News Brief

The Omotoso Trial is Resuming After a Long Postponement

The trial had been postponed after the presiding judge was asked by the defence to recuse himself.

Controversial Nigerian Pastor, Timothy Omotoso, is back at the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth as his trial resumes today. He is on trial for 63 charges of sexual assault, rape and human trafficking.


Timothy Omotoso is the well-known televangelist of the Jesus Dominion International Church which was subsequently shut down shortly after his trial began last year. The trial has taken South Africa by storm because it highlights how alleged 'holy men' constantly take advantage of their congregants.

South Africa is fertile ground for these charlatans because of the crippling poverty, unemployment and inequality that is the reality for their congregants. There have been congregants whose 'holy men' have had them eat grass, ingest petrol, have insecticide sprayed on them, all in an effort to 'heal them'. Another controversial 'holy man' in South Africa, Shepherd Bushiri, was arrested along with his wife, for money laundering and fraud. He is also set to appear in court today.

Omotoso allegedly kept about 30 young women at his home in Umhlanga Rocks where he allegedly forced them to perform various sexual acts on him. There will be 49 witnesses testifying against Omotoso in the trial. The first witness, Cheryl Zondi, testified last year at the beginning of the trial and was cross-examined by defence lawyer Peter Daubermann in what was a disgusting display of a man claiming to be ''doing his job''.

READ: The Omotoso Rape Trial Shows Why South African Women are in Crisis

The presiding Judge Mandela Makaula was asked to recuse himself by Daubermann who cited that he was not impartial and hence the postponement of the trial. The application to have Judge Makaula recuse himself has since been thrown out.



Interview
Photo by Trevor Stuurman.

Interview: Thando Hopa Never Anticipated Acceptance in the Industry—She Anticipated a Fight

We speak to the South African lawyer, model, actress and activist about her historic Vogue cover, stereotypes imposed on people living with albinism and her work with human interest stories about vulnerable groups as a WEF fellow.

Vogue Portugal's April edition was a moment that caused everyone to hold their breath collectively. For the first time ever, a woman living with albinism was featured on the cover of the magazine in a sublime and timeless manner. Thando Hopa, a South African lawyer, model, actress and activist was the woman behind this historic first. It was not just a personal win for Hopa, but a victory for a community that continues to be underrepresented, stigmatised and even harmed for a condition outside of their control, particularly in Africa.

At just 31, the multi-hyphenate Hopa is a force to be reckoned with across different spaces. Through her considerable advocacy work as an activist, Hopa has and continues to dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about people living with albinism as well as changing what complex representation looks like within mainstream media. In 2018, Hopa was named the one of the world's 100 most influential women by the BBC. After hanging up her gown as a legal prosecutor after four years of working with victims of sexual assault, Hopa is on a mission to change skewed perceptions and prejudices when it comes to standards of beauty.

As a current fellow at the World Economic Forum, she is also working towards changing editorial oversights that occur when depicting historically underrepresented and vulnerable groups. The fellowship programme prepares individuals for leadership in both public and private sectors, and to work across all spheres of global society.

OkayAfrica recently spoke to Hopa to find out about how it felt to be the first woman with albinism to be featured on Vogue, the current projects she's working on and what's in the pipeline for her.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM.

Uzo Aduba Snags 2020 Emmy Award for Role in 'Mrs America'

Nigerian-American actress Uzo Aduba was awarded an Emmy for her stellar performance as Civil Rights icon Shirley Chisholm in 'Mrs America'.

Nigerian-American actress Uzo Aduba was awarded an Emmy for her stellar performance as Civil Rights icon Shirley Chisholm in the limited television series Mrs America. The 2019 production, which also stars Cate Blanchett, highlights several American female figures and their fight to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, which proposed that civil rights not be determined on the basis of sex, OkayAfrica's Damola Durosomo writes. The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards were held this past Sunday and were hosted by popular late-night television host, Jimmy Kimmel.
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(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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Former President of Botswana Ian Khama Condemns Zimbabwean Government

Former Botswana President Ian Khama has condemned Zimbabwe's government and joined solidarity with #ZimbabweanLivesMatter.