CAJ Magazine: Free Press, Great Africa
The magazine in its editorial highlights the issue of Swatini, the only African country in southern Africa under absolute monarchy, where political activities are banned since 1973.
The CAJ International Magazine’s new edition August 2022 has been published in Nigeria; the headquarters of the Congress of African Writers.
In its Editorial, by Michael Adeboboye (Editor-in-Chief), entitled “Free Press, Great Africa”, we go to Swatini, a country in the southern Africa region is the only African country with absolute monarchy form of rulership. Mswati III has been the king since 1986. Political parties’ activities have been banned since 1973 under king Sobhuta and ‘state of emergency’ is still in force.
The prime minister is an appointee of Eswatini’s king. But the citizens of the country are asking for true democracy just like it’s been operated in other parts of Africa. Sadly, they are to face the cruel ‘anti-terrorism’ law as a consequence of yearning for change from authoritarian rule. Alleged Lavish lifestyle of Mswati III in 2018 woke up demonstration. The monarch was alleged of misuse of public funds. Dube Eugune in this edition reports about the recent protest in Eswatini and Mswati’s defiant reactions which has taken the lives of the citizens.
According to his reports “the civil strife last year, June 29 exposed the propaganda that King Mswati III is a caring leader. In the climax of the civil unrest, he ordered security forces to murder civilians. “Building up to the national strife, the state banned delivery of petitions by prodemocracy activists at different political constituencies. The youth were petitioning their Members of Parliament to promulgate a law that would stop the king from appointing Prime Ministers. The young activists and some MPs felt it was time the nation elect their own prime minister who will carry the mandate of the people.
“The civil disobedience started in Mbabane then proceeded to Siphofaneni. Matsapha, Eswatini’s industrial hub, was the climax of the unrest as it spreads country wide. Shops in many towns were looted and burnt, main roads were blocked with burning tyres, the internet was cut, the state switched to military curfew. Shocked by the nation’s resistance paramilitary police and the army was deployed and massacred hundreds of Swazi youth. That once peaceful nation was in complete turmoil.
“King Mswati III, in his quest to squander natural resources with his family, friends and cabal, lost the peace and stability of the nation by his own hand. Over 100 Swazis, mainly democracy activists have been allegedly tortured, burnt and killed by Mswati’s police officers and soldiers since the uprising in June 29, 2021. The June 29, 2021 massacre after month, the kingdom has seen the rise of vigilante activities where soldiers, police are shot and killed and arson attacks of properties perceived to be belonging to the king” This is our cover story for this edition.
The new CAJ issue featured the Rising African Voices in Medellin (page 9-13) By: Ashraf Aboul-Yazid on The Festival that inspired the creation of the World Poetry “Movement and other international poetry festivals inside and outside Colombia.
“If poetry can be assimilated by the process of the Historical Pact in this country, and contribute to mobilize the population, developing bonds based on identity, on mutual solidarity, on trust in a future forged by a constant conscious popular struggle, with clear objectives and tasks, if Colombia can become the country it dreams of, and poetry is part of its dream, one day Colombia will radiate its deep spirit to the world and will be a paradigm of social change in the world”
These were the words of Fernando Rendon; the renowned Colombian poet and founder and director of the International Poetry Festival of Medellin, for more than three decades.
The International Poetry Festival of Medellin (Festival Internacional de Poesia de Medellin) is an annual festival held in the second-largest city of Columbia. It was founded in 1991 when Medellin had a reputation for violence and from its beginning the festival has attempted to offer an alternative. In 2006 the festival was one of the recipients of the Right Livelihood Award. The citation for the award explained that it was given “for showing how creativity, beauty, free expression and community can flourish amongst and overcome even deeply entrenched fear and violence.” The festival has also won a Spanish literary award for its contribution to peace among other things. In 2011 the World Poetry Movement was founded in the context of alternative.
There is a guest poetess; Elmaya Jabbarova from Azerbaijan with a poem entitled” AN EPIC WRITTEN ON CLOUDS”. We quote these lines:
“We fell in love, loved each other,
We know that the world is like heaven.
We saw two faces of people,
We realized that everywhere is like a dungeon!”
Toyin Falola Interview Series: Rethinking African Literature in Modern Era was also reviewed on Pages 27-29. Media Impact in The Society: Using Solution Journalism for Positive Narration, an opinion by Oseni Yusuf Salam, Nigeria. In “Social Media Journalism in a Season of Rising Insecurity and Mounting National Tension” by Tochukwu Ugwu – Nigeria, we read: “Nigeria has suffered from continual ethnic, religious and political violence since the days of Independence from the British colonial masters in 1960s. The civil war of 1967-1970 that claimed about six million lives , persistent ethno- pastoral conflicts in some parts of the middle belt, militancy in the oil producing Niger Delta region of the country, Boko Haram insurgency that is still causing sleepless nights to indigenes of North East and beyond, present day unknown gunmen and separatists agitations in all parts of the country have impacted brutally to our peaceful coexistence as a nation. However, the news media landscape has changed over last decades. Through digital sources, there has been a tremendous increase in the reach of journalism, social Media and public engagement. Checking for news online whether through Google, Twitter, Facebook, national dailies or even local Media websites. It has become ubiquitous. And also there has been a precipitous decline in public trust in traditional journalism. Fake news and misinformation campaigns are problematic in democratic setting and there is growing dialogue on how to address these issues without undermining the benefits of digital media. In recent time the social media space is toxic.
Coping with Stress in the Digital Age is another opinion by Alice Chisanga, Zambia, there is also an interview entitled “Africa for Africans Event is an Africa-centric Mega Event – Tiruneh. An interview with Daniel Tiruneh; an Ethiopian publisher. He is the Managing Director of Eyudan Media Plc; publishing a monthly English business magazine, Abyssinia Business Network. The magazine has been running for over 5 years now and has given coverage for various business enterprises and their contributions to the Ethiopian macro and micro economic sectors. In this interview with Tiblet Tesfaye. He speaks about his upbringing, background in journalism and his Africa for African Project.
Lawal Olamilekan writes: Idanre Hill:Five Million Years After, Natural Architecture Preserving Itself . The CAJ International Magazine ends with photo gallery of OLUWASEUN ADEBOBOYE WEDS ADEDUDAN ADENIYI. It is a chance to congratulate the new life of the couple for a century to come with happiness.
The magazine board has the pens of Michael Adeboboye (Editor-in-Chief), Ashraf Aboul Yazid Dali (Deputy Editor -in-Chief) with Correspondents Manuel Camalata (Angola), Mutayoba Arbogast (Tanzania), and Alice Chisanaga (Zambia) Oseni Yusuf Salam (Nigeria) Anastacio Chirute (Mozambique). The CAJ Iternational Magazine is published by: Congress of African Journalists (RC: 153753).