UPDATE: Was Nigerian Snapchat Star Bobrisky Arrested for Being Gay? Police Say No.

Idris Okuneye, also known as Bobrisky on social media, was arrested in Lagos—and it's still unclear why.

UPDATE (11/09/2017): Edgal Imohimi, Lagos State's Acting Commission of Police, says to Punch that no report was made against Nigerian social media influencer Bobrisky.

"I don't know about the arrest, and the command did not arrest him. He does not have any problem with the command. Ask him who arrested him," Imohimi says.

Sahara Reporters also spoke with lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria Festus Keyamo where he says Bobrisky can't be jailed for publicly admitting he is gay "unless caught in the act."

"Yes, it may amount to corrupting public moral when you go on social media to announce you are gay," he says to Sahara Reporters, "but we are talking about the law here and not sentiment and if we are talking about the law, the person has to be caught in the act."

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Here's our original report from Nov. 8 below:

Bobrisky, Nigeria's self-proclaimed male Barbie and social media influencer, has been arrested in Lagos, Nigeria, according to Sahara Reporters.

The internet, local outlets and blogs have been buzzing with speculation as to why Bobrisky, or Idris Okuneye, was arrested. However, many reports have been attributing the arrest to an admission he made Monday of being gay on social media.

If the allegations are true, he could face up to 14 years in prison if found guilty of homosexuality.

Other reports have also linked his arrest to a recent social media dispute Bobrisky had with entrepreneur Toyin Lawaniwhose assistant has since refuted the claim.

Linda Ikeji's Blog (LIB) reached out to Famous Cole, Lagos State Police PRO, who says he was not aware of such arrest. "Maybe he was invited for questioning or he went voluntarily to make a complaint," he says to LIB.

Since this news broke, Nigerians have been contentiously debating on whether LGBTQ people should be jailed. Many have been celebrating his arrest—which in turn exposes problematic and homophobic opinions for all to see.

Bobrisky has been able to utilize social media to be open and himself—one of the few safe spaces to be in a place that's deceitfully claims to be a progressive nation. He's ultimately a human being—and no person or government should determine how he's to live his life.

Many others agree.

The Ethiopian Government Has Asked Olympic Runner In Exile, Feyisa Lilesa, to Return Home

After two years in exile, the Olympic athlete will return home and receive a "hero's welcome."

Feyisa Lilesa, the Ethiopian runner who went into exile in 2016 after bravely protesting the Ethiopian government's brutal treatment of its Oromo population at the Rio Olympics, has been invited to return to home.

After living in self-imposed exile United States for two years the marathoner, who demonstrated by crossing his fists as he reached the finish line and claimed the silver medal, has been extended an offer to return to his homeland and compete for his country once again by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation and the country's Olympic committee. According to VOA News, the runner will return home in the coming weeks with his wife and children.

"Athlete Feyisa Lilesa has scored great results at the Rio Olympics and other athletics competitions enabling Ethiopia's flag to be hoisted to great heights," read a joint letter from the two athletics organizations.

"We want Lilesa to return to his home country to resume his athletics competition and upon his return we are prepared to give him a hero's welcome."

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Politics
Image via GovernmentZA's Flickr.

Could Justice Finally Be on the Horizon for Marikana Massacre Families?

New evidence suggests that the police intended to kill all along.

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the Marikana Massacre, when 34 mine-workers were gunned down by police after several days of wage disputes at Lonmin Mine in Rustenburg, North West province. New information was recently uncovered that undermines the police's longstanding claim that they acted in self-defence. If anything, it is a glimmer of hope for the families of the victims that remain left behind in the aftermath of that tragedy.

It was the worst mass civilian killing since the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, where South African protesters were killed for opposing the Apartheid regime. The Marikana Massacre, in contrast, was the tragic consequence of week-long wage disputes and clashes between miners and the South African police.

While media footage appears to show the miners as the victims, police have always argued that they were acting in self defence. Consequently no officers involved have been charged. Instead, the surviving mineworkers face murder charges under the doctrine of common purpose. But unnerving facts have come to light that seem to make the police argument even less likely. This includes the ordering of 4000 rounds of live ammunition and several vans from the mortuary the day before the massacre.

I cannot even begin to unpack my anger and frustration at this terrible irony.

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Remembering Aretha Franklin and Her Heartfelt Connection With Nelson Mandela

In honor of the Queen of Soul's immeasurable impact, we revisit her passionate support of Nelson Mandela, and the anti-apartheid movement, through her musical tributes.

Iconic singer, Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul" passed away on Thursday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76.

Franklin was considered by many to be the greatest singer of all time. Her influence on popular music cannot be overstated. The legendary artist sold 75 million records and earned 18 Grammys in a career spanning six decades and she was influential in many global social movements as well.

Having been a widely-embraced public figure for so long, Franklin was present for some of the biggest events of the 20th century, including the funeral of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990.

Upon Mandela's release, the singer played a unique role in welcoming him to the States by performing at a freedom rally in his honor in Detroit. Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson and Stevie Wonder were also in attendance for the historic night. During the celebration, Franklin called the anti-apartheid leader on stage, where he spoke about listening to and appreciating "the Detroit, Motown Sound" while he was in prison.

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