Sunday 20 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in...
(AFP (eng) 06/30/17)
For the last decade Ugandans have known two presidents: Yoweri Museveni, the country's long-time ruler, and musician Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a. Bobi Wine, a.k.a. His Excellency the Ghetto President. But in a surprising turn the 35-year-old reggae star -- who was just three when Museveni took power at the head of a rebel army -- on Thursday won a landslide victory in a city by-election to become the country's newest lawmaker. Wine is a spectacularly popular Ugandan entertainer. For many, he embodies the struggles, frustrations and hopes of the young, poor and marginalised in a youthful nation whose often elderly rulers can seem dismissive of their plight. The by-election in the teeming capital Kampala was called due to voting irregularities during...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back...
(Daily Monitor 03/15/17)
Officials of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) narrowly survived a mob protesting against an operation to close down illegal broadcasters in Luweero town. Recently, UCC directed all "community radios" broadcasting through megaphones to cease operations with immediate effect and pull down their apparatus. UCC explained that the "community radios" were working in contravention of the Uganda Communications Commission Act which prohibits persons from installing or operating radios, television or broadcasting apparatus without license from the body. On Tuesday, UCC officials led...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/16)
Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in an industry otherwise battered by falling CD sales and rampant piracy. A recent study of the entertainment sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants showed rapid earnings growth in many African countries, fuelled largely by live performances by local artists. "Consumers are increasingly wanting local content," Vicki Myburgh, a PwC director who conducted the study released last month, told AFP. "The Nigerian music market... will (soon) grow at...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps...
(AFP (eng) 10/06/16)
Standing on a drab side-street next to an open sewer in the Ugandan capital Kampala, Brian Mugabi points to the site of his former family home and reflects on how much the game of chess has changed their lives. Ten years ago Mugabi lived in abject poverty in Katwe, a slum in Kampala where it's a constant struggle to get by. But at a makeshift chess club in the heart of the neighbourhood, his sister Phiona Mutesi suddenly displayed an...
(Redpepper 10/03/16)
Snoops have for long been wondering about the guy who has all along been enjoying the kitone of Vanesah Nanyonjo aka Queen Monster, a Ugandan fashion designer cum singer based in S. Africa. We can exclusively reveal that Nanyonjo, who has been staying in Cape Town for about six years, is currently swallowing Wayne Vibes, a singer with Team Good Guys as a delicious side meal. Sources say the couple is slated to introduce in April next year. Nanyonjo had...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/29/16)
Disney's "Queen of Katwe" isn't just the true story of Ugandan chess champion Phiona Mutesi overcoming overwhelming odds stacked against her; it's also a rare uplifting tale from the African continent. "God knows there's an immense paucity of films about anything to do with Africa that is about a specific place or specific street or country or character. It's always a kind of colonial nostalgia that we're presented," director Mira Nair said. "The story of Phiona specifically was the inspiration...
(AFP (eng) 09/23/16)
A century after the project was conceived in the throes of racial segregation, and a few months before the first black US president leaves office, the African American Museum in Washington opens Saturday. Here are key facts about the first national museum devoted entirely to showcasing African Americans' life, history and culture. - 1915: A project 101 years old The effort to open, in the US capital, a museum dedicated to the history of the black community "began more than...
(The Observer 09/21/16)
The fifth annual Kampala city carnival will cost over Shs 900m, according to the organisers of the event. The festival is scheduled to be held from October 1-2. Some of the major sponsors are Vivo Energy, MTN Uganda, Movit, Africell telecom, Uganda breweries, Kampala Casino and City tyres among others. Vivo energy will sponsor the first day of the event, which will see over 45 rally cars under the Motorsports federation race within Kampala. 42 professional drivers have registered to...
(The East African 09/10/16)
The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) is seeking to raise $200 million from partners over the next two years to fund the continent's audiovisual and cinema sector. The funds will be used to establish centres of excellence in the five regions - East Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa -- and the locations will be decided by the African Council of Ministers of Culture. The money will be used to improve the quality and quantity...
(Voice of America 07/04/16)
To the beat of African drums, a few dozen people gathered at Dallas City Hall Friday to officially kick off the three-day African Film Festival. The event showcases films made by Africans, as well as a few made by non-Africans about issues important to different regions of the continent. City officials hailed the new festival as an expression of the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity in Texas’ second-largest city. Regina Hill Onyeibe, the Africa Liaison for the City of Dallas...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/28/16)
Africa's largest provider of pay-television services Naspers (NPNJn.J) has kept prices on the continent unchanged to halt a decline in subscriber numbers, its chief executive said on Monday. Naspers, the biggest listed firm on the continent, which sells access to popular American series and blockbuster movies in 50 countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean via its Multichoice unit, reported an 18 percent rise in full-year profit on Friday, but flagged pay-TV as a drag on its performance. Weaker currencies...
(AFP (eng) 05/14/16)
On a choice spot overlooking Washington's most stately monuments, a new museum swathed in bronze will showcase the tragedy and triumph of black America. The National Museum of African American History and Culture, 100 years in the making and now almost ready, will fill a gaping void: until now the city had no grand-scale museum dedicated solely to this chapter of US history. Slave cabins, a blacks-only train car from the segregation era and exhibits on the Reverend Martin Luther...
(The East African 05/09/16)
As the film fraternity prepares for the fourth edition of the Ugandan Film Festival (UFF) later in the year, local filmmakers still have to grapple with lack of funding and equipment, a poor distribution network, lack of a government film commission and an affordable film school to support the budding sector. Filmmaker Evelyn Cindy Magara, a lecturer in film studies at Makekere University and a director/screen writer at Nyati Motion Pictures, said film production activities in the country do not...
(BBC News Africa 04/24/16)
The influential Congolese music star Papa Wemba has died after collapsing on stage in Abidjan in Ivory Coast, media reports say. Video from the concert shows the artist, who was 66, slumped on the floor as dancers continue to perform, unaware of what is happening. French broadcaster France 24 confirmed the death, quoting his manager. On the African music scene since 1969, Papa Wemba won a world following with his soukous rock music. The Congolese band leader, whose real name was Jules Shungu Webadio, also inspired a cult movement known as the Sapeurs whose members, young men, spend huge amounts of money on designer clothes.

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