News Makers of 2014

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EBOLA

The Ebola virus consumed the news in 2014 especially in West Africa. Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Senegal, Nigeria, Spain and the United States managed to safely contain the virus. Another outbreak of the Ebola virus was reported in the Boende District, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The virus is of the Zaire Ebola species, which is common in the DRC. The virology results and epidemiological findings indicate no connection to the current epidemic in West Africa. This is the country’s seventh Ebola outbreak since 1976.

#BRING BACK OUR GIRLS

On April 14th, more than 270 school girls were kidnapped from the Chibok Government Secondary School by Boko Haram Terrorists in Nigeria. More than 230 are still missing. Despite the media campaign to raise awareness of the missing girls the Nigerian government has not been able to rescue the girls. Some speculate that they could have been sold as child brides in neighboring countries.

EMMERSON MNANGAGWA/ JOICE MUJURU

Despite vicious infighting Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeded in becoming Zimbabwe’s Vice President by dethroning Joice Mujuru. Mnangagwa who was recently chosen as Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe will most likely succeed Robert Mugabe. Mnangagwa will have a taste of the Presidency for at least a month as Mugabe goes on leave until January 2015. He takes over the Vice Presidency after bitter infighting in ZANU-PF that has resulted in all loyalists to Joice Mujuru losing their party and cabinet posts.

BBC DOCUMENTARY ON RWANDA GENOCIDE

According to the new documentary, Paul Kagame is not the liberator that he claims to have been but a selfish man in search of political power who was not concerned about how many people actually died in his pursuit of power. The mainstream story of the 1994 genocide fits into the narrative that his western backers former Prime Minister Tony Blair and Former President Bill Clinton use in their praise of him. Three Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) informants claim that American trained Paul Kagame was the mastermind in the shooting down of the plane that killed the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, which then triggered the mass killings. Featured in the documentary are two American academics from the University of Michigan who traveled to Rwanda to better understand the genocide. They believe that most Tutsis were already dead by the time the RPF marched in to takeover power. This contrasts with Paul Kagame’s story of him as the ‘savior’ that helped to end the genocide. The RPF is accused of killing fleeing Hutus and Tutsis indiscriminately as they approached the capital. In addition, there is evidence that the United Nations (UN), United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US)  suppressed a report that showed the RPF killed 30,000 Hutus in one part of the country. Kagame is also accused of being responsible for the killing of 5 million Hutu and Tutsi refugees in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who had fled during the genocide.

ALIA ATKINSON

Alia Atkinson made history in swimming. 25 year old Alia was the first black woman to win a World Swimming Title. Alia broke the record at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Doha, Qatar in 1 minute and 2.36 seconds for the 100m breaststroke. This was Jamaica’s first-ever gold at the World Short Course Championships.

MICHAEL BROWN

The Ferguson, Missouri teenager was shot by police officer Darren Wilson in controversial circumstances. Following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri riots and protests erupted that highlighted injustices in the American criminal justice system. Protests against police brutality continue in several US cities as mostly minorities attempt to seek justice.

REEVA STEENKAMP & OSCAR PISTORIUS

The blade runner, Oscar Pistorius was put on trial and sentenced in the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. On 12 September, Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide and one firearm-related charge, of reckless endangerment related to discharging a firearm in a restaurant. He was found not guilty of two firearm-related charges relating to illegal possession of ammunition and firing a firearm through the sunroof of a car. He was found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years in prison. The prosecution is currently appealing the verdict.

NIGERIAN PROFESSOR FRANCISCA OKEKE

Internationally acclaimed Professor of Physics Francisca Okeke is the first woman to serve as Dean of Physical Sciences at University of Nigeria. She received the L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award for her significant contributions to the understanding of daily variations of the ion currents in the upper atmosphere which may further our understanding of climate change.

FAITH SAKWE & GOODLUCK JONATHAN

This year Nigeria celebrated becoming the biggest economy in Africa and also the wedding of President Goodluck Jonathan’s daughter. On April 12, 2014, Nigeria’s first daughter, Faith Sakwe wed Godswill Osim Edward. Faith is the first daughter of Nigeria’s current President Goodluck Jonathan and First Lady Patience. The church wedding was preceded by a traditional ceremony, engagement party and bridal shower. Following the church wedding was a reception for the guests and a Sunday service to complete the nuptials. All wedding related parties were well attended by the political élite, celebrities and all the who’s who of Nigeria. In true Nigerian flamboyance, the wedding dress featured a cathedral length train, 9 tier embellished wedding cake with Nigeria’s colors white and green, and thousands of distinguished guests. Below are a few pictures that highlight the joyous moments of the joining of their union.

BONA MUGABE’S/ GRACE MUGABE

Zimbabwe’s first Lady is famous for conducting a cross country tour that brought down the former VP Joice Mujuru. However, earlier this year Zimbabwe was buzzing about the wedding of President Mugabe’s daughter Bona to 37 year old pilot (maybe CIO agent) Simba Chikore. According to local media in Zimbabwe, the Mugabe’s spent US$5 million on the wedding and preparations leading up to it. However, from looking at the pictures released by the Sunday Mail, Herald and Lusaka Times, nothing about the wedding indicated millions of dollars had been spent. Perhaps Grace Mugabe should have spent more time planning for a good wedding for her daughter. Read more

12 YEARS A SLAVE- BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR

12 Years A Slave, the movie won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2014. The unity of black people from different backgrounds created a wonderful masterpiece that has become the most celebrated movie of the year. Director Steve McQueen is British but was born to parents from Grenada and Trinidad. The screenwriter John Ridley (Winner: Best Adapted Screenplay) is American, Lead Actor Chiwetel Ijiofor (Best Actor Nominee) is British but born to Nigerian parents, Lupita Nyong’o (Winner: Best Supporting Actress) is Kenyan and Alfre Woodard also an American.

JEAN GASHO/ WALTER MASOCHA

The young woman made history among Zimbabweans in the diaspora this year for helping to expose Pastor Walter Masocha as a sexual deviant, thief, manipulator, liar etc. Through her blog, http://hewasmydaddy.blogspot.com/ Jean exposed the open secrets of Agape for All Nations Church and its leader and their many misdemeanors. Walter Masocha is currently awaiting trial in Scotland.

CATHERINE SAMBA PANZA

The Mayor of Bangui Catherine Samba-Panza was appointed interim President for the Central African Republic in 2014. The 59 year old was chosen as the first woman to lead the country for until elections can be held. Her election came at a time when CAR sought to end the bloody clashes between Christians and Muslims. She had been Mayor of Bangui since 2012. Samba-Panza is a christian but was viewed as politically neutral in the religiously charged environment.