News

Oby Ezekwesili, Leader of #BringBackOurGirls, Withdraws from Nigerian Presidential Race

The former government minister says she's focusing on building a coalition to challenge the election's main candidates.

The Nigerian elections are just under a month away, and the race is only intensifying.

Today, one of the election's main opposition candidates, Oby Ezekwesili, known for her leadership on the 2014 #BringBackOurGirls campaign, has withdrawn from the race just 23 days before the election on February 16.


According to a report from Reuters, Ezekwesili has removed her name in order to help build a coalition that aims to present a viable candidate to challenge the presidential frontrunners: incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari of the All People's Congress and former vice president and leader of the People's Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, who is running an a platform of economic renewal.

She was the only woman running for office in the 2019 election.

"I have decided to step down from the presidential race and focus on helping to build a coalition for a viable alternative to the #APCPDP in the 2019 general," said Ezekwesili in a tweet.

Ezekwesili was one of that three candidates that took part in the tempestuous presidential debate in Abuja last Saturday, which both Buhari and Abubakar failed to show up for. Though she was not considered one of the frontrunners of the race, her withdrawal still comes as a surprise to some.

The politician added that she came to the decision to withdraw her name after observing responses from citizens following the debate, and consulting with fellow leaders.

The accomplished former government minister, is also the cofounder of Transparency International, an anti-corruption organization. She was considered for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her anti-corruption work.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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