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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.

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Image: Ian Watts

The New Fela Kuti Box Set is Curated by Femi Kuti & Chris Martin

And they said the perfect holiday gift doesn't exist...

Fela Kuti's 50th anniversary reissues released this year have reminded us why his status as a legend continues to ring true.

Through the year, Partisan Records (the homes of Fela's catalog) has released a number of special reissues, and now Vinyl Box #5 is set to drop just in time for you to be named the coolest gift giver in your friend group. The highly-anticipated fifth installment of vinyl reissues was co-curated by Fela's son, Nigerian afrobeat ambassador Femi Kuti and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

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Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A Year After #EndSARS, Nigerian Youth Maintain That Nothing Has Changed

Despite the disbandment of the SARS units, young Nigerians are still being treated as criminals. We talk to several of them about their experiences since the #EndSARS protests.

On September 12th, Tobe, a 22-year-old student at the University of Nigeria's Enugu Campus was on his way to Shoprite to hang out with his friends when the tricycle he had boarded was stopped by policemen. At first, Tobe thought they were about to check the driver's documents, but he was wrong. "An officer told me to come down, he started searching me like I was a criminal and told me to pull down my trousers, I was so scared that my mind was racing in different ways, I wasn't wearing anything flashy nor did I have an iPhone or dreads — things they would use to describe me as a yahoo boy," he says.

They couldn't find anything on him and when he tried to defend himself, claiming he had rights, one of the police officers slapped him. "I fell to the ground sobbing but they dragged me by the waist and took me to their van where they collected everything including my phone and the 8,000 Naira I was with."

Luckily for Tobe, they let him go free after 2 hours. "They set me free because they caught another pack of boys who were in a Venza car, but they didn't give me my money completely, they gave me 2,000 Naira for my transport," he says.

It's no news that thousands of Nigerian youth have witnessed incidents like Tobe's — many more worse than his. It's this helpless and seemingly unsolvable situation which prompted the #EndSARS protests. Sparked after a viral video of a man who was shot just because he was driving an SUV and was mistaken as a yahoo boy, the #EndSARS protests saw millions of young Nigerians across several states of the country come out of their homes and march against a system has killed unfathomable numbers of people for invalid or plain stupid reasons. The protests started on October 6th, 2020 and came to a seize after a tragedy struck on October 20th of the same year.

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Interview

Meet Uyi Omorogbe: TikTok's Resident Menace and Founder of Clothing Brand NASO

We spoke with the viral 'Annoying My African Parents' creator about online success and his upcoming brand collab with Converse.

TikTok sensation Uyi Omorogbe has figured out a way to get a laugh out of your African parents without a life lesson being attached to it. The Nigerian-American's account has amassed more than 3 million followers for doing something few of us are brave enough to even think about - annoying his very African, very tired parents.

Uyi's TikTok success came from a very well-thought-out, fearlessly millennial approach using the undeniable power of social media. After learning about the app and how quickly creators found audiences, he figured that creating videos while donning his own garments would garner attention to both his comedic talents, as well as his African-inspired clothing brand NASO. And he was absolutely correct. The 23-year old gained millions of followers within 10 months, and his audiences continue to grow as his brand and talents expand.

Uyi launched NASO in 2019 as a way to pay homage to his Nigerian heritage and have that manifest through his clothing and style while being able to give back to and share his success with his family and community. NASO loosely translates to "That's right, well done" in Nigerian slang and the name certainly matches the vibe created through Uyi's company. The Colgate University grad always dreamed of giving back to his communities - both Nigerian and American - and created NASO with the hopes of being able to make tangible changes in education while sharing West African fashion with the world.

NASO built their first school in Urhokuosa village in 2019 (only a few months after starting the company), where his father was born and raised, and has plans for more ways to help develop and improve education within the West African nation, as well as neglected communities within the US.

We spoke with Uyi about his funny bone, building success with your family, and NASO's upcoming collaboration with Converse.

*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Maeva Heim is the Founder the Beauty Industry Has Been Waiting on

The 31-year-old founder of Bread Beauty Supply is changing the conversation around haircare for textured hair.