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'Love Island' Makes Oh-So-White Debut in South Africa

Popular television show 'Love Island' recently debuted on South African screens but fans are appalled by the glaring lack of diversity among contestants.

Popular reality television show Love Island officially debuted on South Africa screens this past Sunday. However, before fans get could get into the drama among the 10 contestants looking for love and the chance to win one million Rands, they were stunned by the glaring lack of diversity of the contestants themselves. Needless to say, the topic has been trending on social media since with criticism directed at M-Net, the channel hosting the television show.


READ: Op-Ed: Laying Bare South Africa's 'White Lie'

Love Island is originally a British reality television show which has spinoffs in America, Germany, Australia and several other countries. The show sees the contestants being forced to couple and re-couple whilst undergoing several dates, tasks and challenges, all in the pursuit to avoid being kicked out of the villa in which they're all residing.

Naturally, South Africans were eager to find out just how their spinoff would compare to the original. Excitement quickly turned into disappointment and genuine disbelief.

Here is a brief snippet from the show:

Around the fire – Love Island SA www.youtube.com

In a country where white people account for barely 9 percent of the population, to have only 2 Coloured people and 2 Black people among the contestants is not reflective of the country's reality—at all. While M-Net has not yet responded to the criticism or divulged their casting process, fans had quite a bit to say on their behalf nonetheless. From references to colonisation to the white-only South African town Orania, take a look at some of the hilarious reactions on social media below.

Photo credit PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images

EFF Calls Out President Cyril Ramaphosa On Slow COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

South Africa's opposition party leader, Julius Malema, has demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa speed up the distribution rate of COVID-19 vaccines.

Julius Malema has reportedly instructed President Cyril Ramaphosa to release South Africa's detailed COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy. Malema added that his party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), would initiate a sit-in at vaccination centres should Ramaphosa fail to share this national vaccination plan by the end of April 2021. This comes after the South African government's last announcement of the vaccine rollout plan two months ago.

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Music
(Youtube)

The 11 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Wizkid x Tems, Rema, Mdou Moctar, Emtee, Mannywellz x Wale, Tony Allen and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases 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.

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Cartoon by Gado.

Akon In Uganda, the Laundering of a Dictatorship

Opinion: By lending his voice to the horrid spectacle underway in Uganda, Akon is in fact endorsing the Museveni regime.

Autocrats across the world have often used artists to sanitize their regime's brutality. One method that has been increasingly employed has been the recruitment of high-profile artists—mainly Western music stars—to work as essential spokespersons for a country's tourism ministry. These artists then work alongside government officials—oftentimes propaganda artists in their own right—to sell a whitewashed image of the country, one that is almost always at odds with realities on the ground.

While the introduction of global celebrities into the authoritarian playbook of reputation laundering is a more recent phenomenon, placing a country's tourism industry front-and-center has long been a go-to tactic to soften a dictatorship's harsh image. The former long-ruling dictator of Zimbabwe, for example, Robert Mugabe, was a trailblazer in this regard. In 2012, he convinced the United Nations World Tourism Organization to appoint him as their international envoy, despite his government's categorically abysmal human rights record.

Years later, Rwanda's strongman, Paul Kagame, signed a multi-million-dollar deal with Arsenal, the popular English football club. For the 2019/2020 season, players sported jerseys with "Visit Rwanda" prominently displayed on their chests and sleeves, all while the country's political opposition, media, and human rights community faced continual decimation through arbitrary detentions, disappearances, extrajudicial executions and alleged state-sanctioned murders.

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South African Rapper 22 Is Serious About Her Craft

The budding musician just released her latest single, aptly titled "I'M THAT GIRL" and accompanied by mad daring visuals.