News Brief

Africa’s First Ever Fencing Medalist Dedicates Bronze to Arab Women

Tunisian fencer Ines Boubakri clenches a Bronze medal in a foil match against Russia’s Aida Shanaeva. She's the first African to clench a medal in fencing.

Fencer Ines Boubakri is the first athlete from the African continent to earn a spot on the winner’s podium in fencing.


The Tunisian athlete had a major win against Russia’s Aida Shanaeva, scoring a bronze medal in an individual third-place foil Wednesday, First Post reports.

Boubakri dedicated the medal to “the Tunisian woman, the Arab woman...who had her place in society.”

Her win was an epic one as she initially struggled against her Russian opponent. Shanaeva, who had beaten Boubakri at the world championships in Moscow last year, went up 7 to 4 by the end of the first period, and Boubakri had to battle back before she triumphed over her rival 15 to 11.

“I hope that this will be a message for all Tunisians, especially our youth, all Tunisian women, the Arab woman,” the 27-year-old Olympian says. “A message which says that you must believe that women exist and they have their place in society.”

Boubakri’s triumph in the Rio games brings to mind Queen Bey's lyric, “A winner don’t quit on themselves.”

You can check out a compilation of the bronze-medalist’s signature screech from the London Olympics here along with catching Boubakri's match and medal ceremony below.

Interview

Angelique Kidjo Writes a Love Letter to 'Mother Nature'

We talk to the Beninese musical icon about assembling her new album on Zoom and the "bigger than COVID-19" threat that lies ahead!

The kind of infectious energy that lives within Angelique Kidjo can't be contained by Zoom. Her zest for life reaches out far beyond any screen, and burns stronger than the fastest internet connection.

"I can't wait until we're in person hugging again," she enthuses soon after joining our Zoom meeting to discuss her latest album Mother Nature. Having been on the receiving end of a hug from the four-time Grammy-winning singer, I know exactly what I'm missing out on. "Me too," I say, as I wrap my arms around my laptop, my face squishing the screen. "No, no," she retorts. "I don't want that. You keep it. I want the real deal," she chuckles, her full-bodied trademark laughter lovingly admonishing me.

The Benin-born musician is preparing to release Mother Nature, a collection of songs reflecting our one Earth, and cementing her status as an African musical icon. Collaborating with the likes of Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, Sampa the Great, Shungudzo and more, Kidjo's crossing through time and space, over age and country through Mother Nature's themes and stories. Each track is infused with a vigor that only she possesses — the kind that shares a significant message even as the listener is called to just dance or sing along.

Below, Angelique Kidjo reminisces about making the album, and chats us through her hopes and dreams for it!

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