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LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: A demonstrator holds a sign during a candlelight procession to remember victims of SARS and those assaulted by Nigeria Police gather at Trafalgar Square on October 18, 2020 in London, England.

#EndSARS: Nigerian Sports Stars Speak Up in Support of Ongoing Protests

Nigerian sports stars have amplified their voices through the continued #EndSARS banner by revealing their own harrowing experiences with the rogue special police unit.

Nigeria's most prolific sports stars have joined the ongoing #EndSARS protests after revealing to BBC that SARS allegedly targeted several sports stars. This follows the continued countrywide public demonstrations which have called upon for President Muhammadu Buhari to completely disband the rogue special force unit. While Buhari announced on October 10th that SWAT will now replace SARS, Nigerians believe that it is a mere "rebranding" of SARS with the same officials. More recently, African-American celebrities, Nigeria's professional sports stars and Nigerians in the diaspora such as Canada, the US, Germany and England have protested in solidarity with the #EndSARS movement. Both Nigerian national soccer teams have used social media to amplify their voices.


Read: Breaking Down Nigeria's #EndSARS Protests and How You can Help

In an interview with the BBC, Nigeria's national soccer team player, John Ogu, shared his experience with SARS saying:

''Everyone has a story about this Sars. You'll be driving your car and Sars will pull up in front of your car. At first, you'll think that they're armed robbers because of the way they are dressed, the manner of how they talk."

SARS' clashes with Nigerian sports stars has reportedly been the norm as demonstrations have revealed that they allegedly target "flashy" personalities and follow outdated biased profiling of Nigeria's youth. Peter Moreno, Nigeria's decathlon record holder, also expressed to BBC that he was targeted because he has tattoos and dreadlocks. SARS profiling allegedly includes targeting youth that appear to be queer as homosexuality remains criminalised in Nigeria.

The call to end police brutality is a collective one among Black people across the world. #ZimbabweLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter have both been prominent demonstrations this year that have highlighted the government's bias towards marshal law.

Take a look at just some of number of responses to #EndSARS from Nigerian athletes below.

Alexander Iwobi who plays for Everton and the national Nigerian soccer team.

International female basketball player Chiney Ogumike.

Championship winning boxer, Anthony Joshua.

National team soccer player and international soccer star Asisat Oshoala.

Nigerian track athlete Blessing Okagbare shared her support on Instagram.

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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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