News Brief

South African Women are Marching  Against Gender Violence With #TotalShutDown Protest

Organizers are demanding a stop to economic activity tomorrow to protest widespread violence against women.

South Africans are on a mission to put a stop to gender-based violence in their country, and one of the many ways they are doing so is by fierce activism and organized protests.

Tomorrow, supporters of the movement towards gender equality will gather in Durban, Pretoria, Eastern Cape and elsewhere around the country for #TotalShutDown, "an intersectional women's march" against all forms of violence and abuse against women. Organizers are pushing for a pause of all economic activity in observance, reports Eyewitness News South Africa.

Flyers, listing marching sites and bus pick-up locations have been circulating online.



The protest serves as a reminder to the dangers of toxic masculinity and the harm it inflicts on women's bodies. "My body not your crime scene," is the movement's rallying cry. According to Eyewitness News South Africa, men have been asked not to attend Wednesday's march, as men are the main perpetrators of sexual violence in South Africa.

Some men are finding other ways to support the cause.

#TotalShutdown is likely to draw a large crowds, as many on social media are expressing their support for its mission and are seeking out ways to get involved.







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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