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.

A post shared by espn (@espn) on

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."

Audio
(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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