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Aguero treble gets Man City back on track as United eye Sanchez

By AFP
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Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Manchester City restored their 12-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win at home to Newcastle United on Saturday.

City’s 30-match unbeaten run in the league, which spanned two seasons, came to a dramatic end with a 4-3 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield last week.

But their return to winning ways here had manager Pep Guardiola proclaiming his side needed 10 more victories to be crowned champions.

Their advantage at the top of the table had been cut to single figures, for a few hours at least, when second-placed Manchester United beat Burnley 1-0 earlier on Saturday.

Normal service resumed in the day’s late kick-off, though, with Aguero glancing in Kevin De Bruyne’s cross in the 34th minute to open the scoring at the Etihad.

The Argentina striker then converted a 63rd-minute penalty awarded after Raheem Sterling tumbled in the box following a tug by Javier Manquillo.

But struggling Newcastle scored against the run of play four minutes later when a rare lapse saw Jacob Murphy sprint through and finish in composed fashion.

BEYOND DOUBT

Aguero, however, put the result beyond doubt when City’s all-time leading goalscorer completed his 11th hat-trick for the club seven minutes from time following a superb run and pass from Leroy Sane.

“We needed it (this win) after last week,” Aguero told BT Sport. “It’s a long season though and we’ve not won anything yet.”

Guardiola added: “We need 10 more wins to be champions…It was important how we reacted at 2-1, we didn’t panic.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal showed there was plenty of life after Alexis Sanchez as they beat Crystal Palace 4-1 without the United-bound Chilean forward.

With Sanchez inching towards a £35 million (39.6 million euros, $48.5 million) transfer to United rather than City, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger left him out of his matchday squad.

Any fears Arsenal might falter up front without him proved groundless as they surged into a 4-0 lead inside 22 minutes at the Emirates Stadium thanks to goals from Nacho Monreal, Alex Iwobi, Laurent Koscielny, Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette before Luka Milivojevic pulled one back for Palace late on.

Arsenal remain outside the top four but heartened manager Wenger said: “We played our real game in the first half, real pace and real combination.”

 THIRD LEAGUE GOAL

At Turf Moor, United striker Anthony Martial scored a 54th-minute winner with his third league goal in as many matches.

Jose Mourinho left midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the proposed makeweight in the Sanchez deal, out of his matchday squad and afterwards the United manager indicated the transfer saga was nearing an end.

“Expect soon or never,” he said. “So close, so close, so close…I know my people are doing absolutely everything they can.”

But Wenger warned: “Sanchez will only happen if Mkhitaryan comes here, that will be decided in the next 48 hours.”

Chelsea won 4-0 away to Brighton as the reigning English champions leapfrogged Liverpool, who play Swansea on Monday, into third place.

The Blues’ first win of 2018 saw Eden Hazard score twice with a goal in each half, while Willian and Victor Moses were also on target.

On a day when all Premier League fixtures were preceded by a minute’s applause honouring former West Bromwich Albion and England forward Cyrille Regis, a trailblazer for black players who died aged 59 last week, the Baggies drew 1-1 with Everton.

Jay Rodriguez gave West Brom an early lead before Theo Walcott, on his Everton debut following a midweek move from Arsenal, laid on an equaliser for Oumar Niasse in the 70th minute.

But the sight of Toffees midfielder James McCarthy going off with a broken leg cast a shadow over Everton boss Sam Allardyce’s 1,000th game as a manager.

New Stoke manager Paul Lambert won his first game in charge of the Potters as they beat Huddersfield 2-0 with second-half goals from Joe Allen and Mame Biram Diouf to climb out of the relegation zone.

Leicester beat Watford 2-0 while West Ham and Bournemouth drew 1-1.

Tottenham Hotspur continue their quest for a Champions League place on Sunday against Southampton.


62 million: No. of international arrivals in Africa in 2017

Africa reached a record 62 million international arrivals in 2017, translating to a growth of 8%. Arrivals in Sub-Saharan Africa increased by 5% while North Africa enjoyed a strong recovery with a 13% growth in arrivals. The continental growth supersedes that of the international number, which stood at 7% in 2017 to reach 1,322 million. This is according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, which goes on categorize the tourism sector as a key driver in economic development.

In many destinations, 2017 was characterized by sustained growth, with the global economic upturn partly contributing to the strong performance. UNWTO expects the strong momentum to continue in 2018, with a projected rate of 4%-5% in international arrivals.

This is slightly above the 2010-2020 increase projection of 3.8% average by UNWTO in its Tourism Towards 2030 long-term forecast. Africa is expected to grow by 5%-7% ahead of its counterparts, Asia and the Pacific by 5%-6%, the Middle East by 4%-6%, both Europe and the Americas by 3.5%-4.5% respectively.

More data from UNWTO shows that 2017 performance in other regions included Europe with 671 million (+8%) international tourist arrivals, followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6%) with 324 million in 2017. The Americas (+3%) welcomed 207 million international tourist arrivals, while Middle East (+5%) received 58 million arrivals.

The Kenyan Case

Voted World’s Best Safari Destination again in 2017 by the World Travel Awards, Kenya holds an integral position in the world’s tourism landscape. “Despite a drop of approximately 30% in bookings during the election period, we ended the year on a high, with December recording 100% growth compared to the same period in 2016. I believe that 2018 holds great fortune, especially with KQ’s direct flights to New York later this year,” says Cyrus Onyiego, Jumia Travel Kenya Country Manager.

Statistics by the Kenya Tourism Board shows that tourist arrivals from the US increased from 82,363 visitors in 2016 to 95,771 between January and October 2017, in the same period. The long awaited direct flights between Kenya and the US are expected to further increase these arrivals this year.

Credit: Josephine Wawira

Josephine Wawira / PR Manager- Jumia Travel Kenya

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Mourinho confident Sanchez will sign

By AFP
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Jose Mourinho believes Chilean star Alexis Sanchez will sign for Manchester United, he said on Saturday.

Sanchez is set to move to United in a blockbuster deal that will reportedly make him the Premier League’s highest paid player.

United will reportedly pay £35 million (39.6 million euros, $48.5 million, Sh4.9 billion) for Sanchez, a £20 million transfer fee to Arsenal and £15 million to the player’s agent Fernando Felicevich.

United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is said to have agreed to join Arsenal as part of the deal.

Mourinho, speaking after United’s 1-0 win at Burnley, said he expected the 29-year-old two-time Copa America winner to complete the move.

“If you ask me if I think he is coming, I think so, but I have no confirmation,” the Portuguese told the BBC.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed Sanchez’s sale was close to completion following his team’s 4-1 victory over Crystal Palace.

Wenger left Sanchez out of his squad because the player has travelled to Manchester ahead of his move.

“I didn’t pick him because of the question of him moving to Manchester United. You cannot drive north and as well play football,” Wenger said.
“I expect it to happen. In the next 48 hours it will be decided.”

Wenger also admitted Mkhitaryan must agree to join Arsenal before he will sanction Sanchez’s exit.

“It happens only one way if the other way happens as well,” Wenger said.

“As long as it is not over the line you cannot say it will happen. The negotiations become longer and more edgy as well.

“But if you want to have a bet, it could happen.”

Sanchez will earn £350,000 a week plus an extra £100,000 a week for image rights over the course of a four-and-a-half-year contract.

He will also receive £7.5 million a year for four years as a signing-on fee.


Spinners Web, unique handcraft shop in Nairobi

Despite the recent proliferation of malls and craft fairs around Nairobi, my Christmas shopping last month began how it usually does: browsing the miscellany of products on display at Spinners Web.

From hand-woven carpets and wall hangings, to handcrafted sculptures, jewellery and furniture – they seem to have it all. There are 80,000 items on their shelves, so I blazed through my Christmas list.

While I was there, I bumped into the shop’s founder, Jacqueline Resley and we had a brief chat about their recent move from Peponi Road. I vowed to return in January to hear more of the Spinners Web story, so last week I did just that.

If you haven’t visited their new shop yet, its along Kitisuru Road, about 2.5 km from their old location. I had intended to meet Jacqui for lunch at the shop’s café, but an Iranian film crew had taken over the whole courtyard.

We were quickly shooed away as our chat disrupted the lead actor’s monologue, so we opted to finish off our chat in Jacqui’s office. Here we were joined by her daughter, Inga, who helps run Spinners and Tim Challen, who recently opened the café – called Pharley’s.

Jacqui first arrived in Kenya in 1971, after hitchhiking through Spain, Morocco and Egypt. Captivated by the people, the weather and the wildlife, she decided to stay, and pursued her dream of starting a textile and pottery business. In the 1960s and 70s, she explained, Peace Corps volunteers did a bit of weaving in Kenya, but at that time fabrics had to be imported.

So, with her experience as a University of Kansas Fine Arts graduate, she established Kenya Weaverbird – involved initially in the production of high quality furnishing fabrics and carpets for East African hotels.

Over the years, they branched out to the production of a wider range of carpets, wall hangings and other home accessories and they also started pottery in 1992. The textile items were (and still are) made from hand-spun Kenyan wool, and are dyed over fuel efficient wood burning jikos.

Jacqui envisioned the concept of Spinners Web in 1985, with two of her friends. It was initially called Spin and Weave, but a competitor stole the name. Jacqui likened these tricky early years to getting out of a spider’s web, from which the name Spinners Web was born.

Over the next few years, the shop moved from Longonot Place by the Norfolk Hotel, to Viking House in Westlands. At this point, they were spinning two tonnes by hand every month, but these efforts weren’t generating enough revenue. Undeterred, Jacqui decided to take over Spinners Web completely, so she bought the rest of the shares from her partners and moved the shop to Peponi Road.

Here the shop flourished, eventually establishing links with over 400 suppliers. What was first conceived as a showplace for Kenya’s spinners and weavers, evolved into a one-stop shop for a diversity of handcrafted products. Today, Spinners Web supports workshops across Africa – although the products on sale are largely crafted by skilled Kenyan artisans.

Last year, Jacqui and Inga decided to give Spinners Web a permanent home, at its current location along Kitisuru Road. It’s a striking house, designed by Jacqui’s former husband, and renowned architect, Karl Henrik Nøstvik. In 1965, Karl was commissioned by Mzee Jomo Kenyatta to design Kenya’s first government building – the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) now Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

To accommodate the thousands of products, the shop extends beyond the house in corridors fronted by glass and framed by metal. These surround a central courtyard, with a small garden and fountain, and scattered tables and chairs. The café – Pharley’s – is tucked into a corner of the courtyard and for now serves coffees, other varieties of drinks, pastries and samosas.

But the owner, has grand plans for Pharley’s. He’s bringing in a pizza oven from Italy and introducing craft beers on tap from Big Five Breweries. Tim has 25 years experience in the hospitality business, including a stint as the executive chef at the Tamarind Restaurant in Mombasa. He’s already planning a tea tasting event at Pharley’s on 14 February and aims to host regular wine tasting evenings. There was also talk of hosting a farmers’ market at weekends, with local, organic produce.

Jacqui and Inga also outlined their 2018 plans for Spinners Web – including the development of a community centre, a gallery, a nature walk, an outdoor gym and an indigenous tree nursery. After lunch we walked round the compound, and I saw that there was plenty of space for these additions at the bottom of the sloping garden. There’s space, too, for a much larger car park, which is also in the pipeline.

They’re hoping to have all this complete by the end of the year and will organise a grand launch to mark the occasion. Until then, the shop will be open as usual, showcasing some of the continent’s finest handcrafted products.

Jan Fox is a Director at iDC


Stephanie Pownall wears many hats

By EUNICE MURATHE
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At only 20, Stephanie Pownall is an upcoming musician, a composer, a commercial model and an athlete. One of her three singles saw her perform at the African Youth Conference 2015 in Zimbabwe. She spoke to EUNICE MURATHE about her love for music and athletics

Who is Stephanie Pownall?
I am an upcoming artiste, an athlete, a model. I am also a student at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi. I try to do a lot. I have recorded three singles – that is Magic, House Party and This is our World. I am also an environment enthusiast. Go to You Tube, search and check out my three songs. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel.

When did you start singing and why did you choose this career path?
As far as I remember I always sung in the shower, at school, to my friends and parents. I finished my O levels at the Coast Academy and decide to take a gap year to concentrate on my music. I resolved to get into singing because I had written a lot of songs already. In 2014 I decided to hit the studio and produce my first song.

Do you write your own songs? Yes, I am a lyricist. I love writing. I have written more than 500 songs. I have written very many songs. Song writing to me is the ultimate form of being able to make anything that happens in my life and others productive.

You had a performance at a conference in Zimbabwe. What was it like?
It was the First African Youth Conference based on climate change in Africa. I was honoured to be the first youth to represent Kenya in the conference. At only 17 years I was like an ambassador of the country in that forum.

That’s where I did This is our World. The scripting of the song was really involving. I was actually given a deadline to beat. I wrote it passionately as I care a lot about the environment. I am in an environmentalists group called African Artists Peace Initiative through which I got involved with the conference.

What other performances have you had? I performed in Diani at the Kaskazi beach hotel. There was a huge children’s festival that was taking place there. I look forward to more performances in Kenya and abroad.

What would you say sets you apart from other artistes? Most of my songs are written to pass a particular message. They advise. It is the stuff that deals with motivating people. I seek to speak about things that happen to people on a daily basis.

You are a student, what course are you taking and in which school? Yes. I am a student at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa pursuing Economics.

Apart from school and music what else do you do?
I am an athlete. I have been to various competitions including the 2016 Standard Chartered Marathon where I emerged 24 out of over 500 runners. I also ran at the 6km cross country 2016 where I was position 35 out of almost 1,000 athletes. Currently I am training at the Rongai Athletics club together with some accomplished runners such as Elijah Manangoi. They motivate me.

My routine is so demanding. I have to wake up at 4:30 to keep up with my training at 6 am. Besides that I am a model. I featured at the Two Rivers Mall billboard on Thika Road. I also got a chance to be part of the models in the Airtel 1GB commercial.

Have you signed to any label or agency? I work as a model under the City Models Africa directed by Ajuma Nasanyana.

What do you think about the modelling industry in Kenya?
I can’t really be very specific on that, but here is some advice. You are paid according to the standard you withhold as a person. Look decent. Be a beauty with brains. They will respect you. I signed up for communication skills classes to be able to pass messages effectively. Education also really matters a lot, your thinking is wider and different.

It is also important to have a talent manager. They can be your relatives, parents or a professional. They will help you strategise and work towards a particular goal. This will prevent you from exploitation.

How do you balance everything? It must be crazy
I have come to a common ground with my school work, music and sports. It is either the sports or the music. Balancing the two at the same time is a bit tricky. I have had to take a break from music but I have not completely detached myself. I will get back to the studio soon.

Probably next year there will be some good stuff. That’s for you to wait and see. For modelling, it is easy as I’m not a runway one. One thing that really helps me is I am really hard working. I don’t mind putting up some extra effort.

What inspires you?
I have always wanted to run. I admire the hard work and discipline the athletes put in. It inspires me to work really hard. Actually my greatest inspiration is the fact that the Kenyan athletes still achieve a lot despite the limited resources. Also many come from different places and they sacrifice their time to focus on one sport. I also want to break a misconception that you have to be poor to become an athlete. For me it is a passion.

Are your parents supportive?
My dad was an athlete. He represented Kenya in Ireland in 1980 in the long distance races. My mum loved singing and dancing, but she did not pursue it as her parents did not support her. She has really played a major role in marketing my music and advising me. Modelling also runs in the family.

My mother was a runaway model. She contested and emerged 2nd runners up in the Miss Kenya 1991 pageant. She has had a lot of influence in me becoming an advertising model. I must have taken after them.

Between music, modelling and running, what would be your first choice? No, don’t ask me to do that. Everything I do has its own beauty.

What’s your goal or direction as a musician or in life generally?
Let’s start with now. I am looking for an international sports and an academic scholarship. Besides everything that I do, I am so passionate about my academics. In the next 10 years I want to have made a decision on which career to pursue most. I also hope I will be working with the UNEP on environmental conservation.


TNM launches 2018 scholarships through AGE Africa

Blantyre- January 19,2018- In keeping with its promise to assist students with vulnerable groups, TNM  Plc is today proud to announce launch of the 2017/18  Academic Year Scholarship Program worth K7 million for 20 girls underprivileged girls in public secondary school across the country

TNM in 2015 set up the fund through a local NGO, Advancement for Girls Education in Africa (Age Africa) and spends K7 million annually in scholarships to 20 students across the country.

TNM Chief Oiccer – Conumer Services Daniel Makata said at Machinga  Community Day Secondary School that TNM is a caring Malawian brand that remains firmly committed to empowering girls by enabling them to achieve goals through attainment of quality education.

“We are very proud to keep our word  by continuing to assist these girls. This is our  third year of running this initiative through Age Africa. Every year, a set of girls is identified and benefits from our contributions from form one to four,” he said.

Makata said the scholarships are in line with TNM’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy that aims to improve lives of people to help them contribute to the country’s socio-economic development.

“These scholarships are a continuation of our support to education sector. The K7 million provided should make it possible for the earmarked students to learn with full tuition plus boarding fees and upkeep allowances. This scholarship is fulfillment of TNM’s commitment to promote access to quality basic education for underprivileged girls in the country,” he said.

He said the company acknowledges the challenges that most girls in the country face to complete their education resulting into early marriages.

“In Malawi and across Africa girls fail to complete secondary school education due to various barriers ranging from poverty, gender inequality, and traditional stereotypes as a result they are forced into early marriage hover lack of financial support has remained a great challenge for them. Though this initiative TNM, itself being a Malawian company wants to see to it that girls’ access to basic quality educated is not affected by whatever circumstances,” he said

The scholarship targets students in public schools run by the Malawi Government and  funds are administered by Age Africa, an organizations that works to help accelerate access to education for the underprivileged girls.

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Michelle Mbaya, latest Kenyan export to Hollywood

By HILARY KIMUYU
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At 23, she believes she is destined for greatness and already has been featured in some of America’s big television shows. She also has several films which she has written and produced under her name. She spoke to ActScene when she visited Kenya recently

What brought you back home? I came for holidays and to visit my family but I was also invited to give a talk at TEDx. In the event we used the TED format which was independently organised by a local community. It was held at Brookhouse, my alma mater.

What was the theme? It was about shaping the future. I sat down and thought ‘what shaped my future, and it was honestly when I failed’. I thought if it wasn’t for that and moving past that I wouldn’t have got to where I am now.

Why did you say that failure is the biggest blessing in disguise? Had it not been for failure, I don’t think I would have had the courage to stand up for what I wanted to do; and also I don’t think that my parents would also have believed in me. If I had excelled in what I was studying, then my parents would not have let me be an actor.

Who is Michelle Mbaya? Michelle is a creative in the entertainment industry specifically in Television and Film. She is very artistic and at the same time still figuring out herself in her space. At least that’s the way I like to think about it. I am an actress, writer and producer.

Take us through your journey. I found my love for acting at an early age and I have been performing since I was 12. I grew up surrounded by a lot of different cultures outside of my own. I recently graduated from The New York Film Academy with Honours in my Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree.

What TV shows have you done? A lot of it I did towards last year. Most of them will be airing this year. I was in a comedy show called 9JKL, Dear White People, I have also worked on General Hospital. Those are the ones I can remember at the moment.

You also wrote and directed a few short films? The film that I wrote was actually my thesis project and I have been flying on its wings for a year now. The story in the film is a story I have encountered time and time again growing up in different countries and dating men from completely different backgrounds. It was a love affair from a very young age, I loved watching movies and TV and knew that it was what I wanted to do with my life.

The film was about an American who marries a Kenyan. It’s called Sheep, Goats and Cows. It’s about a young Kenyan woman, Neema, who grew up outside of Kenya and is marrying an American man. Her father asks for Dowry from her fiancé and she is at odds about how much her culture and traditional customs should come into play. It confronts a theme I often deal with in my own life of “culture clash.”

What is your take on the Kenyan entertainment industry? I think it has come so far, having left the country at age 7 and we moved a lot around with my dad. Since then every time I come back there is always something new. There is still so much potential to grow. I can’t give too much insight about the Kenyan industry because I have never really worked in Kenya. I am primarily focusing on acting and growing my network. In the same breath I write a lot and have a tonne of scripts one of which I do plan on shooting in Kenya.

Stallone to star in fourth Expendables movie

American movie star Sylvester Stallone has confirmed he will return for a fourth Expendables movie, less than a year after bowing out due to disagreements with the producers.

The 72-year-old actor revealed his character Barney Ross “will be back” alongside some new faces in the next movie which will also star Jason Statham.

He took to his Instagram and wrote, “Barney will be back! Plus the crew and a couple new members,” he wrote earlier last week. This was a day after the Hollywood star dropped a huge hint he would be returning with another picture of the cast. “Just when you thought it was safe to go outside…They’re coming back,” he wrote.

According to Deadline, the news is surprising seeing earlier last year Stallone was singing a different tune in regards to the testosterone-driven all-star action hero team up. Stallone revealed he would not be back for another Expendables movie due to disagreements over the script and direction of the franchise; a month later supporting star Arnold Schwarzenegger confirmed he would also not return unless Stallone returned.

“We’ve got disagreements with Syl, but we’ve had them for over a year and a half,” said Nu Image/Millennium chief Avi Lerner. He added “Right now, each one has opinion. We agreed on 95 per cent of things, but there are certain things in production we don’t agree on. I don’t think it’s over, but write whatever you want. In my opinion, it’s not dead.”

The first movie was released in 2010 and was created by Stallone to pay homage to the blockbuster action films of the 1980s and 1990s, with a cast made up of stars from that era, including Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, and Dolph Lundgren. In the sequel the cast expanded and was joine by other stars such as Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Two sequels followed, and while none of them were necessarily smash hits with audiences or critics, seeing the elder statesmen of action team up had an undeniable novelty value. Further follow-ups were anticipated, as well as an all-female spin-off.

However, the brakes were slammed down hard when 2014’s The Expendables 3 crashed and burned at the US box office. However, even at 72, Stallone remains the perpetual comeback king; and with a ninth appearance as Rocky Balboa on the way in Creed 2, he clearly still feels there’s room for more Barney Ross and co. Speculation has that other old action guys will join the crew for The Expendables 4.


Why you need to put time limit on social media use

By BBC
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‘Describing yourself as ‘a social media addict’ doesn’t usually inspire concern from other people.

In fact, it’s frequently included in bio descriptions on Twitter and Instagram.

Decorate your LinkedIn profile with such a claim and you may even find yourself receiving interest from media and publishing companies searching for a savvy digital native.

But imagine if, one day, it’s not an accolade or joke at all – but a psychiatrist’s diagnosis?

Social media addiction has been a much-flouted term lately; maybe it’s because it’s January and users are looking to be more active and spend less time online, or maybe that’s because social media can have a negative impact on our mental well-being.

But a growing body of research is seriously considering whether problematic and excessive social media usage could be pathological and, in turn, designated as a mental health disorder. 

There are two established organisations which classify mental disorders – the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the American Psychiatric Association.

Any alleged addiction needs to fit certain criteria before it’s considered pathological behaviour, and there needs to be a vast amount of research that confirms it.

It was only announced in January 2018 that video gaming addiction – a problem as old as the internet itself – will be listed by the WHO as a disorder.

What’s especially interesting about this new classification is that one of the experts who has been researching it for decades – Mark Griffiths at Nottingham Trent University – has also been investigating gambling addictions, internet addictions and the excessive, perhaps even dangerous, use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“Do I believe that people can be so engrossed in social media that they neglect everything else in their life?” he asks. “I do think it can be potentially addictive.”

In his research, Griffiths has found that a technological compulsion like ‘social media addiction’ comes with all the behavioural signals that we might usually associate with chemical addictions, such as smoking or alcoholism. These include mood changes,  social withdrawal, conflict and relapse.

The most important factor is whether a person can differentiate between healthy use and a relationship with social media sites that is negatively affecting their life.

“If I take video gaming, for example, I’ve come across a lot of very excessive gamers,” Griffiths explains, “but there’s little known negative, detrimental effects in their life. If they did that for two years then maybe obesity or being generally sedentary might bring on some health issues, but in terms of addiction? Excessive enthusiasms add to life and addictions take away from it.”

So, as long as that enthusiastic playing isn’t affecting an individual’s job or personal relationships, then there is no need for concern. Putting a time limit on social media use is, for Griffiths, “a bit of a red herring.

You can have two people doing things identically – it makes a big difference if someone has a job, partner and two children..” This suggests that screen-time isn’t necessarily an accurate gauge for whether someone is using their favourite platforms problematically.

So, if it’s not about the amount of time spent, what else might define social media addiction – or help us understand what sort of person might be most vulnerable to it?

Griffiths and his colleague Daria Kuss published the first ever review paper for what he calls Social Networking Sites ( SNS ) addiction in 2011. They found that extroverts appear to use these sites for social enhancement, whereas introverts use them for social compensation.

They also found that more time spent on these sites involved less involvement with real-life communities. In 2014, in another overview paper, they added that SNS use provides continuous rewards; users may increase engagement with it to relieve dysphoric mood states, sometimes leading to psychological dependency.

Then in 2017 a large, national survey found that those showing addictive behaviours were more likely to be women, young and single. 

Carole Mandi’s column resumes next week


US$ 2.96 billion needed to provide life-saving assistance to 13.1 million people in Yemen in 2018

Sana’a, 20 January 2018 – The United Nations and humanitarian partners today launched the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) which seeks US$2.96 billion to provide lifesaving assistance to 13.1 million people this year. This is the largest consolidated humanitarian appeal for Yemen ever launched.

Three years of escalated conflict has turned Yemen into the worst man-made humanitarian crisis of our time. Three quarters of the population – 22.2 million people – need humanitarian assistance, including 11.3 million people in acute need who urgently require assistance to survive.

A generation of children is growing up in suffering and deprivation. Nearly two million children are out of school, 1.8 million children under the age of five are acutely malnourished, including 400,000 who suffer from a severe acute malnutrition and are 10 times more likely to die if they do not receive medical treatment.

“Humanitarian assistance is not the solution to the plight of the people of Yemen, but it is the only lifeline for millions of them,” said Jamie McGoldrick, Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen. “Today, humanitarian partners appeal to the international community to support this critical lifeline.”

The 2018 YHRP targets people in acute need or at risk of slipping into acute need. The plan is tailored to address the needs of internally displaced people, returnees and host communities in a more sustainable manner through the implementation of integrated humanitarian programmes in areas where the risks of famine, disease outbreak and protracted displacement converge.

“A strategic priority for the 2018 YHRP is to work with national institutions that provide essential services to prevent their collapse,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator. “We thank donors for their support in 2017, and urge them to support the people of Yemen as they continue to face unprecedented needs.”

In 2017, donors provided US$1.65 billion (70.5 per cent) out of US$2.34 billion that humanitarian partners in Yemen requested.


SHOWBUZZ: Vanessa and boyfriend working on album

By THOMAS MATIKO
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After getting back together from a 6 months break up, Bongo flava singing couple Vanessa Mdee and her hunk boyfriend are thinking about recording an album together.

The lovely couple who stole the headlines in June last year after Vanessa announced that she had dumped Jux, rekindled their love once again over Christmas when they took time to holiday in Diani Beach, Mombasa. Having started the new year pretty well, the talented duo is back in studio and this time they say they mean business.

Speaking recently to Clouds FM about their upcoming music projects, Jux, whom famous socialite Huddah Monroe confessed to having a serious crush on, was asked if they have a plan of doing an album together and his answer was:

Bado hatajupanga hilo lakini tunarekodi nyimbo… (We haven’t planned that yet but we are already recording songs together. However if Vanessa’s management and my team get to some level of understanding then we can do an album together).” The love birds met four years ago.

Kaka says he meant no ill, but Jimwat sees the ‘blunder’

Rapper King Kaka seems to be having endless issues with musicians, picking “fights” with them every so often. Kaka has now responded to Jimwat distrack, the once high flying Calif Records ‘genge’ rapper whose career turned for the worse due to alcohol addiction.

Few days ago, King Kaka dropped his latest poetic song ‘Mistarillionaire’ that Jimwat, who has been struggling to reignite his career after being to the rehab thrice, took an offence with. In the jam, King Kaka boldly name drops various artistes who refused to work with him while he was struggling to make a breakthrough.

In one of the lines he raps “… Jimwat alininyima collabo, Mejja pia na Jua (Cali)…” This did not go down well with Jimwat who accused him of making things so personal to an extent of mocking him in a song even though he confirms he snubbed King Kaka because he was an upcoming artiste then before fame.

And despite that, Jimwat decided to hit the booth and release a distrack titled ‘Blunder’. King Kaka has now responded to the distrack saying his song was not meant to attack anyone. “Hiyo song sijadiss mtu yeyote…” he said.

This comes just months after he picked up a war fight with Sauti Sol, Redsan, Wyre among other pioneer artistes whom he criticised for allegedly not helping enough to grow the Kenyan music industry.

Mammito and Eddie having a more than ‘just friends’ affair?

The aging rumour on alleged relationship between Churchill show comedians Eddie Butita and Eunice Mammito has resurfaced again. This is after the comedienne posted a picture of ‘bae’ last week captioning it MCM (Man Crush Monday) and then went ahead to disenable the comment button preventing anyone from reacting to the post.

This aroused the debate as to whether the two are romantically involved or its some sort of gimmicks to gain public attention as both neither denying nor confirming the rumours.

However last year while on an interview with Dr Ofweneke, Butita said Mammito is like a sister to him and went on to say he also has several pictures taken with other female comedians Jemutai and Zeddie and wondered why the Mammito one was causing a debate.

When the rumour broke out, it was also claimed that the two had moved in together somewhere in Pangani, Nairobi, and that they had been together for a year. But a Showbuzz source who interacts with the duo on a daily basis has said the two are more than ‘just friends’.

Kagwe set to release music on his birthday

Afrofunky house musician Kagwe Mungai has hinted of dropping his new album on his birthday on January 31, when he will be turning 27.  Sources close to the multi-talented artiste who also doubles up as a producer and director, have hinted that he intends to make his 27th birthday a day to remember as he will not only be celebrating his life, but also his musical journey.

“His latest album is almost ready and he intends to release this year most probably on his birthday end of this month, however he wants it to remain a secret” the source disclosed to Showbuzz.

Last year, his fans were treated to hits such as ‘Bass’  ‘Party Nation’ and ‘Nyumbani’ featuring Alicious that led to speculation the two could be dating. Kagwe launched his music career in 2012 with his debut EP ‘It Only Gets Better’.

Will DK Kwenye Beat fulfil his wedding dream this year?

Gospel musician DK Kwenye Beat who broke into the limelight with hit song ‘Furi Furi’, has once again vowed to wed before the end of 2018 after having failed to do so last year as he had promised.

The ‘Asusu’ hitmaker, who recently made a comeback in to the music scene with a new jam ‘Kijana Wa Kayole’ after a two year hiatus, had promised to walk down the aisle with his long-time girlfriend Shannize last December but for some reason that did not happen.

Despite that, David Kilonzo – his official names – insists that everything is on course and this year he will make sure he realises that dream of being called someone’s’ husband. “Our plans are still on course and I’m pretty sure before December I won’t be bachelor.”