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  1. Nigeria's world Scrabble champion denied visa for contest
  2. Tear gas and beatings at anti-Mugabe march in Zimbabwe
  3. Guinea Hajj pilgrims stranded over visa delays
  4. US diplomat John Kerry 'fuelled Nigeria's religious divisions'
  5. South Africa judge denies leave to appeal Oscar Pistorius' sentence
  6. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  7. Email stories and comments to - Friday 26 August 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Friday's stories

    We'll be back on Monday

    That's all from the BBC Africa Live page today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: The lion which moves silently is the one that eats meat." from A Swahili proverb sent by Lopeny Tajiri, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
    A Swahili proverb sent by Lopeny Tajiri, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this picture of an artist in Ghana's capital, Accra. It's one of our top shots from across Africa this week:

    An artist poses by his pieces of art exposed during the Chale Wote street art festival in Accra, on 21 August 2016
  2. Zimbabwe protest: '50 injured by police'

    Opposition demonstrators in Harare, Zimbabwe

    At least 50 people were injured by the police in today’s protest in Zimbabwe, opposition leader Joice Mujuru has said.

    A man holding up a Robert Mugabe Rd sign

    Mrs Mujuru, who until December 2014 was President Robert Mugabe’s deputy and now leads the Zimbabwe People First party, was speaking after police fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters taking part in an anti-government demonstration in the capital, Harare.

    She, along with MDC opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, fled the rally in their cars while protesters ran for cover, the Reuters news agency reports.

    An opposition coalition called for today’s march.

    The leaders, speaking to journalists afterwards, warned this was just the beginning:

    Quote Message: The people's anger is very deep. Zimbabweans are beginning to say enough is enough." from Morgan Tsvangirai
    Morgan Tsvangirai
    A man running during protests in Harare, Zimbabwe
  3. Who will Gabonese voters choose for president?

    Ali Bongo mask

    Voters are going to the polls tomorrow to choose the president of Gabon.

    Candidates include incumbent Ali Bongo and former African Union Commission chair Jean Ping. 

    Voters in the capital, Libreville, have been sharing their concerns with the BBC's Remy Nsabimana:

    Quote Message: Some are predicting an uncertain future. We want peaceful elections. And then we would want the next president who will be elected to improve the well-being of the Gabonese."
    Quote Message: We lived in fear, we cannot speak because we are being monitored. We want to be free at home and not have to fight for what is our right."

    The opposition in Gabon is presenting a slightly more united front than usual in this Saturday's presidential election, raising expectations that the vote could be closer than in previous years.  

    Read more: Can Gabon's opposition unseat President Bongo?

    Woman doing make up
  4. What's Up Africa in 90 seconds: Mixed messages

    In the African news this week: 

    • Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau fatally injured in Nigeria. Or is he? 
    • Olympic protests - for winners only? 
    • Media gagged in Angola. 

    Watch satirist Ikenna Azuike take on Africa's week in 90 seconds:

    Video content

    Video caption: What's Up Africa in 90 seconds: Mixed messages
  5. Happy Hausa day!

    Today Hausa speakers are using the hashtag #RanarHausa (#HausaDay) on social media to celebrate the language.

    Today is also Friday, so we’re marking Hausa Day by sharing with you this proverb in Hausa sent to us by Ibraheem Aboki from Abuja, Nigeria:

    View more on instagram
  6. John Kerry 'met Christian and Muslim leaders in Nigeria'

    The US embassy in Nigeria has been reacting to allegations made by the Christian Association of Nigeria (Can) that Secretary of State John Kerry fuelled ethnic and religious divisions during his recent visit to the country this week (see earlier post).

    Spokesman Larry Socha told the BBC’s Naziru Mikailu in Abuja that Mr Kerry had stressed the importance of religious tolerance during his trip to northern Nigeria.

    Quote Message: In Sokoto, Secretary Kerry met with both Christian and Muslim leaders to discuss religious tolerance and counter violent extremism that affects all Nigerians.
    Quote Message: And as the secretary said in his speech there, equality and tolerance, justice and mercy, compassion and humility - these are values that transcend religions, ethnicities and all kinds of moral codes."

    Mr Socha also wanted to stress that Mr Kerry had now visited Nigeria one three occasions altogether including trips to Lagos and Abuja.

    US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) sits next to Sokoto Sultan - 23 August 2016
    Image caption: John Kerry pictured during his audience with the Sultan of Sokoto on Tuesday
  7. 'My humiliating week as a woman'

    For one week Ugandan social worker Samuel Woira decided see what it is like living like a woman.

    Under the guidance of female "instructors" he received orders to simulate a woman's life.

    He told Focus on Africa's Akwasi Sarpong that for the first time in his life he arrived to work 30 minutes late because he had to clean the house first thing in the morning.

    While one friend texted him to say that, after observing the challenge, he decided to should help his wife more with housework, another has stopped talking to him altogether.

    Listen to his experience of people laughing at him:

    Video content

    Video caption: Social worker Samuel Woira embarked on a social experiment to change people's attitudes
  8. Smuggled prison letter calls for Ethiopian mourning

    Today is the second day of three days of mourning declared by opposition politicians for those who have been killed during the ongoing protests in Ethiopia. 

    Political prisoners, including Bekele Gerba from the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), called for the mourning period in a letter smuggled out of prison, which has been posted on Facebook: 


    The opposition politicians have also called for people to shave their heads in protest. 

    Ethiopian protesters received international attention this week after marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa ran over the finish line at the Rio Olympics with his hands crossed above his head.

    It is a symbol used by Oromo people against a clampdown on their protests over land reform.

    Feyisa Lilesa

    Read more: Endurance test for Ethiopia's protest runner

  9. Sacked South Sudan VP Riek Machar 'leaves hospital'

    Riek Machar

    South Sudan's sacked Vice-President Riek Machar has left hospital in Khartoum but will remain in the the Sudanese capital "for some time", Reuters news agency quotes an aide accompanying him, Sabt Makkouk, as saying.

    Earlier this week it was reported that Mr Machar was in Sudan to receive urgent medical treatment.

    He has not been seen in public since July's clashes between his supporters and those of President Salva Kiir which killed some 300 people.  

    Mr Machar returned to Juba in April to take up the post of vice-president, but President Kiir dismissed him in the wake of the latest violence.  

    South Sudan has suffered more than two years of civil war, since gaining independence from Sudan in 2011.  

  10. Mass polio vaccination to begin in Nigeria

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC Africa, Bauchi

    A child being vaccinated

    A mass polio immunisation campaign is about to begin in north-eastern Nigeria after new polio cases were recently found in the region.

    There was an initial emergency vaccination of children earlier this month in the communities affected to contain the virus.

    This is first phase of what will be a country-wide campaign organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Nigerian authorities.

    Millions of children aged five and under are expected to be vaccinated.

    Other countries in the Lake Chad area, including Niger, Cameroon, Chad and the Central African Republic, will also be targeted.

    Ahead of tomorrow’s vaccination exercise, Nigerian papers have reported that the country has received or has requested a $125m (£94m) loan from the World Bank to tackle the outbreak.

    Health officials contacted by the BBC cannot confirm this – some saying it may be a grant.

    Polio paralysed two children in Borno state, a part of north-eastern Nigeria devastated by Islamist Boko Haram militants.

    The cases have been described as a major setback for Nigeria, which was on track to be declared polio free in 2017.

    But officials are confident the mass immunisation campaign will help bring the continent back on track.


    What is polio?

    • Polio, or poliomyelitis, mainly affects children aged under five
    • It is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours
    • Initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness of the neck and pains in the limbs
    • One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis. Among those paralysed, 5% to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilised
  11. World Scrabble champion denied visa for contest

    Wellington Jighere

    Current world Scrabble champion Wellington Jighere has said that he and his team have been denied visas to France to take part in a Scrabble contest.

    He broke the news on Facebook:

    Quote Message: I and my Nigerian compatriots were refused visas. Yes, you heard me right! The number one Scrabble playing nation on earth was refused visas to enable her contingent participate at a Scrabble event."

    In November Wellington Jighere become the first African to win the English-language World Scrabble Championship.

  12. DR Congo 'to free five activists'

    The Democratic Republic of Congo will free five pro-democracy activists in the next few days, Reuters news agency reports the justice minister said.

    The move is an attempt to appease the opposition and ease negotiations over the election timetable, Reuters adds. 

    Earlier this week, opposition protesters staged a national strike in an attempt to force President Joseph Kabila to step down at the end of his term which officially expires in November.

    Joseph Kabila
    Image caption: Mr Kabila first became president after his father's assassination in 2001
  13. Egypt's first female bodyguard

    Hind Wajih Othman

    Hind Wajih Othman was the first woman to be trained by Egypt's interior ministry to protect public figures as a bodyguard.

    She told the BBC:

    Quote Message: "People say my job isn't for women but I don't think it's gender specific."

    Now she is also teaching women how to fend off public harassers as, according to UN figures, 99% of women in the country say they have been sexually harassed. 

    Watch more on BBC Trending

  14. SA skin bleaching march: 'I'm black and I'm beautiful'

    Pumza Fihlani

    BBC News, South Africa

    “Say no to skin bleaching and embrace dark skin”, this is the message being spread on the streets of the South Africa city of Durban by marchers calling for an end to the use of skin-lightening creams.

    The march, through the city centre, is organised by the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Department of Health. 

    Its organisers are hoping it will help promote “self-love” among young people - who researchers say are most at risk of taking up the trend of lightening their skin.

    The bleaching creams have become popular in South Africa where the quest to be “yellowbone”, a term used for light-skinned people, has some using creams believed to pose health risks, including cancer.  

    A Durban journalist has been tweeting pictures of the march:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Read more: Where black is not really beautiful.

  15. Running from tear gas in Zimbabwe's capital

    Police in Zimbabwe have not allowed people participating an an anti-government demonstration in the capital, Harare, to march through the city despite a High Court ruling granting them permission (see earlier posts).

    The BBC's Brian Hungwe says it's difficult to estimate how many people are part of the protest as the situation has been chaotic with the police firing tear gas.

    One tweeter posted this video:

    View more on twitter

    A fire has also broken near a bus station in the centre of town:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  16. Debunking Zambia's prostate cancer myths

    Medical reports show that African men suffer disproportionately from prostate cancer compared to men from other parts of the world, though few countries on the continent have strategies in place for early detection or public awareness campaigns about the disease.

    BBC Africa's Kennedy Gondwe speaks to one man in Zambia trying to break the silence:

    Video content

    Video caption: Debunking Zambia's prostate cancer myths

    What is the prostate?

    It is a gland in the male reproductive system which makes semen, the fluid that carries sperm.

    The size of a walnut, it grows bigger as men grow older. It sits under the bladder and surrounds the uretha, the tube men urinate and ejaculate through.

    Prostate cancer is a disease that mainly affects older men. Watch this video from the charity Prostate Cancer UK for more information:

    View more on youtube
  17. Rolexes 'could solve Uganda's problems'

    Ugandan columnist Ian Nkera Ford has Rolexes on his mind - but it's not watches that are his preoccupation.

    Rolex is the name of a popular street food in Uganda and he argues on the Sqoop news site that those that make them "should be given their own ministry". 

    The dish is an omelette inside a chapatti which some say got its name not from the time piece but because it's short for "rolled eggs".

    And Mr Nkera thinks the Rolex chefs need more credit:

    Quote Message: Do you know how many problems would be solved in this country if our Rolex guys were given attention? Maybe, a ministry of their own. They have served this country and its citizens selflessly."

    The Rolex has been getting a lot of attention because the capital, Kampala, hosted a festival in honour of the dish on Sunday:

    Rolex maker
    Woman eating Rolexes
    A Rolex T-shirt
  18. John Kerry 'fuelled Nigeria's religious divisions'

    John Kerry and the Sultan of Sokoto
    Image caption: John Kerry met the Sultan of Sokoto, Nigeria's top Muslim leader, on Tuesday

    Nigeria's main Christian group has accused the US secretary of state of fuelling ethnic and religious divisions during his recent visit to the country.

    John Kerry had acted in a divisive and discriminatory way by visiting the Muslim north of the country, and meeting the Sultan of Sokoto and other northern leaders, the Christian Association of Nigeria (Can) said.

    His “lack of respect for the heterogeneous nature of Nigeria, amounted to favouring northern Nigeria and Muslims to the detriment of the Christian community”, Nigeria’s Premium Times quotes, Supo Ayokunle, Can’s president, as saying.

    There has been no word so far from the US about the comments.

    Mr Kerry's recent visits to Kenya and Nigeria this week focused on security.

    Northern Nigeria has been affected by an Islamist Boko Haram insurgency for the past seven years.

  19. Diamonds aren't forever?

    Some 70% of the Botswana government's revenues come from diamonds - but can the country continuing relying on the precious stones? 

    The BBC's Lerato Mbele has visited Jwaneng mine, which is run by the global diamond giant De Beers, to find out:

    Video content

    Video caption: Should Botswana break its reliance on diamonds?