News

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma Will Pay Back (Some) Of The Money

Twitter went to town Friday as the president promised to refund the money he used to renovate his home.

Source: Wikimedia


The South African community took to social media in frustration after watching what many call an empty apology from President Jacob Zuma.

A day after the Constitutional Court ruled Zuma’s government funded renovations at his Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal as unconstitutional, the head of state took the opportunity to speak for 20 minutes on live TV on the matter.

"Any action that has been found not to be in keeping with the constitution happened because of a different approach and different legal advice," Zuma said.

"The matter has caused a lot of frustration and confusion, for which I apologize. I urge all parties to respect the judgement and abide by it."

According to the New York Times, the court said Zuma “flouted laws meant to safeguard South Africa’s young democracy, in a humiliating rebuke over a longstanding issue.”

Despite critics of the president stressing the need for his resignation, Zuma mentioned nothing of the sort in his speech.

With his name trending during this ordeal, many ask if this was just a big April Fool’s joke:

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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