News Brief

South Africa is Tackling Fake News Head-on Ahead of May Elections

The Independent Electoral Commission has launched a strategy to combat fake news.

South Africans will be heading to the polls on the 8th of May to cast their votes in the national elections. The time between then and now is critical as political parties will be doing all that they can to win votes. That said, to prevent the spreading of fake news (slander, false allegations and all kinds of misinformation), the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has launched a pilot project to combat fake news.


Chief election officer, Sy Mamabolo, commented saying:

"No party wishes to see its key messages distorted or abused. In this regard, they have welcomed the idea of a political advertisement repository where any member of the public can check for themselves the veracity of campaign material and quickly determine whether the poster or pamphlet has been photoshopped or otherwise altered to undermine the party."

The IEC's pilot project will involve Media Monitoring Africa which has established Real411.org, a website through which South Africans can lodge their complaints and have them forwarded to the IEC for an executive ruling. With recent incidents of journalists being intimidated on social media, cases of online intimidation will be investigated along with rogue journalists deliberately spreading misinformation.

The pilot project will hopefully be transparent and ensure that South Africa's road to elections is as fair and honest as can possibly be.

READ: South African Youth on 2019 Elections: "The ANC can no longer self-correct"


Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images.

Angélique Kidjo on Africa Day: 'We demand not to be at the mercy of our circumstances anymore.'

We speak to the inimitable Angélique Kidjo who shares some of her refreshing thoughts on Africa Day.

Today is Africa Day and while primarily a commemoration of the formation of the African Union (AU) back in 1963, it has also become an opportunity to unapologetically celebrate Africa while providing a moment for reflection on how far we've come as a continent and as a people.

With this year's theme focused on "Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID19", there has never been a more important time for deep reflection on our collective present and future as Africans.

And who better to share in that reflection than the legendary and inimitable Beninese musician Angélique Kidjo? A fierce African and artist who has paved the way for many of her contemporaries including Burna Boy, Davido, Thandiswa Mazwai, and several others, the four-time Grammy award winner emphasises the urgent need for unity among Africans. 'It's about time that people start realising that Africa is a continent. I've been saying this my entire career,' she says passionately.

OkayAfrica spoke briefly to Kidjo who shared some of her refreshing thoughts on this year's Africa Day.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.

Thandiswa Mazwai to Host 'Play Your Part Africa' Virtual Concert

'King Tha' will commemorate Africa Day with a virtual concert set to take place on May 30th.

South African musician Thandiswa Mazwai or "King Tha" as she's affectionately known, is set to bring the Africa Month celebrations to an end with a virtual concert commemorating Africa Day this Saturday on May 30th. The "Play Your Part Africa" concert is a collaboration between Brand South Africa, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as well as Constitution Hill which has hosted major cultural and historic events over the years.

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Photo courtesy of @sahraisha

#BlackOutEid​: Young Black Muslims Shine as They Celebrate Eid

Young Black Muslims have found creative ways to celebrate community and share their best Eid looks, even as they #StayAtHome.

Eid Mubarak to our Muslim fam! Today marks Eid al-Fitr, the official end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Despite things being a little different this year (on account of the current pandemic, of course) this hasn't stopped many from finding creative ways to fast, pray and connect with their community during these times. It certainly hasn't stopped young Black Muslims from participating in the virtual tradition known as #BlackOutEid while they continue to #StayAtHome.

#BlackOutEid is an annual celebration which highlights the diversity within the Muslim world. It began in 2015, when Aamina Mohamed created the hashtag to combat the erasure of Black people within the community. Since then, the hashtag has been used across social media with Black Muslims using it to share their sharpest Eid looks.

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