When Marilyn Ward was a girl, church meant starched shirts, disapproving scowls and endless repetition of prayers she didn't understand. Now the South African spends Sunday mornings whooping it up with hundreds of ''brothers and sisters'' who grind their hips to jovial Zulu songs and punctuate the preacher's sermon with howls of ''Allelujah''.
He's blown up buildings in the name of justice and partied with Clint Eastwood. But Patrick Chamusso -- the former rebel fighter who inspired the current Hollywood political thriller Catch a Fire -- insists he's an ordinary guy happiest tending to Aids orphans in the dusty hills near South Africa's Kruger National Park.
School is out and the sun is blazing in Soweto, but 12-year-old Phumlane Kubheka has serious work to do. Glancing around nervously, he grips the blue float in both hands, takes a deep breath and plunges his head into the water. Kubheka is learning to swim.
Botswana's High Court ruled on Wednesday that more than 1Â 000 Bushmen had been wrongly evicted from ancestral hunting grounds in the Kalahari Desert and should be allowed to return. The court ruled 2-1 for the Bushmen in the key issues of the case, which saw Africa's last hunter-gatherers take on one of the continent's most admired governments.
Haute cuisine may seem a contradiction in terms on a continent where millions go hungry. But Coco Fathi Reinharz, a half-Belgian, half-Burundian chef, is at the vanguard of a new African fine dining movement that is ditching stodgy, tasteless peasant food for sophisticated dishes with an exotic twist.
Hip-hop anthems pound, coloured lights flash and hundreds of teenagers scream as two young men stride onto the stage. ''We've come all the way to tell you guys how great sex can be,'' they yell into the microphone, drawing whoops of delight from the crowd gathered in Eldorado Park.
CNBC plans to launch Africa's first business TV channel next year as rising investment on the poorest continent buoys demand for news that goes beyond the media's staple diet of war, famine and disease. CNBC Africa will launch in May 2007, employing 40 journalists in four countries to cover financial markets.
Expletives are scrawled across the classroom walls, the library ceiling has collapsed and up to 45 pupils cram into each filthy classroom -- when the teachers turn up that is. But despite the shoddy state of her school, 14-year-old Constance Mpho has even bigger worries.
African cellphone operators can expect up to three more years of rampant growth but after that must find new sources of revenue and ways of cutting costs to keep profits rising, executives and analysts say. Firms keen to keep the momentum on profits going need to find new sources of revenue growth.
He took on the apartheid government and was South Africa's first black bishop. He lambasts presidents and likes to party with the stars. And at 75, Desmond Tutu still can't keep quiet. A new biography, Rabble-rouser for peace, paints a picture of a man who revels in the limelight and adores the trappings of celebrity, but spends up to seven hours a day in silent prayer.
From gleaming shopping malls in downtown Nairobi to gold mines buried deep in the Congolese jungle, South Africa is flexing its corporate muscle on the world's poorest continent. South African shopping chains Shoprite and Pick 'n Pay bring choice and price stability to African market places, while millions have made their first phone call thanks to cellular operators MTN and Vodacom.
Mobile operators are scrambling to gain a foothold in Africa, where cellphone penetration hovers at just 15% and growth is ripe for those with a stomach for risk. A decade after mobile technology took off on the continent, most affluent city dwellers have phones, making poor rural areas like Kgautswane the new battleground for operators seeking growth.