As the world prepares for the 2024 Paris Olympics, South Africans will be celebrating Youth Day on Sunday. These two events share a fascinating history. On 16 June 1976 young activists in Soweto, South Africa embarked on a protest that would turn into a massacre by apartheid security forces. The event would trigger the Organisation of African Unity (later the African Union) to flex its international muscle: it called for New Zealand to be banned from the Montreal Olympics because of its rugby team's support of apartheid South Africa. It ended in the continent’s dramatic and successful boycott of the Olympics that year. Historian Nicolas Bancel revisits these events and their impact.

South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma’s new uMkhonto we Sizwe Party had tremendous success at the recent election. Barely six months after it was launched, it’s now the third-largest party in parliament. Roger Southall examines five explanations that have been offered for Zuma’s popularity.

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Assane Diagne

Francophone Editor

June 16 uprising: how a massacre in South Africa led to Africa’s boycott of the 1976 Olympics

Nicolas Bancel, Université de Lausanne

African states won new power when they demanded New Zealand withdraw because of their rugby tour of apartheid South Africa.

Jacob Zuma: South Africans have five theories about why he’s still popular

Roger Southall, University of the Witwatersrand

There’s confusion in South Africa about what’s driving the popularity of Jacob Zuma and his uMkhonto we Sizwe party.

Senegal has a rich history of traditional music – how it lives on in modern music

Brett D. Molter, Biola University

Combining elements of traditional and modern music has created rhythms that are unique to Senegalese music.

Mental health services are scarce in Nigeria but there’s a huge need: what we learnt from callers to a hotline

Aloysius Odii, University of Nigeria; Nnenna Mba-Oduwusi

Responses to a toll-free hotline offering advice on mental health issues showed demand was high.

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