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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.







It's Official: British Vogue Has Made 2022 The Year of the African Model

The major fashion magazine's February 2022 issue features 9 gloriously Black and African models - and we can't get enough.

Sigh... The Black Woman.

Legendary fashion and lifestyle magazine British Vogue has set the tone and welcomed in a new era with their latest cover, celebrating Black women in all of their glory. In what is arguably their most diverse, Afro-centric issue to date, the February 2022 issue of the popular magazine features 9 glorious (and Black) African models. Their latest issue, which celebrates "The Rise of The African Model", features South Sudanese models Adut Akech, Akon Changkou, and Anok Yai, Ethiopian beauty Akway Amar, Senegalese-Italian Dibaa Maty, Nigeria's Jumbo Janet, Nyaguaa from Sierre Leone, Australian Abény Nhial, and American model Majesty Amare.

Photographer Rafael Pavarotti captured the group's beauty, and British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful's vision beautifully. On the cover, Enninful says, "I saw all these incredible models from across Africa who were just so vivacious and smart. These girls are redefining what it is to be a fashion model. He went on to speak about the soon-to-be-historic cover on his Instagram, writing, "No longer just one or two dark-skinned girls mingled backstage, but a host of top models took a meaningful, substantial and equal place among the most successful women working in fashion today. It means so much to me to see it."

Echoing Edward's words and highlighting the importance of having diverse models on both sides - the model and the viewer - model Adut told the fashion magazine, "When I first started modeling internationally... I would literally be the only Black, dark-skinned girl in the show. There were no Sudanese models, no African models," the 22-year-old model said, "Now, I go to a show and there are girls from my country, girls from Africa who look like me. So yes, there has been a huge change. It has gone from me being the only one at a show, to 15 or 20 of us. I'm just so happy that we are finally at this place. I was tired of always feeling out of place, and feeling like an outcast."



Social media lost it when the cover dropped, many sharing the emotional impact seeing so many Black models on an international cover has over them.



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Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Nigeria's Government Has Lifted Its Twitter Ban

We chat to two Nigerians working in media about the restoration of Twitter across the country.

In the late hours of January 12, 2022, the Nigerian government announced the discontinuation of its Twitter ban seven months after it was placed. According to a statement by the National Information Technology Development Agency, signed by President Buhari, the primary cause for lifting the ban was the social media platform’s agreement to open a local office.

Twitter has been a major tool that young Nigerians have used to air their grievances against their government, and foster communities to seek change. The platform served as a strong force during the #EndSARS protests as a virtual protest point, helping circulate important information that peacefully mobilized protesters and secured the release of detained protesters.

"The voices of young Nigerians are often placed in a box by the ruling class, never to be heard," comments journalist Nasir Ahmed Achile. "But the communities formed on Twitter reinforced the idea of strength in numbers and the understanding that we’re all so alike, facing similar struggles, fighting the same oppression."

It came as a big blow on the 8th of June 2021, when the Nigerian government decided to place a ban on Twitter after the platform deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari, which threatened citizens in the southeast region following destruction of public property.

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The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Burna Boy, Wizkid, Kofie Mole, Joey B, Imarhan, Rema, and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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How a Kampala-Based Studio is Bringing More Women into the Mix

A handful of young women producers in Kampala is honing their skills and encouraging other women to enter the usually male-dominated world of music production.