News Brief

Burundi Bans Women Drummers, Loses the Beat

What the hell, Burundi? Women can't be stopped from drumming so don't even try.

The Burundian government, under the leadership of President Pierre Nkurunziza, has put into place strict laws prohibiting women from taking part in the country's celebrated ritual dance of the royal drums.

The new restrictions also forbid drumming at "unofficial events" including weddings and parties. While woman are outright banned from the practice, men who want to engage, must first register with the Ministry of Culture and gain government approval if they seek to perform the ritual outside of official ceremonies, reports Times Live.

The presidential decree states that any organizer looking to have drummers at their event, must pay a fee of around $280.

The lauded dance of royal drums was placed on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2014. Prior to the government establishing restrictions on the practice, drums were widely performed at weddings. Though historically male-dominated, groups consisting of woman drummers have formed over the years.

Many have criticized the increasingly authoritarian government for its wanton and discriminatory actions against woman drummers and its obvious attempt to profit off of the sacred drumming tradition, which is, in fact, the opposite of actually protecting its cultural value.

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Photo credit PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images

EFF Calls Out President Cyril Ramaphosa On Slow COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

South Africa's opposition party leader, Julius Malema, has demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa speed up the distribution rate of COVID-19 vaccines.

Julius Malema has reportedly instructed President Cyril Ramaphosa to release South Africa's detailed COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy. Malema added that his party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), would initiate a sit-in at vaccination centres should Ramaphosa fail to share this national vaccination plan by the end of April 2021. This comes after the South African government's last announcement of the vaccine rollout plan two months ago.

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