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Here Are All the African Athletes Competing For Gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics

There are more Africans competing in this year's Winter Olympics than ever before.

The Winter Olympics commence tomorrow, February 9, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where some of the world's top athletes will compete for Olympic gold. This year, a record-setting number of these skilled athletes happen to be African.

African athletes from across the continent have been making waves in their respective sports—many of them becoming the first ever to represent their country in the games. Athletes from Eritrea, Nigeria, Madagascar, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya are among this trailblazing group.

If you want to join us in "rooting for everybody African" during the Winter Olympics, look no further. Below, we list all the African athletes who'll compete in the 2018 games.


Simidele Adeagbo

The Nigerian athlete will be the first woman to represent Nigeria in skeleton racing, just four months after she picked up the sport. OkayAfrica spoke to the athlete last month, and she had this to say about inspiring other Africans to break down barriers: "Why not use all of the gifts that I have to inspire people, so I'm not the first and last? Hopefully, the idea is that this opens doors for future generations of African athletes."

Mathilde-Amivi Petitjean

Petitjean is just 23 and she's already competing in her second Olympic games. The Togolese cross country skier will compete in the Pyeongchang games, after making her Olympic debut at the 2014 games in Russia.

Sabrina Simader


This 19-year-old athlete will be the first Kenyan to compete in alpine skiing. The athlete has been hitting the slopes since the age of three, growing up in Austria where she was the only black girl. "At the beginning it was hard, they were always watching me," said the athlete. "They were really shocked that a black girl can ski like this."

Now they'll all be watching her do her thing on national TV! Talk about full circle.

Mialitiana Clerc

This alpine skier from Madagascar will be the first woman to compete for her country in this year's games. Another history-maker to add to the already extensive list.

Shannon-Ogbani Abeda

Abeda is Eritrea's first Winter Olympian. The 21-year-old will represent his country in alpine skiing.

Akwasi Frimpong

Frimpong will make history as the first Ghanian to compete in Olympic skeleton racing. The athlete wants to encourage other Africans to try unconventional sports. "Through skeleton I'm trying to show people to come out of their comfort zone as much as possible and get into something different," he told Pulse Ghana. We cannot all be Abedi Pele, we cannot all be Usain Bolt, but we all have talent that we can definitely use."

The Nigerian Women's Bobsled Team

The celebrated trio, consisting of Driver Seun Adigun and brakewomen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga will head to the Olymics after qualifying last year. They'll be the first Africans to compete in the sport during the Olympics. Upon qualifying, Adigun had this to say:

"This is a huge milestone for sports in Nigeria. Nothing makes me prouder than to know that I can play a small role in creating opportunities for winter sports to take place in Nigeria."

"Our objective now is to be the best representation of Africa that the Winter Olympics have ever witnessed."

"Our objective now is to be the best representation of Africa that the Winter Olympics have ever witnessed."

Adam Lamhamedi

This alpine skier represented Morocco in the 2014 Winter Olympic games and will return to compete for gold this year. Moroccan-French cross country skier, Amir Azzimani, who competed back in 2010 will return for this year's games.

Connor Wilson

Connor Wilson Is the sole athlete representing South African in this year's games.

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Tune into the Winter Olympics from February 9-25 to catch all the action. Check here for more details on the games, and stay tuned for OkayAfrica's live coverage of the opening ceremony.


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Op-Ed: Kanye West In Africa Is Music Marketing At Its Worst

Scream all you want. Feel the euphoria of Kanye moving to our drums, but don't forget he's here for marketing.

One of the most interesting parts of the music industry is the marketing of an album. In developed music markets, accomplished professionals and creatives sit in a room and decide how best they want to sell the music. It's the norm. Many people deliberate and develop a roll-out plan that is improved until it's perfect for execution.

When JAY-Z rented out billboards for 4:44, with everyone wondering what it meant around the world, that is marketing. Mr Eazi drawing a towering mural of himself and Giggs in London, was another marketing tactic to push his single "London Town." Falz created an entire movement filled with conventionally attractive men, and named it the 'Sweet Boys Association,' because he had a single that needed to be sold to fans. Perhaps, what takes the cake in the world of African music marketing is one crazy move by a little known Nigerian artist named Skibii. You see, this guy died and rose again from the dead, just like sweet biblical adult Jesus. He had a single somewhere that needed the attention. Death and resurrection was his thing.

Kanye West is in Africa for marketing. The US rap superstar is holed up at the Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda, surrounded by his friends, colleagues and family. He is here because he has an album to release named Yandhi, and somehow, he found his way to the Motherland, where's he's built two outdoor domes, as his working studio. He isn't working from inside a house like a mere mortal. He's in the wild, connecting to Mother Nature and nourishing foliage. This is Africa, Kanye West is an African-American. His ancestors came from this part of the world. He has a claim to this soil.

Kanye West was supposed to drop his ninth studio album on Saturday, September 29. After two days of waiting, three Saturday Night Live performances, one tweet from Kim Kardashian-West and an appearance on TMZ Live, Yandhi was pushed back to Black Friday, November 23. West admitted that he "didn't finish" the album in time, and a member of his management staff suggested pushing the release back.

"I started incorporating sounds that you never heard before and pushing and having concepts that people don't talk about," West said. "We have concepts talking about body-shaming and women being looked down upon for how many people that they slept with. It's just a full Ye album and those five albums I dropped earlier were like superhero rehabilitation and now the alien Ye is fully back in mode… We're going to Africa in two weeks to record. I felt this energy when I was in Chicago. I felt the roots. We have to go to what is known as Africa."

In Africa, Kanye West hasn't laid low. Photos from his arrival hit the internet, and somehow, he was filmed listening, dancing and vibing to African music. Those songs include Mystro's "Immediately," and Burna Boy's "Ye." The videos have gone viral, Africans are wowed by Kanye's interaction with their music, reactions and takes, Africa is moved by Kanye West interacting with our music. Somehow, I used to think we are over this type of event. The event where an an American superstar, who has a huge fan base in Africa, dances to our music, and we lose it. But I was wrong. This content format still has power.

Scream all you want. Feel the euphoria of Kanye moving to our drums, but don't forget he's here for marketing. His album is about to drop, and he's publicly alerted the world that he needs to be in Africa and its strong cultural influence to complete the project. Everyone is watching, the conversation has global traction, and Africans are supporting him. Since Kanye got heat for his infamous "Slavery was a choice," comment, I knew Africa will become a part of that story. The past week has seen him visit President Donald Trump at the white house, and further moved away from the love of his African-American base in the US. Black people are not behind Kanye West right now. The media is tearing him to shreds. Celebrities are in a social media race to dissociate themselves from him. Many fans aren't proud of their icon. But he is in the Motherland, dancing to its native music, and we can all cheer.

"I'm in Africa recording," he says in a 9 minute video on Twitter about mind control free thinking and his greatness. "We just took them to the future with the dome. The music is the best on the planet. I am the best living recording artist. We, rather, because the spirits flow through me. The spirit of Fela, the spirit of Marley, the spirit of Pac flows through me. We know who the best. We know."

On the surface, Africa appears to be a gimmick. A play by a great artist to expand the story of his album for marketing talking points. Yandhi is already anticipated, and generations after us will study his art and point to this project as the one where Africa played a direct role. This black continent is a marketing tool for Kanye. Son of Fela Kuti, Seun Kuti, has already disassociated Fela Kuti's spirit from Kanye's claims. "On behalf of the Kuti family, I want to state that the spirit of Olufela Anikulapo Kuti isn't anywhere near Kanye West," Seun announced on Instagram.

Perhaps marketing isn't Kanye's only reason for his African trip. Maybe, the world is too harsh on Kanye West and his new level of introspective vibrations. Maybe we aren't seeing the bigger picture. Oh gosh! We might all be victims of this grand mind control programme that West talks about! What if Kanye West is on these shores for some actual influence? Africa has a rich spectrum of sounds, laden with enough culture, soul and character to influence any type of music. From Cairo down to Lagos, there's enough music to add colour.

A clear way for justification of his African trip is perhaps for Kanye West to give back. He is connecting to the 'roots' after all. He is soaking in the energy for inspiration. Perhaps he might actually get to work with an African artist while on the continent. Already, Perhaps Africa's contributions to the project will be anchored by an African. Already, in his creative dome, Ugandan producer extraordinaire, Benon Mugumbya, has been pictured. If he gets some of that Yhandi shine, it wouldn't hurt.

Kanye officially has to be the first hip-hop star to make a trip to the continent for direct inspiration since Africa began to hug the spotlight as an interesting market for global music players. Recent years have witnessed the penetration of African music into global pop spaces. Africa has become the new cool. And as her sonic influence grows, more artists would continue to find new ways to interact. Kanye is making a splash with this. Perhaps, he will be the inspiration for more exchange between Africa and Europe.

Perhaps, his music isn't his true reason for this trip. Maybe Ye just wants to get away from the madness from the USA, and go find Wakanda. Maybe he will discover Ye-Kanda. Either way, only the final version of Yhandi will contain the answers that we seek, and Kanye West's true intention. For now, he is already winning. All those marketing points are already helping the project.

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Belgium's First Black Mayor Is a Congolese Immigrant

Pierre Kompany, who came to Belgium from the DRC as a refugee in 1975, was elected mayor of a Brussels borough this week.

Pierre Kompany, a Congolese immigrant and father of professional football players Vincent and Francois Kompany, has been elected mayor of the Ganshoren borough in Brussels, BBC reports.

This is a history-making moment, as this victory makes Kompany Belgium's first black mayor.

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Family of Abducted Tanzanian Billionaire Offers Reward for Information on His Whereabouts

The family of Mohammed Dweji, Africa's youngest billionaire, is offering $437,000 for information that will lead to his safe return.

Latst week, Tanzania's richest man and Africa's youngest billionaire Mohammed Dewji was abducted outside of an upscale hotel in Dar es Salam. His whereabouts still remain unknown, and now his family if offering a hefty financial reward to anyone with information that will help lead to his safe return.

Dweji's family is offering 1 billion Tanzanian shillings (~$437,000) to anyone with information on his whereabouts. reports Forbes.

"We would like to thank God, and applaud the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and its institutions for the hard work they are currently doing to make sure that our beloved son is found," says Azim Dewji, the family spokesperson. "We urge you to continue keeping MO in your prayers as our nation continues the search for him."

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