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Strumming to Fame

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Zimbabwean singer, songwriter and guitarist Tariro Negitare performed her first show in Nairobi during the Women In Music concert series at the Goethe Institute in Nairobi last Wednesday.

“I am privileged to be on this platform that provides an exciting opportunity for women from around Africa to showcase their skills,” said Tariro of the monthly event.

Tariro charmed the packed Goethe auditorium with her acoustic guitar and soaring vocals on a selection of songs from her two albums: her self-titled album released in 2013 and the follow up “Chipo Changu (‘my gift’ in Shona) of 2016.

“I recorded the first album only because I was going on tour and had not put out any music but by the second album I had understood that my music was a gift, hence the title,” she says. Tariro is Shona for ‘hope’ while Negitare means ‘with the guitar’. “I thought: ‘how do I distinguish myself from every other Tariro which is a popular name in Zimbabwe. Every time people would see me they would say ‘there goes Tariro with her guitar’ and the name stuck,” she explains.

The self-confessed ‘fun loving adrenalin junkie’ was born in Harare in a family of five. Her main inspiration came from 1990s neo soul star Lauryn Hill and when her music teacher in high school offered guitar lessons for 10 students, Tariro quickly signed up.

“I picked up the guitar because my brother played the instrument at home, and I enjoyed strumming it but I never once thought that it would end up with me playing professionally,” she says.

Her big break came almost a decade ago when she played guitar at the first anniversary of the Sisters Open Mic event in Harare.

Among the stars in attendance was popular Zimbabwean bassist Edith Weutonga who invited Tariro to join her band.

“I was like ‘yeah, sure.’ Look where I am a few years later.”

She has the legendary Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi to thank for mentoring her. “The first time he saw me, I was still playing in Edith’s band and he said ‘well done, but next time, remember to tune your guitar.’” “Since that day he has literally taken me under his wing and has been a father figure for me and other artists in Zimbabwe.”

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As time went on she fell in love with the acoustic sound and branched out on her own through an event called the Acoustic Night, which allowed the audience to enjoy the music in an intimate set up.

“Music is a way of story telling and I love telling stories because that’s how I wrote some of my songs,’’ she says. “I would love to sing purely in Shona but I also want those who don’t understand the language to be involved in the process of enjoying the music and the message that I am expressing,” she explains. Her music is categorised variously as Afro Soul or Afro Jazz, but she says, the style of music reflects her emotions at a given time.

“One day I feel like reggae, another day its salsa, or Soul. Musicians are a mixed bag just like life itself and the idea is to get people to identify with a part of who I am and hopefully that will edify them,’’ she says.

She channels her own experiences, the joys and setbacks of life into her music. “Uripi” is a song she wrote just after her divorce and in the lyrics, a woman asks her husband: ‘it is midnight, where are you? You are supposed to be here with me” It was one of the songs that established Tariro as a solo star in Zimbabwe because, according to her, many women could relate to that situation that she sang about.

Rap was a big part of her childhood and she wanted to express that in her music so she drops a few rhymes in “Uripi” and the gospel flavoured “Zuva Nezuva.”

This visit to Nairobi may have been brief but there was an opportunity for Tariro to sample a flavour of the different musical vibes in the city. On Tuesday night she had a night out watching Edward Parseen and the Different Faces band playing at a venue in the city.

“Parseen called me up on the stage and we jammed together. Later I also watched a rumba band at another spot. The love and passion for music is something I am taking back to Harare.”

The new political dispensation in Zimbabwe has provided a ‘blank canvas’ for comedians, musicians, to tell the story of what their country is really all about. “I am very excited because after a long struggle, it is just good to have some form of change,” says Tariro.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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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.

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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.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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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.

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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.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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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.

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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.

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