Category

Trending

Category

At the age of 22, poet Amanda Gorman is an award-winning writer and cum laude graduate of Harvard University, where she studied Sociology. She is the author of the poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough (2016). Her art and activism focus on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora. She has a history of writing for official occasions and has been asked to read her poetry at the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Gorman, who was born and raised in Los Angeles and studied sociology at Harvard, became America’s first-ever national youth poet laureate in 2017. According to US reports, it was president-elect Joe Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, who recommended her as his inaugural poet. Gorman will be performing on Wednesday alongside Lady Gaga, who will be singing the American national anthem, and Jennifer Lopez.“I have kind of stumbled upon this genre. It’s been something I find a lot of emotional reward in, writing something I can make people feel touched by, even if it’s just for a night,” says Gorman. The Los Angeles resident has written for everything from a July 4 celebration featuring the Boston Pops Orchestra to the inauguration at Harvard University, her alma mater, of school president Larry Bacow.

When she reads tomorrow, she will be continuing a tradition — for Democratic presidents — that includes such celebrated poets as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. The latter’s “On the Pulse of Morning,” written for the 1993 inauguration of President Bill Clinton, went on to sell more than 1 million copies when published in book form. Recent readers include poets Elizabeth Alexander and Richard Blanco, both of whom Gorman has been in touch with.

“The three of us are together in mind, body and spirit,” she says.

Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in memory, and she has made news before. In 2014, she was named the first Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, and three years later she became the country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate. She has appeared on MTV; written a tribute to Black athletes for Nike; published her first book, “The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough,” as a teenager, and has a two-book deal with Viking Children’s Books. The first work, the picture book “Change Sings,” comes out later this year.

Essential Readings: 7 Must- Read Books About Revolution And Black liberation

Gorman says she was contacted late last month by the Biden inaugural committee. She has known numerous public figures, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former first lady Michelle Obama, but says she will be meeting the Bidens for the first time. The Bidens, apparently, have been aware of her: Gorman says the inaugural officials told her she had been recommended by the incoming first lady, Jill Biden.

She is calling her inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb” while otherwise declining to preview any lines. Gorman says she was not given specific instructions on what to write, but was encouraged to emphasize unity and hope over “denigrating anyone” or declaring “ding, dong, the witch is dead” over the departure of President Donald Trump.

Protesters in Tunisia have been holding anti-government demonstrations for the past four days against the worsening socio-economic crisis in the country.

Protests in Tunisia have entered their fourth consecutive day. Hundreds of Tunisians are leading protests across various regions of the country in response to the worsening economic and social crisis. Tension and frustration have grown over high unemployment rates, falling living standards, poor state services and public spending cuts mandated by an International Monetary Fund-backed loan program. The coronavirus pandemic has added to the economic and social woes, further shattering an economy highly dependent on tourism.

The army has since been called in since the protests began and at least 630 arrests have reportedly been made including that of human rights activist, Hamza Nassri Jeridi. International human rights body Amnesty International has called for Jeridi’s release in addition to condemning footage of army officials using excessive force.

Amna Guellali, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, released the following statement:

“Even when acts of vandalism and looting occur, law enforcement officers must only use force where absolutely necessary and proportionate. Nothing gives security forces permission to deploy unnecessary and excessive force including when they are responding to acts of sporadic violence.” said , Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.”

Al Jazeera reports that President Kais Saied visited Ariana, which is a city near the capital city of Tunis, and implored protesters saying, “I know the state of poverty and I also know who is exploiting your poverty,” and going on to add, “Don’t let anyone exploit your misery.” Hundreds of youths clashed with law enforcement authorities this past Monday as the former traded gasoline bombs and stones for water canons and teargas with the latter, Reuters reports.

The underlying frustrations of the current protests are linked to how many Tunisians feel that the Arab Spring revolution, which took place a decade ago, has not delivered on the promises made to citizens who are currently battling poverty and hopelessness. The revolution began in the 2010s and comprised a series of anti-governments protests calling for regime changes which began in Tunisia and then spread to several other North African countries including Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Libya.

Jan. 18 commemorates the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It’s a national holiday in the United States that serves as a time for reflection and community engagement to honor his social activism.

The day is intended to be a time for reflection and a call for social activism and community engagement.

Over the years it has become indicative of community and service, with Americans encouraged to put their time and money towards those less fortunate.

While King’s legacy is felt throughout the world, only a few other countries honor and celebrate his legacy.

We’ve compiled this list of countries that celebrate the activist’s life and the meaning behind the celebrations.

Africa and the Caribbean: A Piece Of Africa In Jamaica

Hiroshima, Japan

King, an anti-nuclear activist, spoke out against the nuclear bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In 1967, King expressed a great desire to visit the country and discuss his idea of nuclear disarmament in a letter addressed to the “People of Japan.” He wrote, “Japan knows the horror of war and has suffered as no other nation under the cloud of nuclear disaster. Certainly, Japan can stand strong for a world of peace.”

Dr. King never made it. Four months after he sent the letter, he was murdered.

Nearly 30 years later, a man named Tadatoshi Akiba tightened the ties to Martin Luther King, Jr. Akiba spent more than 18 years studying and teaching mathematics in the US. After moving back to Japan, he entered politics and was elected mayor of Hiroshima in 1999.

He then started an annual banquet at the mayor’s office to commemorate King and his work as an anti-nuclear activist.

Toronto, Canada

It’s not a national paid holiday but a day of reflection and service. The Ottawa municipal government in Ontario officially began observing the national holiday on Jan. 26, 2005.

There are a number of speeches and events held across the city, though the day itself will provide only a time for personal reflection on the activist’s life.

King often spoke highly of Canada in helping slaves find liberation in his Conscience for Change discussions, stating that in the struggle for freedom, Canada served as the North Star.

Wassenaar, The Netherlands

Since 1986 the Dr Martin Luther King Tribute and Dinner has been held in Wassenaar.

Although MLK is not celebrated on King’s birthday itself, but on the last Sunday in January.

The annual event features veterans of the Civil Rights Movement reading King’s iconic I Have A Dream Speech, and ends with people gathering to sing We Shall Overcome.

Source: Travel Noire

Authorities in France have opened an investigation into the sudden disappearance of Diary Sow, a 20-year-old Senegalese student who was enrolled at the prestigious Lycée Louis-le-Grand high school in Paris

She was crowned the country’s “best student” twice, once in 2018 and again in 2019. Sow excelled in literature and science, and her merit is what landed her a spot in high school Lycée Louis-Le-Grand— one of the most prestigious schools in Paris.

She made her community proud. Sow’s worrying disappearance has raised concerns both back home as well as in France.

Following her disappearance, the Senegalese community in France has been posting a missing person flyer on social media with her image and details in a bid to gather clues and information on her possible whereabouts. The Senegalese consulate in Paris also declared Sow missing on January 7, and the police subsequently opened a disappearance inquiry, France 24 reported.

“Neither her parents, nor her friends, nor her tutor, nor the embassy have had any news,” Daouda Mbaye, a member of the Senegalese community in Paris who arranged for the distribution of missing person flyers with Sow’s details, told AFP.

“She is a punctual pupil, very serious, and the alert went out quickly. No one had seen her; she wasn’t in her apartment [student residence],” Henry Sarr, a member of a Senegalese students’ association that launched a social media campaign on Sow’s disappearance, also told the news outlet.

#AfricanCreativeSeries: Get Familiar With The Work Of Yomi Bas, Nigerian Painter Known For His Hyper- Realistic Style

Back home in Senegal, the media have also been reporting Sow’s disappearance. The 20-year-old won the West African nation’s “Best Student” award in 2018 and 2019, and also published a novel last year, according to France 24.

There’s currently a hashtag circulating on various social media platforms to spread the word about Sow’s disappearance #RetrouvonsDiarySow, or Let’s Find Diary Sow.

Source: face2faceafrica.com

Ghana is reportedly set to open up its first official skate park this late December. According to Vogue, the skate park is expected to open in the capital of Accra in July 2021. This comes after Ghana’s decade long fledgling skate scene caught international attention. American-Ghanaian designer Virgil Abloh, who also serves as Louis Vuitton’s menswear artistic director, is part of the international project. The international collaboration also includes NGO Surf Ghana and pan-African fashion label, Daily Paper Clothing. The skate park has been aptly named “Freedom Skate Park”.

#AfricanCreativeSeries: How Surf Ghana Is Building A Vibrant Community of Surfers In Ghana

Freedom Skatepark, as it will be known, is the manifestation of an initiative that Surf Ghana put into action when it was founded in 2016, aiming to ensure that Ghanaian youth enjoy easy access to board sports and the friendships that bloom therein. Not only will the space be an informal hang-out spot but the creatives behind its construction hope to foster Ghana’s possible participation in forthcoming Olympic skateboarding events.

“With this initiative we hope to evolve the skate culture in Ghana to the next level and give locals a platform to grow their talents within a space that will hopefully become their biggest training ground to date,” said Daily Paper co-founder Jefferson Osei in a statement. “They now have a place where they can be themselves, freely develop their skills together with likeminded people and reach their true potential. Hence the name Freedom Skatepark.”

Before Freedom Skatepark is completed look for a collaborative Surf Ghana capsule and Off-White™ T-shirt to launch at Daily Paper’s Accra, Ghana flagship store on December 21 before hitting Daily Paper’s website January 15, 2021. Daily Paper will also introduce a Tony Chocolonely chocolate bar imagined by Off-White™ in Ghana later this month.

As one would expect from an international label, Daily Paper recently put the finishing touches on a boutique within New York.

Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa has joined Netflix’s board of directors becoming the first African to do so.

Masiyiwa is the founder and executive chairman of Econet Global, A telecommunications company that operates across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Econet offers phone, broadband and satellite service, and is also a major provider of mobile payments. The global streaming company is set to increase Netflix’s marketing base in Africa and has reportedly selected Masiyiwa for his connections and historical business enterprise.

Two-time Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo (Harriet) is to star in and produce a film based on the remarkable life of Sarah Forbes Bonetta,  A 19th century African princess “gifted” to Queen Victoria after she was orphaned and enslaved by a West African king.

Erivo produces with her Edith’s Daughter partner Solome Williams, alongside Sunny March’s Leah Clarke and Adam Ackland, and Rienkje Attoh from So & So Productions. Benedict Cumberbatch will executive produce.

Development is financed by BBC Film (which underwent a rebrand this year and now is singular rather than Films). Walter Dean Myers’ biography At Her Majesty’s Request has been optioned as source material.

Born Omoba Aina, an Egbado princess of the Yoruba people, she was “gifted” to Queen Victoria in 1850, taken to England and renamed Sarah Forbes Bonetta. The Queen’s patronship was a thorny rose that put Sarah at the centre of British aristocracy but did not shield her from public scrutiny, personal suffering or the dangers of a capricious court that was fundamentally suspicious of her as a strong, educated Black woman.

Sarah Forbes Bonetta

The filmmakers are planning for the biopic to be a celebration of Bonetta as a strategic, determined heroine who found a way to embrace her Black-ness, her African-ness and to ultimately find love, forging a path for herself that honoured both her heritage and her upbringing.

#InspiredByHer: A Conversation with Chebet Chikumbu, The Regional Director Of Southern And East Africa At Global Citizen

Erivo said: “I am excited to embark on this journey. It has taken a long time to get to a point where we can even begin to realize this dream. As a Nigerian British woman, to get the opportunity to tell the story of another Nigerian British woman who until now has been erased from the history books, is an honor. Miss Sarah Forbes Bonetta, Omoba Aina, is truly a passion of mine and I’m so pleased to have been able to find partners in the incredible women, Leah Clarke and Rienkje Attoh, to tell the story and finally give her a voice. I cannot wait to dive into her story. She is indeed the forgotten princess, forgotten no more.”

Sunny March’s Leah Clarke said: “It is a real privilege to be working on Sarah’s story with this incredible team. Together we hope to bring audiences a bold, modern portrait of an extraordinary woman.”

Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner Erivo burst onto West End and Broadway stages in The Color Purple, and garnered acclaim last year for slavery drama Harriet. She currently stars in HBO series The Outsider and upcoming she will play Aretha Franklin on National Geographic’s Genius: Aretha and will star in Universal’s Talent Show.

 

Malawi is to start the commercial production of cannabis for medical and industrial use, according to Reuters, which cited Lilongwe’s new Cannabis Regulatory Authority. The head of the regulatory authority, Boniface Kadzamira, said more than 100 applications have been received for licensing and they are currently under consideration for approval

Malawi’s parliament passed a bill in February to allow legal cultivation and processing of cannabis for medicine and hemp fibre used in the industry but the bill stops short of decriminalising recreational use.

Fees for licensing marijuana for medical and industrial use in Malawi will range from $100 to $10,000 a year. Licensing will cover the cultivation, selling, storage, distribution of either class of industrial and medicinal hemp, said the county’s agriculture ministry.

Malawi will also allow public hospitals to pay $100 as well as $200 for private hospitals as licence fees to dispense cannabis medicines.

“We have received an overwhelming response in terms of applications for licenses, but applicants must appreciate that we’ll not give everyone a license at once,” Kadzamira said, according to Reuters.

Kadzamira added hemp has the potential to surpass earnings from tobacco, currently the country’s main export crop.

“Our view as regulator is that if we get honest investors, the hemp industry can supplement export revenues from tobacco, and in some cases, surpass it. But it will not immediately replace tobacco,” he added.

Malawi’s earnings from tobacco have fallen dramatically over the years in part due to declining demand and poor weather.

#ShutItDownNamibia: Namibians protest against gender-based violence

The fall has drastically affected the country’s tobacco auctioneer, Auction Holdings Ltd, which has failed to pay salaries for the last two months.

A growing number of countries around the world are either legalizing or relaxing laws on cannabis as attitudes towards the drug change. They include several in southern Africa, including Zambia, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

Apple Music has launched its Holiday Sounds campaign featuring playlists from some of Sub-Saharan Africa and the world’s biggest artists, celebrities and influencers including Cuppy, Deborah Mutund, DJ Spinall, Dua Lipa, Ehiz, Elsa Majimbo, Joeboy, Lianne La Havas, Tems and Teyana Taylor and many more.

Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio presenter Cuppy had this to say: “Summer for me has always been a time to chill and relax. And with music, it’s even better and makes everything more enjoyable. Whether I’m indoors or out with friends or family. Here are some of the tracks I’ve come to love over the years which I listen to during summer. Music has played a paramount impact in my life from growing up till this present moment. Right from living in Mushin, from hearing music by Tony Tetuila, Plantashun Boiz, Lagbaja and the other artists from the early 2000s, to now, where artists like Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, to name but a few are making a huge difference with their various catchy tunes. Music from Africa, and most especially Nigeria, is different from that of other parts. You can feel the drums and the rhythm which puts you in a groovy mood and makes you want to move your body.

“Summer signifies fun and good vibes, and that’s what this playlist is about. These are a few of my favorite feel-good anthems from this summer, with a few from years past, and some brand-new tracks from my peers that I’m just vibing to right now. I hope, wherever you are, this playlist will help make your summer last just a little bit longer.” – Joeboy (Nigerian artist)

 

“Old and modern, to me summer is sexy, colorful and light. I chose all these songs because they reflect the diversity of my personality.”Deborah Mutund (DRC influencer)

#OneToKnow: In Conversation With Sampa The Great

“Music is food for the soul, and a snack for the heart.”Elsa Majimbo (Kenyan comedian)

Apple Music’s Holiday Sounds campaign will also include a whole host of additional playlists to suit every mood and groove, including Summer Waves, Summer Heat, Summer Vibes, Summer Sunshine, Sunkissed and Summer Fit.

As the weather gets warmer, the days grow longer, and we inch ever closer towards the sweet season of summer, Apple Music is making the prospect of kicking back and relaxing that much sweeter with their inaugural Holiday Sounds campaign.

 

The 62nd edition of the Miss South Africa pageant, Hosted by South African actress, Tv personality Nomzamo Mbatha held on Saturday, October 24, at The table bay hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. Shudufhadzo Musida was crowned Miss South Africa 2020.

Musida’s win comes as no surprise as she was voted “fan favourite” from the top 10 contestants announced last year in August. The 24-year-old has already taken to the road with radio interviews and is Miss South Africa’s first crowned bald beauty.

She was crowned with the Ubuhle Bethungo Lenkosazana which means “Beauty in the rainbow” in  the Zulu language. The crown is said to represent  the diversity of South Africa and is embellished with thousands of Zirconia stones.

Tall and voluptuous, Musida started modelling from the age of 17 and has previously worked with international companies Eucerin and Woolworths. She has also featured in Vogue Italia’s catalogue shoots. While Miss South Africa has an extensive modelling portfolio, it is current Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi who inspired Musida to enter Miss South Africa. Tunzi’s beautiful dark skin and edgy haircut broke history by being the first Black Miss South Africa to win without hair extensions. Musida took it a step further by going completely bald.Shudufhadzo Musida

The bald look is one favoured by both sexes in South Africa and is affectionately known as chiskop. Black South Africans are known for being militant about challenging Eurocentric beauty standards. It is South African’s Black beauty advocacy that saw an insensitive hair advert targeted at Black people pulled out due to public backlash. The infamous TRESemme hair advert described Black African hair as “damaged” and “dry” whilst Caucasian hair was described as “fine” and “normal”. Tunzi took to her public platform to slam the company and local beauty store Clicks for running the ad which had evident racist undertones.

Black Artist To Watch: Mafalda Vasconcelos Artwork is inspired by the symbolism and spiritualism of her Mozambican culture.

Musida is currently studying towards an honours degree in International Relations from the University of Witwatersrand. Congratulations have been pouring in from prominent South Africans and followers of Musida’s journey. She takes over the reins from Miss South Africa 2019 Sasha-Lee Olivier. The first and second runners-up are Tato Moselle and Natasha Joubert.

The Crowned Miss South Africa 2020 is passionate about Mental health awareness and the economic and educational empowerment of women and children.

We are definitely looking forward to seeing her do greater things!