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Rwandan documentary film on refugees wins big award at CANEX in Egypt

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A Rwandan documentary highlighting the plight of refugees in Africa, has won a big award at the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) Short Films competition held in Cairo, Egypt.

The film titled, “Born a Refugee but Never Think Like a Refugee” produced by 24-year-old Claude Niyomugabo, which dwells on the lives and plight of refugees, received the prestigious “Special Mention Award”, beating 10 other short films including “Naboth”, “Pure” and “Eskafi”.

According to Niyomugabo, the 30-minute audio-visual documentary “showcases the stories of adult refugees, children born and raised in camps, and prominent figures who were refugees in the past.”

“The content intends to challenge the prevailing stereotypes surrounding refugees and provide a platform for their stories to be heard.”

Niyomugabo’s film was shortlisted and screened at the Intra-Africa Trade Fair (IATF2023) event in Cairo, Egypt from November 9, a platform that showcases Africa’s creativity in fashion, music, film, arts and crafts, and sports.

Niyomugabo’s debut documentary is divided into three compelling parts, each weaving together the stories of individuals who have experienced the complexities of refugee life.

One of the segments delves into the lives of children born and raised in refugee camps, shedding light on the unique challenges they face growing up in such environments.

Another part focuses on the struggles and triumphs of adult refugees, offering harsh experience of the resilience that characterizes their daily lives.

The final segment introduces viewers to prominent figures including president Paul Kagame, footballer Eduardo Camavinga and others who were once refugees but have successfully transitioned beyond that label, with their stories serving as powerful examples of hope and transformation, challenging the preconceived notions surrounding refugees.

“I think my film secured victory due to its uniqueness and the potential to deeply impact the community, specifically resonating with young refugees who may perceive their refugee status as a barrier to achieving goals,” he said after receiving the award.

“Additionally, its narrative has the capacity to influence those outside the refugee community, challenging the misconception that refugees lack the ability to excel like others,” he said.

Culture

Owners of South Africa bar where teenagers died in 2022 to pay fine or go to jail

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The owners of a South African bar where 21 teenagers died after drinking contaminated alcohol during a party in 2022 have each been ordered to pay a fine or be sent to jail for 100 days.

The couple, who owned the Enyobeni Tavern in the Eastern Cape province, were found guilty of selling alcohol to under-18-year-olds.

The children had attended a party to celebrate the end of mid-year exams at the Tavern where they met their untimely deaths.

Their deaths of the teenagers who were all under the age of 18 with the youngest only 13 years old girl, had caused outrage in the country with many calling for the legal drinking age to be increased.

A toxicology report had, however, revealed that the victims died from suffocation due to overcrowding but further investigations and test later emerged that traces of the poisonous chemical, methanol, were found in their bodies.

The toxicology report is yet to be concluded, but forensic pathologists have suggested their deaths were caused by something they inhaled or ingested.

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Ugandan TikToker remanded in prison for insulting President Museveni, traditional ruler

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Popular Ugandan TikToker, Ibrahim Musana, also known as “Pressure 247”, has been remanded in prison for allegedly insulting President Yoweri Museveni as well as “using abusive and demeaning remarks he made against the Kingdom of Buganda and the Kabaka” deemed to be hate speech.

According to media reports, “Pressure 247” was sent to the Luzira Prison where he will be cooling his feet till March 7, where his bail application will be heard.

The remand order was given when he appeared before the Buganda Road Court on eight counts under the Computer Misuse Act (2021), following complaints from the Buganda Kingdom.

The 27-year-old entertainer was charged with allegedly promoting hate speech and spreading malicious information via his TikTok videos following complaints filed by the Buganda Kingdom.

According to prosecutors, Musana allegedly shared content on his TikTok account between August 2023 and February 2024 that disparaged and incited hostility towards four Ugandan leaders, Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, President Yoweri Museveni, Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, and State Minister for ICT Joyce Naboosa Ssebugwawo.

Musana who pleaded not guilty to the charges, asserted that he was unaware that his actions constituted an offense. He also told the court that he was suffering from psychological challenges and had been receiving treatment at the Butabika Mental Hospital.

He further explained that he felt a spiritual obligation inspired by past Buganda Kings to restore their tombs but lacked the necessary financial resources, and pleaded for forgiveness and leniency.

Despite Musana’s plea for forgiveness and promise to refrain from attacking leaders and removing the contentious content from his TikTok account, the Magistrate rejected his plea and ruled that he should remanded in prison pending his bail application.

His oral bail request was also denied due to insufficient documentation from his sureties.

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