News Brief

Millions of Young South Africans May Not be Voting in the Coming Elections

The Independent Electoral Commission reports that at least 6 million young South Africans are still not registered to vote.

South Africans are set to cast their votes in the coming elections which will be taking place some time in May. The last official opportunity for South Africans to register to vote was on the 26th and 27th of January. However, according to the DailySUN, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has reported that 6 million South Africans under the age of 30 have still not registered to vote.


The CEO of the IEC Sy Mamabolo said:

"The IEC hopes young voters will use the short window of opportunity ahead of the announcement of an election date to register at local IEC offices. Once elections are proclaimed, the election roll will close."

In other words, until President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared the exact date of the elections, South Africans still have some time to ensure that they are registered to vote.

South Africans under the age of 35 have historically and on average, had a low voter turnout in past elections. This is in spite of South Africans under the age of 30 having comprised at least 80 percent of the 700 000 new voters who are now on the voting roll.

Sentiments of not wanting to participate in the upcoming elections among the youth have been rife. Political analysts have also cited these elections as possibly being the most contested elections in the history of South Africa's fledgling democracy.

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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