Popular

Death of Cameroonian Journalist, Samuel Wazizi, Concealed By Military for 10 Months

It's being called the 'worst crime' against a Cameroonian journalist in the past decade by rights groups.

The death of Cameroonian journalist Samuel Wazizi in military custody last Friday is being called "the worst crime against a journalist in the past 10 years in Cameroon" by media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

It was confirmed on Friday that Wazizi, a broadcast journalist who worked for CMTV covering the country's separatist movement, was arrested on August 2, 2019 for openly criticizing the government's response to the movement. He was said to have been tortured and abused during his detainment.


While the news was confirmed by the Cameroonian Ministry of Defense just last week, reports reveal that Wazizi actually died on August 17, 2019—the same month of his arrest. According to a report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the military claimed that Wazizi was not tortured while in custody, but that he had died "as a result of severe sepsis" and had been in touch with his family. However, his sister-in-law Metete Joan Njang informed CPJ that the family had not been able to reach Wazizi since his arrest, and had only learned the news of his death on June 3.

"The Cameroonian government's cruel treatment of journalist Samuel Wazizi is truly shocking," said Angela Quintal, CPJ's Africa program coordinator in a statement. "It is unbelievable that authorities covered up his death in custody for 10 months despite repeated inquiries from press freedom advocates and his family, colleagues, friends, and lawyers. An independent autopsy should be conducted immediately, and Cameroon must also launch an independent commission of inquiry so that those responsible for Wazizi's death are held accountable."

RSF shared a similar statement and has called on the government to end their silence against the mistreatment of journalists, send Wazizi's body to his family and launch an independent investigation in order to "establish the chain of responsibility and circumstances leading to this tragedy."

The Cameroonian government has come under fire from human rights groups for its censorship and abuse of citizens, since the beginning of the separatist movement occurring amongst members of the country's Anglophone population in the Northwest and Southwest regions. The country ranks 134th out of 180 countries and territories in RSF's 2020 World Press Freedom Index. On several occasions, the government has taken further actions to quell dissent by shutting down the internet.

Several journalists and fellow Cameroonians are calling for #JusticeForWazizi online and are demanding increased freedom of the press.







Image Supplied

Cedric Nzaka Debuts Photographic Coffee Table Book

Kenyan photographer, Cedric Nzaka, has announced that his coffee table book 'Everyday People Stories' will be released this March.

The prolific Kenyan photographer Cedric Nzaka has reportedly announced that his new coffee table book Everyday People Stories will be published this March. The publication of the book follows Nzaka's decade-long career in South Africa that has seen him photograph everyday people in the urban areas of Johannesburg as well as high profile people including Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, American rapper, Rick Ross and Nigerian singer, Davido.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Tseliso Monaheng.

Interview: Amarafleur Has Stopped Caring

With the release of her debut EP '... And Then I Stopped Caring', South African R&B and soul singer Amarafleur signals a newfound self-confidence in her music.

Besides her 2019 single "DontLetGo" and the 2020 track "Reckless", fans of Joburg-based singer Amarafleur's soothing vocals had to be satisfied with her collaborations with the likes of Xenlaii, ECHLN, and Maramza as they waited for her to release a larger body of solo work. That day finally came with the release of her debut EP ...And Then I Stopped Caring, a three-track offering that sees the songstress overcome her fear of judgment and explores personal themes that include growth, anxiety, and intimacy.

The journey that led to the release of the EP began in 2019 after the release of "DontLetGo", which found Amarafleur in a space where she was doubting whether she had done enough creatively for the song, causing her to promote it less than it deserved. In looking back at this period, she was able to identify the reason that, up to then, had prevented her from releasing more music. "I realised it was because I cared about what happened when the music was out to others too much, so you're not creating anything," she says. "And that is how I got to the point where I decided to write what I wanted to write, make sure that what I feel is at the fore of the music-making process. I decided that this time it's about the end product and how I feel about it first before how the audience will feel about it."

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Molly Albright.

In Conversation with Nomzamo Mbatha on the Role of Her Life in 'Coming 2 America'

South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha speaks on her role as Mirembe in 'Coming 2 America', the power of comedy and experiencing pure joy with the entire cast being dressed in South African luxury brand, Maxhosa.

Coming 2 America premiered last Friday on Amazon Prime, and several cinemas on the continent including South Africa and Nigeria, and there was much excitement around the highly-anticipated sequel. Starring Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Jennifer Sears—members of the original cast—the film also had a cameo appearance from Davido and saw the only South African actress on set, Nomzamo Mbatha, in her breakout international role.

While it had all the excitement and fanfare of Black Panther, there have admittedly been some mixed reviews from South Africans on social media since the premiere. Chief among the skepticism were the dated "African accents" used by the characters in the film and more especially with regards to Mbatha, in her portrayal of Mirembe, the royal groomer. Times have certainly changed in the three decades since the first film premiered and social media didn't exist either. However, to be fair, these accents have not actually changed from the first film—just the awareness around them.

Nonetheless, this is Mbatha's first international role alongside a multitude of acting veterans. The South African actress has previously starred in local films including Tell Me Sweet Something (2015), All About Love (2017) and The Jakes are Missing (2015) and is an active humanitarian with her work with the Nomzamo Lighthouse Foundation in addition to being a Goodwill Ambassador for the UNHCR as from 2019.

Ahead of the premiere of Coming 2 America, we caught up with her from Los Angeles to speak about her breakout international role, what this opportunity means for her professionally, having famed costume designer Ruth Carter dress the entire cast in South African luxury brand Maxhosa, and the power of comedy in society.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

10 Things We Learned From Zubz’ Appearance on i(m)bali LIVE with Helen Herembi

In the latest episode of i(m)bali LIVE, host Helen Herembi sits down with veteran emcee Zubz for an intimate discussion about his life and career. Here are 10 takeaways from the interview.