News

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."

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.