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Summary

  1. Moratorium on purchase of new state vehicles in Ghana
  2. South Africans rally against xenophobia
  3. Indian police make arrests after attack on Nigerians
  4. DR Congo police crack down on opposition protest
  5. Gaddafi's daughter wins legal bid to lift EU sanctions
  6. Tributes pour in for anti-apartheid hero
  7. Meningitis outbreak kills 140 in Nigeria
  8. Prosecutor demands life for Ivory Coast's ex-first lady
  9. Pitch invasion sees friendly abandoned
  10. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Tuesday 28 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

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Scroll down for Tuesday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

That's all from the   BBC Africa Live   page today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the   Africa Today podcast   or checking the  BBC News website  .

A reminder of today's wise words:

Only a fool could attempt to build a door to a forest."

A Hausa proverb sent by Kingsley Nnamani, Nguru, Yobe State, Nigeria

Click here to send us your African proverbs

And we leave you with this photo of the stunning Lake Bunyonyi in south-western Uganda. The BBC's Siraj Kalyango, who took the photo, says it's the second deepest in Africa:

Lake Bunyoni
BBC

DR Congo police crack down on opposition protest

Alex Duval Smith

BBC News


          Supporters of the Congolese main opposition Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) gather outside the residence of the late veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi
Reuters

Police have dispersed protesters in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, by firing teargas and bullets into the air. 

The protesters had gathered outside the house of Etienne Tshisekedi, the opposition figurehead who died last month.    

Reuters news agency is sharing photos of protesters, some badly injured, being carried away from the scene. 


          Injured man carried by opposition protesters away from the gathering
Reuters

          Man with bloodied face wearing a t-shirt with London written on it is carried from the scene
Reuters

The move comes hours after a breakdown in talks aimed at securing the peaceful departure from power of President Joseph Kabila.  

Earlier, Tshisekedi's party called on the outside world to stop recognising Kabila as president. His mandate expired in December and the opposition claims the government sabotaged efforts to offer him a peaceful exit after 17 years in power. 

Man shows bloodied face to camera
Reuters

On Monday night, bishops who had mediated between the government and opposition called off the talks. They said Congo's politicians were acting selfishly and not in the interest of the people.

 It's unclear what will happen next. So far protests have been sporadic and police have quelled them. But there is deep frustration in Kinshasa where businesses have stayed shut and public transport is at a standstill.


          Supporters of the Congolese main opposition Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) gather outside the residence of the late veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi
Reuters

Foreigners attacked in South Africa

Some foreign-owned shops have been vandalised and cars torched in South Africa's northern Polokwane city.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe denied the attack was xenophobic, but did not give a possible motive.   

Locals chanted anti-drugs slogans as they moved through the streets, South Africa's News24 site reported.

Foreigners have been accused of being involved in drug dealing by some local communities.

In a tweet, a road safety campaign group gave a different version: 

View more on twitter

See earlier post: Anti-xenophobic protest in Johannesburg

South Sudan secure Afcon progress with dramatic comeback

South Sudan booked their place in the group stage of qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with a magnificent comeback in their second leg against Djibouti.

South Sudan thrashed Djibouti 6-0 in Juba on Tuesday to overturn  a first leg deficit  and win 6-2 overall.

It means South Sudan progress to play in Group C with Mali, Gabon and Burundi.

The group stage of the 2019 Nations Cup qualifying begins on the first weekend in June with the 12 group winners automatically earning a place in the finals.

The three best runners-up will also advance to the tournament in Cameroon.

One journalist has tweeted a screengrab from the game: 

View more on twitter

Winnie Mandela: Kathrada death 'as painful as Madiba's'

Nelson Mandela's ex-wife has paid tribute to the South African anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Kathrada, who has died aged 87. 

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist in her own right, told the BBC she felt the "same pain" as when Mr Mandela (Madiba) died, saying the man known as Kathy was an "extension of our family".  

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on Kathrada: 'Same pain as Mandela'

DR Congo confirms bodies of UN investigators found

Poly Muzalia

BBC Africa, Kinshasa

I have just spoken to Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende. 

He confirmed that the bodies retrieved earlier were those of US citizen Michael Sharp and Swedish citizen Zaida Catalan.

The two UN experts went missing on 13 March in Kasai region ( see previous entry ).

Cartoon mocks media circus over Tanzania rapper arrest

A cartoon from Tanzanian newspaper The Citizen has been mocking a bizarre controversy involving a popular rapper and the country's president. 

Emmanuel Elibariki, known as Nay wa Mitego, was arrested after his latest song was deemed to be critical of the government and of President John Magufuli.

He was detained days after Mr Magufuli had warned media about the limits of press freedom in Tanzania.

But after a social media storm, the president ordered the rapper's release, saying he "loved" the song and giving permission for it to be played on all radio stations. 

The man relaying the president's messages, as the media hung on every word, was newly appointed Information Minister Harrison Mwakyembe. 

He appears to be the man depicted in the cartoon, enjoying a selfie with the rapper, who is wearing a T-shirt bearing the title of his controversial track Wapo. 

View more on facebook

Gaddafi's daughter wins bid to lift EU sanctions


          In this Thursday, April 28, 2005 file photo, Aisha Gaddafi, the daughter of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, looks on before making a speech on the achievement of Libyan women in Cairo Thursday
AP
Aisha Gaddafi is exiled in Oman

Europe's second-highest court has lifted sanctions imposed on the daughter of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, arguing that they are no longer justified. 

Aisha Gaddafi was included on a list of people subjected by EU governments to a travel ban and a freeze on their financial assets in 2011 - the year when her father was overthrown and killed by Nato-backed rebels.   

In 2014, the EU amended its sanctions but kept her on the list and rejected her requests to be removed. 

She sued, arguing there was no clear reason why the sanctions remained in place after the death of her father and the fall of his regime.        

Oman granted asylum to some members of Gaddafi's family including Aisha and her brother Hannibal, in 2013. 

Prosecutor demands life term for Ivory Coast's ex-first lady

Simone Gbagbo
Getty Images
Simone Gbagbo is already serving a 20-year prison sentence

The prosecutor in Simone Gbagbo's war crimes trial in Ivory Coast has requested a life jail term for the former first lady.

"Gentlemen of the jury, you will declare Madame Gbagbo guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentence her to life imprisonment," prosecutor Aly Yeo urged in his summing-up at the country's top criminal court in Abidjan.

Gabgbo, currently in prison serving a separate 20-year sentence for "endangering state security", is boycotting the trial. Her defence team was not in court either.

The chief prosecutor described her as a shadowy figure who orchestrated attacks on her husband's opponents: 

"After her spouse came to power, she started to impose herself as the real head of Ivory Coast, the army, the police and gendarmerie," Mr Yeo said, in comments carried by AFP news agency.  

He accused Simone Gbagbo of heading a crisis cell, "a genuine decision-making body", which allegedly coordinated attacks by armed forces and pro-Gbagbo militias.

Nearly 3,000 died in the violence that followed the 2010 elections, after her husband Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept defeat.

The evidence came from documents found at the home of the presidential couple when the pair were arrested on 11 September, 2011, the prosecutor said. 

"She replied to correspondence from arms dealers offering weapons and combat helicopters," Mr Yeo added.

Her husband, Laurent Gbagbo, is on trial for crimes against humanity, having been handed over in November 2011 to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. 

The ICC also wanted to prosecute his wife and issued a warrant for her arrest, but Ivorian authorities refused to hand her over, insisting she would receive a fair trial at home. 

Swazi PM won't get new home

Cash-strapped Swaziland has dropped plans to build a home for Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini at a cost of around $420,000 (£335,000). 

Lawmakers in both the House of Assembly and the Senate agreed that the project should be suspended, pending a review of the benefits of the prime minister and his predecessors. 

Some senators said it was sad to see former prime ministers boarding buses and the government should consider building a residential complex for them, the Times of Swaziland newspaper reported


          Swaziland absolut monarch Mswati III attends the Incwala festival 27 December 2007, in Ludzizini, Swaziland.
AFP
King Mswati rules Swaziland

Ghana moves to curb government spending

Thomas Naadi

BBC Africa, Accra


          Nana Akufo-Addo waves to supporters from his car during a campaign rally of the party in Accra, on December 4, 2016,
AFP
Mr Akufo-Addo took power after winning elections in December

The ban on the purchase of new state vehicles in Ghana is aimed at curbing government expenditure, and freeing up money to improve people's lives. 

Government chief of staff Frema Osei-Opare sent a directive to all ministries, departments and agencies, ordering officials to use existing vehicles.

However, vehicles can be purchased in extraordinary circumstances if written approval is given, Ms Osei-Opare said. 

See earlier post for more details

Comoros advance in Afcon 2019 qualifying

Afcon trophy
Getty Images
Comoros are making steps towards Afcon 2019

Comoros Islands booked their place in the group stage of qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with a 3-1 aggregate win over Mauritius.

Tuesday's second leg in Mauritius ended 1-1 after  Comoros won the first leg 2-0 last Friday.

Comoros will now advance to Group B to play along side Morocco, Malawi and reigning champions Cameroon.

The Indomitable Lions will qualify automatically as hosts no matter where they finish in the final standings.

Read the full BBC Sport story 

Gabon's Ali Bongo launches national dialogue - without Ping

Leone Ouedraogo

BBC Africa

President Ali Bongo
Reuters
President Ali Bongo has dismissed opposition claims of election fraud

In Gabon, a national dialogue initiated by President Ali Bongo has started today. 

It's aimed at resolving the political crisis which arose after the presidential election in August. 

Opposition leader Jean Ping, who is still challenging the re-election of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, is boycotting the talks.

The president says he wants to unite Gabonese people, divided since his re-election last year. 

Mr Ping alleged fraud in the president's narrow poll victory, after official results gave Mr Bongo 95% of the vote on a turnout of 99.9% in his home province.

At least 1,200 civil society organizations are taking part in these talks, as well as 50 political parties. 

Participants will focus on electoral reform and the role of the Constitutional Court. 

Debates could last up to one month, but with the absence of Mr Ping some are questioning whether these talks can make any real difference.

Read more: Vote rigging - How to spot the tell-tale signs

Pastor Doom? Why not Pastor Whipped cream?

This week's What's up Africa visits South Africa to bring you some of the country's best satirical moments.

From a potentially embarrassing find for customs officers at Johannesburg airport to the pastor using insect repellent to heal people, find out what grabbed the attention of satirist Ikenna Azuike.

What's Up Africa: Pastor Doom? Why not Pastor Whipped cream?

Bodies found in Congo 'likely UN investigators'

BBC World Service

Map shows Kasai in central DR Congo
BBC

Reports from the Democratic Republic of Congo say the bodies of two white people have been found in the troubled province of Kasai, where two UN investigators went missing earlier this month. 

Michael Sharp, an American man, and Zaida Catalan, a Swedish woman, were seized by an unknown group along with four Congolese support staff. 

In a statement on social media, Mr Sharp's father, John Sharp, said it was highly likely that the bodies, found in a shallow grave, were those of his son and Ms Catalan as no other westerners had been reported missing in the area. 

Kasai has been wracked by unrest since the killing of a tribal leader there last August. 

About 40 police officers were decapitated there by a local militia over the weekend.

Read more: What is going on in Kasai?

Anti-Kabila protest in DR Congo

Alex Duval Smith

BBC News


          Joseph Kabila greets the population of Sake, 01 December 2006.
AFP
President's Kabila's failure to step down at the e of his two terms has caused a crisis

Police have been deployed in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, amid tension after political talks on the country's future reached deadlock. 

At daybreak, students at the Institute of Applied Technology burnt tyres and pelted police vehicles with stones. As security forces intervened there, commuter minibuses turned back from the city centre. Kinshasa is dead today, a resident told the BBC. 

The failed talks covered the implementation of a power-sharing agreement that was reached on New Year's Eve. It envisaged elections and offered President Joseph Kabila a peaceful exit after 17 years in power. 

The bishops who led the talks said they could no longer extend deadlines on details such as the choice of a transitional prime minister. 

Their chairman, Abbot Nshole, said politicians had been selfish. They had failed to take into account the suffering of ordinary people. He did not, however, rule out a further mediation role for the Catholic Church. 

What happened to South Africa's Rivonia defendants?


          The eight men found guilty at the Rivonia trial were (clockwise from the top left) Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Dennis Goldberg, Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni and Elias Motsoaledi
Reuters
The eight men found guilty at the Rivonia trial were (clockwise from the top left) Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Dennis Goldberg, Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni and Elias Motsoaledi

With the death of South Africa's anti-apartheid stalwart Ahmed Kathrada , there are only two surviving members of the group who were sentenced to life in prison at the Rivonia trial in 1964 for fighting racial oppression in the country.  

Denis Goldberg , 83, continues to speak out on South African politics. He told the BBC that "Kathy" was "much more than a friend. [He was] a comrade. We faced the prospect of the gallows together".

Andrew Mlangeni , 91, is also still alive. He served as an MP in the country's first democratically elected parliament from 1994 to 1999.

Nelson Mandela died in 2013 at the age of 95. He became South Africa's first democratically elected president in 1994.

Walter Sisulu died in 2003 at the age of 90. He was deputy president of the ANC from 1991 to 1994.

Govan Mbeki died in 2001 at the age of 91. He served in the upper house of South Africa's parliament from 1994 to 1999. His son Thabo succeeded Mr Mandela as president.

Raymond Mhlaba died in 2005 at the age of 85. He served as the national chairperson of the South African Communist Party, he also was the country's high commissioner in Rwanda and Uganda.

Elias Motsoaledi died in 1994 at the age of 69, the day before Mr Mandela was inaugurated as president.

Indian police search for suspects after 'racist attack'

Police are still hunting for four people in an Indian city after an angry crowd attacked Africans with sticks and metal chairs following the death of a local teenager from a suspected drug overdose, AFP news agency has quoted senior police officer Sujata Singh as saying. 

Ms Singh said:   

Rumours were being spread that Africans are behind the youth's death and racist comments were made on social media. It looks racially motivated.

Five attackers have been arrested and four others are on the run."

Ms Singh said about 500 people had gathered to hold a candle-lit vigil to demand justice for the teenager, and became violent after spotting a group of Nigerians, AFP reports.

See earlier post for more details 

Ghana president bans purchase of government vehicles

Toyota Prados
Getty Images
More than 200 vehicles, among them 50 Toyota Land Cruisers (pictured), are reportedly missing

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo has banned the purchase of new state vehicles, as the government continues to look for more than 200 that it says went missing under the previous administration, local media report.

The moratorium applies to all government ministries, departments and agencies, according to Joy Online , which quoted a letter from the president's chief of staff, saying that those affected should use the “existing fleet of vehicles in their respective transport pools”.

After previous transfers of power, state-owned cars have been seized from officials who did not return them.

The president's own official car was 10 years old, a spokesman told Joy FM. 

"That’s what he has been riding in [and] he is working to ensure that we manage the resources of the country judiciously," the spokesman added.  

Congo mediators pull out

The Democratic Republic of Congo's influential Catholic bishops have withdrawn as mediators in talks between the government and opposition after implementation of a deal aimed at ensuring that presidential elections are held this year stalled, Reuters news agency reports. 

It quoted Donatien Nshole, the secretary general of the Conference of Catholic Bishops, as saying: 

We think that there's no longer anything to do. We have given all our time and all our energy and in the meantime pastoral work suffers."

Dozens of people were killed in protests last year demanding President Joseph Kabila step down at the end of his second term.

But the electoral commission said it was not ready to hold elections, opening the way for him to remain in power. 

Clerics then brokered a deal to form a unity government that will run the country until elections are held later this year.  

Anti-xenophobia march in South Africa

View more on twitter

People have been taking to the streets in South Africa's main city of Johannesburg this morning to protest against xenophobia. 

It follows violent protests against immigrants in Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria last month, in which angry mobs attacked Nigerians and looted shops belonging to Somalis, Pakistani and other foreigners.

Marchers have been chanting "Down with xenophobia" and "We are one Africa" as they make their way through the suburb of Hillbrow, where there is a large migrant community.

View more on twitter

A local journalist has been tweeting from the scene:

View more on twitter

Locals have accused foreign migrants of taking their jobs and allege that Nigerians are heavily involved in dealing drugs to young people. 

Migrants say most of them are law-abiding, and they make a huge contribution to the economy. 

Read: South Africa's townships - a magnet for entrepreneurs

How I will remember Kathrada

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg


          This file photo taken on July 16, 2012 shows 82-year-old Ahmed Kathrada, anti-apartheid activist and close friend of former South African President Nelson Mandela posing next to a picture of himself with Nelson Mandela in his house in Johannesburg
AFP
Mr Kathrada spent more than 26 years in prison for fighting apartheid

The death of Ahmed Kathrada emphasises that a golden generation of anti-apartheid heroes has nearly gone.

Along with the likes of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu, he was part of a group untainted by corruption, acting as a moral compass for the nation.

His generation literally gave up most of their adult lives to fight to liberate black people from the yoke of white minority rule.

"Uncle Kathy" stayed relevant to the struggle of the downtrodden until the end.

He was critical of the current administration, asking President Jacob Zuma to resign following a damning court judgement against the president.

His significance in the anti-apartheid struggle was also to deracialise it. 

Under apartheid, even prisoners were treated differently depending on their racial origin: White prisoners got the most privileges, followed by those of Indian origin, while black people got the least.

Mr Kathadra refused to accept his privileges unless they were also extended to his black comrades.

He proved that the fight was not just left for black Africans to wage on their own, and that is how I will remember him.

SA flag flies at half-mast in Kathrada tribute

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has ordered that the national flag be flown at half-mast in honour of anti-apartheid stalwart Ahmed Kathrada, who has died aged 87 after failing to recover from brain surgery.   

Mr Kathrada spent more than 26 years in prison for fighting apartheid. 

In the latter part of his life, he became a fierce critic of Mr Zuma, calling on him to step down after he became mired in corruption scandals. 

Another veteran anti-apartheid activist, Barabara Masekela, has paid tribute to Mr Kathrada, as this tweet by a local journalist shows:

View more on twitter

In its tribute, South Africa's governing African National Congress said: 

View more on twitter
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People have also been sharing images and videos on Twitter of Mr Kathrada - a close comrade of South Africa' first black President Nelson Mandela.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Meningitis kills 140 in Nigeria

Chris Ewokor

BBC Africa, Abuja

At least 140 people have been killed in a meningitis outbreak in six states in Nigeria, including the federal capital, Abuja. 

More than 80 of the deaths occurred in north-western Zamfara state.   

Confirming the news, a director at Nigeria's centre for disease control, Dr Nasiru Sani Gwarzol, said the death toll was expected to rise.

More than 1,000 people have been infected.

Dr Gwarzol said the disease is spreading, with fears that it could get out of control if it reaches overcrowded areas like refugee camps and prisons. 

He said the authorities are taking all necessary measures to rend the outbreak. 

Minister of Health Isaac Adewole has said a new strain, which may have been imported from a neighbouring country, is now prevalent and requires a different type of vaccine. 

Read more: How can I spot the signs of meningitis?

Cartoon imagines Kathrada reunion with Mandela

South Africa's IOL news website has shared this cartoon paying tribute to Ahmed Kathrada, which sees the anti-apartheid icon reuniting with his old friend Nelson Mandela in the afterlife:

View more on twitter

Organisation 'a disaster' at abandoned Paris friendly

A friendly match between Ivory Coast and Senegal was abandoned when fans invaded the pitch in Paris.

The sides were level at 1-1 on 88 minutes when a handful of fans broke onto the pitch, with one appearing to rugby tackle Senegal's Lamine Gassama.

Players ran from the pitch and referee Tony Chapron opted to end the fixture.

Herve Penot, reporter for French sports newspaper L'Equipe, told the BBC's Newsday programme that he saw the chaos coming early on:

Herve Penot: 'It could have been very dangerous'

Read the full BBC Sport story

Kathrada 'breathed struggle for equality' until the last

Veteran anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg has been speaking to the BBC about the death of Ahmed Kathrada, with whom he was imprisoned on Robben Island for fighting minority rule: 

[He was] much more than a friend: A comrade. We faced the prospect of the gallows together in the Rivonia trial in 1963-1964.

I had 22 years in prison, he had 26. He came out absolutely convinced that our struggle for equality, for justice, for a non-racial South Africa, had been justified... and he continued until his last breath, determined to uphold this principle."

Listen to the full interview:   

Ahmed Kathrada was imprisoned alongside Nelson Mandela

Tributes pour in for Kathrada

Tributes are pouring in for South Africa's renowned anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada, following his death at the age of 87. 

Neeshan Balton, Executive Director of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, confirmed that the anti-apartheid struggle veteran “breathed his last today”.

He added:


          this file photo taken on June 12, 2004 shows Former South African President Nelson Mandela (C) and former political prisoner Ahmed Kathrada (R) hold the Olympic Flame at the entrance to the former maximum security prison on Robben Island, Cape Town
AFP
Mr Kathrada (R) was jailed on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela (L)

This is great loss to the ANC, the broader liberation movement and South Africa as a whole. Internationally, he was staunch in his support for the Palestinian struggle. ‘Kathy’ was an inspiration to millions in different parts of the world."

Along with Nelson Mandela, Mr Kathrada was among eight African National Congress activists sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964.

They were convicted of trying to overthrow the apartheid government.

Mr Kathrada spent 26 years in prison, 18 of which were on the notorious Robben Island.

South Africa's Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: 

When the gates of apartheid's political prisons swung open in 1989/1990 the quality of the human beings who emerged was an extraordinary blessing for all South Africans.

These were people of the highest integrity and moral fibre who, through their humility and humanity, inspired our collective self-worth – and the world's confidence in us.

Ahmed Kathrada was one of those leaders. A man of remarkable gentleness, modesty and steadfastness. He he once wrote to the president to argue that he did not deem himself important enough to be awarded a high honour."

Nigerians attacked in India

Four Nigerian students have been wounded in India following an attack on them in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, in the latest violence against Africans in the country. 

India's Foreign Minister Sushma Sharawaj said in a tweet that the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh had assured her of an impartial investigation into the "unfortunate incident": 

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Indian newspapers have reported that five people have been arrested over the attack in Noida, near the capital, Delhi.

Earlier, more than 100 people protested at a bus junction in the city, demanding that all Africans living in residential neighbourhoods in Greater Noida be asked to leave rented homes immediately, The New India Express newspaper reported

The protest came after a student died of a suspected drug overdose. 

Five Nigerian students were detained over the case, but then released because of a  lack of evidence, the newspaper reported. 

Some African embassies complained to the Indian government last year about a spate of attacks on students from Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo in India.  

Watch: Being black in India

Today's wise words

Our African proverb for the day:

Only a fool could attempt to build a door to a forest."

A Hausa proverb sent by Kingsley Nnamani, Nguru, Yobe State, Nigeria

Click here to send us your Afriacn proverbs

Good morning

Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news and views from around the continent.