Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ethiopian Airlines takes delivery of its first A350 XWB wide body airplane

A350 XWB arrives in Addis Ababa
Ethiopian Airlines has become the first Airline in Africa to take delivery of Airbus A350XWB -the world's most modern long-haul wide body jetliner on 28th June, 2016, in Toulouse, France with the intention of exceling in offering its passengers the ultimate travel experience on-board this new aircraft ahead of other carriers. ET welcomed the Airbus A350 XWB dubbed "Semien Mountains" today, June 29th 2016 in Ethiopia. 

The multinational aircraft consists of parts fabricated in England, Germany and South Africa and assembled in France. It received canon salute upon its arrival at the Bole International Airport from its assembly city, Toulouse. Ethiopia's minister of defense, March Band also added colour to the welcoming ceremony which was attended by several Ethiopian dignitories as well as journalists.

Description: C:\WORKING DOCUMENTS\Pictures\2015\A350 Visit Photos -\IMG_9687.JPG

ET is the first A350 XWB operator to fly the ultra-modern airplane in the African skies.  It has got a total of 343 wide seats comprising 30 in Business Class and 313 in Economy Class. This spacious and "quiet" plane produces the lowest twin engine noise and is equipped with the latest state of the art technology. Advanced air conditioning and full LED mood lighting enhance passengers comfort while reducing fatigue.

All seats are fitted with the latest high-definition touchscreen personal monitors and a higher selection of movies, television series and audio channels. Inflight Wi-Fi connection will be made available on this aircraft in the future. Passengers with smart devices can connect to the world while others can use the smart individual touch screens on their seats when the Internet is operational.

 Description: Description: C:\WORKING DOCUMENTS\Pictures\2015\A350 Visit Photos -\IMG_9677.JPG
Description: C:\WORKING DOCUMENTS\Pictures\2015\A350 Visit Photos -\IMG_9680.JPG

The A350 XWB’s Xtra wide fuselage contributes to higher levels of efficiency. The new “Airspace by Airbus” cabin concept – which is being incorporated on the A350 XWB Family – creates the perfect space for maximizing passenger well-being.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon-fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.  These latest innovative technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a twenty five percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions that can save the airline up to two million dollars of fuel.

Its revolutionary airframe and simplified systems have optimized maintenance costs and reliability, and its engines have the lowest carbon dioxide CO2 emissions of any in the wide body category, thus transforming it into a game changer eco-friendly airplane. 

Altogether, Ethiopian Airlines has ordered fourteen of the eco-friendly Airbus A350 XWBs. This first aircraft which just landed in Addis today is intended to fly the Lagos-Dubai route. The carrier will deploy the fourteen A350 aircrafts on its expanding route networks. To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 802 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 42 customers worldwide.
 Description: C:\Users\Tsegayegm\Desktop\sdgs.png


#Leave! That is what England is doing best in 2016. First there was Brexit. Then Cameron left. (No similarity with my country, Cameroon, you hear?) England ironically left Euro 2016, eliminated by icy Iceland of just 400.000 people! Haha! And when the team returns home the players will be on "leave". Their manager, Roy Hodgson will probably leave because the English FA will sack him and send him packing -for leaving Vardy on the bench and other things. And Vardy may leave England for Spain, who knows? And Scotland will probably leave sister England too. I think if England were in a Whatsapp group we would have woken up this morning to see the status, "England left"

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Ovamba Co-founder, Viola Lewellyn impresses at Camerbloggers Hangout

Viola Lewellyn and Adeline Sede

The Ovamba hangout with Camerbloggers at Glacier Bio ice cream shop Bonapriso definitely stands out as one I learnt a lot from. It began at about 6.30PM with Adeline Sede Kamga, Ovamba's PR and the event’s organizer introducing us to the Ovamba team present, Emmanuel Enow, Fadilah Tchoumbah, Scarlet Njoyah and Ovamba co-founder boss lady, Viola Llewellyn who hopped in a couple of minutes later. There are no airs about Viola despite her status. She’s a down to earth, outgoing, jovial and funny woman who's got a prince-size-big-crush for late pop star, Prince. And she is still mourning his death. If you examine her photo well (lady on the left above), you'll still see her weeping and "Purple Rain" like tears running down her cheeks. Lol..Flees. (We’d already met virtually and chatted about…Kanye West of all people! (it’s a long story how we took off by chatting about Kanye.) I did not even know it was Ovamba’s first lady. (She doesn’t use her name on FB).

Adeline chaired the hangout. The first part was all about how Ovamba started and its functioning mechanism, to which the various “Ovambayees” chipped in contributions from different angles. Viola narrated in a torrent how it all came about –due to the difficulties faced by Cameroonian SMEs to obtain loans from banks triggered down from colonialist financial policies which constrain. It’s no secret obtaining financial assistance is such a tedious bureaucratic task in Cameroon, so Ovamba came forth to fill that gap and satisfy that need –online! It takes the best of online tech and blends it with very specific African culture by forming a trade partnership with its African clients, who take transactions, invest in their businesses, make profits and refund within six months. But there is a rigorous criteria they use to select SMEs they give transactions to. She explained how the west watches closely on their financial activities and the problems she’s faced obtaining funds from there. Questions about Ovamba’s functioning mechanism followed suit which the team did their best to answer. I’d earlier blogged about the Ovamba trade finance policy right here. 

Next, we delved into the Ovamba Plus Android App which Viola told us was created “to add value to Ovamba’s products”. We downloaded the app and checked out how it functioned, then asked questions about it. The Ashphase Review had blogged exclusively about the App right here.

The third part of the Hangout was the impromptu session, anything anyone had to ask or tell Viola. Arthur wanted to know how many countries Ovamba operates in and he was told Cameroon and South Africa for now. But they have serious expansion plans. Monsieur Tchassa Kamga said, he recently read that Africa’s queen techie, Rebecca Enonchong had just been included on the board of directors of Ovamba. He wanted to know why Ovamba had taken the move. Viola spooled back an interesting tale and reminisced about meeting Rebecca in her childhood, teenage hood and adulthood, meet ups and near misses spanning decades -brief, yet life binding meetings which culminated with Rebecca joining Ovamba. She said Rebecca’s profound tech knowledge and expertise has enabled her to provide very vital constructive criticisms of Ovamba which will help elevate their services. “This lady is a great conversationalist. Does she deliver motivational speeches in schools and conferences? She should, if she isn’t doing so oh,” I thought. The hangout lightened up to chats and jokes at the end and we devoured bowls of ice cream and cookies. Viola said she was happy to finally meet some great young people she had only been hearing about or met on social media.

“Where is the Chop Knuckle guy? Nice work you’re doing!” she said, and we made some noise for Clifford. “Arthur, come here and give me a hug!” Arthur did. “Oh you’re Writerphilic! I’ve read pieces from your blog, you’re a good writer!” And I covered my face in shyness sha. The celebrity of the night was our Solar energy girl whose name I can’t remember anymore. She recounted her experiences working with solar lamps and meeting Rebecca Enonchong which moved Viola. I left Glacier Bio after learning a lot, but these two Viola Llewellyn quotes will always stick in my memory.

“At Ovamba, our trade partners win and we also win. Another person doesn’t necessarily need to lose in order for you to win. If you can win and they also win, that’s a lot better.”

“Making it as an entrepreneur in Cameroon is difficult I must admit. But it should be all about solving problems. Just find the right problem among all the problems we have here and identify the right people to work with. Use the right approach to tackle the identified problem and you’ll succeed. For instance, Ovamba. We’re the only company in Cameroon who provide financial transactions online. We have no competitor. Don’t copy what others do, try something new. Don’t follow trends, set trends.”

"La Sauce" by Cameroonian singer Reniss


courtesy of

Reniss! She’s been the happening girl in Kmer contemporary music these past two weeks. “LA SAUCE!” No, you can’t just mumble the phrase! You have to scream it because Reniss really does scream that song out of her lungs, “DANS LA SAUCE, LE PIMENT DANS LA SAUCE…” She’s all grown up now, to diva artist status. She isn’t that little girl who was singing the hook in that Jovi song, “BASTARD” anymore. She’s mature and doing her thing musically at New Bell. In “La Sauce” she delivers a solid, very original contemporary track that will boom the stereos of clubs and beer parlours nationwide as the biggest hit of her career yet. Not just because it’s good music but its an up-tempo, danceable song with a strong rhythm. And it’s curious where the song’s pulse comes from. “La Sauce’s” rhythm is heavily inspired by the Bikutsi music genre and Reniss killed it so well, you may be mistaken to conclude she’s a Bikutsi artist from the Beti tribe when she’s not. She simply mastered the rudiments of the genre and inflexed it into her craft.

The beat has got Jovi’s producer signature all over it. If you’re a Jovi fan, you just hear the “Le Monstre” heterogeneous touch. The video concept is creative –a lot of flamboyant traditional costumes and fashionable modern attire coupled with good tech feats and so much energetic dancing/choreography. But almost everybody in the video is “mad” and it starts with Reniss herself who warns, “All ting for here na craze!”… “Tu me parle je crie! Haaaaaa!” and she launches into a pair of screams disseminating sound decibels that can deafen one’s ears, that make you wonder if the two wires in her brain have been unwound. Lol. Even the singing itself, she sort of sing-screams her way through it in crazy, interesting way and it worked. But when the craziness subsides, she caresses the mic and rocks slowly and seductively to the symphony. But I’m wondering, what sauce is she singing about? Is it the one Mami Put sells which has got everybody scrambling for, or the “ngrimba sauce” which has been mystically doctored or just good lady sauce?

NB: I met Reniss about two months after writing this article, when she was travelling to Lome on Asky Airlines for a concert.