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South African Writer Zukiswa Wanner Awarded the 2020 Goethe Medal

Zukiswa Wanner is the first African woman to receive the Goethe Medal which is awarded on behalf of the German government to individuals "who have made an outstanding contribution to international cultural exchange".

Prolific Zambian-born South African writer Zukiswa Wanner has been awarded this year's Goethe Medal, Brittle Paper reports. According to the Goethe Institut, the annual award is given on behalf of the German government to individuals "who have performed outstanding service for the German language and for international cultural relations". Wanner receives the award alongside Bolivia's Elvira Espejo Ayca, the Director of the National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore (MUSEF) in La Paz, Bolivia, and British writer and former Man Booker Prize winner, Ian McEwan.


Commenting on the selection of Wanner as this year's winner, the Goethe Institut writes:

"Her conception of herself as an African writer leads her to range far beyond national frontiers in her writing, while at the same time bringing the diversity of African culture into her artistic work. Her detailed knowledge of South African literature and her nuanced understanding of regional discourses and female identity in Africa mean her expertise is internationally sought after; she is also a role model for an entire generation of African writers."

Wanner has written several books over the years including Men of the South, The Madams, Hardly Working in addition to two children's titles namely Jama Loves Bananas and Refilwe––the African retelling of the fairy tale Rapunzel. In 2018, Wanner joined forces with Nomavuso Vokwana and established her own publishing house, Paivapo.

Since the national lockdown began over a month ago in South Africa, Wanner has been curating the virtual literary festival Afrolit Sans Frontières, which is organized by 16 writers from ten countries across the African continent.

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Image courtesy of Chude Jideonwo

Nigerian Mental Health Advocate Chude Jideonwo Shares Practical Ways Of Coping During COVID

We speak with the founder of Joy Inc. about the mental health challenges facing Nigerians, how many have managed to find effective ways to cope, and the online resources available to the community.

Never in our lifetimes have we experienced a pandemic of this gravity. As COVID-19 cases rise in Nigeria, Nigerians aren't just worried about getting the virus, they are also concerned about a host of other challenges: our lack of efficient and effective healthcare—which is overwhelmed even without a pandemic—the lack of appropriate data, and the high levels of poverty and illiteracy in the country that make it difficult to enforce the strategies that will enable us to handle the pandemic and keep it under control.

In a bid to understand how Nigerians are dealing with mental health challenges now, on the ground, due to the pandemic—which has led to a lockdown restricting movement and also social distancing rules—we spoke with Nigerian journalist, lawyer and mental healthcare advocate Chude Jideonwo, who is the founder of Joy Inc. He shared insights from his experiences with The Joy Inc., which he founded in 2016 to help young people going through mental and emotional challenges. He aimed to help provide young Nigerians with tools to help navigate the world around them.

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(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

'This Is One Too Many'—African Union Condemns the Murder of George Floyd

"The African Union is distressed to witness yet another unwarranted execution of another African-American male."

The African Union Commission, has condemned the police killing of George Floyd and denounced ongoing racism against Black people in the United States.

In a statement released on Friday, the chairman of the African Union (AU), Moussa Faki Mahamat, recalled the Union's "Resolution on Racial Discrimination" which was established during the AU's First assembly in 1964, which denounces racism against African-Americans in the US. "The Chairperson of the African Union Commission firmly reaffirms and reiterates the African Union's rejection of the continuing discriminatory practices against Black citizens of the United States of America," read the statement.

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#JusticeForUwa, Nigerians Demand Answers for Student Killed in Church

Nigerians are outraged by the continued gender-based violence in the country following the death of 22-year-old student Vera Omozuwa in a Benin City church.

Nigerians are fed up with the prevalent and continued gender-based violence in the country and are rallying online under the banner of #JusticeForUwa. Those who are on the ground have already begun to mobilise crowds in order to protest. Recently, 22-year-old student Vera Omozuwa was murdered last week in a Benin City church. Omozuwa, who was studying microbiology at the University of Benin, was reportedly attacked by a group of men and subsequently succumbed to her injuries in a hospital three days later.
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South Africans Angered by Police Killings of Black People During Lockdown

As America experiences continued protests over police brutality at the hands of a racist police system, South Africans are speaking out against their own anti-Black police system.