Three Africans listed among Fortune magazine’s top 50 world leaders

Posted on: April 26th, 2017 | by:

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Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ugandan LGBT advocate Frank Mugisha have been named among the 50 World’s Greatest Leaders published by Fortune magazine.

Chairman, Econet Wireless Group Strive Masiyiwa led the trio from Africa by ranking 33 for his energetic and well-rounded philanthropy making an impact in Africa, the magazine noted.

Masiyiwa has been lauded for supporting orphans, funding scholarships, and fighting hunger, poverty, and Ebola.

Novelist and Essayist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was ranked 42 for her powerful voice in challenging her audiences to think differently and more expansively about Africa, identity, race, and gender.

Adichie is considered a feminist icon and a fearless political and cultural critic.

Executive Director, Sexual Minorities Uganda Frank Mugisha ranked 44 for speaking out against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which mandated life in prison for LGBT Ugandans, and led the campaign that eventually led to the bill’s invalidation by the courts.

37-year-old Mugisha came out at age 14 and he leads the LGBT community to face open hostilities.

The three are in the list with other great world leaders including the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and American basketball star LeBron James.

The Senior Editor of the magazine, Geoff Colvin explained that they were selected for excelling at leadership by acknowledging reality and offering hope, bringing followers physically together and building bridges.

 

Credit: africanews.com


Noel Clarke and Ruth Negga Set To Be Top Names At The 12th Screen Nation Film & TV Awards 2017- Press Release

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 | by:

Attendees Confirmed For The Screen Nation Film TV Awards 2017 (more…)


Here Are Ten African Proverbs to Consider Today

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 | by:

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Proverbs are an essential part of African culture. They are passed on from one generation to another and are used to rebuke, admonish or praise. Here are ten proverbs to ponder on today:

1.When a mighty tree falls, the birds are scattered into the bush
Meaning: When a great leader dies without a successor, his people are left directionless.

2. A common snake which a man sees all alone may become a python in his eyes
Meaning: One person’s account is not enough to judge a matter

3. A boy who persists in asking what killed his father before he has enough strength to avenge, may be asking for his father’s fate
Meaning: Only fight battles you are prepared for

4.  No matter how long a log stays in water, it does not become a crocodile
Meaning: you cannot fake who you really are

5.  If a child washes his hand he can dine with kings
Meaning: A distinguished person gains the respect of elders

6. All lizards lay flat thus no one knows the one that is suffering from stomach ache
Meaning: People’s intentions are hidden beneath their appearance so be careful

7. He who does not know the road to a stream should be guided by pieces of broken clay pot
Meaning: Let the experience of others serve as a guide for you

8. When a mother goat eats its jaw, the kid will always watch and learn
Meaning: Be careful how you behave around your kids, they are quietly learning.

9. What an elder saw while sitting, a youth could not see it standing
Meaning: Elders are more wise than young people hence their advice must be seriously considered.

10. A chick that will grow into a rooster can be spotted the very day it hatches
Meaning: There is a sign to how a situation will go by looking critically at its early stages.

Hope you enjoyed these proverbs. Do feel free to make use of them and please suggest more if you can. Thanks for reading.

by Benjamin J. Obeng

@1realbenjamin


One Africa Music Fest is coming to Wembley, London @oneafrica_musicfest

Posted on: April 19th, 2017 | by:

 

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LONDON CITY!!, we are about to shut you down!
Upfront & Personal Global Management Consultants proudly presents One Africa Music Fest London, UK. One Africa Music Fest is coming to London for the first time ever on Saturday, 13th May 2017.

This event will take place at The SSE, London, UK.
Guests will fill THE SSE ARENA, WEMBLEY to see live performances from Africa’s biggest musical stars.
The first list of confirmed artists – performing on the 13th of May 2017 are Africa’s Energetic Duo, Pop Sensation P-Square, East Africa’s biggest female Afro-pop artist Victoria Kimani, the prince of highlife aka the slow winding – sexy ladies’ man Flavour N’abania, famed “Gongo – Aso” crooner 9ice, Nigeria’s very own ‘Beast from the East’ Phyno. and Nigeria’s Queen of pop music Tiwa Savage

OAMFL Artist front

This unforgettable night will be hosted by Africa’s King of R&B, Banky W!
Tickets will go on sale Friday, 20th January 2017 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased by calling +44 844 815 0815 or online at ssearena.co.uk or axs.com. Tickets are also available in person at the SSE Arena Wembley.

This night is one you won’t want to miss!
Instagram/Twitter: @oneafrica_musicfest
FB: oneafricamusicfest
Email: bookings@upgmc.com
Website: www.weareoneafrica.com


Meet The Ghanaian Fashion Power Player Who’s Just Made History (@Edward_Enninful)

Posted on: April 19th, 2017 | by:

 

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Meet 45-year-old Edward Kobina Enninful, a Ghanaian-born British-based fashion stylist who has recently made history by becoming the first male, first black, and first Ghanaian editor for British Vogue.

He took over from Alexandra Shulman who is the longest serving editor of British Vogue, having run the publication since 1992.

The chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International, Jonathan Newhouse, announced Enninful’s appointment on April 10th, calling him “an influential figure in the communities of fashion, Hollywood and music which shape the cultural zeitgeist”, adding that “by virtue of his talent and experience, Edward is supremely prepared to assume the responsibility of British Vogue.”

At a very young age, the brilliant stylist moved to the UK where he got his big break at 16 when he was spotted on a train by fashion stylist, Simon Foxton. As a kid, he lived in Ladbroke Grove, London, where his mother worked as a seamstress. It was her use of bright patterned fabric in the clothing she made that helped inspire his style.

He earned a degree at Goldsmiths, University of London while simultaneously handling a career in fashion. This move paid off at the young age of 18 when he was appointed fashion director at i-D Magazine. The appointment made him the youngest ever fashion director for an international magazine. He has consulted for many fashion brands over the years, some of which include Christian Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, Mulberry, and Giorgio Armani.

Many within the industry see his appointment as a step in the right direction and are confident in his ability to bring an exciting new creative aesthetic to the magazine. His predecessor  had this to say about him, “Every Vogue editor arrives with their own range of talents and experience and Edward is very known, respected and liked within the fashion industry.” She then went on to pledge her cooperation in helping him smoothly transition into his new role.

By Benjamin J. Obeng
@1realbenjamin

 

 


Mr Eazi: The Man Blowing Up

Posted on: April 17th, 2017 | by:

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  In 2013 Mr Eazi released his debut 13 track mixtape titled “Ready to blow” and what a wonderful last few years this young man has had. He describes his style of music as being a fusion of “Ghanaian bounces, Ghanaian highlife, Nigerian chord progressions, and Nigerian patterns”. The Afropop musician quickly became a fan favourite on the continent with hit releases like ‘Bankulize’ and ‘Skintight’ and has garnered massive international attention.

  His recent mixtape: ‘Accra to Lagos’ released in February of this year reached number 4 on the International billboard chart as a testament to his meteoric rise. His song ‘Skintight’, in particular, has earned him a lot of publicity lately — winning an award for the song at WatsUp TV’s maiden Africa Music Video awards in December last year and just last week the song was used in a Ciroc advert featuring P Diddy. P Diddy shared the advert on his Instagram page on the 8th of April and it has already garnered over 140,000 views! It’s safe to say the sky is Mr Eazi’s platform at this stage as his potential is limitless.

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  Wizkid, who signed Mr Eazi to his Starboy label last year, in an interview with channel 4 a few days ago talked about how he feels Africa is going to take over the world with its sound and I firmly believe Mr Eazi is one of those musicians who has what it takes to be one of the leaders in achieving this, and doing so in ways few before him have ever attempted. He is constantly churning out new music and is clearly a man on a mission—a mission whose goal is worldwide dominance.

by Benjamin J. Obeng
@1realbenjamin


Getting to Know Mr.Play the Entrepreneur

Posted on: January 14th, 2017 | by:

 

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In the world of entertainment, it’s usually known and is a norm to see the artists at the forefront of this business. But it’s those behind the scenes doing their all, that are not always acknowledged. AfricaX5 sat down with Mr. Play, a man who knows a lot about working behind  in the management and entertainment world.

Mr. Play, who was born Anthony Douglas, gave an insight on what it took him to build a business that would create opportunities for him. He states that it was mostly his dad’s “tough love” mentality and his work ethic that got his management business to take off and go international.

The entrepreneur, highlighted that his journey started off as him being a promoter. He went through this root because he realised that people that he looked up to such as “..diddy and Russell Simmons all started off as promoters” and later became forces to not reckoned with in business.

The half Jamaican and half Sierra leonean, humble beginnings had him push for success in any every area possible.  Even when working in McDonalds Mr. Play saw a window of opportunity to promote. He said “I made sure I had the drive thru [shift] so I can promote my parties. I made McDonalds work!”

Thing’s weren’t all smooth sailing, as not all saw his vision of becoming the ‘ears and eyes’ of UK’s music and entertainment world. His dad was one amongst many who didn’t see this and was at first disappointed of his career choice; “My dad was heart broken when I didn’t go to university…he wasn’t pleased”. Nonetheless, he said “My pride got the better of me [so] I can’t give up even if I wanted to”. This led his dad to come round when he began to see his hard work paying off.

To get the full scoop click here to listen to the interview on sound cloud. Also keep a look out for the clip on our youtube channel.

 

 


8 Steps Marginalized Citizens Can Take to Defend Themselves in the Trump Era

Posted on: December 6th, 2016 | by:

 

Chants at corner of 5th and Pike St during the Black Lives Matter protest, in Seattle, WA, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015.  (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

Step 1: Understand that you are a target

Individually, and most practically, you must first understand and accept that you are a target for hatred and violence. This can be a difficult leap to take for those who have invested a great deal of psychological space into the American dream.

Step 2: Protect yourself from psychological harm

As a target, you must find a way to defend yourself both individually and collectively. If these feelings of anger and vulnerability are new to you, know that you can find comfort in places of togetherness. Go with friends and visit mosques and community centers, particularly if you are from a vulnerable group.

While it’s important for one’s self preservation to embrace self-defense, this realization also can negatively impact mental and physical health.

There are many great sources of empowerment. Authors such as Audre Lorde, Isabel Allende, Leslie Marmon Silko, and James Baldwin provide much thought and inspiration for marginalized people living through difficult times. My personal favorite is the Autobiography of Malcolm X because it posits a defensive globally conscious mind-state that is sensitive to the injustices of all people while being harshly critical of white supremacy.

Many of the social movements in America relied on religion for fuel in the face of deeply egoistic antagonisms. While spiritual force can be individual, its power can be used collectively to reinforce or challenge predominant narratives in society. Meditation is also a very powerful tool for self-preservation and community building.

Step 3: Defend your body from physical harm

Taking self-defense classes and lifting weights are ways to learn practical techniques for opposing physical violence, but also empowering oneself in the face of aggression. Carrying pepper spray and mace, depending on the jurisdiction, is also recommended.

All marginalized people should exercise their Second Amendment right, openly, proudly, and without fear. This includes learning how to use a weapon at a firing range, taking a course on gun safety, and possibly forming rifle clubs in your local communities.

If you are worried about potential backlash from asserting the right to bear arms, then you have not accepted the reality that many in America already view your existential presence as a threat. It is not necessary to publicly show gun-ownership, but it is necessary to at least psychologically accept this right and assert it when you feel comfortable doing so.

Step 4: Be vigilant

More than anything we must develop a proactive, vigilant and assertive mentality. Tools for defense are useless unless we are ready to competently employ them.

Step 5: Stand in solidarity with others

On a communal level all marginalized people should express solidarity with each other in the face of basic human rights abuses. As a Muslim, I hold beliefs that I believe prevent me from endorsing certain positions. I can and I will, however, endorse anyone fighting for their right to exist as full human beings/members of society. I will work with anyone looking to create a fair and just society.

Step 6: Organize

On an organizational level we should prepare for a massive legal and public relations battle aimed at plugging up many of the proposals that will come forth under a Trump presidency. The proposed hijab-ban in Georgia was defeated before it even hit paper because of sustained and organized public outrage.

We each should get to know someone who is undocumented. Listen to their stories and provide emotional support. There will be legal battles over DACA and other such executive action that may be overturned by the Trump administration.

Reach out to your local ACLU and pro bono legal services provider for “know your rights” information.

A nationwide directory of legal aid services is available here.

University groups and working professionals can conduct “know your rights” sessions in vulnerable communities using this information with the assistance of legal aid providers and community organizations.

We must reject all American exceptionalism. We must build coalitions with other marginalized groups around the world, both to show that Americans do not endorse this government, and for psychological comfort in the face of aggression. There is a great deal of room for solidarity and collaboration with populations facing right-wing backlash in Europe. We must reflect critically on the ways acting in self-interest has harmed others, particularly in the global south. We must envision ourselves as belonging to a global community.

Different communities that will be harmed by this administration must get to know each other and build strategic bridges based on community organizations and personal relationships. How this looks will be different in different places.

Step 7: Reach across the aisle

When we feel comfortable, we should begin a campaign to reach out to some Trump supporters–particularly those who are working class. This should be a part of a mass grassroots campaign.

A society cannot exist without shared interests and goals.

A genuine movement aimed at countering rightwing extremism cannot be based on crushing the voices of white working class people in response to their injurious support for Trump.

All the socially induced hatreds of white supremacy must be confronted, even and especially at the risk of violent backlash. However, we must remember that ideas can only be overcome by ideas.

Visioning a public good, where we, people ostensibly interested in making change, abandon toxic self-interest in no way means accepting our own oppression or the oppression of those who are casualties of our lifestyle and consumption habits. Changing our own personal narratives about our role in American society does not equate to abandoning aggressive confrontation of injustice in all its forms.

Step 8: Create a new society based on fulfilling mutual needs

Organizing and envisioning a different society not based on exploitation will require people to embrace a deeply anti-establishment, anti-capitalist, pro-community, anti-individualism, almost religious ethos that transcends our lives at every level.

We must face the possibility that there will be tremendous pain and sadness because of the damage that will be done. Our work may be co-opted by the forces of consumerism and empire. We must hold strong together to resist these forces and build even more authentic bonds in the face of increasing hostility.

Let this moment be one of critical self-reflection and community building. The enemy is the same disease that all of us struggle with, unrestrained self-interest. Now we have a dire reason to struggle against it within ourselves and in our world.


Ismaail Qaiyim is a freelance writer with an interest in politics, global affairs, religion, philosophy, and genuine critical engagement. He currently attends law school in New York. Follow him on Twitter @ismaailqaiyim.

These Illustrations of Solange Janelle Monáe & Malcolm X Will Brighten Your Day

Posted on: December 6th, 2016 | by:

On certain days you just need some bright colors in your life, and at times like that,
Prince Eric Nichols has got you.

His vibrant illustrations of black public figures are uplifting and engaging; flashy enough to catch your eye, but full of detail to hold your attention. He may not actually be a prince, but he’s certainly familiar with the features of royalty.

While he creates images whenever he sees fit, some even get the blessings of his subjects once they’re done, like Janelle Monae, who reposted her portrait last year.  If you want to buy a print, just DM him on the Gram and he’ll hook you up.

Solange

Soalnge colorful illustration

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae black and white illustration

Versace, Versace, Versace

Versace illustration, black, white, and gold digital digital

Jay Z

Jaz Z Roman grey digital illustration

2Chainz

2Chainz colorful digital illustration

Malcolm X

Malcolm X United People of Africa Currency Illustration


5 Sports Films About African Athletes You Need to Watch

Posted on: August 22nd, 2016 | by:

All eyes have been on #Rio2016, where African athletes continue to kill it earning medals in long jump, running, fencing and swimming. All eyes have been on #Rio2016, where African athletes continue to kill it earning medals in long jump, running, fencing and swimming.

With the Olympics coming to an end on August 21, we thought we’d share five films about African athletes that you can watch when the Olympic nostalgia kicks in.

The Athlete

Before there was Haile Gebre Selassie, there was Abebe Bikila. The son of a shepherd, he moved to Addis Ababa and worked as a bodyguard before he was spotted by a Swedish trainer and became part of the Ethiopian team that travelled to Rome in 1960 where running barefoot, he won the gold medal in the marathon. ‘The Athlete (Atletu)’ recounts the 1960 and 1964 olympic win, as well as the car accident that ended his running career and started the next chapter in his life as a Paralympian. Directed by Davey Frankel Rasselas Lakew, ‘The Athlete’ was released in 2009.

Between The Rings

Two female boxing stars—Catherine Phiri and Esther Phiri (unrelated)—emerged in Zambia in recent years. Esther Phiri sold vegetables before becoming a seven-time world champion. ‘Between The Rings,’ a documentary by Jessi Chissi and Salla Sori, tells the story of how Phiri overcame the challenges in her life to become a champion. Catch the film when it airs on August 17 as ‘Zambia’s Boxing Star’ on August 17 at 20:00 GMT/21:00 WAT/22:00 CAT on Al Jazeera network.

Eighteam

In 2012, Zambia’s soccer team Chipolopolo beat the favorites Ivory Coast to become the Africa Cup of Nations champions in Gabon, the same country where nine years earlier, arguably the best outfit of Zambian soccer players died en route to Senegal to compete in a World Cup Qualifier. ‘Eighteam’ is a documentary by Ngosa Chungu and Juan Rodriguez-Briso that combines interviews with journalists who covered the Gabon Disaster, former skipper and African Footballer of the Year Kalusha Bwalya and more to tell the fascinating story of how Chipolopolo went from tragedy to triumph. Released in 2014, it was the first Zambian film to be screened at the special screenings at the Cannes Film Festival. It has since won awards in Nigeria, Barcelona and Silicon Valley.

Town of Runners

This documentary tells the story of young runners in the Ethiopian highlands of Bekoji, the town that produced Olympic medalists Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele. It follows three children as they move from school track to national competition. Released in 2012, it was directed by Jerry Rothwell.

Zoom Zoom: The Professor

Azumah ‘Zoom Zoom’ Nelson is a former Ghanaian boxer who some regard as the best boxer ever to come out of the continent. ‘Zoom Zoom’ is a documentary that combines archival footage and interviews with the boxer to tell his story from the slums of Bukom to holding the World Boxing Champion in the featherweight, lightweight and superweight categories for a decade. Released in 2010, the film was directed by Sam Kessie.

Mazuba Kapambwe is a freelance writer, social media consultant and a lifestyle and travel blogger who founded the Zed Blog and Social Media Awards. She is also the co-host of docu-reality webseries, ‘The Fest Gurus.’ Follow up with her on Twitter @afrosocialite and @TheFestGurus.