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Social Media Is Doodling On Pictures of Burundi's President In Support of Arrested Schoolgirls

Folks online are using the hashtag #FreeOurGirls to remind Burundi's president that scribbling is not a crime.

Last week, three Burundian schoolgirls were taken into custody after doodling on a picture of President Pierre Nkurunziza in their textbooks. The girls, all under the age of 18, face up to five years in prison for the act.

Now folks on social media are rallying behind the girls, using the hashtag #FreeOurGirls. People are not only voicing their unwavering support for the young girls against the heavy hand of the president, they're also using it as an opportunity to share pictures of the president with their own doodles.

In true elementary form, some images show the president with playfully drawn-on mustaches, hats and hair. One of the more creative doodles shows the president with a curled mustached and a short blue wig on.


Authorities had initially arrested seven schoolchildren total who were accused of defacing images of the president. Four of the children were subsequently released, while the three schoolgirls are awaiting trial.

This was only the most recent instance of children being harshly punished for "defacing" the image of the president. In 2016, 11 students were arrested for doing the same, and several children have been expelled after doing so in the past.

Over the weekend, social media users began to lambast the Burundian president for his actions, causing #FreeOurGirls to being trending in the country.

The doodles point out how outright absurd it is for children to be arrested for what amount to nothing more than harmless childhood antics.







Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images.

Angélique Kidjo on Africa Day: 'We demand not to be at the mercy of our circumstances anymore.'

We speak to the inimitable Angélique Kidjo who shares some of her refreshing thoughts on Africa Day.

Today is Africa Day and while primarily a commemoration of the formation of the African Union (AU) back in 1963, it has also become an opportunity to unapologetically celebrate Africa while providing a moment for reflection on how far we've come as a continent and as a people.

With this year's theme focused on "Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID19", there has never been a more important time for deep reflection on our collective present and future as Africans.

And who better to share in that reflection than the legendary and inimitable Beninese musician Angélique Kidjo? A fierce African and artist who has paved the way for many of her contemporaries including Burna Boy, Davido, Thandiswa Mazwai, and several others, the four-time Grammy award winner emphasises the urgent need for unity among Africans. 'It's about time that people start realising that Africa is a continent. I've been saying this my entire career,' she says passionately.

OkayAfrica spoke briefly to Kidjo who shared some of her refreshing thoughts on this year's Africa Day.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.

Thandiswa Mazwai to Host 'Play Your Part Africa' Virtual Concert

'King Tha' will commemorate Africa Day with a virtual concert set to take place on May 30th.

South African musician Thandiswa Mazwai or "King Tha" as she's affectionately known, is set to bring the Africa Month celebrations to an end with a virtual concert commemorating Africa Day this Saturday on May 30th. The "Play Your Part Africa" concert is a collaboration between Brand South Africa, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as well as Constitution Hill which has hosted major cultural and historic events over the years.

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Photo courtesy of @sahraisha

#BlackOutEid​: Young Black Muslims Shine as They Celebrate Eid

Young Black Muslims have found creative ways to celebrate community and share their best Eid looks, even as they #StayAtHome.

Eid Mubarak to our Muslim fam! Today marks Eid al-Fitr, the official end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Despite things being a little different this year (on account of the current pandemic, of course) this hasn't stopped many from finding creative ways to fast, pray and connect with their community during these times. It certainly hasn't stopped young Black Muslims from participating in the virtual tradition known as #BlackOutEid while they continue to #StayAtHome.

#BlackOutEid is an annual celebration which highlights the diversity within the Muslim world. It began in 2015, when Aamina Mohamed created the hashtag to combat the erasure of Black people within the community. Since then, the hashtag has been used across social media with Black Muslims using it to share their sharpest Eid looks.

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Rebuilding the Nigerian Fashion Industry After Coronavirus

While the style capital of Africa remains shuttered, Nigerian fashion insiders have an ambitious plan to forge an independent path in a post-COVID world.