“I wanted to be able to act and fit in on any set, anywhere in the world…” -Erica Nlewedim
May 1, 2021 | 0 Comments
Former MetFilm School acting student, Erica Nlewedim is a household name in Nigeria; at only 27 she found extraordinary fame last year after her performance on a Nigerian reality TV show, Big Brother Naija (formerly Big Brother Nigeria).
Erica now has over 1.6M followers on Instagram, over half a million followers on Twitter, over 1M views on TikTok and a massive fanbase called Elites – she’s a brand ambassador for the likes of Swarovski jewellery, and, she has a handful of fearture films to her name… she is a very busy woman.
Originally a Business graduate of Nigeria’s Covenant University, Erica enrolled at London’s MetFilm School in 2019 to study acting. She said: “I had already been working as an actor for four years before I started at MetFilm School.
“I knew that I needed to grow as an actor, I wanted to improve and I wanted to be able to act and fit in on any set, anywhere in the world, not just limit myself to Nigeria. So, I knew that the UK was the place to learn. And I wanted to go to a school where everyone speaks English.
“I chose MetFilm School London without even visiting the campus. I had spent time ‘Googling’ film schools and acting courses and I really liked the look of MetFilm School. So, I called them and had a really good phone call with them, they answered my questions, and gave me all of the details – it was a welcoming and friendly experience and that’s when I made my decision to enrol.
“I had never visited the UK before, I’d visited other European countries like France, Spain and Germany several times, but not the UK, not until I started studying there.
“I enjoyed living and studying in London, I knew quite a few people from home who are studying and working there, so I had a network of familiar faces from the start.
“And I soon made new friends. I’m still in contact with people I met while studying there, I learnt a lot, and I know that I’m a better actor because of my experience there.
“I think learning about and being able to apply the Stanislavski Technique to my work has been really important. It helps me get into the mindset of the character – rather than just ‘acting’ the emotions, this technique has helped me understand the character, consider the character’s mindset and to ‘feel’ their emotions and draw on those for a more authentic performance.
“London is great, it’s expensive and the weather is sometimes horrible – it was when I was there I’m sure it was the coldest summer ever except for a few warm days! I had done a lot of research, so I knew what to expect. Everyone was friendly, and it felt like home very quickly.”
Erica travelled every day to the School based at the world-famous Ealing Studios from Colindale, west London by London bus, she said: “I had the real London experience!”
Erica didn’t waste any time when she got back to Nigeria and started work immediately: “As soon as I had finished the courses, I was back home and working. I had plans to travel back to the UK, but then Covid hit and nothing much was happening. I was stuck at home and that’s when I decided to apply to be a housemate for Big Brother.
“I knew it would be safe, we would be tested and in lockdown together, so I decided to give a go and I was chosen! That’s when my career really skyrocketed. I’ve been so busy.
“Last December I worked on a project with Netflix, it’s a ‘Netflix Original Series’, I don’t know when it’s out and I can’t say any more about it. I’ve also shot two other movies this year and I’ve been working as a brand ambassador.”
Erica, also known as ‘Star Girl’ is brand ambassador for Nigerian brands including Kuku’s Hair, Star Radler and Legend Beers, Kuda Bank, Partner Mobile and global brand, Swarovski jewellery.
But she is not resting on her laurels; she is ambitious for her future: “I want to be the biggest star to have come out of Nigeria, I want to be known across Africa, South Africa, Europe and the UK.”
“My advice for anyone thinking about working in the screen industries is to work on improving yourself. Whether that’s through education or research; and learn to be your best self every day.
“Build a positive mindset and tell yourself positive things daily – be your own self’s best friend and work on your confidence. You have to be confident in yourself because it will make you a better actor.”
Erica stars in Nollywood feature film, Devil in Agbada due to be released later this year.
Zimbabwean Young People Take roles and Responsibility to clean their cities .
February 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
…………. Young Africans encouraged as well to take strides in culture of cleaning African Cities
By Nevson Mpofu Munhumutapa
Every month cleanup campaign now at a stand still due to covid-19 was taken up by a forum of young people in unison of youth collective action. Young People Program Zimbabwe took it unto themselves to stretch muscles in support of clean up campaign to see their city of Harare clean, smart and sparkle. Besides they have taken giant steps to move to other cities, communities.
The organization led by Tinashe Nyagunzu is currently ready to take off into the air with the National Clean Up Open Microphone Championship using music, singing, models and other activities as a way of congregating young people so that they can talk, chat and forum around a debate on keeping cities clean as responsible citizens.
The get on hold with the people is dubbed open microphone clean-up awareness. Taking a pitched voice up for this recording to reach the nation, Tinashe Nyagunzu the President of [YPPZ] Young People Program Zimbabwe said the clean-up campaign is an exercise meant for all young people to take a step towards being responsible for the cleaning of their cities, be it other residential areas in urban, rural communities.
‘’It is our responsibility as young people to make our cities clean. We are moving out of cities boundaries into all the provinces of the country in the 10 provinces of the country. The clean-up idea makes cities, the country clean, happy nation, health people, especially for us it sounds well. We are the young people. We are the leaders of tomorrow. The onus is ours to see that cities are clean for all to stay health.
‘’Let us catch them young. As they grow, they must know it’s the responsibility of the young people to have better, cleaner -cities, let us be responsible as young people to make this World look better than ever before. Our goal is responsibility. It is therefore important to empower youth participation in clean-up campaign meant to build better, livable communities.
Young People Program has visited Harare’s high-density suburbs where there was need for a through clean-up for the betterment of a clean environment. Besides looking at their own city, Zimbabwe’s most vibrant young people organization advises and urges African young people to remain vigilant towards advancing efforts to make their cities clean.
‘’Besides looking at our own city Harare, young people elsewhere must strive to keep their environment clean by taking a role and responsibility to clean their cities so that they remain smart and immaculate.
‘’In other words, we call African young people to cultivate a culture of cleanliness of their cities for a clean Africa with young people in mind to take the idea as important. The idea is to keep African cities clean and health. In this move and endeavor young Africans need empowerment and financial support.’’
Young People Program commends the work by Cassava an Econet subsidiary working with Elevate another subsidiary which does youth funding. Cassava has been quite instrumental in recycling waste in Harare and some cities.
Mali: Oumou Sangaré tops World Music Charts Europe
August 9, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
Malian Oumou Sangaré has claimed the No 1 spot on the World Music Charts Europe(link is external) (WMCE) with her album titled Acoustic.
Acoustic rose 13 places after making its entry on the chart at No 14 in July. The offering is essentially an unplugged version of her 2017 release Mogoya. The album was released digitally on 19 June through record label No Format.
“I suggested to Oumou that she record this album after a show in London to celebrate 15 years of No Format,” No Format founder Laurent Bizot said. “At that concert, for the first time, she had agreed to try out this acoustic approach, which is all about letting go. The space it created for her voice was wonderful.”
The Pace Setters, a reissue of Ghanaian band Edikanfo’s 1981 LP, ranks second after its debut on the chart at No 7 in July.
Making its entry at No 4 is The King of Sudanese Jazz by musician Sharhabil Ahmed via the Habibi Funk label. The seven tracks were recorded in the 1960s and feature a mix of rock and roll, funk, surf rock, traditional Sudanese music and Congolese rumba.
Maghreb K7 Club: Synth Raï, Chaoui & Staiif (1985-1997) is another newcomer on the chart ranking at No 7. The album features an impressive compilation of music recorded and produced between 1985 and 1997 by musicians from the Maghreb region in Algeria.
Further down, Santrofi’s Alewa – the No 1 album in July – drops to No 9, while Tamotait by Tuareg band Tamikrest from Mali fell eight positions to No 13. The album was at the top of the chart in June.
At No 17 is Afropentatonism by Nigerien desert blues musician Alhousseini Anivolla and Ethiopian jazz guitarist Girum Mezmur. The pan-African project dropped six places after debuting at No 11 last month.
Nayda! by Bab L’Bluz from Morocco completes the list of African albums on the chart with a debut at No 18. Real World Records says the album features “a new wave of Moroccan artists and musicians taking their cues from local heritage, singing words of freedom in the Moroccan-Arabic dialect of darija (‘nayda’ means both ‘to rise up’ and ‘to party’) and mixing influences as and when.”
The WMCE features albums selected by radio producers and presenters across Europe. The albums are then played for a month on various radio stations, and an official poster is displayed in multiple music stores.
Combat Covid 19: Top Gambian Artists Release Songs to Educate Public
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
Jizzle, Multiple awards winning Gambia’s Afro- pop artiste and ST, also awards winning Gambia’s finest Afro rap sensational have released songs songs to educate and sensitize the public on the Coronavirus.
They partnered with Office of the First Lady and UNICEF The Gambia.
Fatoumata Bah Barrow, First Lady of The Gambia hailed the collaboration with UNICEF and the two artists as an important milestone in the country’s fight against the Coronavirus.
She explained: “communication is vital to the containment of the spread of the Coronavirus. These songs will educate, inform and raise the awareness of the general public especially the youth and vulnerable members of society about the preventive measures and the symptoms of the virus.”
Since the Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, First Lady Madam Fatoumatta Bah Barrow has made a personal commitment to reach out to Gambians with proper information about COVID-19 and how they can protect themselves.
“We need the power of positive thinking more than ever before and I hope that these songs will be shared, and that the messages contained therein would naturally address any element of doubt or misperceptions that people may have about the pandemic.”
UNICEF The Gambia Country Representative Sandra Lattouf believes the songs have the potential to awaken the public to the realities of the Coronavirus and motivate people to take action to fight the virus and keep The Gambia safe.
“These songs contain strong messages on preventive measures against the Coronavirus. We are confident that people will learn from these messages and be inspired to take action to protect themselves and others around them.”
UNICEF and the UN system in The Gambia continue to work with The Gambia Government and partners to keep the public informed about preventive measures and how they can contribute to the containment of the Coronavirus.
“As members of the national COVID-19 taskforce, we have identified strategic priorities to support the government in keeping the people safe from the virus. We are strengthening risk communication, supporting in proper coordination, case management and logistics to contain the Coronavirus and protect Gambians from the disease.”
Zambia film up for three international awards
March 17, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Borderline, a Zambian story of love, betrayal and crime, has been nominated for three prestigious international awards, barely three months after its release.
The feature film is up for an award at the Festival International du Film Panafricain (FIFP) in Cannes, France, Best Trailer in the Rome Independent Prisma Awards in Italy, and is in the official selection for the International Film Festival of Detective Film and TV Programs in Moscow.
“I am very excited that our film is already getting international recognition shortly after its release in December. It has always been my dream to see Zambian movies compete at global level. I believe this is just the beginning for us producing international blockbusters in Zambia,” said Dr Langmead.
The Rome Independent Prisma Awards is a monthly awarding and live screening ceremony that allows talented independent filmmakers across the world to compete for up to US$10,000 worth of prizes given out each month, since 2019, when the awards began.
Nominated films in the Italian awards win a three-month coupon with iPitch.tv, while winners get a 12-months coupon. iPitch.tv is a platform where filmmakers submit their ideas to the best producers all around the world.
Meanwhile, the FIFP is a platform that exhibits cinema and its professions, arts and entrepreneurship, as well as innovation, culture and events. It is a unique experience where Pan-African cinema and African cultures and those of its diaspora around the world get recognised.
The film festival was created and founded in 2006 by renowned French filmmaker and broadcaster Eitel Basile Ngangue Ebelle.
The 21st International Festival of Detective Films and Television Programmes on Law-Enforcement Themes “DetectiveFEST”, in Moscow. The festival contest considers feature films (full-length and short films), documentary films and TV series, animation films, thematic TV programmes and TV spots.
“Winning these three international awards will be a plus for the entire Zambian film industry. It will demonstrate that the industry is not just growing at a faster pace; but at a wider space too,” noted Dr Langmead, the writer and director of The Borderline.
The Borderline tells a tragic story of love, betrayal and crime in a riverside village that is terrorised as three brothers seek the truth about the childhood trauma that changed the course of their lives.
The motion picture pays homage to film noir – believed to be the first of its kind to be produced in Zambia. Film noir (or dark film) is a style of movie characterised by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace exemplified by Hollywood crime dramas.
The Borderline is the second feature film after Damyna The Musical to be produced by Langmead and Baker, a Zambian film production house based in the capital, Lusaka.
Damyna, Zambia’s first musical drama, was realised in 2016. It was screened at the Festival International du Film PanAfricain held in Cannes, France, where lead actress Josephine Kachiza won the Dikalo (2017) award for best actress.
The Borderline was shot on location in Lusaka, Chisamba, and the Lower Zambezi, with a local cast and crew directed by long-term resident Dr Peter Langmead and supported by renowned lighting cameraman, Denis Borrow, as Director of Photography, with assistant directors including Leelee Ngwenya, Tozya Botah and Kalenga Mwansa.
Mr Borrow is known for movies such as Superman, The Queen at 80, Richard Attenborough: A Life in Film, Piers Morgan On…, and William & Kate: A Royal Engagement.
The lead roles of The Borderline are played by talented upcoming actors Dixon Mumba and Mutinta Marie. Also, part of the cast is award-winning actress Nancy Handabile, who is well known for her exceptional performances in local drama series, Love Games and Zuba.
Nigeria:Bond Ebigbo Stanley Publishes His Book “Grounded Ways To The Music Industry”
March 6, 2020 | 0 Comments
According to Bond, “this book touches on developing your talent, branding yourself both online and offline, carving a niche for yourself and building a formidable fan base. It also sheds light on networking as an artiste and building relationships within and outside the music industry”. Grounded promotions have been a force in the artiste and music management business for a long time and Bond Stanley the founder and CEO is well versed in the music business so any artiste, manager, enterainment practitioner, intending investor or label owner who gets a copy of this insightful book, reads and applies the principles outlined will benefit a lot from a well-experienced music executive.
The music sector is one of the industries that houses the most number of personalities in need of direction on how to become a successful brand. Potential performing artistes are seeking knowledge on how to score hit songs and develop a marketable brand while indie labels are in pursuit of how to go about promoting unknown artistes into mega brands.
With all these in mind, Bond Ebigbo Stanley, the C.E.O of Grounded Promotions, with years of experience in managing some of the most successful artistes in Africa like Phyno and Runtown, authored his book titled “Grounded Ways To The Music Industry”. His experience in the music industry spans over a decade with diverse roles: artiste manager, promoter, blogger, PR person, event manager, booking agent and road manager. He tapped into these experiences to write this book with a view to helping both the established and upcoming artiste and also to contribute positively to the fast growing Nigerian music industry.
According to Bond, “with my wealth of experience in the music industry, I founded a mentorship class where I trained young people, including artiste managers, on how to become successful in the music industry”. I also created a Talent Search, GROUNDED TALENT SEARCH – geared at discovering and encouraging new/young talent in music and mentoring them”. Indigenous hiphop act B Shine Akabuike based in Enugu was the winner of the maiden edition in 2017.
This book “GROUNDED WAYS TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY” isn’t just for upcoming artistes. It is for everyone and anyone who desires to make/have a career in the music industry either as a talent manager, curator of music or an artiste. Even outside the music industry, the guidelines in this book can be applied anywhere and in any field.
Bond, a native of Nnewi LGA of Anambra State, Nigeria, was born and raised in Enugu, Enugu State. He moved to Lagos state where he lived most of his life and acquired all his knowledge in the music industry.
He currently resides in New Jersey United States of America.
You can connect and interact with Bond via his social media platforms
Link to purchase the book (available in hard copies and eBook)- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0851MB3P5/ref=mp_s_a_1_7?keywords=grounded+ways&qid=1582358944&sr=8-7
THE MARLEY FAMILY, UME AND ISLAND RECORDS ANNOUNCE YEARLONG 75TH BIRTHDAY COMMEMORATIVE PLANS FOR LEGENDARY ICON BOB MARLEY
February 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
MARLEY75 To Feature Special Releases, Live Performances, Plus Rare And Unreleased Material from the Marley Family Vaults and Private Collection
40 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF ‘REDEMPTION SONG,’ CELEBRATED WITH NEW MUSIC VIDEO PREMIERED ON YOUTUBE
(February 5, 2020 – Los Angeles, CA) The Marley family, UMe and Island Records have begun to roll out their yearlong MARLEY75 commemorative plans in celebration of the legendary cultural icon, Bob Marley’s 75th birthday and 40th anniversary of the timeless classic “Redemption Song.”
In honor of Black History Month, now underway, and to mark the beginning of all MARLEY75 celebrations in 2020, the official music video for “Redemption Song” premieres today on Bob Marley’s YouTube channel. Created by French artists Octave Marsal & Theo De Gueltzl, the breathtaking animation, featuring 2,747 original drawings, uses powerful symbols to amplify the magnitude of the song’s timeless lyrics and importance in today’s world. The video highlights Bob’s contribution to the empowerment of black civilization, as well as his manifestation of hope and recovery for all mankind.
Inspired by Bob’s homeland of Jamaica, as well as insights received from his family, the artistic approach was to illustrate the imaginary world of Bob Marley in a way that highly stimulates self-reflection. “From the history of Slavery and Jamaica, Rastafarian culture, legacy of prophets (Haile Selassie the 1st, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X), as well as Bob’s personal life, we take the audience on a journey through allegories and representations.” Marsal and De Gueltzl reveal. The opening sequence invites the viewer into Bob’s guitar, a visual metaphor to Bob’s mind, and our own, in a quest for Redemption. Also, drawing from Rastafarian philosophy, another vital element of the video’s narrative is about valuing nature, our Earth and the Mother Land.
Watch the powerful visual for ‘Redemption Song’ HERE
The MARLEY75 celebrations will encompass all things music, fashion, art, photography, technology, sport and film, providing fans unprecedented access to archives from the legendary artist’s estate in new, thoughtful and innovative ways. Together with YouTube, new and exciting content is set to be released over the course of the year.
The inaugural MARLEY75 music festivities kick off this Spring, the first of many celebrations to come. Ziggy Marley and Stephen Marley’s Bob Marley Celebration will headline
The BeachLife Festival. This special, collaborative appearance will feature Ziggy Marley and Stephen Marley performing an extensive catalog of Bob Marley tunes in celebration of their father’s 75th birthday at the three-day immersive music, art, and culinary oceanside event.
In this digital era, Bob Marley remains one of the most followed posthumous artists on social media, and MARLEY75 will serve to bring his music and message to the digital foreground, reaching new audiences and perspectives with innovative content and groundbreaking technology. Special live events, exclusive digital content, recordings, exhibitions, plus rare and unearthed treasures will also be revealed throughout the year.
Bob Marley’s music continues to inspire generation upon generation, as his legacy lives on through his message of love, justice and unity, a sentiment needed more than ever in 2020. In conjunction with Tuff Gong and UMe, a division of the Universal Music Group, the Marley family will continue to ensure the highest quality, integrity and care is taken to honor Bob’s legacy and to celebrate one of the 20th century’s most important and influential figures.
One-quarter of all the Reggae listened to in the United States, is Bob Marley. Bob Marley’s Legend is the nineteenth-biggest selling album of all time and the fifth-biggest selling Greatest Hits package in United States history.
Throughout history, no artist has dominated the world of music quite like Bob Marley. A musical, political and spiritual icon of mythical proportions, both poet and prophet, Marley was the first Jamaican artist to give voice to the struggles of his people and the Rastafarian culture, and the first to gain worldwide fame. October 2020 will see the 40th anniversary of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” Released in October 1980 and taken from his ninth album Uprising (Island Records), the song was inspired by a speech from Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey’s “The Work That Has Been Done” and is considered by many as one of the greatest songs ever written in popular culture. In a time when political unrest and oppression feels more prevalent than ever, “Redemption Song” maintains a poignancy and power and acts as a long-standing testament to Bob Marley’s brilliance and voice for the people. Bob Marley’s music catalog has amassed billions of streams and sold millions of albums worldwide, while his hits compilation, Legend, remains the world’s best-selling reggae album and longest-charting album in the history of Billboard’s Catalog Albums chart.
Tune in and subscribe to the Official Bob Marley YouTube channel here for more upcoming content celebrating Bob’s legacy and contribution to the world.
Additional information on MARLEY75 events will be revealed soon.
ABOUT BOB MARLEY
Bob Marley, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is notable not only as the man who put reggae on the global map, but, as a statesman in his native Jamaica, he famously brought together the country’s warring factions. Today, Bob Marley remains one of the 20th century’s most important and influential entertainment icons. Marley’s lifestyle and music continue to inspire new generations as his legacy lives on through his music. In the digital era, he has the second-highest social media following of any posthumous celebrity, with the official Bob Marley Facebook page drawing more than 70 million fans, ranking it among the Top 20 of all Facebook pages and Top 10 among celebrity pages. Marley’s music catalog has sold millions of albums worldwide. His iconic collection LEGEND holds the distinction of being the longest-charting album in the history of Billboard magazine’s Catalog Albums chart and remains the world’s best-selling reggae album. Marley’s accolades include inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1994) and ASCAP Songwriters Hall of Fame (2010), a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award (2001), multiple entries in the GRAMMY® Hall Of Fame, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2001). For more information visit: bobmarley.com and facebook.com/bobmarley.
PAV Banjul Correspondent Nominated Media Personality Of The Year in Gambia
January 24, 2020 | 0 Comments
Bakary Ceesay, correspondent of Pan African Visions in Banjul, Gambia, has been nominated as Media Personalty of the year in The Wah Sa Halat Music Awards Gambia scheduled to take place on 31st January at Penchami Hall of Paradise Suite Hotel.
Ceesay, one of the Gambia’s finest entertainment journalists is been nominated along Sally Jobe, anchor of Playlist at Kerr Fatu, Delz Campbell, anchor of GamVibes at QTV, Foday Jawara, alias Master Fo, anchor of 360 Show at Paradise Fm and Isha Elizabeth, Entertainment anchor at Block TV Gambia.
The awards are usually organised by Brand Plus to reward artists, producers, video directors and media practitioners who work extremely well on their songs and video events.
Reacting to his nominations, Ceesay, who has done public relations for many Gambians artists, event organisers and promoters said: “I felt honor to be recognised as Media Personalty of the year in 2019, after working with all the prominent Gambian artistes in their shows with huge turn outs”
“This nomination means a lot for me since the journey to contribute my quota in the music industry started seven years ago and the skepticism that many hard has given way for optimism and growing believe in the potential of Gambian music and this challenges me to work harder ,” Ceesay said.
He explained that seven years ago he took upon himself to promote Gambian music through the media with the motivation needed to tell stories about the rise of Gambian Artists to stardom.
He added that it took him sleepless nights in covering live music concerts and walking home for several miles .
He urged young journalists to have a keen interest in the area of arts and entertainment because there are lots of stories that need to be told worldwide on the talents of Gambian artists .
“This nomination is dedicated to The Voice Newspaper, Music in Africa, Block TV Gambia The Monitor Newspaper and Pan African Visions who gave me the platform to expose our talents across the globe. To my colleagues nominees ,we are not in a competition but we are all winners at the end of the day,” Ceesay said.
Living The Dream Life: Africa’s Next Top Model Bello Frasher On His Journey to the top and 2020 vision
January 15, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung
Impossible it is to walk downtown Washington DC, Paris, Canberra or some exotic destination in Europe and not catch billboards or posters adorned with Bello Frasher, a superb model who might just be the next big thing the fashion industry is bracing for.
The Cameroon-born international sensation has over the years groomed himself and is now taking the Fashion industry by storm.
A brand influencer with distinction, catalog model, brand ambassador and face of CONNAISSEUR PARIS,Bello Frasher squeezed time off his hectic schedule to talk about his career and plans for 2020 with Pan African Visions.
Why modelling and the fashion business?
My love for fashion started from childhood. I have always love to look good and I always stood out among my friends. I will wear something and my friends will want to know where I got it from hence that’s how I developed a passion for modeling and luckily for me, the camera loves me
What have your experiences been so far, may we know some of your challenges, success stories and deceptions?
Modeling is a very challenging field that I will say to get into you must be passionate about it. Especially being a male model, sometimes you got to change around strangers in an open space. Though things are getting better now, its still a very discriminatory field. As an African or black in New York trying to break into the fashion world which is predominantly white, I faced a lot of challenges ranging from my color & even my sexual orientation. But the fashion industry opens doors to a lot of fun opportunities, I get to travel around the world and mingle with high profile personalities.
You are the face of CONNAISSEUR PARIS , can you shed light on this fashion label and the nature of your collaboration?
CONNAISSEUR PARIS is a European men fashion brand that started about six years ago with our head office in Paris and branches in several states in America. As the global face, I represent the brand in and out of the States. I’m the poster boy you will see on billboard ads in Paris & other locations and even on the website. I speak on behalf of the brand & host fashion shows to showcase our products.
Why CONNAISSEUR PARIS when with the reputation you’ve built top players in the industry are after your business?
What most people don’t know is I did not start my fashion career with CONNAISSEUR Paris before Joining the team, I used to work for H&M as well as a catalog model for their summer look book and with top man.
I choose CONNAISSEUR Paris because they were not just offering me a job but they were bringing me on board as part of the team. Beside the brand is true to itself by always putting the customer first and providing them with the best quality & high fashionable Italian fabrics at an affordable price
How challenging was it for you to get a breakthrough in this line of business here in the West coming all the way from Africa?
The higher you climb up the fashion ladder be it as a model, designer or fashion brand it becomes more difficult because the industry is almost completely white. So, imagine
being a black-own fashion brand competing with some of the big fashion brands. They couldn’t have it and they tried everything to kick us out of business because they were scared of the high value of our products and its affordable price. Who won’t want to pay less for a high-quality suit!
In terms of remuneration, how lucrative has the modelling business been for you and is Bello Frasher comfortable telling us what income bracket he is on or what it takes to get his services?
I will tell others not to go into modeling for money. It has to be a passion and of course your passion will always bring you money if you channel it properly. It’s a passion for me, I love what I do. So, I will say it’s very lucrative if you are passionate it and it makes you happy. I can’t put a price to happiness and if anyone requires my service, hit my PR team up and you will find out that I’m very affordable.
You’ve inspired a lot of young people who some of whom are looking to emulate your path, what advise do you have for them, any tips for success?
Not everyone tends to discover their true potential or what they are passionate about. To the young ones out there, if you truly know what you are passionate about, don’t give up. Believe in yourself even if people around you say you can’t make. Be consistent & hard working and that passion of yours be it modeling or whatever will take you places.
Modeling requires staying fit and in shape, what is your own recipe for that?
Hahaha my recipe for staying fit is knowing your body well. I’m a pescatarian meaning I don’t eat meat. I don’t drink alcohol; I eat very healthy and I drink a gallon of water a day. You see! I didn’t talk about workout because it’s the last on my list. So, the secret of staying fit is what goes into your body then you can work out to torn the physique.
Exposure from your career certainly earns you lots of female admirers, how you cope with attention from female fans…
Hahaha who no like Better thing! Honestly this exposure and the fame has tamed me. I get a lot of attention especially private messages but I don’t get carry away by that. I have been handling it well with no pressure lol,
You are also into acting and a budding TV sensation. Should we expect any movies from you to hit the big screens soon?
My acting career is still very young but I’m grateful for the opportunities and the path fashion has open for me. I’m currently in negotiation with some movie directors in Nigeria in Nigeria and I’m working with the director of Fatal Attraction for a role on his show on TVone.
What other plans does Bello Frasher have for 2020 and his career, in what ways do you think you can improve and any other big dreams you will like to achieve?
I entered this 2020 with some big paid ads’ partnership. I will be doing a lot of paid collaboration with big lifestyle this year and I’m excited. I’m starting for this 2020 with a personal project to give back to less privileged kids, orphans and internally displaced people from the English party of Cameroon. I will be in Cameroon in March for this initiative called #bfgives2020 and I have a gofundme to raise $5,000 for this project.
I will be doing a media tour in Cameroon during this time. My desire is to work with big brands in Cameroon like MTN, Guinness, Camtel, orange and the rest. You will be seeing me a lot on the cover of fashion magazines this year. So many goals and dream to achieve this year and I’m excited because I see a clear path to success.
A Tale of Courage, Resilience & Hope For Justice in Wendy Bangura’s “Tears, Trials, and Triumphs”
January 14, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
With roles in successful movies like Entrapped, Blood Brothers, Koming from Africa, Twisted Brain, Royal Dilemma 2, Diary of a serial Killer, Njidika in America, Busted Life, Greedy Realtor, and Ekei among many others, Award winning actress Wendy Bangura has carved a niche for herself on the International and African film scene. From her native Sierra Leone to stardom in the USA, it has been an agonizing tale of heart-breaking experiences, courage, and resilience for the sultry actress chronicled in her book titled “Tears, Trials, and Triumphs.”
According to Wendy Bangura, the book is a true-life story of the unexpected tragedy that struck her family during the calamitous civil war of the 90s in Sierra Leone. In the book, Wendy Bangura shares the tears, and tribulations she went through and how prayers, great determination, hope and big dreams ultimately led her to triumph in the face of all odds.
While she talks a lot about the divine provision of God, Wendy Bangura dedicates her triumph to the memory of her late father Captain Hancil Bangura, a man she considers as her hero. The man described in the book as noble, hardworking, generous, patriotic, and a most loving husband to his wife and kids was summarily executed on 29 December 1992. Captain Bangura, Quartermaster of the Sierra Leone Army was executed alongside 29 other individuals without a trial or any due process.
Accustomed to living a stress-free life with all the pecks from her doting father, Wendy’s world came crashing. She gives graphic details of family activities on the day of the incident up to the point where a group of soldiers came and took her father to the military headquarters for a meeting. A meeting he never came back from.
Initial efforts by the family to get answers yielded no fruits, no one had answers for anything. To make matters worse, her family was not only placed under house arrest, but everything was also carted away by the power drunk soldiers. Vehicles were seized, property confiscated, and bank accounts frozen.
For the young girl that Wendy Bangura was, the experience was traumatizing. A good Samaritan working in the military learnt of additional plans by the military government to further hurt the family and facilitated their escape.
Later in the book, Bangura says several sources eventually fingered a certain Sergeant Musa of the NPRC regime as the brain behind the killing of her father and other Northerners in the army as a way of trying to restore Southern (Mende) rule. The book details the reign of terror of the NPRC and its eventual collapse.
From 1992 when tragedy struck to 1997 when the family had the opportunity to move to the USA thanks to the Diversity Visa Lottery program, Wendy Bangura sheds light on the challenges faced by her family to survive. While Bangura again gives top credit to divine providence for the survival of her family under the miserable conditions which stood in stack contrast to the princely life they had when her father was alive, a number of benefactors are equally acknowledged for been there for them.
While Wendy and her family may have braved the ordeal, their hope for some form of justice remains largely unfulfilled. In January 2013, a delegation of families of victims of the December 1992 massacre led by Julius Bombay Kamara Jr son of the Former Inspector General of Police James Bombay Kamara tabled their case before then President Ernest Bai Koroma.
Under the canopy of the 29 Memorial Foundation for Justice and Development. The group indicated that the families had suffered for so long and it was time to serve justice by atleast seeking to get the truth of what actually happened. From the book, we learn that President Koroma attributed inaction to the politicization of the issue. He assured the families that he understood their emotions and sorrow and pledged to do all in his second term to address the issues ……
Despite the palpable pain and sorrow manifested by Wendy Bangura in the book, one can see in her the proud and patriotic flare she probably inherited from Captain Hancil Bangura. For those who know nothing about Sierra Leone, the book gives 101 lessons on the rich history and culture of that West African country. From the people to its own tales of slavery, colonial legacy, and checkered political history, Bangura gives the reader a good feel of the history of her country.
Intended or not, Wendy Bangura equally gives the reader a reason to be curious about visiting Sierra Leone. From its healthy cuisine, the unparalleled beauty of its women, spectacular beaches, great view of the Atlantic Ocean, Bangura’s description of Sierra Leone is one of a country that lovers of tourism must add to their list. The depiction of Sierra Leonians as Killers in the movie Blood Diamond is wrong says Bangura.
“It is hard to see my people scorned by the world when the majority of us are peaceful, fun-loving, and God-fearing people,’ she writes.
Wendy Bangura who has equally produced successful movies like The Unforgettable Words ends the 142-page book with pictures of her family and some of her works. The book is easy to read. Been the fiercely ambitious and goal getter that Wendy Bangura is, one would not be surprised if someday the book is adapted to film.
As Sierra Leone continues its march forward from the chaotic past with despicable acts from the civil war, Bangura’s book is a reminder that nothing should ever be taken for granted. It is a call for introspection on values that should guide a modern society, a society where tribalism has no place, a society which recognizes and encourages hard work, one where people are not sentenced and killed without trial and one where justice delayed is justice denied. Wendy’s triumph is a reminder to always have faith, believe in divine providence, have hope, work hard and even the worse adversity would be overcome.
“Tears, Trials, and Triumphs,” is available on Amazon , and other online book distribution networks.For information on how to get autographed copies from the author, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A Wellness and Sexual Revolution in Nigeria with Omoshola’s Empire
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
Omoshola’s Empire is a unique blend of Day spa and sexual wellness spa, stepping in to meet the challenges of today’s major skin and sexual crisis.
Today’s man/woman is one who is mindful of not just how they appear but also their health, fitness and sexual lifestyle.
Some relationships and even marriages fail because couples don’t talk about sex and what they can do to improve their libido or ensure mutual satisfaction.
Founded by Deborah Erioluwapo, Omoshola’s Empire offers curated beauty, grooming, and wellness services to help you look and feel your best. It is a place where our customers can find inner peace, talk to certified professionals about ways to improve their sexual relationships without inhibition or embarrassment, while escaping the stress of work or personal life. So that every time clients walk through our doors, they will breathe a little easier knowing they can totally relax, take their mind away from work and will be treated in the best ways possible.
At Omoshola’s Empire, we help our client’s experience the benefits of sexual wellness and Massage Therapy, including reduced pain, improved circulation, increased immune efficiency, enhanced focus, and more. A member of our team is always on hand to assist you with booking and scheduling your appointments for consultations and treatments appropriately. We prefer to attend to clients by appointment via phone or through our website. But
we also attend to customers who walk into our offices without any previous appointments.
At OMOSHOLA’S EMPIRE our goal is to ensure every relationship or married couple enjoys the full benefits of general well being.
* FOR QUESTIONS & INQUIRIES:email@example.com
Gambia: Gov’t, Diaspora agree to advance Development
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
Banjul, The Gambia January 8, 2020 – A high level meeting between permanent secretaries, senior government officials from departments and other agencies, and the GK Partners have been considering ways to implement a shared vision of the the need to significantly advance The Gambia.
The meeting, presided over by the Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Muhammad B.S. Jallow, was convened at the State House on Wednesday, January 08, 2020. It discussed strategies to decentralise focal persons for the Migration and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Programme of the National Development Plan( NDP) in all sectors across government.
The MSDG project is part of the NDP, and many of the activities within it are part of the flagship programme. As part of the GK Partners’ agreement with Gambia government, there is a whole month dedicated to celebrating the country’s diaspora which is considered its eight region.
“Besides the creation of a Diaspora Directorate at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there has been some pronouncements at both policy levels and non-state actors to realising the set objectives of the MSDGs. Now, it is thought prudent to set up focal points for this programme across all government sectors,” Secretary General, Mr. Jallow told the meeting.
GK Partners have been organising annual diaspora forum for the third executive year this year. This new strategy will ensure that there is decentralisation of the programme throughout government institutions.
Professor Gibril Faal, the Director of GK Partners and the Migration and SDGs Programme in The Gambia project, explained that the programme came through extensive consultation.
The programme has widely consulted the Diaspora, the business community, NGOs and government through meetings, workshops, webinars, and online researche. It tried to understand how the government can engage the diaspora to partake in the NDP in an enhanced manner.
“We spoke to them on the difficulties and practical challenges they face in their attempts to engage with development policies and practice in The Gambia,” he said.
It also explored the difficulties faced by actors on the ground who are on the receiving end of dealing with the diaspora. That is why the programme is developed in such a manner that opportunities and challenges on both sides have been recognized.
The commonality and the shared vision is the fact that there is consensus that The Gambia needs to significantly move towards advancement. It becomes a question of what each actor can do towards this objective, Faal explained.
“Given that there is so many diverse and difficult things to do, it leaves much room for innovation and complementary action rather than undue competition,” Professor Faal concluded
Government sign the IATA Billing and Settlement pact
December 1, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Uzman Unis Bah
The Sierra Leone Government has signed the Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) with the International Air Transport Association (IATA); an Agreement for the establishment of a single standard interface for invoicing and payment between travel agents and airlines.
A system Operating in 181 countries, the BSP is set to facilitate and simplify the selling, reporting and remitting procedures of IATA Accredited Passenger Sales Agents, as well as improve financial control and cash flow for its approximately 400 participating airlines.
Signing the agreement, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabineh Kallon described the initiative as a laudable venture that will create the enabling environment for tourism and trade to blossom, adding further that the government of Sierra Leone spends an annual fortune on foreign travel due to huge variances in ticket sales to the same destination.
“Having a BSP in Sierra Leone will allow for the domestication of global standards that ensures the security and reliability of funds among participants in the air travel and trade value chain. It will also enhance accountability in revenue management for the National Revenue Authority and the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA),” the Minister said.
In his statement, the Director General of Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), Moses Tiffa Baio said the signing of the BSP agreement is a testament of government’s commitment to make the aviation industry competitive in the sub-region. He added that the BSP is another step taken to reduce air ticket burden on Sierra Leoneans as it strives to stabilize the fluctuation of the exchange rate.
“I am happy to announce that Sierra Leone is the first country to sign the BSP agreement within the Sub-region. The BSP will provide immense benefit for the government and the people of Sierra Leone in that it provides predictability, certainty and sanity for ticketing, reporting and remittance generated from Foreign Travel Tax (TAX) and other taxes levied on airlines, travel agents and other aviation service providers,” he said.
“The BSP will not only benefit travel agencies, but also the country and those tourists who would want to visit Sierra Leone. While we commend the SLCAA Boss for his effort, we assure the government of Sierra Leone that the BSP will be a success,” John Rogers, Head of Sierra Association of Travel Agencies (SLATA) said.
The Secretary of the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR), Edgar Lacle thanked the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, noting that it is a step in the right direction. He assured the government and the people of Sierra Leone of the board’s continued support to not only BSP initiative, but also any project that seeks to develop the aviation industry.
Minister’s Report Beams a Light on the Fiasco of the Education Ministry
December 1, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Uzman unis Bah
Freetown, Sierra Leone, a report by the newly appointed minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Moinina David Sengeh has shed light on the derelict condition of the ministry.
In his report, the minster highlights urgent needs for rehabilitation of the structure itself, and the need to upgrade the wash system of the ministry, which is in fiasco.
Sengeh compiled a report on what obtains at the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), days upon bearing the portfolio of a full cabinet minister; in the report, shocking revelations highlighted a failing system; consequently, years of failure in the educational system.
The report highlights issues the Minister observed in and around the Ministry surroundings, including but not limited to trash all over the building, broken furniture, abandoned equipment, no system of operations and poor sanitation facilities.
Relating to the attitude of the workers, Minister Sengeh stated in this report that staff were idling around the ministry, watching Movies in the office and speaking Krio, a local dialect, which is not the country’s official language of communication. “Staff speak krio mindlessly in the office, there is no resource library and staff do not have access to (haven’t read) policy document of MBSSE” the report states.
“The report shed a beam of light on poor staff attendance, “About half of all senior management were not at their desks between 10:40AM to 12:30PM. In addition to the Permanent Secretary who asked for permission to travel that morning, and the head of human resources, there were entire teams that were absent from their units including Informal Learning, it was also apparent that many senior technical leaderships were out of the country/office at the time” the report reads.
The minister recommends the allocation of resources to swiftly, rectify some of the issues he has outlined. As the report concludes, “if the ministry cannot solve these problems, it can’t lead a transformation in education”. Education is the flagship priority of the New Direction government.
Sierra Leone :SLBL bids Farewell to former Managing Director
November 23, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Former Managing Directorthe Sierra Leone Brewery Limited (SLBL), Daaf Van Tilburg ,has been seen off in style with well-attended farewell cocktail in his honour at the Sierra Light House in Aberdeen, Freetown
Speaking at the event, the former MD thanked everyone for their presence adding that it is very nice that he was able to have farewell together with everyone in the company adding that he grateful for the opportunity to serve them well during his three years.
“I am standing here with mixed emotions as I have got a great next career opportunity for which I am grateful. But I am also very sad to leave beautiful Salone, the nice people of Sierra Leone and all of you. I want to let you know that my family and I had a fantastic time in Sierra Leone,’’he said.
He added that if he looks back, he is very proud of his three-year tenure in Sierra Leone thus thanking everyone for the great work they have done for the company during his reign .
“Let me please take you through all what has been done. As a team, we made fantastic improvements. We invested over 35 Million Euro in the brewery. As you can imagine, the implementation of such a programme, whilst running the business, is complex but our team did it very well. The brewery is now fully modernized with extended capacity. But along with the investments, we also very much invested in our people and organization which has been steadily growing in the last year. More than 95% of our employees are Sierra Leonean and it is amazing how they have developed and adopted modern state of the art technology. One example, our state-of-the-art canning line is now 100% ran by young and promising Sierra Leonean engineers and technicians. This is fantastic,’’Tilburg said.
Tilburg went to say , for their consumers, they invested in their brands and that they all look refreshed and modern stating that they have also introduced innovations like STAR citron, Trenk Dark Malt Energy and Amstel International Lager beer and a full can format portfolio, the first of his kind which is very much appreciated by everyone thus the reason they invested a lot in their sales team, bars, restaurants and event sponsorships working together with their distributors to provide the best service while at the same time invested a lot of time and effort in sorghum development and our communities via different Corporate Social Responsibility projects.
“I would also like to give a special mention to the Management team of Sierra Leone Brewery but also to all the members of staff who did a tremendous job together. Thank you to my team for organising this farewell party, I wish you all well and I look forward to hearing of your continued successes,’’
Laurent Bukasa, M D Designate SL Brewery Limited, in his maiden speech at the cocktail , showered huge thanks to Daaf for a great welcome and introduction stating that it was a great pleasure to have joined Sierra Leone Brewery Limited, which is part of the HEINEKEN Group.
“I consider myself fortunate to have been given this opportunity to join an organization with such a fine reputation and good will for its quality products/services/ and contribution to national development and that of communities in this beautiful country, Sierra Leone. I am indeed happy to be here in Freetown and to face a new opportunity,’’ he said.
He added that the Managing Director position offers new and exciting platform to him and that he is looking forward to do the job.
“Prior to coming to Sierra Leone Brewery Limited, I have worked for HEINEKEN over 23 years. My background entailed a lot of experience in the field of Marketing and Sales. The last position I held was, Corporate Affairs Director of the HEINEKEN Brewery in DR Congo. At HEINEKEN, we are partners for growth and development in any country in which we operate,’’ Bukasa explained.
Bukasa further said as a Managing
Director, he promise
to maintain all these links and useful engagement with stakeholders including the government of Sierra
Leone, Distributors, suppliers, Chamber of Commerce, Association of Manufacturers,
Employers Federation, Sorghum Farmers and Marketers Association, MCCU and all other partners adding that they will continue with their trajectory to invest on capacity and quality
to meet the demands of the market.
“For our consumers, we are committed to good services at all times. I want to confirm to you that my team and I will keep an open-door policy and continue with our strategy to be a best in class in Sierra Leone. I pray for your support during my tenure with useful and positive engagement. With this, I am looking forward to having an opportunity of engaging you all,’’
South African women demand Death penalty for rape
November 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung
A petition spearheaded by women in South African which demands the introduction of death penalty for rape perpetuators and other offenses against women is gaining momentum and has garnered more than 600,000 signatures.
This follows the conviction in August this year of Luyanda Botha, who raped and murdered 19-year-old student Uyinene Mrwetyana when she went to pick up a parcel at the Cape Town post office where he worked.
He was handed three life sentences but women in South Africa say its not enough. They are requesting that for taking one’s life, Luyanda Botha and others like him should pay with their lives.
The petition tabled to the office of the president seeks to punish perpetuators so as to deter violence and Crimes against women in South Africa which they say is “an uncontrollable, vicious cycle where women and children are sexually assaulted and murdered with little to no justice for the ones that are left behind to pick up the pieces.”
The petition which seeks to hit one million signatories so as to advance their demand insist its time to joined forces “to bring back the death sentence for crimes against women and children in the Hopes of saving this great country”
South Africa rates of femicide –intentional killing of women and girls — is one of the highest globally when compared with other countries where data is available, according to Professor Rachel Jewkes, director of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls global program.
“We have three women killed every day by a husband or a boyfriend in South Africa, and this is much higher than in many countries. It’s much higher than it is in Europe or Australia,” she said.
Gambia Music Union Clarifies ‘Peace Project’ by Gambian Musicians
November 14, 2019 | 0 Comments
Strongly advice artistes to distance themselves from politic
By Bakary Ceesay
The Music Union of the Gambia has reacted to the ‘Peace Project’ initiative by a group of Gambian musicians, presented to President Adama Barrow assured the full support of the state.
The musicians called on the president Adama Barrow over the weekend at State House to present the project with the hope enlisting the support of the state in promoting national unity, social cohesion, and harmony through the power of music.
Barrow said: “This peace project is very important; there can be no progress in the absence of peace and stability. As President, I and my government will support this project to its success. I have a mandate to the Gambian people and therefore take ownership of this project’’
However, on Tuesday in a press release from the Music Union of the Gambia is aware of the recent visit of a few Gambian Artists to the Office of President. We understand its was arranged and facilitated by President Barrow’s Youths For National Development together with Lamin Cham (DJ Champion Sounds)
The Artistes that were present went there at their own will on contract basis by the above mentioned bodies and had nothing to do with Gambian Artists or Music Union as a whole.
They presented a “Peace Initiative” Project which the Union isn’t against, we believe Maintaining Peace is key and the first step towards developing any nation and Gambia is not an exception to that fact.
What we are against is siding / working / affiliating with any political groups, parties or political related gatherings in the name of Gambian Artist or Musicians.
We believe there are right channels such as our line Ministry Of Youth & Sports or Ministry Of Tourism & Arts/Culture to facilitate such projects together with The Music Union Of The Gambia and National Centre for Art and Culture.
The Union is made up of different Artistes/Musicians with different tribes, backgrounds and political views, What brought us together is the music and we want to keep it that way.
Due to the present situation of the country, The Timing of the meeting and the Body Facilitating the meeting didn’t sit well for a lot of Artistes & the executives of The Music Union. Our believe is in order to strengthen the Music Union as an institution which has an executive with a mandate.
The Music Union Of The Gambia advices artistes to distance themselves from politics and if one wants to take part should do it on its own will and not in the name of Gambia Artists / Musicians / Music Union.
Our Music Industry lacks structure which we have been struggling to put in place and we believe working with the government could make this possible but only if its Channel to the right institutions/ offices.
We want to use this opportunity to inform all artists that the Executive will in a few weeks call on congress. We are equally happy to report that the constitutional Review committee will report on the drafted constitution for adoption and election of yet another executive to run the affairs of The Gambia Musicians Union in the years to Come. In the spirit of Peace and the Development of Gambia we salute you.
Internet freedom and access on the decline in Zimbabwe
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
Statistics from three publications released over the last few weeks paint a sober picture of internet access, use and freedom in Zimbabwe. A combination of factors have contributed to a drop in the number of Zimbabweans that use the Internet, while on the other hand, archaic and undemocratic laws continue to restrict free expression and access to information on online platforms, according to the Media Institute of Southern Africa-Zimbabwe (MISA).
According to MISA-Zimbabwe, the first publication in exposing the challenges forgoing is the Abridged Postal & Telecommunications Sector Performance Report for the Second Quarter of 2019, which reported a decline in internet users in Zimbabwe.
According to the report produced by the industry regulator, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), at the end of December 2018 62.9% of Zimbabwe’s population had access to the Internet. By the end of June 2019, this figure had dropped to 57.2%.
A major contributor to the drop in internet usage rates is the increasing cost of mobile data and connectivity fees. Accordingly, the statistics reveal that at least 95% of Zimbabweans access the internet via their mobile devices using mobile data from mobile network operators such as Econet, Net-One, and Telecel. Recent months have seen steep increases in mobile data costs across all three mobile networks while user income level have largely remained stagnant forcing internet users to prioritise spending on other services besides the internet.
MISA-Zimbabwe says that any drop in internet usage is worrying given the fact that the platform is an enabler for the enjoyment of other fundamental rights such as the right to free expression, access information and other seemingly distance rights such as the right to education and the freedom of association and assembly.
“Furthermore, if an increase in national internet usage contributes to the growth of a country’s economy, it must be true that a decrease in the number of internet users will also contribute to a reduction of a country’s national income and economic growth,” MISA said.
It is added that while MISA Zimbabwe took a stand against internet shutdown in Zimbabwe in January 2019, they are worried that the cost to access in now shutting out users from enjoying their constitutionally granted rights, specifically under section 61 and 62 on free expression and access to information.
The second publication is the Affordability Report 2019 published by the Alliance for Affordable Internet. The Affordability Report states that a lack of competition in the broadband sector leads to the high cost of broadband in low-income countries such as
Zimbabwe among others. In the same report, Zimbabwe slipped one position down in the Affordability Drivers Index (ADI) to position 53 of 61 countries covered in the report.
The Affordability Report calls upon policymakers such as Parliamentarians and regulators such as POTRAZ to play a role in formulating policies and regulations respectively that supports healthy broadband markets that are affordable to the majority of citizens within a given country.
Poor policies such as high taxation of the telecommunications sector can effectively drive up connectivity costs. For example, local mobile network operators pay an estimated 65 cents out of every dollar they make to various government entities in the form of taxes and contributions to sector specific funds such as the Universal Service Fund. These multiple taxes and costs are passed on to the consumers of telecommunications services.
The third publication is the Freedom of the Net Report published by Freedom House. This report states that the state of Internet freedom has globally been on the decline for the past nine years. Zimbabwe is however, cited as one of the five countries which have experienced the greatest decline in Internet freedom in the past year. This decline is largely due to the six-day long Internet shutdown experienced by Zimbabwe in January this year and arrests as well as harassment of dissenting voices online.
The report found that Zimbabwe’s Internet space is partly free.
Other factors that have led to a decline in the enjoyment of Internet freedom in Zimbabwe include the existence of laws in the country’s Criminal Law Code that criminalise fair enjoyment of the right to free expression. In 2019, a number of people have been arrested for sharing messages that are said to undermine the authority of the President over social media platforms.
The Freedom of the Net Report indicates an increase in the number of authoritarian governments that use internet based technologies and social media in particular to push their agenda that sometimes is in the form of misinformation campaigns. Since early 2018, the Zimbabwean social media space has seen an increase in social media accounts that express pro-ruling party sentiment.
“There is nothing wrong with social media users expressing views in support of the political party of their choice. However, Zimbabwe has seen a significant increase in social media accounts that use pseudonyms and make use of generic stock images downloaded from the internet for their account profile images. This is exacerbated by rumours that political parties are investing in groups of social media users to defend that political party’s interests. These social media networks employ harassment and trolling to shut down any criticism of their political parties,” MISA said.
According to MISA-Zimbabwe, the three reports indicate that a number of cost and policy related factors affect access to the Internet. The media organisation also says that they also show that the policy framework determines the level of enjoyment of rights and Internet freedoms. The reports also indicate that Zimbabwe has its work cut out in order to ensure a safe and affordable Internet for all.
Gambia’s Dancehall Artist Explore Europe with Positive Vibes
November 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
ENC, alias Worldvibe General one of Gambia’s finest reggae dancehall artiste is currently on European where he played three successful shows in Germany in the cities of Duisburg, Bremen and Karlshue.
He is booked to perform in Italy, Malta, Finland and Austria, the tour is organised by Masta Lion Promotions, ENC this Friday he will be performing in Finland Helsinki
Masta Lion Touray, ENC’s tour manager said that;”Gambian Dancehall Superstar ENC is fully loaded to explore Europe from 31st October to 7th December 2019.
According to him, they are preparing for five shows in Italy, one in Malta and one in Austria
“We’re calling the entire Gambians and beyond to show some love and support the movements in promoting and exposing our music to global audiences,” the Brikama born veteran DJ said.
ENC Di Real (real name Essa Colley) is a reggae and dancehall artist from The Gambia. He was born in 1988 and ventured on the country’s music scene in 2005. In early 2006, he released two singles called ‘Money’ and ‘Nyamabakawass’. Some of the songs on the album received huge local airplay from the country’s DJs such as Fire Man and Dj G Faal.
In 2008, he participated at a TV show music competition called Gamcel Chart and made it to the final top ten. In 2009, he started deejaying and this gave him the opportunity of becoming a radio presenter on West Coast Radio. He introduced a dancehall show on radio called Back Stage Show. The platform allows young upcoming artists to get exposure by giving them a huge airplay and exclusive interviews.
Between 2010 and 2011, he released songs such as ‘Money’, ‘Nyamba Kawass’, ‘Spotlight’, and ‘December Energy’. In 2012, he did a collaborated with Amie Dibba on ‘Wanna Love You’ and Aria, a Jamaican dancehall artist on a song called ‘Rough up The Party’. In 2012, these songs made the star to make it to the international dancehall mainstreams in the world. That same year, he represented his country at the South America’s festivals held in Venezuela.
In 2012, he dropped a first dancehall mixtape called ‘Triple Action’. The project features 25 tracks which were presented and mixed by Rico Vibes. In 2013, he launched a 17-track mixtape called ‘Girls Segment’.
In August, 2015 he founded World Vibe Records to help local musicians produce good and quality music.
ENC Di Real became opened the annual Open Mic Festival. He has worked on a number of projects by other artists. He featured on songs such as ‘Soccalyoso Rhythm’, ‘Nice Again Rhythm’, ‘One Step Rhythm’ and ‘Nice Up Rhythm’.
In 2018, he release his debut album called ‘VICTORY’ comprise of 12 tracks. He is gearing up to launch a new EP called Cloud on 14th of December 2019 at Willy’s night club in lamin village.
Nigeria:Paradigm Initiative Launches Learning Lab for Digital Rights and Inclusion
November 7, 2019 | 0 Comments
LAGOS – 5 November 2019 – Today, Paradigm Initiative is thrilled to announce that its first Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab (DRILL) will begin operations in February 2020, and will operate from its new headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria.
DRILL has a mission to host innovative learning around digital rights and inclusion in Africa, and serve as a space for both practice and reflection. The Learning Lab will involve, and connect, different stakeholders and create dialogue amongst researchers, social innovators, policymakers and actors, the private sector, as well as civil society.
As a lighthouse for digital rights and inclusion advocacy in Africa, learning activities will take place at the Lab in order to evolve new thinking on digital rights and inclusion strategy for Africa. There are a variety of activities that will take place, including, but not limited to, focused future-facing research; presentations; ecosystem meetings and discussions focused on digital rights and/or inclusion hosted within the ecosystem; and general communication about the lab’s activities.
DRILL will offer a space for big thinking, evaluation of digital rights and digital inclusion programs, and future-proofing ecosystem activities. DRILL will host innovators, researchers and/or entrepreneurs-in-residence at the PIN HQ so they can host biweekly ecosystem/sector meetings (to share insight/ideas), biweekly presentations (to share outcomes of their research and/or work) and work with the Executive Director to record a monthly DRILL podcast on topical issues.
“There are both enormous challenges and opportunities for realizing the ambitious task of creating an inclusive, healthy, safe and open Internet in the coming decade for all Africans, including marginalized and vulnerable populations such as women and girls, people with lower income levels or living in rural communities, sexual minorities, the elderly and persons with disabilities,” said ‘Gbenga Sessan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative.
“Connecting the next billion, who mostly live on the African continent, requires not only technological and commercial innovations, but also new models of collaboration among all stakeholders,” he continued.
He added, “The selection process for the DRILL Fellowship will be supported by an External Advisory Group made up of ecosystem leaders, including Alberto J. Cerda Silva (Ford Foundation), Anriette Esterhuysen (Association for Progressive Communications), John Dada (Fantsuam Foundation), Nnenna Nwakanma (World Wide Web Foundation), and Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi (Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre), who will help shape the program and work with the PIN team to review Fellowship applications.”
The inaugural fellowship of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab will start in February 2020. The fellowship will be open for a period of three months at a time, but can be renewed for another three months, depending on planned activities and joint reviews between the Fellows and PIN.
“As a mid-career fellowship, potential candidates will be expected to have had a minimum of 5 years’ experience as technology or social innovators, researchers, policy experts, and/or entrepreneurs,” said Emmanuel Vitus, Communications Officer at Paradigm Initiative.
In his words, “Paradigm Initiative will cover costs associated with learning activities at the Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab and provide office space, an opportunity to be embedded within our team, access to the ecosystem, and feedback on projects throughout the duration of the Fellowship.”
Applications are open via the Paradigm Initiative website, www.paradigmhq.org/drill, until December 20, 2019.
About Paradigm Initiative
Paradigm Initiative (PIN) is a social enterprise that builds ICT-enabled support systems and advocates for digital rights in order to improve the livelihoods of under-served young Africans. The organization’s digital inclusion programs include a digital readiness school for young people living in under-served communities (LIFE) and a software engineering school targeting high potential young Nigerians (Dufuna). Both programs have a deliberate focus to ensure equal participation for women and girls.
The digital rights advocacy program is focused on the development of public policy for internet freedom in Africa, with offices in Abuja, Nigeria (covering the Anglophone West Africa region); Lome, Togo (Francophone West Africa); Yaoundé, Cameroon (Central Africa); Arusha, Tanzania (East Africa) and Lusaka, Zambia (Southern Africa).
Paradigm Initiative has worked in communities across Nigeria since 2007, and across Africa from 2017, building experience, community trust and an organizational culture that positions us as a leading social enterprise in ICT for Development and Digital Rights on the continent.
Paradigm Initiative is also the convener of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF), a pan-African bilingual Forum that has held annually since 2013.
Hogbetsotso 2019: our allegiance is forever Anlo – Ashanti Kingdoms declare
November 7, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ahedor Jessica
More than 28 thousand people have thronged the Anlo’s traditional Capital Anloga to climax the 2019 Hogbetsotsoza in a colourful style. To many observers and partakers of the festival, this year’s celebration was rated more successful than previous ones. The colourful ceremony saw a magical, spiritual, and Cultural display of Anlo-ewe values that thrilled the participants from the beginning to the end.
The crowd made up of both Traditional Rulers, and government delegations, the public, Anlo citizens from the diaspora, foreigners and friends of Anlo took part in celebrating the well-attended occasion.
The Awomefia of Anlo, Torgbui Sri III affirmed the unity between Anlos and the Asantes, emphasizing “Our unity is forever.” Research on Anlo-Ewe history has it that, the two tribes signed a unity treaty in 1865 to be each other’s keeper and charged Anlos and Ashantis in Ghana and abroad to work together as brothers to enable the build Ghana.
The Awomefia stressed Anlo state commitment to champion the unity for the rapid socio-economic development of the two tribes and their people.
On education, he commended the government for its Free Senior High School policy and appealed for the fixing of roads in the Anlo State, address water challenges, construct the Keta Harbour and establish a tomato factory in Anlo under the One District, One Factory initiative to prevent postharvest loses experienced by the people in the area.
The special guest Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in an address read on his behalf by the Mamponghene, said the exchange of visits and interactions by the two leaders were to reaffirm their union for “peace and orderly development of the two great regions and the country at large, Adding the two tribes had vowed never to wage war against each other, instead, support one another. He bemoaned the failure on the part of historians who have failed in recognizing the peace-building efforts by the two tribes in pre-independence struggles. The Asantehene recounted the collaborative efforts that saw Ashantis and Ewes work together to change the course of Ghana’s history, and underscored the need to ward off elements trying to sow seeds of disunity between the two. The Asantehene later presented assorted items including kente and drinks to the Awomefia.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in an address read on his behalf commended the Asantehene and Awomefia for building on the unity of the two tribes and restated government’s commitment to fulfilling its promises to the Anlo State and meeting the desire of the people in getting a fishing harbour and a port. He said works on roads in the country would commence soon simultaneously and that government is very much aware of the economic importance of roads and would not deny Ghanaians access to motorable roads.
This year’s celebration attracted several delegations, chiefs from Notsie, in the republic of Togo, government officials led by Mr Kan Dapaah, Minister for National Security, former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Dramani Mahama.
Ghana: In Hogbetsotsoza 2019, the Anlo’s look beyond their exodus to foster peace and tranquility
October 31, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ahedor Jessica
Hogbetsotsoza is one of the oldest, well known and the most prestigious festivals of the people of Anlo. It is celebrated on the first Saturday of the month of November every year. The festival is used by the Anlos to commemorate the exodus and the bravery of their forefathers, who through endurance and sacrifice found a new home for them at their present location when they left Nortsie.
Some school of thought explains the term Hogbetsotso, as been derived from three Ewe words – *Ho* to move, *Gbe* meaning day and *Tsotso* as the crossing over. Thus Hogbetsotso means the long journey of the Ewes through Norrtsie in the Republic of Togo to their present settlements in the Republic of Ghana.
The Hogbetsoso, as a unified commemorative event, has been celebrated for a few decades now,while many of the processes and sacraments such as Nugbidodo (the grand reconciliation) go far back in pre-history and antiquity. The first Hogbetsotso was celebrated in 1962 during the reign of Awoamefia, Torgbi Adeladzea II. This year’s celebration is christened ‘’historic’’ as the festival is set to witness the visit of the Asantehenhene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II from the Ashanti Region, the first-ever in the history of the Anlo state.
The move has been applauded by many who had known the Ewe and the Asante rivalry, even in modern Ghana. Other dignitaries to grace the occasion are The Ewefiaga Torgbui Agorkli XVI of the ancient Nortsie in the Republic of Togo, President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo Addo, and two former presidents of the Republic of Ghana, HE John Dramani Mahama and HE Jerry John Rawlings and other dignitaries from home and abroad. The Hogbe Institute, organizers of this year’s festival estimate patronage to be more than fifty thousand including locals and foreigners who will throng the area in commemorating this day.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Hogbe Institute, Dr Sylvanus Kwashi Kuwor intimated that, the theme for the festival “Uniting Anlo through its values for the benefit of its citizens and the Nation at large’’ is a clarion call on all Ewe people to utilize available opportunities in the land for the development of the area. He urges the citizenry to go beyond the celebration and foster peace and cohesion among themselves.
The Anlos –Ewes in the course of their exodus settled briefly at Notsie, currently within the territory of Togo after migrating from Southern part of Sudan, and crossing the Niger, to their present home in Ghana before the 14th Century and the advent of colonialization.
Available historical documents and oral history have it that the Anlos settled at Ketu in the Republic of Benin and Ile Ife in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Before migrating to live briefly in Notsie in the Republic of Togo. Each state of the journey has its epic story. For example when they were leaving Nortsie, the people had to move backward as they exited Nortsie, to deceive any pursuit. This backward movement is incorporated in a dance style called Husego or Misego in Anlo.
The Anlo-ewes are now widespread and located in different countries in West Africa, Togo, Nigeria, Benin and Ghana. They are the largest homogenous ethnic population in Ghana and Togo. They speak the Ewe language (Ewe: Eʋegbe) which belongs to the Gbe family of languages.
Global superstar Akon confirmed for ACCES 2019 in Ghana
October 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
Senegalese-American musician and entrepreneur Akon will be at the ACCES 2019 music conference in Accra, Ghana, where he will take part in an informative Question and answers session about his career takes place at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on 28, 29 and 30 November 2019.
The five-time Grammy nominee joins a roster of over 80 prominent musicians and industry experts who will speak at the pan-African conference, including Ghanaians Sarkodie and Samini as well as TRUE Africa founder and editor-in-chief Claude Grunitzky (Togo/UK), Chocolate City vice-president Aibee Abidoye (Nigeria), Boomplay Ghana manager Elizabeth Ntiamoah (Ghana), Simfy OTT music services head Oye Akideinde (Nigeria), Ditto Music Founder Lee Parsons (UK) and Grammy-nominated musician, author and rights activist Mark Levine (US).
Akon’s session on 30 November will focus on the star’s illustrious career, including his latest music projects and his evolution toward becoming a successful record label owner and philanthropist. The session is part of the ACCES Conversations series where leading industry figures talk about the complexities of the business and give important advice on how to navigate this competitive space.
The session is presented by ACCES in collaboration with BMG – an international music company offering publishing and recording under one roof, and services in audiovisual, books and film.
Akon, who is releasing three albums in October this year, (Konnect, El Negreeto and Akonda), will share his experiences with delegates from more than 50 countries, including musicians, composers, record label executives, festival bookers, event organisers, digital distributors, artist managers and music activists.
Akon’s story is an inspirational one. Apart from conquering the charts on numerous occasions, selling more than 35 million albums worldwide and seeing four of his songs certified as triple-platinum, he is also responsible for launching the careers of Lady Gaga, T-Pain, R City, Karindall Offishall and Red Café through his Konvict Muzik and KonLive Distribution labels.
Akon recently announced the formation of Akonik Label Group, in partnership with BMG. The artist-founded operation is comprised of four distinct record labels: Akonda (Afrobeats), Akonik (US), Jamakon (Caribbean) and Ke Lo Ke (Latin America).
He is also the founder of Akon Lighting Africa, a project started in 2014 that has provided solar street lights and small energy systems in countries such as Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Benin and Sierra Leone. According to Akon, the project has reached 100 000 households and installed 13 000 streetlights since its inception.
ACCES is a pan-African trade event for music industry players to exchange ideas, discover new talent and create business linkages. ACCES is held in a different African city every year, attracting active music industry players from across the globe.
ACCES is organised by the Music In Africa Foundation, a non-profit and pan-African organisation, in partnership and with the support of Siemens Stiftung, Goethe-Institut, Afrikayna, Reeperbahn Festival, Alliance Française, BMG, Africa Art Lines, Afrikayna, MediaSound Hamburg, the Gold Coast Hub, the Prince Claus Fund and the ANT Mobility Grant from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
Reeperbahn Festival International
This year ACCES has a partnership with Reeperbahn Festival – one of the most important meeting places for the music industry worldwide and Europe’s largest club festival based in Hamburg, Germany. The partnership creates a framework for the festival to collaborate with ACCES in facilitating sustainable business engagements and exchange between European and African music businesses and professionals, as well as the provision of performance opportunities to musicians in both territories.
BMG is the new model music company founded in 2008 as a response to the challenges of the digital revolution in the music industry. As part of its unique approach, BMG represents the traditionally separate music publishing and recording rights off the same platform internationally. The company is the world’s fourth biggest music publisher and one of the first new global players in the recordings business. BMG has 15 offices across 12 core music markets, representing over 3 million songs and recordings, including the catalogues of global stars such as Chrysalis, Bug, Virgin, Mute, Sanctuary, Primary Wave and Talpa Music, as well as thousands of artists and songwriters.
African countries are still not doing enough to meet one of the UN’s most important development targets, according to a new report to be published next week
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
eLearning Africa Report 2019, which provides a snapshot of the state of education,
training and development on the continent, interviewed more than 900 education
professionals and technology experts about key issues, including progress
towards the United Nations’ goal of universal access to quality education by
The goal (UN SDG 4) is set out in the UN’s list of sustainable development goals (SDGs), which every country should meet by 2030. However, the eLearning Africa Report’s survey of education and training professionals, working in almost every country in Africa, shows that a substantial majority believe that African countries are still not doing enough to ensure universal access to quality education for all Africans.
The finding, which is among the results in a survey in the report, will make uncomfortable reading for African leaders. The achievement of UN SDG 4 is not only an important UN goal, but also a major plank in the African Union’s plan for a ‘transformed continent’ by 2063. However, the survey shows that, by majorities of more than 12 per cent, experts believe that, in every major area of education, insufficient progress has been made.
“SDG 4 is perhaps the most important of the UN sustainable development goals and the disappointment about the lack of progress towards realising it is striking,” says the report. “It seems too that the further up the educational ladder you look, the greater the belief that insufficient progress is being made. 56 per cent of respondents do not believe that African countries are doing enough to ensure that, by 2030, all girls and boys will complete free primary and secondary education. However, the percentage of those believing that not enough has been done to improve access to higher education and vocational training or further education is as high as 65 per cent.”
In spite of the gloom about progress towards meeting the UN SDGs though, there is a sense of optimism about overall progress. More than two thirds (72 per cent) of the experts questioned said they think that the African Union’s 2063 vision is “realistic.”
“If our youth are empowered, believe in their own self-worth and think creatively,” said one of the experts, “Africa will be an inspiration to other continents with new inventions and original African solutions benefitting all.”
The eLearning Africa Report, which has been sponsored by GIZ, the German organisation for international cooperation, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), makes fascinating reading. With contributions from experts, practitioners, advisers, entrepreneurs and even students and artists, it provides an insight into how technology assisted learning and training are leading change and development throughout Africa. As businesses assess the implications of a ‘fourth industrial revolution,’ it looks at the state of education, training, development and technology at this moment of unparalleled change.
Gambia: Madam Camara shares her anguish after 19-years
October 15, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Adama Makasuba
Sainabou Camara-Lowe has shared gory tales of her anguish with the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission after 19 years, as the Commission of Inquiry began public hearings on sexual and gender based violence.
At least 129 witnesses have testified so far among whom 31 were perpetrators and alleged perpetrators and the rest were victims including 21 women.
Meanwhile, Madam Camara-Lowe however told the commission that she can’t remember how she got the wound in her private part but that “may be something was inserted inside my private part but I can’t remember how it happened because I was in comma, and I was bleeding,”
This session focuses on sexual abuses and gender based violence and Madam Camara-Lowe, 39, who was among the student protesters on April 10 and 11 2000, said she experienced wounds and pain in her private part and was in a comma caused by torture from the personnel of the police intervention unit in 2000.
She said while attending medication at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul that “a pipe was fixed in her in order to enable her urinate “but told the commission that she still feels pain around her private which she said “was not stitched by the doctors 19 years ago.”
“I couldn’t tell till to date how I got the wound on my private part, all my body was swollen, my face, my thigh, my groins and my private part,” she said
However, she said after her discharged from the hospital that her aunty took care of her health, adding she was using warmed up water mixed with detergent to heal the wound.
According to her, she insulted the mother of the former president Yahya Jammeh and former vice president Dr Isatou Njie –Saidy in their presence as they paid them a visit at the hospital
“I can’t do a heavy work, if I am to fetch water I must take a bucket and if I am to launder I had to sit-down because I can’t bend as up till now my groins pain me, my abdominal pains me and when I got pregnant my private part swells and pains me,” she said.
She said the pains were inflicted on her by the personnel of the Police Intervention Unit as she said: “as we were running and because I didn’t know Serekunda, I headed toward their camp. I was slim and, I was very fast in running. But the four of them were chasing after me and when I felt tired and while attempted to jumped over a fence, one of my leg was over the fence and they held on to the other of my leg.”
She said she got brushes as a result of beating inflicted on her by the personnel of the police intervention unit adding that her cheeks were also swollen.
“They were stamping on my body staring from my chest to my private part and down to my leg which is now I couldn’t do a heavy work,” she said, adding that “they tied me from my toe up to my neck and one of them took my workman put it on his ears and told me you people are rude but we will teach you a lesson, and I insulted his mother and the other man slapped me on my face.”
She recalled that one Aunty Njie who she said was a nurse at the time at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul to have recognized her of not dead after she was taken to the mortuary.
She however couldn’t tell how she got to the hospital in Banjul as she was in faint, adding while at the hospital she was labeled dead number 4 as doctors and nurses labeled the dead’s at the mortuary house.
37-year-old Cameroonian dies in US immigration custody
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung
A Cameroonian immigrant identified by news reports as Nebane Abienwi who was en route to the United States to experience the American dream has died while in custody of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE.
His death at an immigration facility in San Diego, California, has sparked outrage pushing a coalition of black immigration rights organizations to demand an explanation into the circumstances leading to his demise.
The Cameroon American Council, CAC, on Monday, held a vigil to mourn Abienwi, who was seeking asylum in the U.S. after fleeing from his Cameroon.
According to Face2Face Africa, he died October 1, after being treated for a brain hemorrhage at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center.
ICE said Abienwi had been in detention at the Otay Mesa Detention Center.
In a statement wherein they describing the death of Abienwi as “devastating”, the black immigrant rights organization condemned the use of detention centers to “imprison our people.” It also demanded more information on the circumstances which led to his death.
“We demand to know the circumstances under which Nebane lost his life. Black immigrants, in particular, report horrific experiences of anti-Blackness, abuse, and harassment while in detention,” the organization said in a statement on October 3.
ICE says it is “firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does in all such cases.”
In a news release, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency which oversees immigration-related issues particularly in the Southern borders no said Abienwi did not have “proper entry documents” when he crossed through the port of entry.
The coalition, insisting he should not have been detained in the first place.
“No one should be locked up for seeking safety and wanting a better life,” the alliance said. “Black immigrants, in particular, report horrific experiences of anti-blackness, abuse, and harassment while in detention,” the group also said.
Death toll of immigrants in ICE custody continues to make headlines raising questions as to possible detention situation in the facilities.
The number of Cameroonians applying for asylum to the U.S. increased from about 600 in 2012 to more than 1,300 in 2016, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees per latest data.
Since 2016 with the escalation of civil unrest in its English-speaking regions that has claimed the lives of hundreds, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimates that more than 30.000 Cameroonians have fled their home.
Most of them are said to be in neighboring Nigeria. Hundreds have made the painstaking journey via the Amazon forest in an attempt to cross over to the US through Mexico.
Funmi Iyanda’s adaptation of ‘Walking with Shadows’ premieres at the BFI London Film Festival
October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
Veteran journalist and talk show host, Funmi Iyanda yesterday brought ‘Walking with Shadows’, a novel by Jude Dibia, to the big screen, with the movie enjoying a 2-day showing at the British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival.
Speaking on the premiere, Iyanda said, “It is an honour to premiere this movie at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. We are definitely thrilled by the opportunity to share this thought-provoking story with the international community and hope they are inspired by it as much as we are”.
The film spotlights the life of lead character, Ebele Njoko, whose search for acceptance led him to create an alternate personality – one more pleasing and acceptable to society. However, as his secrets come to light, he is faced with the difficult choice to either keeping his family or accept a life of possible loneliness and rejection.
Iyanda explained that the movie is a timely appraisal of pressing societal issues, as it promotes the importance of love and self-acceptance in a cultural and religiously-charged environment.
Directed by Adife O’Kelly, ‘Walking with Shadows’ – which is set to premiere in Nigerian cinemas soon – features a sterling cast of actors including Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi, Wale Ojo, Ozzy Agu, Zainab Balogun, and Funsho Adeolu.
Notable personalities who attended the BFI London Film Festival movie premiere include Nana Otedola, Folake Abdulrazaq, Christopher Schlaefer, and others.
About Walking with Shadows
In Lagos, Nigeria, Ebele Njoko has been running all his life. A search for acceptance and love from his family, has led him to recreate himself as Adrian Njoko, respected father, husband, and brother. Suddenly, Adrian’s past and secrets have caught up with him and his world soon begins to crumble as he frantically tries to control the growing ripple effect of a revelation.
Walking with Shadows is adapted from Jude Dibia’s 2005 book of the same title, which was awarded Sweden’s Natur och Kultur Prize.
*Courtesy of NigeriaPresslog , a media amplification and press release distribution platform connecting forward-looking brands to target audiences. It provides a gateway for brands with the goal of making inroads and establishing presence in the Nigerian media space and beyond.
NigeriaPresslog has worked with and delivered excellent service for local and international partners including Heinrich Boll Stiftung, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Lagos Business School, Response Architects UK and others.
Mozambique:Police Admits Responsibility in killing of social activist
October 8, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Arnaldo Cuamba
The Mozambican police confirmed on Tuesday that members of the corporation murdered a social activist Anastácio Matavel, a member of the “Sala da Paz”, an organisation that is preparing to observe independently the general elections scheduled for next week.
Matavel, a key figure from Mozambique’s election observation community and focal point of “Sala da Paz” in Gaza province, south of Mozambique, was murdered on the morning of 7 October upon leaving a training session for national observers.
According to police spokesperson, Orlando Mudumane, 4 of the 5 main suspects responsible for the murder are corporate agents in the Special Operations Group of the Rapid Intervention Unit.
As a result, the General Police Commander, Bernardino Rafael, ordered the suspension of two commanders from the units where the murdering police officers were assigned. On the other hand, a commission of inquiry was created to present a detailed report on what actually happened within 15 days.
On Monday, the “Sala da Paz” called on the press to repudiate and condemn the death, asking those entitled to clarify the crime quickly and to punish the perpetrators.
“The Sala da Paz understands that these acts are against human rights and freedom of expression enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique,” said Dercio Alfazema, spokesman for the organization “Thus, it calls on the competent authorities, for a thorough investigation to find the perpetrators of this heinous crime and in an exemplary way be punished,” he said.
The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) strongly condemned the attack and also called on the competent national authorities to investigate this violent act and ensure the perpetrators are held to account for their criminal actions.
“Domestic observation is an essential component of a credible electoral process” EU EOM said in a press release published on Tuesday. “Any act that affects or limits the capacity of national observers to perform their essential role is an unacceptable obstacle to the transparency of elections and the respect for the participation of citizens in the country’s political life” they added.
The general elections are scheduled for 15 October in Mozambique, with an election campaign marked by turbulence. Violent clashes between sympathizers of the different political parties have continued throughout the electoral campaign period without a strong, clear and persistent condemnation from political leaders and competent authorities.
Cameroon:Teachers Celebrate International Day under Precarious Situation in Anglophone Cameroon
October 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The 25th edition of the World Teachers Day has been commemorated in Buea despite the threats and dire situation in which the teachers are in. The celebration which took place at the esplanade of the Buea council was under the theme, “Young Teachers: The future of the profession.”
This day comes at a critical point in Cameroon history with the country facing upheavals in the Anglophone Regions. The over three-year crisis has seen teachers beaten, manned, kidnapped, and others killed simply for practicing their profession.
The Regional Delegate of Secondary Education Dr. Hannah Mbua Etonde speaking during the ceremony urged the teachers to shun fears and be courageous, considerate, and daring knowing that if they stay away from classes, they are killing generations. “Let us measures that will see teachers work in a calm atmosphere. At this point in time, teachers need to be credible and courageous while adapting to the changes to the profession taking into consideration technological advancement.”
For the past three years, teachers have been beaten, maimed, kidnapped, and some have been killed simply for practicing their profession. “There is a good number of challenges that the teachers are going through in the South West Region. No matter the challenges, let us remain teachers,” she said while calling on the teachers to shun fears and be courageous, considerate, and daring while knowing that they are killing a generation if they decided to stay away (from classrooms). “Teachers should shun the unwilling attitude to teach students.”
The upheavals have equally had a devastating effect on educational establishments in the Anglophone regions. Many schools have been destroyed as the teachers have been chased away by separatist fighters. Speaking on this issue, the Regional Delegate called on the teachers, and proprietors of such establishments or those that are not functional to apply for redeployment, so they could be posted to areas that are operational.
To Esunge Ndive, President of the Buea Area Teachers’ Association, BATA said, “The very unfriendly environment where we are working today, due to the sociopolitical upheavals plaguing the Anglophone regions where teachers are kidnapped or killed is evocative. It is an environment where teachers are afraid to go to work due to fear of the unknown.”
He went further to outline some issues that are plaguing the teaching profession such as the non-award of academic honors and medals to the teachers of the Basic Education sector, very low salaries, especially for teachers in the private sector which cannot even pay their house rents, non-registration of teachers of the private sector for pension schemes, and no signing of labor contracts for teachers in the private sector with their employees — this leaving them at the mercy of such employers, who demise them whenever they desire.
The SG appreciated the teachers for having turned out to celebrate the day despite various threats at their safety. The teachers are the main actors of development. He went on to call on teachers to be the ambassadors of their generation, to preach by example and to serve as a model for the youths. They should equally work according to the ethics of their profession.
Another issue that was greatly frowned upon was the slackness new teachers have about their profession. According to officials, many present day teachers are only in search of the matricule number and not having the teacher spirit. “To the young teacher, teaching is not seen as a vocation,” Njikang Gabriel noted.
First immigrants arrive in Rwanda from Libya
September 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Maniraguha Ferdinand
First immigrants who were trapped in Libya on their way to Europe have arrived in Rwanda, where government has agreed to give them asylum.
A group of 66 immigrants mainly unaccompanied minors, single mothers and youth have landed at Kigali International Airport on Thursday midnight.
Upon arrival, they were escorted to Gashora camp, in South-Eastern Rwanda where they will be being catered for by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR).
This group of immigrants is the first to be sent in Rwanda among 500 immigrants whom Rwanda agreed to host, in its fight against torture and slavery they were experiencing in Libya.
UNCHR says that bringing those immigrants will give them safety contrary to how they were living in Libya.
Thousands of immigrants try to cross from Africa to Europe in search of better life. Some drown in the sea or become prey to the pirates who operate in the internationals waters.
Data from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees shows that 116,647 migrants and refugees reached European shores from Africa by crossing Mediterranean sea.
At least 2,275 people died or went missing as they tried to cross to Europe in 2018, leading to an average of six deaths a day.