News Brief

South African Government Unveils 13 Million Rand Statue Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The South African government has been met with public outrage after it unveiled a 13 million Rand national statue of anti-Apartheid veteran O.R. Tambo during a pandemic that has already resulted in considerable job losses.

The South African government has unveiled a new statue of South African struggle stalwart Oliver Reginald Tambo and it has caused public outrage. According to EWN, President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled the 13 million Rand statue yesterday right next to O.R. Tambo International airport. Public criticism over the exorbitant expenditure and the fact that the statue is aesthetically disappointing had the official unveiling trending on Twitter. The outrage is warranted with South Africa's current youth unemployment rate reportedly standing at just over 52 percent. Additionally, a number of government officials are reportedly facing corruption charges for alleged collusion in billions worth of missing COVID-19 funds. President Ramaphosa's speech implied that the statue is a strategy to bring in funds as an international tourist attraction.


READ: R20 Million Statues to be Erected in Durban to Encourage 'Black Unity'

The statue reportedly stands at nine meters tall and holds the Freedom Charter in one hand. The Freedom Charter is the ruling African National Congress (ANC)'s cornerstone document and was historically adopted in 1955. Tambo was one of Nelson Mandela's closest friends and together with Walter Sisulu, founded the ruling party's ANC Youth League. While the beginnings of the ANC honoured the South African youth, the unveiling of this statue has polarised the very group that the ANC is dependant on for votes. South Africans have expressed that this statue is admittedly a slap in the face of youth who did not even receive the government's meagre COVID-19 relief stimulus of R350 per month.

President Ramaphosa also revealed during his speech that the erection of the statue was the culmination of a project that began in 2006 with an amount of 30 million Rand, according to PowerFM. Furthermore, a mall costing over four billion Rand is set to be built in close proximity to the location of the statue.

Black Twitter did not hold back from lambasting the South African government about their unnecessary and pricey misstep.






Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Prime

The ‘Coming 2 America’ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack & ‘The Rhythm Of Zamunda’ Are Out Now

Featuring Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Larry Gaaga, Alpha P, Davido and many more.

It has been more than 30 years since the premiere of the beloved classic comedy Coming to America. Its highly anticipated sequel promises to be greater than its predecessor. The film will be accompanied with two albums—Coming 2 America original motion picture soundtrack and Rhythms of Zamunda, whose tracklist is inspired by the movie. Both albums, which are currently available on all major streaming platforms, feature African music royalty Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Larry Gaaga and Alpha P, who joined a select group of artists from around the continent to produce these tracklists.

Still blazing charts after the success of his debut album Old Romance, Tekno has a growing list of impressive collaborations with artists like Davido, Drake, Beyonce, to name a few. The singer does not have not one, but two of his hit songs featured; "Waka Waka" is featured on the official soundtrack and "Skeletun" on Rhythms of Zamunda.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images

Thebe Magugu's AW21 Collection 'Alchemy' Is An Exploration of African Spirituality

Magugu collaborated with Kristin-Lee Moolman to create a '70s-style B movie called Banyoloyi A Bosigo

South African fashion designer Thebe Magugu has released his AW21 collection, Alchemy, and it is beautiful. For his latest collection, the 2019 LVMP prize winner introduced a redefinition of his previous work, Counter Intelligent, featuring embroidered chiffon dresses, pink blazers and cinched waist belts.

For the new collection, Thebe Magugu collaborated with the photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman to create a 1970s-style B movie called Banyoloyi A Bosigo. The short film, which is written, directed and photographed by Moolman, shows the power play between two rival girl gangs named the "ultimate midnite angels" who speak Zulu and Setswana.

The short film begins at the river with an initiation rite, then the sending out of the initiated woman to become a spy. There's also a love affair between two women of rival tribes that warrants a capture. Each scene of the movie introduces the fits to the collection as well as exhibiting the fluidity of the outfits.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief
Photo: WH Moustapha

Mdou Moctar Announces Debut Album 'Afrique Victime'

The album is a collaboration between Mdou, his band members and his rhythm guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane.

Matador Records has announced that the eagerly anticipated album Afrique Victime by Mdou Moctar will be released on May 21.

Afrique Victime is an unprecedented collaboration between Mdou, his band members, and Ahmoudou Madassane, who's been his rhythm guitarist since 2008. The album will present an effortless fusion of Saharan and rock music; melding guitar pyrotechnics, full-blast noise, and field recordings with poetic meditations.

You might have come across Mdou on Off White's "Imaginary TV" channel, who designer Virgil Abloh called, "one of my favorite musicians Rn."

Mdou's desert village Agadez, in rural Niger, is his source of inspiration. He attributes his artistic style to traditional Tuareg melodies and YouTube videos of Eddie Van Halen's six string techniques. Mdou has also worked on film projects. He wrote, produced, and starred in the first Tuareg language film: a remake of Purple Rain called Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai– which translates to "Rain The Color Of Blue With A Little Red In It." This earned him approval from his community and popularity across West Africa. This soon led to world tours and albums on the independent US label Sahel Sounds, including 2019's landmark Ilana: The Creator, which earned Mdou an international audience.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Rema, Adekunle Gold x Patoranking, Yaw Tog x Stormzy x Kwesi Arthur, Sun-El Musician x Msaki and more.