News Brief

Ghanaian-American Speedskater Maame Biney Speaks on Breaking Barriers In this New Video

The 18-year-old made history as the first black woman to qualify for the U.S. Olympic speedskating team, and now she's focused on bringing home the gold.

As the Winter Olympics opening ceremony is only days away, we get to know Maame Biney, the 18-year-old speedskater who will be competing for team USA in short-track speed skating in the PyeongChang Games.

Biney made history in December when she qualified for the U.S. Olympic speedskating team—making her the first black woman to do so.

"Being the first African American girl on this Olympic team is really awesome because that means that young African American girls, or any other race for the matter, could go out there, find an ice rink, skate and try it out," she says in a video with CNN, "You could be the next Olympian, which is an awesome thing to be."


We also get introduced to Biney's father in the clip—who noticed Maame's curiosity in the sport when she was only 5 years old. Nevertheless, her story is nothing short of inspiring.

"I'm breaking barriers—and I'm just embracing that," she says.

Watch the clip below:

The UN Has Lifted Its Sanction on Eritrea After Nine Years

Members voted unanimously on Wednesday to remove a nine year sanction—removing a trade embargo and travel ban.

After nine years, the United Nations has voted unanimously to lift Eritrea's economic sanctions, as a result of the government's attempts to foster friendlier relations with neighboring countries Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti.

The sanction which was put in place in by the UN Security Council in 2009, after the Eritrean government was accused of backing the Somali extremist group al-Shabab—which it denied. The block included an embargo on trade, an asset freeze and travel ban—making the country a "global pariah," reports BBC Africa.

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D'banj & Tiwa Savage "Shake It" cover artwork. Courtesy of the artists.

The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

The best music of the week featuring Sade, D'banj x Tiwa Savage, FOKN Bois, Busiswa, Mr Eazi, Wizkid, Cassper Nyovest and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.

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Still from YouTube.

Diamond Platnumz & Rayvanny’s 'Mwanza' Has Been Banned In Tanzania

It's been deemed "too vulgar" to be played in the country.

Tanzania's national arts council, Baraza la Sanaa Tanzania (BASATA) has banned Diamond Platnumz and Rayvanny's latest single "Mwanza," and slapped the artists with a hefty fine due to its sexual content.

The board has ordered the label Wasafi Records to remove the track from all digital platforms, and it will no longer be played on the radio or in clubs in Tanzania, reports Kahawa Tungu. The popular song has over 2 million views on YouTube.

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