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Member Since: May 22, 2015

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Description/Profile/About

Artist, activist, radio producer and cartoonist

What would you do to change the world?

Raise consciousness and build bridges over continents

This is a place to sing your song and let your voice be heard. Define Coo

coo - verb

  1. To make a soft murmuring sound, as a pigeon.
  2. Speak softly or lovingly;
    The mother who held her baby was cooing softly
  3. To speak in an admiring fashion, to be enthusiastic about.
  4. To show affection; to act in a loving way.

coo - noun

  1. The murmuring sound made by a dove or pigeon.

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Created Initiatives

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*Freedom

Equal Justice Initiative

Issa Nyaphaga
THE HUMAN CONDITION:
(Sadly but artistically well done narrative video.)
I used to tell students that "Racism is a distraction" and they get very upset. My sentence is provocative of course, but it kind of makes sense. When any "Racial Supremacist" needs a kidney transplant, does he or she care if his new kidney comes from a homeless in India, a farmer in Guatemala or street child in Brazil??? Nope! He or she won't. Our ego is to blame and It's unfortunate that "Human Stupidity" has killed millions, but we can overcome this plague.
By the way, talking about diversity of people, you don't say Race, you say Ethnicity! Equal Justice initiative is inviting you to take action.

Votes3 DateJan 21, 2016

Funded: 0 $0.00


Created Light on the World Spotlights

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*Freedom

Long Walk for Water

Issa Nyaphaga
Issa believes he can fly to provide clean water to his village in Cameroon.
The Street Art Performance in Santa Fe NM - USA
Issa Nyaphaga AKA The "Artoonist" an artist based in the U.S. and the founder of HITIP (Hope International for Tikar) a community-based organization in Cameroon, West Africa, will be walking through the city of Santa Fe with a bucket of water on his head this Friday May 5, 2017. The artist is reprising the duty he used to do growing up in a rural village in the Tikar tribe. Like other children in the village, he supplied water to his family for the daily cooking.
These photos were shot in the Spring 2013 in the campus of the University of Art and Design where the Santa Fe Art Institute is located. That's where the artist will be starting his walk this Friday at 4PM local Time, to the Mill Contemporary Gallery off Canyon road where the opening of his exhibition is taking place.
Issa Artoonist is commenting the story behind this photos: "That Spring 2013, I was teaching Art, Social Justice & Creative Expression at the Community College...
... One of my students, Shelly Gore, asked me if she could photograph me dancing body painted around the architecture built by Ricardo Legorreta? It didn't occur to me that a student will see his teacher as a muse, I didn't resist to try the experience -- Art has helped me see life as a playground. The result was quite satisfying".
Issa added: "As time passes, in my own mind, even though I'm trapped in my body that's aging, I'm still feel like that village child building, who also used to build his own toys with found objects and carrying water".
Issa Artoonist will build a costume out of recycled plastic bottles for his Friday street performance. Issa was selected by Santa Fe Art Institute for the "Water Rights Residency" Program. His “Water for Social Peace” in Cameroon won the 2012 Global Rotary Peace Award in Berlin.
Check out and support Water for Social Peace in Cameroon here: http://www.hitip.org/en/projects/water-for-social-peace

Votes5 DateMay 4, 2017

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*Freedom

Bombing For Peace?

Issa Nyaphaga
BOMBING FOR PEACE?
(... It's Like Raping for Virginity!)
Like Hitler, most dictators came to
power ELECTED, and they always start war when they're unpopular (like whom?) Children are dying, like everybody I'm upset but no one asks the right questions; who's producing chemical weapons; who sells them to Assaad and the rebels? For what agenda?
Only 2 days after we saw the dead bodies of children on tv, Trump is bombing Syria already, more dead among them 9 children. Bombing without investigation or Peace Talk looks to me like a "Bombing Agenda."
We have all this knowledge, history and resources, but we've learned nothing not a thing. This is all Miserable!

Votes1 DateApr 10, 2017

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*Freedom

Dakota

Issa Nyaphaga
WATER # OIL:
- "Our Lives Begin to End the Day We Become Silent About Things That Matter."
- Martin Luther King Jr. Baptist minister and civil rights activist - (1953–1968)

Votes1 DateNov 8, 2016

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*Rights

Football Spirit in the Jungle

Issa Nyaphaga
FOOTBALL SPIRIT IN THE JUNGLE:
HITIP just received some soccer balls and sport equipments from Mr. Dominique BOISNARD and his network in Le Mans/France.
The "Football Spirit in the Jungle" project run by HITIP brings together indigenous villagers--including villagers with disabilities, women and youth --from all tribes of Mbam & Kim region through local football tournaments, which promote disability rights, conflict resolution, rural community organizing, water rights and leadership development.
Empowered by www.hitip.org
Many thanks TO Rotaract'iveMans > Action #BallesDePaix
#WaterRightsResidency #SantaFeArtInstitute

Votes2 DateJul 21, 2016

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*Healing

Artemisia Annua

Issa Nyaphaga
WORLD MALARIA DAY:
(REVOLUTIONARY PLANT AGAINST MALARIA.)
Now You Can Throw Away Your Mosquito Net And Be A Magician Too. Artemisia Annua Is A Curative And a Preventive Miracle Plant Against Malaria In 3 - 4 Days. You Can Grow This Around Your House And Mosquito Will Not Enter Your Home. I'm Not Kidding... This Is How You Can Do It.
3000 Years Of Thanks To China.

Votes3 DateApr 26, 2016

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*Earth

The Magicians of the Earth

Issa Nyaphaga
HAPPY EARTH DAY!
- The Farmer Is the MAGICIAN, not the intellectual, not the thinker, not the singer nor the politician... The Farmer Is the Real Magician of the Earth. Only those who've grown plants around them know this feeling.

Votes3 DateApr 23, 2016

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*Freedom

We Will Not Be Silenced

Issa Nyaphaga
WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED:
Nigeria marks second year 276 girls' kidnapping by the group Boko Haram in northern Nigeria. Only dozens escaped within few days, but 219 remain missing and families still waiting... This is the reason why last Thursday, thousands marched on the streets of Abuja (capital) chanting 'We want our girls back!'. I remember posting this photo from Paris, and 2 years later the kidnapping, no word in the media... I can't even mention those we pay taxes to, to protect us.
By Issa Nyaphaga
Artist, community organizer and activist
www.hitip.org

Votes2 DateApr 18, 2016

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*Freedom

Issa Nyaphaga

Issa Nyaphaga
Cameroon artist and activist bringing his art and his message
By Mary Thomas / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
When members of the Undercroft Gallery art committee heard the story of artist, human rights activist and political cartoonist Issa Nyaphaga — from incarceration and torture to exile in Europe and the U.S. — they knew they had to invite him to Pittsburgh to speak.
Mr. Nyaphaga will gave a free public talk a year ago about his global experiences and continuing outreach to the village he grew up in, Nditam, to the gallery within the First Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Ave., Shadyside. April 2015.
Undercroft Gallery is exhibiting his art along with images of Nditam taken by photographer and resident Oumarou Mebouack. Mr. Nyaphaga narrated the film “Radio Taboo” the following Saturday with a workshop on social transformation and cultural diversity and all events were free although donations was accepted.
Mr. Nyaphaga’s life would be interesting even without the persecution that resulted from his criticism of what he considers a corrupt power structure led by longtime Cameroon President Paul Biya.
He was born in 1967 in Douala, central Cameroon, and grew up in the Tikar tribe village, near the equatorial forest. His family was Muslim and in the evenings he studied the Koran but also participated in animist ceremonies. He attended a French school where he studied the Bible, but was also aware of the practices of shaman pygmy women who live in peaceful proximity with the Tikar. Now he identifies most closely with Buddhism, he told a Swedish reporter in 2012.
As a child, he learned from his mother how to paint murals using soils of varying color, and from his father, an accomplished calligraphist, how to burn corn to create a writing tool. When young Issa began to draw cartoons, his father warned him against doing it and punished him when he continued.
That didn't dissuade Mr. Nyaphaga, who became a political cartoonist, illustrator and reporter for the weekly satirical newspaper, Le Messager Popoli, in Douala from 1990 to 1996. He was arrested several times in 1994-95 for anti-government commentary, at times enduring physical abuse when the police tried to force him to identify other critics who used pseudonyms. In 1996, having received a covert warning that he was in danger, he flew to Paris, bribing police to be allowed to leave the country.
In intervening years, he has established himself as an artist, performer and political cartoonist in France and, for the past six years, a resident of Santa Fe, N.M. Mr. Nyaphaga has served as an art therapist for at-risk populations including child soldiers from Liberia and Sierra Leone, performed and lectured globally, and taught art and social justice classes at Santa Fe Community College.
In late 1990, he contributed cartoons to the Parisian satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and he knew many of the cartoonists murdered in the January terrorist attack, he told the Santa Fe New Mexican. His political cartoons, including those inspired by the cartoonists’ deaths, were shown in the exhibition “Je Suis Artoonist” at the Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe in February, and are featured on the cover of a book, “Art Stronger Than Hate,” which will be available at the Undercroft reception, hot off the press from Alamo Bay Press in Austin, Texas ($29.95).
Because he’s toned down his criticism of Cameroon politicians, Mr. Nyaphaga has been allowed to return home, and he founded Hope International for Tikar People in 2002, dedicated to improving the quality of life for the marginalized Tikar and Bedzan pygmy villagers, including providing medical and school supplies.
He is in the process of establishing a community radio station, Radio Taboo, to encourage discussion of issues considered taboo such as public health, environmental and women’s issues and HIV infection. The goal is to broadcast the commentary of citizen journalists to 1 million people living in the rain forest. A 35-minute film documenting the project, “Radio Taboo,” was filmed by Texas-based Issue Television in 2013 ( www.radiotaboo.com ). A second film is planned to document the bush station’s first broadcasts.
“My son is a rebel with no gun and no cigarette. His pencil and paintbrush are the only weapons he needs!” his mother, Ndjah Adjimi, is quoted as saying on the “Art Stronger Than Hate” book jacket. It’s a fitting affirmation for an artist who’s declared that “the power of art can save lives.”
To donate to Issa Nyaphaga's projects, go to: www.hitip.org
https://vimeo.com/129516814
First publication: April 29, 2015 12:00 AM

Votes2 DateApr 4, 2016

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*Rights

Water4Social Peace

Issa Nyaphaga
HAPPY HAPPY WORLD WATER DAY:
- Donate on the name of your loved ones. Be grateful when you drink it or take shower every day. For us water is more than that.
Please donate today. www.hititp.org Thanks.

Votes2 DateMar 22, 2016

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*Freedom

Cacao / Chocolate

Issa Nyaphaga
Video: - Chocolate must be accessible for those who grow it.
https://vimeo.com/157875289

Votes2 DateMar 6, 2016

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*Earth

The Green Life

Issa Nyaphaga
THE SONS OF THE EARTH:
Apella Magellan (stands between his wife and his mother) is the founder of "Cameroon Green Life" and a food activist who's developing Capacity building project of 50 youths in organic vegetable production in semi urban center - community of Mile 17th in Buea, South West Region of Cameroon. I loved hearing about his project... My friend Michel Pauli (red shirt based in Limbé) an ITC & solar engineer came with to the evaluation. This is a funded by The Pollination Project in CA - US. Photo by Oumar Mebouack​

Votes2 DateFeb 21, 2016

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*Freedom

Happy New Year

Issa Nyaphaga
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU @LL!
Photo by Sophie Rousmaniere
As I stand on this canvas to perform one of my favorite rituals, I wish you all love, happiness, a successful 2016 and beyond. Make sure you find your gift in life... There's something out there anyone is good at(...) So look for it, when you find it, thrive with it. And if you've found it already, Awesome - then use it to do Good... share that knowledge and spread happiness; that's your power. Do not support causes that would harm other people whether they're your citizens or not.
I'm only giving this advice as someone who were once in deep depression after a government "we were paying taxes to," violated our civil rights... I stop here for now.
Anyway, Be a Good Person, that's the Lesson you Must Learn in this Post.
Buy my book if you'd like to know more: www.alamobaypress.com
Cheers wink emoticon

Votes2 DateJan 25, 2016

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*Women

Patti Dobrowloski

Issa Nyaphaga
Patti Dobrowolski - Draw your future. Take control of your life.
"A solitary fantasy can transform a million realities." - Maya Angelou.

Votes6 DateJan 20, 2016

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*Freedom

Martin Luther King Day

Issa Nyaphaga
TRIBUTE TO THE MAN WHO SAID: NO!:
*** Today, we say: "THANK YOU" to the man who made it possible in the United States of America for everybody to share the same bathroom, public transportation, sidewalk, ballot vote , playground or smoking area, Priest, Imam, Rabbi, monk and fountain... etc
Every 3rd Monday of January, the U.S observes Martin Luther King Day as a Federal paid holiday. The bill was signed into law by Ronald Reagan in 1983 after Congress approval. The battle took 15 years and petitions of six million names to submit it to the House. Yes, USA rock on :-)
Dr. Martin won uncountable number of global and national awards in his life time, but was still jailed and humiliated by his own authorities during demonstrations.
MLK Jr. did not only fight for the civil rights of black people. He stood up against Poverty, Hunger, War, Blind Capitalism and all forms of injustice. After he denounced the war in Vietnam, Dr. Martin was murdered in April 4, 1968 while admiring a landscape in Memphis Tennessee; (I was just 1 year old - who cares?!)
Anyway, the legacy of MLK Jr. teaches us to be faithful with what we believe is Right, because the Secret of Life Is Not to Be Afraid.
Who remembers the names of his ennemies and his oppressors? They don't have public a monument dedicated to them, neither a holiday in their names.
*** MARGINALIZATION??? Can only serve the Oppressed because he or she will become Resilient to it and WILL WIN.
By Issa Nyaphaga
Artist, Performer & Human Rights
Founder of www.hitip.org

Votes5 DateJan 18, 2016

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*Freedom

Water4Social Peace

Issa Nyaphaga
# ONE REASON YOU SHOULD
DONATE TO MY CAUSES
hitip.org achieved this project w/ the Rotary Foundation's networks.
We've changed the lives and thinking of our supporters and also people who need to improve their circumstances. That's what we do; we don't only do it in Africa but everywhere I've traveled and spoken. I want to make a place for Hope and Possibility for other people and for myself.
This video is an example of what we have done with advantages like knowledge, cultural understanding and the help of a few influential people.
We cannot have guns all over this planet and no Drinking Water for the people... THAT'S JUST NOT RIGHT.
https://vimeo.com/139480359
So please join today to support us in any way you can. You can give anything - money or time - in the name of your loved one, even connecting us with someone or some institution/foundation that could move things forward for us. We don't like to show off; we stay humble and we hope to get there one step at the time, because it's always possible! Thank you for donating here:
www.hitip.org - the founder.

Votes3 DateJan 11, 2016

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*Women

Pamela Booton

Issa Nyaphaga
Pamela Booton - Art Lover, Publisher, Financial Adviser
You can easily spot our friend Pamela Booton and there’s a reason for it. Her distinguished and colorful style shows how much she admires life and beauty. A world citizen, traveler, arts advocate and a professional financial adviser, she expresses how fortunate she is to work with great clients, including many educators and creative sorts. She also devotes her considerable energy to encouraging artists and promoting their work in communities of Austin and beyond. She advocates for the intelligentsia in art and literature scenes in Texas, New Orleans and sometimes internationally. She publishes writers, poets, artists and political cartoonists through Alamo Bay Press, a small press she co-founded with activist/author Diane Wilson and professor/author Lowell Mick White.
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Pamela is also involved in campaigns to support vulnerable populations at home and in the developing world. She says she is privileged to have found meaningful ways to make a difference. She has managed to sustain a spiritual logic in her path, receiving, giving and sharing the beauties and happiness of life.
Longtime Austin resident Pamela was born in San Antonio, grew up in Fort Worth and graduated from the The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in mathematics. She began her work life in Dallas as an accountant and stockbroker, returning to Austin over twenty years ago to complete UT’s actuarial mathematics program and establish her financial advisory practice. In addition to what she refers to as her “day job” as a financial adviser, her art advocacy and publishing, Pamela has been organizing a workshop for writers’ with some of the well known names in the education, art and literature scene in Austin, Seadrift, and New Orleans such as Lee Meitzen Grue, Dr. Hazel Ward, Ken Fontenot, Dr. Lowell Mick White, Diane Wilson and Reji Thomas. She is a consultant and agent for artist Reji Thomas. She is also a board member and consultant of the Mos Chukma Institute, which provides art therapy to children at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans and the Joseph A. Craig Charter School in Treme’. Pamela is an associate producer of the documentary Radio Taboo and promotes performances by artist/activist Issa Nyaphaga, providing community radio to Cameroon, West Africa. She is a member of Impact Austin and the Austin Documentary Fans and serves on the board of Issue TV. Pamela Booton is a devoted family member, wife to Javier VanWisse and mom to their two dachshunds, Rudy and Grady, known by family and friends as “The Boys.”
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She’s a true art lover with a strong sense of humility, integrity and respect. The art related actions and events are often orchestrated to bring attention to a cause, to an artists’ group, or to promote a global campaign of awareness. And this is what keeps the vibrant energy of Pamela Booton going. Possibly because of modesty, Pamela shares very little how she fell in love with art or the passion of publishing for the first time. If you spend some time with her, you would understand her deep sense of connection with the indigenous people. Whether her favorite art has been created by a contemporary artist or craftsman, it always carries a strong flavor of irony. Pamela shares that her heritage is native to this land; she is a member of the Choctaw Nation. In fact, the gods and spirits of creativity have always been with Pamela Booton.
Event empowered by Pamela Booton in Austin Texas.
The mystery remains the genuine nature of Pamela Booton. If you approach her, it’s obvious that the personality of Pamela creates the sense of caring and possibility for others. After all, Pamela is a community organizer who brings change to her world and has brightened her own life and the life around her. As the wise saying goes: “If you invest in love, you receive love!”
By Issa Nyaphaga
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Votes7 DateDec 23, 2015

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*Film

Narcisse Sandjon

Issa Nyaphaga
Narcisse Sandjon; Making Films on the Local Leaders of the Youth.
By Issa N. Nyaphaga ©2015
Narcisse is an independent director, producer and filmmaker based in Yaoundé, Cameroon. He has worked for the CRTV – (Cameroon Radio Television) since 2009 as director of scriptwriting, cameraman and a spotlight designer. Beside his day job, Sandjon runs MALAFARÉ Productions, a small documentary film production company he created to realize his dream. As a self-taught African film director, Narcisse Sandjon has shown that when you have the passion to tell stories with a camera, you don’t have to spend three years in film school. Editing and directing for national television has been a tremendous opportunity for him to meditate with a camera. The life of Narcisse Sandjon is like a film; this is his story…
Narcisse Sandjon was born in Mbanga Balom on the coast of Littoral, Cameroon in 1976, and at age of 11, his parents moved to Jean Vespa -- Carrière, a suburban area of Yaoundé, the Capital. Narcisse was the first born of the family of seven children. He dreamed of a successful career as a football player, especially a goalkeeper. Sadly the separation of his parents made Narcisse’s childhood a long walk with obstacles. As the eldest son, he was the one who protected his brothers and sisters from being bullied in school and from their abusive father. The kids also faced several placements in foster families.
After receiving his primary certificate, Sandjon attended many high schools in Yaoundé: College VOGT, College de la RETRAITE where he obtained his BEPC-GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in 1994. He pursued his studies to the Lycée Elig-Essono of Yaoundé, another school where he suddenly dropped out in 1996 due to lack of scholarship and unsustainable family balance.
While sharing his story, Sandjon confessed that he never had a mentor - “a role model” to guide him and added, “Life actually didn’t offer me an elevator, but only the Great Wall of China.” Fortunately, Sandjon did not get bored after his studies stopped. He moved to Douala, the economic capital, where he signed up at JOWICE, a local movie editing center and spent nearly four years studying filmmaking, editing and recording. From 2008 to 2009 Narcisse was granted an internship to the CRTV where he successfully completed the program. On June 2014, he was recruited as cameraman and since then Narcisse Sandjon has been a full team member. He has worked in almost all the departments of the Cameroon Radio Television as producer, director, cameraman, and designer of ads, spots and video clips.
Mr. Sandjon has also been in charge of many well known TV shows such as, BEAUTÉ DE FÊTE CRTV, CROISSANCE-PLUS CRTV, TÉLÉ OPINION CRTV, PROGRAMME TÉLÉ HELLO! & BONJOUR! CRTV. On one of the famous Youth Talk Shows, "Jeunesse, Parlons-En” - Youth - Let’s Talk, Narcisse worked as a cameraman and director; he also designed spots and ads for the show.
During the Men’s World Cup Championship in 2014 Kenya and Female’s in 2015 in Egypt, Narcisse was cameraman operator for the Department of Sports and Entertainment of CRTV. Narcisse has directed many documentaries and promotional films for UNICEF, PEOPLE TELEVISION and the N.G.O SMILE TRAIN all over Central Africa and Cameroon.
Lately, Narcisse Sandjon has been working on a documentary series called “D’CLIK” - SHIFT. The idea is to portray the stories of current role models in the society to empower the youth. Narcisse has documented the portraits of fourteen personalities whose lives and actions will inspire the next generations of African leaders. One story by Narcisse has become an international 52 minute documentary film titled: Art Factor of Personal Development. In the film, Sandjo follows Issa Nyaphaga, an artist and activist based in the U.S. who travels to Cameroon every year to bring basic services to his tiny village in the heart of the jungle. It was shown in December 2014 in Ngambé-Tikar, the community where Issa is from, signifying a turning point in the community. Since then, a positive shift has been made toward Issa’s project by local leaders. The film has been screened in the U.S. and France. A version with English subtitles is available on DVD.

What is most interesting about Narcisse’s films, is his capacity to narrate stories with the strengths that has no academic limits, because Narcisse is a self taught filmmaker. In Africa of today, where China has massively supplied the black continent with low-cost technology, this filmmaker is worth following. More Africans will see Narcisse’s film on their affordable technology items. It’s a significant power of the new media in the beginning of the 21st century, but the decline of movie theatre as we knew it. Progress has its own dark side.
Nevertheless, Mr. Sandjon is nourishing a dream of coming the U.S. and filming the man he interviewed at a cartoon festival one day in the summer 2014, Dr. John A. Lent; a prominent scholar and critic of cartoon and comic art. Dr. Lent was a jury member for the Pulitzer Prize for Cartooning in New York City more than once.
Issa N. Nyaphaga
Artist & Human Rights Activist
Professor of Contemporary African Art, Social Justice & Cultural Diversity
connect@hitip.org

www.hitip.org
All photos by O. Mebouack©

Votes3 DateNov 23, 2015

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*Film

Sophie Rousmaniere Jay Minton

Issa Nyaphaga
# Sophie ROUSMANIERE & Jay MINTON: Two talents for one Mission, Filming for Social Justice.
Sophie Rousmaniere is a filmmaker and freelance journalist and singer, most importantly a social justice activist. Rousmaniere could be seeing as a young female wolf with long teeth, because of the subjects she embraces as a storyteller with a camera. Before Sophie was a filmmaker, she traveled the world and worked to many remote places in the world such as, Thailand, Canada, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Guatemala, Pakistan, Laos, Vietnam and Cameroon. She even lived in Thailand for 5 years as tattoo artist.
It is hard to write the story of Sophie Rousmaniere without associating the man who is bringing delicious sounds and noises in her films, Jay Minton. Minton has worked on numerous art and film projects including “Sacred Spaces, The Power of Pen and Ink, Yellow Fever and Radio Taboo. Jay is also an accomplished guitar player and sound engineer. And as the life partner of Sophie, Mr. Minton always knows how and when to add his unique talent into Sophie’s pictures to make “their cinema” an emotional moment of joy and invasion. In fact, the experiences of these two global citizens merge well together and allow other to see the possibility of understanding and participation.
When they are not involved in commission work, Sophie and Jay’s work is largely social justice issue projects, and they are members of Issue Television, a 501(c) 3 US non-profit for the social engagement, and owners of Iron Thorn Production, the company they created to support their film work.
Before she graduated from the film school, Sophie had worked as a film director, freelance journalist world wide, and she has produced and edited over 20 movies, documentaries and music videos. Besides her life as a mother, film editor and composer, Sophie and Jay performed for the ‘Elected Officials” an underground hard rock band aiming to deliver education through music and entertainment to U.S.’s pop cultural post 9/11.
The first important documentary produced by Iron Thorn their Productions was “Yellow Fever”. The film narrates the state of the Uranium mining in the Navajo reservations and the critical social life of one of the underserved indigenous communities living in third world country conditions in the rural areas of the United States today. Capitalism could not show its’ more horrifying face that this.
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In the documentary narrative film, the camera of Sophie and the microphone of Jay are following Tina Garnanez a veteran who just returned from war in Iraq, to her Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. As a young girl, Tina was told not to play in or near the open mines by her neighborhood.
In the late 1940s, the U.S. government started stockpiling nuclear weapons for the Cold War. To acquire the raw materials for the nuclear arms, uranium mines were the main activity in the Four Corners region of the U.S. southwest in the junction of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona states.
In fact growing up, nobody told the story of Sophie and Jay’s movie, why she could not play near the old mines, and that the old tunnels led to the death of a larger part of her family members. After coming back from serving to war, she shares how she discovered her grandfather and great-uncles were uranium miners in the Navajo Reservations.
Yellow Fever is sort of a meticulous and “InvestiAction” social issue’s film that is full of sarcasism and humor, edited to create awareness and raises up questions to the viewers such as : - Is democracy an excuse to any human right violation? Should the capitalism system be accountable for its pollution? Why is building a nuclear weapon to protect freedom is an excuse to pollute environment and endanger lives? This film shows the real journey throughout the life of the Navajo people and their struggle to overcome socio-political injustice, where they meet with lawmaker in Washington DC. “Yellow Fever was nationally broadcast in 58 millions homes in the U.S and labeled as – “Uncovering the Navajo Uranium Legacy” aired on 137 channels on PBS’s World Channel in the series “America Reframed” in March 2015.
In one of their interviews with a native radio in Canada, referring to Tina, Rousmaniere share this quote: “She goes from being a curious family member looking at her family’s tragic past with uranium, and then becomes more active in the fight for environmental justice for her people.” This movie has unanimously received Official Selections from no less than then film festivals around the globe.
development projects or they work as sound/camera operators, editor as well as crowd-funding consultants.
Their latest “baby” is called: Radio Taboo, a development project and documentary film about Issa Nyaphaga, a political cartoonist exile returning to his small village in
When Sophie and Jay aren’t producing films, they are involved with youth media Central/West Africa to build a community radio station to educate his community about subjects that are often too taboo to talk about. Nyaphaga was a commentary cartoonist in Cameroon in the 1990s where he was jailed and tortured for his political cartoons.
Again the camera and microphone follow the artist who is returning to the jungle to build a bush radio about the rights of minorities living in the isolation. Nditam, his village, has no running water, no electricity, no good schools or hospitals and no public news service. The film shows the struggle of an activist who raises funds to get the materials and train citizen journalists for the station for the betterment of his community.
https://vimeo.com/139663272
After the first filming in Cameroon in Summer 2012, Sophie Rousmaniere said: “It was an adventure to travel with Issa as he fights against all odds to create this amazing project.” The radio station will run on renewable energy and will feature citizen journalists reporting on local issues to 1 million people in the remote rainforest of Cameroon.
Issa N. Nyaphaga
Artist, Cartoonist & Human Rights Activist
Professor of Contemporary African Art, Social Justice & Cultural Diversity
Santa Fe, New Mexico – USA - January 25, 2015.
connect@hitip.org

www.hitip.org

Votes6 DateNov 2, 2015

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*Music

Fela Kuti

Issa Nyaphaga
Fela Kuti’s AfroBeat; or the Pan-African Revolution Through Music.
By Issa Nyaphaga
Fela Kuti, is known in Africa as Fela Anikulapo Kuti. His “middle name” ANIKULAPO in Yoruba means “the one who has death in his pocket.” For the mainstream media and the public in the West he is simply Fela. Mr. Kuti has gone through many transformations his struggle for socio-political justice for Africans. Surely he has earned the title “The Black President of the Kalakuta Republic.” Fela Kuti is undeniably recognized as an emblematic figure standing against political oppression, the pioneer of revolutionary genre of music called “AfroBeat” that he created to support his fight for social justice. Mr. Kuti was a composer, a multi-instrumentalist musician and a performer. As a human rights activist and a political maverick, Mr. Anikulapo was arrested and beaten by the dictatorial regimes that ruled Nigeria at the time. In 2008, a theatrical production debuted portraying Fela Kuti's life entitled simply “Fela”. It was the result of a collaboration between the AfroBeat band, Antibalas, and Tony Award-winner Bill T. Jones. The show was a major success on Broadway playing to sold out audiences for three good years. It was an historical breakthrough for an African artist in Western show biz.
Fela Kuti was born on October 15, 1938 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. In the late 50s, he was sent to London to study medicine and decided to study classical music instead. Fela started with the trumpet but he did not stop there. He explored other music instruments, such as piano, guitar, saxophone, drum and voice, his ancestral medium. As a student in London, Fela struggled to sustain his studies and faced discrimination from British society. While looking for a room to rent, he would meet signs: “No blacks, no dogs!”, Kuti shared later. His country, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, was one of the ex-colonies the British Empire and was “Independent” in 1960, but the power belongs to an oligarchy, the legacy of colonialism. That period of Fela’s life shaped his revolutionary thinking toward the Establishment. Historically this was the turning point when Fela became the voice of the voiceless; his music was composed and performed to demand justice, basic rights, and Power to the People.
In 1963, Fela moved back to Nigeria to form Koola Lobitos, his first music band and collaborated with many other musicians who performed at the Shrine, his nightclub cabaret in the heart of (the neighborhood he independently proclaimed “Kalakuta Republic”) in the city of Lagos. In 1967, he traveled Ghana for residency in need of new musical horizons. That was where Fela first created the pioneering music concept baptized; AfroBeat.
Why does Mr. Kuti’s music claims “Black Power” in such a “mono-ethnic” society like in Nigeria where the last English colonist left 30 years ago? Because in the minds the African intellectuals, Colonization is not only associated to the color of a skin or being only from a European origin; it is a mentality, an attitude toward the so-called “Indigenous” and the awkward behavior of a handful of rulers who sat on Nigeria’s 130 millions people’ wealth. That is the social injustice, corruption, nepotism and grid issues. Nigeria has a rich soil but poor people. Anikolapo-Kuti always denounces in his musical work and speeches. Beyond the successful message that resonates the aspirations of the mass of underserved populations, AfroBeat’s rhythm is indeed seductive to the victims of the neo-colonialism the author is pointing out. This is what Fela aims to overcome with his Afrobeat; he wants power returned to the people as it was before colonialism; Black Power Back to the People.
The king of AfroBeat did not become a popular and an inspiring leader by historical mistake; he came from generations of political opposition against the Establishment in his country. His mother Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was political activist and a leader of the feminist movement in Nigeria. His father Oludotun Ransome-Kuti was a clergyman and the leader the Nigerian Teachers’ Union. The young Fela grew up being fed with all the ingredients to become the maverick who would carry higher the torch of social justice. In addition, looking at Fela’s background, the “black president” shares a close “cousinery” with the legendary writer, and Nobel Prize winner, Wole Soyinka. Soyinka is the first ever African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1984 with the book “The Lion and the Jewel”.
In the heart of the Black Panther movement, Fela traveled on a tour with his band to the U.S. and spent almost a year in Los Angeles. While in the United States, Fela Kuti discovered the struggle of Black activists and their slogan “All Power to the People” resonated to the man who could not wait to fight neo-colonialism, and his U.S. experience strongly influenced the lyrics in his music. After he returned to Nigeria, Anikolapo changed the name of the band to Nigeria '70, but kept the concept of AfroBeat, which remains indeed one of the most trans-cultural sounds today.
Fela Ransome Anikolapo Kuti died on August 3, 1997 in Lagos. Over one million people attended his funeral service in Kalakuta Republic where he lived the most gorgeous moments of his life.
One critic has confessed that, “you just don’t describe his music; AfroBeat is an indescribable genre of music, you gotta live it.” But Wikipedia has tried the exercise, and here it’s, with the final touch about the mythical drummer Tony Allen:
“The musical style of Felá is called AfroBeat style he largely created, which is a complex fusion ofJazz, Funk, Ghanaian/Nigerian High-life, psychedelic rock, and traditional West African chants and rhythms. Afrobeat also borrows heavily from the native "tinker pan" African-style percussion that Kuti acquired while studying in Ghana with Hugh Massekela, under the uncanny Hedzoleh Soundz. The importance of the input of Tony Allen (Fela's drummer of twenty years) in the creation of Afrobeat cannot be overstated. Fela once famously stated that "without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat".
Issa N. Nyaphaga
Artist, Cartoonist & Human Rights Activist
Professor of Contemporary African Art, Social Justice & Cultural Diversity
Santa Fe, New Mexico – USA - Oct. 14, 2015.
www.hitip.org

Votes6 DateOct 19, 2015

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*Arts

Patch Adams

Issa Nyaphaga
Hunter Campbell "Patch" Adams
The Clown with a Big Heart

is a social activist, citizen diplomat, professional clown, performer, and author. He founded the Gesundheit! Institute in 1972. Every year he organizes a group of volunteers from around the world to travel to various countries where they dress and perform as clowns, bringing hope and joy to orphans, patients, and others in need. His life inspired the film Patch Adams, starring Robin Williams. Adams promotes a different health care model (i.e. one not funded by insurance policies) in collaboration with the Gesundheit! Institute.

His path crossed Issa's because of John Lent, an American writer and cartoon and comic art critic, who has published articles about Issa and Patch. Because of their connection, Issa and Patch are working on a project to combine art and clown's play, which will be provide humor and healing for people in hospitals and clinics in Cameroon.
![patchadams05.jpg]
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Votes5 DateAug 17, 2015

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*Healing

Dr. Georges Bwelle

Issa Nyaphaga
Doctor Bwelle; The “Robin Hood” of Africa!
- By Issa N. Nyaphaga ©2010
“I have been dealing with the realities of African societies for the past 30 years; and looking at the work of Dr. Georges Bwelle, I can say: “The Contemporary Africa is a Sleeping Giant for Social Change.” I had been honored to witness first-hand the power of Dr. Bwelle’s work. I have seen him and his volunteer team provide hundreds of free medical consultations—in just one day—to villagers who had never seen a doctor before. After providing consultations from dawn until dusk, Dr. Bwelle rested only briefly before beginning to provide no-cost surgery to villagers. I stayed up through the night to watch him perform 10 consecutive surgeries overnight using only local anesthesia on patients in an isolated village with no electricity and no running water.”
Dr. Bwelle is a Cameroonian surgeon at the Central Hospital in Yaoundé the capital of the Republic of Cameroon. Dr. Georges works Monday to Friday at the hospital and runs ASCOVIME the weekends. ASCOVIME is the community-based organization Georges Bwelle has created to support the rural communities of his country.
Georges is one of the committed community leaders who is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every weekend. I have been advocating for individuals like Dr. Georges outside of the continent of Africa for more than a decade now. Dr. Bwelle has become known affectionately as “Georges of the Jungle” and he is widely respected among the thousands of indigenous villagers that he serves every year. Mr. Bwelle is a pioneer of Global Health who has created the concept of combining Public Health and Education in a country of socio-political chaos. Lately, Georges Bwelle has started a program to provide birth certificates to the children who are being forgotten by the administration.
* - Dr. Georges has won many local nobilities and two global awards:
ASCOVIME’s Concept & Innovation.
In 2001, Dr. Bwelle founded ASCOVIME - (Association for the Competences for a Better Life,) which is a non-governmental humanitarian, non-religious and non-political organization dedicated to providing free medical care and educational supplies to marginalized villages in Cameroon and Central Africa. Dr. Bwelle’s novel strategy is to provide free medical care to parents and families while simultaneously providing children with the educational supplies they need to attend school and to thrive.
Through ASCOVIME, Dr. Bwelle has developed innovative, practical solutions to address these issues. His work is a testament to his originality and his ability to creatively solve problems and provide healing to those who would otherwise never receive care. Dr. Bwelle recognizes these medical and educational challenges and addresses them directly and effectively without charging any of his thousands of patients. Much of ASCOVIME’s success can be attributed to Dr. Bwelle’s belief in creating partnerships and collaborative relationships based on trust and transparency. Dr. Bwelle knows that in order to deeply affect the overall health of the villages that he visits, he must build equitable relationships with village members and village leaders.
Dr. Bwelle’s unparalleled vision comes directly from his personal experiences and from his intimate knowledge of the challenges in his home country. Cameroon has been steeped in a permanent social crisis since its independence from both France and the U.K. in the 1960’s. There is also a current crisis in leadership and a lack of leadership opportunities for the younger generation. The need for a leader who demonstrates commitment to communities in rural Cameroon is clear and present. Dr. Bwelle has been such a leader.
The Mobile Clinic.
ASCOVIME offers innovative mobile medical clinics along with educational and leadership opportunities for Cameroonian youth, villagers and women as well as for medical students and volunteers from the local and the international community.
ASCOVIME’s primary activities are weekend mobile medical clinics in which Dr. Bwelle and his team of volunteers distributes educational supplies and medical care to villagers. Dr. Bwelle visits about 35-40 villages per year, seeing up to 1,500 people or more in a single weekend. Nine months of the year, Dr. Bwelle, along with local and international volunteers, travels to villages and provides no-cost medical consultations, medications, and surgeries. All of this work is provided free of charge for villagers and is done with the consent and understanding of the local traditional chief. The resources for each trip come from Dr. Bwelle’s contribution of his salary and from volunteers’ collections of donations and medical supplies from their home countries. Dr. Bwelle’s team campaigns against tropical diseases, administers anti-parasitic drugs, and provides educational sessions that engage villagers in providing their own community healthcare. Cameroonian and international medical students and community volunteers teach villagers water sanitation and hygiene techniques that help prevent the spread of disease, effectively giving them information they can use to make their communities healthier.
“Georges of the Jungle” Somebody “very” Special.
Dr. Bwelle’s work is truly unique not only in his own country, but also in the entire West Africa region. ASCOVIME’s unique focus on providing free, mobile medical care as well as no-cost educational supplies to marginalized villages is unlike anything that is currently being done in Cameroon. In Africa, there are no other community-based organizations that provides free, comprehensive mobile medical clinics for families in conjunction with delivering free birth certificates, educational materials and resources for students and teachers in rural areas.
Dr. Georges Bwelle believes that access to medical care and educational opportunities are fundement human rights. Dr. Bwelle works tirelessly to ensure that children and families in Cameroon and Central Africa can receive equitable treatment and resources. A natural leader, Dr. Bwelle refuses to be a part of the “brain drain” that affects so many communities in Africa and he is dedicated to mentoring the next generation of doctors and medical professionals. He is committed to working in his own country and the surrounding region where he puts himself at risk by providing services that the government does not provide. He courageously works to stop the “structural violence”—in the form of inaccessible medical care and non-existent educational opportunities—that affects villagers in Central Africa on a daily basis.
Dr. Bwelle is all too familiar with the health and education challenges faced by his fellow citizens in Cameroon. It is his awareness of these profound problems and his desire to solve them that inspires Dr. Bwelle in his work with ASCOVIME:
Through ASCOVIME, Dr. Bwelle has developed innovative, practical solutions to address these issues. His work is a testament to his originality and his ability to creatively solve problems and provide healing to those who would otherwise never receive care. Dr. Bwelle recognizes these medical and educational challenges and addresses them directly and effectively without charging any of his thousands of patients. Much of ASCOVIME’s success can be attributed to Dr. Bwelle’s belief in creating partnerships and collaborative relationships based on trust and transparency. Dr. Bwelle knows that in order to deeply affect the overall health of the villages that he visits, he must build equitable relationships with village members and village leaders.
Short Bio.
Full Name: GEORGES – ROGER MOTTO BWELLE
Gender: Male
Title of Medical Officer:
M.D., Visceral Surgeon - Central Hospital of Yaoundé, Cameroon,
Occupation: Founder – ASCOVIME Cameroon – (Association des Compétences pour une Vie Meilleure) - Yaoundé, Cameroon - Central Africa.
Websites:
http://www.ascovime.org/
http://www.ascovime.fr
Languages Spoken:

- Duala (Sawa) - tribal & local
-French & English
- Pidgin English / vehicular
Previous Awards.
2014 - The Patcha Foundation – Maryland, US.
2013 - Top 10 CNN Heroes – New York, US.
2012 - Tribal Bamun Award - Foumban Cameroon.
2010 – Indigenous Nobility Prince Position as Lifesaver – Nditam, Cameroon.
Link resources:



Glimpse of Cameroon
independence from both France and the U.K. in the 1960’s
* - Independence from France and the U.K. on January 1st 1960.
* - Cameroon is a country in Central Africa where government expenditures on health care equal $80 per person per year and most citizens have minimal access to medical care and education.
* - The average life expectancy at birth is 54 years, and the infant mortality rate is 62 in 1000 births. Health care accounts for a meager 5.1% of the GDP with 95% of health care costs coming out-of-pocket from Cameroonians.
* - An estimated 48% of the population lives below the poverty line, leaving few citizens eligible to afford health care.
* - Education receives 2.9% of the GDP and an average child receives 10 years of education.
* - Infection with tropical diseases is the leading cause of morbidity in Central Africa, resulting in an inability to attend school, work, or care for a family, effectually trapping those affected in a cycle of poverty. Tropical diseases, including malaria, are the leading causes of death for children under five in Cameroon.
Many Cameroonians live in isolated villages whose remoteness makes them difficult to access by education providers and health care workers. Families living in villages do not have access to doctors, secondary education, or the internationally funded public health services that are improving the lives of Cameroonians in large cities. The remoteness of these places in combination with a lack of funding from the government leave many rural Cameroonians without the education and health services they need to thrive. These are the very communities that Dr. Bwelle and ASCOVIME serve.
Issa N. Nyaphaga
Artist, Cartoonist & Human Rights Activist
Professor of Contemporary African Art, Social Justice & Cultural Diversity
Santa Fe, New Mexico – USA - January 25, 2015.
connect@hitip.org

www.hitip.org
All photos by O. Mebouack©

Votes4 DateAug 17, 2015


Created Planet Sanctuary Spotlights

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Natural wonders

Nikki Fagiolo

Issa Nyaphaga
Nicoletta Fagiolo: The Lends of Activism.
Nikki Fagiolo is an independent documentary filmmaker and a social justice activist who work has been published and screened in many film festivals around the globe. Fagiolo is based in Roma and has directed numerous documentary film projects such as, The Independent Diplomat, Slow Food, The Pen in Exile and the Rebels of 9th Art; portraying the work three African cartoonists, Jonathan Zapiro, a well-known commentary cartoonist in South Africa, the Cameroonian human rights activist Issa Nyaphaga and the Willy Zekid, the narrator in the film from Congo Brazzaville.
Nikki as her friends like to call her, focuses her subject matters on freedom, mostly human rights violations, freedom of the expression, free speech and even freedom to eat healthy – Slow Food. In the early 1990s Fagiolo was one of the former UNHCR staff members who contributed to write and publish the online “Gallery of Prominent Refugees” for the agency's 50th anniversary. During her time at the UNHCR, Nicoletta conducted research and evaluations in countries experiencing conflict and crisis.
Nicoletta is not only a committed and a talented director, she is also a visionary intellectual. She was one of the first filmmakers to make a documentary film about Muhammad Yunnus, the founder of the Grahmeen Bank. Fagiolo collaborated with Yunnus before he received the Nobel Prize for his innovative microcredit program 2006.
Nicoletta is currently working on several projects to eradicate impunity of the imperial states.
In 2007 in Paris, Nikki Fagiolo followed Nike Robintson an English man who climbed the Eiffel Tower to protest against the French oil company TOTAL that was the main supporter of the Burmese in regime in Rangoon at the time. Fagiolo lives and works in Paris.
The latest productions of Nicoletta focus on the current socio-political the realities of some African states such as, the Ivoirian crisis with the unfair trial to prosecution of on the ex president Laurent Gbagbo at the ICC at La Hague; and after a profound investigation, Fagiolo has also published an articles on the Rwandan Genocide.
The latest productions of Nicoletta focus on the current socio-political the realities of some African states such as, the Ivoirian crisis with the unfair trial to prosecution of on the ex president Laurent Gbagbo at the ICC at La Hague; and after a profound investigation, Fagiolo has also published an articles on the Rwandan Genocide.

Votes3 DateOct 2, 2015


Created Light of Culture Spotlights

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Africa

Radio Taboo Sound Bite

Issa Nyaphaga
THE YUMMY SOUND SOUND BITE:
(Community Radio for Social Change)
- Don't miss this podcast Hmmmmm...! It was done in Paris on Radio Taboo last month - Bon Appétit!
http://en.rfi.fr/culture/20171007-Radio-Taboo-voice-voiceless

Votes1 DateNov 15, 2017

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Africa

My Work Is Having Impact Back to Africa

Issa Nyaphaga
MY WORK IS HAVING IMPACT BACK IN AFRICA:
(My Brain Is a Lab for Projects To Impact In Africa.)

Students of Master's 2 at the Institute of Fine Arts in Foumban - Cameroon.
Whether it is the Art, Human Rights or Mediation to free many from prison for demanding Equal Justice, wild ideas I started in my studios or in my wild mind alone are paying off.

Moir Walita the community organizer in Malawi talking to the students of the schools he supervises.
This week, in the small Republic of Malawi, one of the few countries in Africa to have elected a female president, my philosophy and vison is being taught this semester... The documentary films portraying my artistic endeavors and social justice project are the main topic in 7 Girls' Schools and 1400 students in the Rhumpi District in the north of Malawi.

Issa talking to the crowd in his village, Nditam before a football match
Brother Moir Walita, the community leader who supervises the schools, was invited to New Mexico in 2016 to bring awareness and collect funds for his cause - "building girls bathrooms in schools" to avoid early marriages and premature pregnancies. Moir believes girls should have education first.
One of the Issa's projects (Water for Social Peace) won the 2012 Global Rotary Peace Award in Berlin- Germany.

Votes3 DateOct 4, 2017

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Africa

Happy Mother's Day

Issa Nyaphaga
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY
I'm that little worm she carried in her belly, then on he back.
For me, the relationship to a Mother is Sacred. I grew up in this rural village in Africa with no birthday celebration. Even though my mother Adjimi had my birth certificate, she can't read and writ - so I missed this kind of fun a child can have. .. That's okay.
We're currently building a community radio station in the village, so that the next generation of women and girls can access Knowledge and Education.
***THIS SUNDAY, DONATE TO http://www.hitip.org/ ON THE NAME OF YOUR LOVED MAMA! Usoko/Thank You ;-)

Votes3 DateMay 14, 2017

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North America

Artist Manifesto - Santa Fe Street Performance

Issa Nyaphaga
- Artist Manifesto -
Santa Fe Street Art Performance:
Artist Performance "The Walk of the Water Carrier", Issa Nyaphaga an artist from Cameroon (West Africa) in Residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute for the Water Rights Residency, will perform in Santa Fe on Friday, May 5th, 2017. Issa grew up in the rural African village of Nditam, Cameroon where he carried water twice a day before and after school. The artist will reprise the walk carrying a bucket of water on his head from his studio at SFAI to the Mill Contemporary Gallery on Canyon road where the opening of his exhibition, the Sanctuary Show, will be taking place.
Issa Nyaphaga alias ‘Artoonist’ was imprisoned and persecuted in Cameroon for his political cartoons. Issa paints his body as a way to find resilience. Issa will build a costume out of recycled plastic bottles for his Friday performance. Issa Nyaphaga was selected by SFAI for his award winning project “Water for Social Peace”.
Open to the public - for a fun Friday Art Walk.

Votes4 DateApr 29, 2017

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Africa

Issa Riding a Motorbike in Cameroon Feb 2016 - Ixx @ +++++

Issa Nyaphaga
ALL DAY ON MOTORBIKE:
- Yeah! It was to go to the city yesterday. This landscape is greener now. And because of the bumps, I still can't feel my butt

Votes1 DateJul 1, 2016

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Africa

Activism

Issa Nyaphaga
Club 9516/The Sound Kitchen - Cartoonist, artist, philanthropist Issa Nyaphaga
Rebroadcast:
This week on the Club 9516/Sound Kitchen, meet Cameroonian political cartoonist, painter, philanthropist and political exile, Issa Nyaphaga. There’s lots of good music ... and of course, the quiz ...
http://www.english.rfi.fr/africa/20100314-club-9516the-sound-kitchen-cartoonist-artist-philanthropist-issa-nyaphaga

Votes2 DateJan 23, 2016

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Middle East

The Dot Against Assassination

Issa Nyaphaga
The Dots on my Face.
Look at my face! Yes, look at it again... It has 47 dots, that's the number of people executed last Saturday by the Saudi Arabia dynasty, including a Shia religious leader Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Who gave us the right to decide who must live or die?

Votes2 DateJan 17, 2016

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Africa

Ibrahim, the Coach on the Wheelchair

Issa Nyaphaga
Ibrahim Abdoulaye –
Since ever he was a child, Ibrahim barely remembers the last time he stood up and walked. Ibrahim was victim of Polio disease at the age of one and half year old in his village in N’ditam. Because of the lack of information in his family, his parents were not able to provide Ibrahim with Polio vaccination. But Ibrahim showing that even sitting the wheelchair you can accomplish your dream.
Mobility with dignity
The physical condition of Ibrahim has made him resilient to the challenge he faces in his every day’s life. From the age of three to nine years old, the young boy crawled down most of his childhood. In a rural African village, taboo is rampant in the communities. Fortunately, Ibrahim has less prejudice in Nditam and also the support of his entire village. In 2002, Ibrahim was granted with his ever first tricycle donated by HITIP (Hope International For Tikar People) a community-based organization working to improve the quality of life of the marginalized, indigenous people in Mbam and Kim region, where Ibrahim is from. The wheelchair has helped the young boy to gain his dignity – he couldn’t any longer be carried to run little errands such as going to the toilet, getting himself around the village and with his friends. The same tricycle helped Ibrahim to complete his primary education. Almost a decade after Ibrahim received his first wheelchair; he has become a strong young leader and a man with a vision for his life.
A gifted soul
In Nditam, a lost village in the middle of the equatorial rainforest, with no infrastructure – no running water, no electricity and medical center, Ibrahim has developed skills of a technician – he is the tech repair guy of the village. He fixes flashlights, radios, wheelchairs, bicycles and even generators. The villagers are amazed how the talent of a young individual with disabilities has become a tremendous support to the community.
Beside his passion as technician, Ibrahim is a great fan of soccer/football game. In Cameroon, Soccer/football is not only a game as we would think, it is a religion, and everybody is involved; children, adolescents, women, adults and elders. And for those who are not naturally granted with two legs, they can go play with braces or crutches. Ibrahim knows early in his life that he wouldn’t play the ball himself, and for a while he cheered the teams sitting on a wheelchair and one day he felt like not only waiting next to the stadium, he wanted to be in the game and field on the grass under the wheels of his tricycle, since he cannot stand and run.
Fair winner
In the Summer 2009, HITIP, the same local organization launched the soccer/football championship among the villages. And the event took place in Nditam his home-based village; it was the perfect opportunity for Ibrahim to show how much he could contribute to the championship. Quickly, Ibrahim formed a team of young soccer players and started training them three times a week. And he baptized his team; Meliti Football Club of N’ditam. Meliti is the name of the most famous tikar gods, symbolized as a character of a mask, which are the spirits of Tikar ancestors. The mythology of Meliti is known as the son who committed a matricide – the murder of his mother. With his oval and flat back head, Meliti has an impressive appearance, and has a single red feather on the top of his forehead, that gives him a particular look. Meliti has one extraordinary affect on the Tikar people; they adore and hate him in the same time, mostly women and young females. However, this name brought luck to the team of coach Ibrahim who has won the first soccer/football tournament. Since then, Meliti Football Club has doubled final cup winner of the Championship in N’ditam.
Along with his exciting hobby as soccer lover, Ibrahim has been a fellow for the computer and solar provided by Linux Friends Solar. The young coach on the wheelchair is now preparing to complete the secondary education.
The movie star in rural African
In the countryside of Africa where superstitious beliefs are rooted in the culture, taboo and prejudice are the daily challenge of women, poor or the disabled. Ibrahim’s achievements were brought to the attention of Narcisse Sandjon; a Cameroonian filmmaker based in the city of Yaoundé. Early in the summer 2015, a local Narcisse Sandjon came to interview and follow Ibrahim for documentary film project on his life. Narcisse said he was interested to film him because Ibrahim is one the rare person with disability who doesn’t beg. Then I thought maybe the coach on the wheelchair is kind of cool story.

While filming Ibrahim in N’ditam, the young man said: “Then years ago, my dream was to stand and walk. Today my dream is to leave this village to go beyond the borders of my country to receive knowledge and come back to make significant changes.”
At Blupela, our answer is: Why not! If you were able to change things in the daily of your village and give two victories to your village, you can inspire the world.
Good luck Ibrahim!
To connect with Ibrahim Abdoulaye, contact:
Issa N. Nyaphaga
Artist, Cartoonist & Human Rights Activist
Professor of Contemporary African Art, Social Justice & Cultural Diversity
Santa Fe, New Mexico – USA - January 25, 2015.
connect@hitip.org

www.hitip.org
All photos by O. Mebouack©

Votes6 DateAug 31, 2015

[image for Culture Spotlight Oumar.jpg]
Africa

Oumar Mebouack

Issa Nyaphaga
Oumarou Mebouack –
The Third Eye In The Lens.
Oumar Mebouack is a African photographer, cameraman and videomaker based in the city Douala, Cameroon. Oumarou Mebouack was born on December 1st 1976 in the town of Mandjo in Cameroon and grew raised by a grandmother who could not read or write a single letter in western alphabet. But she could read the signs n the nature, translate the weather and explain the dreams. Oumarou grew up learning from his grand mother all the characteristics of human behavior and life. As a child living in countryside of a 3rd world nation as Cameroon, he also grew up very speechless and watched the rural activities, including ritual ceremony of the Tikar tribe.
He became a photographer by accident. One day his uncle Ousmane brought him a little strange automatic box that could fix on a tape on a film tape any or a scene that you see. The young Oumar was shocked by the first gift from his uncle. After he moved from N'ditam Tikar, country to the city of Douala, at the age of 17th, he decided to study photography. Like many other artists in Cameroon, Oumarou is a self taught photographer and multimedia artist. In 2000s he started working as a freelance a photojournalist and reporter for local and international agencies while he was also photographing the urban daily life such as; birthday, marriage and family celebrations to make a living.
Since the year of 2002, he is the project coordinator of (HITIP) Hope International for Tikar People, a community-based organization that is working to improve the lives of the Tikar and pygmies people in Cameroon. Oumarou is the vital link between the Tikar and Pygmy region in Cameroon and the rest of the world and the villagers call him the "Third Eye". Oumarou has collaborated on several publications, magazines and documentary films, some most notably the latest film "Return to the Belly of the Beast," "The Power OF Pen And Ink" and the current "Radio Taboo" cpoduced by Issue TV, US. Oumarou is well-known for his artistic work, and his works have been shown in several countries around the world. In 2008, one of his videos was shown at Prospect 1, the premiere Biennale in New Orleans in the United States. The aim of this video project was to compare the trauma experienced by the people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina with the daily life of the inhabitants of certain regions of Africa during the rainy season. Because of his deep knowledge of the traditional, rural world and the urban world, Ourmarou's valuable research has allowed HITIP to establish a solid base in the Tikar region of Cameroon. Oumarou's work have also documented the lives of thousands of indigenous people living in rainforest of Cameroon. "I want my camera to be the witness of all the things that my eye can see" said Oumarou. Oumarou Mebouack works and lives in Cameroon.
Please take a look at some of these videos filmed by Oumar!!

Votes2 DateAug 17, 2015


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Lifts (Votes)*

Name Vote Date
Radio Taboo Sound Bite Nov 15, 2017 @ 02:34:41 pm
My Work Is Having Impact Back to Africa Oct 4, 2017 @ 01:21:48 am
New Mexico 2017 Outstanding Service Awards Luncheon May 23, 2017 @ 12:25:22 pm
New Mexico 2017 Outstanding Service Awards Luncheon May 23, 2017 @ 12:01:13 pm
Happy Mother's Day May 14, 2017 @ 10:29:19 am
Long Walk for Water May 4, 2017 @ 12:00:21 am
Artist Manifesto - Santa Fe Street Performance Apr 29, 2017 @ 06:20:22 pm
Bombing For Peace? Apr 10, 2017 @ 01:04:44 am
Dakota Nov 8, 2016 @ 09:29:45 am
Football Spirit in the Jungle Jul 21, 2016 @ 01:30:42 pm
Issa Riding a Motorbike in Cameroon Feb 2016 - Ixx @ +++++ Jul 1, 2016 @ 04:45:04 pm
Artemisia Annua Apr 26, 2016 @ 02:33:40 am
The Magicians of the Earth Apr 23, 2016 @ 04:09:16 am
We Will Not Be Silenced Apr 18, 2016 @ 12:14:52 am
Issa Nyaphaga Apr 4, 2016 @ 01:05:18 am
Water4Social Peace Mar 22, 2016 @ 03:51:53 am
Cacao / Chocolate Mar 6, 2016 @ 08:25:19 am
The Green Life Feb 21, 2016 @ 03:10:29 pm
Happy New Year Jan 25, 2016 @ 03:33:07 am
Activism Jan 23, 2016 @ 01:19:59 am
Equal Justice Initiative Jan 21, 2016 @ 02:02:21 am
Equal Justice Initiative Jan 21, 2016 @ 02:01:09 am
Patti Dobrowloski Jan 20, 2016 @ 01:19:38 am
Martin Luther King Day Jan 18, 2016 @ 12:19:08 am
The Dot Against Assassination Jan 17, 2016 @ 02:53:23 am
Water4Social Peace Jan 11, 2016 @ 04:47:19 pm
Narcisse Sandjon Nov 23, 2015 @ 01:39:44 am
Sophie Rousmaniere Jay Minton Nov 2, 2015 @ 01:01:36 am
Sophie Rousmaniere Jay Minton Nov 2, 2015 @ 12:31:09 am
Fela Kuti Oct 19, 2015 @ 01:00:25 am
Nikki Fagiolo Oct 2, 2015 @ 09:20:27 pm
Ibrahim, the Coach on the Wheelchair Aug 31, 2015 @ 02:28:36 am
Patch Adams Aug 17, 2015 @ 03:34:33 pm
Oumar Mebouack Aug 17, 2015 @ 03:08:18 pm
Dr. Georges Bwelle Aug 17, 2015 @ 02:25:43 pm

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