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July 2014 Edition


The world mourns the death of a great, inspiring poet and author Maya Angelou, who passed quietly in her home on Wednesday, 28 May 2014.


Dr. Maya Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.


Born on April 4th, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Angelou was raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. In Stamps, Dr. Angelou experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, but she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African-American family, community, and culture.


As a teenager, Dr. Angelou’s love for the arts won her a scholarship to study dance and drama at San Francisco’s Labor School. At 14, she dropped out to become San Francisco’s first African-American female cable car conductor. She later finished high school, giving birth to her son, Guy, a few weeks after graduation. As a young single mother, she supported her son by working as a waitress and cook, however her passion for music, dance, performance, and poetry would soon take center stage.


In 1954 and 1955, Dr. Angelou toured Europe with a production of the opera Porgy and Bess. She studied modern dance with Martha Graham, danced with Alvin Ailey on television variety shows and, in 1957, recorded her first album, Calypso Lady. In 1958, she moved to New York, where she joined the Harlem Writers Guild, acted in the historic Off-Broadway production of Jean Genet's The Blacks and wrote and performed Cabaret for Freedom.


In 1960, Dr. Angelou moved to Cairo, Egypt where she served as editor of the English language weekly The Arab Observer. The next year, she moved to Ghana where she taught at the University of Ghana's School of Music and Drama, worked as feature editor for The African Review and wrote for The Ghanaian Times.



During her years abroad, Dr. Angelou read and studied voraciously, mastering French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and the West African language Fanti. While in Ghana, she met with Malcolm X and, in 1964, returned to America to help him build his new Organization of African American Unity.


Shortly after her arrival in the United States, Malcolm X was assassinated, and the organization dissolved. Soon after X's assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked Dr. Angelou to serve as Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King's assassination, falling on her birthday in 1968, left her devastated.


With the guidance of her friend, the novelist James Baldwin, she began work on the book that would become I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Published in 1970, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was published to international acclaim and enormous popular success. The list of her published verse, non-fiction, and fiction now includes more than 30 bestselling titles.

A trailblazer in film and television, Dr. Angelou wrote the screenplay and composed the score for the 1972 film Georgia, Georgia. Her script, the first by an African American woman ever to be filmed, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.


She continues to appear on television and in films including the landmark television adaptation of Alex Haley's Roots (1977) and John Singleton's Poetic Justice (1993). In 1996, she directed her first feature film, Down in the Delta. In 2008, she composed poetry for and narrated the award-winning documentary The Black Candle, directed by M.K. Asante.


Dr. Angelou has served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, and has received 3 Grammy Awards. President Clinton requested that she compose a poem to read at his inauguration in 1993. Dr. Angelou's reading of her poem "On the Pulse of the Morning" was broadcast live around the world.

Dr. Angelou has received over 50 honorary degrees and is Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.


Dr. Angelou’s words and actions continue to stir our souls, energize our bodies, liberate our minds, and heal our hearts.


Oscar-winning actress Lupita Amondi Nyong'o is a rising star shooting for more stars.


Lupita born March 1, 1983 is an actress, film and music video director of dual Kenyan and Mexican citizenship. After graduating from Hampshire College with a bachelor's degree in film and theatre studies, Nyong'o worked as a production assistant on several Hollywood films.


Nyong'o, the second of six children was born in Mexico (her father Peter Anyang' Nyong'o, a college professor turned politician in Kenya) when her father was a visiting lecturer in political science at El Colegio de México in Mexico City.


Nyong'o grew up primarily in Kenya, but at sixteen, her parents sent her back to Mexico for seven months to learn Spanish, where she took classes at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México's Learning Center for Foreigners.



She later attended St. Mary's School in Nairobi, where she received an IB Diploma in 2001 before attending Hampshire College in the U.S. with a degree in film and theatre studies.

She later earned a master's degree in acting at the Yale School of Drama, followed by her first feature film role in Steve McQueen's historical drama 12 Years a Slave (2013). Her role in the film was widely acclaimed, earning her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, among numerous other awards and nominations. In 2014, she was named "The Most Beautiful Woman" by People.


In 2014, she was chosen as one of the faces for Miu Miu's spring campaign, with Elizabeth Olsen, Elle Fanning and Bella Heathcote. She has also appeared on the covers of several magazines, including New York's spring fashion issue and the UK magazine Dazed & Confused.  She has also been a regular on Harper's Bazaar's Derek Blasberg's best dressed listing since the autumn of 2013.


In April 2014, Nyong'o was announced the new face of Lancôme.


Nyong'o currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. She is fluent in her native Luo, English, Swahili and Spanish. On February 27, 2014, at the Essence Black Women In Hollywood luncheon in Beverly Hills, she gave a speech on the beauty of black women and talked about the insecurities she had about herself as a teenager. She said her views about herself changed when she saw South Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek become successful.


In 2013, her father was elected to represent Kisumu County in the Kenyan Senate. Nyong'o's mother is currently the managing director of the Africa Cancer Foundation and her own communications company.


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Other articles in this edition


Read the full text of articles below:

 Africa News

  • Gendarmerie to be opened to girls in Côte d’Ivoire

  • Ghana to be declared Guinea worm free

  • New Malawi leader extends olive branch to ex-president

  • Campaign against malaria launched in Burundi

  • Nigeria to align all data capture, identity verification, authentication

  • Ethiopian woman appointed UN Special Envoy for the Sahel

  • European travel bans rattle Kenya

 Dutch News

  • New housing cheaper and smaller

  • Foreign Ministry: MVV can take up to two weeks to be issued

  • The basic civic integration exam for those abroad will change

  • Introduction of stiffer penalties for computer crime

  • Dutch economic inequality remains small

  • Many Dutch cannot sing the national anthem

  • €240m a year turnover for Dutch marijuana growers

  • Amsterdam to raise fees for removing wrongly-parked bikes

    Belgium News

    • New concert hall in Antwerp

    • Using Twitter name used as official signature

    • 9 in 10 Belgium youngsters on Facebook

    • Detectives powerless to tap internet communications

    • Politician kills children then commits suicide

    • "Right-to-die" to terminally ill children

    • "Belgium is no longer attractive for investors"

     Sports News 

    Edited by K. Jemael Mohamed

    • Africa: Another disappointing World Cup?

    • Platini will not support Blatter for president

    • FIFA rejects age limits as Blatter blasts 'disrespectful' critics

    • Tit Bits on 2014 FIFA World Cup

    • ..And More

    Other News

    • Fashion University for Nigeria

    • Dr. Dre: First Rapper billionaire

    • Cameroon gas production rises by 4000%

    •  ... And More 

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