News Brief

Hundreds of Rescued Migrants Begin Their Journey to Spain After Italy Refused To Take Them In

630 "exhausted" migrants are finally making their way to Spain after Italy refused to allow a rescue ship to dock.

The Aquarius, a search and rescue ship carrying 630 migrants and had been stranded in the Mediterranean since Sunday, is now making its four day journey to Spain, CNN reports.


The ship was stranded between Malta and Sicily, after Italy's new populist government turned it away. The Aquarius had been carrying 120 unaccompanied minors and seven pregnant women. On Tuesday, 250 people were transferred to the Italian Navy's Orione, and 274 where transferred to the Coast Guard's Dattilo ship to alleviate the Aquarius.

Annelise Borges, a journalist for Euronews and NBC who was on board the Aquarius tells CNN that "everyone is extremely hot and very tired." She also describes the fear that the migrants were experiencing as "so present, so palpable."

The Aquarius has no showers or sinks for migrants on the ship, and the rescue workers rely on disinfectant spray to use for people's hands before their meals. On Tuesday morning, Italy sent some medical supplies to the Aquarius where 21 people where suffering from chemical burns from the mix of salt water and spilled fuel that had been in the rubber boats.

Italian far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had posted on Facebook, "VICTORY! 629 migrants on board of Aquarius ship, Spain-bound, our first goal has been reached!"

William Lacy Swing, the director general of the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM), also posted on social media, tweeting, "I fear a major tragedy if states start refusing to accept rescued migrants as was threatened."

The Aquarius will now dock in Valencia, which is 800 miles from where the ship had been stranded. While this avoids a larger crisis, it can hardly be described as a "victory" in the long run, since the Mediterranean remains the deadliest migration route in the world.

(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Monirul Bhuiyan via GettyImages

Former President of Botswana Ian Khama Condemns Zimbabwean Government

Former Botswana President Ian Khama has condemned Zimbabwe's government and joined solidarity with #ZimbabweanLivesMatter.

Former President of Botswana, Ian Khama, has condemned Zimabwe's Zanu PF-led regime in a voice recording broadcasted by eNCA. Khama, known for being outspoken, has critiqued Zimbabwe's violent treatment of journalists and civilians. He voiced out concerns about alleged recent human rights violations which Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa continues to deny. The voice recording follows after southern African states' representatives hosted a webinar to critically discuss political affairs in the region.

Keep reading... Show less

J Molley Enlists Costa Titch and Yanga Chief in New Single 'Ang'na Stress' From Upcoming Mixtape

Listen to J Molley's new single 'Ang'na Stress' featuring Costa Titch and Yanga Chief.

In his new single, J Molley expands his scope as he collaborates with artists one wouldn't have predicted. Yanga Chief and Costa Titch spread their sauce on "Ang'na Stress", rapping and singing mostly in South African indigenous languages IsiZulu and IsiXhosa alongside J Molley's English raps.

"Ang'na Stress" is catchy and has mass appeal, it should get decent spins on radio. The song will appear on J Molley's upcoming mixtape All Is Fair In Love & War. The project is the hip-hop artist's first mixtape, and will be a follow-up to his EPs, Dreams Money Can Buy (2017) and Leader of the Wave, a Playlist by J Molley (2018).

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Somali President Replaces Former Prime Minister Ahead of Elections

President Mohamed Abduallahi Mohamed has announced Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble as Somalia's new prime minister ahead of upcoming elections.