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George the Poet Declined Becoming a Member of the Order of the British Empire

The Ugandan-British spoken word poet says the British empire is 'pure evil' because of the impact colonization has had on Africans.

Ugandan-British poet George the Poet, real name George Mpanga, reportedly declined an offer to become a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). The award is the third-highest ranking of the Order of the British Empire and an order of chivalry which is given to individuals in recognition of their contribution to the arts or sciences and public service that is outside of the civil service sector. On the final episode of his popular BBC podcast Have You Heard George's Podcast? the poet cited his reasons for declining the offer by saying that the British empire is "pure evil".


According to Independent, after telling a friend that he would accept the offer should he be nominated, George the Poet says, "I'd like to apologize to the friend who recommended me on my assurance that I'd accept." He adds that, "I didn't know I would feel this way." He continues by saying that, "I see myself as student, admirer and friend of Britain, however, the colonial trauma inflicted on the children of Africa, entrenched across our geopolitical and macroeconomic realities, prevents me from accepting the title Member of the British Empire."

The London-born spoken word poet expressed his love for Britain but also said that he does so with "transparency". Until the country takes meaningful steps to address the consequences of colonization in various African countries, the offer would remain "unacceptable" according to him.

Other individuals who have turned down the MBE and similar awards of different ranking include British filmmaker Danny Boyle and the late physicist Dr Stephen Hawking, among several others.

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The Year Is 2020 & the Future of Nigeria Is the Youth

We discuss the strength in resolve of Nigeria's youth, their use of social media to speak up, and the young digital platforms circumventing the legacy media propaganda machine. We also get first-hand accounts from young creatives on being extorted by SARS and why they believe the protests are so important.

In the midst of a pandemic-rife 2020, the voices of African youth have gotten louder in demand for a better present and future. From structural reforms, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, and derelict states of public service, the youths have amplified their voices via the internet and social media, to cohesively express grievances that would hitherto have been quelled at a whisper.

Nigerian youth have used the internet and social media to create and sustain a loud voice for themselves. The expression of frustration and the calls for change may have started online, but it's having a profound effect on the lives of every Nigerian with each passing day. What started as the twitter hashtag #EndSARS has grown into a nationwide youth revolution led by the people.

Even after the government supposedly disbanded the SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) unit on the 10th of October, young Nigerians have not relented in their demands for better policing. The lack of trust for government promises has kept the youth protesting on the streets and online.

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