Most newspapers on the African continent are leading with Sunday's air crash in Nigeria.
The Guardian's main article entitled "Flight unto death" features numerous witness accounts while The Punch has articles entitled "Black Sunday! 153 people die in Lagos plane crash". The Nigerian papers also note that a number of important figures from Nigeria's universities and petrol industry were on board.
In other news and across the continent, Kenya's Daily Nation is asking: "Will there ever be an African Pope?" Apparently the last time an African ran the Vatican was in 492 AD and throughout history, there have only been three.
The Daily Nation says "On the prospects of there being a fourth African head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict said it would be "a positive sign for the whole of Christendom"." However that was back in 2002 prior to him getting the Vatican's top job.
The Kenyan paper also reports that one man who could have succeeded Pope John Paul II is Nigeria's Cardinal Francis Arinze, whom they describe as the "senior-most African" in the College of Cardinals which elects the new Pope.
Could Arinze now become the next African Pope? Not only would it be one of the most important positions in the world both spiritually and politically, but having an African Pope might also help boost the popularity of the Catholic Church, which The Daily Nation notes, is currently facing stiff competition from Pentecostalists, Baptists, Evangelicals, and startups propagating the "prosperity gospel". However the would-be Pontiff's age might be a problem, as he is now 80. Also South America has the largest Catholic population, so the Vatican might choose the next Pope from that side of world.
Staying with religious matters...
Uganda's Daily Monitor reports on Martyrs' Day celebrations which took place yesterday in Namugongo under tight security, a week after terror suspects were reported to have entered the country.
Martyrs' Day is marked to remember the 22 people who in the 1880s were burnt to ashes under the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II, the then king of Buganda, because they rejected calls to denounce their faith. In the light of the terror threats, the Uganda government is worried that such pilgrimages are not sufficiently regulated.This has led to a bit of a stand -off between President Museveni and the Catholic church.
Ugandan Vice-President Ssekandi notes "Religious leaders should emphasise the preaching of economic empowerment because it is un-Christian to remain poor in the presence of abundant resources." However Archbishop Lwanga told the Daily Monitor "As we preach peace, let us promote unity and nothing else. To achieve great things, we all need each other." Great understanding there...
Let's finish things off on a positive note:
The Standard has a feature on women standing up for their rights. Indeed women drivers seem to be getting a hard time, particularly from men from the Masai tribes who expect them to give way, simply because they are from what the Masai still probably consider to be the "weaker sex".
However women are no longer willing to put up with this type of behaviour. The article follows a teacher and women's activist Priscila Naisula Nangurai in and around Kajiado town. For decades, she's been on a crusade to rescue culturally-marginalised Masai girls from forced marriages and help arm them with an education. Her actions spread from Kenya to Tanzania where she has rescued girls and offered them education. The Standard looks back on her fight to ensure children are given an education. Through her work, she says she has made friends across the world.