this remarkably effective video. It should be inscribed on titanium disks, encoded in the simplest possible video format to decipher, so that future generations may understand the essence of angloamerican culture at the twilight of mankind.
Toto's 'Africa,' as performed by a computer hardware orchestra
The story behind Toto's 'Africa'
Pop music genres illustrated with Toto's Africa on a lightweight portable keyboard
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The USA has moved up in the Tax Justice Network's Financial Secrecy Index to number two, behind Switzerland; in reality, though, the UK is the world's worst money-laundry, but because its laundering activities are spread out over its overseas territories -- taken as a whole, the UK leads the world in helping criminals and looters hide their fortunes.
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Nuzo Eziechi said, "I am incredibly excited to be honored as Nigeria's Integrity Idol." The show featured government workers competing to be crowned most ethical. Read the rest
Toto's got a new greatest hits album and is going on tour which is probably why they are popping up in my feed so much lately. On Wednesday, I posted the story behind their hit song "Africa" as told by the man who wrote it, the band's David Paich.
Today I noticed that the Floppotron (previously) has covered the song. Yes, love it. Everything's turning up Toto! Read the rest
Love it or hate it, Toto's 1982 soft rock mega-hit "Africa" is here to stay. But how did a band from Los Angeles get famous for a song about Africa?
Dave Simpson of The Guardian recently interviewed the song's writer (and vocalist) David Paich and found out:
One of the reasons I was in a rock band was to see the world. As a kid, I’d always been fascinated by Africa. I loved movies about Dr Livingstone and missionaries. I went to an all-boys Catholic school and a lot of the teachers had done missionary work in Africa. They told me how they would bless the villagers, their Bibles, their books, their crops and, when it rained, they’d bless the rain. That’s where the hook line – “I bless the rains down in Africa” – came from.
They said loneliness and celibacy were the hardest things about life out there. Some of them never made it into the priesthood because they needed companionship. So I wrote about a person flying in to meet a lonely missionary. It’s a romanticised love story about Africa, based on how I’d always imagined it. The descriptions of its beautiful landscape came from what I’d read in National Geographic.
Paich told Musicradar in 2013:
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"Its first inception came when there used to be UNICEF commercials on TV, showing children and families living in poverty. The first time I saw that it affected me deeply…
"I sat down and started playing and the chorus just came out like magic.
The Trump administration will reverse the Obama-era prohibition on importing taxidermied elephant heads and tusks from endangered wild African elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia.
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Cape Town's Zeith Museum of Contemporary Art Africa was built from an old grain silo complex. Read the rest
In early June, conservation rangers with the Hirola Conservation Program in Kenya first spotted a white female and baby giraffe. In early August, they were able to capture this footage of the elusive pair.
Like that translucent-shelled lobster that was recently pulled in, these giraffes are not albino but have a genetic condition called Leucism. That means they a partial loss of pigmentation in their skin cells. If you look closely, you can see a familiar, though faded, reticulation on the calf's neck.
A blogger for Hirola writes:
In this very sighting, in Ishaqbini, there was a mother and a juvenile The communities within Ishaqbini have mixed reactions to the sighting of this leucistic giraffe and most of the elders report that they have never seen this before. ‘This is new to us” says bashir one of the community rangers who alerted us when they sighted the white giraffe. “I remember when I was a kid, we never saw them” he added. “It must be very recent and we are not sure what is causing it” he said.
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Geoff Ryman -- the brilliant science fiction author who curated last year's 100 AFRICAN WRITERS OF SFF project, continues to publish and curate excellent, exciting science fiction from across Africa. Read the rest
Founded in 1989, Mr Bongo is an exquisitely-curated indie record (and film) label that uncovers incredible Brazilian psych, rare soul, avant-jazz, and deeply groovy Afrobeat recordings and reissues them in beautiful and informative vinyl and CD packages. Based in Brighton, UK, the label's latest compilation is titled The Original Sound Of Mali and the clips I've heard drive me wild. These 1970s and 1980s cuts from the war-torn West African country are so deeply groovy and raw, culled from tapes that the performers never expected would be heard beyond their local scene. Have a listen below. From an interview with David 'Mr Bongo' Buttle at Ran$om Note:
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Going back to the beginning, I’ve always been inspired by Mali music. There’s a haunting, heavy quality to it. I used to work with Ali Farka Toure when I worked at World Circuit back in ’88, and I found out about Mali music then. So over the last 20 or 30 years I’ve been getting into the artists featured on this album; Idris Soumaoro, The Rail Band and so on. That process helped me find some of the people involved and start to license stuff. It took a long time; it’s taken about three or four years to put this together...
To a certain extent; the record is a document of a certain time that isn’t now. It’s good to draw attention to things though. Just by talking about Mali it opens up a lot of new stories, and that’s what inspired us initially.
Late last year, famed South African artist Esther Mahlangu visited a number of major American cities with a traveling display of her work and hands-on workshops for aspiring artists. It's a great glimpse into her body of work. Read the rest
William Onyeabor, the Nigerian musician who pioneered African electro-funk in the 1970s, has died. He was 70-years-old. Onyeabor's music experienced a resurgence in recent years thanks to the Luaka Bop label's reissues of his deeply groovy albums. From Luaka Bop:
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It is with incredibly heavy hearts that we have to announce that the great Nigerian business leader and mythic music pioneer William Onyeabor has passed away at the age of 70. He died peacefully in his sleep following a brief illness, at his home in Enugu, Nigeria. An extraordinary artist, businessman and visionary, Mr. Onyeabor composed and self-released 9 brilliant albums of groundbreaking electronic-funk from 1977-1985, which he recorded, pressed and printed at Wilfilms Limited—his personal pressing plant in southeast Nigeria.
For people in his hometown of Enugu, Nigeria, Mr. Onyeabor was simply referred to as "The Chief”. He was known for having created many opportunities for the people in his community. In his early 30s, he traveled the world to study record manufacturing, so that he could build, "the greatest record manufacturing business in all of West Africa." After those successful years as an artist and record label President in the 1980's, he opened a flour mill and food processing business. In 1987 these new business ventures saw him awarded West African Industrialist of the Year—just two years after the release of his most successful song "When The Going is Smooth and Good", and what should have been the height of his musical career. He was given the honorary title "Justice of the Peace"—a local judicial position elected by the community to provide independent legal ruling.