There’s a lot in store for the 14th edition of What’s Trending! Readers that have followed this feature post from the beginning will have noticed the changes we’ve been making. This is to make sure we bring the best news directly to you. This week, we have trending news from all over Africa and beyond. There’s so much happening from day – day but we focus on bringing the most interesting news to you across African business, development, politics and culture – especially trending news and individuals to look out for.
Our new format includes the usual handpicked Track of the Week – which we know will be on repeat! But we’ve also included a new section: Book of the Week, simply because your journey wouldn’t be the same without a great page turner. Even better, it will be a page turner directly related to the continet and often from an African writer.
Keep reading to find out What’s Trending for the WOA Team!
Story of the Week:
“Mugabe Must Go”
This week, crowds of defiant Zimbabweans took to the streets chanting “Mugabe Must Go”. The motivation behind a sea of protests (below) is said by locals and news outlets to be a direct response to corruption within 92 year old Robert Mugabe’s government. Zimbabwe’s economy is also in bad shape, with graduates experiencing a lack of opportunities for employment.
Promises from the government to create of millions of jobs have not been met, and the prospect of inflation due to the introduction of a new currency described as “bond notes” are deeply resented by a people concerned about their financial future and quality of life. Protestors passionate about the removal of Mugabe are not the only passionate ones. Some Zimbabweans are in favour of Mugabe remaining in power. Most however, seem to want “new blood” expressing a discontentment for the way things are run in the country saying “the president is not delivering”.
What are your thoughts? Does Zimbabwe need a new Government? Tweet @WhatsOnAfrica
Human of the Week:
Akosua Adoma Owusu: The Ghanaian filmmaker adapting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This week the What’s On Africa team are loving the rise of Akosua Adoma Owusu. Her name can be found all over the internet, so we’re joining the lovefest!
She’s described as a Ghanaian-American avant-garde filmmaker and producer whose films have screened worldwide in prestigious film festivals, museums, galleries, universities and microcinemas since 2005.
“Much of Owusu’s works address a collision of identities, where the African immigrant located in the United States has a triple consciousness”.- True Africa
With such a complex and interesting foundation from which her work springs, it’s no wonder the 32 year old has acquired the rights to adapt the internationally renowned Nigerian novelist Chimamanda’s On Monday of Last Week, a story from Adichie’s The Thing Around Your Neck.
Having recently shown her latest short film work “Reluctantly Queer” at Berlin’s International Film Festival (trailer below), Owusu has continued to ride the wave of her success, winning acclaim for her exploration into African identity. Reluctantly Queer explores the context and effects of social rejection on a gay man in Ghana.
In her recent interview with True Africa, Owusu spoke about her motivations for film making and problems she has encountered along the way.
“My past films work on ‘triple consciousness’ explores an all-inclusive space that addresses these collisions of identities and cultures.” – Owusu, True Africa Interview
She says she felt she had to prove herself as Ghanaian. She also highlights the difficultly she experienced in pursuing an unpredictable career path. She also told True Africa “Kwame’s struggle with owning his sexuality in certain settings mirrored my struggle with my nationality in certain settings. This build up of anxieties would eventually get resolved in our collaboration for Reluctantly Queer.”
Owusu’s tenacity, passion, and eye for detail when it comes to accentuating complex matters has helped her land what looks like a plum gig to adapt one o this era’s most refreshing authors. The adaptation is in progress and we’re waiting to see it – and other work from this badass film maker – with baited breath.
She tweets at @akosuadom.
Start up of the Week:
Ojay Green: Meet the Kenyan superwoman turning problems into profit
Agriculture generates roughly 1 quarter of Kenya’s GDP, providing the means of many people’s livelihoods. However, it is difficult for many to make a living due to an array of issues, pushing Kenyans below the poverty line. One woman saw an issue preventing farmers from flourishing. She also saw the solution.
Yvette Ondachi told CNN she became aware that farmers could not access roads or the means to sell their products into urban markets. She saw a way of creating a business opportunity for those experiencing the effects of this issue. By acting as the middle woman, sourcing fresh fruit and vegetables from local farmers and selling them to restaurants and other corporate buyers making demands, Ondachi was able to start up Ojay Green.
Her solution allows farmers to compete on a global scale. Her support of the farmers is very hands on, helping with the quality of crops to customer service and meeting profit goals. In two years Ondachi has shown what one woman can do to help many, influencing Kenya’s economy. We love inspiring women at work. Visit www.ojaygreene.com.
Know of any inspiring start-ups? Tweet us @WhatsOnAfrica
Book of the Week:
“Africa’s Media Image in the 21st Century”
The ways in which Africa is portrayed particularly by Western media, is a topic on the tongues of many Africans at home and in the diaspora – and one they often criticise heavily.
Many have voiced their opinion as a response to experiencing the result of this often negative trajectory. A stereotypical portrayal at the hands of the media means an image of an African is seldom positive. The opinions often express discontentment for the portrayal of Africa in comparison to its western counterpart. maintaining a particular rhetoric Africans globally are unimpressed with.
The above in mind makes the release of “Africa’s Media Image in the 21st Century” serves as a timely analysis. It claims to be the first book in twenty years to examine the international media’s coverage on sub-Saharan Africa. It brings together leading researchers and prominent journalists to explore the representation of the continent. The book is available on Amazon. Look out for the launch of the book in collaboration with the Royal African Society on the 13th of September. Further details will be on the site soon.
Are you a book worm? Tweet your favourite book @WhatsOnAfrica
App of the Week:
Jobberman is the well-known app helping solve the issue of access to jobs in Nigeria. Jobberman allows those of you in Nigeria to access jobs and vacancies. Jobberman.com is the most intuitive job portal providing up-to-the-minute job opportunitiesaround Nigeria, publishing career advice on what is important and central to career success and offering personalized HR solutions to individuals and institutions. Jobberman.com’s audience and users include first time job seekers, experienced candidates, brands and corporations, and recruiting agencies. The app also helps employers fill their vacancies quickly and cost effectively by giving them access to the most relevant pool of qualified job seekers. Creators Opeyemi Awoyemi, Ayodeji Adewunmi and Olalekan Olude can be found here. The app is compatible with all smartphones.
Do you have an app to share? Help spread gospel of the app. Tweet us @WhatsOnAfrica
Film of the Week
Stories of Our Lives
Featured at last years Film Africa Festival, Stories of our Lives touched those who watched it. Two young women are in trouble for their ‘peculiar’ relationship; a farmhand is tormented when his crush begins courting a woman; a young DVD seller is intoxicated by the smoke and sounds of a clandestine gay bar. These are among the tales featured in this beautifully rendered collection of narratives from LGBTI Kenyans. Stories of Our Lives started out as an archival project by the multi-disciplinary Nest Collective, and the testimonies given have been tenderly wrought into funny, endearing – and at times heartbreaking sketches. The quality and imagination achieved transcends the predictable but nevertheless disappointing response from the Kenyan government, who banned it on the grounds of promoting homosexuality. Watch out for Film Africa 2016 coming to a screen near you.
Director: Jim Chuchu Country: Year: 2014 Running time: 60 mins Language: English/Swahili
Got a film you love by an African director? Tweet us @WhatsOnAfrica
Track of the Week:
Octopizzo – Butere
We love finding new music for What’s Trending! Any great sounds finding it’s roots in the continent is welcome. This week we have Kenyan rapper Octopizzo on the bill. Born and raised in Kibera, Africa’s largest slum, the superstar has risen to fame through 3 mixtapes and a series of hip hop club bangers, showing off his distinctive flow and lyricism, often in Swahili.
Two days ago, ( don’t say we don’t provide you with the most exclusive tracks!) the rapper released ‘Butere’ alongside visuals that shine a light on the culture of the small town in Kenya. The song uses samples from traditional Kenyan instruments coupling them with a joyous bassline. Octo deviates from the norm providing harmonised vocals for this track, giving us a summery vibe. Octopizzo tweets at @OCTOPIZZO
Have a track you’d like to share? Let us know @WhatsOnAfrica
Have a great week from the WOA Team!