DV Lottery 2023 Results: How To Check DV Lottery Entrant Status

The Results of the 2023 Diversity Visa program (DV-2023), also known as the Green Card lottery, can be checked online beginning Tuesday, May 7th, 2022, at 15:00GMT.

Results will only be available on the US Department of State website.

To check the results of your entry, you will need your confirmation number, year of birth, last name, and pass a simple security check to prove you are human.

USA passport on the flag of the US United Stetes.
USA passport on the flag of the US United Stetes.

How to check 2023 DV Lottery results

  1. Visit the U.S Department of State website https://dvlottery.state.gov/
  2. Click CHECK STATUS and CONTINUE
  3. Enter your Confirmation Number (Example: 2020xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)
  4. Enter Last Name or Family Name
  5. Enter Year of Birth
  6. Carefully look at the security code provided and enter it correctly
  7. Hit SUBMIT.
  8. The next page tells you if you have been selected for further processing or not.

The DV 2023 entrants are those that registered between October 6, 2021 and November 9, 2021. The US State Department will begin processing visas and conducting interviews for the eventual winners starting in October, 2022, with those who pass the interviews, background checks and other qualifications such as high school education and/or work experience being granted permanent resident visas.

The Diversity Visa program, which is administered by the State Department, makes 50,000 permanent resident visas available annually to nationals of countries with low immigration rates to the United States over the previous five years.



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Madame Tussauds: Where all public figures are waiting to have photos with you

Growing up, we all had dreams of meeting our childhood celebrities and role models. But sometimes we grow up only to realise the cringy hand of death has pulled them to the other side of life, or sometimes we just are not in a position to meet such cult figures one on one because of distance, finance, field of work and so many hindering factors.

But all hope is not lost, literally. What if I tell you there is another way you could ‘meet’ these celebrities and role models you so much dream to meet one day? Well, in a wax form.

That’s exactly the kind of experience the old famous Madame Tussauds museum offers people from all over the world.

The Madame Tussauds Museum, first opened in London, was founded by famous French sculptor Marie Grosholtz (later adopted his husband’s surname, Tussaud) in the late part of the 1800s. Marie who was born in 1761 spent her educational life learning wax modeling from mentor and teacher Dr. Curtius. By the age of twenty, she had become well known for her skills and knowledge in the art of wax modelling and was even employed as a tutor to the French Royal family.

After the death of her mentor and tutor, Dr. Curtius in 1794, Marie inherited his amazing collection of Wax models of war heroes, revolutionaries, royals and political figures famous at the time and began to tour Europe with them, organizing public exhibitions with them. She later renamed her exhibition as Madame Tussauds.  Unable to return home to France due to the Napoleonic wars, she finally settled in London as a permanent resident around 1830, and established the first Madame Tussauds Museum in the city of London.

Branches of the wax museum can be found in major cities around the world including the Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Pulau Ujong in Singapore where I recently visited and toured their Madame Tussauds Museums.

World renowned personalities like US president Donald Trump, Queen of talkshow, Oprah Winfrey, Basketball legends, and every person famous on this planet has their wax models in Madame Tussauds museums around the world.

Madame Tussauds Museums are one of the world’s most visited tourism destinations with people from all over the world travelling to different European, American and Asian cities to visit the famous wax models museums and take pictures with that celebrity or role model they wished but never had the chance to see.

Currently, Madame Tussaud Museums can be found in North America, Asia and Europe only, with branches yet to be established in any African country.

Endangered Primate Breeding Centre of Accra Zoo Receives Support

A wildlife and nature conservation non-governmental organisation (NGO), West Africa Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA), has  provided resources for the renovation and refurbishment of  the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre, an extension of the Accra Zoo.

The NGO which focuses on ensuring the survival of animals on the brink of extinction and helping renovate centres that house these animals made this known during a ceremony held in Accra.

The project manager of WAPCA, Mrs. Andrea Dempsey, said as part of the project, Ghana and the EU exchanged the rare Mangaebey and Roloway Geunon monkeys in a bid to promote interbreeding and maintain high genetic diversity, which increases the survival rate and growth of the monkeys.

The beneficiary institution of the project, the Accra Zoo, has been on the brink of collapse in recent years due to the lack of facilities and government support.

However manager of the Zoo, Mr. Tamanja, at the meeting with the NGO said the Accra Zoo found in the Achimota forest is still very much alive and receives huge patronage contrary to public perception that the Zoo is no longer functional.

Mr. Tamanja nevertheless admitted that animal reservation centres like the Accra Zoo needs help and urged more NGOs to emulate WAPCA in coming to the assistance of the Zoo and helping to refurbish the animal reserve centre.

WAPCA is an organisation formed by the Heidelberg Zoo in Germany and is funded by the membership of eleven European zoos

 

Ghana-South Africa visa-free agreement comes up again; SA High Commissioner says it takes effect by December 2021

The long-promised visa-free travel for Ghanaians to South Africa is up again for discussion in 2021.

South Africa High Commissioner to Ghana, Grace Jeanet Mason, has said on Asaase Radio that the visa-free agreement between Ghana and South Africa will become operational by December 2021.

The high commissioner, however, did not mention the stage the agreement has reached, and what has prevented its implementation since Ghanaians were promised in 2019. The high commissioner might have been forced to say this as a response to a question posed to her. Let us see what happens by December 2021.

South Africa Flag
South Africa Flag

Though South Africa is yet to grant holders of Ghanaian passport visa-free travel to the country, many online portals, including the website of the parliament of Ghana, have declared South Africa a visa-free country for holders of Ghanaian ordinary passports.

All the countries that were promised visa-free travel to South Africa in 2019 are all enjoying it with the exception of Ghana with no explanation given. South Africa might have changed their mind or Ghana mistakenly appeared on the list.

Dubai Visa-free For Ghana: Can Ghanaians Travel To Dubai Without A Visa?

Good news about visas is always received with joy. A typical Ghanaian doesn’t mind spending his life savings on a vacation due to the prestige attached to traveling abroad. However, the process of obtaining visas puts many off due to the uncertainties associated with the outcome of visa applications.

In 2019, it was all over that Ghana has signed a visa-free agreement with Malta to allow holders of ordinary Ghanaian passports to travel to Malta without a visa. It took me series of posts to explain to people why it can never be as Malta is a member of Schengen and as such the country cannot solely admit other nationals into the Schengen area. The agreement was only between holders of Diplomatic passports.

News on South Africa granting Ghanaians visa-free travel also made waves and it’s still on reputable websites, including that of Ghana’s Parliament, that holders of Ghanaian ordinary passport can travel to South Africa without a visa. South Africa visa-free travel for Ghana remains a promise, a promise that may never be fulfilled.

Skydive, Dubai
Skydive, Dubai

Now, there’s another news from Parliament, the same parliament that said Ghanaians can go to Dubai without a visa lol. Don’t celebrate yet as the reports on various news platforms are conflicting.

UAE will never grant holders of Ghanaian ordinary passports visa-free travel. The only countries that travel to the United Arab Emirates without a visa are member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The GCC is made up of Arab countries; Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. UAE suspended its diplomatic relations with Qatar which took away the visa-free access Qatar enjoyed.

Dubai visa is a great source of revenue for the UAE. The best they can offer us is visa-on-arrival. Even countries like the USA and UK whose passports are considered to be some of the strongest in the world do not enjoy visa-free travel to Dubai. The agreement signed between Ghana and the UAE probably allows only holders of diplomatic and service passports to travel between the two countries without a visa.

World’s Largest Aircraft Lands In Accra, Ghana

The world’s largest aircraft, Antonov An-225 Mriya, has landed at the Kotoka International Airport. The plane which was heading to Namibia to deliver COVID-19 supplies made a stop at KIA on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, to refuel before completing its journey.

The aircraft landed successfully in Ghana at around 4:00pm from Leipzig in Germany.

Namibian authorities confirmed the arrival of the aircraft and added that it carried medical equipment to help the country fight the rise of the number of coronavirus infections.

“The world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov-225, with a consignment of medical equipment and materials landed at the Hosea Kutako International Airport this afternoon.

“The consignment will be used to contain the spread of COVID-19,” Namibia’s Airports Company posted on Twitter on July 8. The post was accompanied with photos of the plane offloading its cargo.

The world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov-225, with a consignment of medical equipment and materials landed at the Hosea Kutako International Airport this afternoon.

Until hitting the skies to deliver coronavirus supplies, the world’s longest and heaviest operational aircraft, the Antonov An-225, was on a hiatus for about 10 months after its operations were paused in August 2020.

Photo: Helmuts Rudzītis via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Helmuts Rudzītis via Wikimedia Commons

Quick Facts About Antonov An-225 Mriya

Type of Aircraft Strategic Airlifter
Weight 285,000 kg
Wingspan 88.4 m
Length 84 m
Top Speed 850 km/h
Fuel Capacity 300,000kg
Cargo Capacity 250 tonnes

 

Antonov Airlines, the operator of Antonov An-225 Mriya, has operated several relief flights for transportation of coronavirus pandemic-related humanitarian and medical goods to places in need. In April 2020, the An-225 flew 100 cubic meters of medical supplies from China to Poland. This is reported to be the largest volume of cargo ever carried by plane, Simple Flying reported. The airline broke its record a week later after transporting even more supplies from China to France. It reportedly took more than 10 hours for the airport workers to unload all the cargo after the flight landed.

With a wingspan of 88.4 meters, a height of 18.2 meters, and a take-off weight of 1,410,958 pounds, the jet was designed and built in the 1980s in the Soviet Union.

Kopi Luwak: World’s most expensive coffee from animal’s faeces

Coffees are naturally made from different plants all over the world but there is this special one which coffee cherries are not directly collected from the plants but from the faecal matter of an animal called Luwak, an Asian Palm Civet. Well inasmuch as that may sound odd and weird, this is absolutely a reality.

May be we should start tasting faeces of other animals as Grasscutter Faeces is also used by Ghanaians to prepare very delicious soup.

The Civet coffee also known as the Kopi Luwak, is produced by the Asian Palm Civet. The special coffee is produced when the little Asian mammals eat coffee cherries. The coffee cherries undergo partial digestion as they pass through the intestines of the Civet, after which they come out as faecal matter.

The faecal matter (digested cherries) is then collected by the coffee producers, processed and packaged as coffee. The Civet coffee is the world’s most expensive coffee and is regarded as a reserve for the rich with a kilogram costing as much as $700.

Akesse Sanza roasts Luwak Coffee Beans in Bali, Indonesia
Akesse Sanza roasts Luwak Coffee Beans in Bali, Indonesia

Over the years, farmers and producers of the Civet coffee have argued that the coffee provides more health benefits as compared to others. While these may not have been proven by any scientific research, there has been no report of the coffee having an adverse health effects on consumers.

The traditional means which used to be the collection of faeces from the wild civets have given way to large and intensive farming where civets are reared in cages and forcefully given the coffee cherries to eat.

This farming practice has particularly become common in Asian countries like Vietnam and the Philippines as well as Indonesia where the wild civet abound and are mostly found, also making these countries the main producers of the civet coffee.

Animal Welfare Controversy

Over the course of the years, international organisations have had cause to question producers of the Civet coffee over the treatment of the civets. According to investigators and animal rights groups, the civets are cruelly treated by the farmers, forced to eat coffee berries or risk being beaten by the farmers. Animal rights group, TRAFFIC, reports that about tens of thousands of civets are forcefully taken from the wild and undergo severe cruelty in battery cages all in a bid to force them to eat coffee berries and produce the needed faecal matter for the market. British media BBC upon investigations also reported that civet coffees from caged civets are branded as civet coffee berries obtained through collection in the forests.

The Asian Civet

The Asian civet, popularly known as The Luwak, is a small catlike animal found predominantly in Eastern Asia. The Luwak lives in the forest among other wild animals and eats among other foods the coffee berries. These coffee berries after eaten by the Civets, goes through a digestion process as common with all animals and consumed foods. However, unlike other eaten foods, the coffee berries undergoes only partial digestion and some sort of special fermentation process, that changes the consumed coffee berries into something else- with a wonderful aroma, rather than the usual stench that comes with faecal matter.

A Luwak snacks on coffee berries inside its cage in Bali, Indonesia.
A Luwak snacks on coffee berries inside its cage in Bali, Indonesia.

While the Civet Coffee is predominantly produced in Asia, the product can be found in the markets of Europe and the America, but at very high prices due to the rarity and uniqueness of the coffee.

The Chale Wote Festival in Accra, Ghana, Is a Street Style Paradise

Now in its eighth year, the Chale Wote Street Art Festival in Accra brings thousands of people to Ghana’s capital for around a week of festivities, including film premieres, skate shows, gallery shows (more than 200 artists exhibit work), and music and dance. For days, the historic Jamestown neighborhood, which served as the city’s bustling port on the ocean and now is home base to scores of fishermen, is packed with people partying in the bright sun. “Our vision is to cultivate a wider audience for the arts in West Africa by breaking creative boundaries and using art as a viable form to rejuvenate public spaces,“ says the festival’s statement of intent.

Photographed by Stephen Tayo
Photographed by Stephen Tayo

It is, to say the least, an electric affair, made all the more thrilling by the eclectic street style all around, including the many outfits both traditional and non- that honor the region’s great history.

Chale Wote 2018 street art festival Para-other (BBC/Tetebotankali portrait)
Chale Wote 2018 street art festival Para-other (BBC/Tetebotankali portrait)
Fighting the plastic waste monster at Chale Wote 2018 (Twitter/P_DallaStella)
Fighting the plastic waste monster at Chale Wote 2018 (Twitter/P_DallaStella)

Stephen Tayo, a young photographer from Nigeria, has been gracefully documenting West African style for some time, but popped up at Chale Wote for the very first time this year. “There is so much amazing history in Ghana, so I wanted to document and understand more about what’s going on in this country,” he says. “The main thing was to tell an African story in a very genuine way.”

So what was the overall vibe at the massive festival? “I think the idea was to steal the show,” Tayo says. And that, surely, is an understatement: Tayo captured kids with neon-green hair and nose rings; with paper clips hanging from their head, or head-to-toe white feathers; or with the simple, showstopping colorblocking of bright yellow overalls with a kerchief perfectly tied around the neck. “I just wanted to capture style, identity, beauty,” Tayo says. Mission accomplished.

Things Ghanaians do all because of Travel Visas

Obtaining a travel visa in West Africa is very strenuous due to the ever growing illegal immigrants from the region. Even as a Travel Blogger with travel experience to almost all the leading countries around the globe, I still have to apply many times to obtain visas to travel and promote their own countries.

In Ghana, procuring visas requires a lot and people are forced to present themselves to the embassies in a way that would please them by faking who they are or doing what they are not really ready to do.

Despite all the measures put in place, embassies issue more visas to illegal immigrants than to people with real intentions. This is due to the high level of “social and economic fabrication” by the illegal immigrants.

Visa applicants would go the extra mile to please Visa Officers and these are some of the things people are forced to do all in the name of visas.

Prayer and Fasting
As an Evangelist, I have never supported the idea of praying and fasting all because of visa applications. God has important issues to deal with. In the wake of fake prophets in the country, praying for visa applicants is a great source of revenue. Visa applicants are willing to pay prophets for special prayers to help influence the outcome of their visa application.

100% of people who seek such assistance are illegal immigrants. How would God help you in telling lies? These guys are forced to live righteous lives in order to gain favour from God during their visa interviews. Some prophets even mention visas in their commercials.

University Education
There is this myth that every university student is entitled to a visa once in the third or final year. Many people were forced to school because they want to apply for visas as students. Some who succeed either quit school or defer their courses for a while.

Saving for bank statements
Bank Statement of accounts is a major document required in a visa application. Visa applicants quit all investments so as to have the funds to operate a bank account to please a visa consular. Such people would just be wasting the bank’s resources in depositing and withdrawing funds on daily basis just to have a lengthy bank statement of accounts for visa applications.

Genuine travellers usually do not have very good bank statements due to the fact that their funds are invested in businesses.

Payslips / Registration of Businesses
Though Ghanaian laws may require, it has not been made mandatory for all businesses to be registered before obtaining a visa. When it is time to apply for a visa, a street hawker would even register his/her business in order to get evidence of a running business in the form of Business Registration Certificates.

Most employees are not given payslips by their employers. They earn fixed salaries that do not come with any explanation. When it’s time to apply for visas, employers are forced to prepare payslips for the previous months to aid the visa application.

Payment of taxes
Companies and other businesses that pay taxes in Ghana pay because they may need tax clearance certificates in the course of their business operations; either to clear goods at the port or bid for contracts.

Apart from these, people only pay taxes because of visa applications. Thanks to visas, the government is collecting so much money even from people who do not work but pretend to be working all because of visas.

Marriage
As social ties may contribute to the outcome of one’s application, people are forced to obtain marriage documents even without having a girlfriend or boyfriend. One could even name his sister as a wife.

Kids
If I have kids, definitely I would be returning after my trip to be with them. The birth registry is filled with names of kids that are yet to be born.

I know some years to come, the embassies would require that all family members appear at the embassy even if they are not travelling with the applicant.

Passport goes missing after every visa refusal
There is a myth that once an embassy denies you a visa, other embassies would also do same. As such people just throw their passports away for new ones once they are denied visas. This is one major reason why the Passport Office is always choked.

Thanksgiving at Church
Some successful applicants attribute their visas approval to God. Probably, God assisted them to blind the consular officer over the fake documents and approved the visas to enable him/her become an illegal immigrant. Very interesting how people think God plays part in such evil.

On Sundays, testimonies at churches are filled with that of successful visa applicants.

Paying huge monies
Despite most visa application fees being less than $200, people pay huge monies to ‘middlemen’ who do no good to their applications but to jeopardise the outcome. The media have reported several arrests of people duping visa applicants up to GHS 40,000 (almost $10,000) to assist them to obtain visas for various countries.

Travel Experience
This is probably the funniest thing Ghanaians do when it comes to visas. Visa applicants believe that having a travel experience would increase their chances of getting a visa. Yes, this is true but the funniest part is that one would just visit our neighboring countries without having anything to do there and record it as a travel experience.

South Africans can travel to over 100 countries without visas

AS of today, South Africans can travel to over 100 countries and territories worldwide without visas. Travel requirement changes from time to time and you are advised to check with the respective embassies or updated travel information before making travel plans.

Below are some of the countries that allow visa-free entry for South African passport holders:

Brazil – 90 days
Antigua and Barbuda – 1 month
Argentina – 90 days
Costa Rica – 90 days
Ireland – 3 months
Vanuatu – 30 days
Bahamas – 4 weeks (extendable up to 8 months)
Barbados – 6 months
Chile – 90 days
Belize

Venezuela – 90 days
Benin – 30 days
Haiti – 3 months
Botswana – 90 days
Guyana – 3 months
Saint Kitts and Nevis – 3 months
Nepal – 90 days
Jamaica – 180 days
Ecuador – 90 days
Dominica – 6 months
Colombia – 180 days
Saint Lucia – 6 weeks

Guatemala – 90 days
Malawi – 90 days
Dominican Republic – 30 day tourist card must be purchased on arrival.
El Salvador – 90 days
Zambia – 90 days
Peru – 180 days
Namibia – 3 months
Fiji – 4 months
Georgia – 90 days within 180 days
Paraguay – 90 days
Micronesia – 30 days
Rwanda – 90 days
Grenada – 3 months
Nicaragua – 90 days
Uruguay – 90 days
Philippines – 30 days
Honduras – 90 days

Panama – 180 days
Lesotho – 30 days
Israel – 90 days
Malaysia – 90 days
Mozambique – 3 months
Tanzania – 90 days
South Korea – 30 days
Mauritius – 90 days
New Zealand – 90 days
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – 1 month
Singapore – 30 days
Zimbabwe – 3 months
Swaziland – 30 days
Trinidad and Tobago – 90 days
Thailand – 1 month (air) / 15 days (land)