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The shortlist for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2019 has been announced, recognising the most promising entrepreneurial engineers from across sub-Saharan Africa working to accelerate socio-economic development through business. The 16 shortlisted innovations come from six countries including Kenya,  South Africa, and Nigeria.

For six months, the sixteen shortlisted Africa Prize entrants have received comprehensive business training and mentoring from high profile, experienced engineers and business development experts to develop business plans and market their innovations. The winner of the prize will be awarded £25,000 and the three runners up will receive £10,000 each.

From water systems that turn air to potable water to apps that facilitate peer to peer money swap, here are five innovators set to shape Africa for the better with their innovations.

Beth Koigi(Kenya) – Majik Water

Beth Koigi - Credit: Royal Academy of Engineering

27-year-old Beth Koigi is the CEO of Majik Water, a water system that harvests moisture from the air and converts it to affordable, clean drinking water for off-grid communities. The all-in-one system harvests, stores and dispenses water.

Koigi first tackled issues of dirty, contaminated water some years ago while at the university. She created a water filter and started a successful business selling over 5,000 filters in Kenya in the past five years. However, she conceived the idea for her water system after increasingly coming across areas with an extreme scarcity of water as rivers run dry and the water table drops.

During a four-month hackathon programme at Silicon Valley, Koigi teamed up with two other women, American environmental scientist Anastasia Kaschenko and British economist Clare Sewell, to create Majik Water to solve water scarcity in rural communities in arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya.

There is six times as much water in the air as in all rivers in the world. Majik Water uses hydrophilic materials like silica gels to draw water from the air. The gels are then converted to water with solar powered heat, generating up to 10 litres of clean water per day.

Experimenting with different ways to absorb and then release water, the team is doing extensive research at several sites in Nairobi, while also installing their first commercial units in South Africa. They are also looking to scale up to 100-litre systems at a cost of only £0.08 per 10 litres.

Water ATMs are already prominent in Kenya, typically supplied by costly reverse osmosis devices. The Majik Water team wants to supplement this technology with something more affordable – custom built water dispensers that will allow communities to pay only for as much water as they need.

Neo Hutiri(South Africa) – Pelebox Smart Lockers

Neo Hutiri - Credit: Royal Academy of Engineering

Four years ago, Neo Hutiri was diagnosed with Tuberculosis. When he started his initial six-month treatment, his biggest challenge was the long waiting times at the clinic. He was spending over three hours on long queues with every visit. And he wasn’t the only one. There were several other patients that required chronic treatments waiting alongside him for hours. Many had missed work just to collect their medicine.

Also, South Africa has the world’s biggest antiretroviral therapy programme for patients living with HIV and AIDS. Over 4.6million patients receive ARVs with chronic therapy treatments and have to visit public health facilities monthly to receive medication. This means health facilities are often overcrowded with patients that lose millions of hours in waiting time.

“It’s really challenging having to plan your day around a visit to the clinic. We are very familiar with how demotivating it is to wait for hours on hours just to comply with treatment cycles when you could be at work,” says Hutiri. “We then started being curious about what can be done and how we can play an active role in solving this challenge.”

Hutiri and his team developed Pelebox, a smart locker system designed for public healthcare facilities to dispense medicine to patients that require chronic therapy treatments, cutting down on long queues and easing pressure on clinic resources.

Pelebox is a simple wall of lockers, controlled by a digital system. Healthcare workers stock the lockers with chronic prescription refills, log the medicine on the system, and secure each locker. Pelebox then sends patients a one-time PIN with the number of the locker to the patients mobile phone, which they enter into the system to unlock their medicine.

Hutiri piloted Pelebox in Pretoria last year and recorded a hundred percent success. 4,700 medications were delivered to the right patients at an average collection time of under 36 seconds. The 30-year-old entrepreneur has signed a contract with South Africa’s department of health to roll out Pelebox in eight of the country’s nine provinces.

Anne K. Rweyora(Uganda) – Smart Havens Africa

Anne k Rweyora Credit: Royal Academy of Engineering

Globally, a third of the world’s urban population lives in slums. Africa especially has a major housing crisis due to rapid urbanization and a growing slum population. Inadequate housing poses a challenge in so many ways including health, security, and meeting basic needs.

Anne K. Rweyora, the co-founder of  Smart Havens Africa, has had a personal experience with housing poverty. But she began working on the idea of providing adequate housing solutions for people with limited resources after volunteering in South Sudan as a social worker. During this time, she witnessed firsthand how extreme the issue of housing poverty has become and how it specifically affects women.

Rweyora felt that owning a home should be more attainable to the average working woman and she set out to create Smart Havens Africa, a social enterprise that provides low cost, eco-friendly and sustainable smart homes built from appropriate but affordable technologies, geared towards making home ownership more accessible to African women.

Smart Havens Africa builds houses in areas where homes are predominantly owned by wealthier landlords. The homes are then given out to women on a rent-to-own scheme that would take effect over a period of five years.

“Guiding our approach is a singular belief that developing vibrant communities and growing opportunity begins at home. Stable, affordable homes deliver immediate and positive benefits to people and communities. But more importantly, they are an essential foundation for children and families to achieve a decent education and pursue healthy and prosperous lives,” the company states.

The homes are built with locally produced green bricks that reduce temperatures in the hot Ugandan climate, custom biodigesters, rainwater harvesting systems and electrical installations to keep utility costs down. The company also support female artisans and entrepreneurs with training and apprenticeship opportunities.

Muzalema Mwanza(Zambia) – Baby Delivery Kits

Muzalema - Credit: Royal Academy of Engineering

Muzalema Mwanza is the founder of Safe Motherhood Alliance, an organization that produces low-cost delivery kits for expectant mothers. The Safe Motherhood Alliance Kit includes basic items like a sterilized, disposable, delivery mat, scalpel, sanitary pads, cotton swabs, as well as an infant receiver. All tools for midwives delivering babies in Zambia’s under-resourced clinics.

Maternal and child mortality has always been an issue in developing countries around the world. Many pregnant women are exposed to several risks and complications because they lack easy access to healthcare facilities, skilled doctors, or even an ambulance or vehicle to transport them when in labour.

Mwanza’s clean-delivery kit is a simple approach to reducing these risks, especially in Zambia where only 47 percent of births are attended by skilled health workers at health institutions and home delivery is at 53 percent. Her team currently produces thousands of kits monthly, selling them through clinics directly to prospective mothers and midwives in an effort to reduce maternal and child mortality.

Chukwunonso Arinze(Nigeria) – KAOSHI

Chukwunonu - Credit: Royal Academy of Engineering

Nigeria’s Chukwunonso Arinze created KAOSHI, a peer to peer money swap mobile solution that connects money senders across the globe, thereby circumventing banks and the need to send money across borders. The app tackles the high cost of transferring money to and between countries,  the hassle of buying black market forex, and long hours spent on bank queues.

Like Uber, KAOSHI connects users within and outside Africa, allowing each to specify the currencies they want to exchange, and matching them to users making inverse exchanges at no hidden charges save a flat fee of $1 after a successful transaction. Users can also define their exchange rates. If a person’s offer matches another, a transaction is made within hours. The app also guarantees a hundred percent security and insurance against any default.

Credit:Venture Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Development Fund (ADF) have approved two billion U.S. dollars to fund infrastructure projects in the East African Community (EAC) over the next three years. The funding for the implementation of new and ongoing priority infrastructure projects in the region was disclosed by EAC Secretary General Ambassador, Libérat Mfumukeko. 

This move will also accelerate regional integration through joint infrastructure development and covers regional transport connectivity, energy infrastructure, ICT connectivity, and management of trans-boundary water resources, according to the EAC boss.

“The bank will also support projects aimed at accelerating implementation of the EAC single market, trade development including tackling of non-tariff barriers, and putting in place policy frameworks for industrialization and the regional promotion as single investment destination,” said Ambassador Mfumukeko.

As revealed by the ambassador, landing the deal was not easy as other Regional Economic Communities (RECs), such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) were all competing for funding from the continental bank.

“Given this scenario, it is now evident that our development partners have restored their faith in us, we are looking forward to mobilizing more resources for development projects in our region”, the ambassador said, noting that it was worth and gratifying to note that in 2018, the EAC Secretariat had reached a new record of resources mobilized within one year.

Past funding for the region

The EAC is not new to acquiring funds from the continental development partners. So far, the region has emerged as a big beneficiary of donor-funded development projects on the continent.

In 2017, the AfDB revealed that it had spent about $6.2 billion in its 50-year history on roads in the region. Additionally, in partnership with the World Bank, AfDB has funded key projects in aviation, roads, railways, energy and water sectors in the region.

This has seen more than 7,500 kilometres of roads paved. Kenya has received $1.78 billion which saw 1,720 km of roads paved; Tanzania has received $1.58 billion and paved 2,230 km of roads, while Uganda received $870 million, paving at least 930 km, as reported by The East African.

East Africa is the fastest growing region on the continent. With a real GDP growth rate of 5.9 percent in 2017, compared with the continental average of 3.6 percent, the region is expected to enjoy sustained economic growth.

But its economies are characterized by low levels of industrialization and countries in the region have been grappling with poor infrastructure, power shortages, low electricity connectivity and a high cost of power for manufacturing.

Improving regional integration

The construction of a transnational highway, which connects Tanzania and Kenya’s coastal cities is set to begin in the first quarter of 2019.  The key stretch which is abou 450 kilometre-long is expected to cross the Kenyan border and pass through Tanzania. The move is touted to be a major milestone in terms of trade and above all raise the standards of the transport and energy sectors in both countries.

The funding programme also covers Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Somalia, and Sudan.

Credit : Ventures Africa

The former President of Cote d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo has been acquitted of all charges of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, an ICC press officer tells CNN. Gbagbo, who ruled the West African country from 2000 till his arrest in 2011, had been on trial for violence in the country following the 2010 elections.

The Netherlands court said prosecutors were not able to prove his guilt nor that of his co-accused Charles Ble Goude, a former minister in the country. The prosecutor may request that he remains in detention, the court press officer says. The ICC judges will hear that possible request Wednesday morning at 4am ET.

Ivory Coast suffered months of violence when Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent, refused to step down after Ouattara was declared the winner. Thousands of people died and hundreds of thousands were displaced during the civil war that broke out. Gbagbo was arrested a few months later and taken to the ICC court where he faced charges of crimes against humanity in the West African country, also known as Cote d'Ivoire.
CNN

One of the greatest achievements of the technological era can be found in cross-border financial transactions. There was a time not long ago when an immigrant could not support her family in critical times unless she had a bank account with funds in it in her country of origin. That seems like ancient history in the world of today where within minutes, a Ghanaian or a Kenyan immigrant in Berlin or Boston could remit funds for food or medical check-up to a relative back home. However, some of the online money transfer agencies that have afforded us with such conveniences are high risk because they are susceptible to fraud.      

Those who deal with money transfer agencies on a regular basis know that the money transfer business is split between the traditional agencies like Western Union and Moneygram and the predominantly online agencies like World Remit, Azimo, Homesend and Slypay. While the traditional agencies have the advantage of being far more recognizable and secure, they are also more expensive, have lower exchange rates and can be inconvenient. For instance, no form of identification other than a passport is accepted from a foreigner at any Western Union branch in the Eurozone and some do not even accept any form of payment other than cash. This may seem like a first-world problem until you find yourself with an expired passport that costs between 200€-300€ to renew plus a trip to the capital city and a waiting period of more than a month; or until you find yourself at a Western Union branch located 30 minutes away from your home but you have only a debit card and your residence permit in your back pocket. And to my knowledge, no Western Union or Moneygram branch transfers money directly to a bank account or a mobile wallet.

 In come the predominantly online money transfer companies that require no passport and are able to remit funds directly to the bank accounts and mobile wallets of friends and relatives across borders. Thanks to them, remitters do not have to rely on a middleman to take money from a local branch in a place like Accra and deposit it into the bank account or the mobile wallet of a relative. But a loophole in some of the companies` transaction system put remitters` money at risk of being stolen by frauds.

This loophole I discovered from personal experience stemming from a transfer I made on January 3, 2019. It was both the second time I transferred money to Ghana through Azimo and to a mobile wallet. The money, which was intended for a relative, was registered in his mobile wallet sometime in the afternoon of January 4th and shortly thereafter, he received a phone call from someone who claimed to be a representative of the company that had sent the money to him. This individual knew how much was sent, when it was sent and obviously the recipient`s phone number. My relative was told that he had to return the funds he was wrongly sent or his number would be permanently blocked. Out of fear, he complied. But he did so for one critical reason: the money he received earlier that afternoon did not have the sender`s name (mine) associated with it. In fact, it only said that the money had come from Azimo`s local partner, Homesend Remittance. The absence of a sender`s name gave him a reason to believe that the funds were indeed wrongly sent to him as claimed by the caller. Turns out, this caller was a fraud.

Moha

In the days following this development - which I learned about on January  5- I reached out to Azimo through its online customer representatives and while they were patient and courteous with me, I could not help but notice that they had no interest in admitting any wrongdoing. How come the transaction details did not include the sender`s name contrary to what I was told? How did the caller get exactly right the amount of money transferred in addition to the recipient`s phone number? These were the questions for which I did not receive an answer. Since only two parties were previewed to information about the transaction, it is relatively easy to guess from which side it got out. For my part, I was told in writing that the sender`s identity is included in the transaction details received by the recipient. Could I have stolen my own money and asked for a refund? That is not possible. For one, I have been sending money to Ghana since I was 17 years old and this experience I had never had. But in order for me to have done it, I would have had to conspire with this relative to take advantage of a loophole that I never thought existed- a loophole which a representative of Azimo had explicitly told me did not exist. And how is this even possible?: which bank sends money without telling the recipient from who it comes from? This leaves us with just Azimo- and its local partner, Homesend Remittance- as the only side from which the transaction details could have gotten out.

Correspondace MTN

The bottom line is this: I fell victim to a fraud who took advantage of a loophole that should never have existed. Although they are infrequent, erroneous money transfers do happen. So, when an unsuspecting individual receives money that is unassociated with a person`s name from a money transfer company, he or she is likely to return it when asked to do so by someone with as much information about the transaction as one could only expect from an insider. And how heartbreaking is it to be advised, by the very corporation that made you a victim, to ask the police for help in finding the perpetrator out of more than thirty million potential suspects? Thank goodness it is not a matter of life and death: grandma only needs to wait just a little bit longer.  

Elections are the most important time for citizens to exercise their fundamental right. The question is, have you ever voted? Are you contemplating on going to the polls or not?

The District Elections 2019 (Bezirksversammlungswahl) in Hamburg is approaching. Sunday, the 26th of May 2019 is going to be the Election Day in Hamburg, where citizens aged 16 and above, German and/or EU-Passport will be casting their votes in Hamburg.

Do you know that most eligible voters in Hamburg ignore the ballot papers sent per post, 5 weeks prior to elections? 

On the Effiya Ephya Show on Radio TopAfric today, Saturday, the 12th of January 2019 at 14:30 Hrs Germany Time, is the SPD politicians, Irene Appiah and Elombo Bolayela
Elombo Bolayela
The following will be discussed;

  • The Ballot Papers in our post boxes?
  • Who can vote?
  • Where you can vote based on where you live? 
  • Which African candidates to vote for during elections.
  • Which party they belong to?
  • How to go about voting?
  • What to do on Election Day in Hamburg?

Use the links below during the interview
Radio TopAfric: https://www.topafric.com/index.php/radio2
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Topafric1/

“If You Don't Vote, They Will Vote For You”

Effiya Ephya
Radio TopAfric

I went from having a disorganised year to a great year after understanding the parable of the water bottle and the stained glass, which I obviously will share with you in this article.

You find yourself here because you probably are enthusiastic about the new year or you haven’t had the best year yet and are ready for something more and better in the coming year. You are not alone on this journey. Many others including myself are reading with you in the pursuit of total control and happiness for the coming year .

On 21st December, 2018, I had the pleasure of sharing some insights on whether or not setting new year resolutions were really necessary on Top Afric’s EFFIYA EPHYA SHOW in Hamburg-Germany, with my brother Padmund Jung. The discussion brought up a lot of insights which you can VIEW HERE for free.

To get anywhere in life, you certainly need to know where you are going. If there is no destination in mind, your journey would be meaningless. Interestingly enough, the universe has given us the power to decide our destinations based on the reason why we were made to come on earth, which is our full time job on earth. Therefore it is certainly okay to have an expectation from each year.

The parable of the water bottle and the stained glass.

Water was poured out of a clean-filled bottle of water into an empty glass. Each time it was poured into the glass, the water looked stained. This continued until the bottle got empty, and the glass of water had to be disposed off continually, to make space for a re-fill. What do you think went wrong?

The Lesson

We all carry a major part of ourselves from each previous year to another. Each year has its own opportunities and blessings aligned for every path. It is certainly important to set new year resolutions once you believe it works for you, because life doesn’t just happen; Life which is symbolised by every single breath we take and each single day we live is a reflection of the decisions we make each moment.

Life is about living to the fullest ability and taking control of everything that happens. If this is how life is, then it is very important to plan things out to fit the path on which you find yourself. That is why setting goals for every year is important. It is better to enter the year with goals than just your mobile phone.

However, there are three important things we can learn from this parable I created to  strategically position yourself for the good the new year has to offer.

  1. Don’t invest your energies into the wrong places, people and things: you need to know what you didn’t do right in the previous year. Be flexible enough to forgive yourself of any wrong because you didn’t know better, but now you do. Just like the parable, if you enter the new year doing the same old things you did that did not work for you, you will keep getting the same results. If you keep pouring positive energy into the wrong things, you will not have a successful year. Change your drinking glass! Reflect on what you think you did wrong in the previous year and make sure you don’t repeat them. Stop attending the wrong events, stop reading the wrong books, stop watching the wrong videos and stop listening to the wrong messages; you know them. Make sure whatever you do everyday is leading you to that realistic goal you have set for the year.
  1. Know what you don’t have that you need: do not waste your water. What you need is a clean glass, not a bowl, not a spoon but a clean glass. Set your priorities right and be realistic with them. Set realistic goals and take your time when setting them. Know that, life is also about growth and you always need to start from somewhere with what you have and who you currently are.
  1. You can always press the reset button in life: the fact that you have decided to pursue a better path doesn’t mean you would have it all smooth. You may probably make some mistakes, just get back on track quickly. You may fall at some places, just get back up quickly. Life presents us with a great opportunity to always start all over again. Have this mindset which would help you get over mistakes you would be doing and not get stuck in the dark. You can always start all over again. You can always get a new drinking glass and you can always get a new bottle of water.

In summary, whatever you do in this coming year should lead you to that place you would want to get to. Be prepared for what you are looking for and there should be a balance between who you presently are and who you’d want to be. It's a new year, you definitely would need to do newer things to get newer results.

Watch out for more articles geared towards your self development and business for the new year.

Derrick S. Vormawor

(Business Consultant | Entrepreneur | Author, Testing The Paint)

Ghana has unveiled plans to process more of its cocoa beans in the country. According to current estimates, Ghana produced 880,000 tonnes of the beans in 2018. However, the West African nation recently achieved the capacity to process about 300,000 tonnes of that number locally; less than 50 percent of what it produces. This new processing capacity was a 19 percent increase from 252,000 tonnes previously processed locally and embodies Ghana’s recent ambitions to protect itself from price fluctuations of Cocoa worldwide through increased processing.

Ghana is the second largest producer of Cocoa worldwide, second only to Ivory Coast. Both countries produce 60 percent of the World’s supply of the beans. However, most of their exports are unprocessed beans, placing them on the lower rungs of the cocoa value chain. Cocoa, unlike other export commodities, is perishable. And with Ghana not having enough storage and processing facilities, trading companies and chocolate manufacturing companies generate the most income from the exported beans.

However, the African cocoa producers are trying to increase their capacity. Both Ghana and the Ivory Coast signed an agreement on the sidelines of the African CEO Forum in 2018 to assist each other in receiving more value from the crop. Known as the “Declaration of Abidjan”, president Allassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast and president Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana agreed on a joint venture that would see both countries “harmonize their marketing policy “. Under the agreement, Abidjan and Accra will collaborate on research to develop better varieties of Cocoa, and also “invite the private sector, including the African private sector, to invest heavily in processing in Africa; commit to jointly promoting consumption of the crop in local, regional and emerging markets; and also decide that the consultation between the two countries on the management of their cocoa sectors will be done on a regular basis.”

As part of this, Ghana secured a $6oo million loan from the African Development Bank for its Cocoa regulator Cocobod last year, with the bulk of it expected to go towards processing. The West African country also hopes to secure a Chinese loan for the construction of a state-owned processing factory. Though many believe if countries like Ghana and the Ivory Coast can process more of their beans, they would earn more and create more jobs, analysts say these are unlikely. Many of the chocolate companies selling the processed cocoa in the developed world are also present in these countries and are mechanized.

With its current plans, Ghana hopes to process at least 50 percent of its beans in the country, in a bid to earn more, and to also be able to export chocolate products to other African countries in a bid to encourage chocolate consumption on the continent.

Source: Ventures Africa

Question: "What is the difference between religion and spirituality?"
Answer: 
Before we explore the difference between religion and spirituality, we must first define the two terms. Religion can be defined as “belief in God or gods to be worshipped, usually expressed in conduct and ritual” or “any specific system of belief, worship, etc., often involving a code of ethics.” Spirituality can be defined as “the quality or fact of being spiritual, non-physical” or “predominantly spiritual character as shown in thought, life, etc.; spiritual tendency or tone.” To put it briefly, religion is a set of beliefs and rituals that claim to get a person in a right relationship with God, and spirituality is a focus on spiritual things and the spiritual world instead of physical/earthly things.


The most common misconception about religion is that Christianity is just another religion like Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. Sadly, many who claim to be adherents of Christianity do practice Christianity as if it were a religion. To many, Christianity is nothing more than a set of rules and rituals that a person has to observe in order to go to heaven after death. That is not true Christianity. True Christianity is not a religion; rather, it is having a right relationship with God by receiving Jesus Christ as the Savior-Messiah, by grace through faith. Yes, Christianity does have “rituals” to observe (e.g., baptism and communion). Yes, Christianity does have “rules” to follow (e.g., do not murder, love one another, etc.). However, these rituals and rules are not the essence of Christianity. The rituals and rules of Christianity are the result of salvation. When we receive salvation through Jesus Christ, we are baptized as a proclamation of that faith. We observe communion in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice. We follow a list of do’s and don’ts out of love for God and gratitude for what He has done.

The most common misconception about spirituality is that there are many forms of spirituality, and all are equally valid. Meditating in unusual physical positions, communing with nature, seeking conversation with the spirit world, etc., may seem to be “spiritual,” but they are in fact false spirituality. True spirituality is possessing the Holy Spirit of God as a result of receiving salvation through Jesus Christ. True spirituality is the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in a person’s life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Spirituality is all about becoming more like God, who is spirit (John 4:24) and having our character conformed to His image (Romans 12:1-2).

What religion and spirituality have in common is that they both can be false methods of having a relationship with God. Religion tends to substitute the heartless observance of rituals for a genuine relationship with God. Spirituality tends to substitute connection with the spirit world for a genuine relationship with God. Both can be, and often are, false paths to God. At the same time, religion can be valuable in the sense that it points to the fact that there is a God and that we are somehow accountable to Him. The only true value of religion is its ability to point out that we have fallen short and are in need of a Savior. Spirituality can be valuable in that it points out that the physical world is not all there is. Human beings are not only material, but also possess a soul-spirit. There is a spiritual world around us of which we should be aware. The true value of spirituality is that it points to the fact that there is something and someone beyond this physical world to which we need to connect.

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of both religion and spirituality. Jesus is the One to whom we are accountable and to whom true religion points. Jesus is the One to whom we need to connect and the One to whom true spirituality points. Are you interested in discovering true religion and true spirituality? If the answer is yes, please begin your journey on our webpage that describes receiving Jesus Christ as your Personal Savior - 

The well-known Germany-based, Ghanaian chief was bestowed with a very special honour recently, as the south-western city of Ludwigshafen awarded him one of its most prestigious honours, the Coat of Arms plaque.

“I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Mr Céphas Bansah for his charitable and voluntary work in Ludwigshafen and to honour him with the coat of arms of the city of Ludwigshafen am Rhein,” Lord Mayor Jutta Steinruck said at the award ceremony.

Ms Steinruck (a member of the SPD) described Bansah as “an extraordinary personality from the middle of Ludwigshafen society”. Popularly called König Bansah in the German media, Togbe Ngoryifia Céphas Kosi Bansah, who is Ngoryifia (“developmental chief”) of his native  Gbi Traditional area of Hohoe in Ghana, was honoured for his many years of volunteer work in Ghana and Ludwigshafen.
Konig cephas bansah
The coat of arms of the city shield is a special honour. It is awarded for extraordinary and long-standing volunteer work “approximately once every two years”, as the city’s protocol chief, Marcel Jurkat, declared at the ceremony.

Bansah, who runs a car repair workshop in the city, is a well-regarded personality in Germany and he appears in sumptuous African robes and gold jewellery at official functions.

At the ceremony in the city hall of Ludwigshafen, the mayor narrated in a witty way how she met the Ghanaian chief for the first time.

“First, I stood in front of a locked door when I wanted to congratulate him on his birthday. He was shopping at Aldi. I was lucky at the second attempt, and I was even allowed to sit on the throne.”


“In 1970 I came to Ludwigshafen,” said Bansah. “I was sent here by my grandfather. First, I completed an apprenticeship as an agricultural machinery mechanic, then as a Master Craftsman for agricultural machinery and then as mechanic for vehicles.”

Under difficult conditions, the African chief opened a car workshop in the city. It took a while for German clients to accept him and have faith in his skills. Today he employs four technicians and four trainees.

“Ludwigshafen and I – that’s like a long marriage,” he said at the ceremony. Since his installation as a chief in Hohoe Gbi on 16 April 1992, he has had to devote much time and resources to the development of the town in eastern Ghana.

Thanks to Skype, WhatsApp and e-mail, the 70-year-old maintains an active contact with the 206,000-inhabitant town from Ludwigshafen. He is also often in Ghana, where he supports his people in many ways, building schools and hospitals, among others.

Despite his commitment to his people in Ghana, Bansah also volunteers in his adopted hometown of Ludwigshafen. For example, “Mit Rad und Tat” (a bicycle repair initiative), which supports refugees, has its headquarters in his workshop. “Yes, Ludwigshafen has also become my home. The people have helped me so much, so you have to give something back,” said the chief.

BY THE AFRICAN COURIER

Should corruption be seen as a moral issue? It often seems so, and that attitude is often reflected in how societies decide it should be dealt with – punishment through the legal system or the rule of law. In this worldview, corrupt acts are a well-thought out and premeditated way for people to capture resources which aren’t rightfully theirs.

There is another way of thinking about corruption, however, which says that the historical social and economic structures in a country create the conditions for corruption. While some forms of corruption do come down to sheer greed, in the wider scheme of how societies progress, corruption is a structural phenomenon – it is built into the structures around which politics in developing economies work, especially of redistribution. The work that the Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) Research Consortium does is designed to tease out whether, within existing realities, opportunities can be found to change incentives and behaviour to make a specific sector more productive, and therefore less corrupt.

To explore these seemingly opposite perspectives – the view that corruption is a moral issue and that corruption is a structural issue, we teamed up with Timothy Adewale, of the Nigerian NGO Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, or SERAP. SERAP has been working since 2004 to use human rights law to increase transparency, accountability and protect social and economic rights in Nigeria. SERAP has undertaken several major investigations of corruption scandals in Nigeria, as well high-profile legal cases. Challenging the daily reality of corruption in Nigeria, and bringing wrong-doers to light, is part of their model for change.

Here, Timothy Adewale discusses SERAP’s approach with Pallavi Roy, SOAS-ACE Research Director in Nigeria.

Pallavi: So, Timothy, if you were to ask the woman or man on the street in Nigeria, how do you think they’d see corruption – as a moral failing by a corrupt individual, or just how politics is played out in the country?

Timothy: Although morality is relative in Nigeria as in other parts of the world, most Nigerians know corruption when they see it. The problem is that corruption and fighting it has been well politicised thus making it seem to Nigerians that one is only corrupt when the ruling party/authorities in Abuja say so. For example, violations of traffic law are so rampant in Nigeria that nobody cares anymore. But the day the authorities decide to arrest someone for it, it is easy for people to conclude that there must be an ulterior motive for the arrest. So goes the story of corruption and its fight in Nigeria

Pallavi: Yes, and that’s when people stop buying into anti-corruption efforts or only pay attention to the more ‘sensational’ cases. But SERAP has done some very brave and important work to expose and prosecute corruption, within the Nigerian legal framework – how would you describe your theory of change?

Timothy: There is a legacy of corruption and impunity in Nigeria, exacerbated by prolonged military rule, unresponsive political systems, lack of accountability, limited civic space and weak judicial and legal systems, lack of political will to enforce decisions of the court, and all of these posing serious threats to citizens’ access to essential public services and human rights. There is also, as you pointed out, citizens’ apathy and limited participation in the fight against corruption.

At SERAP, our theories of change are aimed to address the fundamental governance and human rights issues, including by pushing for increased accountability for grand corruption; robust and effective legal and judicial systems that are able to hold leaders to account; improved access of citizens to information on the management of the country’s resources and improved citizens’ participation in the fight against corruption. Others are improvements of the accountability mechanisms to protect human rights and reduce abuse of public office for private gain.

Pallavi: At ACE, we tread a more nuanced line. Corruption is clearly a damaging phenomenon, and corrupt individuals shouldn’t be condoned or protected – but we also see clearly that corruption occurs so widely and is so resistant to change in developing economies like Nigeria because economic and political power are not aligned to protect formal rules (such as those to forbid public exploitation for private gain). The balance of power is maintained by ‘informal’ politics between patrons and clients, and informal decisions about how available resources should be shared.

Timothy: The problem with developing countries with the fight against corruption is that the most important thing to an average person is survival. So, whether you are fighting corruption or not, one must survive, thereafter you can talk about corruption. When government fails to pay salaries and pensions, people are then wired to do things to survive or “store for the future’’. Therefore, to Nigerians fighting corruption must translate into their socio-economic lives and development. It makes little sense to recover billions if the money recovered goes down the drain pipes again.

Pallavi: I couldn’t agree with you more on what you just said. Because it links to our work which says an impartial rule of law is only possible after countries have reached a certain level of development, and powerful productive organisations want a broad-based rule of law and not a selective one. But this transition is difficult to make for most developing countries including Nigeria, and the rule of law becomes selective, and top down vertical enforcement often fails leading to fatigue with ambitious anti-corruption efforts. Hence the need to look for ways where we can make sequential progress and where we can build coalitions of actors who see rule following in their interest and come together as horizontal enforcers.

But Nigeria has a vibrant media space, and political debates take place openly. Do you think anti-corruption will become an election plank in 2019 like in the last general elections? And more importantly, do you think corruption is treated as a key issue before elections but matters revert to the status quo after?

Timothy: Corruption without question will be an election plank just like it was the case in the 2015 general elections. However, citizens’ expectations in terms of what can be achieved at the level of prosecution of grand corruption cases, reducing the cost of governance, and improving the governance architecture, are pretty low. The key is for citizens to engage politicians, ask critical questions and ensure that corrupt politicians are not voted in, and to keep the momentum even after the elections. The campaign for good governance and accountability is a continuum and should be intensified by people holding politicians to their commitments made during the elections. Bottom-line: we need public/citizens’ ownership of the fight against corruption if the issue of corruption is be more than just election slogan. Otherwise, it will be business as usual and matters might indeed revert to the status quo.

Reflections: It is easy to understand the anger and frustration around corruption and anti-corruption policies, and it is undoubtedly justified. But just so one can provide the reassurance that policy can work, big bang ambitious reforms, while necessary cannot be sufficient to address issues at the sectoral level. This requires an understanding of motivations and incentives. Devising policy that changes those incentive structures in a way that people no longer need to be corrupt to benefit from the system is one way of ensuring some success in the highly fraught field of anti-corruption.

originally published on SOAS Blog on 6 December 2018

I had the privilege to attend the 2016 African Youth Education Awards (AYEA) in Hamburg which for me belongs to one of the well-organized events by the African Diaspora in Hamburg.

In terms of event management, the African Diaspora has constantly been linked to a clichee of disregard for time, ill-prepared programs, less attention to detail and unprofessionalism.

Traditionally, one can also argue that most African communities in Germany have placed much focus on socio-cultural programs (Outdoorings, Funeral Celebrations, Cultural Shows, etc.) to highlight their existence in the public domain.

I humbly want to proclaim that the AYEA program is now one of the leading platforms to showcase a different image of the African Diaspora in Germany.

My confidence in making such a proclamation thrives around my personal observations whilst attending the AYEA awards. Essentially, I'd restrict my opinions to the following:

Professionalism:
The organizers of the AYEA have clearly understood that the regard for punctuality directly translates into respect for participants and also lays the foundation for effectiveness.

The program started on time - which was the first surprise I took notice of- and it was executed within the allocated time. This brings to mind that I have to give a big credit to the 3 young African female moderators who combined glamour, professional expertise and resolute assertiveness to drive this event to the expected targets.

Attendance & Awards:
The AYEA program was patronized by signficant personalities from the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, representatives from the Hamburg Local Government, Embassy of Uganda, Notable Parliamentarians, Student Associations and many more distinguished individuals. For me, this platform delivered the ever so important avenue for vital engagements between the political divide in Germany and the African Diaspora. The presentations stressed the need for the African Diaspora to consolidate its position within the society at large by taking advantage of all integration avenues.

At the same time, the awards to our young African brothers and sisters can be seen as powerful motivation factors, however, I am of the view that they clearly depicted an increasing trend of the African youth walking a different path in comparison to the older generation. Specifically, this is an indication that they have embraced the idea that achieving excellence in education is a core prerequisite for career development and social integration in Germany.

The event sequence combining formal presentations, entertainment acts and motivational speeches were driven in a manner which captured my attention from beginning to end. Boredom factor was zero and I believe this is achievable through experience which the organizers have gained in the last couple of years. 

Writing your Story:
Unfortunately, Africans (both on the continent and in the diaspora) have never had the joy, resources and the platform to write and communicate their own history (culture, religion, traditions, etc.) to the rest of the world. This role has often been occupied by foreign media, especially western media who, evidently, have always presented Africans in the light of their own expectations, imaginations and purposes.

Going forward, this situation has to change and the AYEA showcased that this is a viable avenue for the African Diaspora to tell its own story.

Logistics, Hospitality and Services:
As a Professional Project Manager, I could see that a lot of planning, time, resources and engagements have been invested into this event or I'd say project.

The outcome was simply remarkable - participants neither noticed any technical issues nor logistical challenges.

On the other hand,  I thought the representation and involvement of the African Diaspora in Hamburg leaves much to be desired. Yes, more hands on deck! Hamburg has the largest number of Africans in Germany and I am convinced they could put more resources together to expand the dimensions of this event. I'd also expect to see more African businesses in Hamburg taking up the role of sponsors for this event.

By Alex Kofi Appiah PMP
Senior IT Project Manager
Essen, Germany

TopAfric Media Network

The KidsRadio project aims at strengthening the self-confidence of children and young adults.  It is designed to offer the participants a platform where they can learn how to be radio presenters. It is a way to help them decide early on what they wish to pursue in life.

The Ultimate goal is for one or two extraordinary talented kids to have their own radio program at Radio TopAfric.

The program is design for kids and young adults between the ages of 10 -21, who want to run a radio program and become stars of tomorrow. It will also teach them how to blog as well.

The workshop which will run for 12 weeks and will accommodate about 6 participants every 4 weeks.  Workshop training will take place only on the weekends. So that means a batch of 6 participants will be trained in the first 4 weeks. Then after the 2nd   batch will start their training from week 5 – week 8.  Then the 3rd and final batch will start and end in week 9 - 12

The workshop will only last for 90 Minutes each Saturday. From 2pm – 3.30pm 

Module 1: Research & Interview:

A: We teach them how to research topics and personalities via the internet prior to hosting an interview or prior to doing a live show on radio.

B: We also teach them how to find topics of interest.

C: We teach them how to work in groups and also how to ask the right questions? 

Module 2: Promo & Equipment

A: We teach them how to promote themselves through social media

B: We teach them how to handle the Microphone and equipment

Module 3: Record live show & Blog

A: We teach them how to record a live radio show

B: We teach them what needs to be done after ending a live radio show and also how to post a recorded show on a blog site as well as how to blog.

Cooperation Partner:
Our co-operation partner is LUKULULE e.V. They will provide a network of young artists and professional artists that will be helping TopAfric and participants. For example, a play coach will work with our participants so that the participants will be strengthened for a live online show.

The participant will be glad to be part of this one time experience, after the course, all participants will receive a certificate from TopAfric.

The workshop is led by Jesse Georgy, a journalist from NDR, who has experience in team leadership at the Lukukule e.V. 

The workshop is expected to start in January and end in March 2017. The program is sponsored by Aktion-Mensch and supported by Lukukule e.V. & TopAfric e.V. 

Visit: http://www.kids-radio.org for registration or call 017632140550
Like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KidsRadio-1793356290917430/

A new discovery could explain why obese people are more likely to develop cancer, scientists say. A type of cell the body uses to destroy cancerous tissue gets clogged by fat and stops working, the team, from Trinity College Dublin, found.

Obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK after smoking, Cancer Research UK says.  And more than one in 20 cancer cases - about 22,800 cases each year in the UK - are caused by excess body weight.  Experts already suspected fat sent signals to the body that could both damage cells, leading to cancer, and increase the number of them.

Now, the Trinity scientists have been able to show, in Nature Immunology journal, how the body's cancer-fighting cells get clogged by fat. And they hope to be able to find drug treatments that could restore these "natural killer" cells' fighting abilities.

'Lose some weight'

Prof Lydia Lynch said: "A compound that can block the fat uptake by natural killer cells might help.  "We tried it in the lab and found it allowed them to kill again.

"But arguably a better way would be to lose some weight - because that is healthier for you anyway." Dr Leo Carlin, from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, said: "Although we know that obesity increases the risk of 13 different types of cancer, we still don't fully understand the mechanisms underlying the link.

"This study reveals how fat molecules prevent immune cells from properly positioning their tumour-killing machinery, and provides new avenues to investigate treatments. "A lot of research focuses on how tumours grow in order to find metabolic targets to stop them, so this is a reminder that we should consider the metabolism of immune cells too."

Four years ago a publication was made Ghanaians living in Hamburg, Germany demanding answers from authorities about the rampant death of their countrymen. Years have passed but the toll of such deaths has neither ceased nor decreased. It is clear that death is inevitable but the frequency and circumstance is what is worrying.

It is upon this back drop that a discussion on that topic was held on the health show hosted by Effya on TopAfric radio and was covered by the NDR Das. This could be a huge step to drawing the attention of the right authorities to come to the aid of the Ghanaian community.

Within the public sphere the theory such as doctors intentionally killing their victims is purported to be one of the causes of such deaths.

During the radio discussion the following factors were enumerated to be possibly contributing to such premature death; Irresponsible self medication, unhealthy and sedentary life styles, physical inactivity, under utilisation of the health care system, religious and cultural beliefs and practices, ignorance and lack of information, double and quadruple jobs to cater for families and acquisitions of properties back home, genetics, environment etc. 

Recommendations to counteracting the problem will be to negate the above enumerated possible causes.

 As public Health scientists we see the issue as public health emergency which threatens the human security within the Ghanaian community in Hamburg. An anecdotal evidence of the issue at stake could be true but not enough deal with the problem.

To a achieve the desired result, a holistic approach is needed hence an urgent need for scientific research that encompasses needs assessments , data collection, analysis  and findings to draw and implement a comprehensive public health intervention which is participatory and culturally tailored to mitigate the problem.

The negative impacts of the continuous premature death of Ghanaians cannot be overemphasised. It affects the families and society at large as well as the economy here in Germany and Ghana. For this reason we would like to call on stakeholders to support the worthy course by funding such project. We are looking up to the Ghana Embassy, German Health ministry and other such interested institutions to heed to this call so as to ensure that such premature deaths would be a thing of the past through the implementation of public health interventions.
Ghanaians dying premature in Hamburg!!!

Aileen Ashe (Public Health scientist and language and culture mediator)
Ursula D’Almeida (pharmacist and  Public Health Scientist)

There is hardly anything that contributes to a better mood or offers more fun than one of the most beautiful pastimes in the world. But the importance of a healthy and regular sex life really is often underestimated.

Here are eight good reasons why you should not neglect your sex life. Because this is what happens to your body when you stop having sex:
Why a healthy sex life not only ensures a good mood

1. You get sick more often

If you don’t have sex for a long time, your immune system becomes significantly weaker. Germs then have an easier job of spreading in your body and you can catch a cold or get the flu more easily. So, just by having more sex, you can help keep your herbal remedy teas in the closet!

2. Your stress levels increase

Sex is a great way to reduce your stress levels. Regular sex reduces the amount of stress hormones and makes you feel more relaxed in everyday life. Without this important balance, you could become a ticking time bomb!

3. It’s harder for you to get aroused

It’s hard to believe, but true: If you don’t regularly “practice,” it’s difficult for a lot of people to become aroused. Men can experience problems having erections and it can be harder for women to have an orgasm. So, you have to stay on top of things to make sure the “switch” always remains on.

4. Your dreams change
Some people suddenly notice that they have strange dreams when their sex life is suffering. It can mean that you unexpectedly start dreaming about sex or have orgasms in your sleep.

5. Over time you lose your desire to have sex

If your body notices that you’re having a prolonged dry spell in the sexual sense, the production of sex hormones reduces. You feel less like having sex if you have been abstinent for a while. In addition, your libido will eventually feel different. And this is all due to the fact that your sex hormones are slowly vanishing.

6. You’ll feel more distance between your partner and yourself

When a couple in a relationship only rarely sleep together, their interpersonal distance becomes greater. You may start to have feelings of uncertainty related to your partner and other people will seem more attractive to you.

7. It lowers your feeling of self-worth

It is not surprising that a person’s self-worth is harmed, if that individual does not regularly feel desired. But a lack of sex has been proven to affect a person’s well-being, leading to sadness or depression when sex is absent from their lives. Studies have shown that having sex regularly helps fight depression. It can sometimes even work as well as antidepressants.

8. Your risk of cancer increases

For men, the risk of prostate cancer increases when they don’t have sex for a longer period of time. So it’s not a bad idea for men to “flush out” the pipes. Because then the risk is significantly reduced.

Well, if all this isn’t motivation enough, then I don’t know what is! For all these reasons, it would be almost irresponsible not to make love more regularly, don’t you think?!

Source: hefty.com

This article was first published in 2014! 
The rate at which Ghanaians are dying prematurely in Hamburg -Germany is alarming and it is time authorities begin to ask questions and provide answers. Life expectancy has improved tremendously in Germany over the years.

In 2012 the life expectancy in Germany increased to about 81.00 years. That for women was at 83.30 years and for men 78.60 years. If statistics available to TopAfric is correct, the Ghana community buried over 30 people 2014, burried 46 people in 2016. As at Nov 2018, more than 30 Ghanaians have been burried. The average age was just around 45 years.                                                                   

The irony is that Ghanaians are dying more than all other Black -/Africans in Hamburg put together. Yes the wages of life is death, but when Ghanaians find themselves in a country with better health infrastructures then they should live longer.

Ghanaians in Hamburg are definitely doing something wrong because even in Ghana, where the rate of avoidable death (drinking and driving, bad roads, no road signs, poor medication, bribery at hospitals or unavailability of medical care) is high the folks are living longer.

Life expectancy in Ghana as at 2012 is about 61 years, so why this high rate of death in Germany.Why the community awaits the results from the authorities to guide the people as to what is wrong and what can be done better. The following unscientific assumptions are making the air waves.

There is this weird speculation that the “Alster River” dislikes this black clothing’s of Ghanaians, the people are therefore disregarding the gods of the river. “The gods are not to blame”.

Ghanaians in Hamburg love burials and funerals above everything; they are seen every week organizing funerals of relatives that have passed away far in Ghana. First the “One Week” and then the “Funerals”.

What you love most is what shall kill you!
There are times the cemetery worker asked if a prominent person or a star is dead. One jokingly said this is a confirmation of the high rate of unemployment amongst the Ghana community.

It would be in the interest of the community to discourage all imported funerals and mobilize the people only when one of the inhabitants dies in Hamburg. The traumatic lifestyle; high divorce rate,  inability to cope with the structured German routine, the bureaucracy, the bad eating habits –eating heavy “fufu” at mid nights, disregard for good health, could be a contributing factor...

Husbands and wives building separate mansions through their menial job, to impress family members back home. Unfortunately 90% do not even sleep in these homes before the lucky ones join the colleagues at “Hamburg -Friedhof Ohlsdorf (Kapelle 10) “the biggest cemetery in the World.

One insanity is changing trains and busses on weekends from funerals and parties to another, sadly incorrectly dressed during the winter season. It is time the Ghana Union and opinion leaders stamp their authority, coordinate all social activities, ban one week funerals and imported funerals.

Whilst we all undertake weekly sporting activities, we encourage the Ghana Embassy in Berlin and the Ghana Union in Hamburg to seek from the German authorities the causes of these premature deaths and make public the findings, -names anonymous.

With all things being equal Ghanaians in Germany can live to be 81 years.

God Bless Ghana! 
God Bless Germany
Desmond John Beddy

Obesity is a growing problem within the African/Black community in Germany and Europe at Large.
With foods such as Fufu, Rice, Yam, Plantains as the staple unit, it makes it easy for Africans to gain weight so easily.

Akoto Degross was an obese individual who lived in Hamburg, Germany for a while where he was attending University and it was during this period that he decided to make a drastic change in his obese life by loosing half his body weight.

He had tried numerous times to loose weight but not until he lost his mother did he buckle up and strictly jump into loosing weight and living a healthier lifestyle.

In the video below, he discusses different reasons why Africans in the diaspora are over weight. He explained what they are doing wrong and how they can change and live better and healthier lives.

He also stated that the obesity epidemic is primarily rampant among the African Women in the diaspora.

He is an author and certified weight loss expert and runs a program called fat2fitghana (http://fat2fitghana.com/) which helps alot of people loose weight and live a healthier life style.

He has also written 2 books on how to loose weight.


1. 7 Simple steps to losing weight (http://amzn.to/2xcz8Wr)
2. Change what you eat Change how you look 
..Click this link to read it (http://amzn.to/2wKIHc7)

Insects are high in protein and minerals, need far less feed per kilo of mass than cattle do and produce far less greenhouse gas per kilo than pigs. A United Nations food agency is pushing a new kind of diet for a hungry world. It ranks high in nutritional value and gets good grades for protecting the environment: edible insects.

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization hailed the likes of grasshoppers, ants and other members of the insect world as an underutilised food for people, livestock and pets. A new report says two billion people worldwide already supplement their diets with insects. Insects are high in protein and minerals, need far less feed per kilo of mass than cattle do and produce far less greenhouse gas per kilo than pigs.

While most edible insects are gathered in forests, the UN says mechanisation can boost insect-farming production. Currently most insect farming serves niche markets such as China.

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A new discovery could explain why obese people are more likely to develop cancer, scientists say. A type of cell the body uses to destroy cancerous tissue gets clogged by fat and stops working, the team, from Trinity College Dublin, found.

Obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK after smoking, Cancer Research UK says.  And more than one in 20 cancer cases - about 22,800 cases each year in the UK - are caused by excess body weight.  Experts already suspected fat sent signals to the body that could both damage cells, leading to cancer, and increase the number of them.

Now, the Trinity scientists have been able to show, in Nature Immunology journal, how the body's cancer-fighting cells get clogged by fat. And they hope to be able to find drug treatments that could restore these "natural killer" cells' fighting abilities.

'Lose some weight'

Prof Lydia Lynch said: "A compound that can block the fat uptake by natural killer cells might help.  "We tried it in the lab and found it allowed them to kill again.

"But arguably a better way would be to lose some weight - because that is healthier for you anyway." Dr Leo Carlin, from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, said: "Although we know that obesity increases the risk of 13 different types of cancer, we still don't fully understand the mechanisms underlying the link.

"This study reveals how fat molecules prevent immune cells from properly positioning their tumour-killing machinery, and provides new avenues to investigate treatments. "A lot of research focuses on how tumours grow in order to find metabolic targets to stop them, so this is a reminder that we should consider the metabolism of immune cells too."

A small ten year old Kenyan-German girl in Duisburg is dancing her way to become a European Dance Champion. At her age, Tracy Gathoni has mastered the art of hip hop street dance and is collecting trophies to prove it.
Tracy made her debut in competitive dance in 2012 at the United Dance Organization (UDO) championships in Glasgow-Scotland, and she has never looked back.
After that competition, Tracy’s mother saw her potential and enrolled her in dance classes in Duisburg with renowned trainer, Martina Böhm from TopDance. A course Tracy now attends once a week.
Daughter to a Kenyan lady, Diana Rose Wambui, Tracy has two brothers: 5-year-old Myles and 3-year-old Tyler. The boys have also taken a keen interest in dancing. In fact, Myles recently shared a stage with his sister at the UDO 2016 championships in Gladbeck, coming in at first place. “I had thought that the boys would be more interested in soccer and other sports, but apparently, they are taking after their sister”, Diana Rose says.
The dotting mother of three says that each child has an individual inborn talent that can be nurtured through encouragement and she is determined to support her daughter through it all.
Diana Rose works hard to ensure her daughter gets what she needs for the competitions. She says she would do whatever possible to ensure that her daughter attains her fullest potential in this sport she loves.
Her love for dance and diligence in practice has seen the 10 year-old-girl amass trophies from her spectacular performance. Most of the dances are solo, but she also in a duo with her 11-year-old best friend Aliyah Werner. Some of which are made carved into history on their Facebook page Tracy und Aliyah
Although she loves dancing she confesses to getting nervous before getting on stage. “Sometimes I have no routine at the start of the dance, but once the music begins playing, I gain my ground and dance away”, she explains. She is probably the youngest self-taught upcoming super dance star.
Her prowess on the dance floor has seen her gather about 30 trophies all won in the 1st position. In 2014 and 2015, she performed a solo at the world championships held in Scotland. She has also graced Das SuperTalent a renowned German talent show on RTL. Recently, a video of her performance at the European United Dance Organization-Germany went viral on YouTube.
Through her dancing Tracy has become a household name in NRW and specifically in Duisburg where she lives. The city Mayor (Bürgemeister) knows her personally and invites her to perform at various events.
And before you think dancing is all she does, Tracy recently joined Gymnasium from primary school. Gymnasium only takes the top cream and usually prepares children for an academic profession. The cheeky girl with a beautiful smile on her face says she has a timetable clearly making time for her books and dancing.
Unlike kids her age who would be excited about the fame and limelight, Tracy says she doesn’t flaunt it when she’s in school and rarely tells them what she does over the weekend. She reasons that dancing is her hobby and she would like it separate that from school.
Unlike her schoolmates who might not have an idea who she is in her other life, her brothers have not been spared from seeing her shine and they both believe she’s a star. “They believe Tracy is a star in dancing and no one can convince them otherwise”, Diana Rose beams.
One would have thought that Diana Rose would be applauded for her dedication to make her daughter a dance star, but she has received some backlash with some people accusing her of only focusing on Tracy while she has three children. But to her defence Diana Rose says that the boys are on the track of choosing what activities they love but as soon as they set their sights on something, she’ll be there supporting them. In the meantime, they enjoy emulating their sister, learning new moves and dance styles.
Diana Rose regrets that most Kenyan parents in Germany are so engrossed in work and the daily hustle and do not have time for their children.
“It is important to know what capabilities your child is displaying and support them to achieve their goals” she advices.
Surprisingly, Tracy is not convinced she will end up as a professional dancer, since her last trip to the Museum of Archaeology has convinced her that she would make a great archaeologist.

Source: http://mkenyaujerumani.de/

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