Fela Kuti And The Kalakuta Queens in South Africa

7-day Celebration of African Entertainment and Culture

A week in April brought Nigerians and South Africans together to explore the arts and music of the prophet and Abàmì Ẹ̀dá; Fela Kuti. He was a foremost Nigerian Afrobeat musician and social critic who died on the 2nd of August 1997.

The musical, called Fela And The Kalakuta Queens chronicles the events within Fela’s Kalakuta Republic, his home. Prominent in the stage performance is the unique fashion, dance and of course the intrigues amongst the 27 wives whom Fela married in a day! You can read a review of the musical from CNN and IOL. Bolanle Austen Peters is the brain behind this musical and the woman changing the face of theatre production in Nigeria.

Watch Fela And The Kalakuta Queens on YouTube

At the Pretoria State Theatre, the venue for the event, we captured some moments for you which you can view via the YouTube link below.

Don’t forget to like the video, leave a comment and also share the video with your friends.

5 Questions To Ask Before Using Minibus Taxis In Gauteng

Minibus taxis are the most popular mode of transport for most of South Africa’s population. In fact, the taxi industry is made up of 90% minibus taxis (Arrive Alive, 2018).

These taxis are the most available and affordable form of public transport in most urban areas in South Africa. Despite the advantages associated with minibus taxis, the disadvantages sometimes outweigh the advantages. That’s why we put together 5 questions to help you overcome challenges associated with using minibus taxis in Gauteng. Make sure you have answers to the questions – for every trip. We recommend finding a friendly taxi driver, local or fellow Nigerian who can answer all these questions a day before your trip.

1: What is your destination?

Know the name of the destination (e.g. Johannesburg Zoo or Joburg Zoo), and street address (e.g. Jan Smuts Ave & Upper Park Dr, Parkview, Johannesburg, 2193).

Quick safety tips:

  • Do not get off in unfamiliar places or in the middle of nowhere.
  • If you are unfamiliar with your destination. Check it on Google Maps so that you know what to look out for.
  • If possible travel at a reasonable time, preferably not at night time.
  • Tell someone where you are going and update them as often as possible

Of the 36 lives lost daily on South African roads, 3 (8%) are killed in taxi related incidents (Arrive Alive, 2018).

2. Will the minibus taxi drop you off at your destination?

Unfortunately, the taxi will not always be able to drop you off at your final or preferred destination. Taxis follow a predetermined route, known only by taxi drivers and frequent passengers. Try to check out Taximap; the website publish up-to-date information regarding minibus taxi routes, price, hours of operation, and other relevant information for minibus taxis in Johannesburg and for many other major South African cities.

The taxi industry consists of about 150 000 minibus taxis (Arrive Alive, 2018).

3. What time must you be at your destination?

Once again, taxis take a predetermined route that doesn’t always favour the passenger. Leave early to avoid being late. Waiting and travel times can be very long when using taxis so allocate two or three hours for waiting and traveling. Peak hours are early in the morning (there are many passengers going to work) and late afternoons (there are many passengers going home from work).

During peak hours, there are long queues of taxi passengers, long waiting times and a low number of taxis. During off peak hours, there are short queues of taxi passengers, long waiting times and high numbers of taxis. 

Minibus taxis in South Africa make the front passenger count the taxi fare

4. Where do you get minibus taxis to your destination?

Find out where you will be getting a taxi from. Is it from a taxi rank or by the side of the road. Which hand sign must you make to make the taxi stop? See this comprehensive multimedia information from Alberton Record on hand signs to make in order to catch a minibus taxi in South Africa. If you are going to a taxi rank then make sure you are standing at the right queue. If you are not sure that you are standing in the right queue then ask queue marshals, locals and taxi drivers.

Try this greeting.

Sure boss, please where can I get a minibus taxi to Joburg Zoo?

5. Where in the minibus taxi should you sit?

If you are early or lucky enough to choose where to sit, make sure you do not sit in the backseat or the front passenger seat. Choose any other seat (maybe one close to the window, if you prefer) and you should be comfortable.

Do not sit in the front passenger seat of a minibus taxi if your mathematics and multilingual skills are poor. 

Whoever sits in the front passenger seat is expected to collect and count all the taxi fare. If you have never done this before, then you’re lucky because it is daunting. Both the driver and passengers can be very unforgiving about their money. Passengers want their change before they get off at their destination. The driver wants all his money, so if someone did not pay then you will be blamed. Most taxi passengers speak the local South African languages and not English. With that said, being a Nigerian and sitting in the front seat of a taxi in South Africa are like oil and water. They don’t mix!

But then, remember to be conscious of your safety on South African roads and more importantly if you are travelling with kids. SA Taxi Foundation puts pedestrian injury as the leading cause of death in children. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of road safety tips.

On a final note, remember to plan ahead before you dash out for your first minibus taxi ride by writing out your answers to the 5 questions above; this will guarantee a pleasant minibus taxi ride for you. And don’t forget to share your South African minibus taxi experience in the comment section below.

Recommended: Read about road safety in South Africa 

Related Article: James Hall Museum of Transport – Affordable South African Tourist Attraction

#Nigeria2019: Your basic electoral rights at your poll station

#NigeriaDecides2019

Elections are one of the most crucial national political events in Nigeria. From pre-independent times through to the return to stable democracy in 1999, every election period in Nigeria’s political history has been associated with deep emotions and concerns for a free, fair and credible electoral process.

The 2019 Presidential election has come and gone. President Mohammaddu Buhari has been re-elected for a second term in office by the vast majority of Nigerians.

#ElectionNotWar And Your Rights

We are now right in the middle of the gubernatorial and parliamentary elections across Nigeria, hence it is important to restate to fellow electorates that elections serve as an important opportunity for you and I as citizens of Nigeria to influence the politics of our dear nation. In so doing, it is also equally important for us to inform ourselves about our basic fundamental human rights at the poll stations.

On election day, remember that, you have a civic right to:

• To support any candidate of your choice.
• To vote freely for any candidate, and
• To have your vote kept confidential

As we go about our civic responsibility during this electoral period, please endeavor to stay out of all forms of violence.

Night life at Iyana Ipaja, Lagos

Welcome to the city that never sleeps. No wonder they say the life of the Lagosian is on the road!

This is Ọjà Alẹ́ (Night Market) and it is 10pm at Iyana Ipaja Bus Stop in Lagos State. I am here for fresh Ofio (tigernuts) and dates from Mallam Musa.

Iyana Ipaja in Yorùbá language means ‘the junction to Ipaja road’. Iyana Ipaja is a settlement community and also doubles as one of the busiest commercial hubs on Lagos mainland.

Mobile apps I use in and around Johannesburg (2 of 2)

Mobile app - Johannesburg

Mobile apps run more than our phones. They literally help us run our lives.

This article is the second part of Mobile apps I use in and around Johannesburg (1 of 2).

In part one, I listed and described two apps I use in and around Jozi i.e. WhatsApp and VayaMoja.

3. Twitter mobile app

Mobile app - Twitter

Twitter is my go-to mobile app for all things news and chitchat. In fact, I live and breath on the streets of Twitter! These social streets can be mean, strict, entertaining and wild, all at once. I spend 80% of my time on this platform observing the ever-unfolding drama of ‘follow‘ trains.

I enjoy reading varying perspectives. So, my favorite part of Twitter is the diversity of perspectives on a particular topic.

However, separating real and fake news is a challenge today especially on mobile apps such as Twitter. Lots of fake news abound on Twitter. My grudge with some Twitter users remains their lack of respect for human dignity as well as the careless distribution of half-truths, rumours, and lies. Otherwise, Twitter beats the other social media apps hands down!

Download Twitter app on Apple App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android).

4. Zulzi mobile app

Sometimes, you feel like not stepping outside your house. Dressing up and driving to the mall can be a turn-off and it is too time-consuming. The creators of Zulzi identified this frustration all too well.

Zulzi is a revolutionary mobile app that allows you to order from Woolworths, Pick ‘n Pay, Dis-Chem, Spar Tops, and Clicks (in +/- 1 hour).

The mobile app tracks and communicates as personal shoppers choose products in real time. There is also a driver who will deliver your order to your door. For me, this is classic. 

Mobile app - Zulzi

Our experience with Zulzi

My family and I have been using Zulzi for over 6 months for grocery shopping, on an ad hoc basis. Honestly, the customer service is satisfactory. The shoppers are sometimes careless but they make up for it when you point it out. For example, there was a day we requested and paid for two tubs of ice cream and one of them had already been open (not eaten though). We spotted the error only after unpacking the groceries. We sent our shopper feedback and surprisingly, they replaced the ice cream. We also like the fact that they go to any length to find our requested items. Zulzi has proven to be a trusted app for our personal shopping needs during busy and lazy days.

Download the Zulzi app on Apple App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android).

5. Khwela mobile app

Kwelha is a relatively new South African mobile app. It is specifically designed to assist commuters of taxis. The mobile app makes it easy to find the closest taxi ranks, contact details of taxi rank officials and the rank’s operating hours. It also shows you taxi fares, the routes operated by such ranks and it reports road incidents.

Mobile app - Khwela

In my case, I rarely use the public taxis but I love the Khwela app for its excellent reportage on road traffic incidences. I have avoided several traffic delays as a result of this mobile app’s brilliant traffic incidents via push notifications.

Khwela notifies you of major and minor road incidents e.g. road accidents, road construction, police roadblocks, protest action, flood incidence, traffic light malfunction, vehicle breakdowns, and stationary vehicles in the middle of the road.

These are some of the traffic incident notifications that help me choose routes. The mobile app’s notifications also help me to be cautious and keep road safety a priority while driving. Thank you to the creators of this brilliant mobile app.

Download Khwela app on Apple App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android).

6. Wave mobile app

As an entrepreneur, it is important to cut cost while seeking to maximise profit (without compromising product and service quality). The free Wave invoicing app is one way for me to cut costs on my business administration. I find it to be very user-friendly. It gives me the freedom to assign invoicing and receipt accounts for my clients with the ease of enumerating the quantity, price, tax information and description of the goods or services that I offer. 

Download the Invoice by Wave Financial app on Apple App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android).

Mobile app - Wave Invoice

Mobile apps I use in and around Johannesburg (1 of 2)

Mobile apps - WhatsApp

I have two smartphones that I cannot do without and 7 favourite mobile apps (that I will discuss shortly). No matter where I am going, I always take my Blackberry Priv (which runs on Google Android) and my iPhone 6 (which runs on iOS). My smartphones give me the freedom to access everything at the tap of a screen. The mobile apps on them allow me to access my money, request a taxi, find accommodation and order food. Our smartphones can now do everything that phones could not do decades ago.

Mobile apps

Numbers tell a story

Statistically, mobile phones are progressively becoming part of the lives of billions of people globally. More than 62% of the world’s population owned a mobile phone as at 2016 compared to an estimated 50% global ownership of mobile phones in 2006.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the adoption of mobile devices has almost doubled within the last ten years with 44% subscriber penetration as at 2017. 

There’s a mobile app for everything

The list of things you can do with smartphones and mobile apps is endless. With your smartphone and mobile apps, you can search for and find everything from schools, jobs, love, cooking recipes, accommodation,
protection to transportation.

There’s a mobile app for everything. For example, I have a mobile app that monitors my heartbeat while my wife has a mobile app that monitors her monthly cycle. People have adopted mobile apps as their best friends. These mobile apps’ ability to make our lives easier have increased their global acceptance.

My favourite mobile apps

At the moment, there are 7 mobile apps that stand out for me. These apps’ functionality ranges from messaging, transport, shopping, journaling, training to business enhancement. These 7 mobile apps have helped me to reduce my stress levels and increase my productivity. I will briefly go through each app with a review of my personal experience. 

1. WhatsApp – instant messaging app

Mobile apps - WhatsApp

WhatsApp has significantly cut down costs associated with my phone calls and messaging. Starting with international calls, which are very expensive. The advent of WhatsApp has brought ease in the frequency of calling Lagos (Nigeria) from Johannesburg at any time of the day. Gone are the days when I had to load R110 airtime on my Vodacom phone or R100 airtime on my MTN phone just to make a call for 1 hour or less. At times, my airtime would even disappears. Things have changed, I now use Rain to make calls via WhatsApp’s steadily improving service quality. I finally have more quality time with family and friends across the WhatsApp messaging, video and voice call offerings. This app is a go!

Download WhatsApp on Android and Apple

2. VayaMoja – app for buses in Johannesburg

VayaMoja is a public transport mobile app developed by the City of Johannesburg for ReaVaya and MetroBus commuters. Even though I started using the Johannesburg Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) service around July in 2018, my experience has been mostly pleasant.

ReaVaya – safe, affordable and convenient

ReaVaya is tsotsitaal meaning, ‘We are going’. The ReaVaya public transport service presently runs through the bustling inner city of Johannesburg on dedicated road lanes connecting the various townships in Soweto and the Braamfontein areas. The city management has plans to expand to other parts of the city in the future. The bus system is safe, cheap, comfortable and fairly reliable. Compared to driving to certain parts of the city in a car, ReaVaya can be more affordable and convenient. The Reavaya bus is clean with spacious leg room and comfortable seating pads. It also has wide windows that give good street views and if you are standing, there are handheld ropes and poles to keep you safe within the bus. The busses are also well managed as you will rarely find any of their buses abruptly stop in traffic due to mechanical faults (unlike Putco buses). 

Increased fuel prices and affordable public transport

Considering the rising cost of petrol, ReaVaya was my common sense mode of transport when traveling to the ‘traffic jammed’ Johannesburg inner city. I downloaded VayaMoja smartphone app because I wanted to be in charge of my trips. Asking for direction from bus station staff or fellow commuters can be confusing and stressful. The app gives users the ability to search for routes, the bus fare, transit points, and bus schedules and of course transit related information.

Find the nearest Metrobus or ReaVaya station via VayaMoja

My favorite feature on the VayaMoja app is the ability to see the closest bus station and service routes to me. Right within the bus route pane, you can also see where a specific bus is coming from and where it is going. This mobile app is user-friendly and it has helped me to plan my trips.

The bad side of ReaVaya

Of course, Rea Vaya has its shortcomings. It is expected to be on schedule but my friend, be ready for unpleasant surprises (sometimes). My first shocking experience of limited busses was at the Library Gardens East Bus Station at Joburg Central Business District (CBD). The number of commuters waiting for pickup was overwhelming. One of the bus station staff members attributed the delay to fewer buses on the trunk routes serving the CBD and connecting my destination. With this experience, I now prepare ahead for the worst case scenario – most especially around late afternoons and weekends.

In conclusion, VayaMoja is a great app that guarantees convenience and ease of access to public transport information in Johannesburg.

Download VayaMoja on Apple’s App Store (iOS) or on Google Play Store (Android).

This list of mobile apps I use in Johannesburg will continue in my next post.

Pancakes – plantain or banana and egg recipe

pancakes with avocado spread

Pancakes! Flapjack! Waffles! These are a few of my favourite things. My 5-year old son and I love making pancakes and flapjacks together.

Kid in the kitchen

My son’s willingness to help is very useful in the kitchen. I enjoy working with him in the kitchen and I think he does too. In fact, he is turning into quite the little chef. He does a great job of safely fending for himself in the kitchen.

I am curious, do you also allow your kids to help you in the kitchen?

Back to the pancakes and flapjacks!

A few months ago, I was in the process of making my boys (son and husband) a random three course breakfast meal. I decided that pancakes were going to be the first course but I ran into a problem. The pancake flour mix was finished.

After a few moments of panic, I went into ‘Google, please help me mode’ and guess what I found?

I found a quick and easy two-ingredient healthy pancake recipe! Long story short, I made pancakes using only two ingredients – bananas and eggs. I used olive oil for frying but I don’t count that as an ingredient. The recipe I found was from Gimme Delicious.

Instructions on how to make the egg and banana or plantain pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 4 bananas or use plantain to add a Nigerian twist
  • 4 eggs

You will also need:

  • Olive oil, butter or any other oil you like to use for frying
  • Frying pan
  • Stove

Optional:

  • I made an avocado spread for our pancakes but you can use other toppings such as honey, syrup, cinnamon or fruits.
African bananas or plantain
Ingredients: Bananas or Plantain
African eggs
Ingredients: Eggs
Break eggs into a bowl and mash bananas or plantain into a separate bowl

Step 1: Break eggs into a bowl and mash bananas or plantain into a separate bowl
4 broken eggs and mashed bananas or plantain
Step 2: Mix the mashed bananas or plantain and the broken eggs to make butter. Thereafter, place oil or butter in a frying pan and make your pancakes or flapjacks.
The final product will be your egg and banana or plantain pancakes
pancakes with avocado spread

If you tried this recipe, please share your photos with me via the comment section. Comment below if you would like more articles about food.

Nigerian Doctors In South Africa – Fake Facts and Figures

How often do you change your mind about things you believe to be true? What if I told you that you and I don’t change our minds about facts we believe to be true, even after those facts are proven to be false?

Well, don’t shoot the messenger! This was proven in studies by researchers at Stanford in 1975 and confirmed by thousands of other researchers. Still don’t believe it? Read the findings in the book “Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts that Will Save Us”.

At this point, you are probably wondering ‘what does this have to do with Nigerian doctors in South Africa?’. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that shortly.

Isn’t it dangerous for people to share fake news and figures?

The research proves that when someone forms a belief about something, they don’t usually change their mind about it. This human characteristic makes fake news and fake statistics very dangerous. If we don’t change our minds about important facts, then isn’t it dangerous for people like government officials and journalists to share fake news and figures?

Questioning fake news and fake statistics with a Nigerian example

Guess what? Despite the dangers of sharing unproven claims and figures, many people in powerful positions continue to spread false facts and figures. A good example of this was documented in an article by our partners at Nigerians In South Africa. In the article, “We have 680 registered Nigerian doctors in South Africa not 5000 – HPCSA”, Nigerians In South Africa challenged a false figure presented by a government official and a number of Nigerian media houses.

Standing up against false news and false figures

Media houses such as Vanguard Nigeria and Daily Trust reported on the figures presented by the government official (Godwin Adama, the Consul General of Nigeria in South Africa) without investigating the alleged figures.

The False Figure: There are 5000 Nigerian doctors are in South Africa.
The Real Figure: There are 680 registered Nigerian doctors in South Africa (as at 2 July 2018).

Nigerians in South African successfully confirmed that there are 680 registered Nigerian doctors in South Africa (as at 2 July 2018), not 5000.

Stand out by doing  your own research about the validity of the facts

How did they confirm this? Click here to read the article on their website, www.nigeriansinsouthafrica.co.za.

The next time you read an important news article that has the power to influence your beliefs, ask yourself – what damage will this article cause if it turns out to be false? If the potential damage is big then do your own research about the validity of the facts presented in that article.

Credit

This blog post was inspired by the article “We have 680 registered Nigerian doctors in south Africa not 5000 – HPCSA” written by Nigerians In South Africa on www.nigeriansinsouthafrica.co.za

Image Gallery – Open GTBank account in South Africa

GTBank allows you to open a bank account from outside Nigeria.  This blog article has an image gallery of our previous blog article “Audio: Open a Nigerian bank account in South Africa [Listen]“. In this article will take you through how to apply for a Nigerian Bank account (with GTBank, in this case).

The step provided below should apply to all the other Nigerian banks such as:

  • Access Bank Plc
  • Diamond Bank Plc
  • Fidelity Bank Plc
  • First City Monument Bank Plc
  • First Bank of Nigeria Limited
  • Guaranty Trust Bank Plc
  • Skye Bank Plc
  • Union Bank of Nigeria Plc
  • United Bank for Africa Plc
  • Zenith Bank Plc

Here are the steps required to open a Nigerian bank account [in this case, a GTBank Non-Residence Nigerian (NRN) bank account] while living in South Africa:

  • Visit your preferred bank’s website. Then download and complete the necessary application for a Nigerian bank account for Nigerians abroad e.g. the GTBank NRN account sign up form.
  • Submit supporting documents: personal identification documents, passport photograph, proof of residence, and references.
  • All your documents have to be certified. Visit any South African Police Service (SAPS) Station.
  • To submit, scan and send all documents via email.

 

Audio: Open a Nigerian bank account in South Africa [Listen]

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Nigerian bank accounts can be opened from South Africa. In this latest podcast, we quickly guide you through how to open a Nigerian bank account while in South Africa.

This podcast takes you through the requirements for opening a GTBank (RNR) Non-Residence Nigerian bank account while in South Africa:

1. Complete the GTBank Non-Residence Nigerian bank account sign up form. (download form here)

2. Submit a copy of any of your personal identification documents which may either be a valid Nigerian international passport or any other foreign international passport.

Other accepted forms of personal identification are valid National Driver’s license or a valid National Identity Card. You will not be able to open your Nigerian bank account without proof of identity.

3. One passport photograph.

4. Proof of residence: a copy of your water or electricity bill issued within the last three months with the same address stated on the application form. Alternatively, you could submit a stamped bank statement or credit card statement issued within the last three months showing your address.

5. References (either i or ii below):

i. One reference letter obtained from a current account holder (Nigerian) with any Nigerian Bank and a banker’s confirmation.

ii. Two reference letters from current account holder (Nigerian) with any Nigerian Bank.

All your documents have to be certified. The easiest and convenient way to certify them is to visit any South African Police Service (SAPS) Station.

Remember: Document certification is a free service.

To submit, scan and send all documents via email to: nrnaccount@gtbank.com.

Related article: Image Gallery – Open GTBank account in South Africa

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