By Panashe Chigumadzi (@panashechig)
A round up of the news and newsmakers making headlines last week.
1. Nigerian girls missing two months on
Two months on, the Nigerian girls abducted by Boko Haram, are still missing. As a homecoming seems less likely, the #bringbackourgirls movement also seems to be fading in and out of the collective consciousness.
In late May, Nigerian authorities claimed that that the military had located the missing girls, however, this did not bear any fruit as any extraction plan was deemed too risky because they believed the girls had been split into groups of 40-50 and if one group was saved by a military attack, the others would be killed.
Boko Haram has since kidnapped more girls, in groups of 10 to 20, from locations so not far from where the original group was taken.
At this time, the Nigerian military is reportedly speaking with Sri Lankan leaders about their tactics against the Tamil Tigers insurgency.
2. 48 Kenyans dead in Mpeketoni attack
On Sunday, at least 48 people were killed after suspected al-Shabab armed fighters attacked Mpeketoni, a coastal town in the heart of the Kenya’s tourism industry, and set fire to three hotels and a police station.
Kenya’s National Disaster Operation Centre said on Twitter that it suspected the Somalia-based militants al-Shabab, which has been blamed for previous violence in Kenya.
The attack did not target foreigners, as is frequently the case, but instead targeted locals.
Over the last seven years, Al-Shabab has fought to impose its interpretation of Islamic law inside Somalia and has said it wants to take revenge for Kenya’s deployment of troops in Somalia in late 2011. The troops had been sent after al-Shabab fighters carried out a series of raids on Kenyan soil.
Following several shootings and attacks by al-Shabab and its sympathisers, Kenya’s tourism industry has been affected in recent months. In May, explosions in Nairobi and Mombasa led several countries such as the UK, US, France and Australia to issue warnings about travel to Kenya. Kenya responded, calling the alerts “unfriendly” and that they would increase panic and play into the hands of the terrorists.
3. World Cup kicks off amidst local discontent
The World Cup kicked off in Brazil on the 12th June, with a vibrant opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. The first game was played the next day and saw favourites Brazil beating Croatia by 3 to 1.
See this video of the ‘Vhakegula Vhakegula’ soccer club from Tzaneen who were taken to Brazil.
4. ‘Romantic Repertoire’ DJ passes on
On Monday, it was reported that 47-year old Metro FM presenter Eddie Makhosonke Zondi year-old passed away in the morning.
Radio listeners took to social networks to express their shock, before MetroFM station manager Martin Vilakazi confirmed the news on air around midday. The cause of death is yet unknown
Soweto-born Zondi studied Speech and Drama at Fuba in Johannesburg and attended the Wits University School of Broadcasting. He started at MetroFM as a weekend sports presenter and in 1999 got his 15h00 to 18h00 music slot. He released four compilation CDs titled ‘Zondi’s Romantic Ballads’.
The station played tribute to Zondi on Monday, playing songs typical of the Romantic Repertoire such as Teddy Pendegrass’ ‘In My Time’ and Tamia’s ‘Never Gonna Let You Go’.
5. SABC axes Bonang over her SuperSport gig
Bonang Matheba will no longer host the Front Row on MetroFM. The SABC, which owns the station, and Bonang Matheba ended their relationship after the broadcaster’s refusal to allow Matheba to continue to present a World Cup lifestyle show on SuperSport, claiming that “no talent on any SABC platform” is allowed to be on any other broadcaster across any mediums.
In a media statement released by her PR team, she said:
“Metro FM is a fine station and it is a pity that my journey with them has been so short. I am an independent freelancer and have been working peacefully with all broadcasters over the years. My future potential cannot be jeopardised by accepting terms that will not grow my career. I could not agree to the SABC’s blanket terms – in restricting me to work with other broadcasters even though my contract with them was on radio. Thank you to the team at Metro FM for a wonderful time thus far. Onward and upward!”