News Brief

BBC African Footballer of the Year 2016 Nominees Revealed

Meet the nominees for the BBC African Footballer of the Year award 2016.

The nominees for the African Footballer of the Year award for 2016 were announced on the 12th of November at an event held at BBC Broadcasting House in central London.

On the shortlist are Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast and Manchester City), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon and Borussia Dortmund), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria and Leicester City), Sadio Mane (Liverpool and Senegal) and André Ayew (Ghana and West Ham).

Broadcast live on air, the event was hosted by Peter Okwoche with a panel of guests that included Eniola Aluko (England and Chelsea), Lomana LuaLua (Congo) and Steven Pienaar (South Africa and Sunderland) to an audience of largely media guests.

Okwoche explained the selection process to Okayafrica: “We asked our [BBC] journalists in all African countries to come up with their top three players over the past year. We collated all these names and chose the five players with the highest number of votes for the shortlist.”

As for the criteria, “we asked the journalists to look at form for both club and country. We asked them not to count the amount of goals scored because we want to include defenders and goalkeepers.”

Image via BBC Africa Twitter.

The English Premier League is the most watched of all leagues on the African continent and as a result, African players who're based there are likely to be favoured by the voting public over those based in other countries. Okwoche agrees and adds “if you ask fans on the continent for five players of African origin playing in Spain or Portugal, I'm sure they'll struggle.”

Evidently, four of the five players on the list are in the English Premier League. The fifth, Aubameyang, was the 2015-2016 Player of the Year in Germany’s Bundesliga and Gabon’s highest goal scorer of all time. “Aubameyang is a fantastic player. Many believe he should have won it last year but that's their opinion. It shows you how well he's doing that despite playing in a different league he's still on the list,” Okwoche said.

Toure has had a fairly quiet season so far under new manager Pep Guardiola and voting is based on current form. “Don't forget that last year he took Ivory Coast to Nations Cup victory. Also, he's a great player and great personality and fans just love him.”

Voting is open here until 1800 GMT on Monday 28 November 2016. The winner of the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2016 will be revealed 12 December live on BBC Focus on Africa TV and radio, starting from 17:35 GMT.

Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Watch Bernadine Evaristo Talk About Womanhood and Othering on 'BBC: Focus on Africa'

The 2019 Booker Prize winner speaks to BBC about her acclaimed book 'Girl, Woman, Other'.

Earlier this week, British-Nigerian author Bernadine Evaristo was awarded the prestigious Booker Prize for her book, Girl, Woman, Other. Although the Booker Prize forbids that the award be given to more than one individual, the committee reportedly felt that two novels were deserving of this year's prize. While Evaristo made history as the first ever Black woman to win the prize, many were not pleased that she had to share the prize with Canadian author, Margaret Atwood. Recently, in an interview with BBC: Focus on Africa, Evaristo spoke about womanhood, othering in terms of race, sexuality, class and immigration status.

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Patrick Hertzog/Getty Images

Nigeria is Re-introducing a New Bill on Sexual Harassment

The bill comes after the BBC exposé on professors demanding sex from university students in West Africa.

A few days ago, BBC Africa Eye premiered an undercover exposé called Sex for Grades. A team of female reporters, led by Kiki Mordi, verified claims made by multiple female university students in Ghana and Nigeria that their male lecturers have long been engaging in sexual misconduct and extortion. Since the documentary was released to the public, there has been widespread outrage which has led to one of the alleged perpetrators Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu being suspended from his post at the University of Lagos. Another of the alleged perpetrators, Ghanaian Professor Ransford Gyampo, recently dismissed the documentary as "neocolonial" and swore to file a lawsuit. In light of these revelations, the Nigerian Senate has responded swiftly and proposed a bill that aims to prevent the sexual harassment of university students by criminalizing any sexual advances made by lecturers towards students.

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14 Cultural Events You Can't Miss this December in South Africa

OkayAfrica's guide to must-see events during South Africa's festive season.

South Africans will tell you that December is not just a month, it's an entire lifestyle. From beginning to end, it's about being immersed in a ton of activity with friends and family as well as any new folk you meet along the way. Whether you're looking to turn up to some good music or watch some provocative theater, our guide to just 14 cultural events happening in South Africa this December, has something for everyone.

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Photo by Lana Haroun

From #FeesMustFall to #BlueforSudan: OkayAfrica's Guide to a Decade of African Hashtag Activism

The 2010s saw protest movements across the continent embrace social media in their quest to make change.

The Internet and its persistent, attention-seeking child, Social Media has changed the way we live, think and interact on a daily basis. But as this decade comes to a close, we want to highlight the ways in which people have merged digital technology, social media and ingenuity to fight for change using one of the world's newest and most potent devices—the hashtag.

What used to simply be the "pound sign," the beginning of a tic-tac-toe game or what you'd have to enter when interacting with an automated telephone service, the hashtag has become a vital aspect of the digital sphere operating with both form and function. What began in 2007 as a metadata tag used to categorize and group content on social media, the term 'hashtag' has now grown to refer to memes (#GeraraHere), movements (#AmINext), events (#InsertFriendsWeddingHere) and is often used in everyday conversation ("That situation was hashtag awkward").

The power of the hashtag in the mobility of people and ideas truly came to light during the #ArabSpring, which began one year into the new decade. As Tunisia kicked off a revolution against oppressive regimes that spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook played a crucial role in the development and progress of the movements. The hashtag, however, helped for activists, journalists and supporters of causes. It not only helped to source information quickly, but it also acted as a way to create a motto, a war cry, that could spread farther and faster than protestors own voices and faster than a broadcasted news cycle. As The Guardian wrote in 2016, "At times during 2011, the term Arab Spring became interchangeable with 'Twitter uprising' or 'Facebook revolution,' as global media tried to make sense of what was going on."

From there, the hashtag grew to be omnipresent in modern society. It has given us global news, as well as strong comedic relief and continues to play a crucial role in our lives. As the decade comes to a close, here are some of the most impactful hashtags from Africans and for Africans that used the medium well.

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