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In the UK, October marks the beginning of Black History Month. This national celebration aims to promote and celebrate the contributions of those with African and Caribbean heritage to British society and to foster an understanding of Black history in general.

The event began in the US in the 1920s, and was first celebrated in the UK in 1987.  It was arranged by Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, who came to the UK from Ghana as a refugee in 1984 when he sought refuge from political persecution during the regime of Jerry John Rawlings. He said leaving Ghana during that time meant he was “therefore absorbed in community activism right on my arrival.”

Kenya has imposed a new lockdown to combat a surge in coronavirus infections.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday announced a ban on all inland travel in the capital Nairobi and out four other counties.

Kenya’s Covid-19 positivity rate has jumped from 2% to 22% between January and March and Nairobi accounts for nearly 60% of the cases-

Kenyatta said that hospital admissions had increased 52% in the past two weeks and that at least seven people are dying every day from coronavirus.

‘We Moved To Ghana From The Netherlands So Our Children Could Learn Their History’

What do the new measures mean?

No road, rail or air transport will be permitted in Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos and Nakuru.

In person, meetings will also be banned.

As for curfew, hours now start at 20:00 until 04:00 am (instead of 22:00 until 04:00 am`) in the five counties. Special passes that allowed people to travel during curfew hours have also been revoked.

Alcohol sales in the areas have also been banned and restaurants can only provide takeaway services.

The president also ordered “an immediate suspension of all face-to-face teaching, which includes universities”, with the exception of students currently taking exams.

Kenya reopened its schools and colleges in early January, which had been closed for ten months.

All sporting events are also suspended.

International travel is permitted but subject to a negative coronavirus test.

The new measures begin on Friday at midnight.

Coronavirus in Kenya

This week Kenya recorded between 1,000 and 1,500 cases per day.

“According to our health experts, our third wave started to gain strength in early March,” said Kenyatta.

The peak of this wave is expected in the next 30 days, with more than 2,500 to 3,000 cases per day,” he added.

Recognising the impact these decisions will have on the economy, Kenyatta added that these “measures are temporary and necessary to contain the spread of the disease and therefore to stop further loss of life.”

“I am convinced that the cost of inaction would be much worse,” he said.

Just off the east coast of the island of Madagascar, is where you can find some of Africa’s most pristine beaches and exotic wildlife. Mauritius, an island nation itself, draws in visitors from all over wanting to walk its soft-sand beaches

What if we told you that you could make this exotic island your home office for the next year?

Well, you can! The nation recently announced a new Premium Travel Visa program for non-citizens, looking to change the scenery as we continue to move through this new normal of remote work. The visa is valid for at least 12 months, with an option to extend your stay.

THIS IS AFRICA- EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE PLANNING YOUR TRIP

The new Premium Travel Visa for Mauritius is available to all non-citizens and valid for up to one year, though it can be renewed. Travellers interested in an extended stay must arrive to this island nation as a tourist, retiree, or as a professional traveling with their family and intending to work remotely.

Applicants must also show proof of their long-stay plans and have travel and health insurance coverage for the initial part of their stay. As with most programs in the new wave of long-stay visas, visitors in Mauritius are not allowed to enter the country’s workforce and must have a source of income outside of Mauritius. Other supporting evidence that must be supplied include details about the applicant’s purpose of visit and their accommodations, as well as other basic immigration requirements.

Once you arrive, you are required to quarantine for 14-days, as well as present a negative COVID-19 PCR test. Mauritius has been able to keep their cases pretty low throughout the pandemic.

The applications for the visa will be available soon. To learn more and to apply once available, visit; edbmauritius.org.

 

As the number of coronavirus deaths worldwide surpasses 1 million, Rio de Janeiro has delayed its annual Carnival parade for the first time in a century.

According to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, Brazil has the second-worst death toll worldwide, with more than 140,000 deaths and more than 4.7 million confirmed cases.

Carnival organizers concluded the global event could not go on because of Brazil’s vulnerability to the coronavirus.  The traditional parades attract more than 7 million people over the course of five days.

Rio’s League of Samba Schools, LIESA, said the continued spread of the coronavirus has made it impossible to safely hold the traditional parades that are a cultural mainstay, and, for many, a huge portion of locals’ livelihood.

“Carnival is a party upon which many humble workers depend. The samba schools are community institutions, and the parades are just one detail of all that,” Luiz Antonio Simas, a historian who specializes in Rio’s Carnival, told the Associated Press. “An entire cultural and productive chain was disrupted by COVID.”

Organizers have not announced a new date for the delayed event but Rio’s tourism agency said that it’s uncertain to know when large public events can resume without a  coronavirus vaccine.

The festival was scheduled from Feb.12th through Feb. 17th, 2021, which is known to attract 2 million people per day to parties on the Brazilian city streets known as blocos.

The last year Rio’s Carnival was suspended was 1912, following the foreign relations minister’s death at the time.

An In-depth Look At The Influence Of African Culture On Rio Carnival In Brazil

Trinidad Also Cancels Famed Carnival Festival

Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley announced the cancellation of the island’s carnival festival as well.

The event held before Ash Wednesday attracts thousands of visitors every year, and generated more than $3 million last year, as reported in the Associated Press.

The announcement came one week after Rio de Janeiro announced the city’s famed carnival celebration would be canceled.

Source:

Many African nations are starting to reopen airports, remove curfews, and slowly resume international tourism.

Most countries in Africa have been very strict on containing the spread of the virus, with most of them going into complete lockdowns earlier this year. That means nobody in and nobody out. Now that case numbers are relatively low across the continent, some nations have already reopened, with others making plans on how to reopen responsibly

Here are the countries on the continent that are currently open to tourism.

Burkina Faso

Although land and sea borders are currently closed, commercial flights have resumed. International travelers will have to present negative COVID-19 test results 5 days before arriving.

Travelers will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

This African country reopened its borders on August 15th and visitors will be required to present negative COVID-19 cases within 3 days of arriving.

Travelers may have to quarantine and get tested again after arriving.

Egypt

Egypt opened its borders on July 1st to travelers. Upon arrival, visitors are expected to have a valid visa, wear face masks, complete a health declaration card, provide proof of health insurance, and complete a temperature check.

Ethiopia

When visiting Ethiopia, travelers are expected to provide proof of negative COVID-19 test results taken within 5 days of arrival. A 14-day quarantine will also be required as well as being tested again when arriving.

If visitors don’t have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, a mandatory quarantine will go into effect at an Egyptian government designated hotel for 7 days at the expense of the traveler. A test will be administered at the end of the 7-day quarantine.

Ghana

Starting September 1st, Ghana will open its borders to international passenger flights. Travelers will have to show negative COVID-19 test results taken within 3 days of arriving as well as being tested at the airport upon arrival.

Land and sea travel will still be prohibited.

Kenya

Kenya reopened for International tourism on August 1st. Visitors will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.

Liberia

July 1st marked the reopening of Liberia’s borders. Visitors will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival as well as a health and temperature check upon arrival.

Rwanda

All nations can visit Rwanda, which reopened on June 17th. You must email your negative COVID-19 test to lab@rbc.gov.rw within 3 days of arrival as well as print a copy of the email to show to customs when arriving.

Visitors will be tested again after arriving.

Sao Tome and Principe

Visitors arriving in Sao Tome and Principe will have to be tested and quarantined for 14 days in addition to showing a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival.

Senegal

Senegal reopened its international borders on July 15th but land and sea borders are still closed. When arriving in Senegal, visitors will have to complete a health declaration form as well as provide a negative COVID-19 test taken less than 7 days from departure.

Seychelles

Seychelles opened its borders on June 1st and are accepting visitors from ‘low’ and ‘medium’ risk countries.

Travelers will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival.

The Eastern Caribbean island of Dominica Is Now Open For Tourism, Here’s What You should know

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone reopened its borders on July 22nd but land borders are still closed. In order to enter, visitors must complete a travel authorization card, have a valid visa, show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 3 days of arrival, and pre-pay for testing upon arrival.

Tanzania

There will be no quarantine in place for travelers to Tanzania but visitors will have to go through temperature checks, wearing masks, and social distancing.

Togo

Visitors must complete an online immigration form prior to arriving and show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival.

Tunisia

Tunisia reopened it’s international borders on June 27th and is allowing visitors from certain countries to enter with no testing or quarantine while others will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 3 days of departure.

Zambia

All nations are able to visit Zambia as long as proof of a negative COVID-19 test is provided.

 

 

Nana Kwasi Wiafe is the founder and creative director of Very Ghanaian; a clothing line. He is also a stylist and 2020 has been an amazing year for him. He worked as a stylist on Beyoncé’s visual album ‘Black is King’. He also worked with Kim Jones, a fashion designer and Amoako Boafo, an artist, as a stylist on the Dior Men Spring Summer Collection 2020.

Describe your journey to becoming a designer/creating a brand?

Growing up have always been interested in telling my own story and with my love for fashion it was no coincidence I decided to create a brand which is aimed at doing just that .

My journey started as a model initially, even tho I still actively model I have been able to use that platform as a pivot to transition into styling and now a designer and creative director for my brand Very Ghanaian .

You worked as a stylist on Beyoncé’s visual album “Black is king” for the Ghana crew. How was the process, planning the looks?

The process normally starts with inspiration, team meetings ,listening to the music and with the mood board establishing the story telling direction, I move on with pulling of looks and putting them together for each scene.

Beyoncé and her entire team go to great lengths to execute their vision so a lot of research goes into every look to ensure it’s complimentary to the overall vision .

I also love showing emerging brands/talents so I always make an effort to feature these brands.

A big thank you to my brother Joshua Kissi who was the director for the Ghana visuals, he has always believed in my talent and put me on whenever an opportunity comes up and the rest of the team David Boanuh and Sharifah Issaka

Ghanaian stylist Nana Kwasi Wiafe talks working on Beyoncé & Shatta Wale's  'Already' video

Where do you see African Fashion’s future and it’s influence on the whole fashion industry?

I believe the future is African fashion, brands here are telling incredible African stories rich in history,culture,heritage and inspiring at the same time.

Recent research has shown that people buy into brands that they connect to more especially with the stories they’re telling and brands like Tongoro, Maxhosa, Very Ghanaian , Loza Maleombho ,kente gentleman, Orange culture, Rich Mnisi, Thebe Magugu etc are leading the way with that and would be leaders of the industry in future.

What roles do you think social media plays in African fashion today?

For the most part social media has been a blessing for African Fashion , it has helped the world discover emerging brands from the continent , giving them the platform to show their work and exposed a lot of talent which wasn’t happening in the past.

Warren Masemola, Connie Chiume, Nandi Madida & more African Talents to appear in Beyoncé’s visual album ‘Black is King’

What are lows and highs of being a designer?

For me the lows of being a designer is building the business side of it alone , without a team you can trust from the on set it’s a bit difficult, also production in larger quantities is a problem because we don’t have enough factories here producing sustainably.

Some of the highs that comes with it is being able to express myself through design and using that to tell my  story and impact lives. For me that is all that matters.

From your page , I can tell you are passionate about promoting African style. When did you first realize that was important for you.

My love for Africa was discovered at an early stage born out of curiosity.

Our sense of style , art , history,culture and our people. We are so beautiful and cool so that piqued my interest to find out more .

Our style as Africans has inspired the world for centuries and still does so it only makes sense to push it more for people who also don’t know about it to know this style.About — Nana Kwasi Wiafe

 

What would you say to anyone looking to get into fashion ?

Let purpose led you and prepare to risk it all .

In what ways would you say COVID-19 pandemic will affect the nature of the fashion industry?

Covid-19 pandemic has already affected the nature of the fashion industry for good and I believe this will continue.

For me it has change it in a good way, like crowded shows are not really needed anymore, you can equally do a show online and the world will still see it .

Having physical stores are becoming less important compared to having an online store and our way of doing business has change for good!

 

Any tips for young fashion entrepreneurs?

I have a few

  • Don’t wait too long , start now.
  • Protect your ideas , register your business and trademark soon as you start .
  • You can’t do it alone ,have a team because team work makes dream work .

 

Festivals in Ethiopia are typically colorful and exciting. The country has cultural, religious, and other festivals that can attract foreign tourists and local participants to come and gather to watch the procession and take part. The most known name of which held every year in Amhara and Tigray States is Shadey, Ashendye, Solel, Mariya, which is the name for a tall grass that young women usually tie around their gowns as a type of decoration. The celebration days also herald the freedom of young women. It is a popular festival which reverberates the voice of young women loudly.

Young girls or participants usually attend the occasion by dressing jeweler, embroidery, and hairstyles. It is a famous girls’ or young women’s festival among some of the most popular festivals celebrated in Ethiopia. It has been celebrating annually for centuries in the northern part of Ethiopia specifically in Tigray and Amhara States

The Eastern Caribbean island of Dominica is now opened to all foreign visitors

The country, known as the “Nature Island” for its abundant natural beauty, has announced a streamlined process for all travelers.

What it means is that all tourists and Dominican nationals must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test result recorded within 24 to 72 hours of arriving in Dominica.