News Brief

The News You Need to Know: 50 Years Since the Declaration of Biafran Independence, Kenya Launches New Railroad and More

Fifty years since the Declaration of Biafran independence, Kenya's new railroad, and other stories from the continent.

'Stay-Home' to Commemorate 50 Years Since Declaration of Biafran Independence


NIGERIA—Cities across Nigeria's Southeast came to a standstill Tuesday after Biafran secessionists called for residents to stay at home in memory of the million people killed during the 1967-1970 Biafran war. It was also part of a new wave of demonstrations by primarily Igbo activists in support of a sovereign Biafran state and against Igbo marginalization in Nigeria.

Chris Hani's White-Supremacist Assassin Stripped of South African Citizenship

SOUTH AFRICA—During his parole hearing yesterday it was revealed that Janusz Walus, who assassinated anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani in 1993, had been stripped of his South African citizenship. This means Walus, a Polish citizen, could be deported if allowed to leave prison. Hani's death was said to have brought South Africa to the brink of civil war, a conflict averted by Nelson Mandela and the ANC.

Kenya Launches Nairobi Mombasa Railroad, the Biggest Project Since Independence

KENYA—The Chinese-built railroad cost 3.3 billion dollars to build—about 5 percent of Kenya's GDP. It is the first phase of a much larger project meant to connect Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan to the port of Mombasa. Investors hope the project will cut down on transportation costs and open the way to economic growth in Kenya and the larger region.

A New documentary aims to force Germany to acknowledge its history of Genocide in Nambia

NAMIBIA—"Skulls of My People," tells the story of how the Herero and Nama people of Nambia were massacred by German troops in the early 20th for "rebelling" after their land had been confiscated. Survivors were forced into concentration camps, and an estimated 100,000 people died. Afterwards, skulls of the Namibian victims were taken to Germany for experimentation.

"This film is a testimonial account of the descendants of the Herero victims and their ongoing struggle to reclaim their land, compensation and the return of their ancestors' skulls from Germany," Aljazeera reports. Watch the full documentary via their website.

SOUTH AFRICA—Kwesta wins big at the 2017 South African Music Awards

The South African Music Awards took place on Sunday, and some of our favorite artist took home awards. South African rapper, Kwesta won six awards including Best Rap Album, Best Male Artist of the Year, Best Album of the Year and more. Other winners included Amanda Black, and Nasty C.

News Brief
Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns (via Getty Images)

New Fela Kuti Reissues & Box Set Are Coming This Year

Partisan Records has shared initial news of upcoming Fela 50th anniversary reissues and a new box set on the way.

Fela Kuti fans have a lot to look forward to this year as Partisan Records (home to Fela's catalog) has announced plans to release special reissues of two 1971 albums: London Scene and Live! With Ginger Baker, the classic album in which Fela and his band Africa '70 where joined by the Cream drummer.

The label has also said they plan to release the fifth installment in their ongoing Fela vinyl reissue box set series, which are handpicked by notable names in the music world. Previous volumes have been curated by Erykah Badu, Questlove, and Brian Eno.

Partisan has also shared that they will also be launching a scholarship program at Fela's alma mater, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in London this year. The label will be sharing more information on all of that exciting Fela Kuti 2021 news soon, so keep and eye out.

In the meantime, Fela Kuti is currently leading the fan vote for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You can head here to cast a daily ballot for the afrobeat legend. Voting is capped at one ballot per day.

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