News Brief

This Kuwaiti TV Show Depicting Sudanese People In Blackface Has Caused Outrage on Social Media

"Block Ghashmarah" is receiving backlash for its depiction of Sudanese stereotypes with actors in blackface.

An episode of Block Ghashmarah, a Kuwaiti comedy television show, honed in on the stereotypes of Sudanese people while depicting them in blackface, BBC Africa reports.

If the series is capable of showing us one thing, it's that it encapsulates the racial issues Africans face in the Middle East.


Block Ghashmarah stars actors in blackface who embody "lazy," Sudanese people who lay around and talk all day. What makes it more unbearable are the characters' exaggerated use of the infliction "ahh" in nearly all the dialogue.

As reported by BBC Africa, Waleed Abdulhamid, a Sudanese music teacher at Humber College in Toronto, spoke his peace, joining the outcry of Sudanese people against the nature and existence of the show.

"I wish those people, they would understand the culture, and they would understand the society, of the Sudanese people very well before you do a comedy show…you think we are integrating to a better, peaceful with a harmony in this world, right? But what I see is the complete opposite."

The show began its airing during Ramadan, a practice which capitalizes on peace, community and charity. Yet this show has managed to highlight division with its negative portrayals of Sudanese culture, as well as other cultures around the world, including the African diaspora. Although the show has seen some support, such support has been challenged with much opposition.


Hasan al-Ballam, an actor on the show, has defended the show but later apologized for any offense he may have caused. The question is, can any apology be enough anymore to excuse such productions and warrant the continuation of the show?

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Sudan Has Launched an Investigation into Crimes Committed During the Darfur Conflict

The state prosecutor says the investigation will focus on "cases against former regime leaders."

Tagelsir al-Heber, Sudan's state prosecutor, has announced the country's investigation into crimes committed during the Darfur conflict under former President Omar al-Bashir, BBC reports.

The conflict and subsequent crimes committed in the Darfur region from 2003 left around 300,000 people dead and 2.5 million people displaced, France24 adds. Warrants for al-Bashir's arrest were launched by the International Criminal Court (ICC) both in 2009 and 2010 on genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity charges. He has yet to be extradited to face trial for those charges.

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Sudanese women chant slogans during a demonstration demanding a civilian body to lead the transition to democracy, outside the army headquarters in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on April 12, 2019. - Sudanese protestors vowed on April 12 to chase out the country's new military rulers, as the army offered talks on forming a civilian government after it ousted president Omar al-Bashir. (Photo by ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)

Sudan’s Revolution Isn't a Fluke—It's Tradition

How Sudanese protesters tapped into their country's rich history of revolt to overthrow a dictator.

"The dawn has come, Atbara has arrived"

This was the chant bellowed by hundreds of people in Khartoum on Tuesday, April 23, as they tearfully welcomed in the train from Atbara, a city 300 kilometers away from the capital. The train was not only filled to capacity, it was overflowing with citizens both inside and on top of the train waving victory signs, posters, banners and Sudanese flags. The videos and stills from that day recorded a historic moment—and a full circle one, harkening back to the first major protest five months earlier on December 19, 2018.

On the other side of the world, I sat in front of my computer screen watching the train roll in and cried, for what felt like the millionth time that week.

Since April 6, the international community has been trying to understand what's happening in Sudan—its scope and significance.

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Davido's Fiancé, Chioma Rowland, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

The Nigerian musician made the announcement via a heartfelt Instagram post on Friday.

Chioma Rowland, the fiancé of star Nigerian musician Davido, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The artist shared the news via Instagram on Friday, writing that he and 31 people on his team decided to get tested after returning back to Lagos from abroad. While he and the rest of his team received negative results, Rowland's test came back positive.

"Unfortunately, my fiancé's results came back positive while all 31 others tested have come back negative including our baby," wrote Davido. He added that they both showed no systems, but would be self-isolating as a safety measure.

"We are however doing perfectly fine and she is even still yet to show any symptoms whatsoever. She is now being quarantined and I have also gone into full self isolation for the minimum 14 days," he added. "I want to use this opportunity to thank you all for your endless love and prayers in advance and to urge everyone to please stay at home as we control the spread of this virus! Together we can beat this!"

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Juls Drops New Music Video for 'Soweto Blues' Featuring Busiswa and Jaz Karis

The Ghanaian-British producer heads to South Africa for the music video for the amapiano-inspired track.

Heavyweight Ghanaian-British producer Juls shares his first offering of 2020, and it does not disappoint.

The producer enlists South African music star Busiswa and London's Jaz Karis for the jazz-inflected "Soweto Blues," which also boasts elements of South Africa's dominant electronic sound, Amapiano. The slow-burner features airy vocals from Karis who features prominently on the 3-minute track, while Busiswa delivers a standout bridge in her signature high-energy tone.

"The song dubbed "Soweto Blues" is a song depicting the love, sadness and fun times that Soweto tends to offer its people," read the song's YouTube description. The video premiered earlier today on The Fader. "The energy is amazing, the people are lovely and I've found a second home — especially the vibrancy of Soweto," the producer told The Fader about his trip to Soweto for the making of the video "Jaz Karis is singing a love song, which is symbolic of my new love of Soweto and I'm honoured to have worked with Busiswa whom I have been a fan of for a long time."

Fittingly, the music video sees Juls traveling through the township, taking in its sights and energy. The video, directed by Nigel Stöckl, features striking shots of the popular area and its skilled pantsula dancers.

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