The rare art of cheese-making in DR Congo

Who knew?

A hillside village in the Democratic Republic of Congo is an unlikely site for the production of fine cheese. But here, one man continues a legacy started by Belgian priests in 1975.

Andre Ndekezi cuts carefully through thick, curdled milk with a large fork and then stirs it with his bare hands. He is making cheese in a bathtub.

His workshop is a small, wooden cabin perched on the lush hills of Masisi, in the east of the DR Congo.

The conditions are basic, but Ndekezi has a rare savoir-faire when it comes to dairy products.

The curd will spend a month on a shelf in a dark room in the back of the workshop and eventually become a refined cheese.

Simply known as Goma cheese – Goma is the largest town in the area – it is like a milder version of French gruyere, softer in texture.

American claims African land for daughter to become princess

Daddy’s Little ‘Princess’!


A man from America has claimed a small patch of Africa, because his daughter wants to be a princess.

Jeremy Heaton told BBC Radio 5 live that he had travelled from Virginia with his flag to proclaim the area the “Kingdom of North Sudan”.

The area lies between Egypt and Sudan, is 800 square miles of arid desert and doesn’t belong to any country.

He says he has put official requests in with both nations but, as yet, neither has responded.

Mr Heaton told 5 live his daughter, Emily, took a “serious tone” and asked “if one day she would be a princess”.

“Being a father, I knew she was serious in her request,” he said. “I researched pieces of land that were unclaimed and was fortunate to discover it.”

To celebrate her seventh birthday he made the journey to what locals call Bir Tawil to make Emily’s “dreams come true”.

The father of three says he was determined to show his children he’d go to “the ends of the earth for them”.


When he arrived on 16 June, he planted the flag his daughter had designed in the ground and insists his claim is legitimate.

A territorial dispute between the two countries means the land is one of the last unclaimed areas on earth.

Now Mr Heaton says he’ll try to reach out to the African Union for support.

He argues that over the years many countries, including the United States, were claimed by the simple act of planting a flag.

The difference, he says, is that they were usually acts of war, but in this case he “founded the nation in love for my daughter”.


However unlikely it is that Jeremy Heaton will become the new King of North Sudan, he already has development plans in place.

Princess Emily, as she is now called by her family, has ordered her new land to become a centre for agriculture.

She now wears her royal crown at all times and says it’s “very cool” being a princess but she doesn’t know when she’ll visit what she thinks is the world’s newest country.

Egypt, Sudan and the United Nations will have to recognise the Kingdom of North Sudan before she’s officially the daughter of a king.

Oh, that’s okay; she’ll always be Daddy’s Little ‘Princess Emily’! {/sarcasm}


The unopened ‘Pleasure Hospital’ of Bobo

A tale of a transgendered surgeon hired to work for an African hospital that ‘reverses’ clitoridectomies, started by a North American branch of a worldwide cult that believes in and reveres extraterrestrials; which hospital has been prevented from opening by bureaucrats, whose hamstringing is blamed by said cultists on the Roman Catholic Church.

New Use for Baboon Urine

In addition to all the old uses for it.

According to, baboon urine is “selling like hot cakes” in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The place to go to get it is the Bulawayo City Council run toilets at Egodini commuter omnibus terminus.

The source of its appeal is the belief that “a baboon by its nature urinates only on one spot. Even if it travels from Matopo to Bulawayo, when it gets pressed, it will travel all the way to Matopo before it relieves itself.”

Therefore, by extension (and because the ancient medical ‘principle of similitude’ dictates this must be so), if the stuff is applied to a man it will “start regulating his bedding tendencies.” That is, it will make him faithful to one woman.