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  1. US musician Mos Def vows never to return to South Africa
  2. Zimbabwe's constitutional court outlaws customary child marriage
  3. Kenya's film board warns it may block Netflix over some of its content
  4. Nigerian 101-year-old king, the Olubadan of Ibadan, dies
  5. Kenyan police shoot dead four "terror suspects" in fire-fight
  6. Ghana demonstrations over utility price rises
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive
  8. Email stories and comments to - Wednesday 20 January 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

    That's all from the BBC Africa Live page today. 

    Listen to the Africa Today podcast and keep up-to-date with stories from across the continent on the BBC News website

    A reminder of today's wise words: 

    Quote Message: When a mighty tree falls, the birds are scattered into the bush." from Sent by Vitus Mmaduabuchi Ezeokafor from Ora-eri, Anambra in Nigeria
    Sent by Vitus Mmaduabuchi Ezeokafor from Ora-eri, Anambra in Nigeria

    Click here to send us your proverbs

    And we leave you with this photo of the symbolic baptism which marks part of Ethiopia's Timket celebration today.

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  2. Ivory Coast edge past Morocco at Chan championships

    Ivory Coast have boosted their hopes of qualifying for the African Nations football Championship - Chan - quarter-finals with a 1-0 win over Morocco in Group A in Rwanda's capital, Kigali.  

    Yannick Zakri Krahire scored from the penalty-spot on the stroke of half-time to move the Elephants up to second in the table. 

    View more on twitter

    Earlier in the day, Rwanda became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals with a 2-1 win over Gabon. 

    View more on twitter
  3. The irony of Mos Def's situation

    Tweeters have spent all day discussing hip hop artist Yasiin Bey's plea to leave South Africa.

    Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, was previously stopped from trying to leave the country with a "world passport".

    In a phone message plea he changed Kanye West's lyric "no more parties in LA" to "no more parties in SA".

    And the Twittersphere has been using the hashtag #nomorepartiesinSA to react.

    Some are calling for his "release":

    View more on twitter

    While others are unsympathetic:

    View more on twitter

    And the whole situation is just making this tweeter laugh:

    View more on twitter
  4. MTN 'facing Cameroon fine'

    The Cameroonian branches of the MTN and Orange mobile phone companies have been fined more than $160m (£113m) over unpaid taxes, the Reuters news agency reports.

    Other companies are also caught up in the fines after an investigation by Cameroon's anti-corruption board.

    MTN is currently facing a more than $3bn fine in Nigeria over failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards.

    But the company told Reuters that it has not yet been told about the Cameroon fine.

    MTN sign in Nigeria
  5. Tunisia's Star Academy star

    Rana Jawad, the BBC's reporter in Tunisia, got a surprise when she was approached by some people while she was out in the capital, Tunis, collecting views on some economic protests.

    No, they didn't want to talk to her about those - instead they were interested in the pan-Arab Star Academy television talent contest.

    Brandishing a poster, one woman introduced herself as the mother of Tunisian contestant, Nassim Raissi.

    Woman with poster

    She tried to persuade Rana to vote for Nassim.

    Then the woman who drew the poster also wanted to be in a picture:

    Woman with poster

    The poster says: "Nassim Raissi, the star of Star Academy season 11. Tunisia for unity and peace. Nassim is representing Tunisia in Lebanon."

    You can judge Nassim's talent for yourself in his audition tape here: 

    View more on youtube
  6. Scrabble champion stumped at word's meaning

    The world Scrabble champion, Nigerian Wellington Jighere, has been sharing a few obscure words with BBC Outlook's Matthew Bannister today.

    He brought up galago as an example of a word he learned for the game, only to reveal he doesn't know what it means.

    Have a listen:

    Video content

    Video caption: The first African to win the English-language World Scrabble Championship.

    Wellington, we hadn't heard of it either, but the Oxford English Dictionary tells us it is the word for a small, nocturnal, tree-dwelling primate with very large eyes, otherwise known as a bushbaby:

    Lesser Bushbaby (Galago senegalensis) of the West Equitorial Rainforests of Africa.
    Image caption: This Lesser Bushbaby, otherwise known as a galago senegalensis is found in some of West Africa's equatorial rainforests
  7. Effort to end child marriage in Zimbabwe

    Brian Hungwe

    BBC Africa, Harare

    Zimbabwe’s constitutional court has outlawed customary child marriages following a case brought by two women who got married before they were 15.  

    The constitution says that marriage is only legal when both partners are above the age of 18.  

    According to papers filed by the plaintiffs, 25,000 children get married in Zimbabwe every year.

    Acting for the two women, lawyer Tendai Biti said that a precedent had been set by the case.

    Many of the children are driven into marriage because of poverty. 

    But tradition and religion also continue to fuel such marriages, and there may now be a clash between the law and tradition.

    Woman washing up
  8. Escaped Mauritanian al-Qaeda death row prisoner found

    A Mauritanian al-Qaeda jihadist, who escaped prison almost three weeks ago was arrested on Tuesday night, AFP news agency reports.

    Cheikh Ould Saleck was found after crossing the Guinea-Bissau border into Guinea, security sources told AFP. 

    He was on death row over an al-Qaeda plot to assassinate Mauritania's president.

    Inmates noticed he was missing when they went to fetch him for evening prayers on 31 December.

    They found his cell locked with a flag of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) inside, a prison source told AFP. 

  9. Film director argues an alternative to Hollywood is needed

    The row over the absence of black actors from this year's list of Oscar nominees continues to rumble on in Hollywood. 

    But Ethiopian film-maker Haile Gerima told the BBC's Newsday programme that efforts are better spent on building an alternative to Hollywood.

    He argues that Hollywood is a bastion of white supremacy and black actors are unlikely to make a difference.

    Listen to his rationale:

    Video content

    Video caption: For some in the African-American film community, Hollywood has never held any appeal
  10. Kenyan editor 'fired' over critical editorial

    An editor at Kenya's Nation Media Group says he has been sacked because of an editorial he wrote that was critical of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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    Denis Galava's editorial was a New Year's message addressed to the president

    Quote Message: We reject the almost criminal resignation and negligence with which your government has responded to our national crises this past year." from Nation editorial
    Nation editorial

    He was suspended after it was published, but the Nation Media Group said this was not because he criticised the president.

    It said that Mr Galava did not follow procedure before taking a strong position.

    Following news of his sacking, he told The Star newspaper: " I have penned more than 100 editorials and did not need guidance or any form of procedure before they were ready."

    The Nation Media Group has not commented on his dismissal.

  11. Is the next surfers' paradise in Africa?

    Ethiopian-American swimwear entrepreneur Yodit Eklund sees one thing when she sees the large coastline around Africa: surf. 

    She is hoping to tap into Africa's burgeoning beach culture with her designs which are inspired by traditional African wax prints. 

    But she also thinks she is part of a wider creative movement:

    "Africa has the largest population of youth on the planet and its inevitable that all the art and creation we see in the future will be coming from here."

    Watch her story of how she built up her business:

    Video content

    Video caption: Swimwear founder rides wave of success.
  12. Mozambican opposition MP shot

    A senior official of Mozambique's Renamo opposition party has been shot by unknown gunmen, Reuters news agency reports.

    It was hours after he accused pro-government militia of killing and abducting members of his party, it adds.

    Manuel Bissopo, the Secretary General of Renamo, was hospitalised and his bodyguard was killed.

  13. Angolan doomsday sect leader on trial for murder

    The trial of Angolan sect leader and 10 of his followers, accused of murdering police officers, entered its third day today.

    Angopop news reports that they deny the allegations.  

    Jose Kalupeteka led a breakaway faction of the Seventh Day Adventist Church which believed the world would end in 2015. 

    Human Rights Watch's Zenaida Machado, who has been following the trial, says the clash erupted in April when police went to question Mr Kalupeteka about allegations of encouraging civil disobedience.

    Angolan authorities say Mr Kalupeteka’s bodyguards attacked them with firearms and machetes when they went to arrest him, and, in response, officers killed 13 of the leader’s guards, she adds.

    Jose Kalupeteka
    Image caption: Mr Kalupeteka is yet to be on the stand
  14. Swansea helping out in The Gambia

    Premier League side Swansea City have been tweeting about a coaching course they recently held in the Gambian capital, Banjul.

    The club says it was the idea of two supporters and backed by Swans winger and Gambian international Modou Barrow.

    View more on twitter
  15. Five children suffocate in broken freezer

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    The community of Kakamas, a small town in Northern Cape province is in shock following the discovery of five bodies of young children in a broken freezer.

    It is believed that all five, who were cousins between the ages of three and seven, suffocated.

    The police are investigating what happened.

    Police spokesperson Dimakatso Mooi said “the grandmother of the children found them all suffocated inside an old freezer in their yard. 

    "It’s believed the freezer locked accidentally while the kids were playing inside.” 

  16. Should Netflix be stopped in Kenya?

    Lots of people have been commenting on Facebook about the Kenyan film board's statement that the the video streaming service Netflix has films that corrupt children's morals.

    It is hoping to talk to the internet company about restricting and reclassifying some of its content.

    Omar Bashir welcomes the move:

    Quote Message: Some programmes are so embarrassing to watch with family, they should be censored. Thanks film board for minding about the future generation.

    While Kendra Dee thinks the film board's interference is unnecessary:

    Quote Message: Stop expecting the world to do what the parents should...

    And Clarina Serene Mojakhomo says there is already a feature on Netflix which protects children:

    Quote Message: It's not Netflix's job to parent children. There is a children section on the app so why don't you make them watch that and monitor them.
  17. Timket celebrations in Ethiopia

    We asked for some pictures of how people are celebrating the Ethiopian Orthodox Timket - or Epiphany - festival.

    Emmanuel Girma sent some snaps to our WhatsApp number (+44 7341 070 844) from the town of Dre Dawa.

    There was a big procession as people followed the tabot - or replica of the ark of the covenant - as it was paraded in the town.

    Dire Dawa

    He also said that this morning he was symbolically baptised - the festival celebrates the baptism of Jesus.

    Dire Dawa

    Emmanuel told us that the holiday - the first that he's spent outside the capital, Addis Ababa - was beautiful.

    We also got this picture from Surafel Tekeba of people being baptised in Gondar.


    He said he also joined the tabot procession.

  18. One million Kenyan TV viewers in the dark

    BBC Monitoring

    Janet Onyango

    One million of Kenya's estimated 3.5 million TV users have had no access to TV ever since the country migrated from analogue to digital broadcasts, according to Kenya's Business Daily newspaper today, quoting a survey by mobile survey platform Geopoll.

    According to the survey, respondents said they had not acquired set top boxes because of the cost, they were not available in their area or they did not consider them a priority. 

    Kenya migrated to digital broadcasting in February 2015.