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Bob Marley’s life story told in new musical in London’s West End
15 October 2021, 9:44 AM

The songs and the life story of late Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley are coming to London’s West End in a new musical celebrating his legacy.

“Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical,” which premieres at the Lyric Theatre this month, follows Marley’s rise from the Kingston ghettos to international stardom.

Born in 1945 in the rural Jamaican town of Nine Mile, Marley became a global superstar with hits such as “No Woman, No Cry,” “One Love,” and “I Shot the Sheriff”. He died of melanoma cancer in 1981 at age 36.

“We’re really trying to show the heart of the man, trying to show what really made him tick and why he made the choices he made,” the show’s director, Clint Dyer, told Reuters at a press preview on Thursday.

“His political leanings came out of his situation. And so we’re trying to give the context by which a third-world global superstar was born.”

British actor and playwright Arinze Kene plays Marley, donning his trademark dreadlocks and displaying the moves and mannerisms he studied in archive videos and photos. Taking on the role was intimidating, but Kene said he leapt at the opportunity to tell the story of one of his childhood heroes.

He was equally excited to return to the stage after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down theatres across the country.

“There’s nothing like live performance, you know, keep your Netflix and your Amazon and Hulus and whatever but there is nothing like being here and seeing it live, a performance that can never be repeated.”

“Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical”, which was written by Lee Hall, began previews at the Lyric Theatre on October 1, with the show’s official opening night set for October 20.

Numsa ready to engage with employer to end strike
15 October 2021, 9:10 AM

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says it is ready to engage with employer associations in the steel and engineering sector in a bid to end its crippling strike.

The wage strike is now in its second week.

Numsa is demanding an 8% across the board.

The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa has improved its offer from 4.4% to 6%, but the National Employers’ Association and the Engineers and Founders Association are refusing to budge.

Numsa General-Secretary Irvin Jim says, “Numsa is ready to meet with the employer organisation and negotiate the settlement in whatever platform, to an extent that employers are ready to meet under Section 150 facilitated by CCMA. Numsa is ready to engage and we call on the employer association to use this platform for genuine engagement, it cannot be used as a delaying tactic.”


On Thursday, Numsa members together with members of the South African Transport Workers Union marched to the offices of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa to hand over a memorandum of demands addressed to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and the Heads of Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa and subsidiary passenger bus company Autopax.

Numsa Spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola speaks on the march:

Six in seven COVID-19 infections go undetected in Africa: WHO
15 October 2021, 8:18 AM

A new assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that only 14.2%, or one in seven, COVID-19 infections are being detected in Africa.

To reverse that trend and curb transmission, the WHO Regional Office for Africa on Thursday announced a new initiative to enhance community screening for COVID-19 in eight countries.

The programme aims to reach more than seven million people with rapid diagnostic tests in the next year.

In a statement, the WHO says the analysis used the COVID-19 calculator developed by Resolve to Save Lives which estimates infections based on the reported number of cases and deaths and an infection fatality rate grounded in population-based studies.

It found that as of 10 October 2021 the cumulative number of COVID-19 infections is estimated to be 59 million in Africa, which is seven times more than the over eight million cases reported.

To date, COVID-19 detection in Africa has focused on people reporting to health facilities with symptoms, in addition to testing arriving and departing international travellers, leading to large-scale under-reporting given the high percentage of asymptomatic cases on the continent.

Since the start of the pandemic and as of 10 October, more than 70 million COVID-19 tests have been reported by African countries, which is a fraction of the continent’s 1.3 billion people.

By contrast, the United States, with about a third of the population, has reportedly administered over 550 million tests, while the United Kingdom, with less than 10% of the population of Africa, has administered over 280 million tests.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti says, “With limited testing, we’re still flying blind in far too many communities in Africa. Most tests are carried out on people with symptoms, but much of the transmission is driven by asymptomatic people, so what we see could just be the tip of the iceberg.”

“Test numbers have been rising in Africa, but this community-based initiative is a radically new approach which should help significantly raise detection rates. More testing means rapid isolation, less transmission and more lives saved through targeted action,” Moeti adds.

Below is the full statement by the WHO:

Hawks warn that no one will disrupt their investigations
15 October 2021, 8:01 AM

The Hawks have sent out a strong message that they will not allow anyone to disrupt their investigations.

This comes after Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane expressed concern that Free State Hawks investigators had been roped in to handled his corruption allegations.

 Mabuyane has made an urgent court interdict to declare the Hawks investigations against him unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid.

He is desperately trying to avert the elite crime-busting unit’s investigations after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released a report in which she found that Mabuyane had allegedly illegally taken R450 000 from a R 1.1 million allocation from the Mbizana Municipality in 2016 for the renovation of his home.

VIDEO: Mkhwebane announces findings:

The funds were for the memorial services of struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Hawks Lieutenant-General, Godfrey Lebeya says they are investigating because they have received a complaint:



Mabuyane argues that he has no case to answer, as there are no specific charges against him.

He is also questioning the reasons for being subjected to questioning from Hawks officials from the Free State province.

The video below is an interview with Mabuyane on the decision to challenge Mkhwebane’s report: 

Papua New Guinea’s leap of faith lands World Cup debut
15 October 2021, 7:40 AM

Faith has played an important role in the development of cricket in Papua New Guinea and on Sunday it will be repaid when the ‘Barramundis’ make their Twenty20 World Cup debut against Oman in Al Amerat.

The majority of the team taking the field hail from a single village located on the southern Papuan coast near the capital, Port Moresby.

Hanuabada, which means “big village”, has been considered cricket’s spiritual home in the former British protectorate since it was first played there in the early 1900s.

“The game was introduced to the villagers by the missionaries. The people fell in love with the sport and embraced it because of the Christian influence,” international umpire Lakani Oala told Reuters.

“Cricket would bring neighbouring villages together by playing amongst each other regularly, which created harmony, peace and forged a strong friendship,” the 62-year-old eighth-generation Hanuabadan said.

“All cricket matches were opened and ended with prayers (and our) national cricket teams still practise this today.”

Growing the game has been a challenge in PNG.

The team play few fixtures, a problem exacerbated by the pandemic, and PNG’s location and reputation as a dangerous travel destination means it is difficult to attract touring sides despite the proximity to Australia and New Zealand.

“Unfortunately where we are, geography is not on our side and we lack international exposure and games,” Cricket PNG chairperson Helen Macindoe told Reuters.

“We’re hoping with the ‘Barras’ making it to the World Cup, there’ll be a little bit more exposure.”

While the world stage is PNG’s focus for the next few weeks, the long-term aim is to continue growing the game beyond Hanuabada and the neighbouring coastal areas.

“A couple of years ago we managed to get some funding through Cricket Australia, New Zealand Cricket and the ICC (International Cricket Council), and we’re building 48 more wickets around the country,” Macindoe said.

PNG are grouped with Oman, Scotland and Bangladesh in the opening round and will need to finish in the top two if they are to secure a spot alongside the top-ranked nations in the “Super 12” stage.

The T20 World Cup, running from October 17 to November 14, was shifted to Oman and the United Arab Emirates from original hosts India due to COVID-19 concerns.



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