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King Leopold II Statue Removed by Belgian Authorities Amid Protests.

King Leopold II Statue Removed by Belgian Authorities Amid Protests


The statue of the colonialist, who murdered an estimated 10 million Congolese people during his rule, has been removed amid Black Lives Matter protests.

The BBC reports that Belgian authorities in Antwerp have removed the statue of King Leopold II from the city square, after it was reportedly vandalised amid the Black Lives Matter protests in the country. The statue has been removed with plans to restore it to its former condition, according to The Brussels Times. Often referred to as the "hidden holocaust", King Leopold II murdered an estimated 10 million Africans, in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), during his colonial rule.

READ: African Writers Show Solidarity with Protesting Americans in Open Letter

Johan Vermant, spokesperson for Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever says that,"The statue has been vandalised and will be removed and temporarily housed in the sculpture collection of the Middelheim Museum, where it will be restored." Vermant goes on to add that, "Since the square where the statue stood will be redesigned in 2023, and there will be no room for it afterwards, it will probably remain part of the museum's collection."

Admittedly, the reparations owed to the DRC by Belgium, as is the case with many colonised African countries, are long overdue. Last year, the European country finally issued a formal apology to the DRC for kidnapping and deporting their mixed-race children, known as the métis, during the colonial era––an apology that only came after six decades.

The toppling of colonialist statues, on the other hand, is not a new phenomenon. Images and objects representing oppression have been the target of many uprisings and mass demonstrations. Back in 2015, South African students at the University of Cape Town toppled the statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes during what was collectively defined as the "Fallist Era".

The fight against systemic racism across the world continues. While racist police establishments are at the heart of the Black Lives Matter protests in America, and now several other countries, all racist establishments and the symbols that represent them are being thrust into the spotlight––they simply must fall.

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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