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King Mswati III Paid R2.7 Billion For A Private Jet and Its Parking Space

The king just treated himself to a luxurious birthday present amidst prevailing poverty in his country.

The King of Swaziland (now known as The Kingdom of Eswatini since April) treated himself to a private jet for his 50th birthday, which coincides with the country's 50th year of independence, reports the City Press. The Airbus A340-300 was bought from Taiwan for E200 million (approximately $16 million).

Note that the country's currency lilangeni (emalangeni in plural form) is equivalent to the South African rand.

Refurbishing the plane cost E500 million, and a further E2 billion was spent on its hangar at the newly constructed airport in eastern Swaziland. This exorbitant price was to ensure the hangar was safe for royalty and heads of state visiting the country.

The plane was sent to Germany to be customized, and can now accommodate the king, some of his wives and his chef. It has the range to fly from Swaziland to New York without making any stops on the way.

This is not the first time the king has bought himself a private plane. In 2012, he bought a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, which now, since he has a new toy, will be used for short distance travels and will be rented out to charter companies.

Swaziland has an unstable economy, with a high unemployment rate (25.28%) and the highest HIV prevalence in the world at 27.2%. The country's pensioners also earn a meager E400 ($32) a month.

However, the royal family was allocated approximately R395 million for this financial year. It just doesn't add up.

(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

The 10 Best HHP Songs Ranked

On the second anniversary of HHP's passing, we rank 10 of the South African hip-hop legend's best songs.

Jabulani Tsambo, popularly known by his alias HHP, was a pivotal part of South African hip-hop. Renowned for trailblazing the motswako sub-genre in the early 2000s, the rapper sadly passed away on October 24th, 2018 after a long and much publicised bout with depression.

During his active years, which span two decades (from 1997 to 2018), he was instrumental in breaking barriers and bridging the gap between kwaito and hip-hop in SA, from the late 90s to early 2000s.

He became a household name in the 2000s as he spearheaded the motswako movement, propelling it to the mainstream and solidifying his legendary status in the process.

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Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

How You Can Help Nigeria’s #EndSARS Protests

We round up some ways you can support the movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

Widespread protests against Nigeria's notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are becoming more of a revolution. The movement is an outcry from youths demanding a general reform of the country, majorly characterized by poor governance, with a focus on the harassment and assaults committed by SARS. The movement has been raging through the city of Lagos for the past three weeks, as protesters home and abroad have taken to the streets in masses to express their keen dissatisfaction.

Hashtags like #EndSARS, #EndPoliceBrutality, and #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria have brandished across all social media platforms to amplify the voices of the youth people fighting back. These hashtags have, in turn, gained traction with the help of celebrities like singers Rihanna, Demi Lovato, and Beyoncé, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and many others. Nigerian stars, Falz, Runtown, Tiwa Savage, Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, and many more also joined in the movement, as many of them took to the streets with placards.

To date, the peacefully protesting Nigerians' needs have not been met. With said needs not being satisfied as they demand justice for lives lost due to the brutal and corrupt practices of police officers.

We have rounded up some ways you can support this movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

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The 8 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Simmy, Made Kuti, Shane Eagle, Emel Mathlouthi, Amaarae 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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South Africa Makes Strides and Passes Same-Sex Marriage Law

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently passed the Civil Union Amendment Bill which seeks to protect the rights of same-sex marriage.