African Celebrities Join Fight Against Coronavirus With Donations, Songs

(FILES) This file handout illustration image obtained February 3, 2020, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Lizabeth MENZIES / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / AFP.

 

Footballers and musicians have been on the frontline of the fight against coronavirus in Africa, reaching not just for social media to spread awareness of the dangers of the virus but also for the cheque book.

Among the first to step up was Senegalese winger Sadio Mane — a key player in Liverpool’s push for the English Premier League title this year –- who donated 30 million CFA francs ($50,000) to his country’s National Medical Commission to fight the deadly microbe.

In Ivory Coast, former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba gave masks to the cathedral of Abidjan, with the warning: “My sisters, my brothers, I ask you to take the matter very seriously… we tend to be too light about our reactions to the situation.”

Another great African striker, the Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o, also now retired, was quick to urge African communities to adhere strictly to precautionary measures.

“My African brothers and sisters! Corona Virus has taken over our lives. With malice, arrogance and without notice,” Eto’o wrote.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 Forcing Parents To Skip Kids’ Vaccinations – UNICEF

“It knows neither race, religion nor political parties. It kills the rich and the poor. Even in countries where research is done well, the consequences are disastrous. Unpredictable.

Eto’o spent most of his playing career in Spain.

“For all these reasons my brothers, sisters, dear parents, I ask you to respect the instructions given by the authorities of our countries and the World Health Organization.”

Affected after Asia and Europe, sub-Saharan Africa has recorded only 1,642 cases and around 20 deaths, according to an AFP count at 1100 GMT Thursday from officially declared cases.

The continent, however, fears a lightning-like spread that would overwhelm its already fragile health structures.

In South Africa, the most affected country on the continent, Springbok rugby captain Siya Kolisi released a couple of videos online showing himself at home with his children, adhering to the isolation regulations laid down by President Cyril Ramaphosa

“Stay safe, stay strong, let’s fight this together,” he says.

– Musicians give support –

African musicians are also stepping up as the continent faces one of its bleakest hours.

Youssou N’Dour, described by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004 as “the most famous singer alive” in Senegal and Africa, handed over a batch of medical equipment to the health ministry in Dakar in mid-March.

Fellow Senegalese rappers collective “Y en a marre” (‘Had enough’) set aside their usual antipathy towards corruption and current politics to release a song called “Fagaru Ci Corona” which warns of the dangers of the virus and advises on washing hands and wearing masks.

They are among other artists who have temporarily laid down their protests against governments to join forces and rally around messages being put out by the authorities.

In Uganda, singer Bobi Wine, a member of parliament who was arrested in early January for his opposition to President Yoweri Museveni, has asked his fans to “watch the social distancing and quarantine”, in a video on Twitter.
– ‘We want to live!’ –

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, rumba star Fally Ipupa stepped away from romance for once to post a video on Twitter called “Fally in confinement mode, the kisses stop”, an improvised melody on an acoustic guitar.

“Stay at home, respect the instructions given by the authorities and the WHO,” Kinshasa crooner said.

The authorities of DRC have not imposed confinement yet but they have closed borders, public places, and put the capital Kinshasa in lockdown.

His compatriot Koffi Olomide, a soukouss singer, a modern version of Congolese rumba, warned fellow countrymen against the “Kuluna-virus”, deftly weaving in the term “kuluna” which indicates armed gangs of Kinshasa, one of the urban legends and terrors of the capital.

In Ivory Coast, the singer DJ Kerozen also alluded to the virus in a new song: “‘There’s a corona, let’s respect the hygiene instructions, the deal is serious, oh..(. ..) Even Mbengue (slang for France), over there, it’s spoiled… we want to live! ”

The Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango, who had become a reference for just about every musician in Africa, died in France this week at the age of 86 as a result of the coronavirus.

The composer of “Soul Makoss” was the first world celebrity to succumb to the virus. Congolese singer Aurlus Mabele, a figure in soukous, also died a week ago in Paris from the virus.

AFP

Prince Charles, Other Celebrities Hit By Coronavirus

prince-charles
(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 04, 2020 Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales reacts during his visit to the London Transport Museum in London on March 4, 2020, to take part in celebrations to mark 20 years of the museum.  Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP

 

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has joined the growing list of world celebrities who have been hit by the novel coronavirus.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg also said Tuesday it was “extremely likely” that she had contracted it.

Here is a roundup:

 Arts 

Veteran Afro-jazz star Manu Dibango, 86, on Tuesday, became one of the first global stars to die as a result of COVID-19.

Terrence McNally, a revered American playwright, also died Tuesday aged 81, following coronavirus complications.

Congolese music legend Aurlus Mabele, known as the “King of Soukous”, a high-tempo modern variant of Congolese rumba, died in Paris last week, aged 67.

Spanish opera star Placido Domingo said Sunday he had tested positive, adding he was “in good health”.

Fallen Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, in prison in New York state after being sentenced to 23 years for rape and sexual assault, has also tested positive, US media reported on Sunday.

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife, actress and singer Rita Wilson, said on Monday they were doing better after nearly two weeks quarantine in Australia.

British actor Idris Elba said on March 16 that he had tested positive for the virus and gone into self-isolation.

Chilean author Luis Sepulveda, who lives in northern Spain, also has the virus and is in hospital. He felt the first symptoms on February 25.

 Politics 

Prince Charles, the eldest son and heir to Queen Elizabeth II, has tested positive and is showing mild symptoms but “otherwise remains in good health”, his office said Wednesday.

Swedish climate activist Thunberg said Tuesday it was “extremely likely” she had contracted the virus after experiencing symptoms following a trip to central Europe.

Prince Albert II of Monaco has tested positive, although there are “no concerns for his health” the palace said on March 19.

Michel Barnier, who leads EU negotiations with Britain on Brexit, announced on March 19 that he had tested positive.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been in isolation since March 13 after his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau tested positive.

The first test result for German Chancellor Angela Merkel came back negative on Monday. Merkel began self-isolating on Sunday after being treated by a doctor who later tested positive for the virus.

On Tuesday Finland said Nobel laureate and former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, aged 82, has contracted the virus.

 Sport 

Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz died on Saturday aged 76, three days after being hospitalised with the coronavirus.

In Italy, several players at Juventus are infected, including France’s 2018 World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi and Argentinian attacker Paulo Dybala.

Former AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini and his footballer son Daniel announced they were positive Saturday.

In England, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive.

Turkish football icon Fatih Terim, manager of Istanbul giants Galatasaray, is also positive.

At least 14 players from the NBA have tested positive, including Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant and France’s Rudy Gobert of Utah Jazz.

AFP

As Coronavirus Hits Pause On Touring, Musicians Perform Online

L-R John Legend, Neil Young, Chris Martin

 

As the coronavirus pandemic hits indefinite pause on concerts and touring, many musicians are instead streaming shows for tens of thousands of fans self-quarantining.

Artists including Neil Young, Chris Martin of Coldplay and Christine and the Queens are among those who have played online shows for the folks at home, as governments worldwide ban mass gatherings and urge people to hunker down.

“Because we are all at home and not many are venturing out, we will try to do a stream from my fireplace with my lovely wife filming,” Young said on his website.

“It will be a down-home production, a few songs, a little time together,” said the Canadian-born rocker, who this year became an American citizen.

Coldplay’s frontman Martin played an Instagram live show on Monday, a decidedly more intimate concert than the high-production arena shows the British band usually sells out.

“Maybe 9/11 was the last time I felt like we were all together,” Martin said of the pandemic, as he spoke directly to the camera and took requests that included his band’s early hit “Yellow” and later work like “Viva La Vida.”

The 43-year-old sported a low-key sweater and beanie as he switched between his piano and guitar, quipping at one point: “I don’t want to press any buttons in case it ends things.”

Martin’s virtual show was part of a collaboration between the World Health Organization and Global Citizen — an organization aimed at combatting extreme poverty — entitled “Together, At Home.”

The Coldplay crooner announced at the end of his concert that R&B star John Legend was next in line, joking that: “You can see a real piano player who doesn’t need fireworks to play.”

Hugh Evans, the CEO of Global Citizen, told AFP the series is natural because “music has long been a unifying force in times of crisis.”

“Millions are staying at home and isolating,” he said. “Artists and musicians have rallied to give us encouragement, hope and a shared mission to take action to fight coronavirus.”

– Brighten lives –
Boston’s beloved Dropkick Murphys streamed a St Patrick’s day show despite the city’s normally raucous celebrations being cancelled.

And country star Keith Urban, forced to cancel a show in Houston, was joined by his wife Nicole Kidman for a concert, telling fans: “We’re down here in the warehouse — this is our joint, where we store everything — and we thought we’d break out the camera, the iPhone, and stream live.”

It’s not just the world of pop and rock descending online: the classical world is also keeping up with the times, with many companies opening up archives of shows online and broadcasting concerts for free.

New York’s Metropolitan Opera — closed over coronavirus at least through March — is streaming a different show nightly from its collection over the past 14 years — with shows like “Carmen” and “La Boheme” on deck.

“During this extraordinary and difficult time, the Met hopes to brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark,” the company said.

The Berlin Philharmonic, closed until April 19, is also playing for a “virtual concert hall” archive.

“We hope that through this initiative we can give pleasure to as many people as possible with our music. We already miss our public very much and hope that in this way we can remain in contact with our audience,” said principal cellist Olaf Maninger.

– ‘Breath of fresh air’ –
In France, singer-songwriter Jean-Louis Aubert — co-founder of the group Telephone — told AFP that “as a cyber-troubadour” he can begin to overcome the “solitude” of life in the time of coronavirus.

An hour-and-half show online accumulated millions of views and 65,000 comments.

“I was really moved,” he said. “I received a lot of messages, notably from infected people, who told me I’d given them a breath of fresh air — that I’d managed to relax them for a few minutes.”

And in Italy — a coronavirus hotspot that’s posted the highest number of deaths after China at 2,503, of more than 31,500 cases — rocker Gianna Nannini streamed an acoustic show on social media.

“We will do everything possible to overcome this terrible moment together,” she said. “The ugly thing about this virus is loneliness.”

“Each of us must make something of our own available to our community.”

TRENDING: Shocked Celebrities React To Las Vegas Shooting

People flee the Route 91 Harvest country music festival grounds after a active shooter was reported on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. David Becker / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Following the tragic shooting at the crowd in a country music concert in Las Vegas on Sunday, America and the world has continued to express shock.

The tragic incident which killed 60 and injured 500 people has made celebrities take to social media to voice their reaction and heartfelt condolences.

READ ALSO: TRENDING: PSquare Fight Video Causes Storm On Twitter

Some of these celebrities are also arguing for greater gun control in the United States.

Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Britney Spears, who all have acts lined up in the concert, said they were heartbroken. While Ariana Grande is preaching Love, Unity and Peace.

Rihanna wrote: ‘Saying a prayer for all the victims & their loved ones, also for the residents & visitors of Las Vegas! This was a horrific act of terror!!’

Taylor Swift said, ‘There are no words to express the helplessness and sorrow my broken heart feels for the victims in Vegas and their families,’

Lady Gaga who seems deeply vexed by the attack said, “This is terrorism plain and simple,” while Ava Duvernay said ‘lone wolf’ or ‘killer’ in the American press, but not often as ‘terrorist.’

Nick Jonas express devastation at the news calling for prayers for Vegas while Tyra Banks said her heart is with the victims. John Legend is also heartbroken by the news.

Reacting to the horrific incident, the Kardashian clan including Kim, Khloe and Kourtney said they sent prayers to the victims. Ariana Grande in her reaction said, “My heart is breaking for Las Vegas’.

Stephanie Linus, Others Stun At AMAA 2017

Source: Pulse

Celebrities stunned with various glam looks at the 2017 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) 2017.

The event which took place on July 15, at the Eko Hotels Victoria Island, Lagos State saw actresses such as, Bimbo Akintola, Bervely Osu, Stephanie Linus, Beverly Naya, Big Brother Naija Stars, among others walk the red carpet in style.

The 13th edition of the awards was hosted by actress Nse Ikpe Etim and saw veteran, Nkem Owoh being honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

See other winners at the event

Best film in an African language: Felicite‬ (Senegal)

Best film by an African living abroad: While We Live (Burkina Faso/Sweden)

Best diaspora short: 90 Days (US) & Kbela‬ (Brazil)

Achievement in production design: ’76‬ (Nigeria)

Best short film: A Place For Myself (Rwanda) & A Place In the Plane (Senegal)

Best animation: Got Flowers (Nigeria)

Best documentary: Mama Colonel (DRC)

Achievement in costume: Queen of Katwe (Uganda)

Achievement in makeup: Oloibiri (Nigeria)

Best production: ’76 (Nigeria)

Best soundtrack: Felicitè (Senegal)

Achievement in sound: Vaya (South Africa)

Tony Elumelu award for best comedy: 3 Wise Men (Nigeria)

Best actress in a supporting role: Angelique Kidjo (CEO: Nigeria)

Best actor in a supporting role: Papi Mpaka (Felicitè: Senegal)

AMAA lifetime achievement award: Nkem Owoh (Nigeria)

Best actress in a leading role: Vero Tshanda (Felicitè: Senegal)

Best actor in a leading role: Jahwar Soudani (The Last of Us: Tunisia)

Best first feature film by a director: Daouda Coulibaly (Wulu: Mali)

Best director: Akin Omotosho (Vaya: South Africa)

Best film: Felicitè (Senegal)

Special recognition award: Celine Loader

Achievement in cinematography: The Last Of Us (Tunisia)

Achievement in editing: Felicitè (Senegal)

Achievement in screenplay: Vaya (South Africa)

Lagos state award for best Nigerian film: ’76 (Nigeria)

Best young/promising actor: Medina Molanga (Queen of Katwe)