News Brief

Zimbabwean Students Studying in Russia Continue To Struggle Due to Lack of Promised Support from Their Government

Students take to Twitter recounting the adversity they are facing due to the Zimbabwean government not holding their end of the Russian Government Scholarship agreement.

Zimbabwean students pursuing higher education in Russia are fed up.

About 360 students have been studying abroad in the country either by private arrangements or via the Russian Government Scholarship—a bilateral training agreement between Russia and Zimbabwe's Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education. According to a thread from the students on Twitter, the scholarship promised tuition be covered by Russia, whereas living expenses, visas, medical insurance and transport costs are to be covered by Zimbabwe.

They have yet to see any support from their home country—which in turn has left them starving, struggling with Russia's harsh winter climate and taking desperate measures to make ends meet, forcing some students to stop their studies.






This is not the first time Zimbabwean students studying in Russia have pleaded for their government to hold up their end of the scholarship agreement. Reports from Zimbabwean media going back as far as 2016 say the students have yet to be issued living stipends, despite the government claiming that they've done so.

In January, student representatives Fraternity Makande and Artwell Muzata met with President Emmerson Mnangagwa to address the matter, according to The Chronicle. Mnangagwa promised the students that the government will start issuing the backlog of living expenses—which now amounts to $600,000—over the course of three months. Although the president's spokesperson says he's very sympathetic to the student's concerns, students remain unhopeful as they have yet to see any funds from government now that it's February.


Read the rest of the thread here.

OkayAfrica has reached out to the ZimStudentsRussia Twitter page for comment and will update as soon as a response is received.

(Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Rejoice! WhatsApp Places New Restrictions on Chain Messages to Fight Fake News

To combat the spread of misinformation due to the coronavirus outbreak, users are now restricted from sharing frequently forwarded messages to more than one person.

The rise of the novel coronavirus has seen an increase in the spread of fake news across social media sites and platforms, particularly WhatsApp—a platform known as a hotbed for the forwarding of illegitimate chain messages and conspiracy theories (if you have African parents, you're probably familiar). Now the Facebook-owned app is setting in place new measures to try and curb the spread of fake news on its platform.

The app is putting new restrictions on message forwarding which will limit the number of times a frequently forwarded message can be shared. Messages that have been sent through a chain of more than five people can only subsequently be forwarded to one person. "We know many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful," announced the app in a blog post on Tuesday. "In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public moments of support for frontline health workers."

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News Brief

Sarkodie Hits Hard With His Latest Single 'Sub Zero'

The Ghanaian heavyweight rapper shows up with the fire bars over an Altra Nova-produced beat.

Sarkodie has dropped a new aggressive track in the shape of "Sub Zero."

"Sub Zero" follows the star Ghanaian rapper as he throws back criticisms that have come his way from other rappers with his own ice cold flow. The new track was produced by Ghanaian beatmaker Altra Nova and mixed by PEE On Da BeaT.

"Sub Zero" follows Sarkodie's turn-up single "Bumper," which dropped bak in February.

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

8 South African Hip-Hop Battles We’d Love to Watch

After Tweezy and Gemini Major's battle, we'd like to see these ones next.

Last week, Gemini Major and Tweezy, two of South African hip-hop's super producers hopped on the trend of the Instagram Live beat battle started by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, amidst the lockdown enforced to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much to the delight of fans and industry mates alike, Tweezy and Gemini Major showcased their best productions, with many realizing and marveling at the fact that they're the two foremost producers responsible for multiple hits in the South African hip-hop industry for the past 10 years.

South Africa's hip-hop scene has a wide range of producers who have shaped the sound of the country's scene over the years since the 90s and 2000s, to the current crop. Taking that into account, we bring you eight pairs of producers we would like to see go against each other in an IG Live beat battle.


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