News Brief

A Zambian Judoka Pulled Off the Ultimate Upset at the Rio 2016 Olympics

Zambian judoka Mathews Punza is putting Team Zambia on the map at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

Heading into Rio 2016, Zambian judoka Mathews Punza was a long shot. Ranked 112th in the world, the 28-year-old from Lusaka was going up against the best of the best in judo. Over the weekend, Punza pulled off the unthinkable. Competing in the 66kg weight class of the round of 32 on Sunday, the first-time Olympian defeated the sixth-ranked judoka, Israel’s Golan Pollack, with a 100-0 win. Not only that, he did so REALLY quickly. The entire match took under two minutes.


Many are calling it one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history.

Unfortunately, Punza’s success was short-lived. He took his final bow in Rio later that day when Slovenia’s Adrian Gomboc beat him 101-0 in the last 16 of the competition. But regardless, Punza did has part to put Team Zambia on the map. He’s more than earned his spot in the history books.

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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