American-Ghanaian-Liberian actor and comedian, Michael Blackson says he is capable of becoming a president in Ghana.

Speaking on the Breakfast Show on GTV, Michael Blackson indicated that being President is about what the people want and that is what he has.”

“What I believe I think when running for president is that people have to want you. You can’t just be like I want to be a president. You know, people will have to get a feeling that, they need you. Mike we need you, we like what you believe in, we like what you are doing, we know you could be a great president. You’ve, you seem to care about  us,  to care about everybody and I think that is what a real president is all about man. It’s caring about everybody…” he noted.

He stated that, Presidency is also based on the interests of the people and he cares so much about them.

“Like sometimes, I get up and I’m like ha. I look outside like, my goodness, when is this building finish, when are they gonna finish this?, why is the street look like this?, why is this man outside, taking bath outside?, why didn’t he has a bathroom?, like why?, why?, why?. You know, I mean like why?, you know. And I think that’s what the ‘Presidentship’ thing is about the people”, he added.

He said he would not hesitate to let go of his American citizenship to become President of Ghana.

…Aww man, I don’t, I don’t care about American citizenship…I was in America for over 30 something years and I just became a citizen like six months ago. You know, I don’t really try to fight so hard to get it because, you know, in America especially, in this new era,  it’s all about being different. People like difference and I have been claiming ‘Africanism’ since day one”, he said.

SOURCE: GHANAONLINE

Warning: This article contains strong language

  • Best actor nominee Will Smith smacked presenter Chris Rock at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday.
  • While presenting the award for Best Documentary the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith's appearance.
  • Smith who went on to win the Best Actor award apologised to the Academy but not to Rock upon accepting his award.

Best actor nominee Will Smith smacked presenter Chris Rock in the face with an open hand and shouted a vulgarity at the comedian for making a joke about his wife's appearance at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday.

SEE THE FULL LIST OF OSCAR WINNERS HERE

At first, the episode with Rock appeared to be a scripted joke but turned serious when Smith shouted out, "Keep my wife's name out of your fucking mouth."

The audio from the show, broadcast on a time delay of a few seconds in the United States, appeared to have been cut from the live transmission for many viewers because of the language.

Rock was roasting some of the nominees and, after mentioning Smith, said of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, "Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane II, can't wait to see it."

Moments later, Smith walked on stage toward Rock, who had his hands behind his back when Smith threw an open hand at his face that produced an audible smack.

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Will Smith appears to hit Chris Rock on Oscars stage after gag about wife Jada

Will Smith stormed the stage of the Oscars and hit Chris Rock in the face after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. The actor, who is nominated in the best actor category, appeared to take offence to a gag Rock made about Pinkett Smith’s short haircut.

 

"Oh, wow! Wow! Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me," Rock said as the audience laughed, thinking it was a skit. "Wow, dude. It was a G.I. Jane joke," referencing the 1997 film G.I. Jane in which actor Demi Moore shaved her head.

Smith then made what may become one of the most repeated phrases of Oscar history when he said, "Keep my wife's name out of your fucking mouth."

Rock responded, "I'm going to. That's the greatest night in the history of television."

Smith then repeated his phrase, louder and more deliberately.

In December, Jada Pinkett Smith told Billboard she has been battling the autoimmune disorder alopecia, which can cause hair loss and balding.

The audience initially thought Smith's indignation was feigned, part of the act. It was only after he returned to his seat and shouted that the audience went silent and audibly gasped. Many people in the mezzanine stood up and craned their heads to try to catch a glimpse.

Smith won the Oscar for playing Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. Smith apologised to the Academy and his fellow nominees but not to Rock upon accepting his award.

"Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family," Smith said. The last thing he said before he took his seat was: "I hope the Academy invites me back."

Source: Reuters

Activists are demanding the return to Gabon of a rare 19th Century wooden mask sold in France for nearly $5m (£3.8m).

Nobody was expecting the pale mask with an elongated face and straggly beard to fetch even a tenth of the sum it was sold for.

Activists disrupted the auction in the southern French city of Montpellier, saying whoever bought the mask was receiving stolen goods.

The auctioneer insisted the sale was entirely legal.

The mask would have been worn by a member of the Ngil secret society, a group that travelled through villages dispensing justice and hunting down sorcerers.

The distinctive shape of the Ngil masks is believed to have played a huge influence on the work of famous European artists including Picasso and Modigliani.

Like many others in Africa, the Gabonese are demanding the return of precious artefacts stolen during colonial times.

A number of Western museums have started the process of returning precious antiquities stolen from Africa and other continents during colonial times.

Source: BBC

  • Neighbours of Esther Mahlangu fear for their lives after she was attacked in her home.
  • Elderly women in Siyabuswa believe that the attacker is planning to strike again.
  • They called on the police to arrest the culprit.

Elderly citizens of Siyabuswa in Mpumalanga, says they are living in fear after internationally renowned Ndebele artist, Esther Mahlangu, was attacked.

A robber repeatedly assaulted Mahlangu, 87, at her home on 19 March and strangled her before making off with an undisclosed amount of money and her licensed private firearm.

The attack happened between 14:00 and 15:00.

The house, which is decorated home with Ndebele paintings, has security cameras and an electric fence.

Mahlangu's neighbour, Sarah Mahlangu, 61, who is not related to her, has been having sleepless nights since the attack.

She asked:

How can we sleep in peace when we are under attack?

READ | Esther Mahlangu: She was crying, saying her attacker bound her hands, beat her repeatedly - neighbour

"The elderly are not safe in the country. I have not slept in peace since Saturday. I am afraid that I might be next. Mahlangu stays in a secure yard with cameras and an electric fence. If they can attack a person who is safe, what about us?" she added.

"I would be lying if I say we are safe as pensioners in Siyabuswa. We call on the police to act fast and arrest Mahlangu's perpetrator. Our police must prioritise our area and become more visible," she said.

Play Video

Esther Mahlangu: Ndebele art showed me the world

Heritage icon and Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu wants to be remembered for her work.

Maria Mthimunye, 73, claimed that she kept a wooden stick ready to attack any intruders.

"We are afraid. Should he enter my house, I am going to beat him with my stick. We can't be victimised in our homes. Mahlangu's attack has left us in fear. I am afraid to even walk to the shops.

"We are all shocked and looking for answers. I can't sleep at night. Whenever I close my eyes, I feel that there is someone in my bedroom. We are traumatised. I wish Mahlangu a speedy recovery," Mthimunye said.

Play Video

WATCH: The youth have thrown away their traditions - Esther Mahlangu

Renowned Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu fears that today's youth is not making a concerted effort to try and preserve their cultures.

READ | Mpumalanga police launch manhunt after Ndebele artist Dr Esther Mahlangu robbed, attacked

Rebecca Mokoena, 66, said she had lost faith in the Siyabuswa police.

She said:

If our police officers were doing their work, they would have arrested the culprit by now. Our local officers mustn’t handle Mahlangu’s case. This is a woman who is known worldwide, senior officers must handle her case.

She added: "It is embarrassing to see a woman her age being attacked at her home. It is also embarrassing for a woman of her stature to be attacked at the place where she is supposed to be safe. Everyone in Mpumalanga knows Mahlangu.

"Her attack was not a case of mistaken identity. It was properly planned by someone who did his homework. As an ordinary resident of Siyabuswa, I am not safe at home and on the streets.

"Her attacker is hiding among us. His next victim is unknown. He is somewhere planning to attack another elderly woman. 

"God must give Mahlangu strength and heal her from her wounds. Her enemy must be found very soon."

Source: News24

Burkina Faso-born architect Diébédo Francis Kéré has won this year's prestigious Pritzker Prize.

Mr Kéré, 56, is the first African to win the award in its more than 40-year history, which is regarded as the highest honour in the field.

He is a dual citizen of Burkina Faso and Germany.

He said he was the "happiest man on this planet" to become the 51st recipient of the.

"I have a feeling of an overwhelming honour but also a sense of responsibility," he is quoted as telling AFP news agency in an interview.

The architect's works include the national assemblies of Burkina Faso and Benin which have been commissioned.

In announcing the winner, the jury said the architect "raises fundamental questions of the meaning of permanence and durability of construction in a context of constant technological changes".

Mr Kéré was praised by members of the jury for combining his architectural works "with the traditions, needs and customs of his country".

Source: BBC

The famous pimped-up matatus, or minibus taxis, of Kenya's capital, often move through the traffic to the sound of Nigerian Afrobeats music, Tanzania's Bongo Flava or South Africa's Amapiano.

Step out of the vehicle and the foreign tunes are booming through the speakers of street vendors.

And likewise on the radio, the most played tunes are rarely from Kenya.

The global rise of Africa's urban pop music scene has been a source of pride for the continent, but in Kenya it has also raised concerns that local musicians are being squeezed out.

Some in the industry say that new Kenyan talent is not being given the chance to break through.

One radical solution is to raise the quota for Kenyan music on radio stations from the current 40%, agreed in 2014, to 75% of the tracks aired.

The drive is being led by popular local comedian, Eric Omondi, who recently staged an eye-catching protest outside parliament while enclosed in a glass box that was emblazoned with the words "play 75% Kenyan".

 

Comedian Eric Omondi sat in a glass box outside parliament to publicise his push for more local music on the radio

Several MPs expressed support for his push, including John Kiarie, a former comedian, who later urged parliament to "unlock" the potential of Kenya's creative economy sector by approving the proposal.

"I'm pushing for more upcoming talents to be featured on radio and TV. I want to ensure our youth get airplay and build their brands and become self-sufficient," Omondi told BBC Swahili.

But the current figure of 40% is already a hefty amount and there are questions as to why, given this exposure, Kenyan musicians continue to struggle.

One of the difficulties is that more airplay has not translated into more revenue for the artists.

Lack of royalties

The problem is that Kenyan broadcasters, while complying with the quota, have been reluctant to pay royalties.

Court cases challenging this non-payment have dragged on for years.

"We're only collecting about 20% of the royalties," said Peter Inyenze, the head of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya - the body that represents owners of music copyrights.

"This has been a problem in Kenya over the years. Broadcasters have always said that they have no money and business was not good."

A presidential decree last year included the payment of royalties as a condition for the renewal of broadcasting licences - so things may change.

Mr Inyenze said he has now been getting correspondence from broadcasters about paying their outstanding royalties.

But, perhaps because of the lack of money, there is also the question of whether there is enough new quality Kenyan music being produced to fill the proposed quota.

Sauti Sol are one of the few Kenyan acts to break through across the continent

Music executive Agnes Nonsizi believes that as it evolved into Gengetone, which was influenced by dancehall and reggaeton, the unique pop identity was chipped away - allowing for the entry of sounds from Nigeria and Tanzania.

There have been some breakout stars like Sauti Sol, Khaligraph Jones and Nameless. But success stories have been few and many have struggled to make money from their talent.

Music publicist Bilha Nguraiya has some harsh words for many Kenyan musicians who she thinks "don't want to compete and measure up" with the continental stars.

"Music was a way for some of them to get away from poverty. And now they are too scared to get out of their comfort zone because it might upset the equation - they don't know better and are afraid to take risks," she told the BBC.

Lewd lyrics

As well as the lack of ambition and business acumen among musicians, there is also the question of identity and how local fans experience the music.

University student Priscilla Awino explains that she prefers Tanzanian Bongo music because of its "poetic" Swahili.

"I can't relate with the message in Afrobeats but it's entertaining, I love the rhythm, the pidgin accent and I find them genuinely cultural - you can tell this is distinctly African."

Some say that one reason Kenyans don't have a strong affinity with local music is because it doesn't have a strong cultural grounding, but Nguraiya disagrees.

"Our music has an identity, it really does. But it's Kenyan consumers who have a problem with the identity. Artists are a mirror of society, but we just don't like what we are seeing in the mirror," she said.

There is also a growing inclination among upcoming musicians for lewdness, fabricated stories of gang violence and controversy that thrusts them suddenly into the spotlight before they soon fizzle and disappear.

Little wonder some local clubs do not play Kenyan music and it is rare to get their visitors requesting Kenyan music, according to DJ Sashi Diva.

"The songs rake in millions of views on YouTube but you can't play them in a club because not every controversial thing will be consumed. That is where Nigerians and Tanzanians beat us," she said.

And this all feeds back into what radio stations are prepared to play and whether they could fill a 75% quota.

Media houses have already raised concerns about the proposal. They argue that radio stations have to air what the audiences want in order to survive.

While Kenyan vernacular radio stations mostly play local music, the national stations that draw the biggest audiences thrive on foreign content.

The Star newspaper - owned by the Radio Africa Group which has six national radio stations - argued in a recent editorial against the need for new legislation as it "will reduce the variety in the output of Kenyan TV and radio".

"Let TV and radios compete for audiences by offering both local and international content in varying permutations," it said.

A desire to support local artists may persuade some parliamentarians to back a quota change, but it may ultimately achieve little if Kenyans continue to prefer foreign sounds.

Around the country, listeners are voting with their ears, and for the moment Afrobeat and Bongo Flava are clear favourites.

 

Source: BBC

………………

INTERNATIONALLY-ACCLAIMED Nigerian gospel musician, Sinach, is set to perform in the country on the 21st of this month.

‘The Way Maker’ hitmaker who made her maiden concert in the country in 2013, is set to have her 3rd performance at the Harare International Conference Centre.

“We are excited to announce the coming of Sinach, a veteran gospel musician who is internationally recognised. She will be performing at HICC on the 21st of February,” said event manager, Carol Matibiri.

The multi-award-winning gospel sensation will be supported by a star-studded line up which includes Minister Mahendere, Takesure Zamar and South African gospel heavyweight Nthokozo Mbambo.

Go Gospel promoter, Frazer Chibanda noted: “Sinach will be sharing the stage with some of our best gospel artists who include Minister Mahendere, Celebration Choir, Mkululi Bhebhe and Everton Mlalazi.”

Born Osinachi Kalu, the talented musician who last performed in the country in 2016, will rekindle romance with her fans at a show dubbed ‘It’s Time’.

Source: ZBC News

The Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission -CEEC- has engaged the Drug Enforcement Commission -DEC- to investigate the diversion of the Presidential Arts Empowerment Loans by some beneficiaries.

Public Relations and Communication Manager MICHELO MUKATA says preliminary investigations have revealed that some beneficiaries are allegedly conniving with suppliers to obtain cash instead of buying pieces of equipment.

Mr. MICHELO has disclosed this in an interview with ZNBC News in LUSAKA.

He urged the beneficiaries of the Presidential Arts Empowerment Loans to ensure the facility is not abused for them to be economically empowered.

In 2020, the CEEC released over 27 million KWACHA to 1-hundred and 52 projects under the Presidential Arts Empowerment Loan Facility.

This was after the CEEC forged a Partnership with the National Arts Council -NAC – to disburse and manage the Presidential Arts Empowerment Loans.

To-date the CEEC has disbursed over eight million KWACHA to 54 artists.

The commission has further partially released over 15 million KWACHA to 85 artists.

 

Source: ZNBC

A popular Nigerian skit maker was arrested during a raid by the drug law enforcement agency.

Sunday Joshua popularly known as De General was found with Tramadol - a restricted drug used to treat pain - and cannabis.

He had gone live on his Instagram account - that has more than 700,000 followers - during the raid.

De General has not commented about the arrest but a statement from the agency said he admitted to owning the drugs found in his house.

His friends have however told local media that he was set up.

Source: BBC

The heady beats of Congolese rumba were hailed by UNESCO on Tuesday as it added the central African music and dance to its list of global cultural treasures.

The Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Republic had submitted a joint bid for their rumba to receive heritage status for its unique sound that melds the drumming of enslaved Africans with the melodies of Spanish colonisers.

"The rumba is used for celebration and mourning, in private, public and religious spaces," UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural and scientific agency, said in its citation for the music's addition to its list of assets of intangible cultural value to humanity.

Rumba is an essential and representative part of the identity of Congolese people and their diaspora, it said.

"The President of the Republic welcomes with joy and pride the addition of Congolese rumba to the list," the office of Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi tweeted.

The many customs enshrined on UNESCO's list of cultural treasures include the hawker food of Singapore, sauna culture in Finland and traditional irrigation systems in the United Arab Emirates.

Source; Reuters

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