Jane Musoke Nteyafas: UGPulse writer wins Planet Africa Network Award
Jane Musoke-Nteyafas.

Jane Musoke Nteyafas: UGPulse writer wins Planet Africa Network Award


Jane pulls off another 1.

By Gerald Businge
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First published: September 29, 2007

Jane Musoke Nteyafas, a Ugandan living in Canada, has been named one of the winners of the prestigious Planet Africa Network Awards for 2007. Nteyafas won the 2007 Rising Star Award for her numerous works as a visual artist, author, poet and playwright. According to a press release from the Planet Africa Network, the awards under the theme "Celebrating Worldwide Achievements" are meant to recognize people of African descent who are making a strong positive impact on the global scene.

Other people announced as winners this year are William H. Osborne, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Canada (Professional Excellence Award); Dr. Sylvester Osamusali, Nuclear Safety Solutions (NSS) Inc. (Science and Technology Award); Stanley Julien, Vice-President, Bank of Montreal, Chairman, Harry Jerome Scholarship Fund (Community Development Award); Frank Groenewald, founder, Banking Sector Education and Training Authority of South Africa BANKSETA (Leadership Award) and Reginald G. Daniel, author and founder, Scientific Engineering Solutions, USA (Enterprise Award).

The others are Festival International Nuits d'Afrique de Montral (Heritage Award); Honourable David Lammy, Minister of Skills and Innovation, UK (Marcus Garvey Memorial Award from Planet Africa); Right to Play Humanitarian and Development Organization (Sports & Athletics Award); Dr. Alistair Soyode, founder & CEO, BEN Television (Media and Entertainment Award); Franoise Makanda, determined achiever (Academic Achievement Award); Usheak Koroma, actor, comedian, Master of Ceremonies and popular radio host (Volunteer of The Year Award); Dr. Afua Cooper, author, poet, historian, curator, performer and cultural worker (African Renaissance Award from Planet Africa); Dr. Herbert Carnegie, hockey legend (Lifetime Achievement Award); Kay Morris, gospel music artist, founder & President, Kay Morris Foundation (Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award).

According to the press statement released on September 28, 2007, the awards will officially be handed to the recipients on Saturday, October 13, 2007 at Renaissance Hotel, Toronto, Canada. Uganda's State Minister for Environment, Hon. Jessica Eriyo, who is also the United Nations' Rappoteur for the Ozone Crisis (Montreal Protocol), will deliver a keynote address to the winners and guests from different parts of the world.

The Planet Africa Network is a project of Silvertrust Communications, aimed at serving as an information and promotional tool, primarily for those who want to access or provide information, products and services for the benefit of people of African origin in Canada and North America. Apart from Planet Africa Awards, the project also runs the Planet Africa Television, Planet Africa Magazine, Planet Africa Development Forum and Planet Africa Directory.

Jane Musoke Nteyafas, who is the first person of Ugandan heritage to win a Planet Africa Network Award says that winning the same award as Wole Soyinka did in 2006 is 'humbling' and a chance for her to represent Uganda and Africa in the positive light that they deserve. "I did not expect to win that award. I was shocked when I first heard about it but it means a lot to me. I do not do my writing and art for awards; I do it for the love of it. Nevertheless, I am humbled and happy to see that my hard work and efforts do not go by unnoticed in the community. I have always wanted to be an inspiration to others, via the talents with which God rewarded me. The Planet Africa Rising Star Award is confirmation that I am on the right path," Nteyafas told Ultimate Media in an interview on Saturday.

The Planet Africa Awards cover the entire Diaspora, not just continental Africans. "The awards go a long way to show that we as Africans can be and do anything, whether we live in the Diaspora or not. We too can excel and hold high positions globally. We do not have to limit ourselves. The professions of the other award winners have shown that we can excel in various fields," Nteyafas says.

Jane was born in Russia to Ugandan diplomats, Truman and the late Beatrice Musoke-Nteyafas. Jane is a granddaughter to the Late Dr.Erisa Musoke, one of Uganda's first medical doctors and has lived in Uganda, France, Denmark, and Cuba. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada. It is this multicultural upbringing that has moulded Jane into a better global citizen and at the same time improved her artistic touch. Jane attended Gayaza Junior School near Kampala, the British School of Paris in Paris, Bjorns International School in Copenhagen, Namasagali College in Uganda; Rygaards International School in Copenhagen, Universidad Central de Matanzas in Matanzas, Cuba and Universidad Central de Las Villas in Santa Clara, Cuba.

It was at Namasagali that the artist in Jane first showed actively. She wrote and directed numerous plays staged by the school and won awards for these plays. Her consequent travels and experiences with different cultures as she trotted the globe with her diplomat parents made her realize and exploit her talents even the more. Apart from her visual arts, Jane is a writer and has many articles, short stories, plays, novels, poetry, lyrics and essays to her name. In 2004, her work was published in T-Dot Griots - An Anthology of Toronto's Black Storytellers. She has also been part of a few dance groups including Nouvel Expose and choreographed dance moves in other dance groups she created in Cuba.

Jane illustrated the book, I am Not Brown, I Am Human for best selling author James Valitchka. In 2006, she was part of the British Council Crossing Borders for writers. She is a board member of the Association of African Canadian Artists and writes for UGPulse.com, Uganda's Daily Monitor, Bahiyah Magazine, ChickenBones, African Woman Magazine and Afrotoronto. "I've been published in anthologies and illustrated a children's book called I am not Brown, I am human. I am currently looking for publishers for two poetry books and a novel, so all those with their eyes peeled, well, give me a shout," she says.

Jane specializes in pencil drawings and East African batik. In 2005, her art piece Namyenya was featured as the poster piece for human rights throughout the Art-Black History Month Exhibit in Canada. Her art collection includes Daughters of the earth, Quadruplets series, Soulful diva's and other drawings. It can be purchased on her website www.nteyafas.com.

Jane is one of the most talented people of African origin who are shining at the global platform. She is a well-known visual artist, author, poet, playwright, and often manages to write for different publications in Uganda and other parts of the world. The fact that Jane speaks French, English, Spanish, Danish, Luganda, and some Russian makes her the perfect global citizen. Many people in Africa, especially the youth and women are continuously inspired by Jane's ability to put all her skills and abilities together to work in different fields and different countries successfully.

By Gerald Businge
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First published: September 29, 2007
To learn more about Ultimate Media Consult go to www.ultimatemediaconsult.com.

Gerald Businge is a media practitioner and features Editor at Ultimate Media Consult in Uganda. He is a graduate of Mass Communication and several journalism and leadership certificates. He has been a practicing journalist since March 2001 and has worked at The New Vision as features writer, and has written extensively for different newspapers, magazines, newsletters in Uganda and internationally. He currently does fulltime media communication consultancy work as well as writing and editing at Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd where he is a founding member and CEO. You can get his attention so long as you are interested in and you are working for a better world.