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Celebrated Kenyan Author and Swahili Expert, Ken Walibora, Has Died

Tributes are pouring our for "Kenya's most prolific author," who passionately advocated for the use of Swahili in schools.

Celebrated Kenyan author, linguist, and journalist Ken Walibora died in Nairobi on Friday, after being struck by a matatu. He was 56 years old.

According to The East African, Walibora had been missing since Friday, which prompted his family to begin a search for him. His body was found at the Kenyatta National Hospital on Wednesday morning, reports BBC Africa.

His work was familiar and celebrated by many Kenyans. The prolific author and educator published over 40 works, and was a fierce advocate for the widespread use of the Swahili language in schools. His famous works include Kidagaa Kimemwozea and Siku Njema, which was adopted as part of the curriculum in schools across the country, and later translated to English.

He was an assistant professor in African languages at the University of Wisconsin and also taught at Riara University in Kenya, School of International Relations and Diplomacy. He held a PhD in Comparative Cultural Studies from Ohio State University, and was a Swahili broadcaster on the Kenyan entertainment channel NTV.

Speaking on Professor Walibora's legacy, President Uhuru Kenyatta described him as a "polished broadcaster and a prolific writer whose literary works will continue to inspire future generations."

Kenyans on social media are sharing fond memories and tributes about what the author's work meant to them. "Africa has again lost one of our intellectual giants," wrote journalist Abda Wone. Another commemorator referred to the scholar as "the man who made us fall in love with Swahili novels."









Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images.

Angélique Kidjo on Africa Day: 'We demand not to be at the mercy of our circumstances anymore.'

We speak to the inimitable Angélique Kidjo who shares some of her refreshing thoughts on Africa Day.

Today is Africa Day and while primarily a commemoration of the formation of the African Union (AU) back in 1963, it has also become an opportunity to unapologetically celebrate Africa while providing a moment for reflection on how far we've come as a continent and as a people.

With this year's theme focused on "Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID19", there has never been a more important time for deep reflection on our collective present and future as Africans.

And who better to share in that reflection than the legendary and inimitable Beninese musician Angélique Kidjo? A fierce African and artist who has paved the way for many of her contemporaries including Burna Boy, Davido, Thandiswa Mazwai, and several others, the four-time Grammy award winner emphasises the urgent need for unity among Africans. 'It's about time that people start realising that Africa is a continent. I've been saying this my entire career,' she says passionately.

OkayAfrica spoke briefly to Kidjo who shared some of her refreshing thoughts on this year's Africa Day.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.

Thandiswa Mazwai to Host 'Play Your Part Africa' Virtual Concert

'King Tha' will commemorate Africa Day with a virtual concert set to take place on May 30th.

South African musician Thandiswa Mazwai or "King Tha" as she's affectionately known, is set to bring the Africa Month celebrations to an end with a virtual concert commemorating Africa Day this Saturday on May 30th. The "Play Your Part Africa" concert is a collaboration between Brand South Africa, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as well as Constitution Hill which has hosted major cultural and historic events over the years.

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Photo courtesy of @sahraisha

#BlackOutEid​: Young Black Muslims Shine as They Celebrate Eid

Young Black Muslims have found creative ways to celebrate community and share their best Eid looks, even as they #StayAtHome.

Eid Mubarak to our Muslim fam! Today marks Eid al-Fitr, the official end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Despite things being a little different this year (on account of the current pandemic, of course) this hasn't stopped many from finding creative ways to fast, pray and connect with their community during these times. It certainly hasn't stopped young Black Muslims from participating in the virtual tradition known as #BlackOutEid while they continue to #StayAtHome.

#BlackOutEid is an annual celebration which highlights the diversity within the Muslim world. It began in 2015, when Aamina Mohamed created the hashtag to combat the erasure of Black people within the community. Since then, the hashtag has been used across social media with Black Muslims using it to share their sharpest Eid looks.

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Rebuilding the Nigerian Fashion Industry After Coronavirus

While the style capital of Africa remains shuttered, Nigerian fashion insiders have an ambitious plan to forge an independent path in a post-COVID world.