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Thousands of Zimbabweans March Against Economic Sanctions Imposed by the West

Zimbabweans hope the anti-sanctions march will result in the lifting of economic sanctions imposed by the West.

Zimbabwe's economy continues on its downward spiral. After the infamous "coup-not-coup" of last year, which saw the ousting of former president Robert Mugabe after almost a four decade-long rule, current president Emmerson Mnangagwa and his cabinet are yet to inspire any confidence in Zimbabweans. A few days ago, the country embarked on an "anti-sanctions crusade" which included prayer sessions and the declaration of a public holiday. More recently, thousands of Zimbabweans are participating in a nationwide march which hopes to see the economic sanctions imposed by America and the European Union lifted. However, both America and the European Union have been clear that sanctions will only be lifted following economic and political reforms.


Zimbabwe has been facing economic sanctions since Mugabe was in power. America, the European Union, Australia and several others have maintained that because of alleged human rights violations, rigged elections and the expropriation of land from White farmers, the sanctions will remain in place. American ambassador Brian Nichols said in an interview with Zimbabwe's Trevor Ncube that, "The perception of the issues in Zimbabwe is driven by the actions of the government of Zimbabwe both in the run up to and in the wake of the elections in 2018."

READ: Zimbabwean Police Are Using Violence to Disperse Peaceful Protesters

Members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are reportedly also in attendance to show their support for the mass mobilization of Zimbabweans by the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF). According to VOA Zimbabwe, each member country of SADC is set to individually call for the lifting of Zimbabwe's sanctions as previously agreed upon at the 39th regional summit held in Tanzania this past August. Last night, the Zanu-PF Youth League called on Zimbabweans to occupy the American embassy as part of what they've now dubbed "Sanctions Must Fall".

Social media is alive with images and video footage of the various anti-sanctions marches taking place across Zimbabwe.





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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Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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Music
(Youtube)

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Fireboy DML, Juls, Adekunle Gold and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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