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5 Things You Should Know About Nigerian Political Activist Omoyele Sowore

The 48-year-old was detained on Aug. 3 for allegations of "threatening public safety, peaceful co-existence and social peace."

Political activist Omoyele Sowore's supporters have called for the Nigerian government's release of the vocal figure. The 48-year-old was detained on Aug. 3 for allegations of "threatening public safety, peaceful co-existence and social peace" on the heels of his "Revolution Now" protest (Aug. 5), BBC reports. The call to action was fueled by opposition to the regime of Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari and a need to revamp government policies that'll better reflect the desires of the country's people.

Here are five things to know about Sowore and his call to action.

1. Sowore Launched Investigative Publication Sahara Reporters In 2006
Sowore began the online publication with the sole purpose of pinning a spotlight on corruption and holding politicians accountable for wayward actions. Since it was founded in New York City, a number of Nigerian officials have filed lawsuits in U.S. courts against the website for defamation. The Daily Beast nicknamed the outlet as "Africa's Wikileaks" for its unabashed coverage of corruption in Nigeria.

The site "is providing information to Nigerians in a way they've never had it before," Sowore said. Its content is fueled by anonymous Nigerians "who want to see a different country."

2. He Announced His Presidential Campaign In 2018
In an interview with Amsterdam News, Sowore unveiled a "10-point plan" to help Nigeria become a global force through economic, social, and technological changes. He also likened his desire to create a better lifestyle for Nigerians to the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti's messages. "I am such a Fela disciple. He was one single activist who took on the system all by himself using music," he said. "I didn’t have a good voice so I couldn’t sing, but I am using media, I am using my body, my skills, and I am using the internet to fight the government.”

Sowore has remained critical of the government since 1989 when he was a student at the University of Lagos. He also obtained a Master's Degree from Columbia University in public administration.

3. Protests From New York City To Italy Call For His Release
Earlier this month, Facebook user Osuya Vivian called for Sowore's supporters to organize a peaceful protest in Italy that demands his release. "As concern Nigerians, we all have a responsibility to speak out and secure the release of our own because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere and whatever affects one directly, affects all directly," Vivian's statement reads.

On Thursday afternoon (Sept. 19), supporters appeared outside of the Nigerian embassy in New York City to bring awareness to Sowore's detainment. The African Renaissance Organization previously issued a petition to the United States Department of State that claims the Nigerian government is placing the limelight on "increasing threats to democratic freedom," according to the group's convener Onyinye Chuks.

4. According To His Wife, Opeyemi Sowore, There Are No Formal Charges
Opeyemi Sowore said her husband has yet to face any charges despite an investigation being spearheaded by the country's government or the Department of State Services (DSS), per Democracy Now. His time in jail without bail has surpassed the court-ordered 45-day mark that the government has to bring charges against a detainee. On Twitter, #FreeSoworeNow mobilized the global community to demand his release.

Opeyemi Sowore also notes that her husband’s detainment might stem from his meeting with Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). In 2015, he was arrested for treason. Kanu has called upon the United Nations to support the movement's mission of Biafra's secession from Nigeria, according to Sahara Reporters. In that same statement, he also demanded Sowore's release.

5. Nigeria And Freedom Of The Press
Under section 39 (1) of Nigeria's constitution, freedom of expression including freedom of the press is protected but past and current instances of censorship have placed a strain on the gather and dissemination of information. "There have been numerous arrests, also in the context of the 5 August demonstration, that actually did take place, where numerous people were arrested, including a number of reporters that work for Sahara Reporters," Nani Jansen Reventlow, a lawyer representing Sowore said to Democracy Now. "But various other human rights defenders in the country have been arrested over the past months."

Earlier this year, a Premium Times reporter was arrested for "refusing to reveal a source," CPJ reports. Office raids have reportedly occurred within the last four years, another journalist at Daily Trust stated.

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Trina Is Taking It “One Day At A Time” Following Mother’s Death

Trina is taking things “one day at a time,” following the death of her beloved mother, Vernessa Taylor, last month. The Love & Hip-Hop: Miami star took to social media  with an emotionally honest update, and to thank everyone for their “continued prayers” and “sweet messages.”

“Taking it all one day at a time. Appreciative for the continued support and sweet messages,” she wrote.

Missy Elliott, who was among the many replies to Trina’s tweet, left heart emojis and prayer hands under the post.

🧡🧡🙏🏾

— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) October 15, 2019

Taylor died from cancer in early September. Trina broke her silence on her mother’s passing a month later, sharing an Instagram post similar to her recent tweet. The message included special shoutouts to Elliott, LaLa Anthony, Lil Wayne, Trick Daddy, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, K. Michelle, Megan Thee Stallion, Tamar Braxton, Angie Martinez, Killer Mike and more who reached out to her after her mother died.

“All I can give and take is day by day, moments by moments right now and I am just asking for everyone to please understand that. We all grieve differently and this is the hardest loss I’ve endured to say the least! In this phase, I may even stumble a bit but I can’t let up on what I’ve built as a woman and as an entertainer,” she wrote. “Thank you to my team who has held me down during this time, I know things have not been easy on your end but I’m grateful to have you in my darkest moments!”

Read the full post below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I can write a two—page letter on how appreciative and grateful I am for all of the love, prayers, gifts, calls, texts and more that I have received during this time. And I thank you all. I wish I can name every single person that has been in my corner during this time, but I can’t even imagine how I would put them all in just this one post. I am so thankful for my Rockstarrs globally who have sent me prayers and who continue to support me: it gives me motivation day by day. All I can give and take is day by day, moments by moments right now and I am just asking for everyone to please understand that. We all grieve differently and this is the hardest loss I’ve endured to say the least! In this phase, I may even stumble a bit but I can’t let up on what I’ve built as a woman and as an entertainer. Thank you to my team who has held me down during this time, I know things have not been easy on your end but I’m grateful to have you in my darkest moments! Thank you Finger Licking, Sunday’s Eatery, StrongArm IMG, GMGPrints, and Dwight Richardson of Richardson Funeral Home. To my city, Miami and Mayor Francis X. Suarez, I was humbled and honored to receive the plaque you presented to my family for my mother and her commitments in the city. Ted Lucas (Slip N Slide Records) words aren’t enough to express on how you showed up and helped me so much, I am thankful to have started this journey under your wings as a music legend! EClass, home team always, and I am so grateful for your respect and love given to my family and I during this time. Thank you to Cheneka Chambers of Outrageous Events and your team for bringing the celebratory vision we envisioned for my mother alive. Special thank you to these beautiful ppl who have been reaching out, checking on me and sending condolences as well: LaLa, Missy Elliott, Lil Wayne, my brother Trick Daddy, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Seven Streeter, Rick Ross, K. Michelle, DaBrat, Meg Thee Stallion, Kandi, Kelly Price, Tamar Braxton, Angie Martinez, Killer Mike & Shay, Betty Wright and so many more..... 🧡🙏🏽

A post shared by katrina (@trinarockstarr) on Oct 2, 2019 at 12:39pm PDT

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Travis Scott May Need Surgery After Dislocating Knee On Stage: Report

After falling during his performance at Rolling Loud New York last weekend, Travis Scott could be going under the knife. The “Sicko Mode” rapper reportedly dislocated his knee from falling on stage and may have to undergo surgery.

According to TMZ, Scott visited an orthopedic doctor in Los Angeles this week where he learned of the injury. Scott was given the option of surgery, or waiting to see if his knee heel on its own. Reportedly, the 28-year-old rap star and sports fan would rather have surgery so that he can go back to playing basketball comfortably. In 2018, the Houston native played in NBA player James Harden’s celebrity basketball game, and collaborated with Jordan Brand to introduce the Air Jordan XXXIII sneaker, with help from a group of high school ball players.

In more personal news, Scott and his girlfriend, Kylie Jenner split earlier in the month after two years of dating, and welcoming a daughter together. News of the split followed rumors of Scott allegedly cheating on Jenner. Scott took to his Instagram Story last week to put the cheating rumors to rest.

“[It's] really affecting when u see false things said about you,” Scott wrote. “Once again these false stories about me cheating are just simply not true. Focusing on life, music and family at this moment is what's real.”

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Cyntoia Brown Talks Redemption In First Interview After Prison

In her first TV interview since being released from prison, Cyntoia Brown sat down with NBC News to open up about her incarceration, the moment that she was finally freed, and the feeling of redemption.

“It's an honor that God has put me in this position. I feel like it's a great opportunity,” Brown told NBC's Lester Holt. “I fully intend to step into that and to share my experiences as often as I can, with whoever I can, in the hopes that it can bring about more understanding about what goes on in the system with young girls who find themselves in the situation that I did.”

Brown, 31, spent 15 years in prison on a murder conviction. A victim of child sex trafficking, Brown was granted clemency after her story caught worldwide attention, which included rallying for her release from the likes of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and other celebrity figures.

In the interview, Brown admitted that she had grown to expect violence from men. Brown, who survived multiple rapes, detailed the deadly encounter with Johnny Allen, a 45-year-old man who solicited her for sex. Brown was convicted of Allen’s murder in 2004. “I'm so much more than the worst thing that I've done. I'm so much more than that moment,” Brown told Holt.

Despite being forced into prostitution by an ex-boyfriend and pimp nicknamed “Kut-Throat,” Brown didn’t initially see herself as a sex trafficking victim. “You meet these young girls who are in these situations, and they don't view themselves as being pimped. They don't view their trafficker as their trafficker. They think, ‘This is my boyfriend.’ And that's exactly what I thought with Kut,” she explained. “I thought, ‘This is my boyfriend. I'm in a relationship. I'm his Bonnie, he's my Clyde.’”

Brown pointed out that her story is not unique. “There's nothing special about me. I can't tell you how many Cyntoia Browns still in prison. The women who helped me get to this point, they're still in prison for 51 years and up with ridiculous sentences. And they don’t have hope right now.”

While in prison, Brown received two college degrees. The Nashville native also recently tied the knot with Jamie Long, a Christian recording artist and entrepreneur.

Brown has been making the media rounds in promotion of her memoir, Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System, released on Oct. 15.

Watch her full interview below.

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