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BIC Announces Fifth Edition of Art Master Africa

BIC, a world leader in stationery, lighters, and shavers, has recently announced the kick-off of its flagship art competition, Art Master Africa, now in its fifth edition.

The competition invites talent from across Africa and the Middle East to express their creativity by producing artwork using the iconic BIC Cristal Ballpoint pen.

This year’s competition theme, Celebrating Africa, asks artists to create artwork that represents their personal identity as well as their unique perceptions of the African continent and its diverse cultures.

Art Master Africa is an annual competition that is open to talent across the Middle East and Africa region.

The competition debuted in 2017 in South Africa. Following its success, Art Master Africa expanded into the Africa region in 2019 and into the Middle East in 2021.

Artists can enter the competition by submitting up to three original artworks of what Celebrating Africa means to them at www.bicartmaster.com.

Submissions will be reviewed and shortlisted by a panel of judges including artists, art professors, art collectors, and winners from the 2019 and 2021 competitions – Gayi Eric and Oscar Ukonu. The submission phase will run until 31-08-2022.

Once the judging phase is completed in September, winners will be announced and celebrated.

Commenting on the occasion, Peter Van den Broeck, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Middle East and Africa at BIC, said: “Art Master Africa speaks to our Company’s belief in the importance and power of creativity. This competition continues to positively impact talent across the region by encouraging self-expression. We look forward to seeing how our theme is interpreted and encourage creatives of all ages to pick up a pen and set their imaginations free.”

First, second, and third place competition winners will be named Africa’s Art Masters, and will receive cash prizes of USD 2,000, USD 1,000, and USD 500 respectively.

The first place regional winner will also receive an online personal gallery as well as the opportunity to join the BIC Art Collection exhibited in Paris, France. National winners will receive a prize of USD 500 each. BIC’s connection to art spans more than 60 years. T

he brand regularly celebrates the creativity and originality of artists who find great inspiration in creating masterpieces using BIC’s products. BIC’s Art Collection includes over 250 works of art by 80 international artists.

BIC has several established partnerships with art institutes around the world and has its products displayed in renowned museums around the world.

To find out more about Art Master Africa and to review the competition’s full terms and conditions, please visit www.bicartmaster.com.

Azziad shares message of confidence at a BIC hosted campus panel aimed at empowering students

BIC Miss Soleil brand ambassador Azziad Nasenya spoke to an auditorium full of campus students about building and mastering her self-confidence as an internet sensation and how she has grown to express herself and build herself as a brand at only 21 years of age.

Speaking at a panel on Confidence & Self Care hosted as part of the ‘Wembesha Na BIC’ campus campaign held at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) main campus, that brought together Azziad, Paloma Lengema BIC East Africa Marketing Manager and Dr. Sheila a Dermatologist, the BIC Miss Soleil brand ambassador said she was delighted to be able to tell her story and inspire youth across Kenya.


“I was a confident child growing up, but that was put to test when I became a star after my tiktok video went viral, I had to endure and overcome internet bullying to become who I am today,” Azziad said.

This is not the first time Azziad has opened up on her personal life.

On April 2022, Azziad has opened up about how social media can be draining and advises netizens not to get hung up on the content they choose to share.

Speaking in a interview, the Tiktok queen said that she doesn’t fuss a lot about the kind of content she shares on the video streaming platform or the kind of feedback she gets.

“Social media can be draining sometimes. So one thing that I taught myself before fame is to detach myself from videos, or any content that I post. Unless it’s for a client which I know needs to do well. But if it’s just posting content, I usually let it go the way it’ll go,” said Azziad.

She further stated that focusing so much on the videos one shares only has a negative effect which only builds up unnecessary pressure.

“The moment you start attaching yourself to videos and how they do, it’s gonna take a toll on you. A lot of people are putting a lot of pressure on themselves depending on the number of views they get and that’s not something they can control. When posting a video, do it wholeheartedly, then let it go,” she added.

Rigathi Gachagua lectures UDA party leaders in presence of DP Ruto

Deputy President and UDA presidential candidate William Ruto was forced to intervene after Nyandarua gubernatorial aspirant Waithaka Kirika Mwangi started lecturing the Kenya Kwanza running mate Rigathi Gachagua in public.

Kirika who is running on The Service Party (TSP) ticket bashed Gachagua for asking Nyandarua residents to only vote for the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidates in the August 9 polls.

Kirika opined that Gachagua had crossed the line and his remarks would dent the Kenya Kwanza popularity in the area since other aspirants felt left out.

He stated that all candidates under Kenya Kwanza seeking elective seats should be allowed to do so individually while drumming up support for the DP. Kirika added that the deputy president and his running mate should not pick sides within the coalition.

DP Ruto agreed with Kirika, stating that his complaints would be looked into. The crowd cheered as Kirika read the riot act to Gachagua.

This was during a rally in the larger Nakuru and Nyandarua counties on Thursday, May 19, where the DP pitched camp selling his bottom-up economic model to the electorate.

Ruto was accompanied by Gachagua, Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, and Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua among other leaders.

The entry of Moses Kuria’s Chama Cha Kazi (CCK) and Mwangi Kiunjuri’s TSP into Kenya Kwanza complicated the matrix for hardliners in the coalition who had called for a six-piece model of voting.

The sibling rivalry within Kenya Kwanza is also being witnessed in other parts of the country such as Kakamega where Amani National Congress (ANC) and United Democratic Alliance (UDA) aspirants have engaged in friendly fire. Mumias East parliamentary aspirant on ANC ticket, David Wamatsi, accused UDA of campaigning against him.

Wamatsi warned UDA candidates against pushing him to the wall and threatened to mobilise his supporters to vote for Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential aspirant, Raila Odinga.

He stated that Mumias East Member of Parliament, Ben Washiali, and Senate aspirant Boni Khalwale should stop campaigning for his UDA rival David Mapwoni.

In Kilifi, wrangles have also emerged between UDA and Pamoja African Alliance (PAA). 

Supporters of Kilifi governor, Amason Jeffa Kingi, PAA party told off Malindi Member of Parliament, Aisha Jumwa, over her recent attacks on the outgoing governor’s integrity.

The supporters led by Patience Kipusa asked Jumwa to refrain from discrediting the governor, adding that the latter was the one who was synonymous with graft.

Kipusa asked Jumwa to keep Kingi’s name out of her mouth during her campaigns and promised to put up a fearless fight against her if she persists. She added that the governor’s move to join Kenya Kwanza was for the good of the people of Kilifi.

THEFT SUSPECT SUFFERS CRITICAL INJURIES AS HE ESCAPES AFTER BEING BUSTED 

A man who vandalized a car at an apartment in Ruiru, Kiambu county, suffered life threatening injuries as he tried to escape after being busted, breaking his limbs instead.

The thug who is admitted at Thika Level Five hospital in critical condition, also suffered serious head injuries after he jumped over the apartment’s perimeter but fell on a heap of construction stones covered by a thick vegetation of stinging nettles.

What followed were loud wails as the besieged thug begged for assistance repenting his past misdeeds, following his double tragedy. One resident whose vehicle was being vandalized before its alarm went off, came to the aid of the suspect in a rare show of humanity, coming at a time when cases of lynching of suspects are on the rise.

The Good Samaritan only identified as Daniel, took the unidentified thug to Ruiru Sub-County hospital but he was referred to Thika Level Five hospital, where he is currently fighting for his life.

Shocking details of a man murdered in Mirema; he paid university students KSh5,000 to steal millions

Shocking details have emerged on how slain thug Samuel Mugoh Muvota, recruited over 50 beautiful women who were deployed in major cities to steal from revelers patronizing popular entertainment spots.

In a series put together by detectives based at DCI’s Corporate Communications & Public Affairs Unit, the expose has laid bare the extent at which the women went in administering a drug given to mentally unstable patients at Mathare mental hospital.

The drug known in the Pishori world as ‘Tamuu’ is categorized into four. Tamuu red, tamuu green, tamuu white and tamuu blue.The drug was administered in doses, depending on one’s immunity. Men with high blood pressure would not wake up after the first dose. Such are the women whom Muvota deployed in different towns in shifts.

In Nairobi, they frequented club Switch in Kasarani, Whisky River along Kiambu road, Red Lion in Ruaka, Oklahoma Choma Zone, Lacascada, Aroma, Backroom, Mkwanju, Dragon and all the clubs along Kamiti road from Roysambu, 44 and Zimmerman.

If a man was very careful with his drink, the ladies would offer him an energy drink claiming that he was too drunk and not up to the task ahead. This would be followed by soft smooches that that would stupefy the man in minutes.

Incase that trick failed to work, they would escort a man (incase he was single) to his house and prepare coffee or scrambled eggs, for the man to eat. Single men and eggs are inseparable! After a successful harvest targeting clubs in a given town, Muvota would redeploy them to a different town for cover.

Interestingly, none of the men who reported being stupefied remembered being intimate with any of the women. Even those found wearing condoms in their vehicles, the damsels would do it to deter the man from seeking assistance immediately they woke up, by driving to a mobile service provider’s shop.

The unforgiving daughters of Eve would even disappear with the victim’s pair trousers as this gave them time to deliver the stolen items and seep the bank accounts dry.

To avoid any suspicion, the women who were well briefed on their assignment ordered expensive liquor, convincing the male patrons on nearby tables that they were ordinary revelers moistening their thirsty throats. Their bills would however be forwarded to Muvota, who would clear them from his base of operation in Roysambu or Githurai 44.

The thug who operated in over six cars among them Nissan Ex-trails, Toyota Fielders, Honda CRV’s among others was always on the move. He ensured that the women lived in one estate in Gatunda along Kamiti corner and another one in Kahawa Wendani where he would visit them to collect stolen Phones, Identity Cards and ATM Cards.

The women would then be paid handsomely, depending on how one had been industrious in a given night. One of them who has since confessed and mended her ways owns a palatial home in one of the city’s posh estates.

She currently preaches the good word. Once the mobile phone, SIM card and ATM cards were in his possession, he would then call mobile phone service providers customer care agents, pretending to have forgotten his mobile money personal identification number and have it reset.

That would mark the beginning of one’s financial woes, since the thug would send all the money to his fraudulent bank accounts and to add salt to injury, take loans from as many mobile money lending applications as possible adding more troubles to the never ending trials and tribulations of the boy child.

The high-tech phone scammer was so smart in his dealings that he left no trail of his transactions, by operating over 300 registered bank accounts, spread out across three leading banks. One morning, he approached over 100 youths in Embu posing as a government employee who was recruiting job seekers to work as casuals at the Lamu port and Mau Mau road construction.

After a sumptuous meal of nyama choma washed down with a drink of one’s choice, he told the clueless job seekers that they all needed new SIM cards and three bank accounts each from the leading banks. He helped them register the accounts and paid for their ATM cards.

Later he came back and asked them to register for mobile banking and use 1212 as the PIN number before collecting all the SIM cards, which he promised to deliver at the national Treasury, from where their salaries would be processed once they went to Lamu. The happy youths complied and as he left, he asked them to ‘Cheza Chini’ lest their appointments were revoked.

That was the last time they ever saw the man and none dared to report until detectives arrested some of them for fraudulent transactions amounting to hundreds of thousands of shillings. The youths who had never come across such colossal sums of money were dumbfounded and that when detectives realized that they had been used as conduits and released them.

Armed with personal details from the young men and women, Muvota had over 300 bank accounts that he was using for his transactions. In one day, he was making over Sh 1 Million from administering pishori to unsuspecting men.

He even recruited university students who would be paid up to Sh 5,000 for every bank account that was delivered. Undoubtedly, Muvota was well updated in his trade to the extent that he knew all the ATM’s within the city and its environs without a CCVT camera.

To avoid detection, he introduced himself as a police inspector based at Kiambu, and true caller identified him as Inspector Morris-Kiambu.Preliminary investigations indicate that he had fallen out with some of his partners, who fled to a neighbouring country immediately after the murder.

Detectives are hot on their trail.Muvota had been arraigned at Kiambu, Makadara, Milimani, Thika and other law courts on numerous occasions but found his way out, often by approaching the complainants and paying them back their money. The complainants would then disappear.

Exclusive: China quietly increases purchases of low-priced Russian oil

China is quietly ramping up purchases of oil from Russia at bargain prices, according to shipping data and oil traders who spoke to Reuters, filling the vacuum left by Western buyers backing away from business with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine in February.

The move by the world’s biggest oil importer comes a month after it initially cut back on Russian supplies, for fear of appearing to openly support Moscow and potentially expose its state oil giants to sanctions. read more

China’s seaborne Russian oil imports will jump to a near-record 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in May, up from 750,000 bpd in the first quarter and 800,000 bpd in 2021, according to an estimate by Vortexa Analytics.

Unipec, the trading arm of Asia’s top refiner Sinopec Corp (600028.SS), , is leading the purchases, along with Zhenhua Oil, a unit of China’s defense conglomerate Norinco, according to shipping data, a shipbroker report seen by Reuters and five traders. Livna Shipping Ltd, a Hong Kong-registered firm, has also recently emerged as a major shipper of Russian oil into China, the traders said.

Sinopec declined comment. Zhenhua and Livna did not respond to requests for comment.

The firms are filling the hole left by western buyers after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Russia calls a “special military operation.”

The United States, Britain and some other key oil buyers banned imports of Russian oil shortly after the invasion. The European Union is finalizing a further round of sanctions, including a ban on Russian oil purchases. Many European refiners have already stopped buying from Russia for fear of running afoul of sanctions or drawing negative publicity.

Vitol and Trafigura, two of the world’s biggest commodity traders, phased out purchases from Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil producer, ahead of an EU rule that came into effect on May 15 barring purchases unless “strictly necessary” to secure the EU’s energy needs. read more

“The situation began taking a drastic turn after the exit of Vitol and Trafigura that created a vacuum, which could only be filled by companies that can provide value and are trusted by their Russian counterparts,” one Chinese trader, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

The low price of Russia’s oil – spot differentials are about $29 less per barrel compared with before the invasion, according to traders – is a boon for China’s refiners as they face shrinking margins in a slowing economy. The price is well below competing barrels from the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the United States. read more

China separately receives some 800,000 bpd of Russian oil via pipelines under government deals. That would bring May imports to nearly 2 million bpd, 15% of China’s overall demand. For Russia, oil sales are helping to cushion the blow to its economy from sanctions.

Tips to ensure safety around fires and preparedness for emergencies

Flames can be beautiful and associated with special moments. However, fire safety is crucial to ensure
that these moments continue to bring joy to our everyday lives. The safety of our community is a societal
effort. Learn how to responsibly manage flames and fire and continue to engage in creating and
maintaining special occasions.
Salome Ngugi, Product Manager for Lighters at BIC East Africa offers tips to ensure safety around fires and
preparedness for emergencies that may occur.

  1. Make sure your systems are in place, and operational: set up fire alarms/smoke detectors at
    your home and/or your workplace. This will ensure that you are alarmed of a rising fire. Make
    sure that you regularly test these systems to ensure they’re operational.
  2. Have clear fire escape routes in place: and ensure that all people frequently visiting the area are
    aware of these routes. Schedule mock fire drills to ensure building goers are trained and prepared
    for any emergency. Preparedness and knowledge will reduce panic in the event of an actual
    emergency.
  3. Be on the lookout: to make sure that no one in your space is using/playing with fire carelessly. If
    they are, ask them to stop or report them to a supervisor or an individual in charge where needed.
  4. Use fire safely and responsibly:
    a. Do not leave open fires unattended; don’t leave the kitchen if you have food on the stove,
    or a room if you have candles lit.
    b. Ensure that your environment is safe and avoid having any flammable objects around
    before lighting up a flame.
    c. Dispose of objects responsibly. For example, ensure that a cigarette bud is fully dead
    before disposing of it.
    d. Ensure that all flammable material and lighting objects are out of children’s reach.
    e. Invest in quality lighting products and store them properly.
  5. Learn a thing or two about firefighting:
    I. Take part in a fire safety course to be able to put out a fire when around one. This
    will ensure that you are able to take sensible measures to stop a fire before it gets
    out of control.
    II. Learn about the different fire types to ensure you’re handling the situation
    sensibly. For instance, water is used for common combustibles like paper, wood,
    or plastic but cannot be used for electrical fires or those caused by flammable
    liquids such as oil or paraffin. Some ways of managing different kinds of fires are
    stated below. However, it is always advisable to take a fire safety course from a
    specialized institution before taking any action:
     Oil fires: cover the flames with a metal lid or baking sheet and remove only when
    cool. Ensure the source of the heat is off and put out with baking soda or salt if
    needed (not flour or sugar).
     Electrical fires: cut off the electricity supply and put out with thick clothing or a
    heavy blanket.
     Gas fires: turn off the source of gas immediately and cover with a heavy blanket.
     Vehicle fires: turn off the car ignition, get all passengers away at a safe distance
    and call emergency services. Do not use water, and never open the hood of the
    car if flames or smoke are coming from underneath it.
    While it’s important that you learn about fire safety and try to stop a fire if in site, it is also worth
    remembering that it only takes two minutes for fires to turn from manageable to life threatening. It is
    crucial that you call fire safety professionals before trying to attempt to put out a fire. If your attempt
    doesn’t work, step out immediately and wait for help.
    Key factors to remember when faced with a fire:
     Never open doors that are warm or have heated up from a nearby fire. Always try to find a second
    route. If not possible, and if smoke, heat, or flames are blocking your exit, stay still in the room
    with the door closed and place a wet towel under the door.
     If you must escape through smoke, go low and walk/crawl under the smoke towards your exit.
    Close any doors behind you, if possible.
     If your clothes catch fire, remember the phrase “Stop, Drop, and Roll”. Stop what you are doing,
    drop to the ground, cover your face, and roll over until the flames go out. Remember that running
    will make the fire burn faster.
     The key factors to remember include cutting out the source of fire and starving the fire from
    oxygen

Meet worlds first open gay footballer Jake Daniels

Jake Daniels’ decision to come out as the UK’s only openly gay active male professional footballer has laid a “path many others will follow”, says former England striker Gary Lineker.

The Blackpool forward, 17, spoke of the “relief” he has felt in publicly revealing his sexuality on Monday.His announcement was praised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, England captain Harry Kane and several charity groups.

“I think he will be massively accepted,” Lineker told BBC Sport.”Not just in his own dressing room but players he plays against. I think, overall, dressing rooms wouldn’t think about it. They will consider if you’re a good footballer or not. That’s all that matters.

“I’m so pleased as I think he is going down a path many others will follow and I think the game will be better for it. Once they see that the overwhelming majority of people will be accepting, others will follow suit.”‘Football is ready’ to accept gay players.

– Blackpool academy directorDaniels ‘brave & inspiring’ – non-league boss who advised him

Why Daniels coming out is a watershed momentLineker believes Daniels’ announcement “shouldn’t be significant” and that football should have “passed this watershed moment a long time ago”.

Daniels has already responded to the prospect of homophobic abuse by saying that supporters can “shout what you want, it’s not going to make a difference”.

Campaign group Kick it Out congratulated Daniels for a “historic” announcement, adding: “We need to remember there is a young man at the heart of it. A young man who should not have to be defined by this one moment, or this one part of his identity.

“‘What he has done takes incredible courage’England captain Kane said Daniels deserves “massive credit” and stressed “football should be welcoming for everyone”, while ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand called for “a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ people in football and beyond”.

Daniels, who made his professional debut this month, has said he has known he was gay since childhood and actively covered it up during school.

Bu

t he has drawn inspiration from, among others, Olympic diver Tom Daley and Adelaide United player Josh Cavallo – who came out last October and is the only current openly gay top-flight male professional footballer in the world.

Cavallo said he was “very proud” of Daniels’ bravery, adding: “It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that my story has helped guide Jake to be his true self.”

“The game has not dealt with this issue well at all,” former Manchester United captain Gary Neville told Sky Sports.”We know that now it is something that is acceptable from a fan point of view, but it’s not yet got into the dressing room. A dressing room can be an evil place… you think about the initiation ceremonies you go through, the peer pressure and vulnerability you have.”

The way in which Jake spoke was absolutely incredible. What he has just done takes incredible courage. It’s a day of great importance for Jake and his family, but also for English football. It will go down in history. It is a big, big moment for football.”‘The environment is changing’

28-year-old Football star caught cheating on her wife with club woman

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I’m a man of 28 and my wife is 26. She’s beautiful, with a figure to die for.I’m a lower-league professional footballer and after every match there are women hanging around waiting to see if we are going to a club or bar.

They then follow.That was how I met my wife. She came over, said hello, I bought her a drink and the rest is history.

My wife had flown to Spain to be with her sister who was having a baby. She was gone just over a month.I was fed up and we argued a lot on the phone. I wanted her home but she said her sister needed her.

One Saturday night I was out with my teammates and a woman was introduced to me.She told me she was 20.

We drank and danced together and I invited her back to my place.At home, I opened some wine and after a couple of sips she was all over me.It felt like so long since I’d had sex, I couldn’t resist her. I’d missed sex so much.

This girl came back the next two nights and each time we ended up in bed together.My wife came home the following week. She was waiting for a clothes order and the company said it had already been delivered.

As soon as she started checking our camera doorbell, I remembered my mistake and felt the blood drain from my face.

She saw the woman coming into our house late at night. I couldn’t deny it and confessed.She stormed out. Three months on, she’s still refusing to come home.

I know I need to change if I am ever able to win her back.Do I have any chance?

Desperate, frustrated University students in the den of drug abuse

When students join institutions of higher learning they start a whole new chapter of life characterised by innocence and naivety.

It is a journey of self-discovery and self-reliance, which in turn is supposed to shape the student’s general outlook on the dynamics of life today.

Time spent at the university comes with many fond memories and happy experiences from making new friendships and new adventures but the truth is told, there are many rough patches and roadblocks which include drug abuse.

At times the students unknowingly find themselves being carried away by the “good life” through the influence of their peers.

The students’ tender age makes it easy for them to fall prey to the abuse of drugs. Students at this age are very curious as they are in the age of self-discovery and trying to fit in the circles of so-called campus life.

They are ready and willing to get involved in any activity that makes them feel part of the whole group. The open use of drugs around some public universities highly attracts many naïve students into thinking it’s right to do the same.

The business of selling these drugs thrive most around learning institutions, especially universities and college. There are always parties and events around these institutions cultivating this business These parties attract a large number of students since the information about the parties circulates as “tell a friend to tell a friend”.

It becomes a peak period for the peddlers. Peddlers are very popular with drug-abusing students since most of these peddlers are also students, they get invited to all parties.

A party cannot be a party without drugs. At the beginning of the semester, there is little course work and assignments for the students and obviously, they have enough money from home since they have not spent much at the time.

Due to naivety and curiosity, most students end up using these drugs at these parties. Repeated exposure to these parties creates an avenue for the students to become drug addicts.

Drug abuse at the university had turned innocent and impressionable freshmen who have newly broken free from their parents’ control into frustrated and desperate seniors with miserable futures.