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Are Women Under Attack for Their Being Women?

By Iminza Keboge Published July 15, 2017 A documentary film that examines what is perceived as ‘accelerating gains of the crusade to control pregnant women and the fallout that is creating a public health crisis, turning pregnant women into criminals and challenging the constitutional protections of every woman’ has opened in the Big Apple. The film, aptly titled BIRTHRIGHT: A WAR STORY, examines how women are being jailed, physically violated and even put at risk of dying as a radical movement tightens its grip on power across the United States of America. RELATED:Make Global Reproductive Health ‘Sexy’ “We’re witnessing shocking attacks on women in Donald Trump’s America. In Congress, the new proposed “health care” bill could defund Planned Parenthood and cut maternal health care funding for low income women. Restrictive reproductive health care laws are being introduced in state legislatures all across the country, with little regard for science or respect for women’s ability to make their own medical decisions,” Women Make Movies says. RELATED:United Nations Encourages African Countries to Harness Their Nascent Tourism Sector Named by The Daily Beast as “a timely new documentary”, and described by Newsweek as a “documentary that shows how the US is becoming the Handmaid’s Tale”, BIRTHRIGHT: A WAR STORY examines how women are being jailed, physically violated and even put at risk of dying as a radical movement tightens its grip across America. And what has this got to do with women across the world? RELATED:More Questions Than Answers Dominate Kenya’s Critical Movie Platform Everything. Because what happens in the United States of America affects the whole world. In fact, WMM says that in some states of the USA “it’s safer for a woman to go and give birth in a developing country.” This, certainly, has some implications for everyone across the globe. The …

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World’s Top Teenage Athletes Compete in Nairobi

Outside Moi International Sports Complex-Kasarani

By Iminza Keboge Published July 12, 2017 A sports event from which Kenya hopes to harvest some US$50 million kicked off in the capital, Nairobi, on July 12, 2017. The 10th and final IAAF World U18 Championships for athletes aged 17 or younger brings some three thousand competitors and officials from 159 countries to Kenya’s Moi International Sports Centre in the Kasarani neighbourhood of Nairobi for a five-day track and field contest that has been boycotted by United States of America, Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Switzerland for what USA described as risks for all types of crime ranging from theft to violence and terrorism. The boycott came as a blow to Kenya that had spent an estimated US$25 million in refurbishing the 60,000-seat stadium at Kasarani on the Thika Super Highway for the International Association of Athletics Federations-organised event that is expected to discover and nurture the sports talent of teenagers. RELATED:Are Medical Doctors Preying on Female Patients? Kenyatta University, partly due to its proximity to the venue of the games, shall benefit immensely as it has not only been earmarked for Regional High Performance Centre by IAAF but is also hosting the athletes and officials in six of its student hostels that have been upgraded to three-star hotels. IAAF says Kenya’s hosting of the event shall map the East African country as ‘the home of heroes’ and an ‘investment and tourist destination’. RELATED:Groups Championing Pregnant Girls’ Right to Education Could be De-Registered Representing Kenya is a team of 64 track and field athletes, one of Kenya’s largest ever contingents at an IAAF U18 athletics meet. The team that represents Kenya at the event that runs July 12-16, 2017 comprises: Girls 100m: Beatrice Anyango, Hyvin Chepkoech 200m: Beatrice Anyango, Mary Moraa 400m: Sharon Jebet, Mary Moraa 800m: Lydia …

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Holiday Travel Ideas for You

Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway express train between Nairobi and Mombasa has special travel packages for holidaymakers.

By Irene Gaitirira Published July 9, 2017 If you are interested in a Kenyan coast getaway from Nairobi, several hotels and SGR Madaraka Express Train have a package for you. The package covers return train tickets on the SGR, two nights half board accommodation in standard rooms and return shared transfers from the train station in Mombasa to the hotel. The package, that is valid till August 31, 2017, is available per person sharing for two nights at Bamburi Beach Hotel (Sh14,500); Neptune Beach Hotel (Sh16,000); Travellers Beach Hotel (Sh19,350); Prideinn Paradise Hotel (Sh20,800); and Sarova Whitesands Hotel (Sh 22,600). RELATED:Subscription Video on Demand Service Comes to Black Africa Also available for grabs are three-day Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration Package and three-day budget camping for Sh22,000 per person that covers transport from Nairobi, two nights full board meals, Camping site fees, game drives and nature treks. Departure requires a minimum six people and the package is valid July 1-October 31, 2017. Swiss Airlines is from July 6, 2017 adding a sixth flight to its weekly schedule to and from Nairobi. Swiss operates an A330 aircraft offering First, Business and Economy Class on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. RELATED:Looking Beyond Nairobi’s 100th Premier Critical Movie Meeting Qantas of Australia will introduce twice daily A330 flights on the Sydney – Auckland route from July 13, 2017. Customers will experience the recently upgraded two-class A330 aircraft, including a 28-seat business cabin. It is also set to launch seasonal flights from Adelaide and Melbourne to Kangaroo Island, providing travelers with a new destination on their extensive domestic network, on December 17, 2017. On its part, Oman Air has special fares to destinations such as Mumbai, Dubai, Guangzhou, Abu Dhabi, Colombo, New Delhi, Bangkok till July 15, 2017 for travel between September 10 and …

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Groups Championing Pregnant Girls’ Right to Education Could be De-Registered

Human Rights Watch say at least 8000 girls are expelled from school every year for getting pregnant.

By Khalifa Hemed Published July 8, 2017 The Government of Tanzania should end its hostile rhetoric toward civil society groups helping pregnant girls complete their education. Eighteen local and international non-governmental organisations have taken issue with Tanzania’s President John Magufuli’s statement on June 22, 2017 that pregnant girls cannot be allowed back to public school even after the birth of their children. They quote Magufuli as having said, “As long as I’m president, no pregnant students will be allowed to return to school” and that the young mothers could opt for vocational training or become entrepreneurs, but should not be permitted to pursue formal education in public schools. RELATED:British Charity Donates Books to Rwanda “Tanzania’s president and other top officials should be focusing on how to build the country by helping everyone complete their education and ending discrimination,” says Elin Martinez, children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch in a Press Statement issued in Nairobi, Kenya, on July 6, 2017. “Protecting people’s rights not only helps them and their families, but strengthens the whole country.” The NGOs say that Mwigulu Nchemba, Tanzania’s Home Affairs Minister, threatened on June 25 to de-register organisations that challenged the president’s ban on schooling for pregnant girls and teen mothers. “The government estimates that 30 out of every 100 girls dropped out of school due to pregnancy in 2015. Many schools routinely force girls to undergo pregnancy tests and expel girls who are found to be pregnant, give birth, or get married, bringing an early end to their formal education,” the NGOs say. RELATED:This is What Lola Kenya Screen Does Saying the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party pledged in its 2015 election manifesto to ensure girls who drop out of school due to pregnancy can continue their studies, the NGOs argue that President Magufuli and …

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More Questions Than Answers Dominate Kenya’s Critical Movie Platform

Movies, Discussion, Friendship and Business during 100th Lola Kenya Screen film forum at Goethe-Institut in Nairobi, Kenya.

By Iminza Keboge and Boera Bisieri Published June 28, 2017 What is a Kenyan story and how do we tell it well in film? Is it an African thing that your films have little dialogue? What is TORTURE about? Why did you choose a cat as a character in BEHIND THE SEEN? Did you have to paint a Muslim in NAZIF as a clean freak just because the Quran says one should be pure and clean? Isn’t a film like NAZIF more likely to cause division rather than unity between Christians and Muslims in Kenya? Those were some of the questions raised as Nairobi’s premier critical movie event convened for its 100th bi- monthly session at Goethe-Institut on June 19, 2017. In focus were four short films directed by Peter Kawa and Jimmy Gor of Film Lab Kenya, a group of moviemakers founded in 2014 that says it is ‘committed to producing life-changing content that influences people and provokes discussion.’ No sooner had the films—BEHIND THE SEEN and NAZIF by Gor and LIFEGUARD and TORTURE by Kawa—been screened than the directors were bombarded by questions from the more than 200 participant-strong floor of during the 100th Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff) that has over the past 12 years become a training platform for moviemakers, event programmers, public speakers, cultural journalists and arts critics and others players in the arts and lifestyle sector that is often one of the first places where new films can be seen and young talent spotted. RELATED:Looking Beyond Nairobi’s 100th Premier Critical Movie Meeting The directors in focus—Gor and Kawa—took the questions in good faith, saying that their aim as Film Lab Kenya is to make films that spark conversation and raise issues like the ones movie enthusiasts had just raised. Responding to the issue …

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East Africa Grapples With a Children’s Refugee Crisis

Children play in a camp in Uganda that humanitarian assistance agencies say is on the verge of a children's refugee crisis.

By Still Hardy Published June 26, 2017 As the World Refugee Day was marked on June 20, 2017, the focus was on black Africa‘s Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya where children from South Sudan continue to flee to in search of safety. BBC Africa, that held special programmes to mark World Refugee Day 2017 reported that “Sub-Saharan Africa is home to more than one in four of the world’s refugees – the largest number after the Middle East.” RELATED:Digital Art Exhibition and Puppet Theatre Performance Spring to Life as Nairobi Discusses Women in Politics United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that “more than 1.8 million people”–among them more than 1000 children per day–have crossed into neighbouring Uganda and Ethiopia “since violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013.” In just a year, UNICEF said “the population of refugees in Uganda has more than doubled from 500,000 to more than 1.25 million, making Uganda now host to the fastest growing refugee emergency in the world.” Terming it a ‘children’s refugee crisis’, Leila Pakkala, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, noted that “More than one million children have been forced from their homes in South Sudan, often amid horrific violence. Day after day, week after week, they are being received by countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya. Despite great efforts on many fronts, the systems in these countries are tremendously stretched.” RELATED:Australian Book Celebrates Lola Kenya Screen Saying the Government of Uganda, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF, World Food Programme of the United Nations (WFP) and other humanitarian partners on the ground are working tirelessly to respond to the more than 740,000 refugees who have arrived in Uganda since July 2016, UNICEF said that such dramatic numbers were placing excessive pressure on State and host community …

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British Charity Donates Books to Rwanda

The lack of a national library service in Rwanda means that many communities are unable to access the life-changing opportunities books offer, such as developing skills, starting businesses and enabling lifelong learning

By Irene Gaitirira Published June 20, 2017 Book Aid International of Britain is providing brand new books to communities in Rwanda. Britain’s leading international book-donation and library-development charity says it has on June 20, 2017 sent 31801 books to support readers in libraries, schools and further education institutions across the central African country. RELATED:Looking Beyond Nairobi’s 100th Premier Critical Movie Meeting “The lack of a national library service in Rwanda means that many communities are unable to access the life-changing opportunities books offer, such as developing skills, starting businesses and enabling lifelong learning,” Book Aid International says. “The books we are sending will support some of Rwanda’s many volunteer-run community libraries. These are almost always managed by members of the local community who have often taken it upon themselves to create a library in their area. These libraries serve the whole community and particularly those who cannot access traditional learning opportunities.” “Having visited Rwanda myself and met some of the volunteers who give up their time to run community libraries, I am delighted that we are now working in partnership with the Kigali Public Library to provide brand new books for the users of the community libraries,” says Alison Tweed, Book Aid International’s Chief Executive Officer. “Thanks to the generosity of our partners in the book trade, we can provide brand new books to libraries, schools and further education institutions throughout the country; books which will undoubtedly be a huge boost for readers across Rwanda.” RELATED:Lola Kenya Screen mentors Children and Youth This initial shipment to Rwanda included early learning and children’s books, higher education texts and medical and healthcare books as well as titles covering technical and vocational skills to support further education. Saying that it “works with an extensive network of libraries, schools, hospitals, NGOs and other partners …

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Looking Beyond Nairobi’s 100th Premier Critical Movie Meeting

Lola Kenya Screen staff stand in front of the auditorium of Goethe-Institut in Nairobi in 2007.

By Iminza Keboge Published June 18, 2017 As Lola Kenya Screen (LKS) presents its 100th bi-monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff) on June 19, 2017, Ogova Ondego, Managing Trustee and Creative Director of LKS speaks about what is in store for this movie platform for children and youth in eastern Africa in 2017 and beyond. What is Lola Kenya Screen and why does it exist? Lola Kenya Screen is a movie festival and skills-development and marketing platform focusing on children and youth in eastern Africa that seeks to integrating movie production with other socio-cultural and economic sectors in order to come up with a vibrant and sustainable motion pictures industry. RELATED:Short Fiction Contest for Africans Calls for Submission How many films has Lola Kenya Screen produced with the youth since inception? Though children and youth of Lola Kenya Screen have made more than 50 fictions, animations, documentaries and experimentals many of which have won or been nominated for prestigious awards–Jugend Medien Festival Berlin,Kids For Kids Africa, Africa Movie Academy Awards, World Summit on Media for Children–Lola Kenya Screen does much more than just produce movies. We equip children and youth with the skills to conceive, create, promote and consume high quality, audience-sensitive, culture-appropriate  content. With their skills, our children and youth are left to their own devices to do as they see fit in their families and communities. Any notable directors, actors or production engineers as a result of over 10 years and 100 film forums? Lola Kenya Screen, particularly its film forum, is often one of the first places where new films can be seen and young talent spotted.During the forum a selected short film is screened followed by an open discussion based on the production as pertains to universal moviemaking standards.The films exhibited and discussions arising from …

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Subscription Video on Demand Service Comes to Black Africa

By Irene Gaitirira Published June 17, 2017 A Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) service for emerging markets is bringing its service to sub-Saharan Africa. Known as iflix, the SVoD service provider says it is about to launch a service that will see subscribers in Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Nigeria access SVoD on up to five devices–phones, laptops, tablets, and television sets–for viewing wherever, whenever. RELATED:Intern Gets Grounded in Culture and Development iflix Africa, that will be based in the South African town of Cape Town says the launch across black Africa, planned over the second and third quarter of 2017, will make its range of thousands of TV shows and movies, including “the best of Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood and other regional and local programming,” available to consumers across the region. You can expect education programs, animal programs such as Border Collie training series, cartoons, geographic programs and much more. iflix says its service shall “offer an extensive collection of highly acclaimed African shows and movies with iflix Africa planning to introduce exclusive African content series.” RELATED:Frequently Asked Questions about Lola Kenya Screen Mark Britt, Co-founder and CEO of iflix, says of the service, “The establishment of iflix Africa represents an incredibly exciting step in iflix’s growth story. As Africa transitions from the margins to the mainstream of the global economy, there is a unique, ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to fundamentally shift the way a billion people consume and enjoy content. By 2020, Africa will have 720 million smartphone users. We aim to meet the entertainment needs of those growingly connected viewers.” On his part Andre de Wet, Head of Africa at iflix, says, “As the fastest-growing mobile market on earth, Africa is without question one of the world’s most dynamic regions. We are thrilled to introduce our first-of-its-kind SVoD …

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Lola Kenya Screen to Host Moviemaking University Student Collective

Some of the experimental work of Zero Chill TV, whose slogan is ‘We Believe in Aliens’, shall be seen at 100th Lola Kenya Screen film forum at Goethe-Institut, Nairobi, Kenya.

By Irene Gaitirira Published June 13, 2017 Some of the work of a group of moviemaking university students that describes itself as ‘a bunch of overpaid and underworked post teens with a lot of food in our time’ shall be showcased during the 100th bi-monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff), Nairobi’s premier critical movie screening, discussion and networking platform. RELATED:Gospel Music Awards Presentation Leaves Tongues Wagging Zero Chills TV, whose slogan is ‘We Believe in Aliens’, was founded in 2015 by ‘by broke campus students’ of Moi University in Eldoret, western Kenya. Zero Chills TV makes lots of experimental movies on various issues affecting young people: dating, drugs, religious extremism and terrorism, tribal chauvinism and stereotypes, and the desire to belong. RELATED:Young Actors, MovieMakers and Community Developers to Converge in Nairobi ‘We do v-logging and are the first Netizens before they finally shut down the Internet,’ the group says. ’We talk a lot in an attempt to make the world a better place through laughter. Our job is to shoot things that don’t matter, then post them like they matter and then probably get a contract here and there? In addition to being big-headed spoilt brats, we love sharing.’ RELATED:Greater Investment in Local Networks Can Drive Broadband Data Explosion in Africa Zero Chills TV comprises location manager and production assistant Nicy Ammallar; graphics designer Brian Wachira; cameraman Morris Wamiti; video editor Steve Musila; scriptwriter and camera operator Simon Kairo; videographer Eric Mutuma; actors Vanessah Wambui Ochieng and Kennedy Ovita Eravo; and group coordinator and production designer Eddy Ashioya. RELATED:What Lola Kenya Screen Is These members of Zero Chills TV shall tell you what and who they really are if you care to ask them during the networking session of LKSff when you meet them at Goethe-Institut in the Nairobi …

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