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African press review 27 October 2015

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The ex-wife of Africa's richest man ditches a wealthy lifestyle for humanitarian work; Ugandan princes in painful confession about what he sacrificed to treat his wife of cancer; And Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka hammers ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in his latest book.


We start with the beautiful portrait of Sudanese radiologist Hania Fadl who abandoned 30 years of confort in London to return to her home to open a breast cancer screening hospital.

Kenya’s Daily Nation deserves a pat on the back for travelling all the way to Khartoum to meet with Doctor Fadl an ex-wife of the Sudanese-British businessman Mo Ibrahim. According to the newspaper she got her former husband to give her $14 million dollars to complete the Khartoum Breast Care Centre (KBCC), the only specialised hospital in Sudan, a country of more than 30 million inhabitants.

Daily Nation caught up with her on the day she was preparing a 45 year old breast cancer patient for surgery. As it reports, the woman showed up at the hospital thinking that her chest pain was an infection, arthritis or muscle strain, not knowing that her cancer had spread to her liver.

The woman was from a farming family in White Nile state bordering war-torn South Sudan where, according to the medic, there is a total lack of awareness about the disease.
Hania Fadl said cases like that persuaded her to return home and start the private, not-for-profit hospital.

Doctor Fadl spoke about her luck at having both the know-how and finance which enabled her to buy a digital mammogram machine for screening and two anaesthetic machines.

Aged 68 and five years on her project, she spoke to Daily Nation from her office in what the newspaper described as a reflective blue glass tower. The Nairobi-based publication says that the centre now dominates her life —with her apartment situated just above the spotless corridors of the centre, where women dressed in colourful traditional robes move anxiously from room to room, for mammograms, biopsies and surgery.

In Uganda, the Daily Monitor takes up the emotional confession of a Ugandan priest who sold 17 exotic cows and spent all his savings on treatment for his wife, after she tested positive to breast cancer in 2012.

Rev David Rurihoona, who serves with the Kigezi Diocese of the Church of Uganda, told the newspaper that he had to abandon everything and dedicate all the time to secure the health of my wife.

Rurihoona expressed gratitude to his bosses for the understanding they showed to his situation adding that thanks to God’s mercy, he had started paying off the debts he incurred.

The Daily Monitor reports that the Rurihoona couple has since been reunited in their Kirigime Ward home in Kabale Municipality who live with seven children.

And if you’re looking for good book to read this Christmas go for Wole Soyinka’s “InterInventions: Between Defective Memory and the Public Lie – A Personal Odyssey in the Republic of Liars “

The Nobel laureate’s book presented in Abeokuta on Saturday takes on the likes of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo described as “an overgrown child of circumstance” a home-bred Double-O-Seven with a penchant for infantile mischief, and needless, mind-boggling provocations.

Soyinka, say the lies in which the former President allegedly thrived were so unthinkable that he and some other people had started working on another book solely focusing on Obasanjo.

Although Soyinka conceded that he used to brainstorm with him over meals both when he was military Head of State – in Dodan Barracks and in his Ota home, Ota –after his second term . But now as Soyinka points out,  if Obasanjo offered to host him, "he would wait until he had first swallowed a morsel from the same dish".