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The Magic In Motion Academy celebrated 13 film and television graduates at the 5th graduation for the Academy

Higher Education Deputy Minister, Buti Manamela who attended the event as the guest of honour, acknowledged the success of the students and the commitment of the MIM Academy.

“The impact that this programme has had on these graduates is invaluable. Over the past five years, this programme has provided a gateway to the film and television industry for a significant number of students. The film and television industry is a big contributor to our economy and these graduates are now able to tell our stories that can reach all corners of the world” says Deputy Minister, Buti Manamela.

 

“We recognise that the global television industry is evolving, and we need to empower anew generation of young professionals. This internship gives the most talented creatives work experience with the leading production companies and culminates with the production of movies that are scheduled on Mzansi Magic and seen by millions. Our interns graduate with a CV that sets them up to find work – we are committed to training and jobcreation” says MultiChoice General Entertainment CEO Yolisa Phahle.”

 

 

Founded in 2014 and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Bobby Heaney, the MIM Academy focuses on transforming the South African film and TV industry by upskilling film graduates, empowering them with the necessary knowledge and experience that they will require to start their careers and successfully transform the video-entertainment industry in South Africa. To date, 44 interns have graduated from the programme, 12 films have been produced and 60% of the class of 2017 interns are employed.

 

 

This year, the graduates were taken through an intensive 12-month internship where their tertiary education was supplemented by hands-on practical training. They were mentoredby industry experts from some of the country’s most respected production houses and worked on various exciting productions. Production partners played an influential role in ensuring that the graduates were exposed to all facets of the production process and ensured inclusion on a variety of sets.

 

 

“The class of 2018 has been incredibly dedicated, having produced 4 movies of exceptional quality for Mzansi Channels including Hawe Ma! and Umdlalo wempilo. We look forward totheir contribution to the industry” said Bobby.

 

 

“Beyond entertainment, its rewarding to see how, through our investments in infrastructure, technology and empowerment initiatives, we harness the emerging talent of the youth and set them up to achieve their goals. By the end of their time with us in April,

they will have produced four movies for broadcast in prime-time on Mzansi Magic, said Yolisa”.

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MTN South Africa has partnered with global customer engagement company, Clickatell , to launch MTN Chat, enabling its customers to engage with the telco over WhatsApp.

 

MTN Chat will enable customers to initiate purchase of airtime and data bundles within their WhatsApp chat session. Over time customers will be able to also access customer support and self-service options, including performing upgrades, managing their accounts, and receiving low balance alerts. MTN Chat is part of the MTN vision to significantly enhance its digital business offering to boost its customer base through advanced services.

 

“Clickatell understands that mobile operators are under increasing pressure to deliver excellent customer service over the digital channels their customers prefer. By offering convenient services over a secure, convenient channel, MNOs can both increase their transactional volume and attract and retain customers – something that is paramount in an age of continuous digital transformation and growing competition,” explains Pieter de Villiers, Clickatell Founder & CEO.

 

 

Clickatell has already helped Absa Bank, GTBank, First Bank of Nigeria and United Bank of Africa successfully deploy chat banking capabilities on WhatsApp across Africa.

 

 

Clickatell is a WhatsApp Business solution provider. The WhatsApp Business API provides brands the ability to send out notifications and conduct two-way conversations with consumers within WhatsApp once they have opted in. Clickatell’s Touch Flow and Connect platforms gives MTN the capability to unify its communications channels, customise user workflows and connect to internal systems.

 

 

“It is imperative that companies focus on improving their self-service experiences in order to retain and grow customers. The Clickatell offerings provides an easy, secure and convenient way of giving users control over their accounts through WhatsApp, a platform they already have an affinity for,” comments says Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive for Corporate Affairs at MTN SA.

 

 

De Villiers says Clickatell’s low effort, high return offerings can propel mobile network operators onto a digital transformation road that differentiates them from their competitors.

 

 

“Clickatell has worked hard to ensure that its solution deployments are far less challenging than typical enterprise platform integrations. With over 1.5 billion people in 180 countries using WhatsApp every month, delivering chat commerce experiences on WhatsApp is one of the most efficient ways to reach a majority of consumers who can immediately benefit from the services offered on the channel. There is no doubt this solution is perfect for MNOs around the world where WhatsApp is frequently used.”

 

 

With over 1.5 billion people in 180 countries using WhatsApp every month, delivering chat commerce experiences on WhatsApp is one of the most efficient ways to reach a majority of consumers who can immediately benefit from the telecom services offered on the channel. There is no doubt this solution is perfect for MNOs around the world where WhatsApp is the dominant social engagement channel.”

 

 

 

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Digital and broadband infrastructure investment is clearly one of the top priorities for Africa’s key telecom operators and investment firms in 2019. In this article, leaders from MTN, C-Squared, Seacom and Convergence Partners discuss the critical issues ahead of their speaking roles at TMT Finance Africa in Cape Town 2019 (http://www.TMTFinance.com/capetown)

 

With the huge and increasing demand for data and increasing opportunities for 5G and fibre, digital communications companies including mobile and fixed operators, as well as a range of digital infrastructure specialists and investors, are targeting significant investments in new digital infrastructure.

Byron Clatterbuck, CEO Seacom, one of Africa’s leading submarine and terrestrial broadband operators, sees a really opportunity in making the case for fibre in Africa: “Fibre penetration is still very low in most African countries, so huge opportunities exist to get involved in the rollout of intra-regional projects, national projects, and even international subsea infrastructure projects.  The global cloud services companies are now putting Africa on their development roadmap, and committing significant investment to several African markets.”

For Clatterbuck, this presents a big opportunity for other investors to leverage these investments and to cooperate with these global giants in delivering new services to the business and home markets.

Envir Fraser, CSO & Partner at Convergence Partners, an impact investment management firm focused on the telecommunications, media and technology sector in Africa, expects broadband to continue offering investment opportunities as the need for high quality broadband increases with step changes in prices. “This does mean that the opportunities are shifting from pure greenfield builds and opportunities to brownfield expansion and consolidation in the sector. The needs for “big pipes” to realise the 5G reality will also need increased investment in connecting towers and high sites to high-speed fibre or wireless backhaul networks”, says Fraser.

 

Working with governments on digital infrastructure investment

To help maintain a high level of investment, Kholekile, Ndamase, Executive: Group Mergers and Acquisitions at MTN, Africa’s biggest mobile telecommunications operator, warns Governments should have a careful plan when considering the licensing questions such as coverage obligations vs license fees vs a fund to finance rural connectivity.

“If government could forego the immediate remuneration of a license fee and opportunity costs of localisations, but instead placed reasonable coverage obligations on operators, it may be more beneficial in the long run to have all their citizens connected to digital and have them participating in the digitally-enabled economy. Making more spectrum available in certain markets would also reduce network congestion and Capex expenditure which will allow the much-needed capital to be spent in the more underserved areas”, Ndamase explains.

 

Expect consolidation in digital and fibre infrastructure 

Consolidation in the sector is also to be expected, according to Alexander Kiel, CFO, at CSquared, the Google-backed African fibre network operator. “Fibre, like other infrastructure, is a game of scale, we do expect some consolidation to happen over time, with it most likely to start with transfer of management of public fiber assets to private operators.” Over time, as fibrecos increase in scale and expertise, Kiel also expects to see more sale and lease-back deals between the fibrecos and the mobile operators.

 

For Seacom’s Clatterbuck, “whether it is MNOs trying to bring together a number of African “OpCos” under one brand with synergies at the group level, or it is “fixed” fibre operators consolidating to control and manage as much of the end-to-end network as possible, there is no shortage of M&A and funding opportunities in Africa.  “Consolidation will continue as markets grow and possibly shrink, and as global players look for market entry vehicles going forward,” he says.

 

Who will be leading fibre investment?

In the next 12 to 18 months, CSquared’s Kiel expects a number of greenfield projects to come out, with multiple roll-outs, “especially in the metro areas where there is still a gap… these deployments will be driven by mobile operators and independent fibrecos”, he comments.

In about five years time, Convergence’s Fraser foresees a market with a limited number of scale players offering a broader set of offerings to operators. He expects “a shift to customer focused services and product offerings as well as continued increase in bandwidth speeds.”

As for MTN’s Ndamase, “fibre and 5G will open up a whole new experience for consumers with particular benefits will not necessarily be seen with the way we currently experience the digital world.” He reckons industries such as Autonomous Vehicles, Automation of business processes, VR & AR and a whole host of other industries that are yet to appear will primarily benefit from this shift.

 

Leaders from the largest African telecom, media and technology companies, investment banks and investors are meeting to assess the latest investment opportunities at the annual TMT Finance Africa in Cape Town 2019 conference on March 28.

 

Over 75 key speakers have been announced for the event, which features CxOs and senior executives from Vodacom, MTN, Rand Merchant Bank, Vumatel, Helios Towers Africa, ENSafrica, CSquared, Dark Fibre Africa, Convergence Partners, Seacom, Angola Cables, Standard Bank, IFC World Bank, DLA Piper, WIOCC, Paix Data Centres, BCX, European Investment Bank, Investec Asset Management, GreenWish Partners and others.

 

Key sessions at the senior executive only event include: Telecom Leadership Africa; Broadband Infrastructure; Digital Infrastructure Africa; Next Generation Media; Powering Mobile Towers; Data Centre and Cloud; Mergers and Acquisitions; TMT Investor Strategies; Broadband Infrastructure; Financing TMT; Fintech and Mobile Money; and Smart City.

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Vista Group (VistaBankGroup.com), a challenger bank building itself into a world class pan-African financial institution specifically designed to meet the needs of retail and commercial customers, has partnered with Temenos (SIX: TEMN) (Temenos.com), the banking software company, to power its digital transformation journey.

 

Vista Bank is transforming its IT systems using Temenos Infinity, a breakthrough digital front office and Temenos T24 Transact, the next generation in core banking. As part of these products, Vista Bank also has selected the advanced Analytics and Reporting, Risk and Compliance modules as well as  the Temenos Payments Hub product.

Vista Group was established following the acquisition of First International Bank (FIB) Group in 2015 by the US based investment fund, Lilium Capital. Challenging the banking status quo, Vista Bank takes a customer-centric and innovative digital approach to meeting the needs of its clients – from members of the public to SMEs.

 

Vista Bank conducted a rigorous competitive evaluation of solutions to replace its legacy IT systems. By implementing the Temenos software, the bank will be able to introduce new products and services more quickly, support its growth ambitions and continue to pursue its vision of becoming the financial institution of choice through innovative banking in its respective markets. It will also enable the bank to offer market-leading services to its customers through enhanced digital channels whilst meeting its customers’ increasing expectations for enhanced functionality, products and services when conducting their banking transactions.

 

The Temenos regional model bank approach, which includes pre-configured local functionality and best practices, will enable Vista Bank to cater for specific regulatory requirements during its expansion. Currently operating through a network of 43 branches across Sierra Leone, Guinea and The Gambia, the group’s goal is to expand its footprint into the West African Monetary Union and the Central African market, targeting a presence in 15 countries by 2025.

Vista Bank has entered into strategic partnerships with global institutions to drive its growth strategy in SME banking, leasing, women’s business banking, meso-finance loans and supply chain finance in addition to expanding its consumer banking operations. The bank will leverage Temenos’ global expertise and 25 years of experience in providing integrated, scalable packaged software, as well as Temenos’ commitment to invest 20 percent of revenues into research and development every year, which is the highest in the industry.

 

Simon Tiemtore, Group Chairman at Vista Bank, said: “As a challenger bank we are investing in our technology to ensure that we provide cutting edge products and services to our customers. I am delighted that, through our partnership with Temenos which leverages their 25 years of industry expertise, we now have the most sophisticated, innovative, cloud-native banking platform. This will help us realize our vision of building a truly pan-African financial institution group that will add value to the African economy and promote financial inclusion. Temenos is our trusted strategic technology partner and our customers will reap the rewards of its innovative API-first, cloud-native and cloud agnostic software.”

 

Femi Adeoti, Managing Director Africa Operations at Inlaks, said: “As a distributor and reseller of Temenos software in West Africa for more than 20 years, it is our delight to provide best in class digital banking solutions to Vista Bank via Temenos, the global leader in banking software. Inlaks as a company thrives on providing innovative solutions that enable our customers to adapt and stand out in the ever-evolving landscape of financial technology”.

 

Jean-Paul Mergeai, Managing Director Middle East & Africa at Temenos, said: “We are proud to welcome Vista Bank, an innovative and exciting challenger bank, to the Temenos family. We look forward to working as a close strategic technology partner of the bank as it realizes its goal of building a world-class pan-African financial institution group in addition to driving both economic development and financial inclusion in Africa. With Temenos’ market-leading, cloud-agnostic, cloud-agnostic technology the bank will be in an ideal position to meet their commitment of providing cutting-edge digital banking solutions, as well as innovative products and services, aimed at satisfying the unique needs of their customers. This partnership further strengthens Temenos’ longstanding presence in West Africa where for years our real-time and scalable banking software has been helping financial institutions address their evolving customer demands and regulatory requirements. We look forward to working with Vista Bank as it transforms the services that it offers to its customers.”

 

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Pearl Thusi & Graeme Smith are Humanz

Posted by radio On March - 9 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

Influencer marketing, while having matured beyond a passing trend, still has many doubters with regards to its reliability, accountability and sustainability. All of that however is about to change with the advent of Humanz, a young start-up which claims to have developed the most sophisticated social data platform in the world – specifically designed to make influencer marketing as accessible, reliable and trustworthy as programmatic media channels.

The Humanz platform is officially launching in South Africa this month with two respected professionals and influencers in their own rights, Graeme Smith and Pearl Thusi as local partners.

 

“The marketers and agencies we were speaking to were clearly frustrated with the few solutions available locally. They weren’t good enough and were stopping them from investing further in influencer marketing. We discovered Humanz and realized it was going to change things not only in South Africa but throughout the world.”says Smith.

 

Influencer marketing is the fastest growing marketing practice and media channel worldwide, expected to become a $10bn market by next year. 80% of marketers worldwide say that they plan to grow their influencer marketing spend in 2019, currently sitting on average somewhere between 4,3% and 7,6% (eMarketer, July 2018).

 

However, nearly all marketers and agencies face the same challenges when it comes to accurately reporting and tracking ROI: widespread fraud and the need for manual, extremely time-consuming work to deal with these issues.

 

“Celebrities and content creators are often approached by brands and agencies to participate in marketing campaigns, but they are typically full of logistical challenges, some of which I have experienced first-hand. Our plan with Humanz is to make the process simple, seamless and transparent, while offering valuable insights throughout to both marketers and influencers.”, adds Thusi.

 

Some of these insights can be found in the recently released “Influencer marketing benchmarks for South Africa” report, available via the Humanz website. Two interesting nuggets: 1) the average influencer account has between 20% and 27% suspicious followers, considered of little to no value to marketers; 2) only 1 in 2 followers in SA is likely to turn into an actual impression, creating a significant gap between followers amount and actual reach.

 

Unlike other platforms, Humanz analyses not only influencer profiles but all of their followers too, using natural language processing and image recognition paired with artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning, to understand variables such as gender, age, interest, activity and previous mentions of specific brands; a significant technological step-forward from the manual processes followed by most agencies and platforms. This also enables advanced media planning metrics, such as unduplicated audiences, expected impressions and AVE benchmarking, which cannot be provided accurately without an in-depth analysis of each follower.

 

“Most South African influencer campaigns have used celebrities or social stars, due to the difficulties and time-consuming nature of manually identifying, verifying and working with smaller influencers. However, engagement rates are, on average, inversely proportional to audience size on both Instagram and Twitter. Smaller influencers are also considered more trust-worthy and hence more likely to ‘influence’” says Pierre Cassuto, who carries the dual role of CMO for Humanz globally and CEO for its African operations.

 

“For agencies, Humanz represents an easy way to launch and generate revenues from a new practice, or scale up without significant costs. For brands, it allows them to safely and efficiently bring influencer marketing in-house, with options ranging from free plans to full enterprise solutions.”, he adds.

 

Humanz is officially launched in South Africa on 1 March, after successfully carrying out pilot projects with some of the largest agencies, brands and influencers locally. A free trial of the platform is available on their website, along with information on their partner programs for agencies and content creators.

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Celebrating a banner year for African content acquisitions, The Africa Channel will air a collection of 20 new primetime series representing premium drama, lifestyle, and news programming from Africa during 2019.

This programming, as well as the streaming of over 50 hours of African content in support of Black History Month on Comcast’s Xfinity platform, represents significant success for African producers whose work will now be available around the globe, providing these producers a north American and Caribbean voice.

Vice President of Programming & Acquisitions Karen Juve explains further, “We have been extremely fortunate to be able to tap into the increasing pool of talent from the continent and beyond, to present world-class content that is bold, diverse and globally appealing to North American audiences.

 

Many of these shows have a proven track record of success amongst African audiences and now they will be exposed to a much wider global audience of millions. The Africa Channel is a unique platform globally, with its 100% focus on African content, the channel provides multiple opportunities for African content producers to take their place on the global stage.

 

The collection of popular shows scheduled for broadcast and streaming in 2019 reflect a range of genres, and have been sourced from outstanding producers and distributors including, M-Net Studios, SABC, and Kew Media Group.

 

FOOD & LIFESTYLE SERIES

Cooking with Siba and The Hostess each feature celebrity female chefs, one who puts a healthy spin on her favorite recipes, the other who celebrates dining and creative entertaining for food and lifestyle connoisseurs.

 

DRAMA SERIES

iNumber NumberHard Copy and High Rollers offer a new spin on street warfare, newsroom drama and high-stake gambling respectively.

 

DAYTIME SOAP

Soaps make a return on The Africa Channel with The Wild, shot entirely on location at a five-star game lodge, capitalizing on the breathtaking beauty of the African wild as three families challenge each other’s right to the land.

 

REALITY & DOCU-REALITY SERIES

The Wedding Bash(ers) finds couples willing to put their big day under the scrutiny of celebrity fashion, food, décor and entertainment “experts” in order to win a second honeymoon and other big-ticket prizes. Crimes Uncovered takes viewers through the criminal investigations of true South African crimes through interviews, dramatizations and archival footage as each case unfolds. Both shows premiere Spring 2019.

 

Monochrome: Black, White and Blue is a 3-part series on the history of blues music featuring musical performances and interviews with Morgan Freeman, Chuck Berry, B.B. King, and more.

 

Emancipation Road is a 7-part series, which takes viewers on a journey from the Atlantic slave trade to the election of President Barack Obama.

 

Shaka Zulu, the epic drama series can now be seen on The Africa Channel.

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In 2017, Damian Gawlowski, a South Africa insurance contractor based in the City of London, uncovered the hidden impact of intermediary fees with the more risk an investor took on.
 

 

In the Financial Times’ (www.FT.com) report on Innovation in South Africa today, Aziza Coin (www.Aziza.io) simulates how to beat high fees and shows why “excessive profits in UK fund management industry handicap growth on the African continent.”

 

 

In 2017, Damian Gawlowski, a South Africa insurance contractor based in the City of London, uncovered the hidden impact of intermediary fees with the more risk an investor took on. Up to 78% of returns from private equity are consumed by intermediary fees. Gawlowski investigated and found that while this was the case, the underlying equity and bond returns were over 4% rather than the 1% he actually received. Undisclosed fees added, he calculated, made intermediaries consume over three-quarters of the underlying returns generated by the bond portfolio that was ultimately invested in. Gawlowski considered putting his pension into higher risk investments such as private equity funds and as the mutual fund returns resulted in real depreciation of his pension by 1.3% per year after fees. He modelled a dummy private equity portfolio where he calculated that the portfolio would need to make 140% over a typical seven-year period simply to cover the fees and to keep up with inflation. This meant that an (annualised) internal rate of return of 13.3% would be required to simply retain his 2017 buying power by achieving UK inflation of 2.7%. *

 

 

 

The Financial Conduct Authority has expressed concern about the level of fund management profits when it was quoted as saying in a report lambasting the statutorily-protected revenues of the United Kingdom’s £6.9 trillion fund management industry’s’ profit margin of 36%. It found that “firms do not typically compete on price with their retail active funds in the UK [and that] there is some evidence of a negative relationship between net returns and charges.” **

 

 

These fees, which the FCA regards as excessive, have real societal costs. As Einstein is alleged to have said, compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe. A pension that appreciates by 13.3% per annum (ie gross returns without the 78% intermediary fees will return 140% in seven years time, whereas with the fees added, an annual return of 2.7% will only appreciate by 20%. These fees have already broken the defined benefit company pensions system and has the potential to cause real poverty in the Western world, where their effect is not well understood by the general population. The fact that the UK financial services PR industry is worth £2 billion per year does not help. Furthermore, if the fund management industry is taking three-quarters of returns, with 40% of funds disappearing upfront, it becomes distinctly more risk averse, as any loss of retail investor capital will invite scrutiny and therefore shed light on the level of their fees.

 

 

This risk aversion is manifested in the fact that 0.02% of assets under management or only 8 billion Euros were allocated to startups in 2016. This matters since start-ups create more jobs than the rest of the economy combined. Pre-ICO, Damian invested in the Aziza Project, which seeks to use distributed ledger technology to automate and disintermediate the layers of fund management costs. The Project was careful to avoid the usual pitfalls that have beset other cryptocurrencies:

  1. From the outset, it avoided the argument as to where it was a security or a utility, by registering under Reg D exemption in the United States as a security token.
  2. Every buyer and seller of coins has been vetted and subject to the level of KYC required to open a high street bank account as well as being checked as being recorded as a taxpayer.
  3. It became the first cryptocurrency in the world to integrate its reporting systems with a tax authority when it became a third party data provider to South African Revenue Services (SARS), ensuring that investor gains were reported and taxed as capital gains. 4. It is asset-backed by seven oil and gas concessions in Southern Africa. Aziza Coin offers something Damian could not find anywhere else – low transparent fees where investor fees are limited to 10% upfront with no further fees. Its Ethereum-based smart contract automates the annual fund management function with a mere 800 lines of code. So if the underlying exploration projects deliver the same underlying returns as Damian’s fictitious portfolio – 140% in seven years, his returns after fees will increase from 20% using traditional fund management fee structures to 126% — over six times times the returns.

 

Aziza Coin offers something that excites Damian more than reducing the fees. He has starting working on Acqumine, which has had discussions with the South African Revenue to internalise commodities taxation into a smart contract and eventually a pan-African commodities exchange that will enable host countries and local communities in the developing world to receive royalties due to them, while giving end customers piece of mind as to the true source of the minerals that make up consumer goods they buy.

Learn more about Aziza Coin at: www.Aziza.io

*Based on IFA trail commissions of 3% upfront plus 0.5% per year, pension fund fees of 1.o% per year, fund of fund fees of 1% per annum and 10% profits and private equity fees of 2% per annum and 20% of profits on exit. Based on a dummy portfolio of five investments delivering an average of 140% over a seven year period.

** Asset Management Market Study – Final Report Market Study – MS15/2.3-June 2017 recommendations 1.9 1.10 and 1.11 page 4 https://bit.ly/2tnjKVw

Note: Aziza Coin is not available for sale.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Financial Times Africa Representative.

 

Media Contact:
Laura-Anne Morton
Email: laura-anne@alumnirisk.com

 

 

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Berita drops Ndicel’Ikiss single

Posted by radio On January - 27 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

Multi award-winning, gold-selling Afrosoul singer, songwriter and musician Berita has dropped her first single off her new independent record company ASSALI MUSIC. Ndicel’ Ikiss is a soulful yet rhythmic song that tells a beautiful story of affection, a true display of intimacy and an intentional love. It is an honest declaration of a keenness to love. It seeks to celebrate and yet assuage the abrupt and unpredictable rages of love.

 

Born Gugulethu Khumalo, she adopted the stage name Berita, her mother’s name, in honour of her mother and all courageous and strong African women. Born and raised in Zimbabwe to the circular sounds of Oliver Mtukudzi, Brenda Fassie and Mafikizolo, Berita developed love for African music from a tender age.

 

Yearning to sing her heart out and express her pride as a young African girl-child, Berita discovered the guitar and songwriting.

 

Berita’s musical journey began in 2012 after leaving New Zealand to come and study in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Equipped with just a guitar and her dreams, within no time Berita went from performing at community events around the Eastern Cape to releasing a stellar debut album.

 

Berita has worked with the likes of Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Oliver Mtukudzi, Hugh Masekela, Oskido, Mobi Dixon and Black Motion as well as Da Capo on the chart-topping hit Found You. Berita has performed at festivals and prestigious stages across the world, in cities such as New York, London, Berlin and Kampala. Celebrated by Zimbabwe, South Africa has equally watched her blossom and watered her into this vigorous, indestructible force that softly carpets our ears with her musical prowess.

 

Ndicel’ ikiss is available on all digital music platforms.

 

Interact with Berita on social media @beritaafrosoul

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Netflix, the global leading entertainment streaming platform, today announces that the Mandarin-language film Dear Ex, winner of multiple awards across Asia, will premiere globally starting February 1.

 

Dear Ex was written by Mag Hsu and Shih-Yuan LU and directed by Mag Hsu and Chih-Yen Hsu. The all-star cast, including Roy Chiu, Ying-Xuan Hsieh, Spark Chen and Joseph Huang, brings to the screen a story of diverse and sometimes conflicting family values in a refreshing and fascinating way that marks a departure from conventional Mandarin films.

“From the themes and cast to the decision to land on Netflix as our exclusive global premiere platform, every choice was an experiment,” says director and writer Mag Hsu. “We have shone a spotlight on the forces behind different kinds of family values for audiences in Taiwan and across Asia. Now, we want to show the world the growing momentum in Mandarin-language films.”

Dear Ex follows three people who are linked by fate because of love and family. Adolescent Song Chengxi (played by Joseph Huang) loses his father Song Zhengyuan (played by Spark Chen) to cancer, but instead of having time to mourn, Chengxi finds himself caught in a feud between his widowed mother Liu Sanlian (played by Ying-xuan Hsieh) and his father’s gay lover Jay (played by Roy Chiu). As Liu fights Jay for Song’s insurance money, Chengxi gradually learns that what holds both Liu and Jay back is not the money, but the weight of the loving memories they each have with his father.

 

 

About Dear Ex
Directed by renowned writer Mag Hsu and emerging director Chih-Yen Hsu, Dear Ex is a melancholy comedy from Taiwan. Created by Golden Bell Award winning writer Shih-Yuan Lu and produced by DEAR Studio, the cast includes Roy Chiu, Ying-Xuan Hsieh, Spark Chen and Joseph Huang. The film kicked off its theatrical release on November 2, 2018 and has been well-received across Asia since its debut in the Taipei Film Festival. It has won awards for Best Actress at the Golden Horse Awards, Best Feature Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Media Recommendation at the Taipei Film Festival as well as Best Director at the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival 2018.

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Two of Africa’s largest mobile operators and mobile money providers, Orange Group (www.Orange.com) and MTN Group (www.MTN.com), today announced a joint venture, Mowali (mobile wallet interoperability), to enable interoperable payments across the continent. Mowali makes it possible to send money between mobile money accounts issued by any mobile money provider, in real time and at low cost.

Mowali will immediately benefit from the reach of MTN Mobile Money (www.MTN.cm/en/MTN-Mobile-Money) and Orange Money (OrangeMoney.orange.fr), bringing together over 100 million mobile money accounts and mobile money operations in 22 of sub-Saharan Africa’s 46 markets. Mowali is ready to enable interoperability between digital financial service providers beyond MTN and Orange operations and markets, to support the existing 338 million mobile money accounts in Africa.

 

Mowali is a digital payment infrastructure that connects financial service providers and customers in one inclusive network. It functions as an industry utility, open to any mobile money provider in Africa, including banks, money transfer operators and other financial service providers.

 

The objective of Mowali is to increase the usage of mobile money by consumers and merchants.  Mowali enables money to circulate freely between mobile money accounts from any operators in all countries. From the customer’s point of view, this means “I can pay or receive money anywhere from my mobile account regardless of my operator”. The system will unlock further innovation in the digital financial space within the continent.

 

For Stéphane Richard, Chairman & CEO of Orange, “by providing full interoperability between platforms, Mowali will provide an important step forward that will allow mobile money to become a universal means of payment in Africa. Increasing financial inclusion through the use of digital technology is an essential element in furthering the economic development of Africa, particularly for more isolated communities. This solution embodies Orange’s ambition to be a leading player in the digital transformation of the continent. By joining forces with another of Africa’s market leaders, MTN, we aim to accelerate the pace of this transformation in a way that will change the lives of our customers by providing them with simpler, safer and more advantageous services. “

 

“One of MTN’s goals is to accelerate the penetration of mobile financial service in Africa, Mowali is one such vehicle that will help us achieve that objective. Furthermore, co-operation and partnerships that help us accelerate the pace of development and overcome some of the scale, scope and complexity of challenges that society faces are key. This partnership with Orange is therefore an important step in helping us play a meaningful role in supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals related to eliminating extreme poverty and enhancing socio-economic development in the markets we operate in and beyond. Thus giving our customers access to a bright, digital future.” said Rob Shuter, Group President and CEO of MTN.

 

 

The GSMA supports the Mowali initiative as interoperability at this scale is a key accelerator for both financial inclusion and Mobile Money usability across Africa.

 

 

“Today, there are over 690 million mobile money accounts around the world. Mobile money services have become an essential, life-changing tool across Africa, providing access to safe and secure financial services but also to energy, health, education and employment opportunities. The creation of Mowali will help to further transform mobile financial services throughout the African region. It demonstrates the mobile industry’s continued leadership and commitment to driving financial inclusion and economic empowerment through industry collaboration. The GSMA is proud to support its development,”said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA.

 

 

“Interoperability of digital payments has been the toughest hurdle for the financial services industry to overcome, in support of financial inclusion. With Mowali, Orange and MTN deliver a solution that will enable them, and other companies, to scale digital financial services across Africa, faster, to everyone—including the poor,” said Kosta Peric, deputy director of Financial Services for the Poor, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “This is a signal that a new wave of innovation, which can help alleviate poverty and drive economic opportunity, is coming. We’re pleased to see an implementation of Mojaloop[1]—an open source payment platform available to operators across the sector—help achieve that.”

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