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Eight Most Interesting Africans Of 2012

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The New Yorker recently released its top Africans of 2012 including soe of the most compelling individuals around the continent.

From President of Malawi, Joyce Banda to the Occupy Nugeria group and even PSquare.

Alexis Okeowo lists some of Africa’s most fascinating people doing innovative, admirable, and sometimes destructive work:

1. Her name has been on the minds of most Africa observers this past year, and with good reason. Joyce Banda, the President of Malawi, took office in April, after an epic power struggle in which the late former President’s allies tried to block her from rightfully assuming the position, and she has since made a promising impression.

She took a substantial pay cut, put the Presidential jet and cars up for sale, vowed to arrest the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, an accused war criminal, if he entered Malawi (a promise that several other African presidents have shied away from), and has spoken out against proposed anti-gay legislation.

She also has been a prominent advocate for women and children, famously leaving her first husband because he was abusive. The hype on Banda may be outsized—critics point out that her taking a pay cut and selling the jet and cars was necessary in a floundering economy—but I am eager to see more from her.

2. It is rare enough to find vocal gay-rights advocates in West Africa, but the Cameroonian lawyer Alice Nkom takes it one step further: she has devoted her practice, the Association to Defend Homosexuals, to protecting L.G.B.T. citizens in a country where homosexual acts are illegal. As a result, she has been repeatedly threatened with disbarment and arrest. (One Cameroonian lawyer went on local television with a Bible, advising that Nkom be put to death for promoting homosexuality.)

Sixty-seven years old and grandmotherly looking, the lawyer called attention to an “anti-gay crackdown” last year in Cameroon, in which at least ten people had been arrested on charges of homosexuality, including one man who was sentenced to three years in prison for sending a text message to another man, and numerous incidents of homophobic violence. She refuses to close her practice. “Someone has to do this,” she says.

3. The director of one of this year’s most stunning films, “Nairobi Half Life SaveFrom.net,” is the Kenyan David (Tosh) Gitonga, from the small town of Nanyuki. Praised by the Hollywood Reporter and Kenya’s second-ever official entry for the foreign-language Oscar, Gitonga’s first film is a lush, suspenseful coming-of-age tale and an ode to the multilayered stimulant that is Nairobi. The film won the Breakthrough Audience Award at the AFI Fest 2012.

Notably, Gitonga, who has worked on several productions as an assistant director, is part of a generation of young African filmmakers, which includes Djo Tunda Wa Munga, the Congolese director of “Viva Riva!,” and the Rwandan Kivu Ruhorahoza, who made “Grey Matter,” that appears poised to reinvigorate moviemaking on the continent.

4. As a woman, Tanzanian lawmaker Al-Shaymaa Kwegyiris already a minority in her country’s Parliament. But as an albino, she is one of merely two parliamentarians with first-hand knowledge of the increasingly perilous existence of the country’s albino residents.

In June, she broke down crying in Parliament as she recounted the grim facts: almost eighty albinos have died in ritual killings in recent years, and many others have been raped. Little has been done to find the perpetrators of these crimes, and many albino Tanzanians live in constant fear. Albinos are often killed and dismembered there because of superstitious beliefs that charms made from their body parts—some of which sell for thousands of dollars—bring prosperity. Though a few charities in Tanzania aid albinos, Kwegyr’s efforts, if heard, would be the most effective.

5. Proscovia Oromait is a nineteen-year-old college student and one of the newest members of Uganda’s Parliament. The youngest lawmaker in the country’s history, she is filling the office of her late father and says that she simply wants to continue her father’s initiatives—when she’s not in class.

6. Writing on a range of topics, from a painting of the South African President Jacob Zuma’s genitals to widespread poverty, the newspaper columnist and political analyst Justice Malala has cemented his status as one of South Africa’s most important voices today with sensitive, insightful commentary. On Zuma, he wrote: “The freedoms that we enjoy today, the dignity that we enjoy today, are enjoined in that [South African] constitution. For us to enjoy all these and to continue to enjoy them, we have to acknowledge that this same constitution will allow things that pain us, things that kick us in the very heart of our being, to continue. The depiction of Zuma in such a manner did so to many of our compatriots. Yet that is the bargain we struck.”

7. Nigerian pop music is taking over the continent. The captivating duo P-Square has been churning out hit after addictive hit. The group is made up of identical twin brothers Peter and Paul Okoye. Behold their latest single: “The freedoms that we enjoy today, the dignity that we enjoy today, are enjoined in that [South African] constitution. For us to enjoy all these and to continue to enjoy them, we have to acknowledge that this same constitution will allow things that pain us, things that kick us in the very heart of our being, to continue. The depiction of Zuma in such a manner did so to many of our compatriots. Yet that is the bargain we struck.”

8. In some ways, the Rwandan President Paul Kagameis the man of the moment. Accused of helping to orchestrate a rebellion in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for political and material gain, Kagame has, despite considerable evidence, continued to deny involvement in some of the worst violence that has taken place in the country in years. He has remained defiant even as allies like the United States and the United Kingdom pulled their aid to Rwanda, which makes up forty per cent of the country’s budget, as a result of that involvement. The international community, still grappling with its complicity in the Rwandan genocide, is now being forced to plead with him to pull back from a conflict that he won’t admit he has a hand in.

Bonus! Many people came together to provide the face of Occupy Nigeria, a protest movement that fundamentally shook Nigeria early this year. After the government removed the seven-billion-dollar fuel subsidy that made fuel cheaper for Nigerians, leading to a near halt of local trade and business as the price of fuel doubled overnight, young and working-class people organized mass protests that took over the streets. Nigerians were told that government deregulation of the petroleum industry would free up funds for other uses, an incongruous message in a nation where only the élite profits from the oil wealth. The subsidy was partly restored, thanks to protestors. The question now is whether the Occupy movement will sustain itself and hold the government accountable as reports of oil corruption emerge.

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Travel

Exotic Resorts May Be the Best Bet for a Holiday

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An exotic vacation usually means exploring a distant foreign country, whilst resorts are places
to go for rest, sport, or which offers a particular speciality, with many resorts being part of a
popular tourist destination or on or near a beach. If you are planning a vacation to an exotic
resort it can be a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to a far-flung destination or a luxurious place to
stay closer to home where you can enjoy some pampering.

Why stay at an exotic resort

Exotic resorts often offer all-inclusive vacation deals, along with other options that leave you
to plan your stay more precisely to your own wishes. These resorts offer excellent customer
service, superb accommodation and facilities and are usually to be found in beautiful settings.
Here are some of the best resorts from around the world for you to consider:

Four Seasons Resort, Seychelles
This famous resort has made many feel they have entered Paradise. The gentle ocean breeze
floats up the granite hillside and into your tree-house villa tucked away from the other guests
staying at the resort. This is perfect for encouraging you to relax, either by your private pool
or in the clear blue waters of Petite Anse Bay. Perfect for a romantic stay, there is a Spa for
pampering and the chance for a sunset meal on a deserted beach.

Some enjoy simply sitting on their balcony, gazing at the ocean between reading their book,
sketching or checking out international bookmakers and betting sites for the chance of a
flutter. If you want another type of adrenaline kick, check out the resorts excellent kayaking
and snorkelling facilities, which are recommended by nearly all who try it.

Anantara Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand

The ultimate tropical getaway, the Anantara Resort is an award-winning site modelled on a
traditional Thai village and is just three hours drive south of Bangkok. The location is where
Thai royalty and aristocrats have been holidaying for almost one-hundred years. Today, you
can visit historical attractions alongside theme parks and shops as well as vineyards and golf
courses.

The resort is set among 14 acres of lush tropical grounds with lotus-filled lagoons and
meandering pathways through exotic foliage, with many rooms overlooking the shoreline.
Each day, chefs prepare freshly caught local seafood alongside Thai specialities. The resort
also has an award-winning spa located within a lagoon-inspired oasis offering you the perfect
opportunity to relax.

Kurumba, Maldives

Kurumba is a well-established resort that opened almost 50 years ago and continues to offer
superb hospitality and contemporary facilities. There are seven speciality restaurants offering
cuisine from Italy to the Middle East as well as Thila, a restaurant which extends out over the
water which offers gourmet breakfasts and seafood dinners.

You can go snorkelling over the nearby reef full of colourful marine life or sign up to a dive
package as part of your stay, or just enjoy a private pool when staying at one of the spacious
villages. There are also deluxe beachfront bungalows offering direct beach access and views
of the crystal-clear waters.

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Coronavirus

Healthcare Workers To Receive Coca-Cola-Funded PPEs From Nigerian Red Cross

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Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease in Nigeria, our healthcare workers have continued to lead the charge against the disease. As the number of recorded COVID-19 cases in Nigeria began to increase, these healthcare workers rose to the challenge and fought tirelessly to protect the lives of Nigerians impacted by the disease.

Considering the risks these healthcare workers face, there is a crucial need for adequate protective equipment for these brave frontline workers.

Coca-Cola is excited that over 400,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) procured to support the intervention efforts of the Nigerian Government and other key stakeholders to fight the COVID 19 pandemic have arrived. We do believe that this will to provide succor to our healthcare workers on the frontlines

These PPEs comprise N95 respirators, surgical masks, examination gloves, face shields, medical gowns, no-touch thermometers, disposable aprons, heavy-duty rubber gloves, rubber boots, basic masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizers.

Since the first confirmed case of the disease in Nigeria reported in February, over 800 healthcare workers have contracted the disease. While Nigerians are encouraged to stay home where possible and practice social distancing, these healthcare workers are needed across the country in the continued fight against the disease.

This donation forms part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s COVID-19 relief interventions in Nigeria. The Coca-Cola Foundation has provided $2.5m in grant to IFRC who seeks to directly impact the lives of 1.4 million people in Nigeria and across other countries in West and Central Africa under this partnership.

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Events in Nigeria

Taking Care of Tomorrow’s Leaders Today – The itel, Lagos Food Bank Example

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Waking up to a special meal or choice gift is the best feeling ever. Hundreds of children in Mushin, mainland Lagos, had a filling taste of this feeling for the October 1 st celebrations. It’s an experience they will remember for a long time.

Being one of the most responsible corporate citizens around, celebrating Independence Day was always going to be on the radar for itel Mobile. To make this possible and memorable, the brand got to work in earnest. The focus of the work was picking the best way to commemorate the 60th independence anniversary of the most populous black nation on earth.

The efforts soon paid off through an impact-driven partnership with the Lagos Food Bank Initiative. With the arrangement, both partners considered a couple of activities capable of affecting communities positively and bringing smiles to people’s faces in Lagos. At the end of the exercise, taking care of children, the leaders of tomorrow, in the commercial city secured the highest votes.

With the decision, itel Mobile set about making this happen. Not surprisingly, the decision was
influenced by giving children the means to excel and prepare them for leadership and nation-building, for them to enjoy better life. For the good of their immediate family, community and the Nigerian society.

Idiko, Mushin, a suburb of mainland Lagos, was chosen as the benefiting community. And the partners strategically reached out to the beneficiaries, children and families, with gifts of love, care, happiness and support made possible by the itel Love Always On CSR initiative.

Over 1,000 families benefited from the gesture as well as 600 children, and each one of them received food packages to celebrate Nigeria’s 60 th Independence Day commemoration.

Speaking on the event and itel’s Love Always On CSR Initiative, Oke Umurhohwo, itel’s Marketing Manager said, ‘We wanted to mark this year’s Independence Day celebrations differently, and that is why we did something so momentous for our children. Children are the backbone of any longstanding community, and as such, we are proud to be able to give back and support them on their journey as leaders of tomorrow and for a better life.’

To meet the demands of the memorable event, 30 volunteers joined the customer-centric brand and the Lagos-based NGO to share smiles, and to convey just how important it is to love and take care of today’s children who will ultimately become leaders of tomorrow.

With the thoughtful activity, there are insights for everyone, from the government to citizens, on partnerships that are capable of making life better for children. Indeed, itel Mobile and the Lagos Food Bank Initiative have offered a great template on bringing this to reality.

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