News Brief

Congolese Gynaecologist Denis Mukwege Wins Joint Nobel Peace Prize

This year's prize has been awarded to two anti-rape activists in areas of conflict.

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Congolese gynecologist and surgeon Denis Mukwege and Iraqi anti-rape activist and leader of the campaign to free the Yazidi people Nadia Murad for their work to end rape as a tool of warfare.

Doctor Mukwege, 63, has treated about 30,000 victims of rape throughout his decades-long career, BBC reports. He founded the Panzi Hospital in the city of Bukavu 20 years ago, reports CNN. Mukwege has developed groundbreaking treatments to help women who have sustained injuries caused by acts of sexual violence during war.

He was named African of the Year in 2009.


Mukwege is an outspoken critic of the DRC's current administration. Following the announcement, the government released a statement congratulating the doctor despite past "disagreements."

"We have had differences with [him] every time that he tried to politicise his work which however is important from a humanitarian standpoint," government spokesperson Lambert Mende told AFP. "But now, we are satisfied with the Nobel Academy's recognition of the work of a compatriot."

At 25, Nadia Murad is the second youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and the 17th women in history. She's been awarded for her courageous anti-trafficking activism, after being held as a sex slave for three months at the hands of Islamic Sate (IS) militants in 2014. Murad escaped that same year and became the face of the Yazidi movement and a dedicated campaigner for victims of sexual assault. She was named the UN's first goodwill ambassador for survivors of human trafficking in 2016, reports BBC Africa.

The two activists received the lauded Norwegian-based award from a pool of 331 nominees.

"Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes," said Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee during the announcement on Friday.

"Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims.Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others," she added. "Each of them in their own way has helped to give greater visibility to wartime sexual violence, so that the perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions."

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Watch TRESOR and Sauti Sol's New Video for 'On va bouger'

The artists draw inspiration from the late South African jazz veteran Hugh Masekela and take us back to the 70s in Kinshasa.

Earlier this year, South Africa-based Congolese musician TRESOR released his album Nostalgia. The 13-track project revisits the past to explore the different sounds and the culture on the African continent during that time. The album features South African artists such as AKA, Mafikizolo, Kwesta, Msaki and several others. TRESOR has recently released the visuals for "On va bouger", the track on which he teams up with Kenyan pop duo Sauti Sol. It's a "twisted love story" set in the 70s of Kinshasa and we're certainly here for that vibe.

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Michael Tewelde/Getty Images

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has Been Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

The prize acknowledges his efforts to "achieve peace and international cooperation".

According to the BBC, there were 301 candidates, 223 individuals and 78 organizations, that were nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. In the running was Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and activists involved in the current Hong Kong protests. The prestigious Swedish academy has, however, awarded the prize to Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, for the work he has done since taking up office in March of last year. Ahmed joins a number of notable Africans who've won the prize including South Africa's late former president Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the late Ghanaian former UN Secretary-General, Koffi Annan.

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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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In Conversation: Pelé's Daughter is Making a Documentary About Women's Soccer Around the World

In this exclusive interview, Kely Nascimento-DeLuca shares the story behind filming Warriors of a Beautiful Game in Tanzania, Brazil and other countries.

It may surprise you to know that women's soccer was illegal in Brazil until 1981. And in the UK until 1971. And in Germany until 1970. You may have read that Sudan made its first-ever women's league earlier this year. Whatever the case, women and soccer have always had a rocky relationship.

It wasn't what women wanted. It certainly wasn't what they needed. However, society had its own ideas and placed obstacle after obstacle in front of women to keep ladies from playing the game. Just this year the US national team has shown the world that women can be international champions in the sport and not get paid fairly compared to their male counterparts who lose.

Kely Nascimento-DeLuca is looking to change that. As the daughter of international soccer legend Pelé, she is no stranger to the game. Growing up surrounded by the sport, she was actually unaware of the experiences women around the world were having with it. It was only recently that she discovered the hardships around women in soccer and how much it mirrored women's rights more generally.

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