LAAWIN- Changing the Narrative

13 Jul 2021

Laawin is an educational app leveraging Africa's budding tech ecosystem to enlighten the young African demographic on everything that concerns Africa. Laawin seeks to solve a social, psychological, and economic need in today's society via education and its inbuilt reward system. To get the best of the app one has to read through the daily articles, purchase quiz credit, participate in the quizzes and earn your rewards. Click below to read more.
  WHAT IS LAAWIN? Laawin is an educational and social engagement platform that's leveraging the tech ecosystem in Africa to educate young Africans on everything that concerns the African continent. It is a product of Laawin D’Afrique Limited, a company incorporated under the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The name LAAWIN is an acronym and stands for "Learn Africa And Win". The main focus of Laawin is repositioning Africa in the minds of Africans. It intends to achieve this by leveraging technology to restore the interest of Africans in reading, studying, researching and appreciating African History, culture, and values. A wise man once said the recipe for success is to first recognize a need and then reach out to meet that need. Laawin is positioned to meet various needs currently present within the African society. These needs can be grouped into: Social Needs Psychological Needs Economic Needs SOCIAL NEEDS Human beings are social beings. The need to have social interactions is essential for human mental, psychological and total wellbeing. When people experience problems, emotional concerns, or life challenges, the first instinct is usually to reach out to someone else for support. Social needs are essential for the progression of the human tribal nature after other basic needs such as the need for security have been met. The importance of social needs which includes a feeling of belonging, connection, love, relationships, is very obvious as no man is an island and we all need people to succeed in life no matter how intellectual we are. This fact has been corroborated by several researchers and explained in various theories of socialization such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs concept and Durkheim's theory of collective representation. Via various social media apps and innovations, humans have tried to satisfy the human need for socialization. In Africa, there is a gawking chasm in satiating the social needs of the African people. This is because few exclusively Pan-African Social platforms satisfy the social needs of Africans as a people. There is a deep-seated need for an Afrocentric platform where African youth can cross-fertilize ideas and values that are peculiar to them.  There seems to be a gross deficit of social and cultural connection among African youths. The gap is so pronounced that young people in neighboring countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon have no understanding of how deeply connected they are culturally, historically, and otherwise. The invisible bond that holds Africa together has been downplayed for far too long as there is no social platform for Africans to realize, express, and explore their interconnectivity while having fun and creating new well-meaning relationships and connectivity.  A social platform where African like-minds are discussing and making resolutions that will bring advancements and solutions for themselves in a way only Africans can understand is the solution to the problem. LAAWIN is the answer. PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS “The pot calling the kettle black.” This is the very expression that describes the psychology of a lot of Africans. Why would a Nigerian boy with big black lips call his Ghanaian brother ugly because he has a big wide nose? For the same physical features which they share. There is an error in our identity. As Africans, we must be united in our mindset; both young and old because everything we see begins from within. Why do racism, xenophobia, and discrimination exist in the world? MINDSET. That’s where alignment starts. Many African youths are not proud of their countries, accents, food smells, clothing, and skin color. Many of us look down on our fellow Africans because of an unconsciously internalized hate for ourselves. Psychology explains that any hate for another person is a projection of our unhealed traumas. As individuals, the way we see ourselves creates an identity. In the world we live in, relationships are created from the little conversations with market sellers, colleagues, neighbors, etc. In these relationships, there is either a dominant and subordinate relationship or mutual respect for one another. Yes, many colonial states and businesses have benefitted from Africa and have taken the dominant role in the relationship by insisting on their ideas and system of doing things. For so long, Africans have taken the subordinate role and patterned their lifestyles to fit into the acceptable practice of the West, while losing the very thing that made Africa great in History- their strong sense of identity and national pride. The first step is to accept that there is a problem. For example, “My name is Serwa and I don’t like my kinky hair because I don’t think it’s cool.” Okay, you’re an African girl with kinky hair but you don't appreciate the texture of your hair. Now, we understand that this is a social problem for Serwa. She wants to be cool to fit into social standards but as an individual, she needs to be seen, appreciated, and valued; in other words, “cool”. Laawin would say to Serwa through short interesting articles; “Three healthy ways to style your kinky hair.” It introduces ways Serwa can love herself and wear on her confidence because that is the core ingredient to beauty, power, and handling every uncomfortable thing in life. It is the role of Laawin to point out these little psychological and identity problems we often overlook intending to change the narrative in our minds. Sometimes, all we need is a little talk, a little read, a little support, and the Laawin app provides a social hub and safe space to learn and discuss the African identity, uniting us and making Africa stronger than ever. ECONOMIC NEEDS The economic sector of many African states is not strong enough to cater to the adult masses which are from the age of 40 and above let alone to cater for the youth (40 and below). A lot of African youths are currently in survival mode. Several platforms have taken advantage of this hunger to succeed and pushed the young population into various Ponzi schemes and non-sustainable survival methods which only succeed in aggravating their already desperate situation. LAAWIN meets the yearning of all African youth as it creates a means of earning that will help one cater for himself and the immediate family. LAAWIN is a platform that is focused on solving many financial challenges via its inbuilt reward system which in turn would boost the economic quality of any African youth that actively participates on the platform.   HOW DOES LAAWIN WORK? To get the best of what LAAWIN has to offer, you have to understand how it works. DAILY ARTICLES & QUIZZES Every day on the Laawin app, articles are populated by our team of seasoned content creators. These articles are stories on various broad categories of interest in Africa. The broad categories include African history and culture, Lifestyle, Human and Natural resources, Education& Technology, Entertainment among others. You can read these articles on the app at any time during the day. You can learn something new each day from any of the articles on the app. Quizzes are attached to each article and are set for certain times of the day. The duration for a quiz is 5 mins and winners are selected by the system based on who finished the quiz in the shortest possible time. You can enter a quiz at any time within the 5 minutes timeframe but you can only win if you finished in the shortest time. Winners are rewarded immediately via a payment into their registered bank accounts. Runners up are also rewarded daily. To participate in a quiz, you have to purchase quiz credit. One quiz credit goes for fifty Naira (N50) and you can buy a maximum of ten quiz credits at any point in time via the pay stack portal on the app. You can also earn quiz credit via our referral system. To earn one (1) quiz credit you would have to refer 5 people to download the using your unique referral code. MEGA QUIZZES Mega quizzes are the weekly highlights of the LAAWIN platform. These quizzes come up every Saturday and are based on all the articles that have been populated on the app within the week. To participate in a Mega quiz would cost you five (5) quiz credits. The rewards on the mega quizzes are grand cash prizes ranging from a hundred and fifty Naira (N150000) to seven hundred thousand Naira (N700000). Academic scholarships can also be won during a Mega quiz. Now you know why we say this quiz is the highlight of the week. BE A LAAWIN CONTENT CONTRIBUTOR You can contribute stories from wherever you are in Africa by signing up to be a LAAWIN contributor. The stories would have to meet the LAAWIN criteria. The LAAWIN criteria for article selection are that articles must be Afrocentric, Original (not plagiarized), Simple, not inciteful, Authentic, and Interesting. Articles that are accepted will attract a fixed remuneration to the writer. LAAWIN is aiming at creating the largest archive of articles about Africa and you can be part of making that come true. 4. ENGAGE OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS Become a Top fan on our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and be the first to know about any juicy details about the LAAWIN app. LAAWIN has come to stay and we are changing the narrative one article at a time.    


Haunted Places in South Africa

Haunted Places in South Africa Do strange things ever happen to you at night or even during the day? Ever thought about ghosts and all they do? When the word haunted is said, all one thinks about is movies. Thinking that being haunted or haunted places only ends in movies is not true. Are you one who loves thrills and scary goosebumps creeping all over you? Or are you searching for a place that will get your adrenaline pump up? Then these haunted places in South Africa should be your next stop. From ghost stories to haunted houses where you hear screams even during the day to hotels, castles, hospitals, and museums are experiences you will never forget in a hurry when you visit any of these places. The CAPE OF GOOD HOPE is said to be one of the most haunted places in South Africa and the most talked about ghost stories. Oral legend has it that sometime in 1941 a Dutch ship called “The Flying Dutchman” used for trading capsized off the coast of the Cape of Good Hope after surrendering to the storm. According to the legend, The Flying Dutchman is doomed to keep sailing the stormy seas forever and it is said to be a very terrible omen to see The Flying Dutchman while at sea. The ghost nurse at the Somerset Hospital is on to look out for whenever one visits Cape Town. This nurse is said to mysterious with her white eyes and loves assisting patients and then disappear afterward. If you like a ghost pulling your toes while you sleep, if you love that kind of thrill then the Nottingham Road Hotel is for you. The ghost of the hotel is called Charlotte and she is said to be fond of tidying and rearranging flowers and objects in your room. So, whenever you visit this South African hotel and pay for a room, have it at the back of your mind that you automatically signed up to have a roommate that does the cleaning. Interestingly scary right? Residents in Erasmuskloof, Pretoria reports having heard strange noises and often seen ghosts in and around the Erasmus castle. Out of the normal things like moaning at night and lit windows in the abandoned mansion has always been reported too. Shoulder tapping is a thing when you visit Rust en Vreugd (an Iziko Museum) in Cape Town. The shoulder-tapping ghost is said to dwell in the museum.

28 Apr 2021

Rwanda, so Interesting

Interesting Places to Visit in Rwanda When we think Rwanda, most times the first word to come to mind is a dark period in the country’s history. However, there’s more to see in this city than its dark history. Let’s take a look at some interesting places you should visit in Rwanda and why this East African city should be on your travel list. 1.VOLCANOS NATIONAL PARK This location is a top favorite among tourists. It is a conservation area located in North-western Rwanda. Fun things you can do at this park include Gorilla trekking or gorilla safaris. This conservation houses a large number of mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, a variety of birds, elephants, bushbucks, reptiles etc. It is a complete safari experience and has absolutely breath-taking scenery with hills and lush grass adding to the distinct bright natural colors in its surroundings. 2.LAKE KIVU Lake Kivu is also known as the exploding lake and is located at the Congo-Rwandan border. It is described as one of the strangest lakes in Africa. Beneath lake kivu are hot springs that feed hot water, carbon dioxide and methane into the bottom of the lake. Scientists have dubbed it a disaster waiting to happen if for any reason the gas beneath the water is ignited. However, it is believed that if the gas is harnessed, it would be a great source of energy. Away from science, lake kivu is beautiful! It is 722 feet deep and contains numerous islands.   3. KIGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIAL This memorial was built to honor the about 250,000 people buried there in mass graves after being butchered by the Interhamwe army during the Rwandan genocide which lasted for 100days. Walking through the premises you are led on a journey to understand the events of that war and how the world watched as the genocide unfolded. It is a powerful and emotional experience as you are exposed to personal details of the individuals and children who were killed and the manner they died. The memorial is located in the northern Kisozi district of the capital. 4.KING’S PALACE MUSEUM Also known as the Royal palace of Nyanza, this museum takes you on a journey to understand the lifestyle of the Rwandan people and Rwandan royalty before the Rwandan kingdom was colonized. Set in a thatched dome replica of a king’s palace in the 15th century, the museum houses relics of the nation’s kings. The star attraction is the sacred cows known as inyambo. These cows have very large horns and are quite massive. All day, the traditional singers sing softly to the cows in amazing poetry which lulls the cows into a mellow state. This is a unique ritual of the Rwanda people. AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK If you would like to catch a glimpse of zebras, hippos, Nile crocodiles, elephants and giraffes, the Akagera national park is your best spot in Rwanda. You can have a drive through the beautiful landscape and spot the animals roaming in their natural habitat. If you are lucky, you may see a Lion or a Rhino.

28 Apr 2021

African Dance STyles

The Evolution of African Dance Styles Since time immemorial, Africans have used various dance styles to express emotions, ritual rites, communication, entertainment, and freedom. In 1500, dance styles were unique to every tribe and connoted deep spirituality. Many African tribes had a dance teacher to pass the traditional dance style to younger generations. It was the dance teacher’s duty to ensure that every group in the community knew their movements naturally. Due to the meanings and expressions behind the styles, it was inherent that no step was missed. A little insight into the dance style of the Ijaw people of Nigeria, West Africa. They had both dry land and wet swampy lands which affected their dance styles. The farmers on the dry savanna placed their feet firmly on the grounds, following their dance leader in a circular motion, swaying their bodies steadily in rhythm. In the mangrove swamps were fishermen whose dance style is called ‘waist dance’. When they danced, their backs leaned forward from their hips, their torsos positioned like they had a dog’s posture except they were not kneeling. They moved lightly, moving their body weight from foot to foot in rhythm to songs they sang as they fish by the swamps.  It is impossible to talk about African dance without mentioning drums. It was very essential for dance because of its rhythm and tune to emotions and spirituality. Drums were known as the tribe’s heartbeat. Drums had the power of staging the mood and connecting positive energies and uniting the people. Another essential accessory for dance was clapping hands and stomping feet in collective rhythm to the drum, singing, and body movements while dancing. With time, dance got complicated as it widely developed. Many dances had what we called isolated and polycentric movements. With this style, each body part moved differently from the other. Bear in mind that these times, Africans were being sold into slavery to Europeans, Caribbean's, and South and North Americans. The slave masters gave them the freedom to practice their traditions which included dance. It was with these dance styles Africans had a passage to be free in their minds. Yet, in North America, slaves were subjected to harsh laws that prohibited them from dancing but Africans devised ways to continue dancing despite the conditions. Due to the dispersion and separation of ethnic groups and tribes, dance styles began to merge and evolve into a broad new African dance style. The Caribbean island was a major influence on this evolution. Inspirations also came from Spain, France, Dutch, and Britain. The African dances we know today were all rooted in the 1500 dance styles. The lasting African dance styles are; Agahu, Agbekor, Adamu, Yankadi, Munchongoyo, Kpanlogo, and Mohobelo.  Even in new lands, these dance styles stayed with Africans and are now popular dance styles in modern-day such as; tap Dancing, Twist, Charleston, Jazz dance, lindy hop, twerking, hip hop, zouk, Capoeira, the jitterbug, etc.

02 May 2021

Africa Mathematical Games

AFRICAN MATHEMATICAL GAMES Thousands of years ago, Africans were using numbers, algebra, and geometry in daily life activities; such as identifying dates and time for harvesting or reckoning a women’s menstrual cycle. This mechanism influenced the world and has evolved to what is known as Mathematics. The principles of mathematics were introduced into African mathematical games and have been used even before colonization, thousands of years ago. Yes, that's right, for thousands of years! Most African games are either physically drawn on the muddy ground in square board dimensions and multiple squares or “houses” as some would call it. They have a rotational pattern of counting and multiplying with a clap of hand or a jump from one square to another. The games are coupled up with singing from both opponents or cheering from others waiting to participate. Incorporating the style used to play these games on a square board they created actual wooden board games with more complex rules and slightly intense competitions. To get the picture, below is a list of seven mathematical games from Africa and how they originated. SENET This is one of the oldest board games in the world. In the tomb of Nefertari, an Egyptian Queen there is a beautiful painting of her playing Senet in 1295 BC. The original rules were passed along verbally because no written form has been found. The Senet game board is a thirty-square grid, arranged in three rows of ten. The grids are colored in black and white or blue and green. Each player has a set of 5 pawns the chess-shaped dice are moved in 6 paces, one after the other. You can buy Senet on Amazon or download it to your iPhone. BUTTERFLY Butterfly is a skilled board game played in Mozambique. It is similar to checkers but shaped in two triangles that join in the shape of a butterfly. Each player has nine pieces of cubes on each side. You win when you hop over your opponent’s cube, using the 19 intersection points to hop into available empty spaces. FELLI Felli from Morocco is played on a smaller 6x6 board. Games from Everywhere has a lovely board for sale, or you can simply draw the board on a piece of paper and use buttons or coins as pieces. MANCALA Mancala, the “count and capture” game is one of the oldest games in the world. It was improvised in those days by digging up pit holes and picking up pebble stones for the game. There are more than 200 versions in Africa. Ethiopia plays with 3 rows while East and Southern Africa play with four rows. Some games have "stores" at the end of each board, others do not. Currently, you can either make your board, play online, or buy mancala on Amazon. FANARONA Fanarona is a very popular board game in Madagascar. Legends say that in the 1500s, a king's son was so busy playing the game that he missed his chance to inherit land from his father. The board has a 9x5 grid pattern with cube pieces moving both forward and backward. Each player has 22 pieces and the object of the game is to capture all your opponent's pieces. DOKI Doki or Derrah (meaning horse) is an intellectual strategy board game initiated from Hausa, Nigeria in the 19th century. It was also conversant in other African countries like Niger and Burkina Faso. It is very similar to Wali and Dama Tuareg. It is a two-player alignment game related to tic-tac-toe (noughts and crosses) but more complex. On a 5x6 grid square board (sometimes 6x7 grid), each player has 12 stones which they drop into the squares consecutively. A player wins when their opponent cannot form three square stones in a row. SEEGA Seega is played in parts of North and West Africa. It's originated in Egypt in the 1800s but could be much older. The board game is easy to make yourself using pennies and paper. It is for a game designed for two players on a 5x5 board.  Each player has 12 pieces of stones or marbles placed on the board two at a time, consecutively. The capturing begins by "sandwiching" an opponent’s marble. In some African regions, the central square on the board is a safety zone. The African Mathematical games are built to be strategic, pacing the minds of African children, young adults, and the old. It is thrilling and exciting to the extent that many other countries across the globe have introduced these games to their regions and amended them to their taste and trivia!

02 May 2021