By Panashe Chigumadzi (@panashechig)
A round-up of last week’s news and newsmakers from around the world.
1. 63 women and girls escape abductors in Nigeria
Sources said on Sunday more than 60 women and girls abducted last month by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria have escaped their captors, but more than 200 schoolgirls are still being held by the Islamists.
This came after Friday’s clashes between Nigerian soldiers and Boko Haram militants in the Nigerian state of Borno. At least 50 insurgents were killed as the Nigerian military repelled an attack on its military base in the town of Damboa. Clashes took place between the Islamists and the army late on Friday after an attack by the insurgents in the town of Damboa, where 53 of them and six soldiers were killed, the army had said. Boko Haram militants attacked barracks and a police station while most of the troops were out on patrol in surrounding villages.
Of the 276 girls seized in April, 57 have escaped while 219 are still missing.Villagers from the town where Boko Haram abducted the girls appealed to the United Nations on Friday to intervene because of the worsening violence in their region.
Security experts say the overstretched and under-resourced military is incapable of waging an effective counterinsurgency against the Boko Haram militants, who have killed thousands in their five-year campaign for an independent Islamic state in the north.
2. Neymar ruled out of World Cup
Brazil may be through to the World Cup semi-finals, but they will have to play the rest of the tournament without their star striker Neymar who was carried off on a stretcher towards the end of their 2-1 win over Colombia.
Neymar was taken off, in a great pain, after being kneed in the back in a challenge from Colombian defender Juan Camillo Zuniga andwas replaced by defender Henrique. The team’s doctor confirmed that Neymar suffered a fractured vertebra during the match with Colombia. The Brazil football confederation (CBF) confirmed in a statement that Neymar is likely to be absent for around a month, ruling the striker out of the rest of the tournament.
Meanwhile, three other teams are through to the World Cup semi-finals, having gotten there through four very close games. Some of Germany’s players played with flu as they beat France 1-0. Without their star player Neymar and Captain Thiago Silva they could be in trouble in their semi-final match-up with Germany. Lionel Messi was the star of Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Belgium. The last quarter-final between the Netherlands and Costa Rica was a close game that went to extra time and Holland finally winning 4-3 on penalties.
3. Euphonik speaks out on assaulting Bonang
Two years after DJ Euphonik (Themba Nkosi), made headlines for physically abusing girlfriend, media personality, Bonang Matheba, he finally spoke about the subject during an interview with journalist Nicky Greenwall on her celebrity chat show ‘ScreenTime’.
In 2012 Matheba caused quite a media stir when she obtained a protection order against Nkosi after he physically abused her. Nkosi did not discuss the matter publicly until the interview:
“I think publicly it was a very big deal, but I think to everyone that knows me, and knows about me, and knows where I come from and the kind of person that I am, it didn’t really sway their perception in any way,” he said.
“Because what generally happens in instances like this is you lose your endorsements. I’m aligned to some very, very big brands and none of that happened. I had a lot of support through that time.”
And of his choice to not publicly discuss the issue the DJ said, “It was me being me. I’ve never been the person to say ‘look at me, this is my girlfriend’, ‘look at me, this is the person I’m dating now’, ‘look at me, this is what’s happening in my personal life’.”
“So when this stuff was happening, it would have been almost out of character for me to now all of a sudden be running my mouth and talking about it.”
And when asked if he felt betrayed by Matheba speaking out publicly the DJ said: “To a certain extent, yes.” And then quite vaguely added: “For me it was like, irrespective of what happened and how it happened, what happened behind our close doors is between you and I and, hundred percent, if there is anything that needs to get to this kind of a level, then let it get to that kind of a level, but then let it be that.”
Matheba and Nkosi have since reconciled following this scandal.
4. The Carters respond to cheating rumours with family pictures
Queen Bey sent fans and media into a frenzy this week after altering lyrics to her 2006 song ‘Resentment’ during a concert in Cincinnati, Ohio as part of her and Jay Z’s ‘On the Run Tour’.
Dressed in an all-white bridal-themed outfit, Mrs Carter took the stage and changed the lyrics: “Been ridin’ with you for six years […] I gotta look at her in her eyes and see she’s had half of me” to “Been ridin’ with you for 12 years […] I gotta look at her in her eyes and see she’s had half of me.”
The change from six to twelve years sparked had the media and fans questioning whether she had been referring to Jay Z given that the couple has been together since 2002 and the current rumours of infidelity on Jay Z’s part.
That wasn’t the only change. Mrs Carter threw more shade by adding the lyric: “She ain’t even half of me. That b*tch will never be me.”
Ever the masters of public relations, the Carters responded to the flurry of cheating rumours by posting happy family pictures on Beyonce’s website and being spotted on a family outing in the Hamptons.
5. Glitz and glam at the 2014 Durban July
On Saturday, more than 55 000 people, 15 000 of them VIP guests, flocked to Durban for the country’s most anticipated horse racing event which took place at the Greyville racecourse. Racegoers wore colourful creations at the Vodacom Durban July which were inspired by the theme which was “The Big Screen – Hollywood, Nollywood and Bollywood.”
A highlight of the event was the arrival of President Jacob Zuma in a black BMW followed by an entourage of bodyguards and police on motorbikes. He was accompanied by one of his wives, Tobeka Madiba Zuma.