News Brief

The Long Wait for Election Results Provokes Fear of Rigging in Zimbabwe

Why is it taking so long to get some answers?

In the suspiciously long wait for election results in Zimbabwe, Nelson Chamisa and Emmerson Mngangagwa are both sure they are winners.

Old habits die hard. It's been difficult to believe the promises from Zanu-PF that this election will be fair, yet Zimbabweans tried their best to vote yesterday. While international attention has made it harder for rigging to exist, there are still familiar stories about people showing up to vote and being told there is an "error" in their registration, of Zanu-PF taking too long to share results, and of the threat that there won't be a peaceful transfer of power if MDC wins.




Earlier today, Tendai Biti had a press conference where he expressed concerns about election rigging. Calling Zanu-PF the "merchants of chaos and bishops of electoral fraud," he said that 21% of V11 forms that give reports on polling stations have not been released.

Adding concerns for his safety Biti said, "Chiwenga has issued an assassination order of Biti and Chamisa... We are reliably informed."

While politicians have been throwing around accusations all elections season, the history of violence against the opposition of Zanu-PF makes these claims hard to ignore. It seems that MDC has decided to be proactive and pressure ZEC to release results faster than they might intend to.



It's been a disorienting couple of days, and it's been made more confusing by the ways that each side has proclaimed a victory. Biti is already calling Chamisa "President Chamisa" and Chamisa tweeted "Winning resoundingly....We've done exceedingly well." Clearly the strategy for each side is maintaining their political bravado and insisting that they have won despite the fact that most people have been unsure about the outcome of this election.

There can only be one winner though, and according to BBC, ZEC has until Saturday to offer the results.




Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

ProVerb’s Memoir Is A Huge Slap In The Face To South African Hip-Hop

In his memoir, one of South Africa's revered lyricists ProVerb and his co-author compromise his rich story with trite motivational talk.

The Book of Proverb

ProVerb has had a strange relationship with the SA hip-hop scene. Albeit being one of the most gifted lyricists the country has ever seen, he has grown to flow less and hustle more. Despite this, his name still comes up when the greatest (South) African rappers of all time are mentioned. MTV Base placed him as the 7th in their list of the greatest SA MCs of all time in 2018 for example.

The rapper-turned-media personality dedicates a paragraph of his memoir, The Book of Proverb, to explaining his complicated relationship with hip-hop. "Although I built my brand as a hip-hop artist, I never enjoyed full support or success from it," he writes. "Music is and always will remain a pass ion, but it stopped being viable when it stopped making business sense to me. If I was given more support, I might continue, but for now, I'll focus on my other hustles."

On the cover of the book which was released towards the end of 2020 by Penguin, Verb is wearing a charcoal blazer and sporting a white ball cap, so one can be forgiven for getting into it expecting both sides of his story. This memoir, however, is too vague to be a worthy read if you aren't necessarily reading to get motivated but to be simply informed and inspired.

While a few of The Book of ProVerb's chapters touch on his rap career, most of the book is about ProVerb the man, personality and businessman. Not so much one of the country's finest lyricists. This omission is a huge slap in the face for his fans and SA hip-hop fans in general.

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Image by Mark Peckmezian.

Filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr Explores the Sweet Spot Between Nollywood & Hollywood

Winner of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, London-based Nigerian filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr speaks about his experimental film 'Lizard', what belonging looks like and the overlap between Hollywood and Nollywood.

In early February, the jury for the short film competition at the Sundance Film Festival announced the Nigerian film, Lizard, as the winner of the Grand Jury Prize, the highest honour for that category. Thirty-five-year-old Akinola Davies Jr, Lizard's director and co-writer (with his brother Wale, better known as Tec, one half of the rap duo Show Dem Camp) accepted the prize from the United Kingdom, a country he has called home since the age of 13.

Lizard follows the adventures of an eight-year-old girl, Juwon (Pamilerin Ayodeji) who is kicked out of Sunday school service and goes on a tour of the massive compound where she witnesses firsthand the dynamics at play in and around a Lagos Pentecostal megachurch. Davies Jr makes use of elements of magical realism to thrust audiences into the world of this innocent as she grapples with the images she comes in contact with. The film closes out in a climactic act of violence that recalls Davies Jr's memories of growing up in a country under censorship and military dictatorship.

With this Sundance triumph, Davies Jr became the first Nigerian filmmaker to achieve this distinction. However, he is no overnight success though. Born in London and raised in Lagos, the multi-disciplined artist attended school in the English countryside and has been grinding for a while now. The bulk of his creative work—music videos, fashion films, experimental films—have navigated aspects of belonging and existing in some kind of "middle".

In 2017, collaborating with photographer Ruth Ossai and stylist Ibrahim Kamara, Davies Jr paid homage to his Nigerian roots for French luxury brand Kenzo in a video film titled Unity is Strength. He has participated in the Berlinale Talents and opened his first solo show at Art Basel in Switzerland. He is also a prolific music video director, shooting visuals for British acts, Larry B and Mischa Mafia.

We caught up recently with Davies Jr via Zoom from his home in London.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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News Brief
(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Warner Music)

Burna Boy Set to Perform at the Grammys 2021 Premiere Ceremony

The Nigerian star is nominated in the Best Global Music category.

The African giant Burna Boy will perform at the 2021 Grammy pre-show which will be livestreamed on GRAMMY.com at 3 p.m. EST on March 14.

The premiere ceremony will be hosted by Jhene Aiko. It will kick off with an ensemble of previous Grammy nominees including Gregory Porter, Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra, Regina Carter, and Kamasi Washington performing "Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)" in tribute to the late legend Marvin Gaye.

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#LGBTRightsGhana: Ghanaians Rally Support For the LGBT+ Community

Pro-LGBT+ advocacy in Ghana is at an all-time high as members of the community face public backlash.