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.

Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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Still taken from music video on YouTube.

Joeboy Shares Visuals for New Track 'Lonely'

Joeboy has dropped the music video for his latest track 'Lonely'. The endearing track features on his upcoming debut album 'Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic'.

Nigerian artist Joeboy has dropped the visuals for his latest track "Lonely". The new song features on his upcoming debut album Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic which is set to be released on February 4th of this year. The debut album is the official follow-up to Joeboy's debut Love & Light EP which he released back in 2019.
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(Photo by Antoine Gyori/AGP/Corbis via Getty Images)

Tunisian Protests Enter Fourth Consecutive Day

Protesters in Tunisia have been holding anti-government demonstrations for the past four days against the worsening socio-economic crisis in the country.

Protests in Tunisia have entered their fourth consecutive day. Hundreds of Tunisians are leading protests across various regions of the country in response to the worsening economic and social crisis. The army has since been called in since the protests began and at least 630 arrests have reportedly been made including that of human rights activist, Hamza Nassri Jeridi. International human rights body Amnesty International has called for Jeridi's release in addition to condemning footage of army officials using excessive force.
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