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Egypt’s UMS throws weight behind TV host El-Khelaly amid alleged ‘US media targeting’



Egypt’s largest media conglomerate, United Media Services (UMS), has thrown its weight behind TV host, Kaswaa El-Khelaly, who is reportedly the subject of alleged “systematic targeting campaign” by US media platforms and think tanks.

The mega media outfit, in a statement on Friday which expressed unwavering support for El-Khelaly, applauded her “courageous defense of Palestinian rights.”

“UMS denounced the coordinated distortion campaigns launched against Khelaly, which included blocking the digital broadcast of her program and shutting down her social media pages,” the statement reads.

“Distorted clips from her program were also used to incite against her, leading to threats of violence and personal attacks.

“We, the UMS, strongly condemn these practices and affirm our unwavering support to all Egyptian media professionals.

“UMS calls on journalists and media professionals worldwide to unite in solidarity with Khelaly and to confront any attempts to stifle free voices.

“UMS will take all necessary legal and professional measures to protect Khelaly and ensure the freedom of expression for all journalists and media professionals within our company,” the statement said.

El-Khelaly, one of the most popular television personalities in the country, got into trouble with the Western media following her constant criticism of Israel in the war against Palestine.

Local media reports that in one of her shows, El-Khelaly shed light on the ongoing Israeli aggression in Gaza, which has resulted in around 120,000 casualties over the course of an eight-month war.

“In one of her videos, she expressed the sentiments of many Egyptians who oppose normalization with Israel at the popular level, asking, “Why would we embrace an occupying force?”

“In response to criticism from MEMRI, Khelaly questioned whether she was expected to describe Israel as “sweet as chocolate” given the ongoing circumstances in Gaza.

“Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) recently shared clips from Khelaly’s program, “In Evening with Qaswaa,” where she criticized Israeli practices against Palestinians in Gaza.

“El-Khelaly strongly condemned MEMRI for targeting her using its “well-known methodology of supporting Israel.”

“She highlighted how the center selectively edited her clips and shared them with “a suspicious translation,” framing her episodes as promoting racism against Zionismm. She slammed MEMRI for falsely accusing her of “supporting terrorism” in Palestine.

She also pointed out that MEMRI’s social media posts, which mentioned her account, incited a wave of hostility against her, leading to violent comments and threats from influential figures in the United States and Israel.

“Ms El-Khelaly emphasized that MEMRI omitted important facts she mentioned about the genocidal war conducted by Israel against defenseless Palestinians, making the video clip appear as an unprovoked attack on Israel.

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SA officials launch probe into accident that killed musician Shebeshxt’s daughter



South African authorities have launched an investigation into the tragic accident that claimed the life of the nine-year-old daughter of musician, Lehlogonolo Katlego Chauke, popularly known as Shebeshxt, on Saturday.

The Limpopo Department of Transport and Community Safety, in a statement on Wednesday, said the accident that occurred along the R37 near the Smelters Mine outside Polokwane, also caused the controversial rapper a foot.

Spokesperson for the Department, Tidimalo Chuene, said the accident occurred at about 22:00 when Shebeshxt’s charcoal Volkswagen Polo collided with a heavy motor vehicle.

According to local media reports, the “Ambulance” hitmaker was en route to perform at an African National Congress Siyanqoba Rally celebration concert scheduled for Sunday in Lebowakgomo when the accident happened.

“A Volkswagen Polo is reported to have overturned after colliding with a heavy motor vehicle, killing the young girl and seriously injuring the driver and another passenger,” Chuene told reporters.

The spokesman stated that the nine-year-old girl was killed in the accident, while two other passengers sustained serious but “salvageable threatening injuries.”

She said the cause of the accident will be investigated, and the names of all individuals involved be disclosed to the public once all necessary police procedures are completed.

“As the department, we are saddened by the incident and send our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families, and wish for those who sustained injuries a speedy recovery,” she added.

In a related statement, Shebeshxt’s family confirmed the accident and the passing of the rapper’s daughter.

“The accident unfortunately claimed the life of his beloved daughter, Onthatile (Gladys Chuene), which has caused utter grief and shock as she was the angel that warmed up all our hearts,” reads the statement.

The family statement added that the “Twerka” singer is alive and currently hospitalised, receiving medical care.

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‘Stop competing, learn from Nigeria’s movie industry’, Nollywood actor Michael Uchegbu charges Ghanaian filmmakers



A top Nollywood actor, Michael Uchegbu, has advised moviemakers and stakeholders in the Ghanaian movie industry to stop competing with the Nigerian film sector but rather learn from Africa’s biggest entertainment industry.

Uchegbu who gave the advice in an interview with Ghanaian entertainment tabloid, Graphic Showbiz, admonished stakeholders in the West African country to stop
expending their energy on contesting Nollywood and rather concentrate on building a unique brand.

The versatile actor noted that Nollywood, which is currently rubbing shoulders with Hollywood and Bollywood, achieved its status through the “relentless efforts and innovations” and that “attempts to compete with the industry would rather impede the development of Ghana’s film industry.”

The “Anomalous” star emphasized that players in the Ghanaian movie industry could learn a lot from their Nigerian counterparts if they stop seeing themselves as competitors.

“The Ghanaian movie sector is not making much progress due to the lack of drive among its players to achieve global success and that is what is hindering its growth,” he stated.

“So the best bet is to learn from Nollywood and not spend precious time trying to compete with them.

“Filmmakers in Ghana could harness the experiences and practices of Nollywood to overcome the sector’s current challenges.

“They also need to strategise to build up the industry by producing exceptional movies that can gain international recognition instead of rivalling Nollywood,” he added.

He also stressed the importance of investment, hard work and collaboration for the growth of Ghana’s movie industry.

“Nigeria’s movie industry is far advanced in my opinion because we are a go-getting nation while Ghanaians are more relaxed and calm.

“So I think the way to go is to learn from each other and build each other up. Ghana and Nigeria should not compete if we are to build Africa and our respective industries,” he noted.

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