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7 Zimbabwean Teens Living Under a Tree in S.A.

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Even though Children’s Day is celebrated globally by almost 50 countries annually; celebrated on May 27 in Nigeria, children’s standard of living across Africa is still such that calls for attention.

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Children’s day as it was first proclaimed by the United Kingdom in 1954, was established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world’s children.

It is still widely reported that pupils and students in some part of Africa still take classes under trees, in an uncompleted or dilapidated building, many not in the line of education at all and many in a poor housing environment.

Latest report has it that Seven Zimbabwean teenagers have been found living under a big tree near Shoprite in Louis Trichardt, Limpopo, for almost a year, scavenging for food from a nearby skip.

The boys, aged 15 to 19, sleep under the tree on one torn mattress, sharing two blankets. They wake up at 6am and pack their blankets and clothes into a big white bag and hang it in the tree for safety. When it rains they move to the verandah of the nearby shops at night.

During the day they go out looking for work and food, begging from passers-by or picking up leftover food thrown into the municipal skip nearby. They have no plates or pots and do not cook.

They bath once or twice a week at a nearby stream and use the public toilets nearby.

Putting a brave face on, 19-year-old Classmore Tsiga said, “This municipal bin is our soup kitchen. No one has fallen sick from eating leftover food from the bin. God is great.”

“This place is convenient for us because toilets are near, the big municipal bin where people throw away leftover food is here, and a lot of people pass through this place. Some of them donate clothes or food,”

He did odd jobs in Beitbridge and managed to save money to get as far as Louis Trichardt. “My aim was to join my sister but it is taking time. I do not regularly get hired for work.”

 

“My aim is to raise money for school fees then I can go back to school, but it seems impossible,” says Sibanda.

John Tambire,17, from Masvingo decided to come to South Africa so as not to be a burden on his grandmother after his mother remarried. He saved R200 from odd jobs in Zimbabwe which he used for transport to Louis Trichardt.

“I was among the eight grandchildren under the care of this grandmother. I thought it wise to fend for myself,” says Tambire.


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Crime

Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe

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Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.

The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).

The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.

According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.

It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.

“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.

“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”

The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.

Source: BBC

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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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