April 28, 2018

The street dancers who dream big

The street dancers who dream big Image copyright Olivia Acland Street dancers in Sierra Leone have a bad reputation - they're often branded as thieves and troublemakers. Dance troupe Roughest Bounds does much to challenge this image. The group, made up of 12 members, is determined to make it big, despite social and financial struggles. Image copyright Olivia Acland Slim, 17, has been dancing since he was seven. "When I started dancing at school I realised I had a talent," he says. "People told me I was good and it felt so great to dance and be applauded. I decided I really wanted to pursue this." Image copyright Olivia Acland But the road has not been easy. Slim's father kicked him out of his house, telling him that he couldn't make money dancing in Africa. Now the group stays together in a two-room apartment belonging to their manager, Samuel, who spotted them dancing on the streets last year and decided to support their talent. They share three thin foam mattress..
April 28, 2018

Life after Ebola

Life after Ebola It has been four years since the Ebola virus outbreak in the West African states of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone was first reported. Photographer Hugh Kinsella Cunningham has been back to document the people still living with the legacy of the disease. Image copyright Hugh Kinsella Cunningham The outbreak in 2014 caused more deaths than all the others combined since the virus was discovered in 1976. The virus affected poverty-stricken areas such as Liberia's West Point, where for many, just coping and surviving are everyday victories. West Point is a densely populated township in Monrovia. When the government imposed a curfew and quarantined the area in a bid to halt the deadly outbreak there was unrest and rioting. Image copyright Hugh Kinsella Cunningham Eva Nah's grandson was killed by police while he was protesting at the quarantine. "All he wanted was to play football and become a mechanic," she says. "His father and mother died so I was everythin..
April 28, 2018

Water power: How one pump is helping an entire community

Water power: How one pump is helping an entire community Image copyright Aisha Augie-Kuta / WaterAid Dodging hippos along the Niger river, photographer Aisha Augie-Kuta reached the remote village of Norandé. It is here that she connected with a community that, despite its proximity to the river, faces a daily struggle for clean water. Despite the countries' shared border, what Augie-Kuta saw was a far cry from that back home in Nigeria. With ox carts carrying water from the river through the dry landscape, she says travelling to the region is going back in time compared with her modern home in Nigeria's capital city, Abuja. In Niger, nine out of 10 people do not have a decent toilet and half the population does not have access to safe water. Drinking dirty water from the Niger river exposed people in Norandé to potentially fatal diseases, including cholera and diarrhoea, as well as regular bouts of stomach pain and dermatitis. Recently, a borehole for drinking water was dri..
April 28, 2018

Winnie Mandela memorial

In pictures: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela memorial Thousands of people have attended a memorial service in South Africa to commemorate the life of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. The anti-apartheid campaigner and ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, died on 2 April. Image copyright AFP Image caption South Africa's Deputy President David Mabuza told the crowd that Ms Madikizela-Mandela fought "racial domination, class exploitation and gender oppression". Image copyright EPA Image caption The Mandela daughters, Zanani and Zindzi, were in attendance. Opposition politician Mangosuthu Buthelezi said it was remarkable how they had grown up despite being robbed of their parents in childhood. Image copyright AFP Image caption Mourners gave the "Black Power" salute, as speakers recalled how imprisonment and solitary confinement failed to break Ms Madikizela-Mandela. Image copyright REUTERS Image caption Many people were draped in the colours of the African Nationa..
April 28, 2018

Dickens Olewe: Licence to blog – will ‘Swahili WikiLeaks’ have to close?

Licence to blog: Will 'Swahili WikiLeaks' have to close? Image copyright AFP Image caption Official figures say there are 23 million internet users in Tanzania out of a population of 55 million Bloggers in Tanzania will have to pay $920 (£660) for the privilege of posting content online, according to new regulations. The government says it wants to protect the East African nation from "lies" being spread online though critics see it as a way of muzzling freedom of expression. What are the rules? All online publishers including bloggers, vloggers and podcasters have up to 5 May to register and are required to pay $480 for a three-year licence, plus an annual fee of $440. Radio and TV stations must also apply for licences to share their content online. To get a permit, applicants must fulfil a list of requirements, like submitting staff CVs and reveal their future plans. They will also have to keep a record of visitors to their site. The regulations say the aim is to clamp d..
April 28, 2018

Stephanie Hegarty: Nigeria’s tin mine healing ancient rifts

Crossing Divides: Can Nigeria's new tin mine heal ancient wounds? Image caption Farmers and herders now work together in the new mine Environmental changes have caused tensions between settled farmers and nomadic herders in Nigeria to flare into ethnic conflict. But could working together to serve the demands of modern consumers heal ancient ethnic rifts, asks BBC World Service correspondent Stephanie Hegarty. As the sun sets over the stony hills of Jos, long-horn cows climb awkwardly down into a rocky gorge. They shimmy their bony shoulders, navigating a path worn into the stone over decades of this same grazing ritual. In this picture-postcard of serenity it's hard to imagine that until recently this community in central Nigeria was at war with itself. It's one of the world's most ancient conflicts. Across the northern part of Africa the desert is creeping outwards, swallowing up fertile green land and pushing Fulani herdsmen into conflict with farmers over graz..
April 28, 2018

Nomsa Maseko: Will a new name herald deeper change in Swaziland?

Swaziland has a new name - eSwatini - but will anything else change? Image copyright TAIWAN PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE Image caption The monarch is celebrating his 50th birthday and 50 years of his nation's independence King Mswati III of Swaziland has changed his country's name to eSwatini. The BBC's Nomsa Maseko asks whether the lives of its citizens will change. Crowds waved flags and cheered for King Mswati as he arrived for Independence Day celebrations. The absolute monarch, who rules over one of the poorest countries in Africa, arrived in a top-of-the-range BMW. Still, people were impressed. A member of the crowd waiting to welcome him, Nomusa Dlamini, told me that the king's father wouldn't recognise the country now, after all the new roads and infrastructure. "Our country is peaceful," she added, with her son by her side. The kingdom has indeed not seen a civil war in over five decades, but activists would question whether it could be defined as peaceful. ..
April 28, 2018

Nestlé withdraws ‘degrading’ wife-hunt ad campaign in Morocco

Nestlé withdraws 'degrading' wife-hunt ad campaign in Morocco Image copyright AFP Image caption Nestlé said it had not meant to cause offence The Swiss food giant Nestlé has cancelled an online publicity campaign in Morocco after it was branded sexist on social media. The mini-series, titled I Want to Get Married, featured five young women competing to win a husband by impressing his mother. The first episode saw the would-be brides asked to make a dessert using Nestlé condensed milk. Nestlé says it "sincerely regrets" that the content offended some viewers. A number of Moroccans had lambasted the campaign, saying it was degrading and outdated to pick a wife based on her cooking skills. Skip Twitter post by @S_Errazzouki Here’s a graphic of the show sponsored by @nestle called “I want to get married,” where the mother places an ad for her son “Sidi Anas," and where he gets to sit back, relax, taste food, and marry the one who cooks best pic.twitter.com/O7neH6uqu0 — Samia Er..
April 28, 2018

Kenya bans Rafiki ahead of Cannes debut over lesbian scenes

Kenya bans Rafiki ahead of Cannes debut over lesbian scenes Image copyright Rafiki Image caption Kenya Film Classification Board says anyone in possession of the film, Rafiki, would be found in breach of Kenya's law The first Kenyan film to debut at the Cannes Film Festival has been banned in Kenya due to its lesbian storyline. The film Rafiki, which means "friend" in Swahili, traces the love story between two young women. The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) said the film "seeks to legitimize lesbian romance". KFCB warned that anyone found in possession of the film would be in breach of the law in Kenya, where gay sex is punishable by 14 years. The film's director Wanuri Kahiu told the BBC: "I really had hoped that the classification board would classify it as an 18. Because we feel the Kenyan audience is a mature, discerning enough audience." "I feel like the banning of the film does not allow the Kenyan audience to have a conversation about the film, and doesn�..
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