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This Is Why Nathi Refuses To Speak English In Interviews

As if he needs to explain himself.

South African soul music star Nathi has refused to speak English in interviews since the country got introduced to him when he released his debut album Umbulelo Wami in 2016.

In an interview about his latest album Iphupho Lami, the musician recently told the Sunday Times why he chooses to stick to his mother tongue IsiXhosa in interviews. The fact that he has to explain himself for choosing to speak his own language over a foreign one says a lot about the world, especially South Africa.


He was quoted as saying:

"I have heard people making a fuss about the fact that I only speak Xhosa in interviews. Some have said I can't speak English, and to them that suggests I'm dumb, but what if the dumb one is the person speaking English to me?"

He added:

"Why should I have to understand the person interviewing me in English but he doesn't understand my responses in Xhosa?"

The artist explained to the newspaper that he grew up in a village called Maclear in the Eastern Cape, where even white people understand and speak IsiXhosa. "We left English in the classroom," he said, "I would much rather explain things and speak to people in Xhosa. Also when you say certain things in English, your words lose that flavor they would have in Xhosa."

Nathi isn't the only leader we have in terms of choosing to speak your indigenous language in the South African music scene. Babes Wodumo and Zahara also mostly speak IsiZulu and IsiXhosa in interviews.

South Africa has a tendency to treat people who can't speak "proper" English with contempt. The late kwaito star Mandoza was ridiculed for his "broken" English throughout his whole career.

We really need to do better.

Listen to Nathi's latest album Iphupha Labantu below:



‎Album · 2018 · 10 Songs

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Watch the First Episode of Flame’s Documentary Series ‘Welcome To My Life’

Flame takes fans behind the scenes in his new documentary series.

From interviews to smoking sessions, performances, studio sessions and a visit to the hair salon, Flame gives fans a glimpse into his life and adventures.

The South African hip-hop artist and producer shared the first episode of an ongoing documentary series titled Welcome To My Life. The first episode, which he shared today, shows Flame and his affiliates—the likes of Ecco, Mellow and others—going about their business.

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uSanele Releases a New Project ‘uMvelase’ Featuring ASAP Shembe, Windows 2000, Manelisi and Others

Listen to uSanele's new project 'uMvelase.'

South African hip-hop artist uSanele's recently released project is titled uMvelase. "This project," says the artist, "is in honor of my father and family, abakwa Mthembu; all my siblings, extended family and my roots in the heart of KZN, kwaNongoma. It is a calling—if you will—a completion of my journey and all things coming full circle."

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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