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The Chairperson of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat speaks during a briefing to the press, during the visit of the President of the European Commission in Addis Ababa, on December 7, 2019

African Union Commission Re-Elects Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat

Chadian Moussa Faki Mahamat has been re-elected for the African Union Commission chairperson amidst the continent's race for COVID-19 vaccines.

The African Union (AU) Commission has re-elected Moussa Faki Mahamat into the chairperson position of the continent's regulatory body. Mahamat reportedly won 51 votes out of 55 at the AU's two-day summit this past weekend. The Chadian states-man now holds the highest election victory in the history of the AU. Mahamat's reappointment, while it came with celebrations, comes with the difficult task of procuring and rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine across African states. Mahamat shared the news of his reappointment on Twitter this past Sunday.


Read: The African Union Condemns Violence Against #EndSARS Protestors in Nigeria

Mahamat according to Africa News, raised concerns about Africa's capacity to procure COVID-19 vaccines ahead of AU's two-day summit: "There is a vaccine nationalism on the rise, with other rich countries jumping the queue, some even pre-ordering more than they require". The 60-year-old AU Commission chairperson is charged with drawing out effective vaccine rollout programmes after the AU reportedly procured more than 600 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for all 55 members states. However, only sixteen African countries including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tunisia showed interest in the AU's vaccine programme. Tanzania, on other hand, controversially refused COVID-19 vaccinations ahead of the AU's rollout plan. President John Magufuli reportedly raised concerns over the efficacy of the vaccine and stated that Tanzanians would not be "guinea pigs" for Western imperialism, this according to BBC News.

The AU will announce the distribution plans of the 114 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses to the sixteen African countries within the next three weeks. Rwandan banker, Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa was elected the deputy chairperson following a newly passed AU rule that a chairperson and deputy cannot be of the same gender. This is Mahamat's second term of four years after he was first elected in 2017.

Interview
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Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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