Photos

18 Powerful Images From The Frontlines Of South Africa's Student Protests

Imraan Christian photographs South Africa's #NationalShutDown in Cape Town.

All photos by Imraan Christian

Today, what started as a student-led protest of tuition fees at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg last Wednesday, became a nationwide day of mass action in South Africa. Imraan Christian was on the frontlines in Cape Town. Below is his unfiltered account from the #NationalShutDown.


**

Today, students across South Africa held a nationwide shutdown of universities in protest of the 10.8% fee increases proposed for next year. In Cape Town, students from the University of Cape Town, Cape Peninsula University of Technology and University of the Western Cape, along with supporters of the student movement, mobilised and conducted a peaceful protest outside parliament in preparation for Blade Nzimande’s address, which was scheduled for 2pm.

Instead, we were made to wait an hour, then we were met with what I would describe as a military operation conducted by the South African Police Services, taken straight from the days of Apartheid. DIVIDE - INTIMIDATE - BRUTALIZE. In gangs of policeman, they beat our sisters to the ground, trampled their defenseless bodies, threw stun grenades, smoke grenades, pepper spray, and cordoned off the students into smaller groups so that they could fuck us up even more. In order to disperse the crowd, the police, now on motorbikes and armed with guns with rubber bullets, set off on a path of what can only be described as sadistic police brutality.

We are unarmed, intelligent students who understand that if we allow fees to go up by 10%, then in ten years time, fees will be doubled, and blacks will become uneducated cheap labour- once again, fit only for building the palaces of white supremacy.

Blade Nzimande - You will answer for your actions against us. You cannot run. You cannot hide.

South African Police Services - Most of you pigs were black, and you brutalised students who were fighting for the education of your black children. At the end of the day you are a person, so every time you look at your own children, I hope the memory of today haunts you and you go to your grave knowing you are owned by the white devil; in this case- the Devil just happens to be Blade.

To my sisters, you are the leaders of the revolution. I am honoured to have stood by your side today. You are all Lion Queens, you are our future.

To my brothers, the connection of fire is so strong, I can feel it flowing as I type this. I have only true love and respect for each and every one of you.

My heart goes out the the students who were arrested by police and are still being brutalised, please share this message so that we can put pressure on South African Police Services to release them.

I’m not even a student. I graduated from UCT last year. I was at the protest as a journalist for Okayafrica, but because I’m young and black, 4 of you pigs thought it’s appropriate to fuck me up as a gang- and I’ll give it to you, you got me good. But now it’s my turn, and I’m gonna kick you hard in your poes.

TOMMOROW WE OCCUPY BREMNAR, MIDDLE CAMPUS UCT- THIS IS A MASS CALL TO ALL ALLIES TO SHOW SUPPORT.

CHILDREN OF AZANIA, ITS TIME TO RISE.

AMANDLA!

–Imraan Christian

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Listen to Tems' New EP 'If Orange Was A Place'

The buzzing Nigerian is also announcing her signing to Since '93/RCA Records and her placement as Apple Music's Up Next artist.