Ospreyshire Origins: Ishango

Lyrics:

[Lingala]
Tosalaki eloko ya sika
(Eloko ya sika)
Mokuwa oyo ekosunga bato pona koyekola mitango
(Koyekola mitango)
Tozali basali ya eloko ya sika
(Eloko ya sika)

Over 20,000 years ago, we crafted something still being taught to future generations. We made a calculator and calendar from a baboon’s bone. What a prime way for instructions from a primate. We solved problems and tallied up solutions. Nzambe bless our methods. Counting lunar cycles, adding, subtracting, dividing, multiplying notch by notch. We made generations smarter and efficient. We know other civilizations wouldn’t be born in millennia. Our technology shall not be fractured, only modernized in future ages.

Ishango=Innovation (repeat)


I would like to thank Dr. Y. and Deogratias from Lingala Academy for this song. The former has an article about this aforementioned ancient calculator and the latter helped me with the Lingala part of the song.

This was a good kickoff song besides the intro by covering this overlooked invention. I didn’t realize one of the first calculators was made from a baboon bone from what’s now the DRC. Anyone who says Africa had no civilization or inventions need to get educated. This bone was used as tallies and as a tool for multiple kinds of math problems. Okay, I wasn’t the best at math, but the fact that some of my maternal ancestors could’ve invented this does fill me with joy and some self-esteem.

From a musical standpoint, I listened to a ton of traditional Congolese drum music, so I wanted to do something very percussive, but still lively despite the lack of instrumental melodies. Using Lingala again has been great. It’s a very musical language and has a certain beauty to it.

What are your thoughts on the Ishango Bone or this song? Don’t forget that Dear Innovare is $7 on Bandcamp!

The Ishango Bone image is from MAA.

Representation Matters Pt. II: “But why don’t you make your own characters?!”

Here we go, everybody. I’m thankful that there were bloggers who liked the first blog post in my Representation Matters series on the Ospreyshire blog. I wasn’t sure how people would take to my thoughts and personal experiences, but I’m glad there are those willing to read about them.

Let’s get to part 2 of this series.

I mentioned this in passing, but I remember seeing/hearing this quote which I see as a retort for those who have legitimate gripes with either the lack of (positive) representation or racial stereotypes: “Make your own characters!”. Those same people who say that are those who don’t have to deal with being derogated by their complexion en masse, let’s be honest here. It really shows an entitlement which inadvertently proved that study about TV watching in that previous post right if you really think about it.

Oh, I decided to heed those words, but not for the reasons that they would expect.

Some of you know this, but I have written multiple books. I have covered multiple genres and book formats such as novels, novellas, novelettes, and cell phone novels. One of my goals when I started writing the first Revezia book back in 2014 was to come up with multi-ethnic casts. With that particular series, it deconstructs and inverts so many tropes and cliches associated with fantasy, fairy tales, and one might argue a certain “canon” of sorts. The main character of the first book Terminal Rescue is Shamakani. He’s a black prince who leads a search/rescue operation for various healers in the area, is a talented swordsman, and he has a serious attitude even though he can be too serious at times to his detriment (I’m not going to write a Marty Stu character). In that series alone, I have protagonists of all ethnic groups and walks of life and that’s also the same with Hollandus Landing which is the first part of my cell phone novel series (It’s also free if you want. Just saying.). It was exhilarating creating these characters, but even then, I still had to be respectful. I’m thankful to have grown up in a multiracial city and I’ve talked with my friends to see if something was okay or not when it came to writing characters outside of my ethnic persuasion. This may sound cheesy, but I wanted to have that sense of humanity by having dynamic characters who are a certain ethnicity instead of just having their race define them. Trust me, there’s a difference.

Recently, the character I created who really helped increase my self-esteem a bit is Kasamba from Revezia: Sika Uvira Chronicle and the Revezia Electrum trilogy (Sika Uvira Chronicle is also free). Kasamba is a DIY inventor who can create various gadgets. He’s very intelligent, but also self-loathing and underestimates his own genius. Instead of being some muscle-bound freak, he is on the thinner side and uses his smarts and inventions whenever he is in a bad situation. I gave Kasamba some quirks like being really into indie movies while giving internalized snarky commentary on the state of mainstream films in a wink wink nudge nudge kind of way. His name is actually Tshiluba (a Congolese language) for “To Console” because writing him was a consolation to me and he’s able to do so for others in ways he doesn’t realize. After finding out I was of part Congolese descent, I thought I would incorporate that into this character and even his environment. He’s from a modern city on planet Revezia, has lots of decent technology equivalent to what we have on earth currently, and there’s not an ounce of poverty porn in his hometown! Not everything in Africa looks like mud huts, war zones, jungles, or the Pride Lands, GOT IT?! I’ve never even been to the continent and even I know that.

I guess by me creating my own characters, stories, or even art, this was therapy of sorts for me. I felt empowered by making some wonderful characters that I hope others could appreciate. If one person tells me that they really liked this hero or that hero especially if it’s someone like them, then I’d be beyond blessed. I would encourage you to give it a try even if it’s just a short story or drawing your own original characters if you ever felt that way. Mainstream media wasn’t going to placate me, so I have to take things in my own hands through my fiction, music, poetry, etc.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. What are your thoughts on representation? Have you felt like you had trouble relating to so many fictional characters? How do you discuss the concept of positive representation to others?

Belgium “apologizes” to the DRC even if it wasn’t for a reason I expected

As soon as I saw this video from Dr. Mumbi drop, I really really had to talk about it.

Some of you might remember me talking about the sins committed by Belgium to the Democratic Republic of Congo not too long ago. This issue is mentioned again although there was something I legitimately didn’t know about the colonial atrocities. Belgium is saying sorry because that country STOLE biracial Congolese/Belgium babies from the DRC (then known as the Belgian Congo), separated them from their parents, and subjected them in horrific conditions. Not only that, these Belgian poor excuses of fathers who impregnated the Congolese women backed off and didn’t want to be in their children’s lives. Come on, if the races were reversed, Bill O’Reilly would scream “Where are the fathers?!”. So these kids had to grow up bouncing around from orphanage or foster home while their baby daddies didn’t want to own up to what they did (although I really doubt all of those so-called fathers had consensual relationships with the moms given historical patterns).

This was new information for me, but I wasn’t shocked at all. This only made me angrier about everything that happened to the DRC. That country lived through that genocidal maniac King Leopold II who took over the Congo which is 5 times the size of his own home country and his people slaughtered 10 MILLION people and never got punished. Leopold and his regime shot, raped, maimed, and starved out millions and no historical institution is ever calling this a genocide. One form of punishment that he did was to chop off Congolese hands if they were disobedient or couldn’t make quotas for the natural resources. You see that picture in the thumbnail with the chocolate hands? That’s how they got the idea for that demonic dessert and it’s still sold in Belgium to this day! Seriously, Belgium needs to pay big reparations for all the atrocities they committed against the Congolese.

Before any of you say that the people of the DRC should “just move on” or “forgive”, let me ask you something. Are you going to say the same thing to the families of those related to the Holocaust victims/survivors? Are you going to say the same thing to the 9/11 families? If you’re not going to say those things to the families of those afflicted by those tragedies, then you’re a freaking racist hypocrite.

I hope justice happens.

Video courtesy of Dr. Mumbi Seraki.

Is the UN pressuring Belgium to pay off for what they did to the DRC?

This is a video I saw a few days ago, but I thought it would be good to share it on here with this blog.

What an interesting turn of events to say the least.

The UN is telling off Belgium to apologize and to pay reparations to the Democratic Republic of Congo. For those of you wondering why the DRC in particular, let me give you a breakdown of what happened. Belgium wanted to be a part of the Scramble for Africa and they managed to colonize what would be the DRC under the reign of King Leopold II. To the Belgians, he was known as “the builder king” as he did so many architecture projects in his home country and many of them are still up to this day. To the Congolese (or anyone with a shred of humanity), Leopold was a genocidal maniac. Him and his forces exploited the country for their natural resources, chopped off hands from those who disobeyed him, starved out and annexed several people like his own personal elephant graveyard where the Africans didn’t belong in his circle of life (I know that comparison was mentioned in an earlier article, but it bears repeating), and killed 10 million Congolese during his reign. Not to mention HE NEVER GOT PUNISHED FOR HIS ACTIONS! Can someone please explain to me why he’s never mentioned in the same sphere of infamy as Hitler, Pol Pot, or Stalin? Seriously, I never learned about this when I was in school.

A little side note about the middle of the video…that was the most satanic thing I have ever seen in my life. A guy dressed up in blackface while pretending to cry as a chocolate cake molded like a pregnant Black woman gets sliced by some attendees at a gala? How sick can you get? Shame on all of those people who did that.

Back to this story at hand, I do hope justice can be done. The DRC was exploited for far too long and I hope that their plight will be taken seriously.

NEVER FORGET!

The video is courtesy of the Dr. Mumbi Show.