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Photos of Mfiondu Kabengele and Bruno Fernando by Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Photos of Bol Bol and Sekou Doumbouya by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images.

Meet the 8 African Players Who've Been Newly Drafted Into the NBA

These players hailing from across the continent are set to have promising careers as new NBA athletes.

The 2019 NBA Draft went down Thursday night at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, where 60 talented hopefuls from college basketball and international leagues were drafted into the NBA.

As our recent preview mentioned, eight players with roots stemming from the continent were in the running for this next step in their professional careers. Out of the prospects, two new and unexpected faces were selected.

Get to know them below.


Chuma Okeke | Nigeria

Okeke was drafted by the Orlando Magic in the first round as the 16th pick. The 20-year-old forward was born in Georgia to a Nigerian father and played for Auburn University.

Read his draft board here.

Chikezie 'KZ' Okpala | Nigeria

Okpala, 20, was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the second round as the 32nd pick. The rookie small forward, who played for Stanford University, was born in California to his Nigerian-born parents—Martin and Mary Okpala.

Read his draft board here.

Rui Hachimura | Benin + Japan

Hachimura indeed made history becoming the first Japanese-born player to be drafted into the NBA. The rookie power forward from Gonzaga University was drafted by the Washington Wizards in the first round as the ninth pick.

Read his draft board here.

Sekou Doumbouya | Guinea

Doumbouya is the French professional basketball player coming from team Limoges CSP of the LNB Pro A league. The small forward was also drafted in the first round by the Detroit Pistons as the 15th pick.

Read his draft board here.

Mfiondu Kabengele | Democratic Republic of Congo

Kabengele, the nephew of NBA vet and Hall of Fame inductee Dikembe Mutumbo, was drafted by the Brooklyn Nets in the first round as the 27th pick. The rookie center grew up in Canada and attended Florida State University.

Read his draft board here.

Bruno Fernando | Angola

Fernando was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round at the 34th pick. The rookie center attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where he averaged 13.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game by his sophomore year.

Read his draft board here.

Bol Bol | Sudan

Although it was anticipated for Bol Bol to be selected in the first round, the center and son of the late Manute Bol was drafted by the Miami Heat head in the second round as the 44th pick. Bol was then traded to the Denver Nuggets.

Read his draft board here.

Olumiye Oni | Nigeria

Oni was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the second round as the 58th pick, but was then traded to the Utah Jazz. The shooting guard who played for Yale University has made history becoming the first player from the Ivy League to be drafted since Jerome Allen was selected in the second round from University of Pennsylvania in 1995.

Read his draft board here.

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Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach.

South Africans Condemn Police Brutality During National Lockdown

A number of videos have emerged on social media allegedly showing the intimidation and assault of several Black South Africans by law enforcement.

South Africa recently began a nationwide lockdown in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been deployed across the nation to aid the police in ensuring that the rules of the lockdown are upheld. However, disturbing footage has emerged on social media allegedly depicting law enforcement agents assaulting Black South Africans.

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Image by Sabelo Mkhabela.

This Is What It Takes for South African Musicians to Succeed Abroad

Jeremy Loops, Shimza, Moonchild Sanelly and GoodLuck discuss what it took to build their names overseas.

Disclaimer: The conversation which this piece makes reference to took place before the COVID-19 pandemic hit South Africa.

"I said it for 10 years that I'm going to work with Beyoncé, and everybody laughed for those 10 years. And I said it with conviction. Today, I'm on a Grammy-nominated album [on a song] with Beyoncé right now," says Moonchild Sanelly referring to the song "MY POWER" in which she's featured in alongside Busiswa, Nija, Yemi Alade, Tierra Whack and of course Queen B herself. The track is a fan-favorite from the Lion King: The Gift soundtrack album curated by Beyoncé. Moonchild is pulling out these receipts to elaborate a point she just made about self-belief which helped her build a career that's recognized globally, a feat very few South African artists have achieved.

A few of those artists— Jeremy Loops, Shimza and Juliet Harding (a member of the versatile electronic band GoodLuck)—are on the podium alongside Moonchild during the Midem Africa Conference in Langa, Cape Town towards the end of February. The four musicians are in conversation with Trenton Birch, musician and founder of Bridges for Music Academy, sharing their secrets to breaking into the highly competitive and advanced music markets of mainly Europe and the US.

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News Brief
Still from Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim's TED Talk

Watch Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim's  TED Talk on How Indigenous Knowledge Can Help Fight Climate Change

The Chadian activist—and one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020—says traditional knowledge, as practiced in her native Mbororo community, is one of the keys to combatting climate change.

In a new TED Talk, climate activist, geographer and one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, discusses the role that indigenous knowledge can play in combatting climate change.

During the 13-minute talk, Ibrahim emphasizes how the exploration and acceptance of various knowledge systems–including those that fall outside of the scope of typical scientific research–can add to our understanding of ways to protect the environment. "I think, if we put together all the knowledge systems that we have -- science, technology, traditional knowledge -- we can give the best of us to protect our peoples, to protect our planet, to restore the ecosystem that we are losing," says Ibrahim.

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Interview

Interview: Buju Is the Blooming Afro-Fusion Artist You Should Know

Over the last year, Buju has gone from a viral sensation to one of Nigeria's young music stars pushing afro-fusion to new heights.

When chasing a dream from Nigeria, one needs a surplus of that secret sauce called belief. Young Nigerians in the music space have always forced the issue of their recognition as new viral sensations coming out with fresh, innovative styles are delimiting the shine of the limelight.

Late last year, "Spiritual," was the new record on everybody's lips. While hip-hop sensation Zlatan served as the poster boy for the single, the voice of a new melody twister carried most of the track. 22-year-old Daniel Benson, popularly known as Buju or BujuToyourEars in full, piqued the interest of industry giants and has been on an upward trajectory since then.

Around four million streams later, a handful of major performances, Headies nominations, and a remix of his hit single "L'Enu" featuring his idol Burna Boy on the way, the stars don't seem to be the limit for Buju.

Meet Buju, the latest addition to the list of young Nigerian stars pushing the new generation into the conversation.

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