Democracy or The-More-Crazy?

Will democracy in Africa become a fleeting memory or it will continually be our way of living? Not sure, what do you TINK?

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The last thirteen years have been a story declining freedom and it’s really disheartening. The most recent event being the coup d'état experienced in Sudan. Although this trend is not limited to Africa as we have seen unsettling events occur in other countries like Venezuela, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Serbia, Hungary, and so on. For the purpose of this article, I will limit concern to Africa alone.

These unsettling events are largely political and are the root cause of the civil wars experienced thus far. In a recent report released by Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2019 shows the state of many African countries today as they have journeyed from Free to partly free to not free.

Source: Freedom House

Source: Freedom House

In Uganda status declined from Partly Free to Not Free due to attempts by long-ruling president Yoweri Museveni’s government to restrict free expression, including through surveillance of electronic communications and a regressive tax on social media use.

In Zimbabwe status improved from Not Free to Partly Free because the 2018 presidential election, though deeply flawed, granted a degree of legitimacy to the rule of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had taken power after the military forced his predecessor’s resignation in 2017

In Angola, new president João Lourenço took notable actions against corruption and impunity, reducing the out sized influence of his long-ruling predecessor’s family and granting the courts greater independence.

In Ethiopia, the monopolistic ruling party began to loosen its grip in response to three years of protests, installing a reform-minded prime minister who oversaw the lifting of a state of emergency, the release of political prisoners, and the creation of space for more public discussion of political issues.

More often than not, political opposition in countries across the continent has met a different fate as governments have used a variety of tactics to restrict freedoms and dissent. These include shutting down the internet (Cameroon, Zimbabwe), imposing social media taxes (Uganda), and imposing blogger licenses (Tanzania). Governments have also resorted to outright violence in Burundi, Senegal, Togo, and Zambia.

Source: Bizcommunity

Source: Bizcommunity

Freedom House’s 2019 Freedom in the World Report further suggests that political liberalization in countries like Ethiopia and The Gambia belies “creeping restrictions” and a general trend toward authoritarian behavior.

This trend is confirmed in the most recent survey conducted by Afrobarometer, an independent African research network. It was conducted between late 2016 and late 2018 in 34 countries. On average across all the countries surveyed, citizens appeared to confirm that civic and political space was closing. Many also expressed a willingness to accept restrictions on their liberties in the name of security.

In a bid to secure we take steps that restrict and encage people, this is everything democracy is not. Owing to this rising trend, what would our beloved Africa be like tomorrow?

Creation, Collaboration, and Community – 3Cs You Must Never Forget

THE 3CS THAT GOVERN ENGAGEMENT, INNOVATION, AND LOYALTY – CONTENT MARKETERS SHOULD HAVE THESE HANDY

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

My father used to tell me that everyone is selling something whether they realize it or not. Which is why reputation management is a big deal for many people everywhere in the world. You are either selling a product, a service, or your personality, and interestingly, the whole world is your market place. Technology has made it a lot easier for you to reach this market with the use of social media. However, there are 3Cs you must master to win in this market.

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

1. Creation

Your ability to create engaging and authentic content is the pulse of your business. Someone ones said “if social media is the heart, then content is the blood”. Great content will keep your business alive, relevant, and fresh in the minds of your target audience.

2. Collaboration

If you can make it on your own, partner. The saying “no one is an island” will never stop being true. There are certain contents, platforms, or engagement you may want to curate but you neither have the funds, expertise, nor the audience to do so; partnership becomes imperative. Join hands with people or outfits that have the ability to do what you want and get it done.

3. Community

Ever heard the word “influencers” before? These guys have a healthy community converging around them. There are times you may want to join forces with these influencers in order to reach and create a niche for your business. Your own group of customers who are interested in the personality of your brand.

These 3 activities help you optimize your strategy, create the right marketing mix that will compel your community to take action, and also foster loyalty – everything a business wants.

So what are you going to do now? That, I will leave for you to answer.

Baldie-Locks

THE SHORES OF AFRICA IS CURRENTLY BUZZING WITH THIS EDGY NEW LOOK – THE BALD LOOK

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

I have found out that Africans are naturally powerful people, which is why we tend to dominate any environment we find ourselves. However, it is due to this trait Africans have that causes us to embrace fashion trends that accentuates this characteristic.

Back in the day, ladies wouldn’t even dare to think of getting a haircut let alone going the extra mile of actually getting it. This fresh new trend is making the hair of many ladies breathe again. I particularly, am a fan of the bald look; the thing is, I have a thing for ladies who cut their hair. I think it’s daring, sexy, and ultimately alluring. The baldie-locks has a way of locking the attention of people each time a lady walks by rocking the look.

The baldie locks look isn’t being rocked by only ladies, men also have chosen to get rid of all the thick dark curls taking up space of the beautiful scalps.

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

The look is often times accompanied by big earrings and dark bold shades – to give it the mean feel. Some people have said that they are in love with the baldie-locks mainly because it is very easy to maintain and it accentuates jewellery, body shape, and outfits. While some others have said that they chose the look because they thought they’d look fabulous in it and it turned out they were actually correct.

The baldie-locks has now become a common sight on the streets of Africa, runways, television shows, and social media pictures.

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

If this trend continues, what would it mean for the hair industry?

It surely would mean a drop in the sale of weavons and hair attachments and a huge boost in the sale of wigs for women. However, I think this is one trend that sweeps the continent for a brief moment and everything goes back to the way they used to be, but if for any reason it doesn’t go away in a hurry, hair marketers and brands should diversify their businesses into production of wigs (head coverings) and also baldie-locks treatments. Your customers would love you.

Let me go join the trend; getting tired of my hair already.

Tomorrow’s Africa

THE FUTURE THAT PROPELS US IS THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THE 21ST CENTURY IS THE AFRICAN CENTURY

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

Whether you believe the sub caption of this article or not, it’s actually the truth. Africa is now in a position where it is ready to take on the world and according to a speech rendered in Nigeria by one of its former president Olusegun Obasanjo. He highlighted that Nigeria should focus on something he called the 5 Ps to national growth and development.

1. Politics

It is popularly referred to as a dirty game in this part of the world but contrary to popular belief, it is the life wire of the economy. If Africa must work, governance must work optimally.

2. Population

Africa is fast becoming one of the most populous continents of the world and this definitely translates to a large workforce both mentally and physically. Population concerns must be adequately addressed as soon as possible.

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

3. Protection

Food security, National security, living security and so on are areas where Africa must strongly look into to enhance peace and prosperity around its borders.

4. Prosperity

The time for Africa to stop talking about poverty is now; she should learn to talk more about prosperity as we are a prosperous continent. Rich in mineral and human resources; equipped to take the world.

5. Partnership

No nation is an island, to make extensive progress we must learn to work together. We must lock fingers (hold each other’s hand) and walk the face of the sun together – just trying to be poetic.

Tomorrow’s Africa is one trend we are set to see in the coming years; wait for it.

Why are we talking about it now? Just so we will be able to say “we told you so”.

8 Trends that Rocked 2018

2018 Was Undoubtedly A Great Year And Here Are Few Trends We Spotted That Really Gave The Year Some Oomph

Source:  Pexels

Source: Pexels

I particularly loved my job as a trend watcher in 2018, I saw quite a number of things unfold and happily brought them to your notice. As a result of these trends, people had different experiences in the year, some were good, other were bad, and some others were in-between. So without further ado, here are 8 trends that rocked 2018.

1. Music

Africa got tired of the norm and embraced a different genre of music – alternative music. It’s beautiful to listen to as the lyrics deals with the inherent experiences within the continent and sung in our beautifully refreshing accent.

2. Movies

The beauty about Africans is our quest to always do something better and Hollywood sparked that fire with the release of the Black Panther movie. This put some springs in our steps and increased our pride in our nativity. And so the indigenous movie industry; Nollywood went ahead to make history with the release of the movies King of Boys (currently Africa’s highest ever grossing movie), and Lions Heart (A movie by Genevieve Nnaji that made it to Netflix).

3. Mergers

2018 saw a trend that wasn’t just evident in Africa but globally. We saw quite a number of organizations consolidate in order to make greater impact in their respective industries by delivering value to their consumers.

4. Influencer Marketing

Marketing wasn’t left out of the speedy changes happening across the African landscape. We spotted a few more people attain the influencer status riding on the Instagram platform. Influencers have made it a lot easier for brands to immediately connect with their intended consumers.

5. Feminism

Oh this one shook the world and held Africa by the collar, as a result, Africa is strongly looking into women inclusion in every facet of the economy.

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

6. Sports

So the world cup happened this year and we saw France clench the title, better yet we saw the technology – Visual Assistant Referee (VAR) used during the tournament. This technology disrupted the world of sports and enhanced decision making on and off the pitch and has been embraced in league games across the world.

7. Tech

Technology has been extensively helpful in 2018 as we saw the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially on mobile devices and financial institutions e.g Siri for Apple, Brixbi & Google assistant for Android, Neo for UBA bank, Ada for Diamond bank etc.

8. Global Citizen

There was many talks about how we are no longer distant but now interconnected as we are all global citizens. So no matter which continent of the world you live in, we are all citizens of one country – the World.

There you have it, these trends rocked 2018 and if you TINK we missed any, hit us up in the comment box below and we will be sure to update.

Oh and yes, thank you for sticking around all year round, we are going to have a trendy 2019 together.