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Close-Up Salsa Fiesta finale for State Banquet Hall, July 5

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It’s been eight weeks of salsa dance challenges amongst talented couples who have survived evictions and been on top of their game; time has come to crown this year’s salsa king and salsa queen.

 

The grand finale of this year’s salsa fiesta is scheduled to come off at the banquet hall on 5th July. All couples are aware of the challenge that awaits them on the day of the grand finale and are leaving no stone unturned as rehearsals have already started.

 

 

Last Thursday at the Afrikiko salsa dance club, the salsa dance instructors met with the contestants to tell them the dance challenges for the grand finale and what is expected of them. This year’s grand finale, the couples are expected to come up with their own competitive dance compositions as well as chose one of their favorite dances from the series.

Artistes billed to perform that night are EL, winner of the album of the year at the just ended Vodafone Ghana Music Awards 2013 and Keche of Alugutungui fame.

 

 

To attend all you have to do is to buy 2 packs of close up large at the gate and get an entry ticket. The six couples vying for the bragging right of salsa king and salsa queen are Luumva and Megan, Juliana and Dickson, Francis and Ketura, Henry and Joyce, Tina and Kalala and the last couple Pascaline and Noah. The top 3 couples wins up to GHC 11,000 and the learners group competition wins up to GHC 7, 000

 

Remember to vote for your favorite couples and group by visiting the close up Ghana facebook page. Don’t miss out on the Ghana’s biggest dance festival ever, come the 5th of July the banquet hall will come alive with mind blowing dances from the salsa couples and thrilling performances from EL and Keche.

The close up salsa fiesta season 3 is proudly brought to you by close up….the closer, the better

 

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Radio & TV

14 best series to binge on Showmax these holidays, from Power Book III: Raising Kanan to Ramy S3

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14 best series to binge on Showmax these holidays, from Power Book III: Raising Kanan to Ramy S3
First seasons of Power Book III: Raising Kanan & Heels, new His Dark Materials, Ramy
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THE WHITE LOTUS S2 | Binge from 12 December 2022
Season 2 of The White Lotus swaps Hawaii for Sicily, following a new group of vacationers jetting off to a different White Lotus resort.
Season 1 was the most awarded show at the 2022 Emmys, winning 10 awards, including Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series, Directing and Writing – and Supporting Actress for Jennifer Coolidge as Tanya – who returns in Season 2.
The new cast includes Peabody Award winner Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), People’s Choice winner Theo James (Divergent), Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham (AmadeusThe Grand Budapest Hotel), Emmy winner Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Teen Choice nominees Meghann Fahy (Sutton in The Bold Type) and Haley Lu Richardson (Five Feet Apart), BAFTA winner Tom Hollander (The Night Manager), BAFTA nominee Will Sharpe (LandscapersGiri/Haji), multi-award-winning Italian actress Sabrina Impacciatore and Adam DiMarco (Todd/Elliott in The Magicians).
Season 2 has an 89% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In their five-star reviews, The Times calls this season “a whodunnit like no other” and London Evening Standard says, “As funny as ever, if slightly seedier, the second series is a brilliant rumination on desire and its destructive capability.”
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HIS DARK MATERIALS S3 | Tuesdays from 6 December 2022
The third and final season of the HBO and BBC One fantasy epic His Dark Materials is based on The Amber Spyglass, the final novel in Philip Pullman’s Carnegie-winning book trilogy, which was listed among Time Magazine’s 100 Best Young-Adult Books of All Time.
Season 3 follows Lyra (MTV Movie Award winner Dafne Keen from Logan) and Will (Emmy nominee Amir Wilson from The Letter for the King) as they journey to a dark place from which no one has ever returned. As her father’s great war against the Authority edges closer, they will learn that saving the world comes at a terrible price.
Season 2 of the multi-BAFTA- and Annie Award-winning series earned an 85% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In their five-star review, The Independent called it, “a beautiful, brooding vision of Pullman’s universe, which retains the mix of childish wonder and darkness that make his books so beguiling to young adults.”
Oscar nominee Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamiltontick, tick… BOOM!) returns as Lee Scoresby, with BAFTA winner Ruth Wilson (Saving Mr. BanksLuther) as Mrs Coulter, and BAFTA nominee James McAvoy (X-Men’s Charles Xavier) as Lord Asriel. British-Nigerian Black Reel nominee Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Thor: The Dark WorldLost) joins the cast this season, along with the likes of Emmy nominee Sian Clifford (Fleabag) and Ghanaian-British actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Mary Poppins Returns).
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POWER BOOK III: RAISING KANAN S1 | Binge from 12 December 2022
The second spin-off to the hit crime drama Power, the prequel series Power Book III: Raising Kanan chronicles a journey into the drug trade, as 15-year-old Kanan Stark makes a bid to join the growing family business.
Young actor Mekai Curtis steps into the lead role as the young Kanan, the character played in the original series by Emmy and Grammy winner Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who once again executive produces alongside Emmy nominee Courtney A. Kemp and series creator Sascha Penn (Creed II).
Season 1 has a rare 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and Tony Award winner Patina Miller (The Hunger Games: MockingjayMadam Secretary) was nominated for a 2022 Black Reel Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Raquel Thomas, Kanan’s mother and one of the most powerful drug lords in Queens.
The cast also includes Black Reel, Teen Choice and MTV Movie Award nominee Omar Epps (Love & BasketballThis Is UsHouse M.D.), rapper Joey Bada$$ (Leon in Mr. Robot and the original Rebel in Wu-Tang: An American Saga), London Brown (Reggie from Ballers), Black Reel winner Omar J. Dorsey (Queen SugarWhen They See UsSelma), and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (Chris Alston in The Deuce, Bob Stookey in The Walking Dead, and D’Angelo Barksdale in The Wire).
The hit series has already been renewed for a second and third season.
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RAMY S3 | Binge from 19 December 2022, first on Showmax
Ramy Youssef’s acclaimed comedy Ramy centres on Ramy Hassan’s sometimes awkward, sometimes hilarious, and sometimes disastrous experiences as a first generation Egyptian-American and Muslim millennial in New Jersey.
Among its numerous accolades, the series won a 2020 Peabody Award, and was nominated for three 2020 Emmys – Best Actor and Best Director in a Comedy for Youssef, and Best Supporting Actor for Season 2 guest star Mahershala Ali. Youssef also picked up two nominations at the Critics Choice Awards, where the show was nominated for Best Comedy in 2021.
All the core cast members are back for Season 3, including Hiam Abbass (SuccessionThe VisitorBlade Runner 2049) and May Calamawy (Moon Knight), along with Ghanaian actress MaameYaa Boafo (The Mysterious Benedict SocietyAn African City), who reprises her Season 2 character as Zainab. This season’s guest cast includes model Bella Hadid, Canadian R&B duo Majid Jordan, Amy Landecker (MinxYour Honor), Critics Choice nominee Christopher Abbott (Catch-22), and Teen Choice nominee James Badge Dale (13 Hours24Iron Man 3).
Season 3 has an 89% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “It takes incredible confidence to go to the kinds of tricky emotional places that Ramy likes to live in,” says Rolling Stone. “If the show can at times feel deeply uncomfortable, the payoffs are inevitably worth it.”
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NEW AMSTERDAM S4 | Binge from 23 December 2022
Season 4 of the ever-popular medical drama New Amsterdam returns us to America’s oldest public hospital, where Dr Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold from BlacKkKlansman90210 and The Blacklist) continues his fight to put saving lives above the bottom line while fielding his increasingly personal relationship with Dr Helen Sharpe (Freema Agyeman from Doctor Who and Law & Order: UK, who was nominated for a 2022 Hollywood Critics Association award for Best Actress in a Broadcast Network or Cable Series for the role).
Created by writer-producer David Schulner (Desperate Housewives) and based on Eric Manheimeris’ book Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital, the hit series has an 8.1/10 score on IMDb.
The new season brings in Sandra Mae Frank, who was nominated for a 2022 Hollywood Critics Association award for Best Supporting Actress in a Broadcast Network or Cable Series as the new chief of oncology, deaf surgeon Dr Elizabeth Wilder, and Emmy nominee Michelle Forbes (24True Blood). MTV Movie Award winner Gina Gershon (Face/OffRiverdale) guest stars.
New Amsterdam has already been renewed for a 13-episode fifth and final season.
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HEELS S1 | Binge from 5 December 2022
Set in the small-town pro-wrestling world in Georgia, Heels follows the rivalry between two brothers – one a villain (or “heel”) in the ring, the other a hero (or “face”), as they war over their late father’s wrestling promotion.
Led by Teen Choice winner Stephen Amell (the Arrowverse’s Oliver Queen/Green Arrow) and Teen Choice and MTV Movie + TV Award winner Alexander Ludwig (Bjorn Ironside in Vikings and Cato in The Hunger Games), Heels has an 8/10 rating on IMDb.
On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 96% critics’ rating, with the critics’ consensus saying, “Stephen Amell and Alexander Ludwig sell hard in Heels, an impressive new drama that has compelling angles on both sides of the rope.”
It’s already been nominated for three 2022 Critics Choice Super Awards – Best Action Series, Best Actor in an Action Series (Alexander Ludwig) and Best Actress in an Action Series (Mary McCormack from The West Wing and The Kids Are Alright), and Season 2 is already on the way.
Created by Emmy winner Michael Waldron (producer on Rick and Morty and the writer of Loki and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), the show’s cast also includes Kelli Berglund (Now Apocalypse) and award winner Chris Bauer (For All Mankind, The DeuceThe WireTrue Blood).
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GENTLEMAN JACK S2 | Binge now
The second season of Gentleman Jack returns us to 1800s West Yorkshire, England, where Anne Lister (BAFTA winner Suranne Jones from Vigil) now shares her ancestral home and her passion for life with heiress Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle from Peaky Blinders and Bodyguard) following their controversial wedding at the end of Season 1.
But Anne’s entrepreneurial spirit frightens the locals as much as her unconventional love life. With Halifax on the brink of revolution, her refusal to keep a low profile is seen as provocative and dangerous.
Nominated for a 2020 BAFTA for Best Drama Series, as well as a GALECA Award, Season 2 of the hit HBO/BBC One co-production has a 95% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus says, “Blessed with Suranne Jones’ exquisite performance and some of the crispest dialogue on television, Gentleman Jack remains a total ace.”
Gentleman Jack is created by four-time BAFTA winner Sally Wainwright (Happy ValleyLast Tango in Halifax) and stars Screen Actors Guild nominee Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones’ Yara Greyjoy), BAFTA nominee Timothy West (Last Tango in Halifax), and BAFTA winner Gemma Jones (Bridget Jones’s Diary), among others.
“Behind the familiar frilly bonnets and linen drawers, Gentleman Jack is disrupting the conventions of one of our most fiercely loved dramatic forms, at a time when we most need them disrupted. It is a masterpiece,” says The Guardian.
BLINDSPOTTING S1 | Binge from 14 December 2022
Blindspotting, the spin-off sequel series to the award-winning, critically acclaimed 2018 film of the same name, follows Ashley, who has to navigate a chaotic and humorous existential crisis after Miles, her partner of 12 years and the father of their son, is suddenly incarcerated, forcing Ashley to move in with Miles’ mother and half-sister.
Once again created by Emmy nominee Daveed Diggs (SnowpiercerHamiltonBlack-ish) and Black Reel Award nominee Rafael Casal (who reprises his role from the film as Miles), the eight-episode series stars Emmy and Grammy winner Jasmine Cephas Jones (HamiltonThe PhotographMrs. Fletcher), who was up for Best Actress in a Broadcast Network or Cable Series, Comedy at the 2022 Hollywood Critics Association Television Awards, for the reprisal of her role from the film as Ashley. The cast also includes Oscar winner Helen Hunt (Mad About YouAs Good As It Gets).
Nominated for a 2021 Gotham Award for Breakthrough Series, Blindspotting has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critics’ consensus saying, “The rare adaptation that exceeds its source material, Blindspotting deftly takes on complicated social constructs with comedic flair, crafting a show that’s as funny as it is poignant while giving its incredible ensemble – led by the captivating Jasmine Cephas Jones – plenty of room to shine.”
Blindspotting has already been renewed for a second season.
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DMZ | Binge from 6 December 2022
DMZ leaps off the pages of Brian Wood’s acclaimed graphic novel into a near-future, civil-war-torn America, where one woman sets out on a harrowing quest to find her missing son – crossing into the demilitarised zone of Manhattan, where a ruthless battle for control rages between rival gang leaders.
Rosario Dawson was up for Best Actress at the 2022 Black Reel Awards, where Emmy-nominated series creator and showrunner Roberto Patino (WestworldSons of Anarchy) was also up for Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series. Emmy nominee Benjamin Bratt (Doctor Strange24Law & Order) co-stars, with the likes of Hoon Lee (SeeWarriorBosch) also among the cast.
The four-episode HBO Max limited series is executive produced by Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Ava DuVernay (When They See Us13thSelma), who directed the first episode, with Emmy-winning cinematographer and director Ernest R. Dickerson (BoschRaised by Wolves) at the helm for the remaining episodes.
DMZ, says IndieWire, “inverts the dystopian drama formula” and “refuses to give into our worst impulses”, adding “Like Station Eleven before it, DMZ carries real weight as a rebuke to contemporary conjecture about what people will do in a post-apocalyptic landscape.”
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THE PORTER S1 | Binge now
Inspired by the real events that led up to the formation of the world’s first Black union, The Porter is set in the roar of the 1920s, following war buddies and train porters Junior and Zeke, whose unbreakable bond is stretched to its limits when tragedy inspires them to take conflicting paths to a better life.
As the world rebuilds after the First World War, the Black community in St Antoine, Montreal – known as the “Harlem of the North” – find themselves thrown together across the colour line in an era that boasts anything is possible. If change isn’t coming for them, they will come for it. By any means necessary.
Already confirmed for a second season (coming in 2023), the eight-episode first season has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and picked up a 2022 Emmy nomination for its choreography.
The CBC/BET+ Original stars Aml Ameen (I May Destroy YouThe Maze Runner) and Ronnie Rowe (The Man from TorontoStar Trek: Discovery), with the likes of Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Alfre Woodard (12 Years a SlaveState of Affairs) and Zambia’s Mizinga Mwinga (Oscar nominee War Witch) also among the cast.
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PLANET SEX WITH CARA DELEVINGNE S1 | Fridays from 2 December 2022, first on Showmax
Got big questions about sex? So does Cara Delevingne.
One of the world’s most photographed people, Cara puts her mind and body on the line each episode to try to understand our deepest desires.
On a journey spanning the globe, she donates her orgasm to science in Germany; makes art from her vagina in Japan; hits up a women-only sex club; takes a masturbation masterclass; and visits an “ethical” porn set.
From LA, New York and London, to Beirut, Barcelona and, wait for it… Johannesburg, Cara shares her own personal experiences in each episode. Uniquely unfiltered and authentic, there’s no limit on how far Cara’s willing to go to explore what makes us all human.
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THE VOW, PART TWO | Binge from 7 December 2022, first on Showmax
Five years after Keith Raniere’s arrest in Mexico, amid rumours of a secret sex sorority within his self-help company NXIVM, The Vow, Part Two follows the legal and emotional journeys of the group’s founders, supporters, and defectors as new evidence and stunning revelations come to light, while federal prosecutors and defense attorneys engage in a trial in the national spotlight.
Directed by Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated Jehane Noujaim, The Vow, Part Two features chilling testimony from the trial, exclusive phone interviews with Keith Raniere from prison and extensive access to co-founder Nancy Salzman, who wrestles with her role in the rise of NXIVM, her relationship with Raniere and her involvement in growing an organisation accused of fostering predatory behaviour and criminal activity. South African Mark Vicente, an outspoken former member, again features prominently this season.
Season 1 was #3 on Entertainment Weekly’s round-up of the best TV of 2020 and was up for Best Docuseries at the 2021 Hollywood Critics Association Television Awards, and for Outstanding Cinematography at the Cinema Eye Honours Awards.
And the critics are saying this season is even better. “As storytelling, this is crisper and cleaner than The Vow’s first iteration; as psychological portrait, little in the nonfiction space of late matches its acuity,” says Variety.
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THE BAY S3 | Binge from 12 December 2022
Season 3 of the British crime drama The Bay sees actress Marsha Thomason (Better Things) take over the leading role, stepping in as Detective Sergeant Jenn Townsend. She is thrown into the deep end when a body is found in the bay on her first day on the job. She must get under the skin of a grieving and complicated family if she has any chance of solving the premature death of an aspiring young boxer.
Already greenlit for a further season, the show has picked up nominations at both the Scottish and Welsh BAFTAs, as well as the Irish Film and Television Academy Awards.
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VIGIL  | Binge now
In November 2022, Vigil was named Best Drama at the International Emmy Awards, beating out LupinNarcos: Mexico and South Africa’s very own Reyka.
From the creators of Line of Duty and ShowtrialVigil investigates the mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death on-board the submarine HMS Vigil, which bring the police into conflict with the Navy and British security services.
DCI Amy Silva (BAFTA winner Suranne Jones from Gentleman Jack and Doctor Foster) and DS Kirsten Longacre (BAFTA winner Rose Leslie from Game of Thrones and The Time Traveler’s Wife) lead an investigation on land and at sea into a conspiracy that goes to the very heart of Britain’s national security.
Vigil’s stellar ensemble cast also features Emmy nominee Stephen Dillane (Stannis in Game of Thrones), Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard), Shaun Evans (Morse in Endeavour), MTV Movie Awards nominee Connor Swindells (Adam in Sex Education) and BAFTA nominee Gary Lewis (Billy Elliot).
Vigil has an 85% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Wall Street Journal hailing it as “one of the better thriller series of the year,” and Radio Times saying, “From the shock death inside the opening 10 minutes of episode one to the thrillingly tense climax in the final instalment, this was a terrifically gripping and propulsive affair that proved a huge hit with the viewing public.”
EVERYTHING ON SHOWMAX IN DECEMBER
To see everything on Showmax in December 2022, including Pumi Morare’s 2021 Student Academy Award winner Lakutshon’ Ilanga; rugby documentary Rassie, from the creators of the award-winning Chasing The Sun; and the animated Julia Donaldson adaptation Superworm, helmed by South Africans Sarah Scrimgeour and Jac Hamman, click here.
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Radio & TV

FIFA World Cup 2022 opening match breaks Showmax Pro’s live-streaming record

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The first day of the world’s most prestigious football tournament, which streamed live on Showmax Pro courtesy of SuperSport on 20 November 2022, was the most streamed sporting event on the service since its inception, exceeding the likes of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, any Premier League match-up, and the UEFA Euro 2020.
From fireworks that lit up the sky to appearances from international and local actors, singers and dancers, the FIFA World Cup 2022 opening ceremony had Showmax Pro subscribers glued to their screens, and the first game of the tournament, where hosts Qatar took on and lost 2-0 to Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium, pushed Showmax Pro viewership to an all-time high.
With the tournament in full swing, Showmax Pro will continue to live stream every single game of the FIFA World Cup until the final on Sunday, 18 December 2022. Highlights of the opening match as well as every other game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup games is available for you to view on demand on the streaming service.
Showmax Pro subscribers with a smart TV* that is 4K compatible and/or a media box streaming device such as an AndroidTV, tvOS, Streama, Explora Ultra, or any other 4K playback device, as well as an internet line speed of at least 15Mbps, are able to live stream the games in 4K resolution, also known as ultra-high-definition.
*Note that not all smart TVs are 4K compatible. Read more here »
Stream every game of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 by signing up at showmax.com.
Why Showmax Pro?
Showmax Pro is a streaming service available for Showmax subscribers in Africa that bundles the Showmax entertainment offering with music channels, news and live sports streaming from SuperSport.
Subscribers can live stream the latest seasons of the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, UEFA Europa and UEFA Conference leagues, as well as FIFA World Cup qualifiers and more.
The platform also offers a wide range of other live sports events including athletics, professional boxing, and the world’s biggest marathons. Visit showmax.com to learn more or to subscribe to Showmax Pro.
Join the conversation on social media by following and interacting on the below pages:
Twitter: @ShowmaxPro
Instagram: @ShowmaxPro
Facebook: @ShowmaxPro
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Radio & TV

YFM to syndicate Apple Music’s Rap Life Radio, Africa Now and The Agenda Radio

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Ghanaian radio station YFM and Apple Music are teaming up to broadcast Apple Music’s Rap Life Radio, Africa Now Radio and The Agenda Radio on YFM every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm starting on the 19th and 20th of November 2022.

With programming focused on entertainment and music, YFM will add Rap Life Radio presented by Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B; Africa Now Radio presented by Dadaboy Ehiz, Nigerian media personality, television presenter and entrepreneur; and The Agenda Radio presented by Dotty, Apple Music 1 host and Lead Cultural Curator, Black Music, UK, to their line-up of shows.

“The culture of music in Ghana is thriving and it’s so exciting to be able to work with the incredible people at YFM to make Apple Music a part of that flourishing landscape. I can’t wait for our flagship Black music shows to reach a new audience in such an exciting part of the continent,” Dotty tells Apple Music.

“Yeah! What Dotty said! We are so honoured to be featured and to help contribute to all the great vibes coming from Ghana,” said Ebro.

The impact of music on our daily existence can not be underestimated and our ability to get it to the people via this syndication proves how much Apple Music cares about the audience at a terrestrial level. I’m super pumped to connect with my Ghanaian family and looking forward to growing the culture to a wider landscape,” said Dadaboy Ehiz

“YFM, is a subsidiary of Global Media Alliance, which is located and operates in Accra on the radio frequency 107.9FM, in Kumasi on the frequency 102.5FM and in Takoradi on the frequency 97.9FM, forming what is commonly referred to as the Y Triangle,” said Osei Kuffour, Head of YFM Triangle.

“Our target audience is Ghana’s young and youthful audience who are characterised by their imaginative, curious and ambitious nature. Over the years the Y Triangle has been able to attract massive listeners as a result of a high level of consistency since coming into existence in the year 2008. YFM employs a blend of lifestyle and entertainment shows and is the dial of choice for Ghana’s urban youth. We seek to continuously bring entertainment to the doorstep of our listeners and serve as a number one stop for the youth. It is in line with this that we are particularly excited to team up with Apple Music, and enforce our reputation in the Ghanaian market and globally,” concluded Osei Kuffour.

Weekly broadcast times on YFM will be as follows:

YFM Accra

  • Africa Now Radio on Sundays (2pm-3pm)
  • Rap Life Radio on Sundays (3pm-4pm)

 YFM Kumasi

  • Africa Now Radio on Saturdays (3pm-4pm)
  • The Agenda on Sundays (3pm-4pm)

 YFM Takoradi

  • Africa Now Radio on Saturdays (6pm-7pm)

All three shows will be syndicated across YFM in Ghana, leveraging the radio stations’ audience and network to accelerate the acceptance and appreciation of African artists across the country.

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Radio & TV

BBC Africa Eye: Nancy Kacungira revisits the story of three domestic workers striving for change

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In 2019, BBC Africa Eye reported on the journey of three young women – Scovia, Mercy and Esther – who left Uganda to find jobs as domestic workers in Kenya. Commonly referred to as ‘housegirls’, the documentary followed their journeys which illustrated the mistreatment and abuse faced by many domestic workers.

Three years later, in What Happened to the ‘Housegirls’? , BBC reporter Nancy Kacungira, revisits Uganda to find out how the lives of these three young women have changed and whether their hopes and dreams became a reality.

The documentary first features the story of Scovia, who in 2019 left Uganda for employment opportunities in Kenya to raise money for her education and to financially support her grandmother. Since then, she has given birth and returned to school. She told BBC Africa Eye: “My grandma advised me when I gave birth that I should go back to school.” Now Scovia dreams of being a lawyer: “In our community, men mistreat their wives. So when I become a lawyer maybe I can protect them from that.”

BBC Africa Eye also spoke with Esther, who in 2019 informed Nancy Kacungira about the mistreatment she faced in Kenya as a domestic worker. Also pregnant with her first child, Esther shared her determination to start her own fashion boutique. She said: “When I left Nairobi, I came here and started selling clothes for the business, the business was going well… But my father got ill, and I began to use my money to pay for his medicines. When Covid-19 happened, we had to operate shorter hours. So things went bad.” Yet, despite the challenges, Esther said: “I have a dream that when I restore my business, all shall be well.”

The documentary also highlights the story of Mercy, another domestic worker who in the first film, took her employers to court accusing them of cruelty. Despite losing the case, she told BBC Africa Eye she is thriving and working towards her goals as a chef. She said: “Right now I am very happy…I was doing that [domestic work] to get the money to go back to school to do the course I wanted… I wanted to do catering.”

What Happened to the ‘Housegirls’?, highlights the challenges around teenage pregnancy, which has resulted in many young girls not being able to complete their education.

BBC Africa Eye spoke with Simon Ogwang, who runs a charity centre which trains teenage mothers to become seamstresses. He said: “These girls are unable to continue with their education, so we give them specialised design skills to compete.” Simon revealed that there was an increase in teenage pregnancies during the pandemic. He said: “During the pandemic period, we witnessed a lot of teenage pregnancy. When they closed down their schools and these girls stayed out…you know the girls are vulnerable and some of them are at risk.”

Nancy Kacungira spoke with some of the girls enrolled at the centre to understand the stigma they face. One 18-year old girl told BBC Africa Eye: “People abuse me. They tell me that I am a disappointment, and I am very stupid… There are some words that cause bitterness in the heart.” However, reflecting on her experience at the centre she said: “By bringing me here, it has helped.”

BBC Africa Eye also spoke with Edith Murogo, the woman who helped Scovia, Mercy and Esther escape from domestic work, through her organisation, Centre for Domestic Training and Development. She revealed the impact the original documentary had on the organisation and other domestic workers. She said: “We have seen more referrals and our programme has grown. We got global visibility from the documentary and received more calls from people.” Reflecting on the progress of Scovia, Esther and Mercy she added: “I am really happy that each one of them are more focused and have a plan for their lives. That is what drives my passion.”

 

BBC Africa Eye: What Happened to the ‘Housegirls’? is now available on the BBC Africa YouTube channel here

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Showmax explores Ghana’s extravagant funerals in new Original, My Perfect Funeral

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When it comes to burying the dead, Ghana has one of the most unique funeral practices in the world. Here, funerals are a celebration of life and a chance for families to give their loved ones a proper send-off, from creating fantasy coffins to holding long ceremonies to being as flamboyant as the families’ budgets allow. (more…)

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MTV to honour three Ukrainian changemakers as part of “MTV EMAs” 2022

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MTV today announced three resilient female changemakers who are fighting for the care and shelter of those impacted by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine will be honoured with the 2022 “MTV EMA Generation Change Award, as part of the “MTV EMAs” 2022 in Düsseldorf.  MTV Entertainment Group, a division of Paramount, has selected the “MTV EMA Generation Change” honourees in partnership with Choose Love, the leading humanitarian non-profit organization that provides aid to, and advocacy for, refugees around the world. This wide-reaching partnership will continue MTV and Paramount’s commitment to utilizing its Content for Change initiative to further diversity, equity and inclusion around the world.  

  

The 2022 “MTV EMA Generation Change Award” awardees’ work includes providing shelter for refugees, evacuating and caring for families raising children, adolescents and young people with disabilities, providing art and group therapy for women and families who have been separated from their loved ones, and more. The recipients will be honoured during the MTV EMA Red Carpet show broadcasting live on MTV globally and streaming on MTVEMA.com on Sunday, 13 November.  

  

“We, at Choose Love, are so grateful to be partnering with MTV and to have the opportunity to honour the phenomenal work of three brilliant women dedicating themselves to supporting people whose lives have been devastated by the invasion of Ukraine. We are constantly inspired by the commitment and courage of the grassroots partners we work with all over the world. They really do give hope for a brighter future for humanity,” said Josie Naughton, Co-Founder and CEO, Choose Love. 

  

“Over 7 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the country was invaded earlier this year, with millions more internally displaced, seeking shelter and safety from the unjust conflict that surrounds them every day,” said Kelly Bradshaw, SVP, MTV Entertainment Brands International, Paramount. “Through MTV’s partnership with Choose Love, we’ll use our platform to amplify the crucial, on-the-ground work they’re doing to relieve the global refugee crisis and bring humanitarian aid to those in Ukraine.”  

  

The 2022 “MTV EMA Generation Change Award” honourees include:

 

  • Lina Deshvar – Ukraine – Lina was born in the Luhansk region and spent her school years in the Kherson region. At 19, she decided to volunteer in orphanages and help the children who lived there, because she herself had spent her entire life in similar institutions. She currently works with a non-profit organization, Seeing with the Heart, that believes “childhood has no disability.” The organization develops projects for socializing children, teens and young people with complex developmental disorders. Over eight years, the organization supported over 2,500 families raising children, teens and young people with disabilities. Since the beginning of the full -scale invasion of Ukraine, Lina has been visiting military hospitals and delivering humanitarian aid to families with children navigating developmental or physical disabilities and those in difficult life circumstances. She also aids in evacuating these families and children from Ukraine. 
  • Anna Kutova – Ukraine – Anna was born in the Poltava region in Ukraine. Back in 2017, Anna volunteered in a shelter and saw first-hand how people from the Luhansk and Donetsk regions had to flee their homes and seek refuge in Poltava due to conflict. Looking into the eyes of people who lost their loved ones and their homes, Anna vowed that she will do everything possible to help them. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, Anna, like millions of Ukrainians, took action. With the team at the Light of Hope charity fund, she worked to open five shelters for over 400 internally displaced people, LGBTQI+ people, women suffering from addiction,  people living with HIV, and more. Through Anna and the team’s fundraising efforts, Light of Hope became a humanitarian center for everyone.
  • Anfisa Yakovina – Ukraine – Anfisa was born in Crimea and studied psychology at Taurida National University. After the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, Anfisa moved to Warsaw, Poland and continued her work and studies towards the psychological and socio-cultural adaptation of migrants. Anfisa is a psychologist at the Polish Migration Forum Foundation, which works for the rights of migrants in Poland. She currently practices prenatal psychology, which includes support for parents-to-be during pregnancy, labour and after childbirth. In the Polish Migration Forum Foundation, she leads childbirth preparation classes for refugees and support groups for moms of newborns from Ukraine. She also counsels and delivers psychological aid to refugees, most of whom are single women. She also leads support groups for Ukrainian mothers who are struggling to adjust to life in Poland with young children or families who have been separated from loved ones through activities like group talk therapy, art therapy and more. 

Since the invasion of Ukraine, Choose Love has raised over $14 million for their crisis response work and supported over 100 local grassroots organizations in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries, including Seeing with the HeartLight of Hope and the Polish Migration Forum Foundation, the organizations that the “2022 MTV EMA Generation Change” honourees are involved with. This support has reached over 2 million people. Since its launch seven years ago, Choose Love has raised over $80 million to support nearly 4 million refugees and has created a movement of people putting love into action around the world. The non-profit goes where the need is greatest, finds local organizations doing the most effective work and gives them what they need to help, whether that’s funding, material aid or volunteers. Through this model, they’re able to provide refugees and displaced people with everything from lifesaving search and rescue boats to food and legal advice. Choose Love elevates the voices and visibility of refugees and galvanizes public support for agile community organizations, providing vital support to refugees along migration routes globally. 

  

Launched in 2018, the “MTV EMA Generation Change Award” has honoured fearless, original young people who are tackling the world’s toughest problems through music, storytelling or digital media. To date, MTV has awarded youth activists across issues such as climate change, racial justice, systemic inequality, gender equity, LGBTQ+ rights and more. As part of the award, MTV makes monetary donations to each honourees’ organization or non-profit organization of choice and elevates their powerful stories across the brand’s social and digital platforms in more than 170 countries.

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