African Press Review 13 February 2013

Does Zuma have a rabbit in his hat? Can hip-hop help education? How did four rhinoceros horns come to disappear from a Zimbabwe court? And what's cooking in Lesotho?

"Zuma needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat", says South Africa's Business Daily in its opinion pages.

The article appears on the eve of President Jacob Zuma's return to parliament to deliver his annual state of the nation address. The months ahead are full of challenges: the rising social tension and deepening inequality.

That's why Zuma will have to come up with something to both improve the national mood and provide a narrative for moving forward as a nation, says the editorial. The author implores the South African president to invite all the social actors to play their part.

But, says the author, this day is also about hearing Zuma's thoughts on societal issues, from brutal rape and murder to corruption and the "securitisation" of the state.

South Africa is deeply divided, notes the editorial. Decisive leadership is needed to make the tough choices. The author concludes by saying that Zuma has an opportunity to display such leadership this week. "The citizens of this rather beleaguered, but still hopeful, nation are ready to listen," it believes.

On its Goodlife pages the Sowetan reports on a new initiative, Afrikan Hip-Hop Caravan, which is about to sweep through six African cities, from Cape Town to Timbuktu, over the next two months.

The grassroots educational movement aims to use hip-hop as a vehicle to educate people and to encourage social responsibility.

The line-up for the tour includes American artists Mic Crenshaw, DJ Radical Klavical, SOS and Zubs, to name a few.The caravan of scholars, activists and hip-hop artists will spend a week in each city it visits.

Cape Town will be the first, from 13-17 February. A symposium will be held in the city centre, followed by a show in a township. Wherever the caravan goes, 10 people will be coopted to join the journey to the next city.

A mystery features in the crime and courts section of Zimbabwe's Herald.

Police have launched investigations into a case in which four rhinoceros horns, worth 250,000 dollars and kept as evidence, disappeared at the Beitbridge magistrates courts, reports the paper.

The horns were taken to the court for a case against a poacher.

"The evidence which we marked as exhibits was then taken to the magistrates' court for safe keeping until the case was finalised," a police official told the paper

The police discovered records at the court indicating that the horns had been released to the purported owners. But, when they asked the National Parks and Wildlife Authority, they were told that the items were not received there.

"Intensive investigations are in progress and we hope to account for the suspects very soon", the police official assured the reporters.

Good luck with that ;-)

To Lesotho now.

"Local chef wins global award", proudly announces Lesotho's Public Eye.

Celebrity chef Sekamotho Moteane, popularly known as Ska, has won two international awards for her debut culinary book, Cuisine of the Mountain Kingdom: Cooking in Lesotho.

Moteane, 34, told Public Eye she is about to leave for Paris, France, next week There she will receive her prizes on 23 February 23 at the Louvre Museum during the Paris Cookbook Fair.

Moteane's book, containing 28 traditional Basotho dishes, won the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2012 for best debutant author and best African cuisine book in southern Africa, says the article.

According to the ecstatic author, organisers of the competition came to know about her book and work through social networks such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.

"Some people sometimes say our traditional food is bad, with some describing it as disgusting," she says. "But I told myself that I am writing this book. I'm doing it for my children, the future generation, as well as for myself.

"Pari gagné!" as the French saying goes. Mission accomplished.

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