News Brief

Students Have Been Protesting In Eritrea Against the Government Interfering with Their School

Anti-government protests are rare in Eritrea, as the country does not protect the freedom to protest.

Students in Asmara, Eritrea, staged a demonstration Tuesday to protest the government's interference in the affairs of a community-funded Muslim school, BBC reports.


The students attend Diae Al Islam, one of the best private schools in the capital. They offer both secular and Islamic education. Their protest was a response to reports that its chairman, Hajj Musa Mohammed Nur, 90, and other members of the school board were arrested after pushing back against the government's attempts to regulate the school.

BBC reports a video circulating on social media that shows Nur speaking before his arrest, saying that authorities demanded that the school drop religious teachings, ban the hijab and stop the separation of sexes.

There have also been reports of shooting in the city, where Information Minister Yemane Meskel downplayed reports of violence on Twitter.

Some Eritreans on the platform seem to agree with Meskel.

The U.S. Embassy, however, said it received reports of gunfire in "several locations."

According to Tesfalem Araia of BBC's Tigrinya service, the Eritrean government cut off internet access in the wake of the protest, as messages aren't coming in from people in the country.

Eritrea has been under rule by President Isaias Afwerki for 26 years. Anti-establishment protests like this in the country are very rare because of its restrictions and not having a constitution that guarantees the rights of citizens, including the right to protest.

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Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

Photo Series: Vic Mensa's Pilgrimage to Ghana

OkayAfrica traveled with Vic Mensa as he visited his father's childhood home, Koforidua. Here's a behind-the-scenes look about what happened.

Back in December, American rapper Vic Mensa went on a pilgrimage back home. The rapper was in Accra, Ghana for his historic Black Star Line Festival, which he was co-hosting with longtime friend and fellow rapper Chance the Rapper.

But, on a hot day before the festival, the rapper traveled two hours from Accra to Koforidua to visit his extended family. There is a lot of history in Koforidua. Highlife trailblazer Chief Kofi Sammy grew up there. Not only was he founder of the famous Okukuseku International Band but Sammy also had a long and fruitful relationship with Afrobeat legend Fula Kuti.

He also happens to be Vic Mensa's uncle. And part of the reason Vic took this trip is to convince Sammy to join him on stage at the Black Star Line Festival in Accra, in front of 50,000 fans. However, while there, Vic made sure he had time to connect with his extended family.

It was a special, intimate moment. One OkayAfrica was lucky enough to witness firsthand. Check out our photo gallery of Vic Mensa's pilgrimage below.

Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

In December 2022, Vic Mensa took a trip to visit his uncle, legendary Highlife artist Chief Kofi Sammy. It’s about a two hour drive from Accra to Koforidua. A bit longer when you factor in Vic stopping for some of his favorite snacks.

Photo: Etan Comics

Ethiopia’s First Superhero Comic is Going Global

Etan Comics is launching a kids version of the kickstarter-backed title, which will be published in 11 languages.


After the successful release of their graphic novel, Jember, Etan Comics is teaming up with the non-profit Open Hearts Big Dreams (OHBD) to launch a special collaboration. Etan is working with the Seattle-based organization, which has produced over 700 bilingual early-reader titles, to turn Jember into a bilingual kids book that's based on the award-winning graphic novel.

The release of the book coincides with Black History Month, and will be launched in 11 different languages, including Amharic, Arabic, French, Greek, Igbo, Kiswahili, Spanish, and Wolayta. Jember was first published in hardcover format in October 2022, and after its release it garnered +$12K pre-orders on Kickstarter. The comic book is designed to help emerging readers build their reading confidence, and learn more about African cultures and languages. Created and written by Beserat Debebe, it was illustrated by Yonatan Solomon and Michael Okoroagha.

Jember is being turned into a bilingual kids book that's based on the award-winning graphic novel and will be available in 11 different languages.

Photo: Etan Comics

Beginning in mid-February, the books will be available globally on Amazon and IngramSpark. They will also be available at Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble, and in public libraries shortly after.

With the release of Jember, Etan Comics aims to make African stories accessible to global readers. The collaboration will also help Ethiopian children, who make up 40% of the Ethiopian population, to be empowered through the story, which speaks to the rich cultural heritage of the Ethiopian history.

With this development, Etan Comics has joined the growing list of new generation of African comic book creators who are sharing African culture through comics to engage readers with various parts of the continent's history.

(YouTube)

The Best Afrobeats Songs Out Right Now

Featuring Burna Boy, Joeboy, Pheelz, Kizz Daniel, Kelvyn Boy, Asake and more.

Afrobeats continues its path of domination as it makes waves across both sides of the Atlantic ocean and inserts its influences onto global pop music.

With the growing number of afrobeats releases coming out every week, we'll be rounding up the best new singles and music videos in the genre at the end of every month right here in our Best Afrobeats Songs Out Right Now list. Get started below.

If you missed it, check out The Best Afrobeats Songs of 2022.

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Vic Mensa's Homecoming

We traveled with Chicago rapper Vic Mensa as he went to Koforidua, Ghana to meet with his uncle, legendary Highlife trailblazer Chief Kofi Sammy.

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Ayanfe’s Scribbling Art Creates Beauty out of Imperfection

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