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Guinean footballer Momo Yansane on coping with racism and playing during Covid



Guinean Momo Yansane has endured tough times in both Morocco and Belarus

Guinean footballer Momo Yansane has endured his share of struggles in recent years including racism and playing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 23-year-old is now playing for Isloch Minsk Raion in Belarus after leaving Moroccan side FUS Rabat last year, initially on loan.

Yansane left Morocco under something of a cloud after getting little playing time, enduring a strained relationship with the then coach Walid Regragui and battling racism.

“There was a lot of racism, even some from my fellow teammates,” the striker told BBC Sport Africa.

“The more you train together, the more you are together, the more you can discover. Some of the Moroccan population is racist as well.

“Sometimes, when you went for a walk or you spoke to someone they treated you in a racist way.”

He recounts that he was sometimes the target of the very worst of racial insults while in Morocco.

Hopes of an easier life in Europe after his loan move were short-lived as he had to adapt to his new club environment, the cold climate and navigate a language barrier with the help of his mobile phone.

On the pitch however the youngster quickly settled down as he scored fifteen goals in all competitions in his first season.

Despite signing a permanent deal with Isloch Minsk, 2020 has proved to be another daunting campaign for Yansane.

Playing during Covid

In March, the Belarusian top flight captured the international headlines when the league defied the game’s global shutdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Belarusian Premier League continued to play and fans were still welcome to attend matches as the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko said that concerns about the coronavirus pandemic were “psychosis”.

Yansane acquiesced to the decision of the local authorities and sporting governing body, but not without concerns.

“It was very difficult to remain indifferent given that other countries were fighting the coronavirus,” recalls Yansane.

“I felt forced to play, but it wasn’t my decision. I asked the club to test the players every week because it is an infectious disease.

“It contaminates and it can go very fast. If the club had refused, I would also have refused to train. When you conduct the tests weekly, that is encouraging.”

At Isloch Minsk, Yansane and the other players wore masks and gloves and used disinfectant as part of the club’s protective measures against the coronavirus.

Even so, a number of Yansane’s colleagues returned positive tests in May and were placed in quarantine.

Individual and collective training sessions were however never interrupted and after practice Yansane stayed at home even if Belarus never imposed a lockdown.

Momo Yansane in action
Momo Yansane had concerns about continuing to play football in Belarus during the global coronavirus pandemic

“When you see that your colleagues with whom you train contract it, you are worried,” says Yansane.

“My mom, my brother, my sister called me to know how I was doing and how my health was.

“Everyone was worried, you know, but it is my work and I couldn’t abandon it. Today, one doesn’t talk too much about the coronavirus.

“At my club, there have been no more positive cases. Everyone is doing well, but what remains clear is that we haven’t forgotten coronavirus still exists. We take care.”

Personal tragedy

Just as Yansane was accepting his ‘new normal’, his mother passed away from cancer on 27 July, two days before his 23rd birthday.

The passing left him sad, shaken and alone in Minsk, where he has no friends.

“My mum is everything to me,” explains Yansane.

“I loved her so much. I work and fight for my family and her and now when my mother and my father are no longer there, I asked myself what I am going to do with my life?”

Things were made worse when his club told him he could not return home for the funeral to reunite with his sisters and pay his final respects to his mother.

Yansane said he did not want to discuss the reasons behind the club’s refusal to allow him to attend the funeral.

“The club wasn’t really professional,” says Yansane.

“That hurt me, that hurt me a lot. They didn’t help, psychologically and mentally. I told myself – I am in a very complicated situation, but I will lift my own spirits.”

Instead he drew strength from conversations with Ibrahima Fofana, a Guinean who plies his trade at another club in Belarus, FC Belshina Babrousk.

He added that there was good advice from his coach Vitaly Zhukovsky and his three Nigerian club colleagues.

Political tension in Belarus

His weeks of intense grief coincided with nationwide protests against Lukashenko, who is often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictator’.

After an 80% landslide for the incumbent president in the elections on 9 August, Belarusians took to the streets.

From his apartment in the capital Minsk, Yansane witnessed how the city became the epicenter of the demonstrations.

“When I do groceries, I have seen people protesting,” says Yansane.

“The people are against the president because he has been in power for 26 years. They want change, 100%. It depends on them.”

Despite the social unrest, social isolation, Covid-19 and his mother’s death, Yansane is determined to make the most of his time in Belarus.

Before the international break, he scored a decisive brace in a 2-1 win against Dnepr in the domestic cup.

He wants to grow at club level and get a recall from coach Didier Six for the national team as well.

“I have to reach my goals,” concludes Yansané.

“That is to go as far as possible, to reach my dreams and my dream league.”

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million



Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe




A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News




Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.

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