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Death of UCT Professor Has Re-Opened The Conversation About Depression Among Black People

South African Twitter reflects on depression among black people after Professor Bongani Mayosi's death.

On Saturday, it was reported that University of Cape Town's Professor Bongani Mayosi took his own life at 51. The world-renowned cardiologist and Dean of Health Sciences was battling depression for the past two years, according to his family.

His death has caused many South Africans on Twitter to reflect on depression among black people, especially black men.


Below are some tweets from South Africans responding to Mayosi's death and reflecting on depression, from how it can affect even those who are successful, to how seriously black people must treat mental illness.

Dr Mayosi was mostly known for his discovery of the genetic mutation that causes heart failure. He was respected by students and staff alike. It's been reported that his death is linked to the #FeesMustFall protests, as he was deeply affected by students not being able to afford university fees.

"He really cared about students, their problems and suffering. It had a great emotional effect on him," a member of staff at UCT's Health Sciences faculty was quoted by City Press as saying.


Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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