Africans explore classical music and ballet [This is Culture]

Despite the many talents on the continent, classical music and ballet which deserve much more attention are still emerging. A Nigerian opera singer Omo Bello studied biology, very far from her current job. It’s bit surprising to have an african child to tell her parents that she wants to become an opera singer,especially since there are not many blacks and Africans in this field. She was lucky enough to have been spotted by talent hunters in Lagos, which paved way for her to have an international career. Another classical discipline is ballet. Kibera Ballet School is located in Nairobi, Kenya, in one of the largest slums in Africa. Every week after class, students remove the tables and chairs and take ballet classes. The goal is not necessarily to train future great dancers, but rather allow them to face everyday life by instilling values ​​such as rigor and determination. And it gives them confidence and change their ideas for a few hours. The moral of all these is that dance and mu..

A sound Trump policy on Africa could protect US interests

Despite President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimonySkier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at OlympicsPoll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with RussiaMORE’s acknowledgment that the “United States faces an extraordinarily dangerous world,” his regional strategy toward Africa is too weak to advance American interests on the continent. Most high-level leaders who attended the recent Atlantic Dialogues in Morocco agree that geopolitical and economic competition from China, Russia, India, France, and the United Kingdom threaten America’s national interests and soft power in Africa. Trump's national security strategy commits to protect the homeland, promote American prosperity, preserve peace through strength and advance American influence with the return of principle realism. But its priority actions are not strong enough to realistically counter global competitio..

Let's make the campaign on reading culture a success

The recently launched campaign by Rwandan publishers to ingrain a reading culture in the country is not only imaginative, but could not have been kick-started at a better time. Themed “Gira Igitabo Aho Uri (loosely, ‘read a book wherever you are’), it is apt that the first full month of the projected year-long campaign should have coincided with December. The aptness of the coincidence is that it should appear obvious that the long holidays that define the month present an excellent opportunity for adults and children alike to enjoy a book before work and school resumes in January. Yet this rarely happens with many of us. Thus, the elaborate campaign targets homes as well as institutions and corporates, with an eventual launch of the Igitabo Bus Initiative to avail books in public transport service vehicles. The bus initiative will be the first of its kind in the region, if not the world. And, if it successfully comes to pass, the multi-pronged campaign doesn’t get more imaginative th..

This Documentary Paints a Beautiful Portrait of Africa's Diverse Surf Culture

[embedded content]Color me naïve. But to see how the sport of surfing has transcended national borders is heartwarming. In the wake of landmark filmmaker Bruce Brown’s recent passing, media outlets from this one to the New York Times have obitted the man, making some mention of his opus The Endless Summer. Bruce Brown’s accolades are well deserved – it’s hard to overstate his contribution to surfing through the Endless Summer alone. Still, for as much as surf culture credits Brown for a collective desire to travel in pursuit of the perfect wave, there’s a flipside that sometimes goes unnoticed – the seeds of surf culture that are left in the wake of surf travel. Admittedly, surfing’s spread hasn’t been entirely positive – scores of formerly unknown coastal communities have become inundated with travelers and now deal with a myriad of issues like pollution and overdevelopment. But there are also numerous people across the world that were first inspired to surf because they saw a traveli..

Ride the world's tallest swing in this often overlooked South African city

Visitors to South Africa tend to favor Cape Town and Johannesburg, often overlooking the coastal city of Durban. But the country’s third-largest city shouldn’t be omitted. One local has an interesting take on this. “If South Africa were Destiny’s Child, Durban would be Michelle [Williams], but we think it can be the Beyoncé one day,” says Andrew Rall, before taking a swig of his Durban Dry Gin distilled with locally-sourced botanicals like African rose hip. We’re sitting in Rall’s restaurant, Distillery 031, a buzzy bar tucked inside the city’s Station Precinct district. This area of Durban feels a lot like Brooklyn — chic warehouse spaces peppered with clutches of craft coffee cafés and vintage clothing shops. Michelle Williams, like the other members of R&B group Destiny’s Child, isn’t a household name like Beyoncé. 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' highlights Ireland's Skellig Michael Neither is Durban. But the city filled with plenty of gritty charm, culture, and na..

Success can be measured in the number of international airport connections served by multistop...

As an overseer of all security for U.N. peacekeeping missions around the world, Ken Payumo must make at least one stop each year in seven sub-Saharan African countries, from Liberia to South Sudan. When booking flights, he has several choices — none of them pretty. To fly to the Central African Republic from Chad — neighboring countries — Payumo has to pick up a flight from Chad’s capital N’Djamena to Paris, then from Paris to Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic. Sometimes, Royal Air Maroc comes through with just a layover in Casablanca. But once in-country and ready to return to the U.S., it’s a “hodgepodge” of options, according to Payumo: Air Maroc again from Bangui to Casablanca to Paris, before he can fly into JFK. Or a two-stop flight to Newark, New Jersey, on Ethiopian Air for $1,300 — if he’s lucky. That may finally change. Encouraged by the International Air Transport Association and the African Union, executives of African airlines are gaining ground against the r..

Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to confront South Africa's bleak future

Among all the remarkable turns in African politics this year, one of the most momentous was December’s ANC party congress in South Africa, where the party chose a new president: Cyril Ramaphosa, who narrowly bested Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma. Many at the conference imagined a Dlamini-Zuma presidency would be little more than an extension of her ex-husband’s, and therefore hardly a prospect to be excited about. Jacob Zuma has always put personal enrichment ahead of the country. He has left most South Africans to wait for the elite’s corruptly acquired wealth to one day trickle down, which it can only do via the culture of patronage embedded in the ANC itself rather than via legitimate, transparent institutions. For those who want to change this awful game, Ramaphosa is by far the better choice. He at least understands that wealth has to be created before it can be stolen. The all-theft-no-production school of management was what led to the near-total economic collapse of Zimbabwe, which Ro..

Blue Devil of the Week: Nurturing a Culture of Collaboration

Name: Ed Balleisen Title: Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, Professor of History and Public Policy Years at Duke: 21 What he does: While a focus on interdisciplinary studies has been a part of Duke’s strategic direction for a few decades, Balleisen stresses the impulse to span areas of study in search of answers to complex questions is something that occurs organically at Duke. Go in any school or department, he says, and you’ll find teachers and students whose curiosity and focus on big problems often leads them beyond the boundaries of their particular field, and often into intellectual partnerships with others from other disciplines. It’s Balleisen’s job to nurture that part of campus culture. As the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, a position he’s held since 2015, he’s helped guide the campus entities that have drawn on expertise from multiple schools and overseen the growth of the Bass Connections program, which teams students with faculty to pursue interdisci..

African Festival of Nude Photography 2018 [Culture TMC]

2017 was a year rich in terms of culture on the continent for African artists who pushed the limits of their creativity. Well everything suggests that 2018 will also be a good year. One example of that is of an unprecedented photo festival that will open in March in Benin: the African Festival of Nude Photography! This festival aims to become the largest African event devoted to artistic nude photography by bringing together photographers and artists with interest in the body as a theme annually. It must be said, the subject is not very popular on the continent. Nudity is still very often perceived as indecent. But the objective here is to present nudity as a means to reclaim the African body. Behind this initiative is writer, slameur and cultural journalist Djamile Mama Gao. He tells us how the idea of such the festival came up. Take a listen ! Let's block ads! (Why?)

Ethiopia bans foreign adoptions

Ethiopia has banned the adoption of children by foreigners amid concerns they face abuse and neglect abroad. Ethiopia is one of the biggest source countries for international adoptions by US citizens, accounting for about 20% of the total. Celebrities Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are among those who have adopted children from Ethiopia. However, in 2013, a US couple were convicted of killing an adopted Ethiopian girl. That case triggered a debate about foreign adoption, the BBC's Emmanuel Igunza in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa says. The adoption process in Ethiopia has also faced serious questions with rights groups saying that it was prone to abuse by human traffickers who saw it as lucrative market. Two years ago, Denmark stopped the adoption of children from Ethiopia. Africa Live: Updates on this and other stories Out of Ethiopia: Is international adoption an ethical business?Lawmakers now say orphans and other vulnerable children should be cared for under locally availa..

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