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Nobel Peace Prize Nod to African and Arab Women


Today it was announced that two African women, both from Liberia, have been honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (above), the first female elected president in Africa, and the peace activist Leymah Gbowee (now based in Ghana) have accepted the prize on "behalf of the Liberian people." Not only was today's announcement a boost to Africa and gender equality (most of the previous winners have been men), it was also a nod to the Arab world. A third recipient of the award is Tawakul Karman, a 32 year old Yemeni woman whose arrest in January spurred widespread protests in Yemen.

Leymah Gbowee's win is an obvious choice as she is a force to be reckoned with. She's a badass when it comes to organizing and thinking outside of the box, or rather, closing up the box. Check her out on The Colbert Report talking about the sex strike she organized to end the civil war in Liberia. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's win comes a week before Liberians go to the polls to decide her re-election. Even though the Nobel Committee contends that her selection for the Prize had nothing to do with her re-election campaign, the award could still be viewed as an international endorsement of the President, whose popularity is waning at home where mass poverty is a pervasive issue.

News Brief

Michael Kiwanuka Wins Highly Coveted 2020 Mercury Prize

The British-Ugandan artist proves that staying true to yourself will get you further than you can imagine.

British-Ugandan musician Michael Kiwanuka has gone on to win the 2020 Mercury Prize at this year's virtual awards ceremony.

The win was assigned to Kiwanuka's 2019 album KIWANUKA, produced by Danger Mouse and Inflo. KIWANUKA, Michael's third full-length so far, seems to be the artists' most personal one yet.

In his own words, Kiwanuka told New Statesman, "I thought, what better way to say that you're comfortable with who you are than by using just your name? KIWANUKA goes against fame, it goes against success. It's not in the pocket, it's not a smooth rock'n'roll name that's up in lights. It can be clumsy, if you haven't seen it before."

Well, we are certainly grateful for the singer's personal evolution as it has landed him top honors in the industry, as well as, amongst his die hard fans.

The artist said of his win, "I don't even know what to say - I'm speechless. This is amazing...I don't even have any words. This is ridiculous, it's crazy! I'm so happy. Third time's a charm. It's blown my mind. I'm over the moon, I'm so excited - this is for art, for music, for albums. This is the only thing I've ever wanted to do so to win a Mercury is a dream come true. I'm so happy. Music and art means so much to me and this is an award that celebrates that so I'm over the moon."

Watch Michael Kiwanuka's performance of "You Ain't The Problem" off of his Mercury Prize winning album "KIWANUKA" here.

Mercury Prize 2020 Winner | Michael Kiwanuka - You Ain't The Problem (Later... With Jools Holland) www.youtube.com

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Supports Removal of Apartheid Statues

This past Heritage Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that monuments 'glorifying' the country's 'divisive past' should be repositioned and relocated.