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Guinean army forces patrol in the street in Conakry on March 22, 2020 during a constitutional referendum in the country

50 Deaths Recorded in Guinea's Protests Ahead of National Elections

Amnesty International has reported that 50 people have died in anti-government protests following President Alpha Conde's run for third presidential bid.

Guinea president Alpha Conde's run for third term has reportedly resulted in the death of 50 people ahead of planned national elections this month, Al Jazeera reports. An Amnesty Internationalreport has condemned the government's stance on non accountability for the reported deaths. The West African country has been ruled with an iron fist since last year since rising opposition against Conde.


Read: Zimbabwe Announces "Patriot Bill" Amidst Rising Human Rights Protests

Conde was a long-time oppositional leader before he was elected in 2010 and was reportedly seen as the people's hope. He was elected again in 2015, but shortly afterwards, he lost favour with his citizens especially when he indicated to run for a third term.

Political tensions have been steadily rising with increased incidences of violence towards protestors. Amnesty International reports that over 200 people have been injured, 70 imprisoned and 50 shot dead in anti-Conde protests since October last year. The government's callous actions have yet to be formally investigated or accounted for. Conde's authoritarianism contravenes Guinea's Constitution which allows freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

National elections are set to take place on the 18th of October. Original elections in December 2018 were postponed due to political delay which led to the amendment of the Constitution and granted Conde the opportunity to run for a third term. Oppositional party leaders for National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) had planned demonstrations for the 6th of October against him, but the 82-year-old Conde sent an army to siege the party leader's house.

Amnesty International conducted over 100 interviews and cites that even children were shot in the back, neck and even in the head. Fear of Conde is so entrenched that it is reported that even mortuaries do not accept bodies of people killed in anti-Conde protests. However, citizens are undeterred and protests continue. Power mongering is a thorn in Africa's side, Ivory Coast's president Alassane Outarra is also running for third term.

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Photo by: Robert Okine

Fans Want Davido's 'FEM' To Be Nominated For the 'Social Change' Grammy

During the #EndSARS movement, Davido's 'FEM' became an unlikely rally battle cry. Now, Nigerians want to see the song get an accolade for its role in one of Nigeria's most talked about protests in recent time.


Earlier this year, The Recording Academy announced that it would be releasing new categories under its award sections, and one of these songs included was for Best Song for Social Change.

Davido fans have caught on to this change. And they are now pushing for "FEM" to be one of the songs nominated. In a recent Twitter frenzy, a bevy of Davido fans are saying that the Nigerian Afrobeats singer deserves the award for his song, which became an unexpected call to arms for the #EndSARS coalition. According to the Academy, the determining criteria for the "Best Song for Social Change" category would be based on the principle that the song inspired some form of social good that benefitted the general public, and Nigerian Twitter seems to think Davido's controversial record fits the bill. Many people are taking their opinions a step further by submitting their votes to the Recording Academy's website in droves.

Following the tragedy of the October 20, 2020 protests at Lekki toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria, the #EndSARS conversation continues to leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many Nigerians. The movement sparked global outrage after a group of young people across Nigeria took to the streets calling for the end of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). During this time, Davido's "FEM," became the unanimous battlecry for the social justice initiative.

The word "FEM" translates into "shut up," and although the "Stand Strong" singer did not intend for the song to be linked to the campaign, according to his statement to NME, it essentially became a voice for the mega rallies for justice. Later that year, the ongoing protests, which started out mildly, triggered members of SARS to respond with lethal force and eventually culminated to deaths at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos.

On the wide spectrum, while many Nigerians pointed out that the song might have been recorded in an unrelated cause, a multiple fans agree that it played an unforgettable part in the history of one of Nigeria's biggest protests in recent time. In addition to his voice being associated with the political outcry, Davido also joined protesters to denounce the effects of SARS on the lives of Nigerian youth in multiple vivd photos shared online at the time. Below are some of the reactions that some Twitter users had to the recent development.

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Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Bobi Wine Takes His Fight to Venice

Hoping to attract a broader interest in his mission to end dictatorial rule, the Ugandan musician and politician features in a buzzed-about documentary screening at this year’s Venice International Film Festival.


“I had almost forgotten how to be among stars,” tweeted Bobi Wine, tongue-in-cheek, as he posted pictures of his arrival on the red carpet at the Venice International Film Festival for the premiere of Bobi Wine: Ghetto President. Billed as an ‘observational documentary,’ the film brings Wine’s story – how he rose from the informal settlement of Kamwokya and became a star himself – together with his pursuit of justice and democracy in his homeland of Uganda, to an international audience.

Bobi Wine: Ghetto President is showing out of competition and so isn’t up for the festival’s main prize, the Golden Lion. But that’s not why Wine, aka Robert Kyagulanyi, traveled to Italy, wearing the trademark red beret symbol of his People Power movement. Instead, he’s hoping the film draws attention to a cause he’s been championing for the last 5 years.

“I want the people in the international community to know that somewhere in the world, somewhere in Africa, in a country called Uganda, people are being massacred for what they think,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. Above that, Wine is calling for an end to the support President Yoweri Museveni has received, and wants the international community – specifically the US, which provides aid to Uganda – to be aware of how that money is being used to “undermine human rights and democracy in Uganda.”

Taking the film to a prestigious international festival such as Venice presents Wine with a global platform. In a tweet posted by the Venice Film Festival, he’s quoted as saying, “What is happening in Uganda is terrible. I am glad #BobiWineGhettoPresident will bring it to light. People are voiceless there: they need someone to speak for them.”

The film shows how Wine has endeavored to be that voice, both in song and in speech. It traces the start of his grassroots political campaign in 2017 up to 2021, when he ran against Museveni in the presidential elections, and lost, in what many international organizations deemed was a questionable outcome, with claims of vote tampering and fraud.

Ghetto President is directed by Christopher Sharp, who was born in Uganda, and Moses Buyo, an activist who took over camera duties when the film’s previous camera people left the production. Both Sharp and Buyo knew of Wine through his music and had been fans of the messages he sought to share in his music. Following Wine and his wife, Barbie, with fly-on-the-wall footage, the film immerses the audience in their relationship and the trials its undergone as a result of Wine's political activities. One such attack left Wine seeking treatment from the US for his injuries. Indeed, Buyo, too, has suffered his share of assault in making the film, having been shot in the face with a rubber bullet, and also arrested numerous times, while filming.

A still from the documentary Bobi Wine:

A still from the documentary Bobi Wine: Ghetto President, which is currently playing at this year's Venice Film Festival.

Photo: La Biennale Di Venezia

Festival director Alberto Barbera called the documentary “powerful” and “unbelievable,” and it’s received positive reviews so far, with Deadline lauding its ‘stirring’ scenes and message of hope. Similar to Sam Soko’s documentary, Softie, which followed Kenyan photographer-turned-politician Boniface Mwangi, the film is also being heralded for the love story at the center of it, between Wine and Barbie, and how they've persisted in the face of numerous violent actions.

While Ghetto President details Uganda and Wine's specific struggle to fight for democracy, some reviewers have noted it holds a message for governments further afield too. The Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Feinberg says its call to action to hold Museveni accountable speaks to the West's need to 'keep an eye on its own democratic virtues too.' In bringing his message to the world, through the form of a documentary that gets people talking, Wine may also find it resonates far beyond Uganda in ways he could not have imagined.

Sports

All You Need to Know About the African Teams at the World Cup

We break down how Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco, and Tunisia's national teams are looking ahead of the Qatar World Cup 2022.

African football has come a long way.

Egypt was the first African team to ever participate in a FIFA World Cup. They did it in Italy in 1934, where they only played a game, which they lost 4-2 to Hungary. Back then, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) didn’t exist, so the Pharaohs played two qualifier games against British Palestine.

CAF was eventually formed in 1956, but the World Cup would only see another African team in Mexico 1970, when Morocco qualified. Years later, Pelé, the legendary Brazilian player, predicted that an African team would win a World Cup before the year 2000, he was mocked mercilessly. For many, it was not an unlikely outcome, it was an absurd proposition.

And yet, African footballers have become more and more often part of the footballing elite, playing in the best leagues, and becoming some of the most famous players. While, still, only European and South American teams have won World Cups.

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Interview

Seni Saraki On Co-Producing the Nigerian Side of the 'Black Panther' Soundtrack

We speak with NATIVE's Seni Saraki who helped put together the Lagos arm of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - Music From and Inspired By.

Back in July when Marvel released its Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Prologue EP, led by Tems’ soul-stirring cover of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” the consensus among young, internet-savvy Africans was that the follow-up to 2018’s record-breaking Black Panther was shaping up to be seminal moment for African culture after years of gestation and ascending visibility in the western world.

The arrival of the full soundtrack has proved that the optimism felt at that time was not unfounded. In a sharp contrast to the Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack for the first film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - Music From and Inspired By is a full-on deep-dive into the pulse of African and Mexican popular music as we know it. Taking influences from these sources makes sense as the movie is primarily inspired by both Nigerian and Meso-american cultures and we get to see acts like Burna Boy, Fireboy DML, DBN Gogo, and CKay line-up on the musical accompaniment to one of the eagerly-anticipated releases of the year.

To get some perspective on how the African arm of the soundtrack came together, we spoke to The NATIVE’s editor-in-chief, Seni Saraki, who served as the soundtrack album co-producer for the Lagos arm of production, touching on his involvement with the project, its reception, and what he hopes its legacy might be.

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