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More Than 70 Students Have Been Abducted From a School In Northwest Cameroon

Officials have blamed separatist militias in the country's English-speaking regions for the kidnapping.

Several students were kidnapped from the Presbyterian Secondary School, near the northwestern capital of Bamenda either late Sunday or early morning on Monday, according to Cameroonian officials.

Seventy-eight students are reported to have been taken from the school, allegedly by separatists militiamen. The school's principal and two other employees have also been reported missing. According to government officials, no one was killed during the kidnapping which occurred the village of Nkwen.

A video, believed to have been recorded by one of the kidnappers, shows several young boys, looking obviously shaken, reciting the words "I was taken from school last night by the Amba boys, I don't know where I am" at the request of the kidnapper. The boys who attend the boarding school are all between the ages of 10 and 14.

READ: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Pens Op-Ed on the Ongoing Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon


Officials have blamed separatist forces, who are pushing for the independence of the country's Anglophone regions for the kidnapping, though no group has admitted to carrying out the abduction as of yet. Reverend Fonki Samuel Forba of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon says he spoke with the abductors. "They don't want any ransom. All they want is for us to close the schools," he said. "We have promised to close down the schools," he told BBC.

The ongoing crisis has left several hundreds dead, and caused tens of thousands to flee the two English-speaking regions. Students have often been targeted in the upheaval, with many separatists demanding that parents ban children from going to school in protest, writes the New York Times.

Five students were taken for Atiela Bilingual High School on October 19, and their whereabouts still remain unknown.

Longstanding president Paul Biya won reelection last month. His win was partly credited to low voter turnout in the country's Anglophone regions, caused by the ongoing crisis. Biya is set to be sworn in tomorrow.


Photo courtesy: Dac Biet

Listen to Black Sherif's Debut Album 'The Villain I Never Was'

Get ready, Black Sherif is here.


Ghana's Black Sherif shares his debut albumThe Villain I Never Was, a sonically refreshing body of work that underscores his personal struggles and triumphs. The album is a 14-track offering that has a single feature from Nigeria's Burna Boy.

“It took me everything to give life to this body,” says the 20-year-old Black Sherif in a conversation about the effort he put behind the album. “The one thing in my life that I gave everything up for. There is life in this body, I hope it treats you good and speaks to you like I want it to.”

In many ways, the album is a biopic that shows an unraveling of his personal life, and gives his audience a candid overview of his journey. In an earlier interview with OkayAfrica, the 20-year-old "Kwaku the Traveller" artist said that his ascent into the music world was unexpected, and went against his religious background.

“I have loved music since I was a kid. I just didn’t know I was going to make a career out of it,” said Black Sherif. “I am a Muslim. In Islam, music is more like sin, you shouldn’t make a career out of it if you are a Muslim. The music was chasing me, but I was always dodging it.”

Black Sherif, who was born as Mohammed Ismail Sharif Kwaku Frimpong, formally started exploring music at the age of 17 with his single "Cry For Me." This record was quickly followed by "Money," a record that highlighted his journey as a young man who was navigating the streets of Accra. He later went viral with massive singles like "First Sermon," "Second Sermon," and "Kwaku the Traveller."

Black Sherif's sound fuses elements of afrobeats with influences from drill and trap music. His sonic style is characterized by poignant wordplay, a keen ability to seamlessly merge multiple languages and genres in a way that is both interesting and fun.

He has become one of the leading voices in Ghanaian drill music, and has been featured on Apple Music's Rap Life playlist as well as Spotify's Radar Artist. He was also recently nominated for “Best International Flow” at the BET Hip Hop Awards.

Listen to Black Sherif's 'The Villain I Never Was' below.

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Asake Is The Life Of The Party In New Visuals For "Joha"

'Mr. Money' is not here to play, ya'll!

Fast-rising Nigerian singer and songwriter Asakeseems to have figured out his recipe for success. The Lagos-born star released his debut album Mr. Money with The Vibe last month, and the man simply did not miss. His latest gift to us comes as a new music video for breakout hit "Joha" and saw the performer pull out all the stops.

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Photo by: Yuri Kriventsoff

Moroccan Government Issues First Permits For Legal Cannabis Production

This marks the first time the Arab country is issuing these permits.

The Moroccan government recently gave 10 farmers permission to grow cannabis legally. This marks the first time the country will issue permits following the legalization of cannabis production last year.

According to the Institute of Security Studies, Morocco is part of a growing group of African countries who would like to position itself as a booming international legal market for cannabis. This new legal development will allow farmers in the northern mountain regions of Taounat, Al Houceima, and Chefchaouen to grow cannabis that will meet the legal market's demand. Before now, cannabis had been widely cultivated in Morocco illegally; however, the law passed by the Moroccan parliament last year does not permit the use of cannabis for recreation. The national agency, which regulates cannabis activity in Morocco, issued the permits and said that farmers would be encouraged to increase legal cannabis production to meet the demands of the market.

According to the Morocco World News, the Moroccan government is optimistic that this new development will help to improve the lifestyles of farmers, and increase their livelihoods amid a growing legal global market for the element. The global cannabis demand is growing and is projected to reach over US$ 100 billion in the next five years. If more African countries legalize legal cannabis, the industry could be worth more than $7 billion by 2023.

Because of Morocco's close proximity to Europe, it could potentially become a leading legitimate cannabis exporter. In 2020, Moroccan farmers collectively experienced a drastic income dip that fell from approximately $497 million a year in the early 2000s to less than $321 million dollars in 2020, according to an interior ministry study last year.

Before the legalization was implemented, Moroccan farmers indicated that they wanted the implementation to be sped up. In an earlier statement, Mohamed Abbout, head of the Rif Mountains Association said that the legalization would be a step in the right direction for the country

"Farmers are desperate when it comes to the drug trade,’ said Abbout. ‘That's why they're waiting for the legalization, so we can create a medicinal market."

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