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African Athletes Are Taking Over the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony—Stream It Here

A record setting number of African athletes came out to represent at this year's Winter Olympic games in Pyeongchang.

The 2018 Winter Olympics are being called "the most African" ever. With 13 athletes from 8 different African countries including Ghana, South Africa, Eritrea, Nigeria, Madagascar, Togo, Morocco, and Kenya, African athletes are leaving their mark on winter sports like never before.

A number of these athletes are representing their countries for the first time ever, and naturally there's an undeniable aura of pride in the air. This certainly came across during the opening ceremony this morning in Pyeongchang where athletes from across the globe came to wave their country's flag high.


Following in the tradition, Greece was the first country to come out, immediately followed by Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa.

We can't wait to see some of our favorite athletes compete for the gold. You can stream the opening ceremony here.

Be sure to follow OkayAfrica for more updates on Africans at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

History making Ghanaian skeleton racer, Akwasi Frimpong showed off a big smile and some dance moves as he made his Olympic debut.

Sabrina Simader, Kenya's first female alpine skier, was in the building!

With a number of first-time athletes in the games, including skeleton racer Simidele Adeagbo and the Women's bobsled team, Nigeria made a big splash during the ceremony.

South Africa's sole competitor, alpine skier Connor Wilson was there to fly his country's flag high during the ceremony.

Here's more from Nigeria, South Africa, Eritrea, and Morocco. Represent, represent!

We can't wait to see who will take home the gold! Check here for a list of all the African athletes competing in this year's Winter Olympics.

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The Ethiopian Government Has Asked Olympic Runner In Exile, Feyisa Lilesa, to Return Home

After two years in exile, the Olympic athlete will return home and receive a "hero's welcome."

Feyisa Lilesa, the Ethiopian runner who went into exile in 2016 after bravely protesting the Ethiopian government's brutal treatment of its Oromo population at the Rio Olympics, has been invited to return to home.

After living in self-imposed exile United States for two years the marathoner, who demonstrated by crossing his fists as he reached the finish line and claimed the silver medal, has been extended an offer to return to his homeland and compete for his country once again by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation and the country's Olympic committee. According to VOA News, the runner will return home in the coming weeks with his wife and children.

"Athlete Feyisa Lilesa has scored great results at the Rio Olympics and other athletics competitions enabling Ethiopia's flag to be hoisted to great heights," read a joint letter from the two athletics organizations.

"We want Lilesa to return to his home country to resume his athletics competition and upon his return we are prepared to give him a hero's welcome."

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Politics
Image via GovernmentZA's Flickr.

Could Justice Finally Be on the Horizon for Marikana Massacre Families?

New evidence suggests that the police intended to kill all along.

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the Marikana Massacre, when 34 mine-workers were gunned down by police after several days of wage disputes at Lonmin Mine in Rustenburg, North West province. New information was recently uncovered that undermines the police's longstanding claim that they acted in self-defence. If anything, it is a glimmer of hope for the families of the victims that remain left behind in the aftermath of that tragedy.

It was the worst mass civilian killing since the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, where South African protesters were killed for opposing the Apartheid regime. The Marikana Massacre, in contrast, was the tragic consequence of week-long wage disputes and clashes between miners and the South African police.

While media footage appears to show the miners as the victims, police have always argued that they were acting in self defence. Consequently no officers involved have been charged. Instead, the surviving mineworkers face murder charges under the doctrine of common purpose. But unnerving facts have come to light that seem to make the police argument even less likely. This includes the ordering of 4000 rounds of live ammunition and several vans from the mortuary the day before the massacre.

I cannot even begin to unpack my anger and frustration at this terrible irony.

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Remembering Aretha Franklin and Her Heartfelt Connection With Nelson Mandela

In honor of the Queen of Soul's immeasurable impact, we revisit her passionate support of Nelson Mandela, and the anti-apartheid movement, through her musical tributes.

Iconic singer, Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul" passed away on Thursday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76.

Franklin was considered by many to be the greatest singer of all time. Her influence on popular music cannot be overstated. The legendary artist sold 75 million records and earned 18 Grammys in a career spanning six decades and she was influential in many global social movements as well.

Having been a widely-embraced public figure for so long, Franklin was present for some of the biggest events of the 20th century, including the funeral of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990.

Upon Mandela's release, the singer played a unique role in welcoming him to the States by performing at a freedom rally in his honor in Detroit. Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson and Stevie Wonder were also in attendance for the historic night. During the celebration, Franklin called the anti-apartheid leader on stage, where he spoke about listening to and appreciating "the Detroit, Motown Sound" while he was in prison.

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