News Brief

Tensions Rise Between South Africans and Nigerians as Violence Grows in Both Countries

Tension grows between Nigerians and South Africans in response to xenophobic violence.

Sadly, nationalist tension between Nigerians and South Africans appears to be rising.


Yesterday, it was reported that Nigerians were speaking out against xenophobic violence in South Africa after Nigerian-owned homes and businesses were vandalized and looted in Pretoria West.

Nigerian demonstrators went to the South African embassy in Abuja to protest anti-immigrant violence and urge South African authorities to take action to protect foreign nationals.

The Nigerian government stepped in, demanding that their be a stop to the "xenophobic attacks on Nigerians, other Africans and Pakistanis."

Today, student protestors in Nigeria have taken to the streets in retaliation. Members from the group targeted the Abuja headquarters of South African-run mobile phone company, MTN. Representatives form The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), stated that they were giving South Africans 48 hours to leave, or they'd be subject to further attacks on property, reports Reuters Africa.

The standoff continues.

It's being reported that officials in Johannesburg are planning to stage a "shock and awe" campaign, backed by the city's mayor, Herman Mashaba, to have property "high-jacked" by foreigners, seized and returned to the state, Bloomberg reports.

While, the South African minister of home affairs, Malusi Gigaba, has acknowledged the problem, commenting that, "xenophobic violence is not new in South Africa," there is still no word as to whether action will be taken to quell violence in the country.

So far, no deaths have been reported—let's hope that a productive solution is reached before the situation becomes even more dire.

 

 

 

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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