Ireland Dominates Scotland in Emphatic Victory, South African Hopes Intact

In a highly anticipated match, Ireland showcased their dominance over Scotland as they secured an emphatic victory. Despite the bookmakers favouring Ireland, Scotland was fighting for their tournament survival while Ireland had already secured their spot in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

Right from the start, Ireland asserted their superiority as James Lowe scored a try in the corner within the first 90 seconds of the game. Scotland launched a relentless attack on the Irish defence for 12 minutes but failed to convert their efforts into points, dispelling any notion that Ireland might be ready to concede the match.

Unfortunately for Scotland, their captain Jamie Ritchie was forced to leave the field due to severe pain and was unable to continue.

Ireland continued to assert their dominance, with fullback Hugo Keenan scoring their second try in the 25th minute. Five minutes later, Iain Henderson barged over the Scottish defence, extending Ireland’s lead to 19-0. Just before halftime, Keenan scored his second try, giving Ireland a commanding 26-0 lead.

Early in the second half, Scotland’s Ollie Smith was yellow-carded for tripping Johnny Sexton, and Ireland capitalised on the numerical advantage with Dan Sheehan scoring in the corner. Garry Ringrose added another try for Ireland shortly after.

With 15 minutes remaining, Scotland managed to salvage some pride with two quick tries from Ewan Ashman and Ali Price, bringing their total to 14 points. However, it was not enough to change the outcome of the match.

The resounding victory for Ireland, with six tries to Scotland’s two, solidifies their path towards the William Ellis Cup. While Scottish dreams are shattered, South African hopes remain alive, as the Springboks eagerly await their crucial upcoming matches in the tournament.

(Pictured above: Ireland taking on Scotland)

Tragic Loss: South African Bantamweight Champion Ronald “King” Malindi Passes Away

In a devastating turn of events, Ronald “King” Malindi, the reigning South African bantamweight champion, has tragically passed away. Last month, the Venda-born boxer narrowly escaped death after being shot twice, sustaining injuries to his chest and head in Westbury.

Boxing South Africa released a statement confirming the heartbreaking news of Malindi’s passing on Saturday. The talented boxer, who also worked as a taxi driver and resided in Brixton, Johannesburg, had shown immense skill and determination throughout his career.

Malindi boasted an impressive record of 19 undefeated fights and had successfully defended his South African title on four separate occasions. His talent in the ring was matched by his charismatic personality both inside and outside of the boxing arena.


Source: SABC News

Super Falcons Announce Squad for Paris 2024 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Qualification Fixture Against Ethiopia

The Nigerian Super Falcons have revealed their squad for the upcoming Paris 2024 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament qualification fixture against Ethiopia. Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, defender Osinachi Ohale, and forward Asisat Oshoala headline the list of 22 players invited to the national team’s camp.

Ethiopia will host the first leg of the second-round fixture in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, 25 October, with the second leg taking place in Nigeria on Tuesday, 31 October. Ethiopia advanced to this round after eliminating Chad, while Nigeria received a bye as a nine-time African champion.

The Super Falcons recently participated in the 32-team FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand, finishing in 8th place. They also received a bye to the third round of the 2024 Women Africa Cup of Nations qualification series after Sao Tome and Principe withdrew from the tie.

Next year’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament will be held in Paris, France. The Super Falcons have previously competed in the Olympics in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

The invited players for the Super Falcons’ camp include goalkeepers Chiamaka Nnadozie, Tochukwu Oluehi, and Monle Oyono. The defensive lineup features players such as Osinachi Ohale, Comfort Folorunsho, Oluwatosin Demehin, Michelle Alozie, Nicole Payne, Jumoke Alani, and Rofiat Imuran.

In midfield, the team includes Halimatu Ayinde, Peace Efih, Christy Ucheibe, Rasheedat Ajibade, Toni Payne, and Regina Otu. The forward line comprises Omorinsola Babajide, Ifeoma Onumonu, Asisat Oshoala, Uchenna Kanu, Gift Monday, and Opeyemi Ajakaye.

The Super Falcons aim to secure victory over Ethiopia to progress in the qualification process for the Paris 2024 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.


Source: Premium Times Nigeria

Ugandan Startup Transforms Banana Waste into Biodegradable Handicrafts

In Uganda, a local startup called TEXFAD is revolutionising waste management by transforming discarded banana stems into biodegradable handicrafts. The innovative business idea aims to utilise the abundance of banana waste in the country, which is often left to rot in open fields after the fruit is harvested. TEXFAD extracts banana fibre from these stems and converts it into various products, including hair extensions, contributing to a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to waste disposal.

Uganda, known as a “banana republic,” has the highest banana consumption rate in the world and is Africa’s leading producer of the fruit. Bananas hold cultural significance in the country, where they contribute up to 25 percent of the daily calorie intake in rural areas, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation.

TEXFAD collaborates with seven different farmers’ groups in western Uganda, purchasing dried banana fiber at $2.7 (USD) per kilogram. The company also partners with Tupande Holdings Ltd., which supplies banana stems from farmers in central Uganda. Tupande’s workers carefully sort through the stems to select desirable ones, and machines are then used to extract the fiber and convert it into fine threads.

John Baptist Okello, the business manager of TEXFAD, highlights the economic benefits of their initiative, stating that it provides additional income to struggling farmers while simultaneously transforming waste into valuable products. The company’s efforts contribute to job creation, the industrialization of Uganda, and the improvement of the lives of its citizens.

While TEXFAD currently works with more than 60 farmers, the potential for banana waste utilization is vast, with over a million hectares of land in Uganda dedicated to banana plantations. Banana production in the country has been steadily increasing, reaching 8.3 metric tonnes in 2019, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

At a facility located near Uganda’s capital, Kampala, TEXFAD employs more than 30 individuals who use their hands to craft various items from banana fibers. The company exports products such as rugs and lampshades to Europe. The versatility of banana fiber allows it to be softened to a cotton-like level, making it suitable for a range of applications. TEXFAD is also working with researchers to explore the development of fabrics made from banana fibres.

In addition to handicrafts, TEXFAD is designing hair extension products that offer an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic options. Faith Kabahuma from the company’s banana hair development program emphasizes the environmental benefits of biodegradable products, as synthetic fibres often contribute to pollution and waste accumulation.

TEXFAD’s commitment to sustainability and innovation demonstrates the potential for transforming waste materials into valuable resources. By harnessing the abundance of banana stems that would otherwise go to waste, this Ugandan startup is creating economic opportunities, promoting environmental consciousness, and contributing to the country’s development.


Source: AP

Morocco Faces the Challenge of Rebuilding Earthquake-Hit Villages while Preserving Traditional Architecture

One month following a destructive 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Morocco, the aftermath of the disaster still haunts the villages nestled around the Atlas Mountains. As the North African country embarks on the path to recovery, the focus now lies on rebuilding while simultaneously ensuring that centuries-old Moroccan villages are made resilient to earthquakes without compromising their cherished traditional architecture.

The remnants of the earthquake continue to mar the villages, with rubble strewn across the landscape. The nation must now confront the arduous task of reconstruction, tackling the urgent need for speed while safeguarding the architectural heritage that defines these communities.

Residents, such as Mohamed El Asri from the village of Imi N’Tala, express their desire to be relocated within their original village rather than being moved to a different location. They emphasise the deep connection they have with their land and farming practices, underscoring their commitment to preserving their cultural identity.

Interestingly, a potential solution lies in returning to traditional architectural practices to enhance resilience. Over the years, the prevalence of “often poorly built” concrete structures has displaced the traditional earthen and stone buildings that have withstood the test of time in the High Atlas region, according to Moroccan architect Elie Mouyal.

Architect and anthropologist Salima Naji highlights two distinct scenarios that unfolded during the earthquake. The large concrete buildings in urban areas, often boasting a facade of strength and modernity, proved vulnerable and collapsed in many instances. In contrast, the unconventional, vernacular, and traditional architecture demonstrated more resilience, although not entirely unscathed.

To support the recovery efforts, Rabat has allocated a budget of 120 billion dirhams ($11.6 billion) over five years, aiming to assist the 4.2 million people affected by the quake. King Mohammed VI has emphasised the significance of listening to the local population and respecting the unique heritage and traditions of the region throughout the reconstruction process.

As Morocco navigates the complex task of rebuilding, it must strike a delicate balance between modernisation and the preservation of its rich architectural legacy. By integrating traditional building techniques and materials, the country can fortify its villages against future earthquakes while upholding the cultural identity that lies at the heart of these communities.


Source: AP