The healthier lifestyle magazine for Africans
Issue 11 - Winter 2013
Cinemaâ€™s New Golden Age Africans fill the big screen in a wave of major movies
Miss Zambia title was just the start for Rosemary Chilesche
Minna Salami on how to make African relationships work in the UK
It Starts With Me
New era in stopping the spread of HIV
PLUS Menâ€™s Health African News
Check out our new and improved website!
It 04Play Safe
Why football can help men to focus on health
Rosemary Chileshe explains how she unites fashion, property and charity
Starts 08ItWith Me
Welcome to another edition of Mambo. We hope you had a lovely summer and have settled well into autumn.
How to test, treat and protect ourselves against HIV
You might have noticed that over the past few years there has been a gradual increase in the number of high profile films on Africa with strong African characters or led by actors of African descent. Think of movies such as The Last King of Scotland, which landed multiple Best Actor awards for Forrest Whittaker for his portrayal of Idi Amin. A number of new films fitting this description are set to be released. Some have already got critics hotly tipping them for Oscar nominations. In this issue we introduce you to some of these movies in what looks set to be a new golden age for Africa on film. In this Mambo we also report on how African communities in the UK are affected by HIV, and the part they can play in stopping the virus through one of the biggest ever campaigns to stop the spread of HIV in the UK. MsAfropolitan blogger Minna Salami explores the challenges that can be faced by African couples when they move to the UK, and how to resolve them. And if you’ve been wondering what it might take to stay motivated to keep fit, then don’t miss our Men’s Health section. Enjoy your copy!
Cross-cultural relationship advice from MsAfropolitan’s star blogger
Ten top ways to supercharge your health
the 26Ask Expert
Aunty Enomfon responds to your problems
HIV 28National Testing Week
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We would like to know what you think of magazine. If you have any questions about this resource, or would like information on the evidence used to produce it, please email email@example.com or leave a comment on www.mambo.org.uk Alternatively, you could write to: The Editor, magazine, Terrence Higgins Trust, 314-320 Gray’s Inn Road, london WC1X 8DP.
Major new movies highlight African stories, actors and themes
Ex-boxer Danny Lutaaya explains why he took the test
© Terrence Higgins Trust, October 2013. Code: 1701200. Registered office: 314-320 Gray’s In Road, London WC1X 8DP. Terrence Higgins Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (reg. no. 288527) and in Scotland (SC039986). Company reg. no. 1778149. A company limited by guarantee.
Fills the 14Africa Big Screen
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It is equally important for both men and women to know about HIV. But men are often reluctant to talk about their health – so how can they get the advice and information they need? ’s Taku Mukiwa explains how the Play It Safe football project has kicked the problem into shape. ‘Play It Safe gives African men a chance to be tested for HIV and receive sexual health information as they take part in football tournaments in London. It also aims to reduce HIV-related stigma and increase access to up-to-date information on HIV prevention, treatment and support. I co-ordinate the project for Terrence Higgins Trust, and it is funded by the Anglo-American Group Foundation. The project was set up three years ago in response to high levels of late HIV diagnosis among African men. Reducing late diagnoses is an essential part of preventing new HIV infections, as we know that in most cases HIV gets passed on because people do not know they have HIV.
Talk about sex
During the first Play It Safe tournaments in 2010, men were a bit cagey about talking about sexual health. But we found that they were always interested when something ‘new’ was raised in the discussions
Football and Sex: how to Play It Safe - so when we spoke about things such as PEP (an emergency course of drugs for people who have been exposed to HIV) their interest went up and they became more engaged. As trust between us and the men increased, we had very open discussions with the men. It became very clear to us that most men were very concerned about their sexual health. They just need to have information explained to them in ways that are relevant to them. Men also welcome the reassurance that if you find out you are infected with HIV you will be able to do something about it - because HIV treatment is now available to everyone in the UK.
It was clear that some men were not aware of the rates of HIV among the black African community. In the UK today there are over 30,000 African people living with HIV. One in four African men and one in five African women do not know that they are HIV positive. The men also weren’t aware of how disproportionately HIV affects African communities – it is one of the communities most at risk of HIV in the UK. Some men were concerned about the reliability of the statistics that we use when making such Above: the Play It Safe trophy
Top Level FC
reactive result, a blood test is taken to confirm whether or not they are HIV positive.
Once we hit our stride the uptake was higher than we had estimated. So far more than 350 HIV tests have been delivered through Play It Safe. We have delivered testing the last two times we held the African Nations Cup UK (ANCUK).
‘If bringing testing to football events enables more people to get tested, then it is a good thing’ Teams at ANCUK
statements. We reassured them that these statistics come from Public Health England, which is a Department of Health agency. They are the best and most up-to-date statistics available.
When we first offered free HIV testing during the Play It Safe tournament, we received two distinct responses in equal measure: half the men thought it was a brilliant idea the other half thought it was not a good idea at all, as it might create problems. When we discussed what these problems might be, their main
worry was that people might find out that they had HIV, particularly as many had come to the tournament to play football with their friends. In the end we agreed that it was important to enable people to find out their HIV status if they wanted to. If bringing testing to football events enables more people to get tested, then it is a good thing. Everyone was reassured that the HIV tests were carried out by trained professionals who would fully support them if they had either a negative or a ‘reactive’ test result (which indicates that HIV may be present). If someone has a
Testing has become a familiar part of Play It Safe tournament, helping normalise the idea of getting tested for HIV. This year we also managed to also offer gonorrhoea and chlamydia tests to young people between the ages of 16 to 25. Some men have also become keen to support the work we do to reduce HIV in their community. This has definitely been a big improvement.
Men on your team
Play It Safe has been successful thanks to the role that men from different African communities have played. They have identified football teams that could take part, they helped find the most suitable football grounds, and they helped organise the technical side of running the tournaments. We now get invitations to provide testing at community events from some of the men we’ve engaged via Play It Safe. I would say Play It Safe is a great idea - but its lifeblood has been the active engagement that men have given towards making it a success, both for football and health.’
Photograph by Abi Oshodi. Mua & Gele by BimTan of Faces for Bodin.
Rosemary Chileshe Rosemary Chileshe was crowned Miss Zambia UK and became Zambia’s delegate for Miss World and Miss Universe before using her high profile to raise funds and awareness of HIV and AIDS. ’s Taku Mukiwa meets her.
: How would you introduce yourself? ROSEMARY: My name is Rosemary Chileshe, I have a profile in property, charity, fashion, beauty and the media under my brand Swanilenga Group Ltd.
: What inspired you to make such a success of yourself? ROSEMARY: I have made it my goal to invest 100 per cent effort with genuine interest. My core inspiration comes from the Bible. I am a great believer that we were
all born to prosper and we all have talents which we must use fully otherwise they become dormant. Under property, I am a General Practice Surveyor specialising in both commercial and residential properties. Under charity, I am an ambassador of charities raising funds for HIV/AIDS as well as the driver behind Swanilenga Foundation. Under fashion, I am an active runway/catwalk model. Under beauty, I am Zambia’s former Beauty Queen, Envoy for the UK from 2003-2006, Envoy for Miss World 2004 and Envoy for Miss Universe 2007. Under media, I am a presenter and host, and have graced BET, BEN TV, Vox Africa and Channel 5. : Please tell us about the foundation you set up to raise global awareness of HIV and AIDS. ROSEMARY: Swanilenga Foundation’s core aim is to work with two charities/NGOs (non-governmental organisations) per year - one in the UK and one in Africa. Sometimes we fundraise on the charity’s behalf and meet them halfway in getting their required funds, sometimes we are at the forefront in getting the actual resources they need. : Why did you choose to focus on HIV when you set up your foundation? ROSEMARY: There are many people campaigning in the name of HIV/ AIDS but I strongly believed another voice, in me, could contribute
greatly from being seen as a role model for youth. : Since you set up the foundation, what information about HIV has surprised you the most? ROSEMARY: Everything has initially come to me as a surprise, as the core media focus on HIV/AIDS is mostly directed at Africa. Around 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Around a quarter of people with HIV in the UK are undiagnosed. There are also a lot of myths which I believe prevent most people from speaking up. : What aspect of your career will you focus on more in the future - the foundation, TV, modelling or charity work? ROSEMARY: Our Heavenly Father has been kind to me and shown me where my strengths exist, where my hands should be active. I love that I have a profile/active hand in my every listed sector and I do not have to choose which one to prioritise.
with self belief and everyone else will believe in you and what you stand for because when you share your journey, your inner passion will sell it for you. www.swanilenga.com
: You’ve won numerous awards for your community work, one of which was previously won by Nelson Mandela. What was the award and how does it feel to be mentioned alongside Mandela? ROSEMARY: The award was GAB (Gathering of Africa’s Best award) through my charitable causes, which made me the second name in the Southern Region of Africa to be awarded with one after the amazing Nelson Mandela. It comes with a feeling of heartfelt gratitude and humility. : Any words of motivation to other young African women and men out there? ROSEMARY: You were all born to prosper with unique talents which only you can bring to total fruition. It does not matter what level you start from in recognising what your purpose is - find it and work with it, seeking God’s guidance at every step, and you will be amazed. Never compare yourself to the next person, we all have our own race to run - just start it and do not stay dormant wishing for fruition.
‘Start with self belief and everyone else will believe in you and what you stand for.’
You have to be the one who makes it happen. Enjoy the journey. Start
Photograph by Marcin Andrzejewski of londonphotoimperial.com.
: Who has inspired you the most? ROSEMARY: First and foremost, our Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus and my precious Holy Spirit which resides in me. I am further inspired by my family, friends, frenemies and everyone who is making their vision a reality and acting upon it. : Which achievement are you most proud of? ROSEMARY: All of them - from being appointed as Miss Zambia UK, then as Zambia’s delegate at Miss World 2004 and Miss Universe
2007, to having a Royal Invitation by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace to a reception of 300 people recognising those who had made a positive contribution to Africa, to gracing the front cover of the Evening Standard newspaper as an Olympic Torch Nominee.
It Starts With M You may have already seen the ads on the back of buses or be one of thousands of people who already Like it on Facebook, ‘It Starts With Me’ is a campaign and social movement that is bringing African people from across the UK together to fight the spread of HIV. Tom Bishop and Kerri Wells find out what all the excitement is about…
e are at the start of a new era in stopping the spread of HIV. For the first time we understand that the combination of regular HIV testing, treatment and condom use could halt the spread of HIV in the UK within a generation. It is an incredibly exciting time but it will only become a reality if we each play our part in making it happen. That’s what ‘It Starts With
Me’ is all about – making a big change in the world, one person at time.
we all act on these three points, we will see a dramatic drop in the rates of people getting HIV.
Here’s what we need to do: encourage more people to test for HIV at least once per year, encourage people living with HIV to start treatment as soon as they need to and everybody needs to protect themselves and their partners from the spread of HIV, especially by using condoms. If
It Starts With Me is a campaign about people making a difference. Behind the faces in the campaign are real people who believe in the movement and really want to make change happen. www.startswithme.org.uk
Here is what you can do to make a difference: Test Testing for HIV at least once per year would dramatically cut the numbers who pass on HIV without realising. The sooner someone finds out they have HIV the better it is for their health. HIV tests can now be carried out quickly and easily in a variety of ways including at home. The campaign also offered free HIV postal testing kits, which were ordered by more than 3,000 people in three months.
Treatment can keep HIV under control for a lifetime; the drugs also make someone much less infectious. People living with HIV are encouraged to start treatment as soon as their doctor advises them to. African people living in the UK may have previously been concerned that they were not eligible - but HIV treatment is now free for everyone, no matter what your immigration status.
Condoms are still the best barrier against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Condoms now come in a range of sizes and materials that suit everyone. ‘FitsMe’ is a quick interactive questionnaire on the It Starts With Me website to help people find the best condom for them.
Why does it start with me?
African people are one of the groups most affected by HIV. There are around 100,000 people in the UK who have HIV and 30,000 of them are African. This figure is significantly high when you consider that black African people make up less than two per cent of the total population of the UK. It Starts With Me is aiming to reduce new HIV infections and get those who are already infected onto treatment.
Why should I test?
Around a quarter of people living with HIV don’t know they have the virus. In this situation people will not be taking any treatment which will mean they are more infectious and more likely to pass on HIV. Researchers think that most people are infected with HIV from someone who doesn’t know they have it. If you are aware that you have HIV you can take measures to make sure you don’t pass it onto anyone else and keep yourself well.
What if I find out I’m HIV positive?
If you know you have HIV, you can be monitored by an HIV clinic and start treatment as soon as you need it. This will mean your immune system will be able to
meets the stars of It Starts With Me:
work more effectively and you will be less likely to pick up other infections. It also means that you will be less likely to pass on HIV. Your HIV clinic will measure your ‘viral load’ – the amount of HIV in a small sample of blood. When someone’s viral load is very high they are very infectious and likely to pass on the virus easily. Most people are infected by someone in the early stages of infection when their viral load is generally very high. Finding out your HIV status and starting treatment on time can help prevent others from being infected.
: What made you decide to take part in It Starts With Me? Bridgette: I decided to take part because I felt it was for a good cause, aimed at educating people about HIV - which is one of the most dreadful illnesses that affect African people and also one of the least understood. : Why is it important to test for HIV? Bridgette: It’s important to test for HIV because it gives you the chance to know your status and to take the proper measures if you are positive – to get proper help like counselling, education and medication. It also helps you prevent spreading the virus in case you didn’t know you had it before.
I’m scared to find out my HIV status
Testing for HIV is important for everyone, even if you don’t think you could have HIV or you are scared about finding out. Often people are scared because they don’t know these facts about HIV: You can live a normal lifespan with HIV, as long as you are diagnosed on time and start treatment when you need it.
: Has the campaign changed your views about HIV? Bridgette: It has opened my eyes to the many ways of prevention and medication. It has also helped to make me realise how some societies only think of HIV in a taboo way and how to overcome that barrier.
You can still have children if you have HIV and there is a 99 per cent chance they will be HIV negative, as long as you follow medical advice.
: What effect do you hope this campaign will have on African people in the UK? Bridgette: It will help to open their eyes to the help available if you are HIV positive and to overcome the fear of being stigmatised, as you can live a long and full life even with HIV.
If someone is on HIV treatment, there is an extremely low risk of them passing HIV onto a partner through unprotected vaginal or anal sex as long as:
meets the stars of It Starts With Me:
Neither partner has an STI, and the HIV positive partner has had a stable undetectable viral load for at least six months. HIV treatment is now free to everyone in the UK, regardless of your immigration status.
So where can I test for HIV?
You can get tested for HIV in a wide range of places – from your GP surgery to a sexual health clinic to a community centre or your local church. There will also be extra opportunities to test for HIV across the country throughout National HIV Testing Week on 22-29 November (see Page 28).
Visit the website at www.startswithme.org.uk to pledge your support for the campaign and for more information and tools to improve your health and stop HIV. Join the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ startswithmeuk where you find thousands of people just like you who are making a difference.
: What made you decide to take part in the It Starts With Me campaign? David: Simply to join the good cause of educating, enlightening and spreading the word among African communities across UK about HIV. : Why is it important to test for HIV? David: It is important to one’s health and it also helps to prevent the spread of HIV to other individuals. : Has the campaign changed your views about HIV? David: Yes it has. : What effect do you hope this campaign will have on African people in the UK? David: It has a massive positive impact among African people because sometimes people can ignore advice to use condoms and take HIV tests.
meets the stars of It Starts With Me:
: What made you decide to take part in It Starts With Me? Nancy: I decided to take part because the campaign is about awareness of HIV among Africans. HIV is a subject very close to my heart as, in my own family, I have experienced the impact it can have.
: Why is it important to test for HIV? Nancy: Testing for HIV is very important because it is better to know your status and seek medical advice before your body has been affected by the virus. Nowadays there is medication that helps control the virus and HIV positive people live a better and longer life. I believe the earlier you know about your status, the better and healthier life you will have. : Has the campaign changed your views about HIV? Nancy: The campaign has certainly changed my views in that I now know that HIV among Africans is not only a problem that affects people in Africa, it is also here. As the standard of life is better in the UK, that means there is less chance of HIV positive people contracting body weakening diseases such as malaria or TB therefore people can live healthier lives for years without ever knowing they are carrying the virus, and infect others in the process. That is why we Africans should stop thinking that HIV is only in Africa, it is also here. We need to get tested and know our status and avoid infecting future partners or unborn children. : What effect do you hope this campaign will have on African people in the UK? Nancy: I hope this campaign really opens up most Africans living in the UK to the fact that HIV exists, and the only way to get ahead, live a healthier life and avoid infecting future partners is to get tested. I hope the campaign encourages people to get tested. As HIV is no longer a death sentence, getting tested will not harm your health, but not getting tested would.
What does HIV do? HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus which damages a person’s immune system. Your immune system protects you from illness and infection. Your immune system is made up of lots of different cells which do different jobs. They are all co-ordinated by cells known as ‘CD4 cells’. HIV uses your CD4 cells to make more copies of itself. This process kills the CD4 cell. Without treatment, the number of CD4 cells decreases and the amount of HIV in the blood (known as the viral load) gets very high. This is when a lot of damage is done to the immune system. A person is also very infectious in this situation. With treatment, the virus can be controlled and the number of CD4 cells will increase again, meaning the immune system can work more normally.
Africa fills the big screen It is a new golden age for Africa on film. A number of high-profile movies will start the New Year with towering African characters in the lead, telling stories that will resonate with the entire world. The people behind and in front of the camera also have strong African links - actors and directors who have already earned significant respect, who are now poised to establish their global reputation. Tom Bishop finds out more.
Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom
Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela
Luther star Idris Elba landed one of the most coveted roles in biopic history when he was chosen to play former South African president Nelson Mandela. ‘There were other obvious choices, but Idris was the brave choice,’ director Justin Chadwick told the BBC News website. Based upon the ex-president’s autobiography and 25 years in the making, Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom also stars Naomie Harris as Mandela’s wife Winnie. Elba, 41, was born in Hackney, east London, where his father had settled from Sierra Leone and his mother from Ghana. Elba appeared in TV series including Channel 5’s Family Affairs and the Inspector Lynley Mysteries on
BBC One before making his name as Baltimore druglord Russell ‘Stringer’ Bell in US series The Wire. He received further acclaim as Detective John Luther in popular BBC thriller Luther. Elba never met Mandela while researching the role in South Africa but Johannesburg residents made him fully aware of the enormity of the task ahead. ‘They sat me down and looked me in the eye and said: “Do you understand the responsibility you
have here, pal?”’ Elba told The Guardian newspaper. ‘They hold this story dear to their hearts.’ Nevertheless Elba was keen to show all sides of Mandela’s character and, while the movie received mixed reviews at its Toronto film festival debut in September, critics heaped praise upon the actor’s performance. ‘I didn’t want to deface Mr Mandela in any way,’ Elba explained. ‘But I didn’t want to portray him in a way that wasn’t honest.’ www.mandelamovie.co.za
Mother of George Based around the life of a Nigerian family in Brooklyn, Mother of George deals head-on with difficult issues of family, cultural and cross-cultural expectations.
Restaurant owner Ayodele Balogun is due to marry his beautiful fiancée Adenike as they start a new life together in the United States. Their traditional Yoruba wedding culminates in a ceremony where their future son, who has not been conceived, is named George.
Half of a Yellow Sun
Half of a Yellow Sun, the movie Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofo adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi r in Ha lf of a Yellow Adichie’s novel about life in Nigeria Sun during the civil war of the late 1960s, faces high expectation upon its release next year. This is not only because the novel won the coveted Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007, but because the film stars two highly acclaimed actors - Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor (who also stars in 12 Years a Slave).
But as months pass without pregnancy, Adenike is torn between her Yoruba culture and her new life in America. She must face uncomfortable and unfamiliar choices in a struggle to save her marriage. The film stars Danai Gurira, who director Andrew Dosunmu previously worked with on Restless City, and Isaach De Bankolé, who appeared in Night on Earth, Black Mic Mac and US TV series 24.
The story follows glamorous sisters Olanna (Newton) and Kainene (played by The Good Wife’s Anika Noni Rose) as their lives are drastically changed by the Nigerian-Biafran War. Many lives were lost in the conflict and Adichie feels that the repercussions are still being felt throughout the west African country. Her novel was praised for accurately reflecting major political events
While Mother of George does not yet have a UK release date, it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. www.oscilloscope.net/ motherofgeorge Main image: Danai Gurira in Mother of George
Film Africa 2013: Celebrating African Cinema Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave
as well as their emotional impact upon people caught in the middle of them. Thandie Newton made her screen debut in Flirting in 1991 before appearing in a string of successful movies, including Beloved and Crash. Directed by Biyi Bandele, the film adaptation of Half of a Yellow Sun will see the 40-yearold actress take on her most challenging role yet.
12 Years a Slave
Tipped as the first strong contender for at least one Academy Award in 2014, 12 Years a Slave earned a 10-minute standing ovation at its first screening in September. Adapted from Solomon Northup’s autobiography, the film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender, who previously worked with director Steve McQueen on the films Hunger and Crash. It tells how Northup, a free man living with his family in relative affluence near New York in 1841, was duped, drugged, abducted and sold into slavery.
The film’s harrowing and brutal depiction of the treatment of Northup and others at the hands of the slavemasters led some viewers to walk out of its first Toronto Film Festival screening. Chiwetel Ejiofor won numerous awards for playing Othello at London’s Donmar Theatre in 2007 and appeared in the films Amistad and Children of Men, among others. Thirty-six-yearold Ejiofor, whose parents are Nigerian, said that the scenes of brutality are only part of 12 Years a Slave. ‘Solomon’s story is full of [violence] but also full of beauty and hope and human respect and dignity,’ Ejiofor told The Independent newspaper. ‘With Steve there to guide it, we weren’t afraid to explore all that, and go to those dark places.’ www.12yearsaslave.com
The UK’s biggest African movie festival, Film Africa, celebrates new and classic African cinema in venues across London from 1-10 November. Its full programme will commemorate 50 years of African cinema with 30 feature films, 33 shorts, workshops, free screenings and special events. Royal African Society director Richard Dowden said: ‘The films in this year’s festival continue to reveal new images of Africa - wealthy, global and dynamic; still full of challenges, but brimming with confidence.’ They include film noir thriller Of Good Report, a feature directed by Mati Drop and Grisgris – the story of a physically disabled dancer. Film Africa 2013 will also feature Q&A sessions with the Cameroonian Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Senegalese Renaissance man Alain Gomis, Kenyan polymath Judy Kibinge and promising young Tunisian Sami Tlili. Screenings and events will take place at Hackney Picturehouse, The Ritzy (Brixton), BFI, Cine Lumiere, Rich Mix and South London Gallery. The Film Africa website has full details. www.filmafrica.org.uk
Groupwork for African people
Terrence Higgins Trust runs different types of African Groupwork. Our facilitators run a range of groups in a safe, supportive and friendly environment. All sessions are free. Living with HIV can be difficult, but meeting other African men and women who are going through the same as you can make all the difference. Understanding more about HIV can help you to carry on with your normal life without fearing the future. We cover a wide range of topics including looking after your health, sex and relationships and growing older with HIV.
To find out more, please contact African Groupwork London on 020 7812 1719 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Terrence Higgins Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (reg no. 288527) and in Scotland (SC039986)
Making a relationship wo
work between cultures Minna Salami is a writer and commentator on African feminism, society, popular culture, race and identity. She is also the editor of the extremely popular MsAfropolitan.com blog. In a exclusive, Minna explores the difficulties African couples can face when moving to the UK, and how they can be overcome.
t has wisely been said that the success of a relationship depends more on realistic romance than fairytale romance. In fairytales, couples easily overcome hardships no matter what the circumstances are. In reality, day-to-day struggles can take their toll on even the most smitten of lovebirds. For couples that have migrated from Africa to the UK, whether voluntarily or out of necessity, day-to-day matters can profoundly strain their relationship. With the change of environment comes new attitudes, which can have a detrimental effect on dating and relationships.
‘With the change es of environment com can h new attitudes, whictal have a detrimen d effect on dating an relationships’ carried out by relatives. In this setting the dynamics of dating and personal relationships work very differently from family life in the UK, where the claustrophobic and introverted structure can add pressure. Speaking of dating, I once went
out with a man who got offended when I offered to split the bill with him. He was Nigerian, as I am, and he accused me of having become westernised by volunteering to split the bill. I’d hurt his ego. It was as though I had indirectly implied that he could not afford to pay for both our meals. Now like many women, I am flattered when a man I like treats me to a romantic dinner. However, in this instance, during the course of the evening, I had come to the conclusion that my date was simply not my type. He was arrogant and lacked empathy. So my offer to contribute to the bill was an attempt to be considerate since I was unlikely to see him again. Whether or not to go Dutch on dinner bills is, of course, a minor clash in the list of potential clashes between European and African relationship culture. Other questions about appropriate feminine and masculine behaviour are likely to arise, such as: is it okay if a wife
Main photograph by Annabel Vere
Some of the main attitude changes African couples in the UK encounter are to do with gender roles. While gender parity is a much debated – and unfulfilled – goal in every region of the world, undeniably many African societies continue to harbour some of the most deeply entrenched
patriarchal attitudes. On the flipside, in many African societies families are larger, typically embracing several generations, and childcare is often
earns more than her husband? Who should make the first move when it comes to dating? Is it morally acceptable for a woman to demand that her partner wears a condom during lovemaking? Is abusive behaviour, such as non-consensual sex or violence, ever okay within the confines of traditional values? What exactly are ‘traditional values?’
cultural influences without the fear of condemnation, anger or withdrawal. That is not to say that anger is not a real emotion in such circumstances, but to honestly express anger is much more useful than to repress or project it. It is also important to feel that it’s okay to change your views toward certain aspects of life.
There is no clear African or European culture. Both continents are marked by diversity, naturally.
For instance, a woman who was comfortable being a housewife in Africa might not feel the same way in the UK. She might yearn to work in order to contribute to the household economy and to meet new people. In a loving relationship both partners are able to discuss the impact such a change would have on their lifestyle. This observation
Yet in order to make relationships work in between cultures, couples need to create a setting in which they feel comfortable to share thoughts about
‘There is no clear African or European culture’
seems so obvious but surprisingly few people are able to communicate in this way. On the positive side, it must be emphasised that there are many couples who beam in having found a way to simply be themselves around each other and who see change as an opportunity to strengthen their bond. To share a life with someone means much more than to merely live together; it means to share one’s inner feelings and experiences, especially when the pressures of life take new turns.’ www.msafropolitan. com
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Ten top ways to your health It’s autumn, the days are getting shorter and there’s a chill in the air - so exercise may be the last thing on your mind. But if you’re not inclined to go to the gym, there are lots of other things men can do to improve their health. Here are ’s top 10 ways to get you off to a flying start:
Improve your diet - cut down on salt
Photograph © Flashon Studio
Salt raises your blood pressure which can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Check nutrition labels to find out how much salt is in your food. Food high in salt includes bacon, salt fish, cheese, ready meals and pizza.
Stress can be caused by problems at home, at work or with money. It can lead to sleeping problems, loss of appetite, anxiety, irritability or low mood. If stress feels unmanageable
see your GP – but in the meantime increasing exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep can really help.
Find a condom that fits
Finding the right condom can be tricky condoms should never feel tight or slip off. Wearing the right size condom will make sex more enjoyable and you’ll be better protected against sexually transmitted infections. Try different sizes and types until you find one that feels comfortable. Have a look at our online ‘FitsMe’ tool - it can help you choose the right condom: www.tht.org.uk/fitsme
Cut down on alcohol
Party season is coming up, so try not to drink more than the recommended number of units. Men shouldn’t regularly exceed three to four units per day – that’s a pint and a half of beer or cider, or a large glass of wine.
Improve your diet - eat more fruit and vegetables
Try to eat five 80g portions of fruit and veg every day – this is a great way to get plenty of vitamins and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke or obesity. As a rough guide, one apple or three tablespoons of peas = one 80g portion.
Check your testicles for lumps
Just like women check their breasts, it’s important for guys to check their testicles regularly. If you notice any lumps see your GP as, in very rare cases, lumps may be a sign of testicular cancer.
Get enough sleep
Most of us need around eight hours of sleep each night – too little sleep can lead to a shorter life expectancy, obesity, heart disease or diabetes.
You don’t have to take up a sport to get more exercise – things like walking more, dancing or pushing a lawn mower count. Try to do 150 minutes of exercise (that’s two hours 30 minutes) each week.
Keep an eye on your weight
It’s not good to be overweight or underweight, both are bad for your health. Being underweight means you may not be getting all the nutrients you need. If you are overweight you may be at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
You probably know the risks of smoking, so here are the benefits of stopping: an improved sex life, increased fertility, whiter teeth, more energy, improved smell and taste, more energy and a longer life.
Workout some sweat
As part of The Peoples Hub team of bloggers, artists, journalists and event planners, while also working for the British Red Cross, Henry Makiwa is an extremely busy man. How does he still find time to workout? He reveals his motivational secrets to :
am not the best at making and keeping promises! Nonetheless, I would like to think I might indulge myself in full marks for my obstinacy and steadfastness to exercise habitually so far this year. It has not been easy. My job as a media relations officer for the British Red Cross is demanding, challenging and arduous. Coupled to that, I lead the thriving Peoples Hub management consultancy beyond my nine-to-five duties. Throw in family and social life, and you realise how 24 hours are just not enough in a day. This scenario is of course not unique to me. And as an African expat living and working in the UK, I know of many other friends who struggle for time and motivation to spare a workout. Just the other day, one of my Zimbabwean countrymen who works two shifts, five days a week, quipped: “Going to the gym is luxury.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. I believe in the mantra that says: “Put health before wealth.” We should all make time for exercise, no matter how busy our lifestyles are - otherwise it will all come and bite us in the backside later in life.’ Pumped up and raring to go? Turn over for Henry’s top five motivational tips to exercise.
‘How I find time for the gym’
Henry Makiwa of The People’s Hub shares his top five motivational tips to keep you going back to the gym:
If you are going to join a gym, find yourself a friend to train with - preferably someone more experienced than yourself. Just knowing that a familiar face will be at the gym, or with you at the same time, can keep you going with your exercise regime.
Make the most of your exercise time with a thumping playlist on your MP3 player or iPod, especially if you are doing a cardio workout or going out jogging. Personally I keep a hip-hop/rap playlist for weights days in the gym, while an Afrobeat/Soukous one is for running. The slow tempo of rap notes and brash nature of the music gives a massive injection of oomph when the energy is waning. Dance music, on the other hand, is a fantastic motivator to keep pace it’s even more enjoyable when you can move to the beat. Many athletes train to their favourite music as it has a positive effect on the limbic system of the brain, causing your emotions to respond favorably to the exercise.
Photograph © Flashon Studio
Buy some nice gym gear to ‘bribe’ yourself with. If you haven’t already done so, head out to a store that stocks workout clothing in funky styles. Purchase a few key pieces in cool styles that you’ll feel good and confident wearing. Since the gym is the only place you can
wear these goodies, you have a new reason to go.
Be realistic about how often you can make it to the gym. If you started out with the idea of turning up at 5am every weekday but found out that this was really difficult to maintain while juggling kids, work schedules and your night owl ways, then it’s time to refresh your expectations rather than completely give it all up. Also consider where your gym is people are more likely to exercise when the gym is located near their home or place of work. Investigate having your membership transferred to a closer gym if it’s part of a franchise. Mine is a stone’s throw from the office, so I spend my weekday lunches ‘eating iron’.
Do a financial reality check. Consider the cost to you of not going to the gym. If you take a membership contract at your gym, know that each day not attended means that money is wasted without anything in return. And any equipment, private training sessions or clothing that you’ve already purchased is more cost without benefits gained by you. Tally up the total amount for a little shock effect. Follow Henry on Twitter @makiwahenry www.thepeopleshub.com
Condoms come in all shapes and sizes. To find the best ones for you and to get great deals, go to
ASK THE EXPERT
Do you have a health or lifestyle-related problem that’s troubling you? advice expert Aunty Enomfon can help you find answers. Please write or email your problem to the editor: email@example.com Dear Aunty Enomfon,
I am a 39-year-old lady whom no-one has approached for a dating relationship. It is making me feel totally undesirable and I have almost no social life because of this. I used to go out a bit in my late 20s and 30s, but not any longer. My friend says I have a spiritual problem and that I should go for deliverance and counselling. I think I might but I do not really believe this. I know I just need enlightenment and then the rest will follow.
Does your job allow you to meet up with other people? I don’t necessarily mean people you may have a future romantic interest in. Spending time with acquaintances makes it easier to build up relationships that will enhance your social skills and your communicative skills, and thereby enable you to develop stronger confidence muscles. Having good acquaintances would in turn empower you to build a strong network of friends. This in turn will create a ‘ripple effect’ that carries on it a wave of confidence
What should I do?
Aunty Enomfon says:
First, of all, I would love to know what you do for a living. Are you locked into your work, working around the clock? That can limit someone’s social life.
that would reward you in attracting men who would date you. Remember too to put on an appearance that gives out the message that ‘a warm and loving person is here’. The other thing here is how you grew up. Patterns and habits formed from our early years can be hard to break, especially when they concern relationships and when those habits are not confronted or dealt with. As I do not have all those details I would proceed with a bit of caution. However, all of the tips above could help. Good luck in your search!
Dear Aunty Enomfon,
I am a 46-year-old lady and I am in a relationship with a 40-yearold man. We are both Africans but we met in the UK. We have been dating for six months. He does not mind the fact that I am older, but I do mind. I really do mind, even though I do love him. In fact, when he mentioned marriage, I got so scared. Do you think I should continue with marriage plans or not?
Aunty Enomfon says:
Grace, you need to know that love at this initial stage is very elusive. It is really not the same love that carries you through a marriage. By that I mean romantic love is what you both have now. This is based so much more on chemistry and not on character, values or vision for the future.
can that love evolve or will you be torn between guilt, shame and regret? You are the one who needs to take that decision because you have a ‘biological time frame’ as a woman. Your hormones will then naturally diminish, along with some of the other bells and whistles of youthfulness.
‘You need to weigh your feelings against fact, and conviction against culture’
With the pressures of marriage, the demands of daily living and the challenges that come with that -
Against this backdrop, I would say that your conflict is both a value and cultural one. Do not ignore this ‘warning bell’. You need to weigh your feelings against fact, and conviction against culture.
Photograph © Africa Studio
If you are not comfortable with this obvious ‘red warning flag’ (and some people will be comfortable with it), you will need to stop before it becomes more difficult. All my best wishes, with whatever choice you make. You can contact Enomfon directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website: www.winningrelationships.co.uk
National HIV Testing Week National HIV Testing Week takes place on 22-29 November, as part of the It Starts With Me campaign (see Page 8). But what is the week about, and why is it important to test for HIV?
IV can stop your body from working properly, making it more difficult for you to fight off infection so you become ill more often. HIV is a major public health concern in Africa, and in the UK more than 100,000 people live with HIV. Although HIV cannot yet be cured, it can be treated. National HIV Testing Week encourages our communities to
learn about HIV, to talk about it and to take an HIV test. We know that the majority of HIV transmissions occur when people are not aware of their status. In the UK today, 24 per cent of people with HIV are undiagnosed. We know that when individuals are aware of their status they are able to make informed decisions about their own health and that of their partners. Testing early for HIV also reduces the risk of late diagnosis, so people who need to start taking HIV treatment can do so without delay, when it can help them the most. HIV treatment in the UK is now free, regardless of your immigration status.
While anyone can be at risk and get HIV, transmission and infections are more common in particular populations and areas. For instance, in the UK today there are over 30,000 African people living with HIV, with one in four African men and one in five African women not knowing that they are HIV positive.
Where can I test?
You can already get tested for HIV in a wide range of places â€“ from your GP surgery to a sexual health clinic to a community centre or your local church. There will also be extra opportunities to test for HIV across the country throughout National HIV Testing Week, both in clinics and in the community.
To find out more: phone: call our freephone helpline THT Direct on 0808 802 1221 to find out where to test in your area. online: use our Service Finder to locate your nearest testing clinic: www.tht.org.uk/sexual-health/Service-finder Facebook: details of extra events during National HIV Testing Week will be on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NationalHIVTestingWeek Twitter: look out for discussions about HIV and sexual health on Twitter â€“ the hashtag will be #hivtestweek
The aim of National HIV Testing Week is: to increase testing among the most at-risk populations across England
to increase awareness and acceptability of HIV testing among these groups to increase access to HIV testing in both community and statutory settings in order to improve early diagnosis and treatment of HIV (and thus reduce ongoing transmission) among those most at risk.
‘I couldn’t believe how simple it was’ Boxing trainer Danny Lutaaya explains why he went for an HIV test, and what happened next. ‘As a former boxer, I knew all about HIV testing - or at least I thought I did. If you spend time in the boxing ring professionally, you have to get an HIV test at least once a year. So I had been tested annually, until I retired in 2004. When I finally got my HIV test done in August 2011, I just couldn’t believe how far things had moved on. I took my test at the African Nations Cup UK in east London, where I was working as event manager. Terrence Higgins Trust was on site throughout the tournament offering free HIV tests and talking to footballers and fans about why it’s significant to know your HIV status. As I hadn’t been tested for seven years, I was nervous at first - but I also really wanted to be an example to everyone who turned up. Aside from that, I was about to get married a month later, so I wanted to start my married life knowing my HIV status for sure. You could say that my nerves were irrational. My partner and I had been together for years so I was 99 per cent sure that I was HIV negative. But just that one per cent of doubt can so easily take over and sit in the back of your mind.
Luckily the staff from Terrence Higgins Trust were on hand to talk me through what would be involved. In a private room, they explained everything that would happen - from taking the test, to what would happen afterwards if I did test positive. Then they did the test. They just pricked my finger to get a tiny bit of blood which they put into a solution to see if it would give a negative or a ‘reactive’ test result [which indicates that HIV may be present. If someone has a reactive result, another blood test is taken to confirm whether or not they are HIV positive]. I actually couldn’t believe how simple it was. I used to have to wait at least four days for my results while my blood was sent away to the laboratory. This time I was amazed when less than half an hour later, the team came back to tell me my results were ready. In the privacy of the consultation room they told me my result was negative. I was overcome by joy. It really was such a huge relief to know my status again, after all those years. I went home happy! Having a private space was so important, as was the knowledge that the testing would be free and painless. But most inspiring was the fact that it could be done so quickly. Therefore I would encourage anyone to take a test – it’s always best to know where you stand.’
Man ‘is 160 years old’
Retired Ethiopian farmer Dhaqabo Ebba claims he is 160 years old and that he can recall the Italian invasion of his country in 1895. If true, this would make him 46 years older than the oldest age ever recorded for a man. In a statement to Oromiya TV, Mr Ebba provided so much detail on the history of his local area that he convinced reporter Mohammed Ademo of his claim.
New film Praises the Lord
The relationship between Ghanaians and the Church is explored by renowned Ghanaian director Kwaw Ansah in Praising the Lord Plus One, his first film in 30 years. The film explores how the wealth raked in by many pastors makes it difficult to keep opportunists away from the pulpits.
Zimbabwean Author Nominated for Man Booker Prize
Africa’s First US Open Singles Champion
Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo has been nominated for the coveted Man Booker Prize. Her debut novel We Need New Names has also been nominated for the Guardian First Book Award 2013. In 2011 she won the Caine Prize for African Writing with her short story Hitting Budapest.
South Africa’s Lucas Sithole has become the first African to win a tennis US Open singles title. The wheelchair tennis player beat current world number one David Wagner. Officials hope Sithole’s win will help to raise awareness about the importance of giving people with disabilities equal opportunities, not only in sport but in society.
The healthier lifestyle magazine for Africans
Issue 11 - Winter 2013 editorial team Taku Mukiwa Cary James Tom Bishop Kerri Wells Marcy Madzikanda
magazine is funded by, and published as part of, HIV Prevention England, a Department of Health-funded contract to deliver HIV prevention campaigns in England. It is managed by Terrence Higgins Trust and supported by sub-contractors: BHA for Equality, Sigma Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, MBARC, NAM Publications and Yorkshire MESMAC.
Information in this magazine is correct at the time of going to press. For the latest information or updated versions of this publication, visit www.mambo.org.uk The people featured in this publication are models; unless otherwise stated, no association with any particular lifestyle or HIV status is implied.
Kenya’s Ruto Appears at ICC
Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has gone on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) accused of orchestrating violence after disputed elections in December 2007. President Uhuru Kenyatta will be tried on similar charges in November. They become the first sitting president and deputy president to be tried on charges of crimes against humanity.
If you have any questions or comments about this resource, or would like information on the evidence used to produce it, please email: email@example.com
www.facebook.com/ MamboLifestyle @MamboLifestyle
In some cases there are no symptoms, but you may still be infected. For HIV testing, please For information informationononHIV HIVand and HIV testing call call the confidential helpline on 0800 0967 500 or
Funded by the Pan-London HIV Prevention Programme Terrence Higgins Trust is a registered charity in England & Wales (no.288527) and in Scotland (no.SC039986).
Funded by the Pan-London HIV Prevention Programme Terrence Higgins Trust is a registered charity in England & Wales (no.288527) and in Scotland (no.SC039986).
If you’ve had sex with someone without a condom and show three or more of these symptoms within six weeks, it’s possible you’ve now got HIV.
If we all test, we can help stop HIV. Join us and find out where to test