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Prominent Algerian Activist Amira Bouraoui Sentenced to Year in Prison.

Prominent Algerian Activist Amira Bouraoui Sentenced to Year in Prison

Active in the Hirak protests which forced former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign, Amira Bouraoui has been sentenced to jail for 'insulting' current President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Prominent Algerian activist Amira Bouraoui has recently been sentenced to a year in prison by a court ruling, Aljazeera reports. Bouraoui was convicted on six different counts including "insulting President Abdelmadjid Tebboune", "insulting Islam" and "incitement to violate lockdown". Algeria, like several other African countries across the continent, has been on a national lockdown as part of continued efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.


READ: Stella Nyanzi Has Been Arrested for Protesting the 'Slow Distribution of Food' In Uganda

Bouraoui was on the frontlines of the recent Hirak protests which ultimately saw former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepping down. In March, the ongoing protests were temporarily suspended by protest leaders amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Commenting on her conviction, Bouraoui's lawyer Mustapha Bouchachi says, "These kind of lawsuits, which have been going on for months, won't calm the political situation." Bouchachi adds that, "It's not the best way to open up towards society, activists and this peaceful revolution."

Just last month, two other activists, Larbi Tahar and Boussif Mohamed Boudiaf, were handed 18-month prison sentences by a court following their posts on Facebook which were deemed "damaging to the national interest".

The political climate in Algeria continues to be repressive and antagonising of dissenting views despite the ousting of Bouteflika. The 2015 World Report on Algeria highlights the ongoing threats to freedom of assembly, association and speech in spite of the government's commitment to reform and improving human rights conditions.

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8 Queer-Owned African Fashion Brands to Check Out For Pride

In honor of pride month, we highlight eight African queer fashion designers and brands putting queer stories on the global map through fashion.

In the last decade, there have been an emergent of fashion designers who aren’t just queer but have aligned their fashion vision with their identity, creating demystifying collections and criss-crossing their concepts and ideologies to represent the inscape of non-conformity, fluidity, queerness and androgyny — whilst maintaining a quick balance with their cultural roots. Despite the numerous fabric experimentations and collections, these designers never forget to tell stories that align with them, especially those that resonate with queer people in queer unfriendly countries.

In honor of pride month, OkayAfrica highlights 8 African queer fashion designers and brands putting queer stories on the global map through fashion.

Rich Mnisi

South African designer Rich Mnisi is part of a new wave of designers putting African stories on the global map. Founded in 2015, the brand Rich Mnisi is immersed at offering fluid expression to gender, celebrating youthful excellence and exploring extremist design elements with minimalist cultural tailoring. For pride month, the brand released a limited edition capsule titled “Out." The capsule visualizes a fine-line between elegance and fluidity whilst boldly emphasizing on the act of struggle and resilience as an outfit.

Udiahgebi

For a fashion brand like Udiahgebi, identity is very important. And offering that form of visibility to femme queer Nigerians is not just a form of visual activism but a detailed story of essence. The brand was founded by Emerie Udiahgebi, a gender non-forming fashion designer who wanted to give queer, non-binary and non-conforming individuals more options to express themselves fashionably. Udiahgebi’s fashion concept is extremely bold, fierce, and unconventional.

Lagos Space Programme

Designer Adeju Thompson fuses traditionalist concepts with genderless possibilities. Founded in 2018, Lagos Space Programme is a gender-neutral fashion brand that enveloped aesthetic designs using local craftsmanship. The brand appreciates West African unique fabric and communicates compelling stories of identity, gender and queerness — a ideology that has garnered them not just audience but earned them a spot at the LVMH prize.

Muyishime

Patrick Muyishime is a fashion innovator. Not only does he know how to source excellent fabrics but his designs are authentically vibrant. Founded in 2016, Muyishime is a Kenyan fashion label that introduces conversations surrounding androgynous and explores aesthetically fabric inventions that commands fluidity, feminine wiles and constructive elegance.

Bola Yahaya

Founded in 2019, Bola Taofeek Yahaya's fashion label aligns thought provoking pieces that elevate the discusses around queer representation, sexuality and feminity. The brands merges sustainability and explore eccentric fabric experimentations.

Nao Serati

Founded by South African designer Nao Serati Mofammere in 2014, the fashion brand Nao Serati explores the versatility of gender and the fine margin of sexuality whilst finding its balance with their South African heritage. Mofammere wants his brand to explore masculinity and the different ways it takes to wear a fragile look.

Vangei

Lolu Vangei has different recipes to gender fluidity and she has used fashion to express that. Founded in 2018, Vangei is a fashion label that unites modern ideology of afro-centricism to produce pieces that dismantle cliched ideas about gender.

Mayetobs

There is no explaining the sort of talent Emmanuel Tobiloba possesses. Founded in 2020, Mayetobs' eccentric approach in reinstating androgynous norms is interesting. From oversized pants that speaks of fabric maximalism to fast flowing robes, the fashion brand is an ode to redefining modern masculinity.

Interview

Magixx Wants to Speak for a New Generation of Nigerians

The Mavin Records signee talks to us about his come-up, signing to Mavin Records and his debut self-titled EP.

The Nigerian dream is changing and its booming creative scene is spearheading a paradigm shift for young Nigerians looking to explore alternative career paths. Nigeria’s music industry in particular has become one of its biggest exports, fondly called ‘Nigeria’s new crude oil,’ it represents escapism for young Nigerians finding ways to thriving lives where their passions are put first, and the unconventional is conventional.

This is a new age embraced by 23-year-old Mavin Records star, Magixx, who always knew he wanted to chase his dream of being an artist, writing his first song at the age of nine. Magixx consistently pursued music-making and performing at school competitions, from high school to his college years, when he started to get acquainted with recognition and fame.

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Music
(Photo by Timothy Norris/Getty Images for Coachella)

Black Coffee & Tresor’s Work On Drake’s New Album Speaks to the Rise of South African Music

Unlike the Kendrick Lamar-curated Black Panther: The Album or Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift album which had hints of South African flavours on them, Honestly, Nevermind is imbued with them.

On the 16th of June, news that rap superstar Drakewas dropping a surprise album first hit the internet. As with any of his releases, the announcement sent people into a frenzy. Leading up to the drop, the OVO camp, as part of a subtle and timely album rollout, put out a track list. Included in it as one of the album’s executive producers was South African super producer, DJ and artist Black Coffee. His name was listed amongst Drake’s regular collaborators and business partners, Noah 40 Shebib, Oliver El-Khatib and Noel Cadastre.

The two artists have previously collaborated on the remake of Black Coffee’s seminal 2009 hit “Superman.” Drake’s take on the instrumental and composition, “Get It Together,” was released almost a decade later on his 2017 playlist More Life. When the song dropped, the reviews and public reactions were split because of the original vocalist Bucie being replaced by then-burgeoning British singer Jorja Smith.

Fast forward to 2022, Black Coffee has a ‘Best Dance/Electronic’ Grammy award for his 2021 album Subconsciously, and has played at the biggest stages across the globe. It then shouldn’t come as a surprise that when putting together his experimental dance album, Drake tapped the South African producer to oversee and shape the sonic and creative direction of the album.

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Politics
Photo by Ovidio Gonzalez/Getty Images

Afro-Colombian Francia Marquez's Ascendance Is Historic

The single mother and former cleaner captured many as they voted her and President-elect Gustavo Petro in to redirect the South American nation's path.

In what could arguably be the greatest rags to freedom story in some time, Colombia has voted in their first-ever Black woman Vice President. The historic vote saw leftist Afro-Colombian lawyer and activist Francia Márquez win alongside President-elect Gustavo Petro in Sunday's election. The pair won by 50.4%, just making it as Colombia's first elected government to follow leftist ideologies. Naturally, racists are upset, but for so many Colombians, seeing a Black woman in power was considered a thing of fantasy.

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For Mr Eazi, This Is Just the Beginning

We talk to the Nigerian star about his upcoming debut album, his engagement to Temi Otedola and why he thinks the Afrobeats wave is only the start for African music's global popularity.