Sunday, July 05, 2009
Serena Williams showed class to overcome her big sister Venus to win th 2009 Winbledon Ladies singles championship trophy. She exhibited a real thirst to win Wimbledon one more time. Serving very well and dishing out aces at will, she totally broke the resolve of her big sister in the second set of the final. She stopped any expectation of a classic when she overpowered Venus with her serves and finished off the second set at 6-2. This was the fourth meeting of the sisters in the finals of the ladies singles event and Serena's third victory in the ladies singles, having previously won in 2002 and 2003.
Friday, July 03, 2009
Wimbledon 2009 has seen a fresh resurgence of Venus and Serena Williams. Throughout these two weeks they have exhibited a new standard of tennis. All the '..ovics' '..ova's and ..'evas' that have attempted to stop them have been literally brushed aside. Elena Dimentieva was the bravest and best of the lot in this year's championship. Having been knocked down by big sister Venus in the semi-finals in 2008, she tried to explore the possibility of going to the final via Serena this year. Once again despite a spirited battle which has been described as epic, she fell by the wayside. The anguish of Elena Dimentieva's mother who was watching the semi-final match just behind Daddy Williams was palpable.
In January this year at the Australian Open, the honour of teaching Dinara Safina tennis lessons fell on Serena. She took the task seriously and properly trounced Dinara. Dinara herself acknowledged the absolute dominance of Serena. Serena not only beat her but also prevented her on that occasion from becoming World No.1. Since then by dint of hard work and compettion in several WTA events, Dinara has snatched back the No. 1 position.
As the ladies World No.1, many expected that she would have the courage and audacity to challenge Venus's seemingly easy ride in this tournament. Alas it was not to be; she instead took in a few new lessons from Sister Venus. She was made to look not only ordinary but totally out of place in a Wimbledon semi-final event. Such was the severity of the trouncing that she looked dazed and humbled as BBC journalists tried to interview her just after the match. The ladies World No.1 position was embarrasingly disgraced. Again Dinara honestly conceded that she learnt a few more lessons from Venus. I am sure Venus and Serena do not mind giving the lesson 'free of charge'. They get their rewards shortly afterward in fat purses.
As if the singles dominance was not enough, the sisters have so far terrorised all opponents that have come their way this week in the ladies doubles game. The blowing away of the ladies doubles World No.1, the seasoned pair of Black and Huber at the semi-finals at 6-1 6-2 today tells a lot about their current form. They are simply too hot to handle and therefore unstoppable. Top of the Ace Table was Serena with 60 aces in this tournament at the last count. With their combined arsenal of hot serves, beautiful groundstrokes, agressive volleys and intelligent net play, Venus and Serena have placed themselves in a class apart from the pack at least on grass. Venus, afterall has a natural claim to the Venus Rosewater Dish which is the trophy that is awarded to the ladies' singles champion at Wimbledon since 1886.
On Saturday, they will again have a monoply of the ladies singles and doubles trophies. Long live good tennis!!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Today, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma will be sworn into office as the 4th President of post-apartheid South Africa. His political life has been full of interesting and controversial episodes - his sack as vice president, his accusation of rape and subsequent acquittal in court, his apparent ignorance of the dangers of HIV, his arraignment in court over corruption charges and finally his election to the top job despite all these odds. To say that Jacob Zuma is a colourful politician is an understatement.
As he assumes the presidency, the question bothering the minds of many Zuma watchers, especially women, will be 'Who will be his first lady?" The position of first lady is a very sensitive one. The laws of South Africa have made it very convenient for traditionalists like Zuma to be frankly and opening polygamous. In many other countries, men are ostensibly monogamous while infact they have a string of mistresses and illegitimate children whom they are often embarrassed to acknowledge when thy are in office. Jacob Zuma by being open about his polygamy does not bear this burden. He once told an interviewer “There are plenty of politicians who have mistresses and children that they hide so as to pretend they're monogamous. I prefer to be open. I love my wives and I'm proud of my children.”
Whatever harmony there may be at the Zuma polygamous home, there will be jostling for recognition among his three wives as to who will be designated First Lady. These are the contestants. His first wife Sizakele Khumalo has been married to him since 1973. She did not bare him any children and she still lives in his village of Nkandla, Kwazulu-Natal. He has publicly praised her and she is favourite to be “first lady”. Khumalo has the seniority and experience. His second wife is Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma who has the glamour and ease in social situations, and his third wife Thobeka Mabhija married this year, also an elegant woman known for her designer outfits.
For a start, Jacob Zuma has invited all three current wives and his nineteen children to the inauguration. Just in case you wondering how he got nineteen children given the record of wives I have indicated above, I should add that Zuma had two other marriages and besides, girlfriends also bore him children. His old flame, Minah Shongwe, has one son for him though she was never formally marrried to him. One of his earlier wives, Kate Mantsho Zuma, had five children with him but committed suicide in 2000. Another of his former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, despite a divorce in 1998, remains in his inner circle as a current member of cabinet. Nkosazana is also the mother of four of his children.
President Zuma alone can make the delicate diplomatic choice - which of his wives will be the country's first lady?
Will it be:
Or Nompumelelo Ntuli?
Or Thobeka Mabhija come lately?
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Yes I can see that they are not enjoying their first week as muslims and already showing a rebellious side of their character. "When you catch the muslim bug you become rebellious". Maybe they were right when many Americans argued that muslims were inherently rebellious and prone to violence. We shall wait to see their upcoming violent streak.
Let's face it, Americans should not engage in self-delusion by thinking of themselves as being the supreme country in the world. It is such a delusion of supremacy howbeit unwarranted that makes Americans put on an air arrogance that George Bush so perfectly exemplified. Obama is changing all that and they are not liking it. Many Americans who are not islamaphobists have lightheartedly explained the "bow" as a pre-emptive ducking in case a shoe or other personal missile was thrown at him. One learns a few key tactical manouvres from predecesors you know!!
Many nations such as Great Britain respect the traditions and culture of other countries and peoples. I remember many years ago when the Queen of England visted Saudi Arabia, she was constrained to wear a drab long gown she was unaccustomed to. Obama showed respect to an older world leader in the same way as he respected the Queen when he met her in London last week. It is a reflection of his international upbringing. Some Obama watchers have gone on to suggest that he now be called President O'Bowman (given due credit to his Irish ancestry from his mother's line) for his ultra civility.
Many critics have compared the depth and the duration of the respective bows to the Queen and the King and have concluded that the bow to the Queen of the closest political ally Great Britain, was not as prolonged and deep as the bow to the King of the closest Oil ally, Saudi Arabia.
The message in this tale of the bows is that Oil is thicker than thin colonial links.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
GLO and WACS Telecommunication Initiatives
In this Internet era, undersea cables have become a critical element of telecommunication networks. Modern undersea fibre optic cable systems have almost miraculously increased the technical capabilities to transmit enormous amounts of data around the world. The extra bonus is that the cost is also now significantly lower relative to copper cable systems and satellites. Telecommunication service providers have recognized the immense capacity of undersea cables to satisfy their rapidly growing data transmission needs. Globacom of Nigeria, a late comer to the Nigerian telecommunication market has taken bold steps to lead the way in the field by launching the Lagos to London fibre -optic cable link. The project has hubs along the West African coast and in Morocco, Portugal and Spain - 9,500 kilometres in length with a capacity of 640 gigabits. It is scheduled to be completed in 2009. West African Cable System (WACS) is another initiative being undertaken by a consortium of telecom firms - Telkom , Vodacom , MTN, Neotel, and Infraco. The WACS line goes from South Africa to England and covers the entire western coast line of the African continent -13,000 kilometres in length with a capacity of 3.84 terabits.
Undersea cable systems have become an integral part of the international telecom infrastructure for supporting rapidly growing bandwidth needs. Low bandwidth has been the bane of African telecom development. The constantly evolving technological improvements have reduced the infrastructure costs and improved the quality and availability of international services.
Technological advancements coupled with entreprenurial foresight are changing the telecom landscape in Africa. See below the current cable projects setting the stage for the coming telecom revolution in Africa.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
An American flight attendant has developed a new way of ensuring passengers pay attention during the pre-flight safety announcement by delivering it as a rap.
David Holmes of US airline Southwest raps and encourages the passengers to stomp and clap to give him an accompanying beat.
Check out the video via this link.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Before anyone begins to have ideas about possible soft loans from my new-found fortune, I should rush to add that these were Zimbabwean dollars. Despite the fact I cannot even pay for a local bus ride with the whole of my new wealth, the feeling of belonging to a select class of humans with several billions in their possession is itself exhilarating!
It is with mixed feelings I state that I owe my being in this special status to the absolute recklessness of President Mugabe and his government. Mugabe had broken the record set by President Mobutu, of blessed memory, who became the first head of state in Africa to make all his countrymen millionaires.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is a remarkable man by all accounts - a national hero of the Zimbabwean independence struggle turned villain and vicious tyrant. Very few persons in history will be able to match the ability and power to ruin a country to the extent Robert Mugabe has done through sheer stubbornness and power-drunkenness.
The economic facts speak for themselves: Unemployment - over 90%; Inflation -a mind-blowing 231,000,000%; national budget of 66,500,000,000,000,000,000-Zimbabwean dollars (66.5 quintillion) in 2009. These are figures that mock the concept of budgeting. All these digits mean in real terms a measly US$3 000,000, 000. Arithmetic must be a made a compulsory subject for the populace to grasp the meaning of all these zeros in the budget figures.
The general economic situation has become so bad and the human condition in the country so dire that retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa in a recent interview suggested that Robert Mugabe be made to go by all means including forceful removal.
Speaking on the sidelines of the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga suggested that the "dinosaur" 84-year-old should be offered a "golden handshake" to leave office. Mr. Odinga took a swipe at fellow African leaders who lacked the courage to tell Robert Mugabe to leave and said the world should tell him "the time to go is now, we are ready to give you a golden handshake if you will quit".
So this week, Zimbabwe has made a transition from a despotic monarchy to the semblance of a democratic government. The MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai is now Prime Minister at last. Mr. Tsvangirai and his MDC colleagues must not fail the Zimbabwean people by becoming complacent in the corridors of power. The whole world is watching anxiously and intently. There is a lot of international goodwill which must not be squandered. The humiliated Zimbabwean people do not have time to waste. For many faced with cholera and relentless famine, delay means death. Tendai Biti the new Finance Minister has one of the greatest challenges a politician has ever faced. Turning the current tide to make Zimbabwe habitable will be an act of faith, but then miracles are performed by men of faith. The road ahead is littered with all kinds of booby traps.
Already Morgan Tsvangirai's view of Mugabe has changed just two days after becoming Prime Minister. Hear him: "world needs to get over Robert Mugabe". We hope he is not being infected by the virulent bug that has changed the mindset of Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
As we wait for Robert Mugabe to celebrate his next birthday I can not help reliving this dream I had a few weeks ago that the Old Man finally let go his iron grip on Zimbabwe on his 85th birthday, Saturday February 21 2009. Yes, he retired so that new hands can rescue and steer the ship he has so thoughtlessly run aground. Am I being clairvoyant or was it wishful dreaming? Can that be the coolest gift Zimbabwe ever received?
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
I have looked around in these subzero temperatures and observed that the water birds have all disappeared to warmer environments because all the small water bodies which are their normal habitats are frozen - no place to swim anymore or even to search for food. Thank goodness, they can transport themselves by air at little or no cost. In their place, I see children skating (or walking and running about on 'water').
This week's temperatures are beginning to cast doubts on the gloomy predictions of Global Warming experts.
Monday, January 05, 2009
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Here in the little town of Huissen on the surburb of Arnhem, there was a free-for-all in firework displays as youth who had been itching to let off, released all they had to the night sky. There was a cacophony of sounds and the sky was lit up in flares of all colours and configurations. There were loud bangs, hissing sounds, crackling and whistling sounds as of bullets and other military projectiles. I stopped to ponder that for us, these were sounds and lights of merriment and celebration to welcome a new year but over the Gaza strip this same night, the fireworks of the Israeli Defence Forces were the harbingers of death and destruction. I watched our local fireworks and experienced the blinding flares, the booming noises and the incessant activity in the sky above. Fortunately the threat of imminent death was the all-important missing factor. Last night, I empathised the plight of the helpless citizens of Gaza. My heart went out for the terrorised people of Gaza.