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Zimbabweans React to Robert Mugabe's Surprise Press Conference

On the day before Zimbabwe's election, the ousted former leader announced that he will not vote for his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Robert Mugabe announced, in a surprise press conference on Sunday, that he would not be voting for his successor, and the current leader of the party he founded, Emmerson Mnangagwa in tomorrow's election.

"I cannot vote for those who tormented me," he said. "I will make my choice among the other 22 [candidates]."

The 94-year-old ousted leader expressed support for Mnangagwa's main rival, Nelson Chamisa, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)—Zanu-PF's main opposition party—instead, referring to him as "the only viable candidate." During the address, he also addresses rumors that he planned to have his wife, Grace Mugabe take over, calling them "utter nonsense."

Mugabe said that he hoped to see democratic processes fully restored in the country. "I hope the choice of voting tomorrow will throw, thrust away the military government and bring us back to constitutionality," said Mugabe later in the press conference.

"Let tomorrow be the voice of the people to say never again shall we experience a period where the army is used to thrust one person into power," he added.


The irony of such sentiments coming from Mugabe—who was in office for 37 long years—is not lost on Zimbabwean's who've been responding to the his statements on social media all morning.









Over 5 million Zimbabweans will head to the polls on Monday in a historic election—the first since the ousting Mugabe last November. First-time voters under 30 are expected to carry the election, which could represent a new tide in Zimbabwean politics, reports BBC Africa.

Writer Tadiwa Madenga breaks down how the realities of Zimbabwean politics affects members of the diaspora "Seems It's Always a Farce: Zimbabweans in the Diaspora on Trying to Participate in the Upcoming Elections."

Photo: Mainimo Etienne

The Rwandan Woman Who Made Football History

We talked to Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga, who is the first woman to officiate a match in the Africa Cup of Nations' 65-year history.

On the 18th of January, 2022, a woman stepped into the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé, Cameroon, whistle in hand, a walkie-talkie tucked behind her shorts. Taking up her post as central referee for the Zimbabwe-Guinea game, she would make history as the first woman to officiate a match in the Africa Cup of Nations. Chit-chat occupied the stands, as spectators waited for the curtains to be drawn at 17:00 hours for the match to begin. Whispers of “Hope she will deliver,” could be heard, as Salima Mukansanga prepared to take to the field.

During the match, some spectators counted the 34 yellow cards she handed out at the end; others found her soft and tender with no serious refereeing issues in the game. Mukansanga leads a quartet of women match officials for this year's AFCON, with Carine Atemzabong, from Cameroon, Fatiha Jermoumi and Bouchra Karboubi, both from Morocco, present as assistant referees. Until this year’s tournament, in its 65-year history, an all-women team of refereeing officials had yet to be designated for an Africa Cup of Nations match.

With this accomplishment, 35-year-old Mukansanga has emerged as a trailblazer for other women who aspire to step out and break sporting bounds. Her role in this year’s tournament signals a major moment in the development of women refereeing in football, on the continent and for the sport as a whole.

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Music

Adekunle Gold Teases Upcoming Album With New Single "Mercy"

The Nigerian afropop crooner has fans sitting in anticipation for his new album, due out February 4.

Afropop favorite Adekunle Gold is back on our minds with the announcement that his upcoming album Catch Me If You Can is out in a week! The Nigerian superstar has already teased fans with tracks "High" featuring Davido, "Sinner" featuring American singer Lucky Daye, and now shares his latest "Mercy."

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Image courtesy of Spinall.

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Spinall x Adekunle Gold, Ibibio Sound Machine, Turunesh and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Madelyn Bonilla On Being The AfroLatina Representation Her Younger Self Needed

Bonilla, the founder of online community Brown Narrativ, spoke with us about how her experiences as an AfroLatina woman in NYC’s Bronx led her to write and direct her debut film, Pajón.