Return to flip book view
Wine Country Top10 Car Brands Top10 Trends in Africa Stellenbosch
Africa'sTop10 African Street Food Fierce Women Top African Comedians in Entertainment Top10
Houghton Estate Johannesburg, South Africa
EDITOR IN CHIEF
South Africa Office
Nelson Mandela Square
Sandton, South Africa
New York Office
3 Columbus Circle
New York, NY
Lagos Island, Nigera
The Africa.com editors make it easy for you to keep up with what is happening on the continent. They read all of the African news published by African and western sources every day. They determine which are the most important stories and who wrote about them most effectively, then summarize those stories and disseminate them along with links to the original sources. The Top10 helps you gain a perspective on the continent as a whole in a quick and easy to read format.
Readers of the Africa.com Top 10 find it to be a very efficient way to stay on top of what is happening in the vast continent of Africa. A CEO of an African financial institution said, “I don’t consider myself as being well read about Africa unless I read the Africa.com Top 10. Each week I find at least one story on a topic that I had not previously known about”.
Stay in the know on what’s happening in Africa with the top 10 African must read news stories delivered to your email inbox every day.
SIGN-UP HEREsubmit send
#1 Sardines - Morocco
Morocco is the world’s largest exporter of sardines, so it’s no surprise that spicy sardines are one of the country’s signature street food dishes. Known as Marrakech’s version of fish and chips, the sardines are spiced with a paste made from tomato, coriander, chili, garlic, paprika, cumin, olive oil and lemon juice then deep fried. It is served with bread, and the chips are optional. Morocco’s souks serves a variety of breads, most popularly beghrir, which is made similarly to crumpets, harsha, which is a buttery bread made of fine semolina and rghaif, which is a flaky and layered flat bread.Top10
One of the joys of travelling to a new country is trying out the local food. With over 50 to choose from in Africa, you truly are spoiled for choice with the various tastes and flavours the continent has to offer, each wonderfully unique. African cuisine is not only delicious and spicy, but it is rich in history and diversity, dating back to ancient times when workers were building the Pyramids of Giza and infusing influences of African, Latin American, European and Asian descent.
Street food pertains to food prepared and sold by the locals living in a country, and this is one of the best and most authentic ways to experience the culture and the people of the country. It is usually inexpensive, with street food such as Senegal’s Accara costing less than a dollar.African Street Food
#2 Dholl Puri - Mauritius
Mauritius has a diverse food culture, with culinary influences from its inhabitants of Creole, French, Indian and Chinese heritage. Dholl puris are popular on the island, so much so that it could be considered as the island's national dish. The thin fried bread stuffed with ground yellow split peas, and served in a pair with bean curry, atchar and chutney is found in most street stalls on the island.
By Lebogang Matshego
#6 Accara - Senegal
Accara is a crispy black-eyed-bean fritter, usually served with a tomato and onion based hot sauce called kaani, is popular in Senegal and other parts of West Africa. It is similar to the Brazilian acarajé fritter, and it is served on a crusty baguette with an oniony sauce.
#5 Akara - Nigeria
Akara are deep fried bean cakes made with grounded beans mixed with pepper, onions and other spices. They are quite popular in Nigeria. They are light and protein-packed, making them the ideal snacks. They are best eaten with Agege bread, which is popular for its fluffy and soft texture and its versatility with different dishes such as stew. Most recipes advise using peeled brown beans, ground and blended with onions and spices to make Akara and vegetable or canola oil for deep frying.
#4 Forodhani & Dafu - Zanzibar
Zanzibar is a haven for foodies as the culinary culture is infused with influences from African, Arab and Indian influences. The most popular Zanzibari street food dish is the Forodhani, and it is nicknamed as ‘Zanzibar pizza’. It’s a mixture of vegetables, egg and mayo (and meat if preferred) that are wrapped in very thin dough and then fried. It’s sold at many night market stalls in Stone Town. Young coconuts, known as Dafu, are popular snacks for the Zanzibari people. They are loved for their health benefits, including curing sunstroke and combating dehydration, and are easy to find on the island as salesmen can be found cycling everywhere on the island carting dafu.
#3 Chichinga - Ghana
Chichinga is said to be one of Ghana’s preferred street food, popularly loved for its tasty kebabs made from beef or sausages. Chichinga is made with suya (pronounced soya), and a hot, spicy peanut marinade infused with the main spices of ginger, garlic and chili is drizzled over any types of meat before being grilled until crisp and succulent. Sirloin steak is the recommended cut of red meat to use when making beef Chichinga, and it recommended that it be cooked medium to well. Chicken breasts are the preferred cut of meat when making chicken Chichinga.
#7 Koshary, Taameya and Ful Medammis - Egypt
Modern Egyptian cuisine is still influenced by its ancient history, which archeologists reveal countrysidepeasants and workers of the Great Pyramids of Giza lived off a diet consisting of bread, beer and onions. Koshary is the country’s most popular street-food, and it is considered to be quite filling as it consists mostly of carbohydrates. The meal is made of pasta, rice, lentils, chick peas, onions and garlic. Taameya is also a common street food of Egypt, and even though it is served throughout the day, it is most eaten at breakfast. It is made of fava beans, and fuul medammis (also made of fava beans and cooked on a pot that sits on a fire) is usually eaten with it. The meal is considered to be very filling and will keep you energized for a long time as it takes a while to digest.
#8 Potato Bhajia – Kenya
The potato bhajia is one of Kenya’s most popular street food, also popularly known as Aloo Pakodi bhajia, meaning battered potato, in Swahili. The bhajia is of Asian origin, being popular in India and Pakistan, and was introduced to Kenya by the Indian population that settled in the country. In fact, quite a significant number of Kenyan dishes have Indian influences, such as samosas and kuku paka, which is coconut chicken curry. Bhajia consists of potatoes that are sliced up and battered with spices such as cumin seeds and turmeric before being deep fried. They are best served with Kenyan tomato salsa.
#9 Mozambican Prawns - Mozambique
Ask any traveller who has visited Mozambique about the food, and you’re bound to hear rave reviews about the French’s seafood. Most of its famous dishes revolve around seafood as the fishing industry accounts for over 80 percent of the country’s main exports. The taste of Mozambican cuisine is influenced by the Portuguese due to colonial ties with the country. Mozambican prawns are one of the popular dishes in the country, and they grilled or fried and spiced with a fiery peri peri sauce. They are served with either French fries or rice. A popular dish that has no Portuguese influence such as the chili and peri peri spices is Matata, which is a seafood stew that is usually prepared with clams in a peanut sauce. Also popular are prego rolls (steak sandwiches) and peri peri chicken, which consists of chicken marinated in lemon juice, garlic and peri peri sauce and is usually eaten with potato fries.
#10 Bunny Chow - South Africa
The South African bunny chow is a popular street snack that originated from Durban in the province of KwaZulu Natal and has been adapted by people to suit their different culinary tastes. The Durban bunny chow consists of hollowed bread that is filled with hot curry. Other variations include filling the bread with fried chips or anything you’d like!
Discover and enjoy the taste of some of the most popular African street food during your travels in Africa.
Where Old World Pairs with New Stellenbosch Wine Country
Stellenbosch is perhaps the most famous wine-producing region in South Africa. The town, in Western Cape's Coastal Region, is steeped in history and is home to the country’s best-known wine estates. Cabernet Sauvignon is the region’s most widely planted grape variety, and is often combined with Merlot to create Bordeaux Blend wines.
Stellenbosch is a bit of paradise. There just isn’t much that’s more stunning than a place devoted to growing grapes—it’s something about the terrain and climate grapes prefer that makes for relentless beauty. And wine itself is of the old world, so people drawn to making it seem to have a knack for living well, for thinking about the essential pleasures of good food, a peaceful garden, a sunny aspect, and a glass of wine dancing in its glass.
Vineyards cover the gently rolling hills of Stellenbosch, from Helderberg in the south to the lower slopes of Simonsberg Mountain in the north. This terrain allows for a lot of variation in wine styles, and mesoclimates suitable for the cultivation of all sorts of grape varieties can be found among the exposed hills and sheltered valleys.
Granite and sandstone soils are found throughout Stellenbosch. Their high clay content means that while they are free-draining, they have excellent water-retention properties. Sufficient rainfall in winter allows growers to keep irrigation to a minimum. Much has been made of the suitability of the soils in Stellenbosch for the production of premium red-wine grapes in particular.
The climate in the region is relatively hot and dry, although a maritime influence comes from False Bay in the south. Cooling south-easterly breezes sweep through the vineyards in the afternoons, refreshing the grapes after the morning’s hot sun. White-wine varieties are often planted closer to the ocean where this effect is more pronounced.
Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon can be found on wine lists the world over, while Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Chenin Blanc are all planted in quantity. Stellenbosch is also notable for being the birthplace of Pinotage (a crossing of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut) in 1924.
Africa is not only a hotbed for growth and opportunity, but it is also emerging as a unique player in the economic and cultural spheres in the global setting. Looking at events that happened over the last year, this article will project what Africa and the world can expect from the continent in 10 spheres spanning from beauty to business.
2016 TOP10 Trends
South African Pearl Thusi at the launch of her natural haircare range.
Hair is a lucrative industry in Africa, estimated to be worth $6 billion. African women, particularly those in Nigeria, South Africa and Cameroon, reportedly spent approximately $1.1 billion dollars on hair products such as shampoos and hair lotions in the 2013/2014 financial year. Africa’s dry hair market of weaves, extensions and wigs both from synthetic or human fibre is estimated to be worth $6 million and has attracted multinationals such as L’Oreal and Unilever.
The hair-care sector is also one of the biggest sources of job creation for women in the informal sector as they open their own salons or create make-shift salons in the streets of urban areas. The demand for Indian and Brazilian hair extensions and wigs as well as synthetic hair continues to grow on the continent, with estimates of the market being worth $600 million. Indian hair extensions are surpassing synthetic ones in popularity on the continent due to their durability, easy maintenance and easy reusability. As a result, the continent will see an upsurge in Indian hair demand, creating lucrative businesses for independent beauty stores and distributors.
Indian beauty firms that sell hair extensions are also set to make big bucks from Africa’s demand for the product. Marketing hair products on the continent is set to grow with extensive use of credible celebrities, like South Africa’s Bonang Matheba who was an ambassador for the extension brand Diva Divine, and used social media to popularize the brand as well as Indian hair extensions.
On the other hand, there is a natural hair movement that is gaining momentum particularly among millennials on the continent who choose to wear and maintain their natural hair as opposed to wearing extensions and weaves. Celebrities such as Kenya’s Sarah Hassan, South Africa’s Pearl Thusi and Nigeria’s Asa have helped create popularity about women wearing their natural hair while looking sheek and modern. Pearl Thusi launched her own hair care range in collaboration with Afrobotanics in November 2015 which aims to help African women take care of their natural hair.#1 BEAUTY FOCUS ON WOMEN #2 EXTENSIVE
Africa is home to more than 600 million women, which accounts for more than half of the continent’s total population of 1.2 billion people. The majority of those women is under the age of 25, and has beared the brunt of economic exclusion, discriminatory financial systems, limited participation in political and public life, lack of access to education, gender-based violence and harmful cultural practices which has negatively impacted on their human rights and their full life potential.
The 8th African Union Gender Pre-Summit, which took place in Addis Ababa in January this year focused on women’s rights and reiterated the union’s commitment Agenda 2063 framework to see women in Africa have rights to own and inherit property, sign contracts in their own right, own their own businesses, hold half of all managerial positions in the public and private sector and see the eradication of harmful cultural practices against women among other objectives. Strides in ensuring women’s rights on the continent are already being taken, such as Zimbabwe’s recent constitutional court decision to outlaw marriage for anyone under the age of 18 in a bid to end the coercion of young girls into marriage. In December last year, Gambia passed a bill criminalizing female genital mutilation, which will see offenders of the new law get up to life imprisonment. The continent is also seeing women hold more key positions in government, the policing sector and in business.
Educational systems in Africa are set to change in order to adapt with the fast changes occurring in the global economic sector, with much focus on subjects such as mathematics, science, economics, accounting and business science. According to Fortune, the industries that are the fastest growing industries globally are health care, engineering, management consulting, semiconductors and circuits, which has been caused by the rise in technological gadgets, and software development.
If Africa is to keep up with these developments, more research would have to be expanded into the area of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (also known as STEM) and how to fit it into the African context, for example: how the rise of technology could increase productivity and therefore profit in manufacturing, but negatively impact the labour force as machines replace humans. Also, according to Mail and Guardian Africa, the continent lags behind in STEM research, which accounts for 29% of all research in the region excluding South Africa, compared to an average of 68% in Malaysia which had the same research output as Africa in 2003.
This creates an opportunity for policy makers to focus on STEM research along with the returning diaspora who significantly raise the citation impact of sub-Saharan Africa research, especially in east and southern Africa, raising the quality and quantity of research for the continent’s growth. This presents the continent with the opportunity for basic education systems on the continent to place special focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, along with business and economic science.
One such educational stride being made on the continent is the African Leadership Academy, which is based in Johannesburg South Africa. The academy is a secondary institution that consists of a two-year pre-university academic programme for young leaders between the ages of 16 and 19 years from across Africa. The curriculum includes a multidisciplinary curriculum in the first year of study where students study English, Mathematics, Entrepreneurial Leadership, African Studies and Writing and Rhetoric and are able to choose a combination of Cambridge-administered IGCSE, AS or A2 electives that can include courses from the Natural Sciences, the Humanities & Languages and Commerce.
Students who excel in their second year are able to research in the Sciences, the Humanities or Creative Arts. ALA graduates are enabled to excel in world-class universities across Africa, including the school’s own university which opened in Mauritius in 2015. This type of an African-based education system has an opportunity to grow on the continent in the future.
#3 EDUCATION IN AFRICA
#4 GREATER PROMINENCE OF AFRICAN IN GLOBAL INSTITUTIONS
Africa will start gaining prominence in global institutions and will be a key player in the important decisions. As the second largest continent in the world in terms of population with an economy filled with potential, the continent will see more global players paying attention to their call. Earlier this year, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo made a call to see at least two spots on the U.N Security Council being allocated to Africa as a permanent member and for Africa to receive full recognition of members with right to veto. The current permanent members of Security Council are Russia, Britain, China, France and the United States. In the popular world of football, South African businessman and politician Tokyo Sexwale is in the run for President of the global football organization FIFA. Sexwale stated that it was time for FIFA to diversify and elect an African or Asian president, and for Africa to show the world that they are more than capable of leading. The world could expect to see an upsurge of a trend of seeing more advocacy from Africa for important decision-making roles in global institutions.#5 THE CONTINUED RISE OF MILLENNIALS & GEN-Z
Africa’s population is mostly young with approximately 200 million people aged between 15 and 24. As a group, Africa’s youth has taken more responsibility over determining their destinies through entrepreneurship and political activism. Africa will experience an upsurge in millennial and Gen-Z’s taking their positions as leaders in innovation and social and political activism. In October 2015, South Africa felt the immense power of the youth through the#FeesMustFall protests that took place in the nation. Students were protesting against the limited and difficult access to tertiary education, which led President Jacob Zuma to announce that tertiary education fees would no rise for the 2016 financial year.
#6 RENEWABLE ENERGY
Two university students from Nairobi, Kenya – Joseph Kuria and Daniel Onyango – added a skating sports programme to their neighbourhood NGO called Hope Raisers. The two developed the idea after a UN project added paved roads to their neighbourhood which wasn’t congested with traffic. In a bid to keep the youth out of the trouble, the two started a skating club and competition team which has become one of East Africa’s largest. In South Sudan, martial arts fighter, kickboxer and promoter Puro Okelo Obob opened a kickboxing practice at the Juba Youth Training Centre in Juba, South Sudan. The practice is home to about 30 kickboxers, and its aim is to use the sport to overcome stereotypes and tribal differences. Apart from running the kickboxing practice, Puro has been the driving force behind getting South Sudan accepted into the World Kickboxing Federation after it gained independence from Sudan in 2011. Africa will continue to see a trend in which young people use what they have at their disposal for the betterment of their lives and their communities.
Currently, Africa’s potential for alternative energy generation is high as the continent has a wealth of natural resources for earth-friendly electricity generation.
According to the McKinsey & Company Brighter Africa report, approximately 600 million people on the continent have no access to electricity, and it is projected that Sub-Saharan Africa will consume nearly 1, 600 terawatt hours of power by 2040, which is 4 times what was used in 2010. Only 7 countries on the continent have electricity-access rates exceeding 50%, those being Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Namibia, Senegal and South Africa. The rest of the region has an average grid access of approximately 20%, and even then, access to power is sporadic and there is not enough to go around. It is forecasted that 70% to 80% of Africa will have access to electricity, approximately 1.2 terawatts of capacity, through renewable sources such as gas, hydro, solar, wind and geothermal sources. Gas and solar are predicted to be the more popular choices, accounting for more than 25% electricity generation.
The region would need approximately $800 billion in capital for generating capacity and for transmission and distribution, and regional integration would become important as countries work together in creating interconnected power systems. An example would be the Grand Inga Dam hydroelectric project, which could help save $32 billion in capital spending as well as over 60 megatons of carbon emissions annually, and create a continent-wide network, linking African countries through the buying, selling and movement of electricity through a continental grid. Solar seems to be taking off on the continent, with Morocco having built a solar mega-plant in the city of Ouarzazate. The plant consists of a complex of four linked solar mega-plants that, alongside hydro and wind, will help provide nearly half of Morocco’s electricity from renewables by 2020. It uses the less widespread mirror technology and not the popular photovoltaic panels found on household roofs, with the benefit that power continues to be produced even after the sun goes down-payment plan of about 45 cents for a year after the initial upfront payment of $35, after which the system is fully owned by them.
The system kit comes with a solar panel, two LED bulbs, an LED flashlight, a rechargeable radio, and adaptors for charging a phone. The kit comes with a two-year warranty, and its battery is designed to last at least four years. The kit also comes with a sim card that enables owners to make their payments and to send information back to the M-KOPA headquarters for payment processing and battery activation.
With gas, which is predicted to account for more than 40% of electricity from renewable sources, the sustainable form will be biogenic methane, which can be extracted from cow manure and from methanogens that eat the organic garbage in landfills that produce methane. Animal manure will be in abundance in Africa as agriculture accounts for 32% of Africa’s GDP. US rapper Akon, who is of Senegalese descent, launched the Akon Lighting Africa initiative in 2014 with the aim of bringing solar power to 600 million Africans who don’t have access to electricity. He co-founded Solektra International and has already launched the Solektra Solar Academy in Mali to support the Akon Lighting Initiative, where young people are being trained in renewable energy. So far, the Akon Lighting Africa initiative has provided solar street lamps, micro-generators, charging stations, and home kits to 14 countries including Benin, Gabon, Niger and Namibia.
The video gaming industry in Africa is set to feature prominently in 2016 and beyond. Currently, Africa’s biggest gaming markets are in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. According to a report by PwC, the gaming industry generated revenue of approximately $181 million in 2013 in South Africa, $71 million in Nigeria and $44 million in Kenya. The growth of the sector provides a unique opportunity for Africa to create games that best showcase the continent’s stories, such as a Cameroonian gaming startup called Kiro’o Games, which incorporates African folklore in creating gaming stories and characters.
African superheroes are set to feature prominently in African games, as seen in the Nigerian comic startup called Comic Republic, which its characters have been dubbed as ‘Africa’s Avengers’. Earlier this year, telecommunications giant Telkom announced the launch of a Digital Gaming League, which will see eight teams compete for a cash prize of over $63 000. The league recognizes the growth of eSports as a profession and aims to put Africa on the global map of eSports.
Mobile phone games will dominate the gaming industry in Africa. There are already approximately 500 million mobile phone users in Africa, and by 2020, the number of mobile broadband connections on the continent could reach 1 billion, meaning that most avid gamers will have greater access to mobile phone games. Text-based games will continue to be popular during the continent’s experience with internet connectivity shortfall.
Electronic learning, or e-learning, is predicted to boom on the continent as educators find innovative ways of educating the continent’s children. According to BBC, approximately 17 million children in Africa will never attend school, and those that do attend encounter problems such as overcrowding in classrooms and lack of quality education. E-learning provides tablets and educational, web-based material to students, and this is all powered by solar power to reach students particularly in rural areas.
Innovations will also boom on the continent, such as the Kayoola prototype electric bus that was created by Kiira Motors in Kampala, Uganda. One of the bus’ batteries can be recharged via solar panels on the roof which increases the vehicle’s 80km range.
Africa will continue to be a hotbed for mobile phone sales and content consumption via mobile, as seen by the current number of mobile phone users, which amount to approximately 500 million. The continent will experience a boom in mobile phone innovations, including text messaging apps and e-commerce via mobile. Also, as connectivity improves on the continent, personalized content consumption will be a prominent feature as consumers download movies and TV series from online content providers such as Ikoro TV and Netflix.
African superheroes character from Nigeria’s Comic Republic.
Africa will continue to gain recognition on the world stage for its unique and dynamic take on entertainment, arts and culture. Boundaries were broken back in 2006 when the South African film ‘Tsotsi’ won the Oscar award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year. In 2015, ‘Ayanda and the Mechanic’ which is a 2015 film that was produced by actress Terry Pheto and directed by Sara Blecher, was picked up for distribution in the US by Selma director and film distributor Ava DuVernay’s distribution company ARRAY and received a Special Jury citation at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival.
Actress Lupita Nyongo made Africa proud when she starred in the Oscar winning feature film ’12 Years A Slave’ and cemented herself as a fashion icon after wowing the fashion world with her red Ralph Lauren cape dress at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards. And off-course, US President Barack Obama, who is of Kenyan descent, became one of Africa’s greatest exports as he took centre stage in world politics.
Africa’s exports in entertainment, arts and culture will come particularly from Nigeria, which has a population of over 185 million and over 17 million outside the country, East Africa, Morocco, Egypt and South Africa. In the fashion industry, Vogue magazine has already recognized the Nigerian street style that has been dubbed as Lagosian street style, which consists mainly of the Nigerian attire of kaftan tops, linen pants and leather sandals and a fedora hat as an accessory, as the upcoming fashion trend for millennials.
#8 ENTERTAINMENT, ARTS & CULTURE
Nigeria’s Nollywood industry has become an influential film industry in the world, being worth approximately $3 billion and being bigger than Hollywood in volume. It has also given rise to film icons such as Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Osita Iheme and Nonso Diobi. In a bid to counter the industry’s shortfall, which is pirated reproductions being sold by unauthorized vendors for roughly $2 each, digital content startups such as IrokoTV, are creating subscription-based video on demand to not only provide content to consumers across the world but to digitize the industry and place the right framework around it to capture the proper value. This is set to grow the industry reach and influence in years to come.Africa is fast becoming to go-to destination for online subscription entertainment services, with Netflix having launched in Africa in earlier this year and ShowMax in August last year through Naspers. However, the trend to look out for is mobile becoming the dominant device for content consumption.
Already in Nigeria, consumers are watching online content on mobile more than any other platform. There are already approximately 500 million mobile phone users in Africa, and by 2020, the number of mobile broadband connections on the continent could reach 1 billion. To counter internet accessibility problems, media companies are already offering customers, as part of their subscriptions, the option to download content for a limited time, and going forward, companies can work with telecom companies to distribute content. This trend will not only create a challenge for pay TV companies in terms of ease of accessibility to content, but will also create a consumer that has more choice in content that they want to consume.
African musicians and the continent’s music will only grow in popularity across the globe, particularly in Europe and the US where there is significant demand for African culture. In 2015, the song titled ‘Ojuelegba’ by Nigerian artist Wizkid gained international recognition after hip hop artists Drake and Skepta recorded a remix of the song. Song producer and CEO of Mavin Records Don Jazzy helped put Africa on the music map after creating hit singles for artists such as Tiwa Savage and Naeto C, collaborating with Jay Z and Kanye West on the single ‘Lift Off’ and being chosen to be the global ambassador for Scotch whiskey brand Johnnie Walker’s ‘Joy Will Take You Further’ campaign. Nigerian artist D’Banj was the first Nigerian artist to sign to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music label and have the rapper along with fellow US rapper Big Sean on the video to his mega hit ‘Oliver Twist’. The song was also one of the most played songs outside of Nigeria in the UK and the US.
Earlier this year, Nigerian artist Davido announced that he inked a deal with Sony BMG, putting him in the ranks of Nneka and D’Banj who were previously signed to Sony. South Africa’s AKA also caught the attention of the international music scene in earlier this year when it was announced that he was selected as one of BBC 1Xtra’s ‘Hot for 2016’ artists. The list previously predicted the rise of notable artists such as Disclosure, Sam Smithand The Weeknd. And, South African comedian Trevor Noah made history by being the first African host on The Daily Show. The American music festival Coachella will see four African stars perform at the event this year, including South African DJ and producer Black Coffee, French-Cuban musical duo Ibeyi, Congolese band Mbongwana Star and pop/hip hop Nigerian band Young Fathers.
African artists and subsequently African music will continue to grow in prominence on the global music scene.
In the business world, Africa’s startups will shape and steer the African economy in a positive direction, especially this year as economists have named the year as one of the toughest economic years yet. According to a report from by startup funding initiative VC4Africa, over 70 percent of startups generate considerable revenue and over 40 percent of startup firms are successful in securing external capita. Startup companies in computer software, Internet and e-commerce appear to be the most successful business ventures, and the most successful ones are based in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. In South Africa and Nigeria, startups are mainly responsible for reinvigorating investor confidence in the economy, and Nigeria and Kenya are favoured internationally as the continent’s tech hubs.
Last year, South Africa was the top investment destination, having raised approximately $54 million, followed by Nigeria with approximately $49 million and Kenya with approximately $47 million. Lagos has been dubbed as Africa’s Silicon Valley after a number of successful startups contributed significantly to the economy, including Africa’s Netflix Iroko TV Sub-Saharan Africa’s most popular job search engines with more than 1.5million monthly visitors Jobberman and popular online grocery shopping store Superrmart.
With Africa having a young population (70 percent of Sub Saharan Africa’s population is aged below 30), the continent will continue to see a rise in startups particularly as entrepreneurs provide a service where there is a need, such as the Akon Lighting Africa initiative and the subsequent creation of Solektra International which fills the gap of lack of electricity on continent by providing solar power to 14 countries on the continent and training young people to generate renewable energy.
Popular Nigerian musican, Dbanj.
The Africa-China relationship has grown significantly, especially after the African Union and China signed on a $60 million investment agreement. Most of the announced $60 billion will come in loans and export credits, and only $5 billion is to arrive as grants and interest-free loans. Collaborations between China and Africa will include partnerships in agriculture, renewable energy and smart city construction among others. Currently, Zimbabwe has adopted China’s Yuan as its reserve currency, and China is the largest exporter of Zimbabwean products. The Yuan is set to gain significant importance as China becomes a major economic player on the continent.
Along with the economic influence that China will have on the continent, a rise in cultural influence could be a prominent feature. Mandarin could be included in the African curriculum as the China-Africa relations grow. In 2007, a commitment by the Chinese government to invest nearly $2 million in educational programs was signed between China and South Africa, with the possibility of introducing Mandarin as an examinable subject in South African schools.
According to statistics, there are over 1 million Chinese citizens who arrived in Africa from 2001, and with that comes the growth of Chinese culture, such as language, food, dress sense, family structures, religion and days of observance such as the Chinese New Year. The Chinese culture is set to find its place in the African community, and influence areas of society such as family (as African and Chinese couples marry) and food, similarly to the cultural marks left by the French on Francophone Africa and by the Portuguese on countries like Mozambique and Angola.#10 THE GROWTH OF CHINA IN AFRICA
Lebogang Matshego is a South African journalist based in Johannesburg. She is the Digital Project Manager and Content Aggregator at YFM radio station, a Wits University graduate, and a freelance lifestyle and entertainment writer.
Car Brands IN AFRICA TOP1O
Africa is the most sought after market by car manufacturers. Rapid urbanization in parts of the continent attributes to the demand of vehicles, with more people opting to own a vehicle over using public transportation to move in and around cities.
South Africa tops the list for the largest new car market in Africa, with over 600,000 new cars sold in 2014. The north African region follows with over 300,000 cars sold in Algeria and Egypt and over 100 000 in Morocco. Nigeria and Kenya take the 6th and 12th position respectively with sales in Nigeria just over 50,000 and over 13,000 in Kenya for the year 2014 according to a report by Best Selling Car Blog.
The most popular type of car on the continent are pick-up trucks, especially in tourism heavy countries such as Kenya and Botswana and in countries with insufficient or poor road infrastructure. In most African countries, it is easier to drive a 4×4 vehicle over pot-holed roads and dirt roads. The most popular 4×4 trucks particularly in Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe are the Isuzu KB, the Mitsubishi L200, the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and the Toyota Land Cruiser. The Isuzu KB dominates the Zimbabwean car market with an 11.4 percent market share, with the Mitsubishi L200 dominating the Ugandan car market with a 15.1 percent market share. The Isuzu KB is vastly popular for fuel efficiency, low CO2 emissions and massive towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes. The Mitsubishi L200 is also popular for its eco-friendliness with CO2 emissions and towing capacity, and its loved for overall good performance due to its diesel engine.
Founded by Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler in 1886, the Mercedes Benz is a popular choice for motorists seeking an appeal of class and sophistication. The brand is loved for its durability, sleek design and its association to wealth. Business Daily Africa reports that Mercedes Benz is a top seller in Kenya, having sold 53 brand new units by June 2015. Buyers included government officials, businessmen and senior corporate executives. Middle class motorists particularly in Kenya have opted for second-hand Mercedes Benz vehicles as a way of attaining the appeal of sophistication and wealth at a fraction of the price, an option which is popular in the country. According to Taipei Times, Mercedes Benz is also popular in South Africa, with average sales of 20,000 vehicles per year. Mercedes was as a top seller for 2014 in Angola, with over 1000 vehicles sold. Popular models among African motorists include the Mercedes C-Class and the SUV ML63 AMG.
Hyundai is a South Korean automotive manufacturer that is popular on the continent for its affordable cars. It is similar to its sister company KIA, with its regular feature improvements and better motor components. According to reports, Hyundai outsells Toyota in four major African markets, namely Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Angola. The i10 series has been vastly popular in Angola, with the 2003 Verna being popular in Egypt.
The Renault brand of vehicles is particularly popular in Morocco. The car brand has existed in the country for over 80 years prior to opening an auto assembly plant in Tangier, producing approximately 400 000 cars annually with a focus on exports for Europe and North Africa according to a report by Focus2Move. The Sandero is a popular model on the continent, owing to its low fuel consumption and its affordable price.#3 #2
German brand Volkswagen meaning ‘people’s car’ is mainly popular in Southern Africa, with the Polo Vivo being the top selling VW model in South Africa at 2,871 units sold in July 2015 followed by the VW Polo which sold 2,084 units the same month. VW is solely popular in South Africa in the SADC region, with Toyota Etios, Corolla and Hilux, as well the Isuzu KB dominating the SADC region. VWs are renowned for keeping their value, their efficient turbo engines and their overall good looks.
Associated with speed, affluence and wealth, Porsche is gaining popularity on the continent, with the SUV Porsche Cayenne being popular particularly in Nigeria and Angola. Porsche first opened its showroom in South Africa in 1952 in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and in Luanda, Angola and Victoria Island, Nigeria in 2012 due to consumers’ demand for the Cayenne in particular. In 2013, Porsche sold 2,000 vehicles in sub-Saharan Africa in the first three quarters. The manufacturer is reportedly looking into expanding into Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Zambia, Tanzania, Gabon and Cameroon.#4 #5
Nissan was founded in 1933 by Masujiro Hashimoto, Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama, Meitaro Tekeuchi and Yoshisuke Aikawa in Japan. It is a popular brand on the continent, with the Maxima, Altima and Murano being the most popular. The Nissan Harbody tops the list in terms of popularity as it can survive rugged terrains and dirt roads, and can carry loads, which makes it useful and sustainable in the African climate. The Murano is a popular choice being an SUV, as it can drive over challenging terrain and it looks stylish and sophisticated.
The growing middle class and the wealthy class, especially from oil-rich countries, have created a market for luxury vehicles. According to reports, this is due to the classes’ aspirations for luxury and displays of wealth and affluence, with middle class customers willing to opt for second-hand brand names to attain the high-end cars. For many years, South Africa has provided the continent’s highest demand for luxury cars, but as of late, Nigeria’s Victoria Island, which boasts one of the highest concentrations of millionaires in the world, has been the go-to market for high-end automotive cars.
The SUV model is reported to be the model that is in the highest demand on the continent. Not only is the SUV a symbol of affluence and wealth, it is practical for driving on often poorly maintained roads in most main cities in Africa.
Toyota was founded in 1937 by Japanese entrepreneur Kiichiro Toyoda, and it is the largest car manufacturer in the world. According to Best Selling Car Blog, Toyota is the top selling car manufacturer in Africa with an overall 15% market share. The best sellers include the Hilux, which is the top selling car in 30 African countries and the Corolla spanning through generations dating back to the 80s. Motorists love this brand because it is relatively affordable, durable, easy to maintain and can be sold off for a profitable price after being used. Regular upgrades, better features and motor components also make this brand popular among African motorists. The Hilux is popular for its solid construction and a reputation for reliability, while the Corolla is popular for its fuel-efficiency, affordability and long lifespan (depending on regular maintenance by the driver), providing dependable transportation for well over 160 000 kilometres.
The Toyota Etios reached its highest world rankings for the most vehicles sold in South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Apart from the Hilux being the most popular SUV from Toyota, the Land Cruiser, Fortuner and Jeep Grand Cherokee follow close behind. These SUVs are popular for their smooth ride, plenty seating space and affordability.
According to car website Carmudi, the Korean brand KIA is one of the most popular brands in Nigeria and is mostly used for official vehicles because of its affordability and fuel conservation. The brand has a 9 percent market share in Tanzania and the Kia Picanto is one of the top sellers in Angola. The brand is also popular for its regular model upgrades, better features and motor components. Following the Rio and Picanto models, the Kia Sportage is a popular choice among SUV motorists in Nigeria, Ghana and Egypt.
Bayerische Motoren Werke, better known as BMW, is a popular for its sleek style, urban sophistication and association with wealth. BMW is the top selling luxury vehicle in South Africa for the year 2014 for a 5th consecutive year. According to the BMW Group, this is attributed to the steady sales of core models such as the BMW 3 Series Sedan, 1 Series hatch, X5 and X3 and to the success of newer models such as the MINI Hatch, BMW X4 and 4 Series Gran Coupé. The BMW X3 is the most popular model in Egypt, ranking at number 40 for overall sales in the country. In Tanzania, BMW has a 6.8 percent market share, and ranks 7th on the list of to selling cars in the country.
The Range Rover brand has been in existence since 1978, it is a popular SUV brand on the continent. Not only can it drive well in rugged terrain and is great for safaris, it is also a symbol of affluence for motorists. The Range Rover Evoque has gained much popularity with the younger customer base, particularly in West Africa. Range Rover used Nigerian actress Genevieve Nnaji as the ambassador for the Evoque to increase its appeal to a younger customer base that hadn’t driven a Range Rover before. The current ambassador for the brand is TV personality Joselyn Dumas. The SUV was introduced on the continent after it was customized to suit the African market with its compact size and an engine compatible with the available quality of fuel. The Evoque is a sleek, sporty-looking model that is smaller than other Range Rovers, suitable for city driving, but still copes well off road, an increasingly important factor for cars to sell well in Africa.#10
We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.
There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.
A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will.
It always seems impossible until its done.
Dinaw Mengestu is an Ethiopian author who is known for his novels ‘Children of the Revolution’ (2007), ‘How To Read The Air’ (2010), ‘The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears’ (2007) and his recent 2014 novel ‘All Our Names’. He also wrote a notable article on the war in Darfur for Rolling Stone and on the conflict in northern Uganda for Jane Magazine. The recurring theme in his novels is one of individuals immigrating to the USA to fashion new lives. ‘All Our Names’ is one such story which is based on two narrators who tell their story about leaving their homelands to start a new life in another part of the world. The characters, like so many young Africans, are intoxicated by the possibilities new beginnings and self-invention. ‘I told my parents I was going to be a doctor and then a lawyer, but I never believed it and never tried,’ Mengestu says about his journey on becoming a writer. ‘Once I began college, I was committed to writing, which I think is different from saying I wanted to become a writer. I knew I would always write; I just wasn’t always sure how I would go about doing so’.
Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1978 and immigrated to the USA with his family when he was a child. The family settled in the state of Illinois. He received his B.A. in English from Georgetown University and graduated from Columbia University’s M.F.A. program in fiction. He is the recipient of a 5 Under 35 award from the National Book Foundation and a 20 Under 40 award from The New Yorker. His journalism and fiction have appeared in such publications as Harper’s Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. He is a recipient of a 2012 MacArthur Foundation genius grant.
Nigeria’s Tolulope ‘Toolz’ Oniru is a successful businesswoman in media who was almost lost to the medical field, but realized that it wasn’t for her after a year of studying chemistry. She then changed course to study business and communications at the University of Westminster. Tools then went on to work in sales for about eight months before landing a job that would spark her passion for entertainment at MTV Networks Europe.
She later moved to the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, but her thirst for a new challenge and adventure led her back to her home country of Nigeria, and she moved to Lagos in mid-2008. While there, someone she knew told her go for auditions at one of Nigeria’s top urban radio stations called The Beat 99.9FM. She nailed the audition and was given a weekly slot. She quickly moved up the ranks and now hosts her own radio show called ‘The Midday Show with Toolz’, and is considered to be one of Nigeria’s most popular media personalities.
Outside of her radio work, Toolz also contributes to the MTV Base Official Naija Top 10 show and twice served as a judge for the Channel O Music Video Awards.
She has also won numerous awards, notably ‘Radio Presenter of the Year’ from the Nigerian Broadcasters Awards in 2010, and ‘Media Personality of the Year’ from the Nigerian Entertainment Awards.#1
Joselyn Canfor Dumas is a Ghanaian entertainment powerhouse who rose to prominence after being featured in a film titled Perfect Picture and being headhunted by one of Ghana’s biggest television networks to host their first in-house flagship talk show titled The One Show, which aired from 2010 to 2014. Joselyn currently hosts her own popular TV talk show At Home With Joselyn Dumas, where she interviews celebrities in the comfort of her home.
She has had a successful film career, with notable movies such as Adams Apples(which landed her a nomination for ‘Best Actress in a lead role’ alongside Hollywood Actress Kimberly Elise at the 2011 Ghana Movie Awards), Love or Something Like That (co-produced by her production company, Virgo Sun Company Limited), A Northern Affair and a series titled Lekki Wives.
Joselyn also co-produced one of Ghana’s most prestigious beauty pageants, Miss Malaika Ghana, from 2008 to 2010.
Her passion for giving back to society led to the creation of The Joselyn Canfor-Dumas Foundation, which addresses the needs of vulnerable children in Ghana.
She has won numerous awards, including
Best Instagram Page at the 2015 Blog Ghana Awards
Best Actress at the 2015 GN Bank Awards
Outstanding Personality in Creative Entrepreneurship’ at the 2014 All Africa Media Networks
Dubbed as the “Queen of Nollywood”, Omotola Ekeinde is one of the most successful actresses to come out of Nigeria’s film industry, with about 300 films under her belt. Omotola was also named as one of the ‘Top 100 Influential People in the World’ by Time Magazine.
Omotola started working as a model at the age of 15 when she lost her father and had to support her family. Two years later she made her film debut with a lead role in the movie ‘Venom of Justice’. Her performance as the lead character in the popular movie ‘Mortal Inheritance’ won her the prestigious Thema Awards 1996/97 for the Best Actress in an English-speaking role and Best Actress Overall. This only catapulted her career to make her the most sought-after actress in Nollywood, starring in top movies such as Lost Kingdom 2 and Kosorugun 2, and earning awards such as a Grand Achiever Award at the Global Excellence Recognition Awards in 2004.
As a musician, she released her first album titled ‘GBA’ in 2005 followed by her sophomore album titled ‘Me, Myself, and Eyes’. She has collaborated with prominent international songwriters such as Drumma Boy and Jon Jon Traxx, and has also worked with R&B artist Bobby Valentino.
A fierce human rights campaigner, her philanthropic efforts are centered on her NGO ‘Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme’, which brings thousands of youths together every year for empowerment walks and conventions. In 2005, she became a United Nations World Food Programme Ambassador, and in 2011 became an Amnesty International campaigner. One of her most recent campaigns calls on government and oil companies to clean up the Niger Delta.
Nicknamed ‘Omosexy’ by her husband Matthew Ekeinde, she has a teenage son who is fast becoming known as one of the youngest music producers in Africa.
Jackie Appiah is a seasoned actress who started her career at the age of 12 when she starred in the TV series Things We Do for Love, as the character Enyonam Blagogee.
Jackie is the youngest of five children and resided in Canada until age 10, when she and her mother moved to Ghana. She is popularly known by her maiden name, Appiah. Jackie married in 2005 and has one son. Her father is Kwabena Appiah (the younger brother of the late Joe Appiah-a famed lawyer in Kumasi) currently residing in Toronto, Canada.
Appiah starred in the hit movie ‘Beyoncé – The President’s Daughter’ alongside prominent Ghanaian actors Van Vicker and Nadia Buari.
She has graced many magazine covers and billboards, and has won numerous awards including ‘Best Supporting Actress’ at the Africa Movie Academy Awards.
Her popularity has landed her a large social media following, with over 1.7 million fans on Facebook.#4
Terry Pheto is an award-winning actress and producer, best known for her leading role as Miriam in the 2005 Oscar-winning feature film ‘Tsotsi’.
She grew up in Soweto, and got her big break at the age of 21 when she was spotted by casting director Moonyeenn Lee in a theatre group in Soweto during the casting process for ‘Tsotsi’. She has also featured in the films ‘Catch A Fire’ and ‘Sekalli Le Meokgo’ in 2006 and ‘Goodbye Bafana’ in 2007 where she played the role of Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zinzi. She later played the role of Nelson Mandela’s first wife Evelyn Mase in the popular ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’. Her television work includes productions such as ‘Zone 14’, ‘Hopeville’, ‘Jacob’s Cross’, and recently, ‘Rockville Season 3’.
Terry was named as the face of L’Oreal in 2008, and has graced the covers of numerous magazines over the years such as Elle, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and True Love Magazine. In 2011, she landed a recurring role of a heart surgeon in the popular international soapie ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’.
She now has her own production company called Leading Lady Productions, which recently produced ‘Ayanda and the Mechanic’, a film which was honored with The Special Jury Prize at the 2015 LA Film Festival.
Lola Monroe, real name Fershgenet Melaku, is a hip hop artist of Ethiopian and Trinidadian descent living in the United States. Lola is also an actress and a former model.
Born in Addis Ababa and raised in Washington D.C, her interest in the arts was sparked when she started writing poems and songs at the age of 12. Lola burst into the music scene with her first mix titled ‘Boss Bitch’s World’, followed by ‘The Lola Monroe Chronicles’ and a collaborative tape with the now-incarcerated Lil’ Boosie, called ‘The Untouchables’. These mixtapes led her to a BET’s Best Female Hip Hop Artist nomination in 2011. That same year she was signed to Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang label, which houses artists such as Ty Dollar $ign and and Juicy, but parted ways with the label after two years.
Lola got her first big break when she was discovered by her manager’s partner who was a photographer. She did her first modeling publication work, and was soon spotted by rapper 50 Cent who then featured her in his artists’ music videos. She also created the Bosset movement, which is a social movement centered about female empowerment. In an interview with Global Grind, she revealed that one of her darkest moments was being abused by an uncle that she was living with when she was a teen. This experience led her to establish the Triumphant Angel Foundation, which focuses on helping those affected by abuse.
Nigeria’s popular female music artist Tiwa Savage started her music career started when she was a member of her high school band and began writing her own songs. At the age of 16 she landed an opportunity to be a back-up singer for George Michael, which lead to more singing opportunities with prominent artists such as Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan and Kelly Clarkson. She also has background vocal credits on Whitney Houston’s album ‘I Look To You’, and is signed to Sony ATV as a songwriter. Tiwa co-wrote Fantasia’s ‘Collard Greens and Cornbread’ track on the Grammy nominated album ‘Back To Me’, as well as Monica’s ‘New Life’.
She rose to prominence in 2010 with the release of her smash hit ‘Kele Kele Love’, followed by hit singles ‘Love Me, Love Me’, ‘Without My Heart’, ‘Ife Wa Gbona’, ‘Eminando’ and the recent smash hit with Mavin Records which also won ‘Song of the Year’ at the 2015
MTV Africa Music Awards ‘Dorobucci’. She set up her own record label in 2010 called 323 Entertainment.
Interesting facts about Tiwa include that she was born and bred in Lagos, and graduated from the University of Kent in the UK with a degree in business administration and accounts. In 2006, she entered the UK’s X-Factor, and made it to the Top 24. In 2011, she co-hosted Nigerian Idol Season II alongside Illrymz, and acted alongside Nollywood heavyweights Joke Silva and Ireti Doyle in the stage adaptation of ‘For Coloured Girls’. Twins has won numerous awards, including ‘Best Vocal Performance’ for ‘Love Me, Love Me‘ at The Headies, ‘Best Female’ for the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards, and ‘Most Gifted Female’ at the 2014 Channel O Music Video Awards.
She married her manager Tunji “TJ Billz” Balogun in 2013, and they welcomed their first child in July 2015.#7
Menna Shalaby is one of the brightest stars in the younger generation of Egyptian actors and is UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for AIDS awareness.
She was born on July 24, 1981 in Cairo and was introduced to fame at a young age through her mother, the famous dancer Zizi Mustafa. Making it as an actress was a dream she fought for on her own. Her first film was Al-saher (2001), directed by the late Radwan El-Kashef whom she considered her godfather. Radwan taught Menna more than she could imagine. He shaped the way she perceives cinema and how to undergo the process of characterization, where she becomes one with the character and not merely an actor playing a role.
She solidified her acting skills by featuring in films such as ‘Iw’a Wishak’ and ‘The Best of Times’ in 2004. Menna has also played prominent roles in various TV series, most notably in ‘Sekket El Helaly’ and ‘Harb El Gawasis’.
Menna has won several awards to commemorate her achievements. She was awarded Best Actress at the National Film Festival for Egyptian Cinema for her role in Al Saher in 2001; Best actress at the Catholic Center for Egyptian Cinema for her role in Banat Wust Elbalad in 2007; Best Actress at the National Film Festival for Egyptian Cinema for her role in An Eleshk Wel Hawa in 2007; Special Award at the Damascus Film Festival for her role in Banat Wust Elbalad (Downtown Girls) Film 2007; Special Mention at the Alexandria Film Festival for her role in Wahed men Elnas in 2009; and finally, Best Actress in a leading role at the ART Oscar for her role in Harb El Gawasees TV series in 2009.#8
Vimbai Mutinhiri is a Zimbabwean model, television personality, actress and musician who is popularly known for being a housemate on Big Brother Amplified in 2011 (she was evicted from the house on the 84th day out of the 91 day competition).
Vimbai resided in different countries from the time she was born as her parents served as cabinet ministers in Zimbabwe and frequently travelled. She was born in Zimbabwe but raised in Serbia and Johannesburg, South Africa.
Her career kicked off when she was 15-years-old as an actress in Zimbabwe when she starred in the short film ‘Who’s In Charge’. The film was featured in the Zimbabwe International Film Festival in 2001. She was also featured on ‘Studio 263’ in 2009. Vimbai worked as a full-time model when she lived in South Africa, and studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Cape Town.
She was named ‘Miss Global Face of Bio Oil’ after doing several campaigns for the company, and has also worked on several campaigns for major companies including MTV Base, Estee Lauder and Zain. She is a prominent feature on the runway of Zimbabwe Fashion Week, and she has also graced the runway of SA Fashion Week.
With her television work, Vimbai landed a presenter spot on Africa Magic’s Stargist, which is a daily entertainment show in 2012. She has also done hosting work for prominent entertainment events, and even released a music album titled ‘Vimbai‘ in 2011.
Bonang Matheba is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s favourite entertainment personalities. The TV and radio presenter, MC and businesswoman began her career at the age of 15 as a TV presenter on a show called ‘Manhattan’s Fantasy Challenge‘. She skyrocketed to fame when she landed a co-presenter spot on the music and entertainment show ‘Live’ from 2007 to 2012.
During the FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2010, she presented the sports show ‘Tjovitjo’ which was broadcast on Supersport. Two years later she landed a presenting spot on premium lifestyle and magazine TV show, Top Billing. A year later she hosted popular singing competition ‘Clash of the Choirs’, and was announced as Revlon’s first South African brand ambassador. Bonang partnered with Woolworths to
release her lingerie line called ‘Distraction By Bonang’ in 2014. In the same year, she was the first black woman to grace the cover of fashion magazine Glamour South Africa.
Apart from television, Bonang also has a strong following on radio. She started out as a DJ on the Johannesburg-based young adult station YFM in 2009 as the host of a hip hop show. She now hosts ‘The Front Row’ on Metro FM.
Bonang has received numerous accolades, notably the ’2015 Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Award’ for Best South African Radio DJ, a 2014 You Spectacular Award for ‘Most Stylish Female Celebrity in South Africa’, and a Feather Award for ‘Most Stylish Female Personality’.
Top African Comedians
If laughter is the best medicine, then Africa is surely the pharmacy. Over the last decade, African comedy has showed immense growth and gained popularity, producing some of the best comedians the world has ever seen. Comedians have creatively turned normal every day happenings into artistic expressions, thereby inspiring the continent and the world at large.
Here’s our take on some of the top African comedians.
Basket Mouth Trevor Noah Anne Kansiime
Referred to by many as the “Queen of Africa Comedy”, Anne Kansiime is a Ugandan comedienne, entertainer and actress. She first broke into the scene with the YouTube Series, Minibuzz, in which she made fun of Ugandans’ experience in daily public transport.
Her stand-up shows have sold out arenas and auditoriums in major cities including London, Kuala Lumpur, Lilongwe, Gaborone and Harare. With more than 15 million views online and a YouTube silver play button (an award for YouTubers who hit 100,000 subscribers), Anne continues to entertain people across the continent through her online videos and stand up shows.
Born and raised in Abia State, Nigeria, Basket mouth (real name Bright Okpocha) is a comedian whose resume one cannot simply ignore. The first African to ever host a show at the Apollo in London, Basket mouth has continued to set trends performing at events like Lord of the Ribs, Comedy Central Presents and the Basket mouth live at the 02 arena in London.
Africa’s most famous comedian, Trevor Noah is well known for his unapologetic approach to race, apartheid and politics. Born to a Swiss father and a Xhosa mother, Trevor’s struggle to identify to a one specific stereotype makes him a genius when it comes to comedy as he both relates to his audience at the same time, sharing a unique perspective to everyday issues.
Trevor was the first South African comedian to sell out a one-man show and has continued to break records ever since. In 2015, Trevor took over as host of ABC’s “the daily show” from Jon Stewart, becoming Africa’s biggest comedy export of all time.
Eddie Kadi Loyiso Gola Celeste Ntuli
Satirical, genuine and critical are some of the few words one can use to describe Loyiso’s comedy. Usually taking jabs at politicians, the stand up comedian is also the founder of South African satirical news show, Late Night News (LNN) , which got an Emmy award nomination for best comedy series in 2014. Gola is also well known for his one-man show, Loyiso Gola for president, which happened adjacent to South African elections in 2007/8.
Known as the Queen of Zulu comedy, Celeste Ntuli will always be remembered by south Africans for her outstanding performance in the 2009 SABC 1 competition “so you think you’re funny”. After getting exposure from that show, the former bookseller has since worked with big names in comedy like Loyiso Gola and Kagiso Lediga, making appearances in shows like the Emmy Award nominated Late Night News, The Bantu Hour and Laugh out Loud. Celeste also recently entertained South Africans when she appeared as part of the sequel to the all women comedy show “Bitches Be Back”, which she performed with other comedians like Anele Mdoda, Tumi Morake, and Noko Moswete. Celeste, who also dabbles as an actress, remains one of the strongest and funniest comedians in South Africa with her topics ranging from issues like weight loss and singleness to gender and feminism.
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and raised in the UK, Eddie Kadi’s blend of English wit and African humour has made him one of the most successful black comedians in the UK. With milestones like appearances on the BBC’s Comedy Empire, as well as leading roles in movies like Anuvahood, Shank and Gone Too Far, Eddie Kadi’s ability to entertain and be funny across multiple mediums makes him one of the most outstanding comics to ever come out the continent. Apart from comedy acts, Eddie is also a well known radio presenter, MC, and philanthropist.
Known to many as Tatafo, Helen Paul is a Nigerian stand up comedianne whose Quirkiness, spontaneity and voice manipulation skills compare to no other. Helen, who is a graduate of the University of Lagos, broke into the comedy scene as as a Mischievous comic character on a radio program known as “Wetin Dey” on Lagos’ Radio Continental where she played “Tatafo” – a witty kid who addressed Lagos’ major problems in a childlike and satirical manner. Helen now runs the Helen Paul Academy where she trains student creative art and how it affects people’s daily lives.Helen Paul Patrick Indring
Natural, blunt and purely hilarious is Uganda’s Patrick Indring, or as he is known on stage, Salvador. Salvado hails from “ombokolo”, a couple of kilometers outside Uganda’s capital, Kampala, a place he continually loves to make fun of in his sets.
A trained telecommunications professional, Salvado left his career after winning a comedy competition and now bears the title of “Uganda’s funniest face”. His attention to ridiculous details when narrating stories has brought him a huge fan base all across Africa, even attracting international media such as vogue, CNN among many others.
Egyptian-American Shaher Ronnie Khalil is a comedian who has toured the United States, headlined in four continents and whose comedy has been enjoyed by millions around the world. With features on ABC News, CNN, Al Jazeera and the Conan O’Brien show, Khalil’s “Politically incorrect” storytelling skills places have earned him a reputation as one of Africa’s biggest export to the comedy world. Khalil currently lectures around different colleges in the United States on topics such as success and motivation.
Carl Joshua Nqube
South African Comedienne Tumi Morake is definitely one of the funniest names on the continent. Her experience as a puppeteer, actress and facilitator has helped her to have an imaginable control over multiple audiences. The comedienne, who started comedy in 2005, has performed with names like David Kau, Chris Forrest among many others at big festivals such as Heavyweights Comedy. Her most recent show, Bitches Be Back, where she performed with other female South African comedians has become one of the most memorable comedy shows in South African entertainment History.Tumi Morake Daliso Chaponda
Daliso Chaponda is a UK based Malawian comedian well known for his versatility and “quite on the edge” jokes. A good example of how versatile of a performer Daliso can be is how he performed a “filthy set in silhouettes strip clubs in Birmingham and about two days later did a family show at the 2007 greenbelt Christian festival. Daliso has performed all across the world in cities like Cape Town, London and has made appearances on the BBC’s “The world stands up”. He annually hosts a show in his hometown of Lilongwe called “laughrica” where he invites different local and international comedians for a one-night comedy event.
Carl Joshua Nqube is a Zimbabwean stand-up comedian who broke into the comedy world with his one-man show, the big announcement. However, his biggest break was when he joined well-known South African comedy club, Parker’s club. He has performed all across the world from Johannesburg to Adelaide, Abuja to Nairobi alongside names such as Basket mouth, Kagiso Ladeba among many more. He currently hosts his own TV show called “Late Night With Carl.”
One of South Africa’s black comedy trailblazers, Kagiso Lediga is an icon when it comes to African comedy. A natural storyteller who usually narrates about what it was like growing up in the townships during the apartheid era, Kagiso has performed in comedy clubs from New York to Toronto and in different countries like Jamaica, Botswana, Swaziland and Nigeria. Kagiso, who has also performed at the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Festival, currently host a weekly TV show called the bantu hour, which he co-host with legendary Jazz musician Hugh Masekela.Kagiso Lediga
One of the most common faces on Kenyan Television, Eric Omondi is a comedian and an activist who does not like to be called an entertainer. “ I am a doctor, I treat illnesses like stress”, once said the hilarious Omondi in an interview with a local newspaper. The comedian, who started out as a noise maker in class, made his breakthrough when he appeared on Kenya’s well known TV show, The Churchill show. It was there that Eric became a household name and a comedy power force in the region, even performing at big events such as the African Kings of Comedy Festival in Nigeria.
A media and arts enthusiast, Ndaba is a Malawian born, Johannesburg based self proclaimed Afropolitan who loves to talk, write and design anything Afrocentric.
Lauren Beukes is a South African author who is popularly known for her 2010 award winning novel ‘Zoo City’ which was described by the New York Times as ‘an energetic phantasmagorical noir’. She also won the Arthur C Clarke Award and the Kitschies Red Tentacle and was long-listed for the IMPAC Award.
‘Zoo City’ is set in an alternate version of Johannesburg where people who commit a crime are transformed into animals. The novel’s chief protagonist, Zinzi December, gets ‘animalled’ into a sloth after being involved in her brothers’ murder.
Her crime and suspense novel, ‘The Shining Girls’ bagged the Exclusive Books’ ‘Reader’s Choice Book of the Year 2013’ and the Best Book 2013 University of Johannesburg Prize among other awards and nominations. The story is about a time-travelling serial killer and the survivor who turns the hunt around.
Her recent novel, ‘Broken Monsters’ which is about a killer trying to remake the world in his image, has received great reviews from the New York Times and won best suspense novel in the ALA’s 2015 Reading List.
Other works include ‘Moxyland’, ‘Maverick: Extraordinary Women from South Africa’s Past’ and other short stories published in various anthologies. Referring to the inspiration for her writing, Beukes says: “In South Africa, we have a great expression, “picking up stompies” (cigarette stubs) which means eavesdropping on snippets of a conversation and jumping to conclusions. I pick up a lot of stompies, from stuff I’ve read or seen or overheard or a news story or an advertising billboard or something half-glanced from the car windows – and I use that as a jumping off point.”
She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town, and has worked as a journalist, TV scriptwriter and columnist.Contemporary African Author Lauren Beukes
Taiye Selasi is a Nigerian/Ghanaian author who was born in London and raised in Massachusetts, USA. She is best known for her debut novel titled ‘Ghana Must Go’, which was named the New York Times bestseller and was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of 2013 by The Wall Street Journal and The Economist. The novel tells the story of a splintered family reconciling after being devastated by abandonment and death. The book was named after the Nigerian phrase directed at incoming Ghanaian refugees during political unrest in the 1980s.
She is also known for her 2005 essay titled ‘What is an Afropolitan?’ where she discusses the rise of internationally mobile, young people of African descent, making their mark on the world and defying downtrodden stereotypes, as well as her short fiction titled ‘The Sex Lives of African Girls’ which was published in ‘The Best American Short Stories’ in 2012. “The big ideas always come in flashes. I don’t really craft stories that much,” Selasi says about her writing inspirations. “I genuinely don’t know where these people come from and I’ve often wondered if writing is just a socially acceptable form of madness.”
Selasi graduated summa cum laude with a BA in American Studies from Yale University and earned an M.Phil. in International Relations from Oxford University. In 2006 Taiye joined the WGAE Screenwriting Lab at Columbia University, studying under Oscar nominee Zach Sklar (JFK). She worked in television production before moving on to full-time in fiction, screenwriting, and photography.Contemporary Author Taiye Selasi
Africa.com takes a closer look at some of the continent’s biggest and best finds. Dazzling Diamonds
From the 3,000- carat
in South Africa,
to Tanzania’s rare
Queen of Kilimanjaro
tanzanite stone –
Africa is known to be home to some of the largest and most radiant precious gems ever found.And Other Precious Gems Africa's Top 10 by Africa.com
#1 The Cullinan
The Cullinan diamond is the big daddy of all the diamonds in the world. The precious gem is the largest rough diamond ever found, weighing over 3,ooo carats. Found at a mine in South Africa in 1905, the gem was divided into smaller stones. The largest, Cullinan I, is popularly known as the Great Star of Africa. It’s currently the second largest polished diamond in the world and is placed in the Sceptre with the Cross, part of the British Crown Jewels. Cullinan II, also known as the Lesser Star of Africa – and weighs more than 300 carats – is also part of the British Crown Jewels.
#2 Queen of Kilimanjaro
First discovered in northern Tanzania in 1967, Tanzanite is considered one of the rarest gems in the world, found only on the foothills of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.
At 242 carats, the Queen of Kilimanjaro is not the largest tanzanite ever found, but it is certainly one of the most famous. Set in a tiara and encircled by over 900 brilliant cut diamonds and more than 800 brilliant cut green tsavorite garnets, it’s part of the private collection of Michael Scott, the first CEO of Apple Computers.
Due to the rarity of this gemstone, it can command prices rivaling diamonds. The primary color hues in tanzanite are deep blue with a hint of purple, not violet. Due to the rarity of this gemstone, it can command prices rivaling diamonds. The primary color hues in tanzanite are deep blue with a hint of purple, not violet. It is also sometimes found in other colors as well, such as purple and yellowish-brown. It is a variety of the mineral zoisite, a calcium aluminum hydroxy silicate. Tanzanite is also trichroic, meaning it shows three different colors when viewed in different directions.
#3 Millennium Sapphire
Discovered in Madagascar in 1995, the Millennium Sapphire is nearly 90,000 carats and is said to be roughly the size of a rugby ball. Rather than cut it up into smaller pieces, the owners initiated the Millennium Sapphire project. The faces of prominent historical figures (like Beethoven, Michaelangelo, Shakespeare and Albert Einstein) were carved into the gem “to pay tribute to humanity’s greatest examples of ingenuity and accomplishment.” Italian artist Alessio Boschi was chosen to design and oversee the carving process.
#4 Eureka Diamond
Currently on display at the Mine Museum in Kimberley, the Eureka Diamond is the first diamond ever found in South Africa. Weighing just over 20 carats, the diamond was found near a place called Hopetown in 1867 and prompted a “diamond rush” in that region. That same year it was put on display to the world at the Paris Exhibition.
#5 Lesotho Promise
Discovered in the Letseng diamond mine in Lesotho in 2006, the Lesotho Promise is one of the newer gems to be found on the continent. Weighing just over 600 carats, the diamond was sold to a dealer for over $12 million and was cut into 26 smaller stones.
Found in the late 70s in De Beers’ Premier Mine in South Africa, the Premier Rose is reportedly valued at over 10 million dollars. It was originally purchased by Mouw Diamond Cutting Company (the wife of the owner was named Rose, hence the name given to the diamond). Three stones were cut from the original. Known as the Premier Rose family, there’s the Big Rose (137.02 carats), Little Rose (31.48 carats) and Baby rose (2.11 carats).#6 Premier Rose
While Namibia is not the first place in which the Jeremejevite crystal was found, Namibia is said to have the highest quality of the blue-colored gem. Described as a gemological rarity, the mineral was first discovered in Siberia, then in Swakopmund in 1973.
#8 Kimberley Diamond
Discovered in the Kimberley Mine in the early 1920s, the Kimberley Diamond was later cut into a very distinctive Emerald Cut shape. Now part of a private jewelry collection, the champagne-colored diamond it was once part of the Russian Crown Jewels. Over 55 carats in weight, it is reportedly worth at least $500,000.
#9 Blue Garnet
While the garnet is found in many different colors, the blue garnet is the rarest of them all. Discovered in Bekily, Madagascar in the late 1990s, one carat of the rare gem reportedly costs over $2,000.
#10 Tiffany Diamond
The Tiffany Diamond is one of the largest yellow diamonds in the world. Discovered at the Kimberley mine in South Africa in 1878, it was bought by New York jeweler Charles Tiffany. Originally 287.42 carats, it was cut down to by more than half its size. The diamond is featured on the neck of Aubrey Hepburn in promotional photographs for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”