News Brief

South Sudan Has Reached a Breakthrough Peace Deal

The signing of the peace deal is considered a major step towards ending the five-year civil war—will it last this time around?

Citizens have taken to the streets of South Sudan to celebrate what is being called a "breakthrough" peace deal aimed at putting an end to the country's five-year civil war.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir signed a power-sharing deal with rebel leader Riek Machar in Khartoum, Sudan, legitimizing him by making Machar one of the country's five vice presidents.

Since the conflict began in a newly-succeeded South Sudan in 2013, millions of people have been displaced and tens of thousands have lost their lives, reports BBC Africa. The peace deal is being seen as a major step forward, as many previous attempts at peace have been unsuccessful.

The ruling party has named today an unofficial holiday and businesses in the capital are closed.


It's worth noting, that a similar peace deal was signed in 2015, but it failed the following year with Machar fleeing the country on foot. According to analysts at the BBC, this time around, the motivations for renewed peace are different. Stakeholders on both sides of the conflict see the potential benefits of reconciliation, as both sides are running out of money to support their agendas. There are also hopes, that the expressions of hope from citizens, will hold leaders accountable and deter them from breaking their agreement.

The South Sudanese people are expressing faith in their country despite past turmoil, by publicly celebrating the deal. There is an air of hope, that this peace deal will bring about real change in the world's youngest nation.


(Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: "Super excited to announce I've been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired."

He is among 175 scholars, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-sixth competition," says the Guggenheim.

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Culture
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

6 South African Podcasts to Listen to During the Lockdown

Here are six South African podcasts worth listening to.

South Africa has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it looks like the period might just get extended. If you are one of those whose work can't be done from home, then you must have a lot of time in your hands. Below, we recommend six South African podcasts you can occupy yourself with and get empowered, entertained and informed.


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Photo courtesy of BLK JKS.

7 South African Punk Bands You Should Check Out

Here are some South African punk bands—old and new—that you should be listening to.

For many years, the punk scene in South Africa has been thriving through a hands-on DIY attitude in which bands can foster their own homegrown audience without relying on mainstream culture. Music festivals like Soweto Rock Revolution have played a big part in it. Bands like National Wake showed the way and TCIYF are following that path and making punk more relevant than ever in the country.

Here are seven South African punk bands you should check out.

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