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Rise of Afro-Futurism: African Story from Different Perspective through Technology

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Jonathan Dotse - Ghanaian Afrofuturist and Science Fiction Writer

Fresh off the critical acclaim and success of Black Panther, Afrofuturism is experiencing a resurgence with the thirst for new perspectives on African stories in relation to technology to grab the attention of a wider audience.

 

Speaking on the focus on ‘Afrofuturism’, Jonathan Dotse – Ghanaian Afrofuturist and Science Fiction Writer presented his insights on the concept of Afrofuturism and its impact on Africa’s creative industries at the 5th edition of the Digital Dialogue, a thought-leadership platform established in 2012 and facilitated by MultiChoice to address various issues facing the video entertainment industry on the continent and share industry best-practice.

 

Dotse spoke about his influences behind his various works saying, “Back in 2009, I attempted to write science-fiction however, I was trying to write it from an Africa perspective but found it difficult to find a believable foundation to build my content. My ideas were based on a Western perspective so I began to think more about Africa and science-fiction in a constructive and realistic way while creating awareness for the lack of Afrocentric narratives in the genre.” Defining Futurism as “any mindset that predisposed society to express their belief in terms if something far larger than present and past,” Dotse explained further saying Afrofuturism is an ancient African cultural practice undertaken as ‘resistance to cultural hegemony and loss of identity’.

 

According to Dotse, the African-American diaspora has played a critical role in the recent resurgence of Afrofuturism, looking at various creative works including the Woyaya album by Ghanaian Afro-pop band Osibisa; American fiction writer Octavia Butler; American jazz composer Sun Ra; US music artist Janelle Monae as well as films like Les Saignantes by Jean-Pierre Bekolo; Pumzi by Wanuri Kahui from Kenya; Robots of Brixton by Kibwe Tavares; Kajola by Niyi Akinmolayan in Nigeria and District 9 by Neill Blomkamp from South Africa. “Expressions of Afrofuturism are present in all facets of African and African-Diaspora creativity. The African Diaspora has played a significant role in advancing defining Afrofuturism while various independence movements spurred much of the creative energy,” says Dotse.

 

Dotse also shared his belief that Afrofuturism has lead to a re-awakening of self-identity among African youth and its potential to grow the strength of ‘socio-political movements seeking to boost African representation in media’.

 

Dotse also expressed his belief that Afrofuturism will ignite and grow engagement of youth in science and technology and increasing accessibility to the tools of digital media creation and dissemination. He concluded his presentation by exploring the future prospects of Afrofuturism which include reconnecting traditional African culture with modern concepts of development and reconstructing the missing pieces of Africa’s lost history in technology to drive youth engagement in STEM and futurist thinking.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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DSTV Insists on Monthly Contract, Rules Out Pay-As-You-View System

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Multichoice, owners of DSTV would not operate the “pay as you view’’ tariff system in Nigeria, according to Martin Mabutho, chief customer officer of Multichoice.

 

Mabutho’s stance came against the backdrop of persistent clamour by the company’s subscribers for the introduction of a pay as you view tariff plan in the country.

 

“We are not going to introduce pay as you view system. Our contract with our suppliers is on month to month basis,’’ he said.

“The issue of not introducing pay as you view remains. Nothing will change it. We are not going to do it. Our contract with our suppliers is on month to month basis. The channels do not belong to Multichoice. What we do is to slash our prices in half to make our customers enjoy our services.’’

 

Mabutho said Multichoice would continue to give acquisition promos or loyalty promos to customers every quarter as incentives.

 

Customers pay on month to month basis to enjoy the services of the company whether channels are watched or not. Multichoice opened shop in Nigeria in 1994.

 

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FG Launches Project To Provide Satellite TV to 1,000 Villages

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Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, has launched the 1,000 Villages Satellite TV Project, which is part of the Chinese government-sponsored ‘Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages Project’.

Launching the project at a ceremony in Kpaduma village, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Monday, the Minister recalled that Chinese President Xi Jiping announced the ‘Access To Satellite TV For 10,000 African Villages’ during the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

He said under the project, each of the 1,000 carefully-chosen villages in Nigeria will receive 2 sets of solar powered projector television systems and 1 set of solar 32-inch digital TV integrated terminal system.

Alhaji Mohammed also said 20 recipient families with TV in each village will be provided with 20 sets of direct broadcast satellite terminal system free of charge, adding that viewers in each village provided with the projector TV system will enjoy 21 satellite channels free of charge, while each of the 20 recipient families will have access to 33 satellite TV channels free of charge for two months.

After the expiration of the two months, he said, viewers can continue to enjoy access to the 33 channels by paying N900 per month, or enjoy limited access without payment.

The Minister said the project complements the efforts of the Buhari Administration at democratizing access to information and entertainment through the Digital Switch Over (DSO) for television which has now been rolled out in the several states and the FCT.

He urged the satellite TV implementation agency, StarTimes, to expedite the installation of the TV satellite system to cover the entire country in order to give the people opportunity to be informed on the policies and programmes of the candidates for the various elective positions in the 2019 general elections.

“The 1,000 villages project could not have come at a better time. In just a little over one month, Nigerians will be voting in the 2019 general elections. They need access to information now, more than at any other time, to know about the over 70 political parties that will be participating in the elections as well as about their various candidates,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

The Minister commended the Chinese government for the project which, he said, will undoubtedly strengthen the already very cordial China-Nigeria relations.

In his remarks, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian, who pledged the commitment of China to implementing the outcome of the FOCAC, said Nigeria and China are working closely to ensure access to information through television and satellite technology.

“StarTimes is now working to ensure access and besides access, China and Nigeria are also working very closely on TV and on Satellite. We are building the Made-in-Nigeria TV sets,” he said.

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of StarTimes, Mr. Justin Zhang, said the implementation of the project will create more jobs as Nigerians across the 1,000 villages have been trained on how to install, recharge and operate the Satellite TV system.

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Broadcaster Abducted in Calabar over 2019 Elections Comments

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Peter Etim, popularly called Petex, a broadcaster with the state-owned Cross River Broadcasting Corporation, (CRBC), has been abducted in Calabar.

 

Irene Igbo, DSS and PPRO of the state police command,said they were aware of the kidnap, and were working to establish contact with the kidnappers.

 

The incident was said to have happened early in the morning when the victim was about to leave his house to his work place.

 

Comrade Victor Ndu, chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists in Cross River State, has condemned the kidnap of the ace broadcaster and called for immediate release of Petex.

 

Ndu called on the security agencies in the state to wake up to their duties.

 

It is suspected that Petex may have made a political statement that was not palatable.

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