The 2019 International Women’s Day is tackling a strong topic under the theme #BalanceforBetter. Come Friday 8th March 2019, women around the globe will echo their need for balance. This year, the annual event aims to create awareness on gender inequality and the need to celebrate women’s achievements. According to the International Women’s Day (IWD) website,
“Right now is a great and important time in history to do everything possible to help forge a more gender-balanced world. Women have come a long way, yet there’s still more to be achieved.”
From seminars to business master classes to pop-up art shows, the focus will be on innovative ways to advance gender equality. Areas, particularly in need of gender equality, are sustainable infrastructure, access to public services, and social protection systems.
The Sustainable Development Goal
The origin of the International Women’s Day dates back to 1909 when thousands of women marched in New York to demand fair wages. The United Nations officially declared March 8 International Women’s Day in 1975. The urgent need for gender equality led to its inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 5 is to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. To achieve Planet 50-50 by 2030, transformative shift and new solutions will be required. Innovation and technology have great prospects in bridging the gap and disrupting structural barriers. However, statistics in the digital divide shows that women are underrepresented.
From mobile banking to the Internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), it is importer to consider the experience of women when designing and implementing technologies that will shape future societies.
International Women’s Day event across the world
Different events will be held simultaneously across the globe to commemorate the International Women’s Day. Far away in Europe, Amsterdam will host the “Youth Tech Fest”. Girls between the ages of 12 and 18 will learn how to develop apps, write codes and more.
The International Women’s Day will be celebrated in more than 35 cities across the United States. Atlanta will host the International Women’s Day Tea Party for small-business owners. At Washington Square Park in New York, a small celebration will offer women flowers with inspirational messages.
International Women’s Day celebration will also hold across major cities in some African countries. In Nigeria, there will be a Walk for equality and better in Abuja as well as a Just Kick It! – aside Women Football Tournament on March 9. The International Women’s Day Picnic will also hold on March 9 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Celebrating IWD online
You may not be able to make it to IWD events if your country doesn’t host the celebration. However, you can still participate online. The organizers want everyone to be a part of the celebration. Women are encouraged to strike a pose with their hands open to represent a balance between men and women. They are to post the picture on social media with the hashtag #BalanceforBetter.
— Neema Makando (@MakandoNeema) February 12, 2019
Check Out The Song That Took ‘Song Of The Year’ At The 2019 NAMA
It was a night of glitz and glamor on Saturday 13th April 2019 at the Harare International Conference Center for the 18th National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA). Celebrities and dignitaries were spotted at the center in scintillating outfits. There were musical performances by music stars like Enzo. However, the climax of the event was the award of plaques in different categories for outstanding works.
The music category always draws the most attention. However, this year had lots of surprise entries. The gospel sensation, Mai Patai was voted the best in the People’s Choice category. Patai recently broke the jinx in the Coca-Cola Radio Zimbabwe Top 50 by becoming the first woman to make it to the top three. Another female gospel musician whose hard work continues to pay off is Janet Manyowa. Manyowa won the Outstanding Female Musician award.
A Battle For Experience And Fame
One of the keenly contested categories at NAMA is the Outstanding Male Musician. Three superstars Baba Harare, Enzo Ishall and ExQ contended the award. However, many believe the ‘Nzenza’ crooner ExQ’s longevity and experience set him apart from his competitors. It was double honors for ExQ as his album ‘Tseu Tseu’ won the Outstanding Album. Although losing out of this category, Enzo’s hit track, ‘Kanjiva’ won the ‘Song of the Year’. Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style Enzo said,
“It is such a great honor to receive this award which I dedicate to my son and I would like to thank friends, family, and my fans as well as my producers for supporting me.”
Surprise Name On The Award List
One of the surprise names on the NAMA Award list was Long John, a rib-cracking comedian. Not many saw this coming. From John’s reactions, it is obvious he did not see it coming too. The vibrant comedian took to his Facebook to share his joy.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m in shock. I’ve never won anything in my life. But today I am so happy to announce that I’ve just Won the Outstanding Comedian Award. This is so unreal. I even have a certificate and everything. Thank you so much, everyone, for your support #VillageBoy.”
List OF NAMA Award Winners
Spoken Words Award
- Outstanding Poet: Likhwa Ncube
- Outstanding Comedian: Learnmore “Long John” Mwanyenyeka
Literary Arts Awards
- Outstanding First Creative Published Book: Gather the Children by Batsirai Chigama (Ntombekhaya Poetry)
- Outstanding Children’s Book: The City Girl by Elisha July and Tendai K. Rudanda (Pass-Point Publishers)
- Outstanding Fiction: Mazai Emheni by Daniel Mutendi (DanTs Media Publishing)
- Outstanding Actor: Teddy Mangawa in Ukama
- Actress: Qeqeshiwe M’thembo in The Hostel
- Outstanding Theatrical Production: Ukama by Savanna Trust
- Outstanding Director: Lloyd Nyikadzino for Zandezi
- Outstanding Female Dancer: Vein N Alfazema in Black Sheep
- Male Dancer: Martin Chabuka in 100% Afro
- Outstanding Dance Group: Real Flex Dance Group directed by Martin Chabuka
- Outstanding Choreographer: Macintosh Jerahuni and Chaleen Chimara – Iwe Neni Tinebasa
- Outstanding 2 Dimensional Work: The Demolition by John Kotze
- 3 Dimensional Work: Zvirimudombo by Shelton Mubayi
- Outstanding Mix Media Work: The Watchman and the Fence by Greg Shaw
- Outstanding Exhibition: The Grotesque by Alan Sibanda and Talent Kapadza
Film and Television Awards
- Outstanding Actor: Eddie Sandifolo as Clive in Bhachi
- Special Mention: Admire Kuzhangaira – in Death and Other Complications
- Outstanding Actress: Tendaishe Chitima as Anesu in Cook Off
- Outstanding Music Video: Dzamutsana ft. Jah Prayzah produced by Vusa Hlatshayo (aka Blaq)
- Outstanding Screen Production (Television Series): Kuchina The Genesis directed by Blessing Gatsi
- Special Mention: Gaza directed by Ben Mahaka
- Outstanding Screen Production – Short Film: Bhachi directed by Shupai Kamunyaru
- Outstanding Screen Production – Full-Length Film: Cook Off directed by Thomas Brickhill
- Outstanding Journalist – Print: Fred Zindi – The Standard
- Television: Patience Nyagato – ZTV
- Radio: Babongile Sikhonjwa (aka uMrifiti) – Sky Metro FM
- Outstanding Online Media: Capitalk
- Outstanding Female Musician: Janet Manyowa
- Male Musician: Enoch “ExQ” Munhenga
- Outstanding Album: Tseu Tseu by ExQ
- Outstanding Song: Kanjiva by Stephen “Enzo Ishall” Mamhere
- People’s Choice Award Winner: Mai Patai
- Artist in the Diaspora: Danai J. Gurira
- Outstanding Promoter: Unplugged Zimbabwe
- Arts Personality Award of the Year: Mokoomba
- Arts Service Award: The Standard Newspaper
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Charles Mungoshi
Mo Abudu Is First African To Receive Prestigious Médailles d’Honneur
On 8th of April 2019, celebrities across the globe gathered in Cannes, France for the MIPTV ceremony. MIPTV recognizes and honors senior executives for their impact on the global television industry. Among those honored at the event is Mosunmola ‘Mo’ Abudu, the CEO of EbonyLife Media. This makes Mo Abudu the first African to receive the prestigious Médailles d’Honneur award.
Mo Abudu is one of the most prolific producers in the continent. However, she launched EbonyLife TV in 2013. The TV network became the first global network for black entertainment and lifestyle. However, EbonyLife TV is notable for a slew of original features and series including ‘The Governor’, ‘Sons of the Caliphate’ and ‘Castle & Castle’.
Recipients of the MIPTV Award
Congratulations, #MIPTV 2019 Médailles d’Honneur Mosunmola "Mo" Abudu @MoAbudu, EbonyLife Media; showrunner @ilenechaiken; Stéphane Courbit @scourbit, Banijay Group; and Jane @millichip, @sky_vision_. MIPTV was honoured to recognise your unique TV industry impact this evening! pic.twitter.com/VE32RizJs9
— MIP Markets (@mip) April 8, 2019
Mo Abudu is not the only media executive to receive the award. She shared the stage with Jane Millichip (managing director of Sky Vision), Ilene Chaiken (producer, writer, and showrunner), and Stephane Courbit (chairperson of the Banijay Group). While on stage to receive the award, the obviously emotional Abudu said,
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank MIPTV for this incredible award. My big dream was and still is, to change the narrative about my continent. As a continent, Africa has remained creatively silent for centuries. Our stories seldom told outside of our families and villages and often from the perspective of ‘someone’ looking in. It is therefore with great pride that we, at EbonyLife Media, bring our stories to the world with our TV series and our films.”
Mo Abudu’s Previous Recognitions
Mo Abudu is not a stranger to accolades and awards. CNN described her as “Africa’s Queen of Media who conquered the continent”. Forbes, on the other hand, labels her “Africa’s Most Successful Woman”. Consequently, she also featured on the 2018 Powerlist, a selection of the most influential people of Caribbean and African heritage.
In 2018, the convener of the Emmy Awards, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, named Mo Abudu as a director. However, in the same year, she was honored with the honorary degree of Doctor of Arts by the University of Westminster. The honorary degree was in recognition of her contributions to the Nigerian broadcasting industry.
Achievements and Future Projects
Mo Abudu currently heads five divisions of the EbonyLife Media which encompass EbonyLife Productions Limited (UK), EbonyLife Studios, EbonyLife ON, EbonyLife Films, and EbonyLife TV. Consequently, she has produced Nigeria’s highest grossing movie including Chief Daddy (2018), The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai (2017), The Wedding Party (2016), and Fifty (2015).
Mo Abudu has international collaboration with Netflix. However, she recently entered a 3-project deal with Sony Pictures Television (SPT). The deal is the first of its kind in the continent. A movie based on the women soldiers that served in present-day Benin over 200 years ago.
3 Nigerian Authors Make The 16 Author Longlist For The Most Prestigious Literary Prize In The UK For Women
The Women’s Prize for Fiction is the most prestigious literary prize in the United Kingdom. Formerly known as the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the prize goes to female authors of any nationality for full-length English novel published in the United Kingdom the preceding year. There are 163 entries this year but the judges painstakingly cut it down to 16. However, three Nigerian authors (Oyinkan Braithwaite, Akwaeke Emezi, and Diana Evans) made it to the longlist.
The Women’s Prize for Fiction was founded in 1996. The inspiration for the prize was prompted by the 1991 Booker Prize which sidelined female authors in the six shortlisted books. However, that year it was on record that sixty percent of books were by female authors. That event made journalists, librarians, booksellers, agents, and publishers to take action.
About the prize and judging panel
The winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction will go home with £30,000 and a bronze sculpture, ‘Bessie’. Consequently, this year’s award ceremony will take place on June 5 in Central London. This year’s judging panel consists of Sarah Wood (a digital entrepreneur), Leyla Hussein (campaigner and psychotherapist), Dolly Alderton (author, broadcaster, and columnist), and Arifa Akbar (journalist and critic). The chairperson of this year’s judging panel is Professor Kate Williams. In a statement after the release of the longlist, Williams said,
“I am thrilled to share this longlist – 16 incredible books by a diverse group of women, from the UK and countries across the world, all brilliant stories that sweep you into another world. Each of them has been a privilege to read, and they have taken us into places a million miles from each other, exploring the lives of women and men in so many different but utterly compelling ways.”
Brief bio of the Nigerian authors and summary of their stories
Oyinkan Braithwaite is a Kingston University graduate of Creative Writing and Law. In 2016 her story was part of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlist. “My Sister, the Serial Killer” explores the tale of Korede, whose younger sister Ayoola kills her boyfriends in the name of self-defense. Korede loves her sister and finds it difficult reporting to the police. All that changes when Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede is in love with the doctor and doesn’t want him to be one of Ayoola’s victims. However, saving one will mean sacrificing the other.
Diana Evans is a Nigerian-British novelist living in London. She has three novels to her name. “Ordinary People” follows the tale of two couples at the brink of revolution or surrender. Everything changes when Melissa gives birth to a new baby. Michael still loves her but is finding it hard to stay faithful. In the suburbs, Stephanie and Damian are happy with their three children until the death of Damian’s father.
Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer. “Freshwater,” tells the story of Ada, a child prayed into existence. Her parents struggle to contain the contradictory and volatile spirits within her. While in college an assault leads to crystallization of her selves. Subsequently, Ada’s life takes a dangerous and dark dimension.
Books and their authors that made it to the longlist this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction include;
- The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
- Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton
- My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
- The Pisces by Melissa Broder
- Milkman by Anna Burns
- Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
- Ordinary People by Diana Evans
- Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
- An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
- Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lilian Li
- Bottled Goods by Sophie van Llewyn
- Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
- Praise Songs for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden
- Circe by Madeline Miller
- Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss
- Normal People by Sally Rooney
Freshwater is first non-binary inclusion
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi earlier in 2018 won the Quartz Africa’s as the best African book. The inclusion of Emezi’s ‘Freshwater’ is the first time a non-binary trans author will make it to the long list of the Women’s Prize for Fiction. The same day of the longlist announcement, the competition judges published an editorial believed to put an end to the controversy surrounding the inclusion of the novel on the list. Reacting to the novel, one of the judges, Arifa Akbar said,
“Emezi’s novel takes the conversation about female-only spaces and non-binary identities out of an often inward-looking, white, Western enclave, to give it new meaning.”
Past African winners
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the only African to have won the coveted Women’s Prize for Fiction (then Orange Prize for Fiction). The multiple-award-winning writer took home the prize in 2007 for her novel, ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’. If Oyinkan Braithwaite, Akwaeke Emezi or Diana Evans should win, it will be the second time the prize will come to Africa. The announcement for the shortlist will be on April 29.
- Explore Africa3 months ago
20 Modern African Women Leaders Who Are Opening New Trails For Women
- Explore Africa3 months ago
There Is A Growing List of African Countries That Allow Dual Citizenship
- Money Matters7 days ago
The Njangi: An African Financial Support System
- Arts & Culture3 months ago
Beyonce Wears Ankara Suit By Nigerian Designer to UTA Artist Space Event
- Celebrities3 months ago
20 Most Influential African Actresses On Instagram
- Fashion3 months ago
DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Sheelah Garbrah Gives The Kente Cloth A Stunning Makeover With Her Ohemaa Collection
- African Ingenuity3 months ago
2019 Africa Owned Car Brands Manufactured In Africa
- Arts & Culture3 months ago
Davido Just Released A New Remix Of His Song “Fall” With Busta Rhymes