Ikenna Azuike is the finance lawyer turned journalist behind satirical Internet show: What's Up Africa - a provocative and entertaining programme about African news, initiatives and people.
He created What's Up Africa in February 2011 after feeling frustrated by the unbalanced and often inaccurate portrayal of Africa in western media. Coverage of the continent was either on the one hand too focussed on presenting images of war, famine and general disorder. Or, on the other hand providing over the top, saccharine reports of Africa's progress. And most importantly perhaps, none of the media was speaking effectively to the digital generation of young Africans eager to be informed. He thought it was time for a new sort of African news show… that was the birth of What's Up Africa.
What's Up Africa is produced by Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
First Prize winner of the Business Competition “Global Science Venture Competition” ( United States, 2013 ), Gerard and his partner created the Faso Soap. Faso Soap is a promising weapon in the prevention of malaria, it acts as a repellent soap produced from natural ingredients like Shea butter, and lemongrass oils. Gerard is 35 years old, married with 3 children, 2 boys and a girl. He was born in Buyengero in Bururi and he graduated from Lycée Ngagara with a specialization in Scientific B. Thereafter, in 2005 he graduates from the Department of Chemistry at the University of BURUNDI. Upon graduation he was hired as a Chemistry teacher at the Lycée Clarté Notre Dame de Vugizo where he worked until 2012. He was also a Chemistry Assistant Teacher at the Belgian School of Burundi. Besides being a Chemistry teacher, he was employed part time at the Tropical Punch Beverage Company from 2007 to 2008 and at the Burundian Quality Services Company as a technical manager from 2008 to 2010. Since 2010, Gerard is an active member of the Centre of Research and the Diffusion of Sciences (CRDES) based at the University of Burundi with a mission to promote science education in high schools.
Born in 1986 in Burundi, Roland Rugero grew up in a family where reading was a favorite pastime. He embraced his journalistic career since 2008 and that exceptional experience led him to focus on writing which primed the publishing of his first novel in the same year titled “Les Oniriques “ (The dreamlike). Later on in 2012, he publishes his second novel “Baho!” (Live!) and completes his writing residency at La Rochelle (France). Roland is also a bronze medal holder of the 6th Games of La Francophonie (Beirut, 2009), winner of the prestigious writing residency at the University of Iowa (United States, 2013), co-initiator and host of Samandari literacy-cafe, and initiator of the Literacy Prize Michel Kayoya and Andika Prize. In addition, he is an artist with great interest in cinema. In 2011 he wrote and directed the second Burundian film “Les pieds et les mains” (The hands and feet-1hour 20mins) and in 2012 he completed his writing residency at La Rochelle (France 2012). Last but not least, he is currently in charge of the literature section of Iwacu Magazine and working on his third novel to be published in 2014
Burundian humanitarian ,Maggy Barankitse has been an inspiring leader and founder of Maison Shalom, a safe haven for children and orphans who have survived civil unrest, violence and war. With exceptional principles and values, Barankiste has built schools, clinics, hospital and agricultural cooperatives to empower rural women, children and many other Burundians. Her ultimate goal is to improve the lives of Burundian children by focusing on education, health, vocational training and reconciliation. Throughout the years, she has impacted more than 30 thousands individuals (children, mothers, youth etc.) and their families. Barankiste's inspiring peace building efforts have not gone unnoticed on an international level, she has been a recipient of numerous awards including but not limited to the Medaille de defenseur des droits de l'homme"(1998-French Government), Medaille de chevalier de la legion d'honneur (2009-France), Opus Prize (2009-USA) and many other honors and recognitions.
Marie Müque Kigoma, a former nurse who went on to become the founder and leader of Burundi's most successful juice company, the road to success has been anything but easy. In 1983, struggling to make ends meet, she decides to resign from her nursing job at the Prince Louis Rwagasore Hospital and starts her company in her kitchen. From her backyard, she started by hand squeezing passion fruits and packing the resulting juices in whisky's bottles. Some of the biggest challenges she had to face include the civil war in Burundi that led her to temporarily close her then rising company. In 1995, along with her husband and 3 kids, she left Burundi and exiled in Uganda for three years. Mrs Kigoma's perseverance and determination pushed her to reopen her company as soon as the family moved back in Bujumbura in 1998. Today Fruito employs more than 80 employees on top of all the passion fruits producers from whom the company buys its supplies.