By Vanguard Reporter
A roundup of the weeks biggest news and newsmakers.
1. Over 100s feared dead as Boko Haram attacks Yobe and Borno states
Suspected Boko Haram insurgents, yesterday, intensified terrorist activities, targeting two state capitals in the North-Eastern part of the country with co-ordinated bomb explosions in Maiduguri, Borno State capital and gun attacks in Damaturu, Yobe State capital.
More than 100 people were feared dead in the attacks as several places, including police formations, were burnt. Damaturu is 135 km west of Maiduguri.
Umar Sada, who lives in the Gujba Road area of the city, said the latest raid happened at about 4:45 a.m. “I was woken by huge blasts and the sound of heavy gunfire around the Mobile Police barracks. The gunmen came in numbers. They burnt down the Police barracks. They are now advancing towards two housing estates. We have left our home. We are now in the bush. We don’t know what’s going to happen” Sada said.
There was no immediate comment from the military in Damaturu, where government troops were also stationed, nor from Abuja, although Air Force jets were seen overhead. However the Yobe State Police Commissioner, Marcus Danladi, said they were dealing with a “serious situation”.
Vigilantes in the city claimed that more than 40 Boko Haram fighters were killed.
At least 120 people were killed and 270 others were wounded on Friday when two suicide bombers blew themselves up and gunmen opened fire during weekly prayers the central mosque in northern Nigeria’s largest city of Kano on, a week after the emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, of one of Nigeria’s top Islamic leaders called on northerners to defend themselves against Boko Haram that have been carrying out deadly attacks and seizure of territory in the northeast.
In April, the group kidnapped over 270 school girls from the state of Chibok and they haven’t been found since.
2. South Africa observes World AIDS Day
Stigma and discrimination against those living with HIV and Aids persists, said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the World AIDS commemoration celebrations in Welkom in the Free State yesterday.
“This can have a devastating effect on the lives of people living with HIV and on those closest to them. It also undermines our efforts to tackle the epidemic” he said.
It was because of this that people were reluctant to be tested and to disclose their status to access treatment, care and support. Efforts to fight against prejudice, stigma and discrimination needed to be redoubled.
“Like racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of intolerance, the stigmatisation of HIV is driven by ignorance and fear,” said Ramaphosa.
Despite the decline in the incidence of HIV there was a significant number of new infections every day.
A quarter of these were in women between the ages of 15 and 24.
Ramaphosa said government was concerned about the number of people who did not know their HIV status. Referring to a recent survey, he said about two million South Africans were living with HIV but did not know their status, which meant they were not getting the medical help they needed or protecting their partners.
“We must ensure that every South African tests for HIV and is screened for TB [Tuberculosis] annually.
Despite the progress that we have made in the past five years, the end of Aids is not as near as we would like,” said Ramaphosa.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says the number of people in South Africa taking anti-retrovirals has increased from 400 000 ten years ago to 2.7 million at present and life expectancy has increased from 53 in 2006 to 61 in 2012. He also had positive news for pregnant women. “Deaths in pregnant women, infants and children under the age of five, have also declined.”
3. Generations The Legacy returned to television with much fanfare
After a two-month hiatus, what was the biggest show on South African television, Generations returned to our screens last night with a new cast and storyline, a tarnished legacy, some old faces to make it look familiar and lure viewers back, and a lot of unanswered questions about the maturity of the local TV biz, the public broadcaster, and how and why actors are treated as little more than on-set props.
Generations The Legacy debuted last night on SABC1 at 20:00 after a shocking absence of two months when the production grinded to a halt after sixteen members of its cast went on strike
Set two years later and with Connie Ferguson returning as Karabo Moroka and Rapulana Seiphemo as Tau Mogale “returning from London to South Africa”, suddenly living with their grown children, Jonathan (JT Medupe) and Angela (Lebohang Mthunzi) and will focus on the new generation of the Moroka family, Archie Moroka’s children and grandchildren.
Other new faces include Letoya Makhene, Denise Zimba, Ronnie Nyakale, Manaka Ranaka and Ivy Nkuta.
Ferguson told the SABC’s new digital magazine, Evoke, that returning to Generations was not part of her plans but that the “recent developments” at the soap “bothered” her and “forced her into action for the sake of the show’s legacy”.
The soap features a new title sequence which echoes that of SABC2’s Muvhango and e.tv’s Scandal!: luxury vehicles, tall facades, women in heels and men in designer suits.
Collin Oliphant, who has written for SABC3’s Isidingo in the past, is the new head writer.
— Channel24.co.za, iol.co.za, citypress.co.za
4. Portia Modise crowned South African Sports Star of the Year
Portia Modise was commemorated for her milestone of 100 goals with the sports star of the year award at the SA Sports Awards at the Sandton Convention Centre.
The striker last month became a centurion for Banyana Banyana in 117 appearances, in the 5-1 win over Algeria at the African Women’s Championship in Namibia.
“This is the beginning for other women to receive this award. My winning has opened doors for other players to get more recognition” the South African sports star of the year said.
Olympic swimming champion Chad le Clos bagged the sportsman of the year accolade at tonight’s awards, while road cycling champion Ashleigh Moolman Pasio won the sportswoman of the year award.
The world beating South African under-19 cricket team walked away with the team of the year and Springbok legend Joost van der Westhuizen was honoured with the life-time achievement award.
Having guided Bafana Bafana to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, Shakes Mashaba scored the coach of the year award.
5. Boom Shaka honoured at Channel O Music Awards
South African ‘90s group Boom Shaka received the Special Recognition Award at this year’s Channel O African Music Video Awards. The award is the only one not determined by public votes.
Fans of the group were transported back in time when Boom Shaka was still setting fashion trends and releasing anthemic hits, as Junior Sokhela, Theo Nhlengethwa and Thembi Seete, joined by Bucie and Busiswa took the stage.
The group paid tribute to fallen band member Lebo Mathosa with a heart-warming version of song “Free”, and had the crowed pulling old dance moves as they performed Boom Shaka’s all-time hits “Thobela” and “It’s About Time”.
In a quivering emotional voice Bucie and Busiswa took to the stage and joined the remaining group members Junior Sokhela, Theo Nhlengethwa and Thembi Seete to pay tribute to Lebo Mathosa, saying “Thank you. Thank you. This is our first award ever”.
South African renowned artist Cassper Nyovest, born Refiloe Maele Phoolo, flew the nation’s flag high as he scooped three awards at the ceremony. Cassper Nyovest tied with Tanzania’s Diamond who each scooped three awards. Cassper Nyovest won as most gifted male, most gifted Southern Africa music video and best music video, while Diamond won most gifted newcomer, most gifted Afro pop music video as well as most gifted East African music video.
“A thank you to everybody who let me squat at their houses when I started out with this dream,” Cassper Nyovest said in his acceptance speech for best music video as the final award of the night.
“I used to stay at my friends’ houses all the time. A shout-out to my parents for supporting me in my dream. My parents are teachers, and they allowed me to drop put of school to rap. A big shout-out to Jesus Christ. I really pray. I hope all the kids at home can see what prayer does. A shout-out to all the haters. And a shout-out to Channel O,” said Nyovest.
The theme for 2014 was a car and racing infused spectacle, with artists and performers driven on stage with a range of vehicles, and the stage created in the form of the Channel O logo and Siyabonga Ngwekazi and Eku Edewot as hosts.