Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Advent of Korean Wave in Africa: Cultural Connection or Fascination about Material Modernity?

Out here in rural Africa, cinemas are non-existent and TV access require expensive satellite dishes that few people can afford.  To entertain themselves during their free time, locals tend to buy cheap pirated DVDs for computer gaming, or more commonly, drama series and movies.  Carts and shops selling these DVDs exist not just in market towns but even some bigger villages, allowing common people to access some of the latest visual entertainment from the outside world at quite affordable prices (if not the best of quality).

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Enigma of "Kichina"

In Tanzania, the locals have a habit of referring to any poor-quality product as "kichina," which roughly translates to "a thing of China."  Whenever something they use break or gets damaged when they think the product should not be, they just shrug and casually blurt out, "well, it's kichina."  It is not particularly targeted toward Chinese products though; in fact, the saying is used for all products, whether or not the product is from China.  The connotation, however, is pretty clear: it goes without saying that Chinese products, as they have elsewhere, acquired a negative reputation in Tanzania.

Saturday, March 12, 2016



Saturday, March 5, 2016

Developmental "Double Standards" and Africa's Cultural Image Problem

As the NGO industry expands, the broad all-inclusive term "development" has become more and more vague over time.  Anything that remotely suggest provision of additional resources for betterment of people's lives have now fallen under the category of "development."  The methodologies f implementation and assessments have only become more and more varied as a wider and wider spectrum of ideas and personnel have involved themselves in the industry.  Thankfully, the central goal of an NGO is still clear: the job is to ultimately make people's living standards higher.