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Zimbabwe election: Troops fire on MDC Alliance supporters

Three people were killed in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare after troops opened fire on rioting opposition supporters, police say.

The government says the army was deployed in central Harare to help police restore order.

The opposition MDC Alliance condemned the crackdown, saying it was a reminder of the “dark days” of Robert Mugabe’s rule.

It alleges that the governing Zanu-PF party has rigged Monday’s elections.

Parliamentary results show Zanu-PF heading for a big majority in the first elections since long-serving ruler Mr Mugabe was ousted from power.

The presidential result has yet to be declared. However, the MDC Alliance insists that its presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa, won Monday’s election.

European Union monitors have expressed concern over the length of time it is taking to declare the presidential result.

What are the two sides saying?

President Emmerson Mnangagwa was quoted by state broadcaster ZBC as saying: “We hold the opposition MDC Alliance and its whole leadership responsible for this disturbance of national peace, which was meant to disrupt the electoral process.”

He later took to Twitter to urge peace:

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the army had been deployed in Harare to disperse a violent crowd and to restore “peace and tranquillity”.

He added: “The presence of the army is not to intimidate people but to ensure that law and order is maintained. They are there to assist the police.”

A spokesman for Mr Chamisa condemned the deployment of soldiers and the subsequent loss of life.

“Soldiers are trained to kill during war. Are civilians enemies of the state?” he asked.

“There is no explanation whatsoever for the brutality that we saw today.”

Correspondents say the violence was confined to the centre of Harare – an opposition stronghold – while other parts of the country remain calm. Latest reports from the capital suggest the security forces are in control of the streets.

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‘Chaotic scene of burning tyres’

By Pumza Fihlani, BBC News, Harare

Army vehicles and police trucks rolled into Zimbabwe’s main city on Wednesday after the wait for the election results took an ugly turn.

MDC Alliance supporters had been gathering in various parts of Harare since the morning, but when news came that Zanu-PF had won the majority of seats in parliament and that the presidential results were not ready, the previously upbeat mood changed.

Opposition supporters went on the rampage down Harare’s busy streets, heading towards an old Zanu-PF office and carrying large stones, sticks and anything else they could grab along the way. The crowd chanted: “We want Chamisa.”

They believe the election has been stolen, and are demanding the MDC be announced as the winner.

Riot police using water cannon and tear gas arrived to a chaotic scene of burning tyres and an unrelenting crowd. There were hundreds of them. They jeered and pelted the police vans with stones.

In another part of the city where more opposition protesters had gathered, the army used whips to disperse them.

Today’s clashes may not have been on the scale of the “days of old”, where intimidation by security police was the order of the day, but it’s certainly not the peace many had been praising until now. Something has changed here.

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What results have been declared?

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has announced 140 seats for Zanu-PF so far, and 58 for the MDC Alliance, ZBC state media reported. There are 210 seats in the National Assembly’s lower house.

More than five million people were registered to vote, and there was a high turnout of 70%.

Map of election results. MDC won in the cities but Zanu PF dominated the rural areas

ZBC had reported that the electoral commission would announce the presidential results at 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT) on Wednesday, but only parliamentary results were read out.

The BBC’s Shingai Nyoka reports that the announcement on the presidential poll was not made because representatives of some of the 23 candidates had failed to turn up to verify the results.

A presidential candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to win outright. Otherwise, a run-off election will be held on 8 September.

What are election observers saying?

The EU mission has criticised the delay in announcing the presidential results. Zec has until Saturday to do so.

People queuing to vote
Image captionThe electoral commission says 70% of registered voters took part in the election

It said it had observed several problems, including media bias, voter intimidation and mistrust in the electoral commission, adding that there was an “improved political climate, but un-level playing field and lack of trust”.

This is the first time in 16 years that the government has allowed EU and US election monitors into the country.

The African Union mission has said the elections “took place in a very peaceful environment” and “were highly competitive”.

It added that it could not confirm opposition parties’ complaints of vote-buying, intimidation by the state and bias by traditional leaders.

A preliminary report by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) observers said the elections were largely peaceful and conducted in accordance with the law.

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More on post-Mugabe Zimbabwe

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Meet the frontrunners:

Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zanu-PF

Emmerson Mnangagwa at a rally in Harare, ZimbabweImage copyrightAFP
  • Known as “the crocodile” because of his political shrewdness – his party faction is known as “Lacoste”
  • Accused of masterminding attacks on opposition supporters after the 2008 election
  • Thought to be 75 years old, he promises to deliver jobs and is seen as open to economic reforms
  • Survived several alleged assassination attempts, blamed on supporters of ex-President Mugabe.

Read more: The ‘crocodile’ who snapped back

Nelson Chamisa, MDC Alliance

Nelson Chamisa at a rally in Harare, ZimbabweImage copyrightREUTERS
  • His skull was fractured when beaten up by state security agents in 2007
  • Became an MP at 25, a cabinet minister at 31 and could become the youngest president at 40
  • A recently qualified pastor, he has been using the hashtag #GodIsInIt for his campaign
  • Has promised to rebuild the country’s devastated economy, but has been criticised for making extravagant promises – such as the introduction of a high-speed bullet train and bringing the Olympics to Zimbabwe
Source BBC News
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NEW VIDEO ALERT: UDLALA NGAMI- D’LAX FT NOBESUTHU

A remarkable fusion of Hip-hop and House genres. Probably one of the best videos to come out of Bulawayo. #CampusBeatLab

Follow D’lax on the following social media platforms.. Twitter @dlaxxx Instagram @d_lax_Zim Like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Dlax12/ Download the song on the following link https://soundcloud.com/dlax-160336731

Denny Marandure, ZOL CEO – A Man On A Mission

by Ann Rothrock Beatie

5 minute read

The CEO of ZOL Zimbabwe, Mr. Denny Marandure, graciously welcomed us into his impressive and modern new offices in Borrowdale to discuss his career and accomplishments; they are many!

The wall that faces his desk has a large print that states ZOL’s Mission Statement: “To deliver simple & useful solutions that improve the way our customers live, work and play.” It also states ZOL’s Vision: “To create the most admired brand in Africa by delivering simple & useful technology, paired with excellent customer service.” Over the course of our conversation, I learned that Denny has followed his immense passion for telecommunications to achieve exactly what these two straight forward and solid statements proclaim.

Denny Marandure, ZOL CEO

His vast international experience is the cornerstone that propelled him to return to Zimbabwe and bring connectivity home. Denny earned a Bachelor of Business Studies (Honours) degree from the University of Zimbabwe and an MBA from Howard University in the United States and went on to become a big boss at the mammoth telecommunications company, Verizon Communications. He spoke to us excitedly about the project he worked on with Verizon in Iraq to set up the very first mobile network there in 2004.

On a trip back to Zimbabwe in 2009, Denny was incredibly frustrated by the lack of internet connectivity in Zimbabwe and scurried back to the land of high-speed internet. But he couldn’t let go of the desire to bring his home country up to speed in the world of telecommunications. “I wanted to be the change that Zimbabwe needed,” he said.

His appointment as CEO of ZOL in September of 2014 marked the beginning of change in the ISP market. In a short period of time, Denny has accumulated many IT Awards that all reflect the astounding accomplishments he has realised. His true love of marketing has led ZOL to establish itself as a frontrunner and leading provider of Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) with the Fibroniks packages that have been so popular and now service over 35,000 customers. ZOL’s lack of awareness was short-lived once Denny took over and he has led the company to win the MAZ (Marketers Association of Zimbabwe) award for Marketing Oriented CEO of the year, two years in a row. The total list of ZOL’s awards is long and distinguished and I am sure it will continue to grow.

Denny Marandure, ZOL CEO

The recognisable orange signage we see all over town is testament to the growing footprint that Denny is committed to. His excitement about ZOL’s upcoming projects is obvious in the way he talks about them. In April 2018, the LTE base stations will be launched. This technology brings high speed internet connectivity through the use of beams that will increase reach and capacity.

ZOL is also launching an environmental initiative that is revolutionary in Zimbabwe. EnviroServe is an e-waste recycling effort that will provide bins – orange ones, of course! – where old and obsolete electronical devices can be properly disposed. ZOL has partnered with a company in Dubai to make this happen in Zimbabwe, so be on the lookout for a place to put all those unwanted devices! Recycling is important in today’s world. As stewards of the environment, we are responsible for preserving and protecting our resources for ourselves and future generations and ZOL Zimbabwe has taken the initiative to lead in taking care of our environment for the sake of the next generation.

Denny Marandure, ZOL CEO

Denny’s passion to connect everyone has transformed the lives of many, in keeping with the Mission Statement; he also believes strongly in giving back to the community. Denny and ZOL put fibre in Warren Park and created low-cost packages for that area; ZOL also has a program to that supports education by providing free internet to a number of schools. ZOL is an Associate sponsor and Communications partner for the Zimbabwe Open Golf tournament, which is part of the Sunshine Tour. The ZOL Main Stage at HIFA, one of the biggest music and cultural shows in Africa, is testimony to ZOL’s support of music and culture in Zimbabwe.

ZOL’s partnership with Kwese TV makes Denny very excited, as he will be able to follow the Washington Wizards, the NBA team he supports. Kwese TV is growing by the day in popularity. Denny enthusiastically explained to us that now with the ZOLphone (VoIP) service, Kwese TV and Fibroniks, ZOLcompletes the three-play service offering he has strived to achieve, which is also in sync with the three categories from the Mission Statement, “…live, work and play.”

Denny Marandure, ZOL CEO

ZOL was the first ISP to launch a Mobile App in Zimbabwe, the “MyZol” App, and they are also the first to have 24/7/365 customer call centre with a live chat option. The highly popular ZOLspots provide Fibroniks on the go, and ZOL was nominated for an award at the annual AfricaCom Awards in 2016 and 2017 for this innovative technology. ZOL is also bringing a clever wireless router that can fit in your pocket, called MiFi, which will provide connectivity to many people including students who need to do their homework or research on the internet.

Denny Marandure is an inspiring role model in business. Despite his hectic schedule, board commitments, and an extensive travel schedule, Denny always puts his customers first. His tireless commitment and devotion to his company, its brand and its customer service results in happy and connected customers.

Republished with permission from Harare Magazine: http://hararemagazine.co.zw/lifestyle/denny-marandure-a-man-on-a-mission/

Law student lands Miss Tourism Bulawayo crown

2 minute read

TWENTY-FOUR year-old law student with University of South Africa Anelisiwe Ndebele was on Saturday crowned Miss Tourism Bulawayo provincial winner after she shrugged off competition from a bevy of 22 models at Rainbow Hotel in Bulawayo.

The pageant was the last round of the search for models who will contest in the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe national finals on September 8 in Bulawayo where Ndebele will represent Bulawayo province.

For her efforts, Ndebele, a holder of a Bachelor of Arts Degree and currently works as a procurement officer at Techno Expert Construction Company pocketed $2 000 courtesy of pageant sponsors, Progress Mines and Consha Enterprise headed by businessman and politician, Farai Taruvinga.

Sibusisiwe Falala and Tendai Sibanda came first and second princess respectively, while Natasha Gora became Miss Personality with Thelma Ncube being named the most promising model.

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Miss Tourism Zimbabwe (MTZ) Bulawayo queen Anelisiwe Ndebele flanked by first princess Sibuisiwe Falala and second princess Tendai Sibanda (left)

Ndebele and Falala are all under the mentorship of Open Eye Studios run by former Miss Zimbabwe Samantha Tshuma.

“I am overwhelmed with this achievement, I thank everyone who has supported my journey and most importantly Fingers Academy for giving the girl child a chance to showcase a talent. Special acknowledgment goes to my mentor Samantha Tshuma of Open Eye Studios,” Ndebele said.

“Preparing for the national finals starts today, and I hope to keep the crown in the City of Queens and Kings.”

The national licence holder for Miss Tourism Zimbabwe and Fingers Academy director Sarah Mpofu Sibanda was happy with the progress they have made so far.

“It was not an easy road doing all the provincial finals. I thank our provincial licence holders who pulled great pageants and also providing the best models who will do duty on September 8 here in Bulawayo,” she said

The pageant coincided with Fingers Academy’s 30th anniversary.

“I thank everyone who has supported us as Fingers, the models we have worked with. We will continue churning out not just models, but ambassadors who will represent the city, the country and the continent,” Mpofu Sibanda said.

Guests at the pageant were left in stitches by host, Babongile Skhonjwa who treated them to a lively stand-up comedy show in-between the models’ sessions.

Source - chronicle.co.zw / nust.ac.zw

NUST student and Alumna co-founded online farm system wins at Seedstars Competition

One minute read

NUST student and alumna co-founded technical start-up, Rera Online Farm, has emerged the winner of the Zimbabwean leg of the Seedstars World Competition. They have managed to book a spot for themselves in the regional competitions penned for this December in Ivory Coast, after shrugging off stiff competition from nine other innovators.

The Rera online system is a four-year-old brain child of a NUST final year Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering student, Rick Masuku, former Electronic Engineering student Ratanang Noko and a Harare based technical enthusiast, Gladson Dube.

If Rera wins the regional competition in Ivory Coast, the startup will qualify for the global Seedstars Summit, to be held in Switzerland next year in April where the innovators will battle it out with other technical startups from around the globe.

By participating at the Global Seedstars Summit, the online startup stands a chance to win up to US$1 million in equity investment for their project.

The Zimbabwe competition took place on Friday June 29 at Impact Hub Harare, with nine startups pitching in front of a local jury which comprised of Nhena Nyagura from Dandemutande, Ethel Bangwayo from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sharon Wekwete from Omidyar Network and Lilian Mbayiwa from Old Mutual.

Rera is an online platform that provides an opportunity for consumers to farm their own poultry produce through “three easy steps” which are by signing up for an account on the Rera website, creating their own fowl run by selecting the type of poultry produce and quantity they want to farm and lastly, once they confirm their poultry produce, the Rera sales agents advise the retail consumers on the payment procedure.

According to one of the founders of the online farm, the system could not have come at the right time than now when most people are digitally literate citing how they can save money by trying it out.

“Rera is an online platform that provides an opportunity for consumers to farm their own chicken in less than 5 minutes,it is a simple to use system like any other social media platform most people are familiar to,” said Masuku.

“With a low production cost of about $3.75 per chicken, this cuts costs for farmers, fast food outlets or even any interested buyer,” he added.

Source-nust.ac.zw

The Keyword Approach To A CV & Cover Letter

Staff Writer | @campusmoments13
4 minute read

In a keyword search of resumes and cover letters, employers identify, either electronically or manually, important words or phrases related to the job description. Candidates will then be selected for further review based on the number and/or level of matches found in the search.

According to Registered Organisational Psychologist & Career Coach, Phiona Martin, “Most companies are using (Applicant Tracking Systems)ATS and if you are making online applications, you can no longer ignore the requirement for your CV to be ATS “friendly.”

To develop a keyword resume and cover letter, study the job description carefully, identifying important words/phrases from both the responsibilities and qualifications of the job (highlighted in red for demonstration purposes only). Incorporate these words and phrases into your resume and cover letter using your background and experiences.

Sample Cover Letter

career chat cover lettr.png
Incorporate words and phrases directly from the job description that pertain to your skills and experience (shown in red for demonstration purposes only. Do not use red in your resume or letter)

Phiona Martin recommends the following seven ways to ensure your CV is ATS attractive and actually lands in a human recruiters hands.

  1. Mirror the Job Description wording in your CV, including the tense it is written e.g if job description says “management of suppliers” change if your CV says “managing vendors and contractors”. This requires customising your CV for every job. NB:  Do NOT copy and paste job description word-for-word you may be penalised by ATS or recruiter.
  2. Nail those keywords. There is lingo in every profession/industry. It maybe software, skills, certifications, licenses, responsibilities, or  procedures. The words that matter in your profession need to be included in your CV/Resume. Use both acronyms and spelled out form of titles.
  3. Repeat important keywords related to your skills a few times in your CV. Do NOT merely stuff as many key words as possible as the new scanners pick up this tactic. It will also be a turn-off to the recruiter who actually reads the CV if your CV does get past the scanner process.  A recommended suggestion is using a keyword two to three times per CV, taking into account that it is coherently placed.
  4. Make use of free cloud services like Wordle and TagCrowd to help you determine the right keywords to use in your CV. Just copy and paste the job description into the generators and the software will tell you which keywords are important to include in your CV.
  5. Only use text. Don’t use graphics, logos, or tables in your CV as fancy graphics, images, tables, and logos confuse the ATS. Anything placed in header and footer areas is invisible to the ATS, do not put important information in these sections.
  6. Headings. Put in straight forward traditional headings such as; Work Experience, Education, Qualifications, Experience, Hobbies, and References and avoid creative titles as they may not be recognised by the ATS
  7. Job Titles. Pay attention to the job title in the advert. E.g. if you are a Finance Manager, but the job title is for an Accounting Manager, be sure that you include “Accounting Manager” somewhere in your CV.

Sample CV

career chat 2.png
Incorporate words and phrases directly from the job description that pertain to your skills and experience (shown in red for demonstration purposes only. Do not use red in your resume or letter)
Get more from the #CareerCoach at http://www.phionamartin.com/blog. Sample CV & Cover Letter adapted from unl.edu/careers

 

Russia 2018 World Cup: Africans’ Rigidity Exposed

Yasin Musa Ayami | Durban University of Technology

1 and a half minute read

I have taken particular interest in watching the performance of African teams at the Russia 2018 World Cup.

Interestingly, Africa has scored only three goals so far with each of our teams save Senegal losing their match mostly in the dying minutes of the game.

I have observed that even with so much attacking talent, African teams love to defend.

It is as if they go into the game to maintain the same result before the game.

Learning from the way African teams play, I have noted that their play is not different from the way most Africans approach life.

Fans in Nigeria, Morocco and Senegal express their sorrow after their teams were knocked out the tournament. – BBCNews

Africans love to defend their status.

They keep unproductive pieces of land for generations, they shun business events, they defend irrelevant customs, traditions, they stick to economic activities that keep their poverty intact.

An African will defend a worthless job till retirement.
Africans are afraid to attack poverty and will find every reason to defend their sorry state.

There is very little to celebrate in Africa because we do not win.

Examine yourself.

What do you defend in your life? It is exciting to attack. Attack changes results, it brings euphoria, it makes life worth living. Start attacking what keeps you miserable now.

Watching Tunisia with all their attacking talent, speed and energy, I was left wondering why they opted to defend only to concede a heartbreaking last minute goal from the team that chose to attack.

Learn the bad lesson of defending from the African team and choose attack as your lifestyle.

Am off to attack!

Article curated from https://tiozambia.com

What’s stopping Zimbabwe’s young people from participating in elections?

Doctoral Candidate, Durban University of Technology
4 minute read

Zimbabwe will hold fresh elections at the end of this month, a sign that, following decades of rule under autocratic leader Robert Mugabe, the southern African nation is on the path towards democracy.

But are the country’s young people ready to get involved in politics?

The signs elsewhere on the continent aren’t hopeful. Given Africa’s youth bulge, in which 39.5% of the continent’s population is aged between 18 and 45, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the majority of voters would be young people. But this is not the case.

For the most part, young people are apathetic when it comes to elections. While they’re the most affected by democratic processes, they appear to be the least interested in them. For example in Nigeria’s 2011 polls, only 52.6% of young people voted while in South Africa’s 2014 national elections, apathy was the reason for a registration level of just 33% for 18 and 19 year olds.

This phenomenon isn’t unique to Africa. Across the world young voters are failing to turn up at the polls. Levels of youth participation are verylow in the UK and Ireland and most of the southern European states like Italy, Greece and Portugal.

In my recent study, I set out to explore the level of youth participation (as candidates, voters and activists) in Zimbabwe’s elections and governance processes, what restricts their participation and what can be done to support them. I defined youth as people aged between 15 and 35.

My evidence showed that their participation is low, hampered by restrictive political parties and a lack of three things – interest, information and funds.

To change this, there needs to be an effort to create political, structural and physical spaces that allow for their meaningful participation. This could, for example, include allocating quotas to young people and prioritising youth empowerment. South Africa’s two main opposition parties have done this well – young people lead the Democratic Allianceas well as the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Research findings

A third of the young people I interviewed said that they hadn’t taken part in activities such as rallies, council meetings and meetings within communities. A quarter of them said they didn’t participate often while only a fifth said they did so extremely often.

Political parties were cited as the main reason (67%) that prevented meaningful youth participation. For example, only 17% believed that political parties were creating spaces and making an effort to level the playing field so that they could participate in elections.

This exclusion is driven by what the scholar and expert on young people, Barry Checkoway, calls ‘adultism’ – when adults take a position that they are better than young people and prescribe solutions for them. Young people are seen as potentially dangerous elements that should be kept away from key decision-making processes.

On top of this, poverty makes young people particularly vulnerable to being excluded. About 70% of young people in Zimbabwe are unemployed. And those that work experience extreme poverty, earningless than US$2 per capita per day. This renders them susceptible to exploitation and control – young people who are poor are ready to sell their rights, for food hand-outs and promises of jobs that never materialise.

But it’s not just about the adults. Young people are also to blame for low participation.

In the interviews they showed a lack of interest in a system they felt they couldn’t change. They share this apathy with many other Zimbabweans. The legitimacy of the country’s elections since independence has always been a thorny issue. The opposition has regularly raised accusations of vote-buying, electoral fraud, vote rigging, as well as the intimidation of voters by the ruling party – Zanu-PF. This has led many to question the legitimacy of the electoral process.

Other barriers to young people include a lack of financial resources, lack of capacity, lack of information and the absence of a culture of positive engagement. Most believed that young people were prepared to run for office in the 2018 elections. But nearly half indicated that young people needed more support, such as leadership training, in preparation for running for office.

Increasing participation

When asked what the top five solutions to improving the participation of young people were the answers included:

  • freedom to participate in politics and development without restrictions (71%),
  • provision of leadership training (54%),
  • youth awareness campaigns (42%),
  • pro-youth policies (40%), and
  • effective engagement in productive activities (38%).

Young people should be viewed as a vital source  of information which justifies the need for adults to give them space and opportunities to engage meaningfully. This could be done through local campaigns, like the United Nations’ ‘Not Too Young to Run’ campaign. This promotes the right for young people to run for office, creates awareness and mobilises them.

Young people also need to be equipped to participate in politics. This includes getting support through leadership training and training in elections and governance processes. Finally, resources and support must be given to youth-led initiatives that are reaching out to young people.

Featured Image: https://www.theguardian.com/international. Article curated from http://theconversation.com

 

VACATION SEASON BINGE WATCH LIST

5 minute read

1. Luke Cage
Network: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 10 hours

luke cage
Luke Cage is obviously a Marvel product, but it’s also the product of its creator, Cheo Hodari Coker, and its cast, including Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Alfre Woodard, Simone Missick, and Erik LaRay Harvey (plus appearances by Frankie Faison, Ron Cephas Jones and, of course, Method Man): The series has more flexibility in addressing its subject matter thanks to its platform, but it’s hard to imagine that it’d speak as loudly or as boldly even on Netflix without Coker driving the narrative forward. Even though he stumbles during the show’s midsection, his errors don’t add up to more than an inconvenience: Luke Cage blends its source material with a wide range of influences, from jazz to rap to horrors ripped straight from the headlines, and churns out a yarn that’s as powerful as it is irresistibly poppy. Andy Crump

2. Dear White People
Network: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 4 hours (season 1); around 8 if you binge season 2 as well.

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Based on creator Justin Simien’s 2014 indie, Netflix’s original series—narrated by Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul’s Giancarlo Esposito—replicates the pungent humor of the film without ever seeming stale, or static: Its knives are sharp, and they’re pointed in every direction. Though its primary target is white privilege, in forms both egregious (blackface parties) and mundane (calls to end “divisive” politics), Dear White People, set on the campus of a fictional Ivy League university, is even funnier when it turns to the details of the black students’ personal and ideological choices, transforming the notion of the “problematic fave,” from the McRib to The Cosby Show into the engine of its entertaining, incisive comedy. Matt Brennan

3. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Network:NBC
Commitment: Approx. 19 hours

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Throughout the first season’s run, some writers and critics seemed dead set on finding some kind of flaw to pounce on with the show, zeroing in on how the minority characters are represented. This may be a wild generalization, but I think this was a natural reaction to one of the most overtly feminist sitcoms ever produced. Kimmy Schmidt is most certainly upsetting the natural order of your typical network sitcom. The show’s titular character is defining her life on her own terms and by her own standards. For some reason that still freaks some people out so they dismiss it or find some way to poke holes in the vehicle for that idea. That is what makes the prospect of a second season so exciting. Just as the show can go in a myriad of different directions, so too can Kimmy Schmidt. Now that she has put the awful time in the bunker to bed, she can face a new day with that infectious smile, bubbly attitude, and enthusiastic embrace of life experience. Sorry nitpickers and network executives; Kimmy Schmidt is going to make it after all. Robert Ham

4, Sense 8
Network: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 23 hours

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This globe-trotting and glitzy sci-fi series, drops us into a world where eight strangers in different parts of the planet are somehow psychically and emotionally linked. Through the first season’s 12 episodes—and the recent Christmas special follow this assortment of confused and beautiful people as they try to understand this connection, use their newfound abilities to help one another, and engage in not one but two blissfully queer orgies. As wacky and over-the-top as Sense8 can often get, the series remains important as it deals with issues of sexuality and gender identity through the work of trans actress Jamie Clayton and performers Miguel Silvestre and Alfonso Herrera’s portrayal of a gay couple in Mexico City. Robert Ham

5. Glow
Network: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 5 hours

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A nearly unrecognizable Alison Brie (credit the ‘80s hair and eyebrows for her transformation) stars as Ruth Wilder, an aspiring actress who finds her perfect role in the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. What she lacks in skill, Ruth makes up for in pluck. Her frenemy, former soap star Debbie Eagan (Betty Gilpin), becomes her perfect foil. Marc Maron is hilarious as their world-weary producer and Sydelle Noel is a stand out as stunt woman-turned-trainer Cherry Bang. Come for the ridiculous costumes, makeup and hair. Stay for the surprisingly poignant show about female empowerment. Amy Amatangelo

6. Chewing Gum
Network: E4 (U.K.)
Commitment: Approx. 10 hours

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In the series premiere of Chewing Gum, Tracey (Coel), raised fundamentalist and still a virgin at 24, asks her best friend to give her a makeover “like Beyoncé’” to convince her deeply religious (and just as deeply closeted) fiancé to finally have sex with her. He rejects her for being openly desirous of sex, saying she looks like if a Barbie doll “rolled around in the mud then turned into a negro.” When that fails, she falls into bed with a new, white boyfriend, Connor (Robert Lonsdale). Tracey leans into and explores a sexuality that’s weird, cartoonish, and ultimately doesn’t even involve penetrative sex—Chewing Gum is instead preoccupied with the awkwardness and anxieties of sex, ignoring whether it’s unflattering and uninterested in whether or not it’s empowering. It’s about honest sexual expression and the joy of learning not to care when you can’t meet a lofty standard, and there’s real pleasure in discovering Tracey’s sexual absurdity. Season Two comes to the streaming service April 4. Sidney Fussell

7. American Vandal
Network: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 10 hours

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American Vandal is the tongue-in-cheek antidote to the “true crime” craze: a “prestige docuseries” on the subject of dick-drawing, set on dismantling the form from within. After all, its understanding of the form is impeccable: With dramatic cold opens, floated theories and test cases; interviews, illustrations and re-creations; careful cliffhangers and a Jinx-style hot mic, it applies the genre’s commonplaces to absurd situations with aplomb. It’s a pungently goofy reminder that the history of “true crime” is dominated by “lowbrow” media—pulpy magazines, grocery-store paperbacks, salacious installments of Dateline or 20/20—and that its newfound sense of “prestige” is primarily a function of style. Still, American Vandal’s most surprising strength is not its satire—which is, in the end, rather low-hanging fruit—but its steady construction of a narrative backdrop more compelling than its creators realize. Matt Brennan

Article Source: www.pastemagazine.com

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