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Tributes Pour Out for Ron Dellums, Celebrated US Congressman Who Worked to Dismantle Apartheid

Dellums led the African-American fight against South African apartheid by writing the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986.

Ron Dellums, one of America's most reputable black congressmen passed away on Monday in Washington DC , he was 82.

Dellums an Oakland, California native who served 27 years in congress, was known for his progressive and fiercely anti-war agenda. He opposed every American military intervention during his time in congress, with the exception of sending emergency relief to Somali in 1992, reports the New York Times. As a young politician, he demanded a House investigation into America's war crimes during the Vietnam War.

He dedicated decades-long his career to advocating for racial and economic equality in America and elsewhere—the politician played a major role in helping weaken international support for the South African apartheid regime. He ran a 14-year long campaign against the apartheid government and went on to write the legislation for the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, which would strict trade embargoes and economic sanctions on the repressive South African government. President Ronald Reagan infamously vetoed the bill, leading congress to override him. It was the first time that congress had rejected a president's foreign policy veto in the 20th century.


Dellums also supported the restriction of foreign aid to repressive African governments in Zaire (present-day DRC), Burundi, Liberia and Sudan.

The popular 2000 Disney film The Color of Friendship, about an African-American family who takes in a white South African exchange student, was based on Dellums' family, and was many young people's first introduction to the activist's work.

He was commonly labeled a communist by right-wing politicans, for his left-leaning liberal standing and for a meeting he held with Fidel Castro in 1977. He responded to such accusations in the Washington Post, stating:

"If being an advocate of peace, justice and humanity toward all human beings is radical, then I'm glad to be called radical, and if it is radical to oppose the use of 70 percent of federal monies for destruction and war, then I am a radical."

He was the first African-American and the first anti-war chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

Dellums is being remembered as a fearless and dedicated leader, committed to his mission of achieving peace, racial equality and social justice in the United States and for black people around the world, even when it threatened his career.

"So here comes this black guy from the Bay Area," he told The Progressive magazine when he retired from Congress in 1998, according to The New York TImes. "Talking about peace, feminism, challenging racism, challenging the priorities of the country, and talking about preserving the fragile nature of our ecological system. People looked at me as if I was a freak. And looking back, I think that the only crime we committed was that we were 20 years ahead of our time."

Tributes have been pouring out for the pioneering congressman and activist on social media.












Photo: Sundance Film Festival

South African Director Oliver Hermanus on Remaking a Classic

The award-winning director behind Skoonheid and Moffie tackles his first film set outside his home country -- a reworking of auteur Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru -- which is premiering at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

In Living, Oliver Hermanus’ latest film, Bill Nighy takes on the role Takashi Shimura earned a BAFTA nomination for playing in the 1952 classic, Ikiru. Except Nighy's not Mr Watanabe, he’s Mr Williams, a British version of Shimura’s workaholic who finds out he only has a short time left to live. Revered auteur Akira Kurosawa’s film made its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1954, where it would go on to win him a special prize of the senate of Berlin, before garnering acclaim for many more years to come. So, too, is Hermanus' remaking of the story bowing at a film festival, and so far, it's also been earning the South African director high praise.

Born in Cape Town, Hermanus has steadily built his career on South African-centric stories. Whether it’s the portrait of a Mitchell’s Plain mother caught between poverty and violence in Shirley Adams or the experience of gay recruits conscripted into the army in Moffie, Hermanus’ films speak to various realms of South African life. Living is his first venture outside of South Africa – not just in storyline, but in cast and crew too. The screenplay is by Nobel and Booker Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of The Day) and Hermanus was brought on as director by the producers.

From debuting his first film Shirley Adams in 2009 in competition at the 62nd Locarno Film Festival, followed by Skoonheid (Beauty) at the 64th Cannes Film Festival, and The Endless River at the 72nd Venice Film Festival, where it was the first South African film to be invited to the main competition, to his fourth feature, Moffie at the 76th Venice Film Festival in 2019, Hermanus has cemented his reputation as a filmmaker to watch.

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Photo by Ahmet Emin Donmez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

AFCON Stampede Leaves 8 Dead, 40+ Injured In Cameroonian Stadium

The unfortunate event took place Monday, ahead of the host country Cameroon's match against Comoros.

At least six people have died after a stampede broke out outside of Olembe Stadium in Cameroon's capital, Yaounde. The stampede erupted ahead of the host country's match against East African islanders Comoros, during this year's African Cup of Nations competition. Forty more were injured, while Naseri Paul Biya -- governor of the central region of Cameroon -- said there could be more casualties announced as the night progresses. “We are not in a position to give you the total number of casualties,” he said.

The violent event took place at the same stadium which hosted the tournament's opening ceremony, on January 9. The 60,000 capacity stadium was built while the host country got ready for the delayed tournament, and saw fans get crushed as they tried to make their way into the stadium. Several eye-witnesses have claimed that the disturbance took place at the stadium's entrance. Reports of injured children being crushed during the incident were also reported.

Despite the ruckus, the match went on. Minnows Comoros is ranked 132nd in the world and was diluted down to ten men... seven minutes into the game. Midfielder Najdim Abdou being dismissed during the opening exchanges for stomping on the back of Cameroon's Moumi Ngamaleu's ankle definitely didn't set the game off to an optimistic start.

Meanwhile, officials at the Messassi hospital close to the stadium said that they had received at least 40 injured people at their health center alone. Said officials spoke of their hospital being incapable of treating all of the wounded who were rushed in by police and civilians.

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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