Author: Voices of Africa

Ebola: Getting to zero cases

The Ebola outbreak has slowed across West Africa but every new infection continues to threaten millions of lives. This fatal disease claimed 7 000 lives by the end of 2014 in just Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Lione. Overcoming this complex emergency challenged governments and international aid organisations and brought fear to the rest of the world.

This inspiring story of a girl in Sierra Leone who loses her parents to Ebola visualises the truly devastating effect of the disease, but also the courage of everyday heroes who help fight the outbreak.

Last month, Liberia was finally declared Ebola-free. However, the deadly virus will not truly disappear until there is no longer active transmission in affected neighbouring countries.

Sheldon Yett, Unicef‘s representative in Liberia, cautioned that the region could not afford to let its guard down. “Having achieved zero cases is the first step, now the challenge is to remain at zero. The threat won’t be over until there are no more cases in neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea.” He also added, “In the longer-run there is a need to rebuild a better health system, with the capacity to identify and respond to any future outbreaks, be it Ebola, measles or pertussis,” said Yett.

Getting to zero is now a reality as long as we see a sustained commitment throughout 2015 in the fight against Ebola. Liberia is now clear. Now it’s time for Guinea and Sierra Leone to #GetToZero.

Namibia: Government to name and shame irresponsible fathers

(Pic: Flickr / Matt)
(Pic: Flickr / Matt)

Namibian fathers who fail to pay maintenance for their children could soon have their photos published in the media.

The Namibian reports that the country’s justice minister Albert Kawana announced the decision as a “desperate and last resort” to shame “dodgy” fathers into meeting their parental responsibilities.

There are plans to begin publishing the photos in the next three months, but the rules for implementation are still to be finalised and maintenance officers will have to obtain a court order before photos of the men can be published.

“Everyone should know who that person is. It is also undermining the efforts by the government to alleviate poverty and it puts the responsibility on the state when fathers don’t play their role,” Kawana told The Namibian.

Read more here.

‘Desperate Housewives Africa’ launches on April 30

(Pic: Supplied)
(Pic: Supplied)

Desperate Housewives Africa, the African version of the award-winning US television drama series, will launch on April 30 on EbonyLife TV (DStv 165).

According to the Nigerian network, “viewers can look forward to an enthralling and spell-binding homegrown pilot that takes the Desperate Housewives format as you once knew it to scandalously new dimensions.”

Filmed in Lagos, the series stars Marcy Dolapo Oni as Rume Bello, the dead friend who narrates the series. Her friends must cope with her absence while their own lives unravel in “comedic and dramatic” fashion.

Michelle Dede plays Tari Gambadia, who competes for the attention of a new hunky neighbour with his own ulterior motives.

Nini Wacera is Ese De Souza, a housewife struggling to maintain the perfect family.

Kehinde Bankole plays Kiki Obi, who is caught up in a sleazy love affair.

Omotu Bissong, who stars as Funke Lawal, copes with life as a stay-at-home and exhausted mum of four.

The original Desperate Housewives is broadcast in more than 200 territories around the world. Versions of it have been produced for audiences in Turkey, Argentina, Columbia, Brazil – and now Africa.

Kenya: Chinese restaurant with ‘No Africans’ policy shut down

The Nairobi County government has shut down a Chinese restaurant that refused to serve African customers after 5pm.

According to reports in Kenya’s Daily Nation, the restaurant in Kilimani was operating illegally for years without a liquor licence, a health inspection licence and a change-of-use licence.

The closure comes after media reports of the restaurant’s controversial decision to ban African patrons after 5pm. The owners said it was out of concern for the safety of Chinese patrons.

“We don’t admit Africans that we don’t know because you never know who is Al-Shabaab and who isn’t,” relations manager Esther Zhao told the newspaper. “It is not like it is written on somebody’s face that they are a thug armed with a gun.”

However, staff denied that only a select group of Africans were allowed in, saying there was “strictly a no African policy” in place.

Kenyans who were turned away from the Chinese restaurant have been encouraged to lodge a complaint with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.

The owner, Zhao Yang, was arrested yesterday for operating the restaurant without a licence, the Guardian reported.  If found guilty, he faces a prison term of 18 months or a fine of more than $1 000.

SABC’s Vuyo Mvoko and crew mugged on camera

The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s Vuyo Mvoko and his crew were robbed of their belongings seconds before they could cross live from Milpark in Johannesburg on Tuesday. He was reporting on Zambian President Edgar Lungu’s arrival to Milpark hospital.

Mvoko and the SABC team were robbed of their cellphones and a laptop, but thankfully were not harmed.

Here is the live footage, which clearly shows the muggers, and an SABC News interview with Mvoko about the incident.