Kyle Shepherd - Photo by Lindsey Appolis
South African film Noem My Skollie is making waves on many levels, not least because it is the country’s official foreign language entrant to the Oscars in 2017. But, few know that the film’s moody and beautiful music was composed by recent Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner Kyle Shepherd.
Kyle’s music career has been on a meteoric trajectory since winning the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 2014. An established musician prior to winning the award – he had released three albums and worked internationally – in the two years following the award, Kyle has released a further three solo albums (including the soundtrack for Noem My Skollie), which will soon be released on iTunes.
Kyle Shepherd with Shane Cooper, Producer . Photo by Lindsey Appolis
One of the albums, titled Skyjack, was produced as a result of a collaboration between Kyle and two other former Standard Bank Young Artist Award winners, Shane Cooper and Kesivan Naidoo, as well as leading Swiss musicians Andreas Tschopp and Marc Stucki. The band, also named Skyjack, recently won a transnational competition in Switzerland, which enabled it to tour the country early in 2016 and record an album in one of the country’s best studios.
As if that’s not enough, Kyle has been invited by German national radio to do three concerts later in 2016, which will be broadcast live. He will be joined by world famous guitarist/vocalist Lionel Loueke, who regularly plays for jazz legend Herbie Hancock, among others.
Composing the music for Noem My Skollie was an entirely new foray for this acclaimed classical and jazz musician, who is used to playing for live audiences. But at the same time, it was a continuation of what he does best.
“I have always thought about music in a very textured way,” he says. “I’ve never valued virtuosity and dexterity as the be-all-and-end-all. For me, it’s all about making sound and textures and taking people on an emotional journey. Working on a film is all of this, but in hyperdrive.”
The film, which is based on the real-life story of screenwriter John W Fredericks, who grew up in the hard-scrabble outskirts of Cape Town, known as the “Cape Flats”, has a bitter-sweet theme, namely that everyone has a calling, a unique talent, and sometimes that talent comes at a price.
Kyle says composing a film score is completely different to playing for an audience, because in a film, the music is an essential part of the story telling. It sits one step below the performance of the actors and the dialogue, but is essential to the narrative. For this reason, the composer has to work closely with the director. In Noem My Skollie, he worked well with first time feature director Daryne Joshua, and the two are planning future projects together.
The Orchestra (assembled by the booking agency, ONYX NOIR) with Conductor, Brandon Phillips. Photo by Lindsey Appolis
Film composition is also a complex process, requiring an entire team, including a live orchestra in this case.
“There is composition and production, but then there are also recording engineers and musicians. It’s quite a process to put it together. Before I did this job, I didn’t realise what went into making a film. There are many departments, from photography, to editing, grading, sounding mix, to playing the music. I’m not even sure why we do it. It’s quite an undertaking.
“I had never done anything like this before,” Kyle says. “I had to learn the software completely from scratch and I had to learn about audio production. It was the first time I had ever worked with an orchestra. A lot of firsts.
“The most memorable part was when everything came together. First, you compose everything and create electronic mock ups, then you get live musicians in to record. That’s when the music comes to life, because you are dealing with human beings. It was an emotional turning point for all of us.”
Kyle describes winning the Standard Bank Young Artist Award as a “massive lift” in any artist’s career because of the exposure and media coverage artists get during the year. He says Standard Bank has continued to support him long after winning the award in the form of continued financial support for concerts and the publicity that comes with that. “Standard Bank tries to help its award winners as much as possible. It’s a massive award and a massive honour.”
The Standard Bank Young Artists Awards
The Young Artist Awards was established by the National Arts Festival in 1981 to acknowledge young South African artists who demonstrate outstanding artistic talent. These prestigious awards are presented annually to deserving artists in different disciplines – dance, jazz, music, theatre, visual art, performance art and film – affording them national exposure and acclaim.
Standard Bank took over the sponsorship of the awards in 1984 and has presented Young Artist Awards in all the major arts disciplines over its 33-year sponsorship, as well as posthumous and special recognition awards. The winners feature on the main programme of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and receive financial support for their festival participation, as well as a cash prize.
The 2017 winners will be announced on 26 October 2016.
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As the year draws to a close, Johannesburg can look back on an art renaissance anchored by a number of key exhibitions and events that have repositioned the city as an important artistic hub.
The Standard Bank Gallery’s Henri Matisse|Rhythm and Meaning exhibition closed on a successful note, having attracted more than 30 000 visitors eager to marvel at the iconic French artist’s versatility and range. The robust visitor numbers for this exhibition compare favourably with previous exhibitions of 20 th -century modernists at the gallery and is exceeded only by 2006’s Pablo Picasso showcase, which drew 56 000 visitors.
Over the past few months, the city has hosted yet another well-attended Turbine Art Fair, the exciting new Keyes Art Mile in Rosebank opened to great fanfare, Art Week Joburg in September increased awareness of the city’s vibrant contemporary art scene, and the Walter Battiss “I invented myself” retrospective at the Wits Art Museum attracted widespread interest.
Following the lead of cities such as Cape Town and London, Jo’burg introduced First Thursdays, enabling members of the public to explore art galleries and cultural attractions until late on the first Thursday of the month. For the Henri Matisse|Rhythm and Meaning exhibition, the Standard Bank Gallery also extended its opening hours during this time, and introduced shuttles between the various art galleries and precincts.
Matisse’s body of work had been exposed to a wider audience thanks to community outreach programmes, free public walkabouts and innovative pop-up studios in the city giving the public the opportunity to create their own Matisse-inspired artworks. Matisse even went digital with South Africans able to have their Twitter profiles reworked into a Matisse “masterpiece” by using #MatisseMyPic.
The Embassy of France in South Africa and the French Institute are thrilled with the warm reception the Matisse exhibition has enjoyed from the public: visitors completely fell in love with his ingenious techniques and his fascination with bright colours and energetic patterns.
Said the French Ambassador to South Africa, Elisabeth Barbier, “Matisse was truly a master of invention and reinvention – he was a pioneer who mastered painting, sculpture, print-making and even paper cut-outs later in life – and we hope his rebellious spirit of creativity serves as an inspiration to budding young South African artists, showing them that anything is possible.”
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To satisfy the digital customer of the future, banks will need to transform themselves through strategic digital enablement and also provide everyday solutions by playing a bigger role in their customers’ online lives.
This is what we can learn from The Accenture Technology Vision for Banking 2016 report, a document that claims 85% of bankers expect the pace of technological change to increase rapidly in the banking industry over the next three years.
To run at this pace, banks need more than the right technology; they need to use that technology to enable the right people to do the right things in an adaptable and change-ready workforce.
What really matters to customers is the lowering of costs, provision of a more personalised and proactive customer service, a more vibrant and empowering working environment, the creation of internal business efficiencies, and improvements in the levels of customer convenience and security.
According to Deloitte’s recent Mobile Consumer Survey, The Africa Cut 2015/2016, African consumers live more and more “in the app”. Multinationals can take centre stage with a localised app-ecosystem-for-life that handles essential activities in one place, and evolves through sophisticated customer and data analytics. Further, African multinationals will need to create business models around smartphone and data-centric phone users.
This does not mean that banks will cease to exist; in fact, targeting the digital user of the future is where the major opportunities will be unlocked for banks. At Standard Bank, we are already acting speedily to embrace new innovations on a daily basis. Our ongoing adoption of innovative customer-centric solutions, internal workflow change and a fervent focus on the African market has seen our mobile banking traffic grow 100% a year. Our strong footprint across Africa will continue to unlock opportunities for the provision of financial services.
While customers trust banks to hold their money and personal data, they are sceptical when it comes to trusting banks to provide the best service, value and advice. Yet, we constantly strive for change that will improve what really matters to our customers, aiming to be ahead of the trends that are shaping the behaviour of the customer of tomorrow.
Such trends include the fact that more than half of consumers across Africa check their phones within 5 minutes of waking and before going to bed. It is imperative that we operate within this eco-system to deliver value and enhanced user-experiences. Understanding the power and opportunity of consumer developments like these will shape the business and retail banking model of the future.
This is, indeed, the most exciting time to be in banking.
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In September, as with every Spring, the city of Joburg and all its groovy adjuncts was awash with wonder and all the ecstasy that comes with being Africa’s leading jazz locale. As the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz saw thousands of music lovers gather in the glitzy monolithic structure of the Sandton Convention Centre, one thing become clear: nothing reflects the state of our nation quite like our shared musical moments.
The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz as an annual communion of rhythm, brew and heritage comprised a world class offering of 35 acts on four stages over three days. The convergence included curious novices as well as committed connoisseurs all dressed to the nines, laughing loud and merry.
Presented right in the middle of heritage month, the festival programme could have easily been seen as a nod to the lofty local musical traditions and their international resonances.
Reflecting on some of the performances, the Pan-African Chicago based drummer Kahil el’ Zabar sat on high, glorious and spectacular on the spot lit stage. His beaming smiling face gazed up into the heavens and his hands gracefully pounded his Akan cowhide drum. The propulsive charge of the music and its ethnic pallet conjured the force of something aboriginal. The Pretorian jazz lovers recognised this as a sound akin to Malombo jazz sensibilities. Instantly, the visiting African-American was at once as global as he was familiarly local.
This spirit was redolent all over Joburg based guitarist, Billy Monama’s band, GrazRootz Project. Their catalogue is a visitation of historic South African musical classics. Though their music is governed by a desire to make important statements, it also insists on injecting life into a party.
Talking of a party, the collaborative performance of American Jazz giant Gerald Albright and South Africa’s Jonathan Butler had audiences on their feet, singing and dancing in the aisles.
For many, especially the jazz connoisseur, drummer Kendrick Scott and his band Oracle was the highlight. The music was sublime with each musician delivering a fine performance.
The Music Academy of Gauteng led by famous trumpeter and music educator Dr Johnny Mekoa, kicked off the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz programme to warm appreciation and applause. The Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band’s debut, conducted by visionary Carlo Mombelli, performed his often challenging work beautifully. These young musicians represent our jazz future and are certainly worth watching. Then the eclectic and contemporary sounds of 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Jazz, Siya Makuzeni, had audiences captivated by her unique style and energy.
With the dust settled on this year’s festival we look forward to celebrating 20 years of the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz in 2017. A notable milestone which tells the story of a visionary entrepreneur, Peter Tladi, and celebrates the many collaborations and conversations between South African musicians and artists from across the globe. Jazz has a way of getting under your skin, it is dynamic, unexpected and yet familiar in the way it is constantly re-interpreted.
The closer you are, the more you feel.
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It cannot be denied that Africa has its share of social and economic problems, but the will to tackle these challenges and promote sustainable change can be found throughout the continent and prevails in every sphere of society. No better example of this can be found than in the 2016 Wealth Report by Frank Knight, which reveals that Africa’s current 2 620 ultra-high-net-worth individuals (worth a collective value of USD2 Billion in assets) plan to increase their contribution to philanthropy.
More than simple charity, philanthropy attempts to tackle a problem at its root cause. A global trend, it is now being followed by increasingly more ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) on the continent – especially those who made their wealth in the digital era – with as many as 65% of wealth managers in Africa reporting that “giving back” has become important to their clients.
The reasons for this vary; some are driven by personal fulfilment, some by a sense of duty, while others are inspired by the desire to leave a legacy or a combination of all three. Whatever the motivation, what matters, however, is that Africa’s wealthy are on the lookout for sustainable ways to use their wealth to solve the problems plaguing the continent.
Phillip Faure, Head of Philanthropy for Standard Bank Wealth and Investment, says that the wealth concerns of his clients are now accompanied by the strong need to improve the lives of others. He explains that Africa’s UHNWIs on the continent want to leave lasting legacies that will go beyond their families and businesses, as evidenced in the growing number of philanthropic projects and plans.
But, Faure notes that preserving wealth to make an impact in the future calls for highly sophisticated and specialised skills; whether giving back through signature projects, start-up incubation or quasi-commercial models, all have financial structures that require ongoing management and reporting.
In such cases, an institution like Standard Bank Wealth and Investment fits the bill. With a long and successful track record of helping our clients formulate financial plans to reach their long-terms dreams and ambitions, we are perfectly experienced and skilled to help Africa’s wealthy move their communities, and thus the continent, forward.
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South Africa is struggling with the twin problems of a lack of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) graduates and an ageing coal-based energy sector that needs urgent intervention in the form of renewables. Clearly, the one directly influences the other: Graduates trained in the sciences are necessary to develop and manage smart, eco-friendly energy solutions that will move our economy forward. Yet student uptake into these fields is stagnant at best and, at worst, diminishing. Thankfully, one university-based movement has stumbled upon a proactive, engaging way to ignite interest in the STEM fields; solar-powered racing cars.
Originally established in 2010 as an engineering education research project at the University of Johannesburg, the UJ Energy Movement quickly evolved into a “vehicle” to promote STEM and energy innovation after the success of a final-year project to create and race a solar-powered vehicle across South Africa.
Since, the programme has developed three solar-powered vehicles and eight hybrid vehicles that have all competed in the Sasol Solar Challenge and the UJ-Shell Eco-Marathon, races in which students from throughout the world compete with their own custom-built alternative energy cars.
The most famous of the UJ Energy Movement’s creations is the sleek Ilanga II, named after the Zulu word for sun. Unveiled just in time for the 2014 Sasol Solar Challenge, it boasts a maximum speed of 140km per hour and an impressive cruising speed of 75km per hour when powered only by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that are fed energy by the vehicle’s solar panels.
In mid-2015, the Ilanga II made its first educational road trip of 4 160km: The 2015 African Solar Drive saw UJ’s eco-creation cross the border into Namibia and then Botswana, making pit stops in cities and towns alike for the UJ team to give public lectures promoting green technology, and boost interest in science and mathematics.
Nickey Janse van Rensburg, UJ Energy Movement Programme Manager and Mechanical Engineering Science Lecturer, says the Ilanga II is an incredible tool to promote skills development, energy conservation and technology innovation throughout southern Africa.
Although Standard Bank was not involved with the UJ Energy Movement, the promotion of alternative energy sources aligns with our vision for a sustainable future on the continent. We featured the UJ Energy Movement vehicle in our latest TV ad that features a number of African organisations, personalities, inventions and start-ups that are moving the continent forward in their own unique way. Standard Bank is committed to sustainable energy sources that support Africa’s economies and ensure that the continent will continue to prosper.
Currently, the UJ Energy Movement is preparing for another cross-border adventure in mid-2017, this time to Kenya. Though the distance is further and the country different, one thing remains the same; the Movement’s aim to champion the cause of technical innovation, sustainable energy and thus a better future for all.
To keep up with Ilanga II’s adventures in Africa, visit their Facebook page.
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Jazz and the freedom Principle
By: Percy Mabandu
Breakfast is a very deceptive word. A malleable one too. Think of the way it rings on a sentence announcing a Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival Breakfast Colloquium with the theme: Jazz and The Freedom Principle.
Here we can massage it into meaning a breaking of a kind of discursive fast. Not just a curated gathering of jazz heads breaking bread over some themed chatter. Either way, yours truly hosted a cadre of refreshing cross generational Joburg jazz folk to grub and mind grind on the chosen topic.
Saxman and composer, Steve Dyer sat alongside the rising vocalist, Spha Mdlalose, young trumpeter, Mandla Mlangeni and the doyen of South African journalism, Gwen Ansell. Helped to stimulate a hip horde through a timely topic: Jazz and The Freedom Principle. It was chosen in part to mark the 20 th anniversary of South Africa adoption of the Constitution that governs our experiment with democracy.
Dyer and Ansell brought a deep memory of the national creative struggle that led to democracy. Mlangeni and Mdlalose represented a young generation that inherits both the music and the tradition of struggle the former two lived through. For instance, while Mlangeni today leads a band he calls the Amandla Freedom Ensemble, Dyer was a member of the Amandla Cultural Ensemble in the dark apartheid years; an inspiration for the young trumpeter’s band.
As the chatter got hotter, two streams of thought immerged that consumed where everyone’s head was at: While there is a genuine jazz tradition in SA, we also must promote our indigenous music. Just as we can hear the blues in American jazz, we must hear our traditional sounds in ours so we can export our uniqueness and monetise it for our socio-economic development. The other stream of thought celebrated jazz’s unavoidable roots in African traditions that survived the slave journey across the Atlantic Ocean. The music’s loftier features can be found in our indigenous traditions too. Improvisation within structure is central to how African cultures articulate themselves. This is what we celebrate in jazz as the democratic process incarnate.
In Jazz music, “the demands on and the respect for the individual in the jazz band put democracy into aesthetic action. Each Performer must bring technical skill, imagination and the ability to create coherent statements through improvised interplay with the rest of the musicians on the bandstand. The interplay takes its direction from the melodic, harmonic rhythmic and timbral elements of the piece being performed,” as Robert O'Meally once put it. This is exactly like freedom in democracy. It is no wonder that democratic South Africa is jazz crazed. The one deepens the other.
Percy Mabandu is a columnist, and art and features writer. His work has appeared in various newspapers and magazines including the weekly City Press, Blaque Magazine, the Sunday Times, Mail & Guardian, Rolling Stone Magazine, Chimurenga Chronic and many others.
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For decades, internet usage in Africa has trailed behind most other parts of the world, with the majority of online activity concentrated in just a few countries, such as Morocco, Egypt and the Seychelles. But now it seems that Africa’s digital revolution has begun.
As of 2016, Africa is embracing all that is digital, with almost half a billion African’s expected to be online in just four years. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and outgoing US President Barack Obama have both remarked on Africa’s importance in this realm, with the tech mogul saying on his recent and first visit to Sub-Saharan Africa that the continent is where the future will be built. Similarly, Obama asserted a year earlier on a trip to Kenya – widely regarded as another Silicon Valley –that Africa needs to be a future hub of global growth.
With this is mind, it makes sense that international news and events provider TMT Finance will hold its first ever conference on the continent: The TMT Finance Africa in Lagos 2016 Conference aims to bring key decision-makers in African telecoms, media and technology (TMT) together in Nigeria’s capital city to network and collaborate with each other and financial industry experts.
Coming at a time of accelerated investment and innovation across Africa, the TMT Finance Africa in Lagos 2016 Conference includes panel debates, keynote speeches, peer-to-peer roundtables and networking sessions, as well as covering topics such as Telecom Leadership in Africa, Mergers and Acquisitions, Digital Africa and Mobile Infrastructure Development.
As a leading facilitator and advisor to the telecoms, media and technology industry in Africa, and the Bank that predicted increased merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the sector, we partnered with TMT Finance as a sponsor for the Conference. Nina Triantis, Global Head of TMT at Standard Bank and one of the speakers at the event, says that investment and M&A in telecoms, media and technology continues to be especially active on the continent, with debt markets currently supportive of the right companies, despite macro challenges and global uncertainties.
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Vast, intimidating and excessively hot. On the surface, Africa’s Namib Desert seems as though it is virtually desolate. On the surface, this would make sense: The ancient desert is a land of extremes; temperatures can reach as high as 60’C during the day and as low as 0’C at night, and there is precious little water until its scorching dunes reach the salty Atlantic to the West.
Yet, the Namib teems with life. Some 3 500 species of plant thrive in this arid landscape, including the two-leaved Welwitschia, a succulent that can live for over one thousand years. The desert also supports an extraordinary diversity of animal life, all of which have adapted over the millennia to the harsh and unforgiving environment. The Shovel-snouted lizard (Meroles anchietae), named for its flattened snout that ends in a sharp edge, is one such example.
Often found on the Namib’s heated sand dunes, this desert reptile is known to perform a unique thermal “dance” to prevent its feet from burning and its body from overheating: A front leg and opposite hind leg lift on an alternate basis, prompting some to refer to this natural phenomenon as the “Namib quickstep”. Should it get too hot for even its cool moves to handle, the lizard will nose-dive and burrow into the cooler sand or, more sensibly, simply move to the shaded side of the dune.
One of the driest places on earth (the absolute driest being the Atacama Desert in Chile), some areas in the Namib receive less than 10mm of rain each year. Of course, this is of little bother to Meroles anchietae, because, like most desert wildlife, it has adapted ingenious ways to harvest and preserve. Most of its moisture is gathered by drinking fog from rocks or its body. It also has two bladders, one of which is used exclusively to store water. If full to capacity, the lizard can survive on it for 12 weeks.
Unfortunately, this built-in water canteen makes our shovel-faced friend an extra special treat for Peringuey’s adder, a venomous desert sidewinder who must also do all it can to find and ingest water to survive.
On a much lighter note, the Shovel-snouted lizard is said to make an excellent pet. If acclimatised while young, the small reptiles are calm and docile around people, preferring to rest on the shoulders of their owners or even hang painlessly from their earlobes. However, many argue that this lizard should be left in its natural habitat, the Namib, where its unique adaptations will always help them beat the heat, deadly sidewinders or not.
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According to the World Bank, access to and use of financial services are essential to inclusive growth and poverty reduction. So, how does South Africa move forward if more than two-thirds of the adult population is regarded as unbanked? The answer lies in the ever-evolving technology of smartphones.
In 2013, Standard Bank, in partnership with tech start-up FirePay, debuted SnapScan, a cashless, cardless payment app that can be used both in-store and online. According to Kobus Ehlers, CEO of FirePay, SnapScan was invented to give the under- and unbanked access to financial services.
In a nutshell, the smartphone-based application works by removing the need for customers to carry cash or bank cards, allowing them to make payments using only their phones. Anyone from any bank can download SnapScan for free, and then provide their credit or cheque card number, which is securely stored using advanced encryption techniques.
A boon for merchants, particularly informal traders, is the fact SnapScan totally removes the need for expensive and cumbersome point-of-sale equipment. Retailers aren’t even required to have a bank account; instead they can choose to receive their payments in the form of a Standard Bank Instant Money voucher, which can be redeemed at numerous SPAR supermarkets and ATMs around the country.
The SnapScan app started small. It was first tentatively launched in small coffee shops in the university town of Stellenbosch, before moving on to a few retailers. After FirePay gathered user feedback that improved the product, SnapScan won an award for best application in South Africa. Using some of the prize money, a collaboration with the non-profit Big Issue organisation was formed to help improve sales of its eponymous magazine. Ehlers says this partnership was a good fit; the magazine sellers could accept more than just cash and the app gained exposure.
To date, SnapScan has partnered with 25 000 businesses in South Africa, proving that the country is ready and willing to embrace uniquely African solutions to our everyday challenges.
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African cuisine is as diverse and fascinating as the continent’s cultures and traditions. With a fusion of tastes and flavours, the continent is an absolute foodie heaven. If you set foot in any of the following countries, don’t leave without treating yourself to these delicacies.
Food-wise, Kenya is famous for nyama choma, roasted chicken, beef or goat meat that is seasoned with salt and slow-grilled until tender. Nyama Choma is served with a relish of thinly sliced raw tomatoes and onion.
Muamba, a spicy chicken stew, is a must-try. This dish is made with palm oil or butter, garlic, okra and chilli pepper.
The classic Mozambican dish, peri-peri chicken, consists of chicken marinated in lemon juice, garlic, coconut milk, and spicy peri-peri sauce. It’s usually accompanied with chips or matapa, cassava leaves prepared in peanut sauce.
Two of Nigeria’s most famous dishes are jollof rice and egusi soup. The former’s basic ingredients are rice, tomatoes, onion, and pepper. The latter is prepared using melon seeds, palm oil, vegetables, dried fish and stewed meat. It’s best enjoyed with pounded yam.
Photo credit: www.9jafoodie.com
The best known Ethiopian food is probably injera, the spongy sourdough flatbread normally eaten with meat, lentils, beans, and vegetable sauces.
Zambia’s staple food is nshima, a thickened porridge made from finely ground maize. It is usually accompanied by side dishes known as relishes, and they can be anything from beef to chicken stew to fish and beans.
Chichinga, probably the most popular street food in Ghana, is a kebab made from beef, chicken or sausage with a peanut-spice rub or ground spices.
If you fancy something more filling, banku is your best bet. It’s cooked by placing a mixture of fermented corn and cassava dough in hot water until it forms a thick, smooth paste.
Considered the Egyptian national dish, koshari consists of rice, lentils and macaroni, topped with crispy onions and spicy tomato sauce.
Another Egyptian favourite is ful medames, a breakfast stew of lava beans simmered with olive oil, lemon juice, cumin and garlic.
If you really want to awaken your taste buds, try urojo soup, a rich mashup of tangy chicken, chopped potato, kachori, thinly sliced onion, fried cassava chips, and a boiled egg. It also contains a blend of mango and ginger.
South African’s are famous for their love of biltong, a cured, dried meat normally enjoyed as a snack. The meat is cured in a blend of salt, vinegar, sugar and spices before being hung to dry.
Another South African favourite is Cape Malay curry, known for its sweet, spice- and fruit-infused flavour.
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The world needs to go green. Leaders around the globe know this, and African leaders are no different. Already, a vast number of eco-friendly projects have been initiated by the continent’s governments and its people, facilitating everyday activities and protecting the environment.
In Africa, it’s hot to go green, so let’s look at some popular projects and also what the continent can consider next.
Agriculture can effectively contribute to the continent’s GDP, but major growth relies on government support in the form of finance for farmers, as well as stable markets and improved infrastructure. In turn, this will improve the continent’s food security and contribute to ecologically friendly farming practices.
ALTERNATIVE POWER SOURCES
Africa is home to more than one billion people and all need reliable power. Projects such as Morocco’s Noor Complex solar-power plant; Kenya’s M-KOPA, a pay-as-you-go solar-power provider; and Rwanda’s KivuWatt gas-water extraction project show that the continent is ready to capitalise on its natural resources at the lowest cost to consumers.
GREEN MALLS AND PUBLIC SPACES
Africa has seen a significant increase in shopping mall development due to the rising middle class, urbanisation, and an overall young population that subscribes to aspirational “mall” culture. Building eco-friendly malls won’t only have a positive impact on the environment; it will have a social ‘cool’ factor, as shoppers will be keen to associate with new social spaces.
Eco-friendly construction techniques include easily recyclable mud bricks; low E-windows to regulate temperature; and lumber created from recycled wood and plastic, which is more durable and less toxic than conventional lumber. Insulation for homes includes natural products such as flax, hemp or wood fibre, which are better for the environment.
Ugandan-based Kiira Motors created Africa’s first hybrid vehicle, the Kiira Smack, a petrol-electric car that can hit speeds of more than 60 mph while running for four-to-five hours on a full battery. The same company also created the Kayoola, a solar-powered electric bus, the first of its kind in East Africa.
Africa boasts numerous designers who contribute to empowerment and protect the environment. For example, Woolworths offers a range of jeans made from recycled materials; ASOS Africa abides by fair trade regulations; and SoleRebels, a footwear company, is the world’s first Fairtrade Certified footwear.
Eco-friendly gadgets are essential for conserving power and curbing environmental waste. As such, they are seeing a surge in popularity: The Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate is partly created from recycled materials and the Philips Econova TV auto adjusts to zero wattage mode when turned off.
Africa’s landfills are filling up fast. Fortunately, waste can be reduced with recycling, decreasing land, water and air pollution, and creating jobs in a sustainable industry.
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For decades, Africa has been known for its stunning geography and friendly people. But, recently, it is also growing in prominence as film location for international blockbusters. Here’s a look at some of the hottest movies filmed in locations across the continent.
The biopic of the American civil rights leader was filmed in the United States, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and South Africa. The final scenes where former South African president and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela quotes one of Malcolm X's speeches was filmed in Johannesburg.
Beasts of No Nation
Beasts of No Nation is a story about the experiences of a child soldier fighting in a civil war in an unspecified West African country. The movie was filmed in Ghana to maintain authenticity.
The 2006 action movie highlights the atrocities generated by diamonds mined in war zones to finance warlords and international diamond companies. It was filmed in Cape Town and Port Edward in South Africa and Mozambique.
Mad Max: Fury Road
The fourth instalment in the Mad Max franchise is set in a future desert wasteland where gasoline and water are scarce commodities. The movie was filmed in Namibia after rains turned the Australian desert outback into a field of wild flowers.
This historical drama was filmed in Marrakech, Morocco. Other blockbusters that were filmed in the ancient city include Sex and the City 2 and Mission Impossible 5.
Captain America: Civil War
The 2016 superhero movie was partly filmed in Lagos, Nigeria. The location was designed to look like an African market and included lots of extras to mimic the expected hustle and bustle.
The Constant Gardener
The 2005 drama/thriller is about a British diplomat who relocates to Kenya with his wife, a social activist, who is later found murdered in the wilderness. The movie was shot in Nairobi, Kenya, and features the city’s largest slum, Kibera.
The Last King of Scotland
The Last King of Scotland, a story about a Scottish doctor who becomes the personal physician and confidante of Dictator Idi Amin, was wholly filmed in Uganda in order to retain the authenticity of the novel on which the movie is based.
This historical drama was filmed in Kigali, Rwanda and Johannesburg, South Africa. The story follows hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina’s heroic struggle to protect Tutsi refugees who hid in his hotel to escape the ethnic cleansing by Hutu militia.
Neill Blomkamp’s 2009 sci-fi blockbuster was filmed exclusively in Johannesburg’s Soweto township. The film’s marketing campaign went viral with billboards and bus shelters adorned with signs reading ‘Bus Stop for Humans Only’.
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In the spirit of creativity and in celebrating the Henri Matisse | Rhythm and Meaning exhibition currently on at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg, the #MatisseMyPic campaign on Twitter gives the public the opportunity to have their profile pictures “Matissed” and has taken selfies to a whole new level. The campaign aims to bring art enthusiasts as well as people who are somewhat interested in art closer to the works of Matisse. So how does it work? By posting your image on twitter along with #MatisseMyPic, Standard Bank picks up those requests and creative artists use a combination of software and hand-drawn techniques in the various styles utilised by Henri Matisse, to create your Matisse-inspired image. And Voila! Your “Matissed” portrait will be posted back to you on twitter. ‘I ended up discovering that the likeness of a portrait comes from the contrast which exists between the face of the model and other faces, in a word from its particular asymmetry. Each figure has its own rhythm and it is this rhythm which creates the likeness.’ – Matisse 1954 (McCully 2013:56). So be inspired and have your pic ‘’Matissed’’ and be sure to make your way down to the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg before it closes on 17 September to see what all the fuss is about. Entrance is FREE! The Henri Matisse | Rhythm and Meaning exhibition runs until 17 September 2016 at the Standard Bank Gallery, located c/o Frederick and Harrison Streets, Johannesburg. Gallery Opening Times: Mondays to Fridays 08:00 to 16:30 Saturdays 09:00 to 16:00 Closed Sundays and Public Holidays Walkabouts with an expert take place on Wednesdays and Fridays from 1pm-2pm, but also on Saturday 10th and 17th September from 11am-12pm Free shuttles are available from the Gautrain Park Station to the Standard Bank Gallery, Mondays – Saturdays, be sure to book your seat. For more information regarding the exhibition, please click here. Terms and conditions for #MatisseMyPic.
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For decades, the Olympic Games have showcased the very best of the human spirit: Dedication, fairness, endurance and hope - it’s fair to say that this iconic annual event is viewed in both an aspirational and inspirational light.
But there’s something a little more “iconic” in the makeup of this year’s Games: For the first time ever, a team of refugees will compete for glory, fame and personal ambition.
Made up of athletes from South Sudan, Ethiopia, DRC and others, all team members have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds and challenges to compete on the international stage. Below, we share some of their stories.
ETHIOPIA – Yonas Kinde
Category: Athletics, Men’s marathon
36-year-old Yonas abandoned his home country of Ethiopia in 2011 due to political and economic strife. He now lives in Luxembourg where he has been granted international protection and makes a living as a taxi driver.
Though the talented runner has only been in his new continental home for a short time, he has already won several races in France, Germany and, of course, the tiny nation of Luxembourg. However, he has been unable to prove his sporting prowess in major international competitions due to lack of citizenship – until now.
Yonas is embracing the opportunity of a lifetime to compete in a unique Olympic team all of his own, and he is determined to give it his all.
SOUTH SUDAN – Paulo Amotun Loroko
Category: Athletics, Men’s 1 500m
Now living and thriving in Nairobi, Kenya, Paulo’s peaceful, rural life in South Sudan was perfect until civil war broke out in 2003.
The escalating and widespread violence drove his parents to flee to neighbouring Kenya, and Paulo found the courage to follow them in 2006.
Unlike many refugee stories, the athlete’s ends happily; he was eventually reunited with his mother at a Kenyan refugee camp and was able to attend school.
According to Paulo, qualifying for the 2016 Games has given him a chance to realise his greatest ambition: He says his dream is to break a record and win a gold medal.
DRC – Yolande Mabika
Category: Judo, Women’s 70kg
28-year-old Yolande originally hails from Bukavu, a city in Democratic Republic of Congo that saw some of the most intense fighting and social upheaval during the country’s civil war from 1998 to 2003. Separated from her parents while very young, the judoka remembers little of what happened, only that – to escape the violence – she was running alone in a forest when she was rescued by a helicopter that took her to safety in Kinshasa, the capital. While living in a centre for orphaned children, Yolande took up Judo, a sport the Congolese government advocated for displaced children to help them to find structure. She credits the discipline for giving her a “strong heart”, allowing her to heal the emotional pain of losing her family. In 2014, Yolande was granted refugee status by the Brazilian government, and now lives in Rio de Janeiro.
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Africa’s art landscape is packed with tremendously talented artists who are gaining prominence locally and abroad. From Ghana to Kenya, Mozambique to Egypt, there’s a generation of painters, sculptors, photographers, and installation artists whose work will astound you. Don’t just take our word for it – check it out yourself.
EDDY ILUNGA – DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Born in 1991 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eddy Ilunga is one of the extraordinarily talented young artists Africa has to offer. The painter’s bourgeoning fame can be attributed to his bright acrylic paintings that showcase the continent’s unique art flavour. His work appears to be influenced by fashion photography and Congolese aesthetics, making use of heavy textures and patterns to merge pop culture references such as music and fashion.
With an interest in history and culture, Eddy’s recent project, entitled Mangbetu, is a tribute to the Congolese tribe of the same name. The Mangbetu are an indigenous tribe whose culture teeters on the brink of erosion, thanks to the unstoppable force of modernisation. To highlight their plight, Eddy created characters with circuit boards coated as skin, while wrapped in vivid garments printed with traditional Mangbetu patterns.
Eddy’s work has been exhibited across the world, notably in London and New York. In Africa, he has shown his creations at several exhibitions, including Dak’Art, a prominent contemporary exhibition held once every two years in Dakar, Senegal.
CYRUS KARIBU – KENYA
Cyrus Karibu uses his talents and creativity to turn trash into cash. The Nairobi-born sculptor is known for his skill of transforming waste into fascinating pieces of art. Give him anything from old bicycle parts to a discarded spoon, or even a tin of shoe polish, and he’ll create something magical, like stylish, flamboyant glasses. It’s these glasses, called C-Stunners, that have earned Cyrus the recognition he deserves.
His glasses, which are available both as sculptures and photographs, is both creative and playful. Cyrus explains that his love for glasses started at a young age: “When I was young I used to admire real glasses but my dad was a bit harsh and he never wanted me to have real glasses. That’s the reason I started making the glasses.”
The 32-year-old visual artist is also a self-taught painter. His work humorously captures Kenya’s urban life.
PORTIA ZVAVAHERA – ZIMBABWE
It’s almost impossible to gaze at Portia Zvavahera’s creations and not feel a pang of emotion. Her masterful use of colour, pattern, and texture gives her paintings a life of their own. The Zimbabwean artist’s work chiefly features women characters and explores issues around spirituality, marriage, and child birth. The bold and powerful colours give these characters a unique realness, their distress or joy almost tangible.
The 31-year-old painter draws inspiration from her dreams and life experiences. She sleeps with a sketchbook under her pillow, sketching out whatever she dreams about and later brings it to life in powerful configurations. Her new body of work, I can Feel It in My Eyes, drips with passion and sensuality, depicting couples locked in kisses amid a sea of flowers.
Born in Juru, a small town in Zimbabwe, Portia represented her country at the 55 th Venice Biennale in 2013, and her work has also been exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean in Mauritius.
AYA TAREK – EGYPT
The Egyptian art scene is a highly competitive space that boasts an endless list of artists with international acclaim. Aya Tarek is one of the new wave of young street artists making a lot of noise in the country renowned for its deeply rich art history. Her mediums are mainly graffiti and paint.
Although street art in Egypt largely gained considerable international attention after the 2011 uprisings, Tarek, 27, began sharing her work on the walls of Alexandria in 2008. Inspired by her grandfather, who was a graphic designer and painter of film posters in the 1960s, Tarek decided to pursue art and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Alexandria University.
As with many Egyptian artists, some of Aya’s work is laced with political undertones. Although shying away from being excessively political, she admits that whether you’re an artist or not, you’re bound to be political at some point. “I used to say I’m not political, but I realised that everything you do is political. Walking down the street is political. So, it is political, but it doesn't have to be propaganda,” she says .
GIDEON APPAH – GHANA
There’s a gritty, chaotic feel to the Ghanaian artist’s artworks, which brings to mind the work of American Neo-Expressionist artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat. Using an array of mediums, including painting, sculpture, and installation art, Gideon conveys his fascination with themes such as pop culture, race, and anxiety.
His penchant for art developed at a young age, and in 2012 he obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Since the completion of his studies, the 28-year-old artist has been making notable strides in developing his career. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in Ghana, and in 2015, he was the winner of the first Merit Award at the 30 th edition of the L’Atelier competition organised by Barclays Africa.
MOHAU MODISAKENG – SOUTH AFRICA
Mohau Modisakeng, 30, is a talented artist who works primarily as a sculptor, but also dabbles in photography, video, and performance. Born in Soweto, Johannesburg, Mohau graduated from the Michealis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town.
Seeing the effects of political violence and poverty at a young age, Mohau started drawing to channel his observations and feelings. His work is largely influenced by South African history, touching on the country’s harsh past of oppression and segregation, and its effects today, with violence being a recurring theme in his work.
Mohau has captivated art lovers all over the world. In 2014, he held solo exhibitions in Austria and Germany. His work has also been exhibited in Nigeria, Canada, Italy, and England.
ABOUDIA – CôTE D’IVOIRE
Abdoulaye Diarrassouba, known as Aboudia, is rapidly morphing into one of Côte d’Ivoire’s most celebrated artists. He is famous for his big canvases of haunting, ghostly figures of children with bulging eyes and gaping mouths. His paintings, which tell tales of chaos and violence, are largely observations from the civil war that gripped the west African country in 2011.
“My work is similar to that of a journalist writing an article. I was simply describing a situation, in order to create a record of my country’s recent history,” says Aboudia. “I’m an ambassador of the children – they do writings on the walls, their wishes, their fears, I’m doing the same on my canvas. I’m like a megaphone for these children.”
His work caught the attention of international audiences in 2011, and today, he has exhibited across Africa, Europe, and the United States. His paintings reportedly cost anything from US$12,000 to $20,000.
STACEY GILLIAN ABE – UGANDA
Stacey Abe started painting at the age of nine and sold her first piece of art when she was still a high school student. She has since developed into an artist driven by passion and an urge to challenge gender misconceptions and inspire other women to pursue their dreams.
While she started out as a painter, the Ugandan artist has acquired a profound passion in sculpture, mainly working with glass. She began experimenting with glass in school as a way of finding something unique and that she can call her own. Explaining her love for glass as a medium, she says “it illustrates both the fragility and defiance in [my] personal experience as a sculptor.”
Stacey looks up to renowned Japanese sculptor Sayaka Ganz for her remarkable ability of turning discarded material like plastic and metal into astonishing life-like animal figures.
NIDHAL CHAMEKH – TUNISIA
Born in 1985 in Tunisia, Nidhal Chamekh started exhibiting his artworks locally at the age of 12. Today, following years of hard work and dedication, his name is known beyond African borders.
Whether it’s design, photography or installation, Nidhal’s art is deeply influenced by his family’s background and his childhood neighbourhood in the capital Tunis. Growing up in a family of activists, Nidhal adopted a rebellious spirit and a political voice. His father, an untiring advocate of free expression, was sent to prison several times when Tunisia was under the rule of Habib Bourguiba. This impacted Nidhal’s view on politics and art.
“This helped me to paradoxically develop a more objective view on politics. The fact of easily going beyond simple politics and simple topics. It is in me. The most important thing in a work of art is to convey a political or social message without limiting the work to a simple message,” he explains .
EURIDICE KALA – MOZAMBIQUE
Euridice Kala’s work takes on many forms. Whether it’s installations, photography or video, her work is gripping and impactful. Her love for African history and culture is apparent in most of her art pieces. With themes that speak a great deal about appropriation of Mozambican and African culture, Euridice’s work has endeared her to multitudes of art lovers across the continent.
She has showcased her work in Cameroon, South Africa, and Senegal. She has also wowed audiences in across Europe, including in France, Netherlands, and Portugal.
Born in Maputo, Euridice shares her time between the Mozambican capital and Johannesburg, South Africa.
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Our new global brand commercial is about Africa, not Standard Bank. Instead of talking about ourselves, we’d rather talk about our home and how, together, we can drive Africa forward. By highlighting some of Africa’s unique qualities and the spirit of its people, we’re encouraging pride and identification with the continent. Watch the ‘making of’ film to find out from the team how we went about creating our latest commercial.
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When you live in a place of possibility, when you’re driving Africa’s growth, you never stop moving forward. Watch our latest commercial and be inspired by some of Africa’s unique characteristics and opportunities. Let’s take Africa forward, together.
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According to the World Bank, Africa is the world’s youngest continent with more than 50 percent of the population under the age of 20. It’s these young people who are tackling our continent’s challenges with creativity and innovation. Here are some young African inventors who are changing lives through ingenuity.
Engineering whiz kid from Sierra Leone
Meet nineteen-year-old Kelvin Doe from Sierra Leone who at the age of 13 built, homemade batteries and a generator to power a community radio station all from recycled materials. His efforts led him to become the youngest ever "visiting practitioner" with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) International Development Initiative in 2012.
Photo credit: sierraloaded.com Solar-powered schoolbags in South Africa
Thato Kgatlhanye from Rustenburg, South Africa, designs solar-powered schoolbags. These bags go a long way to help underprivileged school children who struggle to do their homework at night because there is no electricity to power the lights. The eco-satchels, which are made from recycled plastic shopping bags, charge up during the day and transform into a study lamp at night.
Photo credit: Thato Kgatlhanye The Malawian youth builds his own windmill
William Kamkwamba from Malawi is a self-taught engineer and inventor. When he was just 14, William built an electricity-producing windmill using blue gum trees, bicycle parts, and materials collected from a scrapyard to power his family home. William also built a solar-powered water pump that supplies drinking water to his community and helps improve agriculture in his village. Photo credit: William and The Windmill
Enterprising youths like Kelvin, Thatho and William and many others are changing our continent for the better because of their pursuit of progress. It’s important to tell their stories.
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Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe has donated sunscreen lotions to the Albino Charity Organisation of Zimbabwe (ALCOZ) in keeping with its core value of growing its people and giving back to the community in which it operates.
Handing over the sunscreen lotions, sunscreen lip balms, antiseptic liquid washes and soap, the bank’s CEO Joshua Tapambgwa said Stanbic Bank was not only keen to be a leading emerging markets financial services organisation but was committed to helping its communities. Stanbic Bank identified with ALCOZ’s vision of alleviating the suffering of people living with albinism the country.
The donation seeks to improve the welfare of people living with albinism through reduction of stigma and discrimination, provision of basic needs and capacity build them for sustainable livelihood.
Sunscreen lotion was one of the most critical requirements of people living with albinism. There are more than 5 000 people living with albinism in Zimbabwe. Their major challenge is that their skin is sensitive to the sun which can cause complications such as skin cancer.
The bank's continued support for albinos was a source of comfort to people living with the condition. A study of Zimbabwean adults with albinism revealed a lack of suitable health care facilities and social welfare support, with most adults relying on assistance from their families. Deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe mean many albino people struggle to get skin lotions and other medicines amidst deeply rooted myths and prejudice. Zimbabwean adults with albinism found it difficult to obtain salaried jobs and encountered numerous social problems.
In understanding this core economic importance to both the individuals and the economy, the bank hopes the donations will go along way in making a difference to those who need it most. In reaching our purpose of driving Africa's growth means we need to understand the societies in which we operate.
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It’s not every day that you see the Standard Bank brand racing through the streets of London, but a team of eager enthusiastic cyclists from our London office did just that!
Our Standard London cycling teams took part in the 10th edition of the award-winning London Nocturne, completing a 1.5km circuit around the city streets of London.
The riders raised over £800 for Build Africa, a charity which believes in the power of education to help end poverty, and work to ensure that children in rural Africa have the best opportunity to learn.
The focus is giving often vulnerable children the right infrastructure, resources, quality teaching and parental support to help them get the most from their time at school and go on to lead productive, healthy and happy lives.
Our Standard Bank London team One of Standard Bank's key CSI initiatives is education and our staff globally get involved in various charity events that ultimately make a difference to the communities across Africa.
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We have been formally awarded a banking license in Côte d’Ivoire trading as Stanbic Bank. We opened a representative Office in December 2013, signalling a drive towards establishing a presence in Francophone West Africa, and are now gearing up to commence banking operations in a market which stands out for its diverse, rapidly growing economy and business friendly reputation. The country currently enjoys one of sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest GDP growth rates, expected to maintain 7% or more over the next three years.
This most recent banking license is seen as a milestone for Standard Bank Group. We prize our on-the-ground footprint across the continent, now 20 countries, and view our ability to support clients locally as a defining competitive advantage.
The mostly French speaking West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) region was identified as a key growth opportunity and an excellent strategic fit for the Group which has committed to play a leading role in driving Africa’s growth.
UEMOA as a whole is regarded as having substantial business advantages stemming from its stable single currency, shared central bank and stock exchange, as well as its increasingly harmonized business legal structures and burgeoning population. Côte d’Ivoire is ideally positioned as a hub for the region which also includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.
The key drivers behind Côte d’Ivoire’s well-diversified economic growth are public investment led initiatives in power and infrastructure in conjunction with successful public-private partnerships, natural resources (oil, gas and mining), agriculture, telecommunications, and the country’s consumer market – all linked to core sectors of activity for Standard Bank Group.
As a bank rooted in Africa with a 153 year history, we are committed to broadening and deepening its footprint on a continent we call home and to being Africa’s leading financial services organisation.
For more on Standard Bank Group's African footprint, click here.
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Ahead of the Henri Matisse|Rhythm and Meaning exhibition at Johannesburg’s Standard Bank Gallery an Art Bus travelled to Soweto primary schools in South Africa, where student teachers from the University of Johannesburg gave art workshops and provided learners with educational workbooks, inspired by Matisse’s artworks and motifs.
The Art Bus visited various primary schools, bringing the magic of art to life for young minds. Learners from township schools will be taken on walkabouts at the Standard Bank Gallery and will also be treated to a cut-out workshop, echoing one of the techniques for which Matisse is renowned and which he called “painting with scissors”.
Ben Kruger, our joint CEO of Standard Bank Group at a Matisse school outreach drive visited Leitsibolo Primary School in Soweto, South Africa to hand out educational workbooks. Learners from all the primary schools received the beautiful workbooks, crammed with stimulating creative activities that focus on Matisse’s use of colour and his impact on South African contemporary art. The interactive exercises are themed around Matisse’s work, including drawing masks and designing a “pop-up” room.
Educational Matisse workbooks
Matisse is known for boldly forging a new 20 th century visual language, and through this outreach programme his pioneering spirit will be explored in a lively and vivid way to spark an interest in art among the learners.
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Once known as the Gold Coast because of the vast mineral deposits between its seemingly infinite Ankobra and Volta rivers in the 1400s, this West Africa nation, now in the 21 st century, boasts the 92 nd largest export economy in the world- based on cocoa, petroleum and gold. It’s also recognised as one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse nations in Africa.
Ghana can potentially offer much growth and substantial returns. It is West Africa's second-biggest economy after Nigeria (but much more diversified than the latter) and more than two decades of political stability and democratic rule have allowed the country to experience strong, stable economic growth.
Ghana is Africa’s second-biggest gold producer after South Africa, and is also rich in diamonds, manganese ore, bauxite and oil. However, more than half its labour force is concentrated in agriculture, rice, coffee and cassava, yielding cocoa- being the world’s second largest producer of cocoa.
Electricity generation is a critical factor in the development Ghana’s economy, but the nation is currently experiencing blackouts (known as ‘dumsor’) due to shortages. Fortunately, the Ghanaian government’s interest in renewable energy development should increase local electricity generation in coming years.
This rich nation holds golden investment opportunities, and with the diverse ethnicities, customs and languages, a partner who has strong cultural collateral, people on the ground who understand, respect and connect with the people, is key for growth in Africa.
Read more about capabilities across Africa here.
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A study has shown that wine consumption in Africa is rising five times faster than the global average. Africans gulped down a total of 864 million bottles of wine in 2013 - a rise of 17.3% in five years. That remains relatively modest for a continent of 1.1 billion people.
But the market is forecast to grow even more as lifestyles evolve in the wake of African growth that has outstripped global GDP by nearly 3% over the past 15 years.
According to the World Health Organisation, wealthier countries in Africa tend to drink mainly beer. Spirits aren’t very popular in Africa, but those countries that do the “hard drinks” tend to be island or coastal countries, while those that grow a lot maize, millet or sorghum will mostly do traditional brews from grain.
South African wine producers are looking to the African market to pick up sales after a sluggish year. Angola and Nigeria are firmly in their sights as the producers double their efforts to cater for Angolans’ thirst for sparkling wine and Nigerian demand for bottles of red.
The aim is to more than double annual sales growth to 5% in Nigeria, boosting profits from Africa’s largest economy. Exports of mostly red wine to Nigeria stand at 4.5 million litres a year, while Angola buys 6 million litres, of which 5 million litres are bubbly wine. Exporters also aim to increase sales in Uganda, Kenya and Ghana.
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