Last week, popular South African singer, Babes Wodumo was speaking to fans on Instagram Live when she was suddenly physically attacked by her boyfriend, Mampintsha, who is also a South African musician. Instagram Live allows users to stream videos in real time to their followers, so Babes’ fans watched her harrowing assault as it happened.
President Bio of Sierra Leone has declared rape and sexual violence a national emergency. He also directed that all government hospitals must provide free treatment to victims of sexual assault and ordered that sexual penetration of minors is henceforth punishable by life imprisonment.
For many pregnant women in Kenya, ensuring healthy births of their babies entails paying bribes to doctors and nurses for priority treatment in public hospitals. Due to the long queues in public hospitals and highly overworked yet underpaid staff, expectant mothers often experience prolonged labor, poor care, and in the worst cases, still-births.
Rwanda and South Sudanhave recently imposed official country-wide bans on skin bleaching products. Beyond the damaging social impact of making users appear whiter, skin bleach contains mercury and hydroquinone - dangerous chemicals which have been linked to kidney failure and cancer.
A stunning article in the New York Times reveals women's willingness and ability to exert more control over their lives and marriages, demonstrated by higher rates of divorce in the more conservative parts of West Africa. Unlike previous generations, younger women in Niger and Northern Nigeria who were often married off earlier in life are taking back their lives by seeking divorces in sidewalk Islamic courts.
In a classic case of having nothing better to do, the Egyptian government is prosecuting actress Rania Youssef for wearing a see-through dress at a film festival in Cairo. The dress in question is considered 'obscene' as its embroidered material reveals the entirety of her legs.
In Narok County (southwest Kenya), schoolgirls will be subject to pregnancy and female genital mutilation (FGM) tests once the school term resumes in January. Despite the outlawing of FGM, Narok still has the highest rates of the awful practice in Kenya. George Natembeya, the Narok County Commissioner, intends for the FGM tests to be used to crack down on the practice, promising to arrest and prosecute the parents of girls who have been found to be cut.
In 2008, a young American woman, Katie Meyler started a charity named “More Than Me” intended to help ‘street’ girls in Liberia gain education. She partnered with a Liberian man, Macintosh Johnson, to recruit young girls to the school from Monrovia’s infamous West Point neighborhood and to essentially serve as the “man on the ground” in liaising with locals. This is a horrendous story of the darkest side of aid and one that reveals just how easy and unchecked it often is to harm the most vulnerable among us.
Netflix has acquired world-wide rights to Lionheart, comedy-drama movie directed by Nigerian actress and superstar, Genevieve Nnaji. Lionheart debuted at 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) earlier this month, and is the first Netflix original movie out of Nollywood.