Sports

​Jamaica's Reggae Girlz Are the First Caribbean Team In History to Qualify for the Women's World Cup

Jamaica's senior national women's team are headed to the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.

Jamaica's national women's soccer team, known as the Reggae Girlz will take their talents to the senior Women's World Cup in France next year for the first time ever, making them the first Caribbean women's team ever to qualify for the games, according to FIFA.com.

It's been a long road to success for the Reggae Girlz. The team folded in 2010, but were brought back in 2014 due to the fervent support of Cedella Marley—the first-born daughter of Bob Marley—who has helped sponsor the team through the Bob Marley Foundation, reports Huffington Post.


"That support from the Bob Marley Foundation has been so important to us," head coach Hue Menzies told FIFA last month about Marley's sponsorship. "Bob Marley loved football, of course. Cedella has continued that passion and she really wants to help women's football develop in Jamaica."

Following the Reggae Girlz' close, but triumphant penalty shootout win against Panama on Wednesday, Marley told BBC Sport that her father, known as a passionate soccer lover, would have been proud of her and the team's history-making accomplishment.

"I went outside and started to meditate," she said. "By the time the last penalty went in we were all on the floor. Daddy would probably not be surprised, when I put my foot into something stuff happens. He'd be like, 'that's my girl'."

To add even more significance to the moment, the team's win comes on the 20th anniversary of the Jamaican national men's team, the Reggae Boyz, qualification for the FIFA World Cup in 1998, which was also held in France.

The moment is a major win for women's sports on the island nation and the Caribbean as a whole, congrats to the Reggae Girlz!

Interview
Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Keep reading...

University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

Keep reading...
Photo: Ben Depp.

Watch Yilian Canizares & Paul Beaubrun's Beautiful Video For 'Noyé'

"Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Yilian Canizares and Paul Beaubrun connect for the serene "Noyé," one of the highlights from Canizares' latest album, Erzulie.

The Cuban singer and Haitian artist are now sharing the new Arnaud Robert-directed music video for the single, which we're premiering here today.

"Noyé is a song that comes from our roots," Yilian Canizares tells OkayAfrica. "Inspired by the energy of love. The same love that kept Africa's legacy alive in the hearts of Haiti and Cuba. We wanted to do a stripped down version of only the essential pieces from a musical point of view. Something raw and beautiful where our souls would be naked."

The striking music video follows Canizares and Beaubrun to the waters of New Orleans, the universal Creole capital, where they sing and float until meeting on the Mississippi River.

"Noyé is a cry of love from children of African descent," says Paul Beaubrun. "Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Watch the new music video for "Noyé" below.

Keep reading...

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.