As time goes by, Africa becomes an increasingly popular tourist destination. However, like anywhere else in the world, this large continent has its own unique issues that one must be aware of.
Here are five key tips for anyone planning to visit Africa in the near future.
The threat of Malaria in Africa is something that every avid traveler should be fully aware of. Millions of Africans die from this disease every year. However, if you take the necessary precautions, you will be able to treat yourself appropriately and avoid the disease altogether.
The reality is that Malaria isn’t a widespread problem in Africa, only in places of high altitude, like Zanzibar and Mombasa. Insect repellent is essential and antimalarials such as Malarone and Doxycycline are recommended.
HIV has a particularly disastrous reputation in Africa. Amazingly, two-thirds of people with HIV are from the continent, with over 35 million infected. Also, 69% of HIV victims in Africa are from the Sub-Saharan region.
The key is to avoid unprotected sex, blood transfusion and the use of needles whilst on your African travels.
Traveler’s diarrhea is a normal thing wherever you go in the world, and even more so in Africa, where the quality of sanitation is unpredictable from country to country. If you take the Ducharal Vaccine, you will iron plate your stomach for three months.
As a result, you will have a considerably lower chance of having diarrhea.
The widespread poverty in Africa should never be underestimated. So make sure to generally dress down in order to blend into society. Avoiding blingy, flashy attire is highly recommended as you don’t want to draw the attention of opportunists.
Ladies are advised to dress modestly.
There is no denying that many Kodak moments will come up during your trip in Africa. However, it’s important to respect the locals during your travels. Many don’t like having their photo taken, to the point of it being offensive.
Take snaps from a distance and if you do want to take close-ups, ask first. Or, you could offer a tip.
Marie Osmond: Glam, Grief & The Worlds Most Beautiful Daughter
The Osmond’s are one of the most well known showbiz families but their life has been far from glitz and glamour. Find out what almost tore the family down, how they’ve managed to keep their success, and meet the most beautiful daughter ever.
Groucho Left His Marx On Marie
Donny & Marie propelled the siblings into a whole new world of celebrity. Their fame made them in high demand but not all the attention was innocent. Marie recalled “I was very young, and I remember Groucho Marx pinching me. He was a dirty old man.”
The pressures of being a child star has caused many young stars to go off the rails and develop deep issues. Marie recalled that as a 15-year-old, there were calls for her to be as thin as possible, with producers encouraging weight loss. She said, “I had producers take me out into the parking lot when I was 103 pounds and tell me that I was obese, disgusting and a disgrace to my family.” The Osmond sister then starved herself herself to get down to 97 pounds.
Donny’s Hidden Tech Talent
Donny’s talent did not end on the stage and the heartthrob admitted to being “a total nerd” when it came to computers and technology. Donny admitted he designed the secret video control room and the audio systems backstage at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. Donny was often locked away in his hideout, creating video montages containing home videos and photos which were projected during the show. He said of his secret room, “It’s my little world in here”.
Years Of Abuse
Marie may have appeared as a happy little girl with a great childhood and career, but there was a darker, more sinister secret behind it. Marie revealed in her book appropriately titled Behind The Smile, that she was subjected to abuse as a child from an outside source. She didn’t reveal their identity but she did explain, “During my childhood and teen years, I was abused. It ranged from invasions of privacy to having my personal property stolen, and, most damaging, to being abused [physically.]”
Sin City Shenanigans
Donny has always prided himself on being a down-to-earth hometown boy but also liked to show off his success on occasion. When Donny’s friend would visit Vegas, he would take the to the Bellagio Bridge and show them the huge Donny & Marie billboard. Donny said, “At home, I’m Uncle Donny to all the kids and teenagers. But when they come here, I have to show them that — I’m a little more than Uncle Donny right now.”
20 Hour Days
Success doesn’t come easy, and Donny and Marie learned this from a young age. When their show started in 1976, they had a grueling schedule which would often see them working through the night forgoing rest and sleep for rehearsals. The teenagers often worked 20-hour-days, learning new dance routines and songs as well as numerous different scripts simultaneously. Despite the demanding schedule, the two proved that hard work and dedication pays off and their commitment allowed them to become huge stars.
Don’t Call Me Donnie
It is often frustrating when people spell your name incorrectly, but it is even worse when you’re an international superstar and your name is plastered everywhere, there isn’t much of an excuse. Donny admitted one of his pet peeves is when people spell his name with an ‘ie’. When the Flamingo crew caught onto this, they pranked the star by spelling it that way in his dressing room! In the grande scheme of things, it was a pretty tame prank, but still annoying nonetheless.
Break Up To Make Up
Due to starting their career side by side, Donny and Marie have always maintained a strong relationship but in the early 80’s, they went their separate ways to start solo careers. However, their split was reversed when Donny came across a venue in Vegas which he knew was perfect for the double act. He said, “We always knew that we’d come back together again, and when I saw this room at the Flamingo, with the booths, I called Marie and said, ‘This is it.'”
The Two Need Space
The brother and sister do absolutely everything together in their careers, which has left them gasping for space outside the stage. Donny revealed that outside of work, they don’t actually spend much time together. He said “Last week I went over to her house in Green Valley and hung out for a little while,” he continued, “It’s beautiful. But when I have time off, and I’m not doing anything, I’d rather go home and see my wife and kids.”
With many foods, we all have preferences and tendencies of how we eat them, but Donny takes it to a new level. Marie outed his habit in an interview stating “Donny licks the salt off of pretzels before he eats them.” She said that his bizarre ritual has been a long term thing but there is no explanation behind it. Although there was no word on if he licks salt of other foods too, it seems it takes Donny an incredibly long time to eat a pretzel.
An Impressive Collection
Donny and Marie boast quite an impressive collection of successful records which have all reached an award-winning status. They have four albums with gold certification including I’m Leaving It All Up To You, released in 1974. Moreover, two of the singles topped the charts at number one and when they incorporated songs from their TV show, they were also awarded gold status. Despite all of their success, the brother and sister act have not released a single since 2011.
Due to her international star status from childhood, Marie adopted an expensive taste from a young age. Marie became accustomed to a lavish lifestyle, traveling on private jets and having the finer things in life. Marie also had quite the extensive collection of Louis Vuitton leather goods and was often photographed with many different bags on her arm. The singing sensation worked hard for her success and it was no surprise she like to treat herself.
Growing up in the spotlight often takes its toll on many child stars with the majority of them often having many troubles. Donny was no stranger to a challenging upbringing but managed to turn his back on the bad influences and maintain a strong family unit. In 1978, Osmond married Debra Glenn when he was just 20-years-old and Glenn stayed his rock throughout the years. The couple have five sons together and are often seen at church or doing charity work together.
Osmond’s Regards To Broadway
Donny’s talent is overt and the triple threat was in high demand by music executives as well as Broadway producers. From this, the singer landed himself a successful run on Broadway. He was the star of two hit shows including Little Johnny Jones and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, all of which received rave reviews. In later years, he hit the stage once again, playing the villain Gaston from Beauty and the Beast.
Donny has always been loved by so many, including celebrities. From this, sitcom star Sanjeev Bhaskar revealed that he told his wife she was allowed to leave him for Donny. The actor joked “She planned to marry Donny when she was 12 and told everyone she was going to convert to Mormonism,”. He continued “She was so excited when he came on The Kumars at No. 42 as a guest. I told her ‘if you want to go off with him, it’s not a problem.”
An Animated Family
Aside from acting and singing, Donny has also delved into the industry of animated movies and TV shows. The star has leant his voice to popular cartoons including Johnny Bravo on the Cartoon Network which ended up being one of the most successful cartoons on the channel. He also starred in the 1972 Rankin-Bass series The Osmonds. Donny’s performance of ‘I’ll Make A Man Out Of You’ on the Disney soundtrack Mulan ended up being a major hit around the world.
Jimmy Broke Records In The UK
The youngest of the Osmonds, Jimmy, is able to claim that his success was earned overseas. Jimmy broke records as the youngest performer to have a number one single in the U.K. charts with his 1972 hit “Long Haired Lover from Liverpool.” However, this success acme with its downside as he revealed “The home I grew up in was a string of hotel rooms across the world. I don’t remember my first home, which was somewhere in Los Angeles.”
Two Of The Osmond Brothers Were Deaf
George and Tom Osmond are the two eldest brothers and they were both born deaf. The cost of hearing aids was too much for parents Olive and George and they had to raise the money through their talented children. From this, the Osmonds would travel around, giving performances for money which raised enough money for the hearing aids. Alas, the Osmonds’ entertainment career was born! The other Osmonds learned sign language to help their siblings.
Marie’s Adopted Daughter Is Out
Marie’s newest book made quite the revelation when she announced that her daughter Jessica Blosis is gay. Marie was honest about the reveal and spoke of the raw moment in an interview with Diane Sawyer. She said, “Diane, I love my daughter. I cried when I found out when she told me she was gay when she was 17 because of the judgment. I have many friends who are gay, and I didn’t want that for my child.”
Donny Osmond was often targeted by critics who wanted to get the gossip and scandals on the teen but they were always frustrated to find out he was completely clean. Instead of taking advantage of his looks and his status, Donny kept clean and pledged to keep to the laws of his Mormon religion. In later years, he looked back and his proud of his ability to avoid temptation as his career is still going strong.
God First, Family Second
Donny Osmond has remained a devout Mormon his whole life and asserted that God is the reason for his success. He said “It all boils down to keeping God first, then family. It’s a formula that has helped us through a lot of things.” He continued by stating “A lot of people think I was naive, but you’re not naive growing up in this business. I grew up fast.” His beliefs and values seemed to keep him grounded.
Ups And Downs
While many stars are often frustrated due to a normal life being taken away from them, Marie is content with her different upbringing. She said “I didn’t have a childhood because I had a different kind of life. I didn’t have a normal dating life or friends, but I don’t know that anyone’s life is perfect.” Through taking fame in her stride, she was able to be thankful for the life and success she was given, despite the ups and downs.
Magical Moments With MJ
Being a teen in the public eye, Donny often found common ground with other young A-listers, andMichael Jackson was one of his closest friends. Donny recalled how the teens used their fame to their advantage as he recalled, “When I was 17, right after the American Music Awards, I said ‘Hey, Mike are you hungry?’. We jumped in my limo, and we ordered some tacos. We were driving down Sunset Boulevard, opened the sunroof, stuck our heads out eating tacos.”
Seeing The Light
Every celebrity knows their best angle and which lighting will enhance their looks, with Marie Osmond being no exception. Donny revealed that his diva sister insists on changing the lighting in their interviews or performances in order to look her best. It may seem like a vain request but unflattering pictures of celebrities always has the media and tabloids wagging their tongues. Rather than giving the press what they want, one simple request can keep the bad photos away from the Internet.
A Million Copies Sold But No Money Made
Jimmy Osmond’s hit “Long Haired Lover from Liverpool” may have sold more than a million copies but his returns were next to nothing. He said “Our business is not a fair business. Today it’s different, and artists do get those big royalty checks but we sold 100 million records, and the money we made on record sales is peanuts compared to what you would make selling your own merchandise at a concert or just getting a fee to perform.”
Jimmy Osmond may have not seen a dime from his music career but he managed to make the best of a bad situation and amassed an $80 million fortune through live entertainment. He said, “We played arenas all over the world and produced tons of movies. We always stayed true to what we were good at and performed, and we were always able to make enough money through live entertainment to be able to underwrite other ventures and still have enough for our families.”
Dressing Room Demands
Like many stars, Marie had her diva demands and one of them included she got the bigger dressing room at the Flamingo. Marie’s dressing room was often packed with family members, kids and friends, not to mention an amazing wardrobe and hair and make up. Marie defended her big dressing room saying “Hey, I have more children, and I live here. I need the space,” she also joked, “But George Wallace’s is bigger than mine!”
While the Osmonds live a life under the radar, Jimmy did admit there were times that the siblings would splash their cash. Jimmy stated “I was so young when I had those kinds of dollars. I was really into cars, so I bought loads of those. And I bought my first house when I was 14, which was a bit wild. So yes, I’ve had those moments.” Despite the occasional splurge, the Osmonds have invested their money instead of spending it all.
The Real Reason Behind The Purple Socks
Many people assumed that Donny’s appreciation for purple socks was an OCD ritual but the truth was far less mysterious. Donny’s purple socks were a result of practicality and he explained, “My mother came up with the whole format of giving each one of us a color, and it was brilliant because when we were playing stadiums and arenas, all they had to do was look for a color and mine was purple.”
On The Ball
When Marie was 16-years-old she received some valuable advice from the legendary Lucille Ball. Marie had a guest appearance on Lucy’s show and said “She waved me over, and she said, ‘So. You learned a few things in the makeup room, huh? You wanna learn a few more?’ And I thought ‘Oh wow, I’m dead.’ But she goes, ‘OK. You’re worth my time. You’ll be in the business a while. Let me teach you a few things.’ She taught me about lighting, for one thing.”
Donny Was Told To Have a Drug Scandal
Donny was known as a squeaky clean young star due to his Mormon values, and his lack of scandals made his persona quite boring. The youngster was told that if he were to have a drug scandal “it would make me cool.” This request came at the same time Virgin records signed him as a request from Peter Gabriel. Despite building his name, it was difficult to get his music played on the radio as he wasn’t deemed interesting enough.
Donny Stole His Brother’s Girl
The song “Could She Be Mine” was penned as a result of stealing his brother Jay’s girl. He said “It was 1975. I was dating a girl named Tammy and my brother, Jay, had taken out a girl called Debbie “We double-dated at an Elton John concert and I remember looking over at Jay and Debbie during ‘Your Song’ and thought, ‘I’m going to marry her someday”. Two attempts asking Debbie out was worth it as they have been married for 37 years.
Best Of Both Worlds
Donny might be a superstar but he leaves that persona on stage and is a family man at heart. He said “At work, I’m focused, passionate and take it all in my stride. A billboard with my face on doesn’t phase me. But at home I’m dad, a husband, a grandfather and I’m laid back. I mow the lawn, I don’t have ‘people’ running around after me.” Donny is quite the DIY guy too and is often fixing things around the house.
The Osmond Curse
The Osmonds have each gone through difficult personal struggles through being in the limelight. In 2006, Marie attempted suicide due to her battle with post-natal depression and then in 2010, Marie’s adopted son Michael committed suicide. Michael’s suicide note explained his struggle with depression, alcohol and drugs and said that this was his way to end it all. The devastating events that have happened within the Osmond family have led many to question if they are cursed.
Just because they are famous it doesn’t mean that Donny and Marie didn’t annoy each other as siblings. Donny has a strange pet peeve where he hates it when Marie pokes her thumb at him! The bizarre action came from their childhood when Donny’s siblings would poke him if he sang a bad note. In one occasion on their show, Marie did it to Donny and the show was cut to commercials as Donny stormed off set!
Bad Deals Turn Good
After the Osmonds were taken advantage of, being given little money off their song royalties, Donny took it upon himself to start his own record label and take back the money that was taken away initially. Donny said “I make more money on record sales today that I never made in the heyday of the Osmonds because I own my own label.” Through taking back the rights to their songs, the Osmonds began reaping more rewards from their hard work.
Rather than spending his money on luxury items, Donny knew to invest it from a young age. He didn’t know how long his career would be profitable for so began buying property in different locations. He did however admit to losing $2 million in the US property crash of 2008, but in the grande scheme of things, he knew his decision would pay off in the long run. Donny owns four properties, two in Utah, one in Idaho and a fourth in a secret location.
Father Knows Best
Donny’s father took the tough love approach when he was a child, leaving the singer very wealthy in the future. His father instilled the value of money from a young age, leaving him always striving for more. He explained “When I was eight, I thought I was big stuff and I remember telling him: ‘Hey Dad, my record is number one, isn’t that cool?’ He responded by giving me a stick with a poker on it to pick up litter and said: ‘Go clean the yard.’”
Marie’s Mental Hospital
Marie’s depression peaked in 1999 and at which time, she knew she needed serious help. Marie was terrified of losing her career so asked her family to check her into a mental hospital. The mental facility contained padded cells, electric shock treatments and had many of its patients in straitjackets. Marie was considering the electric therapy as a final resort but later decided against it due to the dangers associated with it. She ended up recovering in a safer and healthy way.
Donny married Debbie when he was just 20-years-old and his move led his father to insert “there goes your career”. Donny was seen as an eligible heartthrob and every girl in the U.S wanted him, marrying Debbie would therefore remove this label and potentially affect his career. Donny’s decision to settle with Debbie was the right one as the couple have been together for 37 years. Donny also admitted that Debbie saved him and kept him on the right path.
Donny Digs Drake
It might come as a surprise but Donny is actually a fan of rapper, Drake. Donny was listening to the rapper with his son, explaining “He and I were listening to Drake the other day for just some inspiration for a groove that we were working on. But he has some very compromising lyrics, so we don’t agree with it in that respect, but we were both admiring the musicianship of Drake.” Start the calls for a Donny and Drake collaboration.
The Tough Questions
The entertainment business has never been a kind place and Donny was no exception to this. He recalled how interviewers would ridicule him saying “At times, interviewers hit buttons which really hurt. In England, when I was 10, I was asked what it was like to be the fattest Osmond. I just broke down and cried. It was terrible.” Donny later learned how to work in the industry without caring what others thought of him.
Donny Opposes Same-Sex Marriage
Donny shocked many with his statements on gay marriage. When Proposition 8 was announced, Donny was not in agreement, despite many other Mormons being for it. Donny said that while he accepts gay marriage, gays and lesbians should only be allowed in the Church if they agree to be celibate. “It is their choice, not mine on how they conduct their lives and choose to live the commandments according to the dictates of their own conscience.”
Better Late Than Never
In an interview, Donny appeared to throw Marie under the bus when he exclaimed “Don’t ever expect Marie to be on time!” Whether it is due to her children, or a general inability to keep to time, Marie always seems to be dragging behind. Although Donny appeared to throw her under the bus, he made up for it by saying “We have the same work ethic. I don’t know if it’s blood or what, but we know we’ll always show up for the other.”
American Idol Hopeful
Talent seems to run in the Osmond family but not everyone is as successful as the originals. When Donny’s nephew was a contestant for American Idol, his famous last name was not able to make up for his vocals. When David was booted off the show, the viewing public weren’t aware he had laryngitis which stopped him from giving his all. Donny wanted to make it up to his family member so had him perform on stage at the Flamingo.
Home Sweet Home
Las Vegas became all too familiar for Marie and after having a residency there, found that Nevada was really her home after all. She settled with her family in Henderson in Nevada’s Green Valley neighborhood, taking full advantage of everything the scenic area has to offer. She said of her move, “When I was flying back last time, I saw the Strip, I thought, ‘It really feels like I’m home.’ And for me, that’s huge.”
Donny’s Home Away From Home
Unlike his sister, Donny was unable to see Las Vegas as his hometown and only associated the party city with work. Donny will always be a hometown boy and has stayed in Provo, Utah for his whole life. When he is performing, he stays in Las Vegas in a suite upstairs at the Flamingo, but his down time with his family will always be in Utah. Donny’s Mormon roots were also a factor for him staying in the Mormon state.
Keeping It Together
Being the only daughter in a family of eight brothers has its ups and downs, but Marie has dealt with it in the best way possible. Marie took advantage of her female influence and often has the other brothers in fits of laughter, at the best and worst of times. However, she also has the responsibility of keeping the family close together, stating “My mom said to me, ‘You’re Marie Osmond: Your M.O. is to keep (the Osmond brothers) all humble.”
Solo Opera Stint
Marie Osmond has proved to be quite the talented lady and has studied opera for seven years. While she rarely sings opera in public, she recently performed a piece in her segment of the Donny and Marie residency. Marie belted out a rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s aria “Pie Jesu”. She completed the performance with a smoky stage and a bright spotlight. She said of the performance “I could be more operatic than ‘Pie Jesu, but I didn’t want to scare anyone to death.”
Close But No Cassidy
When Donny was approached about teaming up with his former rival David Cassidy to have a TV show together, he was coming round to the idea. The show was to be aired in the early 2000’s and producers were excited about putting two heartthrobs together. However, when Donny went for negotiations, the idea of the show was quickly scrapped with the singer stating “We had one meeting, and it was like, OK, I don’t want to go there.”
Trusting The Producer
The Osmonds have always done well to have no jealously between them and perhaps it is down to their Mormon values. Jimmy may produce the show, but the family seem fine with his extra income. Jimmy said “I don’t think anybody is totally happy, but I believe there is a fairness formula in everything. If somebody risks the money to present a concert, there’s a fair formula for that. I’ve always been able to show my brothers 100% transparency when I produce.”
Fraud And Embezzlememt
The Osmonds have been open and honest about their financial troubles and instead of seeking revenge on those who cheated them of millions, they took a compassionate response. Jimmy said “I’ve had fraud and embezzlement from employees. I had an opportunity to send them to prison, but I chose not to and had them take responsibility and do their best to pay me back as much as they could. To this day I’m friendly with them. I believe in forgiving and moving on.”
Donny Likes To Dance On Table Tops
Donny has always been an enthusiastic performer who gives his all in every show. But Marie revealed that it is only a handful of shows when Donny gets carried away in the music and begins to dance on the audience’s tables. Marie gave away Donny and said “Donny dances on the tabletops at the Flamingo. Hold on to your beverage.” Donny’s love for the music and performing is rare to find nowadays.
Let’s Get Physical
Due to a grueling schedule, Marie Osmond lost 47 pounds through her appearance on Dancing With The Stars as well as the Flamingo show. Marie’s weight loss was not for vanity but was crucial for her health. Marie revealed “I had to be healthy. Heart disease runs in my family.” She continued, “Mom died of it, and my grandmother died of it, my dad had two pacemakers. I’m like, ‘Hello, ticking time bomb.’ One day, my son came to me and said, ‘Mom, you’re all we have.'”
Dancing The Pounds Away
The grueling hours of rehearsals and physical exercise also had a huge effect on Donny. He revealed that since they started their show in Las Vegas, he has lost two inches of his waistline. However, Donny was not just dependent on the show, but also began to incorporate full body workouts at the gym to keep him fit on stage. With both sibling being dedicated to a healthy, energetic lifestyle, they have been able to push each other forward.
A Day In The Life Of Donny
Donny’s day to day life seems relatively ordinary as he rises at 6 a.m, then has a call with his business manager. Following this, Donny has an hour sleep to make up for the four hours he gets at night and will then go off to record the cartoon series. The evenings usually see the star working out and then performing with Marie. When on tour, his life becomes a lot more boring as he is mostly on the tour bus.
Donny And Marie’s Middle Man
It took a long time for Donny and Marie to come back together, performing as a duo. The siblings had to learn how to work with one another again. Donny said, “I had to come to the conclusion that I’m not the dictator anymore. I can’t say ‘OK, Marie, you’re gonna do this and you’re gonna do that.’ I’m dealing with somebody who is in control of her own career now. That’s why we brought (director/choreographer) Barry Lather in as the mediator — or arbitrator.”
Always Give Ten Percent
It is a necessity in the Mormon religion to be altruistic and give 10% of your income away to charity and the Church, something that the Osmonds strive to do. Moreover, the family go above and beyond in their charity work. Marie is an advocate and founding member of the Children’s Miracle Network, which has raised over $4 billion. Furthermore, the Osmond Foundation is run by Donny and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Like almost all siblings, the Osmonds also have sibling tensions and family arguments. They may have to work with each other all the time, but Marie and Donny admitted to having their fair share of fights. Marie said in an interview, “Oooh, if anybody could hate each other…are you kidding? Working together and going home to the same house? We probably would have killed each other.” Lucky the siblings have decided to live in different states in their off time!
Losing Out On $80 Million
While most people would be cursing if they lost $80 million, the Osmond brothers say it is the best thing that happened to them. They all admitted they were taught a valuable life lesson, not just about finances but also about trust and humility. Jimmy admitted “We’d got to the point where we could have our own airplanes, and your attitude changes when you have that kind of money. It was a wonderful thing because my brothers are the most humble guys you will ever meet.”