Category Archives: Lifestyle

LOCALS LOSE OUT IN RWANDA’S SECOND HAND CLOTHING

Rwanda Clothes Market 2

Across Rwanda, markets selling piles of cast-off clothes once worn by Americans have become the unlikely centre of a trade war that vendors say is ruining their livelihoods.

Kigali, determined to boost its domestic textiles industry, in 2016 raised tariffs on the importation of secondhand clothes, disrupting a multi-million dollar industry and setting it on a collision course with the United States.

Friends Celestin Twagirayezu, 33, and Mercelle Dusabe, 35, began selling secondhand clothes a decade ago at adjacent stalls in Kigali’s popular Nyabugogo market in Kigali.

It was a good business which expanded quickly, allowing them to buy homes and get married.

Then Rwanda slapped a 12-fold increase on import tariffs on used clothes and a 10-fold increase on used footwear, a price hike that amounts to a de facto ban for cash-strapped traders.

“The decision took everyone by surprise, at first we relied on the stocked clothes but after a few months reality kicked in, and things went from bad to worse,” said Twagirayezu.

“I am soon throwing in the towel”.

– Second-hand economy –

East Africa imports around an eighth of the world’s used clothing into an industry that employs some 355,000 people who earn $230 million a year, according to a study by the American development agency, USAID.

The large majority of these clothes come from the US and regional leaders, including Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, blame the cast-offs for stymieing development of their own clothing industries.

While Twagirayezu has watched his business wither, Dusabe switched to selling Chinese imports, but is not faring much better.

Rwanda Clothes Market 3

“You can’t imagine how many customers I have lost by switching to selling Chinese clothes! Many people still come asking for second-hand clothes, when they don’t find them they don’t come back,” he said.

Twagirayezu agreed, saying customers prefer second-hand clothes to Chinese imports, citing the lower price and higher quality.

Initially, the East African Community regional bloc was united in its battle against used clothes.

But the alliance cracked as Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda balked at the prospect of retaliatory loss of access to US markets via the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) whereby some countries can export some products to the US duty free.

– Trade freeze –

Rwanda, alone, did not capitulate and in 2016 its imports of used clothing dropped by a third.

In late March this year the US told Rwanda it would lose some of its AGOA benefits within 60 days as a result. The deadline since passed and no action was announced, but with President Donald Trump on the warpath over trade Rwanda is unlikely to be forgotten.

Rwanda’s clothing industry is nascent, with only a couple of players, which means there are some surprising victims of the trade spat.

One of those losing out is Chinese garment maker C&H which set up in Kigali’s special economic zone in order to enjoy AGOA benefits.

Many of its US clients have put orders on hold until the AGOA issue is resolved. “We have lost market in the US because of the AGOA situation,” said manager Emmy Iraguha.

C&H has an annual turnover of $154 million and has been producing exclusively for export. It has not yet bowed to Rwandan government pressure to produce clothes for the local market to fill the gap left by the dearth of second-hand clothes.

Rwanda’s other clothes producer is Uterxwa, which specialises in industrial clothing and uniforms, has welcomed the “positive move” to ban second-hand clothes.

– Chinese winners –

“Once the companies making clothes locally are many the products will be competitive, not only in Rwanda but even in the neighbouring countries,” said managing director Ritesh Patel, alluding to the difficulty of producing clothes cheaply enough for the domestic market.

“The alternatives to secondhand clothes are very expensive,” said Kevin Uwamahoro, a motorcycle taxi driver who crosses into Uganda to go clothes shopping at its still-thriving second-hand markets.

The big winner in this David and Goliath trade war might well be Chinese companies whose flood of cheap garments are set to replace used clothing while continuing to stifle local industrialisation.

Rwanda Clothes Market 4

“Considerable imports of Chinese clothing, both legitimate and undeclared, constitute the real threat to the East African textile industry,” said the USAID study.

However, Andrew Mold of the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa, said high import tariffs on clothes from China and India mean there is a “margin for regional firms to compete”. In the meantime, however, it is ordinary Rwandans — buyers and sellers of second-hand clothes — who continue to suffer.

Photo: AFP / Jacques NKINZINGABO

 

AIRCRAFTS AND LIMOS FOR SALE AS GAMBIA SELLS AUTOCRAT’S ASSETS

Gambia’s ex-president Yahya Jammeh flew into exile last year, leaving a fleet of presidential planes and luxury cars as a memento of more than two decades in power. Now the government is looking to sell the former autocrat’s assets to raise millions of dollars for health and education projects in the dirt-poor nation.

Five planes and 30 luxury cars including Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, as well as four plots of land in some of the country’s finest tourist areas, are to be auctioned online. On the tarmac of Banjul airport, a Boeing 727, a Bombardier Challenger 601 and a Soviet-era Ilyushin Il-62M painted with the words “Republic of the Gambia” are now covered by a thin layer of dust.

Jammeh’s old planes — including two crop dusters whose green paint is gradually becoming veiled — can be seen from the airport’s restaurant. In the garage of the presidential office, two armour-plated Hummers share the space with five Rolls-Royces, one Bentley, BMWs, pickup trucks, Mercedes and a Mini Cooper with a plate bearing the initials “MYJ” — for Mariam Yahya Jammeh, the daughter of the former president.

Jammeh's Planes on Tarmac at the Banjul Airport

The West African state hopes to raise 10 million dollars (8.5 million euros) from the sale, Amadou Sanneh, the finance minister, told parliament last year. “What we are doing as a government now is to design a web portal where all the assets would be posted,” Lamin Camara, permanent secretary for the ministry of finances, told AFP. A date for the sale is yet to be decided. Jammeh’s 22-year rule was marred by accusations of rampant corruption and human rights abuses.

The strongman was ousted when a coalition fronted by Adama Barrow won elections in December 2016. After refusing to step down, he flew into exile in Equatorial Guinea. “As far as we are concerned, these vehicles, these properties were purchased with state resources. They rightly belong to the state,” Abubacarr Tambadou, the justice minister, said.

Photo: AFP / CLAIRE BARGELES

 

10 USEFUL SECRETS ON KEEPING A HAPPY HOME

Secret 1

Everyone you marry has a weakness. Only God does not have a weakness. So if you focus on your spouse’s weakness you can’t get the best out of his strength.

Secret 2

Everyone has a dark history. No one is an angel. When you get married or you want to get married stop digging into someone’s past. What matters most is the present life of your partner. Old things have passed away. Forgive and forget. Focus on the present and the future.

Secret 3

Every marriage has its own challenges. Marriage is not a bed of roses. Every good marriage has gone through its own test of blazing fire. True love proves in times of challenges. Fight for your marriage. Make up your mind to stay with your spouse in times of need. Remember the vow “For better for worse”. In sickness and in health be there.

Secret 4

Every marriage has different levels of success. Don’t compare your marriage with any one else. We can never be equal. Some will be far, some behind. To avoid marriage stress, be patient, work hard and with time your marriage dreams shall come true.

Secret 5

To get married is declaring war. When you get married you must declare war against enemies of marriage. Some enemies of marriage are: Ignorance, Prayerlessness, Unforgiveness, Third party influence, Stinginess, Stubbornness, Lack of love, Rudeness, Laziness, Disrespect and Cheating.

Be ready to fight to maintain your marriage zone.

Secret 6

There is no perfect marriage. There is no ready made marriage. Marriage is hard work. Volunteer yourself to work daily on it. Marriage is like a car that needs proper maintenance and proper service. If this is not done it will break down somewhere exposing the owner to danger or some unhealthy circumstances. Let us not be careless about our marriages. 

Secret 7

God cannot give you a complete person you desire. He gives you the person in the form of raw materials in order for you to mould the person that you desire. This can only be achieved through prayer, love and Patience.

Secret 8

Getting married is taking a huge risk. You can not predict what will happen in the future. Situations may change so leave room for adjustments. Husband can lose his good job or the babies may not come on time. All these require you to be prayerful otherwise you might divorce.

Secret 9

Marriage is not a contract. It is permanent. It needs total commitment. Love is the glue that sticks the couple together. Divorce starts in the mind and the devil feeds the mind. Never ever entertain thoughts of getting a divorce. Never threaten your spouse with divorce. Choose to remain married. God hates divorce.

Secret 10

Every marriage has a price to pay. Marriage is like a bank account. It is the money that you deposit that you withdraw. If you don’t deposit love, peace and care into your marriage, you are not a candidate for a blissful home.

JAGUAR: ONE OF KENYA’S RICHEST MUSICIANS

Charles Njagua Kanyi also known as Jaguar is one of the stories that inspire Kenyans. He rose from zero to hero, the singer is now the second richest musician in Kenya. The Kigeugeu singer is also an entrepreneur with a portfolio that consists of a taxi firm, security company, auto garage and real estate. He is also the owner of a Ksh20 million ($194,175) house.

During popular events, especially political rallies, the singer makes Ksh1 million ($9,709) per performance. Jaguar also owns a Range Rover Sport, Bentley, Mercedes Benz E240 and Lexus GL 450. His accounts and assets sum up to Ksh350 million ($3.4 million) that’s what describes Jaguar in regards to wealth in Kenya.

Jaguar-Kenya

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Jaguar first made forays as a recording artiste in 2004 where he recorded and released his first Single. He later joined East Africa’s music Power house Ogopa Deejays in 2005 where he recorded and released several singles among them his most popular hit single “kigeugeu.” In 2013 Jaguar began recording with Main Switch Studios Founded by one of Jaguar’s long serving producers – Philip Makanda formerly from Ogopa Deejays.

This transition didn’t come short of any releases and he has been a part of the stable to date. He has since recorded several hit Singles including Kipepeo, Kioo and One centimeter, An African collaboration featuring Popular Nigerian Artiste Iyanya other songs by Jaguar include: Huu Mwaka, Barua Kwa Rais Feat Sudi Boy, My Dream feat. Vivianne, One Centimeter, Take it slow feat Zikki among others.

Jaguar's Car

Jaguar has also won numerous awards which include: 2011 – East Africa Music Awards – Best Male East Africa, 2011 – Nzumari Awards – Best Male Kenya, 2012 – Kisima Awards – Best Song Kenya, 2012 – Pearl Music Awards (Uganda) – Best male Artist, 2012 – Kilimanjaro Music Awards (Tanzania) – Best Song East Africa – Kigeugeu, 2012 – Nzumari Awards – Best Male Artiste East Africa, 2012 – Channel O Music Video Awards Nomination (Africa) Best Song East Africa, 2013 – MCSK Awards highest Earner in Royalties and most played artiste. 5 Awards from Various Kenyan Radio Stations, 2014 – Kilimanajro Music Awards East Africa – Best Song – kipepe, 2014 – AFRIMMA Awards (Dallas Texas) – Nomination best Male Africa.

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THE EYEGLASS FOR YOUR PERSONALITY & LIFESTYLE

Book Nerd

Choosing the eyeglass that suits your personality and lifestyle is not easy, especially when you are confronted with a vast selection from which to choose. Trust me you certainly would not get your feet in time in making your choice. Glasses are a focal point, being one of the first things noticed about you. People generally recognize you by your face, the eyeglasses you choose to wear make a very real part of your identity, so it is important to choose eyeglasses that flatter you and are consistent with the image you want to portray.

Sports Man

Whether you want to appear sophisticated, fun-loving, youthful, conservative, style conscious or even if you wear prescription glasses, the right eyewear can help you shape how you are perceived. And if you choose to wear only a pair of glasses for everything you do, that says something about you also. If you wear prescription glasses every day, you should consider investing in more than one pair. The reason being, just as dress shoes are wrong for the gym, your everyday glasses may be the wrong choice for sports and active wear.

Busy Eyes

A number of factors should be put into consideration while choosing the eyeglass to wear. Two or more of these should be taken into account:

Prescription

These glasses may require a minimum or maximum frame depth or thickness, placing limitations on frames that would ordinarily be suitable. You should check with your optician before you start your selection process.

Face Shape

It is said that the ideal face shape is oval – but which isn’t ideal? Anyway, eyeglasses should balance your face shape. If you have a pear like or triangular shape of face, choose a frame that is as wide as your jaw line.

Creative Person

Facial Features

When you choose an eyeglass that repeats an element within your face, you emphasise that feature and make it more prominent. The idea here is to reflect the features we wish to accentuate and not repeat feature we intend to minimize.

What is required here is to know your dominant facial characteristics and their attributes. Consider your features – side of face, jaw line, hair line, eyes, eyebrows, nose (sides and tip) and mouth while resting or smiling. Consider whether your face is made up of more curves than angles or vice versa? Are your features evenly placed in your face? Are your features large or small.

Senior

Work out the facial feature or features you want to reinforce and repeat it in the same scale and proportions in your glasses. For instance, if you want to emphasise a square jaw and angles in your face, choose a frame with square corners.  To emphasise a rounded jaw line, almond eyes, and a similarly shaped mouth, choose a frame with a similar shape.

A Few Keys to work with

  1. To minimize a large nose, choose a wider low set bridge
  2. To make a square or round face appear longer, make sure the frames are as wide as the face and choose frames that are narrower than they are wide.
  3. To make an oblong or rectangular face appear shorter, choose frame that have depth and wide arms
  4. To make close set eyes appear further apart, choose eyeglasses that the bridge isn’t emphasized; that is eyeglasses that have thin bridge or a light colour

Mum & Dad

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EFIA, MOVING TO THE TOP

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Efia Odo, the Ghanian Actress who is popular with issues surrounding her not wearing bra and acting nude if the pay is huge is appreciated by her fans for her beauty and curves. She has found for herself a new hobby which is hawking. Yes, hawking! Miss Odo loves to hawk in her spare time and seems to be getting more popularity with this.

Like her or hate her, Miss Odo is working her way up the ladder  perhaps in a bizarre manner, but she is definitely going up. Hard work pays!

 

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SOUTH AFRICA WITH HIGHEST NUMBER OF CHEATING HUSBANDS

South African married men are leaders in cheating according to a South African based American researcher Magan Michaels. According to Michaels, she interviewed 10,000 married men in 30 African countries and 70% confirmed they have extra marital affairs.
In South Africa she interviewed 1,200 and 1,170 (97.5%) responded yes to the question of cheating. South Africa is closely followed by Nigeria which has an 88% cheating rate and Zambia with 87.6% according to the research.

The countries with least cheating husbands are Egypt, Morocco and Libya. All of them have less than 50% cheating rate. Most of the respondents in South Africa said they cheat because of lack of intimacy in their marriages. The second factor that leads to cheating according to them is the lack of self-control from the cheaters.