Life Style News

By Rael Ombuor

Joshua Okumu's wife, Mary Mwanja, died during childbirth 18 years ago at Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi. But their daughter survived.

When he picked up his newborn baby at the nursery, grief-stricken and shocked, Okumu was not entirely sure how to feed her.

"So when I reached home, I started feeding her with a packet of milk called Tuzo," he said. "By that time, Tuzo was not diluted like nowadays. So, that is what I was using to feed the small baby when I took her from the hospital. If the mum was there it would have been healthier to be fed by her mum."

For Kenyan widowers like Okumu, there will soon be another option: human donor milk.

Pumwani is getting Kenya's first breast milk bank, which will be only the second of its kind on the continent. The other one is in South Africa.

The bank is a joint initiative by Kenya's Ministry of Health and PATH, a U.S.-based nonprofit health organization. It will open in September for donations and offer free breast milk by prescription for babies who cannot get it from their mothers.

'Next best option'

Dr. Elizabeth Kimani Murage, head of maternal and child well-being at the African Population and Health Research Center, is behind the project.

"The World Health Organization recommends that if the mother's own breast milk is not available for the baby for any reason, the best next option would be the donor milk," she said. "So the recommendation is to make donor milk available to such vulnerable babies."

The milk bank aims to help orphaned and malnourished babies get the nutrients essential to healthy development.

Murage said mother's milk has an enormous impact on child survival, especially during the first month of life.

"Despite improvements in infant mortality, neonatal mortality is reducing at a very slow rate, so those are the children we want to target," she said. "According to the Every Newborn Action Plan [from the World Health Organization and UNICEF], we should actually reduce neonatal mortality to 12 deaths per 1,000 live births. But, you see, we are very far [from that goal]. We are at 22."

There are misconceptions and concerns about hygiene and the spread of disease to newborns in the use of donated milk. Murage noted that all donors' health would checked at the hospital and that the milk would be pasteurized to ensure that only safe and healthful breast milk is given to babies in need.

By Joyline Maenzanise

... And we need to stop reducing homosexuality to a mere sexual act, pleads Joyline Maenzanise.

Zimbabwe recently launched its 2018 - 2020 Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Strategy, which is geared at boosting the consumption of the drug (PreP tablets) among identified "key populations" who are at high risk of contracting HIV. These "key populations" are described as groups of individuals who face an increased risk of contracting the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) due to their behaviour or the nature of their sexual activities. To compound the problem, these groups often face legal and social issues, such as stigma and unfair discrimination, which drive them underground and serve to increase their vulnerability to infection.

Speaking at the launch of the document, Zimbabwe's Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa, said that this PreP programme would focus on, among other key populations, sex workers, men who have sex with other men (MSM), truck drivers, married couples, tertiary institution students and young people.

The nation's Health Ministry aspires to work towards ending AIDS by 2030. According to the United Nations Aids Programme (UNAIDS), Zimbabwe is said to have the world's highest prevalence of HIV infections. Dr Parirenyatwa is also on record as saying that HIV prevalence in prisons is higher than in the country at large.

It is encouraging to note that his Ministry is taking steps to tackle the spread of HIV in a realistic and holistic manner. It stands to be argued that this can be attributed to the tireless advocacy of various human rights organisations who work with the marginalised communities that make up the key populations in Zimbabwe. Still, this move is very important, especially since anal sex is the riskiest form of sex and therefore imprisoned men having sex with other men need to have access to condoms to lower risk of infection or re-infection.

Unfortunately, albeit unsurprisingly, this form of harm reduction does not always sit well with many people in a society that deems itself "conservative". When condoms are supplied to groups whose behaviour or sexual activities are frowned upon by society for religious or cultural reasons, such a move is seen to be instigating or perpetuating the destruction of our social mores. In such instances, what is viewed as "immoral", "a sin" or "un-African" is perceived to be encouraged. Many people in our society therefore do not take kindly to the distribution of condoms in prisons since they believe that this will "promote homosexuality".

Male condom. Photo Source: Death and Taxes Magazine

Critics have also argued that same-sex activity is illegal in Zimbabwe and consequently providing condoms in prisons would be tantamount to encouraging an act that is outlawed. Section 73 of Zimbabwe's Criminal Law and Codification Act stipulates that "any male person who has consensual anal sex with another male person shall be guilty of sodomy, which is punishable by up to 1 year in prison". This is just another instance where some people are quick to use statutory clauses to serve their purpose, even though these very clauses have been found wanting and in urgent need of reform because of their oppressive and divisive nature. Granted, these people may support the goal to curb the spread of sexually transmitted infections. However, they fail to appreciate how opposing the mandate to ensure access to condoms for certain people whose ways of being or sexual behaviour are not aligned to their morals only impedes our collective efforts to eradicate certain social challenges.

Countries such as Lesotho have already - or finally - come to that realisation and are now distributing condoms in prisons. It is high time we all followed suit. We need to make the tough decision of accepting reality and taking substantive steps to curb the spread of HIV. Lopsided interventions guided by religious or cultural ideologies will not get us anywhere. It is a fact that people in prisons have sex, whether we legally or morally approve of it or not. And if the report by Matooke Republic is anything to go by, prison officials are also engaging in sexual activities with prisoners. Even if the prisoners might engage in sex only in exchange for certain items, the reality still stands: Where (sexual) human beings are, sexual encounters are very likely to occur. Even if we provided prisoners with the material resources or food they need, some of us would be disappointed to find that sexual activities still prevailed.

Prisoners at very high risk

The catch is that in settings such as prisons, much of the sexual engagement is unprotected, placing prisoners at a high risk of contracting HIV. So, if we are serious about curbing HIV transmissions, it makes no sense that such sexually active, high-risk individuals would be left out of any HIV (or STI) prevention programme. In fact, it is irresponsible of us to leave the prisoners to endanger themselves as they engage in sexual activities without adequate protection. We are leaving them at risk of contracting what are preventable diseases. When we do this, we are failing to appreciate the interconnectedness of our lives - and that should scare us all.

Read: South Africa rolls out condoms in schools amid doubts

A man living with HIV prepares to take his medicine at the HIV/AIDS Care Center, a hospice in Myanmar. Photo: ANP/ EPA/Lynn Bo Bo

Instead of fretting over the promotion of homosexuality, which only brings our homophobia to the fore, the transmission of HIV among prison inmates ought to be our collective concern - just as the transmission of HIV among sex workers and their clients ought to be our collective concern, and just as the transmission of HIV among the LGBTQI+ community ought to be our collective concern too. The reality that is overlooked by opponents is that, depending on their sentence, any infected prisoner is bound to be released back into society at some point. Once that happens, they will, through more inevitable sexual contact, bring the virus back into the community.

Read: Zimbabwe is moving towards inclusive health care to fight HIV, not to legitimise gay rights

This will perpetuate the spread of HIV. And when recidivism comes into play and the former prison inmate re-offends the infected party takes the virus back to prison, where they may infect new prisoners. In this way the dangerous cycle is maintained.

One of the results is high public expenditure on health, because controlling the spread of the virus is pricey. And we all know that a Public Health Bill is just another financial burden that the taxpayer will have to bear. The higher it is, the heavier the burden.

Is it not obvious that this reality cannot be ignored if we are truly serious about reducing the incidence of HIV infection in every way possible?

By Mangina/Geneva

The Ministry of Public Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo today announced the launch of Ebola vaccinations for high risk populations in North Kivu province.

The vaccinations have begun just one week after the announcement of a second outbreak of Ebola this year in the country. A total of 44 cases have been reported so far, of which 17 have been confirmed.

Work has begun to prepare ring vaccination in the Mangina health area, 30km from the town of Beni.

The provincial health minister and the provincial coordinator of the Expanded Programme on Immunization were the first to be vaccinated. They were followed by first line health workers from the Mangina health centre, who had been in contact with people who were confirmed cases of Ebola.

"Vaccines are an important tool in the fight against Ebola. This is why it has been a priority to move them rapidly into place to begin protecting our health workers and the affected population," said Dr Oly Ilunga, Minister of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A total of 3,220 doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine are currently available in the country, while supplementary doses have been requested. While the vaccine goes through the licensing process, an agreement between Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Merck, the developer of the vaccine, ensures that additional investigational doses of the vaccine are available.

"The Democratic Republic of the Congo has once again demonstrated strong leadership in its early response to this outbreak," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). "Ebola is aggressive. We must respond more aggressively. Beginning the vaccination so quickly is a key early step."

WHO has provided logistical support for the establishment of the cold chain and sent supplies needed for the vaccinations, in addition to supporting the negotiation of protocols with the manufacturer and national authorities, and supporting the deployment of vaccination experts from Guinea to work alongside national staff, who began the vaccination.

"We are proud of the regional solidarity demonstrated by the vaccination efforts, and confident that the strong capacity of the African region will once again be demonstrated during the response to this outbreak," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Two of the world's fastest-growing short-form video apps, and TikTok, announced that they will unite to create a new global app. The newly upgraded platform, which keeps the TikTok name, creates a unified user experience, debuts a new logo and user interface, and offers greater capabilities for video creation. By bringing together the best of TikTok and, TikTok now becomes the world's number one go-to destination for short-form video content creation and consumption.

The upgraded app will offer users an effortless, compelling, and personalized viewing experience. Existing creators' account, content and fan base will move automatically to the new TikTok app, where creators will keep all of their preexisting content and fans while enjoying the opportunity to reach a bigger and more diverse global audience than ever before.

TikTok incorporates the most popular elements of both apps with a feed that highlights the users' community, in addition to a "For You" feed that uniquely serves a curation of personalized video recommendations based on viewing preferences. The app will also introduce new upcoming features including:

A "reaction" feature that allows users to react to friends' videos directly from the phone;

Enhanced creative tools like interactive gesture filters unlock features such as funhouse mirror camera effects;

VR-type filters that can be activated just by blinking;

Green screen-like background effects.

By Godwin Muzari

Congolese musician Koffie Olomide came and performed, but he did not impress. Expectations were high and fans were looking for the best act, but Koffi decided to go for a lukewarm act at the Harare International Conference Centre on Saturday night.

Whether it had something to do with the change of concert day from Friday to Saturday or an average crowd that turned up for the concert, the rhumba star was not in his best form.

The act was worsened by the team that he came with. His dancing ladies were pathetic. Rhumba is traditionally known as a genre associated with waist-shaking and gyrations, but Koffi came with a team of apparently tired ladies that struggled to shake their bulging tummies.

And they proudly displayed the tummies like they were on a "fat-mummy" contest. It was indeed pathetic.

It was not surprising when Koffi drooled at the sight of well-equipped local ladies that he called to the stage for freestyles. They outclassed a team that flew in with the mega-star of rhumba music.

If he had picked a team of dancers from the crowd to be his backers, they would have put in a coordinated impromptu act that would have made the show lively.

He chose good songs and belted out hits with his usual roaring voice, but the choreography was disappointing.

If he had come with a different team, Koffi would have made a spectacular night for local merrymakers. His dancing boys did not get much time on stage to prove themselves.

They came in with a fantastic introduction and later left the stage to the bulging tummies that were proudly displayed for the better part of the show.

Some of the ladies had screaming tattoos that, unfortunately, failed to make up for their lack of activity. Their massively-revealing outfits worked more to their disadvantage than the purported motive of being attractive.

Koffi remained calm on stage as he has done during most of his shows and he was composed as usual, save for scenes when he openly confronted his dancers for different reasons.

He displayed his well-known rude character when he snatched spectacles from one of his dancers and harshly threw them away. After a short break, the dancer came back in the same spectacles and Koffi took them again, and put them in his pocket. She did not get them back for the rest of the show.

Local dancers from the crowd stole the show and the visitors, and their leader, evidently liked the flexibility of local waists.

However, Koffi still got cheers of approval from rhumba lovers for a good playlist when he ended his show and bowed in salutation with his team around 3.30am yesterday morning.

He had come up to a stage that had been warmed up by several local acts that included Alick Macheso, Suluman Chimbetu, Winky D and Leonard Zhakata.

Macheso performed early because he had another assignment elsewhere. He performed before a small crowd and did well as he exhibited rejuvenated exuberance that now characterise his shows since the release of his highly-popular latest album "Dzinosvitsa Kure".

Zhakata was next on stage and he also did his best. He belted out most of his popular hits to wild cheers from the crowd.

Sulu also did a good job. He performed his songs and his late father's hits that went with good choreography.

His team did well and left fans marvelling at good and well-coordinated dance moves. They were smartly dressed as usual and would have scooped the best-dressed outfit for the night if such a contest was done at the concert.

Winky D did his best, but this time around he failed to send the crowd into frenzy as he usually does.

The dancehall musician has a history of stealing the show when he shares the stage with several musicians, but his performance fell below the high bar that he has set before.

He did most of his hits and some fans sang along, still, it was not the usual outstanding Winky D. He tried his best. It was just not his best night.

However, show promoters should be commended for being able to send the word about change of day of concert well on social media.

Most people anticipated a flop at the Koffi concert, but the attendance was higher than expected. It had the potential of being a full house if the timing had been well.

Doing the sh0w a few days after the harmonised elections perhaps worked negatively for the promoters.

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press release

The legendary SA hip-hop Artist, affectionately known as ProKid of Hip Hop, passed away on Wednesday, August 8, 2018. He suffered a severe seizure attack, whilst visiting friends and paramedics were called in to assist, they did their best to revive him to no avail and called his time of death at 20h38.

He is survived by his beloved mother Fikile Mkhize and his father Zwelakhe Kheswa, his wife Ayanda, his three year old daughter Nonkanyezi, his brothers and his extended family.

ProKid 's family requests that the media respect their privacy during this tragic period of time. Further details will be furnished as soon as his family has gathered.

By Patience Ahimbisibwe

The National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) has developed a software where they will upload the primary and secondary curricula on a tablet to ease understanding of the syllabus and enable learners to explore at their convenience.

The technology they have termed Virtual Learn is loaded with simulations and animation, which can be manipulated, and permits performance tracking by schools and parents and can be accessed on mobile devices and android.

Sources at NCDC who requested for anonymity in order to speak freely said the project has cost more than Shs1 billion and will be ready for launch in the course of the month.

The students will buy the tablet at a reduced price ranging from Shs300,000 to Shs650,000 depending on the special features they have.

In the meantime, 25 secondary schools whose students can buy the tablets have been enrolled on the programme before it is extended to all education institutions.

However, the schools have to pay a subscription fee for each student of between Shs5,000 and Shs10,000, depending on their locality.

"There are certain schools, which do not have an opportunity to get good learning materials. The content uploaded on this software will be harmonised. The students will have self-assessment before they proceed to another topic. It will generate a report; if a topic was difficult, it will give options of delivering that content and the feedback will improve on the teaching and learning," the source said.

The NCDC specialist in-charge of lower secondary curriculum review, Mr James Asile Droti, yesterday confirmed that they developed the software to motivate the learners and meet the technological needs of the 21st century but declined to give details, saying they will be shared during the launch at a yet-to-be disclosed date. While it is not compulsory at the moment to own this tablet, officials close to the NCDC planning meetings said once adopted, it will be self-explanatory for parents to facilitate their children to own one.

For the learners who will not afford the tablet, NCDC officials said they will open pop-up classrooms for disadvantaged schools and regions using the termly subscription individual students wishing to access the programme will pay.

The software was developed in partnership with Sensal Systems Ltd and is both an online and offline system where learning materials are uploaded in the software on a tablet.

The students' interaction with the tablet will be monitored by NCDC officials, head teachers, teachers and parents. The NCDC officials will handle the training only for schools, which have already paid.

By Thomas Matiko

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Tuesday shocked parliament with revelation of how her son once sought her help to enable him cheat in a national examination.

While appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Education CS Amina cited the case of here son to illustrate the wave of student unrest in boarding secondary schools which some quarters have attributed to fear of examinations.

CS Amina narrated to the committee how her son who sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2015 approached her for money to buy leaked examination papers.

"My son was in Form Four three years ago. He came asking for money saying a teacher in his school had asked for the cash. According to the teacher, the money was to be used in buying the students leaked CSE papers," Amina recounted.

"I told my son that I did not have the money and that I was going to work for it. He insisted the money was needed urgently. I stood my ground nonetheless. He blamed me for failing to chip into enabling him score an (A Plain) like his colleagues," further told the committee.

The CS went on to state that 107 secondary schools had been affected by the unrest of students, with 67 being rocked by arson. So far, 198 students have been arrested for their involvement in the wave of unrest in various secondary schools.

Last month, Amina warned students found responsible of taking part in school arson attacks of dire consequences, including not be allowed to join Kenyan universities.

By Collins Omulo

Reverend Stephen Mbugua has been appointed as the new vice chancellor of Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA).

The announcement was made by the chancellor of the university Berhaneyesus D. Cardinal Souraphiel, Archbishop of Addis Ababa.

Prof Mr Mbugua was appointed at the conclusion of 19th Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) plenary assembly which took place between July 13 and 23, 2018 in Addis Ababa.

Mr Mbugua, who is from the Nakuru Catholic Diocese, takes over from Professor Justus Mbae, whose term ends in September, having served the university since May 5, 2016.

The new vice chancellor will assume office on October 1, 2018 in keeping with the university's tradition of giving a two-month period for effective transition and handover.

Until his appointment, Mr Mbugua was the vice-chancellor of Tangaza University College, which is a constituent college of CUEA.

Cash-strapped university fights to stay afloat

He holds a doctorate in educational psychology from Egerton University and he brings to CUEA 20 years of experience and knowledge in management and leadership.

At the same plenary, Rtd Rev Charles Kasonde, Bishop of Solwezi, Zambia was elected as the new chairman of AMECEA, taking over from the outgoing chairman Cardinal Souraphiel.

In his position, Rev Kasonde will also be the new chancellor at CUEA.

"With this transition, the University management is confident of a stronger CUEA that will continue to offer quality programmes for innovative and marketable graduates into the future," said the statement sent to newsrooms on Tuesday by the university's communication department.

CUEA, a chartered private international university, was established in 1984 by the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA).

AMECEA plenary comprises of Catholic Bishops of Episcopal Conferences of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and the affiliate members of Djibouti and Somalia.

Khartoum — The increased price of fuel in Sudan is one of the leading factors that caused the price hikes for domestic flight prices, according to the head of the parliamentary transport committee.

Member of Parliament Mohamed Ahmed El Shayeb, who heads the transport, roads and bridges committee in the Sudanese parliament, told Radio Dabanga that several factors have caused the increase in prices, including the increase in fuel prices by 23 per cent.

"In addition, the tax imposed on each aviation service alone - called vat tax - as a global tax increased by 17 per cent in Sudan. It rose ten per cent in other countries," El Shayeb told Radio Dabanga yesterday.

"Next to that, customs exemptions that benefit only foreign airlines are applied to the national companies, which pay customs on all inputs such as spare parts and other operating services."

He explained that the owners of airlines pay the parallel price for all services and operation costs instead of the indicative price, which has raised operation costs in general.

According to the new increases, active as of today, the value of the plane ticket from Khartoum to El Geneina is SDG3,290 ($116.88*), for Khartoum-Nyala SDG2,695 ($95.70) and to El Fasher SDG2,455 ($87.22).

Proposed amendment

"Our National Assembly in the Committee of Transport, Roads and Bridges has completed an amendment of Article 54 of the Sudanese Customs Code, which makes a distinction between national and foreign companies," the MP said.

The committee worked in coordination with Airports Holding Company, Civil Aviation, Customs and Taxation, and the Ministry of Oil on this, in order to remove intersections between these bodies related to the aviation industry and national aviation.

"They must be supported because it is important for tourism and revitalises the economy/ The return of this support will benefit the country and the economy," according to El Shayeb.

The Civil Aviation Authority has acknowledged that a number of airlines have been out of business because they were unable to keep pace with the rise of industry inputs of customs and spare parts.

Spokesman of the authority, Abdelhafiz Abdelrahim, attributed the price hikes in airline tickets to the high prices of insurance companies, taxes, transit, landing fees and fuel.

Yesterday, economic analyst and former banker Hafiz Ismail confirmed that the ticket price increase is linked to the rapidly dropping value of the Sudanese Pound. He warned that Sudan may soon enter the stage of hyperinflation.

Apart from skyrocketing prices, the majority of the Sudanese are suffering from continuing fuel shortages, a scarcity of wheat and medicines, repeated power cuts and drinking water outages.

* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CboS)

By Chinedu Eze

Ethiopian Airlines has announced rolled out stopover packages without any additional airfare that cater for all leisure needs with a view to promote tourism in the country.

The service commenced on August 1. This is also expected to encourage passengers to visit historical and tourism sites in Ethiopia and return to the airport to continue flights to their final destinations.

Passengers traveling through Addis Ababa and continuing their journey to one of the destinations on Ethiopian network can now take advantage of stopover offerings from Ethiopian Holidays, the tour operator wing of Ethiopian Airlines, enabling them to discover and experience the many historical, cultural, religious and natural treasures of Ethiopia, Land of Origins. An online e-visa service for processing stopover visa is available for all international visitors to Ethiopia.

The airline said the packages range from sightseeing in Addis Ababa, the diplomatic capital of Africa, to visits to the pre-Christian era obelisks of Axum, the stunning medieval rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, the amazing 9th century mosques of Harar, the majestic castles of Gondar, the stunning source of the Blue Nile, the jaw-dropping Simien Mountains, the splendor of the lake side resorts of Hawassa and Arba Minch, or the unique coffee farms of Kaffa, birth place of coffee and many others.

Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam said, "Ethiopian is working with all stakeholders in the tourism chain to make Ethiopia a tourism destination of choice. With its many riches, the world has yet to truly discover Ethiopia and tourism has the potential to become the main foreign currency generator for the country and a mass job creator for the youth. With the stopover packages, we aim to attract a significant portion of our transit customers in Addis as tourists and to considerably enhance the flow of tourism into the country."

Ethiopia airlines said the stopover packages are easily accessible on its website and would pop-up as an option when passengers book flights transiting thru Addis Ababa or can directly be accessed at Ethiopian Holidays website.

By Abdullateef Aliyu and Vanessa Richard

Lagos — Nigeria's mangrove ecosystem is said to be the largest in Africa and the third largest in the world spanning about 10,000 square kilometres, from Badagry in the West to Calabar in the South, an expert has said.

The Executive Director, Eco Restoration Foundation, Prince David Omaghomi, stated this in Lagos recently while marking the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem 2018. Joining other environmentalists to advocate for the conservation of mangrove to protect the coastal areas, he said, "If the mangroves are not preserved, then the coastal areas will be wiped out completely."

The event was organized by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and MangroveXpo. It was the first time the day would be marked in Nigeria.

"When we lose the value of the mangrove, we make the poor get poorer because most people depend on those aqua-species in the mangrove for their livelihood," he noted. Omaghomi highlighted some of the threats to the mangrove ecosystem to include indiscriminate activities of oil exploration firms in the Niger Delta and government's involvement in environmental degradation.

The Technical Director of NCF, Dr. Joseph Onoja, said the celebration was to create awareness of the mangrove and to find solutions to challenges threatening the ecosystem.

An environmentalist, Mr Desmond Majekodunmi, said the mangrove forest in Nigeria is one of the most valuable bio-diverse resources in the environment which used to be protected.

"It is our life support system that we inherited in a fairly good condition from our parents because they hadn't abused and destroyed it by misuse of technology," he noted.

Highlighting the imperative of mangrove conservation, a book, 'Man and Mangrove, An Environmental Awakening', written by the director MangroveXpo, Mr Jerry Chidi was presented at the event.

Nigerian-British writer, Anietie Isong has been named winner of the 2018 McKItterick Prize for his debut novel, Radio Sunrise.

He received the prize from broadcaster and actor, Stephen Fry at the Authors' Awards ceremony in London, on July 19.

The ceremony, which took place at the Royal Institute of British Architects, saw over 400 guests from across the publishing industry come together, as the winners of other prizes administered by Society of Authors were revealed.

Prize Judge, Aamer Hussein, short story writer and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature said: "It's a particular pleasure to discover the original, intriguing voice of Anietie Isong.

"In his brief, deftly-told Radio Sunrise, the author depicts his often hapless protagonist's sexual mishaps and political travails on a journey to his hometown with a unique blend of humour and poignance - An intriguing and accomplished new novelist."

Isong, who is the brother of Emem Isong, the award-winning Nigerian filmmaker, says he is excited to be named winner of the prize.

"I wrote Radio Sunrise to help draw attention to a myriad of issues in Nigeria, and I am thrilled that this resonated with the judges," he said.

The McKitterick Prize, administered by the Society of Authors, honours the first novel by a writer aged over 40. Isong, the first Nigerian to win the prize since it was established in 1990, joins an illustrious line of previous award winners including Helen Dunmore, Petina Gappah and Mark Haddon. Apart from receiving the prize money, Isong has been invited to speak at the Marlborough Literature Festival in the UK, in September. Isong has worked as a journalist, speechwriter and communications manager in Nigeria and the UK. He holds a PhD in New Media and Writing.

By Mary Nnah

The wife of the Ogun State governor, Mrs Olufunso Amosun, was recently equated with legendary Queen Moremi Ajasoro, an influential and brave queen of the Yoruba race, who fought a violent war during her time to save her people from prowling attackers. This tribute was made by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, at the unveiling of a book titled, "Queen Moremi Ajasoro", dedicated to her. Mary Nnah who witnessed the event reports

Ile Ife, an ancient Yoruba city in south-western Nigeria, located in the present day Osun State, was recently agog when its traditional ruler, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi played host to an array of personalities from all walks of life at the Oduduwa Hall of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife in Osun State. The occasion was the unveiling of a historic book, "Queen Moremi Ajasoro", which vividly re-echoes the virtues of Queen Moremi, most especially in saving the people of Ile-Ife from recurrent invasions.

Dedicated to wife of the Ogun State governor, Mrs Olufunso Amosun, the book is basically about the legendary Queen Moremi Ajasoro, an influential and brave queen who fought a violent war during her time to save her people from prowling attackers.

The venue of the event was filled to capacity with royal fathers, monarchs, government officials, members of the academia, and cultural enthusiasts from far and near.

Unveiling the book, the Ooni of Ife described Mrs. Amosun as a jewel whose deeds and merits are written in gold.

'Moremi of Yorubaland'

The enthralling story of legendary Queen Moremi Ajasoro of the ancient of Ile-Ife appropriately exemplifies sacrifice and passion for the survival of the Yoruba race, bearing in mind her invaluable contributions in the 12th Century, which served as the harbinger of hope for the people and this, according to Oba Ogunwusi, is what Mrs. Amosun stands for in the present day Yoruba race.

The monarch described the Ogun State First Lady as an Amazon in the likeness of the legendary queen. While extolling Mrs. Amosun as a woman in the character of the legend, the Ooni of Ife described her as a courageous, intelligent, beautiful, humble, soft-spoken and selflessly useful to the society, just like Queen Moremi served in her time.

Ogunwusi said Mrs. Amosun's generosity, humility and magnanimity in service made her a role model, while as a caring mother she remained a strong pillar in the sustenance of democracy in Ogun State, behind her husband, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, governor of the state.

"Olufunso Amosun has immensely supported cultural agenda in Ogun State, Nigeria and beyond. Her merits have been written in gold and she has become a heroine in Yorubaland", the Ooni said.

Interestingly, the story of Queen Moremi, the beautiful wife of Oranmiyan, the Ooni of Ife, Obalufon Alayemore, summarises the heroic deeds of a woman, who dared the odds to save her people from extinction following external invasion of Ile-Ife.

The invaders were said to have appeared so weird to Ife people on the battlefield that they were thought to be spirits. As the invasion persisted, the land was enveloped by perpetual fear.

Moremi, who shared in the worry of her husband, Oba Oranmiyan, and the discomfort caused the people by the development, made a bold attempt to work out a solution to the problem by expressing her readiness to offer anything as sacrifice to the goddess of River Esimirin. This was with a view to discovering the secret and strength of the enemies that killed and maimed her people in their thousands.

When the enemies came calling again, she was said to have been taken as a slave by the people and due to her beauty, the then invading king married her. Exploring her wit as a woman, she was able to extract the truth about the warriors from her husband.

After acquainting herself with the secrets of her new husband's army, she escaped to Ile-Ife and revealed this to the Yorubas who were able to subsequently defeat the invaders.

According to the Ooni, Moremi's legendary feat brought peace that the monarch's royal home and the entire Yoruba race enjoy today.

Oba Ogunwusi maintained that the attributes of Moremi, which were exhibited by Amosun, compelled him to dedicate the book to her and also proclaim her as the Moremi of Yorubaland.


The book, "Queen Moremi Ajasoro", written and produced by Princess Ronke Ademiluyi in collaboration with Oduduwa Foundation and Obafemi Awolowo University Centre for Cultural Studies, was launched as a historic book in preservation of Yoruba cultural heritage.

The 80-page book, published in both English and Yoruba languages, is a monumental documentary of the feats of the famous Yoruba Amazon, "Queen Moremi Ajosoro" who fought wars, sacrificed so much for the emancipation of her people. The book will be used in schools as a history book.

The global heritage ambassador for Queen Moremi Ajasoro (QMA) brand, Aderonke Ademiluyi, explained that Queen Moremi Ajasoro initiative was established by the Ooni as part of the House of Oduduwa Foundation.

"As the custodian of Yoruba culture, Oba Ogunwusi is committed to the promotion of the rich narrative of the legendary Queen Moremi Ajasoro of which he has demonstrated in various ways of keeping alive her rich legacy", Ademiluyi said.

She disclosed that one of the projects in honour of Moremi was the construction of the 42-feet Moremi statue of liberty, which is the tallest statue in Nigeria. So also is the cultural pageant, which empowers young women and beauty queens into becoming future employers of labour with the sum of N5 million impact investment fund dedicated to this cause.

Women Emancipation

Addressing the gathering, the chairman on the occasion, the Olugbon of Ile Igbon, Oba Olusola Alao, said, "This is the time for women to be actively involved in government as Moremi had set the pace centuries ago. Moremi, through her historical feat stood for justice and liberty. This is a clarion call that women should be involved in governance in our nation. Women should take over the mantle of leadership."

Mrs. Amosun, in company of her husband, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, was the cynosure of all eyes at the hall as tributes and accolades were bestowed on her by numerous speakers.

In his remarks, Governor Amosun said, "Our tradition, custom and heritage must not be forgotten. We must not forget our heroes. We have to thank the Ooni of Ife and others involved in this book launch for keeping our culture alive," stressing that religion and civilisation should not erode African culture.

Mrs. Amosun said in the history of the Yoruba, the power and strength of a woman was aptly demonstrated by the great Heroine, Queen Moremi Ajasoro.

She stated, "She rose against all odds to save her people from harassment and invasions; it took her intuitive intervention and strong will, to restore peace in Ile Ife and save the entire Yoruba race from further intimidation and destruction.

"Ultimately, she had to sacrifice her most prized possession to save her people from further oppression, misery and torments from neighbouring adversaries. The continuous recognition and celebration of this great Amazon sincerely gladdens my heart."

She added, "It is essential to constantly acknowledge, remember and celebrate all heroes in whom we are well pleased. I am immensely humbled, grateful and appreciative of this honour bestowed on me today, knowing fully well that I am not worthy to hold a candle to the magnanimity of the heroine being celebrated here today.

"I therefore take solace in the belief, that this dedication is a celebration of all women especially those that believe in and promote the core values of womanhood, women that exemplify and promote integrity, dignity, courage, hard work, sacrifice, contentment, justice, humility and love.

"The story of Moremi is constantly re-enacted in our contemporary world today and a good number of mothers, sisters and daughters seated here in this auditorium are good examples of this."

Mrs. Amosun described Queen Moremi as a forerunner and trail blazer for a number of other great Yoruba icons like Madam Efunroye Tinubu, Mama Funmilayo Ransome Kuti and a host of other great amazons who fought for women emancipation and paved the way for the traction gained in women's liberation today.

While appreciating Oba Ogunwusi for finding her worthy of recognition with the Queen Moremi book dedicated to her, she said, "Kabiyesi, I wish to assure you that I do not take this with levity neither do I take it for granted, I can only pray that God will assist me to live up to the expectations that formed this decision.

"Needless to say, dedications like this provide platforms for us to reflect on who we are and how we are living, it serves as a constant reminder to all of us that whatever we do today, is what becomes history tomorrow, may posterity record each and every one of us favourably."

analysis By Chris Steyn and Mark Minnie

The book is a collaboration between journalist Chris Steyn and former undercover narcotics agent Mark Anthony Dawid Minnie. They compare notes to deliver a shocking story of apartheid-era criminality, cover-ups and official complicity in the rape and murder of children. Here is the foreword, written by Marianne Thamm.

In January 2015, an investigative team consisting of South African and Belgian police swooped on the home of a 37-year-old computer engineer, William Beale, located in the popular Garden Route seaside town of Plettenberg Bay. The raid on Beale came after months of meticulous planning that was part of an intercontinental investigation into an online child sex and pornography ring. The investigation was code-named Operation Cloud 9.

Beale was the first South African to be arrested. He was snagged as a direct result of the October 2014 arrest by members of the Antwerp Child Sexual Exploitation Team of a Belgian paedophile implicated in the ring. South African police, under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Heila Niemand, co-operated with Belgian counterparts to expose the sinister network, which extended across South Africa and the globe. By July 2017, at least 40 suspects had been arrested, including a 64-year-old Johannesburg legal consultant and a 20-year-old...

By Jimmy Lwangili

MSICHANA Initiative (MI) has organised a one-day annual forum to address girls' agenda scheduled to take place in Dar es Salaam on Saturday this weekend.

The event, expected to draw in 1000 participants, will be presided over by girls from different Schools, groups, various Clubs, and the ones with special needs, as well as community development stakeholders and government representatives.

Briefing journalists on the event yesterday, MI Executive Director, Ms Rebecca Gyumi said the guest of honour, Director of Women Fund Tanzania (WFT), Ms Merry Lusimbi will preside over, where this year's theme will be -'The role of community in protecting and defending rights of girls'.

She said various topics touching girls, through the forum's theme would be presented, including 'the role of men in the family and role of family in protecting girls.'

"Through the forum the girls will have an opportunity to express challenges facing them, and discuss how they can stand strong to get their solutions," she added.

The Director hinted that the forum is sponsored by the Global Fund for Women and Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA), whose last year's forum held in Dodoma City, discussed teenage pregnancy and gender violence.

Msichana initiative is a programme established to advocate for girl-child rights to education in Tanzania, which includes addressing key challenges facing them and limits their access to education.

Ms Gyumi said the organisation seeks to ensure that a girl-child inherits all rights accorded to any human being, without regard to gender, and discriminations based on economic, culture and socio-political stances.

The mission of MI is to become the leading organisation in advocating for the provision of quality education and safe study environment to all girls, including creating self-reliance, confidence and self-determination amongst them.

"To create a society which empowers girls, who ought to realise their full potentials by advocating for their right to education, that is our target," she said.

analysis By Kylie Kiunguyu

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura, ranked number one on the Forbes 2018 Most Powerful Women in International Sports list, is determined that, on her watch, the world's most widely loved sport will be inclusive of all.

When newly elected president Gianni Infantino appointed Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura as his secretary-general in June 2016, Samoura, an African Muslim woman, became not only the first non-European to hold FIFA's second-most powerful position but also the first female to sit at its top table.

Samoura was born in Dakar two years after Senegal declared independence from France. Speaking to Arab News, she said, "I was the second of seven children, but the only girl. Traditionally, in Senegal, because we are a Muslim society, they would not consider a woman's education as a priority, but in the case of my family it was totally the opposite.

"My parents were both well educated -- my mother was a teacher and my father was in the military -- and they invested in my education, ensuring that I was not discriminated against, by my brothers or by society. They gave me all the tools and support to grow up with an independent mind-set."

Samoura went on to join the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in 1995, working as the Country Director for WFP in Djibouti and Cameroon, before she was appointed as Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for eastern Chad in 2007 and finally assuming the role of FIFA Secretary General responsible for overseeing the commercial and operational side of the organisation.

Pushing for reform

Samoura met FIFA's president, Gianni Infantino, in 2015 during a World Cup 2018 qualifying game. Hewent on to offer her the job months later when he won the presidency.

When he gave her the role, he was quoted by Face2Face as saying, "Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time. She has a proven ability to build and lead teams, and to improve the way organisations perform. She also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organisation."

Read: Senegal: the silver lining to Africa's dismal World Cup showing

At the time of receiving the appointment, Samoura told Arab News, "I know there were other candidates. I cannot really say too much about the criteria for my appointment, but I think the fact that I was coming from a totally different background was considered an asset. As for being a woman, I do not feel any added pressure. Instead I see it as an opportunity. Already we can see that FIFA is a more diverse, open and transparent organisation than before and I am very proud to be leading this change."

These changes are echoed in FIFA's reforms, which include statutory obligations to promote and support women in football and a requirement of at least one female representative in each of the six confederations on the FIFA Council. There is also the new Women's Football Division, created for the development of the female game and led by New Zealand's Sarai Bareman, the only woman on FIFA's 2016 Reform Committee.

Other reforms Samoura has brought with her include convincing Qatar to improve conditions for migrant workers constructing its facilities for the 2022 World Cup.

"Over the past six months we have heard nothing negative about the working conditions in Qatar," she said to Face2Face "It is a strong sign that football can help change cultural behaviour, even in a more conservative society."

Read: Russia: Senegalese fans win hearts after cleaning up stadium after the game

Pushing against racism and sexism

Through her leadership Samoura wants to make it known that FIFA is now ready to embrace the benefits of gender diversity in decision-making, that it will finally see women's football with a degree of equality and that it will encourage girls across the world to achieve their dream in sports.

"There are people who think that a black woman should not be leading the administration of FIFA. It's sometimes as simple as that," Samoura told the BBC "It is something we are fighting on a daily basis on the pitch. I don't want any racist person around me."

Samoura is not a novice to football - both her uncle and her husband are former players. "Football is nothing new to me. I have been surrounded by it since I was six years old, but I am proud to see the changes we are making and the progress we are taking in regard to the women's game.

"Throughout my life, I have always faced challenges as a woman in a traditional society or in a workplace dominated by men, but what has really taken me to where I am is hard work. I never expected anybody to do me a favour because I am a woman, and I still don't."

By Betelhem Bedlu

Ministry of Industry (MoI) said that it would commence an on-site workplace daycare service to infants of its female employees so as to minimize their home and workplace burden, reduce parental anxiety and increase productivity at work.

Approached by The Ethiopian Herald, Ministry's Gender Issue Office Director Eyerusalem Damete said that the daycare which becomes operational in the coming two months would have benefits for the Ministry and employees as it minimizes employees' absenteeism and turnover during postpartum period.

Supposing that a daycare at work place is somewhat a new experience and only few institutions, such as the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and Metals and Engineering Corporation, have built so far, she said that other institutions should take the experience in order to create conducive work environment for their employees.

While mentioning the activities the Office has been undertaking to empower women, she said that back in the days; the education and training manual of the nation had allowed scholarships and school fee coverage for students who want to further their education at second degree level and above.

However, Mol has revised and improved the manual to benefit employees with educational achievements of different levels to further their education.

Benchmarking the best experience of Agriculture and Education Ministries, the Office has provided fully funded full-time scholarship for its employees.

As to her, Queens, National and Gage colleges are the institutions that are currently offering the scholarship for Ministry's employees.

Concurrent to this, the Ministry provides training packages in different areas depending on the gaps observed in the assessment done beforehand.

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