Photos

These Images From Johannesburg Capture The Strength Of South Africa's Student Protests

Kgomotso Neto photographs South Africa's #FeesMustFall protests from Johannesburg.

All images by Kgomotso Neto

The nationwide #FeesMustFall protests continued Thursday in South Africa. In Johannesburg, students from the University of Johannesburg joined the protests at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits).


The student-led protests began at Wits last Wednesday in response to a proposed 10.5 percent hike in tuition fees. On Monday, the protests spread to other universities around South Africa, including the University of Cape Town. On Wednesday, the #FeesMustFall demonstrations became a #NationalShutDown across South Africa.

Photographer Kgomotso Neto was on the ground for day 8 of the #FeesMustFall protests in Johannesburg. According to Neto, some UJ students wanted to march to the ANC headquarters at Luthuli House in CBD, while others marched to the UJ main campus to submit a memorandum to their vice chancellor. Students demanded to enter the premises, but were denied access by security. Eventually they were let in, and they submitted a memorandum to the university’s vice chancellor.

In the powerful series of images above, Neto photographs the protests as students marched from Wits to the University of Johannesburg.

Kgomotso Neto is on Twitter / Tumblr / Instagram.

Music

Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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