Martin Ondeko named new Cricket CEO

first_img Tags: Martin OndekoUCA Martin Ondeko (right) is the new CEO of UCAThe Uganda Cricket Association has announced Martin Ondeko as their new CEO at a press conference held on Friday at the Copper Chimney in Lugogo.Ondeko who has been the Operations Manager of UCA was a favorite among all applicants and he beat off some stiff competition for the job.He has worked with the association since 2005 and his knowledge of the local environment gave him an edge over other applicants who were seeking for the role.This move is deemed as one of ensuring continuity for the association with the new CEO tasked with building on what was started by the former CEO Justine Ligyalingi.The quest for a new CEO started at the end of February when it was announced at the UCA AGM that Justine Ligyalingi will be leaving the association after eight years. The process conducted by UCA together with an HR firm attracted a lot of applications from the fraternity with the likes of former Cricket Cranes captain Davis karashani showing interest in the position.After 2 months of the process the boards choose to go with Martin Ondeko as the new CEO and his first order of business will be to deal with the broken relationship between the Cricket Association and the National Council of Sports.Ondeko in his first address to the press as CEO of UCA was full of pride that he was chosen amongst the applicants.“I am delighted that the board has chosen me amongst the many applicants and promise to take on my role with a lot of pride.Ondeko first worked for UCA as the administrative manager in 2005 and soon earned a promotion to the role of Operations manager in 2013.He has been working in the capacity of acting CEO ever since Justine Ligyalingi left in March but will now assume the full role at the association.A very competent batsman wicket keeper, Ondeko has to now move his skills from the playing field to the desk.Martin Ondeko is an active CricketerHis tenure will run for three years.Comments last_img read more

Bokoko literacy project brings books and libraries to Africa

first_imgBorn in Spain but of African descent, Bisila Bokoko was so moved by a trip to discover her roots that she set up the Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project. Through it, she builds libraries, donates books to African children, and runs a scholarship fund. Bisila Bokoko’s African Literacy Project aims to have five libraries in Africa by the end of this year. (Image: Nancy Mteki from Zimbabwe Arinze Nwokolo/Zen Magazine) Melissa JavanA donation of books by a foreigner led to a Ghanaian man teaching himself how to make a windmill, put to use to provide energy for his village. This is one of the success stories of the Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project (BBALP), which was started five years ago.That foreigner, Bisila Bokoko, met William Kamkwamba on her first visit to Ghana in 2009. She explains that Kamkwamba’s family could not afford to send him to school, prompting her to find a way to help him and others in similar situations. BBALP grew out of this desire to help.“Through the programme, he read a book about windmills. He learned of their use as an alternative and powerful energy source,” says Bokoko. “Kamkwamba was inspired to build a windmill, which later created enough electricity to power his own household and eventually his entire village.”Although she was born in Spain, Bokoko is of African descent. She says it is an amazing feeling to see how books can shape people’s lives. “Also, you realise that it takes a little bit to do much… I believe there are more young men and women like William Kamkwamba in other parts of Africa, and I would like to supply them with books that can inspire them in similar ways.”Bokoko, the executive director of the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce, has been living in the United States for about 15 years. When she eventually went back to her roots in Ghana in 2010, it was an eventful trip: she met Barima Offe Akwasi Okogyeasuo II, the chief of Kokofu, who gave her the title Queen Development Mother. “With this title, Chief Okogyeasuo II offered me a piece of land, where we decided to build the first BBALP library,” Bokoko says. Bisila Bokoko says she feels flattered to be called Queen Development Mother. (Image: Arinze Nwokolo/Zen Magazine)She laughs, saying the title does make her feel royal. “This title was a life changing experience. Due to this prestigious appointment I decided to build libraries; therefore I owe this project to the chief of Kokofu and John Hutchison [the guide who introduced her to the chief]. They gave me this honour.”Bokoko says she fell in love with Ghana and its people. “I returned from the trip with a desire to contribute, and help Africa develop and grow.”Although she saw a serious need to build infrastructure to empower people though education, health care, and medicine, she decided to supply something close to her heart: books. “Since then, I have been working to create an African literacy project, focused on building libraries around Africa. The first one was established in Kokofu, in the Kumasi Region in Ghana.”With 8 000 books already donated to people in Ghana, Bokoko says the project’s aim is to set up five libraries in Africa by the end of this year.Her campaign has grown since the first donation. There are now library projects benefiting children in Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda. “We have co-operated with various schools, educational institutions and other partners to send books to Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and South Africa.“We have [also] recently created the BBALP Scholarship Fund in order to help talented children get access to education in countries such as Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ghana,” she says.“Every library and every country is an adventure. Collecting the books for the children, finding the right partners, meeting the children in person, and having the opportunity to read some stories to them, is a beautiful experience all in – one that I would like to pursue in other countries with the simple goal of spreading the love for books.”Bokoko says she tries to visit the four libraries once a year. “We have some volunteer librarians visit the locations once a year.”This philanthropist says her favourite books donated to the libraries include books that children love: The Secret for Kids, Dr Seuss, and travel books.Her beautiful moments mainly involve children. “Recently in Chirumanzu in Zimbabwe, I witnessed how kids were beyond happy when we gave them books to keep at home. Some of them said: ‘This is the first thing that I have [had] in my life that is only mine!’”In a blog post carried by the American news portal, Huffington Post, Bokoko speaks of witnessing a child’s excitement when he or she receives a book as a priceless and heartwarming experience. She says the Kokofu library is a community project, a place where families and communities can practice togetherness, and emphasise their love for books. Bisila Bokoko with the children of Zimbabwe during the launch of Chirumanzu library. (Image: Nancy Mteki from Zimbabwe)She has learned a lot from the people of Ghana, Bokoko says. “I learned a gracious generosity, the impeccable desire of enjoying life to the fullest, and to be happy with whatever is in there. I also learned the power of loving each other and elegance in the way they keep tradition. Ghana stays always in my heart and has provided me with a sense of what life is really about.”Alongside her other work, Bokoko is the global ambassador and strategist for Pikolinos, the Spanish show brand. She uses this position to promote the Maasai Project, a line of shoes and bags designed in Kenya by over 3 000 Maasai women. She started work on this project in 2011, and says it has been a great experience to be able to spread the collection of Maasai-designed shoes around the world.Watch how the project to aims to improve educational opportunities:last_img read more

Understanding the benefits of health reimbursement arrangements

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It’s no secret that a spotlight has been on our country’s healthcare system for some time now — and a bright one at that. Health insurance options and expenditures are a real concern for agribusiness owners and it’s hard to know what options will best fit the needs of your operation. Rest assured there are options; some that can even put money back your pocket.Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are based upon Section 105 of the Internal Revenue Code. These particular arraignments allow farmers who qualify to deduct 100% of family medical cost against the farm income. In turn, the taxpayer saves federal, state and FICA taxes for family medical costs (typically a 35% savings).This is done by declaring medical expenses as business expenses, not as Schedule A itemized personal deductions, which are often limited or lost. What’s the catch here you ask? Whether they file as sole proprietor or an LLC, farmers must have a spouse who is employed by their business, at least on a part-time basis. More and more farmers are putting their spouse on the payroll in order to take advantage of HRAs.A Section 4 105 Plan allows a qualified farmer to benefit by deducting 100% of:Health Insurance and dental insurance premiums for eligible employee(s) and family. This also includes qualified long-term care insurance.Uninsured (out of pocket) medical, dental and vision care expenses for eligible employee(s) and family.Chiropractic, medical supplies, contact lenses, hearing aids, Medicare Part A, Medicare Supplemental, optical/vision, and cancer insurance premiums for eligible employee(s).Let’s take a look at scenario that would qualify: Joe owns and runs a farm. His wife, Jane, helps in the fields and takes care of some financial records and administrative functions for the farming business. Because Jane is already a service to the farm operation, Joe makes her a true employee and begins providing her with compensation. They are now eligible for HRAs.Joe compensates Jane a total of $14,000 per year in the following way:1. Reimbursement for family health premiums:  $7,0002. Reimbursements for uninsured medical expenses:  $5,0003. W-2 Cash Wages:  $2,000TOTAL$14,000 By allowing for a 100% federal, state and FICA tax deduction of the $12,000 of reimbursed expenses, Joe would receive $4,200 in actual tax dollar savings by taking advantage of a Section 105 Plan. (Note: the tax savings is assuming rates of 15% federal, 5% state and 15% FICA taxes=35% savings).It’s important to note that farmers who file as C corporations don’t need to abide by the spouse/employee method. The corporation is viewed as the employer in this case and the owner is an employee as long as the employee is receiving scheduled pay. Also note farm entities and sole proprietors with two or more employees may not be eligible for this special deduction because at the two or more employee threshold the new Affordable Health Care Act rules require certain “essential health benefits” (group insurance) and the Section 105 HRA rules may not apply. If you have two or more employees, we advise you consult your accountant for other potential health care solutions.AgriPlanNOW and BizPlanNOW is a couple of the HRAs you may have heard about. HRAs like these aren’t too confused with actual insurance plans. These are reimbursement programs that you must enroll in and there are annual fees, but the savings they provide far outweigh the upfront costs. Once enrolled, you will work with your insurance provider and tax professional to lower your out-of-pocket costs. Because you’re medical costs are now classified as business expenses you will see your deductions increase and tax savings will be the result. Savings will of course vary, but the average is around $5,000 per year.Once you submit an application for an HRA and you are enrolled, then it becomes vital to keep receipts and all records of medical expenses and health insurance premiums as well as payroll transactions. All this information will need to be reviewed and submitted at year-end by your tax professional. A CPA with experience in working with agribusiness professionals can assist you with proper record keeping and of course the tax reporting piece of the puzzle. Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners.  Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves.last_img read more

Healthy minds in healthy bodies the Indian way

first_imgTeeth clenched in concentration, a prostrate young man whirls his ring of fireUnder a grey, thundery sky, the wooden pillar rooted firmly in the ground looked like the relic of a great monument. Seven young men and a boy of ten squatted in a quarter-circle nearby, eyeing the pillar eagerly.,Teeth clenched in concentration, a prostrate young man whirls his ring of fireUnder a grey, thundery sky, the wooden pillar rooted firmly in the ground looked like the relic of a great monument. Seven young men and a boy of ten squatted in a quarter-circle nearby, eyeing the pillar eagerly. A command rang out: “Chall (Go!)”. One young man leapt away from his companions, took two swift strides, flung his arms and legs out at the pillar and straddled it upside down, holding on with thighs and forearms.Skin squeaking on wood, muscles working furiously, the athlete wriggled up until he had reached the wooden knob at the top. A few seconds later, his right leg was braced against the polished wood and his left was hooked firmly round the knob. Then the body swung out: hands on hips, it froze at 90 degrees to the vertical for all of five-muscle-quivering seconds. Then the tendons and flesh slackened and he came down to earth. Applause.An aggressively confident malkharnb poseMens sana in corpore sano. Healthy minds in healthy bodies the Indian way – that is the credo of the young man and his 170 fellow students of the Shree Hanuman Vyayam Prasarak Mandal, who had come to the capital all the way from Amravati, Maharashtra to demonstrate on the lawns of the National Stadium how Indians used to keep fighting fit centuries ago.Slim, muscular bodies shinnied up and down poles, swayed and feinted in the heat of a duel with javelins and rent the air with shouts as a single lithe figure fought off with a stick and a small circular shield the challenge of a dozen men armed with similar sticks. In between, boys and girls pirouetted gracefully to the rhythms of lezim, an age-old ballet work-out from Maharashtra.advertisementInexpensive Exercise: Founded as a small gymnastic club in 1914 by Anant Krishna Vaidya and Ambadas Krishna Vaidya, the Mandal is devoted to modernizing and systematising the Indian system of exercises to bring about a renaissance of Indian physical culture.The dhanurasana with a little help from a length of caneToday, six decades later, the Mandal occupies a 50-acre campus with a multi-purpose sports pavilion, a large swimming pool, a number of boys and girls hostels, extensive grounds and staff quarters. Besides the Indian exercise programmes, the Mandal also provides for regular games like table tennis and judo, and runs certificate courses in physical education. But its aim has always been to propagate the doctrine of inexpensive physical culture.Nowhere is this more evident than in the young men and the wooden pillar. The exercise is called the malkhamb and provides for all-round development of the body. The athletes pit muscle against wood and gravity and the results are startling: one hour a day of disciplined contortion is all that it needs to build a physique that could rival Bruce Lee’s.Variations of the malkhamb include a free-swinging pole and a long length of flexible and extremely tough cane. The Mandal’s malkhamb specialists, about 25 in number, are adept at coiling the cane around themselves so that they can take up a number of yoga postures.Much to the chagrin of the audience – which included Information and Broadcasting Minister Vasant Sathe and Minister of State for Education Shiela Kaul – this series of heart-stopping events gave way to javelin, stick and sword duels.Just as the warriors of kingdoms now part of the dust of history must have trained centuries ago, two young men of the Mandal confronted each other with glittering javelins, circling warily and lunging suddenly until one of them waved both javelins triumphantly as the other watched dejectedly. The crowning act of this series was one man taking on a dozen with flailing stick and shield: his opponents could not lay a finger on him.Torches flickering in a mild breeze, the athlets form intricate patterns on the lawnAs the repertoire of 35 items unreeled to its end after two and a half hours, and the dusk deepened into night, out came the torches. Boys, girls, men and women drilled under the smoking flames of half a hundred torches, wheeling into and out of patterns.The piece-de-resistance of the fire play was a young man who took two wires with torches at their ends and whirled them around faster and faster and faster while a soft hissing filled the air. The hissing continued even as he sank smoothly to the grass, prostrate with his mesmeric wheel of fire, until the torches exhausted themselves in the warm night air.advertisement- Photo feature by Raghu Rai/Text by Jagannath Dubashilast_img read more