APPROXIMATELY 400 000 MAURITIANS ARE OBESE, IN AN ISLAND THAT COUNTS 1.2 MILLION INHABITANTS

Everything seems to indicate that Mauritians aren’t really fans of a healthy lifestyle. Our culinary staples are themselves heavily loaded in processed oil and fat, our eating habits don’t seem to improve despite extensive campaigns conducted by the Health Minister and the prevalence of diabetes in our society is a dire sign that something must be done to sensitize Mauritians on their unhealthy lifestyle. Moreover, the smoking prevalence among Mauritian men stands at a whopping 40% ! There seems to be a wilful disengagement on the part of health officials to help Mauritians attain a healthy lifestyle. According to a report published by ‘Africa Money’, 139 million premature deaths could be avoided by 2100 in Africa if the countries institute proper health guidelines.

The health sensitization should start at an early age, in primary schools if possible, where teachers should monitor the eating habits of children since childhood obesity can impact a person throughout their life. The government should educate people on the health hazards involved in consuming our culinary staples-the ‘dhal puri’, the ‘gateau de l’huile’, ‘mine bouilli’ et cetera. Just because it’s popular and readily available, doesn’t mean it’s good for your health. There should be health campaigns conducted everywhere to let people know that eating carbs and foods having a high calorific value on a regular basis is a sign of addiction. Indeed, eating foods high in carbs will affect someone’s taste buds to the point where only unhealthy foods are desired.

Obesity in Mauritius

The food industry should be kept in line, in the sense that the number of advertisements they can promulgate should be regulated. It cannot be that in every street corner, KFC or McDonald’s advertisement is brainwashing people into becoming gluttonous zombies. While unhealthy foods such as the dhol puri are cheaper and more readily available than a healthy meal in a restaurant, the crux of this debate should be about the longevity of our population rather than the price of meals. The health of a population is very important since the working force comprises of the lifeblood of our country-its people.

1ST MAY: LABOUR DAY CELEBRATION IN MAURITIUS IS MORE ABOUT POLITICS THAN WORKERS’ RIGHTS

We’ll be hearing a ton from the myriads of political parties on the island to participate in their respective assemblies on the 1st of May, a widely observed political tradition here in Mauritius. These ‘meetings’ as they’re called, help the public distinguish between the various messages and campaign promises that may shape upcoming elections and in that regard, they’re very important for the parties. MSM-ML will be in Vacoas on that day, MMM in Rose Hill whilst the Labour Party isn’t participating this year. The annual congress of PMSD will be on April, 30 at Ecole Hoteliere Charle Gaetan Duval in Ebene.

Labour Day is observed the world over and in some countries, like ours for instance; it’s a national holiday to commemorate the achievements of workers and to honour the fruits of labour. However, here in Mauritius, the message has been warped by the political parties who have co-opted this remembrance for workers and have turned it into a political fest, which is utterly disrespectful and narcissistic. Historically speaking, the holiday meant a great deal to the working class of the 1940s who were struggling day in day out. It was first celebrated as a public holiday in 1950 thanks to Guy Rozemont, Dr. Maurice Curé, Pandit Sahadeo and Emmanuel Anquetil. Back then, the gist of the national holiday was very much about workers’ rights, as our country was dealing with the lack of a skilled labour force, a sickly population and lamentable working conditions.

Fast forward 80 years from then, Labour Day has lost its pristine message. Politicians are more interested in their petty skirmishes and narcissistic talks rather than the sustainability of a skilled labour force. The ad-hominem attacks and the stupid jokes at the expense of their rivals are more important to them than the consolidation of a united workforce. Needless to say, the country is divided and there are still many people who live below the poverty line according to a report that exposed the dire reality that 20 000 people were making less than Rs3500 a month. Despite attempts to promulgate a decent minimum wage regulation, things never really take off in this country. We hear ad nauseam about politicians and their aides raking in hundreds of thousands of rupees without any scrutiny or follow-up questions but they still cannot figure out a way to cater to our unemployed youth.

Labour Day will be more a celebration of utter buffoonery than workers’ rights because to be honest, Mauritians themselves are oblivious to the significance of this public holiday. Everywhere else, workers will be celebrated and elevated but in Mauritius, the petty digs at ‘Soornack and the cotomili business’ or the jokes about ‘Alvaro’ will monopolize the content of their speeches. Political discourse is at an all-time low and it’s very discursive; our population is being misled and conned by people whose only merit is related to their birth or lineage. Let us remember Labour Day for what it used to be, a united celebration, a solemn recognition of the sacrifices millions undertake every day to have a decent life. It is not about political adherence.

NANDANEE SOORNACK SET TO SPEAK AT A PRESS CONFERENCE

Nandanee Soornack’s story is now part of our culture, whether we like it or not. She is holding a live press conference this Wednesday in Milan to discuss her private and professional life with the members of the press. Only 2 weeks ago, all charges of money laundering were dropped, with the judge qualifying the litigation attempts against Soornack as a ‘fishing expedition’. Needless to say, our justice system isn’t really a paragon of justice.

So what should we expect from Nandanee Soornack? Is she going to reveal anything new at all? Maybe she’s in need of attention because to be honest, who sends their selfies to the biggest newspaper agency in their home country out of the blue? Truth be told, we shouldn’t expect much from the press conference; no acts of contrition, no ironclad statements, no confessions. Because she had 3 years to come forward with her side of the story but she refrained from doing so, because of political pressure.

In Mauritius, it is now acceptable to receive favours from politicians in exchange of extra-marital love and nobody truly has the guts to question these practices. A meritocracy in this country is nothing but a dream.

THE FIGHT FOR CHAGOS

Chagos Archipelagos, also known as Diego Garcia was meant to secede as an agreed upon arrangement for Mauritius’ independence. Meeting with the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1965, Seewoosagur Ramgoolam concurred with the proposition as his party, the Labour Party, was clamouring for the independence of Mauritius at the time. After ambiguous terms were enacted, the British apocryphally claimed that Chagos was in fact not populated. However, thousands of people were forcibly removed from their homeland, to allow for the establishment of a military base for the United States.

There have been several protests organized throughout the years led by the Chagossians to reclaim their native land and there is one scheduled to be held today in front of the National Assembly. Even though the Permanent Court of Arbitration contended that the marine protected area which the UK surmised around Chagos Archipelagos was in fact in violation of international laws, no penalty was administered to review the process. Chagossians are still banned from their land even though dubious promises were made to them time and again. Whilst the legality of the UK’s claim over the Chagos Archipelagos is still being contested, there’s no denying the machinations that took place between the British and the Americans to establish a marine reserve on the island, a fact that was latently exposed by WikiLeaks. Should we stand with the Chagossians or should we let the imperialists get away with yet another gross international misconduct?

It is very unlikely that the Chagossians will be allowed to resettle on what used to be their pristine homeland but they shouldn’t give up on their quest to hold the British accountable for their illegal conduct. Many documentaries have exposed the utter callousness of the British and the Americans, in what constitutes theft, yet no sanction has been imposed on them due to their dominance on world affairs. So, while there’s little to no hope that Chagos will be opened to the world again, we can logically opine that it was an impetuous decision by the government to let the British draw such a hazy agreement and then to let them act on it. No amount of compensation can make up for the loss of one’s identity.

PRAMILA PATTEN IS THE FIRST MAURITIAN TO BE ELECTED ON A UN COUNCIL

The Secretary –General of the United Nations Antonia Guterres has appointed Pramila Patten, a distinguished Mauritian barrister as a representative on sexual violence in conflict. Her predecessor was Zainab Hawa Bangura from Sierra Leone and she was widely praised for her service. Ms Patten has previously served as a member on a committee for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women so her expertise on the subject is what got her this prized position.

She has been a member of the High Level advisory group for the global study on implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Prior to that position, she served as a member on the advisory panel for the African women’s rights observatory, a subsidiary of the UN under the aegis of Economic Commission for Africa. Her impressive record is not her only forte as her compassion and integrity have made her strive to build a better world for the underprivileged.

Among her most coveted international roles, she has had the distinction of being a member of the Advisory Committee of the Due Diligence Framework Project from 2010 to 2014, she has served as an advisor in the Ministry of Women’s Rights, Child Development and Family Welfare from 2000 to 2004 and she was a member of the International Women’s Rights Action Watch from 1993 to 2002. Moreover, she served as a District Court Magistrate from 1987-1988. If anything, she exemplifies the role of the modern accomplished woman.

Her election at the UN level is a source of pride for Mauritius and an inspiration for all Mauritian women. Pramila Patten has shown us that it is through education and perseverance that one can achieve global recognition and contribute to the advancement of humanity.

EASTER: THE VICTORY OF INNOCENCE OVER MALEVOLENCE

Millions of Christians around the world are celebrating the ascent of Jesus Christ this Sunday. He went to the land beyond and came back, a symbolic reference to his greatness. After braving the Roman authorities who callously sentenced him to death by crucifixion, Jesus Christ emerged from the grave to claim the land of his holy father. Bewildered and utterly mesmerized, people began to assemble to offer their devotion in masses. But this isn’t just a tale of good v/s evil, this is a tale of how gods can sometimes walk amongst mere mortals.

Jesus Christ’s teachings permeate modern society more than any other religion because Christianity is after all a religion devoted to goodness and charity. To commemorate the rise of Jesus Christ, Christians worldwide participated in a 40-day lent (fast) to show their willingness to sacrifice just like Christ did. During these 40 days, pious devotion dominated a Christian’s life, but it wasn’t just religious per se, since it has spiritual attributes as well. Bottom-line is, Jesus Christ personifies the goodness in the world and in this day and age, religiosity of this kind is needed to wash away all the dirt and sins from our lives.

On Good Friday, we were reminded of the benevolence of Jesus Christ in letting his tormentors get away with such atrocious sins, because in life everyone will be tested but not to that extent. During the holy week, there’s a solemn remembrance of the injustices that called for a being like Christ to become the purveyor of holy ideas. Whilst it’s easier to cast stones and ostracize those who are different from us, it is much more fulfilling for our soul to embrace those who wrong us. Jesus Christ’s teachings have changed the world for the better because it brought charity and empathy to the forefront of society’s agenda.

If Jesus does return to us, let it be known to Him that we mortals are still fallible creatures even though his teachings have mollified us. Religion and spirituality go hand in hand, and it’s when they align together that big things happen in the world. On this spiritual day, amidst songs of gospel and ecclesiastical preachings, let us remember that if we want to honour Jesus Christ, the best way is to emulate his gentle character. HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!

NAVIN KISTNAH: LOCAL PABLO ESCOBAR STILL MISSING

He is the alleged drug lord of a heroin empire here in Mauritius, alongside his partner Homanchal Ramdin. Both were first apprehended when 157 kilograms of heroin were seized at the port, one of the biggest drug busts in the Indian Ocean. Navin Kistnah and his partner, the broker Homanchal Ramdin are both missing following the investigation that ensued. Navin Kistnah was reportedly arrested in Mozambique, with authorities confirming he was in their custody, which makes his disappearance even more suspect. The last we heard from him was on March 30, the day he released a statement about his arrest, decrying his innocence.

His mother is exhorting the authorities to provide evidence that her son is still alive and well, which is understandable since they’ve been withholding information and they have been reticent to expose Kistnah’s role in this affair. Whether under political pressure or encumbered by rules pertaining to this case, it’s dubious to see such blatant mishandling of an important case like this. Both the Anti-Drug and Smuggling Unit and The Independent Commission against Corruption are unwilling to reveal the specificities of the case, a blight on transparency within our justice department.

This isn’t the first drug bust occurring under such epic media exposure. Since the beginning of this year, news about drug seizures have been rudimentary in our media, exposing us to the harsh reality that our paradise island is on a permanent high (pun intended) when it comes to drug trafficking. The sources and the enablers of the traffickers are as of yet, unknown. We may speculate but the truth is, the justice department isn’t really keen on releasing details surrounding those cases, which leads us to believe that there are some influential people on the island manoeuvring in the background.

The officials in Mozambique have declared there has been no confirmation on Kistnah’s arrest. To make this affair even more topsy-turvy, even the reputed international Intelligence Agency, Interpol admitted that there’s no real proof that Kistnah was indeed arrested in Mozambique. So what we’re left with in terms of concrete evidence is that 157 kilograms of heroin were seized at the port and alleged traffickers are missing. Thirty-nine cylinders that apparently contained heroin were found at Montagne Jacquot on Friday, which adds to the development of this saga. But, we still don’t know who the culprits are and how justice will be served in this case.

SCARY GHOST STORIES FROM MAURITIUS

In Mauritius, advances in science and in the belief in evolution haven’t stopped us from clinging to age-old myths and superstitions. But as we delve into these spooky stories, a word of caution, it’s not for the faint hearted. Whether you believe in supernatural beings or you categorically deny their existence, these stories will at least give you a glimpse of what some Mauritians have been through, esoterically speaking.
Our readers share their experiences with the occult.

Andy (31 years old)

My friends and I were atheists. My sister went on holiday to China and I told her to get me an Ouija board, which is a board game reputed for being able to contact spirits. Of course, she was unaware of that fact and I didn’t really think much of it until the day came when we got around using it. That day, my whole life changed.

There were 3 of us, Steve, Hans and I. We decided to use the Ouija board during a ‘plan’ just for fun, since neither of us truly thought much of it. As soon as I got the board out, I felt my heart skip a beat, I cannot really put that sensation into words but it felt like my senses were warning me against using it. And I was right because danger was indeed imminent. We rolled the dice, taking turns asking the ‘spirit’ questions, mellow questions at first then Hans (who was a die-hard nonbeliever) asked it to show itself, he was basically taunting It. Suddenly, Steve started shaking, he collapsed on the floor and I didn’t think twice before throwing that board away.

Steve went outside to breathe in some fresh air, we didn’t know what had just happened but I thought Steve was just messing with us. Except that he wasn’t. We heard him yell and we darted outside and what we saw will remain etched in our memory forever. It was a pale white woman, she was clad in white from head to toe, she had long white hair and she was towering over us, three adult men. In an instant, she disappeared but we knew she had done something to Steve. Steve had witnessed something else entirely and to this day, he hasn’t related what happened on that night.

After that experience, Steve became embroiled in various types of religious healing programs and as for Hans and I, we got our first taste of the occult and we promised we would never mess with those things again.

Danwantee ( 80 years old)

I might be old but my memory is still very fresh. I vividly recall that day at the Plantation, my father was tending the land while I was helping my mother gather the grass for our cows. We were walking towards our cart when an old lady could be heard shouting for help. Instinctively, my father ran to her rescue but when he came back, he was shell-shocked. When we asked what had happened, he told us that the woman was hovering over the ground and she was our neighbour, who had just died the previous day.

Cassy ( 20 years old )

My boyfriend and I always loved to indulge in risky activities so one day we decided to go to this haunted mansion in Candos. When we entered the house, it didn’t seem that threatening, it was your quintessential abandoned house and although it was quite old, it was surprising that nobody even cared to renovate the interior as it was quite lavish. Soon we would understand why no one would want to be associated with that house.
My boyfriend and I were vising each room, engaging in casual conversation as we were doing so. When it was time to leave, I had a stomach churning feeling that something bad was going to happen. I pressed my boyfriend to follow me out at once and we both went our separate ways. Back home, it was pretty late so I just had dinner and went to sleep.
Around 3 in the morning, I woke up in a sleepy haze, like I was forcefully awakened by someone. When I turned to the other side of the bed, I saw my boyfriend looking downwards at me but as I blinked, he morphed into an ugly, evil witch. I was traumatized and I couldn’t move. She started pulling my hair and scratching my body with her long nails, muttering phrases in Latin. I prayed for god, I prayed and prayed until it stopped. I ran out of my room, and I erratically barged into my parents’ room to tell them what had just happened. When they asked me where I had been earlier, I told them the truth. My mom then looked at me, a worried expression on her face, and she told me that long ago, a greedy entrepreneur lived in that house. He had acquired so much bad karma that he killed himself and to this day, the bad spirits linger in that house because it is immersed in dark energy.

Popular sightings:

Lallmatie used to be notorious due to a series of unexplained sightings occurring during the last decade. One of the most popular stories coming out of there is the tale of the chariot.
A man allegedly saw two old ladies at the helm of a chariot darting across the street in the middle of the night. The man described how aboard the chariot, there was an ominous coffin from where sounds of hell emanated.
His wife corroborated his claims as she was watching from behind the curtain.

The ‘Lougarou mania’ of the 1990s is also forever embedded in the supernatural mythology of our island. Described as a burly, hairy anthropomorphic beast, it purportedly wreaked havoc during the night, frightening the inhabitants of a certain region. Although the tension waned after a while, it left its mark on our folklore.

Mœurs et vision d’une Femme Mauricienne « l’égalité c’est bien, la liberté c’est mieux »

Mon féminisme vous regarde et vous demande, est-ce que c’est bien ce que vous souhaitez ou est-ce un canular que vous a fait envié les normes de notre société ? Chères dames, avez-vous réellement envi de vous retrouver dans un monde où règne l’égalité des genres ? Et si l’égalité n’était en effet pas la meilleure option ? Entre une image asymétrique, une figure fixe, des options limitées et une liberté infinie avec des opportunités illimitées, qu’auriez-vous choisis, leur égalité ou votre liberté ?

2050 : les femmes et les hommes ont les mêmes salaires. Il y a autant de femmes que d’hommes en politique. L’égalité des genres règne et tout semble aller bien au pays des merveilles.
Flash info de 2050 : le sexisme existe toujours. Le racisme aussi. Le système semble être le même qu’avant, la seule différence étant que les maux sociaux sont désormais plus dissimulés que jamais.

Ah bon ? Comment est-ce possible ?
Vous ne vous imaginiez quand même pas que l’égalité absolue allait gouverner notre société ? Si vous aviez une once de bon sens, vous auriez dû savoir que les hommes ne seraient jamais prêts à renoncer à leur suprématie. Ils vont peut-être nous vendre une image fallacieuse de ce qu’est l’égalité selon eux, mais nous vivrons toujours selon leurs termes.
« Une féministe qui critique l’égalité, ça existe ça ? »
L’égalité est une superficialité symétrique où nous sommes amenés à vouloir avoir une identité fixe et à se limiter à des frontières fictives. C’est une idéologie égoïste qui a pour but de freiner la différentiation et la diversification pour que nous ressemblions aux hommes. Lorsqu’elle est imposée par un segment de la société, l’égalité semble même être une horizontalité malsaine, dépourvue de liberté. Pourquoi utiliser les hommes comme référence ? Pourquoi se mesurer à eux ?
C’est le système machiste dans lequel nous vivons qui a défini les paramètres de l’égalité. Ne serait-ce pas l’euphorie totale de pouvoir arracher les racines de ce système, les déchiquetant, les piétinant, pour ensuite reconstruire un idéal selon nos termes, nos ambitions, nos compétences ?
Je suis le rêve d’une jeune femme absolument écœurée par les racines pourries d’un système d’oppression.

Vaniishta : Déterminée, elle perd 25 kgs en 10 mois

Une belle histoire aujourd’hui : celle de Vaniishta qui a perdu 25 kgs en 10 mois, tout en gardant un beau corps, sans peau qui tombe…Vous aussi voulez vous exclamer « Je l’ai fait !» ? Vous pensez que vous n’arriverez jamais à mincir ? Découvrez cette histoire vraie de réussite en matière de lutte contre la surcharge pondérale. Regardez comment cet exemple a pris le contrôle de sa santé pour perdre de kilos superflus, et vous trouverez une jolie source d’inspiration.

Vaniishta Singar, habitante Camp Benoit, Petite Rivière, Coromandel, âgée 23 ans a fait preuve de sa détermination. L’histoire de Vaniishta a commencé en Décembre 2014…. A cette époque elle pesait 78 kgs (1m66). Plusieurs choses l’ont fait prendre du poids au fur et a mesure des années : Le ‘junk food’ mais surtout un gros laisser aller. Elle a donc accumulé les kilos sans jamais avoir le courage de se prendre en main. Elle avait conscience que pour sa santé il fallait faire quelque chose, mais elle n’allait jamais au bout d’un régime.

Ceux qui l’ont poussé à prendre le bon chemin, c’est lorsqu’un jour, en retournant de KFC, elle a monté sur le balance, et elle pesait 78 kgs. Elle était choquée de par son poids. D’ailleurs, ses parents lui disaient qu’elle devenait grosse et moche. Ce n’est pas terminé, elle a eu la plus grosse déception quand elle avait demandé un photographe de lui faire des photos, et ce dernier l’a carrément refusé en le disant qu’elle était trop grosse. De ce jour, elle a décidé de changer son corps, car elle aime beaucoup la mode et les ‘photoshoot’.

« Il faut jamais juger »

On dit qu’il ne faut jamais juger avant de marcher un mille dans les souliers d’un autre. Si quelqu’un n’a jamais était obèse ou proche d’une personne obèse, il est mieux de gardez ses petites réflexions insipides chez sois. Perdre des kilos superflus, ce n’est jamais simple. Avec beaucoup de volonté et de bon sens, un régime alimentaire équilibré et des séances de sport musclées, il est possible de perdre du poids.

Encouragée et motivée par une tante et ses parents, Vaniishta a accepté de surprendre ce parcours. Au début, c’était compliquer car elle a du supprimer toutes sortes de graisse. Elle se concentrait plus sur des légumes et fruits. Ce qui fonctionnait le plus était de faire une heure de jogging deux fois par jour. Mais au fur à mesure son corps s’habituait et les effets de la cardio commençaient à s’amoindrir. Vaniishta souhaite passer le message que l’on peut y arriver même lorsque l’on est obèse. Et d’une façon naturelle, sans chirurgie juste avec la volonté. De par son expérience, elle éprouve que le meilleur régime est celui de pratiquer un sport. C’est le moins dangereux et surtout le plus durable.

Vaniishta Singar

L’obésité est le nouveau sujet à la mode. En matière de perde de poids, « si vous perdez votre objectif d’amaigrissement de vue, vous devrez affronter de multiples obstacles tels que la frustration, envies de manger, écarts, désirs d’abandonner, etc. Mais si vous abandonnez, vous n’y arriverez pas. C’est votre choix : atteindre le but ou laisser tomber. » Il y aura des jours ou vous n’avez pas envie de continuer le plan minceur. Eh bien, au lieu de penser à la difficulté de la tache, et a combien de temps cela vous prendra encore, dites vous que vous n’avez qu’a débuter ! Une fois commencer, cela n’est jamais aussi dur que vous pensiez que cela serait. Des pensées négatives doivent être remplacées par des affirmations positives. C’est l’une des compétences les plus importants pour vous motiver, il est primordial de pratiquer cela quotidiennement.