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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 01/11/17--14:00: Police stop planned protest
  • Police stop planned protestPolice stop planned protestShack dwellers did not follow procedure The mayor of Walvis Bay has described the organisers of an illegal protest as people with ulterior motives pretending to represent landless residents. The police last week stopped a planned march by shack dwellers, backyard tenants and other landless people in Walvis Bay.

    About 100 people gathered at the Kuisebmond soccer stadium on Saturday to discuss the planned march and picket at the Walvis Bay town hall and council offices in Kuisebmond the next day.

    Mayor Immanuel Wilfred said the organisers were irresponsible persons with ulterior motives pretending to represent landless community members.

    “What they plan to do will never result in any solutions. This is the beginning of the year. Council is in recess and councillors will only commence with their duties on 24 January.

    “These are individuals who pretend to represent community members and their demands for land. We cannot allow this. They do not have a mandate to speak on behalf of the community and claim to be landless while they own houses.

    “Council submitted an application for land to our line ministry and the Namibia Planning Advisory Board (NAMPAB), who told us to be patient and assured us that we would have an opportunity to present our case.

    “There are many ministries involved in the provision of land and we are in the process of attending to the issue,” the mayor said.

    Wilfred confirmed that the minister of urban and rural development, Sophia Shaningwa, would visit Walvis Bay to discuss the issue of land and that of Farm 37 in particular.

    Erongo governor Cleophas Mutjavikua was also planning a meeting with the municipality and regional councillors on 30 January to discuss land provision and affordable housing.

    According to the mayor the representative of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia in Walvis Bay, Naftal Uutoni, was part of a delegation that met with NAMPAB in Windhoek recently.

    “He convened a meeting with members and provided them with feedback about our deliberations on Saturday in Kuisebmond. He also advised members not to be misled and warned them not to participate in the activities being planned by certain individuals who claim to represent the community.”

    SDFN is a network of housing saving schemes which aims to improve the living conditions of low-income people living in shacks.

    The officer for community policing in Erongo, Warrant Officer Ileni Shapumba, said the organisers of the protest action did not follow procedure or notify the authorities of their plans.

    “The group never informed us of their intentions to march and did not obtain permission to proceed. There were no traffic escorts available and this could have led to the disruption of services, safety and security.

    “Camping at the town hall and council offices in Kuisebmond will become problematic since those who want to go and do so won't have access to running water or sanitation. How do they intend to cook while camping there?”

    Shapumba warned that freedoms and fundamental rights were not absolute and should be exercised in compliance with the law and with consideration of the public interest.

    “People should be wary of activities that violate law and public order and critically analyse the contents of messages conveyed to them before they get carried away by emotions,” he advised.

    Spokespersons for the group Kenneth Iilonga and Paulus Nicodemus said the community was fed up with councillors, corrupt practices and tired of renting accommodation.

    “The police prevented us from marching despite the fact that we requested permission from the commissioner on 17 December and traffic officers escort us. We submitted another notice of intent this week.

    “People want affordable land on which they themselves will build houses since they cannot afford bank-financed houses,” Ilonga reasoned.

    He also produced a copy of a letter the group had written to the president and other office bearers, including Shaningwa and Mutjavikua, in December, requesting land to erect housing units or temporary shelter.

    The group claimed that some councillors owned properties located in Uranium Street, Kuisebmond, earmarked for groups such as the Sam Nujoma Landless Project and the Landless Federation. They claimed the plots had been serviced and sold to private developers who were now building flats there. They called for an investigation into this matter.

    Wilfred responded that the applicants had followed proper procedures and asked why the group had not filed a formal objection.

    “We are accused of being full of nonsense after we voted them into power. They enlisted lawyers because we demanded their removal via a petition we handed over in 2016. We are poor and cannot fight them. They are on a different level and forced us to retract the petition we submitted,” said Ilonga.

    “No one is above the law and we are governed by laws. You cannot accuse people without producing proof. They accuse persons of being corrupt. Why don't they involve the Anti-Corruption Commission and the police to investigate their allegations? Individual councillors have the right to take those who tarnish their names to court. These individuals have the very same right and should exercise it,” responded the mayor.



    OTIS FINCK

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  • 01/11/17--14:00: Man kills lover, self
  • Man kills lover, selfMan kills lover, self Abner Joseph (49) committed suicide after murdering Miriam Mwahakana (31) at Ehahati village in the Nehale Lyampingana Constituency on Monday afternoon.

    According to Deputy Commissioner Naomi Katjiua of the Oshikoto police, Joseph beat Mwahakana to death with a stick.

    He then hanged himself with a rope in their bedroom.

    Katjiua said Mwahakana's two children from previous relationships, aged 10 and 13, were asleep at the time but the noise of the attack on their mother woke them up and they witnessed the last part of the assault.

    The two ran away to inform the neighbours, who then called the police.

    The two deceased are said to have been dating for the past two years.

    The police investigation continues.

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    Government debt raises red flagGovernment debt raises red flagMoody's downgrades Namibia's outlook to negative The credit-ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded Namibia’s economic outlook to Baa3 Negative. NAMPA



    Namibia is among the African countries Moody’s Investors Services has downgraded from stable to negative.

    In its outlook report for 2017 released on Tuesday, the credit-ratings company that is present in 36 countries said Namibia’s downgrade was due to various reasons, including rising government debt.

    “We changed the outlook of Namibia (Baa3 Negative) to negative from stable to reflect the risks of fiscal slippage, rising government debt levels and servicing costs.”

    The outlook noted that apart from relying heavily on or needing external export, the region’s subdued growth was driven by one main factor.

    “The main driver of the negative outlook is the liquidity stress facing commodity-dependent sovereigns due to recurrent fiscal deficits and challenging funding conditions.”

    Moody’s said by 31 December 2016, they had downgraded a third of the region’s 19 rated countries.

    These included heavily oil-reliant Nigeria and Gabon where the flexibility of fiscal policies were limited, and Mozambique where foreign reserves were declining.

    Moody’s said sub-Saharan Africa faced the greatest negative pressures in 2016 because more countries were downgraded than other regions such as Asia Pacific, Western Europe, North America, the Middle East and North Africa.

    “Sub-Saharan Africa’s economies will continue to face commodity-induced liquidity stress in 2017, with recurring fiscal deficits amid challenging financing conditions.”

    These challenging conditions are predicted to result in official financing, typically that earmarked for capital spending, being difficult to mobilise on a large scale.

    “Low fiscal and external buffers and no access to IMF (International Monetary Fund) financing facilities further complicate the finding environment for these countries.”

    China, Moody’s said, “will remain a major source of funding given that other bilateral and multilateral players have strict prerequisites tied to the provision of loans”.

    With commodity trade under threat, foreign reserves, particularly in commodity dependent countries, are trending lower in many sub-Saharan countries.

    “This is especially true for countries which, in the absence of other financing resources, have depleted their cash reserves for funding their deficits.”

    Namibia’s domestic banking sector, Moody’s said, was like the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, liquid but small.

    On the positive side, the company said fiscal positions in sub-Saharan Africa were likely to improve and debt to stabilise, while the downside risks remained in 2017.

    “The authorities in the majority of the 19 rated sub-Saharan African sovereigns have embarked on fiscal consolidation plans, which we expect will have a positive impact in 2017.

    “In Namibia, the minister of finance announced corrective measures, demonstrating commitment to an ambitious fiscal consolidation plan, but the speed of recent debt accumulation and the size of the budget deficit point to implementation risks.”

    Schlettwein and finance permanent secretary Ericah Shafudah were not available for comment yesterday.

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    Grade 10 standard not up to scratchGrade 10 standard not up to scratch The grades required for promoting grade 10 learners are too low and that is resulting in poor performance by learners in grade 12.

    The education minister, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, yesterday said the grade 10 standard was unacceptable and the requirements should be revised.

    She made the remark when announcing the results of last year's Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) Ordinary Level examinations.

    Hanse-Himarwa was speaking about the difference in the performance of the regions in the grade 12 and grade 10 examinations.

    She said there should be a new way of rating the regions' performance, as she did not believe the current system reflected the situation on the ground.

    She said it was impossible for learners to worsen so much over a period of two years that it affected a school's or a region's performance.

    Hanse-Himarwa explained that the learners were not suddenly performing worse in grade 11 and 12; the problem lay with the standard for passing the grade.

    “If learners in grade 10 for instance settle for 23 points and an F for English for a pass grade, what type of pass is that?” she asked.

    According to her the problem is the quality of grades that learners receive in the grade 10 Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) exam and therefore they are not able to meet the requirements in grade 12.

    “We are allowing them to pass, but the danger lies ahead in grade 11 and grade 12.”

    She said the requirements for passing grade 10 should be looked into, as learners who scored an F in grade 10 got a real shock when they reached grade 12 where they needed a D to qualify for university admission.

    “This is then a shock to them. An F in English is nothing, what is that? We will have to relook a lot if we want to bring quality grades that can sustain learners to grade 12.

    “I still believe we have talents, skills, resources and expertise around despite numerous challenges. We have the ingredients we need to produce the best citizens the world would admire and adore.”

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  • 01/11/17--14:00: Grade 12s miss the target
  • Grade 12s miss the targetGrade 12s miss the target37% qualify for university admission The education minister has expressed concern about the results of last year's part-time grade 12 candidates in particular. Only about 37% full-time grade 12 ordinary level candidates qualified for university admission - way below the 45% target that the education ministry had set.

    Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa yesterday announced the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary Level results and expressed grave concern about the poor performance of part-time learners.

    She said the full-time candidates performed better this year, but the performance of the part-time students was “extremely worrisome”.

    Hanse-Himarwa said out of the 21 104 full-time learners who wrote the grade 12 examination last year, only 7 772 qualified for university.

    In 2015, out of 20 322 full-time candidates, 6 065 (29.8%) qualified for university admission.

    The fourth National Development Plan targeted an increase in the percentage of learners meeting the 25-point requirement for university admission from 29.5% in 2011 to 45% this year.



    Alternatives

    The minister therefore urged all candidates who passed, but wanted to improve their results, to consider using alternative learning opportunities.

    She said more children could have performed better if they had received enough support from parents and guardians.

    She further said that there was a decrease in the number of ungraded full-time candidates and an increase in the number of ungraded part-time candidates.

    “This is really a concern to be taken into account for the next academic year,” she emphasised.

    According to her, out of the 30 016 part-time candidates registered for the examinations, 78.5% were graded in 2016 compared to 78.8% in 2015.

    She said the results of the part-time candidates were poor at all grade ranges (A* to G.)





    Out of the 21 104 full-time candidates who were registered for the examinations in 2016, 93.3% were graded compared to 92.9% in 2015.



    According to the minister, there was a decrease in the number of ungraded entries, from 7.1% in 2015 to 6.7% in 2016.



    She further said the results of the full-time candidates showed a much better performance at grade A, B and C, with a similar performance at grade A* and slightly lower performance at grade D and E.



    “This is a clear indicator that candidates were able to obtain higher grades while others moved slightly to the lower grades F and G.”



    She thanked the markers of examination papers for beating the deadline for the fifth year in a row.



    “This shows a remarkable improvement and it shows hard work from all involved in the administration and conducting of national examinations,” the minister said.



    Although mathematics examinations were postponed during the teacher strike, it did not affect the results and 92.5% of the candidates were graded compared to 91.6% in 2015.



    The minister said candidates should take note of the deadline for the re-marking of scripts and checking of marks. The closing date for applications for re-marking is 29 January.

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Five clubs owe NPL fees
  • Five clubs owe NPL feesFive clubs owe NPL feesTeams risk being expelled from the league Although there is not yet any indication of when the premier league is likely to kick off, the NPL has warned clubs that have not yet paid their dues that they risk being expelled. NAMPA

    Five Namibia Premier League (NPL) football clubs have not yet paid their affiliation fees to the league governing body for the 2016/17 season.

    The NPL has been inactive since the end of the 2015/16 season, which ended in April last year. The league found itself without a sponsor following the withdrawal of Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) in August 2016.

    Speaking to Nampa on Monday, league administrator Tovey Hoebeb said 11 NPL teams paid their dues at the NPL annual general meeting at the end of last year.

    Affiliation fees for the upcoming 2016/17 NPL season are still outstanding from Tura Magic, Citizens, Young Chiefs and two newcomers - Life Fighters and Young Africa.

    “We will discuss the way forward for the league during our AGM. We will also deliberate on the way forward for the teams that have not yet settled their affiliation fees,” he said.

    The NPL consists of 16 football teams and each pays N$15 000 per season for affiliation. Hoebeb said teams that did not pay their fees risked being expelled when the league kicked off.

    “It is stated in the rule book that if a team misses three consecutive games they can be expelled from the league. But hopefully that will not happen. We are hosting our AGM on Friday or Saturday to discuss the way forward,” he said.

    On Tuesday, Citizens Football Club chairperson David Goagoseb said his club planned to settle its outstanding fees this week.

    “The league was supposed to start in July. We had the money to pay the affiliation fees but we helped team members who had family issues as we deemed that to be important at the time… We will settle that amount, probably by the end of this week,” he said.

    Tura Magic chairperson Peter Nakurua said the club was committed to paying the affiliation and all other fees. The team was forced to use the funds it had to pay players until the end of November.

    “The league finished in April due to the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup, Tura Magic continued its contractual obligation towards the players by paying their salaries until November. If the league had started on schedule, the affiliation fee would have been paid, but unfortunately money had to be spent on player wages.

    “Notwithstanding, Tura Magic remains committed to the league and will honour the call of the NPL to pay subscription and other fees forthwith,” said Nakurua.

    Anton Kake, Life Fighters Football Club chairperson, said his team would meet this weekend to discuss the payment.

    Besides the N$15 000 affiliation fee, clubs pay the NPL a N$54 500 subscription fee per season, which consists of N$500 per player for the 30 players each club has to register and N$22 500 in home-match levies.

    All 16 NPL clubs received letters on 18 July 2016 asking that they pay their subscription fees by 7 August 2016. So far, only the Unam Football Club, Blue Waters, African Stars and Rundu Chiefs have paid their fees in full.

    Eleven Arrows has made a payment of N$47 000 and Mighty Gunners paid N$40 000.

    It is not yet clear when the 2016/17 NPL season will start, as a sponsor has not yet been found.

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    Standard Bank and Shikongo sign house contractStandard Bank and Shikongo sign house contract KAINO NGHITONGO

    Standard Bank Namibia, which is to build a house for Paralympian Ananias Shikongo, this week signed the necessary contract with him.

    Late last year the bank announced its plan to provide Shikongo, who lived in a shack in the Goreangab informal settlement, with a house worth N$500 000.

    Speaking at the signing ceremony, Standard Bank’s acting head of marketing, Sigrid Tjijorokisa, said they were touched by a picture showing Shikongo’s athletics medals hanging above his bed in his shack.

    Shikongo expressed his gratitude to Standard Bank, saying that the bank’s gesture would change his life and that of his family.

    “Sometime I have family members who visit me in Windhoek or come here to see a doctor but they have nowhere to stay, so we share my shack. But after the house is completed, we will have a better place to call home,” he said.

    He added that the house would be a “Paralympian house” as he would accommodate his teammates, especially when they are preparing for competitions.

    “Sometimes our federation does not have the money to pay for hotels for us to stay during training camps, so with this house we can use it for the whole team,” he added.

    Shikongo said Standard Bank’s donation set a good example to other companies that “they should also invest in their people”.

    “I just hope a project like this will continue to help us, especially with disability and just build our future stars,” he said.

    He also advised his fellow sportsmen and women to work as hard as he did to achieve a gold medal.

    “Whatever sport you do, you need to push harder and never give up, because you might as well one day benefit from these programmes as it takes years to save enough to buy a house, but for me my hard work has paid off with a house,” Shikongo said.

    The athlete is expected to help raise awareness of the bank’s Buy a Brick campaign at schools and in communities.

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    Uganda looks to end 35-year Cup droughtUganda looks to end 35-year Cup droughtTeam last played Afcon when Idi Amin ruled The time has come for African teams to rumble it out on the field of play, and Ghana is one of the teams that want to end their cup drought this year. In an era when dictator Idi Amin would interrupt football training to offer advice and bundles of cash, Uganda made it all the way to the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations final.

    However in the nearly 40 years that followed that surprise success, the 'Cranes', named after the national bird, never again soared to such dizzy heights.

    The current squad, the first to qualify for the tournament since then, is hoping to change that in Gabon where the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations takes place from January 14 to February 5.

    The players, like most of their supporters, are too young to remember the glory days of Uganda's last appearance.

    “Times were different then. There was full government support for sports. We got everything we wanted,” said Jimmy Kirunda, who captained the 1978 team during Amin's reign. The dictator ruled from 1971 to 1979 and, when he was not committing widespread abuses, issuing eccentric dictates or sending bizarre missives to world leaders, was an eager sportsman and fan who opened the government purse to the country's stars.

    “He often came to us during training sessions to morale boost us, especially before games against outside teams from Tanzania or Zambia, countries he considered his enemies,” said then-defender Tom Lwanga.

    “He would pull out bundles of US dollars out of his pockets and give us, at times, $200 or $300. At the time it was a lot of money, everyone in the team would rejoice and fight to ensure we don't disappoint him in return.”

    “He would at times show us some tricks to tackle our opponents, that was the passion he had for the team,” said Lwanga.

    Known to some as Big Daddy, to others as The Butcher of Uganda, Amin made a point of personally seeing players off to tournaments abroad.

    Victories were generously rewarded.

    Once, after beating Tanzania, Amin sent his personal plane to fetch the players.

    Mike Diku, another former defender who played in the 1978 African Cup team, said that players who were also in the armed forces could expect to be promoted when they performed well.

    But there was fear too, especially in defeat, with none of the players knowing how the famously erratic and unpredictable autocrat might react.

    “We were also aware that his goodwill couldn't be abused,” said Lwanga. It was motivation, of sorts. We always put up our best performance.”

    The team was also protected from criticism. One journalist was forced into exile after writing articles deemed “demoralising” to the players.

    When they arrived in Ghana for the 1978 tournament, they were by far the underdogs.

    Despite regularly qualifying for the Africa Cup, Uganda had never made it past the first round and in 1978 drew a tough group that included reigning champions Morocco. But to everyone's surprise the Cranes won the game and won over the crowds.

    “All our opponents were (former) French colonies,” said Diku who reckons his team's “English background, plus our attractive short passing game” earned them the support of the home crowd in Ghana, a fellow former British colony.

    “This continued to the semi-finals when we met Ghana's arch-rivals Nigeria.” The final saw Uganda lose 2-0 to the host Ghana.

    After many years in the footballing wilderness, during which quarrels between clubs and the federation stymied the national team, Uganda is on the up: the Cranes were named National Team of the Year at this month's Confederation of African Football (CAF) awards in Abuja, Nigeria, while goalkeeper Denis Onyango was named Player of the Year (Africa-based).

    Observers attribute the team's renewal to talented individuals like Onyango, the skills of Serbian manager Milutin Sredojevic and a modest injection of government cash.

    That financial support allowed Uganda to travel to play warm-up matches against other national sides rather than local clubs.

    But drawn against established giants Ghana, Egypt and Mali, minnow Uganda still has much to prove in its group games.

    Most of the 23 squad members play most of their football in the anonymity of second-division competitions and they are counting on the Cup of Nations to show-off their skills and win better contracts.

    That is a dream never realised by the players of 1978.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Kerber top seed at Australian OpenKerber top seed at Australian Open World number ones Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber were named the top seeds on Thursday for next week's Australian Open with organisers aligning with the current rankings.

    Scotland's Murray is chasing his first title at Melbourne Park after losing in the final five times, including in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 to Serb rival Novak Djokovic, who is seeded second.

    Kerber will be defending her first Grand Slam having upset Serena Williams, seeded two this year, in the decider last year.

    Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, who lost to Murray in the 2016 semi-finals, is the third men's seed with 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka fourth and Japanese hope Kei Nishikori fifth.

    Swiss legend Roger Federer starts at 17 as he makes a comeback after six months out with a knee injury. His old foe Rafael Nadal, also returning from injury, is ninth.

    Serena Williams, gunning for a 23rd Grand Slam title to beat Steffi Graf's Open-era record, is scheduled to again meet Kerber in the women's final.

    But there are a host of dangerous players looking to stop her, with Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska seeded three and Romania's Simona Halep four. US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova rounds out the top five.



    Men's singles

    1. Andy Murray (GBR), 2. Novak Djokovic (SRB), 3. Milos Raonic (CAN), 4. Stan Wawrinka (SUI), 5. Kei Nishikori (JPN), 6. Gael Monfils (FRA), 7. Marin Cilic (CRO), 8. Dominic Thiem (AUT), 9. Rafael Nadal (ESP), 10.



    Women's singles

    1. Angelique Kerber (GER), 2. Serena Williams (USA), 3. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), 4. Simona Halep (ROM), 5. Karolina Pliskova (CZE), 6. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK), 7. Garbine Muguruza (ESP), 8. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS), 9. Johanna Konta (GBR), 10. Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP).

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Khomas boxing ready for 2017
  • Khomas boxing ready for 2017Khomas boxing ready for 2017 The Khomas Boxing Federation is celebrating its 2016 achievements after having nurtured a boxer who won a gold medal at youth games in Angola late last year.

    The federation's spokesperson, Immanuel Moses, said having a boxer winning a gold medal was confirmation that they were capable of producing boxers who go to events to compete and not just to participate.

    He said the federation had several development programmes with little support from the umbrella body, the Namibia Boxing Federation, but still managed to guide and nurture a boxer who won a gold medal for the country.

    “As a federation we feel very strongly about the quality of boxers and coaches in our region and we are ready to make 2017 even more interesting by hosting a lot of development tournaments to make sure that amateur boxers in the region get a lot of game time that will help them in their chosen sport career path,” he said.

    He said the federation had made a commitment to have a large number of boxers qualifying for the next Olympic Games in 2020.

    “Currently we still don't have a sponsor for our events but we remain positive and would like to thank all those who contributed to our activities in 2016 and we hope to work together again for the development of boxing in Khomas as well as the country at large,” said Moses.

    He added that they had a lot planned for 2017, especially for junior boxers, who were the future of boxing in the country.

    “It is very important to note that most, if not all, professional boxers doing well today in the paid ranks had a very good amateur record which goes to prove the importance and role that amateur boxing is playing.

    “This should be a year in which we as a region will identify boxers that we will give special attention to, for them to make their dreams of becoming champions one day,” he said.

    He expressed disappointment at the government's stance that sport is not a budget priority.

    “It is very disheartening to note that government has demoted sport to a level at which no sponsors would want to get involved because it's not one of government's priorities,” he said.

    Moses pleaded with the business community to support the federation's development programme.

    “We believe it would be worth investing in our programmes, as boxing is a sport which is doing great at the moment and it will continue doing well as we also have good junior boxers coming up, but without the business community's support their dreams will not come true,” he said.





    SPORT REPORTER

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    Why social media is important for your brandWhy social media is important for your brand The Namibian Basketball Federation (NBF) will host a German basketball commissioner who is visiting the country for three days to familiarise himself with how the game is run here.

    The president of the Basketball Association of Baden-Wuerttemberg (BBW), Joachim Spägele, has been assigned as a basketball commissioner to Namibia to engage NBF and other stakeholders in basketball development affairs.

    Spägele touched down in Namibia on July 25 and is expected to leave tomorrow. Among other things, he will discuss the way forward with the NBF.

    He will also be paying a courtesy visit to the Sports Commission and the Directorate of Sport to discuss cooperation to develop the game of basketball in Namibia.

    Speaking to Nampa last Thursday, NBF president Andrew Masongo said Spägele’s visit would mean a lot to Namibian basketball, as they expected to learn a lot from him during his three-day visit.

    “We had a memorandum of understanding with the German Basketball Federation (Deutscher Basketball Bund – DBB), which ended last year.

    “They have now assigned someone to come and observe on what never worked between the two organisations and how we can improve on their support in going forward,” he said.

    He added that the BBW would be engaging with the NBF from the grassroots level, which is the most important part of any sport development programme.

    WINDHOEK–NAMPA

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Weekend warriors
  • Weekend warriorsWeekend warriorsWeekend exercise cuts early death risk by a third Many people cannot find the time to exercise during the work week but a new study shows that a little activity over the weekend too has great benefits. Cramming all your recommended weekly exercise into one or two weekend sessions is enough to produce important health benefits, a study suggests.

    And being active without managing 150 minutes of moderate activity a week was still enough to reduce the risk of an early death by a third.

    The findings are based on a survey of about 64 000 adults aged over 40 in England and Scotland.

    Health experts said purposeful exercise was key to better health.

    Researchers from Loughborough University and the University of Sydney analysed data on the time people spent doing exercise and their health over 18 years.

    They found that no matter how often people exercised in a week or for how long, the health benefits were similar as long as they met the activity guidelines.



    Fighting the flab

    This was good news for people with a busy lifestyle who turned into “weekend warriors” in order to fit in all their recommended physical activity, they said.

    Compared with those who didn't exercise at all, people who did some kind of physical activity - whether regularly or irregularly - showed a lower risk of dying from cancer and from cardiovascular disease (CVD), which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

    “Weekend warriors”, who did all their exercise on one or two days of the week, were found to lower their risk of dying from CVD by 41% and cancer by 18%, compared with the inactive.

    Those who exercised regularly on three or more days per week reduced their risks by 41% and 21%.

    Even the “insufficiently active” lowered their risk by a significant amount - 37% and 14%, the researchers said, writing in an article published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

    “Weekend warriors” are more likely to be men than women.

    How much physical activity should you do?

    People aged 19-64 should try to do: At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking every week, and strength exercises (such as lifting weights) on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running or a game of singles tennis every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles, or a mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week, such as two 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of fast walking, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles.

    Dr Gary O'Donovan, study author and expert in physical activity and health, from Loughborough University, said the key was doing exercise that was “purposeful, and done with the intention of improving health”.

    “You are not going to fidget or stand your way to health,” he said.

    He added that a commitment to an active lifestyle was usually accompanied by other healthy lifestyle options, which made a positive difference regardless of body mass index (BMI).

    But Dr O'Donovan said no-one yet knew the best way of meeting the weekly recommended exercise total.



    'Every little counts'

    The study cannot show a direct link between physical activity and a reduction in health risks in individuals.

    But extensive research has shown that exercise and a healthy diet can reduce the risk of a range of diseases - such as cancer, heart disease and type-2 diabetes - as well as helping to control weight, blood pressure and reduce symptoms of depression.

    Justin Varney, national lead for adult health and wellbeing at Public Health England (PHE), said: “The maximum health benefits are achieved from 150 minutes of moderate activity per week.

    “However, every little counts and just 10 minutes of physical activity will provide health benefits.”

    BBC

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: SA expects bumper maize crop
  • SA expects bumper maize cropSA expects bumper maize crop NAMPA/REUTERS

    South African industry group Grain SA sees a 2017 maize surplus after last year's drought-induced deficit and its surveys show farmers have planted 2.4 million hectares this season, an 18% increase over 2016, its chief executive said on Thursday.

    “What I've learned from our surveys and discussions with the farmers is that we will plant, or have planted because it's just about done now, around 2.4 million hectares," Jannie de Villiers told Reuters in an interview.

    “If we have planted those hectares and I look at the weather forecast for the next month or two there is a big chance that we will have more than enough for our own use," he said, when asked if he expected a surplus this year.

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: HTC leaked before launched
  • HTC leaked before launchedHTC leaked before launched TECH24

    The highly anticipated next smartphone from Taiwanese manufacturer HTC has been leaked online with a full set of specifications available for the ‘HTC U’ on some websites a day ahead of its launch.

    Speculation on social media exists as to whether HTC will call the next device the ‘U’, ‘U Ultra’ or even just the ‘Ultra’. Other suggestions are that the device will be called the ‘Ocean Note’.

    However, the device is expected to boast impressive features setting a new trend for smartphones released in 2017.

    A teaser video from the company showed that the next device will be launched on Thursday.

    Mobile database site, GSMArena, have reported that the device will feature 64 gigabyte storage, a 1440x2560 pixel resolution, 24 megapixel dual camera, 16 megapixel rear camera, Snapdragon 835 processor and a 4000mAh battery.

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    Bitcoin: Virtual money, unreal returnsBitcoin: Virtual money, unreal returnsVolume of Bitcoin trades US$1 billion for 2016 Investors are showing greater interest in the digital currency after its 120% return, which made it the year’s best asset class. FINANCIAL MAIL



    A little more than three years ago the idea of buying into Bitcoin for investment purposes was akin to saying one wanted to purchase a unicorn - ludicrous. But anyone who dared believe in the unthinkable then is reaping the rewards now.

    Bitcoin could prove to be a lucrative alternative asset class for the riskier investor. For the second year in a row it ended last year as the best-performing currency in the world.

    On January 1 2016 the average price of one bitcoin was N$7.3. One year later it had risen to N$14.44. It has since retracted and is now trading at about N$13.5.

    An investment in the Johannesburg All share index in 2016 would have yielded a flat return. One in the S&P and in gold would have produced a return of about 9%. And yet Bitcoin managed a return of 120%.

    BitX, the oldest and largest bitcoin exchange in Africa, says there has been a rise in the number of local customers buying bitcoin, as well as a rise in bitcoin-rand trading volumes and in the usage of the currency as a payment method.

    Yet bitcoin is used mostly as storage for wealth, says BitX head of marketing Werner van Rooyen. “This is because of its strong performance against other currencies over the past few years and due to some of its unique characteristics.”

    Bitcoin exists only in digital form, not in coins or notes. It is decentralised, meaning that there is no single business, government or entity that owns or controls it.

    “Bitcoin is a little bit like the Internet. It’s a modern technology, with a lot of current use cases and future potential. It’s a network that isn’t owned by any single entity, and it is built on open protocols. Anyone can participate and build things on top of it,” said Van Rooyen.

    A research paper by ARK Invest and Coinbase says bitcoin trading volumes reached roughly US$1 billion per day in the first quarter of 2016. "Bitcoin exhibits characteristics of a unique asset class, meeting the bar of investability, and differing substantially from other assets in terms of its politico-economic profile, price independence, and risk-reward characteristics," the researchers argue.

    In its short life, bitcoin has provided investors with stellar absolute returns, above and beyond that of any other asset class. If one had invested $10 000 in bitcoin four years ago, it would now be worth nearly US$1 million and would have outperformed the other broad asset classes 56-fold to 212-fold, the paper noted.

    Van Rooyen says that for a number of reasons the adoption of bitcoin in expected to accelerate. These include the launch of bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), increased institutional participation and further softening of global financial markets.

    “There are already a number of ETFs in the pipeline. Physical gold ETFs did wonders for the price of gold by opening it up to new sources of liquidity.

    “In terms of institutional participation, some hedge funds are already publicly taking large positions in bitcoin, and we’ve also had a huge uptick in inquiries from many quarters, including hedge funds, private wealth managers and other financial institutions. The real money hasn’t even begun to start playing in this space, and it is poised to happen,” said Van Rooyen.

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Aunty Nangy
  • Aunty NangyAunty Nangy I want to leave him

    Dear Aunty Nangy. I am a 16-year-old girl and I am dating a boy the same age as me. I have a real problem in my relationship. He is always accusing me of cheating on him which is not true at all. I want to leave him and focus on my studies. Please help me Aunty.

    You are a wise girl for 16 to know that you must leave this relationship. On a daily basis, we read about gender-based violence and intimate partners being killed for cheating or, if the man thinks she is cheating. This is not a safe place for you at all. Clearly, your boyfriend is insecure and not very sure of himself. You are now entering your senior and most important years at school so yes, leave him. Break up with him, face to face, but make sure that you are at your home where an elder is around or somewhere where you know you are safe. Good luck child, and best wishes for your new school year.

    He wants to marry

    Dear Aunty Nangy, I am 19 and my boyfriend says he loves me very much and wants to marry me one day. Please Aunty, give me a little bit of advice?

    This type of letter makes me very happy. I take it your relationship is healthy and sound and if you love him, then what is the problem? However, you are too young to marry now and both of you should finish your education and also try and qualify for something else after school. Make sure both of you are working also. Do not marry now or even in the next five years and please wait to have children? You are both young so you must enjoy your young love and build a life first before you have babies.

    I want to have sex again

    Dear Aunty Nangy, I am a boy of 17 and when I have sex I feel like I want to have sex again. What is the problem Aunty, please help me?

    Firstly, you should not be having sex at such a tender age. You do not say if you are in a relationship or not and further, I am worried that you are not having safe sex, using a condom. In terms of feeling like sex again, you do not give me enough details to work with. It could be that you are not ejaculating properly or that you are very virile. After sex, most men are what you would call ‘spent’ and this indicates to me that you are not finishing up properly. You can try self-stimulation and see if that makes you feel more ‘spent’ otherwise, you should see a doctor.

    He beats me

    Dear Aunty Nangy, I really need your help. I am 26 and a mother of two children. My husband beats me. He beats me when the food is burned or when I get home late from work. He beats me if the children are naughty and he beats me if he thinks I am dressed like a prostitute. Also, if I do not want sex, he beats me. What must I do?

    My dear, dear woman, you need to immediately get to a place of safety and take your children, whom I assume are still small, with you. Domestic violence is against the law and you should go and make a case at your nearest police station. I implore you to leave him. Your children cannot be raised safely in such a home and what lessons are they learning from their father? You do not say whether you have sons or daughters but if they are raised with this type of behaviour, they will think it is normal. Go to your nearest police station and find help. You can also get a restraining order if need be. I will pray for you.

    Scared for my results

    Dear Aunty Nangy, I think I failed Grade 10 and my parents will beat me if I did. I do not know what to do. Help me please.

    When in life we meet challenges or make mistakes, the best thing to do is to learn from them and overcome them by doing better. Do not be disheartened child. 2017 is a new year and it will bring with it new opportunities. You can enrol at Namcol at repeat your year. Do not give up. Persevere. Not everyone in life that is successful passed every grade at school. Look at Sir Richard Branson – he is a multi-millionaire and he did not even finish school. Repeat your Grade 10 child, study hard and learn from the mistakes you made this year. Tell your parents you are sorry. Pick yourself up and go on. Good luck!

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Don't give up now
  • Don't give up nowDon't give up now Due to the many events that were happening in the last month of 2016, the organisers held back the launch of what is anticipated to be the biggest Namibian female musician project, My Ongoma.

    Arafat who is at the forefront of the project said they will only launch this year for maximum effectiveness.

    “There was so much planned to happen at the same time like the R Kelly show and we didn't want to confuse the people. Some female artists were not on board yet whilst some had festival plans and could not come to the studio to record. It was that bad,” he said.

    The organisers also wanted to plan the launch of My Ongoma album perfectly to break the bad span of unorganised shows and events that have been happening lately. “These things cost a lot of money and to fail to organise one will be a loss. I know of an artist who had a show at Unam and from there I am now aware of the importance of planning,” said Arafat.

    The album currently has more than 12 songs that are recorded however the three producers Glo, Arafat and Antonio want brilliance from the artists for them to deliver the best project ever seen before the release.

    There are over 15 artists that have already signed including Shishani, Monique English, Ann Singer, Adora, Lioness and Etjo. The aim of the project is to have a united front in music, which is rare in Namibia. “Unity is one thing you won't easily find in Namibia especially with the female artists because it seems like our egos are bigger than our dreams I guess,” said Arafat.

    My Ongoma doesn't have a fixed number of members and the producers have encouraged more female artists to join the project from all tribes and genres found across the country, in hope of reducing tribalism.

    My Ongoma is set to launch in February with many different sounds and features that one would never have imagined coming to life. The organisers plan on having a road show with the artists and music videos to be shot. Producer Glo is currently in studio with Etjo and Lioness and the artists are very happy to be working together.

    “It is going to be a one-of-a-kind project and it is amazing to be working with ladies only since we all have our characters, but we will deliver a great project,” said Etjo.

    Rapper Lioness said the song she's collaborating with Etjo on is gearing to hip-hop but it is open to the ear. Lioness said the whole journey is exciting as she has never worked with a vocalist such as Etjo and the song will unquestionably be a must-listen.

    June Shimuoshili

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    Things that must remain in 2016Things that must remain in 2016From the entertainment industry personal's perspective Yes, he is a dude full of jokes but there are some things that he doesn't take lightly including being taken for granted. Here's his two cents for event organisers who do things that must remain in 2016. “I'm Courage, one of the biggest comedians in Namibia and I have been in the comedy industry for six years now. Comedy has grown in a way but some of the challenges are still the same since day one,” said the comedian.



    #Art is art

    Stand-up comedian Courage says event planners should respect and treat individuals in the entertainment industry all the same.

    A couple of entertainment industry players have complained about event organisers failing to pay the agreed-upon amount on time whilst some don't pay up at all.

    Comedian Courage urges organisers to stick to their word especially when it comes to payments. “There is nothing more embarrassing than an artist following the promoter around after a gig looking for payments or having to zula a ride from the audience member because I was expecting to be paid so I call dial a cab home, which didn't happen,” says Courage.



    #Respect the artist's worth

    Namibian performers demand promoters to adhere to the agreed fees of services and to keep the dates of payment too. Courage says that the story of wanting to change the fees because the event didn't go as planned should be a thing of the past. “Event organisers must not take advantage of the artist in that way as if it is their duty to make the event a success. As artists, it's not that we are difficult and like to go on, but this thing of us calling you day after day waiting for payments for a gig that happened three months ago must stay in 2016,” he said.



    #Respect my hustle

    Courage also insisted that comedians get the same treatment and respect as any other artist. “When I quote for an event or gig, please take me seriously as that is my worth. The statement “you are charging this much just to tell jokes,” should stay in 2016. On behalf of all comics in Namibia, I would like to say we are serious about joking,” he said.



    #Hire the right man

    Other things to be left in 2016 include the restriction of freedom of speech by corporate event planners and Courage suggests that planners rather look for a comedian that suits the event. “Organisers must do their research and get the appropriate comic. Also if we called to perform for corporate events and we come there at an agreed time, can we stick to allocated performance times as one might be booked for other events as well,” said Courage.



    #Support local artists more

    Lastly, Courage says event promoters must support local artists more. “These guys are willing to pay large sums of money for international artists and are treating their local artists badly, paying them peanuts. Not cool. These guys must pay more attention to local artists because this is the only way they can grow. Just like charity, support also begins at home. Promoters must not underpay local artists as this is their means of survival,” he concluded.

    June Shimuoshili

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    Jub Jub's 'forgiveness' song releasedJub Jub's 'forgiveness' song releasedJub Jub starts over saying sorry Rapper Molemo 'Jub Jub' Maarohanye has reportedly released his first song since his release from prison on parole, pleading with the nation for forgiveness. According to Drum magazine, the troubled rapper wrote an apology song entitled Ke Kopa Tshwarelo (Please forgive me) while in prison and offered their journalists a listen to it. A song by the same name found its way online hours after Jub Jub was released and features jazz singer Tsepo Tshola.

    According to the Sowetan newspaper, the rapper, who was jailed for crashing his Mini Cooper into a group of school children in 2010, seemed to address the accident and said that he was misled by the “good life” and pressure from friends. “My life was too fast... blindfolded by the good life and pressure of my boys... I was careless, sniffing coke, riding reckless. I thought that I was impressing, just living life to the fullest,” the rapper sang.

    He also speaks of breaking down in prison from regret and wanting to make the most of his second chance. “I'm tired of the mistakes that I have made. My tears were rolling down my cheeks when in prison, I got myself in trouble and you pulled me from the mud... I never thought this day would come, with what I have become, only prayers rubbing my palm. Now I can overcome any obstacle in front of me,” he raps in another verse.

    The song ends with a passionate plea to the nation to forgive him. “I beg for forgiveness mama. I beg for forgiveness baba. I beg for forgiveness my brother. I beg for forgiveness my sister. I beg for forgiveness my country.”

    Jub Jub and Themba Tshabalala were convicted of culpable homicide for crashing their cars into a group of school children in 2010. The accident left four dead and two others brain damaged. The pair were placed on parole after the Department of Correctional Services said that they had served the required four years of their eight-year sentences.



    TimesLive

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    Lockdown coming to Mzanzi MagicLockdown coming to Mzanzi Magic Set in a fictional high-security female prison, this Black Brain production brings maximum drama delivered by authentic characters.

    Their fascinating back stories will hold you enthralled as they unravel to reveal the paths that led them into prison and behind locked gates.

    The motley crew of Lockdown's female inmates is led by the tough Ma Z (Dawn Thandeka King), a leader who wants nothing more than to gain her freedom so that she can become a good and present mother to the daughter she left on the outside. Cunning and not beyond using manipulation, she co-ops those she can – be they the other inmates or wardens – to meet her end goal. One of those people happens to be the beautiful and talented Monde (Zola Nombona), a young woman who left the cocoon of her small town life to pursue fame and fortune in the dazzling lights of Egoliwood.

    Ma Z's arch rival is the tough-as-nails prison boxing champ Tyson (Lorcia Cooper), who literally fights her demons with her fists. Temperamental, intimidating and confrontational, Tyson wants to rule the prison's other inmates with an iron fist and has her sights on dismantling any kind of hold that Ma Z has. Complete control is her ultimate prize. The often-delusional Slenda (Nomsa Buthelezi) acts as Ma Z's lieutenant. Her gullibility and loyalty to her gang leader usually sees her being the one executing Ma Z's bidding. The fact that she is mentally unstable and talks to her dead baby, means she should be in a psychiatric ward, but this works beautifully to her leader's advantage.

    Beauty (Slindile Nodangala) is the prison's governor, the head whose “tough but fair mama” façade hides a manipulative and shrewd businesswoman. She wants her prison to run smoothly and her “girls” to give her the barest of problems. You see, Beauty does not want her fiefdom to be tainted because then, her underhanded and blatantly corrupt practices might be revealed. This is why she has wardens like her son Njabulo (Mthunzi Ntoyi), an academic underachiever who desperately wants to prove his worth to his mother by finally obtaining civil engineering degree and freeing himself from her prison – in every sense of the word.

    “Lockdown is an exciting new series that will raise the bar high for South African television drama; there's nothing like it on our screens. Mzansi Magic viewers are in for a treat because this is gripping stuff. Each episode is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you craving more,” says M-Net's Head of Drama, Reneilwe Sema.



    Staff Reporter

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