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Audio: Jovi 'Man Pass Man' + 'New Star'

Cameroonian pidgin rapper Jovi first caught our ear with the twsited mbira beat "Don 4 Kwat" (above) and its follow-up single, the Tabu Ley Rochereau-sampling "Pitié." Those two tracks promised a standout debut LP from the West African emcee; Humanity Is Vanishing (H.I.V.) delivers on that notion in that it's loaded with some of the cleanest and most original rap production we've heard out of Cameroon lately. Throughout the album infectious melodies are crafted out of 808s, local instruments, and the "signature bell sounds" of Le Monstre (Jovi's producer pseudonym). Buy Jovi's Humanity Is Vanishing (H.I.V.), available now on iTunes and Amazon(US/UK).

News Brief
Cameroon vs Chilé at the African Cup of Nations 2017. Image via Wikimedia.

Cameroon Has Been Stripped of Hosting the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

Football officials say the country failed to prepare for the tournament in time.

Cameroon will no longer be the site of the continent's biggest football tournament in 2019, as The Confederation of African Footbal (CAF) has moved to strip the country of its hosting duties for next year's Africa Cup of Nations, reports BBC News.

After meeting for 10 hours in Accra on Friday, it was decided that Cameroon had been behind in making proper arrangements to prepare for the tournament, which is set to take place in June and July of 2019. Cameroon won the tournament in 2017.

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News Brief

Update: Final Four Hostages Released In Cameroon School Kidnapping

Two remaining students as well as the school's principal and a teacher have been freed.

The four remaining hostages in last week's kidnapping at a boarding school near Bamenda, Cameroon have been released, BBC Africa reports.

Despite reports last week that all 78 students had been released, details later emerged that two students, as well as the school's principal and one teacher still remained in captivity. BBC journalist Peter Tah adds, that the two students who were held may have been targeted because their parents work for the government. "From what I gather, the gunmen tried to find out which of the children had parents who worked for the government," he said.

"People whose parents worked for the government were held and separated for more questioning. The last two children were held because of their parents' jobs."

The group was reportedly dropped of near the town of Bafut on Monday. The school's principal is currently receiving medical attention.

Separatist groups have continued to deny involvement in the kidnapping, despite accusations from the government.

Keep reading for last week's story:

Seventy-eight students who were kidnapped from a boarding school in northwest Cameroon on Monday have been released, reports BBC Africa. The school's driver was also freed with the students, while the principal and one teacher are still being held by captors.

Reverend Fonki Samuel Forba of the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon says that the students, 42 girls and 36 boys according to CNN, were abandoned "peacefully... by unidentified gunmen," adding that the "[students] were brought into the church premises." He told the BBC that he received a call from the kidnappers stating that they planned to return the children yesterday, but they were delayed due to heavy rain in the area.

READ: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Pens Op-Ed on the Ongoing Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon

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Darkovibes

The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Sarkodie, Cassper Nyovest, Elaine, Darkovibes, Stogie T, Phyno, C Natty, and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Photo courtesy of CNOA

These Colombian Civil Rights Activists Are Fighting to Make Sure Afro-Colombians are Counted in the Census

When 30 percent of Colombia's Black citizens disappeared from the data overnight, a group of Afro-Colombian activists demanded an explanation.

It was the end of 2019 when various Black organizations protested in front of the census bureau—The National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (DANE)—in Bogotá, Colombia to show their dissatisfaction about what they called a "statistical genocide" of the black population. The census data, published that year, showed 2.9 million people, only 6 percent of the total population of the country, was counted as "Afro-Colombian," "Raizal," and "Palenquero"—the various terms identifying black Colombians.

For many years, Afro-Colombians have been considered the second largest ethno-racial group in the country. Regionally, Colombia has long been considered the country with the second highest number of Afro-descendants after Brazil, according to a civil society report.

Why did the population of Afro-Colombians drop so drastically?

Afro-Colombian, Black, Raizal, and Palenquero civil-rights activists protesting erasure of Afro-descendants in front of the census bureau.

Last year, a crowd of activists gathered in Bogota to protest what they saw as erasure of Black communities in the Colombian census.

Photo courtesy of CNOA

In the latest national census report from 2018/2019, there appeared to be a 30.8 percent reduction of the overall group of people that identified as Black, Afro-Colombian, Raizal, and Palenquero, as compared to the 2005. After this controversial report, an Afro-Colombian civil rights organization known as the National Conference of Afro Colombian Organizations (CNOA), officially urged DANE to explain the big undercounting of the black population.

This wasn't a small fight. Representatives who hold the special seats of Afro-Colombians in Colombia's congress asked the census bureau to attend a political control debate at the House of Representatives in November 2019 to deliver an accountability report. "The main goal of doing a political debate was to demand DANE to give us a strong reason about the mistaken data in the last census in regard to the Afro population," said Ariel Palacios, an activist and a member of CNOA.

At the debate, the state released an updated census data report saying that, almost 10 percent of the Colombian population—4.6 million people out of 50.3 million—considers themselves Afro-Colombians or other ethnicities (like Raizal, and Palenquero). But despite DANE trying to confirm the accuracy and reliability on the latest census report it was clear that, for a variety of reasons, Black people were missed by the census. The state argued that their main obstacles with data collection were related to the difficulties of the self-recognition question, as well as security reasons that didn't allow them to access certain regions. They also admitted to a lack of training, logistics and an overall lack of success in the way the data collectors conducted the census.

How could they have counted Black populations better?

Afro-Colombian, Black, Raizal, and Palenquero civil-rights activists playing drums in front of the census bureau.

Drummers performing during a protest against the Colombian census bureau's erasure of Afro-Colombians from the 2018 census.

Photo courtesy of CNOA

These arguments were not reasonable for the civil rights activists, partially because the state failed to properly partner with Afro-organizations like CNOA to conduct or facilitate extensive informational campaigns about the self-identification questions.

"CNOA has worked on self-recognition and visibility campaigns among the Afro community and this census ignored our work," says priest Emigdio Cuesta-Pino, the executive secretary of CNOA. Palacios also thinks that the majority of Afro-Colombians are aware of their identity "we self-identify because we know there is a public political debate and we know that there is a lack of investment on public policies."

That's why it is not enough to leave the statistical data to the official census bureau to ensure that Afro-Colombian communities are fully counted in the country. And the civil rights activists knows that. They made a big splash in the national media and achieved visibility in the international community.

Thanks to The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a human rights organization, Palacios traveled to D.C to meet with Race and Equality institution and a Democratic Congressman. "We called for a meeting with representative Hank Johnson to talk about the implementation of Colombia's peace accords from an Afro-Colombian perspective but also to address the gross undercounts of its black population," says Palacios.

For the activists at CNOA, the statistical visibility of the Black population is one of their battles. They have fought for Afro population recognition for almost two decades. "Since the very beginning CNOA has worked on the census issue as one of our main commitments within the statistical visibility of the Afro-Colombian people," says priest Cuesta-Pina. Behind this civil organization are 270 local associations, who work for their rights and collective interests.

The activists want to raise awareness on identity. Because according to Palacios, "In Colombia, there is missing an identity debate—we don't know what we are. They [the census bureau] ask if we are black, or if we are Afro-Colombians. But what are the others being asked? If they are white, mestizo or indigenous?" Palacios believes that for "CNOA this debate is pending, and also it is relevant to know which is the character of this nation."

Afro-Colombian Populations and the Coronavirus

Afro-Colombian, Black, Raizal, and Palenquero civil-rights activists use mock coffins and statistics to protest erasure of Afro-descendants

Colombian civil-rights activist insist that undercounting Afro-descendants can have a real impact on the health of Afro-Colombian communities, especially during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

Photo courtesy of CNOA

Even though the state recently "agreed with to give us a detailed census report" and make a different projection with the micro data, says Palacios, now with the Covid-19 emergency, CNOA and the government has suspended all meetings with them, including cancelling a second congressional debate and the expert round table meeting to analyze the data.

Unfortunately, it is exactly in situations like the Covid-19 emergency where data analysis and an accurate census report would have been useful. According to the professor and PhD in Sociology Edgar Benítez from Center for Afro Diasporic Studies—CEAF, "Now it is required to provide a reliable and timely information on how the contagion pattern will spread in those predominantly Afro regions in the country and what is the institutional capacity in those places to face it," says Benítez.

He adds that this information is "critical at the moment because the institutional capacity is not up to provide it at the current situation". That's why the Center for Afro Diasporic Studies plans to work with DANE information from the last census. According to Benítez, "We are thinking of making comparisons at the municipal level with the information reported in the 2018 Quality of Life Survey, in order to have a robust and extensive database as possible on the demographic, economic and social conditions of the black, afro, Raizal and Palenquera population in Colombia."









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