Life Style News
Over 100,000 people living with HIV are reportedly defaulting on treatment due to a critical shortage of Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drugs which has hit Zimbabwean hospitals.
The crisis was revealed at a press briefing in Harare Wednesday which was called by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV (ZNNP+) and Diocese of Mutare Community Care Programme (DMCCP).
Some DMCCP members said they had gone for two weeks without treatment.
"When we visit a hospital where we collect our medication we are told that there is no medication. And when it is there, we are given a two days' supply as opposed to the normal three months' supply," said a DMCCP member living with HIV.
"The situation was worse last week on the 16th of September when we failed to get even a single pill. We went back the following week and were given two ARV tablets per person.
"The other issue which is worrying us is that they are using waste collecting vehicles to deliver ARVs and other medication from Mutare central to rural clinics."
Another patient said corruption was rampant at rural clinics where they get their medication.
"What is also disappointing us is that hospital staff are given their three-months supply of the ARVs but they then sell the drugs to us the less privileged.
"We are now not sure if we are able to see our young children grow if the situation remains like this," said another patient.
Sabastian Chinhaire, the chairperson of ZNNP+ said the situation was now uncontrollable.
"Over the past two months, we have noted with concern that thousands of people living with HIV have been caught up in the ongoing shortages of the life-saving second line ARV drug.
"We are equally concerned that the country will not be able to cope if the clients on second line have to be moved to third line due to treatment failure and an increase in defaulters due to unavailability of treatment in public health institutions," said Chinhaire.
National AIDS Council official, Trust Govere, recently told journalists that ARV shortages were being caused by the dwindling AIDS levy revenue collection which constitutes 24% of AIDS treatment procurement.
Govere said AIDS levy revenue collection has been going down since the end of the inclusive government in 2013.
Some 1.3 million people are living with HIV in the country with 981,000 are on treatment.
Out of the 981,000 on treatment 135,000 of them are on second line ARV therapy - a treatment given to those who would have developed some resistance to the initial drug treatment.
LESOTHO has made progress in its efforts towards ending the AIDS epidemic as reflected in the preliminary results of the Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA). The results announced by the Deputy Prime Minister, Monyane Moleleki on Tuesday, show that Lesotho is currently on track to achieving the 90-90-90 targets by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) by 2020. Launched in Australia in 2014, the targets mirror a fundamental shift in the world's approach to HIV treatment, moving it away from a focus on the number of people accessing antiretroviral therapy and towards the importance of maximizing viral suppression among people living with HIV.
This shift was driven by greater understanding of the benefits of viral suppression showing that, not only does treatment protect people living with HIV from AIDS-related illness, but it also greatly lowers the risk of transmitting the virus to others.
The 90-90-90 targets encourages countries to initiate a responsive transformation and to strengthen commitment towards ensuring that 90 percent of people living with HIV know their status, 90 percent of people who know their status are accessing treatment and 90 percent of people on treatment are virally supressed.
However, the PHIA preliminary results were released amid a 25 percent HIV prevalence rate that is characterised by a high rate of new HIV infections in Lesotho, 52 new cases each day while 26 people also die of AIDS-Related ailments on a daily basis. This challenge demands well-coordinated efforts to successfully close the gaps allowing an increase in new HIV infection. It is a demanding task, complicated by the fact that some pregnancy-related deaths are related to HIV. Lesotho has a high maternal mortality rate of 1,143 deaths per 100,000 live births.
On the other hand, it would also be folly to overlook the need for the health sector to cooperate with other sectors in addressing the underlying factors causing new HIV infections. Dealing with factors including teenage pregnancies, cultural practices still empowering some men to make HIV prone decisions, poverty and unemployment can go a long way to ensure that the fight remains on-track.
Despite challenges, we are encouraged by the direction that the fight is taking. The PHIA results that show a key marker indicating that the body is successfully suppressing the virus has reached 68 percent among adults living with HIV (15-59 years) in Lesotho. This development can tell us that people living with HIV, and with their viral loads suppressed, can live longer, have fewer complications due to their HIV status and are less likely to transmit the virus.
Thanks to organisations such as the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the International Centre for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP), for their continued support.
Hopefully with the positive progress made so far, support will continue for enhanced programmes. Over the years, Lesotho has developed several national plans and strategies, including a Behaviour Change Communication Strategy, but it appears implementation of some of these strategies was partial and not effectively coordinated particularly following the closure of the National AIDS Council (NAC) in 2011.
It is our hope that the reopening and reorganising of NAC will help to improve coordination of decentralised activities and promote increased investment in scaled-up community-based strategies. With adequate implementation management support, community-based organisations can help increase well targeted programme coverage, in addition to ensuring the efficient use of resources.
We support UNAIDS' approach that highlights the importance of ensuring that treatment programmes work to establish community-centred strategies and systems that can support patient adherence to treatment and reduce the number of patients lost to follow-up.
We also encourage stakeholders working in the HIV and AIDS sector to implement practical and cost-effective strategies that use peers and trained community health workers to achieve retention rates and treatment outcomes that are comparable to those reported by mainstream health facilities. In addition, innovations such as the use of peer support groups, well-trained and supportive health workers, and short message service reminders and reduced waiting times at clinics have also proven successful for increasing retention among adolescents and young people living with HIV.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday said dangerous methods were used in nearly half of the 55.7 million abortions carried out each year globally.
A WHO study shows that anti-abortion laws raise health risks for women.
According to research by WHO and the Guttmacher Institute, a U.S. reproductive health think tank, almost all of the 25.5 million unsafe abortions are happening in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
It noted that "the problem is especially acute in 62 countries where women are forbidden to end their pregnancies early, or where they can only do so if their health is at risk."
According to the research, a quarter of abortions in such countries are conducted with dangerous methods.
It added that in countries where the procedure was legal, the rate was only 10 per cent, based on 2010 to 2014 statistics.
Bela Ganatra, a WHO expert who is the lead author of the study, said when women and girls cannot access effective contraception and safe abortion services, there are serious consequences on their health and that of their families.
"Too many women continue to suffer and die," she said.
The report distinguished between 17 million abortions each year that are "less safe", performed by professionals with outdated methods or by laypeople with recommended methods.
It says that in addition, there are eight million "least safe" abortions by untrained people using herbs or non-medical tools.
"Countries must make abortion legal to make them safe," the WHO said and called for
policies that would improve sex education, access to contraception and family planning.
Pastor Charles Charamba and his wife Olivia, backed by The Fishers of Men are billed to stage a family show at Aquatic Complex on Saturday. The musician said this will be their concert to take their recently-launched albums "Abba Father" and "Voice of Miriam" to the people.
"We will take this opportunity to perform most of our new songs and unveil them to our fans," he said Pastor Charamba said they have a bigger task of compiling a playlists that features both new and old songs to meet their fans' demands.
"One of the biggest tasks ever since we started live performances has been the drafting the playlist. It is always difficult to pick some songs and leave some out. Our fans usually demand varied titles and we have to depend on prayer so that the Spirit guides us," he said. The Charambas are set to tour the country as they continue taking their music to the people.
"It has been a while since we had a concert at Aquatic Complex. We have an obligation of worshiping together with our fans country-wide and this shall be the first, followed by many others in different towns and cities," he said.
The "Nyika Zimbabwe" singer promised fans a great show that will combine music and prayer as the festive season approaches. "We are not going to do our ordinary shows but an intercessory show. As we approach the festive season, we all have our resolutions and this is the best time to pray about it," said Pastor Charamba.
The Charambas have become known as "The First Family of Gospel Music", and are possibly the best-selling gospel artistes to emerge from Zimbabwe. Their music appeals to a wide audience with their sing-along tunes. The couple has released popular albums like "Johanne 3:16", "Vhuserere", "Amen", "Daily Bread", "Exodus", "Sunday Service" and "Verses and Chapters".
They are both pastors with theological training, which enhances their understanding of the Scripture. They have toured the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia and have shared the stage with the likes of Solly Mahlangu, Sipho Makhabane, and Ron Kenolly, among others.
KHUBETSOANA Area Chief Hlathe Majara has rubbished South African Gospel star Sechaba Pali's claim that he was attacked by his men with sticks and knobkerries last Friday.
Instead, Chief Majara says he unsuccessfully tried to restrain a belligerent Mr Pali who attacked his men until they retaliated.
The muso had told South African publication Sowetan that he was beaten up by Chief Majara and his men who came to the residence of his wife, Maletsatsi Makapalla, in Khubetsoana.
Mr Pali had claimed that he had told the men to talk to him and not his wife resulting in them attacking him with sticks and knobkerries. He sustained injuries on his body and face.
Mr Pali also told the publication that he failed to access medical assistance at a local hospital because the person who was supposed to provide a medical form from the Lesotho police was not at work at the time.
However, Chief Majara told the Lesotho Times yesterday that they were called to intervene by a neighbour of Mr Pali's wife who complained that the South African was insulting her.
He said Mr Pali had visited the area on numerous occasions without incident.
"I understand that Sechaba has been visiting this village for four months and he was not harmed by anyone during his previous visits," Chief Majara said.
"However, this was not the first time a complaint had been made against Sechaba. Firstly it was the lady's family which had asked for intervention saying he was waving a gun in their faces and insulting them. I did not intervene that time but referred the matter to the police."
He continued: "This time around, I went to the house with members of the community without any weapons. When we arrived, I called the lady outside the house as the lawful tenant but then Sechaba stood in her way in the open door stopping her. She somehow managed to escape and ran to me, but he quickly pulled her back into the house.
"Two of the men tried to stop him but he pushed him to the ground. Sechaba pushed the other one into a car which was parked nearby. As he attacked those men, Sechaba was uttering insults that I cannot repeat."
Chief Majara said the men became angry and briefly retaliated. He said Mr Pali managed to wiggle away and ran into the house before locking himself inside.
"I then asked the lady to take Sechaba out of the village fearing that the men may attack him again considering how angry they were. I then went to the Mabote Police Station the following day to report the matter where I learned that Sechaba had already made a report."
The chief also indicated that he had later learnt that other people had been insulted by Mr Pali on several previous occasions.
"Sechaba is still welcome in my village and will not be harmed should he behave himself. We live with many foreigners in the village and have never harmed anyone," he said.
Attempts to get Sechaba's side were fruitless.
For his part, police spokesperson, Inspector Mpiti Mopeli confirmed Mr Pali and Chief Majara's reports to Mabote police on separate occasions.
"The chief did give his account of the incident, but as for Sechaba, he was given a medical form to take to the hospital which he was supposed to bring back for his statement. However, he has not yet returned and we, therefore, cannot take the case any further."
ULTIMATE FM has called on companies and the media to support the Ultimate Music Awards, saying they are meant to benefit the local music fraternity and not the government-owned radio station.
Ultimate FM Station Director, 'Mabatho Lithebe, this week told a press conference that although the awards were their brainchild, they were ultimately a national project which could boost the country's economy by promoting artistes to enable them to earn a living out of their music.
The awards ceremony will be held on 18 November at 'Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru and the finalists were unveiled at a press conference this week in the categories of Hip Hop (10), Kwaito (eight), Famo (10), Gospel (eight), Urban Contemporary (six), Afro Pop (eight), Music Video (eight), Collaboration by Duo or Group (eight) and Dance (eight).
There are also special categories of Best Newcomer (eight finalists), best Male (eight), Best Female (six), Best Producer (eight), International Breakthrough (eight) and Song of the Year (15).
Each nominee was also announced together with a voting code which involves an SMS to either 31019 for one vote (M2) and 31012 for 15 votes (M30).
Afro Jazz sensation Selimo Thabane leads with five nominations, followed by Afro Jazz and Gospel star Mongali Nthako as well as House music producer Sir Schaba with four nominations apiece.
The confirmed list of sponsors include Standard Lesotho Bank, Metropolitan, Alliance Insurance, M&N Security, Victoria Hotel and Bashoeshoe Pele as well as the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture and the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology.
Speaking at the press conference, Lithebe said that most countries had invested in arts to boost their economies and Lesotho should do the same.
"Music, like other sectors of arts, is one of the key factors that can create jobs while boosting the country's economy as well as tourism if promoted well," Lithebe said.
"The aim of the awards is to promote quality music so that with the implementation of royalties' policy which is currently underway, we as the radio stations will not hesitate to buy local music.
"Although the project was started by Ultimate FM four years ago, it is not up to the station but the entire media fraternity to ensure that we promote our artistes so that the rest of the world can know about them through us. We know of American and South African musicians because their media promotes their work."
Taele Lebona, from the station's sales and marketing department, urged companies to sponsor the awards in order to give back to the community.
"It has never been easy to get sponsors as companies expect something in return, failing to understand that this is not for Ultimate FM but uplifting our fellow musicians.
"We plead for support in this journey so that the rest of the world will know about our artistes," Lebona said.
Ultimate FM Programmes Manager, Tello 'Dallas T' Leballo, said they had brought in external judges to promote transparency.
He also revealed that the awards ceremony would be broadcast live on national television. There will be an after party at Victoria Hotel poolside featuring performances by the winners and some of the nominees.
When I started lecturing full-time a little over five years ago, I knew what everybody does: that we all learn better by doing. I knew that "active learning" - literally doing anything apart from just talking through a PowerPoint presentation - is the way to go.
I'd also been introduced to the "flipped classroom" concept, an idea that has taken North America and Western Europe by storm. The flipped classroom means turning traditional teaching upside down. Instead of introducing concepts in class, then sending students off to do homework, you make them do some online work first (introducing themselves to the basic concepts) and use class time to tackle complex questions, working in small groups.
Despite this knowledge, I started off lecturing the way I was taught. I was the traditional "sage on the stage" presenting PowerPoint lectures to students silently taking notes.
Neither I nor my third-year students in a Marine and Freshwater Ecology course speak English as a first language. This added a layer of difficulty to understanding complex scientific concepts. And, top it off, I was teaching this course in a rural South African area called Qwaqwa - quite a distance from the nearest ocean.
After a year of teaching, I put my trepidation aside and tried a partially flipped classroom, hoping to boost my students' learning and experiences. The results, documented in an article for the Journal for New Generation Sciences, have been extremely encouraging.
Taking a different approach
The "flipped classroom" approach is less common in Africa; my research turned up almost nothing.
There are probably several reasons for the slow uptake. Academics on this continent don't often have access to the technology to create videos for students. Our students are not technologically savvy and nor are many of their lecturers. Students have come largely from poor educational backgrounds and are used to a particular way of learning. Adapting may be tough.
Using technology in science, technology and engineering and maths (STEM) education is a popular and effective way of boosting learning. But the vital aspect of a flipped classroom is combining technology with collaboration. Yes, students use technology to become familiar with complex concepts. True understanding, though, comes through interaction with each other and with the lecturer in the classroom. This is what gives them the real engagement with theories and ideas that can't be shown in a laboratory or static textbook.
I decided not to flip my entire course. Instead, I kept using PowerPoints for much of the 6-month long semester but picked a few key concepts I've seen students struggle to understand. These concepts became the focus of my flip.
I either found or created videos that students had to watch before class, making sure they did this by posting easy quizzes on Blackboard; an online platform on which course material, videos, quizzes, and so forth can be placed). In class, about 30 minutes of lecturing time were given over to worksheets that required a collaborative "think-pair-share" approach.
A question was posed that each student had to think about individually, and answer. They paired up to discuss their answers. Then they were asked a second question - closely related to the first - which they had to consider alone again. This ensures that students can mentally "translate" the recent discussion into their own words, in the same way they would have to answer questions during an exam.
Marrying technology and collaboration
Students loved the partial flip. They talked more and asked more questions in class; they requested more videos and more Blackboard quizzes. Their marks suggested that the videos helped: those that did watch the videos beforehand had significantly higher marks in the initial question during think-pair-share exercises.
The sharing - talking with a friend, in one's mother tongue - made an even more profound difference. On this rural campus, with faulty internet and often disinterested students, I found that students really engaged with complex ecological material. Even more remarkable is that they could understand concepts like the Coriolis effect and rocky shore zonation patterns without having seen the ocean.
One student, giving anonymous feedback at the end of the semester, wrote:
I think much better than before ...
Since that initial experiment, I've started using partial flips in all my courses. I honestly don't think I ever want to do a fully-fledged flipped classroom, as just a week of Internet issues or power cuts - sadly common in rural areas in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent - could potentially ruin an entire module.
But a partial flip is possible. It's easy to find video material on key challenging concepts related to any scientific discipline, so academics don't have to record all their lectures exhaustively. I highly recommend it, and challenge other academics to try this approach, too.
Aliza le Roux receives funding from the National Research Foundation and the Afromontane Research Unit. She is part of the South African Young Academy of Science and the Africa Science Leadership Program. Both of these professional groups aim to improve the connection between science and the society it serves.
The recent reports of bullying both in the Western Cape and across the country are very disturbing.
Bullying and school safety in general are issues of great concern to me, and about which I exercise my mind regularly as to how best to address them. Respect for human dignity is one of the values enshrined in our constitution, and bullying is a denial of this.
Bullying behaviour is typically when a child or group of children misuse their power to hurt other children or exclude them.
There are the "traditional" types of bullying, namely physical abuse, verbal or written abuse and social abuse, such as when learners gossip about each other, exclude each other from a group or reveal personal information about a learner with the goal of humiliating them.
But bullying tactics have now also developed with modern technology, and now also include cyber-bullying. Cyber-bullying is the wilful, deliberate and repeated harm inflicted by using computers, cellphones, and other electronic devices.
More recently, the internet and the increased use of mobile devices has provided an arena for this type of bullying which includes name-calling and using social media platforms to send threatening messages, emails and viruses, hacking and posting one's picture or video on the internet without permission.
As recent news reports have shown, cases of cyber-bullying can spread fast and become viral in a matter of hours.
Any form of bullying can have dire consequences, and as schools, parents and educators, we have to respond accordingly and in a timeous manner.
In March this year we issued guidelines to all schools on social media and social networking in public schools and I would encourage all officials, principals, educators and SGB's to study these.
The guidelines are designed to create an awareness about some of the opportunities presented by social media for learners, educators, parents and schools within the learning environment, and address the potential benefits and risks associated with these tools, provides guidance on the use of social media between learners, learners and educators, as well as between a parent of a learner and an educator at a public school, and most importantly it assists public schools to develop their own policies in order to regulate the use of social media and social networking at these schools.
The guidelines can be found on the WCED website https:/wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za under "Circulars".
The WCED's also has a Safe Schools hotline that is available to schools, teachers, parents and learners to report all school crime and abuse, and aims to contribute to a safe and crime-free school environment. Learners, parents and teachers may phone our Safe Schools Call Centre for counselling and advice on 0800 45 46 47.
Children can also call Childline SA on 0800 055 555.
Parents are key to identifying behavioural changes in their children which could be as a result of being bullied. I therefore appeal to parents to keep an eye on their child's behaviour. If your child seems withdrawn or angry, investigate the reason for these changes and speak to the class teacher immediately if the matter is school related. Parents can contact the nearest District Office if they are not happy with the response of the school.
I also urge parents to be vigilant, keep the channels of communication with their children open and monitor their internet usage. Often a parent could be completely unaware that their child is a bully or is being bullied. There is help for both.
The WCED provides guidelines on the WCED website on how to deal with bullying. The guidelines cover types of bullying, the consequences of bullying, how to prevent bullying, support for victim and how to change the behaviour of bullies.
These guidelines can be found on the WCED website - https://www.westerncape.gov.za/general-publication/bullying-school
It is important to remember that the bully often comes from a background where there is insecurity, little parental involvement, and inconsistency in actions of parents. These learners are often subjected to physical punishment and emotional outbursts. Before formal counselling is necessary, the bully must come to the realisation that their behaviour is always going to have negative consequences until it changes.
It is crucial that the rights of learners are respected and protected and that learning environments are created where learners can, free from abuse, make full use of their learning opportunities.
Issued by: Western Cape Education
UNAM is blocking students who have not paid up tuition fees from accessing examinations and other relevant information on the institution's website.
The blocking of access to information also affects students who are funded by the Namibia Student Financial Assistant Fund (NSFAF).
The exercise started last week, despite NSFAF's assurance last month that the fees would be paid by the end of September.
This means the affected students cannot access lecture notes, continuous assessment marks and examination notifications among other things.
Unam's spokesperson, Simon Namesho, confirmed the move yesterday, saying that indebted students would be restricted from accessing the website.
Namesho also said Unam might even bar students from writing examinations or withhold qualifications if fees are not paid by the end of the year.
The move, he said, was done to encourage the students to settle their accounts before examinations start next month.
Although Namesho said those funded by NSFAF were not affected, The Namibian understands some students with study loans from the fund are affected.
Namesho says Unam had been reminding the students to pay up through SMSes, and financial statements but most of them ignored the reminders.
He added that Unam had given students the opportunity to pay their accounts through monthly instalments ahead of the June fees deadline.
NSFAF chief executive officer Hilya Nghiwete said they were aware of the situation at Unam and other institutions but pleaded with the institutions to allow the students to write examinations while they were settling the outstanding fees.
Nghiwete said although Unam has decided to deny indebted students access to information, NSFAF beneficiaries retain all such services.
Last month, the fund promised to resolve issues with the students' tuition fees and awarding of loans to those who have not yet received approval from NSFAF by the end of this month.
Nghiwete said this, however, did not work out because some students have not provided them with all the required documents.
NSFAF extended the period during which students can submit outstanding documents to mid-October.
Luanda — The Association of Hotels and Resorts of Angola (AHRA) last Wednesday announced that it will find a balanced point between the prices in the hotels sector and the purchase power of the citizens.
On a communiqué released in the ambit of the World Tourism Day, marked last Wednesday, AHRA informs that it is hoping to see a business environment that meets the needs of entrepreneurs.
According to that organisation, the idea is to find policies that are attractive for the tourism sector, such as in sectors like macro-economy, electricity infrastructures, water and sanitation, with a view to reducing the high expenses of hotel owners.
On the other hand, the institution also defends a continuous work of implementing tourism centres at short term.
The institution stresses that only with the autonomy of regional tourism development programmes it will be possible to massively integrate the citizens in the tourism manpower, thus fighting poverty and asymmetries.
The Association of Hotels and Resorts of Angola (AHRA) is comprised of hotels, resorts, lodges, hostels, motels and guesthouses.
TOURIST arrivals in Lesotho increased by 10.5 percent to 1 196 214 visitors in 2016, up from 1 082 403 in 2015.
This was announced by the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) LTDC Head Strategic Marketing Officer, Tebello Thoola, during this week's 2017 Tourism Statistics Dissemination workshop in Maseru.
He also revealed that hospitality establishments recorded a marginal increase in revenue of M844 million which was a 2, 7 percent increase from M822 million generated in 2015.
The workshop was aimed at providing information on the performance of the tourism sector.
Mr Thoola said that tourism created jobs for Basotho and contributed to overall economic growth.
"The Lesotho Tourism Statistics Dissemination is a true reflection of the results of much effort and hard work that is aimed at providing accurate, useful and directional tourism information to users who seek information about Lesotho," Mr Thoola said.
The two reports that were disseminated at the seminar were the Arrival & Accommodation Statistics Report and Visitors' Exit Survey Report.
Mr Thoola indicated that the reports were aimed at giving the reflection of tourists they attract in the country, their characteristics and preferences.
"This information will enable us as the tourism authority to plan accordingly in order to help the private sector to know about the services they should provide to the visitors and to make the general public know about the trends and behaviour of Lesotho's tourism sector," Mr Thoola said.
Mombasa — Hotels in Mombasa and the wider coast region are reaping from the Madaraka Express SGR train service, registering a marked improvement of domestic tourists in the last four months.
Hotels such as Diani Reef Beach Resort are now offering local tourists up to 30 percent discount on packages that include the train ride from Nairobi to Mombasa.
According to the Managing Director of Diani Reef, Bobby Kamani, the SGR infrastructure has provided an additional impetus to the tourism sector in the region.
"We believe that the 30 percent discounted rate will enable many of the domestic tourists take advantage of the tourism opportunities within the South Coast and more so to our facility," says Kamani.
Mr.Kamani said that the SGR will boost transport accessibility by complimenting the almost accomplished Dongo-Kundu bypass that will open up tourism in South Coast:
"We believe this will go a long way in boosting tourism in South Coast. We know that the Dongo-Kundu bypass will be completed in first quarter of 2018 and this will reduce the transport mayhem that has been experienced for many years by tourists having difficulty accessing South Coast via the ferry terminal."
Madaraka Express transported about 75,000 passengers in the first month of operation with Kenya Railways adding Voi and Mtito Andei as stopovers in August.
Luanda — The Angolan economist José Cerqueira released last Wednesday, in Luanda, his book entitled "Nova economia angolana" (Angola?s new economy), in which one finds macroeconomic policies that can help the country overcome the financial crisis.
The 358-page book touches on matters relating to the economic policies that were adopted in Angola following the steep fall of the crude-oil price in the international market and points out solutions for the country to move out of the economic recession.
The author also touches on the country's macroeconomic sector, fiscal and exchange policies, public investments and public debt, among other aspects.
In the conclusion part of the book, José Cerqueira points out some solutions that the government can adopt to recover the Angolan economy, without depending on the price of the crude-oil price in the international market.
During the launching ceremony of the book, the author said that this publication is essentially for teachers, students and government officials, stressing that it brings measures that can be used to leverage the national economy.
The ceremony was attended by Cardinal Alexandre do Nascimento, as well as government officials, diplomats, writers, teachers and students.
Broadcaster Redi Tlhabi's new book 'Khwezi' - an account of the life of President Jacob Zuma's rape accuser Fezekile Kuzwayo - is a sobering read from any number of perspectives. Snippets published in the media thus far risk reducing the book to a few further accounts of Zuma's predatory behaviour towards women, or the behaviour of his allies in attempting to manage his actions. This is effectively the opposite of what Tlhabi's book sets out to do - which is to reclaim the power, and the narrative, of a young woman at risk of being erased by politics and history. By REBECCA DAVIS.
"I wanted her to know that I was writing, unapologetically, as a feminist who believed her", Redi Tlhabi records at the beginning of her new book Khwezi: The remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo.
Tlhabi is referring to the event which would hurtle Kuzwayo into the South African spotlight - albeit under an assumed name - in the most brutal way possible: the rape Kuzwayo alleged she had suffered at the hands of Jacob Zuma.
But those hoping that Tlhabi's book will give further salacious details about what really happened at Zuma's Forest Hill home on the...
"Poetry is not always pretty but sometimes it brings us close to beauty."
Renowned South African poet and academic, Gabeba Baderoon, is currently working on her fourth poetry collection, Axis and Revolution whilst in residence at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. She read poems to a packed audience at Stellenbosch University which encompassed very personal depictions of love and betrayal, her family and home, and the power of photographic images.
"Poetry does something unusual. It makes time collapse. I can't tell you how often poetry has helped to close the distance across thousands of kilometres and several time zones," said Baderoon. Her latest work is drawn from her experience over the past decade and especially over the past six months where she has "been listening to poems in isiZulu, Sesotho and isiXhosa, pouring over translations, talking to poets. The breath of so many writers is in my ears. From them has come the inspiration for new poems," she said.
She read some of her new poems including 'I forgot to look', which is a poem about how her mother entered the medical profession, and 'Old photographs', which looks at the power of images to remind us of those we love who have had a profound impact on our lives. "Poetry allows you to say what you cannot utter," she said.
The prize-winning poet lives between South Africa and the USA, where she is an Associate Professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and African Studies at Pennsylvania State University. She started writing poetry 18 years ago and said she always feels like 'a terrified beginner' but is adamant that 'poetry happens all over'.
"One of the most poetic lines I've ever read was scratched into the back of the plastic seat of a Golden Arrow bus that I read in the 1980s when I was attending university," she said.
Baderoon's work has taken her all over the world but her heart remains on the African continent. She was born in Port Elizabeth in 1969 and grew up in apartheid South Africa, a brutal and violent time where segregated schools, hospitals, busses were the norm. She spent her formative years in Athlone, a suburb of Cape Town, where her experiences shaped her as a writer and literary scholar.
"My family arrived in Athlone as a result of the forced removals in South Africa. So the 28 years in which I had grown the deepest, most solid roots in a place coincided with the time that my mother's sense of home was abruptly cut off... History is one of the ways in which we remember the past but history is full of erasures. It's the novelists, playwrights, singers and poets who have drawn attention to these absences," she said.
Baderoon's writing is precise, evocative, visual and often very, very personal. It provides a way for readers to explore complex ideas of identity and belonging in the contemporary world. She started writing poetry almost 20 years ago after attending an evening class.
"I started to write poetry when I was taken away from everything familiar. I took an evening class in 1999 a month after leaving South Africa on a fellowship. A few days before I left, my father died. That sense of disjuncture and tearing away was the birth of poetry for me. I was writing to all of those absences," she said.
During this time, as her journey into poetry began she was not writing 'so that other people could read it', which she said was freeing. "Being set free from a sense of obligation to an audience has been good for me. Although in the broader sense I care very deeply about representing South Africa, addressing questions of race and injustice and politics - all of those things are part of what I think of as necessary for thinking and being in the world," she said.
Her writing is influenced by her experience as a black South African under apartheid, as well as the fight and strength that came with liberation, however, she embraces a global audience.
"I don't think of myself as writing specifically to a South African audience," she said. "I think of myself as writing about a situation that is intricate and complex, and sometimes difficult. Whoever reads it has to do the work of receiving that difficulty and intricacy. It is possible to read difficult things and be enchanted. That enchantment should be what people bring to reading African poetry as well."
She added though that poetry is not about pretty words. "As a literary scholar it took me a long time to understand that. Part of my mind had to learn what it meant to write poetry. Only eventually - through my teachers - I learnt that poetry is not about making words attractive. It's about remembering when words do something you cannot forget... Poetry is not always pretty but sometimes it brings us close to beauty."
Her work is deeply important in capturing both the past and addressing issues facing the modern world.
"Imaginative work asks us to reflect on why we are looking here and not there. It allows us a powerful, evocative way to look at the grounds for understanding what truth is. I think poetry has a very important role to play but there is also risk - poets are not soothsayers - anybody unquestioned is in a dangerous situation. But poetry and other creative arts should be alongside truth-telling areas like science and journalism and all the other ways in which we reflect on the complexities of the world."
Michelle Galloway is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and media and communications consultant with over 20 years of experience in the science, health and academic editing field. Highlights in her career include working as Communication Manager for the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative, as Managing Editor of the AIDS Bulletin (which she co-founded) for the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and as Communications Manager and M&E Officer for Strategic Evaluation Advisory and Development (SEAD) Consulting.
Since 2014 she has been freelancing and her current part-time contracts include Media Officer for the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS) and Communications Officer for Cochrane South Africa. In this period she has also been involved in editing and writing projects for the Human Sciences Research Council, the National Research Foundation, the Academy of Science of South Africa, the SAMRC's Burden of Disease Unit and for Pearson South Africa.
Johannesburg — THE De Beers Group is to invest US$3 million into empowering women in its producer countries. Targeted beneficiaries include women micro-entrepreneurs in Southern Africa and Canadian scholars studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Katie Fergusson, De Beers Head of Social Impact, said the company had already implemented a number of initiatives over the last 12 months as it worked towards these goals. These include reviewing talent attraction and development processes, rolling out unconscious bias training, establishing a senior management-led reciprocal mentoring programme and reviewing key policies and recruitment guidelines. Last week, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of United Nations Women, announced the launch of our three-year partnership with UN Women in New York. De Beers has worked with UN Women on the development of community programmes in Canada and Southern Africa. These will be launched in the coming months. "I am proud of how far we have already come and of the foundations that we have established to build real change upon," Fergusson said. She said with more than 90 percent of their consumers being women, De Beers has to make changes to stay relevant. Only 24 percent of its workforce and 17 percent of its leaders are women. De Beers operates in 28 countries. Mining takes place in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa.
FROM LEFT: Radio and television host Adelle Onyago, TV presenter and radio news anchor Anita Nderu and Naomi Mwaura, a lead organiser of the anti-harassment protest #MyDressMyChoice.
Three Kenyans have made the list for the world's 100 inspirational women which was released on Wednesday by BBC as part of its 100 women campaign.
Radio and television host Adelle Onyago, TV presenter and radio news anchor at Capital FM Anita Nderu and Naomi Mwaura, a lead organiser of the anti-harassment protest #MyDressMyChoice are the Kenyan women in the list.
The list also included four other African women including Ellen Johnson the 24th and current President of Liberia since 2006 and the first elected female head of state in Africa.
Also in the list is Marieme Jamme (Senegal), who taught herself to read and write at the age of 16 and is now a self-made businesswoman, Talent Jumo (Zimbabwe), who supports victims of revenge porn, giving them counselling and legal advice and fighting for sexual and reproductive health rights for women and Singer, song writer and philanthropist from Nigeria Tiwa Savage.
This year, the women on the list will be part of the 100 Women Challenge, tackling some of the biggest problems facing women around the world.
Coming together in four teams, the women will share their experiences and create innovative ways to tackle The glass ceiling (#Teamlead), Female illiteracy (#Teamread), Street harassment (#Teamgo) and Sexism in sport (#Teamplay)
Starting in October, the challenge will draw on the world's wealth of female talent across all spheres of modern life – from engineering to the creative industries, from sport to business – as four teams tackle everyday problems currently affecting women's lives around the world.
With help and inspiration from women who face these challenges daily, as well as star ambassadors and the BBC's global audience, they will have a week to invent, develop and deliver a prototype. This could be a tech solution, product or campaign that tackles the issue.
The 100 Women Challenge will begin in San Francisco on 2 October, with the first team looking at breaking through the glass ceiling. The next team will be based in Delhi, tackling female illiteracy.
The project then brings together women from two cities, as a team based in London take inspiration from women in Nairobi working to combat sexual harassment and improve safety on public transport. The final week will see a team in Rio de Janeiro take on sexism in sport.
This year's 100 Women List includes a new twist – while 60 women have already been identified, the remaining 40 places will be filled by those who have supported, inspired and helped the teams on the ground over the course of the weeks.
100 Women was established in 2013 as an annual series focused on a list of 100 inspirational women.
The list was supported by news, features, investigations and interviews highlighting the work of these women, targeting female audiences.
Joseline is a single mother employed in a restaurant in Kimironko. The mother of two wakes up at 4am to prepare her children for school. This includes preparing breakfast, bathing and dressing them up. By 6.30am she leaves home with the children and walks them to the bus stop before she proceeds to her workplace where she works till 5pm. This is her daily routine as she struggles to raise her children into responsible adults.
Like Joseline many women find themselves in this dilemma of juggling unpaid care work and paid work to make ends meet.
However, women activists have warned that this life style is a stumbling block in women empowerment efforts. This concern was also highlighted in a recent survey conducted by ActionAid Rwanda in partnership with Institute of Development Studies in Huye and Musanze districts. The survey indicated that women still bear the burden of unpaid care work, a factor that has continued to create a gap in women empowerment.
Unpaid care work includes endeavours that nurture others, for instance cooking meals, taking care of children, collecting firewood and water, and cleaning the house, among others.
Results from the research showed that rural women spend most of their time on unpaid care work compared to men. According to the findings women spend an average of seven hours daily on unpaid care work while men spend an average of only an hour.
Whereas for paid work, a woman spends an hour and a man spends three.
Why do women still bear the burden?
Evelyn Shema, a gender activist, says this all stems from African culture which sets women to be the ones to solely do that kind of work.
She says society tends to view it as normal for women to spend hours on unpaid care work regardless of whether one is employed or not.
Shema, however, believes that with a number of innovations, such stereotypes will finally be overcome and women will achieve the empowerment they deserve.
"The time will come when we will be able to create various projects that can help ease this burden on women. Access to modern equipment like bio gas can be availed to ease work when it comes to cooking instead of using firewood," she says.
Shema is also of the view that there must be dialogue in the family about unpaid care work, where it is required to measure the value of those activities for the benefit of the family as an entity.
Annette Mukiga, a gender equality activist, shares a similar perspective, saying that women continue to bear the brunt of unpaid care work and that this in some way affects the potential of women both economically and socially.
She points out the issue of the mindset, which is the failure to recognise this kind of work as productive, and men's reluctance to get involved, as some of the factors that contribute to this burden for women.
"If we were to put on a scale what both a man and woman do in a day you will find that the line of women is very long. Men have time to rest which isn't the case for women," Mukiga says.
Mukiga believes that this has a lot to do with how we have been brought up, but times are changing and this ought to change too.
She says that though unpaid care work is necessary, there is the overwhelming need for it to be recognised and for a certain mindset change because it's a burden, yet most men are not involved in the care work.
"I understand we have been brought up with such mentalities, we need to engage men and help them understand, this way, they will be able to contribute to alleviating this burden that women carry," she suggests.
"A change in mentality is the way to go. This kind of work needs to be valued and recognised because it actually contributes a lot to the households," Mukiga says.
Regarding government intervention, Mukiga believes that there is need to put policies that recognise this contribution made by unpaid care since it greatly contributes to society.
She also brings out the 'Gross Domestic Product' factor saying that a lot would be contributed to it if only unpaid care work was given monetary value.
Mukiga continues to call on women to be the change they want to see.
"You know change starts with you and me. It starts at home, in the way we bring up our children.The change at individual and societal levels will help us ease the burden women face in terms of unpaid care work," Mukiga says.
Are stakeholders doing their part?
Francoise Uwumukiza, the president of National Women Council, says that there are policies in place, for instance, encouraging a man to understand what it means to work as a couple. There is also the introduction of Early Childhood Development Centres that help women have care givers for their children as they take on their daily work.
She says that overcoming this burden will ensure eliminating certain challenges, such as women lagging behind in economic empowerment.
Just like Shema and Mukiga, Uwumukiza puts the large scope of the blame on patriarchal societies where domestic care work is reserved for women.
"Immersing their lives in unpaid care work entirely reduces their chance of fully participating in paid employment. Some actually find it hard to look for employment opportunities," she says.
Uwumukiza believes that it is such factors that greatly contribute to wrangles in a home because if one side is treated unfairly, there are bound to be disputes.
"Domestic work that is not shared brings lasting effects that ripple through the home leading to vices like gender-based violence," she says.
Uwumukiza adds, "There is need for replacement of unpaid care work, with this; women will be freed to explore all their potentials."
She applauds the effort of the government that is trying to lessen this burden.
"There are initiatives to extend water near households and install biogas facilities, as all this reduces on the tasks of women in the household," she says.
Uwumukiza also believes that re-distributing chores amongst the household members, including men, is another sure way of lessening the burden.
Jean Bosco Murangira, the director of women economic empowerment at the Ministry of Gender and Family promotion, says there is advocacy for all institutions to have mandatory gender-based services, this allows involvement of women in public works.
He also points out different activities that are carried out at the village level and that these help with sensitisation.
"Evening Parents Forum/Umugorobaw'Ababyeyi creates room for family members to discuss issues affecting them and on top of this, it also serves as a way of tackling socio-cultural norms," he says.
Murangira reiterates Uwumukiza's view on the approach of 'engaging men' explaining that it sensitises men to share the workload, hence reducing women's effort.
"The National Employment Programme-kora Wigire under its three core pillars of: skills development, business and entrepreneurship development and labour market interventions where it's clear that women and girls should benefit by at least 40 per cent in all the programme interventions, also acts as support for women in terms of their development," Murangira says.
How can the burden of unpaid care work on women be reduced?
Gender equality has always been a priority in our country; however, women still face some constraints. This issue of unpaid care work should mostly be handled at the household level since it is where the problem is actually. Wives should be in position to enjoy equal rights with their husbands.
Adella Mukampazimaka, Housewife
Sensitisation on the role of unpaid care work should be encouraged to help overcome stereotypes that hinder women's development. It is hard for a woman to do all that kind of work and still find time to engage herself in income generating activities.
Beatha Mukarurangwa, Shop attendant
Men should be team players; I think this is where the biggest problem is. If they do agree to help their spouses I am sure the burden of unpaid care work will be solved once and for all.
Eunice Mukarwego, Farmer
Men should understand that women are counterparts. What women and men do complement each other; hence the need to share responsibilities, so women shouldn't be left alone to carry this burden.
Elvis Izabayo, TV Presenter
People should be educated on the impact that unpaid care work has on society. Its impact is invaluable, hence, there is need to recognise this more so by family members.
Kismat Uwamwiza, Student
Different forums held at the village level should be used as a platform to engage both men and women on this issue. I believe this cannot change overnight but with continuous effort, it will finally be eliminated.