News Brief

Fees Must Fall Activist Nompendulo Mkhatshwa is Set to Have a Seat in Parliament

Nompendulo Mkhatshwa, the prominent Fees Must Fall activist, is set to sit in parliament with the ruling party ANC.

Nompendulo Mkhatshwa is the former president of the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the University of the Witwatersrand where the Fees Must Fall movement was born. She has been shortlisted onto the ruling African National Congress (ANC) top 50 national list of individuals to head to parliament after the party's vetting process is complete.

In 2015, after the government announced that there would be an 8% increase in tuition fees at universities across South Africa, student leaders gave birth to a movement that would make South African history. The SRC at the University of the Witwatersrand was then headed by Mcebo Dlamini, who is now currently running for presidency of the ANC Youth League. Dlamini was stripped of his position as SRC president following several disciplinary hearings and thus Shaeera Kalla stepped in to lead the SRC. She then handed the baton over to Mkhatshwa.

READ: #FeesMustFall Reading List: 9 Important Reads on South Africa's Student Protests

Thousands of students from all over South Africa went on to shutdown their universities in an effort to have their demands met and to highlight how financial exclusion was turning universities into elitist spaces that sought to prevent capable but poor black students from obtaining access to them. After brutal clashes with police and the heavy militarization of university campuses, thousands of students marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to speak with then president Jacob Zuma. On that day, the government announced that there would be no fee increases for the following year.

Students went on to fight for free education in 2016, although this is still an ongoing battle.

READ: Black Child, You're On Your Own: The Plight of Black Students in Democratic South Africa

According to the SowetanLIVE, Mkhatshwa may be on her way to joining the ANC in parliament after the 2019 elections which are taking place in April. However, this will only be confirmed after a thorough background check has been done to ensure that she is in line with the party's image and values.

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Photo: Akinola Boluwatife

Whoisakin Channels His Love For Anime In the New Video For ‘Magic’

The single, featuring Olayinka Ehi, comes off his latest EP Full Moon Weekends.

Nigerian singer-songwriter Whoisakin is sharing a new music video to accompany his hit summer release, "Magic".

His roots certainly show true as his Lagos inspired trap soul/R&B sounds fill us up with feelings of summer and a love made from dreams.

High off of a recent feature in Rolling Stone, Whoisakin's latest music video comes off of his debut EP Full Moon Weekends, his first release as a part of Mr Eazi's #emPawa30 project.

With all of the successes and accomplishments that have come along with it, the original story behind the song isn't as sweet, "Magic was actually inspired by a summer 2019 fling I had with some girl", the 22-year-old singer says, "Even though I thought the relationship had potential at the early stages, she never felt the same way and it was just 'vibes' for her. I mean the moments were beautiful but they never lasted. I made the record a few weeks after we were over. She got upset at me and that was it."

He went on to speak about his first release into the music industry as, "a full story about me and my relationships in 2019, basically. I was doing an internship with some construction company at the time so I had a whole lot of time to live life (especially the nightlife), experience new things. So, I felt like an animated series for the whole tape would be the best way to share the story better. Plus, I'm a big anime fan."

Check out Whoisakin's music video for "Magic" here.

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Photo by Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

Tomi Adeyemi Makes TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People List

'Children of Blood and Bone' author Tomi Adeyemi has been named as one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People.

The brilliant science-fiction writer Tomi Adeyemi has made it onto TIME magazine 100 Most Influential People. The 27-year-old took the publishing world by storm with her debut novel Children of Blood and Bone in 2018. The whimsical novel which weaves Nigerian mythology with the modern world became New York Times Bestselling novel when Adeyemi was just 25 years old. Adeyemi shared her elated response on Twitter.

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Photo: Felipe Maia.

Making Music Between the Cracks In Senegal

Navigating mbalax, hip-hop, and afropop, Senegalese artists are sticking together to make their music heard.

Taking a stroll in Dakar is an overwhelming sonic experience. One of the busiest metropolises of West Africa, Senegal's capital is flooded by taxis with lousy tailpipes and drivers who are keen to honk every now and then while cruising long avenues by the seaside. All over the city, several minarets' speaker boxes remind the prayer times throughout the day, adding chants to daily people's chats in different languages and dialects.

At first, it may not seem too different from other big cities in Africa, but one kind of music sets a unique dakarois tone. Whether in a clothing store, having a thieboudienne for lunch or taking a cab, one's ears will be caught by mbalax music.

A new generation of artists wants to bring different sounds to the main stage of the Senegalese arts. They are the likes of the electro-fueled trio Guiss Guiss Bou Bess, the big afrobeat-ish band Sahad & The Nataal Patchwork and the experimentalist sound-maker Ibaaku. He's one of the founders of Kandang, a newly-born platform that aspires to build up a healthy environment that could develop the work of Senegalese musicians through concerts, workshops and promotion.

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South African Queer Activists Occupy Cape Town Mansion

A South African queer activist group has taken over a Cape Town mansion to protest lack of adequate housing and land rights in South Africa.