Photographer: Alex Kamutondole

Model: Tremaine Mcmaster, Makeup: Zandile Khanyile

'Stop Killing Us': A Visual Short Story of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide

Zambian photographer Alex Kamutondole captures the terrifying reality of violence facing South African women daily.

In his latest photo-series titled Stop Killing Us, Zambian photographer Alex Kamutondole offers up a poignant visual short story that captures the haunting cycle of violence facing women in the country: vulnerability, fear, protest, acceptance, surrender and death. South Africa's gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide remains a national crisis with the alarming figures to match. And despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which has the entire world still reeling, South African women continue to be sexually assaulted, raped and murdered––daily. The online hashtags demanding justice for these women are endless, far too many to keep up with.


Describing what inspired the photo-series, Kamutondole says, "The series was inspired by the people who have taken to the streets to march for a change, people who are not afraid to fight even during a pandemic." He goes on to add that, "[They] are making sure that the cries of GBV victims are heard. They speak for those who cannot speak for themselves."

Shot on location in Germiston, Johannesburg, the series follows an ordinary South African woman (Tremaine Mcmaster as the model) across the city and captures moments which speaks to her unceasing fight to remain alive. A raised Black fist on her face as a symbol of resistance, and the names of women who have been murdered on her body, the images evoke a visceral reaction. Kamutondole speaks to this further saying, "[The woman] seeks refuge but the society she lives in shies away from the discussion of GBV. She seeks help from the institutions built to help her just like many other women have."

"Reality has shown us that women are not safe in any space. They are murdered in their homes, at schools and their places of employment. Harassment is a constant feature in a woman's life."

Many South Africans, Kamutondole included, have been critical of President Cyril Ramaphosa's government and what they feel is a lack of political will in bringing actual justice to victims. "Very little effort is put into changing the system that rarely punishes offenders," he says. "If the system does not change, this will be the reality for more and more people. [Women] cannot continue dying in such inhumane ways."

The photographer also speaks to the intersectionality of the GBV and femicide crisis with the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. The mass protests, which initially began in Minneapolis following the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of police, have now spread to other parts of the world. "This series is also inspired by the Black voices taking a stand not just against GBV, but also [standing with] the Black Lives Matter movement." Kamutondole emphasises his point saying, "These lives are taken in an unjustly manner. We have seen too many instances of women who are raped and murdered without any repercussions for the perpetrators. Black lives are being taken violently and brutally––daily."

Take a look at the images from Stop Killing Us below:

Photographer: Alex Kamutondole

Model: Tremaine Mcmaster

Make-up artist: Zandile Khanyile

Model: Tremaine Mcmaster, Makeup: Zandile KhanyilePhotographer: Alex Kamutondole


Model: Tremaine Mcmaster, Makeup: Zandile KhanyilePhotographer: Alex Kamutondole


Model: Tremaine Mcmaster, Makeup: Zandile KhanyilePhotographer: Alex Kamutondole


Model: Tremaine Mcmaster, Makeup: Zandile KhanyilePhotographer: Alex Kamutondole


Model: Tremaine Mcmaster, Makeup: Zandile KhanyilePhotographer: Alex Kamutondole


Model: Tremaine Mcmaster, Makeup: Zandile KhanyilePhotographer: Alex Kamutondole


Model: Tremaine Mcmaster, Makeup: Zandile KhanyilePhotographer: Alex Kamutondole

Music
Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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