News Brief

Zim Journalist in Jail for Reporting on Grace Mugabe Used Underwear Racket

A story about Grace Mugabe distributing used underwear to her supporters has landed a Zimbabwean journalist in jail.

Zimbabwean journalists are no strangers to censorship and harassment at the hands of the government.


Today, however, there's a new twist—Kenneth Nyangani, a reporter for the independently run Zimbabwean newspaper NewsDay has been arrested and detained over his reporting on a story about first lady Grace Mugabe donating used underwear to Zanu PF supporters.

The report quotes the Zanu PF MP Esau Mupfumi, who claims he was given the used panties at the state house to be distributed to pro-Mugabe partisans in his constituency. It's currently unclear, according to Newsday, whether the complaint comes from Mupfumi of Mugabe herself.

According to his lawyer, Passmore Nyakureba of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Nyangani is being charged for the criminal defamation under the Criminal (Codification and Reform) Act.Nyakureba said: “The brief facts are that Kenneth was picked up last night around 10pm at his home in Dangamvura and I attended to him around 11:30pm at Mutare Central where he was subsequently detained.

"The intention is to send a chilling message to journalists and media workers that they must self-censor rather than expose truths," Cousin Zilala, executive director of Amnesty's Zimbabwe branch told the AP.

Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe has arrived in South Africa without his wife to attend talks with President Jacob Zuma. Grace Mugabe was recently the subject of a South African manhunt after she was accused of assaulting a women in her sons' Johannesburg apartment. She managed to leave the country after being granted diplomatic immunity.

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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