Culture & Daily Life in Africa

Culture & Daily Life in AfricaThe magic of Africa comes from that unique mixture of tribes and ethnic groups in which each has its own characteristics. The culture in Africa is mostly described as widely diverse and complex. African culture can be understood through recognizing its components such as arts and crafts, folklore and religion, clothing and music, poetry and languages. African people are not the same all over the continent, not only across different countries but also within one single country.  Expression of culture differs from region to region, from city to city, and sometimes from village to village. The abundance and diversity within Africa made anthropologists divide this continent into five distinct regions. North, West, East, Central and South

Throughout history, Africa has proved its willingness to influence and to be influenced by other civilizations, whether through invasion or trade. This can be vividly seen in the continuous adaptation to the ever-changing world. Rather than staying tightly connected to one static culture, African people has shown complete will to adapt to the dynamic world around them. Influenced by European lifestyle and Christianity, westernization depicts itself in many African countries. Other regions adapted to the Islamic way of living. In both cases, however, the rooted African culture and tradition that blend all the African in weren’t allowed to be wiped out or even touched.

The Opposite Bank of The Mediterranean Sea

Mostly inhabited by African Arabs and Arabs, northern African countries are considered part of the Middle East. North Africa has a better economy and strategic ties with the whole world, especially Europe. People of this part of Africa almost have similar characteristics due to the fact that Islam is the prevalent religion in this part of Africa. Even other minorities share the same history and tradition with the majority.

Residents of the northern coastal cities of Africa have a lot in common with the rest of Mediterranean cities. Notwithstanding the differences in ethnicity, religion, political and economic features, Italy, Egypt, and Jordan, for example, share a mutual cultural and historical heritage though they are located in different continents. Due to the influence of the Greek, Roman and Phoenicians civilization, people of the coastal cities in North Africa carry some mutual social and cultural characteristics.

Golden Sand

The Sahara regions are inhabited by Bedouin tribes who have a special way of living and doing things. The life of desert residents is characterized by raising livestock, migrating and moving from one place to another in search of pasture and water. Their lifestyle is simple and does not change very often, the thing that is reflected in their behavior. Although urbanization and modernity has entered the life of the Bedouins, their relationship with the Sahara still strong. A Bedouin can stay isolated from people for many days. People there are accustomed to being on their own for days in the desert, herding camels and sheep. At night, the Bedouins gather around the fire, drinking coffee and listening to poems and popular tales. The Bedouins have a sacred status for the father within the small family. On the extended family level, the grandfather and the elder uncle have a distinguished position as well. On top that, everyone in the tribe must show complete obedience to the sheikh of the tribe.

The Heart of Africa

West and Central Africa is well known for gold, diamonds, and cocoa. For more than 300 years, those natural resources has been attracting European invaders and exploiters to dominate and keep a tight grip on this part of Africa. Therefore, colonial languages such as French, English and Portuguese are widely spread. Residents of this part of Africa are a mixture of Muslims and Christians. All the above-mentioned factors shaped the residents of this part of Africa distinctively. Art, literature and architecture are what most differentiates western and central Africa form the rest of the continent. People have an ever-changing type of life, politically, economically and socially.

The Last Piece of Land

Consisted of a massive region and a large number of countries, eastern and southern Africa has a diverse culture, yet, a common thread and a shared heritage run through much of the region, and the rest of African as well. From a single African Empire or Sultanate to Western colonialism and subsequent independence, civil wars and internal clashed has portrayed the personality and mentality of eastern and southern African residents. The export of platinum, copper, cobalt and uranium has distinguished this part of Africa from the rest of the continent. Furthermore, land reclamation is one of the important agricultural activities in this part of the continent. Therefore, when passing through rural areas, no wonder you see rain gauges installed on the edge of land

Climate

Since Africa extends into both northern and southern hemispheres of the earth, the climate differs drastically in accordance. For example, when it is winter in Cape Town, it is summer in Cairo. However, the average annual temperature is high nearly everywhere in Africa, therefore, division of the continent into climatic regions is based chiefly on the amount and seasonal distribution of rainfall. Accordingly, Africa is divided into eight climatic regions: the equator region, the Savanna region, the Tropical desert regions, the eastern margins region, the Mediterranean region, the grassland region, the highland region, the Monsson region, the China type region.

Nevertheless, some African countries lie in two or more climatic regions. For example, the climate of Kenya lies in three climatic regions: the desert in the north with hot and dry climate, humid and hot in the coastal area and the adjacent plains, the mountain regions with lower temperature and higher rainfall. This variation in climate affects business and agricultural activities. Farmers and grains producers usually relay on rain gauge in order to keep an accurate rainfall record throughout the year.

Four main factors affect the climate in Africa

  1. The latitude: most of Africa lies in the Torrid Zone since the equator passes through the middle of the continent and makes it receive sunrays during the year. Hence, most of African experiences hot climate throughout the year.
  2. Altitude: plateaus are cooler than lowlands.
  3. Land and sea contrast: Due to the fact that Africa is surrounded by the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic ocean and the Indian ocean, the costal ears of this continent has a moderate climate.
  4. Currents: Cool Canaries and regular currents in the west wash the costal ears of Africa and cool off the climate on this coastal side. However, these currents pick no moisture. On the other hand, the warm Mozambican current wash the southeast African coast and carries more moisture.

Your Golfing Vacation in Africa

Golfing Vacation in AfricaPeople from all around the world still think that Africa is a continent where tourists go for enjoying the wildlife. This is true, most tourists still go for the wildlife, but Africa today has so much more to offer than just lion safari. Africa has become a continent where golf as a sport is rising at a tremendous speed.

The good climate and the endless space offers perfect terrain for golf. Even though there are still much more golf terrains in the western world, you can be sure that soon the black continent will take over the golf business and the sport of golf too.

Thousands of golf courses are now available for practicing the game of golf in Africa. Here are some of the best golf terrains that even CNN mentions in their review about this continent.

Fancourt Links, South Africa

Fancourt Links, South Africa

The Links golf terrain at Fancourt has a tradition of almost 20 years. It is one of the most important courses in the country as it was the venue where the Presidents Cup was held back in 2003. This year is important because this is when the historic tie between Tiger Woods and Ernie Els happened. The Links course is one of the best in South Africa and in the continent altogether too.

Flamingo Golf Course, Monastir, Tunisia

Flamingo Golf Course, Monastir, Tunisia

At the shores of the Mediterranean, just a few miles off the sea there is the magnificent Flamingo Golf Course in Tunisia. Some of the holes are pretty long so you’re going to need some extra quality wood clubs together with the standard golf irons and balls.

Leopard Rock, Zimbabwe

Built in 1993, the Leopard Rock Golf Resort is maybe the best one in Zimbabwe. It is placed in a perfect surrounding with several obstacles that will make the game more interesting. It’s not a surprise to see some exotic wildlife while playing even though most of the time it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the flora that’s chosen with care and nurtured perfectly.

Soma Bay, Egypt

The tourist attraction of Hurghada is the home of the Cascades at Soma Bay golf course in Egypt. The land of the pyramids now lives from tourism among other things and this is a true attraction for all golf lovers. There are a lot of hazards that will make the game more interesting and the Red Sea is one of them at five holes. So, make sure you know how to work your golf irons and balls if you want to make a good score here.

Le Meridien, Nigeria

As a part of the Le Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, this golf course is probably the best in the central region of Africa. Located on a hill it has some stunning views over the surrounding. That means some amazing connection with the African tropical forests. The flora is actually well connected with the course as you can see a lot of the forest trying to reach the green fields of the resort.

Mazagan Golf Club, Morocco

Mazagan Golf Club, Morocco

Mazagan Golf Club in El Jadida, Casablanca, was opened in 2009 and instantly became the number one golf course in the country. It is definitely one of the best at the continent too as the total length of the holes reaches up to 7.484 yards. That means you’re going to need your best swing and complete control over the wood clubs.

Windhoek Club, Namibia

Namibia is one of the most developed countries in Africa and golf is a sport that a lot of people love practicing. One of the best golf courses, if not the best – is the Windhoek Golf and Country Club just near the capital. Well constructed with a lot of hazards, trees, bunkers, ponds, and other, this is a true golfing paradise. Together with the course, there is a four-star hotel for a perfect stay of the visitors.

Lemuria, Seychelles

Seychelles is one of the most exotic destinations for tourists. The paradise islands in the Indian Oceans offer perfect climate and resorts that are out of this world. Lemuria resort is one of them. Located in the northern island of Praslin, it is an 18-hole course that’s kinda short but extremely joyful.

Gary Player, South Africa

Gary Player is one of the most important golfing figures in Africa. His influence is more than important for the development of golf in all of Africa. Designed by Player itself it is a course that offers 8.000 yards and par 72. This place is famous for the “Million dollar challenge”, a 12-players tournament that is invitation only. Some of the most famous golf players ever played on this tournament that’s held from 1981.

Top International Tennis Events in Africa

If the sport of tennis was a hobby for the rich class back in the past, today it’s a worldwide sensation. Youngsters from all continents play on the same level and the ATP and WTA rang list is filled with people of all nations, religion, and colors.

Even though sport, in general, is more developed in Europe and North America, lately other continents are producing excellent professional athletes as well. Same goes for tennis where the game is moving forward at tremendous speed and many young people are very interested in it. These young athletes don’t lack motivation and talent, but they need better coaching and, of course, more tournaments.

At the moment, the most popular African tennis tournaments happen in Tunisia and Morocco, but there are plenty of other tournaments for younger categories which is something that makes a promise that future for the tennis in Africa is safe. Read more on Guidetennis!

Grand Prix Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco

Grand Prix Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco

The biggest tournament in Africa is the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco. The event is happening annually and the game is played on clay. The prize money is $450.000 which is the highest amount of all African tournaments.

Lots of famous players played and won the tournament. Some of them are retired and some of them still play. Names like Tommy Robredo who won in 2013, or Stanislas Wawrinka who lifted the trophy back in 2010. Here also played Juan Carlos Ferrero, Gilles Simon, Sebastien Grosjean, and the best ranked African player, Kevin Anderson from the South African Republic who is ranked as number 8 on the ATP list.

Tunis Open, Tunis, Tunisia

The second largest tournament is happening in Tunis. On red clay, players compete for the prize of $125.000. This is a challenger tournament and the most popular player that was a part of the tournament is Gael Monfils from France who won the trophy back in 2005 against the also famous Fabrice Santoro. The tournament is held annually from 2005.

Morocco Open

Grand Prix de Sar la Princesse Lalla Meryem

The biggest women’s tournament in Africa is happening in Rabat, Morocco. It is also called Grand Prix de Sar la Princesse Lalla Meryem and over the years it was held in different cities around the country. It was founded in 2001 and was held in Casablanca, but then it moved to Rabat, Fes, Marrakesh and then back again in Rabat where it is held from 2016 until today.

The prize money is $226.750 and some of the most famous female players that attended this tournament are Francesca Schiavone from Italy who won the tournament in 2013 and the actual WTA No.1 Simona Halep from Romania who was a runner-up twice but never won the Morocco open. She was second twice in a row in 2010 and 2011.

Other Tournaments

Africa has lots of tennis tournaments for professionals, but more important, there are lots of tournaments for the young categories, like U14 and even U12 held almost every month in a different country. This is an excellent opportunity for young talents to chase and eventually achieve their dream in becoming the next Djokovic who came from a small and relatively unknown tennis country and placed it immediately on the map of tennis giants.

Tennis and sport, in general, are important for the development of every nation and in this case, for the whole continent because healthy kids mean a healthy nation. People who are involved in sport is proven to live longer and have a better life.

Since it’s almost 2020 and money is very important to everyone, the sport is also a way to become a national hero and a global star. There are lots of examples of world-famous athletes that earned lots of money and then came back to their place of birth to invest and help the people they used to grow up with. They are known as heroes and their example should be followed by everyone.

It’s very important to chase our dream no matter if it’s tennis, some other sport, or something else not connected with sports at all. But it is more important to remember our origin and always give back to the community.

Popularity Growth of Baseball in Africa

baseballDating back to the world’s famous baseball black players like Jackie Robinson, Cliff Johnson, and Roseboro just to mention a few, baseball has not been left out in the African continent. Even though the world is not eying on the baseball growth in the black continent, several bloggers have given a few countries credit on what they refer as the ‘appetite for baseball in Africa’. South Africa and Uganda are some of the leading countries embracing baseball in colleges and high schools.

According to coaches and the Head of Departments of Games in various institutions in the two African countries, baseball is constantly getting popular and players like it. This is a clear indication that the game may spread even to other African countries over the years. Most African schools prefer playing soccer even though it has not yet grown as anticipated. However, this is different in some schools in Kampala, Uganda. The students in those schools are ever practicing the foreign American game – baseball game.

One of the schools’ founders was reported saying that baseball is their main game. Surprisingly, even the girls are becoming active in the game because boys are perfectly doing it. Even though baseball is rarely played in Africa, Uganda seems to be a leading country where baseball is catching on very fast. South Africa is also launching pad for baseball’s entry into the soccer-dominated country.

Health Benefits of Playing Baseball Game

baseball and healthMany disease control and prevention associations in various countries are recommending baseball game as one of the good ways of getting moderate and vigorous exercise. Baseball game exercises different body muscles particularly the arms, thighs, and legs. It is also ideal for eye coordination and fast thinking, as well as improving one’s action and reaction skills.

Nowadays African countries have been taking baseball as one of their major games to boost body exercise. Of course, everyone in the world is putting effort to stay fit and healthy. That’s why colleges and high schools in Africa are taking baseball games seriously in order to improve the health of their students, as well as make the game popular across the soccer-dominated continent.

When students meet at a competition tournament, they will make new friends. They will also exercise vigorously, and thus get a natural dose of fitness. Baseball games involve running, throwing, and swinging baseball bats. All these exercises offer a wonderful cardiovascular and strength to the body, as well as burning several calories.

So, here are the health benefits of the baseball game that Africans are eying to reap.

Cardiovascular training

The baseball game will make your heart pump faster and the body to sweat. The heart muscles will strengthen, hence improving your lung capacity. During running and catching, you are already doing the recommended cardiovascular exercise. It is an ideal game, especially when exposed to young ones because they will love it and continue playing even at their older age.

Strengthen the arms

When players are swinging their baseball bats, they are giving their arms power. Throwing and catching are also other good ways to strengthen the arms and joints. All the muscles of the arms are involved including the triceps and biceps, as well as shoulder and chest muscles. The twisting motions give the shoulders a good workout, thus enhancing the power of your overall arms. You have to choose the right baseball bat for yourself.

Strengthening the legs

When playing a baseball game, the muscles in your legs are recruited into the exercise. The lateral moving, throwing, squatting and retrieving the ball engages your quadriceps, calf, and hamstring muscles. Running offers double health benefits by building the leg muscles and providing the required cardiovascular workout. Even those short bursts of running and resting for a few seconds help the muscles to recover after every exertion. Also, catchers squat often, hence building their leg muscles.

Burning calories

Several clinical studies show that an individual weighing about 160 pounds can get rid of 365 calories through playing baseball. This means the more a person weighs, the more he or she will burn calories when playing baseball. Physical exercise also boosts metabolic rate, making the body to burn more calories faster and reduce fats. Also, baseball training involves a lot of running and swinging throughout, and therefore a player is likely to lose more calories in the process.