Hundreds of years ago, Mbenje Island was home to a proud and permanent population. Living in houses made of grass and sticks, the community lived comfortably on this mountainous piece of land in the middle of Lake Malawi, travelling to and from the mainland to trade.
The people came to believe, however, that this was no ordinary place. Men would report meeting apparitions, including of naked women, while on fishing expeditions. Others noticed that whenever someone killed a snake, which are endemic on island, violent storms would soon follow. To calm the spirits and bring peace, the island’s chiefs started offering sacrifices and initiating new traditions.
The Real Cost of Your Chocolate Habit: New Research Reveals the Bittersweet Truth of Cocoa Farming in Africa’s Forests
Chocolate sales have boomed in recent months. As the cost-of-living crisis bites, consumers are increasingly reaching for chocolate as a simple and affordable pleasure.
The most important ingredient in chocolate is cocoa beans, which come from plants grown in the tropics. About 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa. The countries of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Ghana are two of the biggest producers.
Over the past two decades Kenyan fishing communities have been setting up no-fishing zones called tengefus, Swahili for “set aside.” The idea was inspired by the fishing habits of their forebears, who prior to colonization established seasonal fishing closures to ensure plentiful harvests. Today there are 22 tengefus in various stages of development in the country, some more successful than others.