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Violence Escalates following Ugandan Students' ‘Fees Must Fall’ Protest

Eleven students have been hospitalized following military raids, more arrests and increased conflict.

Update (October 25, 2019): Eleven students have reportedly been hospitalized as the conflict between students of Makerere University and authorities escalates. It is alleged that the military entered and raided a student housing building last night, beating many students and sending those 11 to the hospital. This morning, the police interrupted a press conference the students were holding to detail what had happened the previous evening. It is believed that the attacks came as a direct order from Gordon Murangira, assistant to vice chancellor Professor Barnabus Nawangwe.

There is some conflicting information about the situation. It was rumored that one military official was stoned to the death but the military has denied that claim, calling it "false news." NTV also states that the students were claiming severe injuries by the military to some students, but it was clear that those students were already disabled.

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Students from Makerere University in Uganda stormed a police station in Kampala to demand the release of fellow students who were detained yesterday. The 15 female students in holding were arrested for protesting a raise in tuition fees. According to The BBC, the female students were in the midst of a protest march to office of President Yoweri Museveni hoping to ask he step in and reverse the tuition decision.


Scenes from Uganda's Daily Monitor Twitter account show the small group of girls arriving at the university gates holding signs—one read 'women's education is important.' However the girls were met by a mixture of police and army personnel, ending their march and detouring it, instead, to holding cells downtown.


Today, the students demanding their release filled the streets outside the Wandegeya police station and chanted "Fees Must Fall" while holding up traffic. It all comes down to a 15 percent increase in fees that was approved by university officials. The rate hike will not only apply this year, but every year for the next five, ultimately making tuition 75 percent more expensive come 2025.

The chant has some history on the continent as students in South Africa shut down every major university in the country under the #FeesMustFall movement that began in 2015. While the movement has seen success in South Africa, it took a considerable amount of time. There has been no response to the protests from the university or President Musevini as of yet and five more students have been arrested this morning, bringing the total number to 20.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "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."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images.

Bobi Wine Released from Police Custody Following Arrest

After being arrested for allegedly "failing to comply with the Public Order Management Act and Electoral Commission guidelines", the Ugandan politician has now vowed to unseat President Yoweri Museveni.

Yesterday, Ugandan politician and leader of the now popular People Power Movement, Bobi Wine, was arrested after police interrupted a rally that was a part of his 2021 presidential bid by firing teargas at his supporters.

Standard Digital News reports that Wine was released from prison just a few hours ago and has expressed that he is even more determined than ever to "unseat" President Yoweri Museveni and bring an end to his three-decade long rule.

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Yemi Alade Enlists Djimon Hounsou for New Music Video 'Remind You'

The veteran Beninese actor stars in the sultry music for Yemi Alade's latest single.

Yemi Alade shares her latest music video for her single "Remind You," and it stars none other than celebrated Hollywood actor Djimon Hounsou.

"Remind You" is a sultry R&B track from the singer's latest album, 2019's Woman of Steel. The vibrant music video, directed by Ovie Etseyatse, sees the singer gallivanting in an empty mansion in various elegant gowns. Honsou graces the screen throughout the video as well, but the two don't meet until the very end, when things take a funny and unexpected turn.

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Interview
Photo courtesy of Afro Nation.

Interview: Afro Nation Festival's Smade On Unifying Africans Across the Continent & Diaspora

As the festival prepares to make its Puerto Rico debut this spring, we sat down with Afro Nation co-founder Adesegun Adeosun aka Smade to talk about how it all started and what the future holds.

Within minutes of speaking with Adesegun Adeosun, it's apparent that Afro Nation is much more than an urban music festival.

The Afro Nation co-founder, better known as Smade, talks passionately about connecting Africans across the globe. In less than a year since its debut edition, Afro Nation has successfully done this and gone on to establish itself as the largest festival celebrating African culture on the continent and in the diaspora.

This year, Afro Nation will touch down in Puerto Rico for the first time over spring break—from the 18th to the 21st of March—on the beach of Balneario de Carolina. Headliners will include Burna Boy, Chronixx, Davido, 2Baba, Naira Marley and many more.

As the festival prepares to make its Puerto Rico debut this spring, we sat down with Smade to talk about Afro Nation, how it all started and what the future holds.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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