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Bobi Wine Offers to Airlift Mistreated Africans Out of China

The Ugandan politician and musician has partnered with businessman Neil Nelson to airlift affected Africans and African-Americans "to a country in Africa that is willing to receive them."

Bobi Wine has teamed up with Neil Nelson, co-founder of media firm Atlanta BlackStar to help airlift Africans and African-Americans being subjected to "inhumane treatment" in China. They announced their plans in a joint statement on Monday.

"The two leaders are currently working together to facilitate a humanitarian mission to airlift those Africans and African-Americans who are affected by these attacks to a country in Africa that is willing to receive them," read the press release. "We are also prepared to evacuate them to the United States for those holding U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status."

The statement also appealed to the Chinese government and other global African leaders to take urgent action to protect Africans abroad. "We call upon leaders from across the global African community including political leaders, social activists, artists and other leaders to join in this effort."

READ: Africans In China are Being Evicted from Their Homes and Blamed for Spreading Coronavirus


The move comes after harrowing reports of African foreign nationals in the Southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, being evicted from their homes, denied services at local businesses, and blamed for igniting a second wave of coronavirus in the country. The city, nicknamed "Little Africa," has the highest population of Africans in China, mostly from Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya.

Images and videos of Africans sleeping on the streets caused outrage online over the weekend, with governments, including the U.S. consulate, urging their citizens of African descent to avoid the city. The events highlight the widespread racism and xenophobia that Black people face in China.

In July of last year, Wine, an opposition politician, announced his plans to challenge Yoweri Museveni's 35-year rule and run for president of Uganda in 2021.

Last month, the musician released a song with fellow musician Nubian Li to raise awareness about COVID-19. "The bad news is that everyone is a potential victim but the good news is that everyone is a potential solution," the artist sings. Revisit the song here.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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