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Every Athlete Who Won Gold for Bahrain at the 2018 Asian Games Was African-Born

The wins have reignited a conversation around the poaching of African-born athletes in Asian countries.

The Asian Games took place last week in Indonesia and the small island country of Bahrain took home a whopping 10 gold medals at the 2018 games—all of which were won by African expats.

According to the AFP, out of the 12 medals won, all 10 of the country's individual gold medals were earned by athletes from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya and Morocco.

Bahrain has long recruited African talent by granting citizenship to high-performing foreign athletes. This practice sparked controversy during the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, and is warranting a similar reaction now.

To some, the poaching of African athletes means that their home countries miss out on their best athletes because other nations are willing to pay more. For many African athletes, competing for foreign nations that offer increased financial rewards for their skill seems like a no-brainer.

READ: How Countries Poach African Athletes To Win Olympic Medals

India finished at number eight in the overall medals tally, and many have blamed Bahrain's seemingly unfair recruiting practices and the dominance of African-born athletes for their country's losses. According to First Post, seven of India's wins were delivered under foreign coaches.


While many have complained that the practice creates an uneven playing field, offering citizenship on the basis of athleticism is a completely legal practice. It's also worth noting that much of the criticism surrounding the enlisting of African athletes by foreign teams are based on stereotypical assumptions about the physical capabilities of black bodies.

"They are more powerful and athletic," said Chinese athlete Su Bigtian during the 2014 Asian Games. "Physically we are at a disadvantage."

With all their success, it seems that countries like Bahrain have no incentive to stop recruiting African-born athletes. During the Rio Olympics, Pablo Uribe, wrote that the practice was not likely to end any time soon, and two years later, his statement stands.


(YouTube)

The 10 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Black Sherif, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, M3NSA x M.anifest, and more.

As the summer winds down releases have slowed down just a tad, but it's nothing to fear because a number of our Ghanaian music faves are in album mode, and it's only a matter of time before they let loose! In the meantime the rest of our faves have been steady dishing out that fire, making for another month of dope releases. Want the scoop? Check out the best Ghanaian songs of the month below!

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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(YouTube)

The 7 Best East African Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Nandy, Juicee Mann, Alikiba, Diamond Platnumz and more.

July featured an array of incredible releases from East Africa's pop royalty as well as promising newbies.

Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.