By Panashe Chigumadzi (@panashechig)
A round-up of last week’s biggest news and newsmakers.
1. More villagers kidnapped in Nigeria
Boko Haram has abducted 91 more people, including toddlers as young as 3, in attacks last weekend on villages in Nigeria, witnesses said on Tuesday. Witnesses have said the victims included 60 girls and women and 31 boys. A local official confirmed the abductions, but security forces have denied them.
The kidnappings come more than two months after the more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls were taken in a mass abduction that embarrassed Nigeria’s government and military because of their slow response.
A strategy to rescue the girls is now at an impasse. The Nigerian military has said it knows the location of the girls but fears their abductors would kill them if military action is taken. While Boko Haram demands the release of detained members, President Goodluck Jonathan has said he will not consider a swap as it may set a precedent for future kidnappings.
2. Phumzile van Damme’s birth certificate drama
This weekend, the Sunday Times published an article which branded Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Phumzile van Damme as a “liar and a fraud”, for allegedly misrepresenting her citizenship. This is a claim which, if found true, would disqualify her from being a South African MP.
It reported that Van Damme was born in Manzini, Swaziland, in 1983, that her mother, Lynette Van Damme, was born in Hlathikhulu village, also in Swaziland, and that Van Damme’s biological father, Elroy Mayisela, was a Swazi national.
DA spokesperson Marius Redelinghuys said in a statement on Sunday that the MP was a South African and van Damme was oblivious of questions around her citizenship until the paper made an inquiry to her. The party called the Sunday Times report ‘libellous’ and said that it would lay a complaint with the Press Ombudsman.
He said Van Damme’s recent personal investigations revealed that her birth was registered at Home Affairs in Pietermaritzburg in the mid-1990s.
“A Home Affairs official told Van Damme’s mother that she should register Van Damme based on the understanding that she was born in South Africa and was entitled to South African citizenship,” he said.
The official allegedly informed Van Damme’s mother that the department was dealing with a huge number of people exiled by apartheid who were returning to claim their South African citizenship and that it was easier to register Van Damme as born in South Africa, since her family was in the group of returning citizens.
“Van Damme’s mother took the advice from the home affairs official in good faith, given the confusion that characterised home affairs during the transition.
“It is regrettable that Van Damme’s mother did not inform herself of the relevant rules for registering citizenship, and that Van Damme was registered based on birth and not because she was entitled to citizenship through her biological father and grandparents,” said Redelinghuys.
Read the full DA statement here
3. World Cup
The second week of the 2014 World Cup saw the end of the group stage and was important to determine the teams that qualified for the knockout rounds. There were many shocks along the way, with Costa Rica and Uruguay sending former world champions England and Italy home, and Greece surprised when they qualified after beating the Ivory Coast. The biggest shock was perhaps Luis Suarez who bit someone, Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, for the third time in his career.
4. BET Awards
On Sunday night, the 2014 BET Awards ceremony took place. Nigeria’s Davido beat out Mafikizolo for the best international act (Africa). Queen Bey, who was on tour with her husband, was the biggest winner with three awards, including the 2014 FANdemonium award, which is voted on by viewers. The next biggest winners were Pharrell Williams and newcomer August Alsina who took two awards each.
Drake took best male hip-hop star. Nicki Minaj won for best female hip hop star, and in her acceptance speech, threw shade on Australian hip-hop artist Iggy Azalea when she praised herself for being hip-hop star who does not have someone writing for her.
Best Movie went to 12 Years a Slave with the film’s leads, Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor, taking home the best actress and actor awards respectively.
Lionel Richie was honored as the lifetime achievement award recipient.
A list of the with winners:
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist: Beyoncé
Best Male R&B/Pop Artist: Pharrell Williams
Best Collaboration: Beyoncé ft. Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”
Best Movie: 12 Years a Slave
Best Actress: Lupita Nyong’o
Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Video of the Year: Pharrell Williams – “Happy”
Best Male Hip Hop Artist: Drake
Best Female Hip Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj
Best Group: Young Money
Sportsman of the Year: Kevin Durant
Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams
Best Gospel Artist: Tamela Mann
Best New Artist: August Alsina
YoungStars Award: KeKe Palmer
Centric Award:Jhené Aiko – “The Worst”
Best International Act: UK: Krept & Konan
Video Director of the Year: Hype Williams
Best International Act: Africa: Davido (Nigeria)
Tiwa Savage (Nigeria) Toofan (Togo)
5. The ‘On the Run’ Tour
It took the Carters years off marriage before they finally teamed up for a tour, but fans were more than grateful when they kicked off their ‘On the Run’ tour in Miami on Wednesday.
The couple took turns in the spotlight, performing a couple of their songs alone and then performing duets on a handful of their hits.
Perhaps as a response to the ongoing rumours of a rocky marriage, the two let fans in on their family life with a vignette of personal moments across the screen, including the couple’s beach vacations, images of two-year-old daughter Blue Ivy and, perhaps most surprisingly for the couple who have been notoriously private, played a video from their wedding.
The Carters closed out the 2014 BET Awards on Sunday (June 29) in Los Angeles with a taped performance from their On the Run Tour that featured Bey‘s hot song “Partition”.