May 27, 2016

Africa Day: Celebrating the continent’s diverse cultures

Here are just some of the ways GE employees love their motherland.

It’s Africa Day on 25 May, and  that means it’s time to celebrate the best parts of humankind’s home continent.

Here are just some of the ways GE employees love their motherland.

Some favoured the traditional music of their homes, while others gravitated  toward modern music with lyrics that told stories they could relate to. “I  love Wizkid’s ‘Ojuelegba.Apart from the fact that the rhythm  is fantastic, it also tells the story of his early days and how his  struggles, hard work, prayers and family support got him to where he is now  against all odds,” said Bisi Shonekan, a Commercial Proposals Manager based  in Lagos, Nigeria.

Zenildo Dos Santos, an operations  planning specialist for GE Oil & Gas in Luanda loves an Angolan dance  style knows as Kizomba. “It is derived of Angola’s traditional Semba dance.  It’s a more modern music genre with a sensual touch mixed with African rhythm,”  he says.

Africa’s rich and vibrant  storytelling culture also came to the surface. “My favourite African author  is undoubtedly Charles Mungoshi. When I look back,  there have been two periods in my life, ‘before Mungoshi’ and ‘in the year of  Mungoshi, after I had read his cutting words,” said Shaun Glover, Africa CFO  for GE Healthcare, based in Johannesburg.

Yvonne Allanah, a supply chain  professional for GE Oil & Gas in Nigeria recommends books by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. “Nwaubani is able to  tell a story about a flaw in African society, but with so much realism that  you feel compassion for the characters in the predicaments,” she says. “This  is what I love about African literature – the familiarity it brings and they  eyes into the plethora of cultures within Africa.

Nothing beats the taste of home. Aldobanda Sampaio, a corporate and international tax consultant for GE based in Mozambique,  is passionate about of his country’s cuisine. “My favourite food is okra  curry with prawns, because this is what my mother used to make so much when I  was young. I don’t believe you can find it anywhere else but Mozambique.

Jacqueline Karachi, a sales  leader at GE Healthcare in Kenya, loves remembering her childhood home. “My  favourite place in Africa is my hometown of Meru, Kenya. I love the stream on  our farm – it reminds me of pleasant childhood memories.

My favourite place on the planet  is the Matobo Hills. This magical granite landscape is spiritually,  geologically, historically and ecologically important. Weird and wonderful  collections of balancing rocks abound, and it’s home to amazing ancient rock  paintings,” says Shaun Glover.

Zenildo summed up the feelings of  many GE employees about what they love about Africa. “It’s the cradle of  humankind, and the people here are warm and hardworking.