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Bono’s Charity Staff Members Were ‘Treated Worse Than Dogs’ in Johannesburg Office

Bono says he's sorry.

The ONE Campaign is an anti-corruption charity fronted by U2 lead singer Bono. In an ironic turn of events, the organization is currently under fire over bullying of staff members in its Johannesburg offices.


According to an investigation by the Mail Online, four employees threatened to take legal action against the organization over ill treatment. They claimed they were "treated worse than dogs" and were ridiculed and belittled in front of staff and in public.

The investigation revealed several cases of toxic behavior in the office.

One former manager was quoted by the Mail Online as saying:

"The toxic environment was terrible, with staff treated so badly. It was awful for an organization that claims to fight for social justice, respect and equality. I had never seen anything like this. This went on for years. It would never have been allowed to happen in London or Washington but we were just Africans. Their attitude was let them eat themselves. When a delegation was sent from London to dampen the disquiet, they told staff to rub a wooden elephant to channel 'negative energies'."


Most of the mistreatment has been attributed to the charity's former executive director Sipho Moyo. She is accused of:

  • Demoting a married, female staff member after she refused to sleep with a Tanzanian MP
  • Inviting staff to parties at her house, only to use them as waiters and waitresses
  • Pressuring a worker to give her a foot massage

She denied all these accusations but admitted the charity wasn't paying taxes on employees' salaries, which she says is a decision that was taken in Washington DC.

Bono has since publicly apologized, saying:

"We are all deeply sorry. I hate bullying, can't stand it. The poorest people in the poorest places being bullied by their circumstance is the reason we set up ONE. So to discover last November that there were serious and multiple allegations of bullying in our office in Johannesburg left me and the ONE board reeling and furious. You question the whole reason you're doing this."

He admitted he was aware of the concerns and was under the impression they were being dealt with.

"My team and I heard concerns about low morale and poor management in this office but nothing along the lines of what emerged recently. I was assured that those concerns were being dealt with – clearly, they were not."

He also promised to meet the victims in person and apologize personally.

So much for a guy who wants to solve Africa's problems.

Interview

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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(Youtube)

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

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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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.