News Brief
Photo by JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP via Getty Images.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (L) addresses party members and supporters gathered at his party headquarters to show support to Grace Mugabe (R) becoming the party's next Vice President after the dismissal of Emerson Mnangagwa November 8 2017.

Zimbabwean Chief Demands Exhumation of Former President Robert Mugabe

Chief Zvimba has officially ordered former Zimbabwean First Lady, Grace Mugabe, to have the body of the late Robert Mugabe exhumed and reburied in accordance with the traditions of his culture.

According to several local media reports, a Zimbabwean chief has ordered Zimbabwe's former First Lady, Grace Mugabe, to have the late President Robert Mugabe exhumed. Chief Zvimba, of Zvimba District in the Mashonaland West province, has officially summoned G. Mugabe to appear at the village court at Gonzo Guzha Hall, Murombedzi Growth Point, on charges of wrongful burial next week Thursday. The call for exhumation comes after R. Mugabe's death in September of 2019 following his resignation amid the "coup-not-coup" of 2017. At the time of his death, there was already much debate about where he would be finally laid to rest.

READ: #ZimbabweanLivesMatter: Here are Their Personal Stories

R. Mugabe is currently buried at his homestead in Kutama, Mashonaland West province. Chief Zvimba wants him to be buried instead alongside his mother, Bona Mugabe, in Zvimba. Part of the summons to G. Mugabe reads as follows, according to VOA Zimbabwe:

"You are facing charges of burying the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe at his homestead. This is unheard of in Chief Zvimba's area. At the same, time you are accused of abandoning Robert Gabriel Mugabe's property which is scattered nationwide. All properties of the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe are supposed to be kept at his homestead and handled in line with our traditions. I want you to rebury the late president in accordance with our traditions and in Zvimba at a place designated by the family and his late mother. These charges you are facing attract a fine of five cattle and a goat."

Chief Zvimba has also expressed that should G. Mugabe fail to appear in front of the court, the case will continue without her and "an appropriate" ruling made. The summons itself is legal under Zimbabwe's new constitution which was adopted in 2013. Among other things, the constitution recognises the role of traditional leaders such as chiefs, headmen and village heads alongside existing state structures, so long as they remain apolitical.

The former First Lady has not as yet responded to the summons publicly.

News Brief
Photo by Jekesai Njikizana

Zimbabwean Author Tsitsi Dangarembga Found Guilty of Instigating Violence

The renowned novelist was given a suspended prison sentence for her role in staging a peaceful civil rights protest.

Celebrated Zimbabwean author, award-winning film maker, and cultural activist Tsitsi Dangarembga has been given a suspended prison sentence after she was found guilty for inciting violence by the masses after she planned a peaceful protests to demand political reform. Dangarembga, who is also an activist, was initially arrested in 2020.


In 2020 Dangarembga, along with another activist, Julie Barnes, got arrested while holding placards calling on the government to reform some of it's policies and release investigative journalist Hopewell Chin'ono, who was also accused of inciting violence for speaking out against the Zimbabwean government. In addition to receiving a suspended sentence, Dangarembga and Barnes were each charged 70,000 Zimbabwean dollars, which is an equivalent of $217.39 USD.

Dangarembga's six-month jail term was suspended for the next five years on the condition that she would not repeat what happened. Since news of the event broke, PEN International has since shared a statement condemning the actions, and calling the conviction a "mockery of justice." In 2021, Dangarembga was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize by English PEN. In the same year, Dangarembga, became the first Black woman to win the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.

Since news of the verdict broke, several social media users also went online to share their thoughts on the recent development, with many supporting Dangarembga, and others agreeing with the verdict.

Last month, we spoke to Dangarembga about this case and her work. She told us:

"I think the state targets dissenting voices. Some of those dissenting voices are women’s voices... I think the effect of taking action against women is particularly shocking because women’s dissident voices are usually not violent. Peaceful protest is a constitutional right in Zimbabwe.”

Popular
Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Bobi Wine Takes His Fight to Venice

Hoping to attract a broader interest in his mission to end dictatorial rule, the Ugandan musician and politician features in a buzzed-about documentary screening at this year’s Venice International Film Festival.


“I had almost forgotten how to be among stars,” tweeted Bobi Wine, tongue-in-cheek, as he posted pictures of his arrival on the red carpet at the Venice International Film Festival for the premiere of Bobi Wine: Ghetto President. Billed as an ‘observational documentary,’ the film brings Wine’s story – how he rose from the informal settlement of Kamwokya and became a star himself – together with his pursuit of justice and democracy in his homeland of Uganda, to an international audience.

Bobi Wine: Ghetto President is showing out of competition and so isn’t up for the festival’s main prize, the Golden Lion. But that’s not why Wine, aka Robert Kyagulanyi, traveled to Italy, wearing the trademark red beret symbol of his People Power movement. Instead, he’s hoping the film draws attention to a cause he’s been championing for the last 5 years.

“I want the people in the international community to know that somewhere in the world, somewhere in Africa, in a country called Uganda, people are being massacred for what they think,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. Above that, Wine is calling for an end to the support President Yoweri Museveni has received, and wants the international community – specifically the US, which provides aid to Uganda – to be aware of how that money is being used to “undermine human rights and democracy in Uganda.”

Taking the film to a prestigious international festival such as Venice presents Wine with a global platform. In a tweet posted by the Venice Film Festival, he’s quoted as saying, “What is happening in Uganda is terrible. I am glad #BobiWineGhettoPresident will bring it to light. People are voiceless there: they need someone to speak for them.”

The film shows how Wine has endeavored to be that voice, both in song and in speech. It traces the start of his grassroots political campaign in 2017 up to 2021, when he ran against Museveni in the presidential elections, and lost, in what many international organizations deemed was a questionable outcome, with claims of vote tampering and fraud.

Ghetto President is directed by Christopher Sharp, who was born in Uganda, and Moses Buyo, an activist who took over camera duties when the film’s previous camera people left the production. Both Sharp and Buyo knew of Wine through his music and had been fans of the messages he sought to share in his music. Following Wine and his wife, Barbie, with fly-on-the-wall footage, the film immerses the audience in their relationship and the trials its undergone as a result of Wine's political activities. One such attack left Wine seeking treatment from the US for his injuries. Indeed, Buyo, too, has suffered his share of assault in making the film, having been shot in the face with a rubber bullet, and also arrested numerous times, while filming.

A still from the documentary Bobi Wine:

A still from the documentary Bobi Wine: Ghetto President, which is currently playing at this year's Venice Film Festival.

Photo: La Biennale Di Venezia

Festival director Alberto Barbera called the documentary “powerful” and “unbelievable,” and it’s received positive reviews so far, with Deadline lauding its ‘stirring’ scenes and message of hope. Similar to Sam Soko’s documentary, Softie, which followed Kenyan photographer-turned-politician Boniface Mwangi, the film is also being heralded for the love story at the center of it, between Wine and Barbie, and how they've persisted in the face of numerous violent actions.

While Ghetto President details Uganda and Wine's specific struggle to fight for democracy, some reviewers have noted it holds a message for governments further afield too. The Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Feinberg says its call to action to hold Museveni accountable speaks to the West's need to 'keep an eye on its own democratic virtues too.' In bringing his message to the world, through the form of a documentary that gets people talking, Wine may also find it resonates far beyond Uganda in ways he could not have imagined.

Music
Photo courtesy: Dac Biet

Listen to Black Sherif's Debut Album 'The Villain I Never Was'

Get ready, Black Sherif is here.


Ghana's Black Sherif shares his debut albumThe Villain I Never Was, a sonically refreshing body of work that underscores his personal struggles and triumphs. The album is a 14-track offering that has a single feature from Nigeria's Burna Boy.

“It took me everything to give life to this body,” says the 20-year-old Black Sherif in a conversation about the effort he put behind the album. “The one thing in my life that I gave everything up for. There is life in this body, I hope it treats you good and speaks to you like I want it to.”

In many ways, the album is a biopic that shows an unraveling of his personal life, and gives his audience a candid overview of his journey. In an earlier interview with OkayAfrica, the 20-year-old "Kwaku the Traveller" artist said that his ascent into the music world was unexpected, and went against his religious background.

“I have loved music since I was a kid. I just didn’t know I was going to make a career out of it,” said Black Sherif. “I am a Muslim. In Islam, music is more like sin, you shouldn’t make a career out of it if you are a Muslim. The music was chasing me, but I was always dodging it.”

Black Sherif, who was born as Mohammed Ismail Sharif Kwaku Frimpong, formally started exploring music at the age of 17 with his single "Cry For Me." This record was quickly followed by "Money," a record that highlighted his journey as a young man who was navigating the streets of Accra. He later went viral with massive singles like "First Sermon," "Second Sermon," and "Kwaku the Traveller."

Black Sherif's sound fuses elements of afrobeats with influences from drill and trap music. His sonic style is characterized by poignant wordplay, a keen ability to seamlessly merge multiple languages and genres in a way that is both interesting and fun.

He has become one of the leading voices in Ghanaian drill music, and has been featured on Apple Music's Rap Life playlist as well as Spotify's Radar Artist. He was also recently nominated for “Best International Flow” at the BET Hip Hop Awards.

Listen to Black Sherif's 'The Villain I Never Was' below.

Music
Music video still

Asake Is The Life Of The Party In New Visuals For "Joha"

'Mr. Money' is not here to play, ya'll!

Fast-rising Nigerian singer and songwriter Asakeseems to have figured out his recipe for success. The Lagos-born star released his debut album Mr. Money with The Vibe last month, and the man simply did not miss. His latest gift to us comes as a new music video for breakout hit "Joha" and saw the performer pull out all the stops.

Keep reading...Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

'Skhanda Republic 3' Is Testament to K.O’s Relentless Staying Power

After 16 years, the legendary South African MC’s pen and musicianship remain sharp-as-ever on his fourth album, SR3.

South African Artist Simnikiwe Buhlungu on Creating the Sound of Dreams

The internationally-acclaimed multidisciplinary artist is the youngest participant at this year's Venice Biennale, where she is showing her latest work. But, as she tells OkayAfrica, she wants her art to be viewed beyond the parameters of age.

Meet the Ghanaian Biker Community Led by Women

From riding motorcycles as a hobby to pushing charitable causes, Biker Girls Gh are always in motion.

popular.

Idahams Wants to Soundtrack Life's Beauty & Battles

From the Island of Bonny to Lagos and now, the world, Idahams has a lot of stories to tell. We speak to him about his immersive and tender debut album, Truth, Love & Confessions.