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NAIROBI, KENYA - JUNE 08: Kenyans protest against police brutality and extradition killings in the informal settlement Mathare on June 8, 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya. Some of the placards show names of family members, friends and neighbours from the community that have been killed by the police during the last few years.

‘Enough is Enough’: Kenyans take to the streets to protest against police brutality

"I am here to protest for our youth who have died in the hands of the police without any wrongdoings and we are saying enough is enough."

A rural Kenyan neighbourhood was packed with protesters on Monday in light of a recently released report detailing the police brutality that came with the enforcing of COVID-19 related lockdowns.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) announced that it has received 87 complaints of abuse from Kenyan citizens by law enforcement. The spike of police violence is said to have been influenced by the dusk-to-dawn curfew which came into play from March 27th.


According to the report released by IPOA, 15 people were killed, and "31 incidents where victims sustained injuries" which were "directly linked to actions of police officers during the curfew enforcement."

Rahma Wako, a mother and resident of the Kenyan neighbourhood Mathare, said, "I am here to protest for our youth who have died in the hands of the police without any wrongdoings and we are saying enough is enough."

The Kenyan protesters are certainly with the times as is seen with the current global and societal climate. On May 25th, the murder of unarmed African-American man George Floyd sparked global protest, as many have felt empowered to take on their own perpetrators in the recent wave of global unrest.

Many African countries have been up in arms as law enforcers have violently, and sometimes fatally, enforced lockdown rules in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been cases of excessive force and unnecessary brutality, and many African nationals have taken to the streets to demand justice be served against the authoritative figures brought in to protect them.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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