News

Deadly Flooding in Southern Africa Continues as Region Reels from Cyclone Idai

The full devastation of the storm is still being discovered as international rescue efforts continue.

The death toll is now in the hundreds in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, which hit parts of Southern Africa late last week. So far the official death toll in Mozambique has reached 200, and 98 in neighboring Zimbabwe, according to Al Jazeera. Numbers are expected to rise as many people are still reported missing.

Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi says that the catastrophe may have killed up to 1,000 people in the country. Citizens in Malawi were also affected.

Many survivors of the disaster are seeking safety, shelter and basic resources as the flooding has destroyed homes, roads and public buildings. The devastating effects of the cyclone are being felt by many and the full effects are still being discovered. The destruction has left hundreds of thousands of children in the region at risk, according to an eye-witness BBC Africa report and millions have been affected by severe flooding.

The UN has called Cyclone Idai, "the worst weather disaster to ever hit the Southern Hemisphere."



Earlier this week, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed the military to assist Mozambique with rescue efforts. The Zimbabwean government has reportedly raised 18 million UDS to rebuild roads, provide water and sanitation as well as restore communication lines and electricity.

Rescue efforts have been compromised in remote areas, where rescue crews say homes have been submerged, possibly trapping people inside.

The response from the international community has been widespread, as major institutions such as the Red Cross and UNICEF continue to assess the damage and send workers to affected areas. Some Mozambicans, however, are questioning the government's efforts and are critical of what they believe was a lack of preventative measures the government could have taken to lessen the destruction caused.

Many have shared their support for the victims of Cyclone Idai online, and are seeking out ways to lend further support to victims of the disaster.



Photo: Mainimo Etienne

The Rwandan Woman Who Made Football History

We talked to Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga, who is the first woman to officiate a match in the Africa Cup of Nations' 65-year history.

On the 18th of January, 2022, a woman stepped into the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé, Cameroon, whistle in hand, a walkie-talkie tucked behind her shorts. Taking up her post as central referee for the Zimbabwe-Guinea game, she would make history as the first woman to officiate a match in the Africa Cup of Nations. Chit-chat occupied the stands, as spectators waited for the curtains to be drawn at 17:00 hours for the match to begin. Whispers of “Hope she will deliver,” could be heard, as Salima Mukansanga prepared to take to the field.

During the match, some spectators counted the 34 yellow cards she handed out at the end; others found her soft and tender with no serious refereeing issues in the game. Mukansanga leads a quartet of women match officials for this year's AFCON, with Carine Atemzabong, from Cameroon, Fatiha Jermoumi and Bouchra Karboubi, both from Morocco, present as assistant referees. Until this year’s tournament, in its 65-year history, an all-women team of refereeing officials had yet to be designated for an Africa Cup of Nations match.

With this accomplishment, 35-year-old Mukansanga has emerged as a trailblazer for other women who aspire to step out and break sporting bounds. Her role in this year’s tournament signals a major moment in the development of women refereeing in football, on the continent and for the sport as a whole.

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Music

Adekunle Gold Teases Upcoming Album With New Single "Mercy"

The Nigerian afropop crooner has fans sitting in anticipation for his new album, due out February 4.

Afropop favorite Adekunle Gold is back on our minds with the announcement that his upcoming album Catch Me If You Can is out in a week! The Nigerian superstar has already teased fans with tracks "High" featuring Davido, "Sinner" featuring American singer Lucky Daye, and now shares his latest "Mercy."

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Music
Image courtesy of Spinall.

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Spinall x Adekunle Gold, Ibibio Sound Machine, Turunesh and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Madelyn Bonilla On Being The AfroLatina Representation Her Younger Self Needed

Bonilla, the founder of online community Brown Narrativ, spoke with us about how her experiences as an AfroLatina woman in NYC’s Bronx led her to write and direct her debut film, Pajón.