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It's #RepublicDayBut... Ghanaians Tweet On The State Of The Nation

Ghanaians take to Twitter on Republic Day to air their frustrations on the state of the nation.


For two years in a row, Ghanaians are marking the Republic Day holiday on Twitter with a hashtag meant to jolt President John Mahama and his government into caring about the welfare of its citizens. Last year's #OccupyFlagStaff movement culminated in a peaceful demonstration in which a group of about 500 Ghanaian citizens decked in red and black gathered outside the front gates of President Mahama's residence and office. Momentum surrounding the protest fizzled out, though, and Ghanaians trudged on despite steadily worsening economic conditions.

This year, Ghanaians are banding together on Twitter to shed light on the precarious state of the economy 55 years since the election of Ghana's first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, on July 1st 1960. Participants are using the hashtag #RepublicDayBut to vent their frustrations on topics that have been talking points among Ghanaians for the last few years, including the interminable Dumsor power outages, increases in fuel prices and utility tariffs, the depreciating value of the Ghanaian Cedi, and lack of job opportunities. The conversation today has also given rise to the hashtag #DearPrezMahama, which Ghanaians are using to directly address the president about his approach to governance.

Below, we take a look at what Ghanaians are saying about the state of the West African nation today.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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