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PHOTO STORY: More than 40 newly-discovered mummies unveiled in Egypt1 minute read

A man visits the tomb of the ancient Egyptian high priest Mery-Ra, - AFP
Kathleen Ndongmo

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They are more than 2,000 years old but remain in “good condition”: Egypt on Saturday unveiled over 40 mummies dating back to the Ptolemaic era at a burial site in the centre of the country.

Archaeologist Rami Rasmi says 12 children and six animals were among the more than 40 mummies, while the rest were adult men and women.

The remains were found laid on the floor or in open clay coffins in the crumbling chamber in Minya governorate.

Shards of pottery and pieces of papyrus found at the site helped researchers to determine its date, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri said.

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  • A woman walks past a newly-discovered mummy laid inside a sarcophagus, part of a collection found in burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt's southern Minya province, about 340 kilometres south of the capital Cairo, on February 2, 2019. - Egypt's Antiquities Minister said on February 2 that a joint mission from the ministry and Minya University's Archaeological Studies Research Centre found upon a collection of Ptolemaic burial chambers engraved in rock and filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders. The minister added that the newly discovered tombs may be a familial grave for a family from the elite middle class. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP)

  • This picture taken on February 2, 2019 shows newly-discovered mummies wrapped in linen found in burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt's southern Minya province, about 340 kilometres south of the capital Cairo. - Egypt's Antiquities Minister said on February 2 that a joint mission from the ministry and Minya University's Archaeological Studies Research Centre found upon a collection of Ptolemaic burial chambers engraved in rock and filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders. The minister added that the newly discovered tombs may be a familial grave for a family from the elite middle class. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP)

  • This picture taken on February 2, 2019 shows newly-discovered mummies wrapped in linen found in burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt's southern Minya province, about 340 kilometres south of the capital Cairo. - Egypt's Antiquities Minister said on February 2 that a joint mission from the ministry and Minya University's Archaeological Studies Research Centre found upon a collection of Ptolemaic burial chambers engraved in rock and filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders. The minister added that the newly discovered tombs may be a familial grave for a family from the elite middle class. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP)

  • An archaeologist points at newly-discovered mummies, part of a collection found in burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt's southern Minya province, about 340 kilometres south of the capital Cairo, on February 2, 2019. - Egypt's Antiquities Minister said on February 2 that a joint mission from the ministry and Minya University's Archaeological Studies Research Centre found upon a collection of Ptolemaic burial chambers engraved in rock and filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders. The minister added that the newly discovered tombs may be a familial grave for a family from the elite middle class. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP)

  • This picture taken on February 2, 2019 shows artefact fragments on display outside newly-discovered burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt's southern Minya province, about 340 kilometres south of the capital Cairo. - Egypt's Antiquities Minister said on February 2 that a joint mission from the ministry and Minya University's Archaeological Studies Research Centre found upon a collection of Ptolemaic burial chambers engraved in rock and filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders. The minister added that the newly discovered tombs may be a familial grave for a family from the elite middle class. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP)

  • This picture taken on February 2, 2019 shows newly-discovered mummies wrapped in linen found in burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt's southern Minya province, about 340 kilometres south of the capital Cairo. - Egypt's Antiquities Minister said on February 2 that a joint mission from the ministry and Minya University's Archaeological Studies Research Centre found upon a collection of Ptolemaic burial chambers engraved in rock and filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders. The minister added that the newly discovered tombs may be a familial grave for a family from the elite middle class. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP)

  • An archaeologist brushes a newly-discovered mummy laid inside a sarcophagus, part of a collection found in burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt's southern Minya province, about 340 kilometres south of the capital Cairo, on February 2, 2019. - Egypt's Antiquities Minister said on February 2 that a joint mission from the ministry and Minya University's Archaeological Studies Research Centre found upon a collection of Ptolemaic burial chambers engraved in rock and filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders. The minister added that the newly discovered tombs may be a familial grave for a family from the elite middle class. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP)

  • This picture taken on February 2, 2019 shows artefact fragments on display outside newly-discovered burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt's southern Minya province, about 340 kilometres south of the capital Cairo. - Egypt's Antiquities Minister said on February 2 that a joint mission from the ministry and Minya University's Archaeological Studies Research Centre found upon a collection of Ptolemaic burial chambers engraved in rock and filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders. The minister added that the newly discovered tombs may be a familial grave for a family from the elite middle class. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP)

  • This picture taken on February 2, 2019 shows newly-discovered mummies wrapped in linen found in burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt's southern Minya province, about 340 kilometres south of the capital Cairo. - Egypt's Antiquities Minister said on February 2 that a joint mission from the ministry and Minya University's Archaeological Studies Research Centre found upon a collection of Ptolemaic burial chambers engraved in rock and filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders. The minister added that the newly discovered tombs may be a familial grave for a family from the elite middle class. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP)

  • A man visits the tomb of the ancient Egyptian high priest Mery-Ra, at the archaeological site of Tal El-Amarna containing the ruins of Akhetaten, the brief capital built by the 18th dynasty Pharaoh Akhenaten (1353–1336 BC), south of the Nile valley city of Minya about 270 kilometres south of the capital Cairo, on February 1, 2019. (Photo by Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP)

  • This picture taken on February 1, 2019 shows an inscribed painting of an Egyptian chariot with hieroglyphics, at the tomb of the ancient Egyptian high priest Mery-Ra, at the archaeological site of Tal El-Amarna containing the ruins of Akhetaten, the brief capital built by the 18th dynasty Pharaoh Akhenaten (1353–1336 BC), south of the Nile valley city of Minya about 270 kilometres south of the capital Cairo. (Photo by Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP)

  • This picture taken on February 2, 2019 shows newly-discovered mummies wrapped in linen found in burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt's southern Minya province, about 340 kilometres south of the capital Cairo. - Egypt's Antiquities Minister said on February 2 that a joint mission from the ministry and Minya University's Archaeological Studies Research Centre found upon a collection of Ptolemaic burial chambers engraved in rock and filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders. The minister added that the newly discovered tombs may be a familial grave for a family from the elite middle class. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP)

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Conservation News

A Nation Making Huge Strides in Rebuilding

Rwanda is making significant progress in moving on from its ugly past

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Image credit: East African Legislative Assembly

In April 1994, ethnic tensions between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority boiled over, and what had been decades of mutual distrust ultimately escalated into a full-blown catastrophe. Over 800,000 Tutsi were murdered by Hutu militant groups, with many women raped, and hundreds of thousands of children rendered homeless.

The genocide, which stretched for three months, was met with a slow response from the international community, and many people were forced to flee into neighbouring countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The events of that dark period in Rwandan history illustrated in movies like “Hotel Rwanda” and “Sometimes in April”, left a trail of effects, some of which included post-violence trauma, increased distrust, hate and proliferation of pregnancies as a result of rape.

Twenty-five years have passed, and it has been a long, tortuous road to healing for all Rwandans, but commendable efforts have been made. Reconciliation and rehabilitation centres abound in various parts of the country, and there has been significant investment in technology, making Rwanda one of the few shining lights in a continent plagued by poverty and corruption. It is also worthy of note that there is significant female representation in Rwanda’s legislative houses: for context, Rwanda has one of the world’s highest proportions of women in power as 61% of members of parliament and 50% of the cabinet are female.

One aspect of the reconciliation process that needs elaboration, though, is the social work profession. Established after the genocide, social work has been integral to Rwanda’s healing process, through homegrown solutions or indigenous models of development that address the many layers of social wounds. Social workers in Rwanda have been heavily involved in programmes such as community work, local collective action and the indigenous practice of girinka, which makes for the provision of one cow for every poor family. There are also initiatives, such as the Hope and Homes for Children, which cater to children who may have been abandoned as a result of parental trauma resulting from rape, family isolation, drug abuse, vulnerability and stigma towards children with disabilities.

Rwanda’s success story is one that many African nations can take a cue from. Who is to say that countries like Sierra Leone would not be a lot better off if there were more women in positions of power? What if there had been more concrete efforts to ensure reconciliation between the Igbo and the rest of Nigeria after the civil war? These are the unanswered questions, but it is beautiful watching Rwanda thrive after the horror show of 1994. 

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Art

How young people are changing the African narrative

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How young people are changing the African narrative

For non-Africans who have never visited the continent, the perception of the second largest continent in the world has always been that of a place of impoverishment and raw savagery; a place ravaged by horrible epidemic and war. 

This is largely attributable to an agenda-driven western media which sell these bogus tales about Africa to their global audience viewing the world through their reportage. Sadly, some of our local media are also guilty of this disservice to the mother continent.

As much as Africa, like other continents have its challenges, the positive stories to tell about the continent far outweighs the negativity found therein. 

The good news, however, is that young Africans – the new generation, are striving to change the negative narrative of Africa through their excellence in different fields within and outside the continent.

These young Africans are pushing the frontiers of knowledge in their respective fields of interests, discovering new things and making landmark achievements. Whether in Technology, Fashion, Literature, Music and more, they are forging paths necessary for the sustenance of development in Africa. These crop of individuals are passing the message that Africa has a lot to offer the world through its rich human resources. What better way to be true ambassadors of the continent? 

Let us take a look at some of the young individuals championing the change of an age-long African perception in their different fields.

Technology & Innovation

Over the years, we have seen some of the most innovative minds in technology come from Africa. Notable figures like Philip Emeagwali who invented the world’s fastest computer and who also won the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize for an application of the CM-2 massively-parallel computer, Jelani Aliyu who designed the Chevrolet Volt,  Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, among very many others make this list.

One young African that is gradually making waves in technology is 35-year-old Jamila Abbas. Abbas is a Kenyan computer scientist and software engineer who is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of MFarm Kenya Limited. MFarm is an android application that Abbas developed to solve the challenge of lack of pricing transparency Kenyan farmers faced.

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Culture & Tourism

Vimbai Chats with Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane on SA Tourism

News Central’s Vimbai Mutinhiri chats with Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, South Africa’s Minister of Tourism on the prospects of tourism in the rainbow nation.

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Vimbai Chats with Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane on SA Tourism

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