The Ugly Side of the First Lady Syndrome in Africa

“Macbeth: If we should fail —
Lady Macbeth: We fail!
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we’ll not fail.”
– Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, Scene VII

Political Science 101: power is the capacity to make others do what they would not ordinarily do. Often described as the power behind the throne, First Ladies are well positioned to either build or destroy a nation by virtue of the power they wield over their spouses. In my earlier piece on Last..err..First Ladies in Africa, I focussed mainly on their instrumental role as peace-makers and advocates of change. A role which many of our First Ladies have not taken up and as a result, they are also blamed for the failures and short-comings of their husband’s rule.

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Daily Dozen: 14/01

- Kenyans and Their Peculiar Habits [Twitter]
Which is the best internet service provider in Kenya? [LikeChapaa]
“Ideally, elections are held to choose leaders, but in many cases in Africa, elections are intended to dress up despots in democratic garb.” [Guardian]
Somalia’s new PM says government troops will target Al-Qaeda “very, very soon” [IOL]
Why is Winnie Still Using the Mandela surname anyways? [BBC]
Can Europe Be Saved? [NYT]
Territorial Triumph and Geopolitical Pitfalls in South Sudan [HuffPost]
Once again, Africa is in love [AN]
Does race determine efficiency? [WT]
Things Your Boss Won’t Tell You [Yahoo!]
The Science of “Single”: One Year’s Worth of Dating Advice [TIME]
Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time. [Economist]

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Daily Dozen: 27/12

- Africa Optimism Rising [Reuters]
Where Kenya Leads, Others Follow [Gathara]
China: Trade with Africa transforming the continent [Mail&Guardian]
Tech Success in Africa is Built on the Ordinary [WhiteAfrican]
Let’s Hear It for The Unappreciated Heroes of 2010 [HuffPost]
Ivory Coast: Life inside Ouattara’s hotel [BBC]
Tea with Mugabe [GlobeandMail]
‘African Politics: The Village and Its Insecure Child’ [AfricanAccent]
20 Things We Learned in 2010 [Guardian]
2010 Images of the Year [Newsweek]
Most Popular Explainers of 2010 [LifeHacker]
2010: The Year of Microterrorism [TIME]

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