first_imgFlowers left at the scene close to where body of Derry man was found.Pic North west NewsPix/CopyrightTHE death of Stephen McCloskey in Co Donegal is not suspicious, Gardaí have said.Officers had sealed off the scene of his death near Bridgend overnight as investigations continued.However this evening a Garda spokesman said that as a result of a post mortem they were no longer treating his death as suspicious. His death has left his partner, their three children and the extended McCloskey family devastated.Stevie had disappeared on October 28. His car was found near Burt.Gardaí had moved cautiously in the past 24 hours since a body was found in a river near Bridge Brook.Earlier today heartbroken relatives left bunches of flowers close to the Garda cordon.  STEVIE McCLOSKEY: DEATH NOT SUSPICIOUS was last modified: November 10th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:deathStephen McCloskeylast_img read more

The Brand in the Mirror: Frances Williams

first_imgFrances WilliamsWhose responsibility is it to change Africa’s image? Managing Brand Africa is the responsibility of all of us, says Frances Williams*, because that brand colours all of us.2nd September 2009: There’s been a lot of talk about branding lately – branding of countries and even of continents. The recent visit to Ghana by US President Barack Obama set off another debate about how Africa is perceived, both within and outside the continent, and whether Brand Africa can ever be repositioned.In the same way witnesses to the same event all have their own version of the facts, our individual experiences have an impact on how we perceive a brand, and different eyes see different things. Do we, as Africans, have a kinder view of Africa or are we all the more critical for being so? Are we so used to seeing the wide disparity between the have and have-nots in our home countries that we fail to understand just how others from more developed lands might view this?By the same token, are we so aware of all the positive things in our societies of origin, that we despair of visitors who come only to reinforce their negative perceptions?The Sum of Our ExperienceMy experience of flying British Airways will colour my perception of that brand, while the quality of a product I purchase from L’Oreal might make me question if it (or I) is ‘worth it’.Having recently returned from a visit to South Africa organised by South Africa’s brand manager, the International Marketing Council, (we’ll be sharing more from the trip in future issues) I am incredibly inspired by the energy and determination of South Africans. With a World Cup to run, everything seems to be in the process of being built or rebuilt – a visible renaissance in a nation that has been so recently reborn from its painful past.Yet, as I read articles in the British and international press about Africa, I have to wonder. If the essence of branding is the sum of how we feel about our experience of a product, it begs the question of how so many people who have never experienced a part of Africa have no qualms about contributing their views.Branding AfricaSome media, never letting facts get in the way of a good story, start with a presumption of guilt, leaving the burden on the falsely accused to protest, rebut, and finally claim a victory long after the buzz generated by the issue has died down.The African continent is a classic example of an easy target and what you are told will depend on who you ask – or don’t. For some, Africa represents a continent of hope and opportunity; for others, a place of despair and hopelessness.Good news stories are rarely allowed to emerge from Africa and that plays strongly into the perception of the continent’s brand. Distorted reports, clarified too little and too late, continue to build a picture of crime ridden, corrupt and venal countries governed by tyrants and despots. Progress is often either grudgingly noted or swiftly dismissed when compared to ‘the bigger picture’; while external spokesmen are given more credibility than those who know the continent to make or break the case for Africa.Knocking away StereotypesSo what role can we, as Africans overseas, play in changing some of the assumptions and presumptions about Brand Africa?Well, we can make a start by challenging false assumptions and knocking away negative stereotypes. Challenging ignorance, not by strident insults, but by gentle explanation and factual discourse; remembering the saying that ‘raising your voice doesn’t increase the power of your argument’.People’s experience of us as proud Africans will colour their perception of Brand Africa. Africans can’t achieve? Africans are limited? Perhaps, then, striving for excellence – right where we are – is the best way to rebut assumptions about the capabilities of people from Africa.A New BrandManaging Brand Africa is the responsibility of all of us, because that brand colours all of us. In many areas, Brand Africa has never had more good news to shout about but has also never been more in need of ambassadors to make its case.In the words of the late King of Pop, it’s time to make that change. South Africa has made a decision to protect its brand; isn’t it time the rest of Africa did the same?* Frances Williams is the Chief Executive of Interims for Development, a Human Resources and Training consultancy and Editor of ReConnect an online careers and jobs publication for African professionals around the world.Courtesy: theafronews.eulast_img read more

The Department of Arts & Culture hosts the 2019 South African Film Summit

first_imgIndustry experts, policy makers, government and aspiring filmmakers gathered at the South African Film Summit from 4 -5 February 2019 at Skyrink Studios, in Johannesburg. This year’s Summit was held under the theme “Transformation and Innovation in the South African Film/Audio-Visual Industry and the 4th Industrial Revolution. Are we geared for change?”The Summit shines a spotlight on how effectively we are telling South African stories, and explored consensus about “the potential of the industry for nation-building and using the industry as a catalyst for economic growth”.In a statement released by the Department of Arts & Culture, Minister Nathi Mthethwa said: “Policy coordination and coherence is important to ensure there are no unnecessary bottlenecks, contradictions and gaps that will negatively impact on the business environment while simultaneously encouraging investment, particularly from the private sector. Addressing South Africa’s positioning in the film sector, not only in the continent but also globally, is an important one if the country is to compete in the creative economy”.There is no doubt that the Arts & Culture sector is a key player in enhancing the Nation Brand and growing the economy. According to The World Economic Forum’s 2017 report on The Future of Jobs and Skills in Africa, the creative industries is considered one of ‘trending’ professions, with an average growth rate of 7% between 2011 and 2016.Attendees of this year’s South African Film Summit experienced windows of information sharing through case studies, measuring South Africa’s growth against other countries in the developing world.As all sectors ensure readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we look forward to proactive resolutions to come out of the Summit, putting in all efforts to develop the local film industry.last_img read more