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Ugandan star among those taking to the airwaves with a message on how to avoid spreading Covid-19

Bobi Wine, a Ugandan musician and rising political force, has joined the likes of footballer-turned-president George Weah in resorting to song to help stem the spread of coronavirus in Africa.

Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, worked with fellow artist Nubian Li to release a song on Wednesday laced with east Africas signature rhumba melodies about the importance of personal hygiene.

The bad news is that everyone is a potential victim, Wine sings. But the good news is that everyone is a potential solution.

The pair exhort people to regularly wash hands, keep a distance and look out for symptoms such as a fever and cough.

Uganda on Wednesday confirmed five more cases of Covid-19, bringing its tally to 14, four days after it recorded its first patient. President Yoweri Musevenis government has already taken a raft of measures including sealing off borders, closing bars, and banning public gatherings to contain the outbreak.

Liberian president Weah also released a six-minute song on Wednesday, called Lets Stand Together and Fight Coronavirus, in which he explains how the virus is spread and urges hand washing to a backing of harmonised female vocals and upbeat guitar music from a group called The Rabbis.

From Europe to America, from America to Africa, take precautions, and be safe, the former football icon sings.

Weahs spokesman Solo Kelgbeh said the president produced a similar song during the Ebola crisis, and that he started working on the new single before coronavirus even reached Liberia.

The song serves a practical purpose, Kelgbeh said. Liberia is a country where a majority of the people dont have access to internet and Facebook, but everyone listens to radio, he said. This song will be played on various radio stations in the country … to have the message spread sufficiently.

The country of 4.8 million people, which has banned travel to and from virus-hit countries, has recorded three coronavirus cases to date. As with other poverty-stricken states in the region, there are fears about Liberias capacity to respond to an outbreak.

The country was the worst affected by the 2014-16 West African Ebola outbreak, when more than 4,800 people died.

In Senegal, activist hip-hop group Yen a Marre have recorded a rap about washing hands, disposing of used tissues and avoiding crowds in their latest release, called Shield against Coronavirus.

Uganda has a history of using music to tackle other outbreaks.

Songs about HIV/Aids by another Ugandan crooner Philly Bongoley Lutaaya helped spread awareness in the 1980s and 90s and bring down sky-high infection rates. He later died of the disease.

Joel Ssenyonyi, Bobi Wines spokesman, told Reuters the singer had distributed press releases on Covid-19 and handed out jerry cans and soap to improve hand washing in communities.

One other creative way of communicating is through music, Ssenyonyi said. Most people love to listen to music so what better way to put across a message than through music.

Reuters and AFP contributed to this report

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/mar/26/sensitise-to-sanitise-bobi-wine-uses-song-to-fight-coronavirus-across-africa

With a voice adored by Bob Dylan, Robert Plant and millions across the Arab world, Umm Kulthum rejected gender norms with her powerful, political music. But can her 90-minute songs work in a new stage musical?

You hear the Umm Kulthum cafe before you see it. Violins swoon and a monumental voice surges from a doorway in Cairos Tawfiqia neighbourhood. Outside, couples smoke shisha on plastic chairs, dwarfed by two immense golden busts depicting the singer known variously as the star of the east, mother of the Arabs and Egypts fourth pyramid.

Umm Kulthum recorded about 300 songs over a 60-year career and her words of love, loss and longing drift reliably from taxis, radios and cafes across the Arab world today, 45 years after her death. Despite singing complex Arabic poetry, she influenced some of the wests greatest singers. Bob Dylan said: Shes great. She really is. Shakira and Beyonc have performed dance routines to her music. Maria Callas called her the incomparable voice.

There is no western counterpart to Kulthum, no artist as respected and beloved as she is in the Arab world. Despite that, she remains relatively unknown in the UK; a one-off show at the London Palladium on 2 March aims to change that. Umm Kulthum & the Golden Era will dramatise the singers life in English with her music sung in Arabic. My whole message, says the shows producer, Mona Khashoggi, is to promote our rich culture of classical Arabic music in the west.

The musical depicts Egypt during a period of cultural fertility and seismic sociopolitical change. It responds to a question posed by the ethnomusicologist Virginia Danielson, who wrote a biography of Kulthum: Is it possible that 50 years in Arab societies, where women appear to outsiders to be oppressed, silent and veiled, could be represented by the life and work of a woman? And not just a woman, but one whose possible lesbianism and rejection of gender norms raised a few eyebrows in her lifetime.

Kulthum was born in a Nile delta village in about 1904 to an imam and his wife. Her father supplemented his income by singing religious songs with his son and nephew, and his daughter would mimic them, later reflecting that she first learned to sing like a parrot. Joining the family ensemble, her powerful voice proved a novelty but also, as a woman performing religious songs, provocative. Her father dressed her in a boys coat and black Bedouin headdress, leaving only her eyes and mouth visible. Freed from the limitations of gender, her talent shone and she attracted the interest of noted musicians, who invited her to Cairo.

It took Kulthum time to find her feet in the big city in the early 1920s. While her voice was admired in the homes of Cairos elite, she was mocked for her rough country attire and behaviour. She gradually learned to dress with style and worked with the best artists of the age, despite a reputation as a demanding collaborator. Record labels competed over her and she negotiated shrewdly to increase her fees and fame. Soon she was making twice as much money as the biggest stars of Cairos art scene.

Umm
Photograph: CPA Media Pte Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

Led Zeppelins Robert Plant said that he was driven to distraction on hearing Kulthums voice while in Marrakech in 1970. When I first heard the way she would dance down through the scale to land on a beautiful note that I couldnt even imagine singing, it was huge: somebody had blown a hole in the wall of my understanding of vocals.

Her voice was a contralto, the lowest type for a female, and had enormous power. She performed to large audiences without a microphone and improvised virtuosically. She acted like a preacher who becomes inspired by his congregation, the Egyptian novelist and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz once said. When he sees what reaches them he gives them more of it, he works it, he refines it, he embellishes it. Crowds called out for line repetitions and she obliged, meaning a song could last between 45 and 90 minutes. She subtly altered emphasis and explored the maqamat, the set of Arabic scales, to eruptions of applause. It was said she never sang a line the same way twice.

An Umm Kulthum performance would generally last about five hours and consist of three extended songs. Her goal was to induce in her listeners tarab, a state of rapturous enchantment, where time and self dissolve in the music.

During the 1940s she shifted towards colloquial, populist Egyptian music, a canny move as the country chafed under British control. Other songs using vivid Arabic poetry linked her to fine literature. She presented two popular images: the refined woman who could educate the masses and the peasant daughter who articulated working-class pain.

She recorded on vinyl and starred in six musical films; from 1934 for almost 40 years she broadcast a live concert on the first Thursday of each month. This became a social phenomenon: stories abound of streets and workplaces from Tunisia to Iraq becoming suddenly deserted as millions rushed home to listen. She embodied pan-Arab unity and became an irresistible proposition for shrewd politicians.

A common story goes that Kulthums music was taken off the airwaves after Egypts 1952 revolution because she had sung for the leaders of the old regime. Gamal Abdel Nasser, national hero and later the second Egyptian president, on hearing the stars music was forbidden, apparently said: What are they, crazy? Do you want Egypt to turn against us?

Nasser understood Kulthum was a symbol of authentic Arab and Egyptian culture. He piggybacked off her radio broadcasts by making political speeches straight after, promoting his pan-Arabist agenda. For her part, she sang in support of Nasser and donated millions of dollars to the military. While some regard her as his tool, Danielson believes the relationship was mutually beneficial; they agreed on many issues. They tended to say the same things about themselves, Egypt and the Arab world, she says. There are times you dont know which one is speaking, Nasser or Umm Kulthum.

Starring
Starring in the 1947 film Fatma. Photograph: TCD/Prod.DB/Alamy Stock Photo

In 1967, Kulthum made her only performance in Europe at LOlympia in Paris. She was paid twice what Callas received for the same venue, with admission prices four times those for Sammy Davis Jr. After the show, she said: No one can describe the extent of my pride when I went to Paris, stood in the middle of Europe, and raised my voice in the name of Egypt.

She performed until about 1970, but died in 1975 of kidney failure. Her funeral procession reportedly attracted 4 million Egyptians. Mourners seized the coffin from officials and carried it for hours through the streets.

Kulthum continues to appear regularly in Egyptian media. Those frustrated by the countrys current malaise are drawn to the golden era she represents. She has been given the hologram treatment in Saudi Arabia, while Arab trap producers sample her music. Singers continue to perform her repertoire, including Sanaa Nabil, her 17-year-old great-grand-niece, who will appear in the West End musical following a breakout performance on Arabs Got Talent. She believes her relatives music is still relevant today. Her music wasnt only for the past, she says. The songs are old, but the music always feels new. It exists outside of time.

Some have complained that Kulthums pervasive media presence has stifled other talents; others are uncomfortable about the bluntness of her nationalist rhetoric. Her hour-long songs also challenge those raised on three-minute pop. Khansa, a Lebanese artist who has made an electronic version of her song Qesat El Ams, says: A lot of people find it difficult to understand classical Arabic, so they dont listen to her, particularly the older, more complex repertoire.

There have also been attempts to pose trickier questions about her biography. Kulthum subverted the gender norms of mid-century Egypt with her hard-nosed business deals, active engagement in public life and resistance to giving up her career for family life. She had two marriages, neither of which was conventional: the first dissolved within days, the second, age 50, was to a younger man with children from an ex-wife.

Umm
Umm Kulthums funeral in 1975. Photograph: Historic Collection/Alamy Stock Photo

We dont talk about strong or masculine women in our history, says Musa Al Shadeedi, an Iraqi writer based in Jordan. We only discuss her as a singer. When he wrote an article for Jordanian LGBT magazine My.Kali exploring Kulthums rejection of traditional gender roles, he included this quote from the prominent Palestinian intellectual Edward Said: During her lifetime, there was talk about whether or not she was a lesbian, but the sheer force of her performances of elevated music set to classical verse overrode such rumours.

The mere reference to Kulthums possible lesbianism caused a scandal and the Jordanian government blocked My.Kalis website. In fact, there may be truth to these assertions. Danielson says that Kulthum was constantly surrounded by particular women and showed little interest in men. It is very, very likely she had relationships with women, she says.

Al Shadeedi is wary of pushing such claims. I dont see how dragging dead people out of the closet will fix our society today, he says. But we can ask: if she was lesbian, would that change how we see her? This might help people reconsider how they react to such taboos.

The furore shows how fiercely protective people are about Kulthum almost a half-century after her death. This is a credit not just to her vocal chords, but also to her careful creation of a public persona. Kulthum was wary of the press and ensured her story was told by select journalists and photographers. She shaped her public narrative, deftly balancing the personas of stately matriarch, pious Muslim, peasant country girl, defender of the Arabic language and symbol of Egyptianness. She could mean different things to different people, and mastered that potential. As Danielson writes: She tried assiduously and consistently to construct a voice that millions would claim as their own.

Rehearsals
Rehearsals for the show Umm Kulthum & The Golden Era.

In one of her few video interviews in Paris in 1967, Kulthum is superbly poised, fixing the twitchy journalist with a steady gaze. Her answers are terse and guarded despite a kindly facade. She analyses the subtext of each question and seizes every opportunity to buff her public image. When asked which monument she visits most in Paris, she cites the Luxor Obelisk at Place de la Concorde, which was transported from Egypt to Paris in 1833. When the journalist asks why, she says simply: Its ours. She subtly reassures fans at home that, although she is performing in France, she will never be anything other than Egyptian.

Her public self was clearly a construction, Danielson says in her book, but it was neither artificial nor false. Umm Kulthum simply learned to present herself in the way she wanted to be thought of and remembered. To truly understand Kulthum not just as a musician but as a social phenomenon that continues to blaze, Danielson says we must grasp not only the life behind the myth, but the myth at the heart of the life.

Umm Kulthum & the Golden Era is at the London Palladium on 2 March.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/feb/28/she-exists-out-of-time-umm-kulthum-arab-musics-eternal-star

Excitement for The Europas Awards for European Tech Startups is heating up. Here is the first wave of speakers and judges — with more coming!

The Awards — which have been running for over 10 years — will be held on 25 June 2020 in London, U.K. on the front lawn of the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton, London — creating a fantastic and fun garden-party atmosphere in the heart of London’s tech startup scene.

TechCrunch is once more the exclusive media sponsor of the awards and conference, alongside The Pathfounder.

The application form to enter is here.

We’re scouting for the top late-stage seed and Series A startups in 22 categories.

You can nominate a startup, accelerator or venture investor that you think deserves to be recognized for their achievements in the last 12 months.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: 25 March 2020

For the 2020 awards, we’ve overhauled the categories to a set that we believe better reflects the range of innovation, diversity and ambition we see in the European startups being built and launched today. This year we are particularly looking at startups that are able to address the SDGs/Globals Boals.

The Europas Awards
The Europas Awards results are based on voting by experts, experienced founders, hand-picked investors and the industry itself.

But the key to it is that there are no “off-limits areas” at The Europas, so attendees can mingle easily with VIPs.

Timeline of The Europas Awards deadlines:

Submissions now open!
25 March 2020 – Submissions close
14 April – Public voting begins
25 April – Public voting ends
8 June – Shortlist Announced
25 June – Awards evening, winners announced

Amazing networking

We’re also shaking up the awards dinner itself. There are more opportunities to network. Our awards ceremony this year will be in the setting of a garden/lawn party, where you’ll be able to meet and mingle more easily, with free-flowing drinks and a wide selection of street food (including vegetarian/vegan). The ceremony itself will last less than 45 minutes, with the rest of the time dedicated to networking. If you’d like to talk about sponsoring or exhibiting, please contact Claire Dobson on claire@thepathfounder.com

Instead of thousands and thousands of people, think of a great summer event with the most interesting and useful people in the industry, including key investors and leading entrepreneurs.

The Europas Awards have been going for the last 10 years, and we’re the only independent and editorially driven event to recognise the European tech startup scene. The winners have been featured in Reuters, Bloomberg, VentureBeat, Forbes, Tech.eu, The Memo, Smart Company, CNET, many others — and of course, TechCrunch.

• No secret VIP rooms, which means you get to interact with the speakers

• Key founders and investors attending

• Journalists from major tech titles, newspapers and business broadcasters

The Pathfounder Afternoon Workshops
In the afternoon prior to the awards we will be holding a special, premium content event, The Pathfounder, designed be a “fast download” into the London tech scene for European founders looking to raise money or re-locate to London. Sessions include “How to Craft Your Story”; “Term Sheets”; “Building a Shareholding Structure”; Investor Panel; Meet the Press; and a session from former Europas winners. Followed by the awards and after-party!

The Europas “Diversity Pass”
We’d like to encourage more diversity in tech! That’s why we’ve set aside a block of free tickets to ensure that pre-seed female and BAME founders are represented at The Europas. This limited tranche of free tickets ensures that we include more women and people of colour who are specifically “pre-seed” or “seed-stage” tech startup founders. If you are a women/BAME founder, apply here for a chance to be considered for one of the limited free diversity passes to the event.

Meet some of our first speakers and judges:


Anne Boden
CEO
Starling Bank
Anne Boden is founder and CEO of Starling Bank, a fast-growing U.K. digital bank targeting millions of users who live their lives on their phones. After a distinguished career in senior leadership at some of the world’s best-known financial heavyweights, she set out to build her own mobile bank from scratch in 2014. Today, Starling has opened more than one million current accounts for individuals and small businesses and raised hundreds of millions of pounds in backing. Anne was awarded an MBE for services to financial technology in 2018.


Nate Lanxon (Speaker)
Editor and Tech Correspondent
Bloomberg
Nate is an editor and tech correspondent for Bloomberg, based in London. For over a decade, he has particularly focused on the consumer technology sector, and the trends shaping the global industry. Previous to this, he was senior editor at Bloomberg Media and was head of digital editorial for Bloomberg.com in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Nate has held numerous roles across the most respected titles in tech, including stints as editor of WIRED.co.uk, editor-in-chief of Ars Technica UK and senior editor at CBS-owned CNET. Nate launched his professional career as a journalist by founding a small tech and gaming website called Tech’s Message, which is now the name of his weekly technology podcast hosted at natelanxon.com.


Tania Boler
CEO and founder
Elvie
/> Tania is an internationally recognized women’s health expert and has held leadership positions for various global NGOs and the United Nations. Passionate about challenging taboo women’s issues, Tania founded Elvie in 2013, partnering with Alexander Asseily to create a global hub of connected health and lifestyle products for women.


Kieran O’Neill
CEO and co-founder
Thread
Thread makes it easy for guys to dress well. They combine expert stylists with powerful AI to recommend the perfect clothes for each person. Thread is used by more than 1 million men in the U.K., and has raised $35 million from top investors, including Balderton Capital, the founders of DeepMind and the billionaire former owner of Warner Music. Prior to Thread, Kieran founded one of the first video sharing websites at age 15 and sold it for $1.25 million at age 19. He was then CEO and co-founder of Playfire, the largest social network for gamers, which he grew to 1.5 million customers before being acquired in 2012. He’s a member of the Forbes, Drapers and Financial Times 30 Under 30 lists.


Clare Jones
Chief Commercial Officer
what3words
Clare is the chief commercial officer of what3words; prior to this, her background was in the development and growth of social enterprises and in impact investment. Clare was featured in the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 list for technology and is involved with London companies tackling social/environmental challenges. Clare also volunteers with the Streetlink project, doing health outreach work with vulnerable women in South London.


Luca Bocchio
Principal
Accel
Luca Bocchio joined Accel in 2018 and focuses on consumer internet, fintech and software businesses. Luca led Accel’s investment in Luko, Bryter and Brumbrum. Luca also helped lead Accel’s investment and ongoing work in Sennder. Prior to Accel, Luca was with H14, where he invested in global early and growth-stage opportunities, such as Deliveroo, GetYourGuide, Flixbus, SumUp and SecretEscapes. Luca previously advised technology, industrial and consumer companies on strategy with Bain & Co. in Europe and Asia. Luca is from Italy and graduated from LIUC University.


Bernhard Niesner
CEO and c-founder
busuu
/> Bernhard co-founded busuu in 2008 following an MBA project and has since led the company to become the world’s largest community for language learning, with more than 90 million users across the globe. Before starting busuu, Bernhard worked as a consultant at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. He graduated summa cum laude in International Business from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and holds an MBA with honours from IE Business School. Bernhard is an active mentor and business angel in the startup community and an advisor to the Austrian Government on education affairs. Bernhard recently received the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 UK Awards in the Disruptor category.


Chris Morton
CEO and founder
Lyst
Chris is the founder and CEO of Lyst, the world’s biggest fashion search platform used by 104 million shoppers each year. Including over 6 million products from brands including Burberry, Fendi, Gucci, Prada and Saint Laurent, Lyst offers shoppers convenience and unparalleled choice in one place. Launched in London in 2010, Lyst’s investors include LVMH, 14W, Balderton and Accel Partners. Prior to founding Lyst, Chris was an investor at Benchmark Capital and Balderton Capital in London, focusing on the early-stage consumer internet space. He holds an MA in physics and philosophy from Cambridge University.


Husayn Kassai
CEO and co-founder
Onfido
/> Husayn Kassai is the Onfido CEO and co-founder. Onfido helps businesses digitally onboard users by verifying any government ID and comparing it with the person’s facial biometrics. Founded in 2012, Onfido has grown to a team of 300 across SF, NYC and London; received over $100 million in funding from Salesforce, Microsoft and others; and works with over 1,500 fintech, banking and marketplace clients globally. Husayn is a WEF Tech Pioneer; a Forbes Contributor; and Forbes’ “30 Under 30”. He has a BA in economics and management from Keble College, Oxford.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2020/02/26/meet-the-first-wave-of-speakers-enter-your-startup-for-the-europas-awards-25-june/

(CNN)One of the world’s leading music groups, Universal Music Group (UMG) has signed an exclusive recording agreement with award-winning Nigerian singer, Tiwa Savage.

Her future music will be released to a wider international audience through UMG’s operations in 60 countries across the globe.
The singer, one of Africa’s biggest music stars, is the only woman to have won the MTV Europe Music Awards in the best African act category.

    ‘Making Africa proud’

    Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Savage previously performed as a backup singer for artists such as Mary J. Blige and the late singer George Michael.
    She later attended Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music on scholarship.
    “My biggest goal is to make Africa proud. I’m so excited for this moment, and I’m thankful to (UMG CEO|) Sir Lucian Grainge and my new UMG family for their belief in my dreams. I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my career, and I’m more ready than I have ever been” Savage said in a media release announcing the deal.
    “We are looking forward to partnering with Tiwa and her team to help her music reach new audiences around the world,” said Adam Granite, executive VP market development at Universal Music Group. “As one of Africa’s most successful, influential and dynamic singer-songwriters, Tiwa has truly global ambitions and UMG is committed to help her in achieving them.”

    A win for everyone

    Savage’s recording agreement is not UMG’s first foray into Africa, the Los Angeles-based music group currently operates in West and East Africa and has signed some of the continent’s top artists such as Ivorian DJ and singer DJ Arafat and Nigerian popstar Tekno.
    Last year, UMG acquired AI records, one of East Africa’s largest labels, and opened offices in Ivory Coast and Nigeria.
    They also have a multi-year licensing agreement with Boomplay, Africa’s top music streaming platform.
    The agreement offers UMG’s catalog in 10 African countries to Boomplay’s 5.6 million active daily users.
    American record labels are increasingly looking to Africa. Warner Music Group recently inked a deal with Afrobeats label Chocolate City, while Sony Music’s RCA record label has signed some of the continent’s leading artists such as Davido and Wizkid.
      Many musicians in developing countries don’t have access to structures that will help them grow, market and distribute their talent and music and by spreading its footprint on the continent, Universal will create a stronger music market for Africans, says Nigeria-based music analyst Joey Akan.
      “UMG is trying to build businesses that involve talent management and infrastructure. They are expanding their territory and positioning infrastructure for the growth of artists too. Everybody benefits,” he told CNN.

      Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/02/africa/tiwa-savage-deal-with-universal-music-group-intl/index.html

      The screening of a 1966 film about their countrys bitter colonial conflict has seen Algerians unite in peaceful protest

      More than half a century since it was released and promptly banned by French authorities The Battle of Algiers, depicting the bloody struggle for Algerias independence from France in 1962, still has the power to shock.

      On Friday night, the black-and-white, 1966 film relating Algerian anti-colonial guerrilla warfare and its brutal repression by the French military was screened in Paris. London-based musical activists Asian Dub Foundation (ADF) performed a live soundtrack.

      The cin-concert, organised months ago, had become suddenly and unexpectedly topical with Algerians in Paris, like their compatriots back home, calling for regime change following the resignation of longstanding President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 82, last week. As the credits rolled and the reverberations from ADFs powerful interpretation, performed alongside the original Ennio Morricone score, faded in the packed auditorium at the History of Immigration Museum, a line from the film echoed on.

      Its only after we have succeeded that the real difficulties begin, says Yacef Sadi, a Front de Libration Nationale (FLN) leader who plays himself in the Gillo Pontecorvo film. Algerians have now succeeded in forcing Bouteflika out after 20 years, but now, say many, comes the difficult part: fulfilling their real and urgent desire for peaceful but total regime change.

      What happens in Algeria still casts a long and sombre shadow over France, whose 132-year colonial rule over the north African nation became a form of apartheid, with one million colonialists of French origin so-called pieds noirs dominating nine million Algerians.

      Today there are an estimated four million people of Algerian origin in France its largest migrant community. And as the streets of Algiers have erupted in calls for an oppressive regime to tumble, so too have the streets of Paris.

      The demonstrations in Paris are very much in tune with demonstrations in Algeria. Its all very peaceful. They want to avoid conflict and violence, but to bring about some kind of peaceful transition where Bouteflika goes but the system isnt simply rehashed, said Martin Evans, a specialist in Algerian history at the University of Sussex.

      With Algerias ethnic and cultural diversity, it was perhaps inevitable that some of the historic tensions that have existed for decades between different groups would resurface at a time of heightened emotion: in particular, tensions between Algerias Arabs and Berbers known as Amazigh in the indigenous language.

      Berbers make up about 30% of Algerias population and while a minority follow the Ibadi school of Islam, most, like their Arab compatriots, are Sunni Muslims. For centuries they lived peacefully together, but during colonial rule the French stoked the cultural and linguistic differences as a divide-and-rule tactic. In recent years there have been sporadic outbreaks of violence and killings, as Arabs migrated to traditionally Berber areas competing for jobs, land and homes and leaving Berbers claiming they were being discriminated against in an attempt by the government to Arabise the country.

      Evans said he had been surprised to see Amazigh flags at recent demonstrations he attended in Paris. I hear people saying the Arab-Berber issue isnt a problem, but when I spoke to demonstrators there was certainly some tension between the two groups, so its evident the issue isnt just colonial and will have to be dealt with, he added.

      Omar Kezouit, whose association Agir pour le Changement et la Dmocratie en Algrie (Act for Change and Democracy in Algeria), has organised demonstrations, said the ripples of events unfolding in Algeria were felt keenly in France, and that but insisted the diaspora had put aside its divisions. He told the Observer: Algerians are united by the fact they have no hope in the current regime and desperately want change. What do we want? We want a country that gives us proper leaders, hopes and futures, and above all freedom. What we dont want is to be tricked.

      Algerians are also profoundly scarred by the countrys experiment with Islamism that led to what they call the Black Decade, the 1992-2002 civil war in which between 50,000 and 150,000 died (the figures are disputed). But Kezouit and Evans dismissed fears that the current unrest could encourage a resurgence of Islamism.

      Evans said: Algerians will tell you Islamism is something that happened in their country and they definitely dont want to go there again.

      Azouz Kamel, a freelance Algerian journalist working in Paris, who was at the ADF cin-concert, agreed. The press in France is making a big thing about the problem of Islamism in Algeria, but it has nothing to do with what is happening. People dont want Islamists. We have turned the page on that, he said.

      Certainly, what unites Algerians in France is fear that Bouteflikas departure will change nothing. Kamel said: Right now Im not at all happy. Weve gone from a clannish, family dictatorship to a military dictatorship.

      We dont want the job half done. We want a radical change to the whole system. I came to France 20 years ago when Bouteflika took power and Algeria was rich. He has brought the country to its knees with widespread corruption. His clan, friends and supporters have got rich. The poor have got poorer.

      Kezouit added: Nobody wants the army or old regime. We fear they will sacrifice some people to make out theyve listened to the people, then try to carry on as before, but we will engage with them peacefully.

      Algerians have paid heavily for years of conflict. We remember this well. The wounds are still open. So its important that, while we need to be victorious, it must be peacefully.

      But everyone who represents or is part of the regime must go. We say, you got rid of Bouteflika. Great. Now go home. All of you. Algerian people will not be satisfied until they have that change.

      At the cin-concert, part of the Paris-Londres Music Migrations exhibition, ADFs interpretation of The Battle of Algiers was cheered and applauded. When the film won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1966, the French delegation walked out. It was so politically sensitive in France that even after the brief ban was lifted it was not screened there until 1971.

      Steve Savale, ADFs lead guitarist, said he hoped Algerians in the audience would feel the group had interpreted a piece of their history respectfully and in doing so had kept the struggle alive. Bass player Aniruddha Das, aka Dr Das, said the film had resonated with members of the multicultural British group: Like Algerian people we all have the same colonial experience. Were all in Europe because Britain or France occupied, exploited and sometimes engaged in genocide in our respective places and we can relate to that.

      Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/06/film-algeria-paris-avoid-repeat-conflict

      Club of French-speaking countries needs total overhaul, says novelist Alain Mabanckou

      Macron’s French language crusade bolsters imperialism Congo novelist

      Club of French-speaking countries needs total overhaul, says novelist Alain Mabanckou

      Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/19/emmanuel-macron-challenged-over-attitude-to-frances-former-colonies

      Father of South African jazz, who had career spanning more than five decades, dies aged 78

      Tributes paid to South African musician and activist Hugh Masekela

      Father of South African jazz, who had career spanning more than five decades, dies aged 78

      South Africans have paid tribute to Hugh Masekela, the legendary jazz musician and activist, who died on Tuesday aged 78.

      The South African president, Jacob Zuma, said the nation would mourn a man who kept the torch of freedom alive. The arts and culture minister, Nathi Mthethwa, described Masekela as one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz. A baobab tree has fallen, Mthethwa wrote on Twitter.

      A statement from the trumpeters family said Masekela passed peacefully in Johannesburg, where he lived and worked for much of his life, on Tuesday morning.

      A loving father, brother, grandfather and friend, our hearts beat with a profound loss. Hughs global and activist contribution to and participation in the areas of music, theatre and the arts in general is contained in the minds and memories of millions across six continents, the statement read.

      Relatives described Masekelas ebullient and joyous life.

      Masekela had been suffering from prostate cancer for almost a decade. He last performed in 2010 in Johannesburg when he gave two concerts that were seen as an epitaph to his long career.

      South African social media was flooded with tributes to brother Hugh, whose career and work was closely intertwined with the troubled politics of his homeland.

      The singer Johnny Clegg described Masekela as immensely bright and articulate an outstanding musical pioneer and a robust debater, always holding to his South African roots.

      Masekela was born in Witbank, a mining town in eastern South Africa, and was given his first trumpet by the anti-apartheid activist archbishop Trevor Huddleston, who formed a pioneering jazz band in Soweto in the 1950s that became a launchpad for many of South Africas most famous jazz musicians.

      Masekela went on to study in the UK and the US, where he had significant success.

      Hugh
      Hugh Masekela with ex-wife Miriam Makeba and Paul Simon in 1987. Photograph: Phil Dent/Redferns

      As well as forming close friendships with jazz legends such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charles Mingus, Masekela performed alongside Janis Joplin, Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s.

      He returned to Africa where he played with icons such as Nigerias Fela Kuti, and in 1974 he helped organise a three-day festival before the Rumble in the Jungle boxing clash in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

      In 1976, the man who became known as the father of South African jazz composed Soweto Blues in response to the uprising in the vast township. He toured with Paul Simon in the 1980s while continuing his political engagement, writing Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela) in 1987. The song became an anthem of the anti-apartheid struggle.

      Timeline

      Hugh Masekela timeline

      Hugh Masekela is born in KwaGuqa Township, South Africa

      Masekela is born near Johannesburg to a health inspector father and social worker mother. He sings and plays the piano as a child. At 14, he sees the Kirk Douglas film Young Man With A Horn and is inspired to take up the trumpet.

      King Kong

      At school, Masekela played in South Africas first youth orchestra,Huddleston Jazz Band. In 1959, he recorded the first album by a South African jazz band alongside Abdullah Ibrahim and Jonas Gwangwa. In the same year, he played in the orchestra of hit musical King Kong.

      Masekela leaves South Africa

      The ANC are banned, and after supporting the organisation for many years, Masekela leaves South Africa for London. He then moves to New York, where he meets Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie.

      Grazing in the Grass

      By the late 60s, Masekela was living in California. In 1967, he played at Monterey festival alongside Janis Joplin and Otis Redding. In 1968, his single Grazing in the Grass reached no 1 in the US.

      Zaire 74

      Masekela returns to Africa in the early 70s, spending time with musicians including Fela Kuti. He organises the Zaire 74 concerts with US record producer Stewart Levine to coincide with the Muhammad Ali/George Foreman Rumble in the Jungle boxing title fight. In 1980, he moves to Botswana.

      Graceland tour

      Masekela joins Paul Simon for hisGracelandtour. Simons album was partly recorded in South Africa, and the tour incites protests in London due to the cultural boycott against the country.

      Return to South Africa

      Masekela returns to South Africa following the end of apartheid and the release from jail ofNelson Mandela. In 1996, he plays for the Queen and Mandela by then elected the countrys first black president during the latters state visit to Britain.

      World Cup

      Masekela performs at the opening concert of the world cup in South Africa. In 2012, he rejoins Paul Simon for a tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of Graceland.

      James Hall, a writer and broadcaster who spent time with Masekela in the 1990s, said he could have prickly personality at times due to the tension and frustration of being away from his own country for so long.

      Masekela was briefly married to Miriam Makeba in the 1960s and remained on good terms with the South African singer after their divorce. They had a wonderful friendship and were very, very close, said Hall, who co-wrote Makebas autobiography.

      Masekela refused to take citizenship anywhere outside South Africa despite the open arms of many countries, said his son, Selema Mabena Masekela, on Tuesday.

      My fathers life was the definition of activism and resistance. His belief [was] that the pure evil of a systematic racist oppression could and would be crushed. Instead he would continue to fight.

      After more than 30 years in exile, Masekela returned to South Africa in the early 90s after the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and the end of apartheid.

      In 2010 he performed at the opening ceremony of the football World Cup in Johannesburg.

      Masekela had many fans overseas. Hugh Masekela was a titan of jazz and of the anti-apartheid struggle. His courage, words and music inspired me and strengthened the resolve of those fighting for justice in South Africa, said Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter.

      Hugh
      Hugh Masekela photographed for the Guardian in 2011. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

      Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/jan/23/hugh-masekela-south-african-jazz-trumpeter-dies-aged-78

      Johannesburg (CNN)Legendary South African musician Hugh Masekela died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer, the South African government announced on its official Twitter page. He was 78.

      Masekela’s 1986 “Bring Him Back Home” song, written for Nelson Mandela, became an anthem of the 1980s anti-apartheid movement. The Grammy-nominated artist toured with Paul Simon and was a major player on the jazz and world music scene for decades.
      “A loving father, brother, grandfather and friend, our hearts beat with profound loss,” the family said in a statement released by his agents Dreamcatcher.
        “Hugh’s global and activist contribution to and participation in the areas of music, theatre, and the arts in general is contained in the minds and memory of millions across six continents and we are blessed and grateful to be part of a life and ever-expanding legacy of love, sharing and vanguard creativity that spans the time and space of six decades. Rest in power beloved, you are forever in our hearts,” the statement said.
        Also known affectionately in South Africa as Bra Hugh, Masekela was born in the town of Witbank in 1939. At the age of 14, he was given his first trumpet by the respected anti-apartheid campaigner Father Trevor Huddleston.
        In 1960, at the age of 21, Masekela left South Africa to begin what would be 30 years in exile from the land of his birth. On arrival in New York he enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music.
        He immersed himself in the New York jazz scene, watching jazz greats such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane.
        According to his official biography, fellow jazz trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong encouraged Masekela to develop his own unique style, feeding off African rather than American influences. Masekela’s debut album, released in 1963, was entitled Trumpet Africaine.
        In the late 1960s, in the heat of the “Summer of Love,” Masekela moved to Los Angeles, where he fell in with hippie icons like David Crosby, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.
        During this period he performed alongside Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. In 1968, his instrumental single ‘Grazin’ in the Grass’ went to Number One on the American pop charts and was a worldwide smash, elevating Hugh onto the international stage.
        His subsequent solo career spanned 5 decades, during which time he released over 40 albums and worked with a range of artists including Nigeria’s Fela Kuti, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and his former wife, the late Miriam Makeba.
        In 1990 Masekela returned home, following the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Mandela.
        Masekela’s team released a statement in October saying he had been battling cancer since 2008 that spread to other parts of his body, according to the South African newspaper the Sowetan.
        “A baobab tree has fallen, the nation has lost a one of a kind musician with the passing of Jazz legend bra Hugh Masekela,” wrote the South African Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, in a tweet. “We can safely say bra Hugh was one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz and he uplifted the soul of our nation through his timeless music.”

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/23/africa/hugh-masekela-dies-intl/index.html

        Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)Social media is changing how the world works and nowhere is that more apparent than in one of the most populous cities in the world: Lagos.

        In this bustling Nigerian metropolis of an estimated 23 million people, around 10 million are under the age of 25 and their numbers are rising rapidly.
        According to global research firm We are social, more than 15 million Nigerians use social media.
          Over 80% of that number are young people between the ages of 13 and 39.
          Smart, focused and passionate about her work, Ikeji says she wants to be the Oprah Winfrey of Africa.
          Ikeji, who started her social media career with gossip blogging, is now building one of Nigeria’s biggest private TV stations with Linda Ikeji TV.
          “One of the things that drives a business to succeed is passion and I am so passionate about what I do,” she says.
          “People like gossip because it is extremely personal,” she says. “They like the honesty, how real it is, how human…”

            Bloggers owning the social media space in Nigeria

          She offers her audience a glimpse into her home life, sharing her favorite recipes and her families likes and dislikes. She has cultivated a large following that has brands reaching out for collaboration.
          It’s a delicate business, making her personal life so public. But it’s one that Sisi Yemmie understands very well.
          “I’m a lifestyle blogger,” she says. “What I show is what it is. I don’t have time for fakeness. I don’t have time to create what is not there.”
          But with this vulnerability comes a sense of responsibility. Sisi Yemmie knows she has to be strategic about what she shares; she has to think about her audience all the time.
          “I realize there’s a responsibility that comes with this platform I have, and now I am always very careful what I say.
          “I have to think about not just my audience; I have to think about brands and collaborations.”

          Chiamaka Obuekwe: The travel blogger who goes off the beaten track

            Showing the world a different side of Nigeria

          When it comes to visiting Nigeria’s most interesting and exciting places, Chiamaka Obuekwe, founder of travel company ‘The Social Prefect,’ knows exactly where to go.
          She says her presence on social media has made it a lot easier to connect with people who are looking for exciting places to go in Nigeria.
          “Ten years ago, we had to go door-to-door sharing our fliers…Now all we have to do is to put a post out on Instagram and in ten minutes people are dm’ing us.”
          She’s one of the many Nigerians who, inspired by Linda Ikeji, seek to cash in on the abundant opportunities on social media.
          Media mogul Linda Ikeji thinks the secret of their success can be found in one thing: their gender.
          “Women are better storytellers,” Ikeji says.
          “We are very real with our stories.”

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/22/africa/nigerian-bloggers-social-media/index.html

          Editor’s Note: CNN is committed to covering gender inequality wherever it occurs in the world. This story is part of As Equals, a year-long series.
          Arusha, Tanzania — Kasiva Mutua carefully unpacks her drums, placing them on the paving stones of a courtyard.
          Shaded by a tree from Tanzania’s harsh midday sun she settles, cross-legged behind them.
          As she starts to play her eyes close as she loses herself in the rhythm.
          This is a defiant act in Mutua’s native Kenya, where it’s taboo for women to drum.
          But for the renowned percussionist, drumming has never been about sex or gender — even if it was for the people who tried to stop her.
          “There’s been a ton of problems I’ve faced as a female percussionist,” she tells CNN. “But hey, I’m here, I’m super happy, you have no idea. I feel so good when I play the drums, it elevates me.”

            The Kenyan drummer breaking a centuries-old taboo

          Today, Mutua’s uplifting rhythms are in demand at music festivals and in recording studios around the world.
          While her ability seems effortless, growing up in part of the world where it’s often forbidden for women to play such a symbolically potent musical instrument, the 29-year-old has had to work hard for recognition.
          “Drumming has been a subject of taboo to women in Africa and me rising as a percussionist and going publicly with it and making a living out of it is problematic to some people,” she says.
          “I’ve had my drums torn in rehearsal spaces,” she adds. “I’ve been publicly called out and asked why I would put a drum between my legs. I was once questioned how I could do that and, after having that conversation, this man made me feel like I was dirty to put something between my legs.
          “I was seen as a sexual object at that moment, and that is not cool.”
          Mutua was undeterred. Having learned traditional drumming from her grandmother, she took her skills to local contests, eventually defying expectations to win prizes and recognition.
          Now unstoppable, she and her blend of Afrobeat, reggae, jazz and Kenyan beats are at the heart of the Nile Project — an initiative uniting communities along Africa’s longest river. She’s also been named a TED Fellow, giving talks alongside other global “inspiring visionaries.”
          And she’s using her energy and profile in Kenya and beyond to encourage other young women into music, with the aim of inspiring all-female bands.
          “Women can do whatever they want,” Mutua says.
          But, she insists, audiences should look beyond her identity and focus on her musical skills.
          “It’s not about genders anymore, it’s about delivery,” she says, adding that while some view her as a trailblazer or simply a percussionist, others still don’t know what to make of her.
          “So it’s pretty mixed up, but I could say it’s more comfortable now because I feel like once you’ve proved to the world that you are just a human being doing an amazing job, people tend to accept you better.”
          One major milestone for Mutua came in 2014 when she was chosen among other artists to represent her country at the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington. That, she says, marked a shift in attitudes among Kenyans.
          “I think we’re getting better at dropping the taboo subject and just dealing with music and entertainment.”
          While she says her expressive performances mean she leaves a part of herself with the audience each time she goes on stage, they also give her the willpower to achieve other things in life.
          And, of course, the drumming keeps her happy.
          “When I play I’m in a very, very good place,” she says. “I don’t feel any trouble, it’s like I’m floating in the air somewhere, and it’s just very peaceful up there…”
          The As Equals reporting project is funded by the European Journalism Centre via its Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme. Click here for more stories like this.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/08/africa/kenyan-percussionist-asequals/index.html