News Brief

South Africa's Spy Agency Tried to Censor a Book About Zuma and It Backfired

The State Security Agency issued a cease-and-desist on a book about corruption in the Zuma administration but it's only making people want to read it more

A publishing company in South Africa has been threatened with a cease-and-desist by a South African government agency for a book it published this week on corruption in the Jacob Zuma administration. But the government's attempt at censorship is only adding to the book's appeal.

"The President's Keepers," by Jacques Pauw exposes the government of Jacob Zuma as "a gangster state," undergirded by "a trail of lies and spies, cronies, cash and kingmakers" who actively work to keep Zuma in power and avoid imprisonment, according to the book description.

The state agency demanded the publishers, NB Publishing Company withdraw the book from stores and retract sections. The company tweeted about the incident along with a copy of the letter.

The SSA cease-and-desist asserts that the Pauw's work poses a threat to the South African government. It claims that the book was in violation of the Intelligent Service Act, which endangers the safety of government officials.

Even if you're not a big reader, whatever is in the pages of the book that is causing the government so much fear makes you want to take a peak.



Here's how the sales are looking at one bookstore:




"As our client is constitutionally mandated to protect ensure the security of the state and protect it the identity of its members and its agents, it has a duty to act in instances where such security has been breached," said the SSA.

In the book, Pauw uncovers the secrets of Jacob Zuma's compromised government, says the description. The book summary also refers to the administration as a dangerous network that "eliminates the president's enemies and purges law-enforcement agencies of good men and women." But Pauw's work also shows that the line of who's controlling who is blurry.

As a means to suppress and control, the government's method has definitely backfired.

Not only has it signaled the possibility of increased book sales, but it has already sparked a larger conversation about the unfortunate irony of a government attacking the freedom of information in order to keep their own actions under wraps.



This user stated it best:

Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie

Meet Four Women Pushing Ivorian Art Forward Through Photography

These young and emerging female photographers from Côte d'Ivoire are shaking up Abidjan's art scene.

There's been a tremendous amount of awe-inspiring art coming from the African continent lately. Photography is no exception. It is one of the most powerful tools used in changing the way in which the West perceives Africa and its diaspora and perhaps the reason why contemporary photography is thriving.

The female gaze is paramount to the way in which the aforementioned visual stories are told and the female photographers here are using their camera lenses to give us glimpses of lands, peoples, histories, and futures unknown. Their individual experiences and perspectives are widening the scope of what is believed to be Côte d'Ivoire. Within the country's capital, Abidjan, there's a creative scene that seems to have sprawled up out of nowhere yet is so rich in its offerings.

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Interview
Photo courtesy of Darey.

Meet Nigeria’s All-Female Bikers Club, Featured In Darey's Latest Video

Darey collaborates with all-female bike riders to reimagine a pandemic-free world in the new video for "Jojo."

In 2017, when Jeminat Olumegbon, an events manager in Lagos, set up the Female Bikers initiative (FBi) with her friend, Nnenna Samuila, the objective for the organisation was to facilitate some form of education for Nigerian women. "A bunch of us, bike riders, came together because we knew when we ride we draw attention to ourselves so we used that as a form of communication starter, especially in rural areas," Olumegbon, code-named Speed Diva, tells OkayAfrica via a phone call. In the three years since the initiative has been in operation, it has started a number of programs aimed at confronting socio-cultural barriers set against women in Nigeria but none is more resonant than the group's campaign against breast and cervical cancer.

"We found out that a lot of women die of breast and cervical cancer in Nigeria and they shouldn't be dying because there are preventive measures but lack of knowledge is what is really killing us," Olumegbon says. According to Nigeria's Cancer Control Plan, breast and cervical cancer are the most prevalent forms of cancer in Nigeria, disproportionately affecting women. And the Female Bikers initiative, a scion of D'Angels Motorcycle Club, Nigeria's first all-female bikers club, is working hard to get women tested early.

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(Youtube)

Watch Wizkid’s New Music Video For ‘Smile’ Featuring H.E.R.

The Nigerian star dedicated the new video to his three sons: Bolu, Ayo and Zion Balogun.

Nigerian musical heavyweight Wizkid released his latest track today. The song, titled "Smile," features Grammy award winning US singer/songwriter H.E.R.

The track coos sounds of unconditional love and the things we do for it. It features Wizkid and H.E.R. going in over an infectious beat.

This comes as Wizkid fans await the release of his delayed fourth album, Made in Lagos. We're sure they'll be more excited than ever after getting this new single.

"Smile" follows Wizkid's latest release Soundman Vol. 1 EP, which came out late last year and featured the likes of Chronixx, DJ Tunez and more.

Listen to Wizkid and H.E.R.'s "Smile" below.

Update: Watch the newly released music video for "Smile" below. The Nigerian star dedicated this new Meji Alabi-directed music video to his three sons: Bolu, Ayo and Zion Balogun.

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Interview: Sam Soko is the Kenyan Director Behind Sundance Hit, 'Softie'

We meet filmmaker Sam Soko who has made a stirring documentary about the Kenyan protest leader Boniface Mwangi