New Web TV “Conscience 360” Launched in Burkina Faso to Foster National Sovereignty

Ouagadougou – Burkina Faso witnessed the launch of a new web-based television channel, Conscience 360 (C360), this Sunday. The channel, announced at an event in the capital, is designed to enlighten and raise awareness among the Burkinabè population and beyond, covering a broad spectrum of socio-economic, cultural, political, and spiritual topics.

According to Burkina Information Agency, the general director of Conscience 360, the channel is committed to strengthening and building the sovereignty of nations, with a particular focus on Burkina Faso. Hounkponou highlighted that C360 aims to integrate and expand upon the capacities of existing channels within the country to form a unified platform for progress and pride in Burkina Faso’s future.

The director outlined that Conscience 360 will provide a range of programming aimed at inspiring viewers and contributing to a renewed national identity. The channel already features shows like “Patriotes d’Afrique,” which showcases key figures in the development of African sovereignty, and “Cartes sur tables,” which offers analysis of political events. Other programs include “Le regard sur l’avenir” and “Une forêt qui grow,” which are designed to foster forward-looking perspectives and growth.

The launch event also featured remarks from Chériff Coulibaly, a representative of the C360 staff, who reiterated the channel’s dedication to delivering content that supports a free, prosperous, and sovereign Burkina Faso. The channel is based in Patte d’oie and employs a team of 12 image reporting journalists to cover diverse topics relevant to its audience.

Ondonga Spokesperson Advocates for Weapon-Free Omagongo Cultural Festival

ONAMBANGO, Namibia — Enkali Frans, the spokesperson for the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA), has urged attendees of the upcoming Omagongo Cultural Festival to refrain from bringing weapons to the event. The festival is scheduled for 25 May 2024 at the Ondonga Traditional Palace in Onambango village, located in the Oshana Region.

According to Namibia Press Agency, in a recent interview with Nampa, the call for a weapon-free environment stems from a desire to prevent any incidents of violence that might arise, especially given the possibility of alcohol consumption. “We really want to discourage them from bringing any kind of weapon to the festival. This is a harmonious event that is meant to connect people,” Frans stated.

The Omagongo Festival, also known as the Marula Festival, is celebrated by the Aawambo and other Bantu-speaking communities from neighboring countries. It is co-hosted by the Ondonga and Ombandja Traditional Authorities and aims to uphold and celebrate cultural traditions centered around the marula tree, which is seen as a symbol of hope in Northern Namibia.

Frans emphasized the importance of responsible behavior at the festival, particularly regarding alcohol consumption, to ensure the event’s cultural significance continues for future generations. The previous year’s festival was held at Chief Oswin Mukulu Palace in the Omusati Region, traditionally occurring from February to May, aligned with the marula fruit harvesting season.

Pouni Mask Festival Launches in Sanguié with High-Level Support

SANGUIÉ – The Pouni Mask Festival, an annual cultural event that draws participants and audiences from across Burkina Faso and beyond, officially commenced its 17th edition in Sanguié, in the Center-West region of Burkina Faso. The festival, known as FESTIMAQ, began on March 30, 2024, emphasizing the role of traditional masks in promoting peace and social cohesion within the nation.

According to Burkina Information Agency, this year’s festival theme, “Mask, peace, and social cohesion in Burkina Faso,” resonates deeply with the current socio-political landscape of the country. The Minister of State, Minister of Civil Service, Labor and Social Protection, Bassolma Bazié, attended the event, endorsing it as a platform for unity and cultural celebration amidst Burkina Faso’s ongoing security concerns.

The festival’s opening ceremony featured a variety of speeches and artistic performances, including a significant mask procession. Key government officials, including the Minister of State, Minister of Communication, Culture, Arts and Tourism, Jean Emmanuel Ouédraogo, and the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Me Edasso Rodrigue Bayala, participated in the event, highlighting the government’s support for cultural initiatives.

Minister Bazié’s address underscored the festival’s importance as a symbol of resilience and solidarity, encouraging the community to leverage cultural heritage as a strength against adversities, including terrorism. The AMA president, Hervé Gué, outlined the festival’s diverse activities structured around four main pillars: performance of masks, sports activities, promotion of traditional products, and community health and social initiatives.

FESTIMAQ 2024 also aims to extend its reach, inviting mask societies from other regions and countries, thus fostering a broader cultural exchange. The event not only celebrates the artistic and cultural heritage of Burkina Faso but also contributes to the national strategy for cultural and tourist development initiated since the festival’s inception in 1990.

Kisumu Artist Transforms Passion into Prosperity Through Art

KISUMU, Kenya — Fidelis Kyalo, a 28-year-old artist from Kisumu, has turned his lifelong passion for drawing into a sustainable career, positively impacting his family’s livelihood. With the support of the Nairobi Art Gallery, which champions art as a crucial expression of life and talent, Kyalo has successfully navigated the journey from a casual hobbyist to a professional artist.

According to Kenya News Agency, his artistic journey began at the tender age of seven and evolved significantly after a friend recognized his talent in 2017, suggesting he pursue formal education in the arts. Despite his initial aspirations to join the Kenya Defense Forces post-high school, Kyalo chose to follow his passion for art, leading him to enroll at Mwangaza Art School in Kisumu. This decision marked a pivotal turn in his life, opening doors to various art forms beyond drawing, including sculpture, pottery, and canvas painting.

During his time at Mwangaza, Kyalo’s artistic abilities flourished, culminating in his first significant earnings—a Sh13,000 payment for a pencil artwork, which he and his wife wisely invested in establishing a thrift shop for men’s wear in Kisumu. This venture complemented his ongoing artistic endeavors, providing a stable income source and enabling him to engage in various contractual projects, including corporate and educational institution commissions.

Despite the rewarding aspects of his career, Kyalo faces challenges common to many artists, particularly regarding the cost and availability of art supplies and public appreciation of the art’s value. Nevertheless, his commitment to his craft and entrepreneurial spirit have paved the way for future aspirations, including potential ventures into animation and collaborations with publishers and media outlets.

Kyalo’s story serves as an inspirational testament to the potential of art as a viable career path, challenging conventional perceptions about the viability of non-corporate professions. His success not only underscores the importance of nurturing talent but also highlights the broader implications for educational policy, as exemplified by his endorsement of the Competency Based Curriculum in Kenya, which aims to foster and leverage individual talents for economic growth and personal fulfillment.

Kisii Filmmakers Boost Skills in Film and Video Production Workshop

KISII — In a significant boost to the local film industry, at least 200 filmmakers in Kisii have recently completed a film and video production training program. This initiative, a collaborative effort between the Kenya Film Commission and the Office of the Woman Representative in Kisii County, aimed to equip budding filmmakers with essential skills in the craft. The five-day capacity-building workshop took place at the Woman Representative’s offices in Kisii town, where participants engaged in learning basic filmmaking techniques and received valuable insights from seasoned film professionals.

According to Kenya News Agency, the training culminated in a film festival screening at the Kisii University Amphitheatre, located on the outskirts of Kisii town. Dorice Aburi, the Kisii Woman Representative, praised the Kenya Film Commission for its role in providing participants with the necessary skills to advance their careers in film production, emphasizing the potential for financial stability through their creative endeavors. Aburi highlighted the workshop’s networking opportunities, allowing young filmmakers to connect with peers and share artistic ideas.

Aburi committed to ongoing support for the workshop’s beneficiaries, announcing plans to incorporate them into a self-help group eligible for benefits from the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF). She also called on the national government to increase funding to the Office of the Woman Rep to facilitate further capacity-building training, aiming to enhance the livelihoods of grassroots communities.

Beneficiaries of the training, including Geoffrey Machoka and Veronica Bochere, expressed their gratitude for the workshop, noting it as a pivotal opportunity to acquire specialized skills in film and video production. Lydia Biseri, a local TV station reporter and camera person, shared her experience of learning about filmmaking and scriptwriting at no extra cost, committing to share this knowledge with peers who could not attend the training.

Biseri encouraged the youth to seize similar learning opportunities presented by both county and national governments, underlining the importance of such initiatives in fostering talent and empowering the next generation of filmmakers.