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France Returns a 19th Century Sword Back to Senegal

The sword belonged to a Senegalese anti-colonial struggle fighter Omar Saidou Tall.

France has returned a 19th century sword back to Senegal. The sword belonged to Senegalese Islamic scholar and anti-colonial struggle fighter Omar Saidou Tall. The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe recently handed over the sword to Senegal's President Macky Sall in a ceremony held in Dakar this past Sunday. The sword is now in the Museum of Black Civilizations of Dakar. The move comes after the Senegalese government's request for France to return more than 100 artifacts housed in French museums and France's President Emmanuel Macron subsequently commissioned a report entitled "The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics".


President Sall described the moment as "historic" while Prime Minister Phillipe described it as the "first step" in France returning at least 90 000 artifacts stolen from African countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa. "The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics" reports that at least 46 000 of these artifacts are currently being housed in the Paris' Quai Branly museum's Africa Collection.

According to the BBC, El Hajj Mamadou Mactar Thiam, who is a descendant of Tall, alleges that the French also looted books which formed a part of the scholar's colossal library. He says that, "They took everything, including his library, in Segou, and I hope that all our books that are now in France will be returned to us."

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Photo by Ryad Kramdi/AFP via Getty Images

Anti-Government Protests Intensify Among Algerian Students

Thousands of Algerian students are protesting against a presidential election scheduled for December 12th.

Thousands of students in Algeria have again taken to the streets of the capital city Algiers to protest the presidential election set to take place tomorrow.

Aljazeera reports that weeks of protests have seen students, now joined by workers, demanding political reforms and a removal of the political elite from the Algerian government.

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South Africans Are Angry After Load Shedding Leaves the Country in the Dark

The national power utility, Eskom, has implemented stage-6 load shedding which effectively means it has lost close to half of its generating capacity.

Since last week, South Africans have been experiencing stage 4 load shedding which saw 4000 MW being shed from the national grid in an effort to cope with shortages.

Eskom, the country's embattled state-owned power utility, has recently implemented stage-6 load shedding which is reportedly meant to end today but South Africans are not having it.

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Ayanda Jiya. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

South African Women Dropped the Best Debuts of 2019

We highlight 10 noteworthy albums & EPs from a new generation of vocal talent in South Africa, featuring Elaine, Ayanda Jiya, Ami Faku and more.

The South African music scene has seen an uptick in youthful, vocally gifted artists over the years. Much of this is owed to the recent global resurgence of R&B, as well as the increased significance of streaming sites, especially SoundCloud.

From internet-savvy artists creating jazz, alternative soul and house-infused spoken word to radio friendly iterations of pop and Afro-soul, 2019 has been the year of impactful debut performances.

This year ushered in the voices of a new generation of South African female artists announcing themselves to the world.

Here's a lowdown of 10 great releases from talented female vocalists, songwriters and composers marking this new era.

Read ahead below. This list is in no particular order.

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Listen to Stormzy's New Album 'Heavy is the Head'

The British-Ghanaian grime star has dropped his much-anticipated sophomore album featuring YEBBA, H.E.R., Burna Boy, Ed Sheeran, Tiana Major9 and Headie One.

British-Ghanaian rapper Stormzy has finally dropped his much-anticipated sophomore album Heavy is the Head. The album comes two years after he released his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer.

The 16-track project features the likes of American singer-songwriter YEBBA, H.E.R., Burna Boy, British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, Tiana Major9 and Headie One.

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