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Opposition Leader Felix Tshisekedi Has Won the DRC Elections

After delayed results and international pressure, the election results have finally been announced.

Celebrations abound in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the country finally bids farewell to Joseph Kabila's 17-year rule, and welcomes opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDSP) political party. The election results were the subject of what were thought to be delay tactics, and were finally released in the early hours of the morning following mounting international pressure.


News of the opposition's win comes as a tremendous victory after the UDSP attempted for decades, without success, to come into power. According to News24, Tshisekedi received over 7 million votes, approximately 38% of the vote.

Speaking on his win, Tshisekedi said:

"I pay tribute to President Kabila and today we should no longer see him as an adversary, but rather, a partner in democratic change in our country."

The road to these elections, however, has been marred with violence and the loss of many lives. Almost 70% of the voting machines in the capital city Kinshasa were destroyed in a fire just 10 days before the elections were to be held. It was also feared that Kabila would ensure that his personal favorite Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary would succeed him.

Shortly after the voting occurred, the Internet was shut down by the government in what they believed would thwart any attempts to prematurely spread the unofficial results of the election. Following the delay in the announcing of the results, security was tightened due to concerns of the outbreak of violence.

This is the DRC's first peaceful democratic transition of power since its independence in 1960.

Photo: Mainimo Etienne

The Rwandan Woman Who Made Football History

We talked to Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga, who is the first woman to officiate a match in the Africa Cup of Nations' 65-year history.

On the 18th of January, 2022, a woman stepped into the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé, Cameroon, whistle in hand, a walkie-talkie tucked behind her shorts. Taking up her post as central referee for the Zimbabwe-Guinea game, she would make history as the first woman to officiate a match in the Africa Cup of Nations. Chit-chat occupied the stands, as spectators waited for the curtains to be drawn at 17:00 hours for the match to begin. Whispers of “Hope she will deliver,” could be heard, as Salima Mukansanga prepared to take to the field.

During the match, some spectators counted the 34 yellow cards she handed out at the end; others found her soft and tender with no serious refereeing issues in the game. Mukansanga leads a quartet of women match officials for this year's AFCON, with Carine Atemzabong, from Cameroon, Fatiha Jermoumi and Bouchra Karboubi, both from Morocco, present as assistant referees. Until this year’s tournament, in its 65-year history, an all-women team of refereeing officials had yet to be designated for an Africa Cup of Nations match.

With this accomplishment, 35-year-old Mukansanga has emerged as a trailblazer for other women who aspire to step out and break sporting bounds. Her role in this year’s tournament signals a major moment in the development of women refereeing in football, on the continent and for the sport as a whole.

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Music

Adekunle Gold Teases Upcoming Album With New Single "Mercy"

The Nigerian afropop crooner has fans sitting in anticipation for his new album, due out February 4.

Afropop favorite Adekunle Gold is back on our minds with the announcement that his upcoming album Catch Me If You Can is out in a week! The Nigerian superstar has already teased fans with tracks "High" featuring Davido, "Sinner" featuring American singer Lucky Daye, and now shares his latest "Mercy."

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Music
Image courtesy of Spinall.

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Spinall x Adekunle Gold, Ibibio Sound Machine, Turunesh and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Madelyn Bonilla On Being The AfroLatina Representation Her Younger Self Needed

Bonilla, the founder of online community Brown Narrativ, spoke with us about how her experiences as an AfroLatina woman in NYC’s Bronx led her to write and direct her debut film, Pajón.