Politics

What is Going on in Harare?—We Talk to Zimbabweans in the Capital.

Images of violence breaking out in Harare are flooding social media, we reached out to hear from those in Harare.

Today cellphone videos of opposition protesters in central Harare being violently suppressed by Zimbabwean armed forces tore through social media. The protestors had gathered to oppose the election results showing a win in parliament for the ruling Zanu-PF party and were met by fleets of armored vehicles and soldiers alleged to be using live firepower.


George Karekwaivanane, an academic researcher reached in Harare told OkayAfrica,

"I was in town from around 12 midday and then left around 4:30 pm when the police and the army started clearing people out. I was initially following the protests at the MDC headquarters then I heard gunshots further down and I went to the fourth street area.

There was a lot of excitement in the atmosphere, the police vans were parked close by and people were toyi toying up and down the stretch of Nelson Mandela near the headquarters. What was remarkable about the scene was the protest and the close proximity of dozens of police vans and the infamous water cannons which in the past were a signal to flee."

Zivaishe, a student currently in Harare who preferred not to give her last name, told us that she has been keeping up with the news from messages and photos being circulated by friends on Whatsapp.

"Shots are going down in town right now. They are taking down all the Mnangagwa billboards by hand and the army has taken out the tanks. Police are beating demonstrators. The family is glued to the telly, and don't want anyone to leave because they might announce the presidential elections tonight and they fear a curfew. Anyone 'congregating illegally' will be arrested," she said.


She is one of many Harare residents who are waiting inside, away from the protests anxiously waiting for the results of the presidential poll. When I asked her if these protests seemed different from previous elections she responded,

"I think people are really angry but now feel like they have nothing to lose. Even when I went to the rally and was in town over the weekend, everyone was speaking freely, wearing MDC party regalia, actually stopping journalists and allowing then to film and take quotes. So this time there is a sense that Zanu and ZEC can't get away with this again."

The election results are anticipated to be coming out tomorrow and the army has been clearing people out of the city center in Harare today. Earlier Karekwainane tweeted a photo of a soldier who said to him, "Famba muende. Harare haisi majority. Majority iri kumusha" (Walk away. Harare is not the majority. The majority is in the rural areas).


Karekwainane continues, "We haven't heard anything about a curfew as yet, but several people were not planning to come to work tomorrow. I think the security forces are likely to be deployed across Harare tomorrow especially as the presidential results are going to start being announced soon."

**These photos have not been verified.


What is Going on in Harare?

Images of violence breaking out in Harare are flooding social media, we reached out to hear from those in Harare.



Music
Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

Photo credits: Deeds Art

Tems Is Just Doing Her Thang In New Music Video 'Crazy Tings'

The Nigerian songstress is hell bent on taking over your summer playlist and it's getting harder to resist.

It has been a fantastic year for Tems. The Nigerian singer, producer, and songwriter achieved a platinum record for eternal banger Essence, her collaboration with fellow Nigerian superstar Wizkid, an MTV EMA nomination for Best African Artist, a billion worldwide video views, and over 350 million audio streams. Not to mention featuring on Canadian rapper Drake's blowout album Certified Lover Boy, the singer has also sold out every show she's booked.

The release of Tems's sophomore EP If Orange Was a Place solidified her place amongst the greats and it was received with gusto by fans and international audiences. A month after the release the Afrobeats singer has graced fans with a sultry music video to go along with equally as tantalizing lead single Crazy Tings. Conceptualized by the multitalented Tems, and directed by UAX, the music video follows a sensual Tems as she sings about needing space from a lying partner.

International audiences continue to rave over the songstress, with Tems delivering an impressive US TV debut on late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! this month. Essence continues to top international charts. While becoming the official song of the summer, the track peaked on the Billboard 100 Top 10, becoming the most Shazamed song in the United States and was remixed by Canadian musical heavyweight Justin Bieber, becoming the first song written by Nigerian artists to hit No.1 on Urban Radio.

Tems has been producing consistent hits since her debut in September 2020, and a year later, the singer's immense talent is securing her reputation as a world-class superstar.

Check out Tem's music video for single 'Crazy Tings' below

Tems - Crazy Tings (Official Video) www.youtube.com

News Brief
Image: Getty

Eswatini Is Trying To Dethrone Africa's Last Standing King

Africa's last absolute monarchy is being challenged by pro-democracy protests and an army of youths ready to fight back.

Pro-democracy protests in Southern African country Eswatini (previously Swaziland) have intensified as police and army forces meet unarmed protesters with tear gas and water cannons. National anger and dissatisfaction with King Mswati III are not revolutionary and have been building up for years. Advocates say that the 53-year-old ruler has consistently ignored cries for reform and a move towards a democratic political system. Protests have been going on since June, however, the violence has increased in recent weeks.

For years, King Mswati has boasted a lavish life filled with private planes, expensive vacations, and designer clothing. He has ruled over Eswatini since 1986. King Mswati has denied the accusations of autocratic rule and of using public money to fund his lifestyle for years. In July, he called protests against his ruling "satanic" and bemoaned that the protests have taken the country backward.

This year's protests were sparked by Eswatini students, who wanted better learning conditions, free education, as well as a demand for political reform. The army was sent to "intimidate, but that has not deterred the students," Lucky Lukhele, spokesman for the pro-democracy Swaziland Solidarity Network, told the AFP news agency. On Saturday, the government shut down its schools "indefinitely with immediate effect" as the country faces a wave of protests. At least 28 people have been killed with countless arrests having been made throughout the weeks.

The King owns shares in all of the country's telecoms Eswatini shut the internet down for 2 hours over the weekend, and MTN Eswatini and other mobile network operators revealed that they have been told to suspend access to Facebook and its messenger app until further notice. "The business has implemented the directive and access to Facebook and Facebook Messenger has been suspended. ... We will continue engaging with the relevant stakeholders to minimize the impact and duration of the service disruption," MTN Eswatini said in a statement. They did not say why it had been told to suspend access to Facebook.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who currently chairs the security organ of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), has ordered high-level representatives to fly to Eswatini to meet with the King to discuss "security and political developments".

Young Swazis have taken to Twitter to share their views on the matter:

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#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.