News Brief

Nigerian Activist Omoyele Sowore Remains In Custody Following Planned #RevolutionNow Protests

The founder of Sahara Reporters and 2019 presidential candidate, is being held under terrorism laws after attempting to organize a nationwide protest against insecurity.

Nigerian journalist, activist and politician Omoyele Sowore was arrested on Sunday for his efforts to lead a nationwide "Revolution Now" protest and is currently being held under terrorism laws, BBC Africa reports.

The peaceful protests were set to take place across 21 Nigerian cities on Monday. Several Nigerians were set to take to the streets to demand an end to widespread insecurity in the country, and push for free education and healthcare for all Nigerian citizens. Some organizers attempted to go ahead with the protests on Monday to little success. Those who did attempt to organize faced small run-ins with police.

Sowore remains in custody, after being accused of "calling for an overthrow of the Nigerian government," by organizing the protest. Though he should have been charged within 48-hours of being taken into custody, according to Nigerian law, Justice Taiwo Taiwo ruled that Sowore could be detained under terrorism laws, following a request from the Department of State Services (DSS) to hold him for further investigation. "The nature of offence of terrorism which involved the use of force, is a clear affront to the peace of the society," said the justice of his decision.


Sowore is the founder of popular Nigerian news site Sahara Reporters. He ran against President Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria's presidential election earlier this year. He ran under the Africa Action Congress party, and finished 10th out of about 70 candidates who were on the ballot.

"All that is needed for a #Revolution is for the oppressed to choose a date they desire for liberty," wrote Sowore on Twitter just two days before his arrest."Not subjected to the approval of the oppressor. #RevolutionNow #DaysofRage #August5."

Since his detainment, several Nigerians including Wole Soyinka have called for his immediate release, as noted in Brittle Paper. Some activists say that they will go ahead with protests despite growing threats from the Nigerian government.

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Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Trump Plans to Extend Travel Ban to Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan, Eritrea & Three Other Countries

Here's what the travel ban could mean for these nations.

On Tuesday it was announced that Donald Trump's administration plans to extend its infamous travel ban to include seven new countries, many of them in Africa.

The countries named on the list, include Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan and Eritrea, as well as Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and the Eastern European nation of Belarus. Politico first broke the news.

According to The Washington Post, the move would likely not be a complete ban on citizens looking to enter the US, however it could place various visa restrictions on some government officials and on those seeking certain type of visitor and business visas.

Some nations could also be banned from participation in the diversity travel lottery program, which grants green cards. Trump has threatened to sack the program in the past.

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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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Yemi Alade Enlists Djimon Hounsou for New Music Video 'Remind You'

The veteran Beninese actor stars in the sultry music for Yemi Alade's latest single.

Yemi Alade shares her latest music video for her single "Remind You," and it stars none other than celebrated Hollywood actor Djimon Hounsou.

"Remind You" is a sultry R&B track from the singer's latest album, 2019's Woman of Steel. The vibrant music video, directed by Ovie Etseyatse, sees the singer gallivanting in an empty mansion in various elegant gowns. Honsou graces the screen throughout the video as well, but the two don't meet until the very end, when things take a funny and unexpected turn.

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Photo courtesy of Afro Nation.

Interview: Afro Nation Festival's Smade On Unifying Africans Across the Continent & Diaspora

As the festival prepares to make its Puerto Rico debut this spring, we sat down with Afro Nation co-founder Adesegun Adeosun aka Smade to talk about how it all started and what the future holds.

Within minutes of speaking with Adesegun Adeosun, it's apparent that Afro Nation is much more than an urban music festival.

The Afro Nation co-founder, better known as Smade, talks passionately about connecting Africans across the globe. In less than a year since its debut edition, Afro Nation has successfully done this and gone on to establish itself as the largest festival celebrating African culture on the continent and in the diaspora.

This year, Afro Nation will touch down in Puerto Rico for the first time over spring break—from the 18th to the 21st of March—on the beach of Balneario de Carolina. Headliners will include Burna Boy, Chronixx, Davido, 2Baba, Naira Marley and many more.

As the festival prepares to make its Puerto Rico debut this spring, we sat down with Smade to talk about Afro Nation, how it all started and what the future holds.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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