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South-African Teacher Uses Hip-Hop to Make Math Fun for Students

Kurt Minnaar, a 33-year-old math teacher at Cape Town’s Eben Dönges High School uses hip hop beats and rhymes to make math lessons more enjoyable for his students.

Singing or listening to music during math class is usually frowned upon, but in Kurt Minnaar’s classroom, it’s actually a pre-requisite. The former choreographer and hip-hop artist is using his musical background to make the process of learning math a lot easier and less boring for his students. Minaar says that most kids today are into music and beats, and he’s basically taking the traditional math curriculum and fusing it with what they love to make it easier to learn and remember.

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Migingo – The Most Densely Populated Island in the World

Migingo, a tiny rock island on Lake Victoria, in Kenya, measures just 0.49 acres, but is officially home to 131 residents – although some sources put the population at around 1,000 – making it the most densely populated island in the world.

The so-called “Iron Clad Island” of Migingo (after the metal shack shanty town covering it almost entirely) has a very unclear history. According to some accounts, it was originally settled by two Kenyan fishermen, Dalmas Tembo and George Kibebe, who came here in 1991 and laid the foundation of today’s community. Others say that it was a Ugandan, Joseph Unsubuga, who came here first and then brought more of his fishing friends. It was this kind of contradicting stories, and the battle over the island’s fish-rich waters that created a long-standing conflict over the ownership of Migingo between Kenya and neighboring Uganda.

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Nigerian Club Owner Arrested for Walking Around with Young Women on a Leash

Mike Eze-Nwalie Nwogu, co-owner of a nightclub in Lagos, Nigeria, was recently arrested for dehumanizing young girls by putting collars around their necks and parading them on a leash in public.

Nwogu, who is known as “Pretty Mike” among the socialites of the African metropolis, has apparently been turning young girls into “human puppies” for at least a year. His first appearance as a human puppy handler was recorded last year, while attending a wedding, but the photos snapped at the event didn’t attract much attention. He must have gotten quite a lot of attention for his stunt, because he has been pulling it regularly ever since. But as his controversial appearances became more frequent, they started causing a stir on the internet, with many users complaining that nothing was being done about his degrading treatment of women. The last straw was a photo of Pretty Mike holding two girls on a leash under the eyes of five police officers who seemed to be laughing at the bizarre sight.

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Fake U.S. Embassy in Ghana Shut Down after Operating for a Decade

Authorities in Ghana have recently shut down a fake United States embassy in the capital Accra that had been issuing illegally-obtained but authentic visas for the last 10 years. The fake institution was being run by members of organized crime from both Ghana and Turkey.

The real U.S. embassy in Acra is a large office building complete with security fencing and U.S. military guards, located in one of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods, while the fake one was just a rundown, pink two-storey building with a corrugated iron roof and a United States flag flown outside. There were no actual Americans working there, not even con artists. Instead the staff was made up of English-speaking Ghanian and Turkish citizens. And yet, for 10 years, the organized crime ring operating this fake embassy was able to convince people to pay thousands of dollars for visas and false identification documents. Maybe it was the portrait of Barrack Obama that police found inside that made the place seem legit.

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92-Year-Old ‘Superpolygamist’ Who Married 107 Women Says God Told Him to Do It

Mohammed Bello Abubakar is one of the most controversial figures in Nigeria. Despite having no discernible income, the 92-year-old man somehow convinced 107 women to marry him throughout his life, 97 of which are still his wives. He claims that marrying as many women as possible is a divine assignment he has received from God.

Mr Bello first shot to fame in 2008, when a series of articles revealed that he had 86 wives and around 150 children, either living with him on his compound in Bida, Niger state, or in his house in Lagos. Muslim clerics accused him of breaking religious rules, which most scholars agree allow a man to marry up to four women, as long as he can provide for all of them and treat them equally. He was given a very simple choice, either divorce 82 of his wives or face the consequences. He refused, arguing that there was no punishment stated in the Koran for having more than four wives, and that every man should be free to marry as many women as he can support. He was arrested at the request of the local Shariah Court, but subsequently released, on the condition that he only keep four of his wives.

Not only did the ‘superpolygamist’ ignore this requirement, but he has since married other women as well. In total, he married 107 women so far, divorced 10 of them, which brings the total wife count to a whopping 97. And despite his ripe old age, Abubakar says he plans on marrying even more. “What I am doing is divine. It is an assignment and I will keep doing it till the end,” he told Nigerian  newspaper Vanguard.

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Woman Dies after Pastor Sets Heavy Speaker on Top of Her in Failed Miracle Attempt

Congregates of Mount Zion General Assembly, a Christian church in Polokwane, South Africa’s Limpopo province, were left in shock last Sunday, after a woman lost her life during a failed miracle attempt by pastor Lethebo Rabalango.

The controversial South African pastor and founder of the Mount Zion General Assembly church was apparently teaching congregates about the demonstration of power and was trying to emphasize that if Jesus could walk on water, then he too could do anything with the power of faith. To get his point across, Rabalango invited a young woman from the crowd to take part in a real-life miracle. He asked her to lie down on the floor and then ordered his ushers to pick up a giant speaker and lay it on top of her body. Read More »

Africa’s Honey Fences – Using Beehives to Keep Elephants at Bay

Thanks to zoologist Dr Lucy King, farmers in rural Africa no longer need to worry about elephants wrecking their fields. Through ‘The Elephants and Bees Project’, she introduced the concept of honey fences – a low cost, organic solution that employs beehives suspended several meters apart to keep pachyderms away. The fences are essentially gifts that keep on giving, because the farmers are also able to make an additional income from the honey.

King first hit upon the idea after she read that elephants actually avoid acacia trees – their favorite food – if they spot a beehive in the branches. She then spent several years conducting behavioral experiments, like filming elephants reacting to the sound of bees buzzing played through a loudspeaker. Using the data she gathered, she began to develop the honey fence system – she suspended a series of hives at ten-meter intervals from a single wire, threaded around wooden fence posts. To get into the field an elephant would have to touch either the wire or the hive, disturbing the bees and causing them to swarm out in buzzing cloud.

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Marathon Runner-Up Faces Fraud Charges for Only Running Half a Mile of 26 Mile Race

In a bizarre turn of events, the second place winner at the Nairobi International Marathon last Sunday was arrested for blatant cheating. Julius Njogu apparently stayed hidden among the crowd for most of the 26-mile race before joining the other runners for about half a mile, on the last stretch and laying claim to the $7,000 prize money.  

Unfortunately for him, race officials caught on rather quickly – they noticed that he showed no signs of fatigue or sweat as he breezed passed the other runners to the finish line, despite having supposedly run 42 miles. The 28-year-old was spotted jogging effortlessly as he crossed fellow runner Shadrack Kiptoo to come in second. When they investigated the issue, they realised that he hadn’t run the race at all.

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African Pastor Sells Anointed Pens That Help Students Pass Exams without Studying

A pastor in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe was in the news recently for selling hundreds of special, ‘anointed’ pens to local students. Prophet Sham Hungwe claims that the miracle pens will help students pass exams without even studying!

“It is anointed and I declare passes when your children sit for exams; when you sit for exams,” he told members of the House of Grace International Church, during a sermon. And with the ‘O’ and ‘A’ level exams coming up, he managed to sell a lot of the 15-cent pens for different prices, ranging from $1 to $20. The more you pay, the higher the chances to pass the exams.

Several believers scrambled to secure the pens for themselves or their children, especially after one of the congregants testified that he scored 14 points on his ‘A’ level last year with Prophet Sham’s special pen. The testimony boosted sales, with one woman paying over $10 for a single pen.

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Self-Taught Ethiopian Aviation Enthusiast Builds His Own Airplane

In a bid to fulfil his childhood dream of flying a plane, an Ethiopian man has taught himself how to build one mainly by reading aviation books and watching YouTube tutorials!

Public Health Officer and Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy reject Asmelash Zerefu set about learning to build his own aircraft over a decade ago. It was a daunting challenge, but he has managed to achieve the unthinkable – he single-handedly constructed Ethiopia’s first ever home-built aircraft from scratch.

“I call it the K-570A,” he said. “K representing my mother’s initial of her name, Kiros, and 570 signifying the number of days it took me to complete my aircraft. And A is for Aircraft.”

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No Man’s Land – Kenya’s Women-Only Village

Umoja is literally a no man’s land in Kenya – a matriarchal refuge where men are not allowed. The village, founded 25 years ago by Rebecca Lolosoli, is meant to be a safe haven for women and girls who want to escape abuse in the otherwise patriarchal society of the Samburu people, in northern Kenya.

Rebecca, a member of the Samburu tribe, now serves as the chief matriarch of ‘Umoja Usau Women’s Village’. Having witnessed occasional violence as a child, she slowly came to the conclusion that some of the traditional Samburu practices were inherently abusive towards women. So she began to speak out against these practices, in favour of widows, orphans, and victims of rape, female genital cutting, and forced marriage.

Rebecca’s outspoken attitude was met with a lot of resistance. Things got out of hand when she spoke up for a few women who were raped by British soldiers training nearby. Men in her village beat her up, and her husband did not protest on her behalf. So in 1990, she led a female exodus and started her own village.

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These Burgers Are Made of Flies and They Are Amazingly Nutritious

Every year, during the rainy season, trillions of midges – small flies – rise from the water of Lake Victoria, in Africa, and fly in giant swarms that are said to be so dense they can suffocate a person. However, for the people living on the shores of the great lake, they are just a welcome source of protein.

Some bird species migrate to Lake Victoria during the rainy season so they can take advantage of this free feast. The flies create a sort of constantly buzzing living smog and cover every available surface as they break off from their mating ritual. But no matter how many of them are gobbled up by birds and other natural predators, there are always more than enough for the locals. As disgusting as eating flies may seem, the reality is they make up a huge quantity of biomass equivalent with large herds of big game. People living on the shores of Lake Victoria simply can’t ignore the nutritious protein flying all around them, so they catch the flies and cook them as charcoal-black fly burgers.

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Uganda’s Famous Rap-orters ‘Spit’ the News to Hip-Hop Beats

In a bid to get African youth interested in current affairs, Newz Beat, a Ugandan original news program features ‘rap-orters’ who rap headlines to hip hop beats.

Hip-hop is probably the last thing you’d expect to hear when listening to a news bulletin, which is exactly what makes Newz Beat so intriguing. Yahoo news reports that the show is quite relevant in Uganda, where the press faces lots of problems with censorship, and the youth aren’t too interested in what’s happening around them. A program that features ‘rap-orters’ instead of traditional anchors is actually quite refreshing.

The offbeat show consists of five-minute episodes aired every Saturday on NTV, just before the station’s traditional news bulletin. Each episode covers about four regional and international stories and is recorded in both English and the local language, Luganda. The show is broadcast on air, but since over 90% of Ugandan households don’t have electricity, Newz Beat is also distributed through video halls, where people can get together and watch it.

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The Real Planet of the Apes – The Liberian Island Inhabited by Chimpanzees Formerly Used in Animal Testing

Believe it or not, a real-life Planet of the Apes does exist in an isolated area located deep in the jungles of West Africa. It’s home to dozens of retired laboratory chimpanzees who were at one point used for medical research. These chimps are practically heroes – they’ve managed to survive disease, two civil wars and numerous medical tests and experiments.

The apes are former residents of The Liberian Institute of Biomedical Research (Vilab II) which played a pivotal role in developing treatments for ailments such as Hepatitis during the 1970s. It was shut down in the mid-2000s due to growing pressure from animal rights activists, and the apes were transferred to a remote Liberian island in the middle of Farmington River, to live a life of quiet retirement.

The island – known to locals as ‘Monkey Island’ – is home to over 60 chimps who only allow familiar caretakers to approach its shores. Their story was covered in a short documentary film called Island of the Apes made to promote the 2014 film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

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Ghana’s Hilariously Awful Hand-Drawn Movie Posters

The West African nation of Ghana is home to a subculture of artists who create outlandish versions of popular Hollywood movie posters. The art form was at its peak in the nation during the 1980s and 1990s, commonly referred to as the ‘Golden Age of Movie Posters’. During this time, artists would let their imagination run wild in order to create posters that would never fail to draw audiences to Africa’s dilapidated cinema halls. So they used their artistic license to add weapons, scenes and characters that didn’t even exist in the original movie!

The art form began to lose momentum in the 2000s, when Ghanaians purchased their own TVs and VCRs, causing several movie houses to close down. But over time, the lurid hand-painted posters have only increased in value. In fact, several Western art collectors are willing to pay thousands of dollars for them. Some of the artists who have been out of work for several years are now finding a new lease of life in reproducing posters of more recent movies for art aficionados.

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