Welcome to this week’s What’s Trending! We’re excited to share the best snippets of news throughout this week.  Our easy to digest format means you can find out what’s new instantly – you don’t need to worry about missing out if you don’t have time to search for hours through your other favourite blogs,  (though we should be the only favourites!) What’s Trending brings together the best news, events and people on one page. Read on to find out more!

Story of the Week

Botswana, Politics 

Botswana’s wide open door:

Botswana’s government says it is deporting an American pastor who has made anti-gay comments. Neighbouring South Africa earlier this month prevented the entry of Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church of Tempe, Arizona, saying he and church members allegedly promote hate speech and “social violence.”

The tweet by Botswana’s government on Tuesday says Anderson “has been declared a prohibited immigrant” but does not give details.Activists had said they were campaigning against the Botswana visit after urging South Africa’s government to bar the entry of Anderson.

After his South Africa ban, Anderson posted on Facebook: “Thank God we still have a wide open door in Botswana.” 

Human of the Week

Nigeria, Activism

Bisi Alimi:

downloadThis week’s amazing human is Bisi Alimi, the Nigerian gay rights activist, public speaker, blog writer and HIV/LGBT advocate who gained international attention when he became the first Nigerian to come out of the closet on television.  In early 2004, Alimi attended the 4th National Conference on HIV/AIDS held in Abuja where he voiced HIV concerns amongst Nigerian gay men. He was later to become a Nigerian gay rights activist leading several peaceful protests and social dialogues to demand acceptance of homosexuals in Nigeria.

In July 2005, The Independent Project for Equal Rights-Nigeria was founded by Alimi with a group of friends. He served as Executive Director of this organisation where he pioneered several Nigerian LGBT Youth Group initiatives until April 2007. He also worked as director of Nigeria youth programmes at Alliance Rights organisation. However, his controversial interview on national television in 2004 had become catalyst for the proposed motion on “Anti-Same Sex Bill” of 2006 that was presented to law makers in the Nigerian National Assembly. The motion for this controversial “Anti-Same Sex” bill was presented before the legislative house three times between 2006 and 2011.

Now residing in London, Alimi has continued his advocacy on gay rights within migrant African communities. He has worked with organizations in the UK including Naz Project London, Michael Bell Research and Consultancy and HIV I-Base. He has also worked with AHPN, and he was selected a member of the IAS youth for Mexico 2008 and was a member of the AmfAR review panel for the international grants for African MSM AIDS initiative 2009 and 2011 respectively.

Apart from sexual rights advocacy, Alimi has also organised protests against UK policies that are capable of inciting racial prejudice.

Know a human you think should be featured? Tweet us @Whatsonafrica

Film of the Week

Mali, Film



Ahead of Film Africa this October we’re featuring highlights from some of the films you should be excited about seeing. This week, WOA features Wùlu.

Malian director Daouda Coulibaly’s debut is a no-nonsense tense crime drama/political thriller that traces the rise and fall of a low-level transit worker turned drug trafficker.

We follow the main character Ladji (Ibrahim Koma), a 20-year-old poorly paid transit worker from Bamako who leads a quiet life, looking out for his family and keeping out of trouble. When corruption at work leads to him losing out on yet another promotion, Ladji falls victim to temptation; his rapid transformation into drug trafficker quickly entangles him in the criminal underworld, including the military, government and eventually al-Qaeda.

Director Coulibaly ties in the political unrest in the story as well as Ladji’s rites-of-passage. The trial of the film WULU is the dog’s rite, one part of 5 rites, that the audience is to figure out what it is about.

Coulibaly’s film is absorbing but it occasionally attempts to achieve much more than it can chew. Coulibaly always has the audience rooting for handsome Ladji, whether he is doing right or wrong.

Dir: Daouda Coulibaly, 95 minutes, English/French

Have a film you would like featured? Tweet us @whatsonafrica

Start Up of the Week

South Africa, Business


South African startup Giraffe wants to improve access to job listings for the low and medium skilled jobs market using mobile.

Jobseekers sign up to Giraffe by sending a shortcode via SMS or visiting the Giraffe website. The platform asks a series of questions, culminating in a short digital CV.

Employers log onto the platform and submit a staffing request. Giraffe’s algorithm automatically contacts all suitable candidates via SMS, and asks if they would like to interview. It then automatically schedules interviews for those who respond affirmatively, and forwards their digital CVs to the employer.

Launched in February this year, by December the startup had hit 70,000 users only 10 months after launching.

It was crowned “the best startup in South Africa” at the Seedstars World competition held in Johannesburg, with the Giraffe team to represent South Africa at the global final of Seedstars World in Switzerland in 2016.

Know of a start up doing something amazing? Tweet us @whatsonafrica

Book of the Week (In partnership with AFREADA, Africa’s Literary Magazine

Cameroon, Literature

Behold the dreamers

Title: Behold the Dreamers

Author: Imbolo Mbue
A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy. Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers.
Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.
However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades. When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.
Purchase here.

Track of the Week

Ghana, Music

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This week’s track is by Ghanaian artist and producer Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jnr aka Shatta Wale. We love his latest release “Hol’ It” which has a Jamaican dancehall vibe, Wale is said to be inspired by. Shatta Wale’s rise happened at the 2013 VGMAs- his song for the organisers of the Ghana Music Awards titled Me Need No Awards  alleged the organisers robbed him off the Dancehall Artiste of the Year to female Dancehall Artiste Kaakie. Despite the drama, his music is great so grab your headphones and feel the beat!


What’s your favourite track from the continent? Tweet us @whatsonafrica

What’s Trending is in partnership with AFREADA and Film Africa!

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