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Group of men known as Men Against Rape hold all-male awareness walk against rape, sexual and gender-based violence at Ikeja in Lagos, Nigeria on June 11, 2020.

Nigeria Declares 'State of Emergency' on Rape

The announcement comes after public outcry over a spate of recent killings of young women in the country.

Governors in Nigeria have called a state of emergency over rape against women and children, following a string of high-profile cases across the country which have led to nation-wide protests.

A forum of 36 governors condemned the acts and stated that they are "committed to ensuring that offenders face the maximum weight of the law."

The officials are calling on all states to set up a sex offenders register and allot for increased funding to tackle the problem. According to CNN, states are also being urged to sign two new federal laws that will further punish rape and violence against women.


Nigerians have been protesting and rallying online to fight sexual violence in response to a string of recent killings of young women, including the university student Uwaila Vera Omozuwa, as well as 16-year-old student Tina Ezekwe who was shot dead by police in Lagos who opened virus while enforcing a COVID curfew, and an 18-year-old woman known as Jennifer.

Celebrities and public figures like Tiwa Savage joined in the fight, using their platforms to push for government action on the matter.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari spoke about the crisis during an address on Friday. "I am particularly upset at recent incidents of rape, especially of very young girls. The police are pursuing these cases with a view to bringing perpetrators of these heinous crimes to swift justice."

"I wish to assure all our women of this administration's determination to fight Gender-Based Violence through the instrumentality of the law and awareness creation."

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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