AFRICA PERSPECTIVE

MY NAME IS AFRICA


The older generation shares timeless tales under the old tree
Their faces evokes the hopelessness and suffering of their past
This place is familiar to both the old and the young generation
From here to the future lies the unmerciful illusion river Haiku Matti
The fear of being drowned by an un-existing river puts a freaking limit

He has walked almost 15 miles from home in search for a future
He walks slowly back home like a hunter with an empty barrel
No game to prove his hunting prowess and flawless credentials

His African skin has toned through a mixture of road dust and sweat
The only thing preserved against this tropical human hardship and pain
Is his dream and academic credentials concealed in a dirty tiny back pack

Immortalized questions upon questions run through his empty stomach
Each step through the dusty gravel pavement echoes sound of empty hope
He is not ready to give up charting on this boisterous sea of uncertainty

A little break to wipe off the salty sweat of a bad day
A little break to wipe off sorrow from his heart with a little prayer
A little stretch down the road he finds strength for his weary feet

He is standing face to face with impossibility but he got belief
He is standing face to face against time, shortcut is not the option
He pushed through the perpetual odds of fantasy diversion clouds

To save himself and others is a long walk to freedom
To live in denial of his many challenges is hypocrisy
To give up due to his many challenges is not an option

Drowning in long night sleep is the escape route to the desired end
Alas, unanswered questions has shut the open road to a haven for all
Pray for me when you go on your kneels, that I may not sleep in the day

Copyright 2014 GOG| McDaniels Gyamfi

THE HARRRD ROAD OF A WASTEFUL LIFE AND THE GOD WHO CARES


Deep down, there is a still small voice, persuading you to believe that your life is meant to be something more. You begin to wonder, reflecting on wherimagesCA1G7JI5e you are, at this moment in life (the regret, pain, hurt, sin, addiction, fear, miss opportunities and lack of interest in things that have eternal value);

            “Is this all there is for me in this life or there is something bigger and loftier, than my mind can conceive”?

The persuasions of God in your heart, is the driving force that brings one to a place of importance and action, if one learns to yield his life to this higher purpose; not succumbing to the pressure of the culture, built on illusions. John Piper in his book Don’t Waste Your Life, gives a clarion call to a generation who only live for themselves, because of our indulgence in some totally absurd philosophical ideas and concepts which has neither root nor basis in the word of God. He has this to say; “It’s easy to slip through life without taking any risks-without making your life count. But life ought not to be wasted. You don’t need to know a lot of things to make a lasting difference in the world, but you do have to know the few, great, unchanging, and glorious things that matter and be willing to live and to die for them”.

Don’t live your life solely obsessed with the illusions of the American Dream; you’ve been wired for something bigger, beautiful, magnificent, and loftier than the American Dream. Jesus is the model of one’s existence. We discover His purpose through His agonizing prayers, at Gethsemane. He prayed to His father; “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour? But for this purpose I came to this hour”. (John 12:27 NKJV) He lived a fulfilled life, to the Father’s joy – the cross was the symbol of His finished work, to bring man back to God in an organic relationship.

THE MEANING OF LIFE is a philosophical question concerning the significance of life or existence in general. It can also be expressed in different forms, such as “Why are we here?”, “What is life all about?”, and “What is the purpose of existence?” It has been the subject of much philosophical, scientific, and theological speculation throughout history. There have been a large number of proposed answers to these questions from many cultural and ideological backgrounds. Author Timothy Tang, in his book Real Answers to The Meaning of Life and Finding Happiness, tries to answer these questions by saying; “Life or human existence has no real meaning or purpose because human existence occurred out of a random chance in nature, and anything that exists by chance has no intended purpose”

It is totally absurd to say that human existence occurred out of a random chance in nature, and anything that exists by chance has no intended purpose. This and other false misrepresentation of our identity has swayed the masses, swimming in the sea of selfishness and emptiness. Friend, you are not an accident neither are you here by chance… you are not just a face in a crowd. You were created and wired by a Creative God, (See Genesis 1:26, 1390729_476297235817345_1573454466_nJeremiah 1:1-5) with a unique identity, to fulfill God’s heartbeat on earth, through relationship with Jesus Christ.

In the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the first question is: “What is the chief end of Man?”, that is, “What is Man’s main purpose?” The answer is: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy him forever”. God requires one to embrace the gift of eternal life: Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3 NIV)  This is the essence of our life -“to know God”

EPIC AWAKENING… You are not a random piece in an unplanned earth – you are a piece of the master. He has His signature scribbled on your total makeup, just as an artist code’s his painting with his signature, to raise its value. Don’t quit, don’t give up to the false misconceptions of your identity, and what is in stored for your life, on this side of the cross. The Godly purpose for your life is not discovered within a day… your rich relationship with Jesus Christ, will cause an epic awakening in your heart to unlock an activity of God, you can live and die for. Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Sampson, David and the entire saints who lived in the Biblical times were all ordinary men who were found by God, and received the breath of His activity, at a set period of their ordinary life. They were transformed by a purpose greater than their ordinary life. God has not ceased or frozen in His activity towards humanity… Jesus set the mark straight, to the Pharisees who opposed Him, when He healed a paralytic man on the Sabbath. The healing of the Paralytic man revealed the work of God, discovered and executed by the Son- In his defense, Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” (John 5:17 NIV)

Don’t believe in the lie of the enemy, and sit behind the fence, wasting away in a sinking, purposeless sand of life. Make the decision today, to anchor your life on things that have an eternal perspective and value. I believe that, God is persuading our stony hearts to surrender to Him, so we can capture what matters, within this prophetic season. Everything we have – wealth, riches, property, family etc. and all that we can do…blogging, singing, organizing, leading, cooking, giving, encouraging etc. on this side of eternity, must be tied up to a purpose greater and bigger than ourselves…We only enjoy the crumbs. (God’s crumbs are indescribable)

TREASURED CLAY BALLS… I read a story about a man who was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves, he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of theimagesCACAMP15 cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. He thought little about it until he dropped one of the balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone. Excited the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels, in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he just threw it away. (Retrieved http://www.inspirationpeak.com)

You can surely have 99 reasons to live in regret at this very moment, and let every ounce of hope in your heart fizzle into the thin air, and live the rest of your life despairing about how unfair life has been to you. The opportunities you couldn’t cease or the things you could have done better, had the right people sailed with you through the high seas of life, with its unpredictable waves. A heart full of hurt and unanswerable questions will keep one stuck in the prison of the past; blaming yourself and others, instead of looking ahead to discover something bigger and greater than life. Life doesn’t owe us a thing, nobody owe us an apology. You should lift your eyes beyond life predicaments, and look unto Jesus Christ, who has become all that we can become in God. Don’t reject the wooing of the Spirit. Be happy and thankful to God, to be here today, even in your mess; cast it all on God. Surely, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

THOUGHTS TO CHEW ON… Friend, prayerfully chew on these simple yet profound questions and thoughts below, in the presence of God as you find meaning or photo credit: www.blessedtobeawitness.blogspotactivate your purpose in life…
We lived to be loved – Are you embracing God’s love for you?
We live for missions – Are you sharing the love of God with unbelievers?
We live to worship – Worship is not music; music is a medium for a relationship of love with God!
I live to… – What is the essence of your life, today?

Congratulations! You have found and captured God’s heart and how He feels towards you. Thank you for taking the time to journey with me in finding purpose. Your comments, likes, feedback, sharing, etc.  is the lubricant for  greater acceleration of the gospel, through gravity of grace. You are in my prayers! Love and peace to you!! –  McDaniels Gyamfi

RELIGION APPLAUDS BEHAVIOR CHANGE


greeceThe rich young man loves self more than God yet he had all the laws at his finger tips, and God out of his religious heart. When our heart is full of God (love) you respond to God’s word very natural, without struggle… Your heart has become pliable in Gods hand.

Mark 10:21-22  (NKJV) 21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

“One thing the world of sin needs is not their moral makeover or behavioral change; a transformed heart is the root or the cure for depravity. A life which only love (God), can give, through Christ Jesus. Don’t urge the world of sin to change their behavior. The rich young man has all his behavior (outward form of religion) in check by following the moral code of the law, but his heart was very corrupt.

Every religion applauds behavior change; it is only Christianity (Christ Jesus) that a person can experience inside –out change.

First the root, then the fruit is automatic. Are you anti moral change agent,  McDaniels? I am not against good morals but I do know through scripture that in of our self, on this side of Calvary, cannot transform our lives to the status of God. I believe that authentic change is the work of the Holy Spirit, and not man! Without Christ behaving His life through us, our desire to live the Christian life is totally impossible and equally frustrated.” The Just shall always live by faith – Faith in what? Faith in the person of Christ, to live the quality ( rebirth, regeneration) life through ordinary vessels.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:4-6 (NKJV)

Are you trying hard to live for God or you trusting Him to live through you effortlessly? I ask God for more of His grace upon your life, at whatever stage you find yourself in your pilgrim journey

– McDaniels Gyamfi

GRACE IS A TOMB RAIDER


John 11:34-36 (NLT) 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept. 36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!”

Truly, Lazarus epitomizes the depraved state of  the fallen race. Our depraved state, compelled a loving God to leave Heaven to come to our Bethany (World) of hopelessness, pain, and predicament, to rescue us and bring us to the status of divinity – a new life derived from a relationship with Him.

Scripture records that when Lazarus was seriously ill his sisters sent word to Jesus saying; “Lord, the one you love is sick.” Jesus, the friend of Lazarus did not respond ASAP but waited for two more days, and within this period, death laid its icy hands on Lazarus. Jesus love for Martha, Mary and their brother was extravagant, yet He didn’t come when they expected Him but rather came to Bethany when in man’s timing; it was too late. Its, not too late for none in this world, as the blood of Jesus still speaks of His redemptive purpose, towards human race, sitting in gloomy darkness.

God always set His plan in motion; a plan higher and loftier than we can imagine with our peanut minds. It may seem like heaven is on vacation sometimes, when we so badly need God. Friend, you can rest assured in the loveliness of God; He will always show up when we least expect., even at the dead-end of the tomb.

Where have you put Him? This is a probe into the core of the state and condition of the man, whom God created in the very image and likeness of God. When Jesus asked Martha and Mary as to the whereabouts of Lazarus, the guy He loved so much. There was urgency in Jesus steps to reach out to falling man, (so to speak) and snatch him from the power of death; which was a picture of our sinful state. As He drew near, His goal was to show to man, heavens agenda to bring man (Sinner) back to the state of newness of life, as God intended from the beginning of creation.

                       ” To have dominion but not dominated by death, and its derivatives”

He was moved with compassion, and was also indignant in His spirit on how low man has fallen from the status of God’s identity, to being caged in the prison of death. He was standing on ground zero, witnessing the devastating work of Lucifer against humanity.

Where are you my friend? Alive, dead or contained in a dark dungeon, without any sense of hope, purpose and direction! There are answers, in Christ Jesus. The God who came to rescue the dead and the depraved is still at work, loving and bringing life to dead situations. Jesus came to our dead-end to show the character of God; a being who can start all over again with you. He pull us from our wits ends and place us again at the starting line, with fresh legs and a new heart to run the race of life with a new identity and meaning. hallelujah!

Jesus Wept; He found Himself face to face with the works of Satan’s kingdom; an activity of the changed state of the family of the human race, which Lazarus scenario epitomize. Death, was not part of the plan; man sold His identity through the first Adam. He couldn’t control His anger towards the Devil and His deepest emotion of love towards humanity. No wonder, all the people who have come to console Martha and Mary, sensed His deep affection for the Lazarus family. They saw Love (Jesus) and felt Love (God) has come to the place where there was no sense of love, but fear and rejection. They exclaimed in unison “See how He loved him” Grace goes to where we least expect…the tomb to shine all of His goodness upon the undeserved. Jesus did not love Lazarus or her sisters because they were “sponsors” of His ministry, He love them because He is love. We did not merit His love because of our works.

“The world is witnessing the incredible love of Jesus in an unusual way. What we are seeing in this end time about the loveliness of God, is prophetic. Many are being delivered from shame, guilt, condemnation, sin, sickness into total life of prosperity, in its purest beauty”

This is love at work, and it’s not your love for Him, but His love for you. When you grasped His love; your appetite to love Him is awesome, and it affects all that you do in life. God is not just a diffuser of love; He is by nature, love. This means wherever God is; love becomes the fluid that lubricates impossible circumstances, to awaken boldness, faith, restoration etc. which are all a residue of His life imparted to us, so we can face tomorrow with peace and certainty.

1 John 4:16-18 (NLT) 16 We know how much God loves us 17 And as we live in God, our love grows perfect.”   17 And as we live in God, our love grows perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

Now, focus on the love of God towards you as you consciously meditate on Jesus presence in your dead situation, to give you life and hope. Don’t wait for somebody to point you to how impossible your situation is, but rather speak, confess and declare to yourself; “I am loved and dearly accepted by Jesus today for resurrection, healing, salvation; I boldly declare that, I am wired to function in the capacity of the quality life, on this side of eternity”

This love is irrevocable, magnificent, irresistible good; There is nothing you can do to make God love you less or love you more. This understanding will cause you to sit back and own it when even you are in the grave of sin, you can be forgiven, healed and restored to live freely again, in the land of the living. Remember, this old Sunday school song;

Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
For the Bible tells me so

“My friend see how He loves you and watch this same love, expel all your fears and doubts, today.  Our God is love”

– McDaniels Gyamfi

JABULANI ~ TO REJOICE IN SWAHILI


20130919-084751.jpg

All People, All Cultures, All Nations in the presence of One King at DMV

JEHOVAH KNOW


Gravity of Grace Note:
I listened to this song today and felt so much overwhelmed with God’s supernatural peace which surpasses everything in this world over my entire being. My desire and prayer is that you may experience an unusual peace and the boundless love of Christ whatever maybe your situation today. God knows it all and He always has the answer for the unsolvable puzzles of like that kick us against the wall. We are bombarded with so much negativity each day of our life on this side of eternity…confusion, bad report of the doctor, disappointment and the many insecurities and façade of society.

In the midst of the perplexities and the hopeless landscape of our world today, we can lift our head to a God who knows all things and only desire the prosperity of His children to embrace peace, comfort, hope and a future instead of being crippled with a belly full of regret and despair. Wipe your tears and turn your eyes upon Jesus, my dear friend and appropriate strength to soar up high like an eagle as you listen to this song and meditate on the words. Cheers!

LYRICS OF THE SONG

I will worship the Lord,
For He is worthy;
I will lay down my sword,
The Prince Of Peace is His name.
King of the flood,
The Lord is mighty;
The Lord can quench the evil flame.

Peace when trouble blows,
Jehovah sees, Jehovah knows;
He is my peace, when sorrow nears,
Jehovah sees, Jehovah hears.

Feel the presence of God,
Upon the water,
Hear the voice of the Lord,
Within the thunder that rolls,
King of the flood,
The Lord is mighty,
The Lord can calm the troubled soul.

Peace when trouble blows,
Jehovah sees, Jehovah knows;
He is my peace, when sorrow nears,
Jehovah sees, Jehovah hears

Like the breath,
I need to live,
Jehovah takes, Jehovah gives;
Gives me peace,
When trouble blows,
Jehovah sees, Jehovah knows.

Judgment coming, He is my peace;
Men pursue me, He is my peace.
Judge! Judgment is coming, He is my peace;
Men pursue me, He is my peace

McDaniels Gyamfi

Shalom

Shalom

AFRO PRAISE- SONNIE BADU (VIDEO)


Sonnie-Baduhttp://youtu.be/SNkQQnJhnUI

Gravity of Grace Note: I started my day in the atmosphere of Afro Praise…Ushered into His presence by no other personality than Sonnie Badu. Sonnie Badu, if am not mistaken is the Israel Houton of Africa. He has become the face of Africa in the 21st Century touching lives, transforming nations through spirit filled songs. To know more about him, read below for his biography and impact in the musical scene. Thanks!!

Sonnie Badu is a multiple award winning Gospel singer, songwriter, philanthropist, producer, TV presenter and author. He is arguably the most successful gospel export to emerge out of Africa in recent years. His unique blend of intimate worship, high class visuals, and his energetic style of ushering congregations into the presence of God is affecting lives worldwide. Sonnie leaves his audiences mesmerized both emotionally and spiritually.

Sonnie Badu began his musical career at a very tender age, under the tutelage of his father, a prominent preacher in his hometown of Accra, Ghana. His decision to become a gospel singer has to do with a close encounter with death at the age of 18, when he was struck with a deadly virus. He recounts that it was in this moment as he lay on the hospital bed slipping in and out of consciousness, with his mother singing hymns into his ear that he made a vow to rededicate his life to God, if he pulls through. It seemed like an irresistible offer to God as immediately he entered into that covenant, his body began to regain strength. It was then that Sonnie Badu ‘The Worshipper’ as he is popularly known was born.

In rising to the pinnacle of achievements, his hall of fame is replete with these significant laurels: he organized the first Africa worship concert in UK in congregation with most High Commissioners and ambassadors. In 2009, he received numerous honors and accolades for his contribution to the gospel community, winning a BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Fashion and Film Award) in the category of Best Gospel Artist. He was also the recipient of three awards at the Gospel Music Awards Italy in the categories of Best Gospel Artist in Europe, Best Worship Artist of the year and Best Worship song for the smash hit single ‘Covenant Keeping God’ and to crown the year, he was decorated the Best Gospel Male at the British Gospel Music Awards.

He added to his resume best worship song, video of the year and best male contemporary in the recent Africa Gospel Music Awards in UK. In 2010, Minster Badu received the two awards in the course of one month: Best Gospel Artist at the 2010 African Music Awards (AMA) held at the Wembley Arena in London on October 15th, 2010 and Best Musician at the GUBA Awards which was held in London on October 24th, 2010.

For Sonnie Badu, it is an honor and privilege to stand and lead God’s children in the art of spiritual intimacy. His ministry houses the presence of God and where God’s heart is, His hand will be. Testimonies of healing and breakthrough follow him wherever he sets up to praise. He has performed in a number of countries alongside gospel music stalwarts such as Bebe and Cece Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Martha Munizzi Alvin Slaughter, Kierra Kiki Sheared, Noel Robinson, Muyiwa, Kurt Carr, Lionel Richardson, Ron Kenoly, Juanita Bynum and more.

In 2008 he launched the annual ‘Sonnie Badu Worships’ program. So far the event has been held in London, Germany, Italy, Ireland, New York, Maryland, Atlanta, Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Ghana and Canada and its reputations continues to spread with more nations coming on board in the new year. At the moment, Sonnie’s main task is to help improve the lives of those less privileged in Africa and indeed other parts of the world. In this regard he has stepped up his Ministries Charity Project, ‘Thy Dwelling Place’ Orphanage. He undeniably has an unfinished business with destiny; therefore watch out for more of intimate prophetic worship and Sonnie Badu Clothing line known as’The Worshipper’s Garment’ (SB.WG) as well as two new books scheduled for release in 2010.

Playground made from trash gets children back in the swing


 

Ugandan eco-artist Ruganzu Bruno built an amusement park for children living in one of Kampala's slums. Ugandan eco-artist Ruganzu Bruno built an amusement park for children living in one of Kampala’s slums.
Bruno (right) worked with the local community to create the playground in a congested area lacking recreation facilities. "We built the playground together as a team," he says. Bruno (right) worked with the local community to create the playground in a congested area lacking recreation facilities. “We built the playground together as a team,” he says.
Using thousands of waste bottles, the talented artist turned a school yard in Kampala's Kireka community into a fun and safe place where children can play and learn. Using thousands of waste bottles, the talented artist turned a school yard in Kampala’s Kireka community into a fun and safe place where children can play and learn.
For his work over the years, the talented artist has won several accolades, including the Ugandan Young Achievers award 2011. For his work over the years, the talented artist has won several accolades, including the Ugandan Young Achievers award 2011.
Bruno says the park has had a positive impact on local children. "The attention of children in class has improved; the number of children who are dropping out [is falling] because now they have something to keep them busy there, " he says. Bruno says the park has had a positive impact on local children. “The attention of children in class has improved; the number of children who are dropping out [is falling] because now they have something to keep them busy there, ” he says.
Other attractions include swings and climbing structures created with recycled materials such as old tires. Other attractions include swings and climbing structures created with recycled materials such as old tires.
Bruno plans to roll out several other eco amusement parks in other parts of Kampala. Bruno plans to roll out several other eco amusement parks in other parts of Kampala.
A huge board game built inside the school yard in Acholi Quarters, Kireka. A huge board game built inside the school yard in Acholi Quarters, Kireka.
In 2010 Bruno founded Eco Art Uganda, a collective of artists promoting environmental awareness. In 2010 Bruno founded Eco Art Uganda, a collective of artists promoting environmental awareness.
He has also developed an eco-artist loan scheme to help the business endeavors of women in Kireka. He has also developed an eco-artist loan scheme to help the business 

(CNN) — No sooner had Ruganzu Bruno and his troupe of fellow eco-artists arrived at Kampala’s Kawempe area than their presence stirred up questions within the local community.

“What are you doing?” the startled residents asked. “Why are you using all this plastic?” they continued, baffled by the piles of waste bottles that were gradually filling a dusty compound yard in the northwestern suburb of the Ugandan capital.

What the group of artists was doing was creating “The Hand That Speaks,” an enormous structure made of recycled materials to raise awareness about environmental degradation.

“We were trying to bring out the message that the hand is the one which is throwing this trash into the environment and at the same time it could be used to collect [them] and save the environment,” says Bruno.

“The Hand That Speaks.”
ECO ART/RUGANZU BRUNO

And once the nine artists started assembling their futuristic creation, using more than 20,000 bottles collected in the slums of Kampala, the local crowds also decided to lend a helping hand.

“At first, the community were confused but then they really loved it,” says Bruno. “They were always getting us bottles.”

Eco Art

That was about four years ago, when Bruno was still a student at the Kyambogo University fine art school. During that time, the talented painter and sculptor discovered that he wasn’t interested in just crafting artworks that would only satisfy his creative needs.

I kind of felt a change within myself to think about others. Ruganzu Bruno, artist

Instead, he wanted his art to have a positive impact on his community.

“When we are trying to achieve things in life we are self-centered, and as artists we tend to make work for ourselves,” explains Bruno, 30.

“I kind of felt a change within myself to think about others,” he adds. “From then on I could not only paint — I decided to work on work that was beneficial to my community.”

One of Ruganzu Bruno’s paintings.
ECO ART/RUGANZU BRUNO

Driven by a desire to influence his surroundings, Bruno then became involved in eco-art projects, devising innovative ways to deal with Kampala’s acute waste management problem.

In 2010 he founded Eco Art Uganda, a collective of artists promoting environmental awareness by transforming anything from discarded bottles and cast-aside metal to broken TVs and computers into contemporary and functional pieces of art.

Read this: Specs ‘give trash a second chance’

“I was looking for materials that were not expensive and easily available,” says the soft-spoken artist, who hails from southwest Uganda.

“I really found that this trash and rubbish could actually become a really positive way of communicating to people,” adds Bruno, who’s won several accolades for his work, including the Ugandan Young Achievers award 2011.

Ruganzu Bruno at the TEDx summit in Doha.
ECO ART/RUGANZU BRUNO

Amusement park

In April last year, Bruno also won the $10,000 City 2.0 Award at the TEDx summit in Doha, Qatar, for his idea to create an amusement playground for children living in Kampala’s congested slums.

I think a man will always be remembered by his work. Ruganzu Bruno, artist

Using an array of recycled materials, Bruno went on to transform a school yard in Kampala’s Kireka community into a fun and safe place where children can play and learn.

The eco-park, which was completed last September, is dotted with whimsical structures attracting dozens of children each day — from a colorful helicopter and life-size board games made of bottles to recycled swings and climbing frames crafted from old tires.

Bruno says the entire community, which lacked a recreation facility, embraced the project wholeheartedly.

Read this: Boy’s flashy invention scares off lions

“I talked to the head of the school, and together with the parents and the students, they are the ones who collected the bottles,” says Bruno, who is also a lecturer in the department of Art & Design at Kyambogo University.

“So we built the playground together as a team and they know how to repair it — this is very important in terms of sustainability.”

The opening of the playground in Kireka.
ECO ART/RUGANZU BRUNO

But more importantly, Bruno, who was orphaned at a young age, says the project has had a positive impact on the children.

“The attention of children in class has improved; the number of children who are dropping out [is falling] because now they have something to keep them busy there, ” he adds. “There is a really good progress and it has also helped them to express themselves in class.”

Legacy

Bruno says his goal is to recreate “as many as 100” similar amusement parks in other parts of Uganda.

He is also using the prize money to grow an eco-artist loan scheme he’s developed, aimed at supporting the business endeavors of creative women in Kireka.

It’s all part of his continuous efforts to be an artist whose work will serve his community’s needs.

“I think a man will always be remembered by his work, “says Bruno. “I’m an advocate now of the environment; I’m an advocate for play for children; I’m an artist …who wants his work to have an effect on the people.”.

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has ordered the closure of nearly 100 Christian churches in key cities.


 

Cameroon's President Paul Biya has ordered the closure of nearly 100 Christian churches in key cities.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • President Paul Biya has ordered 100 churches closed throughout Cameroon
  • The illegal Pentecostal churches are security threats, the government argues
  • Pentecostal congregants say criticism of the government is behind the shutdown

Yaounde, Cameroon (CNN) — Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has ordered the closure of nearly 100 Christian churches in key cities, citing criminal practices organized by Pentecostal pastors that threaten the security of the West African nation.

But Pentecostal pastors said the move is evidence of Biya’s insecurity about the churches’ criticism of the government.

Biya is using the military to permanently shut down all Pentecostal church denominations in the nation’s capital, Yaounde, and the North West Regional capital, Bamenda, which have the largest Christian populations in Cameroon.

More than 50 churches have now been closed, with the government targeting nearly 100 in eight other regions.

“We will get rid of all the so-called Christian Pentecostal pastors who misuse the name of Jesus Christ to fake miracles and kill citizens in their churches. They have outstretched their liberty,” Mbu Anthony Lang, a government official in Bamenda, told CNN Wednesday.

Nearly 500 Pentecostal churches operate in Cameroon, but fewer than 50 are legal, he added.

On Sunday, a 9-year-old Christian girl collapsed and died during a prayer session in Winners’ Chapel, a Pentecostal church in Bamenda. The girl’s mother, Mih Theresa, told CNN Wednesday that the pastor intended to cast out the numerous demons that were in control of her daughter’s life.

“I want the government to stop these pastors who use mysterious powers to pull Christians and kill then for more powers. All my children have ran away from the Catholic Church in search for miracles, signs and wonders,” she told CNN while holding back tears.

Another Christian, Mveng Thomas, said his marriage ended abruptly when a Pentecostal pastor ordered his wife to dissolve their union. He said the pastor described him as “an unrepentant devil.”

Pastors marched against the government’s decision Wednesday in Bamenda and Douala. Pastors said the Biya government sees the mass proliferation of churches as a threat.

Boniface Tum, a bishop of the Christian Church of God in Yaounde, said that Biya, who has been president since 1982, is becoming insecure about the freedom of speech within these churches.

“Authorizing only the Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Muslim, and a few other churches, is a strict violation of the right to religion,” Tum added.

Targeted Pentecostal Christians in Bamenda are transforming their private homes into churches.

North West Regional governor Adolphe Lele L’Afrique said Wednesday that police had discovered the abduction of 30 children under age 18 by a pastor in Bamenda. The pastor said he wanted to remove the children from a bad society, Lele added.

Government officials also say that some pastors convince congregants that they do not need professional medical treatment for their ailments.

“How can a pastor say the sick needs no medical doctor? We need sanity in our Christian lives,” Nyang Blaise, a youth leader for Biya’s ruling party, CPDM, told CNN.

One woman said her mother was refusing cancer treatments because of her pastor.

“My mother’s condition is worsening after doctors confirmed she had cancer. She is dying silently, and yet we cannot persuade her to see a doctor for proper treatment, against her pastor’s wish,” Deborah Tanyi said.

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