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No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 I Tel. 020 7300 7320; 020 7300 7321; 07846062331 I Email: afronews@myownmedia.co.uk

BARAC: All workers deserve decent pension

Be authentic and original

page 4

High profile speakers discuss Africa’s development in London page 3

Musician Saba Anglana’s forthcoming LP to support AMREF’s work in Kenya pages 10 - 11

Stage set for Miss Jamaica UK Beauty Pageant page 6

THE GUIDE Claims management companies

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly page 13

Misha B defeated, or isn’t she? page 17

IOM: Listen to migrants’ voices New report calls for constructive debate on migration

page 9

Get your latest immigration news on Your news, your guides, your concerns, your beauty, your recipes, your people.

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Western Union joins forces with global music artists to make people’s days better. Tell us how you would make someone’s day better and you could win the equivalent of $1000 to make it happen. Log on to worldofbetters.com


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No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

WHERE ACTION IS

Christmas concert

London Community Gospel Choir to perform at Jazz Cafe The London Community Gospel Choir came from modest beginnings in 1982. It was founded by the Reverend Bazil Meade with the help of Delroy Powell, Lawrence Johnson, and John Francis as Britain’s first concert gospel choir. It has since matured into a legacy of 25 years, to become an inspiring worldwide phenomenon. As the Reverend Meade explained: “We were formed from those who were passionate about their faith and were willing to take gospel music into venues that many churches, at that time dared not enter. “The idea of an inter-denominational choir was something totally new to the church community. It took a while before we were able to convince them that we were not forming a new church and stealing their young people away! We knew this was a vision that God had given us and that inspired us to keep going despite the

©LCGC

With their vision of soulful, traditional gospel, energetic and funky arrangements, The London Community Gospel Choir will perform at The Jazz Cafe, Camden, London, on 22nd and 23rd December 2011.

controversy which surrounded us.” The popular London Community Gospel Choir has performed at Kensington Palace and on Channel Four’s programme: ‘Black on Black’. The Choir has won a number of awards for their contribution to the UK music scene including The Mayor of London’s, The Lifetime Achievement Award, the BBC Gospel Music Awards for the Most Outstanding Contribution and the BBC

A New Orleans Style Christmas Story on vocals and fellow New Orleans star drummer, Jason Marsalis. The evening promises to be the “hottest Christmas” ever!

Multi-talented New Orleans trumpeter and vocalist, Abram Wilson brings a fresh take on Christmas with original New Orleans flavoured music. Expect to be enlightened with shades of poetic storytelling in between an exciting presentation of compositions that bump, holler, and sing the most passionate blues and the strongest swing. Joining him are Jamaica’s own, Myrna Hague

A NEW ORLEANS STYLE CHRISTMAS STORY Date: 17th December 2011 Time: 8:00pm Venue: London Kings Place/Hall One 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG Tickets: £14.50, £19.50, £24.50, £29.50, £34.50 + bkg Tel: 020 7520 1490

Gospel Music Awards for the Best Choir. The London Community Gospel Choir organises regular workshops across the UK through their educational arm - British Gospel Arts to provide music programmes within schools, community organisations, colleges and universities. The aim is provide workshops in song-writing, performance preparation, gospel singing, establish a new choir or develop an established choir’s repertoire. The Gospel music spe-

cialists have run workshops for over ten years working with adults and children of all ages and abilities. The British Gospel Arts tailor workshops to suit each community market and genre of music required including Caribbean Spirituals, Contemporary British Black Gospel and African-American Spirituals. The workshops aim to develop an understanding of the chosen genre from origins, rhythm, singing, developing lead vocals with choral arrangements through to performance. The London Community Gospel Choir organises annual auditions for voluntary members who are practicing Christians and belong to a church. All entrants must be of a high vocal standard, attend regular rehearsals with a solid knowledge of Gospel music and performance. To see The London Community Gospel Choir festive performance at The Jazz Cafe, you can purchase tickets which are priced from £20 at http://venues.meanfiddler.com/jazz-cafe/full-listings/featuredgigs/4357. If you wish to be considered for the 2012 auditions to become a main choir or session singer with The London Community Gospel Choir, you can find further information at www.lcgc.org.uk. By Amanda Hall-Davis

New Theatre Revival for “Death and the Maiden” Ariel Dorfman’s revival of “Death and the Maiden” has returned to the London stage 20 years since it first premiered in 1991 at The Royal Court Theatre. This powerful, harrowing thriller stars Thandie Newton as Pauline Salas, a former political prisoner who was raped by a doctor whose face she never saw. She becomes tormentor as a stranger appears with the same voice and characteristics. Set in Chile, post Pinochet, married woman Salas takes matters into her own hands to the dismay of her human-rights lawyer (Tom Goodman-Hill) hus-

band as he witnesses her inflict the pain and terror on the doctor. She is a woman who desires her ultimate revenge of torturing and extracting a confession of crime

from the Dr. Roberto Miranda (Anthony Calf) who she firmly believes tortured her as a political prisoner. This Olivier Award winning play is directed by Jeremy Herrin, Associate Director of the Royal Court. It is showing at The Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London. Tickets are priced from £15 upwards and the play runs until 21st January 2012. For further information and to book tickets, please visit www.haroldpintertheatre.co.uk. Amanda Hall-Davis

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: Chinwe Ojielo, Amanda Hall-Davis, Joseph Spencer and Pauline Long. 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


No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

COMMUNITY

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TEDxEuston event

High profile speakers discuss Africa’s development in London A stellar line-up of speakers recently discussed contemporary developments on the African continent at the TEDxEuston event in London. The third edition of the annual event was held on 26th November 2011 at the Royal Institute of British Architects under the theme: “Africa: Redefine; Reimagine”. Speakers included the Rt. Hon Paul Boateng, a Labour Party politician, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State in Nigeria, actor Kwame Kwei-Armah and Hadeel Ibrahim, founding Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which supports good governance and great leadership in Africa. Rt. Hon Boateng emphasised that linking science, technology and innovation together in the agricultural field would have a huge impact on job prospects. “We continue to look outside of Africa for our salvation. Africa needs to move from sentiment to strategy, and let strategy be based on mutual respect not dollars,” he said. Talking about “the danger of the single story”, TV producer Moky Makura said that the world sees only one side of Africa;

“What you can do to achieve a healthy and peaceful life after your presidency is to do a good job and leave on time” Ms. Hadeel Ibrahim, Founding Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation the famine, war, poverty and AIDS, and keeps telling this same story. “This is not a realistic depiction of Africa,” she said. Ms. Makura called on the media to show the other side of Africa; the inspiring stories of the continent. Kola Karim, Chief Executive of Shoreline Energy International spoke about entrepreneurship opportunities in Africa. “Using determination and focus, we can unlock the natural resources under the soil of Africa. We can identify a market and find a product that can fulfil what the market needs.” Toyin Saraki and Helen Lieberman shared personal stories about healthcare. Ms. Saraki described how her treatment during childbirth in Nigeria prompted her to found The WellBeing Foundation, a maternal and child health focused nonprofit organisation. Ms Lieberman, founder and Honorary President of The Future of our Nation, a grassroots organisation in South Africa, told of her struggle during

the days of apartheid to help the citizens of Cape Town’s townships receive medical care. Writer and activist Paula Akugizibwe continued on the healthcare topic by speaking out on the pharmaceutical companies who seek monetary gain over helping those in need. Attendees also heard about the northern African perspective through Ms. Ibrahim’s speech. Reflecting on the political unrest that we have seen across northern Africa this year, she explained that African presidents have few exit strategies. “What you can do to achieve a healthy and peaceful life after your presidency is to do a good job and leave on time.” Ms. Ibrahim also said that Africa needs to allow the free movement of labour and capital markets across its 54 nations, as

currently the bureaucracy involved in moving across the different countries makes things difficult. Once we do this Africa would be in a better position to compete economically, she said. TEDxEuston aims to reflect ideas and inspired thinking of a new generation of African thinkers and leaders, positive about their continent and confident in their ability to shape its future. The speakers are all Africans committed to engaging in an active and meaningful manner with their continent. TEDxEuston is part of TED, a non-profit organisation dedicated to Ideas Worth Spreading. For information on TEDxEuston, please log on to: www. tedxeuston.com. By Chinwe Ojielo

“We continue to look outside of Africa for our salvation. Africa needs to move from sentiment to strategy, and let strategy be based on mutual respect not dollars” Rt. Hon Paul Boateng, MP

SkyWay helps young people become self-reliant Hackney based charity SkyWay works with vulnerable young people aged between eight and 25 years old. The AfroNews had a chat with Daniel Mussie, the organisation’s Development Manager. Daniel, can you run me through your Peer Program? Our Peer Program is a six month project and we recruit young people from different organisations, for example youth offending teams, family intervention units, and then once we’ve recruited the young people, we work with them intensively for six months, offering pastoral support which will support them with any issues that they’re facing. They get job readiness training, an Edexcel level 2 BTEC qualification, work experience,

volunteering projects, and they also get opportunities to start working and earning some money through that. What happens after the program’s finished? What do they go on to do next? After the program’s finished, some of the young people will go A group of young people who took part onto an agency which in SkyWay’s Peer Programme will support them into workshops themselves, and the working and self-employment, by delivering work- other agencies will support them shops in schools and communi- into getting into employment ties. The workshops can range afterwards. from sports activities, to working For more information on with young people in a peer-topeer fashion. For example, sexual SkyWay and their peer run workhealth workshops, criminality shops and activities, please log workshops and how to deal with on to: www.skyway.uk.com. conflict, which they learnt through By Chinwe Ojielo SkyWay. They will deliver those


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No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

COMMUNITY

BARAC: All workers deserve decent pension All public and private sector workers should receive a decentpension, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) has said. Explaining why they fully support the Fair Pensions For All Campaign, BARAC said: “We recognise that Black Workers, especially women are highly concentrated in the public sector and so will be disproportionately impacted by the Government’s plans which include severe cuts. All around the country we are hearing about black workers losing their jobs, which leads to a break in their pensionable service and access to a decent pension on retirement.” BARAC said that most public sector workers who go on pension earn less than £5,600 a year. The Hutton Report commissioned by the Government itself rejects the notion that public sector pensions are gold plated, BARAC said. Reports from the National Audit Office and the House of Commons Public Accounts Communities show that the cost of public sector pensions is falling as planned. “Our pensions are affordable,” BARAC said, adding that “It is wrong to make public sector workers pay an unfair contribution of £3bn a year to reduce a deficit they did not cause. Especially since this Government cancelled the Banker’s bonus

“Public sector cuts will hit black women the hardest with a double impact on them. Black women, who already face lower pay, are situated in the lowest grades and experience race and gender discrimination in recruitment, promotion, progression and appraisal should not have to bear the brunt of public sector cuts and suffer poverty and deprivation because of an economic situation they did not create” Ms. Zita Holbourne, Co-founder and Joint Chair of BARAC

tax that raised almost the same amount.” Zita Holbourne, Co-founder and Joint Chair of BARAC said: “Public sector cuts will hit black women the hardest with a double impact on them. Black women, who already face lower pay, are situated in

the lowest grades and experience race and gender discrimination in recruitment, promotion, progression and appraisal should not have to bear the brunt of public sector cuts and suffer poverty and deprivation because of an economic situation they did not create.” Lee Jasper, Co-founder and Joint Chair of BARAC said: “Black workers are being

knocked for six by the Government’s pension cuts. We suffer institutional racism, higher rates of redundancies and much higher rates of adult and youth unemployment.” Mr. Jasper urged Trade Unions “to launch a spring offensive of strikes.” Betty Joseph, a member of BARAC added: “Ethnic minority workers are facing increased bullying and discrimination in their work places which must be challenged.”

Man who kicked pensioner Man jailed for raping drunk woman to death given life sentence A man who raped a woman at his Tameside home has been jailed. Gael Kamki of Mulberry Walk, Denton, was convicted of rape, sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by touching. At Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on 1st December 2011, he was jailed for six years and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely. On 22nd May 2010, Kamki raped a 21-year-old woman who was drunk and asleep in an upstairs room. When she awoke she realised she had been raped. Kamki was arrested and claimed to have consensually had sex with the woman. Detective Constable Phil Scargill of Tameside CID, said: “The victim thought she was in a safe environment with people that could be trusted but when she was at her most vulnerable and in no position to consent, Kamki raped her. “Not only has he taken

advantage of the victim and subjected her to an awful sexual assault, but he has continued to

Gael Kamki raped a woman who was drunk and asleep lie about what he has done, claiming the victim was awake.” Kamki claimed in court that since the woman was in his bed she must have wanted sex. “I hope that the gravity of his actions sinks in now that he now has several years in prison to reflect on his actions that night,” Constable Scargill said.

A man who kicked to death a great-grandmother has been jailed for life. Christopher Newton, 45, of Bow Road, E3, kicked the woman moments after she took her partially-sighted friend his evening meal at the sheltered accommodation in which they lived. Eileen Jones, 73, was discovered in the friend’s flat the following morning, on 23rd March 2011, with the unfinished meal still in the kitchen. Christopher, who had been visiting the same male friend for a drink when the attack happened, was convicted at the Old Bailey on 2nd December, of kicking and stamping Eileen to death. The court heard how Eileen had visited her friend’s flat on 22nd March at the accommodation they shared in Mandela House, Virginia Road, E2. She handed him the meal, greeted his friend Christopher and was invited to join them for a drink. Staff at the sheltered accommodation were only alerted to the incident the following morning when an ambulance and police

were called. Eileen was discovered collapsed on the floor in a pool of blood. A post-mortem examination at Poplar Mortuary on 24th March gave the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head and chest. An incident room opened under the command of DCI John Sandlin from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command Christopher Newton will serve (HSCC). a minimum of 22 years for Two men, a 59-yearkicking to Eileen Jones to old man and Christopher death Newton were arrested, along with a 46-year-old a totally defenceless pensioner. woman in connection with the “He then prolonged the agony incident. Newton was charged for her family by denying any with Eileen’s murder and the knowledge of the terrible incident other man and woman were later and trying to pass the blame onto released with no further action. Eileen’s partially-sighted friend. DCI Sandlin said at the con- To this day Newton has never clusion of the case: “Eileen Jones fully explained why he turned on was a much-loved mother, grand- Eileen and what actually trigmother and great-grandmother. gered his actions. Eileen’s family She lived in a home surrounded is left wondering how such a terby good friends in a place where rible thing could have happened she and her family felt she was and why it happened at all.” safe and secure. Christopher Newton has been ordered to Newton shattered many lives that serve a minimum of 22 years. night when he viciously attacked


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No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

COMMUNITY

Stage set for Miss Jamaica UK Beauty Pageant Fifteen beauty queens are preparing to fight for Miss Jamaica UK 2011 crown. Miss Jamaica UK Beauty Pageant will be held on 17th December 2011 at the Camden Centre in London. It will be hosted under the distinguished patronage of the Jamaican High Commissioner, His Excellency Anthony Johnson and wife Mrs. Pamela Johnson. Special guests will include Wayne Marshall and Rachel Hylton, and a host of other surprise celebrities. Salema Junior Radford, the current Miss Jamaica UK says that entering Miss Jamaica UK, was a great way for her to get a better understanding of her heritage.

“I have loved being Miss Jamaica UK, and I hope I have represented the title well. I will be so sad to hand over the title on the 17th December, but know whoever succeeds me will continue to do an amazing job representing Jamaican women in the UK” Salema Junior Radford, Miss Jamaica UK 2010 Salema, 22, is from Norwich. Her mother is English, while her father is from Kingston, Jamaica. She is studying Medicine at Newcastle University. “At the competition I met lots of lovely girls, and celebrities such as Linford Christie, Levi Roots and the Jamaican H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r, ” Salema says. “Winning Miss Jamaica UK has been one of the best experiences of my life. I was overwhelmed and surprised when my name was announced as the winner of Miss Jamaica UK 2010. I didn’t think I would win as all the girls in the competition were so beautiful, anyone could have won!” Since becoming Miss Jamaica UK, Salema has modelled for Pak’s Cosmetics and appeared at Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project, where she met the Jolly Boys, Miss Dynamite and

the cast of The Only Way is Essex. Salema will be representing Jamaica at the Miss Princess of the World Pageant in Prague in October 2012. Salema’s fantastic experience as Miss Jamaica UK gives a hint on why so many girls would like to wear this prestigious crown. While sorry that she’ll soon be handing over the crown to her successor, Salema is convinced that the crown will go to the right person who “will continue to do an amazing job representing Jamaican women in the UK.” Miss Jamaica UK was founded in 1990 by Ms. June Daley, a teacher, model and entrepreneur. It has developed into the foremost beauty pageant in the UK for girls of Jamaican heritage. Winners of the pageant are normally given the prize of a trip to Jamaica to explore its rich culture and build their understanding of the island loved by so many. The pageant is a launching pad for contestants, many of whom have gone on to forge successful careers in the UK and abroad, as doctors, lawyers, and in numerous other professions.

MISS JAMAICA UK 17th December 2011 Camden Centre, Euston Road WC1H 9JE (opposite St Pancras Station). Tickets £25 Mobile number: 07958 924 575. Email: info@missjamaicauk.com www.missjamaicauk.com

Caribbean Food is a Local Mixed Blessing Locals in South West London have made a conscious effort to continue their support for local businesses and Mixed Blessings, the West Indian bakery located in Tooting Bec, is no exception. Now, Mixed Blessings is offering locals a selection of lunchtime minimeals to sample home cooked Caribbean dishes. The Mixed Blessings sells itself as a mix of a West Indian bakery and a takeaway which specialises in traditional, authentic Jamaican food. All dishes are cooked on the premises by one chef using fresh ingredients and traditional recipes. The mini-meals on

offer range from jerk chicken cooked with fresh thyme, spicy sauce with stewed coconut rice and peas served with plantain or fresh coleslaw, jerk lamb, brown stew chicken, oxtail with beans and a variety of spicy fish dishes. All dishes are reasonably priced at £3 and available from 1pm onwards. The Mixed Blessings bakery offers Corn Meal loaves, Hard Dough bread, Jamaican fruit bread, Coco bread, Bammy bread, Coconut bread, Banana bread, Bulla and Whole Wheat Raisin bread. There are a wide variety of fresh pastries which are on offer including Jamaican Sugar Bun, Plantain Tart, Rock Cake, Banana Nut Cake, Coconut Cake and Pineapple Cake. The soft drinks range includes Carrot

juice, Ginger beer, Apple juice, Mango Blessings offer then you can find the West juice and Sorrel drink. Indian bakery at 118 Mitcham Road, Among the winners of The Black London, SW17 9NH or you can telephone Business Awards in 2010, Mixed Blessings 0208 682 2830. is a local bakery business that caters for the By Amanda Hall-Davis local communiSend The AfroNews your stories ty. It was been given a Food and pictures Hygiene Rating of 3 stars by Have you got a story to share with our readers? London Borough We'd love to hear about it, so please send it to us. of Wandsworth You may also send photos together with your stoon 10th August ries. Kindly include a contact phone number in 2011. If you fancy case we have any questions or need more information. Please send your stories and pictures to: tasting the range of Caribbean food that Mixed afronews@myownmedia.co.uk


COMMUNITY

No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

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Sky partners with MAMA Youth to improve diversity in TV Sky and charity MAMA Youth Project, have formed a partnership to increase diversity within the TV industry. As part of the joint project, Sky will sponsor 12 people aged 16-25 from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds to undergo hands on training and real-world experience working on a Sky production. The scheme is aimed at young people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, disadvantaged individuals or those with limited education/employment opportunities based in London and the South East. The 12 weeks of intensive training will be provided by MAMA Youth Project over spring 2012 and will give the participants skills in production research, camera and sound operation and video editing. This will be followed by a paid placement at one of the major independent production companies working on a Sky production over the summer. “I believe wholeheartedly that our programmes should reflect modern Britain and the rich diversity of our society, both on screen and behind the cameras,” Lucy Lumsden, Head of Comedy at Sky said.

“This joint initiative between ourselves and MAMA Youth Project will be the first that offers young adults a paid placement after training and so a real step up the work ladder. We hope that through this partnership we will ensure diversity in the next generation of TV producers.” Bob Clarke, CEO and Founder of MAMA Youth Project said they were “really excited about the partnership with Sky and the fantastic opportunities it will create for twelve young adults to start a career in television.” Princess Productions has confirmed that it will take two of the young people to

work on upcoming ‘Special Recognition Award’ by the Sky1HD productions. Creative Diversity Network. “We’re delighted to be Sky has recently committed to invest working with Sky and the more in home grown content and as part of MAMA Youth Project to this is working to improve diversity both increase the diversity in on and off screen. Throughout October British TV and look for- Sky supported Black History month with ward to the new recruits programming on Sky Arts, Sky Atlantic joining us in 2012,” said and Sky Movies and will again support Henrietta Conrad, CEO of International Women’s Day in March Princess Productions. 2012. Sky will be further For more information or to apply to the supporting the young peo- MAMA Youth Project’s TV Training prople in their careers through gramme visit www.mamayouthproject.org. additional training in core uk, send an email to info@mamayouthemployment skills such project.org.uk or call 020 8978 3797. as: Communication skills; Computer literacy; Teamwork and Collaboration and CV writing and interview tech“I believe wholeheartedly that our nique. programmes should reflect modern MAMA Youth Project was founded and funded in 2005 by Britain and the rich diversity of our Bob with the aim of getting society, both on screen and behind more ethnic minorities and white the cameras” working class working in Television. Since then the chariLucy Lumsden, ty has found work in the TV industry for 67% of its trainees Head of Comedy at Sky and Bob has been awarded the


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No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

CURRENT AFFAIRS

Londoners and Scots are significantly less likely to support reductions to immigration than people in the Midlands and Wales, new research by Oxford University’s Migration Observatory has revealed. The Migration Observatory’s latest commentary, “The Variations Enigma”, highlights the regional

findings of a recent public opinion survey suggesting that there may not be a direct link between the scale of immigration to an area and public support for cuts to immigration. While most areas of the country have majority support for cuts to immigration, London – which has the highest migrant population and highest population density in the UK – does not have a clear

majority in favour of cuts to immigration, with only 46% of respondents agreeing that immigration needed to be reduced. The survey also showed that Londoners who identified themselves as white British-born British-nationals were also significantly less likely to support cuts to immigration than white British respondents elsewhere in the country. This suggests that London’s lower support for cuts to immigration is not exclusively the result of the high migrant population

in the capital. Scotland – which has the lowest population density on the UK mainland and, unlike London, proportionately small net migration – also has considerably lower support for cutting immigration than other parts of the country, and has the highest support for increasing immigration “a lot”. Dr. Scott Blinder, the Migration

Observatory’s public opinion specialist, who designed the research said: “If you look at the UK as a whole, British people are overwhelmingly supportive of cuts to immigration, but this masks a raft of notable variations around the country. London and Scotland have lower levels of opposition to immigration than the Midlands and Wales, but this doesn’t seem to be clearly related to the number

“If you look at the UK as a whole, British people are overwhelmingly supportive of cuts to immigration, but this masks a raft of notable variations around the country. London and Scotland have lower levels of opposition to immigration than the Midlands and Wales, but this doesn’t seem to be clearly related to the number of migrants in any of these places” Dr. Scott Blinder, The Migration Observatory’s public opinion specialist of migrants in any of these places.” The “Variations Enigma” also identifies that during the 1960s and 70s, when immigration to the

OSCE asks States to effectively fight gender-based violence OSCE has asked governments to effectively implement legislation to combat domestic and other gender-based violence. “Adopting legislation, while essential, is not enough,” Wendy Patten, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-

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UK was considerably lower than it is now, large majorities of the public still viewed immigration levels as too high. Dr. Blinder added: “This raises an interesting question: if the Government does manage to reduce net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ does that mean that support for cuts to immigration will fall correspondingly? The evidence collected since the 1990s

in-Office on Gender Issues, said. “The “Adopting legislation, while challenge is to realize the promise of antiessential, is not enough. The domestic violence legislation on the challenge is to realize the promground, in the daily ise of anti-domestic violence leglives of women.” islation on the ground, in the In her new report daily lives of women” to the OSCE Permanent Council, Ms. Patten said Ms. Wendy Patten, enforcement of proSpecial Representative of the tection orders and prosecution of domes- OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on tic violence crimes, Gender Issues as well as access to legal and social services for survivors al action plans. are basis for the effective implementation She stressed the need for of legislation. gender-sensitive migration polMs. Patten said that given the cross- icies addressing the particular cutting nature of women, peace and security needs of women from diverse issues, the OSCE should continue to pro- backgrounds, including migrant vide support for the implementation of the and refugee women. relevant UN Security Council Resolution Ms. Patten emphasized the need for the (UNSCR 1325), including through the OSCE participants to take additional steps development and implementation of nation-

only deals with periods of longterm increases in net migration, so it is hard to say for sure – but our research suggests it is far from certain.”

©OSCE/Jonathan Perfect

©Oxyman

Londoners and Scots don’t support cuts to immigration

to eliminate barriers to women’s political participation, and to do more to improve gender equality within the OSCE itself.


CURRENT AFFAIRS

No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

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IOM: Listen to migrants’ voices New report calls for constructive debate on migration

IOM has called for an open and constructive debate on migration. In its “World Migration Report 2011: Communicating Effectively about Migration”, IOM says that migrants’ voices must be heard in today’s all too often biased, polarized and negative debate on migration. The report states that although we live in an era of the greatest human mobility in recorded history, with greater acknowledgement that migration is one of the defining features of our contemporary world, it remains one of the most misunderstood issues of our time.

The report calls for a fundamental shift in the way we communicate about migration, especially during economic downturns when political discourse, media reports and public opinion on the nature, purpose and socio-economic impact of migration tend to be negative. “It is all too evident that migration is often the catch-all issue that masks public fears and uncertainties relating to unemployment, housing and social cohesion in host countries. Migration can also be blamed for the loss of human capital and for economic dependency in countries of origin,” says IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. The report argues that distorted communication about migration contributes to widespread antimigrant sentiments, which have recently resurfaced in many parts of the world. Harmful stereotypes, discrimination and even xenophobia have reappeared in societies of destination, resulting in controversy on the value of multiculturalism. An open discussion about migration, the report says, means understanding and directly addressing what drives people’s fears and the negative attitudes as expressed in polls in order to reduce public hostility. “Accurately informing the wider public about migration may be the single most important policy tool in all societies faced with increasing diversity,” Swing says. Analysing public perceptions of migrants and migration, the World Migration

Report shows that people in destination “Whilst honest and balanced media countries tend to significantly overestimate reporting is paramount to foster a more the size of the migrant population, some- enlightened debate on migration, migrants times by as much as 300%. For example, must also find their voices to tell their own the actual percentage of migrants in Italy stories. All too often perceived as passive, was around 7% in 2010. Yet polls showed helpless and marginalized individuals, that the population perceived this percent- migrants would then be seen for what they age to be around a staggering 25%. are: shapers of their own destiny,” says Mr. Similarly, in the United States of Swing. America, some public opinion polls showed The report underlines the critical need that in 2010, the public believed the per- to communicate effectively about migration centage of migrants in the population was at 39%, a far cry from an actual 14%. The report notes that public “In our increasingly interconnectattitudes towards migration ed world, communicating effeccontinue to be strongly influtively about migration is paraenced by the socio-economic status, age and level of educa- mount to promote a wider undertion of respondents and their standing that migration is both a level of interaction with reality and a necessity. If intellimigrants. In Germany, a 2009 poll gently and humanely managed, shows that 65% of young peo- migration is also highly desirable” ple say they have more positive attitudes towards migration because they regularly interact William Lacy Swing, with migrants. IOM Director General The perceived availability of jobs and prevalent perceptions that migrants take jobs away from nationals and/or place a strain since managing migration also implies on a country’s resources also influence atti- managing how migrants are perceived in tudes and poll results. society. The report notes that opinion polls can Initiatives such as the EC-funded be unreliable as their results may be based Migrants in the Spotlight, which brought on false assumptions of what a migrant is or together young media professionals and is not. It also underlines that surveys and migrants in countries such as the Czech media reports rarely pay attention to or Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, echo the voice of employers, who remain Romania and Slovakia, offer a glimpse of key actors in today’s global migration what could be done to foster a better scene. informed migration debate. The World Migration Report suggests “In our increasingly interconnected that questions relating to the changing com- world, communicating effectively about positions of our societies and cultural diver- migration is paramount to promote a wider sity can be addressed by integrating diver- understanding that migration is both a realsity into mainstream media and by encour- ity and a necessity. If intelligently and aging migrants to use new social media humanely managed, migration is also hightools to regularly engage with host and ly desirable,” says Mr. Swing. home societies.

Boris asked to “think again” on unfair fares London Mayor Boris Johnson should reverse above inflation fare rises on London’s transport network, Local London Assembly member John Biggs has said. The latest fare rises mean that under Mr. Johnson, a single bus fare is up 50% - from just 90p in 2008 to £1.35 from January 2012. A weekly zone 1-6 travelcard is up 20% costing East Londoners £457.60 a year more. For a worker on average pay in Barking & Dagenham, a monthly travel card now costs 11.8 per cent of take home pay. In Newham it is 8.2 per cent and in Tower Hamlets it is 6.5 per cent of take home pay. However, these average costs mask the fact that for those on lower incomes the cost of travel will be a far higher percentage. Cleaners, shop assistants and others on the minimum wage in East London will be spending between 12.5 and 22.8 per

cent of their take home pay just to get to Dagenham just to cover the cost of getting people in London and more time keeping work; 12.5 per cent for a zone 1-2 card and to work. “Boris should spend less time fares down for everyone else,” Mr. Biggs 1 02/12/2011 22.8 per cent for a zone 1-6 card. 021211_150.8x69_TTX_Afro_0037_en.ai campaigning for tax cuts11:21:52 for the richest said. Mr. Biggs said: “These fare hikes are unfair and unnecessary T-TALK and the Mayor should International Calls from your mobile think again. The costs of living in London are going through the roof for those on lower and middle incomes. It’s reaching crisis point Same rates 24/7 ! and Boris should have Use your existing pay these people in mind.” monthly or PAYG SIM. He termed “scandalFor more details visit ous” the fact that local residents have to work www.auracall.com/afro 23.7 days in Tower Hamlets, 30 days in Newham and 43.1 days Helpline: 020 8497 4622 a year in Barking &

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No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

COVER

“Be authentic and original” Musician Saba Anglana’s forthcoming LP to support AMREF’s work in Kenya Music is the most effective of way of communicating powerful messages and profound feelings, says Saba Anglana, an Afro-Italian musician. Saba, who is a singer and songwriter, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. Her mother is originally from Ethiopia while her father is an Italian. Saba decided to become a musician when she realized that through it, she could communicate messages which could not be easily communicated using others means. “Music is the best means of telling something because people easily understand it,” she says. As a musician, she strives to communicate something about herself, about her birth in one continent (Africa) and growing up in another (Europe). Like many people of mixed heritage, Saba says she always feel incomplete. “You always feel that something is missing in your identity,” she says. This feeling pushes one into looking for something extra to complete his/her identity. It also makes one want to discover more about him/herself. Saba feels that the African part of her was dormant for a while. This is probably because she grew up away from Africa, went to Western schools, had Western friends, etc. But at a point she developed the desire to explore her African identity. Saba is still carrying on the research to discover her African identity, a research which may end up becoming a life long journey. “It’s not easy to understand who you are,” she says. Saba, however, is not in a hurry to get to the end of her

research. “What really matters is the process,” she says, adding that “I’m at a good point, but still on the journey.” The search for her identity made her make a visit to Ethiopia, her mother’s home country. Saba says that when she first landed in Ethiopia, she had a feeling of being in land with which she had a strong link, but at the same time she was considered a foreigner. Saba reveals that people of mixed heritage risk always feeling out of place because they belong to different places. She, however, points out that they must learn to turn any place into their home. This requires getting to know the place you go to in a deeper way, she says. This is what Saba does in order to be able to narrate what she experiences wherever she goes to. “As a mixed race person, you must be strong psychologically and physically.” Saba holds that wherever you happen to find yourself, it’s important to have a true dialogue with the people you meet there, go for spiritual growth, and develop positive feelings. She now feels she belongs to all countries she goes to. Saba is currently preparing a new album which will be released in March 2012. The album is inspired by her journey to Kenya with AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation). AMREF is an international African organisation headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. The organisation’s “mission is to ensure that every African can enjoy the right to good health by helping to create vibrant networks of informed communities that

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work with empowered health care providers in strong health systems.” AMREF invited her to come and see for herself how people live in different parts of Kenya where the organisation has humanitarian projects. Saba and Mr. Fabio Barovero, her producer, spent almost two months visiting the country. Saba plans to use her forthcoming album to share with the world what she saw and experienced in Kenya.

“The only help Africa needs is help to no longer need help” Musician Saba Anglana She visited slums in Nairobi and had life changing conversations with the people there. Saba was struck to discover that there are places where only having a well means a lot for the people. During her journey, Saba observed that people in the rural areas are more optimistic and happier. “The further you moved from the city, the happier the people you met,” she says. Observing that the richer people become in general, the sadder they become, Saba says there is need for a balance. The rich should become less rich but happier while the poor should become rich and happier. She also refutes the common idea that Africa needs help. “The only help Africa needs is help to no longer need help,” she says. Saba is critical of help during emergencies. It is good but it doesn’t solve the problem. It’s better to do something to prevent future emergencies, she says. Her 12 track album which will feature songs in Swahili, English, and Somali, was recorded live using a mobile


COVER studio in Kenya. It will feature voices of people in various local communities Saba visited, including voices of Kenyan children. The album will also feature Kayamba Africa, one of the most famous Kenyan bands. Saba plans to use the LP as a means of giving the local Kenyan communities a chance of telling their story, letting the world hear their voices and messages. This is why for now, the album’s working title is “Waambie” a Swahili word meaning “Tell them”. That’s exactly what the people she met in Kenya told her. “Go and tell others what you’ve seen and heard here, tell them the issues affecting us.” Saba would like the messages in her new LP to reach a wider audience, not only those interested in what’s happening in African countries. While many may think that such an album only addresses issues affecting people in developing countries, Saba says that the message is relevant in every part of the world because the same issues affect people all over. The album addresses universal themes, Saba says. Justice, for instance, is an issue affecting people in both developed and developing countries. The same can be said of the situation of women in the society. The other issues addressed in the new LP are access to medical care and water, and right to happiness, which Saba says should be made a universal human right. She feels sorry that traditional African music is rapidly disappearing in countries like Kenya, where she had to struggle to find musicians playing traditional music. Saba holds that the world is not culturally ready for free music, what she calls music without borders. She observes that normally attempts are made to classify music into categories such as Reggae, Rumba, World, etc. As a musician, Saba has deliberately decided to compose music that can’t be easily classified. Music shops in fact normally have difficulties in deciding on which shelf to put her music. This in a way reflects Saba’s identity. Her music for instance, can’t be classified as either Italian, or Somali. At the same time, it can’t be classified as traditional African music because she incorporates both modern and traditional elements from many parts of the world. Saba simply doesn’t want her music to be classified in terms of style. There are however key issues that are recurrent in Saba’s music. One of them is water and the importance of its conservation. Water is life and love, she says, adding that it is also a source of unity. Saba has in fact titled one of her albums “Biyo”, a Somali word for water. Another important issue Saba frequently talks about in her music is the bridge, revealing her ambition to unite people of different cultures. Closely related to the bridge is the line, which Saba describes as a point of contact between different cultures. She stresses that the line should not be a barrier. Saba holds that music facilitates the meeting between people from all backgrounds. Saba’s advice to those aspiring to become musicians is: “Stay away from reality shows, they are fiction.” Reality shows, according to Saba, can make a musician compose music which doesn’t reflect the musician’s true identity. “They make you create what you are not,” she says. “You can be a successful musician without being very popular, without appearing on reality shows.”

No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

Saba who is convinced that each musician should be authentic and original, advises aspiring musicians to discover their own styles and bank on their cultural experiences. “Make efforts to be original, create your own sound without thinking of or aping what others have done in the past,” she says. Saba also believes that musicians should make journeys to discover themselves, and use their music to tell who they are and what they do. “Tell what you are, what you do, in your music,” she says. “If you have something to tell, go ahead and do so, don’t let anyone block you from doing so.” By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a

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SABA ANGLANA’S LINKS http://www.facebook.com/Saba-Anglana/ http://www.sabaanglana.com


No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

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Claims management companies

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Regulation was introduced to deal with widespread malpractice in the industry – from misleading or aggressive marketing in approaching consumers, to outright fraud with respect to upfront fees charged for financial claims. Although it has succeeded to a degree, there remains a sizeable minority of firms that can give the industry a bad reputation - in 2010/11, 349 firms had their licenses removed by the Ministry of Justice. From a total of 3,367 registered firms at the end of 2010, this meant that 1 in 10 firms were either found to be in breach of rules or failed to meet the regulator’s requirements for authorisation. This obviously does not count the ones yet to be audited. The MOJ’s report states: “In the worst cases, the reasons for action included evidence of fraud, misleading marketing and aggressive sales techniques... Particular areas of malpractice [include] misleading marketing, unauthorised trading and failure to refund fees paid by customers.” At the more serious end of the scale, the fraud referred to includes staged accidents, including at an organised crime level. Misleading marketing and unauthorised trading are considered less serious but are symptomatic of the sizeable minority of rogue firms that give the sector a bad name. The failure to refund fees amounts to theft, but can be avoided by not paying an upfront fee. Fortunately the ‘good’ companies still outnumber the ‘bad’ and the ‘ugly’. But it does mean that there is an uncomfortably high probability of you coming across a claims management company (CMC) with dubious standards. That you are looking for one suggests you need help with a compensation claim, whether for personal injury or financial mis-selling. The last thing you need in these circumstances is to be further let down by others. In order to understand how to identify a good firm from the others, it helps to look into what it is that CMC’s do, and how they do it. All businesses and individuals providing claims management activity are legally obliged to be authorised and regulated by the Ministry of Justice. This includes the following areas: • Personal injury • Criminal injuries compensation • Employment matters • Housing disrepair • Financial products and services • Industrial injury disablement benefits The CMC will manage your claim,

either through its own staff (for example, many types of financial claim) or by outsourcing it to one of a group of solicitors they have a contractual agreement with (for example, personal injury claims). Most CMC’s will have a large panel of solicitors as this provides a greater range of expertise and flexibility in dealing with claims. The sector is a fragmented one, with 1,500 authorised CMC’s for personal injury claims and 1,200 for financial claims. Whilst there are a handful of large, well financed companies in each sector with sophisticated marketing and customer service operations, and turnover counted by the tens of millions of pounds, the majority of CMC’s are small outfits – in 2009/10 the average turnover for financial claims operators was £87,000 and £170,000 for personal injury CMC’s (Source: Ministry of

people who they believe are eligible to make claim, including by phone, email or text. Pull marketing consists of letting prospective clients know that they offer the service but allowing them to make the first contact because they are suitably convinced by their credentials. Push marketing in itself is not prohibited or unethical. However it is strictly regulated as to how clients may be contacted, and this is one of the most common areas of malpractice in the industry. For example cold calling – where the client is contacted without their prior consent or an authorised referral – is strictly prohibited by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Yet this does not stop many firms from buying data lists (for example where you had to provide your contact details in order to enter a competition and inadvertently agreed to your data being used in this way) and

Justice). However size in itself is not a reliable indicator of the quality of a CMC. The areas of greatest concern for the unwary claimant are usually poor standards and poor ethics.

sending out blanket texts or conducting aggressive telephone sales campaigns using automated dialling systems. Pull marketing includes advertising and search engine optimisation whereby the website is ‘optimised’ (in its construction and in external links to other websites); in order to feature highly when a potential customer searches for specified keywords, such as ‘compensation claim’. If you see a CMC that advertises widely or is on the first page when you do an online search for ‘compensation claim’, this is an indication of financial resource and marketing knowhow. It is a good start for assessing a firm’s competence, as significant resource in these areas usually means sophisticated systems will be in place throughout the company. The presentation of the advertising as well as of their website (which is effectively a form of advertising) can be a useful clue as to the nature of the firm. A professional and well executed presentation is not in itself a guarantee of overall excellence but its presence indicates high standards, which are usually reflected throughout the organisation. More importantly than the presentation though is the content - unscrupulous firms will make outlandish claims with regard to past successes (often in the form of bogus testimonials) and what you are likely to receive as compensation. For personal injury claims

©Martin Addison

Claims management companies in the UK are regulated by the Ministry of Justice under the Compensation Act 2006, covering personal injury (such as road traffic accidents or accidents at work) and financial compensation claims (such as Payment Protection Insurance).

Price Price is not usually relevant to anyone making a personal injury claim as they keep 100% of their compensation without having to pay towards the cost of making the claim under the ‘no win no fee’ system. However in financial claims, there are many companies that charge a front end fee, usually called an ‘administration’ or ‘processing’ fee. This can run into hundreds of pounds and should be avoided – any reputable company will only charge you upon the successful completion of your claim. If they say they are unable to take your claim on without a significant front end payment, this either means they do not have the confidence that your claim will succeed, or they lack the financial resource to operate until the claim is paid.

Marketing The methods used by CMC’s for acquiring new clients range from ‘push marketing’ to ‘pull marketing’. Push marketing includes actively contacting

it is accepted practice to use the JSB Guidelines (established in 1992 to help establish consistency in claims valuations, and currently in its tenth edition). Any website that promises you more or unrealistic timescales in completing your claim is misleading you in order to gain your trust. Ministry of Justice rules require CMC’s to hold a signed copy of each testimonial they feature from past clients. If you are not sure about the veracity of what is being portrayed as a success story for a CMC (usually on their website), then ask to see a copy of the signed original. If they are unable to substantiate this then what does that say about standards elsewhere in their operations?

Compliance CMC’s are governed by the Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2007, established to ensure standards for the benefit of the consumers that they provide a service to. They include provisions that are easy to enforce, such as the requirement to have professional indemnity insurance in place, as well as complaints and refund procedures. They also have broader principles that are less easy to measure and therefore regulate, but nonetheless provide the yardstick by which our industry must define itself in order to shut out the misbehaving minority. 1. A business shall conduct itself with honesty and integrity. 2. A business shall conduct itself responsibly. 3. A business shall be directed by people with the necessary competence. 4. A business shall ensure that any staff or other people working on its behalf have the necessary training and competence to perform their duties. 5. A business shall observe all laws and regulations relevant to its business. 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.

SPECIAL UK LEGAL GUIDE

THE GUIDE


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No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

AFRICAN NEWS

Stop post-electoral violence, Pillay urges Congolese politicians Ms. Pillay deplored the killings and other acts of violence committed by Congolese security forces and supporters of political parties in the context of the recent presidential and parliamentary elections in the country. The UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been monitoring election-related violence countrywide and is investigating reports that more than 10 people have allegedly been killed by security forces and supporters of political parties, and many more wounded through the use of live ammunition, in Kinshasa since 26th November. “Political leaders from all sides have a crucial role to play at

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay this important crossroads in the history of DRC. It is their responsibility to resolve tensions through peaceful means,” Ms. Pillay said. “They must realise that they may be held criminally responsible for their actions as well as for acts committed by their supporters.” “Political differences,” Ms.

Gbagbo at ICC to face charges of crimes against humanity Former President of Côte d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, has been handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face charges of crimes against humanity committed during the post-election violence in the country.

©UN

On 29th November, Mr. Gbagbo, 66, was surrendered to the ICC, which is based in The

Former President of Côte d’Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo

“Political leaders from all sides have a crucial role to play at this important crossroads in the history of DRC. It is their responsibility to resolve tensions through peaceful means. They must realise that they may be held criminally responsible for their actions as well as for acts committed by their supporters”

©UN

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has asked political leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to solve their differences peacefully.

Hague in the Netherlands, by Ivorian national authorities. The Court said that his initial appearance before the pretrial chamber will be held promptly. Mr. Gbagbo allegedly bears individual criminal responsibility, as indirect co-perpetrator, for four counts of crimes against humanity, namely murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution and other inhuman acts, committed in Côte d’Ivoire between 16th December 2010 and 12th April 2011. “Mr. Gbagbo is brought to account for his individual responsibility in the attacks against civilians committed by forces acting on his behalf. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty and will be given full rights and the opportunity to defend himself,” ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said in a statement. “Ivorian victims will see justice for massive crimes. Mr. Gbagbo is the first to be brought to account, there is more to come,” he added.

Pillay said, “cannot be resolved through killings, and security forces should not use disproportionate force in the conduct of crowd control.” She called for investigations of post-electoral violence committed by security forces and supporters of political parties, adding

that perpetrators must be brought to justice without delay. Ms. Pillay stressed the obligation of the Government under Congolese and international laws to protect the fundamental rights of the people, including the right to life and security of the person. She urged all sides of the

political spectrum to exercise restraint and to resolve differences in a peaceful manner to prevent the country from sliding into a cycle of post-electoral violence. “Political leaders must work actively to prevent such violence in the midst of what is a very tense situation,” Ms. Pillay said.

Halt bill banning same-sex relationships, Nigeria asked Amnesty International has asked Nigerian authorities to scrap a bill that would attack basic rights and criminalize relationships between people of the same gender.

and opposing discrimination based purely on a person’s actual or presumed sexual orientation or gender identity.” Under the bill passed by the Senate, an individual in a samesex relationship could face criminal penalties of up to 14 years’ imprisonment, an increase compared to the earlier draft. The bill

defenders and anyone else – including friends, families and colleagues – who stand up for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people in Nigeria. Individuals could face imprisonment based on nothing more than their actual or assumed sexNigeria’s Senate passed the ual orientation or gender identity, “Same-Gender Marriage” bill on or stemming from allegations 29th November. It will now go about their relationship status or before the House of consensual sexual conduct. Representatives for approvAmnesty International al, after which it will be sent “This bill would have a chilling also raised concerns that the to the President. Amnesty effect on a range of civil society bill would contravene Nigeria’s International said that by organizations and events while efforts to prevent HIV transbroadly defining “same-sex inciting hatred and violence against mission by driving people marriage” as including all anyone suspected of practicing already suffering stigma for same-sex relationships, and same-sex relationships, including their identity or consensual targeting people who “witlesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans- sexual behaviour still further ness”, “aid” or “abet” such gender people” underground. relationships, the bill threatens “This bill would have a the human rights of a large Erwin van der Borght, chilling effect on a range of number of people. Director of Amnesty civil society organizations and “Nigeria’s House of International’s Africa Programme events while inciting hatred Representatives should show and violence against anyone leadership and uphold the suspected of practicing samerights of all in Nigeria by sex relationships, including rejecting this reprehensible bill,” also seeks to impose up to 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsaid Erwin van der Borght, direc- years’ imprisonment and a stiff gender people,” said Erwin van tor of Amnesty International’s fine on anyone who “witnesses”, der Borght. “By aiming to single Africa Programme. “aids” or “abets” same-sex rela- out and deprive the rights of one “If passed, this measure would tionships. group of people, this bill threattarget people on the basis of their Amnesty International said ens all Nigerians by violating the identity, not merely their behav- that the bill would place a wide country’s Constitution and interiour, and put a wide range of range of people at risk of criminal national human rights obligapeople at risk of criminal sanc- sanctions, including human rights tions.” tions for exercising basic rights


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No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

CARIBBEAN NEWS

Men urged to play greater role in reducing HIV/AIDS “In taking care of our women, the first responsibility is us (males) - use the necessary protection. The second responsibility is to stand by your woman; stick to one faithful partner. The third responsibility is

“In taking care of our women, the first responsibility is us (males) - use the necessary protection. The second responsibility is to stand by your woman; stick to one faithful partner. The third responsibility is to ensure there are no new infections. And, I want to balance that by encouraging our females - do the right thing” Reginald Budhan, Jamaica’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce

to ensure there are no new infections. And, I want to balance that by encouraging our females - do the right thing,” he said. The Permanent Secretary was speaking at a World AIDS Day observance ceremony, held at the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, in Kingston, on 2nd December 2011. Mr. Budhan said that worldwide, 64 per cent of people aged 15 to 64 living with HIV today are females. “In the Caribbean, women are the most affected group, accounting for 53 per cent of people living with HIV. The Clinical Sexologist, Dr. Karen Carpenter, addressing a World AIDS Day observance Caribbean is the only ceremony held at the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce region, besides subSaharan Africa, in positive people pose no risk to their co- play in reducing the impact of HIV and which more adult women than men are living with HIV. In workers, although we still have a lot of AIDS, not only at the workplace but 2010, an estimated 53 per cent of adults work to do in getting more people to throughout the entire society. World AIDS Day was observed on 1st living with HIV were women, a proportion appreciate that basic fact,” he said. The Permanent Secretary said the December 2011 under the theme: ‘Getting that has remained steady since the late Ministry is fully supportive of the HIV/ to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero 1990s,” he said. Mr. Budhan encouraged individuals, AIDS Workplace Programme and the discrimination. Zero AIDS related particularly males, to get tested, given the efforts to develop clear guidelines to create deaths’. The observance ceremony was a colfact that females are more inclined to get greater awareness, reduce and eliminate stigma related to HIV/AIDS at the work- laborative effort among the Ministries of tested. Industry, Investment and Commerce; “It really makes no sense not knowing place. “HIV/AIDS is a major workplace issue Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; and your status. HIV infection is wholly preventable if timely action is taken. If work- impacting both employees and employers Energy and Mining. ers living with HIV are placed on effective and can be extremely devastating on famiBy Chris Patterson, treatment, they can continue leading a nor- lies, businesses and our economy. Together, JIS Reporter mal productive life for many years. HIV however, we can make a difference,” he said, adding that all have a vital role to

©JIS

Jamaica’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Reginald Budhan, has encouraged males to play a greater role in helping to minimise the spread of HIV/AIDS, given the vast majority of women infected with the disease.

Jamaica asked to make Spanish compulsory in Schools Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica, and President of the Spanish Jamaica Foundation, Her Excellency Celsa Nuno, has appealed to Jamaica’s Ministry of Education to make Spanish compulsory at all levels of the education system. She pledged that her Embassy “would spare no effort to support the Ministry” in that endeavour. “Being able to speak Spanish - and I

say so in the presence of the Minister of State for Education (Hon. Gregory Mair), who is fully bilingual - is a tool for the economic empowerment of the youth of this country, and I encourage the Ministry to take the decision to make it compulsory not only in the secondary but primary schools,” she urged. The Spanish Ambassador was addressing a ceremony on 1st December 2011 to hand over furniture and educational material to the Naz Children’s Centre in Ironshore, St. James.

Naz Children’s Centre is a mixed-ability school, with approximately 42 students on roll, age four to 12 years. It has been in operation since 2005. Mr. Mair praised the “uniqueness” of the school in catering to children with different abilities at the same time. He said the approach is something that should be explored for replication across the education system and incorporated into government policy. The Education State Minister noted that while progress has been made “we still

have a far way to go as a nation in how we perceive persons with special abilities”. “We have to find a way to incorporate them in our society and accept that they can play a part in nation building,” he stated. Approximately $150,000 worth of furniture and educational supplies were donated to the school by the Spanish Jamaica Foundation. By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter

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ENTERTAINMENT

No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

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Afika Nx teams up with HarLene to create Hindi-Urban Music “IMA 10” is a potent bass-heavy, club-ready, mega-hit An Indian-Australian singer, an Indian-British urban producer and a South African-American rapper have worked together on a potent bass-heavy, club-ready mega-hit called “IMA 10”. The brand new single “IMA 10” is the collaborative effort of the amazingly talented Hindi/Punjabi/Urban singer HarLene, super-producer Shayal, and powerhouse artist Afika Nx. The three have manufactured an entirely new genre of music. Shayal’s credits include the hit single “Baby” featuring Ginuwine. He has also worked with Jagged Edge and created the official remix of the super hit “Down” for Jay Sean. Commenting on the collaboration, Shayal said: “Really the goal was to fill in the gaps in the Asian market. My experience in Asian-urban music gave me a good idea of what the market needed, and what the future of Asian music is.” With a humble chuckle he added: “I couldn’t have asked for a better studio session.” One listen of “IMA 10” will show you exactly where Shayal‘s satisfaction comes from. HarLene’s velvety timbre flows so effortlessly and beautifully over the booming kick and crisp snares of the danceready beat that one almost doesn’t even

HarLene’s Links www.twitter.com/ HarLeneofficial www.facebook.com/HarLene

From left to right: Powerhouse artist Afika Nx, Hindi/Punjabi/Urban singer HarLene and super-producer Shayal notice the singer is bilingual. After being mesmerized by the devastatingly catchy hook, Afika Nx’s growling punchlineheavy rhymes remind you what the heavy beat was made for. The Hindi-Urban track is the first of its kind: Western urban pop with both Hindi and English lyrics written by HarLene and with American-style rap relevance. With so much going on in one track, the immediate fear may be that the project sounds too contrived, but the team has managed to make a true international hit, showcasing the talents and backgrounds of all three artists and joining the ranks of other international pop acts like The Black Eyed Peas, Madonna and Jennifer Lopez. The bubbly and confident Aussie, HarLene, is a versatile singer who sings a

mix of Hindi, English and Punjabi, and has been singing ever since she could talk. When she was little she often used to say: “I can sing sing sing because I’m HarLene Singh!” HarLene has been performing in Australia since 2008, taking her unique style to cultural, club and university events in Brisbane. There is no doubt in her mind that she wants to pursue her singing dreams and make it her career. Commenting on her debut single, she said: “Meeting Shayal was the catalyst for this track. He completely understood where I was coming from and allowed me to create a track that uses all my inspirations and skills – I love singing in English and Hindi – it’s who I am, but adding the rap with Afika Nx, to make it so contemporary was

genius! I’m delighted with the end product.” From the other side of the world comes South-African born American rapper Afika Nx, who hails from Greensboro, North Carolina and is tipped to be one of the hottest hip-hop artists of 2012. He said: “If you’d told me six months ago that I’d be on a track with Hindi music I’d have laughed at the thought. But actually it’s inspired – HarLene’s vocals and mine are at opposite ends of the spectrum but they say opposites attract. I had a blast doing it and making the video. I know that UK and international audiences are really going to feel the spirit of the track. It’s a 10!” “IMA 10” is available to download from iTunes.

Misha B defeated, or isn’t she? Yes, it did finally happen. It’s been predicted by many, and feared by Misha B herself. Many would say hers was the best act in the competition – pain, joy, strength, weakness, all in there in the right proportion. Not everyone will agree with her ways, but the “X-factor” – there’s no question she has it. The girl is an exceptional performer, but she is out. And beyond that, the show will go on after the “Misha B” chapter is closed. The question is though – has she been defeated, or is she a win-

ner still? Misha B was hungry for the “crown” just like all the other contestants (probably much more than some). Still, as the verdict became clear she did not lose her composure. Instead, the smile on her face seems to have said: “I did not lose”. She’s out, no doubt. Yet, she left with dignity. Having said “thank you” to whoever she believed “thank yous” were due she waved to the camera and came off the platform quite graciously. What is going to happen next to Lady Misha B no one knows exactly. Though, not winning the X-factor won’t probably make too much of a difference to her singing career. The voice is there, whether in or out of this talent competition. For sure, hungry agents are queuing already to have her as their “own little treasure.” That’s just the way it goes when something as powerful as her voice gets exposed. What one can do now instead of voting is to pray that Miss Misha B will be, and won’t become a victim of showbiz like so many

others before her. Whatever the future shows – for now she did not lose…, or did she? By Monika Ribeiro

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No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

COMMENTARY-OP-ED

Angélique Kidjo: Climate Action, One Bite at a Time There is an old African riddle I am very fond of: “How do you eat an elephant?” To which the answer is “A bite at a time.” It should be on every one’s lips at the climate change talks in Durban.

leaving South Africa with chronic indigestion. First of all let us agree on starters. Climate change is real and dithering over a deal is not an option. It is already devastating the lives and livelihoods of many of the world’s poorest people as increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather hits It can seem that climate change is so harvests and contributes to rising food big, so complex, so all encompassing that, prices. As temperatures rise, crop yields like our culinary elephant, it is too big to will fall, possibly to half of their current handle and there is nothing we can do to levels in some African countries within our make a difference. Not true. It just needs to lifetimes or that of our children. be taken a bite at a time. This is not only an issue of our comSo for all those politicians and officials mon humanity it is also an issue of justice. who are telling us a fully comprehensive People on the frontline of climate change deal on climate change is unrealistic – at – from villagers living on the flood plains least in the next few years - here is my of Bangladesh to farmers eking out a living advice that will hopefully not have them from the dry and dusty soil in Zimbabwe – are SEND US YOUR LETTERS the ones who are least able to cope and are also the least responsible. We welcome letters on topical issues, your experiFor the main course ences, and or any article you have read in the in Durban what the poliAfroNews. Letters, not exceeding 600 words, must ticians need to agree is include your full name (not necessarily for publicaaction on the emissions tion), address and telephone numbers for verificagap. For the sake of us tion. Letters may be edited for publication. all we must keep global temperature rise at 1.5oC E-mail: afronews@myownmedia.co.uk and that means urgently

dramatically reducing the amount of carbon and other emissions we pump up into the atmosphere. Rich, developed countries must show leadership on being ambitious with their emission cuts so that others also agree to strengthen and commit to their pledges before it is too late. Once the plates are cleared away the just deserts would be agreement on the legal form of a new deal which preserves and builds on the Kyoto Protocol. At stake are people’s lives – we must enshrine our commitments to tackle this crisis in the strongest possible legal form, not roll back on our existing international commitments. We must strive for a comprehensive, fair, ambitious, legally binding deal as soon as possible. Finally there is always the bill to pay and there will be the inevitable arguments over how to split it. For this there are a range of new innovative options such as a small tax on financial transactions and a fair carbon charge on shipping and aviation emissions, which would help to deliver the new money needed to fill the Green Climate Fund, and ensure it is not left as an empty shell. This was established at the last climate talks in Cancun to channel funds to poor countries to help them adapt to the changing climate and develop in a

low carbon way. Governments have said that they are committed to mobilising $100bn a year by 2020. At Durban they need to agree who is paying what and when. So delegates to the conference I wish you well. And for the sake of us all I hope you leave this fine land of ours satiated but not with an upset stomach. By Angelique Kidjo Born in Benin in West Africa, Angélique is a Grammy award-winning music recording artist and an Oxfam Global Ambassador. For more information about Oxfam and climate change please go to www.oxfam.org/grow.

RECIPE

Madagascar Chicken

Ingredients • 2 boneless chicken breast halves, cut in bite size chunks • 2/3 cup canned coconut milk • 1 yellow onion, chopped • 1 red bell pepper or tomato, sliced and chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 2 tsp ground ginger • 1 tsp grated lemon rind • 1/3 tsp (or to taste) cayenne powder • salt • pepper • lemon juice • oil

Directions 1. Marinate chicken in lemon juice for 30 minutes, drain and season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Saute over medium heat until cooked on outside but slightly pink inside. 3. Drain oil and place chicken in a container and set aside. 4. Saute onions, stirring constantly, until slightly browned. 5. Add bell peppers and garlic and saute 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. 6. Reduce heat to simmer, add coconut milk, ginger, cayenne powder, and lemon rind. 7. Add chicken back to stew. 8. Cover and simmer 30 minutes or until in thick stew consistency. If mixture is too thin simmer with lid removed until desired consistency is reached. Serve over a bed of steamed white rice. By Recipe Safari, http://recipesafari.blogspot. com/


LIFESTYLE & RELIGION

No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011 www.theafronews.eu

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“Life In My Shoes”

Annie Lennox launches campaign to fight stigma surrounding HIV “Life In My Shoes”, a new ground breaking youth-led campaign to fight stigma surrounding HIV in the UK has been launched in London. Backed by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the hard hitting campaign was officially launched at City Hall by Body & Soul patron and London HIV Ambassador Annie Lennox, and the Mayor’s Advisor for Health and Families Pamela Chesters. Eight in ten young people know that HIV cannot be transmitted by sharing a drink with someone who is HIV positive, yet three quarters say they still wouldn’t do it. Common myths and negative attitudes towards young people with HIV can leave many feeling alienated, alone and stigmatised. “Life In My Shoes” aims to tackle these issues head on and challenge the ongoing issues faced by young people living and affected by HIV in the capital. Inspired by the experiences of young people living with HIV, Body & Soul devised the “Life In My Shoes” campaign to educate young people beyond the facts of HIV and to explore their attitudes and behaviour around the misconceptions associated with HIV. Central to the campaign is a film: ‘Undefeated’ based on the real experiences of young people managing the impact HIV

London HIV Ambassador Annie Lennox has on their lives. A trailer of ‘Undefeated’ – due for launch in 2012, was premiered at

the City Hall reception. Commenting on the issues faced by young people with HIV, Ms. Lennox said: “The statistics are staggering; every 80 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed HIV positive. More and more children and families are being affected by HIV. Yet in a country where we have access to treatment and care and where we really can do something to make an impact on transmission rates and stigma, why do young people have to live in fear of the social impact of living with HIV? Fear of disclosure is damaging their health. Young people need to feel safe to talk about HIV, to ask questions, to share their experiences.” Mr. Johnson added: “With half the HIV positive population in the UK living here in London and a quarter unaware of their status, it continues to be a significant health issue for the capital. As ‘Life in My Shoes’ highlights, stigma remains a critical problem.” He urged all to “work together to challenge the stigma and prejudice that get in the way of people seeking help and getting tested.” “Life in my Shoes” kicked off early in 2011 with Search for a Star, a competition to give young Britons the chance

32,000 black Africans in UK HIV positive Sexually active people urged to go for sexual health check up High numbers of Black Africans continue to be diagnosed with HIV in the UK, new figures released by the Health Protection Agency have revealed. In 2010, there were 2,050 Black Africans diagnosed with HIV, making up 30% of all new diagnoses in the UK, though many were infected abroad. However, infections acquired in the UK continue to rise significantly, at 3,640 for 2010, more than double the figure a decade ago. Black Africans are also the most likely to be unaware of their HIV infection, finding out that they have the infection at a late stage. There are now more than 32,000 black Africans living with HIV in the UK. Black Africans are also at greater health risk as a result of being less likely to return to their health professional for continued treatment after being diagnosed and showing high rates of TB alongside HIV. By 2012 there will be 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK. To help curb further spread of the virus, HIV and sexual health charity Terrence

Higgins Trust (THT) is encouraging all who are sexually active to have a sexual health check up, including an HIV test. THT says that the more regularly you put yourself at risk through unprotected sex the more frequently you need to test. HIV testing is easy, confidential and now available in local community settings as well as sexual health clinics, so you can fit it around your daily schedule. THT is also encouraging all who are sexually active to use condoms with every new partner. Until you have been tested and know for sure that neither of you have HIV, or another sexually transmitted infection to pass on, condoms are essential protection. If you are HIV positive, you are encouraged to get yourself treated and looked after. Visit MyHIV.org.uk to gain detailed information and advice on living well with HIV, including personal support from other people living with HIV through the community forums. You are also urged to start treatment when a doctor advises – since modern HIV treatment reduces onward transmission as well as lengthening your life. Sir Nick Partridge, Chief Executive

for Terrence Higgins Trust, says: “HIV rates in the UK remain dangerously high and to bring them down we all have to take responsibility for our sexual health. We can’t just rely on partners, or chance, to keep ourselves safe.” He encourages black African communities in the UK to come forward for support in protecting themselves against HIV. “We know that there are lots of fears about testing, including concerns around confidentiality and not being able to cope if the test is positive, but ignorance really isn’t bliss- if people don’t reach out for support they are risking their lives and potentially that of their families,” Sir Partridge said. “If you’re diagnosed early with HIV and get treatment you can lead a long and healthy life. The sooner you find out, the sooner you can get the high standard of care and support you need to stay healthy.” You can receive full information about HIV/AIDS, confidential advice and support, easily accessible testing and free condoms from the THT. Please contact THT by dialling 0808 802 1221. For more information about HIV visit MyHIV.org.uk.

to star in the feature film, based on the real stories of youth living with HIV. Supporting the star search were stars from hit TV series Misfits; The Inbetweeners and a casting panel of film and TV industry experts including Finola Dwyer, John Whiston and Gary Davy. Directed by new London film talent Tudor Payne, and with several surprise celebrity cameos, the “Life in my Shoes” feature film will give audiences the unique opportunity to see what life is like for Londoners who are HIV positive, experiencing the challenges they face in and out of the classroom Alongside public screenings of the film next year, ‘Undefeated’ will form part of the unique Life in my Shoes curriculum resource delivered to schools in 2012. Commenting on the campaign, Body & Soul Director, Emma Colyer stated: “We are immensely proud of the work of the Life in my Shoes team in translating our members’ stories and experiences and bringing them to life through a film. Our aim is to change attitudes, to create greater empathy, to be part of changing the environment our young people have to grow up in. This story needs to be told if we are able to do this.” Complete information about the Life in my Shoes project is available by visiting www.lifeinmyshoes.org.

Pope: Encourage meeting of cultures in universities Pope Benedict XVI has urged universities to encourage meeting of cultures. Addressing participants of the third World Congress for the Pastoral Care of International Students at the Vatican, he said: “Today more than ever the openness of cultures to one another is the most fertile terrain for dialogue among people committed to seeking authentic humanism. The meeting of cultures in universities must, then, be encouraged and supported. ... Thanks to their intellectual, cultural and spiritual formation, international students have, in fact, the potential to become architects and protagonists of a more human world”. The Pope noted that international students

are an increasingly large group within the broader phenomenon of migration. This, he said, can be due to a lack of highquality education and suitable structures in their countries of origin, the presence of social and political tensions, or the availability of economic support to study abroad. “It is important,” he said, “to offer them a healthy and well-balanced intellectual, cultural and spiritual formation, so that they do not get absorbed into the ‘brain drain’ but become a socially and culturally relevant group in view of their return as future leaders to their countries of origin” where they can “help to build cultural, social and spiritual ‘bridges’ with their host nations.” The Pope added that universities are a vital field for evangelisation.


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The AfroNews No. 29. 6th - 12th December 2011