News Brief

Cameroon's President Paul Biya Just Won a Seventh Term In Office

Africa's oldest president is on a mission to rule forever, it seems.

Cameroon's president Paul Biya, will serve his seventh term in office after "winning" the country's election on Monday.

According to official results, the incumbent leader won with 71.3 percent of the vote. Somehow winning by a landslide even in Anglophone regions where he rule is highly contested due to his handling (or lack thereof) of the growing Anglophone separatist crisis in the South-West region.

The controversial election was hindered by low voter turnout and violence due to widespread insecurity in English-speaking regions—which has left thousands of people dead or displaced within the past year. Voter turnout was as low as 5 percent in those areas, according to BBC Africa.


Nonetheless, official results say that Biya won in 9 out of 10 of the country's regions. Main opposition leader Maurice Kamto, earned just 14.2 percent of the vote. Kamto pushed for an election rerun following the October 7 election, which was rife with controversy, as unofficial results that claimed various winners were spread throughout social media.

Biya, 85, is Africa's oldest leader. He has been president since 1982 (even longer if you count his 6 years as Prime Minister prior to that). With this win, he will serve another 7 years. In recent years he has been criticized for being a noticeably absent leader—spending substantial time abroad on "private trips" and official visits and raking up a bill of around $182 million on jets and hotel fees, according to a report from Quartz Africa.

Cameroonians and international observers have expressed disappointment on social media about the outcome of the particularly high-stake election. Aging leaders maintaining control over mostly young populations is an issue that continues to plague many African nations. His win means that uncertainty will continue to loom over the well-being of citizens in Anglophone regions.




Zlatan "Zanku (Leg Work)" music video.

Is Zanku Set to Be the New Dance Craze of 2019?

Breaking down what could become the year's new dance craze.

With last week's release of the video for "Zanku (Leg Work)," Zlatan Ibile has consecrated himself as the originator of the newest dance craze in afropop.

The specific origin of the name 'zanku' is uncertain but the dance itself, says Ibile in this interview from December, is one he noticed from his visits to The Shrine in Lagos and refashioned into a trend.

The best zanku, so far, works best in beats combining repeated foot tapping or pounding, with hands held aloft, and finished with a flourish—a stylised thrusting of one foot as if to knock down a door. Variations include a faster footwork, mimicry of slicing and screwing hand motions and the brandshing of a white kerchief, all of which is done with vigour and attitude.

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WurlD. Image courtesy of the artist.

WurlD: Nigeria's Most Inspired Star?

We talk to the Nigerian artist about creating a sound that connects to the quintessential Afropolitan mind.

WurlD, the blue-haired singer with a killer voice and deep songwriting, is a wonder. His music sits at the intersection between African vibes and Western delivery. 2018 has been a huge for him, with a deal with Universal Music ensuring that his art has received consistency in release.

Born Sadiq Onifade, the Afro-Fusion artist has had an inspiring journey, moving from the streets of Mushin in Lagos, to the US, from where much of his music has been conceived. The complete creative embrace of that cross-cultural influence has become his strongest point, with songs such as "Show You Off" and "Contagious" offering a unique angle to his sound.

"Moving to America for me gave me the opportunity to learn music and I fell in love with songwriting," WurlD says of his influence. "Atlanta (where I lived) is a creative hub when it comes to songwriting and producing, some of the biggest songs in the world were produced in Atlanta, people round the world go to Atlanta to go meet producers and songwriters in Atlanta. There, I fell in love with music and songwriting."

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Still from YouTube.

France Still Doesn't Know How Racism Works and the Vilification of Nick Conrad Proves It

The French rapper is currently on trial for his music video "Hang White People," which depicts what life might be like if the racial tables were turned.

When the music video "Pendez les Blancs" ("Hang White people") by French rapper Nick Conrad was released, the backlash was intense. The video shows what life would be if black people had enslaved white people. "Hang white people… arm them and let them kill each other" Conrad raps. He is not the first artist to think about a life where Black people would dominate white people. Todric Hall's music video "Forbidden" and Malorie Blackman's novels "Noughts and Crosses" did it before. But in France, a country that still tries to stop Black people from organising as a community, Nick Conrad had to pay the price.

First, he received countless death threats and lost his job at a prestigious French hotel. Everyone, from French personalities to the government called him out. And then, two anti-racist and anti-semitism organizations, the LICRA and L'AGRIF sued him. His trial happened last week. French journalist Sihame Assbague was there to witness it, and what she reports is baffling.

To the prosecution, Conrad is encouraging his audience to kill white people. They believe that anti white racism or "reverse racism" is just as bad as any type of racism and that Conrad is using a "black supremacist language" with words like "queen" "king" when he mentions Africa. In their mind, once Black people stop trying to integrate and start organising themselves, it's just as bad as white people being racist. Ethnocentrism is dangerous.

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