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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Thuli Madonsela attends the 2014 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 29, 2014 in New York City.

South Africa's Thuli Madonsela Receives French Knighthood

Former South African Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, has received knighthood from French President Emmanuel Macron for her 'achievements in the defence of the rule of law'.

Advocate Thuli Madonsela and South Africa's former public protector has received knighthood from French President Emmanuel Macron. The Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur (French Legion of Honour) in the category of Chevalier (Knight), has been reportedly awarded to her for "achievements in the defence of the rule of law" and the "fight against corruption in South Africa."

READ: Weekend Read: The Terrible Optics of Becoming a Black Knight

Established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the French Legion of Honour is regarded as the highest decoration in France with several categories aside from knighthood including: Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer), and Grand-Croix (Grand Cross), according to TimesLIVE.

Madonsela, who served as Public Protector for seven years and named TIME magazine's 100's most influential people in the world (2014), was responsible for exposing the rampant corruption during former President Jacob Zuma's term during 2009 and 2018. Perhaps the most earth-shattering of her findings was the irregular spending of approximately 250 million Rand (16.6 million USD) into Zuma's private residence in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

Previous recipients of the knighthood include the late author and activist Nadine Gordimer, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the late "Mama Africa", Miriam Makeba. Back in 2019, South African opera singer, Pretty Yende, was awarded the Ordine Stella d'Italia or The Order/Knight of the Star of Italy by the Italian Consul's Emanuele Pollio for her "work in building extraordinary relations between Italy and other countries."

Interview
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Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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