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Finalists for Best Short Film Competition Announced

BLACK ROSE by Pascal Aka of Ghana explores the inner thoughts and feelings of a restaurant manager seeking for a personal escape

By Khalifa Hemed Published September 14, 2017 Movies from six African countries have been shortlisted for competition in Scotland in October 2017. The 12th annual Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival that shall run in Edinburgh and Glasgow from October 27 to November 5 says the short movies from Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco and Algeria shall be screened at Filmhouse in Edinburgh and University of Glasgow on October 30 and 31, respectively. AiM, that says the annual African Short Film Competition is central to its ‘commitment to nurturing young African filmmaking talent’, says the shortlist for 2017 was selected from more than 350 entries. Only moviemakers who have not previously made a feature-length film are eligible for the competition with a £500 cash prize awarded by the jury to the winner. RELATED:South African Metaphysical Drama Wins First Prize at Africa in Motion (AiM) Short Film Competition The films selected for Competition are 12-minute CHEBET by Tony Koros of Kenya that revolves around a pregnant woman who takes drastic action when she finds her husband passed out in front of their house yet again; BLACK ROSE by Pascal Aka of Ghana that explores the inner thoughts and feelings of a restaurant manager seeking for a personal escape; and THE DARK BOX by Nigeria’s Yemi Jolaoso, an eight-minute work in which a man is all too eager to put his one-minute time machine to use in winning the heart of a woman until he discovers the unexpected consequences of his actions. Algeria’s two entries in the competition are THE ANT QUEEN by Leila Artese and I PROMISE YOU by Mohamed Yargui. While the former is the tale of a 10-year-old girl who lives with her elder sister and her grandmother dream about turning into queen ant to have the freedom to choose …

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Kenyans Pay Tribute to Country Music Star

Some of Don Williams' songs that are well loved across generations in Kenya include Senorita, You're My Best Friend, and Some Broken Hearts Never Mend.

By Iminza Keboge Published September 10, 2017 The singer who has not only inspired ‘one-man-guitar’ performers ad is popular among lovers love ballads, ‘mugithi’, golden hits, oldies, ‘zilizopendwa’ (old school) songs and storytellers in entertainment joints in Kenya is dead. The musician popularly known as Don Williams but whose real name was Donald Ray Williams died on September 8 after what was described as a short illness. The award-winning United States of America country singer and songwriter who was in 2010 inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame is reported to have recorded 17 number one hits after debuting as a solo musician in 1971. Some of the late entertainer’s songs that are well loved across generations in Kenya include Senorita, You’re My Best Friend, Some Broken Hearts Never Mend and It Must Be Love. RELATED:Kikuyu Theatre Explodes on Kenyan Stage Associated Press reports that Williams “spent the early part of his career in rock, country and folk groups…His first No 1 hit was ‘I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me’ and 42 of his 46 singles landed on the top 10 from 1974 to 1991.” Standing 6 foot 1, the singer with a rich baritone voice was nicknamed The Gentle Giant. Don Williams, who retired from music in 2016, was born in Floydada, Texas, United States of America on May 27, 1939. Following William’s death, Kyle Young, Chief Executive Officer of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, is quoted by Associated Press (AP) as having said, “Don Williams offered calm, beauty, and a sense of wistful peace that is in short supply these days…His music will forever be a balm in troublesome times. Everyone who makes country music with grace, intelligence, and ageless intent will do so while standing on …

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Seven Tips to Enable You Excel in Recreational Sports

Chesumot Tea Estate in Kericho is the venue of the Kericho Recreational Sports Challenge.

By Abdi Ali Published August 29, 2017 It is race time in Kenya, the home of world-beating track athletics champions. Have you registered for the 2nd Kericho Triathlon, Duathlon and Cross-Country Challenge scheduled for September 3, 2017 at Chesumot Tea Estate from 8:00 AM? Participation fee for individuals is Sh3000 and teams pay Sh5000 for the triathlon and duathlon; the cross-country run is charged at Sh500. Apart from registration and participation fee, you need to be fit and ready for the event. RELATED:99th Lola Kenya Screen film forum to Focus on Acting Team Tri Fit Kenya, the organisers of the event, provide the following tips to assist you along not just for their Kericho event but any other endurance sport you may want to participate in: Get ample sleep Seven to eight hour sleep is ideal for your body to recover Fuel your body Eat three nutritious meals a day with snacks in between. Remember the objective is to fuel your body not over eat. Test your off-road skills Pick your bike and running shoes and hit the trails at one of the forests around you. This will give you a glimpse of what to expect in regards to single trails, bushes and riding between trees. Ensure you service your bike early. RELATED:Cross-Country Added to Recreational Sports Challenge Arrive a day early TTF will allow participants to familiarize themselves with the route a day before the race. Taper off Reduce your mileage and intensity as you get closer to the event to avoid wearing out your body. This is best done a week to the event. Rehearse Go through the event in your head. Envision your transitions, breathing and all other activities. This will help you relax when the day comes. RELATED:Nairobi Holds Children’s Art Appreciation and Afro-Electronic Music Shows …

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Nairobi Holds Children’s Art Appreciation and Afro-Electronic Music Shows

nairobi museum's amazing art

By Iminza Keboge Published August 27, 2017 An afro-electronic French-Ghanaian duo is set to perform at Nairobi’s Alliance Francaise (AF) at the end of August. Preceding the duo that comprises DJ BBRAVE and music producer GAFACCI on August 30, 2017 in the central business district of Nairobi shall be a collection of Kenyan DJs who shall be expected to give music lovers a taste of their versatile creativity and performance skills. The Showcase Wednesday event, AF says, provides a small intimate setting for singers, musicians, music and poetry collaborations to get exposure and build audiences. RELATED:Nairobi National Museum Displays ‘Most Amazing Art’ Meanwhile, the Kenya Museum Society (KMS) is inviting artists to submit their work to its annual fund-raising event scheduled for October 27-29, 2017. Describing the event as ‘the largest juried art show in East Africa,’ KMS, that supports the National Museums of Kenya, requests members of the public who know any artist who would be interested in the event to apply for consideration. Such artists are requested to send their name, phone and email contacts and stating the type of work they would like to submit (painting, sculpture, photography or mixed media) to info@kenyamuseumsociety.org for consideration. RELATED:Here is How to Get Value Out of the Arts The three-day KMS Affordable Art Show shall be held at Nairobi National Museum between Friday and Sunday. While the opening party on Friday evening is expected to give art lovers the chance to view and buy art while enjoying drinks and music and attracts a Sh500 entry fee, Saturday and Sunday are set aside exclusively for viewing, appreciating and buying art from morning to evening. There is no gate charge and KMS says it shall even have a children’s art appreciation event. All proceeds from the event, KMS says, will be used …

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Best Female Energy Entrepreneurs Awarded

Women-led enterprises are showing promise in finding alternative solutions to Uganda’s energy crisis

By Iminza Keboge Published August 26, 2017 An off-grid energy contest in Uganda that seeks to identify and support enterprises either led by or benefitting women to compete in the global economy has announced winners for 2017. Joint Energy and Environments Projects (JEEP) and Conservation and Development Uganda Limited (CODE), the winners of the initiative known as Women in Energy Challenge, shall each receive a grant of $100,000 to expand their renewable energy enterprises to reach women in Uganda where only 20% of the population is reported to be connected to electricity. RELATED:Looking Beyond Nairobi’s 100th Premier Critical Movie Meeting While JEEP is wholly owned by women and focuses on fish economy in central Uganda, CODE, in western Uganda, is a majority-women owned enterprise seeking to ‘provide alternative and safer fuel sources’ to women who are forced to walk long distances in search of firewood. With its US$100000 grant, JEEP says it plans to install six green power units with solar-powered cold storage facilities for fish preservation, phone charging and solar home systems for sale in Kalangala district, a remote island area on Lake Victoria. Each unit, JEEP says, will be run by a women’s group trained in bookkeeping and will each repay a portion of their profits to JEEP to be used to replicate the model throughout the region. Thus each unit create jobs and increase incomes for local women. CODE, on its part, says it shall invest its grant in alternative and safer fuel sources for women; that it shall sell Agro-Eco kits as alternative and safer fuel sources. Using a low-cost distribution system through Village Savings and Loan Associations, CODE says it will collect revenue and expand its business to impact more and more households in the region in which it operates. “We launched this Women in …

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World’s 100 Greatest Comedies of All Time Revealed

SOME LIKE IT HOT, a 1959 film by Billy Wilder is the greatest comedy ever made according to a 2017 poll by BBC Culture.

By Iminza Keboge Published August 22, 2017 An international survey has revealed what is termed as 100 greatest comedies of all time. The poll by BBC Culture that saw films from United States of America’s Hollywood, India’s Bollywood, Nigeria’s Nollywood and throughout the world being nominated has ranked SOME LIKE IT HOT, a 1959 hit film by Billy Wilder’s as the greatest comedy ever made. RELATED:South African Animation Wins Best Children’s Movie Award “As well as being a romantic comedy, a buddy movie, a crime caper, and a musical,” Nicholas Barber, BBC Culture film critic, says of Wilder’s winning film, “SOME LIKE IT HOT is an anthem in praise of tolerance, acceptance, and the possibility of transformation. It’s an anthem that we need to hear now more than ever.” While DR STRANGELOVE, made by Stanley Kubrick in 1964 is second, Woody Allen’s ANNIE HALL (1977), Harold Ramis ‘s GROUNDHOG DAY (1993) and Leo McCarey ‘s DUCK SOUP (1933) have emerged third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Charlie Chaplin appears four times in the top 100 with MODERN TIMES (1936) at number 12; THE GREAT DICTATOR (1940) at number 16; CITY LIGHTS (1931) at 21 and THE GOLD RUSH (1925) at 25. Rebecca Laurence, BBC Culture acting editor, says, “BBC Culture’s films of the 21st Century poll was a huge success – but few comedy films made the top 100. This year, we asked film critics and experts to nominate their favourite comedies of all time. We hope that this list will encourage lively debate and discussion – not just about greatest scenes, favourite jokes and best one-liners – but also about the importance of humour and the very human need to laugh.” The poll, described as having been extensive, involved 253 film critics—were 135 male and 118 female—in 52 countries and …

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Leading Radio Presenter Marries

Adelle Onyango who works for Radio Africa group in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, wedded dressed in a bespoke gown by Ogake Mosomi, an award-winning Kenyan designer.

By Grace Kerongo Published July 29, 2017 A leading Kenyan radio presenter has walked down the aisle. Adelle Onyango, who wedded on July 28, 2017 said, “I do” to the love of her life at an intimate ceremony where only close family and friends were in attendance. RELATED:Kenya Changes Its Basic Education System “Kenya is so beautiful! The venue is a hidden corner called Zereniti and it truly is where zen meets serenity,” Adelle Onyango gushed. Adelle Onyango who works for Kiss FM which is part of the Radio Africa group in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, wedded dressed in a bespoke gown by an award-winning Kenyan designer. “Kenyans are so talented; my gown is fully made in Kenya by Ogake Mosomi. Buy Kenyan; it’s worth it!,” she said. RELATED:Commitment, Not Love, Precedes Marriages that Last! Laughing, the social activist known for her uplifting projects like Sisterhood and TeamAdelle said that she opted for a small and intimate affair because it is a ‘celebration of love with family instead of inviting celebs as it’s not an industry concert.’ The colour theme for the wedding was silver and white. “My fave colour is tangerine but I didn’t want my wedding to look like a political rally; so I went with my next fave colours: silver and white.” RELATED:United Nations Encourages African Countries to Harness Their Nascent Tourism Sector

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China to Empower Youth and Bring Satellite TV Programmes to African Villages

StarTimes, that serves an estimated 10 million subscribers with a signal covering the continent, has employed 4000 Africans in more than 30 countries, with more jobs are being created through a dealer network in urban Africa.

By Irene Gaitirira Published July 28, 2017 China is set on providing training and jobs for African youth, setting up television programme production and dubbing centres in African countries and bringing satellite television programmes to villages across the continent. Pang Xinxing, President of Chinese firm StarTimes, has announced more jobs for the more than 226 million African youth aged 15-24 years through the China-Africa Cooperation announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in the South African commercial capital, Johannesburg, in 2015. RELATED:Reproductive and Maternal Health Care Centre Comes to Northern Kenya “Since StarTimes entered the African market in 2002, it has grown rapidly in creating opportunities for Africans, especially young people,” Pang said during an event known as YouthConnekt Africa Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. He said StarTimes, that serves an estimated 10 million subscribers with a signal covering the continent, has employed 4000 Africans in more than 30 countries, with more jobs are being created through a dealer network in urban Africa. RELATED:East African Governments Fight Immorality Moreover, Pang said StarTimes is empowering young Africans with professional training to make them more competitive. For instance, he said, his organisation had held the first Star TV Drama Dubbing Contest in Tanzania and taken 10 contestants to StarTimes Headquarters in Beijing where they underwent professional dubbing training. Pang said StarTimes would undertake a 10000 African Village Satellite television project under the China-Africa cooperation that would give rural area-based people with what he called a better understanding of the world through information. RELATED:African Renewable Energy Projects Win Co-Development Facility competition Meanwhile Rwanda’s digital broadcasting and production infrastructure has received a shot in the arm with US$7 million grant from the Government of China through StarTimes. “The dabbing and production house will facilitate both private and public television houses in the country to produce quality …

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Kenya Changes Its Basic Education System

Dr Jwan of Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development talks about the missystem of education.ion of the new 2-6-3-3 s

By Ogova Ondego Published July 24, 2017 Kenya is reviewing its basic education system with a view to embedding in it a national values system and practical skills for learners. Julius Jwan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development that is in charge of the curriculum of primary and secondary schools, says the new system that shall have two years of pre-school, six years of primary school, three years of secondary school and a further three years of tertiary training (2-6-3-3) system shall replace the current 8-4-4 (eight years of primary, four of secondary and a further 4 of university) that has been in existence since 1985 and that does not seem to recognise pre-school training though one cannot join primary school without having attended it; it is referred to as 8-4-4 instead of 3-8-4-4. RELATED:Intern Gets Grounded in Culture and Development Dr Jwan, who spoke at the Embassy of Germany in Kenya during the ‘No Education, No Future’ on July 6, 2017 said the new system of basic education in Kenya shall lay emphasis on communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving,imagination and creativity,citizenship, digital literacy, and self-efficacy. Unlike the 8-4-4 whose curriculum he described as is being ‘rigid and prescriptive with limited flexibility’,’focusing on summative assessment and competition’, and laying emphasis on ‘Schooling and teaching’, the 2-6-3-3 that he said stresses ‘competence’ will be ‘flexible with Opportunities for specialisation’, have a ‘balance between formative and summative assessment and excellence’ and lay stress on ‘education and learning’. RELATED:Lack of Education and Mismatched Skills Hinder Africa’s Development Like the 8-4-4, the aims of the 2-6-3-3 shall be to achieve Kenya’s national goals of education that Dr Jwan listed as: Fostering nationalism, patriotism and national unity Promoting social, economic, technological and industrial needs for national development …

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Our Role in Ensuring School Bus Safety for Children

Kenya's Parliament passes Traffic Amendment Bill to enhance safety on school buses. Nation Media Group summarises what the bill says.

By Iminza Keboge and Simba-Safe Kenya Published July 21, 2017 A kindergarten pupil has been crushed to death by a school bus in which he was riding. The six-year-old boy from St Augustine’s Preparatory School in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa died on the spot after being run over by the back wheels of the bus when he fell through an opening on the floor of the bus. Whether children walk, are dropped off by their parents or take the bus to school, it is crucial that they – and the motorists around them – take proper safety precautions. The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has issued guidelines for schools on transportation to help observe school bus safety for children in Kenya. RELATED:Nairobi’s Premier Critical Movie Platform Celebrates Youth Creativity Among other safety guidelines, NTSA recommends: lap/shoulder belt restraint system for use as directed; all children to travel in child-restraint system when transported in all motor vehicles and school buses to ensure safest ride possible; and mirrors to improve driver visibility in front and along both sides of school bus. NTSA also recommends that: passengers of all ages be taught safe driving and pedestrian behaviour regardless of the frequency of school bus use, and adult supervision on school buses focus on ensuring that passengers stay seated, using seat belts and occupant protection systems, keeping their arms and head inside the windows; assisting in emergency circumstances and passengers with special needs, escorting children across roadways; and  picking up and dropping off pupils only at designated stops. RELATED:Kenya Joins Global Capacity-Building Programme for Entrepreneurs A school bus driver, NTSA says, should: be fully in charge of the bus and pupils have the authority of a classroom teacher be responsible for the health, safety and welfare of each passenger conduct thorough pre-trip …

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