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The NBA Postpones Basketball Africa League Due to Health Concerns

The inaugural Basketball Africa League which was set to kick off this month has been postponed due to health concerns around the coronavirus outbreak.

The BBC reports that the NBA's inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL) has been postponed due to health concerns around the coronavirus outbreak.

No new dates have been given yet for the BAL which was supposed to kick off in the Senegalese capital of Dakar on March 13th.


The BAL's inaugural season, which will comprise 40 games over a period of 3 months, is set to take place in a host of major African cities including Dakar, Kigali, Cairo, Lagos, Rabat, Luanda and several others.

President of the BAL, Amadou Gallo Fall, commented on the postponement in a press release saying, "Following the recommendation of the Senegalese government regarding the escalating health concerns related to the coronavirus, the BAL's inaugural season will be postponed." He went on to express disappointment at the postponement but said that the much-anticipated season would begin at a latter date.

Last year, the NBA announced that it would be launching the BAL, its first professional league outside of North America. The move comes at a time when African talent is beginning to dominate basketball both on and off the court.

Speaking in an interview with OkayAfrica's Damola Durosomo, Vice President & Head of Strategy and Operations for the BAL, John Manyo-Plange, spoke about the grand vision for the league saying:

"We feel that in the next five years, the BAL is going to be the number two basketball league globally. We have high aspirations for what this is going to become. As the average fan of the sport, when you experience basketball on the continent currently, and then the NBA and the BAL come in town, and then you experience what we put on, and all the activities around it, there's going to be a marked difference between the two. If we don't achieve that, then we've done something wrong. The talent is here. All the raw materials are here. We now have to package it properly."

As it stands, there are reportedly 94 000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the world with an estimated death toll of just over 3000 people. You can view the specifics of these statistics here. The virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

African countries which have confirmed cases of the virus include Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco and Senegal.

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Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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