Spectacular Magazine - August 2014 - Page 31

AFRICA/ CARRIBEAN NEWS VIRGINIA CARIBBEAN FESTIVAL - CARNIVAL AND CULTURE AS ONLY THE CARIBBEAN CAN OFFER NORFOLK, VA - The 9th Annual Virginia Caribbean Festival, taking place August 8-9, featured Caribbean acts with the infectious, pulsating tropical rhythmic sounds of Reggae, Calypso and Soca, and yes, the sweet beat of the Steelpan music. Sponsored by the Virginia Caribbean-American Cultural Association Inc., the Festival was a day of tropical rhythm, cuisine, carnival and culture. The weekend kicked off with the midnight J’Ouvert Boat ride on the Spirit of Norfolk, a fun and festive, three-deck dining cruise vessel. Saturday started off with the Carnival parade in the streets of downtown Norfolk, Virginia. (Highlights below) On Saturday night Festival goers enjoyed live authentic Caribbean music at Town Point Park (Norfolk) with international recording artists, and electrifying diverse audience with high-energy tunes that moved the crowd to dance under the stars. (PHOTOS: Randy Singleton) AFRICANS SPEND OVER $7 BILLION ON HAIR CARE CAUSING COMPANIES TO TARGET THE CONTINENT Hair is big business in Africa, and global brands are definitely starting to take notice. Despite limited financial resources, Reuters reports that Africans are spending an estimated $7 billion on their hair. According to Euromonitor International, people in South Africa, Nigeria and Cameroon alone spend about $1.1 billion on hair care products. That includes shampoo, lotions and relaxers. The amount of money brought in by fake hair far outpaces that number, though. Reportedly, the dry hair (aka weaves, wigs and extensions) industry is estimated to be around $6 billion a year. The African hair industry has become so big that Unilever now has a salon in Johannesburg boasting its full line of Motions products. Then there’s L’Oreal, which is looking to do more research into African hair and skin as it expands its Dark And Lovely line of relaxers and other products. L’Oreal also has factories South Africa and Kenya, the turn out about half of the products it ships all over Africa. BOKO HARAM RAID KILLS 10 IN CAMEROON Much of this growth has gone in just the last 10 years according to L’Oreal South Africa Managing Director Bertrand de Laleu. “African women are probably the most daring when it comes to hair styles,” Bertrand told Reuters. He implied that the adventurous is a result of how much more accessible different options are. “Suddenly you can play with new tools that didn’t exist or were unaffordable.” Kabir Mohamed, managing director of South Africa’s Buhle Braids pointed out that just in South Africa, there are over 100 different brands of hair, bumping the market in the one country to $600 million! The majority of the hair sold in Africa comes from Asia and is made of cheaper, synthetic fibers. Natural hair is offered, but it costs quite a bit more money – this is not a shock to weave connoisseurs. Shelling out big bucks to get your hair done isn’t a new thing to black women stateside. Reuters reports that as of 2013, Mintel market research found that the Black hair care industry was a $684 million market. That estimate wildly inflates to $500 billion if extensions and sales from independent suppliers are included. (www.hellobeautiful.com) YAOUNDE - Suspected members of Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram killed 10 people and kidnapped one in a raid on the village of Zigague in remote northern Cameroon on August 6, state radio reported. The heavily armed gunmen arrived in a pickup truck and on motorcycles at around 2pm local time and stormed the house of a local chief, kidnapping one of his children and stealing a car, an army commander told state radio. “On their way back, they came face-to-face with Cameroonian soldiers but succeeded in shooting to death nine villagers and a soldier www.spectacularmag.com | August 2014 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE of the Rapid Intervention Brigade,” Albert Mekondane Obounou, senior divisional officer for the Logone and Chari region, told state radio. Cameroon has introduced measures to increase security on its long jungle border with Nigeria, deploying more than 1,000 soldiers, but has failed to stop Boko Haram raids. President Paul Biya dismissed two senior army officers last month following Boko Haram attacks in which at least seven people were killed and the wife of the vice prime minister was kidnapped. 31