News Brief

Project Runway SA Premieres Today, But Will It Be Better Than Other Reality Show Spin-Offs?

The first season of Project Runway SA begins today and joins a long list of African spin-offs of American reality shows.

Watching African spin offs of American and European reality TV shows can be a fun guilty pleasure or an awkward and brutal experience.

The first season of Project Runway SA is premiering today on Mzansi Magic at 9:30pm. The show will be hosted by Lerato Kganyago and the contestants will be mentored by Gert-Johan Coetzee. While most of the response on social media has been positive, we will have to wait and see if the show will offer an interesting perspective on fashion in South Africa or if it will be a failed attempt to mimic the American original.

There's a long history of reality competition spin offs that have come before Project Runway on the continent including Idols, The Voice, Big Brother Africa, and Real Housewives. Many of these shows are a hit or miss, though many times the hit is from finding pleasure in the most awkward moments of the show.

Despite the success of these shows, they often struggle to accommodate Black African contestants and to restructure the original format to a new location. In 2013, the first season of Africa's Next Top Model premiered and launched the career of the winner Aamito Lagum. The show was filled with political uncomfortable scenes, from the models (particularly two white South African models) posing in high fashion clothes in a Cape Town township that led to the people living there protesting the shoot in the episode, to the language difficulties faced by the contestants from Angola and Mozambique that were never quite resolved.


Despite the shady history of reality tv spinoffs in Africa, there is a lot of excitement on Twitter for Project Runway SA. Fans of Project Runway are excited to see how the show will play out in South Africa. The competition is for aspiring designers who have to create runway ready garments with restricted time and materials for each challenge. If the show follows the formula of the original, the challenges will include ready to wear, unconventional materials, avant-garde, red carpet, and group challenges. It's not evident yet what unique challenges the South African show will offer.



South Africa's fashion industry has produced many talented designers, and it's hard say whether this show will necessarily create the next top designer. The winning designer will show their collection at Paris fashion week 2019.

Watch the trailer here.





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(Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Pregnant Tanzanian Girls Now Have Hope Of An Education

In the past, Tanzania's pregnant girls of school-going age were banned from accessing an education. However, things are about to change!

If a young girl of school-going age happened to fall pregnant in Tanzania, it usually spelled the end of her schooling career β€” and the death of any prospects she may have had for a bright future. In Tanzania currently, an estimated 5 500 girls are forced to leave school each year due to pregnancy, according to the World Bank.

The Tanzanian government has announced a new programme aimed at addressing the plight of young girls who have been impacted by this discriminatory ban. Tanzania's Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Leonard Akwilapo said young girls will now be offered an opportunity to further their schooling at alternative colleges.

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Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Nigerian Government Barred From Prosecuting Twitter Users

The Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States has ordered the Nigerian government to refrain from prosecuting Twitter users, while it considers the case brought to it by civil society organisations and journalists.

Activists and journalists took the Nigerian government to court to challenge the recent Twitter ban, asking "the court to declare the indefinite suspension of Twitter a continuous violation of their human rights under the international law." As it stands the ban threatens to criminalise the 40 million Twitter users in the country.

According to Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP), a Nigerian NGO, the court ruled that no person should be "sanctioned, harassed, intimidated, arrested or prosecuted for using Twitter in Nigeria.The ruling also means that tech companies must immediately restore people's access to Twitter as a matter of human right."

"The court has listened very well to the objection by Nigeria. Any interference with Twitter is viewed as inference with human rights. This will violate human rights. Nigeria must take immediate steps to implement this order," the court ruling stated.

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Photo by Deon Raath/Rapport/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Spirit Of Humanity Gives Hope To Young Boy Mauled By A Hyena

A 9-year-old Zimbabwean boy Rodwell Nkomazana has a shot at a normal life, again, after a horrific hyena attack left him with half of his face missing.

It takes a village to raise a child and sometimes that village comes from thousands of kilometers away, and consists of committed surgeons, passionate nurses and generous international donors. Nine-year-old Rodwell Nkomazana was asleep at an all-night church service when the unthinkable happened. The little boy was attacked and mauled by a hyena outside Harare, in Zimbabwe.

The medical team at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare, where he received his initial treatment, did all they could to save his life and stabilise him. However, due to a lack of resources and expertise, it was all they could do.

With half of his face missing, including an eye, his upper lip, his nose and part of his forehead, Rodwell was set for a life full of challenges. Not only would he have lost his childhood, but he would have probably spent most of his time in seclusion β€” isolated from the rest of society.

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