Monthly Archives: February 2016

Eritrea won't shorten national service despite migration fears

Feb 29, 2016 Eritrea’s information minister, Yemane Ghebremeskel, recently affirmed his country’s decision to improve the salaries of those in national service. He also added that there was no plan by the government to reduce the duration of the national service for fears of Ethiopian aggression.

Speaking to this effect, he said:

“Under normal conditions national service is only 18 months, meaning people do not have any obligations of any kind military or civilian once they do their national service. But in the event of war then anybody and everybody eligible can be mobilized again. What has happened is we have had war, people were mobilized for the war. We had a peace treaty, we signed the peace treaty, but the peace treaty has not been implemented,” 

Eritrea, which sits on the Red Sea coast next to one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, won independence after decades of conflict. It has constantly pressed on world powers to push Ethiopia to accept an arbitration ruling on demarcating their boundary.

Referencing this, Ghebremeskel went on to say:

“Our land continues to be occupied; there is continuous threat from Ethiopia so we have no alternative but to prolong the national service,”

Tsige Gabrehiwist, an Eritrean migrant in Tel Aviv, said she was told that the national service in the military was for just 18 months. However, three years later when she saw no end in sight, she left.

“I left Eritrea because of the regime in general but I left especially, me I was in the army for three years. I didn’t see that they were going to release me,” she said. “I was supposed to have finished my military service in one year and six months. And also the treatment in the military army, it was very bad just we are working for the commanders. I was being like cooking and washing clothes for the commanders. So I see myself that still continue in the army,” 


Nigerian comics artist promotes African superheroes

Feb 29, 2016 A Nigerian entrepreneur, Jide Martins, recently took to comics in a bid to tell stories that will impact positively on young Africans.

Martins’ company, Comic Republic, went on to create an ensemble known as “African Avengers”, featuring super-heroes who fight for a better Nigeria.

“The comic industry is lucrative all over the world. Comic sales in major countries sell in billions. It’s actually a billion dollar industry but in Nigeria, it is noble and that is because we didn’t grow up, our parents were not such to bring us into comics but right now, Nigerians are accepting comics, comic characters. You know, the top grossing movies in our cinemas are of comic heroes. Nigerians are increasingly watching series and television programmes that have comic individuals in them.”

Akintoba Kalejaiye the content director of Comic Republic added that apart from entertaining, the superheroes are also meant to educate and inspire young readers.

“There are no proper Africa popular superheroes. There are a myriad of creators but popular African superheroes, we don’t have those and you must understand that in passing our own message across that remains one of the subsets of our goal, of making sure that the African way of life, the African disposition that people outside of Africa and even people within Africa who need to be reminded, will, you know, our message will reach them,”

Victor Ukomadu, a fan of the African comics, said:

“I enjoy reading both African and foreign comic books but I think I enjoy African more because we now have comics like the Guardian Prime which can help improve Nigeria to be a better country,”


Graffiti artist turns gritty Jerusalem market into colorful canvas

Feb 29, 2016 22-year-old graffiti artist, Solomon Souza, recently converted the walls of Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem into colorful canvas.

The bustling food market, which is one of Jerusalem’s most popular shopping sites, is almost always packed with local shoppers and tourists in search of the best fresh produce.

However, when the stall owners shut up shop for the night and roll down their metal shutters, the closed storefronts become a personal canvas for the London-born artist.

Speaking during an interview, Souza said:

“Around a year ago, we started a project in the Shouk (market) of Mahane Yehuda. We started to turn the empty shutters, when the shops close at the night time, into a gallery of Art, of historical inspirational characters,”

In the past year, Souza, helped by his friend, Berel Hahn, has painted about 140 shutters with graffiti-style murals of characters ranging from biblical heroes to former Israeli prime ministers.

Also speaking during the interview, Berel Hahn explained how he came up with the idea.

“I was walking to the Shouk (market) on a Shabat (Saturday) afternoon and I envisioned it full of colour and full of people. And, so it developed into idea to establish historical educational inspirational gallery here in the Shouk (market)”

To avoid charges of vandalism, Souza and friends, usually seek out store owners for permission to paint their shutters. However in other occasions, the shop owners approach them to paint someone specific, such as religious leaders or family member.


China says deployment of S.China sea defences is its legitimate right

Feb 29, 2016 China’s defense ministry recently justified its defense deployment in the South China Sea as its legitimate right.

China and the United States, have in recent weeks, sparred repeatedly following reports that China is deploying advanced missiles, fighters and radar equipment on islands in the South China Sea.

Speaking in a news briefing, spokesman for the ministry, Wu Qian, said:

“No matter in the past or at present, no matter temporarily or permanently, no matter if it this kind of equipment, or that kind of equipment. It is China’s legitimate right to deploy defense facilities within (our own) territory,”

He then went on to accuse the United States of operating a double standard.

“Shouldn’t we call it militarization if the United States ropes in and puts pressure on allied countries and partners to carry out joint drills and joint patrols with strong pertinence in the South China Sea? The U.S. turned a blind eye to the above actions of militarisation but always accused China of its legitimate and legal construction of defence capabilities. I have to say, this is (called) typical double standards,”


Concacaf outlines plans for reform

Feb 29, 2016 The soccer governing body for North America, Central America and the Caribbean, CONCACAF, recently outlined it reform plans, as it looks to move on from corruption scandals that rocked it in the past.

Three of the organizations past presidents, Jack Warner, Jeffrey Webb and Alfredo Hawit, were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on corruption charges.

Speaking at a press conference in Zurich, CONCACAF Executive Committee member, Victor Montagliani, outlined the reform plans saying:

“Today’s a very important day and the membership came together, all 41, and passed our reform statutes with significant changes on how we will govern football in the future. They will present organizational changes but also an opportunity for cultural change, where effective decisions will be made for the governance and the operations of the organisation are separated. A professionalized management team will be making financial decisions and the elected leadership will make the football and strategic decisions,”

He went on to add that, in the future, the CONCACAF Executive Committee will listen to the wishes of its members.


RIO 2016 Olympic torch relay route unveiled

Feb 29, 2016 The Organizing Committee for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games recently unveiled the detailed route for the traditional torch relay.

The torch journey, which will begin in the Greek city of Olympia, will touch down in Brazil on May 3. It will then travel from the capital Brasilia across 329 towns and cities and finally reach the opening ceremony at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium.

The flame, which will be carried by about 12,000 torchbearers, will pass through all of Brazil’s 26 states and the Federal District, reaching an estimated 90 percent of the Brazilian population.

Speaking at the launch ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Carlos Nuzman, president of the Olympics organizing committee said:

“The torch relay will help bring Brazilians together and make each one of them feel proud of being Brazilian,”


Nutritionist Ayo Van Elmar Share Top Tips on the Amount of Calories to Eat To Lose Weight

What are calories? How do you count calories? And do you know how much calories you eat on a daily basis? On the Episode 2, Season 1 of ‘Eat Right Africa’, watch fashion designer/nutritionist, Ayo Van Elmar share top health tips on everything you need to know about calories and the amount you need to eat on a daily basis if you are trying to lose weight.

Watch and enjoy.


An African City: Got Goat Meat

Showing Feb 29 | Episode 5 | Got Goat Meat

Nana Yaa, Sade, Makena and Zainab teach anxious Ngozi how to cook a meal for her new love interest, an endeavor she hopes will secure her position as wife worthy. Things change, however, when religious, innocent Ngozi finds this same love interest in an interesting position in the bathroom. For Makena, she finds that she only “comes” in the missionary position and refuses any other sexual position, much to the dismay of her boyfriend Stephan. For Zainab, her fascination with the crime channel (especially, “Scorned: Women who Kill”) may be the reason she is scaring off some of her potential dates. For Sade, bumping into her married boyfriend’s wife does not rattle her, but something else about the encounter…does. For Nana Yaa, we begin to see life through her mother’s eyes.



An African City: The List

Showing Feb 22 | Episode 4 | The List

Nana Yaa, Sade, Ngozi, Makena and Zainab explore their “dream guy list.” Zainab’s dream guy has a thing for armpits. Sade’s dream guy is a famous Ghanaian boxer who has to be celibate during training season. Stephan is Makena’s dream guy, but he appears to be the dream guy of every other woman at the office. Ngozi’s dream guy is a development specialist with an offensive view of working in poverty reduction, offensive to Ngozi at least. And Nana Yaa begins to date an IT professional named Edem, but he appears to still be way too familiar with his ex-wife.


Trending on Google: Lagos Marathon

Feb 12, 2016 Let’s make way for Google’S hot trends of the week, starting with the first every Access Bank Lagos City Marathon which saw over 20, 000 participants.

The marathon was won by Kenya’s Abraham Kipton who completed the run in 2 hours, 16 minutes and 19 seconds.