30 October 2022

Zimbabwe/GB/Restitution of skulls: A delegation from Zimbabwe “is looking for the skulls of late-19th Century anti-colonial heroes” from the First Chimurenga (1890s), which are believed to have been taken to the UK as trophies. While they got positive responses from London's Natural History Museum and Cambridge University concerning the returning of human remains, the anti-colonial heroes are not amongst them. “The Natural History Museum, with 25,000 human remains, and (Cambridge University's) Duckworth Laboratory, with 18,000, have some of the largest such archives in the world.” In Britain and Europe of the late 19th century, skulls were not only valued as trophies but also used for phrenological purposes (phrenology = the science studying skulls), sometimes for racial classification.
The most important of the anti-colonial heroes being looked for is spiritual leader Charwe Nyakasikana, known as Mbuya (Grandmother) Nehanda – “she was the medium of the revered ancestral spirit Nehanda”. She was arrested, hanged and decapitated. “With a death cry of ‘my bones will surely rise’, Nehanda became an increasingly potent symbol for those fighting against white-minority rule in what was then known as Rhodesia from the late 1960s.”

29 October 2022

South Africa: The coronation of King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini as Zulu king has taken place today Saturday in the main stadium of Durban.

Kenya/Pakistan: Arshad Sharif, a Pakistani journalist well-known in his country not least for his very critical attitude towards the present government, was killed in Kenya by police recently. One of the explanations of his death is that one of his many enemies in Pakistan hired the Kenyan police officers to carry out the assassination. The recent “arrest of (…) nine police officers in connection with the disappearance of (…) two Indian nationals has been seen as a landmark” and makes this explanation seem plausible. The BBC article also gives the police version(s) of the incident and provides background information about the killed journalist.