By Zanele Mhlaba
President Barack Obama wrote a book titled, “The Audacity of Hope.” I have never read the book but I always loved the name. Hope is such an important thing to have. I am an optimist, some may even describe me as an idealist. I prefer to look at the world in a positive light, to see the good and believe that the bad can be changed. I find it much easier to operate from a positive and hopeful mindset than its opposite.
When I look at myself and other young people I’ve come across while in Zim, I see many who want to be positive change agents, who have big dreams and plans but I see just as many who have lost faith in everything — the system, our leaders, the country. Just given up any hope for a better future. Some of us feel let down. Cheated, even. We feel ignored. Then on top of that, we have [older] adults whose collective trauma, pre and post Independence, manifests itself in a very negative way. All they have endured is much more than we can fully conceptualize or appreciate. Like, one day they woke up to a country that they didn’t recognize. Closed down businesses, empty savings accounts, prices that changed by the time you got to the front of the queue, degrees/skills that sit on the sidelines waiting to be used. I do not blame them for being bitter or angry. I do not blame them for constantly reminding us that this life is about survival. That the currency of survival is not dreams of innovation and building things that may not immediately pay off; it is a pay check, at the end of this month. They temper our idealism and our “wild” dreams with that cold, hard, jaded reality.
My problem with that is how it has affected young people. Too many seem to have internalized that bitterness and jaded mentality. I’ve had conversations with young people here whose ultimate dream is to leave the country because they do not see anything here for them. They have been dismissive of any talk of building here or being able to play some type of role. It’s sad. I think we are too young to have given up. We need to be surrounded by things/people that inspire and encourage us to keep going. To be inspired means you are hopeful. To keep trying means you are hopeful and that, hope, is what ultimately pushes us forward into action. That hope allows us to be confident and bold in our thinking. Delve into our deepest dreams, think past what we see now, have a vision and work towards it even when people say how hard it is, how unqualified we are, how we have no experience, how it’s never been done before and that it will never work here. When you become hopeless, you become helpless. You stagnate. In everything we do, there is an element of hope involved. We hope that the time/conditions are right, that we are making the right decisions, that nothing major goes wrong. Many of us are so paralyzed by fear of failure or we’ve bought into the hopeless/helpless narrative. I hate those feelings because they never even allow us to try.
DAKAR, 3 January 2014 (IRIN) - Poor public services in many West African countries, with already dire human development indicators, are under constant pressure from pervasive corruption. Observers say graft is corroding proper governance and causing growing numbers of people to sink into poverty.
“If you want to put a human face to corruption… then see how we have kids who walk miles to school because there are no public transport systems,” said Harold Aidoo, the executive director of the Institute for Research and Democratic Development in Monrovia, the Liberian capital.
“You see women and mothers who give birth and die because there are no basic drugs or equipment at the hospitals, and no qualified or trained health professionals. You realize that many of our impoverished populations do not have access to clean drinking water,” he said.
SOUTH AFRICA AIRWAYS
The premier carrier of South Africa, it is publicly owned by the government. The airline has been in existence since 1994, when it was formed. Headquartered in OR Tambo International Airport, the airline has a fleet size of 57 and operates in 38 destinations. At the 2011 Skytrax World Airline Awards held in the French Air and Space Museum at the Paris Air Show, South African Airways was named the Best Airline Africa. It is also listed as one of the safest airline according to “attainment of IOSA Certification, number of accidents per flight and fatalities per passenger kilometres.” It started a major rebranding process in 1997 through 2005; this also led to its joining the Star Alliance, making it the first African airline to join the world’s biggest airline alliance.
The airline has a ranking of 4 stars by Skytrax five-star ranking criteria. South African Airways also won the 2011 World Airline Awards service excellence category for Africa. This buttresses its April 2011 ad campaign with the catch-phrase “South African Airways: Africa’s Most Awarded Airline.”
Air Mauritius is the fourth largest carrier in Sub-Saharan Africa. Owned by the government of Mauritius, the airline operates out of its main base in Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. Air Mauritius has an important standing in the European, African and Indian Ocean regional market; operating just off the southeast coast of Africa, in the Indian Ocean the airline is headquartered at the Air Mauritius Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. With a fleet size of 12 and operations in 26 destinations, Air Mauritius also performs a range of services for international airlines.
Air Mauritius is regarded as one of the safest airlines in Africa – this was confirmed by Aviation Safety Network as the airline has not suffered any accident or incident leading to fatality. The airline also placed second at the 2011 World Airline Awards, but retained the “Indian Ocean Leading Airline Prize” for the seventh year it a row in 2011.
It was awarded 3 stars out a five-star ranking by Skytrax.
The largest airline of Kenya, Kenya Airways was founded in 1977 and has its headquarters at the hub of East African air travel – Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The airline was privatised in 1996 and is currently a public-private entity, with private shares trading on the NSE, DSE and USE. Kenya Airways has a fleet size of 33 and offers services to 56 destinations. A member of the SkyTeam alliance, Kenya Airways offers its customers access to member airlines’ facilities and network. The Pride of Africa placed third at the 2011 Skytrax World Airline Award for the African region and is listed as sixth on the list of top ten safest airlines in Africa. Although it has recorded a couple of fatal and non-fatal losses in its flight history, it still ranks as one of Africa’s finest airline. It has a 3 star ranking.
Ethiopian Airlines is a wholly-government owned airlines and serves as the country’s flag carrier. Headquartered in Bole International Airport, Ethiopian Airlines is listed as second in the top ten safest airlines in Africa ranking. A proud member of the Star alliance since December, 2011, Ethiopian Airlines operates with a fleet of 42 passenger and 6 freighter planes and offers services to 62 international and 17 domestic destinations.
In 2010, Ethiopian Airlines was named Africa’s most profitable airline by Air Transport World. Although Ethiopia’s flag carrier recently announced it is cutting cost so it can save up to one billion birr to ward of operational difficulties accruing from an increase in expenditure. It also announced record operating revenues registering a growth of 50.4%. The airline has 3 stars from a five-star ranking criteria by Skytrax.
EgyptAir is Africa’s largest airline and the national carrier of Egypt. A government owned airline, it, however, has special legislation permitting it to operate without government interference.
It runs like a private corporation with no financial backing from the government. This happened during a major restructuring in 2002, when its structure was changed from a governmental organization into a holding company with subsidiaries with stakes in Air Cairo and Smart Aviation Company.
EgyptAir has its main hub at Cairo International Airport. An extensive network of domestic services is focused on Cairo, Egypt’s capital. With over 78 aircrafts in its fleet, it operates scheduled passenger and freight services to more than 75 destinations in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. A Star Alliance member, EgyptAir is rated 3 star.
The airline is also a founding member of Arabesk Airline Alliance and the Arab Air Carriers Organization.
to avoid paying a construction fee, jack mubiru, a father of the skateboarding scene in uganda, fabricated a story about building a private enclosure for a pet crocodile. most local officials and neighborhood residents had never heard of skateboarding. yet six years later, the sport has spread from the skate park to the streets, attracting children as young as five and adult women.
photographer yann gross always takes his deck with him on his journeys. during one trip to easter africa, yann ecnountered a group of skaters in kitintale, a suburb of kampala, who had built the first and only half pipe in uganda. he ended up spending several months with the skaters, becoming a full member of the group, documenting a unique skate culture that, given the area’s contingencies, has styles and tricks all its own.
Grew up skating always being told “black people don’t skateboard”.
Kick push all over again
Miss Earth Zimbabwe 2013, Samantha Dika.