A Chinese percussionist’s journey to find the roots of the African djembe

By Li Xiaoyu

Tian Yang (second right, second row), while in Mali in late 2019 (supplied)

6 April 2022

The djembe is a percussion instrument that is synonymous with traditional West African music. Despite the fact that it is now well-known in Europe, the U.S., and Japan as a result of the outstanding djembefola (djembe players in Mandingue) who have established study centers there, relatively few Chinese music enthusiasts are familiar with its traits. Tian Yang, 36, is a rare exception. More than 10 years after his initial encounter with the instrument, he is still expanding not just his musical expertise, but also his understanding of the Manding culture, which is accredited with the invention of the djembe.

4IR training in the pipeline for rural schools

by HRH Stella Sigcau

Photo: Principal Diko of Ntsikayezwe SSS, Princess Stella Sigcau II, Ms Josina Machel, Ms Zine Nkukhwana and Nkosi Jongilanga Sigcau

6 April 2022

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), has been quite topical in recent years and is perceived as the dawn of a new era of innovation in technology that will unlock new market opportunities.

Zine Nkukhwana a 4IR expert is determined that this training must reach rural schools. Zine Nkukhwana will be conducting training of schools in 4IR in the Mpondo Kingdom.

SATMA honours Traditional Leaders

by HRH Stella Sigcau

Photo: Prince Zukisani Ndamase, Roads, Infrastructure and Public Works MEC Namane Masemola, Sekhukhune District Municipality Executive Mayor, Julia Mathebe Makhuduthamaga, Princess Stella Sigcau II and Deputy Minister of Correctional Services Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa.

6 April 2022

Kgosi Kgolo Mampuru of the Pedi Kingdom was honored with the South African Traditional Music Awards (SATMA) on 26 March 2022 at Mamone in Jane Furse, Limpopo for his role in colonial resistance which led to his death by hanging at Pretoria Prison on 22 November 1883.

DJ Black Coffee wins Grammy

Nkosinathi Maphumulo, aka DJ Black Coffee, with his Grammy award. Photo: @RealBlackCoffee/Twitter

4 April 2022

President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent his well wishes to house music DJ Nkosinathi Maphumulo, also known as Black Coffee, for winning an award at the Grammy Awards held at Las Vegas in the United States of America last night.

Maphumulo won the award in a tight list of nominees including legendary house music group Ten City.

The inspiring architect from Burkina Faso who lifted world’s biggest prize

by Paulo Moreira, Researcher, Universidade de Lisboa

1 April 2022

Diébédo Francis Kéré has become the first African and the first black person to be awarded architecture’s highest international honour, the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Photo: Diébédo Francis Kéré (photo courtesy of Lars Borges)

Kéré was born in Burkina Faso, West Africa, and built his architectural practice designing schools and medical facilities that were most often built by local communities with minimal resources and a very careful selection of affordable and sustainable materials. It was this approach that led to his architecture firm receiving global recognition. We asked architect and African architecture researcher Paulo Moreia to tell us more about Kéré and his win.


BRI Broadens Scope

From physical infrastructure, cooperation is expanding into digital and health sectors

A medical worker shows the COVID-19 vaccines delivered to Gaza Strip in a China-Egypt joint assistance program on February 21 (XINHUA)

1 April 2022

By Ehizuelen Michael Mitchell Omoruyi

Success is about the person who achieves it, but the significance is about others. What this means is that China’s economic transformation might be about China; the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that talks about multilateralism - bringing different countries together under the framework of open cooperation and inter-connectivity - may be initiated by China, but the Chinese Government has always wanted its significance to be about others. That is why as the world goes through a rough period that has affected China-Africa cooperation, China has been quick to provide aid and support to African nations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic under the BRI.

The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD: A contemporary paradigm

Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki

28 March 2022

Africa is in vibrant transition, said Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of AUDA–NEPAD, in an interview with The Diplomatic Society. Dr Mayaki, the former Prime Minister of Niger, paid tribute to African excellence and extended his heartfelt congratulations to Diébédo Francis Kéré, the 56-year-old from Gando village in Burkina Faso who became the first African to be awarded the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture’s highest international honour. Africans are being acknowledged for their prowess, skills and abilities around the world said Mayaki, who has come to the end of his tenure as Chief Executive of AUDA-NEPAD.

Undocumented Migrants – The Myths, Realities, and What we Know and Don’t Know

The fact that we don’t actually know how many ‘undocumented’ migrants there are is, in part, attributable to a systemic problem of state administration with the Department of Home Affairs.

by Emmanuel Owusu-Sekyere, Deputy Research Director, The Brenthurst Foundation and Alexandra Willis, Machel-Mandela Fellow

25 March 2022

Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia had planned a demonstration on Human Rights Day 2022 across South Africa, but alas it was banned by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD). The aim of the ban was to avoid conflict since those involved in Operation Dudula had threatened to attack the anti-xenophobia march.

The JMPD could not guarantee the safety of both sides in a possible confrontation fueled by a concoction of mistruths and misperceptions about non-nationals being responsible for unemployment, crime and poverty in South Africa.

Propitious Practice
Chinese medical missions promote health care in Sao Tome and Principe and Bostwana
By Li Xiaoyu

The Chinese medical mission with the students and teachers of Rebera Paixe Elementary School in Sao Tome and Principe on June 27, 2021

Since the landing of the first Chinese medical mission on Algerian land in April 1963, China and Africa have worked together in the field of healthcare for more than 58 years, and the cooperation has deepened during the COVID-19 epidemic. The first program outlined in the first three-year plan under the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035 is related to the sphere of health. China will offer an additional 1 billion vaccine doses to Africa, undertake 10 health and medical projects for the continent, and dispatch 500 medical and public health experts to Africa. During the 2021 China-Africa Video and Photo Competition, the theme drew attention of many participants, with a number of entries narrating the stories of Chinese medical missions to Africa.

The Kashmir Files - A story that the world needs to see

23 March 2022

‘The Kashmir Files’ was screened on 18 March at Killarney Mall in Johannesburg after its release worldwide on 11 March 2022. The screening was organized by Indian Community Leaders and among the attendees were South African government officials, diplomats and business people.

The Kashmir Files is about the racial persecution and cultural tyranny in the 1990s insurgency, which led to the Kashmiri Pandit's exodus from the valley. Vivek Agnihotri (Director of the movie), his wife Pallavi Joshi and Anupam Kher have tried to show the real face of the Kashmiri Pandit's "genocide" from the valley.

Opportunities for Cooperation

5G development and rural revitalization highlighted at China’s lianghui can lend experience to African countries

By Kirtan Bhana

The just-concluded sessions of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), known as lianghui in Chinese, highlighted the importance of digital economy in the country’s development in all aspects, and 5G is playing an increasingly important role in promoting the development of the digital economy.

A Centennial of Modern Egyptian Diplomacy: Reflections Amidst Uncertainty in our Global Village

by Ahmed El Fadly, Ambassador of Egypt to South Africa, Botswana and Lesotho

15 March 2022

Today, as we commemorate a centennial of modern Egyptian diplomacy, uncertainty appears to be the prevailing sentiment at this critical juncture of modern history in our “global village”. Overnight, the overwhelming and once alarming news of COVID-19 deadly infections, total lockdowns and lack of ventilators have been replaced by equally disturbing reports of military confrontations, economic sanctions and refugee crises. The specter of war is haunting millions in Europe with current developments in Ukraine. Its ramifications are preoccupying many more across the globe, while the destructive effects of climate change are flooding entire cities thousands of miles away in Australia and elsewhere.

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