The Great Untold Story — Why We Blog São Tomé e Príncipe?



The existence of the Apple-banana (banana-maçã) was a recent big shock for me. Photo by Robert Grant

I was inspired to start writing this blog by a few people I met in Lisbon. This is my first real attempt (with consistent updates and everything) at writing a blog so we’ll see how it goes. I am sure we will improve things with time.

Africa is Changing

When I heard that 2009 is the year when many countries in Africa get high-speed Internet my mind was set to start writing on one of the African countries. São Tomé and Príncipe seemed like a good choice because of its tiny size; and I already had some contacts there. The irony is STP isn’t even one of the countries getting broadband.

Didn’t Known Much

There wasn’t much I knew about Africa before starting this blog. I remembered most of the countries and their capitals from geography class. I’d read about the Nigerian oil troubles from National Geographic Magazine. I had heard about some civil wars, displacement in Somalia and about the separate state of Somaliland that seems to be doing alright.

I’d heard about Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and read the story of the whites evicted from their farms and what followed. I’d heard about the apartheid in South Africa and the long prison sentence of Nelson Mandela. I’d seen images of Rwanda and films about the Rwandan genocide. I was surprised when I saw current pictures of the capital and read how well off it was. The land of thousand hills.

BBC World Have Your Say

I’d listened to Africa today and This Week in Africa on the BBC. Also some radio documentaries had touched on various parts of the continent. I’d heard a few documentaries from ABC (in Australia) and CBC (in Canada). I’d heard about the baobab trees from a radio commentator in Estonian Radio. But to be fair most of my information about Africa had come from World Have Your Say or as it’s known by many WHYS also on the BBC. The BBC had been my main information about Africa.

The Future

But I had never heard of Sao Tome & Principe. This blog is an attempt to summarize my readings on the country, and also to create a community of people interested in the islands. (For my previous African research, please see Africa on YouTube.)