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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.

Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images.

Angélique Kidjo on Africa Day: 'We demand not to be at the mercy of our circumstances anymore.'

We speak to the inimitable Angélique Kidjo who shares some of her refreshing thoughts on Africa Day.

Today is Africa Day and while primarily a commemoration of the formation of the African Union (AU) back in 1963, it has also become an opportunity to unapologetically celebrate Africa while providing a moment for reflection on how far we've come as a continent and as a people.

With this year's theme focused on "Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID19", there has never been a more important time for deep reflection on our collective present and future as Africans.

And who better to share in that reflection than the legendary and inimitable Beninese musician Angélique Kidjo? A fierce African and artist who has paved the way for many of her contemporaries including Burna Boy, Davido, Thandiswa Mazwai, and several others, the four-time Grammy award winner emphasises the urgent need for unity among Africans. 'It's about time that people start realising that Africa is a continent. I've been saying this my entire career,' she says passionately.

OkayAfrica spoke briefly to Kidjo who shared some of her refreshing thoughts on this year's Africa Day.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.

Thandiswa Mazwai to Host 'Play Your Part Africa' Virtual Concert

'King Tha' will commemorate Africa Day with a virtual concert set to take place on May 30th.

South African musician Thandiswa Mazwai or "King Tha" as she's affectionately known, is set to bring the Africa Month celebrations to an end with a virtual concert commemorating Africa Day this Saturday on May 30th. The "Play Your Part Africa" concert is a collaboration between Brand South Africa, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as well as Constitution Hill which has hosted major cultural and historic events over the years.

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Photo courtesy of @sahraisha

#BlackOutEid​: Young Black Muslims Shine as They Celebrate Eid

Young Black Muslims have found creative ways to celebrate community and share their best Eid looks, even as they #StayAtHome.

Eid Mubarak to our Muslim fam! Today marks Eid al-Fitr, the official end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Despite things being a little different this year (on account of the current pandemic, of course) this hasn't stopped many from finding creative ways to fast, pray and connect with their community during these times. It certainly hasn't stopped young Black Muslims from participating in the virtual tradition known as #BlackOutEid while they continue to #StayAtHome.

#BlackOutEid is an annual celebration which highlights the diversity within the Muslim world. It began in 2015, when Aamina Mohamed created the hashtag to combat the erasure of Black people within the community. Since then, the hashtag has been used across social media with Black Muslims using it to share their sharpest Eid looks.

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