Friday, October 27, 2006

World's richest prize to be awarded to most effective african leaders.

A $5m prize for Africa's most effective head of state is being launched by Africa's top businessman. UK-based wireless phone mogul, Mo Ibrahim, the mastermind, believes the incentive will motivate heads of states in poor nations to do what's best for their people instead of their bellies.

The prize will be exceeding the Nobel prize which is estimated to be $1.3m and was applauded by Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton and a few others. But spurred equal scepticism from some critics, including Patrick Smith, of specialist publication Africa Confidential, who believes those leaders already doing good will keep on, but the corrupted ones won't change anything because they know they won't qualify at the end of their term since Harvard University will be assessing how well the president has served his or her people while in office.

More than 300 million africans live on less than a dollar a day, but the continent has one of the richest concentration of precious minerals if not the richest on earth.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Muslim cleric compares unveiled women to "meat".

Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali, Australia's senior muslim cleric has sparked outrage amongst moderate muslims and critics for remarks made in a public sermon when he said that some women are attracting sexual assault by the way they dress. He blamed women who don't wear their hijab (head dress) as the cause of sexual assaults and compared them to "uncovered meat".

Leading muslim women quickly responded and called upon him to apologize. Some even petitioned to have him deported. However, a spokesperson from Hilali's camps said the quote had been taken out of context and referred not to sexual assault but to sexual infidelity for people in commited unions. Keyword here is sexual infidelity. Now, I'm not one to speak blasphemy, since I'm an atheist, but isn't Islam the one religion mostly known for allowing polygamy? Since when did IT change its position when it comes to how many women a man can sleep with outside of marriage, or in some cases marriages? Maybe I don't understand Islam that well.

Now, Sheikh Hilali has been known for inflammatory remarks, namely claiming the attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001 to be "God's work against oppressors". Upon making the latest remarks, he also criticized women who wore make-up to be the ones to blame for sexual assaults and then cussed out court judges who gave harsh prison sentences to rapists some of whom were recently given up to 65 years for gang rapes that were commited in Sydney a few years back by gangs of lebanese australians.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pop diva dies in car crash.

Lebo Mathosa, one of south Africa's most venerated pop singers has died after her car hit a tree.
She was one of the stars of Kwaito, a South African fusion of hip-hop, funk and traditional rhythms, and was believed to be the Beyonçé of South Africa. She was 29 years old and she was so good that she got nominated for UK's MOBO (Music of Black Origin), she performed at Nelson Mandela's 85th birthday.

She debuted in the 1990s with the group Boom Shaka, before launching her solo career. And she's believed to have single handedly given birth to Kwaito. She was also known for her dyed blonde hair and energetic shows and her fans are left devastated by the unfortunate incident.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Forest Whitaker to play Ugandan dictator.

I've always thought that Forest Whitaker was one of America's best actors. Especially after seeing him in Jason's Lyric (1994) and Panic Room (2002). I don't know, there's just something so penetrating about his acting.

He just does it so well that at the end of the day, it's almost impossible to distinguish him from the actual character he's playing. In this biopic of the Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, Forest was so sunken into the character that it took him a while to lose the ugandan accent he had adopted. He also puts into light the tyrant's obsession with Scotland, at the peek of which he had adopted wearing a kilt and such.

Premiered at the 31st Annual Toronto International Film Festival, the motion picture is believed to be one of the best films of the year. But then again that's what critics say about each and every movie that comes out. Well at least this one deals with an actual real life character that has affected my life one way or another. I can't wait to see it.

The story is actually told from the viewpoint of his personal physician, Nicholas Garrigan, played by James McAvoy, and the hell that was Uganda in the 1970's. Kay Amin, his wife, is played by none other than beautiful Kerry Washington.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Someone is haunting me...

Why do I always get to be last in "discovering" certain things? Why didn't someone tell me about Van Hunt, peoples? I am currently listening to Seconds of Pleasure and boy, what a pleasure. Lawd!! And apparently the album is as old as the universe. Well that is if you believe the universe to be older than my last diesel shoes. I also enjoyed Dust but for some reason Down Here in Hell tops them all. Speaking of topping, does anyone think he could be...? I mean...And he's a cutie too.

Philanthropy, Déjà Vu or both?!

Madonna's adoption saga heats up even more. Some Malawian children rights groups are imploring the government to reconsider its decision to allow Madonna and hubby Guy, a temporary custody of 13 month old David Banda.

According to Malawian law, couples who want to adopt must wait almost two years before being allowed temp custody. In Madonna's case, this was just done in a matter of weeks. Some in her camps are adamant the case had been pending for quite some time now, the last two weeks were just to finalize the process.

Under the same law, child welfare officers are ordered to track an adopted child and its progress and see if there's anything that needs to be reported back to the judge who in return might revoke the order and the custody could be permanently withdrawn. In Madonna's case though, the country has no resources to follow her around, given the very highly mobile lifestyle she conducts.

Now if you ask me, I personally have no issue with the sudden infatuation that celebrities seem to have developped for Africa since the Shiloh-Jolie-Brad saga or whatever the name of that poor child is, however as someone mentioned in one of the comments I read somewhere, I think it'd make more sense to actually invest in a big time child welfare system onsite, where those kids not only will be taken care of but will also have a sense of security and belonging since they would be raised by and in their very native country. I mean, bless Madonna and the likes, who are trying to do their best to reduce the AIDS orphans plight in Africa and elsewhere, I just think they're going at it the "wrong" way. BBConline has some very interesting comments from around the globe on the subject.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ethiopian women are most abused, research reveals.

A report conducted by Ending Violence Against Women reveals that nearly 60% of Ethiopian women were sexually violated at least once in their lifetime while half of their Zambian counterparts revealed attacks from domestic partners.

The report also points out that the phenomenon takes place in most societies throughout the world and that more than 100 countries had no laws prohibiting domestic abuse while in 50 other countries, marital rape wasn't a crime to be prosecuted.

"On average, at least one in three women is subjected to intimate partner violence in the course of her lifetime." The report says.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

African migrants drown...again!

Seven adults and four children are the only survivors of a ship that was carrying more than twenty people and broke down in the middle of the Atlantic. They were picked up by a merchant ship that was passing by the high seas.

This year alone, more than 25 thousand people have reached the Canary Islands( Spain) but more than 3000 are estimated to have perished along the way.
Most migrants make attempt to reach the " western eldorado" by any means necessary. They embark on open, shaky wooden boats. Spain has invested billions of euros in preventing entry to those africans trying to cross over and is still unable to cope with the issue, calling it a humanitarian crisis.