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Today Marks the 42nd Anniversary of the Assassination of Steve Biko

South Africans remember the anti-Apartheid veteran and Black Consciousness Movement leader.

Today, South Africans are remembering Stephen "Steve" Bantu Biko, a resounding voice for Black liberation during Apartheid. The most recognizable leader of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), Biko inspired and guided the student resistance of that time to become a huge political force against the Apartheid regime. He is credited with launching the South African Students Organization (SASO) in the late 60s. However, a few months before Biko's 31st birthday back in 1977, he was tortured and killed while in police custody.


In the 70s, the BCM gained considerable traction particularly among Black South African youth and workers. Following the tragic Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, where police opened fire on Black South Africans protesting the Apartheid pass laws, the segregationist government clamped down on civil unrest and banned political parties such as the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). The BCM, and other organizations, then stepped in to mobilize Black South Africans and keep the struggle alive. Again, after widespread strikes across the country, the infamous Soweto Uprisings of 1976 took place.

After being stopped at a roadblock by police, Biko was arrested and eventually transferred to the Sanlam Building in Port Elizabeth. Having been beaten severely, Biko suffered a brain hemorrhage but was still forced to stand through hours of interrogation despite his deteriorating condition. Five days later, he died in what former lawyer and judge, Sydney Kentridge, came to describe as "a miserable and lonely death on a mat on a stone floor in a prison cell".

The 42nd anniversary of Biko's death comes after a week of xenophobic violence has gripped South Africa. The ideologies of the Black Consciousness leader, who not only changed the course of South African history but became the symbol of Black liberation, still reverberate across student politics spaces especially. However, Biko espoused African unity, and very fiercely at that. South Africans' commemoration of his legacy cannot be complete without genuine introspection and reflection about the recurrent xenophobic attacks which have thus far killed 12 people, injured and affected hundreds more and even led to the Nigerian government evacuating its citizens.

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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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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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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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Photo: Ben Depp.

Watch Yilian Canizares & Paul Beaubrun's Beautiful Video For 'Noyé'

"Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Yilian Canizares and Paul Beaubrun connect for the serene "Noyé," one of the highlights from Canizares' latest album, Erzulie.

The Cuban singer and Haitian artist are now sharing the new Arnaud Robert-directed music video for the single, which we're premiering here today.

"Noyé is a song that comes from our roots," Yilian Canizares tells OkayAfrica. "Inspired by the energy of love. The same love that kept Africa's legacy alive in the hearts of Haiti and Cuba. We wanted to do a stripped down version of only the essential pieces from a musical point of view. Something raw and beautiful where our souls would be naked."

The striking music video follows Canizares and Beaubrun to the waters of New Orleans, the universal Creole capital, where they sing and float until meeting on the Mississippi River.

"Noyé is a cry of love from children of African descent," says Paul Beaubrun. "Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Watch the new music video for "Noyé" below.

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