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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.







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Cedric Nzaka Debuts Photographic Coffee Table Book

Kenyan photographer, Cedric Nzaka, has announced that his coffee table book 'Everyday People Stories' will be released this March.

The prolific Kenyan photographer Cedric Nzaka has reportedly announced that his new coffee table book Everyday People Stories will be published this March. The publication of the book follows Nzaka's decade-long career in South Africa that has seen him photograph everyday people in the urban areas of Johannesburg as well as high profile people including Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, American rapper, Rick Ross and Nigerian singer, Davido.

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Photo by Tseliso Monaheng.

Interview: Amarafleur Has Stopped Caring

With the release of her debut EP '... And Then I Stopped Caring', South African R&B and soul singer Amarafleur signals a newfound self-confidence in her music.

Besides her 2019 single "DontLetGo" and the 2020 track "Reckless", fans of Joburg-based singer Amarafleur's soothing vocals had to be satisfied with her collaborations with the likes of Xenlaii, ECHLN, and Maramza as they waited for her to release a larger body of solo work. That day finally came with the release of her debut EP ...And Then I Stopped Caring, a three-track offering that sees the songstress overcome her fear of judgment and explores personal themes that include growth, anxiety, and intimacy.

The journey that led to the release of the EP began in 2019 after the release of "DontLetGo", which found Amarafleur in a space where she was doubting whether she had done enough creatively for the song, causing her to promote it less than it deserved. In looking back at this period, she was able to identify the reason that, up to then, had prevented her from releasing more music. "I realised it was because I cared about what happened when the music was out to others too much, so you're not creating anything," she says. "And that is how I got to the point where I decided to write what I wanted to write, make sure that what I feel is at the fore of the music-making process. I decided that this time it's about the end product and how I feel about it first before how the audience will feel about it."

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Image by Molly Albright.

In Conversation with Nomzamo Mbatha on the Role of Her Life in 'Coming 2 America'

South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha speaks on her role as Mirembe in 'Coming 2 America', the power of comedy and experiencing pure joy with the entire cast being dressed in South African luxury brand, Maxhosa.

Coming 2 America premiered last Friday on Amazon Prime, and several cinemas on the continent including South Africa and Nigeria, and there was much excitement around the highly-anticipated sequel. Starring Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Jennifer Sears—members of the original cast—the film also had a cameo appearance from Davido and saw the only South African actress on set, Nomzamo Mbatha, in her breakout international role.

While it had all the excitement and fanfare of Black Panther, there have admittedly been some mixed reviews from South Africans on social media since the premiere. Chief among the skepticism were the dated "African accents" used by the characters in the film and more especially with regards to Mbatha, in her portrayal of Mirembe, the royal groomer. Times have certainly changed in the three decades since the first film premiered and social media didn't exist either. However, to be fair, these accents have not actually changed from the first film—just the awareness around them.

Nonetheless, this is Mbatha's first international role alongside a multitude of acting veterans. The South African actress has previously starred in local films including Tell Me Sweet Something (2015), All About Love (2017) and The Jakes are Missing (2015) and is an active humanitarian with her work with the Nomzamo Lighthouse Foundation in addition to being a Goodwill Ambassador for the UNHCR as from 2019.

Ahead of the premiere of Coming 2 America, we caught up with her from Los Angeles to speak about her breakout international role, what this opportunity means for her professionally, having famed costume designer Ruth Carter dress the entire cast in South African luxury brand Maxhosa, and the power of comedy in society.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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10 Things We Learned From Zubz’ Appearance on i(m)bali LIVE with Helen Herembi

In the latest episode of i(m)bali LIVE, host Helen Herembi sits down with veteran emcee Zubz for an intimate discussion about his life and career. Here are 10 takeaways from the interview.