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“Celebrities Are Not Supposed To Charge If Featured In Covid-19 Educational Campaign- Tourism Minister

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Minister of Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng Gyasi says she expects industry players not to charge professional fees when they are featured in skits to educate the public on the Covid-19.

The initiative which is from the Ministry of Information and Creative Arts Council seeks to make celebrities educate the public on Covid-19 because of the influence they have in society.

According to the Minister, some funding will be made available for the technical production, but she hopes that those involved will not charge professional fees since everyone is fighting to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

“We recognize that people imbibe information differently and it is often easier to transfer information through artistic pieces, so the Creative Arts Council is working with the Ministry of Information to come up with little skits that will educate Ghanaians on the Coronavirus and the protocols we have to observe.

“Definitely some funding will be made available to the technical production but I also don’t expect our industry players to charge professional fees in this wake because we are all helping in fighting the pandemic,” she said.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, celebrities have used their social media platforms to educate and encourage Ghanaians to adhere to the safety protocols to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

– Doreen Avio

Entertainment

John Legend Questions Kanye West’s Presidential Bid

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Many people were surprised by Kanye West’s announcement last week on July 4 that he plans to run for president during the 2020 election. Now, West’s good friend, collaborator and fellow Grammy winner John Legend is weighing in on the matter.

The singer-songwriter shared an extensive Twitter thread on Monday (July 13) where he talked about a question that he gets asked often by reporters. Legend openly talked about the duty and responsibility that public figures have when standing behind their political beliefs.

“Ummmmm not necessarily,” the Grammy-winning talent answered. “It ain’t for everybody.”

“If you are going to speak out, try to do your homework. Read about it. Talk to activists and organizers and people impacted,” the “Bigger Love” artist wrote in his first series of tweets. “Be open to evolution and changing your mind. Be intentional and strategic. And think about the impact of your words on the real lives of real people.”

While he did not actually mention his longtime friend by name, Legend stated that endorsing a third-party candidate simply overlooks “real world implications,” as it closely relates to the sudden coronavirus pandemic.

“Part of an artist’s job is to imagine a different future. I appreciate the desire to break free from the strictures of the 2-party system in America, for instance,” he went on to write. “But you can’t divorce that conversation from the real world implications of rooting for a futile 3rd party bid.”

The entertainer wrapped up his thread to say that running for president is “not merely an intellectual exercise. It’s life and death.”

This is not the first time that the “Jesus Walks” duo has disagreed over politics. Back in 2018, West leaked a private text message between him and Legend about his political views on Twitter.

“So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially to people of color,” Legend reportedly texted West. “Don’t let this be part of your legacy.”

Since the public clash, Legend recently told told The Times in May that they have moved past their political rifts.

“I don’t think we’re less friends because of the Trump thing. I just think we’re doing our own thing,” the singer said. “He’s up in Wyoming, I’m here in LA. We’ve both got growing families and I no longer have a formal business relationship with him as an artist, so I think it’s just part of the natural cycle of life. But obviously we disagreed on the Trump thing and we still do apparently.”

– www.bet.com

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Zindzi Mandela Passes Away, Aged 59

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59 Years old Zindzi Mandela, daughter of South African liberation hero Nelson Mandela and anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, has died, according to officials.

State broadcaster SABC said on Monday Mandela, who has been serving as South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark since 2015, died in a hospital in Johannesburg on Sunday evening. No other details were given.

The Mandela Legacy Foundation, speaking on behalf of the family, said memorial and funeral arrangements for Zindzi would be announced in the course of the week.

President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed sadness at her passing days before Nelson Mandela’s birthday and said she brought home “the unshakeable resolve of our fight for freedom”.

“After our liberation she became an icon of the task we began of transforming our society and stepping into spaces and opportunities that had been denied to generations of South Africans,” Ramaphosa’s office quoted him as saying.

Pule Mabe, spokesman for the governing African National Congress, described her death as “untimely”.

“She still had a role to play in the transformation of our own society and a bigger role to play even in the African National Congress,” Mabe said, adding further details would be provided in due course.

Educated in South Africa and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Zindzi Mandela spent many years involved in South Africa’s freedom struggle, and embraced roles in the arts, philanthropy and business.

She rose to international prominence when she read out her father’s rejection of then-President PW Botha’s offer for freedom in 1985.

Tobias Elling Rehfeld, Denmark’s ambassador to South Africa, said he was “saddened” to learn about her death.

He wrote on Twitter: “I am so saddened to learn that Ambassador Zindzi Mandela has passed away. Zindzi was a dear colleague working tirelessly and with a smile to nurture and grow the strong friendship between SouthAfrica and Denmark. My deep condolence to the Mandela family!”

Zindzi Mandela is survived by her husband and four children.

– Al Jazeera

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Nigeria COV!D-19 Cases Rise To 28,711; Schools Reopen, Ebonyi Governor Infected

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Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, as at end of June 2020 was Africa’s third most impacted country only behind South Africa and Egypt. As Africa’s biggest economy, the federal government has continued to enforce regulations across the board even though most state governments have moved to relax restrictions.

The national response is led by the Presidential Task Force, PTF, led by SGF Boss Mustapha along with a national coordinator and relevant ministers – chief among them, Health, Foreign Affairs and Education ministries. At the heart of the response is the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, NCDC.

This article is dedicated to covering events from the country throughout the month of July. Our May 2020 page and June 2020 coverage also gives you a rundown of major developments.

July 6: 28,711 cases; Oyo schools reopen, Ebonyi governor infected

Schools across south western Oyo State have resumed as of today despite protests by the federal government insisting that conditions were not right for such a measure. Local media reports suggest that strict virus prevention measures were being implemented with the return to school. All students, pupils are wearing some form of mask or face shield.

Temperatures are taken before learners are allowed into classrooms and there are handwashing points stationed at vantage points. There is also distancing between seats in the classrooms.

Others states have held off reopening of schools despite a progressive lifting of strict lockdown measures.

Over the weekend, reports emerged that Ebonyi State governor David Umahi had contracted the virus along with some of his aides. He joins the likes of Rotimi Akerodolu of Oyo and Delta State’s Ifeanyi Okowa – who are still receiving treatment after recent infections.

Total confirmed cases = 28,711
Total recoveries = 11,665
Total deaths = 645
Active cases = 16,401

Figures valid as of close of day July 5, 2020

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NAANA OPOKU AGYEMANG: All You Need To Know About JM’s Running Mate

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National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, John Mahama has picked his former Education Minister Naana Opoku-Agyemang as running mate for the 2020 general elections. Prof. Opoku-Agyemang’s Vice-Presidential candidacy was revealed at a meeting of the NDC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) at the party’s headquarters at Adabraka in Accra Monday.

Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang (born 22 November 1951 in Cape Coast, Ghana) is a former Minister for Education in Ghana. She was appointed in 2013 by President John Mahama after the 2012 Ghanaian general election and served until January 2017 when the Nana Akuffo-Addo administration was elected to power. She is a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Professor Opoku-Agyemang, former Vice-Chancellor of University of Cape Coast, Ghana, was the first female Vice-Chancellor of a state University in Ghana. She assumed duty on 1 October 2008, succeeding Emmanuel Addow-Obeng.

Biography

Born on 22 November 1951 in Cape Coast, Ghana, Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang attended Anglican Girls’ Secondary School at Koforidua and Aburi Presby Girls’ School. She then had her secondary education at the Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast from 1964 to 1971. She completed B.Ed.(Hons) in English and French at the University of Cape Coast in 1977 and obtained her Masters and Doctorate degrees from York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1980 and 1986 respectively.

Professor Opoku-Agyemang taught and worked at the University of Cape Coast, starting in 1986. She has held various academic positions including Head of the Department of English, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Warden of Adehye Hall, Valco Trust Fund Post-Graduate Hostel, and Dean of School of Graduate Studies and Research. From 1997, she has held the position of Academic Director of the School for International Training in the History and Cultures of the African Diaspora. From 2008 to 2012 she was the University’s Vice Chancellor.

In March, 2007, she was one of five scholars selected to deliver presentations during the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

In October 2009, she was elected Ghana’s representative to the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Ahead of the 2012 general elections, Jane Opoku Agyemang moderated the debate with Kojo Oppong Nkrumah. Between February 2013 and January 2017 she served as the Education Minister of Ghana.

On 26 October 2018, she became the Chancellor of the Women’s University in Africa located in Zimbabwe. She has served on many local and international boards and committees such as the Centre for Democratic Governance, (CDD-Ghana), the Editorial Board of The Harriet Tubman Series on the African Diaspora (Africa World Press Inc. USA), the Africa Initiative in Canada,and the College of Physicians and Surgeons as Eminent Citizen.

Professional Association

Opoku-Agyemang is a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, University Teachers Association of Ghana, English Studies Association, African Studies Association, United States, African Literature Association, United States and International Fulbright Scholars Association,Commonwealth of Learning among others.

Politics

Opoku-Agyemang was selected as the presidential running mate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on July 6, 2020 for Ghana’s December 2020 General elections.[9]

Awards and recognition

Opoku-Agyemang has been honoured with honorary degrees from the University of West Indies[10] and Winston-Salem University. She has also received an award for Global leadership from the University of South Florida in Tampa. She has also received the Officer of the Order of the Volta award for Academic Distinction and Ghana Women of Excellence Award in the Education category.She has been acknowledged for Outstanding Performance in Advancing International Education, School for International Training, Vermont, USA on two occasions.

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