Meet Tania Mukwamu. She is the founder of the travel blog Kongo Travels. As you will see from this interview, Tania is a multi-passionate and multi-hyphenated woman who juggles motherhood, entrepreneurship ventures, and frequent travels. I had a chat with her shortly before Christmas 2020. We discussed her passion for traveling, her earliest travel memories and her dream destinations. She also shared a few tips for discovering the world on a budget.
Here is a roundup of the top current affairs, lifestyle and entertainment news that has been trending for the past week.
1. POLITICS: Kamala Harris makes history has the first-ever woman to be elected vice-president in the US
On November 7th, 2020, four days after the American election day, numerous US media projected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the winners of the presidential elections.
The 4 years of Trump’s presidency have been quite a ride. And this year’s campaign could be described as the most polarized and eventful yet. As of Monday, November 16th, Trump has not yet conceded defeat and he claimed on Twitter (in CAPS letter!) that he is the winner.
Kamala Harris will be the first-ever woman, furthermore woman of color, to occupy this position. She is the daughter of immigrants: her father is Jamaican and her late mother is Indian. In her victory speech, Harris thanked and honored her mother and all African-American women. The latter overwhelmingly showed up at the polls and voted for Biden and Harris (According to national polls, 95% of African-American women voted for the Democrats). They are hailed by many as the ‘backbone of US democracy”.
2. WATCH: Beyonce releases behind-the-scene footage of her photoshoot with British Vogue
In the early hours of Monday, November 9th, Beyoncé released a short video of behind-the-scenes footage of her British Vogue photoshoot. The 4 minutes long video, titled ‘A Friday in September’, shows Beyoncé getting ready and playing model for the magazine shooting.
It didn’t go unnoticed to African -especially Congolese- music lovers that the video’s background music is a Congolese song titled Ngai Tembe Eleka, from the late, legendary musician, “Franco” Luambo Makiadi. Franco was a genius guitarist and acclaimed storyteller whose several hits are classics in Congolese music.
For this photoshoot, Beyonce requested to be photographed by a black woman. Read more about 21-year-old Kennedi Carter who was selected to shoot Queen Bey.
Beyonce is keeping her Beyhive excited with multiples projects. From the release of the movie Black is King (I still need to write my ‘think-piece’ on it ) in August to Ivy Park’s latest collection releases and now her interview and photoshoot with British Vogue.
3. MEET Elsa Majimbo, the Kenyan social media sensation who just won the “African Social Star of 2020” at E! People’s Choice Awards
Elsa Majimbo’s funny and witty attitude has kept us laughing during the quarantine and puts her in front of global audiences. She has since been featured on several South African media, spoke to CNN’s Anderson Cooper and, recently landed a Fenty Campaign.
Check out how Elsa has been rehearsing for international fame in her hilarious video below 🙂 .
Watch this interview to know more about Elsa Majimbo :
4. COVID-19: “Lockdown” has been declared ‘Word of The Year’ by Collins Dictionary
Lockdown, quarantine, coronavirus, social distancing… So many words have seen a sharp use during this year, due to the exceptional sanitary situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lexicographers registered more than 250,000 usages of the word “lockdown” during 2020, up from just 4,000 last year. (source : BBC)
Did you know or were you using some of these words before the year 2020? Social distancing is totally new to me.
5. TECH: Have you heard about Clubhouse, the latest social app?
Have you heard about Clubhouse, the new invite-only, voice-based social media app where you join and discuss with people in chat rooms? Well, if you haven’t yet, don’t worry you’re probably not the only one.
P.S When you tell your friends about Clubhouse, say that you first read about it here! 😉
The Clubhouse app is still in its beta version. For now, it seems like it’s mostly celebrities and a selected list of people that have been invited to try it out. So, until the rest of us are invited to hang with the cool kids and check it out, here’s how the New-York Times describes the app:
“Clubhouse is a social media app where venture capitalists have gathered to mingle with one another while they are quarantined in their homes. The app is, for now, invite-only, and buzzy: Seemingly everyone who has been allowed to join the early test version, from celebrities like MC Hammer to activists like DeRay Mckesson, has tweeted about it. And it has recently been one of the hottest deals on Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley’s venture capital nexus.”
Are you eager to try a new social media app or you’re happy with Facebook and Twitter?
Thanks for reading ! Let me know which story you enjoyed the most or which trending story I might have missed.
Tributes continue to pour for Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman
Tributes continue to pour in for Black Panther eponymous star, Chadwick Boseman, who sadly passed away Friday 29 August. The public was shocked to hear that, Boseman, 43, was battling cancer for 4 years, shortly before his big break. Ex-co-stars and associates are coming forward with heart breaking tributes and anecdotes that only testify how amazing Chadwick was and how he deeply lived for his craft, his passion for the arts, his heritage and love for his community. He truly lived with passion and purpose. Read Ryan Coogler, The director or Black panther’s beautiful tribute to Chadwick here.
The COVID-19 pandemic, the closures of borders and numerous travel restrictions have put a strain on the hospitality and tourism industry. More specifically, the safari industry in Africa which cater mostly, if not exclusively, to international tourists. The prospect of long months of empty lodges have made, this luxury industry to review their strategy and target local customers. The move didn’t go down really well with locals who felt overlooked for a long time.
A Tanzanian man, who committed himself to travel extensively his country, after living for many years abroad, says: “Even though places are becoming more accessible to us right now, the experiences are still not equal to those offered to foreigners,” he said. “When I stay someplace, they aren’t as invested in me as a guest. They don’t give suggestions for places nearby to see or excursions to go on and things to try, but foreigners — that’s all provided at length.” He then adds: “But since Covid started I’ve found myself wondering, ‘Why don’t I support really local business, especially when the foreign ones never wanted my money before?’”. Interesting read via the New-York Times.
Congolese’s virologist Dr Muyembe lifelong work on Ebola is coming to screen
After several pictures of American actors Richard T. Jones (Why did I get married and owner of Prophecy Pictures Entertainments) visiting Kinshasa, it has been reported that Jones and Eric Kasongo, owner of the production house, Emotive are currently working on a biopic for Dr Muyembe.
Dr Jean-Jacque Muyembe-Tamfum, is a world-renowmed microbiologist, and the actual director of the INRBM, the Institut National de la Recherche BioMedicale. In 1976, he was part of a medical team that discovered Ebola in at a hospital in a small northern village in Congo (then Zaire). In 2016, Dr Muyembe, played again an essential role in the most recent outbreak, in researching a treatment protocal, including testing trial vaccines. He is currently heading the national outbreak response of COVID-19.
Despite being the first doctor to collect Ebola sample, his crucial role in the discovery and long life research against Ebola was overlooked. For the longest time, all the credits went to a Belgian microbiologist doctor, Dr Peter Piot. This raises again, the question of erasing African Black scientists of their important contributions in the sciences and medical field.
It’s time Dr Muyembe get the worldwide recognition he deserves. (Full story in French via Zoom Eco. net. )
Watch: Anthony Mmesoma Madu, future ballet prodigy from Lagos
I’m sure in June you’ve came across the beautiful video of a young ballet dancer from Nigeria, dancing under the rain. Anthony Mmesoma Madu, 11, has now received a scholarship offer from Cynthia Harvey, former Prima Ballerina and now director of the American Theater Baller of New-York. Hopefully, this will be a long-term partnership with Daniel Ojala, the self-taught ballet teacher, from the Leap of Dance Academy, a school that provides quality ballet education to indigenous young artists. Follow them on their Instagram page.
Jerusalema : let’s dance with the South African hit taking the world by storm!
Jerusalema is one of the biggest global hits that came out of South Africa this year. It is a song by South Africa DJ and record producer Master KG. It features gospel singer and vocalist Nomcebo. The gospel-afropop song was first uploaded in November 2019 on YouTube. A video followed in January 2020. However, the song became a global sensation, after the #Jerusalemachallenge quickly went viral on social media. The challenge started when a group of dancers from Angola, uploaded a choreography of them dancing to the song, with plates of food. The rest of Africa, then the world, quickly joined in the fun. On September 8, it has broken the record of the most ‘Shazamed’ song. The news was posted on Shazam twitter account.
This morning, the world woke up to the tragic and unexpected news of Black panther actor, Chadwick Boseman’s death. Boseman’s publicist confirmed that he died of cancer at his home in Los Angeles earlier today, surrounded by his wife and family. He was 43.
According to a statement posted on the actor’s Instagram page, Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and was privately battling the illness all these years. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.” The statement said. “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther” statement continues.
Boseman’s most acclaimed role is King T’Challa in the blockbuster, the comic marvel, Black Panther. The film is one of the biggest box-office hits of all time, generating more than 1.3 billion dollars worldwide.
More than any other marvel comic movie character, Black Panther was a cultural revolution, a milestone in the film industry, as it brought to big screens worldwide a movie with a black superhero supported by a predominantly black cast and director.
Beside Black Panther, Boseman brought to life other iconic black figures such as baseball hero Jackie Robinson, who broke the racial barrier by becoming the first African-American to play in the Major League Baseball, James Brown, the Godfather of Soul music and Thurgood Marshall, the lawyer and civil rights activists, who became the first African-American Justice to the Supreme Court.
On numerous occasions, a tired-looking Chadwick drew internet users’ comments joking that he was tired of obliging to do the Wakanda salute to fans; last year, pictures of a noticeably skinnier Chadwick surfaced online, raising worries on his health and leaving some to wonder if the dramatic weight loss was for an upcoming movie role.
Chadwick is survived by his wife Taylor Simone Ledward, whom he reportedly married earlier this year.
Watch below an emotional video of fans telling the impact watching the movie had on them.