Expect to find newsworthy gems across African lifestyle and culture this week from the 6th edition of What’s Trending! Have you heard? Signature Mag Launches 

Described as an independent bi-annual print magazine exploring passion, process and pursuit in Ghana’s local and international creative scene, Signature magazine carves itself into the world of journalism. “Conceived and self-published by Julian and Jason Nicco-Annan, Signatures highlights emerging and established writers, artists, photographers, musicians and upcoming personalities of Ghanaian and African origin that are working endlessly on their craft” The promotion of Signature Magazine has taken social media by pleasant surprise, gaining recognition from the Continent and beyond. The first thing you notice about the publication is its clean, bold layout, accompanied by a website that is just as visually pleasing. The first issue of Signature Magazine holds in it’s pages detailed and insightful interviews, covering a range of creative such as Hanson Akatti, Ria Boss and Bubu Ogisi. Jason Nicco – Annan expressed that one of his motivations for the magazine came from noticing the lack of accessible creative platforms available in Ghana. In creating something once missing the pair have been able to formulate solution in the form of a stylish and informative publication, reflecting the times. The magazine is available for purchase here.

 Meet the Ethiopian shoe brand

Founded in 2009 by Mehdi Slimani, Sawa endeavours to showcase its shoe brand across the African continent and beyond. Hailing from Ethiopia as an ethical shoe brand, its labels reads “Made in Africa” and have been nicknamed “kicks with a conscience”. The Ethiopian-designed and constructed shoes are built out of suede and traditional African loincloth. They come in a diverse range of colours and styles.‘Half of the team consists of women—especially in the stitching department.  Sawa shoes aim to showcase Africa’s ability to manufacture high-quality goods while supporting the local economy. They have recently designed a lookbook featuring the workers responsible for hand-making the shoes. We love the designs and the ethical aims of the brand even more! 

Controversial Scholarships in South Africa  

The manner by which South African Mayor Dudu Mazibuko is looking to provide  scholarships for female students has been criticised by human rights groups. It comes as Mazibuko takes charge of the battle against HIV contraction in the country and teen pregnancy. South Africa’s teenage pregnancy rate was about 100, 000 a year in 2013.  Dudu Mazibuku is known as “Mum Dudu”, a 58-year-old retired nurse, she gives talks at schools educating and encouraging young women to abstain from sexual activity.

In rural parts of KwaZula-Natal, virginity is celebrated and remaining “pure” is a source of pride for families. Mazibuku also conducts virginity tests on young women. agreeing that her methods are not scientific but says she looks out for certain signs to prove that the girl has not had sex. “The social standing of young women who remain virgins increases and many girls take pride in their results after being tested,” she said. However, activists argue that the process is intrusive – calling it “unfair” to link opportunity for education and sex.What is really worrying is that they are only focusing on the girl child and this is discriminatory and will not address problems with teenage pregnancy and HIV infection rates,” says Palesa Mpapa from campaign group People Opposing Women Abuse. What are your views?

App of the Week

Launched after having won the IPO48 competition, M-Farm is a mobile version of software and agricultural business company MFarm Ltd. The app is tool helping farmers access information about retail price of products, purchase goods directly from manufacturers, and get in contact with potential buyers. M-Farm’s goal is to give a voice to farmers in rural areas by eliminating the need for a middleman, thus ensuring that prices are fairer for everyone involved. To use the app, farmers simply send a text message to 3555 using an SMS service. We love the innovation!

Track of the week You may be familiar with DizZY VC from his hit 2014 track Ashawo. He has received plenty of support from radio stations and the Afrobeats scene as a whole. He has managed to gain recognition from the Even capturing the attention of the well-established MOBO Awards. Scammer is a track about a young lady that scams her way in to someone’s heart and has been produced by Omeiza and Suka Sounds. Have your  headphones ready!

Cover Photo Credit: WorldBank 2015