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Here's What Went Down When Kanye West's 'The Life Of Pablo' Pop-Up Shop Came to Cape Town

Kanye West's 'The Life of Pablo' pop-up shop came to Cape Town over the weekend.

By now you should know that Cape Town was the only city in Africa – out of 21 worldwide – where Kanye West brought his Pablo pop-up shop this weekend. The queue to the shop, which was on Bree Street, snaked all the way to Loop Street. On Friday, the first day of the store, hypebeasts, fashionistas and cool kids were there as early as 6am.


Only ten people were allowed in the shop at a time, which meant a longer queuing period. So, after every 30 minutes, people emerged with shopping bags full of Pablo merchandise.

Inside, there were a few rules: no fitting before purchase, no removing of clothes from display racks. And the security guards’ favorite – if you were only there to take pictures and not buy, then you must leave.

Items available included t-shirts, crew neck sweaters, caps and jackets, which all featured printed phrases from The Life Of Pablo album in gothic letters. The cheapest item was the Cape Town cap (R485). The most expensive, the military jacket, set you back R3654. The t-shirts, sweaters and caps were all inscribed Cape Town, just like they would be inscribed “New York” if the store was there.

Shoppers – who came in all ages, but were mostly young adults and teenagers – browsed around to tracks from TLOP. There wasn’t much variety in product, and some shoppers felt a bit letdown. “This is stuff from Season 1,” I heard someone scream as he left the shop.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Sabelo Mkhabela is a writer from Swaziland, currently based in Cape Town. He also drops award-winning tweets as @SabzaMK.

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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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