What’s Trending brings you a variety of the latest trends from and around the continent.  Expect to find your usual dose of news, categorised by country, alongside WOA’s handpicked song of the week!


 Alton Sterling and Philando Castille become a hashtag, Lezley McSpadden, the mother of police brutality victim, Micheal Brown speaks out

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Lezley McSpadden is the author of “Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil: The Life, Legacy and Love of My Son Michael Brown.” As the deaths of Philando Castille and Alton Sterling shock the world this week and the death toll of those killed in the US by police rises to 1,200 in the past year, McSpadden writes for the NY Times;

I cried on Wednesday as I watched, like much of the country, the horrifying video images from Baton Rouge, La, showing a black man being shot to death, in the back and chest, after being wrestled into submission by two white police officers. On Thursday, I woke up to the news of a black man in Minnesota, shot by the police during a traffic stop. I am devastated and infuriated.

 Alton Sterling is dead. Philando Castile is dead. My son, Michael Brown, has been dead for almost two years now.

 People will try to twist the words of Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile’s families and turn them into something ugly. These men will be called “thugs” and much, much worse. It’s already happening. Click on the comments section of any article you read about their deaths, and you will be shocked by the racist comments of people who insist — insist — that they obviously deserved to die.

 So what would I say to their families? When you’re ready, and if you need me, I’ll be there for you. But the people I would really like to say something to are the ones who claim that justice will prevail. Whose justice? When justice comes to the one who didn’t pull the trigger, that’s when I’ll believe you


Africa Writes; A series of spectacular events! 

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The first three days of July were something special. If you missed it, you were not present for a sequence of profound and exciting events that included poets, writers and publishers from the continent and the diaspora.

The audience were receptive and deeply engaged due to the brilliant content throughout Africa Writes festival –  some of the highlights being Sex Love and Poetry with SA Smythe, and Caleb Femi, On Being a Woman Writer, with Nawal El Sadawi, and a book swap that featured rapper and historian Akala.

A book fair spanning the entire three days also occurred where much of the attendees took the opportunity to browse through a range of books by African authors they may not have usually been able to get their hands on. After a brilliant and bold Africa Writes Festival, What’s on Africa are happy to announce the festival celebrated it’s 5th anniversary and African Literature successfully. Tweet @AfricaWritesUK to let the team know who you would like to see at next years biggest African Literature festival in the UK!


Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh bans child marriage.

A call of action against child marriage by Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has come to global attention. During the Eid-Ul-Fitr celebrations, Jammeh made a timely speech as Ramadan came to a close. Jammeh stated that anyone marrying a girl aged below 18 would be jailed for up to 20 years. He also reinforced that the parents and imams who perform the ceremonies would also face prison. This ban has been announced against figures from Unicef, which show that a staggering 46% of girls in The Gambia are married before the age of 18. Jammeh seems to be paving the way for social change in terms of women and young girls – In December 2015 Jammeh banned female genital mutilation (FGM). The punishment included a prison sentence of up to three years. Mr Jammeh stated that the practice had no place in Islam or in modern society.


App of the week: Mimba Bora

Created by MTL Systems in conjunction with a team of certified doctors, Mimba Bora, Swahili for “best pregnancy,” aims to provide expectant mothers with all the information they need to have a healthy pregnancy. Targeted at women in rural areas who might find it difficult to locate clinics or access information on pregnancy and childbirth, the app is freely available. Once a user registers, she is welcomed into the Mimba Bora network and receives information on the clinics nearest to her and advises when she should visit.

During her pregnancy, she will also receive helpful tips on how to deal with her changing body, and learn about how her child is developing. Mimba Bora also supports HIV-positive mothers, and provides all users with special access to information regarding health insurance, lamaze classes, counseling, legal services, and more. The usefulness and effectiveness of the app when applied to pregnant women has enabled the app’s popularity to grow quickly.


Song of the week: Tinie Tempah and Wizkid

 Tinie Tempah and Wizkid make an epic pair for their latest track “Mamacita”. The disturbing London duo disturb Nigeria and the world with a latin inspired summer anthem! Get your Headphones ready!

 

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