January 10, 2020
Happy new year, and welcome to 2020, a year so weird-sounding it seems to belong on the cover of some schlocky sci-fi novel more than it belongs on my calendar. I have spent this first week back at work trying to remember all my logins and figure out how much of my DNA is now technically mince pie.
Don’t Shame New Parents For Using Their Phone. They Can Be A Lifeline
But barely had I ventured a toe into the new decade than I saw my first (but almost definitely not my last) parent-shaming of 2020. It was on Twitter. 
“I’m on SCBU with my 5 day old,” read the tweet. “This poster makes me sad.” Then, a photo of the poster in question, apparently on the wall of a maternity unit, which read as follows: “Mummy & Daddy……. Please look at ME when I am feeding. I am much more interesting than your phone!! Thankyou xxxxxx.”    Reading that poster gave me a visceral reaction. Partly, of course, because of the grammatically questionable Comic Sans-style type, that truly horrible ClipArt, and the fact it had been laminated. Also because, according to the tweet, the poster wasn’t just in a hospital maternity unit – right in the eyeline of people who may have become parents just minutes ago – but in the SCBU, the special care birth unit. You know, where they send the newborns with life-threatening conditions. Exactly the sort of place where vulnerable parents should be shielded from the unsolicited opinions of others.
The tweet has since been deleted and the account has gone, too. But I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a similar poster in my local maternity unit. And it also brought back memories of an encounter after my older son was born, five years ago. 
I was lying with my brand new, shrimpy son-baby nestled in my cleavage, and I was attempting to commemorate the occasion by photographing him with my phone. I don’t know if you’ve ever attempted to photograph your own cleavage while incapacitated by epidural, but it is not easy and I had to try several angles. I have a million blurry close-ups of my Primark nightdress to prove it.
Just then, a female hospital staff member hurried past my gurney, clipboard in hand. Seconds later, she backed up, staring at me with pronounced disgust. “For God’s sake,” she spat. “You’ve just had a baby! Put your phone away and parent your child.” Then she bustled off as though she hadn’t just blasted a hole through me.
If she’d looked, she might have seen the cannulas in my son’s hand and my own; they were there because I’d developed sepsis during labour and been rushed into surgery for an emergency C section. If she’d looked closer, she’d have seen my eyes, boss-eyed from surgery and fever, and my skin pale from blood loss. And if she’d actually seen my phone, she might have noticed I was photographing my new son. I was doing this because it had been quite an ordeal. I had thought one of us would die quite a few times, and now I was trying to mark the fact that we, you know, hadn’t.
I’ve been writing about parenting for five years now, and sometimes people ask what “essentials” they need for the first few days of parenthood. A super-long phone-charging cable, I always tell them. And a back-up cable. And three fully-charged powerbanks, just to be on the safe side. Have you been trapped under a feeding baby with nothing but the smell of their head to occupy you? Believe me, I’ve had two babies now and while their heads smell great, sometimes babies feed for an ENTIRE day, at which point the novelty wears off and you start wondering what’s happening on Instagram.
My super-long cable also came in handy those first few days in hospital, amid the strange horror that can settle over you whenever you’re left alone with your very small, totally dependent baby. I had sepsis, was going mildly crazy with sleep deprivation, and – though I didn’t know it – was plunging into postnatal depression and PTSD that would accompany me for the next two years.
(I also have no family of my own, and the dinner ladies kept coming in when I had my top off, so to be honest I was very glad for the distraction of my phone).
Since then I’ve found friendship and support, not to mention invaluable medical information while clutching my phone during feeding sessions. Not only are my two kids not neglected, I honestly don’t think I’d be as good a parent if all that info hadn’t been so readily at hand. 
Your phone can be your lifeline when you’re a parent – and an anchor to the world. So basically, up yours, poster. Also, is that message supposed to be from my baby? That’s ridiculous. My kids couldn’t communicate such complex thoughts as newborns. 
But they know “thank you” is two words, and they’d never use Comic Sans.More from Robyn Wilder No, I Don't Have A Favourite Child. But I Do Have A 'Primary' One Screaming Baby Next Door? I've Been On Both Sides Of That Wall I'm On The Cusp Of Menopause And – If I'm Honest – Totally Unprepared
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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