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New Era Newspaper Wednesday May 9, 2018

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14 Wednesday 9 May 2018 NEW ERA YOUTH CORNER The British Council is celebrating the diversity of Africa by bringing you this series of articles from around the continent to help you with your English language studies. Today we visit Gambia and Senegal. Gambia and Senegal: The sound of the Kora iStockPhoto QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Gambia and Senegal For many people, the music of West Africa, particularly Gambia and Senegal – and also Mali and Guinea – is the sound of a magnificent instrument called the Kora. The Kora is not just a musical instrument; it represents traditional Mandinka culture and spirituality. Today the Kora is reaching new audiences around the world so we decided to find out a little about it. Seckou Keita and the Kora. Photo credit: Richard Kaby How would we recognise a Kora? It looks - and sounds - a little bit like a harp, but it has a bridge which is similar to the guitar. The body of the Kora is made of a kind of gourd, called a ‘calabash’, which is cut in half and covered with cow skin. Most Koras have 21 strings. In the old days these strings were made of twisted leather, but today they are usually made of nylon – fishing line, to be precise. The materials used to make the Kora have a meaning in Mandinka culture. The gourd represents the earth, the wood represents plant life, the skin of the cow represents animals and the metal represents... magic! Is it easy to play? Absolutely not! It is a complicated and difficult instrument to play. But some say that it is even harder to tune the Kora than it is to play it! Remember those 21 strings? Well, 11 are played with the left hand and 10 with the right. But only the thumbs and first two fingers of each hand are used, the other three fingers of each hand hold onto two vertical wooden posts to keep the instrument still. It takes many years to learn! So who plays the Kora? Traditionally the Kora is learnt from a young age by members of families who are known as Griots or Jali. For centuries, the Jali travelled from one village to another, telling stories and poems and singing songs. They often used the Kora to accompany their songs. The Jali were historians, storytellers and musicians – they were born to be Jali and could not marry outside their caste. This has changed in modern times, but the Jali still bring news from other places, make fun of current events or, perhaps, criticise the politics of the day. So is the Kora a thing of the past? It is certainly a very old instrument, it dates back many centuries, but far from being forgotten, it is now reaching new audiences. In West Africa and around the world the Kora is attracting attention for its versatility. It can sound like a harp, a blues or flamenco guitar and it combines well with many styles of music including jazz or fusion. Most musicians who play the Kora come from generations of Griot or Jali families. Are there any new developments? Yes, there is also a new instrument based on the Kora – it is the Gravikora, an electronic instrument, which is tuned and played in the same way as a traditional Kora. The Gravikora is popular with musicians interested in avant-garde music, but the original Kora still represents the sound of West Africa in the hands of experienced musicians in Gambia and Senegal. LEARNING ACTIVITIES FACTS FACTS Activity 1 Put these sentences in the correct order: The / is / a / magnificent / Kora / instrument represents / the / West / sound / Africa / It / of looks / bit / like / It / harp / a / a difficult / It / play / to / is travelled / The / Jali / village /from / another / to / one Activity 2 Complete the paragraphs with words from the box: around / born / career / comes / famous / first / in / known / learnt GAMBIA POPULATION: 1,705,000 CAPITAL CITY: Banjul AREA: 10,380 km 2 SENEGAL POPULATION: 13,711,597 CAPITAL CITY: Dakar AREA: 196,723 km 2 Seckou Keita is a musician from Senegal. He was ___1___ in 1978, and ____2___ from a griot family. Seckou ____3____ to play the Kora as a young child. His uncle helped to start his international ___4_____. He has collaborated with musicians from Cuba, India and Scandinavia and is also well ___5____ as a solo performer. Alhaji Bai Konte (1920–1983) came from generations of ___6____ Kora players in Gambia. He was the ___7____ Kora player to perform solo in the USA, at the Newport Jazz Festival ___8___ 1973. His sons Dembo and Sherrifo continue the family’s long Kora tradition, they play and record Kora music in Gambia and ____9____ the world. THE GAMBIA WESTERN SAHARA SENEGAL GUINEA- BISSAU MAURITIANIA GUINEA SIERRA LEONE LIBERIA IVORY COAST MALI BURKINA FASO GHANA TOGO BENIN NIGERIA NIGER EQUIT GUINEA CAMEROON GABON CONGO CHAD THE GAMBIA CENTRAL AFRICAN REP WESTERN SAHARA GUINEA- BISSAU SUDAN SENEGAL MAURITIANIA GUINEA SIERRA LEONE UGANDA RWANDA BURUNDI LIBERIA ERITREA ETHIOPIA IVORY COAST KENYA MALI BURKINA FASO DJIBOUTI BENIN GHANA TOGO SOMALIA NIGERIA NIGER EQUIT GUINEA CAMEROON GABON CONGO CHAD CENTRAL AFRICAN REP SUDA RWA BU DR of CONGO TANZANIA DR of CONGO Over to you Choose a musical instrument and try describing it to a friend in English. What is its history? What does it look like? What is it made of? What does it sound like? Is it difficult to play? ANGOLA ANGOLA MALAWI ZAMBIA Answers: Activity 1 The Kora is a magnificent instrument. It represents the sound of West Africa. It looks a bit like a harp. It is very difficult to play. The Jali travelled from one village to another. Activity 2 1. born; 2. comes; 3. learnt; 4. career; 5. known; 6. famous; 7. first; 8. in; 9. around NAMIBIA BOTSWANA SOUTH AFRICA ZIMBABWE LESOTHO MOZAMBIQUE SWAZILAND MADAGASCAR MAURITIUS NAMIBIA ZAMBIA ZIMBABW BOTSWANA SOUTH LESOTH AFRICA To find out more visit Send your feedback to © British Council 2016 Brand and Design/B284

Wednesday 9 May 2018 NEW ERA Inside BUSINESS: CONSUMER NEWS 15 Capitec Bank disputes FNB claim on biometric ATM JOHANNESBURG - Retail bank Capitec on yesterday disputed a claim by rival First National Bank that it had become the first bank in South Africa to introduce a mini-ATM that uses biometrics as a means of validation for consumers. “Capitec was in fact the first bank in South Africa to introduce biometric verification technology, back in 2012,” said Charl Nel, Head of Communications at Capitec. “The technology has always been a core part of the bank’s business model and currently Capitec is the only bank in South Africa which has biometrics recorded for its complete client base over 10 million people. All client fingerprints have been verified with the department of home affairs.” FNB said it had not received any official correspondence on the matter. “ U p o n r e c e i v i n g s u c h communication, we will liaise directly with the relevant bank,” said Lee-Anne van Zyl, CEO of FNB Points of Presence On Monday, FNB said its device had been successfully piloted in Gauteng province since November 2017 and functioned as a selfservice kiosk from which customers could make withdrawals, transfers and payments, view statements, purchase airtime and electricity and perform card cancellations. It also allowed people to open new accounts by reading a consumer’s thumbprint, FNB said, adding that the bank aimed to place the devices in branches, community retailers in townships and rural areas across South Africa. - Nampa/ANA Africa’s airfreight demand fell by 3.4% in March GENEVA - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) latest data for global airfreight markets indicates that demand, measured in Freight Tonne Kilometres (FTKs), and rose 1.7 per cent in March 2018, compared to the same period the year before. This was five percentage points lower than the February result and the slowest pace of growth in 22 months. Meanwhile, here on the continent, African FTKs fell by 3.4 percent in March. IATA noted however, that this result may, however, be influenced by the comparison with unusually strong growth in March 2017. “Indeed, Africa has reported the fastest growth of all regions for 17 of the last 18 months, so it would be premature to suggest this is the start of a negative trend,” reads the IATA report. Globally, the year-on-year increase in capacity, measured in Available Freight Tonne Kilometres (AFTK) fell to 4.4 VACANCY NamPower (Pty) Ltd, an equal opportunity employer, invites candidates who are passionate about the Electricity Supply Industry and with an uncompromising standard of excellence, to a career in the industry. SOFTWARE DEVELOPER NAMPOWER CONTROL BUILDING, WINDHOEK Primary Purpose of the Position: programming tasks across a spectrum of applications. He/she will further NamPower’s three-commerce capabilities. can also email position. Closing Date: 23 May 2018 percent compared to 6.3 per cent in February. This was the first time in 20 months, however, that annual capacity rose faster than demand. The sharp growth slowdown is principally due to the end of the restocking cycle, during which businesses rapidly increased their inventory to meet unexpectedly high demand. A softening of global trade is also evident. “It is normal that growth slows at the end of a restocking cycle. That clearly has happened. Looking ahead, we remain optimistic that air cargo demand will grow by 4 to 5 per cent this year. But there are obviously some headwinds. Oil prices have risen strongly, and economic growth is patchy. The biggest damage could be political. The implementation of protectionist measures would be an own-goal for all involved—especially the US and China,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. In terms of regional air fright performance, all regions, except Latin America, reported yearon-year declines in growth in March, with Africa being the only region in negative territory. Asia-Pacific carriers reported FTK growth of just 0.7 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. Export orders in Japan and Korea have fallen in recent months and the region remains particularly exposed to the impact of protectionist measures. European airlines FTKs rose 1.0 per cent in March compared COURSES on Offer JUNE 2018 INTAKE: Normal & Mature Age Entry Applications Normal & Mature Age Applications for June 2018 Intake for the following programmes are now invited: 1. Diploma in Police Management - NQF 5 2. Diploma in Project Management – NQF 5 3. Supervisory Development Programme (Diploma for New Managers) – NQF 5 4. Management Development Programme (Diploma for Middle Managers) – NQF 6 Normal applications are also invited for June 2018 intake for the following programmes: a) Senior Management Development Programme (Diploma for Senior Managers) – NQF 7 b) Masters of Business Administration (MBA) – Natural Resource Management – NQF 9 c) Masters of Business Administration (MBA) – Entrepreneurship – NQF 9 d) Masters of Business Administration (MBA) – Public Sector Management – NQF 9 e) Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) – NQF 10 ClosINg DAte: Normal Application: 30 April 2018 (non-refundable application fee of N0) late Application: 31 May 2018 (non-refundable application fee of N0) Commencement of classes are subject to student numbers. For more details, visit the Schools website: or contact: Ms Christofine Namases Email:, Tel: 061 413 500 to March 2017. A stronger Euro and a softening of export orders in Germany partially explain the result, but the seasonallyadjusted trend in FTKs has been slowing in recent months. Latin American airlines posted growth of 15.5 per cent in March compared to a year ago, the only region to improve on its performance compared to February 2018. Freight volumes in the region have been recovering over the past 18 months, in part due to the better performance of the Brazilian economy. Middle East carriers saw growth of 0.8 per cent in March compared to March 2017. This is consistent with the general weakening in regional performance over recent months, and in particular may reflect an especially strong March 2017 result. North American carriers’ freight volumes expanded 3.9 per cent compared to March 2017. The US inventory-tosales ratio has risen in 2018, indicating the boost to cargo growth from restocking is over. - IATA NB: FEMALE CANDIDATES ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY. ONLY SHORTLISTED CANDIDATES WILL BE CONTACTED AND NO PERSONAL DOCUMENTS WILL BE RETURNED.

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167