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Archive for March 13th, 2011

Strip Clubs Outpace Laws in Kenya

Posted by Administrator on March 13, 2011

Exotic dancers in Kenya's nascent strip clubs. Photo credits/clubskenya.com

Strip clubs are on the rise in Kenya, a popular tourist destination. High wages for strippers and tourist interest are fueling the growth of the industry that evades the nation’s laws.

NAIROBI, Kenya (WOMENSENEWS)–At 9 p.m. on a Saturday, a 6-inch glass heel pierces the air at the Pango F3 club. An agile exotic dancer wearing a red G-string bikini gyrates on a golden pole, entertaining the mesmerized clientele.

“Just here to have fun,” says Bhavesh, a regular patron who declined to give his full name to protect his reputation.

The disc jockey plays international hits and the spotlight focuses on Norah, a stripper, who climbs the pole and whips her long weave around as she slides down it. She lands on her head and gyrates upside down. The patrons go wild and queue to tip her 1,000-shilling bills ($12 in U.S. currency) in her G-string.

The 10 dancers work six nights a week, plus have daily aerobics sessions and dance rehearsals, says Sabrina, the dancers’ supervisor and trainer, while monitoring them from the back of the club. She says they declined to give their full names because of the stigma attached to stripping in Kenya.

Relatively new to Kenya, strip clubs are on the rise. Some cite urbanization, Internet advertising and international pressure for their advent. High pay also fuels the industry, as strippers say they can double the money they could earn at other jobs, where they may be sexually harassed anyway.

Yet because it’s a new phenomenon, no clear laws governing stripping are on the books. Advocates propose creating red-light districts to curb illegal activities around strip clubs and granting legal rights to strippers.

Clubs Previously Unheard Of

Seven years ago, strip clubs were unheard of in downtown Nairobi, says Chris Hart, a psychologist. Now, patrons and managers estimate there to be 10 public strip clubs and 20 private clubs, or houses rented for private parties. There are no official statistics yet.

Not far from Pango F3 is a competing strip club, Liddos. The strippers dance on the pole and give lap dances to the predominantly male crowd. At 11 p.m., pornography plays on two 40-inch plasma TVs. At midnight, the strippers remove everything but their bikini tops.

Hart attributes the rise in strip clubs in Nairobi to Kenya’s “catching up with the world.”

Bhavesh and other clients say they discovered Kenya’s strip clubs online. Liddos uses Facebook to update fans about new events.

Mike Katana, Pango F3’s manager, says the club attracts international celebrities such as Wyclef Jean, Shaggy, Gramps Morgan and Akon.

“When they come to Kenya to perform, they also look for their own entertainment,” he says. “They tell their promoters that they want to feel like they feel in Atlanta.”

Hart says strip clubs attract dancers because of the high income. Winnie says she used to be a waitress but switched to stripping at Pango F3 after her manager hit on her.

“If it’s all about my looks, then I’ll make as much money as I can out of it,” she says.

Katana says a stripper’s average income in Nairobi is 10,000 shillings ($120 USD) a month–almost double Kenya’s monthly per capita income. Nearly half of Kenyans live in poverty, according to the World Bank.

Lucy, 21, a former stripper, says the job isn’t easy, adding that some strippers use cannabis to help them perform.

“You smile not because you enjoy yourself,” she says. “You are here to please clients and get paid, so you fake a smile.”

Strip Clubs Illegal

Strip clubs are illegal in Kenya. The owners evade that law by registering them as bars. John Ngugi, Nairobi City Council treasurer, says that the City Council must award the bars operating licenses after the liquor licensing board awards the required liquor licenses.

“Our hands are tied,” Ngugi says. “We don’t regulate how people drink beer–if they drink their beer naked or not.”

Police occasionally raid strip clubs, but, without legislation, procedures are unregulated. Lucy recalls a 2 a.m. raid at Barrels, another Nairobi strip club, where police said the club hadn’t paid for its license.

“Police came in with guns and all the strippers were asked to take all their clothes off,” she says.

The police whisked the patrons and dancers to the police station. At dawn, Lucy bailed herself out with her tips but says she left behind eight shivering colleagues who couldn’t afford bail.

Eric Kiraithe, Kenya police spokesperson, says stripping needs clearer regulations, as the Kenyan penal code doesn’t differentiate between strippers and prostitutes. Both are misdemeanors, carrying a 3,000-shilling ($36 USD) fine.

Evan Monari, a lawyer, says no strip clubs existed when the penal code was instituted.

He says the Kenya Tourist Board should work with local authorities to create a red-light district. Another lawyer, Duncan Mwanyumba, says this will reduce illegal activities around the clubs and accord the strippers respect.

Mwanyumba says he and the International Federation of Women Lawyers will advocate for legal rights for strippers and prostitutes at this year’s Koinange Street Festival, a carnival in Nairobi’s unofficial red-light district.

Rose Odengo describes herself as a benefactor of African oral tradition. She is passionate about writing stories of Africa in order to empower disadvantaged African women in hopes of restoring their dignity to make Africa a glorious, proud, prosperous and beautiful continent. She joined Global Press Institute’s Kenya News Desk in 2011.

Source: http://www.womensenews.org/story/the-world/110311/strip-clubs-outpace-laws-kenya?page=0,1


Posted in Kenya | 6 Comments »

Meet the 14 richest Africans in the Forbes list

Posted by Administrator on March 13, 2011

They are richer than some African republics and command respect from Reykjavik to Cape Town. One of them is said to be among the few people who are legally allowed to fly over London in a helicopter because he cannot stand the traffic jam. Meet Africa’s colossuses

Once again, the annual roll call of the world’s richest was released last week. The Africans on the list are the usual suspects… and six newcomers. There are no Kenyans. Or East Africans for that matter.

Africa’s lucky loaded are from Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa. Sitting pretty atop the perch for the second year running is Mexican telecoms mogul Carlos Slim Helu.

According to America’s Forbes magazine that tracks the financial windfalls of the planet’s wealthiest, the 71-year-old is worth an estimated $70 billion (Sh6 trillion), up from $53.5 billion (Sh4.4 trillion) last year, courtesy of a 19 per cent upward swing in Mexico’s stock market.

His Sh6 trillion can run Kenya’s entire government budget for six years. Helu owns American Movil, Latin America’s largest mobile phone company, with 225 million subscribers — twice Nigeria’s population.

In second place is Bill Gates, the 53-year-old chairman of software giant Microsoft Corporation ,with $50 billion (Sh4.1 trillion).

To make a maiden entry into this A-List, one must have made a billion dollars in quotable and quantifiable investments. That excludes the dirty billions of the kind made by Colombian drug dealers.

In 2010, money was coined from ball bearings, booze, bakeries, palm oil, pipelines, steel pipes, Star Wars, coffee, car rental, the Internet, fertilizer, flavourings, plastics, pet food, generic drugs, discounted stocks, screws… and in the case of German Aloys Wobben, wind energy, that accounts for his $3.1 billion (Sh251 billion) fortune.

Here are Africa’s dollar billionaires:

1. Aliko Dangote $13.8 billion (Sh1.1 trillion)

Position this year: 51
Last year: 463
Source : Assorted, self-made

The Nigerian is the richest African whose fortune at Sh1.1 trillion is equivalent to the entire value of all companies listed at the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

Actually, he is richer than American property impresario Donald Trump, who is worth $2.7 billion (Sh224 billion) and whom he can buy out and tell: “You’re fired!”

Dangote can acquire Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and employ him as a flight attendant on Virgin Air. Branson is worth $4.2 billion (Sh348 billion) at position 254.

That is not all. He makes Oprah Winfrey’s $2 billion (Sh166 billion) read like pocket change, meaning Dangote can buy out Oprah and make her his secretary.

Dangote, a father of three, has leapt 412 places up, one of the biggest gainers on the Forbes list. Dangote’s holdings in sugar, flour mills, salt processing, transport, textiles, rice, vegetable oil, fish, real estate, oil, gas, millet, cashew nuts, cotton, cocoa, large scale millet farming, and cement concerns made his fortunes surge by 557 per cent in the past year.

The icing on his cake was the listing of Obajana Cement on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, where it commands a quarter of the total market capitalisation.

Obajana Cement is Africa’s largest cement maker, while Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc is the most capitalised company at the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

With a capacity to refine 700,000 tonnes a day, Dangote Sugar is the world’s third largest sugar refinery, controlling 60 per cent of the Nigerian market.

He has other cement plants under construction in Zambia, Tanzania, Congo, and Ethiopia, with cement terminals in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and Liberia.

To congratulate himself, Dangote bought himself a $45 million (Sh3.7 billion) Bombardier aircraft for his 53rd birthday. Not bad for someone who began his financial ascent at 21 with a soft loan from uncle Sanusi Dantata in 1978.


2. Nicky Oppenheimer and family $7 billion (Sh581 billion)

Position this year: 136
Last year: 154
Source: Inheritance, diamonds

The richest South African inherited his fortune through diamond giant, De Beers. He is worth $7 billion (Sh581 billion), up from $5 billion (Sh415 billion) last year.

The 65-year-old Oxford-educated father of Jonathan, his only child, will thank the day grandpa Ernest Oppenheimer founded Anglo American in 1917.

De Beers controls 40 per cent of the world’s diamond trade, and owns 45 per cent of Anglo American. Oppenheimer, who owns Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa’s largest private game reserve, is also the Rainbow Nation’s richest via a 40 per cent stake in De Beers — the company that popularised the slogan “Diamonds are Forever.”

Oppenheimer is the only private individual permitted by the City of London to fly within a kilometre in the city by helicopter since the late Robert Maxwell. “It is the only way to travel, especially when I look down at London’s traffic jams,” he told Mail&Guardian.


3. Nassef Sawiris $5.6 billion (Sh464 billion)

Position this year: 182
Last year: 127
Source: Inheritance, construction

He heads the construction and fertilizer arms of Orascom Corporation, Egypt’s biggest business dynasty founded by his father, Onsi Sawiris, in the 1960s.

The University of Chicago graduate is Onsi’s youngest son, who inherited his wealth in 1998. The 50-year-old owns 13.5 per cent in French cement giant Lafarge — that in turn owns a majority stake in Kenya’s Bamburi Cement. Sawiris’ wealth has been eroded down to $5.6 billion (Sh464 billion) from $5.9 billion (Sh489 billion) in 2010.

4. Johann Rupert and family $4.8 billion (Sh398 billion)

Position this year: 219
Last year: 421
Source: Inheritance, luxury goods

The 60-year-old father of three inherited the publicly quoted Swiss luxury goods concern, Richemont, that owns Cartier, Chloe, Mont Blanc pens and the Dunhill brand of cigarettes.


5. Naguib Sawiris $3.5 billion (Sh290 billion)

Position this year: 310
Last year: 374
Source: Inheritance, telecommunication

Is the elder brother of Nassef, who inherited Orascom Telecom, and was recently in the news calling for Mubarak’s exit.

The 56-year-old father of four controls mobile telephony in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Europe, and Canada through Wind Telecom, which with over 60 million subscribers makes it one of the largest anywhere.


6. Patrice Motsepe $3.3 billion (Sh274 billion)

Position this year: 336
Last year: 421
Source: Mining, self-made

A mining fortune made him the first South African black dollar billionaire. Born in Soweto township, Motsepe trained as a lawyer and later became the first black partner at Bowman-Gilfillan law firm in Johannesburg.

But the 49-year-old father of three (who worked at his father’s store as a child) was to make a fortune via African Rainbow Minerals that produces gold mine shafts, besides interests in platinum, nickel, chrome, iron, manganese, coal, and gold.

Motsepe, however, benefited greatly from South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment Laws that require that companies be at least 26 per cent black owned before being awarded a government mining licence.

7. Onsi Sawiris $2.9 billion (240 billion)

Position this year: 393
Last year: 307
Source: Construction, self-made

The patriarch of Egypt’s most formidable business dynasty the Orascom conglomerate. He studied agriculture but found it boring and started a small construction company, Orascom.

The 81-year-old (the rich are blessed with longevity, courtesy of, among others, superior medical care) has seen his fortune dip from $3.1 billion (Sh257 billion) last year.


8. Mohamed Mansour $2 billion (Sh166 billion)

Position this year: 595
Last year: Newcomer
Source: Inheritance, cotton trading, real estate

Inheritance is the easiest route to wealth, as the 63-year-old former Egyptian minister for Transport proves via his fortune coined through cotton trading.

His family business, The Mansour Group, is the biggest seller of GM vehicles worldwide. The graduate of Auburn University also runs Egypt’s largest supermarket chain and the second biggest real estate concern.


9. Mike Adenuga $2 billion (Sh166 billion)

Position this year: 595
Last year: Newcomer
Source: Banking, telecommunication, self-made

Yet another Nigerian who is a Forbes newcomer through Globacom, a mobile telephone firm that has put $1 billion (Sh83 billion) on a submarine cable that will connect Nigeria with the rest of the world.

Adenuga, 57, made his first million at 26, selling lace and distributing Coca-Cola to some of Nigeria’s 100 plus million throats. But he hit it big time when he won a tender to construct a military barrack in the late 1980s.

The soccer fanatic has stakes in Equatorial Trust Bank and Conoil, a Niger Delta oil exploration company. “The Guru” is an MBA graduate from Pace University, New York, where he worked as a guard and taxi driver to survive.

“The Gold Digger”, as he calls himself, lost two mobile phone company licences and a bank, fled to exile, but now holes up in Banana Island, Nigeria’s most exclusive address.

10.Yasseen Mansour $1.8 billion (Sh149 billion)

Position this year: 692
Last year: Newcomer
Source: Inheritance, real estate

He heads Palm Hills Development, Egypt’s second largest real estate concern that’s into luxury housing and resorts. The 49-year-old father of four is a graduate of George Washington University.


11. Youssef Mansour $1.8 billion (Sh149 billion)

Position this year: 692
Last year: Newcomer
Source: Inheritance, retailing

Is the elder brother of Yasseen and heads Egypt’s largest supermarket chain, Metro Stores, that was saved any looting during the political mayhem that rocked Egypt by loyal employees who stood guard.

With his kind of dough, Youssef’s wife can afford to indulge in collecting Louis XIV furniture and Renaissance paintings in between missions to eradicate illiteracy in Egypt.

“Baba Youssef”, 65 and a father of five, is an alumnus of North Carolina State University, where he studied textile chemistry (as the family was in the cotton business.)


12. Christoffel Wiese $1.6 billion (Sh132 billion)

Position this year: 782
Last year: Newcomer
Source: Retailing, self-made

Another South African makes a debut on the Forbes list. “Christo” owns Shoprite, Africa’s biggest supermarket chain with over 1,000 outlets in 17 African countries. Shoprite, which is listed on the Namibian and Lusaka stock exchanges, controls 70 per cent of South Africa’s retail market.

Christo also owns a private game reserve in the Kalahari, a vineyard, and a textile chain, Pepkor. The father of three, now 69, studied at Stellenbosch University.

When asked by South Africa’s BusinessLIVE whether Forbes’ estimation was correct he retorted: “People who know how much they’re worth aren’t usually worth that much.”

13. Samih Sawiris $1.4 billion (Sh116 billion)

Position this year: 879
Last year: 655
Source: Inheritance, hospitality

He inherited Orascom’s hotel division that operates luxury hotels in eight countries, including Jordan, Oman, UAE, Switzerland, and his native Egypt.

Sawiris has been on a downward spiral. The fortunes of Samih, 54, stood at $1.5 billion (Sh124 billion) last year, and $2.9 billion (Sh240) in 2008.

worth aren’t usually worth that much.”


14. Mohamed al-Fayed and family $1.2 billion (Sh99.6 billion)

Position this year: 993
Last year: Newcomer
Source: Hospitality, shipping, department store, self-made

Pulling the financial tail is probably one of the most famous Egyptians who came into the global limelight when playboy son Dodi al-Fayed died in a car crash with Princess Diana in 1997.

Flamboyant al-Fayed, 78, was once the financial adviser of the Sultan of Brunei — who, as the world’s richest man in the 1980s— was the right person to advise.

The “Phony Pharaoh” sold Harrods department store, the crown jewel of British retailing, to the Qatari royal family for £1.5 billion to clear bank debts.

The son of a poor school teacher, al-Fayed peddled homemade lemonade to his classmates over break time, sold Pepsi in market stalls, and worked as a sewing machine salesman before becoming a sidekick of arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi — whose sister Samira he eventually married.

The father of five invested in a shipping line, bought a castle in Scotland, the ritzy Ritz Hotel Paris, and English Premiership side Fulham Football Club.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/DN2/Sh+100000000000/-/957860/1124784/-/item/1/-/macuqx/-/index.html

Posted in Africa | 4 Comments »

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