Life Style News
A new report, released by the Human Science Research Council, into HIV prevalence and incidence in South Africa, has shown a significant decline in new infections in 2017, compared to a similar survey five years ago.
But more concerning for researchers was the occurrence of risky behaviour among respondents.
It found that consistent condom use was low, early sexual debuts before the age of 15 had increased among males, and more than a third of young women had sexual relationships with older men.
"It is concerning to find very little behaviour change seems to have occurred since 2012," said Dr Mpumi Zungu, from the HSRC's HIV/Aids, STIs and TB (HAST) Research Programme, and a co-principal investigator (PI) of the survey.
"This suggests that most of the reduction in new infections was likely due to the impact of the expanded ARV treatment programme," she said.
Decline in incidence rates
The survey was based on interviews with 33 000 people between January and December 2017, with 24 000 of them agreeing to be tested for HIV.
The survey found there had been a significant decline in incidence rates, but that there had been an estimated 231 100 new HIV infections in SA in 2017.
The researchers said, although still high, it was a significant decline compared to 2012.
The survey found that the HIV incidence rate was higher among females aged 15 - 24 years old, where it was three times that of their male counterparts.
Dr Sizulu Moyo of the HAST Research Programme, and one of the co-PIs of the study, said the survey had found that more than 60% or an estimated 4.4 million people living with HIV (PLHIV) were on antiretroviral treatment (ART).
She said the study had also found that viral suppression was 87.3% among PLHIV who were on ART, with females generally being more likely to be virally suppressed than males among those aged 15 to 64 years old.
"This suggests that progress is being made in increasing ART coverage, however, more needs to be done to link those who test HIV positive to care as soon as they are tested, in line with the current policy of test and treat," Moyo said.
The survey did, however, find that social and behaviour change communication campaigns - such as those implemented by Soul City, Centre for Communication Impact (CCI), LoveLife and Community Media Trust campaigns - were reaching South Africans.
The study found that people who were highly exposed to these campaigns reported higher HIV testing, condom use, and correct knowledge of HIV compared to those who had lower or no exposure.
HEALTH experts from universities and research centres in the United Kingdom, USA and some East African countries, are embarking on an extensive study on the challenges posed by antibiotic resistance in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
The move was announced in Arusha yesterday by the Director of Quality Assurance in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Mohamed Ali Mohamed.
In his remarks while launching the three-year research mission here yesterday, he said the ability of bacteria and other microorganisms to resist the effects of an antibiotic was becoming a global problem whose reasons the scientists were determined to pinpoint and to come up with a lasting solution for.
Mr Mohamed said the experts would be looking at several issues, including whether patients use antibiotics without proper prescriptions, doctors overdose patients and patients using prescribed drugs along with those lined up for livestock.
They will be making follow-ups of particular cases deeply to come up with the right answers and solutions.
"Antibiotic resistance could be due to several reasons; these experts under the 'Hatuua Project' are interested to establish what causes it in East Africa. Such situations prompt the use of very expensive high-level drugs.
The Ministry has issued directives that are to be adhered to by all medical practitioners before issuing prescriptions to patients," Mr Mohamed said.
Dr Wilber Sabiiti from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, said he was happy to see the consortium starting off the project that targets fighting the resistance in East Africa.
He related it to the spirit of Founding President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, focused on uniting the country, noting that what the experts were doing was to sustain the spirit for better health for the people.
The Ugandan medical practitioner said the research findings would then be presented to respective authorities and the public would be made aware of them, to facilitate observance ensuing advices.
Professor Blandina Mmbaga, the Director of Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute (KCRI), said that in Tanzania, the institute would work with Bugando Medical Centre and Mbeya Zonal Referral Hospital and would specialize on Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and establish what microorganisms caused it.
She explained that they would also be engaging communities such as pastoralists, to establish diseases that were transmitted from livestock as well as establishing the antibiotics they used.
There will be transplanting of parasites and genes as experts would be going deep to root out the causes and get solutions, she said.
Professor Matthew Holden from the University of St. Andrews, who is the chief investigator, said antibiotic resistance had become a global problem but over the next three years, they would be focusing on East Africa to establish how patients accessed antibiotics and use.
They would also probe the operations of pharmacies operated, as some could be issuing drugs without prescriptions or incomplete doses.
"As time unfolds, records show that diseases are becoming harder and harder to treat. We will want to know how people obtain the antibiotics and use them.
In brief we want to establish what is going on in this part of the world in relation to antibiotics use and what kind are available here, so that we eventually stop bacteria being resistant or influence the people to change behaviour," the professor said.
Dr John Stelling from Boston Centre said many people were suffering due to antibiotics resistance, for which solutions would be derived from the findings of the study.
Abuja — The federal government yesterday said it had changed the structure of healthcare funding in the country, with primary healthcare gulping about 64 per cent of the funds in the health sector.
The new funding structure indicates an increase in the funding from 18 per cent to 64 per cent, according to official report.
The rise in funding, according to the report, is linked to several interventions by the federal government on polio, vaccination, Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC), nursing and midwifery among other programmes.
Speaking at the launch of Technical Support Programme (TSP) for the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said it was imperative in focusing on the primary health care sub-sector given the challenge of accessibility and affordability in rural areas.
He said: "We need to turn things around to focus on primary health care where our people go to and that is the facility closest to our people.
"So investing in PHC is the right way to go. Over the last two years, we have changed the funding structure and the ED will testify to the fact that the agency is gulping the largest chunk of our allocation.
"When we started, it was from 18 percent, and the last moved to 64 per cent. So the ED, you are the prime centre of attraction, and I pray that you continue to deliver."
The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, decried the increasing cases of shortage of technical support across the 36 states and FCT.
Shuaib explained: "Today, states continue to struggle with cold chain maintenance and delivery of vaccines in the right quantity to the right place and at the right time; shortage of human resources for health among others.
"The persistence of these challenges clearly highlights the need for the NPHCDA to improve on the delivery of its mandate to provide policy direction, technical and logistics support to states and local government areas (LGAs) to implement PHC services across the 36 states and FCT."
An official of the Bill and Medlinda Gates Foundation, Jenny Segueira, also tasked government to improve its tracking mechanism in the implementation of PHC programmes.
The Cape region of South Africa has long had a vibrant tradition of protest hip-hop music. Cape hip-hop culture has had much to protest about: Colonialism, apartheid, inequality and monolingualism - the use of one, usually dominant, language. For rap groups like the deeply political 1990s crew, Prophets of da City(POC), the challenge was always to present an accurate picture of where they came from, and what their own and their people's struggles were.
Since colonialism, monolingualism has been the preferred way to define communication in South Africa. This has been tied to the practice of racialising (mainly) black, coloured, and Indian citizens along lines of race, language purity and fealty to the state. The justification for this was that multilingualism - the use of more than two languages - would confuse and complicate everyday communication, particularly the linguistic goals of colonialism and the apartheid state.
POC became the first rap group on the Cape hip-hop scene to sign a recording contract with a major South African record company, Teal Trutone. They came to prominence in the deeply violent late 1980s as well as early 1990s as the count down to the end of apartheid was beginning.
Early on, POC realised they had to make a strategic linguistic decision - to perform multilingual lyrics and music, versus monolingual lyrics and music, which at the time (and given the political climate of the apartheid government) would threaten to block out potential listeners. As POC rapper Shaheen Ariefdien put it in an interview in the early 1990s with academic Adam Haupt:
Hip-hop took the language of the 'less thans' and embraced it, paraded it, and made it sexy to the point that there is an open pride about what constituted 'our' style... to express local reworkings of hip-hop.
POC embraced the multilingual practices of the "less thans", the downtrodden. In particular they celebrated languages such as such as Black South African English, Cape Flats English, Cape Coloured English, and especially Kaaps, a black township version of Afrikaans. Kaaps is a working class tongue that stems from the same language roots but is distinctly different to the mainly white Algemeen Beskaafde Afrikaans which was the official language of the ruling class under apartheid.
At first, the group's rap music was set to Kaaps lyrics and a local variety of English, but later gradually expanded to an isiXhosa and Jamaican patois, peppered with various accents. This was an inclusive form of multilingualism, a signal what could be possible if the multilingualism of the "less thans" was taken into consideration.
POC's debut album was called Our World (1990), followed by Boomstyle (1991), Age of Truth (1993), Phunk Phlow (1994), Universal Souljaz (1995) and Ghetto Code (1997).
The group's early music was produced under the turbulence of apartheid censorship. At the time POC revised their linguistic strategy and began in earnest to paint an authentic and truly multilingual picture of marginalisation in South Africa.
Take their song "Slang 4 your Ass" (from Universal Souljaz). Rapper Ariefdien takes his imagined listener on a lyrical journey as he draws different languages and cultural expressions of what it is like to live in a multicultural and multiracial township.
Alles in die haak broetjie, tjek 'it ja. (Everything is in order brother, check it yes.)
Solang die ding ruk is dit tzits ounse (As long as its moving along, it's ok guys)
Is mos soe my broe'! (Just like that my brother!)
Djy wiet dan (You know).
Phashaz, hola ghanzaan (I'm ok, how are you?)
Sien djy my broe (You see my brother)
die bra kick 'n ander flavou' uit my broe' (That brother kicks a different beat my brother).
The lyrics open up to the outsider how typically multilingual greetings are performed in the township. Multilingualism is celebrated and an array of voices, suppressed by the apartheid government (thankfully unsuccessfully), are given permanence, on wax and in song. It is the sound of inclusivity.
Language, lyric and rhyme
The main protagonist of the song then colours in the picture to the listener through language, lyric and rhyme:
I'm walking around with a head full of thought
Mixting it with my Township Talk
hoe issit? (how are you?)
is djy alright? (Are you alright?)
ek is (I am)
en tjek (Check it out)
dialect into the mic
djy kry? (You see?)
Then I flex it the other way
making them wonder what is going on
Where could this man be from?
Well we get to that later.
Ariefdien takes the listener through the ghetto, and showcases what multilingual skills were needed to interact with multilingual speakers.
The message is that you can't box identities that have been forged through multilingual living in the ghettos of South Africa. The lyrics celebrate ghetto culture, but also protest stereotypes that seek to harm.
Variety of tongues
The multilingual tradition in Cape hip-hop continues today. Like Prophets of da City back in the 1990s, rappers still protest in a variety of tongues, often in the same song. It was heard when rap artists added their voices to the recent growing student protests and against the failings on democracy by the African National Congress government.
This music legacy goes unnoticed by mainstream media although it's given a lot of attention on social media. An example is "20 Years of Democracy/ Demockery" featuring Crosby, Teba, Spencer, Youngsta CPT, Trenton, Mthunzi, Leandro, Mkosi, Cream, Hipe, Sammy Sparks, Whosane, Clem Reuben and Emile YX?. This release brought together a powerful multilingual ensemble of voices and styles of speaking. Add to that "Must Fall" by Emile YX? featuring Java, Linkris the Genius, Black Athena, Daddy Spencer, Crosby and Khusta, and it's clear Cape hip-hop will continue to speak loudly to power.
Quentin Williams, University of the Western Cape
For several years women have been excluded systematically on art and anything major. History was mainly written by man in the public sphere, politics, war and administration. In the art sector exclusion was due to a myriad of factors.
Some of the factors were that art forms like textiles and what is called the "decorative arts" were often dismissed as craft and not "fine art".
Many women were kept from pursuing a general education, let alone arts training; and finally the men who dominated the discipline both in practice and history often believed women to be inferior artists.
The National Gallery of Zimbabwe has been working tirelessly with the regards to redressing social injustices and gender imbalances.
It is important to note that for many decades, women have been actively involved in art making, whether as creators and innovators of new forms of artistic or as expression, patrons, collectors, sources of inspiration, or significant contributors as art historians and critics. It is in this vein that the National Gallery of Zimbabwe on the 23rd of August will host a women's exhibition.
Themed the "Equality of Women" the exhibition will attract a sizeable number of female artists exhibiting. The Equality Women of exhibition will be co curated by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe's executive director Doreen Sibanda and assistant curator Valerie Sithole.
The artworks to be exhibited illuminate unspoken words, emotional states, and elations and marginalisations. They show will present topical issues from the Zimbabwean perspective such as cultural suppression, patriarchy, matriarchy, physical and emotional abuse, inheritance and economic dependency, inequality, lack of empowerment and social marginalisation.
Moreover, positive leadership attributes of breaking glass ceilings, success at multi-tasking; stepping into roles previously preserved for men, and choosing to live life on their own terms will also be explored.
Some of the artists to exhibit include Doris Kamupira, Agnes Mupariwa, Grace Nyahangare, Charmaine Chitate, Portia Zvavahera, Virginia Chihota, Helen Teede, Maud Mariga, Davina Jogi, to mention but a few.
Born in 1968, Agnes Mupariwa is a stone sculptor. She started as a stone washer at the Chitungwiza Art Centre which ignited her passion for stone sculpting. She began to carve professionally in 2000.
She specialises in spring stone, opal and fruit Serpentine. Her resilience has seen her succeed in a male dominated stone sculpture industry. She has participated in local and international exhibitions. She won the second prize for originality and creativity by Grove limited in the Decade of Achievements exhibition in 2002 and an honorary mention in the 2017 Brock awards in Chitungwiza.
Born in Mutoko, Doris Kamupira studied art at the then British American Tobacco (BAT) Visual Art Studio now called the National Gallery School of Visual Art and Design. She holds an honors degree in Fine Arts from the Chinhoyi University of Technology. Her work takes a critical view on social, political and cultural issues. Kamupira uses her work as a means for expressing her inner most feelings and for interrogating situations where answers are supposed to be more developmental trends in dimensional changes. Her recent works are mixed media paintings that involve embroidering on canvas and pasting up pieces of cloth or paper.
Meanwhile, Grace Nyahangare is a talented young woman artist bound to make a difference in the society with her body of work creating unity. Printmaking and photography enables her to communicate about her personal life and the world at large.
The Women's month is a month when women are recognised for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. The E-quality of Women is about work that comments on the perceived or actual parity of women in all spheres of achievement and activity; while offering an opportunity to reflect on the qualities that constitute women from a variety of perspectives.
It will present a layered conversation about how women are, their spheres of freedom and containment and equality. These are interrogated through the work of individual artists. In addition, the exhibition will feature women that have contributed to the development of the world, Africa and Zimbabwe.
This will take the form of a photographic image presentation. Various films produced by women will be available to view during the show in addition to the staging of films for the International Images Film Festival (IIFF) for women scheduled to run from the 24th to the 31st of August 2018.
Various conversations will take place exploring the topic and one event will be the Ladies the Lunch event scheduled for Friday August 31 at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.
The National Gallery continues to be a hub of art as it has been the voice of reason for the marginalised female artist. Artists are given equal opportunity to exhibit regardless of their gender.
Dancehall star Winky D has released a cheeky political statement challenging the current political status quo through a single titled Parliament, which found its way to the internet on Friday morning.
Known for subtle socio-political commentary in songs like 25 and Dzemudanga released in 2016 and last year respectively, the nifty lyricist pairs the Elders Riddim with clearer political sentiments.
Within 2 minutes 55 seconds of the song produced by T-man of Mt Zion Records, the Gafa as Winky D is affectionately known, hints that the country needs a change of political players as it heads towards harmonised polls on July 30.
"PaGhetto tateketera panematsutso, mazhinji vanenge marechera Dambudzo," Winky D metaphorically says the youths in the ghetto are suffering because of the same political players who bring the problems (Dambudzo) an ironic reference to President Emmerson Mnangagwa's middle name.
Winky D lamented the idea of allying with political party ideologies.
"Vamwe vati ita chiIndependent candidate. Hapachadi zvema pato pakuda solo zhet, Tombomira kusimbisana pakuda shanduko," he sang suggesting a "Zambuko (crossover)".
The song, which already has thousands of views on his winkyonline YouTube channel and other online platforms, is generating interest, especially from seeming MDC Alliance sympathisers who feel the hook "Gafa chete chete" resonates with their election tagline "Chamisa Chete Chete".
The idea is not far-fetched though as one would wonder why Winky D deliberately used Gafa Chete Chete in a political sphere currently pervaded by multiple slogans, including the ruling Zanu PF's ED Pfee.
"Subtle endorsement #CCC," noted Livingstone Masango in the comments section.
One Mumford Chinzou said the multi-award winner was representing the majority of struggling youths.
"I respect you, Ninja President. You are the voice of the ghetto yuts [youths] from day one up to now. you shun bootlicking, but say it as it is," he said.
Some had cautionary messages warning the talented musician against dabbling in politics.
"He is an artiste, a very crafty one for that matter and he knows better than to become a politician and risk dividing his fan base. He has to tread carefully though, for he is now treading on thin ice. Many have lost their lives for the same cause," was Quintessential Martin's message.
Winky D has over the years positioned himself as the mouthpiece for the less privileged that stay in the ghettos, but has consistently maintained undertones when it comes to politics.
His latest song is in the same dish as Chimurenga music legend Thomas Mapfumo's Chauya Chauya and Jnr Maskiri's (Tronnixx) Garwe Ngaridzokere Mumvura.
Of late, musicians have been finding their voices in the political sphere, which was for long a no-go area, which attracted state repression resulting in critiquing musicians like Mapfumo going into exile.
The impact that a South African programme has made on the education of children has earned it a prestigious international award.
Partners for Possibility, the flagship programme of Symphonia for South Africa, was one of six winners in the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) awards, which recognises and promotes innovative projects across the world that aim to address challenges in education.
The programme, founded by Dr Louise van Rhyn, aims to improve the quality of education by capacitating principals at under-resourced schools and building their leadership skills by partnering them with business leaders.
Participants in the programme go through a 12-month leadership development programme while tackling the challenges their schools face, together with their partners.
Van Rhyn said to date, her initiative has benefited 1 630 principals and business leaders, while 625 000 pupils have benefited.
"To be recognised as the winner of the 2018 WISE Awards is a very special achievement," Van Rhyn said.
"It means that the Partners for Possibility programme meets the criteria of being a creative solution to a pressing educational challenge, that is, reducing the inequalities in the South African education system," she said.
"We are humbled to have a global platform to share the insights and solutions of the programme, as well as the opportunity to shed light on how its innovations can be applied to other industries and countries."
The five other 2018 WISE Awards winners are Safe Spaces Clubs for Girls in Nigeria, One Village One Pre-School in China, Generation in the USA, Technology-Based Deaf Education in Pakistan, and 1001 Nights Life Skills and Citizenship Education Program in Canada.
Other educational issues that entrants to the 2018 WISE Awards attempted to address include projects for girls' education, early childhood education, the refugee crisis, cultural exchange, citizenship values, youth employment, entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities, deaf education, and stimulating critical and creative thinking.
The trial of Bonginkosi Khanyile, the controversial leading figure in KwaZulu-Natal's Fees Must Fall movement, is expected to resume in the Durban Regional Court on Wednesday.
A 40-minute video that purportedly captured violence during the Fees Must Fall protest in 2016 will apparently be screened in the court on Wednesday as part of evidence against him.
Khanyile graduated this year with a Bachelor of Technology in Public Management at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) after his suspension from the institution.
He faces a string of charges, including inciting public violence, the possession of explosives, the contravention of the Gatherings Act, possession of a dangerous weapon, failure to comply with police orders, common assault and hindering traffic.
The majority of these relate to his leadership during protest action at DUT on September 27, 2016.
On Tuesday, Warrant Officer Shaun Robins, a police videographer who works out of the public order policing division in Marianhill, testified that he captured the violence on video.
"They pulled the main gate closed behind them and started pelting us with stones. There appeared to be building rubble and bricks that they threw at us. They were also using slingshots to attack police."
Khanyile was previously denied bail on several occasions and was only released after he took the case to the Constitutional Court.
United States Consul General F. John Bray disclosed yesterday in Lagos that Nigeria had the highest number of students from sub-Saharan Africa studying in the US and ranked 12th among the over one million foreign students in the country. Bray spoke at the Consulate General in Lagos during a pre-departure orientation for Nigerian students heading to US to study.
He said 35,364 of the international students in the US were from sub-Saharan Africa.
According to Bray, "There are currently 11,710 students from Nigeria studying in the United States. 49.5 per cent undergraduate; 36.2 per cent graduate students, 2 per cent are non-degree candidates, and the remaining 12.3 per cent are on Optional Practical Training.
"Compared to last year, this represents a 9.7 per cent increase. The number of Nigerians studying in the US has been going up for the past seven years."
He said students from Nigeria attended about 800 institutions in each of America's 50 states. "The most popular state is Texas, with 1,540 students, while the most popular college/university is Houston Community College, with 220 students."
Bray said the US Department of State had granted scholarships to about 250 Nigerian students from the Lagos centre of its EducationUSA programme to study at institutions in the US. He explained that EducationUSA was a US Department of State network of over 425 international student advising centres in more than 175 countries promoting higher education in America to students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at any of the over 4,700 accredited post-secondary institutions in the US.
"EducationUSA is your official source on US higher education," the consular general stated. "To date, about 250 student-members of the Lagos EducationUSA Center studying at U.S. institutions in the fall of 2018, have received scholarships from US institutions totalling over $4 million."
He added, "One-12th grader got a full ride scholarship to Harvard to study Political Science. Many of the graduate students with whom EducationUSA worked were admitted to fully funded doctoral programs in the STEM fields.
"Six Opportunity Fund Program grantees will be going for their fully funded PhD programs in STEM fields.
"I am very proud of EducationUSA Lagos for reaching approximately 25,000 students this year, through various means, such as at the centre, on-line, at fairs, etc. information on studying in the US (Source: EducationUSA Lagos)."
Asmara — According to the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship signed by the Governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia on 9 July in Asmara, the Ethiopian Air Lines will start its inaugural flight tomorrow Wednesday, 18 July.
According to the information from the office of the Air Lines, families that have been separated for many years are expected to reunite again.
It is to be recalled that, the five points Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship was signed by Presidents Isaias Afwerki and Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed during the Prime Minister's official visit to Eritrea at an invitation of President Isaias.
One of the three pillars of the agreement is "Transport, trade and communications links between the two countries will resume; diplomatic ties and activities will restart".
Telecommunications service between the two countries has already reopened starting from July 10.
The Eritrean Embassy in Addis Ababa that was closed for two decades has been reopened by President Isaisa Afwerki at a ceremony held on 16 July in the presence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
It is to be recalled that President Isaias Afwerki conducted officaila visit to Ethiopia from 14 to 16 July at an invitation of Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia.
Government has initiated youth empowerment programmes aimed at ensuring their participation in the tourism sector, a Cabinet minister said yesterday.
Speaking at a youth in Tourism Preparatory Meeting in Harare last week, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira said the development of the nation could only be achieved through allocating resources to youths and women with potential.
"This can only be true if we empower our young men and women accordingly, across all sectors of the economy, including tourism, she said.
She added that globally, youths are regarded as special vehicles for both social and economic development.
Minister Mupfumira applauded President Mnangagwa for empowering youth through the Empower Bank.
"Recently, President Mnangagwa launched the Empower Bank barely a week after the launch of the Zimbabwe Women Micro Financing Bank."
"This is a clear indication that the Government is seriously committed to empowering both young men and women of this country.
"It is indeed the vision that His Excellency, the President, has set for us as a nation going forward," said Minister Mupfumira.
"Tourism policies and frameworks are already in place to support and encourage youth participation in tourism projects."
"The National Tourism Master Plan, which was launched by Vice President Chiwenga in May this year, clearly points out areas of potential development."
"This is supported by the National Tourism Sector Strategy that gives direction to tourism development over a period of time. These policy documents are all at your disposal, young men and women, to play a meaningful role in the tourism sector, in particular, and our societies in general," said Minister Mupfumira.
"The Government does not just recognise the potential of young people as leaders of tomorrow, but is also cognisant of their role as positive change agents for socio-economic development."
"We need to nurture our youths to play a critical role in eradicating poverty and participate fully in the development of societies through different platforms."
"We should also look at the rural youth, there is more tourism out there, we must start at the grass root by implementing eco-tourism."
Hospitality group, Meikles Limited, intends to expand its Victoria Falls Hotel in the resort town as it positions itself to capitalise on the anticipated boon in the tourism sector driven by the expected economic growth.
The group is also embarking on massive refurbishment of the hotel and its other properties across the country.
This comes as both the Victoria Falls Hotel and Meikles Hotel have enjoyed growth in occupancy during the first few months of the new financial year.
"A refurbishment programme for the Victoria Falls Hotel will commence before the end of 2018. However, of greater significance is a project to enlarge the hotel with additional accommodation which is currently in the initial stages of planning and implementation which need to be expedited," said executive chairman John Moxon in a statement accompanying the group's financial results for the year to March 30, 2018.
Zimbabwe's tourism sector is on a major rebound buoyed by a change in Government policy that has helped to market the country as safe investment destination. This has resulted in many tourists also visiting the country as buttressed by hotels that have recorded bookings until the end of the year.
The group, however, closed its Mega Market and 'M' stores, partly in the later months of the year and partly in the early months of the current financial year. At an EBITDA loss of $4,2 million, the segment was badly affected throughout the year by the absence of funds to the group from Government, a position which was still prevalent in the early months of the current financial year.
Management indicated the segment will now focus on retail offering that is compatible with the forward requirements of the smaller but more specialised retail offering.
"In this context, a renovation of Barbours will be a priority," said Mr Moxon. The Barbours refurbishment project is expected to be completed in this financial year.
According to Mr Moxon, the other stores are expected to adopt the same merchandising methodology as Barbours, but physical renovations will coincide with the redevelopment of the group real estate properties in which retail will be located alongside other tenants. The group also anticipates to capitalise on the commercial retail properties that are well positioned across major cities.
Mr Moxon said the properties were being analysed for redevelopment along a similar concept to that achieved at the Village Walk in Borrowdale.
"It is anticipated that these projects, when completed will generate substantial rental revenue for the group," he said.
Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye is expected in Nairobi on Monday to preside over the launch of a book on Kenya's last General Election at the Intercontinental Hotel.
Mr Besigye will give the keynote address at the launch of the book titled: Kenya: The Failed Quest for Electoral Justice.
Journalist John Onyando authored the work through a grant from the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC). The human rights group invited Mr Besigye to Kenya to preside over the launch.
Other speakers at the launch will include former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, political leaders and lawyers who handled election petitions.
According to a summary provided by the author, the book examined political events around the 2017 election within a historical framework and concluded that what should have been Kenya's freest vote turned out to be its most tainted in the multiparty era.
"The elections were so flawed that their true account would be established only through an independent audit such as the one led by former South African judge Johann Kriegler into the 2007 elections," Mr Onyando said in a statement to the media.
An author has launched a children's book based on former US President Barack Obama's visit to his native K'Ogelo village.
The book titled Obama's Bed, which calls for cohesion among Kenyans, was launched yesterday at K'Ogelo Resort Centre. The centre is located a few metres from the Sauti Kuu Foundation Sports, Resource and Vocational Training Centre that Mr Obama will open today.
The writer, Mr Andrew Maina, said he launched the book during Obama's visit to ensure the message of cohesion reaches many people.
"The book has a powerful message about cohesion, which we wanted to reach as many people as possible. So we were looking at how best to make people know about it," said the author.
While children are the book's main target audience, Mr Maina noted that it can also be read by adults. He said he was motivated by last year's disputed general election that left the country divided. In the book, a young girl named Wanjiku from Mt Kenya together with others from different regions set off for a visit to Mama Sarah Obama's home under a programme she runs. They make several stopovers interacting with people from other communities.
Mr Maina said through the book, he intends to expose learners on the importance of togetherness at a young age, hoping that the message will bring long lasting unity among Kenyans.
"People have stereotyped other communities and put them in certain boxes. We want to bring them out of these boxes and spread the good will that no matter where you come from you can live everywhere in the country," he said.
Former U.S. President, Barack Obama, has recommended Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" and Chimamanda Adichie's "Americanah" among six books for the 2018 Summer reading list.
Obama took to his Twitter handle to announce the six all-African authored books ahead of his first visit to Africa since leaving office on Jan. 20, 2017.
The visit would take him to Kenya and South Africa.
Obama wrote: "Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a true classic of world literature.
"This novel paints a picture of traditional society wrestling with the arrival of foreign influence, from Christian missionaries to British colonialism.
"A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa and around the world.
"Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: From one of the world's great contemporary writers comes the story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora and the search for identity and a home".
The other books suggested by the former U.S. leader included "A Grain of Wheat" by Ngugi wa Thiong'o and "Long Walk to Freedom" by Nelson Mandela.
The first Black U.S. president born to a Kenyan father, described Africa as "a continent of wonderful diversity, thriving culture and remarkable stories".
He also announced the launch of a civic leadership programme by the Obama Foundation after selecting 200 rising leaders from 44 African countries, holding on July 14 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
"This week, I'm travelling to Africa for the first time since I left office - a continent of wonderful diversity, thriving culture, and remarkable stories.
"I was proud to visit sub-Saharan Africa more times than any other sitting President, and I'll return this week to visit Kenya and South Africa.
"In South Africa, the Obama Foundation will convene 200 extraordinary young leaders from across the continent and I'll deliver a speech to mark the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birth.
"Kenya, of course, is the Obama ancestral home.
"I visited for the first time when I was in my twenties and I was profoundly influenced by my experiences - a journey I wrote about in my first book, 'Dreams from My Father'.
"Over the years since, I've often drawn inspiration from Africa's extraordinary literary tradition.
"As I prepare for this trip, I wanted to share a list of books that I'd recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa's best writers and thinkers - each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways," the 44th U.S. president said. - NAN
In Ethiopia's education setup, females have been largely marginalized for long (since the inception of modern education to the last few decades). As a consequence of the patriarchal socio-cultural system, female students' had no equal right to participate in schooling.
Education is a key priority area of the government's development endeavors over the last two decades with the strong conviction that quality education and skill based training are the basics for achieving human development and critically linked to broad-based economic growth and democratic governance.
These days, more females in Ethiopia have access to better education than ever before. The enrollment rate and the number of fields of studies and disciplines in higher education institutions have significantly increased as compared to the previous years.
Promising results have also been registered in improving the quality of education through implementing General Education Quality Improvement Program (GEQIP). Establishing a transparent, accountable and efficient system at every educational hierarchy is given due attention and as a result; encouraging achievements have been recorded over the years.
Participation of female student has been increasing from time to time. As different research outcomes depict, some factors are highly contributing for the aforesaid results. In the previous days, females' education enrollment was very minimal due to early marriage, low awareness of the community towards female education, among others. Females themselves were not effectively fought for the respect their rights.
So far, the ministry of education is working aggressively to address the existing problems and to increase the involvement of female students in higher education. According to Elizabeth Gesesse, Gender Directorate Director at the Ministry, nowadays participation of females in higher education is showing great progress as compared to previous days. But, there remains a lot to be done and the society should encourage female students through providing them with financial and moral support.
She further noted that there are many factors contributing to gender disparity. "Our culture does not encourage women to participate in every social aspect. The same is true when we come to female education enrollment. Early marriage, low awareness of the society about the role of female education in improving social wellbeing, the presence of few women role models, girl's expectation, extensive household chores, and religious indoctrination are some of the factors that contribute to low female school enrollment rate."
The other point that should be raised here is political and institutional factors, including limitations in empowering women, policy implementation and other interventions.
Low quality of education and teaching learning process, poor school culture, and distance from home to school and teachers' attitude towards female students are also mentioned as major factors in schools that contribute to low female school enrollment rate, especially in rural areas. What is more, females have domestic work burden than males. All these factors make female students not to be competitive with their male counterparts in schools, she underlined.
Harassment is also another factor that contributes to low female school enrollment. From home to the social environment, female students are forced to terminate their education.
The other hindrance is directly related to economic factors. Inability to cover school expenses, prospects of low economic return and parental investment behavior are some of the factors that should be mentioned here.
So, in every community, members have a burden to avoid such attitudinal, cultural, political and economic barriers and encourage females to go to schools, she stated.
The communities should develop sense of belonging to address females' existing problems and enable them participate effectively in the education sector. Females also should withstand existing challenges to become equally competitive with males, she added.
The Ministry is also working aggressively to avoid the negative attitudes in various communities towards females' school involvement through facilitating various platforms.
On the other hand, relatively, higher education female students' participation is increasing when compare with the result attained with last year's same period.
"There are critical issues that require extraordinary efforts to improve female students' enrollment in higher education. The Ministry fully understands the scope of challenges confronting the education and training system and is working with greater zeal and commitment focusing on improving the learning outcome of female students, skill training and employ ability of the female students as well as quality and relevance of higher education," she said.
She further said that by the year 2014/15, some 253,057 female students were enrolled in higher education institutions. The majority, i.e. 84.8 per cent, of these female students were enrolled in government institutions, whereas private institutions cover 15 per cent. The later may need greater enhancement.
The share of the regular program from the total undergraduate enrolment is 54 percent. Totally undergraduate female students in higher education were 34.14 percent. In 2015/16 totally 265,851 female students were graduated, she said.
Female student enrollment has shown dramatic change over the years and promising progress has been recorded in narrowing gender gap at schools. By and large, at this critical time, higher education female students' enrolment hit 35 percent but this does not mean that it is sufficient, Elizabeth said.
As the saying goes, 'One single hand can't clamp,' without the participation of females, it is unthinkable to ensure sustainable economic development. Thus, all stakeholders working in the area should support female students so as to enable them contribute their share to the ongoing development.
Beirut — Rights group say black women face racism, sexism and discrimination, stemming from a "dehumanising" sponsorship system
Black women working in Lebanon routinely face racism, sexism and discrimination stemming from a "dehumanising" sponsorship system, rights groups said on Monday, after a Kenyan migrant worker who suffered a mob attack was deported.
Lebanese authorities sent Shamila back to Kenya on Sunday because she lost the right to be in the country after leaving an employer that had failed to pay her in full, according to the Anti-Racism Movement (ARM), a local non-government organisation.
"Because of the kafala system she was deported - her basic human right to defend herself is being violated," said Shamila's lawyer Nermine Sibai by phone from Beirut, referring to the system that binds migrants in Lebanon to one employer.
Earlier Shamila, whose full name has been withheld, was arrested after she was involved in what authorities apparently termed a fight, but which her lawyer said was an unprovoked attack on her and another migrant worker.
Local media quoted Salim Jreissati, the justice minister, saying footage of the attack circulated online was "shocking" and "abhorrently racist".
An official with General Security, Lebanon's intelligence agency, declined to comment on Shamila's deportation.
Rights groups say the kafala system used across the Arab world exploits workers and denies them the ability to travel or change jobs.
"The kafala system contributes to dehumanising Shamila and 300,000 other women in her situation in Lebanon. It denies them their most basic human rights," said ARM.
"Shamila's experience of racist, sexist, classist assault is definitely not an isolated, nor a singular, account of unprovoked violence against black migrant women in Lebanon," said the group.
Lala Arabian, executive manager at Insane Association, a local non-profit fighting for human and migrant rights said she is "ashamed and angry" over the lack of human rights for migrants in Lebanon.
"Migrant women are being deported even when they make claims that they were physically abused, raped, years of unpaid wages, etc," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a statement.
(Reporting by Heba Kanso @hebakanso, Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit www.trust.org)
Cape Town — A 43-minute documentary by BBC Africa crime reporter Golden Mtika on the prevalence of rape in Diepsloot has shocked social media users. "This is one of the most dangerous places in Johannesburg," Mtika says during the film. "If you are found to be walking at night, you risk your life 100%. Rape is something that is very common, and it can often end in murder too".
Twitter users condemned the self-confessed rapists Mtika interviewed, while others hailed the reporter on his exposure of the level of criminality:
Bra Goldi!!!! Such a treasurer this man!!!! He is the reason I survived Diepsloot and fell in love with it's reception
I would really love to see some action being taken after this. Golden is a resident of Diepsloot. Surely he needs to show the SAPS this video.
Some took the documentary as proof of Diepsloot being one of South Africa's worst locations:
it's complete anarchy in diepsloot, bra. oh my god. the rapists who get caught are killed by the community and their bodies are dumped in the open. man, imagine being a 3rd grader walking to school and casually walking past a corpse. nah dawg, that ain't life.
Watched a very disturbing documentary about serial rapists in Diepsloot, possibly the rape capital of South Africa. The interviewer has known David, the serial rapist since childhood and saved him from mob justice one time. He tracked David down to find out why he keeps raping.
Diepsloot is the worst place on earth.
Others were more skeptical:
Honestly, so is every other place. People get raped in high security gated estates, some get robbed and killed, every now and then people get hijacked right in front of their gates in these nice "suburbs". Just that Diepsloot is very dirty they like to write about it. Anyway....
BBC always has these Diepsloot stories that can hardly be verified locally. They also did the Maleven story and it had Diepsloot. They also had another one about Diepsloot mob justice