Play on Gen. Gowon to be staged in Lagos Aug. 24-25

A play, ‘GOWON’, which depicts the life of retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former Nigeria’s military head of state, is to be staged in Lagos, from Aug. 24 to Aug.25.

A statement by the Duke of Shomolu Foundation, producers of the play, said on Sunday in Lagos that the play would focus on Gowon’s service to Nigeria and also take a ‘deep and cursory look at his tribe – Angas, in Plateau’.

‘It will run with the theme of unity and lean heavily on the Gowon era policy of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reorientation put in place at the end of the civil war to heal wounds,’ the statement said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the statement was signed by Mrs Mofoluwake Edgar, Managing Director, Duke of Shomolu Foundation.

‘The play will seek to celebrate the ‘No Victor, No Vanquished proponent,’ the statement added.

It said that the play was written by Prof. Ahmed Yerima, who would also direct the stage proceedings.

Yerima had written equally strong historical plays on Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Emir
Muhammad Sanusi II, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, and Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.

All the plays were produced by the Duke of Shomolu Foundation.

The statement indicated that the play had been in the drawing board in the last two years ‘waiting for the most auspicious time.

‘For the first time ever on a Nigerian stage, a play will feature accomplished British actress – Tayo Elesin – who will play the role of Victoria, Gowon’s wife.

‘Tayo, who was HID Awolowo in the play ‘Awo’, staged in London, had featured in many western stage plays and many critically acclaimed movies on Netflix.

‘She will bring to bear on the production her international clout and experience,’ the statement said.

The statement disclosed that the play is being sponsored by First Bank of Nigeria, Unified Payments, Orangeline and Sonora Capital.

‘The showing will be at the Agip Recital Hall of The Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos,’ it said.

NAN reports that Gowon, who became the nation’s head of state at 32, ruled Nigeria from 1966 t
o 1975.

His regime was terminated by a military coup with the late Gen. Murtala Mohammed taking his place.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Call to minimise marine pollution

Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment Minister, Barbara Creecy has urged citizens to play their part in minimising marine pollution by adopting sustainable practices, including reducing littering, participating in beach clean-ups, and recycling materials.

Creecy made the call as South Africa joined the global community in celebrating World Oceans Day (WOD), held under the theme ‘Awaken New Depths.’

Observed on 08 June, the main objective of this year’s WOD celebrations was to highlight the vital role of oceans in shaping socio-economic realities and environmental sustainability.

World Oceans Day also falls in June which is observed as Environment Month in South Africa.

‘As a maritime nation bordered by three vast oceans – the Atlantic, Indian, and Southern, South Africa recognises the significance of our oceanic territory and the imperative to deepen our understanding and ensure protection of this invaluable ecosystem. Oceans influence weather patterns, support diverse ecosystems, and provide livelihoo
ds for millions of people worldwide, including 40% of South Africa’s population residing within 100km of the coastline.

“The theme ‘Awaken New Depths’ encapsulates our commitment to explore and harness the immense potential of our oceans. Through concerted efforts, we aim to enhance our understanding of marine environments and promote sustainable use for the benefit of current and future generations,” Creecy said.

With an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extending 200 nautical miles into the ocean surrounding the mainland and encompassing territories such as the Prince Edward and Marion Islands, South Africa boasts a vast maritime area of 1.5 million square kilometres.

Despite this expansive territory, much of the world’s oceans remain unexplored, emphasising the need for increased awareness and conservation efforts.

Creecy said South Africa has in the past few days experienced adverse weather conditions that have led to the destruction of property and loss of life, noting that the origin of this weather phe
nomena can be traced back to its source, the ocean.

‘The heavy rains in the Eastern and Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal were due to the air-sea interaction processes. South African scientists and international collaborators are working hard to study these extreme events to understand their frequency and magnitude in future to be able to mitigate against devastating impacts in future.

‘By working together, we can unlock the vast potential of our oceans while preserving their ecological integrity for generations to come. As we commemorate World Oceans Day, let us awaken to the depths of our oceans and embrace our role as custodians of these precious resources.

Source: South African Government News Agency

KZN learners to represent SA at Stockholm Junior Water Prize

Sanelisiwe and Sandisiwe Nhlozi from Buhlebemfundo Secondary School in Durban will represent South Africa in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Annual Stockholm Junior Water Prize in August.

The 15-year-old twins emerged victorious at the 2024 National South African Youth Water Prize Competition (SAYWP) held at the Xylem Water Solutions Offices in Kempton Park, Gauteng on Friday.

The South African Youth Water Prize competition is a vital component of the Department of Water and Sanitation’s Education programme, which aims to educate learners and society on water resource management issues including water use efficiency, water quality monitoring, and protection of water resources among others.

The competition, organised in partnership with Xylem Water Solutions, Water Technology, the Water Research Commission, and other key stakeholders in the water sector, aimed to identify a project that would best represent South Africa at the 2024 Stockholm Junior Water Prize in Sweden.

The final competition follows a culminati
on of months of hard work and dedication from young water and sanitation enthusiasts’ countrywide.

The two learners were announced as the winners of the competition following their impressive presentation on their innovation awareness project ‘Drop-Drop’, earning them an opportunity to showcase their project on a global platform and compete against other talented learners from around the world.

The duo also walked away with prizes including R15 000 each, tickets to Sweden, laptops, a first-place trophy, R10 000 allowance and bursaries to further their education at the university of their choice.

Sanelisiwe and Sandisiwe expressed their gratitude and excitement for the opportunity to represent South Africa on the global stage.

‘We feel super excited, we are so emotional right now. We are so grateful to the teachers, mentors, and everybody who supported us to this far and our family,” the duo said.

They also pledged to elevate South Africa to new heights and secure the top spot on the global stage of the c
ompetition with their awareness approach.

Following closely behind was Kimberly Technical School, whose impactful awareness project secured them second place. The school received prize of R14 000, bursary, laptops, and a second-place trophy.

Middleburg Muslim Secondary School in Mpumalanga also made a strong showing, earning third place for their outstanding awareness project plus R12 500, a laptop, and a bursary.

The learners from all nine provinces who participated in the national finals were also rewarded with bursaries and laptops to support their academic pursuits.

Pumla Ncumshe from the Department of Water and Sanitation said the event served as a testament to the bright future of the youth in South Africa and their commitment to making a positive impact in their communities and beyond.

‘As we look towards the Stockholm Junior Water Prize in August, we cannot help but feel inspired by the dedication and creativity displayed by these young individuals. Their projects serve as a reminder of the impor
tance of water conservation and the role that young people can play in shaping a sustainable future for all.

‘Congratulations to all the participants, and best of luck to Sanelisiwe and Sandisiwe as they represent South Africa on the international stage. Also, congratulations to the winners of the 2024 national finals, as well as all the participating schools, regional coordinators, media houses, and stakeholders who contributed to the success of the program,’ Ncumshe said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Dark and Lovely Moisture Plus Kits recalled

The National Consumer Commission (NCC) is urging consumers in possession of 50ml single use neutralizing shampoo contained in Dark and Lovely Moisture Plus Kits (Regular, and Super) and Dark and Lovely Anti Breakage Kit to discontinue use of the product and return it to the point of sale for a full refund.

NCC’s Deputy Commissioner, Thezi Mabuza said the manufacturer, Loreal informed the Commission that it detected the presence of bacteria in the 50ml single use neutralizing shampoo during regular quality controls.

‘While this is single-use shampoo, we urge South Africans who might still have these products in their possession to stop use and return to the point of purchase for a full refund. According to the manufacturer, using this shampoo may lead to scalp infections in those with compromised immune systems’ Mabuza said.

The product, which was produced in April 2023, was distributed nationally, and exported to neighbouring countries such as Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya, Ghana, Botswana, Eswatini, Le
sotho, Morocco, and Nigeria.

‘The Consumer Protection Act requires that manufacturers and producers of products produce, and supply goods and products are of good quality and free of defects. We urge suppliers and manufacturers to always prioritize consumer safety. The Commission is monitoring the recall based on its Recall Guidelines’ Mabuza said.

The NCC is an agency of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Limpopo Working on Fire prepares for winter fire season

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment and Working on Fire-Kishugu Joint Venture (WOF-Kishugu JV) in Limpopo, has officially started preparations for the winter fire season through the Yellow Card Training Assessments to mentally and physically prepare its firefighters in the province.

WOF-Kishugu JV Limpopo spokesperson, Ofentse Letswalo said over 500 firefighters stationed at 26 bases in the province will participate in the training at their bases.

‘So far, Mogalakwena; Molemole; Mapungubwe; Tzaneen and Soekmekaar have successfully completed their Yellow Card Training Assessments and are considered ready and prepared for the winter fire season,’ Letswalo said.

According to Letswalo, the province is expecting a busy fire season compared to previous years.

Letswalo said the winter fire season starts from June to October, annually, however, WOF Limpopo has already dispatched ground teams to suppress over 30 wildfires.

‘The firefighters attached to the Working on Fire Limpopo will be ass
essed in specialised firefighting techniques, theoretical knowledge, snake identification, and awareness during the yellow card training. The training will also include WOF standard fitness, which involves a 2.4km run; press-ups; sit-ups, and pull-ups within a set timeframe,’ Letswalo said.

Celebrating 20 years of sustainability, the Working on Fire Programme is part of the South African Government’s initiative to create jobs and alleviate poverty.

Today, WOF employs more than 5000 young men and women, who have been fully trained as veld firefighters and are stationed in over 200 bases throughout South Africa.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Closing date looms for sport, culture events funding proposals

The Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation has reminded applicants of funding proposals for sports, arts, culture and recreation events and festivals to submit their proposals before the 14 June 2024 deadline.

The department said proposals are being sought for events taking place during the 2024/2025 financial year ending on 31 March 2025.

These can include festivals, music shows, sports tournaments, seminars, exhibitions, and more.

‘The department seeks to support initiatives that are in line with the wider provincial government objectives of promoting social cohesion, nation building, and economic development,’ the department said in a statement.

The proposals should focus on key areas including improving living conditions in townships, informal settlements and hostels; increasing participation of women, youth, and persons with disabilities; creating job opportunities for women, youth, and persons with disabilities; and attracting local residents and leading to localised social cohesi
on and economic impact.

The closing date for submissions is Friday, 14 June 2024 at 4pm.

Proposals should be submitted separately in a sealed envelope to: 35 Rissik Street, Surrey House, Johannesburg.

For more details and to download the advert, please visit

Source: South African Government News Agency