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Here Are the Cities That Will Host the Basketball Africa League In Its First Year

Games will take place across the continent in cities including Cairo, Lagos, Dakar and more.

The NBA, ahead of the official launch of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) next year, has announced the first year host cities for the upcoming league.

The league's President, Amadou Fall, made the announcement at the NBA Africa Gala on Tuesday as part of the the Basketball Without Borders initiative. He confirmed that the league will be present in several major cities across the continent, including Cairo, Lagos, Kigali, Luanda, Dakar, as well as Morocco's capital city of Rabat.

Fall also outlined the schedule for the league's inaugural season, which will include 40 games played over 3 months. The league will include a total of 13 teams, each of which will play 5 games.


Several current and former NBA players were in attendance for the event, which took place at Dakar's newly opened Museum of Black Civilizations, including Congolese-born NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo, Cameroonian-born 76ers' center Joel Embiid, former Heat power forward Chris Bosh, and head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers Doc Rivers.

"We believe in Africa," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver during the event. "The NBA will be the number one lifestyle brand in Africa by 2030," he added.

The creation of BAL—the NBA's first major league outside of North America—was announced in February with endorsements from President Barack Obama and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame.

"[BAL] is an important next step in our continued development of the game of basketball in Africa," said Silver following the announcement earlier this year. "Combined with our other programs on the continent, we are committed to using basketball as an economic engine to create new opportunities in sports, media and technology across Africa."

The league is slated for an initial launch in 2020.

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Photo by Seyllou/AFP via Getty Images

France Returns a 19th Century Sword Back to Senegal

The sword belonged to a Senegalese anti-colonial struggle fighter Omar Saidou Tall.

France has returned a 19th century sword back to Senegal. The sword belonged to Senegalese Islamic scholar and anti-colonial struggle fighter Omar Saidou Tall. The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe recently handed over the sword to Senegal's President Macky Sall in a ceremony held in Dakar this past Sunday. The sword is now in the Museum of Black Civilizations of Dakar. The move comes after the Senegalese government's request for France to return more than 100 artifacts housed in French museums and France's President Emmanuel Macron subsequently commissioned a report entitled "The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics".

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David Ramos/World Rugby via Getty Images

South Africans React to Springbok Legend Tendai Mtawarira's Retirement

After winning the Rugby World Cup, Tendai 'Beast' Mtawarira has retired from international rugby.

While the Rugby World Cup in Japan might have ended close to a week ago, South Africans are still celebrating their 32-12 win against England. Upon their arrival at the airport this past Tuesday, the Springboks received a warm welcome from hundreds of South Africans celebrating the return of the sports heroes. Currently, the Springboks are on the so-called "trophy tour" which sees the official presentation of the Web Ellis Trophy Cup to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Amid the celebrations, however, Tendai Mtawarira or the "Beast" as he is affectionately known, has announced that he is retiring from international rugby.

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Still from Burna Boy's Tiny Desk concert video via NPR.

Watch Burna Boy's Mellowed-Out 'Tiny Desk' Concert

Watch the 'African Giant' run through some of his hits like 'Gbona,' 'Ye' and more for NPR's Tiny Desk concert series.

Burna Boy is the latest artist to grace NPR's famous Tiny Desk.

The Nigerian "afrofusion" star took to the set for a mellowed out performance of four of his biggest tracks. Getting straight to business, the artist opened his set with a toned down rendition of his single "Gbona" before heading into the socially-aware "Wetin Man Go Do." It's much calmer of a performance than we're used to seeing from the artist.

Next he performs a funky version of "Dangote," before rounding his set out with his magnum opus of sorts "Ye." He's backed by the band The Outsiders and vocalist Christina Matovu throughout.

Burna Boy has had a stellar year, releasing his seminal album African Giant, performing at Coachella and winning several awards—including 'Best African Act' at the BET Awards—in the process.

Check out his full Tiny Desk performance below, and revisit a recent Tiny Desk performance from British-Nigerian rapper Dave from last week and check out Burna Boy's okay acoustics performance of 'Anybody' from August.

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Simi in "Selense" (Youtube)

Watch Simi's Beautiful Music Video For 'Selense'

Premiere: Simi shares the upbeat new video for "Selense," a song about time which draws inspiration from classic highlife.

Nigeria's Simi comes through with the new music video for her recent single, "Selense."

The song, which sees her sing about using your time and years on this earth preciously, gets a beautiful new video that follows Simi's verses about different characters who may or may not be spending their hours in the best way.

The upbeat new music video, which was directed by Adasa Cookey, is getting premiered here on OkayAfrica today.

"'Selense' is a song about time," Simi tells OkayAfrica. "The song draws inspiration from classic African highlife. A timeless classic that is perfect for all seasons."

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