News Brief
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ALEXANDRA SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 27: Health workers conduct swabs with community member during intensified testing and screening on Freedom Day on April 27, 2020 in Alexandra South Africa.

Global Citizen's Upcoming Concert Will Support African Healthcare Workers

Global Citizen's upcoming 'VAX LIVE' online concert is set to raise funds for at least 6.5 million African healthcare workers to become vaccinated amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Global Citizen has recently announced its upcoming concert VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World. The online event, which will be broadcast on May 8th, will feature a number of artists from across the world who are set to perform as part of a massive fundraising effort for African healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will reportedly go towards a large-scale vaccination drive supporting at least 6.5 million healthcare workers in what the organisation has dubbed "dollars for doses".


READ: Burna Boy Highlights Relief Efforts Across Africa With 'One World: Together at Home' Performance

In a recent press statement, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa responded to news of the initiative saying:

" South Africa is fully behind this initiative to be part of a collective effort to recover after the devastating pandemic. The 'Recovery Plan for the World' is a good opportunity to get the international community working together to drive equitable access to vaccines for everyone, everywhere. Again, I urge world leaders to urgently free up excess supply for poorer countries. Today, the world is facing an unprecedented health, social and economic crisis. Now is the time to act in the interests of the whole world, now is the time to become truly global citizens."

The official artist lineup has not been released as yet and any African talent taking part in the concert being kept under wraps. However, American actress and singer, Selena Gomez, is set to host the online event which will be streamed in an extended edition on YouTube.

While several African countries have already started their vaccine rollouts, the sobering reality of vaccine shortages remains, exacerbated by intermittent pauses due to concerns about observed side effects in those who have received certain COVID-19 vaccines. Less than 2 percent of the 690 million vaccines administered globally have been in Africa. The push right now is towards African countries being able to manufacture their own vaccines.

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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