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South Africa is Currently Embroiled in Violent Xenophobic Attacks

Foreign nationals living in Johannesburg are being attacked and their businesses looted.

The center of Johannesburg is currently a surreal sight. Cars have been torched, businesses broken into and ransacked, foreign nationals are being violently attacked and police are admittedly struggling to maintain order. Just a week after xenophobic attacks erupted in Pretoria and two months after Nigerians were being attacked in Hillbrow, the country is experiencing yet another spate of xenophobic attacks which began yesterday. According to EWN, two people have been confirmed dead, including a woman who was shot at close range. A hundred others have been arrested thus far.


The reasons for the xenophobic attacks echo the pervasive anti-immigrant sentiment around the world. In a country with growing inequality, unemployment and poverty, many disenfranchised South Africans feel that foreign nationals are responsible for the lack of job opportunities and increasing crime.

Read: Sho Madjozi Accuses Organizers of 'Africans Unite' of Using Xenophobia as a 'Marketing Ploy'

President Cyril Ramaphosa has not yet addressed South Africans in light of these recent attacks—a move many have criticized. However, Secretary-General of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Ace Magashule, has said that, "We are appealing for peace and calm in South Africa and I hope our people will listen to the voice of reason." He added that, "The issue of the mayhem we see, I feel we just want to say to the media, this is also the time for the media to act responsibly."

The Right2Know Campaign has blamed the likes of Herman Mashaba of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and Ramaphosa for spouting xenophobic rhetoric for political gain. In a statement, the organization said:

"We recognize that there are many sources of the violence but it is also clear that statements of outrage and condemnation by state officials at all levels (Cabinet, Parliament, the Gauteng Province, SAPS and Metros) fueled the actions of ordinary citizens who interpreted those statements to be licence to take the law into their own hands. Senior political leaders find an easy target in the vulnerable Africans seeking to make a new home in South Africa."

However, Mashaba has denied that his previous comments on foreign nationals living in the country, incited the violence towards them.

Zambia recently issued a warning to its citizens currently residing in South Africa, urging them to be cautious amid the xenophobic attacks, IOL reports. The Nigerian government expressed that they would be taking "defensive measures" to protect their citizens if the South African government failed to get a handle on the current situation. Nigerians residing in South Africa have also threatened to have the terrorist group, Boko Haram, to attack the country.

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Watch the First Episode of Flame’s Documentary Series ‘Welcome To My Life’

Flame takes fans behind the scenes in his new documentary series.

From interviews to smoking sessions, performances, studio sessions and a visit to the hair salon, Flame gives fans a glimpse into his life and adventures.

The South African hip-hop artist and producer shared the first episode of an ongoing documentary series titled Welcome To My Life. The first episode, which he shared today, shows Flame and his affiliates—the likes of Ecco, Mellow and others—going about their business.

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uSanele Releases a New Project ‘uMvelase’ Featuring ASAP Shembe, Windows 2000, Manelisi and Others

Listen to uSanele's new project 'uMvelase.'

South African hip-hop artist uSanele's recently released project is titled uMvelase. "This project," says the artist, "is in honor of my father and family, abakwa Mthembu; all my siblings, extended family and my roots in the heart of KZN, kwaNongoma. It is a calling—if you will—a completion of my journey and all things coming full circle."

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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