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Investigation Launches Into Death of LGBT Sex Worker in Police Custody

Elma Robyn Montsumi is yet another Black South African to die in the wake of continued police brutality during the country's national lockdown.

South Africa's Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has reportedly launched an investigation into the death of LGBT sex worker, Elma Robyn Montsumi, who was being held in custody at Cape Town's Mowbray police station. Montsumi had been arrested for alleged drug possession in April. IPID's investigation comes after advocacy groups including the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), Sisonke, the National Movement of Sex Workers and Triangle Project all raised concerns over the circumstances surrounding Montsumi's death, News24 reports.

READ: From 'Star Wars' to the War on Racism: John Boyega's Speech at a Recent London Protest Moved Masses

According to several reports, Montsumi was supposed to be released on bail according to the South Africa's ongoing lockdown regulations. However, she was never released and allegedly went on to commit suicide. In a joint statement by the advocacy organisations involved, they write the following:

"Robin's partner reported that he and some of her friends from the area were able to communicate with her by shouting from the outside and she would call back on how she was doing. They reported she said on the Saturday [11 April] that she felt ill and was vomiting," the organisations said on Friday. According to her friends, she did not respond [on the] Sunday morning [12 April] when they tried to call on her and when her partner got to the police station, there was an ambulance and bystanders told him that it was Robyn inside and that she [hanged] herself."

The statement goes on to add: "Our lobbying officer went inside the police station to inquire and she was simply told that Robyn had been taken to Groote Schuur hospital. Robyn's family... went to Mowbray police station and was told that the detective who came to the station just before noon to book Robyn found her body in the cells."

Police brutality towards Black people particularly during the national lockdown continues to anger many South Africans. In the just the first few weeks of the lockdown, more Black people died at the hands of police and SANDF officials than from the coronavirus. As protests against police brutality sweep across America, France, England, Australia and New Zealand, the anti-Black and racist nature of many police systems is being thrust into the spotlight.

Photo: Alvin Ukpeh.

The Year Is 2020 & the Future of Nigeria Is the Youth

We discuss the strength in resolve of Nigeria's youth, their use of social media to speak up, and the young digital platforms circumventing the legacy media propaganda machine. We also get first-hand accounts from young creatives on being extorted by SARS and why they believe the protests are so important.

In the midst of a pandemic-rife 2020, the voices of African youth have gotten louder in demand for a better present and future. From structural reforms, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, and derelict states of public service, the youths have amplified their voices via the internet and social media, to cohesively express grievances that would hitherto have been quelled at a whisper.

Nigerian youth have used the internet and social media to create and sustain a loud voice for themselves. The expression of frustration and the calls for change may have started online, but it's having a profound effect on the lives of every Nigerian with each passing day. What started as the twitter hashtag #EndSARS has grown into a nationwide youth revolution led by the people.

Even after the government supposedly disbanded the SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) unit on the 10th of October, young Nigerians have not relented in their demands for better policing. The lack of trust for government promises has kept the youth protesting on the streets and online.

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Interview: 808x On Crafting Different Sounds For the Diverse Innanetwav Roster

808x, the in-house producer for South Africa's popular hip-hop collective/label Innanetwav, breaks down his working process with artists and the importance of energy.

Reflecting on the early days of Cash Money Records during a conversation with legendary New Orleans producer Mannie Fresh earlier this year, Lil Wayne said:

"When we started, record labels had one producer for the whole record label. Meaning that Mannie Fresh produced every song on every album, from the intro to the artist."

Some labels, groups and collectives still observe that tradition. It, however, takes a producer with such versatility they could be mistaken to be different personalities altogether.

Joburg-based producer 808x is a great example of that type of producer. Being the in-house producer and engineer for one of the country's most versatile collectives and contemporary hip-hop labels, Innanetwav, 808x has to craft beats that slice through the spectrum of genres with inimitable fluidity and creativity.

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Photo by HILDEGARD TITUS/AFP via Getty Images

Namibia Announces Special Court in Response to #ShutItDown Protests

Namibian Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has announced the establishment of a special court to deal with sexual and gender-based violence but protestors are skeptical and continue to call for further action.

According to eNCA, Namibian Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has announced that the government will establish a special court for dealing with sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) cases. This follows the massive #ShutItDown protests that have been ongoing for two weeks now in the country. The protests were sparked by the reported news of a 22-year-old Namibian woman, Shannon Wasserfall, who was allegedly murdered at the hands of her boyfriend. Daisry Mathias, a presidential youth advisor, and representatives of the #ShutItDown protests were all part of the recent meeting with President Hage Geingob and Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. All parties briefed media after the controversial closed-door meeting. However, protestors have responded with skepticism and called the meeting non-transparent.

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#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.