Fresh Water by Akwaeke Emezi

Fresh Water by Akwaeke Emezi

order Freshwater now via Barnes and NobleAmazon and Indie Bound.

Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist based in liminal spaces. Her debut autobiographical novel, FRESHWATER, is forthcoming from Grove Atlantic in February 2018 and her short story 'Who Is Like God' won the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa. She recently made a cameo in the music video for Jay-Z's title track '4:44', directed by Arthur Jafa.

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I can be your hero baby

AN AFRICAN START UP HAS BIRTHED THE DREAM OF CHANGING THE NORMS OF THE AFRICAN CHILD BY HELPING TO CREATE INDIGENOUS SUPER HEROES THAT WILL INSPIRE THEM TO BE BETTER AND SOCIETAL CONSCIOUS.

Courtesy: Giphy

Courtesy: Giphy

Everyone knows Batman, Superman, and Voltron and most sometimes dreamt of being like them in their growing years. But Batman does not live in Africa, neither does Superman enjoy 80 percent of sunlight in a year. Voltron has no idea of what it means to have an African mom. This unknowingly was a gap to be filled that many were oblivious of. So, Jide Martin, a comic lover came up with an idea to create Super heroes from indigenous characters and names and called it Comic Republic

Comic Republic Global Network is a Nigerian comic character franchise that produces digital comic books to tell more compelling stories of Africa and her rich culture.

Jide Martin, CEO, Comic Republic said "I grew up consuming loads of comics and realised that we're in a society where the generation coming are not very big on listening to their parents or religion. I thought of what could I do to change this growing pattern I had a flashback of my growing years. I reminisced what did I when I needed to make tough decisions as a boy. I ask myself "What would Superman or Batman do? Superman would stand for what is right and Batman would be strong against all odds." So, I asked "Why don't I use comics to instill the right mindset in the present and even the next generation?" The same impact it had on me would still be the same impact I would like to share with the world.

Of course, I'm Nigerian and we already have western super heroes and I needed to reach people who are here in Nigeria and Africa in general. So, I thought "Why not use our culture and our people and portray them as heroes so that they can inspire and show the world in general what Africa can be?"

Scroll right for more pictures.

Jide added that "Comic republic has seen massive downloads even beyond the shores of Africa. Most downloads come from the US at about 40 percent. 30 percent from Nigeria, 20 percent from the UK and the rest of the world shares the other percentage left."

Akintoba Kalejaiye, Content Creator Manager, Comic Republic mentioned that "All of our comics are digital because it is very easy to access them digitally. As a result of this, people who do not initially buy comic books find it easy to download and read."

They pursue the dream of making the society a better place by creating more African Super heroes and making the younger generation better citizens one comic story at a time.

To view the comics please visit http://thecomicrepublic.com/

Girls fly to Google to stop 'the cut'

FIVE SCHOOL GIRLS AGED 15-17WHO WANT TO BE KNOWN AS "RESTORES" HAVE TURNED OUT TO BE THE ONLY AFRICANS WHO WERE INVITED TO GOOGLE HEADQUARTERS FOR TECHNOVATION, TO WIN A FIFTEEN-THOUSAND-DOLLAR PRIZE FOR iCut, AN APP TO END FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION.

T-shirt worn by a gentleman during a social event advocating against the practice at the Imbirikani Girls High School in Imbirikani, Kenya, April 21, 2016.

T-shirt worn by a gentleman during a social event advocating against the practice at the Imbirikani Girls High School in Imbirikani, Kenya, April 21, 2016.

The power and positive effect of Technology cannot be over-emphasized. Human life has been made a lot easier and if possible longer because of the innovative ideas that have been birthed- all thanks to all those with future-thinking mindset. Speaking in relation to this write-up it has been announced that five Kenyan teenage girls burdened with a major health and gender problem in their community have built an app to solve that problem - Female Genital Mutilation.

FGM which is a violation of the human rights of girls and women is still been practiced in many countries today despite the enormous awareness that has been made to curb the practice. According to World Health Organisation, Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women and can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, infections, complications in childbirth, increased risk of newborn and other health complications. This act is carried out on females between infancy and the age of 15.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) writes on their website;

An estimated 200 million girls and women alive today are believed to have been subjected to FGM; but rates of FGM are increasing, a reflection of global population growth. Girls and women who have undergone FGM live predominately in sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab States, but FGM is also practiced in select countries in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. It is also practiced among migrant populations throughout Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
A key challenge is not only protecting girls who are currently at risk but also ensuring that those to be born in the future will be free from the dangers of the practice. This is especially important considering that FGM-concentrated countries are generally experiencing high population growth and have large youth populations. In 2010, for example, more than 45 per cent of the female populations in the Gambia, Mali, Somalia and Uganda were under age 15.
— http://www.unfpa.org/resources/female-genital-mutilation-fgm-frequently-asked-questions

According to the makers of iCut app, "FGM is a big problem affecting girls worldwide and it is a problem we want to solve. This whole experience will change our lives. Whether we win or not, our perspective of the world and the possibilities it has will change for the better. We call ourselves "Restorers"  because we want to restore hope to hopeless girls," 

They continued by revealing that "Although our community does not practice FGM, we have friends who have been cut. "We were very close to one of them, but after she was cut she never came back to school," and she was among the smartest girls we knew."

iCut app is a simple interface which has five buttons - help, rescue, report, information on FGM, donate and feedback — offering users different services.

Technovation offers girls around the world the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Girls ages 10 to 18 learn to identify a problem in their community and create a mobile app solution to address that problem, and then learn how to communicate these ideas and translate them into a fully launched business. The 2017 season was launched in partnership with Google's Made with Code and UN Women. 

Africa has had incredible problem solving innovative ideas which have been birthed but it still stands that there are more problems which with the help of technology, can be solved. We hereby, call on tech experts, both young and old, male or female to come up with such to help with both natural and man made problems.

This is creativity at a very incredible level. We do hope that they win the prize.

All the best "Restores." 

Nigerian Advertising, Take a Look at What UK is Doing

Nigerian Advertising, Take a Look at What UK is Doing

Advertising in Nigeria seems to be holding on tight to old ways and expressions. An industry that prides itself as “Creative”, the Nigerian Marketing and Communication space has proven to be very undeserving. Rarely do commercials are here sell products in creative and brilliant ways, at least never enough to make it to the ‘Brilliant Ads” page.

But beyond a lack of creativity there also are many modern day tone deaf expressions in many Nigerian adverts. Take for example, any detergent or food (especially bouillon cube) ad, would portray the woman as the hero of the house, sweeping, cleaning, cooking and stuck in the kitchen, sometimes supported by her little daughter while the boys are left playing football outside, the men watching football or doing other “fatherly duties”

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Now, the hearing impaired can see

THIS TECHNOLOGY BROADENS THEATRE'S REACH TO AN UNTAPPED AUDIENCE AND ENABLES THOSE WITH HEARING IMPEDIMENTS TO ENJOY LIVE THEATRE IN A NEW WAY.

giphy (1).gif. TINK Africa

A most recent statistics by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that,

About 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. The global disability prevalence is higher than previous WHO estimates, which date from the 1970s and suggested a figure of around 10%. This global estimate for disability is on the rise due to population ageing and the rapid spread of chronic diseases, as well as improvements in the methodologies used to measure disability.
— http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/report/en/

Streamlining disability to hearing, it has been recorded that vver 5% of the world’s population – 360 million people – has disabling hearing loss (328 million adults and 32 million children). Disabling hearing loss refers to hearing loss greater than 40 decibels (dB) in the better hearing ear in adults and a hearing loss greater than 30 dB in the better hearing ear in children. The majority of people with disabling hearing loss live in low- and middle-income countries.

For decades people with some form of impairment and even special needs lived in an entirely different world because loads of limitations were left on them. They could not do what every other normal person would do. This dichotomy would have lasted the next decade thanks to technology. In this case, thanks to Samsung who in partnership with Leo Burnette Tailor Made birthed an innovative project titled, ‘Theater For All Ears,’ aimed at making it possible for the deaf or hearing impaired to enjoy live theater without the use of a sign language interpreter. 

The project kicked off in Brazil, in a partnership on May 12 at the Frei Caneca Theater. The play, O Pai (The Father), was attended by numerous people with hearing impairments who found their experience transformed by VR goggles.

Through this, Samsung wants to redefine the experience of live theater for those with hearing impairments using virtual reality. Although the hearing impaired have better access to services and products than ever before, live theater poses difficulties. An app for the Samsung Gear VR headset changes that by providing subtitles for the audience in real time.

According to Andrea Mello, Director of Corporate Marketing and Consumer Electronics of Samsung Brazil, “When we unite the theatre with Samsung technology we can change people’s lives. With this 'Theater For All Ears' initiative, we are offering a differentiated and special experience so that the deaf and hearing impaired can experience a show completely—being able to visualise the scenery, the staging, and the subtitles without losing any detail,”