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LeBron James Really Wants to Play In an NBA Africa Game

"I know it's high on his list of priorities," says NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

Lebron James has been quite busy as of late. Within the last month, the basketball superstar made the move to the LA Lakers, opened a school for at-risk youth in his hometown of Akron, Ohio and became the subject of one of Donald Trump's inane Twitter outbursts. Now the NBA megastar has expressed a new goal: playing in an NBA Africa game, reports ESPN News.

The third edition of the NBA Africa games went down last weekend in Johannesburg, and proved to be a memorable event as Team World claimed another victory against Team Africa, with former NBA legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dikembe Mutombo in attendance, and a performance from South African rap star Cassper Nyovest.


Ahead of the game on Saturday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver discussed the future of the Africa games and shared news about getting basketball's biggest star involved in the action. He confirmed that despite his increasingly busy schedule, LeBron James would "very much like" to participate in an NBA Africa game in the future and has made it a priority.

Both Amadou (Gallo Fall, NBA managing director for Africa) and I have spoken directly to LeBron James and he has stated that he would very much like to come to Africa and be part of the game," said the NBA Commissioner. "I will say on his behalf that he has an extraordinarily complicated schedule, even in the off-season, and he is someone who for the last eight years has played in the NBA finals.

So his season has gone from September to late June, so he has a very short break. During those summers he also often plays for the national team, Olympic Games, things like that. I know it's high on his list of priorities. I don't want to put undue pressure on him, but I'm sure that at some point he will make the trip.

He also stated that basketball icon Michael Jordan is interested in attending the games as well. "Michael Jordan is someone we have talked to as well, and he is fascinated by the growth of the NBA business in Africa."

It seems the NBA is making major moves in Africa. Silver went on to discuss the league's plans to expand by developing a Pan-African league.

As for questions about egular season games taking place on the continent, Silver said Nigeria would be at the top destination for such games to take place.

Interview

Amadou & Mariam Forever

We talk to the legendary Malian duo about their rich past, songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities.

Amadou & Mariam don't require an introduction.

The couple has been making Afro-blues music for over 35 years, drawing inspiration from their home of Mali, for over 35 years.

Their 1999 albumSou Ni Tilé sold 100,000 copies. In 2005, their album Dimanche à Bamako won the French Victoire de la Musique prize for Best World Music Album of the year and the BBC Radio 3 Award for Africa. It also went platinum in France after selling over 300,000 copies. The duo have performed with U2, Coldplay, Blur and many others.

We caught up with them below for a conversation about their rich past, their songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities, ahead of the duo's performance at the upcoming London Jazz Festival 2021.

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Music
Image: Ian Watts

The New Fela Kuti Box Set is Curated by Femi Kuti & Chris Martin

And they said the perfect holiday gift doesn't exist...

Fela Kuti's 50th anniversary reissues released this year have reminded us why his status as a legend continues to ring true.

Through the year, Partisan Records (the homes of Fela's catalog) has released a number of special reissues, and now Vinyl Box #5 is set to drop just in time for you to be named the coolest gift giver in your friend group. The highly-anticipated fifth installment of vinyl reissues was co-curated by Fela's son, Nigerian afrobeat ambassador Femi Kuti and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

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Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A Year After #EndSARS, Nigerian Youth Maintain That Nothing Has Changed

Despite the disbandment of the SARS units, young Nigerians are still being treated as criminals. We talk to several of them about their experiences since the #EndSARS protests.

On September 12th, Tobe, a 22-year-old student at the University of Nigeria's Enugu Campus was on his way to Shoprite to hang out with his friends when the tricycle he had boarded was stopped by policemen. At first, Tobe thought they were about to check the driver's documents, but he was wrong. "An officer told me to come down, he started searching me like I was a criminal and told me to pull down my trousers, I was so scared that my mind was racing in different ways, I wasn't wearing anything flashy nor did I have an iPhone or dreads — things they would use to describe me as a yahoo boy," he says.

They couldn't find anything on him and when he tried to defend himself, claiming he had rights, one of the police officers slapped him. "I fell to the ground sobbing but they dragged me by the waist and took me to their van where they collected everything including my phone and the 8,000 Naira I was with."

Luckily for Tobe, they let him go free after 2 hours. "They set me free because they caught another pack of boys who were in a Venza car, but they didn't give me my money completely, they gave me 2,000 Naira for my transport," he says.

It's no news that thousands of Nigerian youth have witnessed incidents like Tobe's — many more worse than his. It's this helpless and seemingly unsolvable situation which prompted the #EndSARS protests. Sparked after a viral video of a man who was shot just because he was driving an SUV and was mistaken as a yahoo boy, the #EndSARS protests saw millions of young Nigerians across several states of the country come out of their homes and march against a system has killed unfathomable numbers of people for invalid or plain stupid reasons. The protests started on October 6th, 2020 and came to a seize after a tragedy struck on October 20th of the same year.

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