News Brief

Bobi Wine is Officially Running for the Ugandan Presidency in 2021

The artist will challenge President Yoweri Museveni on behalf of the people and champion the interests of the poor.

UPDATE 07/25: Ugandan artist-turned-politician Bobi Wine, real name Robert Kyagulanyi, officially announced that he will be running for the Ugandan presidency at a recent event in Kampala. Wine, who has been a member of parliament for two years, is referring to himself as the "ghetto president" and says that he wants to be the voice for the poor especially, according to the BBC.


Announcing his candidacy, Wine said that, "On behalf of the people of Uganda I am challenging you [Mr Museveni] to a free and fair election in 2021." He added that, "I know the danger I am going to face to challenge Museveni but I have been encouraged by Ugandans that I am the leader they want."

While Wine is particularly popular among the youth, criticisms of his leadership have centered on how he has yet to deliver a concrete plan of action in terms of tackling issues such as unemployment, poor healthcare and education. And although Museveni has been quick to dismiss Wine as a mere "club singer", it goes without saying that this is the first time that the head-of-state's three-decade rule has been seriously challenged.

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After Ugandan artist Bobi Wine was recently arrested on charges of holding an "illegal" anti-government protest last year, he has now announced that he will be running for the country's presidency in 2021. The artist-turned-politician is the leader of the opposition movement called People Power and previously talked about how he was "strongly considering" running for president back in February.

According to Al Jazeera, Wine has spoken about the concern he has for his personal safety saying, "I live every day as it comes, not being sure of the next day. I am not blind to the fact that the regime wants me dead and wants me dead as soon as possible." He also added that, "There has never been a threat to this regime like the threat we pose to it today as a generation."

Wine, who was elected into parliament in 2017, has quickly built up a good rapport with the youth and his popularity has for the first time posed a real threat to Museveni's three-decade rule.

However, Wine's political endeavors have been met with great resistance by the current Ugandan government.

The artist has spoken on numerous occasions about how the Ugandan government has made multiple attempts on his life. Wine referred to an incident which occurred last year and left his driver dead, saying, "[Mr Museveni] gave an instruction that I should be eliminated. I know he will try to block me from running as he has not received any serious challenge in 34 years."

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Image.

Thousands of Gambians Protest for Former President Yahya Jammeh's Return from Exile

Supporters of the former statesman want the current Gambian government to guarantee his right to return from self-exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Yesterday, thousands of supporters of former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh took to the outskirts of the capital city Banjul. According to Aljazeera, they demanded that the current government under President Adama Barrow guarantee the former statesman's return from exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Jammeh ruled the West African country for over two decades and subsequently lost to Barrow in the national elections back in 2017.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Photo: Ben Depp.

Watch Yilian Canizares & Paul Beaubrun's Beautiful Video For 'Noyé'

"Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Yilian Canizares and Paul Beaubrun connect for the serene "Noyé," one of the highlights from Canizares' latest album, Erzulie.

The Cuban singer and Haitian artist are now sharing the new Arnaud Robert-directed music video for the single, which we're premiering here today.

"Noyé is a song that comes from our roots," Yilian Canizares tells OkayAfrica. "Inspired by the energy of love. The same love that kept Africa's legacy alive in the hearts of Haiti and Cuba. We wanted to do a stripped down version of only the essential pieces from a musical point of view. Something raw and beautiful where our souls would be naked."

The striking music video follows Canizares and Beaubrun to the waters of New Orleans, the universal Creole capital, where they sing and float until meeting on the Mississippi River.

"Noyé is a cry of love from children of African descent," says Paul Beaubrun. "Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Watch the new music video for "Noyé" below.

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