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Hundreds of tourists evacuated from Egypt hotel after two deaths

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Tour operator Thomas Cook is evacuating all of its customers from a hotel in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Hurghada after two Britons died there this week under unclear circumstances.

The move came after John and Susan Cooper, from Burnley, England, died while staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel. They were on a holiday with other family members.

Their daughter, Kelly Ormerod, was with her parents and her three children when tragedy struck.

John Cooper, 69, died in his hotel room while her 63-year-old mother, a Thomas Cook employee, was taken to hospital, Ormerod said from Egypt.

“As a family we are devastated. Mum and Dad meant the world to me and the children, and we are in utter shock over what has happened and what is happening,” Ormerod told the Lancashire-based radio station 2BR. “Prior to going on holiday, Mum and Dad were fit and healthy. They had no health problems at all.”

Read Also: South Africa named the world’s top adventure destination for 2018

Thomas Cook said in a statement on Thursday that the “circumstances of their deaths are still unclear” and that it has “also received further reports of a raised level of illness among guests.”

The decision to evacuate 301 holiday makers from the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel is a “precautionary measure,” the company said, adding that the guests, of various nationalities, will be offered alternative hotels or the option to return home.

“We continue to work closely with the hotel and are supporting the authorities with their investigations,” it said. Customers due to arrive in the hotel in the next four weeks will be offered alternative options.

The Steigenberger Aqua Magic was last audited by Thomas Cook in July and received an overall score of 96 percent.

Culture

Nigerian first class traditional ruler, Ooni of Ife, makes Hollywood debut

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Nigerian first class traditional ruler, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has made an incursion into the movie world when he recently made a historic debut in a new Hollywood flick titled “Take Me Home.”

The revered King who played a unique role in the movie that succinctly befits his throne as the custodian of Yorubaland, said his role helped to further accentuate and brings royalty, honour and authority to the silver screen.

Produced by renowned produced by Yoruba historian and filmmaker Dotun Taylor, the film, “Take Me Home” centres on the quest for originality and identity.

According to Taylor, the movie “tells the story of an American girl who became possessed after wearing an African masquerade costume that was stolen during a tour in Ile-Ife.”

“In a bid to save her life, her entire family, guided by the promises of two African immigrants, embarked on a journey that would land them in hot waters.”

“As the spiritual and traditional leader of the Yoruba people now saddled with the responsibility of making supplications to God and the Òrìṣà on behalf of his people, Ooni boldly depicted the rich culture of the Yorubas and its relevance in the western world.”

The epic movie also features top Hollywood actors like Dave Sheridan, Amber Rivette, Felissa Rose, Meji Black, and Nollywood actors Abdullateef Adedimeji and Bayo Bankole (Boy Alinco) among others.

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Culture

Uganda Grammy nominee, Eddy Kenzo, using music to pave way for deprived kids

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Ugandan musician and first Grammy Awards nominee from the country, Eddy Kenzo, says he is using his music and status to pave the way for deprived kids in the East African country.

Kenzo who grew up as an orphaned and homeless kid, recounted his story on Thursday, said he used to struggle to persuade DJs to play his songs, but now, is using his success to offer hopes that even the poorest person can triumph.

Kenzo, whose real name is Edrisah Musuuza, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Global Music Performance, said he has only one goal which is to “broadcast his culture to the world.”

“I try to use my culture and what I know to sell to the world. I sell the language that I speak, I sell the music we do here locally and I modernize it and put out the sound that comes from where I come from and it goes global,” the Grammy nominee told entertainment reporters.

Despite growing up underprivileged, Kenzo said he pursued his dreams and made a name for himself with his hit single “Stamina”, which grew to become one of the most popular songs in Africa and dominated the airwaves for months.

And despite his meteoric rise to stardom, Kenzo says he hasn’t forgotten his humble beginnings and is keen to pave the way for others like him.

Through his label Big Talent Entertainment, he now mentors Kampala’s disadvantaged youth to develop their musical talent.

Thirteen years after his big break, Kenzo is en route to take home a Grammy for “Gimme Love”, his 2022 Luganda-English song where he featured US musician Matt B.

“I love who I am, I love promoting who I am. I had to let him do what he does, but I had to make sure that I bring in myself in my own way. I started doing my Luganda and I taught him some of the pass, I told him to do it.

“And then this is what we did. And the message “Gimme Love” it’s all about giving love. Nothing could be better than that,” Kenzo said.

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