5 Reasons I’m Optimistic About Africa


A recent opinion poll found that the majority of Americans are optimistic about 2017. And they should be. The world, of course, faces many challenges. But year after year, life is getting better for more people on our planet.

For my first blog of the new year, I want to share evidence of this trend from a place where many people wouldn’t expect to find it—Africa. It’s one of my favorite places to go for a fresh perspective on how the world is improving. I saw this in-person last year during my trips to South Africa and Ethiopia.

Although 2016 was a tough year for many African economies, almost every trend on the continent has been moving in the right direction over the last decade. Per capita income, foreign investment, agricultural productivity, mobile banking, entrepreneurship, immunization rates, and school enrollment are all heading upwards. Poverty, armed conflicts, HIV, malaria, and child mortality are all on the decline—steeply so in many places.

If you want to get a better picture of what African countries look like today and why I see the glass as more than half full, here are five things that make me more optimistic than ever about the continent:


These Images Are Worth Way More than a Thousand Words


Everyday Africa is one of Melinda and my favorite Instagram profiles. It shows what the vast, culturally diverse continent of Africa is like beyond the lazy stereotypes. I’m not much of a photographer myself, but I’m a big admirer of people who can make one image tell a compelling story. These images, most of which are posted by African photographers, do so in beautiful, creative, and sometimes funny ways. “Everyday” and “normal” are usually something we associate with “boring.” Not here! Please see for yourself.


These Hybrids Will Improve the Lives of Half a Billion People


In the developed world, most people eat the root vegetable cassava only in tapioca pudding or bubble tea. But in Africa, it’s the primary staple for half a billion people and the continent’s most popular crop. That’s why I’m super excited that scientists are using the most advanced hybridization techniques for the benefit of cassava farmers and those who depend on the crop. With the support of UK Department for International Development and our foundation, scientists are making great progress developing hybrids that are resistant to the major virus that cuts down on cassava yields (cassava mosaic virus). At the same time, these scientists are breeding strains that have more nutrients than the strains under cultivation today. 


Grandmothers … We Get the Job Done!


You know the old saying “success has many fathers?” It turns out success has many grandmothers as well, especially when it comes to reducing maternal and child deaths. Across many different African cultures, grandmothers are powerful authority figures when it comes to a wide variety of health, pregnancy, and child-rearing issues. As a result, NGOs are now enlisting grandmothers as key agents of change for women and girls, especially in rural areas where there are not nearly enough midwives and other health professionals. Grandmothers are helping to guide pregnant women to health facilities and educating them about proper prenatal care. They’re helping to change attitudes about female genital mutilation (FGM). They’re helping to increase newborn vaccination rates. They’re helping women space their pregnancies for health and safety. As Dr. Bouna Sall related to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, “Everyone obeys the grandmothers. Through them we can change many things.”


Families Leapfrog the Grid


In sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of people in rural areas live in the dark, without access to the electrical grid. But new technologies are changing that picture much more quickly than even we optimists expected. Small entrepreneurs, backed by the U.S. government and private companies, are selling affordable solar kits that help rural families leapfrog their way to clean, reliable energy. These solar kits are lighting homes for the first time, allowing children to continue learning after dark. They are powering mobile phones and radios, connecting households to the wider world. They are allowing small businesses to operate longer, producing more family income. They also improve health, because they’re much safer than kerosene and other traditional fuels.


My Favorite Soap Opera


When I was in South Africa last year for the International AIDS Conference, I caught a fascinating TV show one night. The show is called “Rhythm City,” and it’s the most popular soap opera in South Africa. The show, which has characters speaking in the four main languages of South Africa (Xhosa, Zulu, English, and Afrikaans), revolves around people trying to break into the music industry. Some of the storylines are a bit out there (it is a soap opera, after all), but when you see the show it really brings home how far South Africa has come since the end of apartheid. You take a step into the lives of everyday South Africans who are dealing with the relationship and business issues you’d see anywhere in the world. As the continent continues to develop and thrive, I predict we’ll see many other shows like this in other countries. 









via Gates Notes

5 Reasons I’m Optimistic About Africa


A recent opinion poll found that the majority of Americans are optimistic about 2017. And they should be. The world, of course, faces many challenges. But year after year, life is getting better for more people on our planet.

For my first blog of the new year, I want to share evidence of this trend from a place where many people wouldn’t expect to find it—Africa. It’s one of my favorite places to go for a fresh perspective on how the world is improving. I saw this in-person last year during my trips to South Africa and Ethiopia.

Although 2016 was a tough year for many African economies, almost every trend on the continent has been moving in the right direction over the last decade. Per capita income, foreign investment, agricultural productivity, mobile banking, entrepreneurship, immunization rates, and school enrollment are all heading upwards. Poverty, armed conflicts, HIV, malaria, and child mortality are all on the decline—steeply so in many places.

If you want to get a better picture of what African countries look like today and why I see the glass as more than half full, here are five things that make me more optimistic than ever about the continent:


These Images Are Worth Way More than a Thousand Words


Everyday Africa is one of Melinda and my favorite Instagram profiles. It shows what the vast, culturally diverse continent of Africa is like beyond the lazy stereotypes. I’m not much of a photographer myself, but I’m a big admirer of people who can make one image tell a compelling story. These images, most of which are posted by African photographers, do so in beautiful, creative, and sometimes funny ways. “Everyday” and “normal” are usually something we associate with “boring.” Not here! Please see for yourself.


These Hybrids Will Improve the Lives of Half a Billion People


In the developed world, most people eat the root vegetable cassava only in tapioca pudding or bubble tea. But in Africa, it’s the primary staple for half a billion people and the continent’s most popular crop. That’s why I’m super excited that scientists are using the most advanced hybridization techniques for the benefit of cassava farmers and those who depend on the crop. With the support of UK Department for International Development and our foundation, scientists are making great progress developing hybrids that are resistant to the major virus that cuts down on cassava yields (cassava mosaic virus). At the same time, these scientists are breeding strains that have more nutrients than the strains under cultivation today. 


Grandmothers … We Get the Job Done!


You know the old saying “success has many fathers?” It turns out success has many grandmothers as well, especially when it comes to reducing maternal and child deaths. Across many different African cultures, grandmothers are powerful authority figures when it comes to a wide variety of health, pregnancy, and child-rearing issues. As a result, NGOs are now enlisting grandmothers as key agents of change for women and girls, especially in rural areas where there are not nearly enough midwives and other health professionals. Grandmothers are helping to guide pregnant women to health facilities and educating them about proper prenatal care. They’re helping to change attitudes about female genital mutilation (FGM). They’re helping to increase newborn vaccination rates. They’re helping women space their pregnancies for health and safety. As Dr. Bouna Sall related to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, “Everyone obeys the grandmothers. Through them we can change many things.”


Families Leapfrog the Grid


In sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of people in rural areas live in the dark, without access to the electrical grid. But new technologies are changing that picture much more quickly than even we optimists expected. Small entrepreneurs, backed by the U.S. government and private companies, are selling affordable solar kits that help rural families leapfrog their way to clean, reliable energy. These solar kits are lighting homes for the first time, allowing children to continue learning after dark. They are powering mobile phones and radios, connecting households to the wider world. They are allowing small businesses to operate longer, producing more family income. They also improve health, because they’re much safer than kerosene and other traditional fuels.


My Favorite Soap Opera


When I was in South Africa last year for the International AIDS Conference, I caught a fascinating TV show one night. The show is called “Rhythm City,” and it’s the most popular soap opera in South Africa. The show, which has characters speaking in the four main languages of South Africa (Xhosa, Zulu, English, and Afrikaans), revolves around people trying to break into the music industry. Some of the storylines are a bit out there (it is a soap opera, after all), but when you see the show it really brings home how far South Africa has come since the end of apartheid. You take a step into the lives of everyday South Africans who are dealing with the relationship and business issues you’d see anywhere in the world. As the continent continues to develop and thrive, I predict we’ll see many other shows like this in other countries. 









via Gates Notes

Celebrities Bid Farewell to Obama in Emotional Tribute Video

Just a day before the Obama’s official farewell party in the White House, the “Yes We Can” video was released, a tribute to the Obama presidency. In the video, which you can watch here above, people share their most memorable moments from the Obama Presidency of the past eight years. Jerry Seinfeld, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Jordan, and Leonardo DiCaprio are among the many celebrities who have issued an emotional farewell video for President Barack Obama.

via Highsnobiety

The NBA is streaming a game live to Facebook for the first time — but only in India

Sunday’s Warriors v. Kings matchup will be free for Facebook users in India.

The NBA will livestream a regular season basketball game directly to Facebook for the first time on Sunday, but there’s a catch: The game, a matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings, will only be available to Facebook users in India.

The livestream is tied to an in-stadium promotion from the Sacramento Kings — Sunday at the arena is Bollywood Night. (Kings owner Vivek Ranadive also grew up in India.)

Facebook users in India won’t need to pay to watch the game, and will see the local Kings and Warriors broadcasts that are usually available as part of the NBA’s International League Pass subscription, according to a league spokesperson.

The stream won’t include commercials, so viewers will see the in-stadium entertainment during stoppages in play. It’s unknown if Facebook paid the NBA to stream the game. A League spokesperson declined to comment on financial terms of the deal, and Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The NBA already streams a lot of content on both Facebook and Twitter, but has never livestreamed an actual NBA game on those platforms. Those games are valuable, and broadcasters like Turner and ESPN pay billions of dollars for the rights to stream them weekly in the U.S.

But the NBA has experimented with livestreaming other basketball content on social platforms before. Over the summer, the NBA streamed some USA Basketball exhibition games ahead of the Olympics on Facebook, and also streams games from the NBA Development League to the social network.

It also has a formal deal with Twitter to stream made-for-Twitter shows on the platform a few times a week, but not games. The NBA also streams one game per week in virtual reality.

The NBA says that this is a one off scenario, not a piece of any larger partnership. But digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Yahoo are all eager to stream professional sports, and it’s possible we’ll see more of these types of deals moving forward.

Twitter just wrapped up its first season streaming some of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games, and also streams some NBA and NHL games. Facebook has streamed MLB games in the past as well.

via Recode – All

Nike Kyrie 3 “Hyper Cobalt” // Release Date

Kyrie Irving’s days at Duke were limited due to injury. Still, he was the first pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and quickly became one of the best players in the league and an NBA champion. Nike Basketball pays tribute to his alma mater with this “Hyper Cobalt” colorway due out next month.

Outfitted in a clean white upper with black accents seen at the Swoosh, blue accents fill the remainder of the model to drive home the Dukies aesthetic.

Slated to release on February 1, grab a closer look at the Nike Kyrie 3 “Hyper Cobalt” below.

Nike Kyrie 3 “Hyper Cobalt”

Colorway: Hyper Cobalt/White-Chlorine Blue-Volt
Style #: 852395-102
Release Date: February 1, 2017
Price: $120

Nike Kyrie 3 "Hyper Cobalt"

Nike Kyrie 3 “Hyper Cobalt”
Nike Kyrie 3 "Hyper Cobalt"

Nike Kyrie 3 “Hyper Cobalt”

Source: SneakerProphet

via Nice Kicks – Air Force Ones, Air Jordans, Release Dates and sneaker news.

Nike KD 9 Red/White // Available Now

While images of the Nike KD 9 Red/White had been circulating online for a while, the shoe had avoided retailers throughout 2016. To start the new year though this collegiate colorway is available now at Nike.

Simplistic in nature sporting a red Flyknit upper paired with white accents, grab this Nike KD 9 Red/White for $150 here.

Nike KD 9 Red/White

Nike KD 9 Red/White
Nike KD 9 Red/White

Nike KD 9 Red/White

via Nice Kicks – Air Force Ones, Air Jordans, Release Dates and sneaker news.

White Mountaineering x adidas NMD Trail // First Look

Releasing alongside a host of collaborative kicks and apparel offerings, the White Mountaineering x adidas NMD Trail offers perhaps the biggest treat for sneakerheads up on their style. Two takes see blunt Black/White and bold Navy/Red styling, with collaborative tab and tongue branding aiding the aesthetic of this outdoor wear. Peep both makeups in the photos below and look for these to launch at select adidas Originals accounts on January 19th.

White Mountaineering x adidas NMD Trail

Release Date: January 19th, 2017

White Mountaineering x adidas NMD Trail

White Mountaineering x adidas NMD Trail
White Mountaineering x adidas NMD Trail

White Mountaineering x adidas NMD Trail

via Nice Kicks – Air Force Ones, Air Jordans, Release Dates and sneaker news.

The Custom Nike Air Force 1 ‘Flowerbomb’ Is Pure Fire


Custom sneakers have come a long way in recent years. When we started writing about sneaker customization meant painting on the uppers of sneakers. Today it is really more about reconstruction and imagining something completely new by mixing and matching uppers of one sneaker with the sole of another and much more.

Today we come across the above ‘Flowerbomb’ Nike Air Force 1 by Frecustoms. They have used the classic all white Nike Air Force 1 as a canvas and added flowers across the upper in the form of embroidery. It reminds us a little of what Gucci is currently doing with its sneakers, but seeing it on the iconic AF1 is almost cooler.

NEXT CUSTOM: Flowerbomb AF-1 🌸 Dropping on the 20th of Jan (Limited to 20 Pairs) @frecustoms #frecustoms

A photo posted by FRE Customs (@frecustoms) on

Good luck securing a pair for this summer!

via Highsnobiety

Inside Obama’s Star-Studded Farewell Party


In just a few weeks, the White House will be changing residents once more as Barack Obama as he prepares for his departure from the Oval Office. As expected, a host of A-list guests were invited to the soiree with the outgoing president with Chance the Rapper, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Tom Hanks, Usher, Robert DeNiro, George Lucas and many more in attendance.

When the squad takes over The White House #squadgoals 💪🏽

A photo posted by LaLa (@lala) on

This is about to be an AMAZING night….

A photo posted by Will Packer (@willpowerpacker) on

It’s no wonder Obama is popular among celebrities, his charisma has made him one of the most likeable personalities in recent times. Barack Obama is set to end his last term as the president on January 20 before Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president.

Elsewhere, Kim Kardashian has recently returned to the spotlight and shared details about her ordeal in Paris.

via Highsnobiety

Jordan Son of Mars “Fire Red” Releasing in February

The long tenured relationship with Jordan Brand and Spike Lee is deeply woven within the company’s DNA. His commercials with the brand back in the day still stand as some of the best in sneaker history. His collection of hybrids continue to retro including the popular Son of Mars iteration next month.

Taking design inspiration from the Air Jordan 3, Air Jordan 5, Air Jordan 6 and Air Jordan 20, the Son of Mars returns this February in a colorway that clearly pulls from the “Fire Red” iteration.

Look for the Jordan Son of Mars “Fire Red” on February 1, 2017 for $180.

Jordan Son of Mars “Fire Red”

Colorway: White/Gym Red-Black-Pure Platinum
Style #: 512245-112
Release Date: February 2, 2017
Price: $180

Jordan Son of Mars "Fire Red"

Jordan Son of Mars “Fire Red”
Jordan Son of Mars "Fire Red"

Jordan Son of Mars “Fire Red”
Jordan Son of Mars "Fire Red"

Jordan Son of Mars “Fire Red”
Jordan Son of Mars "Fire Red"

Jordan Son of Mars “Fire Red”
Jordan Son of Mars "Fire Red"

Jordan Son of Mars “Fire Red”
Jordan Son of Mars "Fire Red"

Jordan Son of Mars “Fire Red”

via Nice Kicks – Air Force Ones, Air Jordans, Release Dates and sneaker news.

Air Jordan 12 Low “Wolf Grey” Drops This March

Are you ready for the Air Jordan 12 Low this spring? The model will be available in wide variety throughout spring and summer, making it what its proper mid-cut version was all of last year.

Expect styles like this low-cut “Wolf Grey” pair to help round out the warm weather season in breathable mesh construction matched with the shoes traditional pebbled leather mudguard. What’s interesting with this particular Air Jordan 12 Low are the navy and yellow shades across the tongue and outsole that celebrate their new partnership with the University of Michigan.

The Air Jordan 12 Low “Wolf Grey” is scheduled for a March 18, 2017 Jordan Release Date. Take a closer look below and share your thoughts.

Air Jordan 12 Low “Wolf Grey”

Style #: 308317-002
Release Date: March 18, 2017
Price: $170

Air Jordan 12 Low "Wolf Grey"

Air Jordan 12 Low “Wolf Grey”

Air Jordan 12 Low "Wolf Grey"

Air Jordan 12 Low “Wolf Grey”
Air Jordan 12 Low "Wolf Grey"

Air Jordan 12 Low “Wolf Grey”
Air Jordan 12 Low "Wolf Grey"

Air Jordan 12 Low “Wolf Grey”

via Nice Kicks – Air Force Ones, Air Jordans, Release Dates and sneaker news.

Inside Obama’s Star-Studded Farewell Party


In just a few weeks, the White House will be changing residents once more as Barack Obama as he prepares for his departure from the Oval Office. As expected, a host of A-list guests were invited to the soiree with the outgoing president with Chance the Rapper, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Tom Hanks, Usher, Robert DeNiro, George Lucas and many more in attendance.

When the squad takes over The White House #squadgoals 💪🏽

A photo posted by LaLa (@lala) on

This is about to be an AMAZING night….

A photo posted by Will Packer (@willpowerpacker) on

It’s no wonder Obama is popular among celebrities, his charisma has made him one of the most likeable personalities in recent times. Barack Obama is set to end his last term as the president on January 20 before Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president.

Elsewhere, Kim Kardashian has recently returned to the spotlight and shared details about her ordeal in Paris.

via Highsnobiety

The adidas Iniki Runner Boost Launches This Week


Visit the original post to see all 2 images from this gallery.

First previewed late last year, we are getting closer to the release of the adidas Originals Iniki Runner Boost. Fusing the past and the future of adidas in one sneaker, the upper of the sneaker reminds of the vintage looks of an adidas Gazelle, while the Boost outer sole adds the comfort and performance attributes of a modern Ultra Boost. The combination is certainly a strong one and will for sure find fans in the market. The sneaker, which features a neoprene and suede upper, comes in classic navy and red versions with contrasting white Boost outer sole and Three Stripes. The adidas Originals Iniki Runner Boost will drop on January 13.

via Highsnobiety

The adidas Originals Stan Smith Receives a Bold Creeper Makeover

Over the years the iconic Stan Smith has received just about all the material and color updates in the book, yet its sole, at least up until recently, maintained its classic slimmed-down construction that was present since the very beginning. Aside from the Skate-ready and BOOST enhanced models, this new Creeper-inspired design is one of relatively few Stan Smith releases featuring an alternative sole unit. Curiously enough the time-tested model was subject to a similar punk-inspired makeover by by 424 on Fairfax and Mr. Completely almost a year ago that featured a crep sole instead of a rubber one. This official women’s release is much more affordable at €110 EUR (approximately $116 USD), and its available in full leather white/green and white/navy colorways. Look for the kicks to arrive at select Three Stripes accounts including Sivadescalzo.

via Hypebeast

The adidas Originals Stan Smith Receives a Bold Creeper Makeover

Over the years the iconic Stan Smith has received just about all the material and color updates in the book, yet its sole, at least up until recently, maintained its classic slimmed-down construction that was present since the very beginning. Aside from the Skate-ready and BOOST enhanced models, this new Creeper-inspired design is one of relatively few Stan Smith releases featuring an alternative sole unit. Curiously enough the time-tested model was subject to a similar punk-inspired makeover by by 424 on Fairfax and Mr. Completely almost a year ago that featured a crep sole instead of a rubber one. This official women’s release is much more affordable at €110 EUR (approximately $116 USD), and its available in full leather white/green and white/navy colorways. Look for the kicks to arrive at select Three Stripes accounts including Sivadescalzo.

via Hypebeast

Supreme x Louis Vuitton Collaboration News May Have Leaked

As many popular social media accounts have observed, major rumors are circulating regarding a forthcoming collaboration from Supreme and Louis Vuitton. While no specifics have been reported, "leaked" photos appear to show shots of Supreme x Louis Vuitton sweaters and accessories, with a hint apparently from none other than Kim Jones (who has since deleted the image). Considering the infamous legal squabble between the two fashion powerhouses (seen in the design above) back in the 2000s, an official joint collection from them might come as a shock, but anything’s possible in 2017.

You can check some shots of the alleged Supreme x Louis Vuitton collection below. Could this be the greatest collaboration of 2017?

Might see a Supreme x Louis Vuitton collab soon. Opinions? ????????

A photo posted by Supreme Community (@supcommunity) on

Supreme x LV In The Works ????

A photo posted by Jay Preme (@dropsbyjay) on

Click here to view full gallery at Hypebeast.com



via Hypebeast

Nike+ Drops New Commercials Featuring Kevin Hart

In case you were wondering why Kevin Hart aka Chocolate Droppa hasn’t been dropping bars lately, it’s because he’s been busy answering the question of “Are We Running Today?” In a new commercial series for Nike+ titled “The Man Who Kept Running,” the Hollywood star receives a Nike+ Apple Watch and runs away from civilization to the desert where he grows a ridiculous beard and continually runs each day while dealing with the trials and tribulations of a runner.

You can check out the entire series below.

via Hypebeast