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This Politician Says the UK Treats South African Travelers Like 'Terrorists'

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says that the UK needs to relax its strict restrictions around South African travelers.

Bantu Holomisa, the leader of the opposition party United Democratic Movement (UDM), has criticized the UK for their strict traveling restrictions around South African travelers. Holomisa says the UK treats South African travelers like 'terrorists' although South Africa is committed to allowing travelers from the UK visa-free entry into the country, according to Business Tech.


In a statement released earlier this week by the UDM, the party says the following:

"Rightly or wrongly, there seem to have been a taint of distrust of South Africans that arose around 2008/9. Much has changed since then, and one would argue that the time has come for the British and South African governments to reassess, and to alleviate a situation that by design unfairly penalizes South Africans and virtually, still brands us (as a nation) as potential terrorists. The United Democratic Movement calls upon the South African government to sit down with their British counterparts to re-evaluate and to ascertain whether the reasons for their decision still stand."

South African travelers did not always require visas to enter the UK. However, close to a decade ago, there were a number of incidents involving fraudulent South African passports which subsequently led to visa-free entry being revoked by the British government altogether. According to The South African, the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has commented on the matter in the past saying that the UK needs to revisit its traveling restrictions following security upgrades on South African passports.

South Africa is reportedly working with other governments to allow their citizens to enter into South Africa visa-free although that does not necessarily mean South Africans will be able to do the same.


Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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