Popular

Thousands of Ethiopian-Israelis Shut Down Tel Aviv To Protest the Death of 24-Year-Old Yehuda Biadga Who Was Killed By Police

"There is racism everywhere. I feel like I don't belong to this country."

An anti-police brutality demonstration consisting of thousands of Ethiopian-Israelis that was held Wednesday in Israel is yet another wake up call that state sanctioned violence against the black body is a global, ever-present issue.

These young people took to the streets and gathered in central Tel Aviv to protest the death of 24-year-old Yehuda Biadga, an Ethiopian-Israeli from the coastal city of Bat Yam, who was shot and killed by police, Haaretz reports. He was known to grapple with mental illness.


The incident occurred on Friday, Jan. 18. Police were responding to a call that Biadga was in possession of a knife and was a threat to those in his vicinity. Once police arrived, Biadga had fled to a nearby street and once confronted, police say Biadga approached an officer with the knife and ordered him to stop. Police add that he did not yield to their commands. "Feeling a threat to his life, the officer then fired at Biadga," Times of Israel says. He succumbed to his wounds in the hospital. This incident is currently under investigation by the Internal Investigations Department.

The family of the 24-year-old say the police used excessive force against their loved one, emphasizing that he had stopped taking his medication recently. His family notes that he was a good student and served in the military.

"When a terrorist comes to carry out an attack they say 'don't shoot' and if you do shoot, then at the legs. But when this is a citizen they shoot at his upper body—that isn't normal," David Biadga, the brother of the deceased, says to Times of Israel. "My brother was a totally normal person. A God-fearing young man."

Organizers of the protest say the death of Biadga is yet another life added to the long list of incidents of police brutality against Ethiopian Jews.

"There is racism everywhere. I feel like I don't belong to this country." a protester shared with Haaretz. "Both my brothers served as combat soldiers in the military. It's unreal, you give your soul and they end up murdering you."

Biadga's father was present at the demonstration, who expressed his gratitude for the support and hope that the officer involved will receive due reprimand.

"They took my child away and the pain is great, but today I saw how much people love him and it lifts my spirits," he says.

Take a look at images and clips from the demonstration via Twitter below.




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.

Keep reading... Show less
Interview
Photo by Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images via Getty Images.

How a Global Pandemic Has Failed to Stop South Africa's Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Crisis

We speak to women in key positions about the state of gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa during the continued national lockdown.

Recently, South African women were outraged by the horrific murder of 28-year-old Tshego Pule. She was found hanging from a tree with stab wounds to her chest after she went missing at the beginning of June. Pule was also reportedly heavily pregnant at the time of her death. And while her perpetrator, 31 year-old Mzikayise Malephane, was charged with pre-meditated murder not long afterwards, this is not the universal experience of South African women when it comes to obtaining justice.

There is no other subject, save for governmental corruption and state capture perhaps, that receives as much attention in the media as gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide in South Africa. And despite the alarming statistics which are well above the global average and frighteningly so, there is a glaring lack of political will by the ANC-led government to bring about any actual change. President Cyril Ramaphosa has made promises about perpetrators of violence against women being charged with harsher sentences. This has still not come to fruition. There is radio silence from the numerous task forces set up to develop various approaches in addressing the crisis. And still, women continue to die, the daily online hashtags demanding justice for them falling on deaf ears.

Keep reading... Show less
Interview
Photo: Shawn Theodore via Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

[Op-Ed] Speeka: “‘Dankie San’ brought me closer to kasi rap”

A personal reflection on one of South Africa's most influential hip-hop albums, 'Dankie San' by PRO.