popular
Video still via YouTube.

Kofi Kingston Is the First African-Born Wrestler to Win a WWE Championship

Ghana's own has made history at WrestleMania 35 and people are admitting to crying.

Ghana's own Kofi Kingston has made history becoming the first African-born wrestler to become a WWE champion, Wrestling News reports.

Born Kofi Nahaje Sarkodie-Mensah, the 37-year-old vet defeated Daniel Bryan for the coveted belt at WrestleMania 35.

Over 75,000 fans packed MetLife Stadium in New Jersey for the event—known as the "showcase of the immortals."

ESPN's Sean Coyle describes what made this match rate a 4.75 out of 5:


Bryan and Kofi took some time feeling each other out before either risked a maneuver that could backfire, but that's exactly what happened when Kofi attempted to dive on Bryan, who was outside in the ring and in front of the announcer's table. Bryan moved just in time and Kofi took the brunt of the blow. Advantage, Bryan.

The champ, standing on the top rope, then delivered a knee to Kofi's head, and slowly and surely, Bryan was showing everyone why he has been head of the class on SmackDown. Soon afterward, Bryan locked in a Boston Crap, a submission move that had Kofi screaming in pain, but Kofi wouldn't tap, even as Bryan connected with one kick after another to his face.

Kofi was able to turn the tide as he leaped off the top rope and onto Bryan, who was lying face first in the ring. Back and forth they went as the cadence picked up. Kofi was feeling it, and so was the crowd inside the stadium.

Read the full recap of the match here.

"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all," Sarkodie-Mensah states on Twitter, who's been waiting on this moment for 11 years. "Without your love and support, especially over the past couple months, none of this happens. You helped me achieve my childhood dream and I'm eternally grateful for each and every one of you. Sincerely, your WWE World Heavyweight Champion."

Take a look at Kofi Kingston's post-match interview below.

The New Day react to Kofi Kingston becoming WWE Champion: WWE Exclusive, April 7, 2019 youtu.be


In the elaborate fantasy world of American professional wrestling where characters are given back stories meant to capture the imagination of wrestling fans, Kofi Kingston actually began his career as a Jamaican character with an accent inspired by listening to Damian Marley.

He says he was eventually allowed to drop the act by WWE, saying it was just getting too hard to justify the character. Ghanaians would accuse him of being ashamed of his heritage and Jamaicans called him out for being fake. These people, he says, simply couldn't let him play a character on TV. See him talk about it in an interview on HOT97 from last week.

Kofi Kingston On First Jamaican Gimmick, Possible WWE Championship Run, & Wrestlemaniawww.youtube.com

People have been reacting to Kofi winning the title with uncharacteristic emotions, with many on social media admitting to crying while watching the match or hearing the result.

popular
Rema, image courtesy of the artist.

Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage, Rema, Teni & More Win Big at 2020 Soundcity MVP Awards

Check out the complete list of 2020 winners.

The Soundcity MVP Awards, the annual award show that recognizes the best and biggest in African music, took place over the weekend at the Eko Convention Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. Some of the biggest names in African entertainment took home awards.

The show was hosted by South African star Bonang Matheba and featured performances from Diamond Platnumz, Tekno, Tiwa Savage, Stonebwoy and more.

The big winner of the night was none other than Burna Boy, who took home the award for African Artiste of the Year for the second time, the first time being in 2018 in which his mother, Bose Ogulu gave us that memorable acceptance speech warning us "to expect more madness." He also won Song of the Year for "Killin Dem," as well as Best Male MVP.

Keep reading...
popular
Photo by Abena Boamah.

Photos: Here's What Happened at Daily Paper & Free the Youth's Design Talk for Accra's Young Creatives

Founders of the popular brands discussed all things African streetwear in a conversation facilitated by OkayAfrica and moderator Amarachi Nwosu.

Last week, Amsterdam-based, African-owned streetwear brand Daily Paper and Ghanaian streetwear label Free the Youth held a talk for young creatives at the Mhoseenu design studio in Accra, Ghana.

Moderated by Melanin Unscripted creator Amarachi Nwosu and presented in partnership with OkayAfrica, the design-based conversation explored everything from sustainable practices in manufacturing, to the overall evolution of streetwear globally. The founders of Free the Youth, which was been called Ghana's number one streetwear brand, expanded on how they've been able to build their audience, and shared details about their community-based initiatives.

They event, which took place at the Daily Paper Pop-up Store in Accra last Friday, drew a fashionable and creative-minded crowd ready to partake in a design discussion between West Africa and Europe.

Check out some of the action that took place at the Daily Paper x FYT event below, with photos by Abena Boamah.

Find more upcoming OkayAfrica events here.

Keep reading...
popular
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...
popular

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...

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.