Controversial

South African Insurance Company Allegedly Refers to Black People as Baboons In Leaked Email

A screenshot of an email from an employee of the insurance company MiWay, referring to black people as baboons has caused havoc on Twitter.

A screenshot of an email from an employee of the insurance company MiWay, referring to black people as baboons has caused havoc on Twitter.


Aarthi Roopnarain, the employee who sent the email, is instructing the recipient to reject 90% claims made by black people. “They are an easy target, it’s also a great opportunity to save money and also punish these black baboons,” reads the last sentence of the email.

The company has since dismissed the email, saying it will prove that it’s fake. “It’s absolute nonsense, fake news on steroids,” the company’s CEO, Rene Otto said, “There has never been such a decision and it’s a hoax email. I have just seen the mail myself. We are busy following the threads so we will be able to prove that it’s false and falsified.”

The company has since released a statement on its Facebook page denying the allegations of racism: “MiWay is a proudly South African company committed to diversity and transparency. We have been made aware of a racist email purported to have been written and sent by a member of staff. An urgent investigation was launched and we can confirm that the email with its content was never sent from a MiWay employee.”

Until the company proves the email is wrong, it looks like it will carry on losing black clients, who are lobbying each other on Twitter to cancel their accounts. Below are some tweet responses from South Africans about the email.

 

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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