COVID-19 restrictions release people’s power and finding peace through art

A motorcyclist rides past graffiti that states “let’s fight Corona together”, in Kibera, Nairobi, 13 August 2020, SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images

#JerusalemaDanceChallenge

Staying with the trendy and creative — a difficult 2020 has been brightened by a catchy rendition of the song Jerusalema by South African House DJ Master KG and singer Nomcebo Zikode, featuring Nigerian giant Burna Boy. Successful when it was initially released in late 2019, the master stroke was having one of Africa’s successful music exports Burna Boy on the remix for the re-release this year.

Lockdown restrictions unleash expression

COVID-19 regulations across Africa may have imposed numerous restrictions, from control of movement to limits on gatherings, but it has also had a secondary effect of giving citizens the impetus to push back against decisions relating to entrenchment of power.

Guinea follows suit

In a strikingly similar situation in neighbouring Guinea, President Alpha Condé finally confirmed his decision to run for a third term in elections to be held in October. Despite the outrage and widespread protests that have rocked the country since last year, Condé said he would be a candidate for young people and women. Following months of speculation, the 81-year-old leader filed his nomination papers on 3 August.

Power struggles in the DRC disempower critics

With the highest number of media violations in in sub-Saharan Africa, concern has been mounting at the level of press freedom violations and abuses against media workers in the DRC.

Media fraternity protests Somalia’s amended media law

On 27 August, civil society activists joined editors, journalists, and media owners to stage a demonstration against Somalia’s long-awaited (and recently passed) amended 2016 Media Law.

New & Noteworthy

To encourage the public in Zimbabwe to better understand their concerns over the recently gazetted Cybersecurity and Data Protection Bill, MISA-Zimbabwe has produced a short audio defining the importance of cybersecurity and data protection and explaining why the Zimbabwe government should not conflate the issues into one proposed bill.

In Brief

Zimbabwe journalist Hopewell Chin’ono was released on Z$10,000 bail (USD100) after 45 days in detention. Chin’ono was arrested on 20 July 2020 on allegations of incitement to participate in a gathering with intent to promote public violence.

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IFEX

IFEX is a global network of organisations that defend and promote the right to freedom of expression and information. Email: info@ifex.org