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(Photo by Tirivangani Masawi/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Tirivangani Masawi via Getty Images)

WINDHOEK, June 4, 2020 -- Members of Namibian parliament listen to President Hage Geingob delivering his state of the nation address in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, on June 4, 2020.

Namibian Government Rejects Germany's Offer of 'Reparations'

The Namibian government has rejected the recent offer of 'reparations' from its former German coloniser for the mass killings of the Herero and Nama people.

The Namibian government has reportedly rejected Germany's recent offer of "reparations" saying the offer needs to be "revised" before it is acceptable to them. It is also reported that the language that Germany has used, has also failed to resonate with what the Namibian government deem "reparations". Germany, which colonised the Southern African country for close to century until it obtained independence in 1990, was responsible for the mass killings of the Herero and Nama people by the German Imperial Troops. The European country only returned the skulls of 30 of those genocide victims towards the beginning of last year.

READ: An Apology is Not Enough: Germany, Genocide and the Limits of Reparations for Namibia

The negotiations between Namibia and Germany have been ongoing and began in 2015 after the government of the latter declared that it sought to reconcile with its colonial history and address the systemic injustices of the past.

According to the BBC, however, Namibian President Hage Geingob said in a statement:

"While the Namibian Government agreed to negotiate the issue of redress (reparations), which the German Government consistently referred to as "healing the wounds", Germany has declined to accept the term "reparations". This position, Ambassador Ngavirue explained is based on Germany's refusal to use the term "reparations" in negotiations with the Jews and the State of Israel, with the two parties settling on the term "Wiedergutmachung" (reconciliation and doing good again) in their agreement signed at Luxemburg in 1952...The current offer for reparations made by the German Government remains an outstanding issue and is not acceptable to the Namibian Government."

A special envoy from the Namibian government, led by Zed Ngavirue, will continue to negotiate for a "revised offer".

Last year, the German government announced that they would "return 15th-century Portuguese stone cross that has been in their possession since the colonial era, back to its original home in Namibia", writes OkayAfrica's Damola Durosomo. "The cross was a navigation landmark placed on the coastline of present-day Namibia in 1496, before it was taken in the late 17th century under German colonial rule," according to BBC Africa.

Similarly, a motion was put forward by opposition parties in Tunisia to demand an acknowledgment and apology from France for its colonisation of the country. However, the motion was eventually rejected this year with some officials saying, "We are not going to feed Tunisians with such motions."

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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