South Africans white and black celebrated wildly on Saturday and expressed hopes that the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup win, inspired by black captain Siya Kolisi, would bring the nation together.
The significance of Kolisi lifting the trophy after a 32-12 victory over England in Yokohama resonated across South Africa.
During the years of apartheid, rugby was clearly identified as the sport of the country’s white minority.
When Kolisi was made South Africa’s first black Test captain last year, it felt as if a barrier had been broken down — and in Yokohama on Saturday his achievement, and the team’s gradual racial transformation, was there for the world and millions of South Africans back home to see.
“Knowing where we come from as a country and to see Kolisi lift the trophy is absolutely monumental. It is really an incredible moment. Tears come to my eyes,” said Tshenolo Molatedi, a 26-year-old who watched the match at a Johannesburg sports club.
Joseph Mitchell, 50, a black actor, said the victory would have enormous significance.
“We are now 25 years into democracy and for the last 25 years, whites have dominated rugby and everything! It’s about time that people of colour can come forward to prove to the world that we are capable and probably better.”
The apartheid-era legacy meant that whites dominated the Springboks’ previous two World Cup-winning teams, despite only representing 10 per cent of the South African population.
Only one black player, Chester Williams, was in the victorious 1995 team and two, JP Pietersen and Bryan Habana, were part of the Springboks team that triumphed again 12 years later.
On Saturday, black wingers Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe scored the two late tries that put the final beyond the reach of England, who were pre-match favourites.
“If you give black people a chance they can deliver and today’s win is a proof of that,” said Tsakane Mabunda, 45.
Seeing Kolisi hold the Webb Ellis trophy aloft brought back memories of the 1995 win when South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, presented the trophy to the team’s white captain, Francois Pienaar.
“Our father, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, is smiling from the heavens today. Halala Siya Kolisi, treasure of the nation!” another of the heroes of the fight against racial segregation, Desmond Tutu, said in a congratulatory message to the team.
A quarter of a century after the fall of apartheid, South Africa is still riven by racial tensions and deep economic inequality between whites and blacks remains.
But Tom Hammonds, 34, a white teacher, said the Rugby World Cup had united the country.
“We feel we are the Rainbow Nation. We have had a lot of problems in this country but sports always bring us together,” he said.
The ruling ANC also drew on Mandela’s legacy to express its hope that the World Cup win would bring lasting dividends.
“Sport is one of the biggest catalysts of social cohesion and nation-building, bringing together all South Africa’s people,” it said in a statement addressed to the team.
“Thank you for reigniting the Madiba magic – and making our Rainbow nation come alive.”
In Cape Town, the crowd watching the match on big screens erupted in joy at the final whistle.
“Look around, we have black, white, coloured … we are all united here today,” said Justin Johnson, a 35-year-old IT worker.
“The Springboks have done more for South Africa than any political party.
“I feel like in 1995 and even 2007 the Springbok emblem was still synonymous with the old regime and caused a lot of division. But today I think we have come full circle.”
Africa records highest growth in use of modern contraceptives
Gains of 7 per cent were recorded in East and Southern Africa, against a global growth of 2 per cent.
The number of women and girls embracing modern contraception has leapt by tens of millions, with Africa recording the biggest gains, according to the organisation Family Planning 2020 (FP2020).
A new report shows that 314 million women and girls in 69 countries – out of 926 million of child-bearing age – now use contraceptive methods like condoms, pills and birth control implants.
The figures represent a gain of 2 per cent globally since 2012, while gains of 7 per cent were recorded in East and Southern Africa.
“The use of modern contraception is growing fastest here in Africa,” FP2020 director Beth Schlachter told a press conference in Nairobi, ahead of a global conference on population and development set to begin Tuesday.
FP2020, a self-described “global movement” founded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the British government, works with governmental and non-governmental partners to promote goals set at a conference in London in 2012.
Specifically, it has been striving for 120 million new contraception users by 2020.
“Family planning is a basic right,” said Benoit Kalasa, a representative of the United Nations Population Fund, citing the dangers posed by pregnancies that are too close together or that occur at a young age.
“It gives women the means to plan their life. They can stay in school when they avoid unplanned pregnancies. Women can space pregnancies to participate in economic activities.”
Of the 69 countries covered in the report, 41 are in Africa, 21 are in Asia and Oceania, four are in Latin America and the Caribbean and three are in the Middle East.
Schlachter said that governments seem increasingly focused on integrating family planning into health policy with an eye toward overcoming logistical challenges and cultural and religious barriers.
“In many places, even if you resolve things like funding of family planning or supply chain, unless you also work with communities and women to actually understand what contraception is, there will be a barrier to uptake.”
This week’s International Conference on Population and Development in Nairobi is not without controversy.
On Monday around 100 supporters of a Catholic organisation demonstrated against the conference, which will focus on demographics and reproductive rights.
Victoire Ingabire launches new political party in Rwanda
Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire announced Saturday she was launching a new political party
Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire announced Saturday she was launching a new political party, hoping it will be allowed to operate in a country where the ruling regime has no real rival.
Ingabire’s previous party FDU-Inkingi, which she founded while in exile in 2016, was not recognised by the government of long-ruling President Paul Kagame.
She was imprisoned until receiving a presidential pardon last year from Kagame, whom she regularly accuses of suppressing freedom of speech, repressing the opposition and neglecting the country’s poor.
“I am announcing the launch of a new opposition party,” Ingabire told AFP, saying it would be called Dalfa Umurunzi (Development And Liberty For All).
“This will help me to continue the mission that had been assigned to me by the FDU-Inkingi party,” she added.
“The political space in this country is very limited but we are ready to fulfil all legal requirements for registration and conduct our activities in accordance to the laws of the nation.”
She returned from exile in The Netherlands intending to run for president in 2010 as FDU-Inkingi’s leader.
But she was arrested, charged with terrorism and sentenced to more than a decade in jail during a widely criticised trial. She was unexpectedly granted early release alongside more than 2,000 other prisoners in September last year.
Ingabire, an ethnic Hutu, was accused of “genocide ideology” and “divisiveness” after publicly questioning the government narrative of the 1994 genocide of mostly Tutsi people that killed around 800,000 people.
Numerous FDU-Inkingi members have disappeared or been killed in mysterious circumstances over the last few years. The party accuses the government of brutally cracking down on dissenting voices.
One member was stabbed near the capital Kigali in September, while party spokesman Anselm Mutuyimana was kidnapped in March, his body later found in a forest.
Although Rwanda is constitutionally a multi-party system there is practically no opposition, with most of the recognised parties supporting the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).
Kagame, the de facto ruler since his rebel army stopped the genocide in 1994, has been praised for bringing stability and economic growth to his tiny nation but often comes under fire for restricting political freedom.
He commonly wins re-election with more than 90 per cent of the vote.
ART X and the rising ‘bourgeois’ visual art scene in Nigeria
“Africa is one of the fastest-growing markets in the art world today, and Nigeria is equal on the top with South Africa,”
First, there was Tutu, the “African Mona Lisa” sold last year for 1.5 million dollars. Then a second portrait by revered Nigerian painter Ben Enwonwu, called Christine, sold in mid-October, for 1.4 million dollars.
Both record sales of famous works by the late “father of African modernism”, captured the emergence of Nigeria’s art market.
A decade ago, major African artists were largely absent from international auctions. But the continent is now a major attraction in contemporary and modern art.
Since his death in 1994, Enwonwu’s star has only risen, epitomising the growing industry and value for art.
His two masterpieces were sold by two of London’s most prestigious auction houses, Bonhams and Sotheby’s.
“Africa is one of the fastest-growing markets in the art world today, and Nigeria is equal on the top with South Africa,” Giles Peppiatt, director of African art at Bonhams, told AFP.
His auction house was one of the first in Europe to bet big on the continent with “Africa Now” beginning in 2007, auctioning African art as a stand-alone sale.
In the vibrant commercial capital of Lagos, with 20 million people, its cultural season, awash with literary fashion and art festivals, culminates this weekend with the international fair “ART X”.
Three years after it began, the fair has emerged as one of the premier art events on the continent, exhibiting the rich array of African modern and contemporary art.
The famous Tutu, “lost” for almost 40 years and spectacularly found in 2018, almost by chance, in a London apartment, was the surprise attraction of the last edition, drawing several thousand attendees.
A show-reel of Nollywood’s actresses, traditional leaders, wealthy collectors and artists trooped to the painting of the mysterious Yoruba princess.
At the end of the year, Nigeria’s economic-hub becomes awash with glamour and arts.
Thousands of visitors rush from one exhibition to another, from ART X to the Lagos Biennale of contemporary art, Lagos fashion week and LagosPhoto, all of which take place between October and November.
But alongside the art, is an increasing market and appetite amongst investors and collectors.
New galleries like Art Twenty One have opened in recent years.
And the auction house Art House Contemporary Limited, whose turnover is more modest than that of its European peers, regularly exhibits the most notable artists in the region: Enwonwu, Yusuf Grillo, El Anatsui or Peju Alatise.
ART X – Collectors or investors?
This year, some twenty galleries and more than 90 artists will be represented at ART X, with representatives from Tate Modern (London) and Smithsonian (Washington) expected to attend.
Creative audio installations by renowned artist, Emeka Ogboh, based between Berlin and Lagos, will grace the background of the anticipated fourth edition of the fair.
If the appetite for contemporary African art continues to grow, apart from outliers that exceed one million dollars, the majority of works are still sold at “reasonable” prices in comparison with the rest of the world: “between $10,000 and $60,000,” Peppiatt says.
“Events like Art X are changing the game, they enable cities like Lagos to shine and attract many enthusiastic collectors,” he explains. “This is a very exciting moment.”
The West African oil giant and largest economy on the continent has a growing middle class of rich bankers and industrialists, with a burgeoning appetite for purchasing contemporary art.
The biggest bids still take place in Europe, where the market is better structured, and better protected against fake works.
Yet collectors increasingly fly to buy works in London or New York and then bring them back to Africa, says Jess Castellote, director of the Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art, a private museum that will open next year in the suburbs of Lagos.
“There are collectors, art lovers who want to reconnect with their culture, their legacy,” he says, explaining that as well as art enthusiasts, serious investors have taken interest in art.
In Nigeria, as in South Africa, multi-million dollar investment funds have sprung up to acquire works and resell them as dearly as possible, again betting on rising demand for art.
“Rich Nigerians who used to spend 250,000 pounds on a watch or a luxury car now prefer to invest in a painting or a sculpture,” Castellote says.
Zimbabwe target cash shortages with new banknotes and coins
Richard Branson apologises to South Africa for ‘non-inclusive’ tweet
Nigerian forces release fire in the air to stop protest
Davido’s elder brother, Adewale Adeleke shows off wedding venue
Madagascar paddy farmers against ‘new city’ relocation
Nigerian police rescues over 300 pupils from another ‘torture house’
Victims accuse Solomon Folorunsho of Benin-based IDP camp of abuse
Bobi Wine Exclusive Interview
Glory Osei and Muyiwa Folorunsho: another case of undercover fraudsters?
ELECTION FEVER: Jugnauth retains seat as Prime Minister of Mauritius
A walk along the slave routes in Badagry
The #AfricaFirst Pledge with Adebola Afolabi (RezThaPoet)
United Nations #SDGs: A better world with Family planning
The #AfricaFirst Pledge with Efe Paul Azino
Harsh abortion sentences are putting Malagasy women at risk
Politics3 days ago
ELECTION FEVER: Jugnauth retains seat as Prime Minister of Mauritius
Entertainment1 week ago
Burna Boy wins Best African Act at the EMAs
News1 week ago
How Jihadists in Mali are using WhatsApp to recruit fighters
Art5 days ago
Blind singer rises from street beggar to star in Kaduna, Nigeria
News6 days ago
Sudan launches first-ever satellite in partnership with China
Sports News6 days ago
Court in Nigeria drops corruption case against FA boss, 4 others
East Africa News5 days ago
Mauritians go to polls in first post-Anerood ballot
East Africa News6 days ago
Kenyan High Court orders IEBC to avail voters’ register ahead of Kibra polls