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No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 I Tel. 020 7300 7320; 020 7300 7321; 07846062331 I Email: afronews@myownmedia.co.uk

“Meet The Adebanjos� given prime-time slot on Vox Africa TV

Mother launches campaign to support young adults with cancer page 5

THE GUIDE Stop collecting Payment innocent Protection mental health Insurance (PPI) service users’ Are you one of DNA, millions of people owed thousands government of pounds? told page 3

Exclusive interview with Andrew Osayemi, Executive Producer of “Meet The Adebanjos�

AU’s commitment to fight against impunity questioned

pages 10 - 11

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DJ Abrantee releases debut Mixtape

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Report: Systematic policies hinder refugee protection Get your latest immigration news on

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No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

WHERE ACTION IS

OneTaste Choir to stage free concert at Rich Mix The OneTaste Choir first graced lucky listeners’ ears with its soulful close harmonies in 2007. It was then lead by the wonderfully talented Mae McKenna who just so happens to be Jamie Woon’s mother.

©OneTaste Choir

The OneTaste Choir evolved from several different artists from the OneTaste Collective and were lucky enough to have the OneTaste shows as a platform to perform as one amalgamated, talented unit as well as collaborating with Inua Ellams, OneTaste Choir singing with Stac at The Royal Opera House Jamie Woon and MC Xander. In 2009, WahWah and they performed close harmony aca- learnt new songs under the choir ma’am 45’s recording artist Stac was asked to pella versions of the songs “Balls Bounce”, skilz of Stac who arranged various round up a talented bunch of singers for “Head on Me” and a cover of Platinum Christmas songs which quickly became her performance at the label’s tenth anni- “Pied Pipers On A Cloud”. sought after by the likes of You Choose versary at the Scala, Kings Cross. It was That Christmas the OneTaste Choir Jamborees and Kings Cross St. Pancras that year the OneTaste Choir was reborn

Ska Cubano at Jazz Café

Ska Cubano will thrill fans at Jazz Café on 18th December 2011. Ska Cubano smashed up musical history with their first “Ska Cubano” and second album “Ay Caramba”. Their latest album “Mambo Ska” is Ska blended with the very similar rhythm of 1940s60s cumbia, mambo, mento, calypso, son montuno, mixed with a Cuban wizardry. It’s an album that blends original, pioneering Ska with classic Cuban son and rumba to create an incessantly upbeat,

forward driving sound that makes you want to get up, shake that booty and forget you really can’t dance. Skip into a parallel universe where the hottest musical development is Ska Cubano, the meshing of unstoppable Jamaican rhythms with crazy Cuban brass. Ska Cubano are at the forefront of contemporary Latin music.

SKA CUBANO The Jazz Café, 5 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PG 18th December 2011 Time: 19:00 Tickets: £15 in advance www.jazzcafe.co.uk

where they sang to collect money for homeless charity New Horizons and of course for OneTaste! In 2010 the OneTaste Choir performed at the Secret Garden Party, numerous OneTaste shows, Stac’s “Turn That Light Out” album launch party and were asked by the wonderful Alice Russell to be part of her show at the Union Chapel for her sell out gig performing “The Mystery of Man”, “Crazy” by Gnarles Barkley and “I Hear Music In The Street” by Unlimited Touch. The OneTaste Choir also performed with Stac once again on her UK tour with Aloe Blacc at the Jazz Cafe on 19th October and a completely acoustic show at Accidental Powercut at St Barnabas Church, Soho plus being welcomed back at the Scala to celebrate WahWah 45’s 11th Birthday!

OneTaste Choir Rich Mix 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA 17th December 2011 From 20:00-20.15 & from 21.15pm - 21.30pm Free No need to book just turn up!

Denys Baptiste Quartet at Southbank Centre Southbank Centre hosts a very special Christmas Friday Tonic with the multi award-winning saxophonist Denys Baptiste, who performs music from his highly praised album “Identity By Subtraction”. Alongside Denys on tenor and soprano saxophone are pianist

Andrew McCormack, double bassist Gary Crosby and drummer Rod Youngs. The tight ensemble playing performed by this highly intuitive trio provides the perfect setting for Baptiste’s melodic, free-flowing compositions and fiery solo improvisations. Come along and join Denys and the band for their last show of 2011.

DENYS BAPTISTE QUARTET Southbank Centre/The Clore Ballroom, Belvedere Road London SE1 8 XX 23rd December 2011 17:30pm Free event

Real Food Christmas Market at Southbank Centre Square A week-long food festival takes place at the Southbank Centre Square where you can pick up last minute Christmas treats, find seasonal produce and taste high quality and affordable food from carefully selected pro-

ducers. Taste as you go around, sample street food and go home with unique ingredients for your festive table. The Real Food Christmas Market takes place from 16th to 23rd December 2011.

AFRONEWS | My Own Media Ltd. The Old Fire Station, 140 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4SD, United Kingdom | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Stephen Ogongo Ongong'a | TEL: +44 (0)20 7300 7320 or +39 06 94354517 |Fax: 0207 253 23 06 | Email: afronews@myownmedia.co.uk | CONTRIBUTORS: Monika Ribeiro, Chinwe Ojielo and Amanda Hall-Davis. ADVERTISING: TEL: 020 7300 7320; 07846062331 | Email: sales@myownmedia.co.uk | DISTRIBUTION: Tojake Ukwade | Email: info@myownmedia.co.uk | PRINTING PRESS: Newsfax Ltd, London. | Advertiser and advertising agency assume liability for all content (including text representation, illustrations, and photographs) of advertisements printed or posted, and also assume responsibility for any claims arising there from made against the publisher | Supplement of Africa News, Registered at the Tribunal of Rome. Registration No. 22/2003 - 21-01-2003


COMMUNITY

No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

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Stop collecting innocent mental health service users’ DNA, government told

Campaigners have renewed calls to the government to stop collecting DNA of mental health service users. Black Mental Health UK (BMH UK), Big Brother Watch (BBW) and Gene Watch UK have written to Lord Henley, Minister of State for Crime Prevention and AntiSocial Behaviour Reduction, asking him to ensure that people who are taken into

police custody under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act do not have their DNA taken in the same way as suspected criminals. In an open letter, the campaigners say these changes need to be included in Protection of Freedoms Bill, which is currently being debated in the House of Lords. They want amendments to be made to this legislation which ensure that those temporarily taken to a police station as a ‘place of safety’ under the Mental Health Act, do not have their DNA taken while they are in detention. Police remain the first point of contact for a person in a mental health crisis in many parts of the country. Current practice means that both DNA and fingerprints can be taken from a mental health service user while they are in custody in the process of accessing mental health care. BMH UK, BBW and Gene Watch UK have condemned what they say is the covert criminalisation of this vulnerable group. Their letter to Lord Henley also calls for all innocent mental health service users currently profiled on this system to have both their DNA and other police records permanently deleted.

They point out that these records can nals.” be used to refuse someone a visa or a job Helen Wallace director of Gene Watch and want to see an end to the current sys- UK, adds: “People who are suffering from tem which treats people in need of urgent mental illness can find it very disturbing healthcare in the same way as suspected when their DNA is being taken by the criminals. police, this shouldn’t happen when they Matilda MacAttram, director of human are looking for a place of safety. We’d like rights campaigns group Black Mental to see changes in legislation so that the Health UK says: “With government fig- police are clear that this should not be hapures showing that people from the UK’s pening.” African Caribbean communities are 50% more likely to be referred to mental health services via the police than their “For people to end up on the DNA white counterparts, it is clear Database because of their mental illthat the current system is criminess is an affront to civil liberties nalising one of the most marginalised groups in society.” and justice. The Government should Nick Pickles, director of take the opportunity to rectify the sitcivil liberties group Big Brother Watch, says: “For people to end uation in the Protection of Freedoms up on the DNA Database Bill and prevent these innocent peobecause of their mental illness ple suffering from an illness being is an affront to civil liberties processed as suspected criminals” and justice. The Government should take the opportunity to Nick Pickles, rectify the situation in the Protection of Freedoms Bill and Director of civil liberties group Big prevent these innocent people Brother Watch suffering from an illness being processed as suspected crimi-

10 year old pupil designs Lambeth’s official Christmas card

A 10 year old Brixton school pupil has designed a Christmas card that will be adorning the mantelpieces of MPs and community leaders this Christmas.

Dylan Duffy’s festive design will be dropping through the letterboxes of MPs, community leaders, faith representatives and business leaders after being chosen as Lambeth’s official Christmas card for 2011 from among entries from his Year 6 classmates. Leader of Lambeth Council, Steve Reed, visited Corpus Christi RC Primary School in Trent Road, Brixton, on 8th December to watch the school’s nativity play and meet Dylan to thank him and

present him with a small prize. Dylan said: “I thought this picture would look good on the front of a Christmas card and I was really pleased, excited and amazed when I found out that I had won the competition. I’m looking forward to Christmas and I’m hoping for snow and lots of presents.” Cllr Reed said: “Dylan’s card is fantastic and I’m really grateful to him for allowing me to use it as Lambeth’s official Christmas card this year. He’s clearly a really talented young artist and I was pleased to be able to thank him in person.” Dylan’s design is of a Christmas panoramic scene looking across London from

Lambeth. His design was picked after Cllr Reed asked Dylan’s class teacher Lynsey Powell if she would organise a Christmas card making competition. Cllr Reed is ward councillor for the area. The card has been produced at no cost to the council, as it has kindly been sponsored by Pitney Bowes and HHGlobal. Dylan received a prize of a free Leisure Card for use at Lambeth Leisure Centres, including the brand new centre in Clapham, for him and all his family for a whole year.

“I thought this picture would look good on the front of a Christmas card and I was really pleased, excited and amazed when I found out that I had won the competition. I’m looking forward to Christmas and I’m hoping for snow and lots of presents” Dylan Duffy


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No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

COMMUNITY

Cynthia Masiyiwa, former asylum seeker helping asylum seekers Cynthia Masiyiwa was 15 years old when she came to Britain seeking sanctuary from Zimbabwe. Now 20, she is a voice for the Diaspora Community in Bexley south-east London, negotiating with the Head of Asylum Policy at the UK Border Agency on issues that affect asylum seekers.

“A lot of kids don’t really understand where you come from and why you’re in the country so they listen to, maybe, let’s say the media. So for example in my case they thought that because I was from Africa that meant I could not speak English or that I was a bit ignorant. They treated me in the sort of way like ‘go back to your country’”

For her efforts, Cynthia has been nominated for a Spirit of London Award and Olive Morris Award. Here she opens up to The AfroNews about her experience as an asylum seeker. Why did Zimbabwe?

you

have

to

leave

I left because of what was happening in Zimbabwe. Everyone wanted the current president to step down but he didn’t want to and so he ended up persecuting people from the opposition party. He was threatening people that if they didn’t vote for him in the next election then they were in trouble; he was giving them a warning. My family thought that the best thing to do was to move me here to stay with my sister before things got worse, because at that time things were just starting to be a bit shady. My mum was a politician back in the eighties, but because she had moved from the ruling party to the opposition party, my life was at risk, which was why I had to move here. What ideas did you have of the UK before you arrived, and did that change once you got here? I had this idea that the UK was like a paradise. I thought that everything was just so perfect in the UK, but on my arrival, my experience really made me think about going back. I thought I was better off if I went back because I was in a school where I was one of the few black kids there. I wasn’t really welcomed because a lot of the people had their own idea about me as well. I was stereotyped and treated differently from all the other kids. Not by the teachers, by the other kids. There was a bit of bullying and racism.

Get latest news

about and from the Black Community in the UK on

Ms. Cynthia Masiyiwa I had already started with Citizens UK and Active Horizons, it all added up to me receiving my refugee status. What is Active Horizons?

Was your treatment due to your situation or race? A lot of kids don’t really understand where you come from and why you’re in the country so they listen to, maybe, let’s say the media. So for example in my case they thought that because I was from Africa that meant I could not speak English or that I was a bit ignorant. They treated me in the sort of way like ‘go back to your country’. So I’ll say that it was because of my race, because a lot people who didn’t know the situation, just stereotyped and went with what other people said about people of my race.

You hadn’t obtained refugee status yet? That’s right. They had been in the decision making process since 2007, but it didn’t really affect me then. When you’re young you don’t care about having a job, but when you’re 18, you’re an adult and you want to start your own thing. At 18 I was looking to move on but I couldn’t because they were still deciding on my status.

So schooling made it difficult to settle in?

When did you receive refugee status?

At first school made it difficult for me to settle in, but one day at school when we had a speaking and listening exercise, I decided to tell a story about myself, and where I come from. From that day the way people looked at me changed. They started to respect me because a lot of people thought that maybe I was one of those people who came into the country to just take people’s jobs, but when they realised that I was actually a young person who was determined to be someone one day, they started treating me differently. It was when I turned 18, which was actually the worst part of my stay in this country.

This January.

Why and how did things get worse? http://www.theafronews.eu/black-community/blog

out of the country on holiday, because you know, you’re old enough, but I could not do any of those things. So that’s when I had my worst experience in this country.

At 18 that’s when you’re expected to go to university, start driving or even to go

How did you prove that you were a genuine asylum seeker?

At Active Horizons, it’s the young people that actually decide what is run in the organization, for example fashion shows and media projects. I support fellow young people with their projects and also run my own projects. I went for a money management training with Citizens UK, and from that I had to come back and train young people to be able to manage their finances. At Active Horizons we run campaigns like Migration Conundrum, where we are encouraging schools in Bexley to use a resource called Migration Conundrum to teach more about migration. With the Diaspora Youth Assembly, we had 150 young people from across multi-cultural communities. Our aim was to invite power holders like the UK Border Agency, and try to hold them to account to some of the agreements that we’ve made, and to get them to promise us that they can support us with some of the work that we are starting. To find out more about Active Horizons, log on to: www.activehorizons.org.uk.

I passed all my GCSE’s and A Levels By Chinwe Ojielo and I was playing sports for the Send The AfroNews your stories borough, so I gave them proof and pictures of everything Have you got a story to share with our readers? that I had achieved. That’s We'd love to hear about it, so please send it to us. when they decid- You may also send photos together with your stoed and said that ries. Kindly include a contact phone number in I’m actually valuable to the case we have any questions or need more information. Please send your stories and pictures to: country. And with all the community work that afronews@myownmedia.co.uk


COMMUNITY

No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

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C is for Cure

Mother launches campaign to support young adults with cancer

A mother whose son was diagnosed with Lymphoma has launched a campaign to support young adults affected by cancer and other life changing illnesses and disabilities. Lorraine Maher-Faissal’s C is for Cure is a foundation for young adults with cancer. It is one of the few groups in the UK to support 18-25 year-olds and their fami-

lies face the unique challenges that present themselves during and after a cancer diagnosis. “My son was diagnosed in September with stage 4b Lymphoma, he has had Chemo and it didn’t work. He is now spending most of his days in and out of hospital. To be honest he is my hero as he has taken this on the chin and is staying strong even when in the deepest pain,” Lorraine says. Every day in the UK, up to six teenagers or young adults (between the ages of 14 and 25) are diagnosed with cancer, approximately 2,100 new cases a year. Lorraine says that these young people, in the midst of their already difficult journey to adulthood, suddenly find themselves faced with a possible life-threatening illness and very often receiving treatment in inappropriate facilities such as adult wards. This age group makes up less than 10% of all cancer patients but also has the low-

est statistical survival rate. Once faced with the devastating diagnosis of cancer, the financial struggle and lack of emotional support is immediate and almost always overwhelming. What has struck Lorraine most since her son was diagnosed with cancer is that there is little or no emotional support for him or her other three boys. Lorraine founded C is for Cure in November 2011. Before her son was diagnosed with advanced Lymphoma, he had planned to travel the world. He was working hard to fund his trip but that now seems difficult because he is facing long term unemployment. This has prompted Lorraine to not only help him fulfil that dream, but to also help other young people faced with life changing illness to fulfil their dreams no matter how big or small. Lorraine has a target of raising £50,000 and she welcomes all fundraising ideas. She would like to initially bring together 1,000 people, each making a commitment to raise at least £50 for the cause. If they raise more, that would be fantastic, Lorraine

says. “Donations raised will go to young adults with cancer needing financial support during and after treatment,” she says. She would like to “raise enough funds, so that other families in this situation, from low economic backgrounds can get some practical and emotional support and have a memorable experience to fulfil their own hopes and dreams once their treatment is completed.” “This horrible situation that we have found ourselves in has highlighted just how difficult it is on a family when their child who is a young adult has a life changing illness. Even the simplest thing like good food can make a difference to someone’s life chances. I want to be able to help those less fortunate,” Lorraine adds. You may contact C is for Cure by sending an email to beatthebigc@gmail.com or clicking ‘like’ on the campaign Facebook Page:www.facebook.com/ pages/C-is-for-Cure/191900087564556. By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a

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No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

COMMUNITY

Janita Francis and Raphael Olaiya crowned Top Models of Colour 2011 Janita Francis and Raphael Olaiya have been crowned the Top Models of Colour 2011. Janita won the Female Top Model of Colour while Raphael won the Male Top Model of Colour at the Top Model of Colour (TMC) competition held on 3rd December 2011 at Porchester Hall in West London. Four male and 19 female models took to the catwalk, displaying a vision of style and class in their elegant dresses and sharp suits. The models conveyed passion and eagerness while showing off their modelling skills and were extremely confident on the runway, all with qualities of great supermodels. Janita said she had been dreaming of becoming a Top Model of Colour but wasn’t sure she could make it. She was shocked to be announced the female winner because there were many other beautiful contestants. “For me it is a dream come true and the beginning of even greater things to come,” Janita said. Raphael, who could not believe he had won, said: “Being slightly shorter than all the other male contestants, I thought I was at a disadvantage especially when the modelling industry wants men to be a minimum height of 5.11 plus. I am ecstatic and overwhelmed at winning and I will do TMC proud.” TMC creator and creative director Sola Oyebade felt that this year’s was one of the toughest competitions because of the outstanding qualities of the contestants. Anyone of them could have won, he said. Each year TMC competition attracts fantastic and committed models determined to become Top Models of Colour. TMC is not just a one off competition based on what contestants do on the night of the grand finale. They are assessed throughout rehearsals and are prejudged

Ms. Janita Francis and Mr. Raphael Olaiya, Top Models of Colour 2011 based on the portfolios they have to produce. There is also a private swimwear prejudging round. “This is done to ensure that it is a fair competition and that the best person wins,” Mr. Oyebade said.

TMC is produced by Mahogany Productions in association with Mahogany Model Management. The competition aims to give models of colour exposure within the fashion industry. TMC competition is

held every year and is open to both female and male models of Asian, African, Caribbean, Hispanic, Oriental, and Mix Heritage decent.

©Home Office

Sham marriage fixer jailed

A British-Nigerian national who attempted to arrange fake marriages in London has been jailed for 18 months. Ola Kukute, 37, was found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate a sham marriage following an eight-day trial at the inner London Crown Court which ended on 27th

October. The UK Border Agency will seek to remove his British citizenship and then take steps to deport him from the UK after serving his sentence. Sentenced alongside Kukute was the would-bebride, Bindaya Dalal, a 26-yearold British woman. Dalal admitted the same charge at the start of the trial and a separate charge of Bigamy. She was given two and three month sentences, both suspended for 12 months to run concurrently, and ordered to do 120 hours unpaid community service. Dalal was arrested by UK Border Agency’s north and east London immigra-

tion crime team in June 2010 at her home address while Kukute was arrested at his girlfriend’s address in Leytonstone in May 2011 after evading capture for several months. Their arrests followed an investigation that revealed Dalal had married twice before and that the second marriage, which turned out to be bigamous, only took place the previous September. As enquiries progressed officers became suspicious of a 27-year-old Nigerian student after his application to marry Dalal at Hammersmith & Fulham registry office. Two earlier planned ceremonies were cancelled at short notice. The student was arrested in July 2010. He is in the country legally on a student visa and was cautioned for seeking avoidance of immigration enforcement action by deception, but not charged. He will be required to leave the UK once his visa has expired. During questioning he admitted that

Kukute had offered Dalal to him as a bride in return for a £6,000 cash fee. When she failed to attend the first wedding, which was scheduled to take place in Forest Gate, Dalal arranged with the student for him to pay her directly rather than continue using Kukute as a middle man. They agreed he would pay her a further £3,000 on top of the £2,000 he had already paid Kukute. Ray Swan, north and east London criminal and financial investigation team, UK Border Agency said: “Kukute and Dalal were the central suspects in a number of attempted sham marriages arranged for this student. “This case shows the desperate nature of immigration crime with large sums of money changing hands and people being prepared to enter into a full marriage with someone they barely know believing they can cheat the immigration system.” He added that those who seek to cheat immigration laws will be brought to justice.


No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

CURRENT AFFAIRS

7

Murderers of transgender people to get longer sentences The Ministry of Justice plans to amend the Criminal Justice Act 2003 so that murders motivated by hatred or hostility towards disabled or transgender victims will have the same starting point as for murders aggravated by race, religion and sexual orientation. This means that people who murder disabled or transgender people in hate crime attacks will face life sentences with a starting point of 30 years, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said. The Act will also be updated so that where any offence is shown to be motivated by hostility towards the victim on the grounds of transgender, as well as race, religion, sexual orientation, and disability, sentences must be made more severe. All five monitored strands of hate crime will be reflected equally in these provisions. “Hate crimes are abhorrent,

“Hate crimes are abhorrent, they leave sections of society living in fear and at risk of unprovoked violence. The courts already treat all hate crime seriously and aggravate sentences accordingly. These proposals make clear offenders should be in no doubt that they face a more severe sentence for these unacceptable crimes”

©Ministry of Justice

An amendment to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 will lead to severe punishment for those who commit hate crimes.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke they leave sections of society living in fear and at risk of unprovoked violence,” Mr. Clarke said. “The courts already treat all hate crime seriously and aggravate sentences accordingly. These proposals make clear offenders should be in no doubt that they face a more severe sentence for these unacceptable crimes.” The announcement was made alongside the publication of the Government’s Transgender Action Plan on 8th December 2011.

“There is no excuse for any form of hate crime and that is why we are strengthening the law to protect all those at particular risk of unprovoked violence,” said Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone. “These plans send out a strong message to victims and perpetrators. Hate crimes against transgender and disabled people will be treated seriously and offenders will face the full force of the law.” The changes will be made as part of the Legal Aid, Sentencing

and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Bill currently progressing through Parliament.

Amendments covering the new changes will be brought forward at Lords Committee stage.

©Home Office

Warning over counterfeit Christmas gift items Some of the many counterfeit items seized by UK Border Agency officers at Heathrow in recent months

UK Border Agency and Trading Standards officers have warned shoppers to avoid counterfeit goods in the run up to Christmas. Fake UGG Boots, GHD hair straighteners, iPhones and iPads, designer clothes and Hello Kitty products are amongst the thousands of counterfeit items seized by the agency’s officers in recent months. For that reason they’re asking festive shoppers to be careful about what they buy and where they buy it from. Grant Miller, from the UK Border Agency’s Heathrow international trade division, said: “Cheap counterfeits undercut honest traders and leave shoppers with goods that are at best inferior to genuine

products and, at worst, harmful or unsafe.” He said that they’ve been uncovering different types of fake goods, from beauty products to children’s toys. “We’re warning people to be particularly wary of buying cheap items online or from unofficial traders. It’s easy to be tricked into thinking you’re getting a bargain, but in the run-up to Christmas our message is that if something appears too good to be true it probably is,” Mr. Miller said. A similar warning came from the Immigration Minister Damian Green, who said that they were dealing with a huge criminal business. “The international trade in counterfeit goods is serious organised crime and for the gangs behind it, it is lowrisk and high-reward. Intellectual property

crime is a serious economic threat, and it’s could make the item very dangerous,” Mr. estimated to be worth around £1.3 billion Gainsford said. “Similarly toys, jewellery, alcohol and cigarettes might look the part in the UK each year.” As well as attempting to evade duty and but could turn out to be toxic. Check, VAT, importers also put consumers at risk double check and check again to make from potentially dangerous, unregulated sure what you are buying and where you are buying from is the real deal.” products. Ron Gainsford, the Trading Standards Counterfeit items purchased over the Institute’s chief executive said: “In this internet and imported through the postal difficult economic climate money is tight system can be seized, leaving the buyer for many of us, but there could be a high out of pocket. price to pay for bargain presents that aren’t the real deal.” “The external appearance and packagHe warned that miling of electrical goods such as charlions of low-quality and potentially dangerous gers and hair straighteners may be counterfeit products copied fairly well, but the internal were flooding the country in time for Christmas. composition and materials are likely to “The external appearbe substandard and could make the ance and packaging of item very dangerous” electrical goods such as chargers and hair straighteners may be Mr. Ron Gainsford, copied fairly well, but Trading Standards Institute’s chief the internal composition and materials are likely executive to be substandard and


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No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

CURRENT AFFAIRS

Online checks to identify illegal foreign workers From next spring, it will be possible for employers to check online whether foreign nationals have the right to work in the UK, Immigration Minister Damian Green has said.

Immigration Minister Damian Green

against immigration abuse and illegal working. BRPs are simplifying the process of checking an individual’s right to work by replacing the

Police fail to check backgrounds of foreign criminals Tens of thousands of foreign criminals could be finding their way into the UK because the police fail to check their criminal histories, a Home Office report has revealed. “A Common Sense Approach” report by Sunita Mason shows that police only check the backgrounds of one in seven investigations involving EU nationals. At the same time, around 30,000 foreign offenders pass through the courts without anyone knowing the full extent of their criminal past. “Outside the EU our own immigration and visa processes might prevent those who present a risk from coming here. Whilst visa applicants are asked whether they have committed criminal offences, this self-dec-

laration is not generally checked and the UK does not ask for certificates of good conduct, unlike a number of other countries,” Ms. Mason said. She noted that foreign criminals could be working in sensitive positions because they are not required to produce police certificates to government prior to entry or taking up the post. “I am sure that more could be done to conduct checks prior to arrival in the UK,” she said.

wide range of documents currently in use. The new online checking service for employers will enable quick and easy real-time checks

on permits and their holder’s identity and right to work in the UK. Around 600,000 BRPs have been issued since November 2008. From next year they will cover all those applying from inside the UK to remain in the country for more than six months. “It is vital that we work with employers to give them the tools they need to meet their obligations,” Mr. Green said. “Our new online checking service will also turn up the pressure on those who wish to live and work here ille-

gally. The message is clear – the UK is no longer a soft touch for illegal workers.” To meet increased demand and provide foreign nationals with more locations around the UK where fingerprints and photographs can be taken, a contract for the collection of this information has been awarded to the Post Office Ltd. The contract will run for four years and Post Office Ltd will offer a network of around 100 locations from spring 2012.

A third of foreigners in EU overqualified for their jobs A third of foreigners in the European Union (EU) are overqualified for their jobs, a new report by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU shows. In 2010, foreign-born persons accounted for 9.4% of the EU27 population. The report shows that foreignborn persons often have more difficulties to find a job corresponding to their education level. In the EU27 in 2008, foreignborn persons aged 25-54 registered a significantly higher overqualification rate than native-born persons (34% compared with 19%) in all Member States for which data are available. The difference was particularly marked in Greece (62% for foreign-born compared with 18% for native-born), Italy (50% and 13%), Spain (58% and 31%), Cyprus (53% and 27%), Estonia (47% and 22%) and Sweden (31% and 11%). In 2008, the unemployment rate of foreign-born persons was higher than for native-born persons in all Member States for

which data are available, except Greece and H u n g a r y . Particularly high gaps were registered in Belgium (14% for foreignborn compared with 5% for native-born), Sweden (11% and 3%), Finland (11% and 5%), Spain (15% and 9%), France (12% and 6%) and Germany (12% and 6%). In 2008 in the EU27, 31% of the foreign-born persons were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The native-born registered a lower rate of 20%. This pattern was observed in all Member States for which data are available, except Hungary and Lithuania. Particularly high gaps were recorded in Belgium (36% for foreign-born compared with 13% for native born), Sweden (32% and 10%), Greece (45% and 23%), France (34% and 14%), Austria (32% and 13%),

©Dreamtime.com

The government plans to publish online the details contained on foreign workers’ Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs). From 29th February next year BRPs will be issued to more categories of foreign nationals, including refugees and those granted permission to settle in the UK. BRPs, which hold a person’s fingerprints and photograph on a secure chip, are issued to nonEEA nationals with permission to remain in the UK for more than six months. The UK Border Agency considers them an important step forward in the fight

“It is vital that we work with employers to give them the tools they need to meet their obligations. Our new online checking service will also turn up the pressure on those who wish to live and work here illegally. The message is clear – the UK is no longer a soft touch for illegal workers”

Finland (31% and 13%) and Denmark (31% and 13%). The report further reveals that foreign-born persons were in a less favourable situation with regard to housing conditions. In 2008 in the EU27, foreign-born persons were more likely to live in overcrowded dwellings than native-born persons (23% compared with 19%). The differences were particularly high in Austria (40% for foreign-born compared with 9% for native born), Greece (49% and 26%), Slovenia (61% and 41%), France (26% and 8%) and Denmark (21% and 6%).


CURRENT AFFAIRS

No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

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Report: Systematic policies hinder refugee protection

European governments actively hinder refugee arrivals, a report by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has revealed. The report also confirmed that these deplorable practices are not limited to Europe but are rapidly becoming the norm throughout Asia and Africa. “Sixty years after the formal adoption of the 1951 UN refugee convention, many governments are still inventing new excuses to justify the closure of their borders to

asylum seekers instead of working to find durable solutions to forced displacement. This approach leads to tremendous human suffering while ignoring the universal obligation to protect the fundamental human rights of forced migrants,” said JRS International Director, Peter Balleis SJ. The Jesuit Refugee Service has urged states to respond swiftly to all migrants and refugees in distress at sea and offer all those apprehended, including at land borders, access to procedures to determine whether they are in need of international protection. The organization has also urged states

to end the practice of forcibly removing sibility for refugees than do developed migrants to third countries where their nations – have sought to prevent more dishuman rights cannot be effectively protect- placed persons from crossing their borders. ed. For instance, Kenya has repeatedly closed The experience of one Eritrean refugee, its borders with Somalia to refugees fleeing published in the “Safe and Secure: How do conflict, exposing refugees to arbitrary Refugees Experience Europe’s Borders?” arrests, beatings and other human rights report, is far too familiar. The boat on violations, including forced deportations. which he was fleeing was intercepted by “We call on European and other indusGreek state officials, who then confiscated trialised states to help developing nations the engine and abandoned its occupants. hosting disproportionate populations of Although he was rescued by fishermen, forced migrants. This could be achieved, at more than 15,000 other people have lost least in part, by resettling more refugees to their lives trying to reach safety in Europe richer nations and by allocating more techsince 1994. Countless others face risks of nical and financial resources to poorer host other serious human rights violations, as countries,” Fr. Balleis said. recent events in Libya have shown. Even those who make it to Europe cannot be considered safe. Research demon“Sixty years after the formal adopstrates that the EU policy of returning asylum seekers to the tion of the 1951 UN refugee conmember state of first entry overvention, many governments are looks wide variations in national asylum practices in terms of still inventing new excuses to justify the closure of their borders to quality, access and safeguards. Consequently, many refugees asylum seekers instead of working risk abuse, and may be returned, directly or indirectly, to their to find durable solutions to forced countries of origin – in viola- displacement. This approach leads tion of international refugee and to tremendous human suffering human rights law. Numerous states in the Asia while ignoring the universal obliPacific region routinely engage gation to protect the fundamental in illegal practices denying human rights of forced migrants” forced migrants access to their territories and expelling those arrivals without considering Fr. Peter Balleis SJ., their asylum claims. Jesuit Refugee Service In recent years, many International Director African countries – which continue to bear far more respon-

Too many pregnant women held at Yarl’s Wood Too many pregnant women were held at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire, a new report shows. Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, said in the report of an announced inspection of Yarl’s Wood in July that pregnant women “who should only have been held in exceptional circumstances, were detained in the centre.” Inspectors also found that the number of female staff was too low with men sometimes left in sole charge of units at night. It was difficult for detainees to get advice about their cases, the report shows. The detainees also had insufficient contact with immigration staff based at the centre. “The overall length of time detainees had spent in different establishments was not recorded and one was released during the inspection after spending almost three years in detention,” the report says. Healthcare staff poorly understood and badly completed rule 35 reports (requiring notification to the UKBA if a detainee’s health is likely to be injuriously affected by

detention, including if they may have been but well-regarded welfare officer and supMr. Hardwick said: “Yarl’s Wood is a the victim of torture). port team provided practical assistance to unique facility dealing with sometimes “Some other vulnerable detainees, women and helped to prepare them for very vulnerable women at a difficult time including those with disabilities, were release or removal. of their lives. Nevertheless, this inspection under-identified, and there was insufficient The report also discovered little evi- found evidence of some significant provision for older detainees,” says the dence of bullying while women at risk of improvements. However, concerns remain, report. suicide or self-harm were generally well particularly about how the needs of vulner021211_150.8x69_TTX_Afro_0037_en.ai 1 02/12/2011 11:21:52 The report also shows that Yarl’s Wood cared for. able women are met.” has improved in most areas. Most detainees said T-TALK there were sufficient International Calls from your mobile activities to fill their time; the amount of work available had improved and some led to qualifications. Residential units Same rates 24/7 ! and rooms were clean Use your existing pay and comfortable, and monthly or PAYG SIM. health care was generFor more details visit ally satisfactory. www.auracall.com/afro Many detainees told inspectors that they were treated with respect by staff. Helpline: 020 8497 4622 An over-stretched

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10

No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

COVER

“Meet The Adebanjos” given prime-time slot on Vox Africa TV “The response has been amazing,” said “Meet the Adebanjos”, an independently produced Black Ms. Odutuyo. “People can’t get enough of British TV sitcom will be on air this fresh new comedy.” The sitcom has received positive this Christmas season. From 9th December 2011, Vox Africa TV will be airing the new episodes of the series every Friday at 6.30pm and 8.30pm. “Meet The Adebanjos” features a cast of loud and unforgettable characters, and highlights the comical family dynamics that take place when traditional African/ ethnic parents raise British-born children. These families exist all over the UK, yet remain unrepresented on mainstream television. Fans of this unique Black British sitcom should prepare for a real treat with a Christmas and New Year double episode special. “Meet The Adebanjos” initially launched online last June, managing to attract half a million viewers. Loyal fans have been demanding to see more of the infectious Black family. “Meet The Adebanjos” has been produced by South London-based MTA Productions – the dynamic production team created by Mr. Andrew Osayemi, a former trader, and Ms. Debra Odutuyo, a TV producer. The online popularity has made “Meet The Adebanjos” win three awards: BEFFTA Awards (Best WebSeries), NEL Awards (Best TV Program) and a Zaffa Award (Appreciation Award).

reviews from many newspapers, radios and televisions. “After five years of pitching this show to TV Networks I never gave up on my dream,” Ms. Odutuyo said. “After countless rejections, I resolved not to give up on my dream by spending the last two years doing everything I possibly could do to raise money to film eight episodes. I eventually raised enough money from private investors to produce a broadcast quality show.” Mr. Osayemi and Ms. Odutuyo have succeeded to beat the system by independently creating a very popular sitcom after many mainstream broadcasters in the UK rejected their idea. They used the internet and social media – Facebook, YouTube and www. MeetTheAdebanjos.com – to directly reach their target audience. On 26th June 2011, at least 100,000 viewers watched online the first episode of “Meet The Adebanjos”. Mr. Osayemi and Ms. Odutuyo urged fans and supporters to get firmly behind the movement and spread the word about “Meet The Adebanjos” far and wide, convinced that time had come to place quality independent British content firmly on the map of UK television. “Meet The Adebanjo’s” is more than just a show, though – it’s a movement. The

show’s makers want to let the UK’s TV establishment know that the market for British TV is strong, vibrant and hungry for content that speaks about a unique British experience. T h e s e young Africans have always believed that the more views the show gets, the more commercial advertisers will be attracted to invest in advertising in quality independent online sitcoms. “It is overwhelming to see how much of a household name the show has become,” Ms. Odutuyo said. “Meet The Adebanjos”, she added, “is proof that with a good concept, great comedy and an eager audience independent

online shows can become successful TV shows.” Prepare to laugh while watching the Adebanjos family on Vox Africa.

Interview with Andrew Osayemi, Executive Producer of “Meet The Adebanjos”

We’ll make Black British Family shows popular Andrew, you and Debra have managed to produce “Meet The Adebanjos” without support from the mainstream broadcasters and succeeded to use the social network to directly reach the audience. Your sitcom is now on Sky in the UK. Looking back at what you’ve gone through to produce and publicise the first episodes of the sitcom, what are some of the main lessons you’ve learnt in the process? I have learnt that things take time and you have to be determined and focused if you want to achieve your dreams. When we first started this we thought it was going to be easy – but in fact it’s been totally opposite. It’s been really tough and lots of sacrifices have had to be made and that’s where having a good team is very important. I am blessed in having a Co-Founder in Debra who is so determined

and resilient in making the show a success that it inspires the rest of the team!

been picked up by Vox Africa this December.

How do you feel now that the sitcom is on Sky?

Apart from the UK, will “Meet The Adebanjos” be on air in other countries?

I feel good that everyone can now enjoy the full season of the show. The fact that on Christmas and Boxing Day there will be a Black British family alternative on TV for the first time in a decade is very positive. We were at a conference last month and a father came up to me and said that this show brings himself and his children together in a way no other show does on TV. That made us very proud of the impact it has had and we hope there will be more instances like this, this December. The African channels were very supportive in the summer in particular Ben TV, OHTV and Vox Africa in promoting the show and now we are happy that the full season has

The response from TV stations around the world has been fantastic. When we released the show online the show went viral with it being viewed all over the world. As a result TV Networks began to contact us especially TV channels in Africa as this genre – British African was something completely new to them and they were blown away with what they saw. We have just signed a deal with New Vision Group in Uganda to start airing the show right away. We have signed a deal with Silverbird TV – one of Nigeria’s major TV Networks to start airing the show in January. We have completed a deal with Dish Network in the US for the

show to start airing this Christmas. And many other deals from TV Networks across the world are in the pipeline – Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, Gambia to name a few. Please share with us something about the new episodes and what the audience should expect. Let’s just say there is going to be more mischief from Aunty Funke and that you will see more characters being introduced. Each episode has an underlying positive message which through laughter will help bring Black families in the UK together. Do you plan to make “Meet The Adebanjos” a long TV series? Yes – we are already in pre production for season 2. It’s going to be bigger and


COVER

No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

11

same and we simply don’t have time for them. Comments like ‘we would prefer if the mum was white’, ‘two parents living together is boring’, ‘come and work for us instead’, etc. In the UK we get so preoccupied by “Mainstream”. Why does this happen? People spend their whole lives chasing UK mainstream acceptance forgetting that the real mainstream is in Africa where you can reach 1 billion people! So people end up being depressed and frustrated rather than seek the opportunity that exists elsewhere. The world is our oyster and we need to get out of the brainwashed system that UK establishment can put you under.

That you can shoot eight episodes for less than the price it costs them to do one episode, LOL.

“I feel good that everyone can now enjoy the full season of the show. The fact that on Christmas and Boxing Day there will be a Black British family alternative on TV for the first time in a decade is very positive”

What would you like to tell the mainstream media as far as black productions are concerned?

Mr. Andrew Osayemi, Executive Producer of “Meet The Adebanjos”

Do you think the mainstream broadcasters have learnt anything from your experience?

There is more to guns, gangs and council estates. But also we as black people can’t always be complaining and waiting for someone else to do it. We can all stand up and make a difference and there are a lot of people out there who are doing that and we need to support them. Many people with bright ideas like yours most often fail to implement them because of lack of sponsors. What’s your message to them? better than before! There is a demand for shows like this from all over the world and we aim to be a production company that produces premium Black British Sitcoms which are very few at the moment.

fill it by creating quality programs that people love.

Do you have plans of coming up with a new production? If yes, will it also be a Black British sitcom?

Yes a few episodes will be online as that is what made us.

I can’t go too much into it but the answer is yes! We don’t hide it or try to dress it up. We are focused on making Black British Family shows as popular as African American family shows are around the world. There is a big gap and we aim to

Will it still be possible to watch the sitcom online?

What type of reactions have you so far received from the mainstream broadcasters? They have all been positive by UK mainstream. They are just amazed by what we have done but the excuses are still the

saying it’s easy and that you will make it but at least you would have tried something different from the norm. Any other comments? We wanna thank The AfroNews and the whole community for their support in making “Meet The Adebanjos” a success! We could not have done it without you and we really appreciate your support. We will endeavour to not let you the public down and create more Black family entertainment for you to enjoy. Please watch the season on Vox Africa and don’t forget to get someone a special Edition DVD boxset as a gift this Christmas from our online shop - http://shop.meettheadebanjos.com.

Sponsorship is not the only way to make it in this business. Sometimes you gotta change the model you use to make it work – we released online and then went straight to DVD! Just because the “mainstream” tell you it’s one way does not mean you can’t try to do it another way. By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a The world is truly our oyster. Africa is developing at an amazing “MEET THE ADEBANJOS” rate and there is so much opportunity out there in terms of media OFFICIAL LINK and TV. So stop looking at UK as the only option and widen your hori- www.MeetTheAdebanjos.com zon if you want to make it. I’m not


No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

THE GUIDE

13

Are you one of millions of people owed thousands of pounds?

According to Martin Lewis of Moneysavingexpert.com, the financial website, “it is not unfeasible that more than five million people are eligible.” Meanwhile, The Times reported that 16.1 million policies have been sold since 1995, and of those that do make a claim for compensation, the average payout is £2,750. Are you one of them? If so, do not delay in claiming back what is rightfully yours...

What is Payment Protection Insurance? Also described as ‘Accident, Sickness and Unemployment’, PPI was sold to cover loan, credit card and mortgage payments for customers who became unable to work or had lost their jobs.

That makes sense, so what’s wrong with it? The way in which it was sold (or rather, mis-sold) meant that millions were unaware that they even had a policy, and so were paying thousands of pounds for cover that they did not agree to. Millions of policies were also unsuitable for the people that bought them – because of terms and conditions that were not explained to them. Another common example of mis-selling was customers being told that they had to take out PPI in order to get the loan or credit card they wanted (they didn’t...).

That sounds terrible, how long’s it been going on for? The Times reported that 16.1 million policies have been sold since 1995. Citizens Advice made a super complaint about how PPI was being mis-sold in 2005 and since then there has been

a rapidly growing number of claims for compensation, and complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). By 2009 the FOS was dealing with more than 800 complaints a week. Latest reports say it is now receiving more than 5,000 every week.

©Dreamtime.com

There’s been a lot of coverage in the news recently about ‘PPI’ (the English abbreviation for Payment Protection Insurance). It has been described as one of the biggest financial scandals in the UK history, but unlike some of the other recent scandals to make the news, this does not concern the super-rich but potentially anyone who has ever had a loan, credit card or mortgage, or has bought anything on credit.

How much could I claim back? The Times reported that the average compensation is worth £2,750. At Hamilton Brady, the single largest claim we have experienced is £35,000 on a mortgage PPI – that was one very happy customer!

How do I know if I have PPI? Check through all your credit card or loan documents carefully. If you cannot find them, you can request a copy from your lender for a fee of £10 using a Subject Access Request (SAR).

I think I have PPI – how do I claim? Contact your lender directly and make a clear written complaint. They have 8 weeks to respond following which you can apply to the Financial Ombudsman – go to www.financialombudsman.org.uk. Alternatively please contact Hamilton Brady who can manage your claim from beginning to end including the Subject Access Request – we do not charge you a fee until we have successfully completed your claim.

So why has this been in the news so much? It’s a long story – are you sitting comfortably? Since the super complaint by Citizens Advice in 2005, the banks have been heavily criticised in various reports by the Office of Fair Trading, the Financial Services Authority, the Financial Ombudsman Service, and the Competition Commission. Yet they refused to admit they had done anything wrong and even continued to reject many legitimate complaints by dissatisfied customers. This eventually led to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) issuing instructions to the banks in 2010 for them to improve the way they were handling complaints about PPI. In a move so brazen it left onlookers gasping for breath, the banks to-

ok the FSA to court in October 2010 to challenge these instructions. They then used the court case as an excuse to stop paying out on complaints for seven months.

What happened in court? Thankfully the judge threw out their claim. This was announced to the public on 20th April 2011. The banks had until 10th May 2011 to appeal against the court decision. Quite unbelievably (or not actually, if you’d been observing their behaviour to date), they were seriously contemplating doing so. Then Lloyds TSB announced on 5th May that it was withdrawing from the legal action against the FSA. This was followed by Barclays and eventually the British Banker’s Association confirmed on Monday 9th May that it would be dropping the legal action entirely.

So what does this mean for my PPI claim? Your bank will now process it in due course according to the guidelines issued by the FSA.

Will I be getting my compensation soon? Unfortunately, the legal action by the banks means that there is a massive

backlog of complaints. This is why you should submit your claim as soon as possible to get into the queue.

How big is this ‘massive’ backlog exactly?

N o - o n e knows exactly but the Financial Ombudsman has received more than 200,000 complaints to date. To put it another way, Lloyds TSB alone has set aside more than £3 billion to pay off PPI compensation, and the total bill for the banks is reckoned to be more than £9 billion.

So it’s worth me checking to see if I have PPI then? In a word, yes. Good luck and don’t let them get away with your money. Contact us today at www.hamiltonbrady.co.uk for a free, no-obligation evaluation, and remember we do not charge a fee unless we have successfully completed your claim. By HAMILTON BRADY LTD, www.hamiltonbrady.co.uk Tel: 0844 873 6081 E-mail: info@hamiltonbrady.co.uk Address: Springfield House Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5BG Disclaimer: The above article is meant to be relied upon as an informative article and in no way constitutes legal advice. Information is offered for general information purposes only, based on the current law when the information was published in this newspaper. You should always seek advice from an appropriately qualified solicitor on any specific legal enquiry. For legal advice regarding your case, please contact Hamilton Brady for a Consultation with a Solicitor on 0844 873 608.

Get your latest immigration news on Your news, your guides, your concerns, your beauty, your recipes, your people. This one is all about you! www.foreignersinuk.co.uk

SPECIAL UK LEGAL GUIDE

Payment Protection Insurance (PPI)


14

No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

AFRICAN NEWS

AU’s commitment to fight against impunity questioned The African Union (AU) has been criticized for its ongoing failures to bring human rights abusers to justice. The winner of the 2011 Right Livelihood Award Jacqueline Moudeina from Chad, condemned the decision of the AU to transfer the case of the former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré from Belgium to Rwanda as an “outrage” which would entail many more years of waiting. Speaking at the Right Livelihood Award ceremony in Stockholm on 5th December 2011, Ms. Moudeina said: “This is yet another dilatory tactic by the AU, and calls into question the institution’s commitment to the fight against impunity. With a few exceptions, African leaders who say that they want to free themselves of the tutelage of international tribunals and the extradition requests of Western countries, are revealing that they form nothing more than a club of heads of states ensuring their own impunity.” Ms. Moudeina said that Africa has much to do in its fight against impunity. “On this continent, impunity is a cancer that, with its corollary disease corruption, has

“On this continent, impunity is a cancer that, with its corollary disease corruption, has infected our body politic and prevents us from realising our true potential” Ms. Jacqueline Moudeina, Winner of the 2011 Right Livelihood Award

infected our body politic and prevents us from realising our true potential,” she said. Ms. Moudeina, a prominent human rights lawyer, has been honoured for her fight to win justice for the victims of the former

Chadian dictator Habré. By winning the Right Livelihood Award – widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, Ms. Moudeina received a prize of €50,000 from the Right Livelihood Award Foundation.

One of the first women in Chad to practice law, Ms. Moudeina has received numerous death threats and survived an assassination attempt in her efforts to ensure that Mr. Habré’s crimes do not go unpunished. She is currently driving the case against the former dictator internationally and is calling on Senegal to extradite him to Belgium in order to obtain justice for his victims. “You only need to look at our struggle to bring to justice the former dictator of my country Hissène Habré, to understand that today, in the 21st century, more than sixty years after the

Nuremberg trials, it is sometimes easier to resort to oppression than to abide by the law, easier to commit violence than to deliver justice,” Ms. Moudeina said. “The challenge of our struggle, above and beyond the trial of one individual, is that of national union for a lasting peace in my country. Today, the trial of Hissène Habré and his accomplices would allow the Chadian people to begin, at last, the reconstruction of their country. And it is only at the end of this process that the Chadian people will be able to truly come together and enjoy a rebirth.”

UK’s money financed police repression in Zimbabwe Zimbabwe’s £210 million debt to the UK includes loans from Tony Blair’s government to Zimbabwe’s police force while they were engaged in internal repression, newly uncovered documents have revealed. Campaigners in Zimbabwe are calling for an audit of the country’s $7 billion debt to find out who did and did not benefit from the past loans. The Zimbabwean police were loaned money in the 1990s to buy 1,500 Land Rovers, backed by UK Export Finance (then known as the Export Credits Guarantee Department), a unit of the Department for Business. These loans continue to make-up £210 million of Zimbabwe’s debt to the UK. The evidence appears in a new report published by Jubilee Debt Campaign, the Zimbabwe Europe Network and Eurodad. The report, “Uncovering Zimbabwe’s debt” reveals for the first time the origin of much of Zimbabwe’s $7 billion debt. At least $750 million of debt comes directly from structural adjustment loans from the IMF, World Bank and African Development

Bank which lowered economic growth and increased unemployment. “Debt has played a key role in the tragedies that many Zimbabweans have suffered over the last twenty years,” Tim Jones, Policy Officer at Jubilee Debt Campaign and the report’s author, said. “Dodgy projects, debt repayments and failed economic policies contributed to economic decline. Lenders should help increase transparency and democracy by coming clean on where Zimbabwe’s debts come from.” The report also reveals the source of several other loans which continue to make-up some of Zimbabwe’s debt. Zimbabwe received loans from the World Bank for tree plantations to create fuel supplies. However, the World Bank failed to realise there was already plenty of wood available, and there was no economic return on the plantations. There were also loans from the Spanish government for the Zimbabwe government to buy Spanish military aircraft, and UK unspecified ‘aid’ loans which were tied to buying exports from British companies. Zimbabwe is currently in default on

many of its loans to the western world. Negotiations have begun on Zimbabwe entering the IMF and World Bank run debt relief process for poor countries. According to “Uncovering Zimbabwe’s debt”, this would trap Zimbabwe in further cycles of debt while keeping the questionable details of previous loans out of the public eye. Instead, the report backs the call for an audit of the debt which would show who did and did not benefit from the loans, and learn lessons for the future. The report calls for lenders such as the UK government to reveal where all the debt owed by Zimbabwe comes from, and signal they would support and cooperate with any debt audit held in Zimbabwe. “The evidence presented in this report illustrates why decisions about debt cancellation cannot be left to creditors,” Oygunn Brynildsen, policy officer of Eurodad, said. “Creditors have vested interests and cannot be trusted to judge on their own performance; not in Zimbabwe and not in other countries. Following a transparent audit, an independent debt court must be put in place to hold creditors to account for former reckless lending.”

Tor-Hugne Olsen, Co-ordinator of the Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN) said the debt problem has severely hampered Zimbabwe’s future recovery. “We call for a debt audit, which is crucial. A debt audit would establish the truth and thereby contribute to the achievement of reconciliation. Zimbabweans need to know who benefited financially during the years of oppression under Mugabe and Smith, during years which have left the majority of people impoverished. The massive debt that besets the country should not be the burden of the people who have suffered under these regimes,” he said.


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No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

CARIBBEAN NEWS

Grange: Young people need to be educated on sexual health Speaking at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Youth Conference held on 8th December at the University of the West Indies’ Mona campus, Miss Grange said it is important to empower young people to make healthy and wise decisions about sex, and to take responsibility for their actions, which can impact their development. “It is imperative that the supporting systems and conditions are in place for them to receive the information,” she said. She noted that the government has worked assiduously in that regard, particularly through the Ministry of Health’s National HIV/STI Control Programme. She also said that the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD) has been working in all parishes to ensure that sexual and reproductive health training is conducted. Special focus is placed on strengthening the capacity of youth leaders by training them as peer educators. “In this way, they are able to go back

“We need to move away from treating sexual and reproductive health as a specific focus and to integrate it into the broader youth development thrust” Miss. Olivia Grang, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture into their communities and share their knowledge and training with the other young people. The NCYD is also working to strengthen the youth empowerment officers through the (National) HIV/ STI programme, in targeting at-risk populations across parishes,” Miss Grange said. She noted however, that even as these actions are being undertaken, “we need to move away from treating sexual and reproductive health as a specific focus and to integrate it into the broader youth develop-

ment thrust.” Deputy Director for the UNFPA’s SubRegional Office for the Caribbean, Dr. Hernando Agudelo, said that there is a growing need for sexual education and sexual reproductive health services to meet the needs of young people. He noted that early sexual initiation with the resulting unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, are major concerns. Dr. Agudelo said evidence shows that

PNP: Stop verbal attacks against media The PNP said that the criticisms have been led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and former Information Minister Daryl Vaz. The opposition party condemned the sustained attacks as dangerous and unhealthy for democracy. The PNP’s Shadow Minister of Information, Sandrea Falconer said the sustained verbal attacks against the media, including the publicizing of private contact information for managers at one media house by the JLP’s youth arm G2K, are disturbing, and amount to harassment. “In the present climate of heightened political activities, such actions by politicians, who should know better, could incite acts of violence against media practitioners by misguided party supporters,” Ms. Falconer said in a statement.

a good example befitting his high office by respecting the independent role of the media. Free, dynamic media, she pointed out, are essential in any democracy. “We may not always agree with what the media practitioners write and broadcast, but they deserve to be allowed to do their work free from any potential danger and free from fear,” Ms. Falconer said. The PNP’s Shadow Minister of Information said Jamaica has made too much progress in facilitating the development of a free press to jeopardise such gains by Ms. Sandrea Falconer, PNP’s Shadow Minister of Information political inappropriateness. The previous PNP She urged politicians of all administration was very deliberpolitical parties to ventilate the ate in broadening the media landissues affecting the people of scape in Jamaica, Ms. Falconer Jamaica during the election cam- said, adding that this was done to paign, without resorting to public deepen democracy and facilitate and political tirades against the more choices and ultimately more media. information for the Jamaican Ms. Falconer called on the people. Prime Minister in particular to set

©PNP

The People’s National Party (PNP) has expressed concern at the continuing criticisms of sections of the media by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) officials.

when young people are equipped with accurate and relevant information and decision making, communication and critical thinking skills “they are better able to take advantage of educational and all opportunities that will impact their lifelong wellbeing.” The UNFPA Youth Conference was held under the theme: ‘Investing in young people: promoting reproductive health, rights and responsibilities’. The conference aimed to increase knowledge and awareness of sexual reproductive health, rights and responsibilities among young people in Jamaica; sensitise young people about the various policies and frameworks that exist to support and promote the health, education, and development of adolescents and youth; and to share good practices and interventions that address the health and educational needs of vulnerable young people.

©JIS

More work needs to be done in educating young people about sexual and reproductive health, Jamaica’s Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, has said.

By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter

JPS to build 360MW modern plant The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has been given the green light by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), to construct a 360MW Combined Cycle modern plant. A release from the OUR said that the regulatory agency has awarded the JPS the right to complete the plant by mid-2014, as part of a project to supply up to 480 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity for the country. The OUR noted that the project, which will be one of the largest private sector investments to be made in Jamaica to modernize and upgrade the electricity sector, will form the basis for the reduction in the electricity tariffs and growth in the productive sector. “Following the issuance of a Request for Proposals from the OUR, the JPS on April 29 2011, emerged as the sole bidder to supply new Generating Capacity of up to 480MW net to the national grid on a Build Own and Operate Basis (BOO),” the OUR explained. “This new capacity shall be base-load, and is intended for the displacement of approxi-

mately 292 MW of aged plants, with the remainder to provide for load growth.” The JPS had announced earlier this year that it will invest over US$500 million in modernizing, and make more efficient, its operations in Jamaica. JPS said that the investment will amount to more than half of its total assets, but would translate into lower cost of electricity generation and lower costs to its customers. The company also said that, over the next five years, it aims to improve the quality of its customer service and customer satisfaction, improve operational efficiency, reduce system losses and modernise its units. JPS currently generates 68 per cent of Jamaica’s electricity power, the remainder being supplied to the company by smaller energy partners, including Jamaica Energy Partners, Wigton Wind Farms and Jamaica Broilers. However, with the investment in alternative energy sources, including wind and hydro as part of its modernisation process, the dependence on oil based energy should decrease in coming years and with it the cost of electricity to customers. By Balford Henry, JIS Editor


No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

ENTERTAINMENT

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Afrobeats Mixtape Volume 1

DJ Abrantee releases debut Mixtape DJ Abrantee, Choice FM’s Golden boy has launched his “Afrobeats Mixtape Volume 1.” The new release features 32 tracks from some of the UK’s and Africa’s biggest Afrobeat artists including Tinchy Stryder, Chipmunk, Lethal B, PSquare, Wizkid, Iceprince, May7ven, Atumpan and many others. With most reputable DJs now including an Afrobeats set in their clubs, this mixtape will certainly make its way in their mixes with exclusive unreleased tracks, exclusive remixes including specials from some of the biggest names in Afrobeats music. Signed to SR Entertainment, DJ Abrantee is the “DRIVE TIME” Presenter & DJ on London’s No.1 Urban Radio Station, Choice FM. He is often described as entertaining, energetic, charismatic and witty. DJ Abrantee has a clear vision to introduce Afrobeats music to the UK market and mainstream arena.

DJ ABRANTEE’S LINKS www.abrantee.com www.twitter.com/djabrantee

His Afrobeats show has proved immensely popular since its first air-date in April 2011. DJ Abrantee has set trends on Twitter and subsequently taken the UK Clubs by storm in recent months with his sold out Afrobeats UK & Ireland Tour. His “Afrobeats Mixtape Volume 1” is a combination of his pioneering ideas, vision and music, and full of the very best Afrobeats music ever heard on these shores. “I feel very blessed, excited and honored to be able to finally release my very first Afrobeats mixtape. It is certainly one of my proudest achievements to date. Producing the mixtape was just an idea that has now finally materialised in this format for the world’s listening pleasure. So yes I am very excited and thankful for the opportunity,” DJ Abrantee told The AfroNews. MOBO Founder Kanya King has Tweeted about DJ Abrantee’s show. Popular footballers Asamoah Gyan, Emmanuel Frimpong, Emmanuel Adebayo to name a few are his fans while Hip Hop superstars Rick Ross and Fabulous have requested DJ Abrantee to host their concerts. DJ Abrantee’s popularity knows no end.

“I feel very blessed, excited and honored to be able to finally release my very first Afrobeats mixtape. It is certainly one of my proudest achievements to date. Producing the mixtape was just an idea that has now finally materialised in this format for the world’s listening pleasure. So yes I am very excited and thankful for the opportunity” DJ Abrantee

‘Stain Dem’, new dance made in Jamaica Stain Dem Family, a new Jamaican group is set to introduce a new choreographed dance move called ‘Stain Dem’. Stain Dem Family is not the usual group found in the Entertainment industry where musicians blend vocals, harmonies and melodies to create a sound. This group instead, blends talents with each member contributing individual skills and unique qualities to produce and promote successful events throughout their Duhaney Park community and across Kingston. The popularity of the group has much to do with the success of each member’s personal achievements. Suh Sick the DJ is the vibes master and gets party goers into frenzy while Gabre the selector rocks the house and Dwayne Stephenson ‘Stain’ the Dancer is recognized in the Dancehall for his ability to skilfully and energetically articulate a Dance move. Dwayne said that he specifically created the ‘Stain Dem’ “after realizing that many of the current moves are unfavourable to the average person” because they are either stigmatized or simply too complicated and sometimes inappropriate for

“Stain Dem Dance is an easy move where the individual sways and rocks the body to the left and right while swinging the arms to any beat” Dwayne Stephenson ‘Stain’

certain events. “Stain Dem” he said, “is an easy move where the individual sways and rocks the body to the left and right while swinging the arms to any beat.” Confident about his career choice and looking to go much further, Dwayne ‘Stain’ has now hit the street with the new dance. “Promotion is key, so I have to be out there dancing so that people become familiar with the move. It is also important that they know who created it,” said Stain. The ‘Stain Dem’ dance has already gone viral among fans, well wishers

and the many party fans Dwayne ‘Stain’ has introduced it to. Now the plan is to have the Jamaican Entertainment Industry favour the move. “It’s going to take much work and this might not be the one but could very well be the break I need to excel in this business,” said a smiling ‘Stain’.

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No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

COMMENTARY-OP-ED

Follow your Path There are many voices out there telling us who we should, or should not be. Those loud voices try to manipulate our minds in order to have us follow the generally acceptable ways of the majority. Yet, true success is not nearly as complicated as we have made it look.

rather than later) we must learn how to make our own choices and follow God’s heart, even if it means going against the heart of our parents, friends or against the general solutions accepted as reasonable by the society. People who follow the crowd are bound to get lost in the crowd. If you put your trust in the system you will be bound by its limitations (economy, education, skin True success is nothing else, but under- colour, cultural situations). Too many peostanding and fulfilling one’s destiny. The ple rise only to become an “ex”, not knowman with the divine beauty and passion is ing success can only be as lasting as its the one who is truly alive. Some of us source. Education can get out-dated, fashallowed our parents to choose our path for ion and trends may change. us. Maybe because we believed they knew There will always be someone smarter, what’s best for us, or we didn’t want to go more beautiful and more-something than against their will, or simply because we you. Yet, if you continually rely on the saw no other option available. Family tra- insight of the Mind, which does not fail dition may be, but may also not be the way you will never become a yesterday’s man, forward. Children do not belong to their or woman. To be truly free and not limited parents. At some point in life (better sooner by others, or circumstances we need to follow the Maker. Only there, nothing is imposSEND US YOUR LETTERS sible. A joyful life needs courage to go after the quiet whisper inside We welcome letters on topical issues, your experione’s heart… ences, and or any article you have read in the Knowing who you AfroNews. Letters, not exceeding 600 words, must are is essential. Knowing include your full name (not necessarily for publicawho you aren’t is part of tion), address and telephone numbers for verificathat knowing. By getting tion. Letters may be edited for publication. to know the Mind of God, you are getting to E-mail: afronews@myownmedia.co.uk know yourself. “In the

beginning was the Word”, so start there. Ask for wisdom and for an outline of your destiny, and then pray for strength to stay on your path. That path is the only place where you can be safe and fulfilled. Take care of your beautiful mind. Keep it beautiful through a good spiritual education. The thoughts of today will create your tomorrow. Heed that red light in The Book and within your heart, which is there for protection. Have courage to go against the crowd, or against the circumstances where necessary; and having the Spirit of Life inside you – dare to dream big – understand that the possibilities are unlimited and you can decide your destiny. Be fearless when you know you are on the right path; and go after eternal success, which begins on Earth - in the heart of a man, or a woman. Be born again…

“True success is nothing else, but understanding and fulfilling one’s destiny. The man with the divine beauty and passion is the one who is truly alive. Some of us allowed our parents to choose our path for us. Maybe because we believed they knew what’s best for us, or we didn’t want to go against their will, or simply because we saw no other option available” Monika Ribeiro

By Monika Ribeiro

RECIPE

Basbousa

Basbousa is a sweet cake made of a semolina or farina soaked in syrup. Coconut is a popular addition. The syrup may also optionally contain orange flower water or rose water. It is found in the cuisines of the Eastern Mediterranean under a variety of names. It appears to be a variant of the Egyptian dish ma’mounia. In southern Greece, it is called ravani, while in the north, it is called revani. It is a traditional dessert in Veria. Basbousa is often called “Hareesa” in the Maghreb and Alexandria.

Ingredients Syrup • 2 cups sugar • 2 cups water • 1 whole lemon • 3 teaspoons honey

Basbousa • 3 cups semolina • 1 cup flour • 1½ teaspoons baking powder • 1 cup sugar • 1 cup oil • 1 cup milk

Directions Syrup 1. Peel the lemon with a potato peeler to get flat strips of peel. 2. Juice the lemon.

3. Bring the sugar, water, and lemon juice to a boil. 4. Throw in the rind of the lemon. 5. Boil until the lemon rind is hard or the mixture is a runny syrup consistency. 6. Add the honey. 7. Set aside while you make the Basbousa.

Basbousa 1. Mix the semolina, flour, sugar, and baking powder. 2. Add the oil and mix until all the batter is well blended. 3. Grease a large cookie sheet tray (10 x 16 inches). 4. Add the milk just before you are about to bake. 5. Dot the mixture into the greased pan by spoonfuls. 6. Level the mixture with your hand (dipped in milk). 7. Shake the tray to level. 8. Bake for ½ hour at 350°F. 9. Cut into squares and return to the oven for 5 – 10 minutes. 10. Pour the syrup over the Basbousa immediately after you remove it from the oven. By Recipe Safari, http://recipesafari.blogspot. com/


No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

LIFESTYLE & RELIGION

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HPA: 5% of TB patients don’t complete treatment Five per cent of TB patients in the UK don’t complete the full treatment for their infection, a new report released by Health Protection Agency (HPA) shows. The HPA’s Annual TB Report 2011 also reveals that 8,483 new cases of TB were reported in the UK in 2010 - a decrease of 4.9 per cent from 2009 when there were 8,917 cases. London continues to account for the highest proportion of cases in the UK with almost 40 per cent of the cases, followed by the West Midlands with 11 per cent. The disease is mainly concentrated in certain urban areas. Sixty per cent of TB cases in the UK occurred in young adults aged 15-44 years old and over half (57 per cent) were male. New initiatives like the ‘Find and Treat’ service in London, have increased the proportion of patients completing treatment. TB is treatable with a six month course of antibiotics, but, if the full course is not completed, the infection may linger and can develop resistance to the antibiotics used to treat it. Failure to complete

treatment also contributes towards onward transmission putting other people, particularly close family contacts, at risk. “While the decline we are seeing in the incidence of tuberculosis after nearly two

decades of increasing rates is are in close contact with as they may encouraging, we’ll need to remain infectious,” Dr. Abubakar said. assess the trends over the He said there was need of increased next few years to see wheth- efforts to ensure that all diagnosed with the er this is a true reversal,” Dr. infection finish their treatment. “Efforts Ibrahim Abubakar, head of need to be made to target high risk groups TB surveillance at the HPA such as immigrants from countries with a said. “In the meantime efforts high burden of TB, homeless persons, to strengthen TB control problem drug users and prisoners,” Dr. should be continued and we Abubakar said. should not become complaTB is an infection caused by bacteria. It cent. The key to reducing usually affects the lungs, but can also levels of TB is early diagno- affect other parts of the body. It is spread sis and appropriate treatment. from person to person when someone who TB is a preventable and treat- has TB of the lungs coughs or sneezes. able condition but, if left Only some people with TB in the lungs are untreated, can be life threat- infectious to other people and even then, ening.” close and prolonged contact is needed to Dr. Abubakar said they be at risk of being infected. were concerned that five per Any of the following symptoms may cent of patients still don’t suggest TB: fever and night sweats; persiscomplete their treatment. tent cough; losing weight; and blood in “Patients who do not finish your sputum (phlegm or spit) at any time. the full six month course of treatment risk developing a drugSIGNS OF TB resistant form of TB infection that is much more difficult to treat • Fever and night sweats successfully. People • Persistent cough who remain untreated are not only • Losing weight jeopardising their own health and • Blood in your sputum (phlegm or wellbeing but also those people they spit) at any time

Holy See becomes Member State of IOM The Holy See has become a member State of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM-OIM). The OIM was established in 1951 and bases its activities on the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits both migrants and society. It has 130 member States and around 100 observers, including States and non-governmental organisations. Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi C.S., Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations at Geneva, told the Vatican Radio that “as we are witnessing a continuous increase in the number of migrants and refugees in the world, it is important for us to be present and to participate in the efforts of the international community with the specific contribution of the Holy See.” He said that the Holy See’s ethical voice would give a fresh interpretation to issues affecting migrants. Archbishop Tomasi

recalled how the Church has always been in the frontline in helping migrants, through a broad network of Catholic organisa-

tions. For this reason, he said, “collaboration with the structures of the international community is a logical operative step helping us to make our service even more effective.” Archbishop “As we are witnessing a Tomasi said continuous increase in the Ecclesiastical structures “serve all people number of migrants and irrespecrefugees in the world, it is generously, tive of their religious important for us to be pres- faith, colour or legal status. What counts is ent and to participate in beings and the efforts of the interna- human their dignity, and this tional community with the is often at risk in the specific contribution of the situations of marginality which arise as peoHoly See” ple move from one country to another seeking work or new Archbishop Silvano M. forms of survival”. Tomasi, The Church’s ethical contribution will, Holy See Permanent then, focus on “the Observer to the UN at defence of human Geneva beings and their dignity,” he said.

Church of England welcomes £10m Government green fund The Church of England (CofE) has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a new £10 million Local Energy Assessment Fund which gives community groups, including churches, a chance to bid for money. The new Fund, announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), will provide grants for around 200 community organisations, including churches, to undertake energy efficiency projects and renewable energy generation in their area. David Shreeve, the Church of England’s national environment adviser said that with a Christian presence in every community, the CofE’s churches are perfectly placed to house local energy efficiency projects. “It is good news that DECC consider churches and other faith groups as vital parts of the local community. The deadline

for application and delivery is tight but many churches are currently considering ways of harnessing renewable energy for their buildings and this may just be the spur they need.” There is around £50,000 available for each successful community to be used to help assess the potential for energy efficiency and local renewable energy generation and get things started in their area. This is a short-term scheme where work will need to be completed by end of March 2012. Interested communities can apply via the Energy Saving Trust and money will be allocated in two rounds. The first round closes at noon on 22nd December 2011 with successful applicants notified in the week beginning 9th January 2012. The second round will close to applications at noon on 20th January 2012 with successful communities notified at the end January.


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The AfroNews No. 30. 13th - 19th December 2011