When Emmy award winners were announced on the night of Monday at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, more Kenyans would have known why the fantasy epic Game of Thrones won yet another accolade. The popular HBO series (now in its eighth season) has many local fans (of which I am not one).
But they probably would have known far less about The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, which won even more trophies on Monday night than did Thrones. The two shows were the overwhelming winners on Monday evening.
One a drama, victorious over A Handmaid’s Tale which won the trophy last year — the other a ‘freshman’ comedy still in its first season. Nonetheless, it won five trophies setting the record for the night.
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel won for Best Comedy series at the 70th Emmy Awards. It won Best Actress in Rachel Brosnahan who plays the title role, that of a frustrated 1950s New York City-based housewife named Miriam or ‘Midge’ who finds herself doing stand-up comedy.
Her cast-mate Alex Borstein bagged the Best Supporting Actor’s award. And the creator of the Amazon-streaming series, Amy Sherman-Pelladino won for best scriptwriting and best directing of a comedy.
During her acceptance’s speech, Brosnahan gave a brief summary of what the series is about and why it resonated so well with the judges of this years’ cable-TV shows. (There was only one network TV show that won this year, namely Saturday Night Live, the irreverent ‘sketch comedy’ show that regularly lampoons leading American politicians.)
“It’s about a woman who’s finding her voice anew. It’s one of the things that’s happening all over the country right now,” said Brosnahan whose character literally stumbles into stand-up comedy.
Midge had been a happily married housewife, content to play the conventional middle class American woman’s role of supportive spouse.
Even though she had gone to one of the best women’s universities, she was living in pre-feminist times when women’s liberation and gender equality hadn’t crossed her mind.
She was fully prepared to support and encourage her husband’s futile ambition to become a successful stand-up comic. Yet when it became obvious that he’d never make it as a comedian, he left Midge for his office secretary.
Caught by surprise, Midge ended up taking to the stage herself. First it was out of a sense of outrage at the injustice of being dumped by her spouse. Then it happened at the spurring on of close friends who saw her comedic flare and potential.
Midge is a complex character who inadvertently ends up breaking out of her middle class cocoon. It’s not an easy break but the series explores the beginnings of a cultural revolution in which women begin to question their second class social status and challenge the status quo.
Midge is a woman in her 20s, and like many young women, she’s at a fascinating stage in life when she’s making discoveries about herself all the time. Her story transcends American culture and may speak to women wherever they’re making choices which way to go in their lives.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.