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Augustin Mawangu Mingiedi, Bandleader of Congolese Group Konono N°1, Has Died

The lead likembe player of the celebrated band passed away on Monday at the age of 56.

Augustin Mawangu Mingiedi, leader of the celebrated Congolese band Konono N°1 has died. He was 56 years-old.


Mingiedi, who became the leader of the group after the passing of his father Mingiedi Mawangu in 2015, had been ill for several months due to complications with diabetes, according to a statement on the band's Facebook page.

In the status, the band also announced that the torch would be passed down to Mingiedi's son, who will now front the band as the lead likembe player as they continue to tour.

The status reads:

Konono N°1 are indestructible, and we've been continuing to work and perform. After Mingiedi and Augustin, the torch of lead likembe player has now been passed to the 3rd generation, to Augustin's son Makonda, who is fronting the band with original singer Menga Waku.

The group's main producer, shared a heartfelt tribute to the musician in a statement:

His brilliant and bold playing, his stage presence, his humor and high spirits graced many projects, among which Herbie Hancock's multi-awarded Imagine, Björk's Volta, a collaboration with Angolan artist Batida, and the "Congotronics vs Rockers" extravaganza, of which he was an essential element. It's a great honor for me to have worked with him

Konono N°1 released their sixth studio album Konono Nº1 Meets Batida in April of last year. In remembrance of Mingiedi, revisit their lead single, “Um Nzonzing" below, and a Boiler Room performance from 2015 underneath.




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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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