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Ivorian Reggae Artist Tiken Jah Fakoly Has Condemned Guinea's President Amid Protests

The artist says that he thought Guinean President Alpha Condé would be like the late Nelson Mandela.

Popular Ivorian musician, Tiken Jah Fakoly (real name Doumbia Moussa Fakoly) has condemned Guinean President Alpha Condé and accused him of wanting to cling to power, the BBC reports. Tiken Jah Fakoly's comments come amid protests in Conakry and Mamou that have thus far, resulted in nine people being killed after police opened fire. Protesting Guineans are against Condé's plans to reportedly change the constitution so that he can go on to run for a third term. While the 81-year-old has said that a third term will be dependent on the "will of the people", Guineans feel this is unlikely.


In 2010, President Condé became the country's first freely-elected head of state. Prior to him taking office, he was imprisoned for allegedly trying to destabilize the then government under Lansana Conté who had assumed power in 1984 through a military coup. While Condé was in jail, Tiken Jah Fakoly often sang about him and campaigned that he be released. Speaking to the BBC, the artist said that, "[I never thought] the person I was defending would one day brutally crackdown on protesters." He added that, "I thought he was going to do like Nelson Mandela who was in prison for years and when he got out he did one term and then left."

A spokesperson from President Condé's party has expressed shock at the artist's "insulting" and "denigrating" comments.


Interview
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Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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