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Nigerians React to VP Osinbanjo's 'Overhaul' of SARS After Public Outcry of Rampant Abuse

Many Nigerians are celebrating the reform, while some remain cynical.

Nigeria's acting President Yemi Osinbanjo has ordered an "immediate overhaul" of the country's notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) following wide-spread allegations of abuse and human rights violations.

In a press release, the Nigerian Police Force, stated that SARS will now be known as the Federal Special Anti-Robbery squad (FSARS), and appointed a new commissioner to oversee the imprint.

SARS became the target of the #EndSARS social media movement last December, when young Nigerians began recounting chilling, nearly fatal, incidents involving the anti-robbery squad. Nigerian rapper Falz depicted a typical run-in with SARS in his viral music video 'This is Nigeria."

Aside from calling for the overhaul, Osinbanjo took to Twitter to list resources for people who may have suffered at the hands of SARS, urging them to report their experience for further investigation.


Many Nigerians have expressed hope in these changes. Some are praising the sitting president for taking action, in the absence of Nigeria's notably slow-to-act leader Buhari, who is currently on holiday.






Folks are also recognizing one of the foremost leaders of the #EndSARS movement, Segun Awosanya, for his efforts in pushing for the abolishment of the group.

Not everyone is convinced that this new directive will truly bring about reform, however. It means nothing if the government doesn't put swift action behind it, and some are sharing messages that reflect a cautionary view.




News Brief

Twitter Set to Build New Africa Headquarters in Ghana

According to Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and co-founder, their new Africa headquarters will be in Ghana — beating strong contenders such as South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and co-founder, has reportedly announced that the social networking service will be basing its new Africa headquarters in Ghana. The announcement was shared, earlier today, on Twitter's own blog and via Dorsey's personal account. Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo quickly confirmed the news, stating that Ghana welcomed the announcement and the confidence reflected by the giant social media company's choice of country.

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Interview
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Interview: Fally Ipupa Continues His Legacy With 'Tokooos II'

The iconic Congolese singer opens up about his latest album, vast influence and future plans.

After a moment's long view of his Paris studio, Fally Ipupa finally approaches the screen with a confident aura, filling the room with an energy that leaves me thinking: "He looks exactly like he sounds!" My mental image of Fally in a '90s music video, thanks to my parents' cassettes and CD tapes, immediately elapses as the all-white fit, button-down shirt, big glasses and bowler hat combo I had imagined is replaced by a sharply dressed dude wearing a warm smile and a baseball hat that he raises as he prompts me to begin.

From the DJ mix at every family gathering to the Apollo Theater in New York City, many would argue that Fally Ipupa has single-handedly popularised Congolese Rumba—a sound he describes as one of "dance, passion, and love."

The renowned musician began his career in the late '90s, singing and dancing alongside music legend Koffi Olomide in a group called Quartier Latin — before taking on the role of accompanying his mentor alone, and soon after pursuing a solo career through his debut offering Droit Chemin. This 2006 album earned gold status when it sold over 100,000 copies. Over and above his incredible discography, Fally Ipupa stays connected to the world through effortless features as seen in "Chaise Electrique" with former G-Unit singer Olivia, "Nous Les Meilleurs (We The Best)" alongside D'banj, and on "Yakuza" featuring Wizkid. He has also been the recipient of multiple awards including MTV Africa Music Awards for Best Video and Best Francophone Artist.

The 43-year-old star was born and raised in Kinshasa, the largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo—also home to the most influential Rumba and Soukous acts, which include the likes of Papa Wemba and Koffi Olomide. Fally combining the acoustic bass, the fingerstyle guitar, the vibrating brass and live drums is truly one of the continent's most influential and indelible sounds. However, his immense crossover with his 2017 album Tokooos was met with a lot of disapproval from many of his Congolese fanbases as they yearned for a strict Rumba project. But as they say, "People don't like change until they do." A year later, he satisfied his fans with the release of the album Control, proving that he can execute both sounds with ease.

The award-winning mogul has impelled new generations with his peculiar sound—a medley of soul, R&B, the original styles of Soukous and Rumba. Four months into the release of his latest album, Tokooos II, we discuss everything from his undeniable influence, future plans and much more.

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News Brief
(Youtube)

Watch Mr Eazi Escape Capture & Become 'The Don' In New Short Film

A new and striking six-minute visual from the emPawa boss man.

Mr Eazi comes through with a new 'short film' to accompany "The Don," the standout single off his Something Else EP.

The new video, directed by Babs, starts off with a prison transportation scene in which 'The Don' (Mr Eazi) is broken out of police capture and taken to back to the area he rules over. The rest of the visual is packed with striking shots of kids getting "Don Eazi" tattoos, dancers with creepy clown masks and a beautiful waterfall scene.

The operatic afro-trap single "The Don," produced by Killertunes and E Kelly, showcases Eazi's expanding sonic world and musical output.

Speaking with OkayAfrica in a recent interview, Mr Eazi told us about his excitement for what's still to come from the ever-burgeoning African music scene, saying ""I feel like afropop is at the place hip-hop was in like 1990 or 1991."

Watch "The Don" short film below and read our full interview with Mr Eazi here.

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South African Writer Phumlani Pikoli Passes Away

South African multimedia journalist and author, Phumlani Pikoli, sadly passed away this past Sunday. He was 33.