News

8 People Have Been Killed In Government Crackdowns In Cameroon and the Internet Has Been Blocked—Again

Government crackdowns in Cameroon, have led to eight deaths and several injuries in the country's Anglophone regions.

Deadly clashes occurred in Cameroon on Sunday between separatist groups and the government.


Protestors from the country's English-speaking population made a symbolic declaration of independence during demonstrations on Sunday. The group is protesting continued discrimination against them and the many exclusionary social and governmental practices put in place, which favor the French-speaking majority.

Protests took place in Bamenda on the 56th anniversary of reunification, the day in 1961 when people from various regions and language groups came together as one nation. The country, which was under German rule prior to World War II, had been split into English and French subregions during colonialism.

At least 8 people were shot and killed by Cameroonian Forces, around fifty people were injured, and another 200 arrested, reports BBC Africa.

The government has also reinstated internet restrictions in English-speaking areas of the country, as they did earlier this year. The previous block lasted three months and sparked the #BringBackOurInternet movement.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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