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South African Companies Hunker Down for Racist Video Storm

At least two Nike Store locations close after online commenters connect Adam Catzavelos, creator of the racist video, to the company.

The brazen casualness with which he utters the "k-word" is probably what's most shocking about the Adam Catzavelos video. The clip, shot by the South African businessman vacationing near what looks like the Mediterranean, has gone viral in South Africa and has led to business fallout for both the family company, St George's Fine Foods, and for Nike which is alleged to employ his wife.


It's a testament to the power of social media outrage, and its political fallout, that large brands in contemporary South Africa will move quickly to distance themselves from toxic people and racially tainted controversies. For black South Africans, the "k-word" is a racial epithet akin to the "n-word" for Americans. It's a word so toxic, so loaded with violent meaning and intent, that it is rarely printed without being hidden by asterisks.

St George's Fine Foods produces meat marinades for a variety of South African restaurant chains, many of which have released statements today announcing they will no longer be sourcing product from the tainted company.

Rumors that Catzavelos' wife works for Nike in South Africa led Nike to release a statement:

"Nike opposes discrimination and has a long-standing commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect. We believe in the power of human potential in everyone - of every race, religion, nationality, gender and sexual orientation. We can also confirm that Adam Catzavelos is not a Nike employee.

The quick closures of the Nike Stores in Johannesburg are likely related to the backlash from last year's H&M controversy when the company released an ad featuring a black child in a sweatshirt that read "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle." That was met by a firestorm of protests led by South African political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters where a handful of stores were damaged.

Even Catzavelos' childrens' school has released a statement saying that in the best interests of his own children that he is banned from the premises.

You can watch the video below artfully bleeped by News 24.

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(Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: "Super excited to announce I've been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired."

He is among 175 scholars, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-sixth competition," says the Guggenheim.

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See the rest of the photos at Steve Huff Photo

A White Couple Staged Their Wedding Photos as a Congolese Kidnapping—People Aren't Having It

A white woman in a wedding dress on top of a volcano wearing blood diamonds. These people actually did this.

A white couple goes to Congo and stages a wedding shoot on a volcano complete with locals staged as gross caricatures of militiamen and "tribespeople" holding them at gunpoint with captions about blood diamonds, "the ghetto," and bragging about being in an active war zone.

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

6 South African Podcasts to Listen to During the Lockdown

Here are six South African podcasts worth listening to.

South Africa has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it looks like the period might just get extended. If you are one of those whose work can't be done from home, then you must have a lot of time in your hands. Below, we recommend six South African podcasts you can occupy yourself with and get empowered, entertained and informed.


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Photo courtesy of BLK JKS.

7 South African Punk Bands You Should Check Out

Here are some South African punk bands—old and new—that you should be listening to.

For many years, the punk scene in South Africa has been thriving through a hands-on DIY attitude in which bands can foster their own homegrown audience without relying on mainstream culture. Music festivals like Soweto Rock Revolution have played a big part in it. Bands like National Wake showed the way and TCIYF are following that path and making punk more relevant than ever in the country.

Here are seven South African punk bands you should check out.

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