This Is Africa

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Robert Mugabe turns 93

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe turn 93 today. One of the world’s longest serving leaders, Gushungo (his totem), as he is affectionately known shows no sign of slowing down. While his party Zanu-PF has been rocked by infighting and nasty succession battles, Mugabe has indicated that he will not groom a successor but a successor will come from the people. Until “the people” choose a successor, the 93 year-old will represent the party in presidential polls next year.


Mugabe’s corpse will rule from the grave, Zimbabwe’s First Lady declares

Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe stunned many last week claiming that if her husband President Robert Mugabe, 92, dies, the ruling Zanu-PF party would field his corpse to represent the party in elections. Grace was speaking at a rally in Buhera, eastern Zimbabwe. The remarks have sparked a debate, seen as a brazen attack on the intelligence of the electorate. However, others see the comments as the First Lady’s clearest indication of her intention to run for the presidency in the event of her husband’s death, and continue his legacy. Zimbabwe is due to hold its next presidential election in 2018.


10 irresistible African gems to celebrate Valentine’s Day

In Africa, as is the case across the globe, it’s the season of love once again. This year’s Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday and many couples are undoubtedly excited to leave work early and go wine and dine with their loved ones. Whether you’re getting ready for that romantic candlelight dinner, preparing an evening out with family and friends or celebrating solo, we have the perfect African love playlist for your February 14.


South Africa: Violence mars the State of the Nation Address

The opening of the South African parliament shocked many across the continent. The State of the Nation Address (SONA) was marred by traumatic violent scenes in the house, expletives were exchanged by legislators, MPs for the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) disrupted proceedings and the speaker ordered for their removal, which turned violent. While the disruption of President Jacob Zuma’s address could be seen more as political antics at play, the violence is a cause for concern for a country trying to heal from a violent past, a history which continues to affect the society.


Cartoon: Buhari requests for indefinite extension of medical leave

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has requested an extension of his 10-day vacation for a “routine” medical check-up in UK. It’s unclear when the president would return to the country. President Buhari was initially expected back by the 6th of February but has asked for more time for his doctors to “complete the test cycle before returning”. Buhari’s continued absence has set tongues wagging in a country facing numerous economic and security challenges. Pressure has been mounting for President Buhari’s administration, with ongoing protests against the worsening economic situation. Baba Go Slow’s leadership is sorely missed.


Hope, rescued Nigerian toddler accused of witchcraft starts school

In a heart-warming story, Hope, a Nigerian toddler, who was last year rescued by an aid worker, Anja Ringgren Lovén, has started school. Hope was rescued on the 30th of January last year. The toddler was accused of being a witch by his family members and shunned by the community in Uyo, and the pictures of the boy caused a sensation. Hope has made such a remarkable recovery, and news of him starting school is being celebrated on social media. We applaud Lovén and her husband David Emmanuel Umem for the amazing work.


Zimbabwe: Evan Mawarire #ThisFlag movement leader arrested on return

Police in Zimbabwe have arrested Pastor Evan Mawarire, who started #ThisFlag, a social media campaign, which encourages citizens to speak on poor governance, the ailing economy, corruption and poverty in the country. Mawarire was arrested upon his return, and he reportedly faces charges of subverting a constitutionally elected government. Mawarire’s arrest has been heavily criticized on social media, and his return has also divided opinion on various platforms.