Nigeria: Omotola Makes Yahoo List
January 19, 2015 | 0 Comments
Photo: Capital FM
Actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde[/caption] Nollywood actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, has been breaking boundaries for some time now. The gorgeous actress, who is currently celebrating 20 years in the movie industry, was recently put on Yahoo’s list of “The 10 Highest Grossing Movie Stars in the world.” This list named high grossing actors around the world. Omotola happens to be the only Nigerian, and African, on the list as well as being one of the two women on the list. Yahoo states: “Hollywood stars like your Tom Cruises and your Samuel L. Jacksons are ten-a-penny these days. You can’t leave the house without seeing their faces plastered on bus stops and the sides of buildings. What of the actors who have achieved great successes but receive no recognition for their work? Why, that bloke you were queuing behind in Waitrose could have been one of these guys, the 10 highest grossing movie stars you’ve never heard of.”
Kofi Annan on Boko Haram and Paris attacks
January 19, 2015 | 0 Comments
The BBC World Service released an interview on Thursday with the former United Nations Secretary-General, who spoke on ending the Boko Haram insurgency and why the recent terror attack in Paris caught the world’s attention [caption id="attachment_15622" align="alignleft" width="300"] Former U.N Secretary General Kofi Anan speaks on recent terror attack in Nigeria and France. Photo: Reuters[/caption] “I think we have to be realistic, people always tend to pay more attention to dangers which are immediate to them…The nature of that attack in Paris caused lots of tension in Europe, other cities were saying, ‘What next?’” Kofi Annan said of the international community, and media, focusing more on the Paris attack rather than the Baga incident in which over one hundred people lost their lives. Ultimately, the sense of solidarity after the Paris attack kept the world’s attention there. The diplomat also spoke about his hope of seeing more solidarity among Africans instead of waiting on the world to solve the continent’s problems. Annan is in Nigeria to support the February elections, and spoke more about what needs to be done during the radio interview. Listen to his views about ending the Boko Haram insurgency here. https://soundcloud.com/bbc-world-service/annan *Source thisisafrica]]>
The Kenyan dance taking nightclubs by storm
January 18, 2015 | 0 Comments
“We never had access to those music videos and that’s why we came up with phenomenal dance styles,” says band member Bien-Aime Baraza.Now Sauti Sol are making their own videos and becoming more influential – they won MTV Europe’s Best African Act 2014 – and they believe the time is ripe for a Kenyan-inspired dance floor revolution. “What we need to do is take back our dance, take back the streets,” says Baraza. What was missing was a blend of the traditional with the contemporary. “The Lipala dance is actually a dance that has been practised by the Luhya tribe for the longest time ever,” says Delvin Mudigi, another member of the band. And because everyone’s familiar with it, it has really taken off, even spawning tributes on YouTube – like this one by the staff of a solar panel company. So we want to hear from you about which dance dominates the nightclubs in your country right now. *Source BBC]]>
Running a development bank needs political will – Donald Kaberuka
January 13, 2015 | 0 Comments
Nicholas Norbrook* [caption id="attachment_15418" align="alignleft" width="480"] Donald Kaberuka, head of African Development Bank, AfDB.[/caption] With African development banks needing money to spend, Donald Kaberuka, AfDB chief, says he would rather see the pools of African savings being invested in low-yielding instruments, and sometimes even outside Africa, invested in local development banks for a good return.
Cyril Ramaphosa – South Africa's leader in waiting
January 11, 2015 | 0 Comments
Crystal Orderson in Cape Town* After helping to found Africa’s largest trade-union federation and establishing a multi-billion-rand conglomerate, Cyril Ramaphosa is back in frontline politics. [caption id="attachment_15350" align="alignleft" width="710"] Simphiwe Nkwali/Sunday Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images[/caption] Perhaps the most poignant task for Cyril Ramaphosa after his elevation to deputy president in June is to try to forestall the breakup of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).
Heroic Muslim man saved Jewish hostages during Paris siege by hiding them in freezer
January 11, 2015 | 0 Comments
A heroic young Muslim hid Jewish hostages in a freezer as they sought refuge from a killer during a siege at a Kosher supermarket.
Angelle B. Kwemo Joins The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP) Selection Committee
January 8, 2015 | 0 Comments
New Program Set To Create An Impactful Economic “Tsunami” in Africa [caption id="attachment_15276" align="alignleft" width="402"] From L-R: Ms. Nimi Akinkugbe; Ambassador Jendai Frazier ; Ms. Wiebe Boer, Ms. ParminderVir OBE; Chairman Tony Elumelu ;Ms. Angelle Kwemo ; Mr. Ayodeji Adewunmi and Ambassador Josephina Washima.[/caption] WASHINGTON D.C., JANUARY 7, 2015-Angelle B. Kwemo, Founder & Chair, Believe in Africa (BIA) and Managing Director & CEO, Rimsom Strategies, Ltd., has been appointed to serve as one of the ten members of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program Selection Committee (TEEP). The TEEP committee’s mission is to identify 10,000 entrepreneurs to participate in a new entrepreneurship program. The $100 million TEEP initiative will create a new pan-African entrepreneurship program that will create 10,000 startups across Africa within the next 10 years. The TEEP initiative will identify the startups and entrepreneurs with ideas that have the potential to succeed in creating employment and wealth. Program participants will learn to grow their businesses through business skills training, mentoring, access to seed capital funding, information and membership in an Africa-wide alumni network. TEEP aims to create businesses that can generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and contribute at least $10 billion in new annual revenue across Africa. “I applaud Tony O. Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, for his vision and this historical initiative. Like him, we believe in Africa, we believe in the potential of African entrepreneurs and the impact they can have on the long term economic transformation of Africa’s economies,” said TEEP Committee member Angelle Kwemo. “By democratizing access to opportunity, with an emphasis on tapping into the talent of Africa’s young people, this program strives to “institutionalize luck”, which is a key factor in the success of any entrepreneur” as M. Elumelu rightfully put it, “this program has the potential to create a long overdue economic “tsunami” in Africa. This is in line with Believe in Africa’s fundamental principles–Believing, Inspiring and Acting,” added Kwemo. ” Africa’s biggest asset is not only its natural resources, but more importantly, its human potential. It is time to harvest it. It is going to be challenging to select program participants from a legion of bright, innovative and commercially viable projects. But I stand ready and committed to the task.” She added: “The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program is the single largest investment program launched by an African born, raised and succeeding on the African soil to support African empowerment. This represents the evidence that the African private section has reached a maturity level allowing them to play a more active and responsible role on the continent’s future, providing a tailored made African solutions to African challenges. The so-called « rise » of the continent is no longer a simple slogan”. She concluded: “Africa needs to create 54 million jobs by 2020. Maintaining peace and security is one of the continent’s 21st century challenges. This program will contribute to addressing this non-traditional security threat. Also, building prosperity is a prerequisite to spur democracy. It is our hope that other leaders in the private sector will follow suit, and that African governments will liberalize their economies, embracing and enforcing policies that will allow those new entrepreneurs to strive and future “Elumelus” and “Dangotes” to emerge. This is Africapitalism in action. Therefore, I pray that all stakeholders, in Africa and abroad, will join forces as the TEEP ushers Africans to a new path, a new era of self-reliance, dignity and lasting prosperity. The World, Africa, and our generation are awaiting with an ardent desire to see the manifestation of the true potential of children of Africa. 2015 is indeed the Year of African entrepreneurs. I am proud and invite all of you to be on the good side of Africa’s history”. “Angelle Kwemo will be a great addition to the selection committee team, as she is passionate about empowering the next generation of African leaders. Africa’s future depends on Africans,” said Constant Nemale, co-founder of Believe in Africa and Chair of Africa24 TV. “I applaud Tony Elumelu, our Africapitalist-in-Chief, for his vision and leadership. He put his money where his mouth is. Under our label, Believe in Africa, Africa24 TV is committed to supporting African initiatives that will have an impact on Africa’s long-term economic growth and contributing to correct the misconception of Africa being a continent in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. Our entrepreneurs are looking for investments and partnership opportunities, not just handouts. This is what the TEEP will provide. The Tony Elumelu initiative reinforces our pride and dignity of a continent full of talent, generosity and resiliency. I salute Tony Elumelu, a true son of Africa, for this historical initiative. I am honored to endorse this program and to contribute to making 2015 the Year of African entrepreneurs.” “With the world fastest growing youth population, reaching nearly 200 million and expected to double by 2045, efforts to create jobs in the continent is a priority,” said Pape Samp, Chairman of the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN). “Africa needs an innovative entrepreneurship development program such as TEEP to address youth unemployment, provide start-up capital, and sustain businesses.” Believe in Africa(BIA) is an African diaspora-led initiative founded by former U.S. congressional staffers and African leaders in the U.S., to empower young Africans, promote the role of the African private sector, harness the power of the African diaspora, educate policy makers and the public about African economic growth and highlight the continent’s gradual rise in the global community *Source Believe In Africa]]>
Nigerian Billionaire Tony Elumelu's $100 Million Entrepreneurship Program Goes Live On Online Portal
January 3, 2015 | 0 Comments
Farai Gundan* [caption id="attachment_15139" align="alignleft" width="300"] Mr. Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings Limited & Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Nigeria[/caption] “If you think that you can be Africa’s Steve Jobs, then 2015 is the year for you to start the journey,” said Nigerian billionaire and revered business leader, Tony Elumelu in a video message announcing the official opening of his $100 million pan-African entrepreneurship initiative, the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP). The highly anticipated program went live at the stroke of midnight West Africa Time (WAT) today. Following the billionaire investor’s announcement at the Tony Elumelu Foundation headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, on December 1st of his pledge of $100 million towards creating 10,000 entrepreneurs across Africa over the next 10 years; the annual program, the first ambitious undertaking of its kind, was opened for business ideas submissions and entries from applicants across Africa via its online application portal, TEEP. The multi-year program provides training, seed capital and mentoring and is primarily designed to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs because according to Mr. Elumelu, “the private sector in Africa and entrepreneurs in particular have an important role to play in the growth and transformation of the continent”. Additionally, the celebrated business leader said that through TEEP, there was a need “to relentlessly create and nurture African entrepreneurs” given the numerous challenges on the continent; “limited access to finance, electricity, and to the markets”. According to the press statement, the $100 million entrepreneurship program, endowed by the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an African-based, African-funded philanthropic organization, will identify and support 1,000 entrepreneurs from across the continent each year over the next decade. Overall, the 10,000 start-ups and young businesses selected from across Africa will ”enable Africa’s economies to compete globally in the 21st century,” said Mr. Elumelu, add $10 billion in annual revenues to Africa’s economy and ultimately create one million new jobs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KpzXXXA-pd0#t=0 Citizens and legal residents of all 54 African countries are eligible and encouraged to apply to the program. “Since the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program was announced, we have been enthused by the level of interest and excitement from entrepreneurs across Africa. We are looking forward to reviewing the entries and identifying the first cohort of the continent’s next generation of business leaders,” Parminder Vir OBE, Director of Entrepreneurship, The Tony Elumelu Foundation said in a press statement. Applicants have until March 1st 2015 to submit their business ideas through the online portal and the qualifying submissions will be reviewed by the selection committee, whose members include some of Africa’s leading entrepreneurs and industry captains: Ory Okolloh, Director of Investments, Omidyar Network’s Government; Monica Musonda, CEO, Java Foods; Mariéme Jamme, CEO, Spotone Global Solutions; Dr Wiebe Boer, CEO, The Tony Elumelu Foundation. During the launch, Mr. Elumelu, who debuted as a billionaire this year on the FORBES list of Africa’s 50 Richest, spoke of his personal commitment to empowering African entrepreneurship and said that the program was “far more than a funding initiative or networking opportunity.” Mr. Elumelu, who holds Commander of the Order of Nigeria (CON), a Nigerian national honor, also added that it was “an act of faith in our entrepreneurs and our young people to transform our continent; to be the engine for the creation of both economic and social wealth, putting into practice what I have called Africapitalism.” Additional details about the program, including the application process, eligibility, requirements and selection process are available on the Tony Elumelu Foundation website *Source Forbes]]>
Nigeria: Nollywood Divas in Their 30s, 40s Yet to Marry and Why – Rita Dominic, Benita Nzeribe
January 1, 2015 | 0 Comments
By Juliet Ebirim [caption id="attachment_15116" align="alignleft" width="260"] Rita Dominic[/caption] The dream of every woman is to find a man to spend her entire life with. Even the Holy religious books have enjoined men and women, to seek each other out and cohabit as man and wife. But as beautiful and simple as this may sound, marriage has long gone from being a simple item on a menu, it has become a task, as finding a true life partner has become as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. It is particularly more difficult for the womenfolks as they have to be proposed to. As liberated as our society is now, it is hard to find a woman that would go out of her way to propose to a man. The norm is the other way round. So, for a woman, waiting to get a marriage proposal may me as certain as waiting for the proverbial hen to play a golden egg. It doesn’t have to do with beauty, wealth or status, or else all the Nollywood divas would have been long married before they hit their 30s. Why are these ladies still single in spite of their relative affluence and beauty? Meet some of Nollywood singles in their 30s, 40s still single and why: RITA DOMINIC has an axe to grind with the mediaBlessed with a young and beautiful face, popular Nollywood actress, Rita Dominic, who has carved a niche for herself in the industry is yet to tie the knots at about 40 years. The actress who produced the blockbuster movie, The Meeting, is seen by many as a wife material, but it is amazing to her fans that she is still single. She was rumoured to have dated Jim Iyke in the past and recently disclosed that she will settle down once she meets the right person as she didn’t choose to remain single. She once accused the media of ruining her relationships, each time she has any looking good for the altar. BENITA NZERIBE still searching for true love Benita Nzeribe is one actress whose works have brought recognition. When it comes to marriage though, she has not been lucky. When asked why she is yet to get married, actress Benita Nzeribe said: “If I have to say the truth, marriage is not all about money or the little things of life. We should marry for real love. That is why I see myself as being able to marry whoever I am in love with, no matter his status in life. That is to say,even if the guy is a wheelbarrow pusher, I would marry him as long as my heart is with him.” I am not under pressure to get married – Halima Abubakar Halima Abubakar is one actress that is well endowed physically, but is yet to get married. Hear her:”I don’t know why people always seem to be putting pressure on others to get married. When the marriage doesn’t work out, they will be the first to criticize you. My parents are not pressurising me to get married; my family is not pressurising me to get married either. So, I don’t see why I should let anyone pressurise me into marriage.” As a woman I am ready for marriage – Franca Brown Popular Nollywood thespian, Franca Brown recently spoke about her single status and her readiness to get married if marriage comes her way. The actress who is over 40 has a daughter. Speaking to Vanguard recently, she said “I believe in marriage. I was born into a home, I have a father and a mother. But marriage has not come my way, and I don’t think it’s yet a challenge to me. When it comes my way, it comes. As a woman I am ready for marriage”. When any good man comes along – ANGELA PHILIPS The beautiful and busty ‘Peacemaker’ star actress talked about her single status to Vanguard recently. Her words “If any good man comes to marry me and I like the person, why not? Maybe the ones coming are the wrong ones. I will like to marry a God fearing man, a trustworthy person, a friend who will be like my brother, father and husband. Everything rolled into one”. I have not found the right man – Ejiro Okurame Beautiful Delta State born actress, Ejiro Okurame spoke about her marital status recently. “I am old enough to get married and have children. What has kept me single this long is the fact that I have not found the right man”. Qualify me as a late starter in marriage – Ada Ameh 40 years old plus-sized actress, Adah Ameh is still single though she has a grown up daughter who she had at 14. The actress talked about her single status in a newspaper interview. “I am still very single. I believe I will get married some day. I don’t know when, but I will be married. I am beautiful. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. When the time for marriage comes, it will happen. Some people are late starters while some others are early starters. Maybe you will qualify me as a late starter in marriage. The most important thing is that I will get married some day.” *Source allafrica]]>
Meet the former egg seller who made millions by shining shoes
December 31, 2014 | 0 Comments
Alex Court* [caption id="attachment_15093" align="alignleft" width="640"] Lere Mgayiya (right) had a rough first day in business with just basic chairs and no pedestals for his customers. Now his business offers clients plush leather armchairs to relax in whilst getting their shoes shined.[/caption] Suede slip-ons, elegant high-heels or lace-up brogues — whatever shoes you wear in an important business meeting you want to look your shiny best. Some people apply polish with a brush and others choose a cloth, while those coming from afar often leave the task to the capable hands of craftsmen who can make travel-worn footwear look like brand new.
If someone has shined your shoes in a South African airport, it’s probably thanks to Lere Mgayiya.
“We’re the biggest shoe-shine company in Africa,” he explains without sounding arrogant. “In Johannesburg we shine about 350 pairs of shoes a day, and about 120 pairs in Cape Town and another 120 in Durban.” In total, Lere’s Shoe Shine business has 45 employees across the three major airports, and the boss is now eyeing partnerships in America and UK, as well as expansion across Africa.
On this particularly day, Mgayiya, 40, is wearing Clarks — black slip-ons. With annual revenue nearing 2.5 million rand ($227,000), his demeanor resembles his feet — comfortable.
But things weren’t always on such a sure footing for Mgayiya. The resourceful South African had to go through a string of failures to get to where he is today — a spectacular entrepreneurial journey of risk, belief and reward.
Long before becoming South Africa’s shoe shining king, Mgayiya started his professional career distributing boarding cards for South African Airways. But after five years with the airline and a promotion to supervisor, Mgayiya was made redundant. “I wasn’t ready to leave,” he recalls. “If the truth be told, I was afraid — it gave me a push.”
Mgayiya stopped handling paper and joined the family livestock transportation business. “I enjoyed being out and about,” he says, while explaining his role negotiating with farmers. “I enjoyed setting my own goals and achieving them.”
But life in a family business wasn’t all plain-sailing. When Mgayiya suggested taking a loan and securing exclusive contracts, his uncle asked him to move on. After a year, he was jobless again.
His mother’s brother took away his job, but Mgayiya kept in contact with his farmer clients and soon embarked on his next project: selling the farmers’ eggs to the kitchen of the South African parliament. Making just $6 profit per egg box, this however was not a lucrative operation. “I fell behind with payments to farmers,” he remembers. “I didn’t have money to start my car. You need big pockets to run a supply business.”
When his chips were down, Mgayiya stayed optimistic and entered the Sandlam Money Game — a TV competition for entrepreneurs. Marketing execs at Red Bull liked his advertising idea, and Mgayiya won the game. “I got 35,000 Rand ($3,100) in two days,” he says. “It was great.”
He took that money and invested it all in a tree-planting company which he then started working for. But six months later things went sour, and Mgayiya was penniless again and back at square one.[caption id="attachment_15094" align="alignright" width="640"] When he started shining shoes, Mgayiya had no experience. He often slipped and got polish on his customers’ socks which upset people.[/caption]
Mgayiya had already experienced hard times, but the year to come was to test his resolve. “I needed a steady income, so I decided on a shoe-shining business at Cape Town airport. A hungry man can’t think, and I was starving.”
He got in touch with his contacts from his airline days and applied for the business space in November 2002. The authorities took until September 2003 to give him the go ahead. “In that year I sold my car…I worked as a receptionist for three months. I begged and borrowed just to make ends meet.”
Before he could start shining shoes, Mgayiya pawned his fridge to buy business equipment. But on his first day Mgayiya and his sole employee arrived to bad news. “The supplier I had paid to provide pedestals failed to deliver,” Mgayiya remembers. “I polished shoes in my lap.”
In the beginning, both staff members worked flat out 5am to 9pm every day of the week except Sunday. “I left the house before my family woke up, and only got home after my young daughter had gone to sleep,” he recalls. “It was tough.”
But customer numbers soon got a boost after a client suggested that the business name should highlight the personal, chatty aspect of the business. “Airport Shoeshine” became “Lere’s Shoe Shine,” and people liked it — after just four months. the team had grown to five and business was booming.
Big plans[caption id="attachment_15095" align="alignleft" width="640"] Mgayiya can afford to smile now that has business is seeing success, but he has known failure in the past when he was fired from South African Airways and then lost his investment in a tree-planting company.[/caption]
Success in Cape Town didn’t cool Mgayiya’s ambition, and after a year he got a chance to pitch to the person in charge of all South African airports. She liked his idea, and expansion started soon after. At its height, the company had 60 employees in five airports across the country. Today, Mgayiya has scaled back to the three major ones: Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
“I have my own house and send my daughter to private school,” he beams. “And I could afford to get married — a proper marriage.” He no longer works from 5am to 9pm either. “I just do the one shift from 12,” he says, laughing. “The family loved that one.”
“When starting a business in South Africa, you need self-belief,” is his top advice for young entrepreneurs. “All the conditions will never all be favorable at the same time. If you don’t start, you won’t go anywhere — you have to start.”
While he’s under way now, Mgayiya shows no signs of stopping. He has his eyes on Angola, Kenya and Nigeria for expansion, as well as partnerships in U.K. and America. His shine for business may have emerged from a number of failures, but this entrepreneur shows how smudges and setbacks shouldn’t get in the way of success.
'I'm born winner' says football star Weah after poll win
December 30, 2014 | 0 Comments
Liberian politician and ex-footballer George Weah speaks during a meeting for the opening of political campaign activities for senatorial elections on November 14, 2014 in Monrovia ©Zoom Dosso (AFP/File)[/caption] Monrovia (AFP) – Football legend and Liberian opposition leader George Weah declared himself a “born winner” Monday, after trouncing the son of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in a Senate election in the Ebola-ravaged country. In his first victory at the polls since he went into politics 15 years ago, Weah won by a landslide in Montserrado county, the most populous in the west African country, taking 78 percent of the vote in a race against Robert Sirleaf. “I am a born-winner,” the ex-AC Milan goal ace told AFP. “I have always defeated Madam Sirleaf in Montserrado. The son could not do what the mother did not. “I have always won the elections, but my victories were stolen from me,” he claimed. The only African to take the Ballon d’Or as European footballer of the year, Weah won the first round of the 2005 presidential election, but lost the runoff to Johnson Sirleaf. He lost out again to her in 2011 when he was the vice-presidential candidate on the opposition Congress for Democratic Change ticket. “It is time now to work for the people of Montserrado and that is my priority,” he said. Weah, a popular figure in Liberia since his days as a deadly centre-forward, told AFP in May that he intends to run again for president in 2017. Robert Sirleaf, who took only 10.8 percent in the much-delayed December 20 poll to fill half the seats in the Senate, conceded defeat on national radio. “I congratulate Mr. Weah for his victory. I thank all those who voted for me. I will continue to do what I have been doing for the people of Montserrado,” he said. Among other winners in the poll — put back three times by the epidemic which has killed 3,384 in Liberia — was Jewel Howard Taylor, a former wife of ex-president Charles Taylor (1997-2003), who has since been convicted of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in neighbouring Sierra Leone. She was reelected in the central Bong district, which she has held since 2005. The country’s electoral commission said it had received complaints from candidates in three counties. But spokesman Joey Kennedy said: “That does not stop the process. The winners will be certificated on Saturday. “The cases of protests will go to the Supreme Court. Any decision from there is what we will go by,” he added. *Source AFP]]>
Zuma moves to defuse Dar, Kampala, Kigali tensions
December 29, 2014 | 0 Comments
[caption id="attachment_15051" align="alignleft" width="595"] South African President Jacob Zuma (centre), Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni (right) met in Kampala on December 21. In their meeting, the two leaders discussed peace and security in the Great Lakes region. PHOTO | FILE[/caption] Defusing rising tensions around the imminent deployment of the East African Regional Standby Force to disarm Rwandan Hutu rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, was the major reason for South African President Jacob Zuma’s surprise visit to Dar es Salaam and Kampala earlier this week, The EastAfrican has learnt.