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'And Above All Else, Don't Lie:' Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Urges Harvard's Class of 2018 to Live In Truth

The author was open and honest in her Class Day address at Harvard University on Wednesday.

Prolific Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was the Class Day Speaker yesterday at Harvard University, where she delivered a forthright address about the power of living in truth.

The writer told a memorable anecdote about the time she met a famous writer and stretched the truth by saying she was a fan of his work, though she hadn't read it. His wife immediately responded by asking Adichie which of his works was her favorite. She was then forced to make up an answer: "The one about the man discovering himself?," she said.

The experience left her acutely aware of why the truth matters and impressed by his wife's ability to detect disingenuousness. She urged graduates to recognize that both qualities are important. "I'm not asking you to tell the truth because it will always work out," she said, "But because you will sleep well at night."

"So have a good bullshit detector. If you don't have it now, work on it," she added.


She also spoke about the political decline of the United States, largely brought on by Trump's presidency. "America always felt aspirational — but today the political discourse in America is from the land of the absurd," she said, urging graduates to use truth and courage as a means of challenging political ills.

"Sometimes, especially in politicized spaces, telling the truth will be an act of courage. Be courageous. Never set out to provoke for the sake of provoking, but never silence yourself out of fear that a truth you speak might provoke. Be courageous."

Watch Adichie's full Harvard Class Day 2018 speech below, starting at the 1:31:10 mark.

Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie

Meet Four Women Pushing Ivorian Art Forward Through Photography

These young and emerging female photographers from Côte d'Ivoire are shaking up Abidjan's art scene.

There's been a tremendous amount of awe-inspiring art coming from the African continent lately. Photography is no exception. It is one of the most powerful tools used in changing the way in which the West perceives Africa and its diaspora and perhaps the reason why contemporary photography is thriving.

The female gaze is paramount to the way in which the aforementioned visual stories are told and the female photographers here are using their camera lenses to give us glimpses of lands, peoples, histories, and futures unknown. Their individual experiences and perspectives are widening the scope of what is believed to be Côte d'Ivoire. Within the country's capital, Abidjan, there's a creative scene that seems to have sprawled up out of nowhere yet is so rich in its offerings.

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Photo courtesy of Darey.

Meet Nigeria’s All-Female Bikers Club, Featured In Darey's Latest Video

Darey collaborates with all-female bike riders to reimagine a pandemic-free world in the new video for "Jojo."

In 2017, when Jeminat Olumegbon, an events manager in Lagos, set up the Female Bikers initiative (FBi) with her friend, Nnenna Samuila, the objective for the organisation was to facilitate some form of education for Nigerian women. "A bunch of us, bike riders, came together because we knew when we ride we draw attention to ourselves so we used that as a form of communication starter, especially in rural areas," Olumegbon, code-named Speed Diva, tells OkayAfrica via a phone call. In the three years since the initiative has been in operation, it has started a number of programs aimed at confronting socio-cultural barriers set against women in Nigeria but none is more resonant than the group's campaign against breast and cervical cancer.

"We found out that a lot of women die of breast and cervical cancer in Nigeria and they shouldn't be dying because there are preventive measures but lack of knowledge is what is really killing us," Olumegbon says. According to Nigeria's Cancer Control Plan, breast and cervical cancer are the most prevalent forms of cancer in Nigeria, disproportionately affecting women. And the Female Bikers initiative, a scion of D'Angels Motorcycle Club, Nigeria's first all-female bikers club, is working hard to get women tested early.

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(Youtube)

Watch Wizkid’s New Music Video For ‘Smile’ Featuring H.E.R.

The Nigerian star dedicated the new video to his three sons: Bolu, Ayo and Zion Balogun.

Nigerian musical heavyweight Wizkid released his latest track today. The song, titled "Smile," features Grammy award winning US singer/songwriter H.E.R.

The track coos sounds of unconditional love and the things we do for it. It features Wizkid and H.E.R. going in over an infectious beat.

This comes as Wizkid fans await the release of his delayed fourth album, Made in Lagos. We're sure they'll be more excited than ever after getting this new single.

"Smile" follows Wizkid's latest release Soundman Vol. 1 EP, which came out late last year and featured the likes of Chronixx, DJ Tunez and more.

Listen to Wizkid and H.E.R.'s "Smile" below.

Update: Watch the newly released music video for "Smile" below. The Nigerian star dedicated this new Meji Alabi-directed music video to his three sons: Bolu, Ayo and Zion Balogun.

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Interview: Sam Soko is the Kenyan Director Behind Sundance Hit, 'Softie'

We meet filmmaker Sam Soko who has made a stirring documentary about the Kenyan protest leader Boniface Mwangi