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Here Are All the African Athletes Nominated for the 2018 World Athlete of the Year Award

These eight athletes are competing for one of the sports world's biggest awards.

The nominations for World Athlete of the Year have been announced by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and a number of African athletes are in the running for the prestigious awards.

The titles are given out annually to accomplished athletes from across the world, who participate in sports such as track, cross country, road running, race walking, long jump and more. Past recipients include Usain Bolt and Haile Gebrselassie.

There are 10 nominees in both the men's and women's categories, and this year a total of 8 athletes have African roots. Supporters can vote for their favorite athletes on Twitter, and five finalist will be announced in November. The winners will be announced on December 4.


Read on for a complete list of the African athletes nominated for this year's IAAF's Athlete of the Year award.

Caster Semenya

The South African track star is nominated despite IAAF attempts to impose a controversial testosterone requirement that means the athlete may have to chemically reduce her testosterone levels or compete with men. She has challenged the policy in court calling it "discriminatory." Nonetheless, Semanya is one of this year's most formidable contenders. Semanya won the 800-1500m double gold at the Commonwealth Games this year, and broke a 25-year-old record, reports Konbini.

Beatrice Chepkoech

The Kenyan distance runner is the current world 3000 meters steeplechase record holder, setting a new record this year in Monaco.

Timothy Cheruiyot

The 25-year-old Kenyan middle distance runner won the men's 1500 meter event during the Rome IAAF Diamond League athletics competition in May. He has several African 15000 meter championships under his belt, and has one 9 out of 11 races that he has competed in this year, according to The Standard Kenya.

Nafissatou Thiam

The Senegalese-Belgian multi-event athlete, holds the Belgian record in the heptathlon and javelin. She won gold at the heptathlon at the 2017 Summer Olympics.


Abderrahman Samba

The Mauritanian athlete who competes for Qatar is the second fastest 400 meter hurdle runner ever.

Emmanuel Korir

The Kenyan athlete has been the "world's fastest man" in the 800 meter race since 2012, and he's only 23.

Luvo Manyonga

The 27-year-old South African track and field athlete won the gold medal in the long jump at this year's Commonwealth Games in Australia as well as the Diamond League Title. He joins his compatriot Caster Semenya as the second South African athlete to be nominated.

Eliud Kipchoge

The celebrated Kenyan marathon runner shattered the world record earlier this year by crossing the finish line in 2:01.39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His nominations comes at no surprise.

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The 6 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring DJ Lag, Asa, LasGiiDi, Kaien Cruz, Imarhan and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases 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 our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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DJ Neptune Surveys the Sounds & Genres Running Africa In His New Album

Greatness 2.0 features an all-star cast of African artists and jumps from afrobeats to amapiano to asakaa, Ghana’s thrilling new take on drill.

Transitioning from a DJ to an artist is no small feat. Nigeria’s DJ Neptune has always had good ear for what the people want to hear, but in past years he's also shown his skill at assembling hitmakers to make a hit and earn a spot on any afrobeats playlist.

Neptune has been dotingly described as "Africa’s DJ Khaled" for his ability to bring the continent’s top names together in musical harmony. His 2018 debut album, Greatness: The Album, pulled from his extensive contacts and years of experience as one of Nigeria’s most influential radio personalities to create a star-studded compilation with features from Burna Boy, Davido, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Efya, Kizz Daniel and Olamide, to name a few.

In 2020, during the pandemic, DJ Neptune endeared himself with his intimate live sessions with Neptune Isolation Radio, where he constantly entertained people during the lockdown. After more than a decade as a DJ, and also one of afrobeats’ most influential personalities and curators, he has assembled some of Africa’s hitmakers for his sophomore album, Greatness 2.0, which he describes as “a playlist with Africa’s favorite artists.”

Artists on the truly pan-African project include Nigeria’s Mr Eazi, Rema, Patoranking, Yemi Alade, Stonebwoy, Joeboy, Omah Lay, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Laycon, Ladipoe, Blaqbonez, Cheque, Peruzzi, Bella Shmurda and Phyno, Ghana’s Stonebwoy and Kofi Jamar, Harmonize and Anjella from Tanzania, South Africa’s Focalistic; and UK rapper One Acen. Collaborating with Neptune on production are Magic Sticks, Dëra and MOG, among other afrobeats hitmakers.

Greatness 2.0 is a survey of the sounds and genres currently running Africa —from afrobeats to amapiano and asakaa, Ghana’s thrilling new take on drill.

In this interview, we speak with DJ Neptune about DJ culture in Nigeria, working with some of Africa's biggest superstars, and his new album.

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Watch Wizkid's Historic Performance at London's O2 Arena

The Nigerian superstar made history by being the first African artist to sell out three shows in a row during his Made In Lagos tour.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Wizkid's fourth studio album Made In Lagos has not left our sight (or eardrums) since its release in October 2020. Now, the album filled with record-breaking hits has gone on to bag the king of afrobeats another honor: Wizkid became the first African artist to successfully sell out London's infamous O2 Arena this year, boasting three consecutive sold-out shows this week.

High off of the global success and obsession with hit single "Essence," featuring Nigerian sweetheart Tems, Wizkid's European leg of his Made In Lagos tour sold out in 12 minutes (very Beyoncé of him) as fans geared up to hear their favorite afrobeats hits. The show itself was jam-packed with fireworks, high-energy performances, and guest appearances from some of our favorite Wizkid features.

In the line-up, we saw fellow Nigerian hitmaker Burna Boy show up on stage to perform a passionate rendition of their collab "Ginger," while a bright and sunny Tems lent her talent and time to perform their hit. British pop cutie Ella Mai turned out to perform "Pieces of Me" which features on Made In Lagos, while UK favorite Skepta made Wizkid feel at home, as the two stars pumped the crowd.

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Mayorkun Is Back In Office

We speak with Mayorkun about his sophomore album, Back In Office, and why he had to step away from the scene for a while.