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Jinabo Cyrille Fointama’s “ordinary” hero

Jinabo Cyrille Fointama’s “ordinary” hero
 
David Franklin/Getty Images/A Terrade

This week you’ll hear the answer to the question about the West African kingdom where the Amazons lived and fought.  There’s an essay from Cameroonian listener Jinabo Cyrille Fointama on the theme “My Ordinary Hero”, great music, and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the arrow in the photo above and enjoy!

Hello everyone!

Welcome to The Sound Kitchen. You can catch the programme on-the-air every Saturday at 6:15, 7:15, 14:45 and 16:45 universal time. You’ll hear the winner’s names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you have grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews and great music, so be sure and tune in every Saturday.

For our DX enthusiast friends: Our shortwave frequency is 11830 kHz on the 25m band, from 06.00 to 07.00 UT every day. We’ve had reception reports from Algeria, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, the UK and the US, and although the frequency is “aimed” (or however that works) towards the African continent, give it a try. You never know … and be sure and send us your reception reports. Maybe we can get more time, which would be wonderful.

You can also hear our programs on WRMI and WRN. These broadcasters diffuse our programs out of the goodness of their hearts, but unless you tell us how you heard us we have no way of knowing … so do write and tell us how you listen to us.

Did you know there is an RFI English newsletter? On the very top of our homepage, there’s a little tab that says “Newsletters”. Click on it and fill out the form, and every day you’ll receive the latest from the RFI English website.

We want to hear from you. We have a phone number you can call to leave us a message, so we can hear your voice. Just call, give your name, your country, and a short message - something like “I love RFI”, because of course you do – and we can put you on-the-air. The number to call is: + 33 1 84 22 95 82.

RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni (audrey.iattoni@rfi.fr) from our Listener Relations department on all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me (thesoundkitchen@rfi.fr) when you write her so that I know what is going on, too. N.B. You do not need to send her your quiz answers!

We’ve made a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. It is a closed group, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven’t yet asked to join the group, click here and fill out the questionnaire !!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).

Are you interested in forming an official RFI Club, or transforming your existing club into an official RFI Club?  Here’s how: http://en.rfi.fr/culture/20141218-how-form-official-rfi-listeners-club

Here's the text for today's listener essay.

This week’s quiz: On 1 September, I asked you about a group of warrior women in the West African country Benin, whom Europeans nicknamed “Amazons” after the women warriors in Greek mythology. There are still some Amazons in Benin; the current Queen – Queen Hangbe - is a descendant of the first Amazon. My question to you was: what is the name of the kingdom in Benin where the Amazons, the women warriors, lived and fought?

The answer is: The Dahomey kingdom. The Dahomey kingdom was a West African empire that existed from 1625 to 1894.

No one is quite sure how the Amazons came to be … were they originally elephant hunters? Had they been the bodyguards of the first Queen Hangbe, who was deposed by her brother? At any rate, by the early 19th century they were incorporated into the regular army by King Ghezo, who ruled over Dahomey from 1818 to 1858. Part of this was a practical decision – the population had been ravaged by the slave trade. But it also had its basis in the society’s religion. The creator of the universe was Mawu-Lisa, a male and female god who came together to create the universe. Therefore, in the society’s institutions – political, religious and military – men would have an equal female equivalent. Of course, the king reigned over all. Rather amazing, isn’t it?

The winners are: Henry Ngum Zong, from Bamenda, Cameroon – who knows his history! Henry wrote:

“The tribal kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa was ended by French colonial occupation in 1894, after they took control during the Dahomey War of 1892-1894. The state was granted autonomy as the Republic of Dahomey in 1958, followed by full independence in 1960. A period of instability followed, mostly consisting of governmental musical chairs with various coups taking place and presidents being appointed by the military. Along the way Marxism-Leninism was adopted as the official ideology, but economic crisis at the end of the 1980s forced this experiment to be abandoned in favor of parliamentary democracy.

Today this country of almost eleven million people is one of Africa's most stable democracies.

The country continued to bear its old name until 1975, when it became the Republic of Benin”.

Thanks for that lesson, Henry.

On with the winners: there’s Bernard Egbe from Abuja, Nigeria and two RFI Listeners Club members: Amadu Nuhu from Accra, Ghana and Vamuyan Kromah from Monrovia, Liberia. Last but not least, Paresh Hazarika, a member of the United RFI Listeners Club in Assam, India.
 

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: Rimsky-Korsakov: “The Flight of the Bumblebee” and “She’s a Brick House”, written and performed by The Commodores.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to thesoundkitchen@rfi.fr

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 19 November to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 24 November program. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one,  your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:

english.service@rfi.fr

or

Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux

France

or

By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then  33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here:

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here:

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