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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Condemns Violence at Anti-Racism Protest

President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the violence that has erupted at Brackenfell High School. This follows protesting EFF members having been attacked by parents at the school who reportedly hosted a private event strictly for white students.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently condemned the violence that has erupted outside Brackenfell High School in Johannesburg. The violence first erupted yesterday after members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) peacefully protested outside the school with regards to a private Matric farewell dance that recently took place and was reportedly a "whites only" event. The incident has divided South Africans. Some have sided with the actions of the parents who they feel are currently trying to protect their children's right to an education during a particularly stressful time. Others have defended the EFF and what they feel is admittedly a greater issue at play—continued racism in the country.


READ: South African School Under Fire For Racist Classroom Activity

President Ramaphosa released a statement which reads as follows:

"At this most important and difficult time for matriculants not only at Brackenfell High School but around the country, the spectacle of parents and protestors coming to blows at the school gate is deeply unfortunate. It is the right of every South African to engage in peaceful protest, and any actions to suppress the right to freedom of expression, particularly through violence and intimidation, must be roundly condemned. What happened today brings back hurtful memories of a past we should never seek to return to."

The Western Cape Education MEC, Debbie Schäfer, has also condemned the violence. Schäfer has, however, instead that the event was a private one of which the school itself was unaware. She also goes on to add that while diversity remains integral to the schooling system, the EFF should not have staged a protest outside the school. Schäfer has come under fire for expressing these v news on social media. Watch her interview with eNCA below:

MEC condemns violent clashes www.youtube.com

Naturally, social media has ben alive with debate over the incident. Issues to do with how the media continues to cover the incident as a "clash" and not as an "attack on peaceful protesters" has been at the fore. It has also not helped tremendously that the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has tweeted about the violence and likened the protesting EFF members to Nazis "in brown shirts".

Read further responses by South Africans on social media below:






Photo: Spark Creative

Meet the Ghanaian-British Designer Behind Janet Jackson's Latest Cover Look

For her most recent cover shoot, Janet Jackson donned a headpiece co-created by Ghanaian-British designer Chrissa Amuah, who tells us more about how she finds inspiration in her parents' homeland.

After rocking a LaviebyCK design by Cameroon's Claude Kameni in her 2018 'Made for Now' music video, Janet Jackson has turned to another talented African creative for her latest look. On the February 2022 cover of Allure Magazine, in which Jackson talks about executive-producing her documentary, Janet, the multiple Grammy-winning artist is pictured wearing an Ògún headpiece, co-designed by Ghanaian-British textile and furniture designer, Chrissa Amuah.

"I’ve always been a fan and respected her craft and work ethic,” Amuah told OkayAfrica. “For Ms Jackson to wear the Ògún in promotion of her new documentary sends a powerful message of enduring brilliance, integrity, and walking in the strength of our true voices.”

Of Ghanaian, Togolese, and Beninese heritage, Amuah was born to Ghanaian parents in London and draws inspiration from the Ghanaian Adinkra symbol in her work as the founder and Creative Director of AMWA Designs, a luxury homeware and interiors brand established in 2014. Making her international debut at the Milan Design Week, she gained worldwide acclaim in 2015, and a few years later, was named “Consumer and Luxury Rising Star” at the 2017 Black British Business Awards.

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BRYAN THE MENSAH On His Debut Album ‘Road to Hastafari’

The Ghanaian rapper narrates the journey of his career in a candid debut laced with personal stories.

BRYAN THE MENSAH is one of the new school acts from Ghana who’s been doing it for a minute. Ever since the arrival of his debut EP in 2017, he was quickly recognized as one of the rising acts in the Ghanaian music scene with a fresh and unique sound—a contemporary rap act but one who fluidly moves between rap, pop, alternative, and fusions of the three, and does so effortlessly.

From then until now he's released four projects in total, all EPs including his critically acclaimed debut Friends with the Sun. His most recentwas 2020’s Not Going Outside, which saw the rapper employ the coronavirus pandemic as its underlying theme. Now, the rapper has decided to level up with the release of his debut album Road to Hastafari.

Bryan actually announced as early as five years ago in that he would be releasing his debut project in 2021, and just before the year came to an end he made good on that promise with an earnest, spirited offering.

As far as full-length projects from contemporary Ghanaian artists come, Road to Hastafari is in a class of its own. Twelve tracks long, with features by M.anifest, buzzing Ghanaian newcomer Black Sherif, Nigerian rappers A-Q and PsychoYP, and rising singer Titi Owusu, RTH is not the conventional African sound. Here, the self-assured rapper with a precise, melodic flow makes it clear that he’s not like anyone else, and he’s not trying to be.

But the album isn’t built on just sonics alone. Road to Hastafari is an album full of personal stories from the rapper that speaks to his journey so far, from family to his love life, and even tales of disrespect that he’s encountered in the music industry. And who better to tell those stories than the rapper himself? We invited BRYAN THE MENSAH to speak to us about his debut album, and the stories behind its creation.

Check out our conversation below.

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Photo: Phumi Morare

These African Films Scored 2022 NAACP Image Award Nods

A host of African talent has made the cut for the list of this year's NAACP Image Awards, which will take place as a socially-distanced affair next month.

Come February 26th, the winners of this year's NAACP Image Awards will be announced in a two-hour live TV special, hosted by Anthony Anderson. And a number of African filmmakers could be among them.

Streaming giant Netflix has garnered the most nominees for this year's NAACP Image Awards, which will mark the 53rd edition, leading across both the motion picture and television categories. The Harder They Fall leads the film side of the awards, with 12 nods, while the biopic about Aretha Franklin, Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson as the late icon, has scored six. The film, helmed by South African director, Liesl Tommy, as her feature debut, also scored a nomination for outstanding ensemble cast in a motion picture. Tommy herself earned a nomination for outstanding breakthrough creative category, alongside the likes of Amir "Questlove" Thompson, for Summer of Soul, and Jeymes Samuel, director of The Harder They Fall.

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