News Brief

This Baseball Player Is the First African to Reach the Major Leagues

On Wednesday night, South African baseball player, Gift Ngoepe, became the first player from the continent to play in the baseball major leagues.

On Wednesday, South African baseball player, Gift Ngoepe—of the Pittsburgh Pirates—made history as the first person from the African continent to play in a Major League Baseball (MLB) game, reports ESPN.


The 27-year-old shortstop and second baseman, made his major league debut last night in Pittsburgh during a game against the Chicago Cubs. The Pirates' manager, Clint Hurdle made an unexpected switch early in the game, pulling Ngope off of the bench for the first time, to play second base in the fourth inning.

"I told myself not to cry, because I'm in the big leagues and I'm a big guy," Ngoepe said. Francisco Cervelli hugged me, and I could feel my heartbeat through my chest. It was emotional, and I had to fight back the tears."

Not only did Ngoepe play, but he gave an unforgettable performance, getting a hit at his first at-bat, and helping the Pirates gain their 6-5 victory over the Cubs.

Gift Ngoepe, the first African-born player to reach the majors, singled in his MLB debut.

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In a post game interview, Ngoepe spoke about what the moment meant for him as a player. "I thought about where I've come from, making the journey from South Africa to pursue my dream of playing in the major leagues someday," Ngoepe said. "I thought about the struggles of being in the minor leagues for 8 and-a-half years and then to finally get up here and get a hit in my first at-bat. The whole thing was just awesome. That's the only word I can think of to describe it. It was awesome."

Ngoepe also spoke about what his accomplishment means for players from similar backgrounds, "It shows that you don't have to be from a big country like the United States to reach your dream of making it to the major leagues...I'm from Africa. Baseball is not a popular sport, but if you work hard enough and dream a little bit, anything is possible."

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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