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Schoolgirls Arrested for Scribbling on Picture of Burundian President Freed on Bail

According to their lawyer, however, the charges against them still stand.

UPDATE: 3/27

The three Burundian schoolgirls charged with "insulting the head of state" last week after they allegedly drew on a picture of President Pierre Nkurunziza in their textbooks have been freed on bail, reports BBC Africa.

The girls, ages 15, 16 and 17 are still expected to appear in court however, according to their lawyer Nyanzira Prosper. Who added that as of now, the charges still stand, and the original investigation will continue.

In response to the arrest, which many found unfairly harsh and unjust, folks on social media began to share their own doodles over the president's image in support of the girls.

Read on for the full story:

There are a lot of things that can land someone in jail—scribbling in a textbook should not be one of them.

Unfortunately, this was the fate of three school-aged girls in Burundi who were detained after scribbling on a picture of the country's President Pierre Nkurunziza that appeared in their textbook, reports Reuters.

They were arrested along with four other students who were also accused of "defacing" and "insulting" the president's image. The four other students were released shortly after, while the three girls remained in custody over the weekend and are currently awaiting trial, government spokesperson Agnès Bangiricenge said. All of the pupils arrested were under the age of 18, according to BBC Africa.


Rights activist Lewis Mudge shared a thread on Twitter, highlighting the injustice of the prosecution of the young girls. "With so many real crimes being committed in Burundi, it's tragic that children are the ones being prosecuted for harmless scribbles, he told BBC Africa. "Authorities should focus on holding perpetrators of serious rights violations to account instead of jailing schoolchildren for doodles."

According to Reuters, the girls could face up to five years in prison if they are convicted, as the act is considered illegal under Burundian law.

This is not the first time that students have been harshly punished for drawing over the president's picture either. In 2016, eleven children were jailed for the same offense and others have been expelled from school as a result.

Hundreds of thousands of Burundians have fled the country to avoid state-led violence since Nkurunziza was re-elected in 2015. The controversial leader is currently serving his third term in office.

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Stormzy, YBN Cordae, Ari Lennox and Col3trane Added to Rocking The Daisies 2020 Lineup

Stormzy, YBN Cordae, Ari Lennox and Col3trane will be performing in South Africa during this year's edition of Rocking The Daisies.

Rocking The Daisies is celebrating its 15th year of existence this year. The popular music and lifestyle festival recently announced they have added four new names on the bills—UK's Stormzy and Col3trane alongside US rapper YBN Cordae and the singer Ari Lennox.

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Amsterdam Ticket 1987 line-up, from left to right: Africanova, Canjo Amissi, Aloys Gasuku, Tula Walupini, Diamond Ilunga. Seated: Member Bruno S., Goretti Habonimana, Amida Hassan V.,Chantal Nibizi. Photo courtesy of Afro7 Records.

A Rare Album From Burundi's Most Popular 1980s Group, Amabano, Resurfaces

1987's Amsterdam Ticket sees the Burundian group blending psych & funk influences with Congolese rumba and Burundian traditional music. It's getting a reissue from Afro7 Records.

Even though African music of the past four decades is being rediscovered, catalogued and reissued by foreign labels at an accelerating speed, music from the East-Central African nation of Burundi remains somewhat of a blind spot to collectors who are not from the region.

Western audiences have long associated the country with pop hits by singer Khadja Nin (based in Belgium since 1980) or even with "Burundi Black" (1971), the worldwide hit by French pianist Michel Bernholc (alias Mike Steiphenson) that sampled a recording from 1968 of traditional Burundian drumming. There are two vinyl releases from 1980 and 1987 that hint at the unknown history of Burundian pop music, records that have gained grail status among collectors, even though the story behind those LPs has never been told in full.

The first is a 7-LP box, released by Radio Nederland in 1980 (only 80 copies were made), containing the 100 entries to a band competition that the station organised for undiscovered talent from the Francophone African region. Among them was Amabano, the group that would become one of the two winners of the Concours du Moulin D'or (Golden Windmill contest), and who were invited to pick up their trophy, tour and record an album in a well-equipped studio in the Netherlands. The four tracks featured on the promotional vinyl are dreamy, mid-tempo psych-funk grooves with a touch of jazz and rumba, sung in the Kirundi language. The other LP, by the same group, was released in 1987 on the Soviet Union's Melodiya label in two different editions, each limited to 1000 copies, and now near-impossible to find. 'Gasuku' was not a delayed release of their previous Dutch recordings, but a new set of songs, put to tape by a Soviet team that had travelled Burundi for the occasion. Like their 1980s contest entries, the 'Gasuku' album had a musical approach that was deeply rooted in psych, funk and rumba of the 1970s.

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Photo by Sally Hayden/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

Bobi Wine Supporter Allegedly Killed by Ugandan Police During a Demonstration

The death comes after chaos ensued when the Ugandan police fired teargas and live ammunition to disperse a crowd of Bobi Wine supporters.

One person has been reported dead after Ugandan police reportedly attempted to disperse a crowd of Bobi Wine's supporters, according to the BBC.

The incident took place yesterday in the capital city of Kampala where the musician-turned-politician was planning to resume his consultative meetings at the Pope Paul Memorial Community Centre in Ndeeba, a neighbourhood in Kampala.

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Photo: Sachyn Mital for The Town Hall.

This Is What Fatoumata Diawara's NYC Concert Looked Like

In photos: the Malian singer performed a stunning show at The Town Hall.

Fatoumata Diawara played a mesmerizing show in New York City over the weekend.

The Malian singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor had The Town Hall swaying to a selection of songs from her latest Grammy-nominated album, Fenfo, as well as other classic cuts.

Fatoumata was joined on the night by a four-piece backing band that followed her every word and guitar riff, as she showcased her special blend of traditional Malian music and striking Bambara vocal melodies with elements of modern rock, funk, R&B and afrobeat.

"I didn't want to sing in English or French because I wanted to respect my African heritage," Fatoumata has mentioned."But I wanted a modern sound because that's the world I live in. I'm a traditionalist, but I need to experiment, too. You can keep your roots and influences but communicate them in a different style."

Fatoumata's main message, one which she stated throughout the show, is one of hope for the future of Africa and of female empowerment. It's "about the world, peace, how Africa can be a better place, especially for women, because I am one, and I am a survivor," she says. "I want to encourage those who have lost hope."

Browse through pictures from her show at The Town Hall, which was opened by Guatemala's Gabby Moreno, below.

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