News

Obama Namechecks New Okayafrica Editorial Team Member & Young African Leader Brian 'B Flow' Kasoka

Obama namechecks Okayafrica's new editorial team member and Young African leader Brian 'B Flow' Kasoka.


Zambian musician and gender rights activist Brian Kasoka, otherwise known as B Flow, is joining our editorial team as part of President Obama's Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Starting today, Brian — who was personally name-checked by the POTUS last week — will be working with us to bring the hot, new, cool from Zambia straight to your browser.

Brian is one of 500 Fellows participating in the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the flagship program of Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Last week, the Fellows met with Obama during a summit in D.C., where the President gave Brian a special shout-out (see 7:24 in the video below):

"Brian uses music to advocate against things like gender-based violence and to educate youth on HIV/AIDS. So while in the U.S., he’s learned about our health care system, met the founder of an American HIV/AIDS organization, and now he plans to start a record label for music about social change. So, Brian, we’re proud to be your partner." –President Obama

Congratulations, Brian! We're excited to have you on board.

Interview

Malian Rapper Ami Yerewolo Rises Against All Odds

Ami Yerewolo reflects on her hard-won rap career, new album AY and why she insists on creating support spaces for young female rappers in Mali and beyond.

"No one is a prophet in his or her own land!" This is an accurate way to describe Ami Yerewolo's career to a tee. The Malian rapper's music has not always been popular in her home country, where female rappers are generally frowned upon. Instead, it has taken off abroad. Yerewolo's upbeat sound mixes traditional Malian elements with fast drums, contemporary beats and significant lyrics that compel listeners to reflect on life — all of which makes her songs carry a universal appeal. Her new album, AY (titled after the rapper's initials) has just been released by the label Othentiq.

Yerewolo shares her frank thoughts below...

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