Loyiso Bala, South Africa’s King of R&B, and now a South African UNAids Goodwill Ambassador.(Image: Just Curious)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sade StarkeyOffice Administrator+27 011 465 0005Aneshree NaidooLoyiso Bala may be known as South Africa’s king of R&B, but now the much-loved entertainer has an official title to his name: South African UNAids Goodwill Ambassador.The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids) announced his appointment on 21 October. As a goodwill ambassador, 34-year-old Bala will use his public platform to reduce the stigma of HIV infection and fight discrimination against people with HIV. He will also speak out against gender inequality and gender violence.“We are delighted to welcome Mr Bala to the UNAids family here in South Africa,” said Dr Catherine Sozi, the UNAids country co-ordinator in South Africa. “He has a powerful role to play in helping us highlight critical issues in the HIV response.”Bala was quick to tweet his new job: “I’m honoured to announce my appointment as the UNAids Goodwill Ambassador. UNAids is the Join United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids.” The UN-funded organisation works with prominent individuals in the arts, entertainment, sport and other fields of public life, to build awareness of HIV and Aids.Speaking to MediaClubSouthAfrica.com, he said: “The UN is known for its extraordinary good work in South Africa, Africa and the world. To be given the opportunity to be a part of this team is for me a great honour. After all, I don’t sing to only entertain but to also make a difference. Being a UNAids Goodwill Ambassador provides me with the best platform to carry this forward.“I get many opportunities to address young people either through music or through speaking engagements. I will take the opportunity to raise some of the issues surrounding HIV/Aids in our country within my UNAids targets. This will hopefully open a dialogue about this issue in our nation.I believe that the more we can talk about it, the better we can understand it and the closer we will be to defeating it.”Guiding young peopleAccording to the Statistics South Africa May 2013 mid-year population estimate, the number of HIV-positive people in South Africa increased from an estimated four million in 2002 to 5.26 million in 2013. The South Africa 2013 Global Aids Response Progress Report states that while progress has been made in reducing HIV-related stigma and discrimination, much needs to be achieved by the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) deadline.The sixth MDG relates to HIV and Aids, with Target 6.A to have halted and begun to reverse, by 2015, the spread of HIV/Aids. The UN reports that new HIV infections continue to decline in most regions. More people than ever are living with HIV as a result of fewer Aids-related deaths and the continued large number of new infections, with 2.5 million people newly infected each year. Comprehensive knowledge of HIV transmission remains low among young people, along with condom use. More orphaned children are now in school because of expanded efforts to mitigate the impact of Aids, it says.Target 6.B of the MDGs is to achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/Aids for all those who need it. The UN reports that while the target was missed by 2011, access to treatment for people with HIV increased in all regions. At the end of 2011, 8 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV. It says this total constitutes an increase of over 1.4 million people from December 2010. By the end of 2011, 11 countries had achieved universal access to antiretroviral therapy.According to the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2012, the reported number of adults – people aged 15 and over – in South Africa receiving antiretroviral therapy was 2 010 340.Gender inequalityGender inequality is also a major challenge in South Africa, reflected in the preliminary findings of the Human Sciences Research Council National Household Survey recently. Results show that young women and girls between 15 and 24 years old are three times (17.9%) more likely to be HIV-positive than young men and boys in the same age group (5.6%).In light of this, Bala will play a key role in inspiring people – young people in particular – to get tested for HIV. If they know their status they will be more able to make informed decisions about leading healthy and productive lives. HIV testing encourages disclosure and openness about the disease.“I believe passionately in young people and in making a difference in their lives. This new partnership with UNAids provides me with a way to speak to them about issues which affect them. I am where I am today because of the guidance I received from people who loved me and guided me as a young person. I hope I can provide the same inspiration to my audience,” said Bala.Born in Uitenhage, in Eastern Cape, Bala began his career singing in church at just three years old. He trained classically as a schoolboy at the world renowned Drakensberg Boys’ Choir. After completing school, his career rocketed with his family group, TKZee, the famed kwaito outfit. As a solo artist, he is now a multiple award-winning R&B and gospel musician and a triple platinum selling artist.He has performed alongside international artists Elton John, Will Smith, Corinne Bailey Rae, John Legend, Brian McKnight and Jamelia, and for dignitaries and celebrities such as Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Gordon Brown, Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson. He has been nominated for MTV Awards and has been named You and GQ magazines’ most stylish male in the country.Bala is also an ambassador for the social justice organisation, 46664; the child-focused charity, Smile Foundation; and the charity, MaAfrika Tikkun. He also uses his celebrity status to talk about HIV education in South African schools. He is married to publicist Jennifer Odjidja; the couple had their first child this year.
Given the popularity of Property Assessed Clean Energy loan programs in many municipalities around the country, it was unrealistic to expect all of these communities to quietly abide by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s declaration, in early May, that the companies would no longer guarantee mortgages for properties with PACE-related liens.Like most special property taxes levied by municipalities, PACE loans, which are funded by local bond issues and intended to help homeowners finance energy efficiency improvements, have “super-priority lien” status, meaning they take priority over whatever private financing a homeowner may have, including a conventional mortgage. Fannie and Freddie worry that these energy-related liens will further burden taxpayers if PACE-participating homeowners default on their mortgages.The Fannie-Freddie ruling puzzled many PACE-friendly civic leaders, who wondered whether it would also apply to every other special property tax that might be applied to a homeowner’s bill. In some parts of the country, though, the ruling raised a ruckus.Taking up the PACE causeOn July 12, the Long Island town of Babylon, New York, which had launched a PACE program two years ago, threatened to sue Fannie and Freddie. On July 14, California, led by the state’s attorney general, Jerry Brown, took things a step further and actually filed suit against the two mortgage giants. On July 15, Democrats in the House of Representatives, led by Mike Thompson of northern California and Steve Israel of New York, introduced a bill that would ban lenders from imposing penalties or stricter criteria on municipalities that use PACE, and would prevent lenders from requiring homeowners to pay off property assessments, including PACE loans, before refinancing their mortgages or selling their property.And on Monday, Israel, three other members of Congress, and members of the Obama administration met with the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Fannie and Freddie’s conservator – to propose allowing a 30-month pilot project that would include awarding PACE loans for improvements to 300,000 homes. The project’s principal intent would be to objectively evaluate the level of risk in the energy-related liens.Israel told the Grist, a newspaper that serves the Babylon area, that FHFA countered by suggesting a 10,000-home sampling. Israel said that sample size would be far too small to be statistically significant. FHFA has promised to come up with yet another proposal this week. Israel says he’s looking forward to it.“We’ll see how serious they are,” he said. “I think they clearly understood that Congress is not backing down on this and they simply have to work with us.”
Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe NCAA has postponed its Tuesday’s games due to heavy rains brought about by tropical storm “Isang.”Juniors and seniors games between St. Benilde and Arellano; Perpetual and Emilio Aguinaldo; and league-leader Lyceum and Mapua were once again affected by the bad weather.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul View comments MOST READ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo These were the same set of games that were postponed last July 28 due to tropical storm “Gorio.”The Pirates would have had a chance to complete a first-round sweep Tuesday against the Cardinals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingNo new schedule of the games has been announced. Triathletes Huelgas, Mangrobang snare gold; Chicano, Adorna take silver LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW: Man Utd get PSG; Liverpool, Tottenham take on German giants; Juventus vs Atletico Madrid;by Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United will face PSG in the Champions League last-16 after the draw was completed in Switzerland on Monday morning.Liverpool and Tottenham will play Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, respectively, avoiding the likes of Barcelona and Juventus.Max Allegri’s team drew Atletico Madrid, while Barca will play Lyon. In the other matches, defending champions Real Madrid will take on Ajax, Roma face Porto and Manchester City get their reward for finishing top of their group as they face Bundesliga side Schalke.UEFA Champions League Round of 16 drawLiverpool vs Bayern MunichAjax vs Real MadridRoma vs PortoLyon vs BarcelonaManchester United vs PSGTottenham vs Borussia DortmundManchester City vs SchalkeAtletico Madrid vs Juventus
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Tottenham striker Kane to be awarded OBEby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham striker Harry Kane is set to be awarded an OBE.The Sun says he has been notified of the award for his services to sport, which will be unveiled in the New Year’s Honours list.But like England boss Gareth Southgate, also in line for an OBE, he has been asked to keep quiet until next weekend’s official reveal.A close pal said: “Harry is overwhelmed and excited about the idea of going to Buckingham Palace.“Playing for England was one of the proudest moments of his life but to be honoured by the Queen for his achievement will top the lot.”