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Photo credit should read ISAAC KASAMANI/AFP via Getty Images.

Ugandan Activist Stella Nyanzi to be Released from Prison

After being sentenced to 18 months in prison for the "cyber harassment" of President Yoweri Museveni, Stella Nyanzi has won her court appeal and the judge has ordered her immediate release.

Ugandan activist Stella Nyanzi is set to be released from prison after winning her court appeal.

Last year, Nyanzi was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the "cyber harassment" of President Yoweri Museveni after writing a poem about his mother's vagina.


Nyanzi's arrest in 2019 followed shortly after a poem she wrote on FaceBook which read: "I wish the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

After spending more than a year behind bars, Nyanzi remains committed to using what she terms "radical rudeness". In fact, she even went as far as saying that she would continue to speak against dictators in the "language of the vagina" prior to her sentencing last year.

During her time in Luzira Maximum Security Prison, Nyanzi was awarded the PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression. According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award.

In an acceptance speech written by Nyanzi for the awards ceremony which took place in The Hague, Netherlands, she said, "Unlawful laws are used in unjust courts to punish citizens whose only crime is exercising their constitutional freedom to write boldly about the dictatorship." She went on to add, "My custodial sentence in a maximum security prison highlights how fearful this dictator and his cronies are of writers. Isn't the pen, indeed, mightier than the sword?"

Members of the media as well as public figures and activists including the likes of Nyanzi and Bobi Wine, continue to be the targets of President Museveni and his crackdown on political dissent.

Activists, allies and feminists alike are celebrating Nyanzi's release on social media. Take a look at some of their responses below:






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Still from Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim's TED Talk

Watch Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim's  TED Talk on How Indigenous Knowledge Can Help Fight Climate Change

The Chadian activist—and one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020—says traditional knowledge, as practiced in her native Mbororo community, is one of the keys to combatting climate change.

In a new TED Talk, climate activist, geographer and one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, discusses the role that indigenous knowledge can play in combatting climate change.

During the 13-minute talk, Ibrahim emphasizes how the exploration and acceptance of various knowledge systems–including those that fall outside of the scope of typical scientific research–can add to our understanding of ways to protect the environment. "I think, if we put together all the knowledge systems that we have -- science, technology, traditional knowledge -- we can give the best of us to protect our peoples, to protect our planet, to restore the ecosystem that we are losing," says Ibrahim.

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Google Honors Late South African Child Activist, Nkosi Johnson, With Doodle

Today's Google Doodle celebrates the life and work of Nkosi Johnson, a child HIV/AIDS activist, who passed away at the age of 12.

Today marks what would have been the 31st birthday of South African child activist Nkosi Johnson.

Johnson, whose work focused on raising awareness around HIV/AIDs in the early 2000s, at a time when the disease was still incredibly stigmatised and seen as a "death sentence", passed away from complications related to AIDS at the age of 12.

He was the longest-surviving HIV-positive born child at that time.

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(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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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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