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Photo by Phill Magakoe / AFP) (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images.

Protestors hold up plackards against the government of Zimbabwe's alleged state corruption, media freedom and the deteriorating economy outside the Zimbabwean Embassy in Pretoria on August 7, 2020.

South African Government Sends Envoy to Zimbabwe Amid Unrest

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently sent an envoy to meet with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa amid the widespread arrests of journalists, opposition leaders and protesting citizens.

EWN reports that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently sent an envoy, consisting of Sydney Mufamadi, Baleka Mbete and several others, to speak with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa amid mass arrests of journalists, opposition leaders and protesting citizens in the country. While the Zanu-PF led government denies there is an ongoing crisis, there continues to be public outcry from Zimbabweans who are demanding socio-political and economic changes under the online banner of #ZimbabweanLivesMatter.


READ: #ZimbabweanLivesMatter: Calls for African Union to Respond to Zimbabwean Government's Violence Against Citizens Strengthen

The envoy from South Africa was sent following mounting pressure for the South African government to intervene in Zimbabwe's continued unrest. While it is not yet clear what the outcome of these discussions were, the MDC has expressed concern over having been excluded from the dialogue despite having reportedly been in talks with the South African envoy about a meeting. In a press statement, the opposition party stated the following:

"We can only assume that the failure to meet the MDC Alliance delegation was as a result of demands made by the Zanu PF delegation. We reiterate that Zimbabwe is in a state of crisis that has been characterized by a de facto gate of emergency a crackdown on citizens, abductions. arbitrary arrests of government critics and the political persecution of journalists."

Over the past few months, Zimbabwe has been rocked by several mass protests. Initially, opposition leaders from the MDC had planned anti-government protests for July 31st, the second anniversary of President Mnangagwa's election into office. However, the protests were thwarted by Zanu-PF, with many protesters staying away out of fear. Months later, doctors and nurses then protested the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), poor salaries and inadequate resources required at hospitals across the country in the continued fight against COVID-19.

More recently, there have been protests following the arrest of several journalists and opposition leaders including Hopewell Chin'ono and Jacob Ngarivhume––both of whom have been denied bail and are still in police custody. Prominent author Tsitsi Dangarembga was also arrested and detained by authorities for her solo protest.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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