#JusticeForNathaniel: South Africa Mourns Police Killing of Teenager Nathaniel Julius

Sixteen-year-old Nathaniel Julius, a child living with Down Syndrome, was recently killed by the South African police.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has confirmed that the South African Police reportedly killed an unarmed 16-year-old Nathaniel Julius in Eldorado Park, in southern Gauteng. The death of Julius reportedly occurred Wednesday and the teenager is said to have been caught in the crossfire between a gang and the police in an alleged car theft investigation. However, Edlorado community members say Julius's death had nothing to do with gang activity.

Read: South Africans Condemns Police Brutality During Lockdown

Julius was a teenager living with Down Syndrome. On Wednesday, police were allegedly investigating gang activities related to theft of car parts. Julius is reported to have been out by a nearby shop eating biscuits while police were conducting a search. Police then approached Julius for questioning but he could not appropriately respond given his disability. Police then shot Julius, took him into the back of a police car and drove him to Baragwanath Hospital where EWN reports that his body was "dumped".

In an interview with Newzroom Afrika, Julius' mother, Bridget Harris, pleaded her son's innocence. "My boy is innocent and where he's going God is in control". She further pleaded with the policeman known as "Scorpion" to come forward and tell the truth about the events that led to her son's death, "He's a policeman, he's supposed to protect him not kill him". Harris lamented the absence of her son from her life "He did not deserve to die like this… it's torn, there's a hole in this house, there's a void between sisters and brothers. You know we had a connection, we dance together, we sing together, we eat together, we laugh together. Nobody can fulfill that void in our hearts, it will take a long time".

News of Julius' death resulted in a standoff between Eldorado Park residents and the police amid protests. Videos of clashes between police and the community surfaced on Twitter and #JusticeForNathanielJulius trended on social media locally and internationally. Waves of support have been pouring in for the family and community from the likes of AKA, Solange, South African TV personality, Hulisani Ravele, and several others.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate, IPID, confirmed that they had sent investigators to Eldorado Park. Spokesperson Ndileka Cola said the scene was reportedly volatile but that they were hoping to properly establish what happened.

Tensions have been growing between civilians and police across the globe as governments operate in hostility to civil unrest. Recently in America, Jacob Blake was shot dead by police as he walked away from them and this deened protest developments in the Black Lives Matter movement. #JusticeForNathanielJulius is another tragic wave in #BlackLivesMatter that has seen African solidarity gain strength globally.


Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Wizkid, Alicia Keys x Diamond Platnumz, Manu WorldStar, Maya Amolo, La Dame Blanche and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here, Apple Music here and YouTube Music here

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News Brief

Michael Kiwanuka Wins Highly Coveted 2020 Mercury Prize

The British-Ugandan artist proves that staying true to yourself will get you further than you can imagine.

British-Ugandan musician Michael Kiwanuka has gone on to win the 2020 Mercury Prize at this year's virtual awards ceremony.

The win was assigned to Kiwanuka's 2019 album KIWANUKA, produced by Danger Mouse and Inflo. KIWANUKA, Michael's third full-length so far, seems to be the artists' most personal one yet.

In his own words, Kiwanuka told New Statesman, "I thought, what better way to say that you're comfortable with who you are than by using just your name? KIWANUKA goes against fame, it goes against success. It's not in the pocket, it's not a smooth rock'n'roll name that's up in lights. It can be clumsy, if you haven't seen it before."

Well, we are certainly grateful for the singer's personal evolution as it has landed him top honors in the industry, as well as, amongst his die hard fans.

The artist said of his win, "I don't even know what to say - I'm speechless. This is amazing...I don't even have any words. This is ridiculous, it's crazy! I'm so happy. Third time's a charm. It's blown my mind. I'm over the moon, I'm so excited - this is for art, for music, for albums. This is the only thing I've ever wanted to do so to win a Mercury is a dream come true. I'm so happy. Music and art means so much to me and this is an award that celebrates that so I'm over the moon."

Watch Michael Kiwanuka's performance of "You Ain't The Problem" off of his Mercury Prize winning album "KIWANUKA" here.

Mercury Prize 2020 Winner | Michael Kiwanuka - You Ain't The Problem (Later... With Jools Holland) www.youtube.com

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Supports Removal of Apartheid Statues

This past Heritage Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that monuments 'glorifying' the country's 'divisive past' should be repositioned and relocated.