Photo by Thabo Jaiyesimi/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

Protesters holding a banner saying, Oromo lives matter, during the demonstration. Ethiopian Oromo community in London protest demanding justice for Slain singer, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. Haacaaluu sang in the Oromo language, Ethiopias largest ethnic group and his music became the melody of a protest movement that helped bring down Ethiopia's government in 2018.

Deep Dive: Protest Movements Across the Continent

Here is a detailed look at the major protests which have engulfed a number of African countries thus far in 2020.

This year, although only seven months in, has and continues to be an eventful one across all fronts. While the entire world is collectively reeling from the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there have been considerable shifts on the socio-political landscapes of many African countries. As a result, there have been a number of mass demonstrations taking place across the continent as those who are fed up by the alleged corruption, increasing poverty and inequality at the hands of their respective governments, have said "no more". From anti-government protests in Algeria to youth protests against police brutality in Kenya, here is a list of the major protest action currently taking place (or that has already taken place) across the continent.

This list is in no particular order.

Ethiopia, January 2020

Protesters holding a banner saying, Oromo lives matter,

Photo by Thabo Jaiyesimi/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

Ethiopia's most recent protests come after the death of popular Oromo musician Hachalu Hundessa, whose music is credited for giving voice to the Oromo Lives Matter movement. Hundessa was gunned down last month in Addis Ababa although the details around his death are not yet known. Almost two weeks ago, protests erupted in the Oromia region and led to the death of at least 145 civilians and another 10 in the capital, according to the BBC. Ethnic tensions in Ethiopia continue to worsen under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

At the beginning of this year, thousands of Ethiopians took to the street to protest against the government's failure to locate 18 students who had been abducted towards the end of 2019. The students, who are from the Amhara community in the northern parts of Ethiopia, were studying at Dembi Dollo University. Although some believed that the Oromo Liberation Army was behind the abductions, the army refuted the allegations and cast the blame on the government instead.

Nigeria, January 2020

Several mass protests against continued gender-based violence (GBV) in Nigeria have been taking place since 2019. Last year, Nigerian women protested the spate of murders of at least eight women in various Port Harcourt hotels. Last month,#JusticeForUwa saw many Nigerians demanding justice for 22-year-old student Vera Omozuwa who was attacked and murdered by a group of men while in a Benin City church. That online movement then grew into the much larger #WeAreTired movement which was championed by the likes of Tiwa Savage, Wizkid and Don Jazzy. By the end of June, the Nigerian government had declared a state of emergency on rape in the country.

Guinea, January 2020

Protesters confornt the army in the streets in Conakry on March 22, 2020, during a constitutional referendum in the country.

Photo by CELLOU BINANI/AFP via Getty Images.

There have been massive anti-government protests in Guinea since last year. The protests come after President Alpha Condé announced that his government would be looking into a new constitution which would allow him to remain in power for a third term. The protests, which are largely concentrated in Conakry, Boffa and N'Zerekore, have resulted in the deaths of at least seven people thus far. Additionally, six protesters were recently killed following clashes with the police over measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. Citizens were reportedly frustrated by alleged corruption at the hands of authorities.

Zimbabwe, January 2020

A doctor with a loud hailer shouts slogans during a protest march by senior medical doctors in Harare, on December 4, 2019.

Photo by JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP via Getty Images.

Anti-government protests have been taking place in Zimbabwe since last year. While the government, under current President Emmerson Mnangagwa's leadership, has been condemned for the police violence targeting protesters from the opposition, there have been additional protests led by health professionals in the country. Doctors downed their tools and took to the streets for over four months demanding better pay and working conditions––conditions which have only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. The protests eventually came to a halt when Zimbabwean telecoms billionaire Strive Masiyiwaannounced that he would set up a fund which would help doctors manage living costs.

Fresh protests threaten to erupt, however, following the arrest of prominent journalist Hopewell Chin'ono whose work has exposed the alleged corruption by the government during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Chin'ono was arrested alongside opposition leader Jacob Ngarivhume and kept on charges of "incitement to participate in public violence".

Senegal, January 2020

Similar to the protests in Guinea, mass demonstrations erupted in Senegal's Dakara, Mbacké, Touba, Tambacounda and Diourbel with youths taking to the streets to protest against the curfew and ban on regional travel amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 were reportedly causing further economic hardships for the youth and their livelihoods.

The Gambia, January 2020

Demonstrators against the regime of Yahya Jammeh, the former President of the Gambia, gather in the streets during a demonstration asking for Yahya Jammeh to be brought to justice in Banjul on January 25, 2020.

Photo by ROMAIN CHANSON/AFP via Getty Images.

The protests in The Gambia are complex. Initially, protests at the beginning of this year were in support of former President Yahya Jammeh's safe return from exile after the politician claimed he had been "driven out of the country". Jammeh ruled the West African country for over two decades and subsequently lost to current President Adama Barrow in the national elections back in 2017. On the other hand, many other Gambians, along with the Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations, insisted that Jammeh return so that he could be arrested, charged and prosecuted for the crimes committed during his rule. There have also been continued protests calling for President Barrow to step down. After being sworn into office in 2017, President Barrow was only meant to be in office for three years. However, he has recently backtracked on that commitment which has subsequently given rise to the "Three Years Jotna" movement.

Liberia, January 2020

Liberia has been engulfed in anti-government protests for a while. Protesters have called for current President George Weah to resign following what they describe as a failure to resolve the country's dire economic situation in addition to rampant corruption by government officials. Back in June of last year, Liberians protested for the first time since President Weah took office in 2017. Failing to adequately address an investigation which uncovered the disappearance of millions of dollars, the government then restricted internet and social media access shortly before the protests took place.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), January 2020

In January of this year, students in the DRC protested against the increasing cost of tuition at Kinshasa University. After students were forced to vacate the university premises by police, President Felix Tshisekedi was reportedly set to meet with student leaders to discuss a way forward. In 2019, students at Lubumbashi University had protested against hikes in tuition fees as well as infrastructural issues. At least four people were killed during those protests, according to IOL.

Uganda, February 2020

Stella Nyanzi (C), a prominent Ugandan activist and government critic, is arrested by police officers as she organised a protest for more food distribution by the government to people who has been financially struggling by the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Kampala, on May 18, 2020.

Photo by SUMY SADURNI/AFP via Getty Images.

There have been numerous protests which have taken place in Uganda since last year. Students at Makerere University staged "Fees Must Fall" protests towards the end of 2019 while anti-governments protests against President Yoweri Museveni have been led by opposition leader Bobi Wine earlier this year, in the run-up to the 2021 presidential elections. More recently, activist Stella Nyanzi was arrested after protesting against the slow distribution of food during the country's lockdown.

Algeria, March 2020

People chant slogans at a weekly anti-government demonstration in the capital Algiers on March 13, 2020.

Photo by Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Protests in Algeria began last year in February shortly after then President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced that he would be running for a fifth term in office. While the statesman eventually stepped down, following a two-decade long rule, mass demonstrations continued every week thereafter with protesters demanding that his entire government step down as well. In March of this year, protesters called off the weekly demonstrations for the first time in over a year amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mali, April 2020

There have been ongoing anti-government protests in Mali as protesters call for political reforms and the resignation of current President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. This comes after Malians headed to the voting stations in a long-delayed election this March. At least 11 people have been killed in the most recent protests where police and security forces used lethal force to disperse crowds of protesters. Both regional and international bodies have condemned the use of lethal force by the Malian government with the presidents of Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Niger set to meet with President Keita in the hopes of mediating the ongoing conflict. The West African country has been engulfed in jihadist conflict since 2012 and at least 600 civilians have been killed as a result.

South Africa, June 2020

There have been a number of protests in South Africa this year. However, the major demonstrations thus far have been in support of the Black Lives Mattermovement with specific reference to instances of police brutality and gender-based violence (GBV) in the country. Since the country's national lockdown began a few months ago, several Black South Africans namely Collins Khosa, Sibusiso Amos, Petrus Miggels and Adane Emmanuel, have been killed by the police and/or members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). Additionally, the GBV and femicide crisis has also continued to worsen despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenya, June 2020

Last month, Kenyans took to the streets to protest police brutality in the country which had claimed the lives of 15 people, according to a report by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA). The deaths were reportedly a result of a dusk-to-dawn curfew set in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. It is alleged that there had been numerous instances of law enforcement using excessive force and brutality.

Namibia, October 2020

Protesters hold placards while they gesture during the second day of the #ShutItDown Protests, where hundreds of Namibian youth protested against gender-based violence by shutting down Windhoeks Central Business District, in Windhoek, Namibia, on October 9, 2020.

Photo by HILDEGARD TITUS / AFP) (Photo by HILDEGARD TITUS/AFP via Getty Images).

Following the death of a 22-year-old Namibian woman named Shannon Wasserfall, who reportedly went missing in April of this year, Namibian youth have since taken to the streets to protest against gender-based violence (GBV). Dubbed the #ShutItDown protests, demonstrations outside government buildings have been taking place with young women, university students and high school girls at the helm. The Southern African country has reportedly recorded at least 200 cases of GBV every month.

Nigeria, October 2020

#EndSARS: Nigerian protests against police brutality.

Photo by Rachel Seidu.

Over the past few weeks, Nigerian youth have taken to the streets to protest against continued police brutality in the country. The #EndSARS protests have called upon President Muhammadu Buhari to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) which has been implicated in the harassment, abductions, torture and murder of Nigerians since its establishment back in 1992. However, while there are reports that SARS has been disbanded, these are in conflict with other reports that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, plans to reform the unit instead. Additionally, the 2020 protests are not the first. Protests calling for the disbanding of SARS in Nigeria were reported as far back as 2017.

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Photo by MTV Africa

Meet the cast of MTV Africa's 'Love & Hip Hop: South Africa'

From Gigi Lamayne to Shane Eagle, here’s everything you need to know about the cast of MTV Africa's Love & Hip Hop: South Africa.

Thirteen years after premiering as a reality TV show chronicling the exciting and ever-evolving lives of hip-hop and R&B stars based in New York, the popular TV franchise Love & Hip Hop: South Africais coming to African screens with a South African edition slated to launch next week.

The original rendition of the show premiered 13 years ago, documenting the exciting and ever-evolving lives of hip-hop and R&B stars based in New York. Over the years it expanded to other US-based cities, like Miami, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.

For the first adaptation on the continent, Love & Hip Hop: South Africa will be headlined by a cross-selection of some of the biggest hip-hop acts from the country, as we watch them navigate professional goals and their personal relationships as well as deal with family dynamics.

Scheduled to air on MTV Africa n February 27, the first season of Love & Hip Hop: South Africa will have 13 episodes. In preparation for the storylines that are set to ensue, we are running through the show’s cast to help you get acquainted with some of the names that are set to take over conversations and monopolize our screens from the end of this month onward.

Gigi Lamayne

Gigi Lamayne with black dress

Across four studio albums and two EPs, Gigi Lamayne has established herself as one of the most prolific South African rappers of her generation. Born Genesis Gabriella Tina Manney in Lenasia, Gigi started raping at age 16, dropping a series of mixtapes to build recognition for herself as a teenager. Since releasing her debut album, i-Genesis, in 2016, Gigi has released music at a fast and furious pace as well as tried her hands at podcasting and designing.

In 2022, Gigi won in the best female artist category at the South African Hip-Hop Awards and, later this year, she’ll be lending herself as a voice actor in a South African animation series on Disney+ titled Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire.

Shane Eagle

Shane Black with girlfriend Nicole \u201cNikki\u201d Swartz

Shane Eagle, 26, began his journey to music superstardom as a contestant on the rap reality show The Hustle in 2015. Since then, Shane has established himself as one of the most resonant South African rap acts working presently while releasing four albums that include highlights like Yellow and Green.

He won the Best Hip-Hop Album category for Yellow at the South African Music Awards in 2018. Born to an Irish father and a native South African mother, the rapper grew up between Rabie Ridge and Kempton Park following his parents’ divorce. Known for keeping a tight lid on his private life, Shane’s involvement in Love & Hip Hop: South Africa will shine a light on the rapper and his relationship with his long-term partner, Nicole “Nikki” Swartz, who will be making multiple appearances on the reality TV show.

Fifi Cooper

Fifi Cooper with finger to lips

Fifi Cooper (bornRefilwe Boingotlo Moeketsi) is a multi-award-winning South African recording artist. Alternatively known as Motswako First Lady, Fifi kicked off her career as an R&B singer but has since gone on to work across a range of genres, releasing her hip-hop-influenced breakthrough “Chechela Morago” in 2015.

In 2017, she left her first record label, Ambitiouz Entertainment, after a contractual stand-off and has since gone to create her own record label named Mocooper Records. The professional dynamic between Fifi Cooper and Gigi Lamayne is set to be a major part of the Love & Hip Hop plotline as confirmed by Gigi in media teasers put out.

J Molley

J Molley with headband

Originally from Pretoria, J Molley (born Jesse Molley) is a popular South African rapper who is among the leaders of a new wave of hip-hop acts experimenting and popularizing vulnerability in their music. Due to financial constraints on his parents, J Molley had to drop out of school early in his life and was home-schooled before he left home to try and make a success of his music dreams.

The rapper has suffered from mental health problems in the past, revealing in November 2022 that he had attempted suicide for the third time after coming back from a long hiatus he took to work on his health. J Molley will be a part of the Love & Hip Hopcast alongside his girlfriend, Elana, and will give fans a glimpse into how he’s managing his health as he deals with life in the public eye.

DJ Speedsta

DJ Speedsta with chain Born in the Vaal Triangle, just 60 kilometres south of Johannesburg, DJ Speedsta is one of South Africa’s most recognized disc jockeys and cultural tastemakers. The 30-year-old (born Lesego Nkaiseng) has also worked as a broadcaster and radio host in the past, helping to uplift rising stars in the South African music scene. In 2016, DJ Speedsta released his best-known song, “Mayo,” a posse cut that featured contributions from stars like Young Swiss, Tellaman, Shane Eagle, and Frank Casino.In 2021, he engaged in a brief Twitter spat with rapper, Nasty C, which was eventually settled. Last year, after a five-year stint, he quit his job as a DJ at Metro F.M.

Money Badoo

Money Badoo with boots

The 26-year-old singer Money Badoo (born Jade Alves) was born in 1996 in Ennerdale, a small town in the south of Johannesburg. A tough childhood fuelled Money Badoo’s zest for music, which has translated as a hyper-realistic reclamation of her sexual autonomy peppered with specific lyrics that reference her misgivings about patriarchy.

After a string of popular singles, including “Row Your Boat” and “All My Friends,” Money Badoo released her debut album, PORN$TAR in 2022. She also took part in a reality TV show called The Perfect Picture where she was challenged to take pictures of a course that matters to her with the rapper ultimately winning the show.

Da L.E.S

DA L.E.S. with glasses The 37-year-old rapper and record producerDa L.E.S, will be a prominent member of the cast on Love & Hip Hop: South Africa. Born Leslie Jonathan Mampe, Jr. in Washington D.C in 1985 to South African parents, Da L.E.S brought the swagger and aesthetic of American hip-hop to South African music when he originally broke out as part of his band Jozi, before becoming an unmissable presence on the music scene with the 2008 release of his debut album, Fresh2Def

Da L.E.S has since received critical praise for his role in invigorating the South African rap music scene thanks to his music, fashion, and luxurious lifestyle which he has gone on to document in albums like North God and Diamond In Africa.

Yanga Chief

Yanga Chief with glasses Yanga Ntshakaza (known professionally as Yanga Chief) is a respected rapper and songwriter who has long been a part of South Africa’s creative ecosystem. In the 2000s, he was a videographer and film director who helped South African music stars bring their songs to life with stunning visuals. Gradually, he began to contribute to the music made by some of these acts, contributing a hook to AKA and K.O’s “Run Jozi” in 2018 and co-writing Kwesta’s "Ngyaz’fela Ngawe."Yanga Chief made a name for himself with the 2018 release of his hit song “Utatakho” which won in the Song Of The Year Category at the 2019 edition of the South African Hip-Hop Awards. Additionally, Yanga was previously signed to Da L.E.S’ record label, F2D, exiting the label under unclear circumstances that may provide inspiration for how Love & Hip-Hop: South Africa unfolds.

Image: Album cover art

Listen to AKA's Posthumous Album 'Mass Country'

The late South African rapper spent his last days ecstatic to share the album with the world, and now we know why.

It's been two weeks since South African hip-hop star Kiernan Forbes, aka AKA was gunned down in the streets of Durban, alongside close friend and celebrity chef Tebello 'Tibz' Motsoane. As the Forbes family lays their son to rest this week, fans of the highly favored rapper have been bestowed with AKA's sixth and final album, 'Mass Country'. And what a treat it is.

Keep reading...Show less
Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage

Stormzy & Rema Join Forces on "Hide And Seek" Remix

Stormzy recruited Mavin Records’ Rema for the remix to his record “Hide & Seek."

Stormzy has joined forces with Rema to release an Ampiano-infused remix called “Hide & Seek.”

The record, which is very rhythmic and bursting with character, showcases the versatility of both artists.The instrumentals on the record, which add an extra layer of definition to the song, give both artists the opportunity to flex their musical chops. The song, which is produced by producers Niphkey and Finito, is characterized by the afro-sound that most African-themed dance records have, but also gives Stormzy the opportunity to spit a few bars that ultimately interlace finely between the rhythm of the song, and his pronounced British accent.

STORMZY & REMA - HIDE & SEEK [REMIX]www.youtube.com

Stormzy—who was born to an Ghanaian mother but raised in the U.K—has consistently been vocal about his African heritage. In the past, he collaborated with Burna Boy on the song “Real Life,” and also has a multitude of collaborations with other African artists including Ghana’s Yaw Tog and Kwesi Arthur. This Rema collaboration marks the second time that he is remixing “Hide and Seek.” Back in January, he released first remix for the record with British girl group FLO.

Besides this new track, both artists have been working on other musical projects of their own. Stormzy recently appeared on BBC Sounds to perform his smash hit “Crown,” his new record “Give It To The Water,” and a classic cover of Oleta Adams’ “Get Here.” He was accompanied by members of the BBC Concert Orchestra. Rema, also, has been pretty busy. Following his stint at the NBA All-star half-time performance, he has continued to grind in the studio, and reap the rewards of his success, one of which includes earning accolades for “Calm Down” on the Billboard Hot 100 for the highest charting Afrobeats song.
News Brief

Kenya's Supreme Court Sides With LGBTQ Rights Group in Decade-Long Legal Battle

Kenya's Supreme Court ruled that authorities where wrong for barring it's gay community from registering a gay rights organization.

The Kenya Supreme Court ruled that Kenyan authorities where wrong for barring its gay community from registering a gay rights organization on Friday, Feb. 24. In a three-to-two, the Judges decided that Kenya's Ngos Coordination Board (NGO board) should not have banned the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) from registering their organization in 2013. It should also be added that they affirmed gay sex is still illegal in the country.

According to the judgment, the board could not rightfully deny the NGLHRC agency the right to register because "it would be unconstitutional to limit the right to associate, through denial of registration of an association, purely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the applicants".

According to the NGO Board website, they are responsible for "inter alia registering, facilitating and coordinating all national and international NGOs operating in Kenya; advising the government on their contribution to national development; providing policy guidelines for NGOs to align their activities with national priorities and receiving and analyzing NGOs annual reports."

Because the Supreme Court is Kenya's highest court, its decision cannot be overturned.

The judgment ends a decade-long legal saga that was initiated in 2013, when when former executive director of the NGLHRC, Eric Gitari confronted the head of the NGO Board for turning him down when he tried to register an NGO under a pro-LGBTQ name. The 2023 ruling is not the first time that the judges have ruled in favor of the NGLHRC. In 2015, judges ruled in favor of Gitari and his team at Kenya's high court, and in 2019, the Court of Appeal also ruled in favor of the gay rights organization.

In spite of the ruling, there is an underlying bitter-sweetness for the Kenyan gay community, because the court still upholds that gay sex is criminal, and punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Kenya's gay community has experienced a lot of unrest over the past few years, and the recent murder of gay rights activist Edwin Chiloba heightened tensions for the gay community. The added weight of the legal consequences of same-sex relationships have further heightened homophobic sentiments.

In a statement to BBC News, NGLHRC's current director Njeri Gateru said that the decision was a victory for the gay community.

"The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the lower courts' rulings is a triumph for justice and human rights," said Gateru, "At a time where the Kenyan LGBTIQ+ community is decrying the increased targeting and violence; this decision affirms the spirit and intention of the Constitution to protect all Kenyans and guarantee their rights."

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