Former FIFA president is dead
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by Jaggarjnr, Nigeria
Aug 16, 2016 - 16:08
Sports
João Havelenge, Brazilian football executive and former FIFA president, has died.

He was 100-year-old.

Havelange was a Brazilian lawyer, businessman, and former athlete who served as the seventh FIFA president, between 1974 and 1998.

He was the second longest-serving FIFA’s president, after Jules Rimet, succeeding Stanley Rous in office.

He received the title of honorary president when leaving office in 1998. However, he resigned the position in April 2013.

He served as a member of the International Olympics Committee(IOC) from 1963 to 2011.

He was also the longest-serving active member upon his resignation.

Havelange was born on May 8, 1916.
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The Nigerian music industry is filled with cowards - Kizito
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by Jaggarjnr, Nigeria
Aug 18, 2016 - 9:08
Entertainment
The young Afro musicsian  took to his official social media page  revealing his dissapointment  in  Nigerian celebrities  and  their lifestyles.

According to him, music should go beyond  just entertainment  to  correction of the  ills  in the  society.

He wrote:

I have been observing the Nigerian music industry for a while now and it is quite unfortunate that most of the people see as role  models are just cowards hiding under the shadow of fame. Very few of them can stand up for what is right.

Our celebrities have the power to make this country a better place because they have a lot of influence on the youths even more than our political leaders.

A lot of things happen in the streets where most of our celebrities come from, we expect them to carry these messages to the government but that is not always the case, they would rather write songs about them and choose to stay blind on their corrupt practices to get their share of the “National Cake.”

It is not bad to be friends with the government but bring the truth to them sometime. How many of our celebrities for instance have stood up to do songs about the present ills in the society?
 
It get to me when I hear them aligning their personality with that of Fela and claiming to be following his footsteps.  A lot of them just use Fela as an excuse for consumption of hard drugs which was definitely not what Fela stood for… that's the easiest part they can copy I guess.

I am definitely on my way up and my vision is to make things right through good music.
 
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Single Strand of Hair Can Now Help Identify One Person among a Billion People
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by Charles Omedo, Nigeria
Sep 08, 2016 - 14:09
Innovation
One person can now be identified in a billion population with a single strand of hair, according to a new report published by US researchers in the journal PLOS.

The scientists found that protein biomarkers in human hair could help in solving complex crimes and other related forensic science.

Decades ago, scientists perfected the idea of using DNA and fingerprints to identify people in any given population – because the fingerprints and DNA of each individual is unique and different. There are over seven billion people on Earth, and each individual has his own unique fingerprints and DNA – making it easy to catch criminals and other offenders.

Not only are fingerprints and human DNA unique and helping in solving forensic and archaeological problems, the iris in the human eye has also been found to be very unique to every human being on Earth. To this extent, governments require the capturing of fingerprints and the scanning of the iris as a security measure to tell one individual scientifically apart from another.

Use of DNA, fingerprints, and iris scanning in modern technology

There is no gainsaying the fact that fingerprints are now required in personal identity cards, in security databases, and to be able to unlock several digital devices such as mobile phones and security doors. Scanning of the iris could also be used to unlock security doors and mobile technologies, while the human DNA could be applied by law enforcement officers and crime scene investigators as well as archaeologists to unravel several mysteries.

When will Nigeria come of age in the use of fingerprints, DNA, and iris scanning?

It is lamentable that Nigeria is still very backward in the use of fingerprinting, DNA, and iris scanning to solve today’s security and technological problems.

Top politicians are assassinated day by day; hundred robberies take place everywhere; rapes and child molestations occur every second; and inexplicable crimes such as kidnappings and are perpetrated at an alarming rate – but almost none of these is solved by law enforcement authorities in Nigeria. Why?

Because the country lacks the security expertise and digital proficiency to solve common crimes and explore modern technologies.

Can Nigeria afford to be backward technologically in things that bring peace and progress to other countries? Can Nigeria afford to have mounting unresolved crimes staring them in the face, and technological advances that could have promoted the wealth of the people left unexplored?

Law enforcement authorities would be better armed if they had the technological capabilities to solve decades-long crimes. The common man in the country would be better equipped to succeed in life if he had the wherewithal to make money via mobile applications that could be accessed through fingerprints.

And both the people and the government would be better served if they both had the technological assurances of security peace through modern exploitation of fingerprinting, DNA, and iris scanning among other newer technologies flooding the market.

The Nigerian government should rise to provide a conducive environment where the people could live in peace while being able to meet daily obligations that would make the country great.

We must develop our potentials in the areas of identifying a single criminal via a hair strand out of the over 180 million in Nigeria; using iris scanning to open security doors; using DNA to understand ancient fossils and our archaeological past; as well as applying fingerprints to unlock or enhance the security of every kind doors or mobile applications in the country.   
 
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Riyad Mahrez Ready to Tame Europe!
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by The Savanna Griot1, South Africa
Sep 23, 2016 - 11:09
Sports
The Uefa Champions League, one of the most popular and most watched soccer tournaments in the world, has just kicked off for the 2016/17 period. New boys Leicester City already sit astride  their Group G with a crucial 3-0 away win at Club Brugge! Out of the three goals scored by the clinical visitors, two came from the boot of our own son of the soil! So, is Europe ready to succumb to Mahrez magic!
 
Now let us take a look at some of the amazing talents participating in this prestigious tourney that hail from our majestic continent of Africa. In this article we profile the Leicester kingpin, undoubtedly one of the greatest soccer talents to emerge out of this land.

Last season, Leicester – virtually unknown and harmless minnows of the English Champions League, went on a giant-killing spree to claim the English League Championship. After taming the Barclays PSL teams, Leicester is now ready to topple the continent of Europe! At the heart of this well-oiled soccer machine is the immensely skilled, hard-running, irrepressible Mahrez!

The Sarcelles-born star, whose father was Algerian and mother is Moroccan , heralds an impeccable pace, uncanny dribbling talent, hails from very humble beginnings that saw him turn out for French soccer sides AAS Sarcelles, Quimper and Le Havre  for almost a decade.

In January 2014 he moved to the English Premier league where he currently is. The mesmerising winger has had an awesome 2015/2016 season , scooping the  Algerian Footballer of the Year, the PFA Players' Player of the Year, and featured in  the  Premier League PFA Team of the Year as well as helping Leicester City win the Premier League.

Touted by many as the ‘next Zinedine Zidane’, Riyad, has been the architect of many the downfall of many high profile teams in England. Now that Britain has been tamed by Mahrez’s soccer boot, we all await to see how Riyadh is going to bring the European soccer clubs extravaganza under his feet. Good luck Mahrez, you do us proud! We all look forward to seeing Europe succumb to your all-conquering boot.
 
Sources www.bbc.co.uk
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Breakdown in Nigeria Sports System.
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by blessykina, Nigeria
Sep 02, 2016 - 8:09
Opinions
Some of the people heading strategic positions in Nigeria seem to find it difficult to come to terms as to what to do in order to improve the standards of the offices they occupy.  There is a job description for every public office holder, so why are things not done in the right manner?  Or is it that everything in our country is tied or related to politics? We are yet to appreciate the right technical knowhow or try to flow with current trends that brings innovation and speedy attention to foster work in different Ministries.

The world has been revolving at a very fast pace but Nigeria just wants to relax on her oars and enjoy half-baked preparations all the time. We keep talking all the time but we don’t seem to achieve results with all that talking.

Take the sport Industry for instance, there are so many youths in our country today who are yearning for support to be fully engaged and represent our country. Why can’t we engage in more sports so that we can have bountiful representations in so many categories of sport during events like the Olympic?

Not just engaging people but also being truthful to the course in terms of funds that have been allocated to help foster progress in such areas.  Even if they feel the funds are not enough or are yet to be released we have multinational companies that help sponsor major events it’s all about reaching a compromise rather than embarrassing ourselves. Can’t they think outside the box? And even when the funds are made available what is the probability that some group of people will not divert the funds and eventually this tends to lead to poor preparations on the parts of our sportsmen. We struggle with transparency all the time.

Nigeria football Association will never stop giving reasons why they cannot pay our Nigerian coaches and players. It is totally not acceptable that someone will work and at the end of the day doesn’t get adequately compensated for his effort, and that is why in my opinion most of our footballers especially those in foreign clubs feel it shouldn’t be a do or die affair whenever they are playing for our  dear country. They are always so careful because even at the end of the day who ever sustain serious injury in the course of serving his nation is left to his own fate.

They are well paid in their respective clubs and that is where they get the best value but that should not be the case.

Team Nigeria, Men’s football competition won the only medal that brought in a bit of hope that was only achievable after much struggling.  The dream team were held up in Atlanta USA due to issues regarding payment for their flight. They only landed in Brazil few hours before their opening 5-4 win over Japan. That indeed is a wrong way of starting an event

The Japanese surgeon Katsuya Takasu who put a bright smile on the faces of our footballers proved to be a man who keeps to his words by fulfilling the promise of $390,000 dollars which he promised the dream team after much complaint of financial difficulties from them.

What that Surgeon has done is very remarkable and exceptional. A foreigner from a far away country rendered that type of gesture, following so many unfulfilled promises from our governments over the years and even wealthy Nigerians.

The sport minister has attributed our poor performance to the late release of funds. Why can’t we ever do things in the right way? It’s so terrible because we have seen things like these happen over and over again, and not to mention the issue of kits for most of our Nigeria athletes arriving late after most of our sportsmen had finished their events with some of them competing with their personal kits. It is not encouraging at all.

In my opinion our sports industry can never grow like this it is not appealing for a great Nation like ours.

Nigeria has moved beyond the level of competing in only ten games in such a major event like the Olympics. If countries like USA, UK can win more medals, why can’t a Nation like ours in Africa which so many African countries look up to, win the same or a substantial amount?

A good sportsman should be proud of his country and the country likewise. People like Kanu Nwankwo who had a hole in heart years back was written off, but he had a more challenging destiny and was able to bounce back. Dosu Joseph, Rashidi Yekini, Steven Keshi  and a host of others, just to mention a few, gave the best but were they really compensated for their hard works? Nigerians don’t need to talk before the appropriate authorities should know what to do.

I love my country and hope to see a wonderful nation advancing and competing in all facets harnessing all our resources. Competing with the world powers and not just a redundant and dependant nation.

Authorities, action should speak louder than voice.  Authorities should make future plans, long term and short term plans groom talents from their young age by equipping our schools right from the primaries to universities with good sport facilities and stick to the idea of improving sport from the grassroots.

Children are all the same weather from a rich background or poor background at the end of the day everybody has a destiny but what differs between both is that while the former has opportunities the latter is limited but I believe that through our school system every one can reach certain dream. Everyone must not end up sitting in the office many are meant to take up all those extra curriculum activities professionally.

Authorities it is your duty to motivate and put smiles on the faces of our present sportsmen and future sportsmen. We don’t need to beg for it or clap or say that minister is trying he has done this and done that it is not a big deal in the western world where you need to prove yourself as a public servant. Your work should speak for you and nobody should prove to be a big man behind his desk.

By Blessing Ikokwu-Oruche
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Turning swords into ploughshares
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by The Savanna Griot1, South Africa
Sep 26, 2016 - 21:09
Opinions
Turning swords into ploughshares

There was a time when Southern Africa was synonymous with the terms Mfecane, xenophobic attacks, mass exodus, refugees, displacement, forced removals, bloodbaths, racial discrimination, ethnic clashes, civil war,  massacres, colonialism, neo-colonialism and coup d'état. It is worth noting the pervading calmness that is now permeating  the southern region of Africa . After decades of bloodletting incidents in major parts of this area, citizens can now safely tread the savannah grass without fear of encountering gun-toting marauders.

Pre-colonial southern Africa was a sprawling mass of scattered kingdoms and chiefdoms based on tribal lines. It was a dog eat dog situation where survival meant conquering another tribe or forging alliances with stronger ones. Women and children were taken as spoils of war, where kings and queens played blood sport with each other on  a personal whim.

The colonial era saw the European settlers harnessing unrelated tribes into one nation, sometimes dividing clans right in the middle along  the countries border lines. Hence post-colonial tussles were unavoidable, as the new era struggled to reconcile with the ghosts of the past - history and the realities of a new era strove towards striking an equilibrium.Suddenly, traditional monarchs only now held ceremonial power, there is no more victor and vassal – all that is there now is a democracy!

If one is permitted to reflect, the 1960s and 1970s saw the liberation struggles that toppled colonial rule which culminated in Zimbabwe,Namibia and South Africa being the last three SADC countries attaining independence in 1980,1990 and 1994 respectively.The DRC, formerly known as Zaire, and Madagascar  were the first SADC countries to gain independence in 1960, followed by the trio of Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia who followed suit in 1964. Lesotho and Botswana freed themselves in 1966 while Mauritius and Swaziland were able to break their colonial shackles in 1968.That only left Mozambique and Angola to do theirs in 1975 and the Seychelles to manage the feat in 1976.

So over a period of thirty years armed struggle had a sweet reason- emancipating the oppressed and impoverished masses- and no doubt the fruits of freedom and sovereignty we enjoy today stem from the selfless sacrifices of a generation that existed during this period.

However, lamentable are the civil wars that broke out ,soon after attaining independence from colonial and minority rule, plunging the region into a cauldron of conflict! In consternation ,the region witnessed the needless loss of the illustrious, industrious and high-flying Mozambican statesman, Samora Moises Machel, under circumstances that were never clearly resolved.

The 1980s witnessed the protracted civil wars in Mozambique and Angola. South Africa was still fighting the unequal system of apartheid, while Namibia was still striving for political independence. Zimbabwe had its own issues with Gukurahundi and stopping it from spilling into a fully-fledged conflagration. The early 1990s saw the end of civil war in Angola upon the demise of Jonasi Savimbi,and the signing of the peace accord in Mozambique bringing the internal feud to an end.

It is a sweet and seemly thing that the embers of war have finally subsided in this region. Now we can dare to dream of raising a generation whose nostrils will never experience the sting of gunpowder, youths that will never be a warlord’s conscripts. Certainly, there  is no more  place  for the  'child soldier'  in this 'cellphone  generation' where  our toddlers can  now shoot at almost anything  without shedding a  drop of blood  with their 'selfie craze'!

Our leaders can now safely concentrate on initiatives such as  nation-building, good governance, social cohesion, eradicating illiteracy and alleviating poverty, establishing  justice and equality and above all stemming the festering wound of corruption.
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A Woman’s Selfless Feat Atop Africa’s Highest Peak !
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by The Savanna Griot1, South Africa
Oct 03, 2016 - 14:10
News
I did it for Gugu Zulu, says Kilimanjaro hero Suhana
MATTHEW SAVIDES | 03 October, 2016 07:33
 
Suhana Jacobs, a 44-year-old PhD student, reached the summit on September 25, just two months after Zulu died on the mountain.

Jacobs hoisted a banner in his honour, even though she had never met him.
"I was just two months away from embarking on the expedition when news broke that Zulu had died on the mountain. The news was devastating to me and what followed was a period of deep introspection.

"It was also during this period that I began to read more about Gugu and his amazing zest for life. Seeing pictures of him and his wife always reaching for the clouds inspired me and that is when I decided to dedicate my climb to him," she said.

Jacobs, a mother of three, said unravelling the banner which was emblazoned with a photo of Gugu and the words: "In memory of Gugu Zulu" against a background of Mount Kilimanjaro, had been a cathartic moment.

"Everyone on the summit broke out in applause; people from all over the world. The guides were moved because they all knew Gugu, even though they hadn't met him.

"The guides spontaneously started cheering: 'Viva South Africa' and 'Viva Madiba'. For me, unfolding the banner was a moment of triumph knowing that Gugu was with me throughout my journey and that we had reached the summit together."

She said she would never forget that moment when she placed the banner with the picture of a smiling Zulu on Uhuru Peak.

"It was surreal. It was as if Gugu was smiling at all of us, smiling at his family and smiling at everyone at home," she said.

Source : http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/
 
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Golden Girl With A Knack For Science!
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by The Savanna Griot1, South Africa
Oct 03, 2016 - 14:10
Innovation
Johannesburg teen scoops R680,000 Google science prize
By Taschica Pillay | 28 September, 2016 12:25
 
Johannesburg teenager Kiara Nirghin's project on using fruit to combat drought has earned her the grand prize award at the Google Science Fair.

Some of the brightest young scientists around the world converged at Googleplex in Mountain View for the sixth annual awards‚ which took place on Tuesday at Google headquarters in California.

Nirghin‚ 16‚ a Grade 11 pupil at St Martin's School‚ based her project on a natural super-absorbent polymer that allows soil to retain massive amounts of water. It won her $50 000 (R677 357) in scholarship funding.

The budding scientist was not immediately available for comment.

The Google Science Fair is a global online science and technology competition open to individuals and teams from ages 13 to 18.
 
Source : http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/
 
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When club vies for Continental Honours – and Nation Longs for Global Soccer Glory…
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by The Savanna Griot1, South Africa
Oct 03, 2016 - 14:10
Sports
Sundowns request release of players from Bafana duty ahead of Champions League final
 
 
 
 
Mamelodi Sundowns have written to the South African Football Association (Safa) asking that their players not be used in the Bafana Bafana friendly against Ghana next Tuesday.

Keegan Dolly‚ Hlompho Kekana‚ Tebego Langerman and new signing Sibusiso Vilakazi have all been included in the squad for Saturday’s World Cup qualifier and next Tuesday’s friendly against Ghana in Durban.

But Sundowns want Dolly‚ Kekana and Langerman returned to them after the weekend game in Ouagadougou as they prepare for the first leg of the final against Zamalek of Egypt in Atteridgeville on October 15.

“We have sent a letter to them to ask that they be released ahead of the Ghana match because we need them for our Champions League game‚” said coach Pitso Mosimane‚ at the same time admitting that his club had botched a similar request before the last two Bafana Bafana outings.

Mosimane had used a press conference before the two September internationals against Mauritania and Egypt to question why Sundowns players had been called up for meaningless matches and said that if he had been in charge of the national team he would not have used them‚ allowing them to rest instead and be fresher for the club’s campaign in the Champions League.

But Mashaba ignored the call from Mosimane and used Dolly‚ Kekana and Langerman in both the Nations Cup qualifier against Mauritania and the subsequent 1-0 win over the Pharoahs in the Nelson Mandela Challenge.
A defiant Mashaba criticised Mosimane’s approach and said had he been asked he would he have acceded to the Sundowns request.

Now that a formal letter has been sent‚ Mashaba will be under pressure to keep to his word and let the Sundowns trio return to their club from Monday onwards the prepare for the Champions League final.

Vilakazi is not registered to play in the Champions League so would be able to stay on and be able to play in Bafana’s friendly against the Black Stars at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

“Going there and going back to Ouagadougou is difficult for them but it is World Cup [qualifier] and I expect my players to have the chance to go the World Cup‚” he said.

“There is no excuse ‚ they must be on the flight on go there. But I don’t know about the friendly. Last time we didn’t address it well‚ we sent a letter again to do it the right way but it is not my call‚” added Mosimane.

By Mark Gleeson | 03 October, 2016 13:15
 
Source : http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/
 
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‘Guns Gone Silent’ in Southern Sudan
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by The Savanna Griot1, South Africa
Oct 03, 2016 - 14:10
Politics
Ramaphosa pleased ‘that guns have gone silent’ in South Sudan
 
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday congratulated Taban Deng Gai on his appointment to the position of South Sudan’s first vice-president‚ “replacing Dr Riek Machar who has now fled”.

He also “welcomed that guns have gone silent and they are working together in cooperation with President Salva Kiir”.

Ramaphosa had invited Deng to Tuynhuis “so that we can be briefed about what has been happening in South Sudan”.

“The government has become stable‚ the parliament has opened and we were very pleased and heartened to hear all these developments‚” he said after the meeting.

Ramaphosa said a task team would be set up between his office and that of Deng “to work on matters of mutual interest which will be decided on at both government level and our two presidents will then  be able to take all these matters to another level”.

While Deng said that “more violence is not an option in Africa‚ in South Sudan or anywhere elsewhere in Africa”‚ he had harsh words for the man he replaced‚ Machar.

Machar had‚ as part of a peace agreement‚ returned to Juba and was sworn in as vice-president in April‚ but fled after renewed fighting between the Kiir loyalists and his own supporters two months later.

Deng replaced Machar when the latter ignored an ultimatum to return to Juba.
“The dilemma is not with Salva Kiir or Taban Deng‚” said Deng. “The dilemma is Riek Machar himself.

“He has been asked to return to Juba‚ but how is he going to return? Is he going to return with the same crisis that brought fighting in Juba‚ like for example‚ moving with huge forces‚ parallel armies.

“Riek is impatient‚ he is not waiting for elections‚ he sees himself as a president-in-waiting‚ he is seeing himself a parallel president. So if he has removed himself from all those difficulties‚ if he goes back to Juba a peaceful person‚ then he is welcome to Juba. Otherwise‚ we are telling him the option is not going back to war.”

By TMG Digital | 14 September, 2016 07:42
 
Source : http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/
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