News Brief
image of Congolese ballot via Monusco

Internet Shut Down in Democratic Republic of Congo Continues

Here are some updates on the contested election

The internet has been down in the Democratic Republic of Congo for three days now following a controversial voting process.

This year, President Joseph Kabila will be stepping down from office after 18 years in power. The presidential race between the new candidates Martin Fayulu and Felix Tshisekedi has been filled with controversy from the fire that destroyed voting machines earlier on in the elections. Following that incidence, BBC reports that 1.26 million voters were excluded from the voting process because of the ebola outbreak and logistical reasons, 20% of polling stations opened late, and the military was reported to be intimidating voters.



On Monday, the internet was shut down as voting ended. According to a representative from vodacom, the government ordered service providers to shut down the internet. The internet was shut down in Kinshasa, Goma, and Lubumbashi and might be down until the results come out at the end of the week.

Commenting on why this internet shutdown was necessary, the senior adviser to President Kabila, Barnabé Kikaya bin Karubi said that the government wanted to stop any fake results from circulating and inciting unrest. "That could lead us straight toward chaos," he concluded.

Alongside an internet shutdown, text messaging has been difficult for most people and the censorship against the media has escalated. The signal for Radio France Internationale (R.F.I.), a news source that was tracking the election, is also down. On Monday, the government had banned the main correspondent for RFI Florence Morice from commenting on the election after accusing her of putting out fake results. The ongoing censorship has caused many people to doubt the credibility of the elections.

The results of the election are scheduled to be revealed on January 6.



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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Photo by Cellou Binani/AFP via Getty Images

Two Protesters Have Been Killed During Continued Anti-Government Protests in Guinea

Thousands of Guineans continue to protest against President Alpha Condé seeking a third term.

Guinea continues to be engulfed in anti-government protests which started in mid-October of last year. The protests are in response to proposed amendments to the West African country's constitution which will see President Alpha Condé running for a third term in this year's elections.

According to the BBC, two protesters have been shot dead during the anti-government protests which have brought Guinea to a standstill.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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Photo: Ben Depp.

Watch Yilian Canizares & Paul Beaubrun's Beautiful Video For 'Noyé'

"Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Yilian Canizares and Paul Beaubrun connect for the serene "Noyé," one of the highlights from Canizares' latest album, Erzulie.

The Cuban singer and Haitian artist are now sharing the new Arnaud Robert-directed music video for the single, which we're premiering here today.

"Noyé is a song that comes from our roots," Yilian Canizares tells OkayAfrica. "Inspired by the energy of love. The same love that kept Africa's legacy alive in the hearts of Haiti and Cuba. We wanted to do a stripped down version of only the essential pieces from a musical point of view. Something raw and beautiful where our souls would be naked."

The striking music video follows Canizares and Beaubrun to the waters of New Orleans, the universal Creole capital, where they sing and float until meeting on the Mississippi River.

"Noyé is a cry of love from children of African descent," says Paul Beaubrun. "Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Watch the new music video for "Noyé" below.

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