News Brief

The Stories You Need to Know: Ghanaians at the National Spelling Bee, Quartz's List of 30 African Innovators and More

Ghanaians at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Quartz Africa's list of 30 African innovators and more.

SOUTH AFRICA—IndiePix Films, in a distribution partnership with Retro Afrika Bioscope has restored 48 vintage South African films—that were previously opposed under apartheid— with plans to re-release them on digital streaming services. The company plans to release 48 films for its "Vintage Afrika" collection, 20 of them are available now on IndiePix Unlimited, the company's signature streaming service. Read more on the re-releases here.


DIASPORA—Ghanaians have taken over this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The yearly competition brings out the best spellers, under 14, in the United States to compete for the title of champion speller. Below are some of the Ghanaian participants at this year's games.

DIASPORA—Quartz Africa has released its list of 30 African innovators. The inaugural list features artists, designers, social entrepreneurs, writers, activists and more from across the continent. Chimamanda Adichie, Akon, Trevor Noah, and Boniface Mwangi are some of the honorees.  Check out the full list, here.

KENYA— The country has official opened its new Chinese-funded railway, which runs between Nairobi and Mombasa. President Uhuru Kenyatta stated that the railroad marks a new chapter in the country's history, BBC reports.

Eventually, the country hopes to expand the line to help connect South Sudan, DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia to the Indian Ocean. The railroad costs 3.2 billion to build and the president has secured an additional 3.6 billion dollars to support the oncoming expansion.

 

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.