News Brief

This Sudanese Cartoonist Created the Viral Colin Kaepernick Civil Rights Image

Khalid Albaih's work has become a symbol of protest against social injustices and the NFL's discriminatory policies.

As the NFL continues to encroach upon the civil rights of its players by presenting new policies that could penalize them for kneeling during the National Anthem, those in support of the protest continue to express their support for Colin Kaepernick, who sparked the movement within the NFL when he boldly knelt during the National Anthem in 2016.

He's drawn several comparisons to Civil Rights-era athletes like Muhammad Ali as well as Tommie Smith and John Carlos who iconically put up the black power salute during the 1968 Olympic games. One Sudanese artist decided to translate Kaepernick's activism into a cartoon, which has been worn on shirts by members of the NCAAP in order to lead protests, and by Chance the Rapper.


A new video from AJ+ highlights the work of Khalid Albaih, and his mission to highlight the social injustices in the United States, after he spent a year learning about the Civil Rights movement while traveling through the states with fellow Arab artists."For me, Kapearnick taking a knee is the image of our century," he says. "This is a historical moment. Not only for African-Americans, this is for human rights. This is for Civil Rights," he added.

Check out the video below, to learn more about the Sudanese artist's work.

Photo credit PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images

EFF Calls Out President Cyril Ramaphosa On Slow COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

South Africa's opposition party leader, Julius Malema, has demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa speed up the distribution rate of COVID-19 vaccines.

Julius Malema has reportedly instructed President Cyril Ramaphosa to release South Africa's detailed COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy. Malema added that his party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), would initiate a sit-in at vaccination centres should Ramaphosa fail to share this national vaccination plan by the end of April 2021. This comes after the South African government's last announcement of the vaccine rollout plan two months ago.

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Music
(Youtube)

The 11 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Wizkid x Tems, Rema, Mdou Moctar, Emtee, Mannywellz x Wale, Tony Allen and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Cartoon by Gado.

Akon In Uganda, the Laundering of a Dictatorship

Opinion: By lending his voice to the horrid spectacle underway in Uganda, Akon is in fact endorsing the Museveni regime.

Autocrats across the world have often used artists to sanitize their regime's brutality. One method that has been increasingly employed has been the recruitment of high-profile artists—mainly Western music stars—to work as essential spokespersons for a country's tourism ministry. These artists then work alongside government officials—oftentimes propaganda artists in their own right—to sell a whitewashed image of the country, one that is almost always at odds with realities on the ground.

While the introduction of global celebrities into the authoritarian playbook of reputation laundering is a more recent phenomenon, placing a country's tourism industry front-and-center has long been a go-to tactic to soften a dictatorship's harsh image. The former long-ruling dictator of Zimbabwe, for example, Robert Mugabe, was a trailblazer in this regard. In 2012, he convinced the United Nations World Tourism Organization to appoint him as their international envoy, despite his government's categorically abysmal human rights record.

Years later, Rwanda's strongman, Paul Kagame, signed a multi-million-dollar deal with Arsenal, the popular English football club. For the 2019/2020 season, players sported jerseys with "Visit Rwanda" prominently displayed on their chests and sleeves, all while the country's political opposition, media, and human rights community faced continual decimation through arbitrary detentions, disappearances, extrajudicial executions and alleged state-sanctioned murders.

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South African Rapper 22 Is Serious About Her Craft

The budding musician just released her latest single, aptly titled "I'M THAT GIRL" and accompanied by mad daring visuals.