The Pan-African Movement

mafe 5

By Tim Hazell

Immigrants who must cross ethnic lines of demarcation inherently struggle to retain their own identities. Government legislation remains a standard procedure when attempting to create harmony among cultural entities with vastly differing histories. Promoting multi-culturalism has offered visible, accessible solutions to diplomatic agencies that provide support for programs directed toward positive initiatives for peace. The best of these groups advocate fundamental changes in how we rethink and rebuild our societies to reflect global aesthetics.

Senegal is one of West Africa’s cultural melting pots, celebrating music, hybrid cuisine, and self-determination. During its long occupation by France, many Senegalese identified themselves with French language and society. The Négritude movement, long established internationally as a Pan-African concept, arose in Senegal following the country’s independence in 1960. Négritude challenged the theories of philosophers such as Hegel and Gobineau of race hierarchy and ethnic inferiority.

Nations survive radical transformations through colonization by imperialist regimes, frequently with dire losses in terms of natural resources and cultural erosion. Throughout Africa, art, literature, and crafts reflect another, resilient side of its people’s tenacity, in the “joie de vivre,” or gusto for life expressed—a sense of connections between dire realities and heroic imagination.

The Pan-African movement’s ideals of affirming pride in a shared black identity were reinforced by congresses and publications. Martinican poet and statesman Aimé Césaire (1913–2008), one of the founders of Le Mouvement Négritude in Francophone literature, believed that black presence in the world would articulate experiences and histories, measured by the compass of suffering. “Cahier d’un retour au pays natal” is his response to oppression: “My Négritude is not a stone, its deafness hurled against the clamor of the day … It takes root in the red flesh of the soil!”

The Senegalese have become promoters of African unity, arts, and gastronomy. Mafé, their variant of peanut stew, common to West and sub-Saharan Africa, is robust and with an attitude!

 

Mafé

 

Ingredients:

8 skinned chicken drumsticks or thighs

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. butter

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup tomato purée

Fresh coriander, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 medium potatoes, cubed

1 green chili, chopped

1 tbsp. hot sauce (any brand)

2 cups beef or chicken stock

1/2 cup crunchy or smooth peanut butter

Dash of red chili flakes

Ground black pepper

1 tsp. salt (or to taste)

2 tsp. sugar

 

Directions:

Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Brown chicken pieces, remove, and add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, chilies, chili flakes, black pepper, and coriander and cook until softened. Add chicken pieces, chopped tomatoes, purée, carrots, potatoes, salt, sugar, and stock. Bring to the boil. Remove a little broth, blend with peanut butter in a small bowl, and return to the saucepan. Simmer partially covered for an hour, or until meat is tender. Uncover to reduce. Garnish with coriander.

 

Variations: beef, lamb, okra, spinach, yams, vegetarian.

 

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