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Egyptians are Calling for President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to Step Down

Protesters took to the streets of Suez and Cairo to demand that al-Sisi resign.

This past weekend, more than 200 protesters took to the streets in the port city of Suez and the Tahrir Sqaure in Cairo. The BBC reports that these protests are in response to a series of videos which were posted online by businessman and actor, Mohamed Ali, and showed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi allegedly spending state resources on luxury accommodation while the country struggles with poverty. While the protests continued well into yesterday, Al-Sisi has since dismissed the corruption allegations against him and referred to them as mere "slander and lies".


President al-Sisi took over from Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in a military coup six years ago. Since al-Sisi came to power, he has cracked down heavily on any political dissidents and issued a nationwide ban on protests. However, with rising costs that are a direct result of al-Sisi's 2016 decision to cut subsidies and implement tax reforms in order to reduce the country's deficit, these protests may be rare but not surprising.

Mohamad Elmasry, the chairperson of the media and journalism programme at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies spoke to Aljazeera and said that, "Millions of people have watched his videos, while his anti-Sisi hashtags have gone viral." Elmasry added that, "This is something that is a legitimate threat to the el-Sisi government - if it wasn't a legitimate threat, then el-Sisi wouldn't have come out and responded directly to Mohamed Ali at last week's youth conference."

Thus far, at least 220 have been arrested for participating in the protests as well as filming the events and posting them online, according to The Guardian.

Interview

Interview: Bizzle Osikoya Is the A&R Shaping the Voice of a New Generation

We caught up with the A&R expert and co-founder of The Plug Management to talk about the fast-rising demand for Nigerian music and what it takes to break out as an artist.

The meteoric rise of Nigeria's burgeoning music industry over the last few years is definitely one for the books. From high profile collaborations that have graced international charts to appearances on American late night TV and a Grammy nomination, the Nigerian sound is sitting at the epicenter of a global conversation that the world—including Queen Bey herself —seem to scrabbling to get a piece of the action.

However, way before this global infiltration and westernized conflation of Africa's assortment of genres into one Afrobeats, Bizzle Osikoya was studying Music Business in England and plotting for a way to be a part of what he knew was inevitable. "I remember going to clubs in school and they would always play Jamaican music but rarely Nigerian songs. I knew we made good music here but I knew I couldn't sing. So I was motivated to come back, go behind the scenes, and see how we can make that crossover possible," he tells OkayAfrica.

More than a decade after making the intrepid decision to venture into A&R, helping artists find and develop their sound, Bizzle's creative genius has cascaded across different musical generations, from the piracy rife CD mix era with artists like Naeto C, Wande Coal and Dr. Sid to a streaming era populated with hits from Reekado Banks, Tiwa Savage and Davido.

Following the success of his latest project, Oxlade's Oxygene, we caught up with the A&R expert and co-founder of the Plug Management—a talent management company that has managed Davido, Peruzzi and DJ Obi—to talk about what it takes to break out as an artist, the fast-rising demand for Nigerian music, and how "alté" is not the same thing as alternative music.

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In Photos: 'Covid' is Cape Town's New Informal Settlement for Those Displaced by the Pandemic

Cape Town residents whose livelihoods are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are building new homes in a place they call 'Covid'.