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Zambia Cancelled Their Friendly Soccer Match Against South Africa Because of Xenophobia

The teams were scheduled to play on Saturday in Zambia.

The Zambian government recently issued a warning to its citizens residing in South Africa, amid violent xenophobic attacks. Now, following pressure from Zambians particularly on social media, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has officially cancelled the friendly match which was supposed to take place on home soil this Saturday against South Africa's Bafana Bafana, according to EWN. Zambians view the cancellation as a sign of protest against the ongoing attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa.


Two months ago, Nigerian foreign nationals were being attacked in South Africa and several had their businesses looted. Barely a week ago, there was another spate of xenophobic attacks in Pretoria which have been renewed in the central parts of Johannesburg. The Chronicle reports that the death toll has now risen to five, with three of the deceased having been confirmed to be South African.

Read: Sho Madjozi Accuses Organizers of 'Africans Unite' of Using Xenophobia as a 'Marketing Ploy'President of the FAZ, Andrew Kamanga, spoke to Marawa Sport Worldwide saying that, "We are more on the football side than political side but unfortunately we had to do something." Kamanga added that, "Look at the scenario whereby the game is playing but there are protests going on either inside or outside the venue. The game is off, and we communicated that to Safa and they understood. We have been talking to try and monitor the situation."

Yesterday, President Cyril Ramaphosa finally ended his silence on what has now become a diplomatic crisis and condemned the xenophobic attacks saying that, "[there is] no justification to blame foreigners for [the] lack of jobs. This must be stopped."

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a special envoy to meet with Ramaphosa and voice his concerns over the safety of Nigerians living in South Africa.

Interview
Photo: Shawn Theodore via Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

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