Politics
George Weah 2017 presidential campaign poster

George Weah Will be the Next President of Liberia

The football superstar has won the runoff election and will be sworn in next month.

Third time's a charm for the popular Liberian footballer turned politician, George Weah. After losing twice to incumbent Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Weah has secured a victory in the Liberian elections against Sirleaf's far less popular vice president Joseph Boakai.


With 98.1 percent of votes cast, the Liberian National Elections Commission reports today that Weah is ahead by a decisive margin with 61.5 percent of the vote.

Weah, 51, is a former FIFA player of the year and a winner of the Ballon D'Or, the soccer-world's most coveted individual prize. He's famous internationally for his tenure with the clubs Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the 1990s and later with Chelsea and Manchester City in the UK.

But while Weah's soccer abilities are well known, his political instincts are harder to pin down and Liberians are trying hard to anticipate his coming administration. Many are hoping his win signifies a new chapter of change in a country disillusioned with the widespread corruption and stasis of Sirleaf's administration.

Reuters reports:

At his party headquarters outside Monrovia, tears streamed down Weah's face as he greeted supporters from a balcony. Outside, young fans ran through the streets and blared car horns as dusk fell over the city.

Notable is that Weah is from Clara Town, a vibrant working class neighborhood northeast of Liberia's capital-city, Monrovia. It's a place where both football pitches and homes must be constantly protected from encroaching tides on one side and evictions on the other. It's the kind of neighborhood where the majority of Liberians will live at some point and a milieu where no former Liberian president has ever come from.

His man-of-the-people bonafides aside, Weah has made some pretty odious alliances to get to the presidency. His running-mate and incoming Vice President, Senator Jewel Taylor is Liberia's former first lady during the presidency of her former husband President Charles Taylor, one of the main architects of Liberia's brutal civil war and convicted war criminal. Jewel Taylor is widely known as the lead proponent of Liberia's "kill-the-gays" bill that would impose a maximum penalty of death onto Liberians "guilty" of homosexuality.

Weah was also supported by former Liberian warlord Prince Johnson, notorious for his brutal style as a rebel general during Liberia's recent conflicts. Interestingly enough, Weah is also said to have been endorsed in all-but-name by Sirleaf herself who is said to have had a falling out with Joseph Boakai.

This YouTube Account Is Sharing South African Audiobooks For Free, And We Are Here For It

Listen to audiobooks by Steve Biko, Bessie Head, Credo Mutwa, and more.

Audio Books Masters is a YouTube channel that uploads audio versions of South African books and short stories.

Recent additions include Life by Bessie Head, Crepuscule by Can Themba, Indaba, My Children by Credo Mutwa, among others. South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile, who passed away three weeks ago, also gets read. You can listen to his poem No Serenity Here. More books you can stream include I Write What I Like by Steve Biko, Africa is my Witness by Credo Mutwa, among others.

Audio Book Masters was started by two friends, Bonolo Malevu (24) and Hahangwivhawe Liphadzi (23).

Malevu is a University of Pretoria BA Drama graduate, who is currently doing his LLB. Liphadzi is an LLB graduate, who is completing his LLM this year.

"I found a hobby of narrating books to craft my art skill after reading Credo Mutwa's Indaba, My Children," says Malevu in an email to OkayAfrica. "After reading the prologue, I knew that this book was meant to be converted [to] many different formats such as stage plays, series, movies and audiobooks."

Then came the idea of creating a YouTube channel. That was when Malevu teamed up with Liphadzi.

They both bought themselves high quality recorders, and started reading, recording and uploading.

Authors from the olden days such as RRR Dhlomo and HIE Dhlomo, whose audio versions of their books are available on the channel, are older than 50 years and their copyrights have since expired.

The rest, though, Liphadzi and Malevu say they are trying to get in contact with the publishers, but it's not easy.

"We have contacted the Department of Trade Industry (DTI) regarding this issue," they say. "We have been in contact with various copyright holders and we are still in the negotiation process. However we are finding it difficult to contact certain publishers, and the consistent uploading of their books is to attract their attention."

The two friends say they started the channel to bring books closer to people who otherwise wouldn't have access, and to get people to appreciate literature, especially African authors. "We want to bring such literature to the digital age in the form of storytelling which has been a unique African form of literature," they say. "The channel also helps develop our voices as we are a voice company that offers all kinds of voice services. We also identified how South African authors lack audio books, and found that there is a gap in this market, and this could really create many job opportunities in South Africa."

The two are currently developing stories in indigenous languages for children in English medium schools. "This is drawn from the fact that in such schools, a lot of African students struggle to speak their own native languages. So we approach various schools to sell them such literature. We are freelance voice over artists who also do radio, content production, news reading and radio adverts."

We are so here for this.

Subscribe to Audio Books Masters' YouTube channel and follow them on Twitter.

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Nigerian Actor Sope Aluko On How She Landed a Coveted Role in ​'Black Panther​'

Marvel's Black Panther is already on the brink of being a blockbuster, as it already broke box office records within the first 24 hours of it's pre-sale. Beating Captain America: Civil War's record in 2016, Fandango reports results from a user survey, stating Black Panther was 2018's second most-anticipated movie after Avengers: Infinity War.

One up-and-coming actor who will star alongside Lupita Nyong'o, Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan (to name a few) is Sope Aluko. Come February 16, we'll see the Nigerian-born actor play 'Shaman' in the film. Her previous credits include recurring roles on Netflix's “Bloodline," NBC shows “Law & Order SVU" and “Parks & Recreation" and guest appearances on USA Network's “Burn Notice" and Lifetime's “Army Wives."

Her film credits include supporting roles in feature films including Identity Thief, 96 Minutes, Grass Stains, The Good Lie and more. Raised in the UK, Aluko studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). Aluko speaks four languages, including her native language, Yoruba, French, and Bahasa, an Indonesian language.

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Music

Femi Kuti Spreads Some Much-Needed Peace In the Video For 'One People One World'

Watch the music video for the first single off Femi Kuti's upcoming EP "One People One World."

Femi Kuti drops the music video for his single "One People One World," the title song from his forthcoming 10th studio album.

The energy boosting music video sees Femi Kuti delivering an electrifying performance in the Kuti family-owned New Afrika Shrine in Lagos.

On the track, the accomplished musician promotes an unwavering message of peace and unity—things that the world could perhaps always use more of, but especially so in today's Trump-dominated political climate. His message of positivity is illustrated with graphics that appear throughout the video, showing various country flags and symbols of love and peace.

"Racism has no place, give hatred no space," Kuti sings atop brassy instrumentals. "Let's settle the differences, it's best to live in peace. Exchange cultural experiences; that's the way it should be," he continues.

"One People One World," (the album) is a plea towards global harmony and solidarity. When you look at what's going on in Africa, Europe and America, it's important to keep the dream of unity alive," the artist told OkayAfrica in November.

"When I was a boy, I listened to funk, highlife, jazz, folk songs, classical music and my father's compositions, so you will hear those things in the music."

"One People, One World" by Femi Kuti and his band, the Positive Force, drops on February 23 via Knitting Factory, and is now available for preorder.

Femi Kuti, 'One People One World' cover.

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