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Obama Shares Summer Reading List Featuring African Authors Ahead of His Trip to the Continent

President Barack Obama's 2018 summer reading list includes a number of African literary classics.

Former U.S. president Barack Obama will embark on his first trip to the continent since he left office this week, where he'll visit his ancestral home of Kenya, before heading to South Africa to convene with the Obama Foundation Leaders and deliver the keynote address to mark Nelson Mandela's 100th Birthday.

As if we needed another reason to sorely miss the former leader, Obama has shared his latest summer reading list, ahead of his trip to the continent, with titles from some of Africa's literary greats.

"Over the years since, I've often drawn inspiration from Africa's extraordinary literary tradition," said the former head of state on his Facebook page. "As I prepare for this trip, I wanted to share a list of books that I'd recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa's best writers and thinkers—each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways."


The list includes foundational texts like Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart," which he called "a true classic of world literature," Neslon Mandela's "A Long Walk to Freedom, and A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong'o as well as more contemporary classics such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah and The Return by Hisham Matar, which he described as "a beautifully-written memoir that skillfully balances a graceful guide through Libya's recent history with the author's dogged quest to find his father who disappeared in Gaddafi's prisons."

You can see the full 2018 reading list below, via Barack Obama's Facebook page. Happy reading!

(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

The 10 Best HHP Songs Ranked

On the second anniversary of HHP's passing, we rank 10 of the South African hip-hop legend's best songs.

Jabulani Tsambo, popularly known by his alias HHP, was a pivotal part of South African hip-hop. Renowned for trailblazing the motswako sub-genre in the early 2000s, the rapper sadly passed away on October 24th, 2018 after a long and much publicised bout with depression.

During his active years, which span two decades (from 1997 to 2018), he was instrumental in breaking barriers and bridging the gap between kwaito and hip-hop in SA, from the late 90s to early 2000s.

He became a household name in the 2000s as he spearheaded the motswako movement, propelling it to the mainstream and solidifying his legendary status in the process.

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Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

How You Can Help Nigeria’s #EndSARS Protests

We round up some ways you can support the movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

Widespread protests against Nigeria's notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are becoming more of a revolution. The movement is an outcry from youths demanding a general reform of the country, majorly characterized by poor governance, with a focus on the harassment and assaults committed by SARS. The movement has been raging through the city of Lagos for the past three weeks, as protesters home and abroad have taken to the streets in masses to express their keen dissatisfaction.

Hashtags like #EndSARS, #EndPoliceBrutality, and #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria have brandished across all social media platforms to amplify the voices of the youth people fighting back. These hashtags have, in turn, gained traction with the help of celebrities like singers Rihanna, Demi Lovato, and Beyoncé, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and many others. Nigerian stars, Falz, Runtown, Tiwa Savage, Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, and many more also joined in the movement, as many of them took to the streets with placards.

To date, the peacefully protesting Nigerians' needs have not been met. With said needs not being satisfied as they demand justice for lives lost due to the brutal and corrupt practices of police officers.

We have rounded up some ways you can support this movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

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The 8 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Simmy, Made Kuti, Shane Eagle, Emel Mathlouthi, Amaarae and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music 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.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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