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(Photo by Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images).

MPs attend a plenary session to debate motion on French colonisation at the parliament in Tunis, Tunisia on June 09, 2020.

Tunisia's Bold Move to Demand Apology from French Colonisers Rejected

The motion to demand that France apologise to Tunisia for its colonisation has been rejected with politicians saying, 'We are not going to feed Tunisians with such motions.'

Tunisia's parliament has recently rejected a motion put forward by the Al-Karama coalition which demanded an apology from France for the "murder and torture, the brutality of French colonialism". Seifeddine Makhlouf, the leader of the coalition which currently occupies 19 of the 217 seats in parliament, had insisted that the apology would be a move towards "[healing] the wounds of the past". According to Aljazeera, the motion fell short by 109 votes needed for it to pass.

READ: Belgium Has Apologized to its Former African Colonies for Kidnapping their Mixed-Race Children

The details of the motion included the European country taking responsibility for the "crimes, assassinations, torture, rape, forced deportation and looting of natural resources" before Tunisia eventually obtained its independence in 1956.

However, resistance to the motion was voiced out by leader of the Qalb Tounes opposition party, Osama Khelifi, who said that, "We are not going to feed Tunisians with such motions." Ultimately, the significance of France as a trade partner in light of Tunisia's longstanding economic crisis swung the vote and moved for the motion to be dismissed.

Given the current climate, the motion was a bold move by Tunisian opposition leaders in their attempts to have the injustices of colonialism acknowledged. With the continued Black Lives Matter protests in America, and now several other countries in the world, colonialism and its various symbols have been cast into the spotlight as racist systems of oppression are being interrogated.

More recently, Belgian authorities removed the statue of King Leopold II from Antwerp square, amid the mass protests in the country. The monarch was responsible for the murder of an estimated 10 million Congolese people in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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