News

As Gambia Celebrates a New President, Africa Watches

Things are changing fast in the Gambia but it is almost certain that president Yahya Jammeh's reign is over.

Things are changing quickly in The Gambia right now and across the African continent people are following closely. As of writing, the president elect Adama Barrow has just taken an oath in Gambian embassy in Dakar, while President Yahya Jammeh still refuses to step down despite the cards being stacked against him. Six ministers of his cabinet have already left the country.


According the French radio, RFI the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted for the resolution giving the authorization to the coalition of Senegalese and Nigerian army to overthrow the power of Yahya Jammeh using military forces. A few minutes later the coalition crossed the borders into the Gambia.

Jainaba a Gambian resident in New York told OkayAfrica “We are glad that the new president Barrow was sworn in but I am worried, I have my family there, they are sending us the photos of what’s happening on social media. Let’s hope that Yahya’s army will surrender without any loss of our people's’ life”

Ibrahima Camara, reached in the Gambian capital of Banjul tells OkayAfrica that they are following what’s going on closely. “People are celebrating in the streets here in Banjul. We are aware that the troops of the Economic Community of West African States are heading to Banjul without any resistance of Yahya Jammeh’s army. Since yesterday we have not seen Yahya on TV. Maybe he left.”

In Dakar the foreign diplomats attended the swearing in ceremony of Barrow today, but outside the people were not paying attention a lot on what’s happening now in Gambia; “Right now the many people in Dakar are watching the African Cup of Nations,” Jean, who didn't want his last name used told OkayAfrica from Dakar. “They know well that the Gambian army can’t resist the ECOWAS coalition army. The main topic now here in Dakar is which country is going to offer Yahya Jammeh exile.”

While the president of Tanzania Dr John Pombe Magufuli tweeted; “We will no longer recognize Yahya Jammeh as the president of the Republic of Gambia. We don’t support unjust values & dictatorship”

In East Africa people are also watching intently. Didier Mukaleng Makal Kanteg, a Congolese journalist tells OkayAfrica that in his city of Lubumbashi people are following the situation in Gambia; “we are going in the same situation that Gambians were facing under Yahya Jammeh, especially in our region. The local media are not talking about the situation in Gambia but people here, especially the youth in Lubumbashi, are following the international news from BBC, VOA and RFI. This should be the lesson to our leaders who don’t want to leave power. I salute the courage of the ECOWAS army coalition, the East African Community should had reacted likewise in Burundi… Same here in Congo we saw lots of victims who were protesting against the third term of Kabila… Bravo to the Gambian people”

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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