News Brief

Zimbabwean Police Are Using Violence to Disperse Peaceful Protesters

Authorities in Harare are allegedly enforcing a ban issued by the country's High Court on anti-government protests.

Yesterday, the Zimbabwean police announced that they were issuing an order banning the anti-government protests organized by the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Currently led by Nelson Chamisa, the MDC attempted to file an appeal with the High Court to have the ban revoked but failed. Although the party then called off the intended protests early this morning, there were already scores of MDC supporters who had turned up in the central business district of Harare today. They were subsequently dispersed with tear gas, water canons and beaten by the police, TimesLive reports.


The MDC's deputy leader, Tendai Biti, has described the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) government under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa as "fascist", according to the BBC. Biti added that, "The constitution guarantees the right to demonstration...yet this fascist regime has denied and proscribed this right to the people of Zimbabwe."

A protester, who was injured during the dispersal of the crowd, told the AFP that, "This is worse than during colonial times. We aren't armed but the police just beat us while we are sitting on the street."

Zimbabwe has been facing endless political and economic turmoil that has resulted in increasing levels of poverty, unemployment, an unstable currency, shortages in food and fuel coupled with exorbitant prices of the little that is at times available. Earlier this year in January, hundreds of Zimbabweans took to the streets in a nationwide shutdown to protest Mnangagwa's rule after he announced crippling fuel hikes.

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Photo by Jekesai Njikizana

Zimbabwean Author Tsitsi Dangarembga Found Guilty of Instigating Violence

The renowned novelist was given a suspended prison sentence for her role in staging a peaceful civil rights protest.

Celebrated Zimbabwean author, award-winning film maker, and cultural activist Tsitsi Dangarembga has been given a suspended prison sentence after she was found guilty for inciting violence by the masses after she planned a peaceful protests to demand political reform. Dangarembga, who is also an activist, was initially arrested in 2020.


In 2020 Dangarembga, along with another activist, Julie Barnes, got arrested while holding placards calling on the government to reform some of it's policies and release investigative journalist Hopewell Chin'ono, who was also accused of inciting violence for speaking out against the Zimbabwean government. In addition to receiving a suspended sentence, Dangarembga and Barnes were each charged 70,000 Zimbabwean dollars, which is an equivalent of $217.39 USD.

Dangarembga's six-month jail term was suspended for the next five years on the condition that she would not repeat what happened. Since news of the event broke, PEN International has since shared a statement condemning the actions, and calling the conviction a "mockery of justice." In 2021, Dangarembga was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize by English PEN. In the same year, Dangarembga, became the first Black woman to win the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.

Since news of the verdict broke, several social media users also went online to share their thoughts on the recent development, with many supporting Dangarembga, and others agreeing with the verdict.

Last month, we spoke to Dangarembga about this case and her work. She told us:

"I think the state targets dissenting voices. Some of those dissenting voices are women’s voices... I think the effect of taking action against women is particularly shocking because women’s dissident voices are usually not violent. Peaceful protest is a constitutional right in Zimbabwe.”

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Photo by: Robert Okine

Fans Want Davido's 'FEM' To Be Nominated For the 'Social Change' Grammy

During the #EndSARS movement, Davido's 'FEM' became an unlikely rally battle cry. Now, Nigerians want to see the song get an accolade for its role in one of Nigeria's most talked about protests in recent time.


Earlier this year, The Recording Academy announced that it would be releasing new categories under its award sections, and one of these songs included was for Best Song for Social Change.

Davido fans have caught on to this change. And they are now pushing for "FEM" to be one of the songs nominated. In a recent Twitter frenzy, a bevy of Davido fans are saying that the Nigerian Afrobeats singer deserves the award for his song, which became an unexpected call to arms for the #EndSARS coalition. According to the Academy, the determining criteria for the "Best Song for Social Change" category would be based on the principle that the song inspired some form of social good that benefitted the general public, and Nigerian Twitter seems to think Davido's controversial record fits the bill. Many people are taking their opinions a step further by submitting their votes to the Recording Academy's website in droves.

Following the tragedy of the October 20, 2020 protests at Lekki toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria, the #EndSARS conversation continues to leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many Nigerians. The movement sparked global outrage after a group of young people across Nigeria took to the streets calling for the end of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). During this time, Davido's "FEM," became the unanimous battlecry for the social justice initiative.

The word "FEM" translates into "shut up," and although the "Stand Strong" singer did not intend for the song to be linked to the campaign, according to his statement to NME, it essentially became a voice for the mega rallies for justice. Later that year, the ongoing protests, which started out mildly, triggered members of SARS to respond with lethal force and eventually culminated to deaths at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos.

On the wide spectrum, while many Nigerians pointed out that the song might have been recorded in an unrelated cause, a multiple fans agree that it played an unforgettable part in the history of one of Nigeria's biggest protests in recent time. In addition to his voice being associated with the political outcry, Davido also joined protesters to denounce the effects of SARS on the lives of Nigerian youth in multiple vivd photos shared online at the time. Below are some of the reactions that some Twitter users had to the recent development.

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Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Africa was Well Represented At The 2023 Grammys​

The West's biggest night in music started off with a bang, a snub, and a whole lot of shimmer.

Music's big night out brought out some of Africa's biggest and brightest to lend their glamour to the red carpet.

Here are the African musicians attending the 2023 Grammy Awards:

Tems

Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

The world belongs to Tems, baby! The Nigerian songstress becomes the first female Nigerian artist to win a Grammy award as she scooped her Best Melodic Rap Performance win alongside American rapper Future and Drake on their hit collab 'Wait For U'. Draped in a custom Viviane Westwood evening gown, the singer continues to break records as she adds the latest win to her abundant collection.

Trevor Noah 

Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

South African comedian Trevor Noah was tasked with keeping tonight's crowd entertained and in order during the ceremony at Los Angeles's Crypto.com arena.

Rocky Dawuni

Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Ghanaian singer-songwriter Rocky Dawuni brought along his beautiful daughter Safiyah Dawuni to celebrate his nominated single "Neva Bow Down" featuring Jamaican Blvk H3ro. The two-time Grammy-nominated musician lost out on this year's award for Best Global Music Performance.

Yola 

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

British-born Ghanaian Barbadian singer-songwriter Yola attends the award show for her work in the 2022 musical/drama hit Elvis.

Zakes Bantwini, Nomcebo Zikode, Wouter Kellerman

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Halala! South African threesome Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini, and Nomcebo Zikodeshowed up to snag this year's Best Global Music Performance award for their hit single "Bayethe." The collaborator's win set the internet ablaze as they beat Africa's Giant, Nigerian artist Burna Boy.

Doja Cat 

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Doja Cat is clearly having a ball with her fashion sense lately, this time, the "Woman" songstress channeled her inner femme fatale in a black leather look by Versace. The singer was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Record of The Year, Best Music Video, Best Rap Performance, and Best Solo Performance.

Eddy Kenzo

Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Ugandan singer Eddy Kenzo waved the flag proudly this Sunday as he attended as the country's first Grammy nominee to date. The crooner missed out on this year's Best Global Music Performance award for his track "Gimme Love" with American rapper Matt B, but we trust the Masaka-born star will be back with a vengeance.

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Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Nomcebo Zikode, Zakes Bantwini & Wouter Kellerman Win Grammy Award For Best Global Music Performance

The South African artists won for their song "Bayethe" award at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony.


South African artists Nomcebo Zikode, Zakes Bantwini, and Wouter Kellerman, and scored a win for their hit song "Bayethe" at this year's Grammy Awards ceremony.

The three SA artists won over Nigeria’s Burna Boy, Uganda’s Eddy Kenzo, USA’s Matt B, Ghana's Rocky Dawuni, and Pakistan's Arooj Aftab in theBest Global Music Performance category at the Grammy Awards.

The South African winning trio consists of Nomcebo Zikode, who is renowned as the singer in "Jerusalema," singer, record producer and singer Zakes Bantwini, and celebrated flutist, producer and composerWouter Kellerman.

According to ZALebs, during a prestigious Grammy's brunch dedicated to African nominees a day before the award show, both Zikode and Bantwini expressed excitement about the potential win. According to the publication Zikode had stated that she felt like she had already won the award.

“I’m hoping that South African people are going to be proud of me, we’re hoping to take this one but hey, if we don’t take it, it’s OK, I feel like I’m a winner already,” Zikode said at the time.

This is the first time Zikode and Bantwini win a Grammy. Kellerman won the award in 2015 for his album Winds of Samsara.

Previously, some controversy surrounded the song "Bayethe," with OkayAfrica reporting reporting that Zikode would be taking Open Mic Records to court after the singer alleged that the South African record label had told Spotify to take down the song over an intellectual property dispute. It is unclear where the lawsuit currently lies.

Several fans of the record took to social media to gleefully congratulate the South African artists for the accolade.

Watch the music video for the Grammy-winning "Bayethe" below.

“Nomcebo & Zakes just won a GRAMMY for Bayethe 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🌎🌎🌎🌎🌎🌎🌎🌎🌎🌎🌎🌎 #Grammys2023 #Nomcebo #Zakes #Bayethe”

Watch the music video for the Grammy-Winning "Bayethe" below.

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