Image via PickPic

Madagascar's Education Minister Has Been Fired for Planning to Buy $2.2 Million In Candy for Students

The 'bittersweet' move drew anger in a country reeling from the economic burdens brought on by COVID-19.

Madagascar's Education Minister, Minister Rijasoa Andriamanana, has been fired after revealing plans to set aside $2.2 million for candy.

According to Andriamanana the purpose of the indulgent investment was to provide each student with candy to help mask the "bitter taste" of the infamous Covid-Organics tonic, which is being touted as a cure to coronavirus by President Andry Rajoelin.


Andriamanana told reporters that "a purchase of sweets and lollipops" had been made, and that each student in the country would receive three pieces of candy to take after drinking the President-approved herbal tea. Despite Rajoelin's claims that the elixir is "green gold," there is no scientific data proving its effectiveness and it not considered a real cure to the virus.

The exorbitant candy spending drew criticism from the press in a nation where 75 percent of the country lives below the global poverty line, according to statistics from the World Bank, and citizens are trying to cope with the economic burdens brought on by the lockdown. The ill-advised move led to Andriamanana being sacked, and the purchase (likely to the dismay of many young students) being cancelled.

Several Malagasy people have taken to the streets in response to COVID-19 lockdown measures. Clashes occurred Clashes occurred with police during demonstrations when it was reported that they had beaten a street vendor accused of breaking the ban on commercial activities.

So far Madagascar has had 975 confirmed cases of the virus, with 201 recoveries and seven deaths all in the port city of Toamasina.

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."

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

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.