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Belgium's First Black Mayor Is a Congolese Immigrant

Pierre Kompany, who came to Belgium from the DRC as a refugee in 1975, was elected mayor of a Brussels borough this week.

Pierre Kompany, a Congolese immigrant and father of professional football players Vincent and Francois Kompany, has been elected mayor of the Ganshoren borough in Brussels, BBC reports.

This is a history-making moment, as this victory makes Kompany Belgium's first black mayor.


Kompany came to Belgium from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1975 as a refugee and first became involved in politics in 2006 as a councillor; then as Brussels regional parliamentarian in 2014.

For him, this feat shows Belgium has taken more steps to integrate a community of people who've been systematically oppressed, exploited and nearly wiped out, says The New York Times. Belgium was one of the harshest colonial powers that especially wreaked havoc in the Congo.

"My success, my election, shows the direction of the march of history, which is towards a more peaceful history," Kompany continues. "I think one has to regard this as a victory for humanity as a whole."

Kompany's sons took to Instagram to congratulate him. "It was long overdue, but it's progress," they say.

Ganshoren is a predominantly white community that Kompany has served as city councillor for 12 years. He ran his election promising locals to help the elderly, expand child care accessibility and improve soccer fields.

Photo: Donpaul Kamau

Kenya’s Throttle Queens Rule The Road

What started out as a group of women wanting to increase road safety awareness has turned into a bond forged by freedom and friendship.

Around 5 years ago, alarmed by the increase in grisly road accidents between bikers and vehicles, a group of seven women bikers from Kenya established a club with the aim of making Nairobi’s motorcycling community safer and more inclusive. So far, the group, popularly known as the Throttle Queens, has not only encouraged other women to get on the bike, but it’s also become an extension of the founders’ own personal – and collective – freedom.

Since forming, the Throttle Queens have attracted much attention for their moves. Their adventures on the road have seen them become the subject of an Al Jazeera short film, directed by filmmaker Joan Kabagu, which is airing on the channel until January 4th 2022. They’ve completed a number of trips, the furthest being when they rode more than 1,100 kilometers, or about 683 miles, over three days to Kigali, Rwanda’s capital in April 2019, in an effort to sensitize road users on the importance of road sharing.

“We believe in sisterhood and empowerment among women riders,” Ciku Mbithi, Throttle Queens co-founder, told

OkayAfrica. “We felt that our needs as women were not being fully met by the wider motorcycle community.
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Photo: Trevor Stuurman

Ghanaian Designer Steve French On The Influence of Cartoons & Earning A Gucci Fellowship

He's been designing fashion since 2015, but Steve French doesn't mind how long people take to notice his work - just as long as they notice.

Steve French personifies the thought that unwavering faith in one’s talent and capabilities can open doors. The Ghanaian fashion designer, stylist and illustrator didn’t make the initial top 10 for the 2019 Gucci Design Fellowship program but the organizers ended up expanding the list to include him because of his aptitude.

Launched in March 2019, the program is part of the luxury fashion brand’s initiative to offer opportunities to underrepresented designers, and to promote cultural exchanges between people from different backgrounds. The fellows get to learn from the Creative Director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele, and his team for a year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, French’s class shifted, and they began their fellowship in March this year.

“The 11th designer from Ghana [French] was a decision taken today,” stated Marco Bizzari, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gucci, about the decision to add French to the mix, as reported on fashion website, WWD. “The team didn’t want to let him go.”

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Music
Image courtesy of the artist.

The 6 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring DJ Lag, Asa, LasGiiDi, Kaien Cruz, Imarhan and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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DJ Neptune Surveys the Sounds & Genres Running Africa In His New Album

Greatness 2.0 features an all-star cast of African artists and jumps from afrobeats to amapiano to asakaa, Ghana’s thrilling new take on drill.