News Brief

The Commander-in-Chief of South Africa's Black Twitter is Actually a Zambian Blogger

The notoriously controversial parody account of Barry Roux is that of a male Zambian blogger.

Ask any South African about the go-to Twitter account for all the files on South African news and controversies, and they'll probably point you towards the parody account of Barry Roux. And if that name sounds familiar, it's because Barry Roux is the criminal lawyer who defended Paralympian 'blade runner' Oscar Pistorius in the massive trial, where Pistorius was charged for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day, back in 2013.


According to News24, the parody account known as Man's Not Barry Roux and has over 500 000 followers, is not run by a South African at all but in fact a Zambian blogger named Csho "Shepard" Chilala.

And so what, you may be asking? So what if we now know the identity of some guy running a parody account?

Well, the parody account has in the past released sensitive and quite confidential information about the South African political game which led many South Africans to speculate that the identity of the person in charge of the account was that of a disgruntled member of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) or a member of the Crime Intelligence Unit.

It turns out, that it's just an ordinary guy, a blogger who hails from Zambia and not even South Africa.

What makes this so important is how his Sunday exposés were in fact just him allegedly releasing false information about crime syndicates, racist journalists and corrupt officials and hence potentially making him one of the most dangerous vehicles for fake news in the country.

An extensive investigation by the News24 team uncovered how Chilala had slipped up multiple times and left an online trail on various other social media platforms which all made it all the more easier for the keen eye of a journalist to uncover his identity.

Here's how South Africans are responding to the news.











Interview

Amadou & Mariam Forever

We talk to the legendary Malian duo about their rich past, songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities.

Amadou & Mariam don't require an introduction.

The couple has been making Afro-blues music for over 35 years, drawing inspiration from their home of Mali, for over 35 years.

Their 1999 albumSou Ni Tilé sold 100,000 copies. In 2005, their album Dimanche à Bamako won the French Victoire de la Musique prize for Best World Music Album of the year and the BBC Radio 3 Award for Africa. It also went platinum in France after selling over 300,000 copies. The duo have performed with U2, Coldplay, Blur and many others.

We caught up with them below for a conversation about their rich past, their songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities, ahead of the duo's performance at the upcoming London Jazz Festival 2021.

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Music
Image: Ian Watts

The New Fela Kuti Box Set is Curated by Femi Kuti & Chris Martin

And they said the perfect holiday gift doesn't exist...

Fela Kuti's 50th anniversary reissues released this year have reminded us why his status as a legend continues to ring true.

Through the year, Partisan Records (the homes of Fela's catalog) has released a number of special reissues, and now Vinyl Box #5 is set to drop just in time for you to be named the coolest gift giver in your friend group. The highly-anticipated fifth installment of vinyl reissues was co-curated by Fela's son, Nigerian afrobeat ambassador Femi Kuti and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

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Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A Year After #EndSARS, Nigerian Youth Maintain That Nothing Has Changed

Despite the disbandment of the SARS units, young Nigerians are still being treated as criminals. We talk to several of them about their experiences since the #EndSARS protests.

On September 12th, Tobe, a 22-year-old student at the University of Nigeria's Enugu Campus was on his way to Shoprite to hang out with his friends when the tricycle he had boarded was stopped by policemen. At first, Tobe thought they were about to check the driver's documents, but he was wrong. "An officer told me to come down, he started searching me like I was a criminal and told me to pull down my trousers, I was so scared that my mind was racing in different ways, I wasn't wearing anything flashy nor did I have an iPhone or dreads — things they would use to describe me as a yahoo boy," he says.

They couldn't find anything on him and when he tried to defend himself, claiming he had rights, one of the police officers slapped him. "I fell to the ground sobbing but they dragged me by the waist and took me to their van where they collected everything including my phone and the 8,000 Naira I was with."

Luckily for Tobe, they let him go free after 2 hours. "They set me free because they caught another pack of boys who were in a Venza car, but they didn't give me my money completely, they gave me 2,000 Naira for my transport," he says.

It's no news that thousands of Nigerian youth have witnessed incidents like Tobe's — many more worse than his. It's this helpless and seemingly unsolvable situation which prompted the #EndSARS protests. Sparked after a viral video of a man who was shot just because he was driving an SUV and was mistaken as a yahoo boy, the #EndSARS protests saw millions of young Nigerians across several states of the country come out of their homes and march against a system has killed unfathomable numbers of people for invalid or plain stupid reasons. The protests started on October 6th, 2020 and came to a seize after a tragedy struck on October 20th of the same year.

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