News Brief

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika Will No Longer Seek Re-election

The 82-year-old leader has dropped out of the race following mass protests, and has announced a complete "reshuffling" of the government.

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will no longer seek re-election, following ongoing anti-government protests.

The 82-year-old president, who has been in office for two decades, was planning to run for a fifth term before announcing today that he would no longer run and that the upcoming elections, slated for April 18, will be delayed, though a new date has not been announced. He also stated that government "reshuffle" would take place, according to Al Jazeera.


"There will be no fifth term," Bouteflika was quoted as saying in a statement. "There was never any question of it for me. Given my state of health and age, my last duty towards the Algerian people was always contributing to the foundation of a new Republic." He also added that the government transition would happen towards the end of 2019, following a national conference on political reform

Protests broke out late last month, amid news that Bouteflika, whose health has been deteriorating since suffering a stroke in 2013, planned to run for re-election. His claim that he would step down, if he were to win the election, did little to appease protestors.

The country's prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia also stepped down on Monday. He has been replaced by Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui, who will spearhead the reshuffle, according to BBC Africa.

Though many have expressed concern over the process surrounding the transition of power and the lack of a clear election date, several Algerians have reacted to the news on social media, with many viewing it as a significant political milestone for the country.




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(Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: "Super excited to announce I've been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired."

He is among 175 scholars, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-sixth competition," says the Guggenheim.

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South African Actor Charles 'Big Boy' Maja Has Passed Away

Tributes are pouring in for the beloved actor who starred in the popular South African television drama 'Skeem Saam'.

South African actor and former radio broadcaster, Charles Maja, has passed away according to reports by TimesLIVE. Affectionately known as "Big Boy", the name of the character he played on the popular local drama series Skeem Saam, the actor reportedly suffered a fatal stroke earlier this morning while in the northern province of Limpopo. He was just 54.

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

6 South African Podcasts to Listen to During the Lockdown

Here are six South African podcasts worth listening to.

South Africa has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it looks like the period might just get extended. If you are one of those whose work can't be done from home, then you must have a lot of time in your hands. Below, we recommend six South African podcasts you can occupy yourself with and get empowered, entertained and informed.


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Photo courtesy of BLK JKS.

7 South African Punk Bands You Should Check Out

Here are some South African punk bands—old and new—that you should be listening to.

For many years, the punk scene in South Africa has been thriving through a hands-on DIY attitude in which bands can foster their own homegrown audience without relying on mainstream culture. Music festivals like Soweto Rock Revolution have played a big part in it. Bands like National Wake showed the way and TCIYF are following that path and making punk more relevant than ever in the country.

Here are seven South African punk bands you should check out.

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