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The 62nd edition of the Miss South Africa pageant, Hosted by South African actress, Tv personality Nomzamo Mbatha held on Saturday, October 24, at The table bay hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. Shudufhadzo Musida was crowned Miss South Africa 2020.

Musida’s win comes as no surprise as she was voted “fan favourite” from the top 10 contestants announced last year in August. The 24-year-old has already taken to the road with radio interviews and is Miss South Africa’s first crowned bald beauty.

She was crowned with the Ubuhle Bethungo Lenkosazana which means “Beauty in the rainbow” in  the Zulu language. The crown is said to represent  the diversity of South Africa and is embellished with thousands of Zirconia stones.

Tall and voluptuous, Musida started modelling from the age of 17 and has previously worked with international companies Eucerin and Woolworths. She has also featured in Vogue Italia’s catalogue shoots. While Miss South Africa has an extensive modelling portfolio, it is current Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi who inspired Musida to enter Miss South Africa. Tunzi’s beautiful dark skin and edgy haircut broke history by being the first Black Miss South Africa to win without hair extensions. Musida took it a step further by going completely bald.Shudufhadzo Musida

The bald look is one favoured by both sexes in South Africa and is affectionately known as chiskop. Black South Africans are known for being militant about challenging Eurocentric beauty standards. It is South African’s Black beauty advocacy that saw an insensitive hair advert targeted at Black people pulled out due to public backlash. The infamous TRESemme hair advert described Black African hair as “damaged” and “dry” whilst Caucasian hair was described as “fine” and “normal”. Tunzi took to her public platform to slam the company and local beauty store Clicks for running the ad which had evident racist undertones.

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Musida is currently studying towards an honours degree in International Relations from the University of Witwatersrand. Congratulations have been pouring in from prominent South Africans and followers of Musida’s journey. She takes over the reins from Miss South Africa 2019 Sasha-Lee Olivier. The first and second runners-up are Tato Moselle and Natasha Joubert.

The Crowned Miss South Africa 2020 is passionate about Mental health awareness and the economic and educational empowerment of women and children.

We are definitely looking forward to seeing her do greater things!

 

President Donald Trump on Monday said Sudan will be removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism if it follows through on its pledge to pay $330 million to American terror victims and their families, but some hurt in the attacks weren’t happy with the deal.

The compensation is for alleged terrorist attacks on US embassies in both Tanzania and Kenya in 2008. BBC reports that Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok confirmed that the funds have been transferred and is “awaiting confirmation of receipt” from the US. The country is still reeling from over 17 years of civil wars and has been unable to engage in international trade due to having been blacklisted by the US.

Trump tweeted: “GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan!”

Gen. Abdel-Farrah Burhan, head of Sudan’s ruling sovereign council, welcomed Trump’s announcement as a “constructive step.” He said in a tweet the removal would come “in recognition of the historic change that has taken place in Sudan.”

Sudan is on a fragile path to democracy after a popular uprising last year led the military to overthrow autocratic leader Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. A military-civilian government now rules the country, with elections possible in late 2022.

In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said getting off the list would help his government benefit from debt relief and access foreign loans and investments, which are seen as the country’s gateway to economic recovery. The country has more than $60 billion in foreign debt, he said.

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“It’s a long way,” he said. “It needs serious planning and hard work to achieve the maximum benefit of this opportunity.”

Once the compensation money has been deposited, Trump is to sign an order removing Sudan from the terrorism list, on which it has languished under heavy American sanctions for 27 years.

Twitter responses have been contrary to Hamdok’s optimism about the payment opening doors for Sudan. Many believe the payment should not have been made in the first place.

Felabration, the annual festival of music and arts commemorating the life and times of Africa’s foremost musical icon, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

This year’s edition themed, ‘Fight to Finish, Fight to Win’ is scheduled to hold virtually from 15 to 17 October.

Due to the COVID-19 realities, the organizers decided to go ahead with the event, adapting to the “new norm.” Felabration 2020 will be running for three days, (not for a week as in the past) on different internet platforms that include, Zoom, Facebook, Youtube, Hip Tv and others.

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This year’s musical guests include Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Made Kuti, Niniola, Wande Coal, Joeboy, Antibalas, WurlD and more, who are all on deck to get the crowds moving.

Organised by the Felabration Organising Committee, the week-long musical event is on it’s 22nd trip around the sun, as it was first organised and celebrated by Kuti’s eldest daughter, Yeni, in 1998. And since 2005, the annual event has transformed into seven days of connecting through concerts, carnival parades, lectures, film screenings, art exhibitions, seminars and workshops, all in varying spaces across Lagos. While the festival originated in Fela Kuti’s home country, it quickly became a global celebration as the US, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and many other countries joined in in later years.

Over two decades after his passing, Kuti’s influences are still clear as day through the growth of the music festival. And his political messages still ring in the ears of those closest to him and his art, “My father’s political views were expressed in his music”, his daughter Yeni says, “You can’t divorce the two. You cannot honour Fela without recognising his social and political activism at the same time.” And the emphasis on ‘Symposium’ this year highlights the importance of African conversations with speakers like Her Excellency Arikana Chihombori Quao, Dr. Vincent Magombe, Dele Farotimi and Kweku Mandelalending their voices towards the conversation around “Colomentality”.

 

Felabration 2020

You can Join the Felabration Symposium here

 

 

 

#EndSARS: How it started Vs How it’s going

Written By Itty Okim

Gently lying underneath the uproar, arrogance and agitation – barely an inch below the angry, excited and aggressive surface – is the brokenness of Nigerian people. Both at home and in diaspora, the entire planet has almost become inhabitable for Nigerians and Black people as a whole due to phenomena including racism, bad governance and this which got to number one on global Twitter’s list of trending issues – police brutality.

 

“…only for them to waste my son. There was no war, there was no fight, there was no riot,” lamented the father of a twenty year old boy who was killed by some policemen in Rivers state in a video that recently resurfaced on the internet. “…not that he was stealing or robbing. Just cold-bloodedly, they wasted this boy for me,” he said, this time with tears rolling down his eyes as he appealed to his God to avenge the unnecessary, gruesome death of his son.

 

The (Federal) Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) is a suspended unit of the Nigerian police force that is notoriously known for brutalising innocent Nigerians; especially the youth and any young person who showed some level of wealth or happened to posses gadgets like iPhones, expensive laptops and jewellery, designer clothes or a flashy car. There have been so many riots and protests recorded since 2016 by Nigerians who couldn’t bear the injustice and unjust killings of Nigeria’s future.

Apparently, the end of SARS is not the end of Nigeria’s problems. After each protest since 2016, the unit has been ‘disbanded’ officially, but the officers still went about, carrying their “normal” activities of oppressing young Nigerians. The same “disbanding” was announced by the Inspector General of Police on Sunday 11 October, but Nigerian youth do not seem to be having it this time. They have created a list of five things they demand from the federal government of Nigeria concerning police reform and foundations for a better Nigeria.

Nigeria: Protesters demand scrapping SARS police unit

With fire in their eyes and an obviously very willing heart, Nigerians have refused to back down in this fight as peaceful protests are still being organized nationwide – regardless of the fact that some of the demonstrators have been killed by some members of the police by stray bullets. The hot water dispensed by the police on the protesters as a method of crowd control doesn’t seem to be quenching their hunger for a better nation. They have promised to keep up their campaign seeking justice for victims of police brutality and an overhaul of the security apparatus, even as authorities announced the immediate disbanding of a notorious anti-robbery unit that has long been accused of grave human rights abuses.

The end of SARS might not be the end of corruption and bad governance in the federation, but the unity and togetherness expressed by the protesters (mostly millennials and Gen Z-ers) is capable of redeeming Africa and the entire world from its ills.

 

Yet, SARS must go.

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Itty Okim is a Nigerian entertainment writer and Gen Z socio-cultural promoter. He lives in Lagos and takes PR for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You can find him on twitter and instagram – @ittyokim

 

Namibia: Demonstrators hit the streets of Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, to protest against gender-based violence following the brutal murder of a woman was discovered this week.

The body of Shannon Wasserfall, 22, who went missing six months ago,
was discovered in a shallow grave in Walvis Bay, according to BBC News.

Police found Wasserfall’s body after her father, Tega Mathews, shared a text message he received revealing the location of his late daughter’s remains

Protestors gathered in the city center before marching to the Windhoek Central Police Station and Ministry of Justice on Independence Avenue, before settling outside of Namibia’s parliament building.

Shannon’s uncle Raymond Wasserfall said the demonstrations were to press for more decisive police action in Namibia in GBV and human trafficking cases.

“We will hand a petition over to the mayor. There needs to be some pressure on the police. A lot is happening – especially with human trafficking. Many women are being violated. We need change,” he said.

Black Women and Sacrifice

Gender-based violence has been a burning issue for the country. Namibian Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila revealed that police received 107,403 reports of gender-based violence between 2014 and July 2018.

Earlier this year, Hendrick Olivier, the chief inspector of the police’s Gender-based Violence Protection Unit in Windhoek, told reporters that the unit receives between 200 and 300 reports of cases under the Domestic Violence Act each month.

“It was devastating,” Mathews told The Namibian. “My hope was that she would be found. We hoped for the best, but also prepared for the worst …” he said.

National Unity Democratic Organisation secretary-general Joseph Kauandenge believes that the mindset that women belong to their male counterparts is the main drive behind the violence.

“Our society needs redirection and this must start with deliberate programs at primary school to rewire our young people towards a culture of treating [women] as their equals and people to be protected,” he said.

As the battle to bring Wasserfall’s killers to justice continues, local police announced on Thursday morning that a woman has been brought in for questioning in connection with her murder.

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SARS is a branch of the Nigerian police under the criminal investigating department (CID).

The CID is the highest investigating arm of the Nigerian police force.

Many states in Nigeria had a special force tackling violent crimes like kidnapping and armed robbery.

SARS developed from these different forces and now has a nationwide decree under Nigeria’s federal police force to confront violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping and communal clashes.

Nigerian social media has recently been flooded with stories of indiscriminate arrests, torture and even murder by SARS operatives.

Today , the hashtag #ENDSARS is trending worldwide on social media.

The protesters stormed police headquarters across the country with placards inscribed with #Endsars, ‘Nigeria police stop killing us’, and ‘say no to brutal injustice’ among others.

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The Nigeria Police Force is in desperate need of a reform, but so is our idea of power and the responsibilities that come with it. Our military past has not been very helpful, it shows in the way citizens relate with politicians — the one who should serve becomes the one who is served, the people answer to the politicians and not the other way around. This call to #EndSARS is the beginning of a long walk, one that will take decades of angry protests — from citizens who are fed up of being treated as less than they are — and systemic reforms. Police trainings and assessments need to be looked at and reinforced, the force needs more funding than it has gotten in the past, policemen have to become more professional and realise what is at stake if they’re not, erring police officers need to be sanctioned based on the gravity of their offences. A lot needs to be done, but it is good that a movement has begun.

 

 

Women’s rights activists in Botswana are applauding the government’s decision to allow wives to own land alongside her husband. Women’s groups say the action allows women to be independent in marriages and also have the same rights to land as any other person

On Thursday, President Mokgweetsi Masisi amended a 2015 Land Policy which stopped wives from owning land if their husbands already owned property.

“The Botswana Land Policy 2015 was discriminatory against married women and did not give them equal treatment with men, and I am happy to report that this discriminatory sub-section has since been repealed,” the president said at a virtual briefing.

Before it celebrates its 55th anniversary of independence from British rule in November 2021, the prosperous West Indies nation will make history by becoming the first country in almost three decades to sever ties with the British royal family and become a republic.

Queen Elizabeth II, who is the head of state in the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, will be dropped as monarch by Barbados next year. The Caribbean nation will be the first country in nearly 30 years to make such a move, but they are more than ready.

“The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind,” Barbados Governor General Sandra Mason said in a speech on Tuesday. “Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.”

The plan is to be fully sovereign by the country’s 55th anniversary of its independence next November, and it is something that can definitely be achieved.

According to CNN, a spokesperson for the royals informed them that the process is in the hands of Barbados and its citizens. Such moves have been made in the past, with Mauritius being the last to do so in 1992.

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Why Barbados wants to become a republic

After Barbados became independent in 1966 after 341 years of British rule, it chose to retain a formal link with the British royal family, as did other self-governing Commonwealth nations such as Canada and Australia.

However, the decision to not sever ties completely was not without controversy, and even the first prime minister of Barbados, Errol Barrow, said that the country should not “loiter on colonial premises”. In 1998, a constitutional review commission in the country recommended that Barbados become a republic. Before Prime Minister Mottley, the move was also championed by her predecessor Freundel Stuart.

So, this week’s announcement does not come as a surprise to Britain, and both the British royal family and the UK foreign ministry have reacted by saying that the decision was up to the people of Barbados.

The Caribbean nation is, however, expected to remain a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the 54-nation club of mostly former British colonies which is led by the queen, and includes India.

The Governor-General of Barbados, who represents the Queen at formal events, said in the Tuesday speech on behalf of the nation’s ruling government, “Barbadians want a Barbadian Head of State. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving. Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a Republic by the time we celebrate our 55th Anniversary of Independence.”