News Brief

This Kenyan MP Was Kicked Out of Parliament for Bringing Her Baby

According to the house rules, "strangers" including children, are not allowed to enter the chamber.

Kenyan Member of Parliament, Zulekha Hassan, was kicked out of parliament in Nairobi today, after she entered the chamber while carrying her baby, according to the BBC. Hassan, who reports that she had no other viable alternative than to bring her child along to the parliamentary proceedings, was ordered to leave by the deputy speaker amidst commotion from other MPs, during a live broadcast on KBC.


After the incident, Hassan told reporters that, "I have tried really hard not to come with the baby, but today I had an emergency; what was I supposed to do? If parliament had a nursery or a creche I would be able to put my baby there." She went on to add that, "Now as we ask for more women to come into parliament, you need to provide a family friendly atmosphere."

This has sparked debate on social media and understandably so. Many have spoken out and condemned the gross unfairness with which Hassan was treated, citing instances where MPs in other countries have even engaged in parliamentary debates whilst breastfeeding.




In what appears to be an effort to escape accountability for what transpired today, the house has referred to the incident as an "unprecedented move" on Hassan's part and went on to say that the house rules clearly stipulate that "strangers", children included, are not permitted to enter the chamber.

Last year, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, made "history" when she brought her baby to the UN General Assembly. The fact that even constituted a historical moment in what is very much the 21st century, speaks volumes about the strides society still needs to make when it comes to how it treats women, especially those in positions of power, and makes navigating their respective lives much more difficult than those of their male counterparts.


Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for BET

Somali Activist Ilwad Elman Wins Prestigious 2020 German Africa Prize

Somali activist Ilwad Elman is this year's winner of the German Africa Prize for her humanitarian work in rehabilitating child soldiers and sexual violence survivors.

Somali peace activist Ilwad Elman has reportedly won the coveted 2020 German Africa Prize for her continued humanitarian work in her homeland. According to DW, Elman received the award in person from German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas last night. Elman has received the award for her work with child soldiers and survivors of sexual violence in Somalia. The news comes as a welcomed reprieve for those in the African diaspora for whom Elman has been an advocate since the age of 17. The young peace and justice advocate took to Twitter to share the news.

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Interview
Photo: Lex Ash (@thelexash). Courtesy of Simi.

Interview: Simi Is Taking Risks

Nigerian star Simi talks about the successes & risks of this year, her thoughts on the #EndSARS protests, and how her husband, Adekunle Gold, inspired Restless II.

Simi is restless. It has nothing to do with the year she has had, in fact, she reaffirmed her status as one of Nigeria's most successful musicians with a single music drop, "Duduke," which enjoyed widespread appeal as the nation went into lockdown earlier in the year.

The 32-year-old singer's restlessness is a reflection of the organised chaos that has defined her recording process this year as she combined the rigours of being an expectant mother with an examination of her place in the wider world. It, more accurately, reflects her re-negotiation of the parameters of her stardom.

"I've never really been a big fan of the spotlight," she whispers silently early in our Zoom conversation. "I know that it comes with the territory, but when I got my big break and more people started to recognise me, I realised that I had to edit myself, my life, and most of the things that I'd do or say because I wanted to be careful to keep a part of me for myself."

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Photo by Victor Adewale.

These Poignant #EndSARS Protest Photos Show the Heart of a United People

Documentary photographer Victor Adewale captures poignant moments in the continued #EndSARS protests in Nigeria which are calling for an end to police brutality.

Towards the the beginning of October, protests erupted in Nigeria with a resounding and collective call for the end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The infamous security forces unit has reportedly harassed, assaulted, abducted and even murdered Nigerian youth since its establishment in 1992 and all in the name of "maintaining law and order". While President Muhammadu Buhari's government committed to disbanding the unit and placing the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) in its stead, many Nigerians have felt it to be a mere "rebranding" of the rogue unit. Their calls for an end to police brutality have continued and understandably so. While the mass protests have largely been peaceful, they recently turned deadly when at least 38 people were killed at the hands of the Nigerian military in what has since become known as the Lekki Massacre.

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Listen to Banky W's New Single 'Talk and Do' Feat. 2Baba, Seun Kuti, Timi Dakolo, Brookstone & LCGC

Banky W's rousing new single 'Talk and Do', and its accompanying visuals, is a call to action for us to bring about the change we want to see despite the constant whirlwind of the world.