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Angolans Will Elect a New President Today After 38 Years—But What Does That Really Mean?

Angolans Will Elect a New President Today After 38 Years—But What Does That Really Mean?

ANGOLA—After 38 years under the leadership of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Angolans will head to the polls today to elect a new president.


The country's long-standing president, has held office since 1979, making him the second longest-serving president in Africa. Though he is stepping down, he will remain head of the ruling party, The People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which has ruled since Angola's independence from Portugal in 1975.

The MPLA's candidate, Defence Minister Joao Lourenco, is predicted to win over Isias Samakuva, of the main opposition party, The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), reports BBC Africa.

Angola's young population—people 35 and younger make up the majority of the country—will likely decide the election. Key issues affecting this demographic include unemployment and education, says political analyst  Dalvan Costa. "You need to promise jobs, you need to promise housing, you need to promise study for their children," he told BBC Africa.

Though dos Santos is not running for reelection, his family will still hold significant political power. Aside from his residual post as head of the party, dos Santos children also hold prominent positions in the MPLA.

New laws were enacted last month which prevent the succeeding president from firing the military, police, and intelligence chiefs, reports Quartz.

Earlier this year, 74 year-old dos Santos, traveled to Spain for "regular health checks," causing Angolans to speculate about his health. Rumors of his death began to surface, before the president returned to Luanda in May.

Dos Santo's decision to step down, will not only have implications for Angola, but for its former colonizer as well. Dos Santos' daughter, Isabel, is Africa's richest women. She owns significant parts of key industries in Portugal, which many believe has much to do with her father.

Is ruling Portugal in the dos Santos' family's future? It would certainly be an astounding "turning of tables" yet, given their political and economic influence in the country, it seems like somewhat of a possibility.

A report in the New York Times argues that they already are, and digs deeper into dos Santos' accumulation of Portuguese capital, as well as accusations of money laundering. Not all of dos Santos' children are as involved in politics though, in February we spoke to the president's artist son about style and censorship in the southern African country.

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Interview: Lady Du, Amapiano’s Sultry-Voiced Superstar, Is Smashing The Glass Ceiling

In conversation with amapiano star Lady Du about her rise, spirituality and considering herself a kwaito queen.

Lady Du is currently one of the hottest voices in amapiano. Born into a family of musicians, her father DJ Choc and uncle DJ Zan D are reputable deejays and producers. Lady Du, real name Dudu Ngwenya, first learned how to play at the tender age of nine. Since then and during her early adult life, she had been trying to get a successful break into the music industry. Though she made songs with renowned producers such as DJ Clock, DJ Mshega and DJ Maphorisa (back when he still did gqom) in 2013, 2014 and 2018 respectively, her breakthrough only came under a year ago through the track "Superstar", alongside revered amapiano deejay and producer Mr JazziQ.

Lady Du's musical journey speaks to her resilience, and her success can rightfully be attributed to her perseverance. On "Superstar", Lady Du sings about aspiring to superstardom, even going as far as mentioning some South African celebrities that she looks up to! Today, her name is listed among the very stars she once mentioned on the track. Since 2020, she has collaborated with heavyweights like Oskido, Cassper Nyovest, Khuli Chana, Focalistic, De Mthuda, Josiah De Disciple, Busta 929, DBN Gogo and many others. Her signature sultry voice, which sometimes resembles that of a baby, can also be heard on some of amapiano's biggest smash hits like "Umsebenzi Wethu", "Dakiwe", "Catalia", "Woza", "GUPTA" and more.

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