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Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for BET

OS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 24: Honoree Ilwad Elman attends the 2017 BET International Awards Presentation at Microsoft Theater on June 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Somali Activist Ilwad Elman Wins Prestigious 2020 German Africa Prize

Somali activist Ilwad Elman is this year's winner of the German Africa Prize for her humanitarian work in rehabilitating child soldiers and sexual violence survivors.

Somali peace activist Ilwad Elman has reportedly won the coveted 2020 German Africa Prize for her continued humanitarian work in her homeland. According to DW, Elman received the award in person from German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas last night. Elman has received the award for her work with child soldiers and survivors of sexual violence in Somalia. The news comes as a welcomed reprieve for those in the African diaspora for whom Elman has been an advocate since the age of 17. The young peace and justice advocate took to Twitter to share the news.


Elman was born in Somalia in 1990 and comes from a family of human rights activist. Her mother, Fartuun Adan, fled the country with Elman at the age following rising violent civil unrest that resulted in the violent death of her father. Somali peace activist Elman Ali Ahmed, was assassinated in 1996 in Mogadishu leaving Adan to raise three daughters in Canada. Ahmed's legacy beckoned Elman at the age of 17 to return to Somalia and reform the youth, particularly former child soldiers.

Although Elman's name is most prominent in the headlines for winning this award, her mother is a joint recipient of the award. Adan kept the stories of her husband's work alive burning in her daughter. "I always knew I had to pick up the pieces, but I also had to raise my kids," says Adan who is now aged 51. "I always told them I'm going back after they reached high school."

Elman heads the Elman Peace Organisation which was established around Elman's birth. The organisation shelters survivors of conflict and harnesses leadership skills in both women and men. She is an advocate for the Kofi Annan Foundation's latest initiative called Extremely Together. She serves as the chair of the Child Protection Gender Based Violence Case Management Group in Mogadishu and is a founding member of the Advisory Committee for Researching Gender-Based Violence Social Norms in Somalia and South Sudan. She was nominated and shortlisted for the Noble Peace Prize in 2019.

Somalia has been under civil wars since 1991. The country on the horn of Africa has experienced civil unrest due to al-Shabab terrorist attacks. The civil war had devastated the country and severe famine had ravaged it further, leaving approximately 500,000 Somalis in displaced persons camps. Somali youth diaspora are reportedly returning to the country even though government corruption is reportedly rising and regional power struggles remain.

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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