News Brief

#FeesMustFall2016: South Africa’s Tuition Fees to Rise in 2017, Students Prepare for Protest Action

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says it will be up to South Africa’s universities to determine their own fee increases for the 2017 academic year.

In October 2015, a proposed 10.5 percent hike in tuition fees set off a wave of student-led demonstrations throughout South Africa. The nationwide #FeesMustFall movement resulted in a zero percent fee increase. Just over 11 months since the initial onset of the student protests, South Africa’s universities are on fire for a second year in a row.


Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced Monday at a press conference in Pretoria that it will be up to South Africa’s universities to determine their own fee increases for the 2017 academic year–with a suggested cap of 8 percent–and that the government will assist qualifying students (those from families earning less than 600,000 rand / $42,600 a year) to fund the gap between the 2015 fee and their institution’s adjusted 2017 fee.

Student groups at various institutions throughout the country responded with threats to shut down their campuses. Students have already begun protesting at the universities of Witwatersrand, Pretoria and Cape Town, where classes were suspended Monday ahead of Nzimande’s announcement.

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Photo by Lana Haroun

From #FeesMustFall to #BlueforSudan: OkayAfrica's Guide to a Decade of African Hashtag Activism

The 2010s saw protest movements across the continent embrace social media in their quest to make change.

The Internet and its persistent, attention-seeking child, Social Media has changed the way we live, think and interact on a daily basis. But as this decade comes to a close, we want to highlight the ways in which people have merged digital technology, social media and ingenuity to fight for change using one of the world's newest and most potent devices—the hashtag.

What used to simply be the "pound sign," the beginning of a tic-tac-toe game or what you'd have to enter when interacting with an automated telephone service, the hashtag has become a vital aspect of the digital sphere operating with both form and function. What began in 2007 as a metadata tag used to categorize and group content on social media, the term 'hashtag' has now grown to refer to memes (#GeraraHere), movements (#AmINext), events (#InsertFriendsWeddingHere) and is often used in everyday conversation ("That situation was hashtag awkward").

The power of the hashtag in the mobility of people and ideas truly came to light during the #ArabSpring, which began one year into the new decade. As Tunisia kicked off a revolution against oppressive regimes that spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook played a crucial role in the development and progress of the movements. The hashtag, however, helped for activists, journalists and supporters of causes. It not only helped to source information quickly, but it also acted as a way to create a motto, a war cry, that could spread farther and faster than protestors own voices and faster than a broadcasted news cycle. As The Guardian wrote in 2016, "At times during 2011, the term Arab Spring became interchangeable with 'Twitter uprising' or 'Facebook revolution,' as global media tried to make sense of what was going on."

From there, the hashtag grew to be omnipresent in modern society. It has given us global news, as well as strong comedic relief and continues to play a crucial role in our lives. As the decade comes to a close, here are some of the most impactful hashtags from Africans and for Africans that used the medium well.

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News Brief
Photo illustration by Aaron Leaf.

Zuma Releases Commission Report, Says South Africa Can't Provide Free Higher Education

What does this mean for the #FeesMustFall movement?

South African President Jacob Zuma released the highly anticipated Heher Commission in lieu of recent #FeesMustFall student protests—which says it's not feasible to offer free higher education.

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Music

Aewon Wolf Preaches Subversion and Freethinking in His New Album ‘The Return’

Aewon Wolf releases 'The Return' after a two-year hiatus.

Aewon Wolf has always preferred to sprinkle some pop in his hip-hop, as can be heard in his previous releases. His latest project, The Return, his first in two years, boasts some pop-leaning songs like "Thando Lwami," "Something Special," "Cool Kids" and others are all glazed in the customary top 40 chart sheen through the use of glossy synths and pads alongside other contraptions.

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Audio
Kizz Daniel in "Eko" (Youtube)

The 9 Best Afropop Songs About Lagos

Featuring city odes from Kizz Daniel, Wizkid, Teni, Maleek Berry, M.I Abaga, Brymo and more.

The best afropop songs about Lagos, Nigeria's most populous city, are as much about the city as a whole as they are about select areas of special importance to individual artists.

Read on for our selection of The 9 Best Afropop Songs About Lagos. Listed in no particular order.

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