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Supporters of incumbent president Alassane Ouattara take part in a campaign meeting ahead of the presidential election, on October 17, 2020 in Abidjan.

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara Controversially Wins Third Presidential Term

President Alassane Ouattara has secured a controversial landslide victory in Ivory Coast's recent national elections despite boycotts.

President Alassane Ouattara has reportedly been voted into his third presidential term in Ivory Coast. This comes after the national election took place on October 31st. According to Al Jazeera, votes for Ouattara amounted to 94.2 percent of the total votes. Opposition parties have reportedly refused to accept the election results along with majority of the country who boycotted the elections. Additionally, violence and unrest preceded the elections when the country opposed Ouattara's third presidential run. Ouattara now joins fellow East African President Alpha Conde, who recently won his own third presidential term in Guinea amid the loss of several Guineans' lives.


Ouattara's win was announced early Tuesday morning after all the votes were reportedly counted. Kuibiert-Coulibaly Ibrahime, the head of the electoral commission announced the results to the nation. The results are said to be validated by the country's constitutional council which will declare the final winner after hearing any challenges or complaints of irregularities. As a matter of fact, opposition parties have continuously called Ouattara's presidential campaign "illegitimate" because Ivory Coast's Constitution does not permit more than two presidential terms. Conversely, the 78-year-old president called it a "reset" for himself but voters have shown resistance.

The electoral commission confirmed that only 53.9 percent of Ivorians cast their votes at the poll. Ivory Coast's election can be said to have been strange, controlled and violent. According to DW, forty of the forty-four candidates seeking to challenge Ouattara were disqualified. Furthermore, two of Ouattara's three remaining opponents (Pascal Affi N'Guessan and Henri Konan Bedie) boycotted the vote and asked their supporters to stay at home as well.

According to DW, African Union observers called the election process "generally satisfactory". US international political and human rights organisation, Carter Center, questioned the credibility of votes with regards to Ivory Coast's current unstable political climate. At least 30 deaths have reportedly been recorded in demonstrations against Ouattara leading up to the elections. Ouattara's win is not unfamiliar. Recently, OkayAfrica reported on Tanzania's election where President John Magufuli won by over 84 percent. Opposition party figures were set to peacefully demonstrate against the results but were arrested prior.

Music
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Burna Boy, Tems, Zakes Bantwini, Eddy Kenzo & More Are Nominated For 2023 Grammy Awards

They are joined by Angélique Kidjo, Rocky Dawuni, Nomcebo Zikode and more African artists on the nominees list for next year's Grammy Awards.

The Recording Academy has released its list of nominees for the upcoming 2023 Grammy Awards show and several African artists have been given a nod.

Nigerian superstar Burna Boyand Beninese legend Angélique Kidjo are both nominated for Best Global Music Album.

Uganda's Eddy Kenzo, Ghana's Rocky Dawuni, South Africa's Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode, and Burna Boy are all in the running for Best Global Music Performance.

Nigeria's continually buzzing Tems is nominated for "Wait For U," her collaboration with Future and Drake, under the Best Melodic Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. Angélique Kidjo is also nominated for her Woman King song "Keep Rising" under the Best Song Written for Visual Media category.

African music has been taking center stage, and the recent nominations have further proven that the world is paying attention to the sounds coming from the African continent.

The 65th installment of the award show will take place on Sunday, February 5, 2023, at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. It will be exciting to see all of the honorees from the continent and how their hard work has paid off.

Last year, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Tems, Femi Kuti, Made Kuti, Angélique Kidjo, Rocky Dawuni, and Black Coffee were the African nominees.

Last year, Kidjo won an award for her 16th studio album Mother Nature, marking her fifth Grammy win. During a visit to Ghana earlier this year, Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, told reporters that the Grammys were considering an Afrobeats category. Mason said he had been meeting with important decision-makers in the genre to explore the possibility.

Scroll down to see the list of African artists nominated for the award show this year.

Check out the complete list of nominees here.

Best Global Music Performance

“Udhero Na,” Arooj Aftab and Anoushka Shankar
“Gimme Love,” Matt B and Eddy Kenzo
“Last Last,” Burna Boy
“Neva Bow Down,” Rocky Dawuni featuring Blvk H3ro
“Bayethe,” Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode

Best Global Music Album

“Shuruaat,” Berklee Indian Ensemble
“Love, Damini,” Burna Boy
“Queen of Sheba,” Angélique Kidjo and Ibrahim Maalouf
“Between Us … (Live),” Anoushka Shankar, Metropole Orkest and Jules Buckley featuring Manu Delago
“Sakura,” Masa Takumi

Best Melodic Rap Performance

“Beautiful,” DJ Khaled featuring Future and SZA
“Wait for U,” Future featuring Drake and Tems
“First Class,” Jack Harlow
“Die Hard,” Kendrick Lamar featuring Blxst and Amanda Reifer
“Big Energy (Live),” Latto

Best Rap Song

“Churchill Downs,” Ace G, BEDRM, Matthew Samuels, Tahrence Brown, Rogét Chahayed, Aubrey Graham, Jack Harlow and Jose Velazquez, songwriters (Jack Harlow featuring Drake)

“God Did,’ Tarik Azzouz, E. Blackmon, Khaled Khaled, F. LeBlanc, Shawn Carter, John Stephens, Dwayne Carter, William Roberts and Nicholas Warwar, songwriters (DJ Khaled featuring Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend and Fridayy)

“The Heart Part 5,” Jake Kosich, Johnny Kosich, Kendrick Lamar and Matt Schaeffer, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)

“Pushin P,” Lucas Depante, Nayvadius Wilburn, Sergio Kitchens, Wesley Tyler Glass and Jeffery Lamar Williams, songwriters (Gunna and Future featuring Young Thug)

“Wait for U,” Tejiri Akpoghene, Floyd E. Bentley III, Jacob Canady, Isaac De Boni, Aubrey Graham, Israel Ayomide Fowobaje, Nayvadius Wilburn, Michael Mule, Oluwatoroti Oke and Temilade Openiyi, songwriters (Future featuring Drake and Tems)

Best Song Written for Visual Media

“Be Alive” from “King Richard”; Beyoncé́ and Darius Scott Dixson, songwriters (Beyoncé́)

“Carolina” from “Where the Crawdads Sing”; Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)

“Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick”; Bloodpop and Stefani Germanotta, songwriters (Lady Gaga)

“Keep Rising (The Woman King)” from “The Woman King”; Angelique Kidjo, Jeremy Lutito and Jessy Wilson, songwriters (Jessy Wilson featuring Angelique Kidjo)

“Nobody Like U” from “Turning Red”; Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (4*Town, Jordan Fisher, Finneas O’Connell, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo, Grayson Villanueva)

“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from “Encanto”; Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter (Carolina Gaitán — La Gaita, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz & Encanto — Cast)

Arts + Culture
Photo: @Africanist

Finding Afrobeats In a White City

One writer's quest to find a space that felt like home after moving to Seattle.

I moved to Seattle, Washington right in the middle of the pandemic in December of 2020. The following summer Governor Jay Inslee announced the opening of restaurants and clubs. It was perfect timing for Seattle summer, but the challenge was finding a party or space where I felt at home, with people who looked like me. I wanted to find a place where vibes and community intersected while listening to afrobeats, somewhere I could go to every weekend. After asking around, I was told numerous times to check out The Afrobeats Party.

According to the 2021 US census report, Seattle's population is roughly 733,919 people, and only 7.1% of those people are Black or African American. With these statistics, when you think of Seattle, the first thing that comes to mind is not afrobeats. However, there's been a big movement brewing over the past years in the city, with Ghanaian-born, Seattle-based DJ Nayiram’s party catapulting afrobeats further into its musical consciousness.

The first time I attended The Afrobeats Party I went with some of my girls who had frequently been, but they did not prepare me for what I was about to experience. I didn't expect to stand in a line that wrapped around the block alongside, what seemed like, a sizable portion of the 7.1% of black people that live in Seattle. Once we eventually made our way inside Red Lounge, we were met with over 300 people singing Fireboy DML's “Peru” at the top of their lungs, as a sea of bodies were being taken on a musical journey. I was pleasantly surprised by how much energy there was in the room and the power afrobeats had on everyone moving to every beat.

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Sports
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An African Renaissance In Matchday 2 of the World Cup

Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, and Cameroon delivered great performances in the second round of games at the Qatar World Cup.

The African teams represented at the World Cup this year have started thriving.

Morocco was the leading team with four points scored from the two games that they played. During Sunday’s game, they earned an upset 0-2 win when they played against Belgium, a team that many had a favorites to go far this year.

During the second minute of first half stoppage time, Morocco’s Hakim Ziyech fired a free kick into the net. After further analysis, the goal was disallowed, but the Moroccan team bounced back in the 73rd minute when Abdelhamid Sabiri scored a seamless free kick. Zakaria Aboukhlal later scored the second role, which would secure the teams win and mark its second win since 1998.

In their opening game, Walid Regragui’s Morocco team secured a 0-0 draw with Croatia in their opening game before surpassing Belgium in their second match, to put them on the brink of a potential first last-16 spot since 1986, according to The Sporting News.

In spite of the loss of Sadio Mane due to an injury, the Senegal team performed well, with Aliou Cissé's squad winning 1-3 over host team Qatar on Friday. The goals came from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou, and Bamba Dieng, who all played a part in securing the big win.

In heated game that they played earlier today, Cameroon tied Serbia 3-3. At the 29th minute , Cameroon’s Jean-Charles Castelletto scored the first goal, and after Serbia countered with goals of their own, Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar and Maxim Choupo-Moting would add two successive goals, that would tie the game.

Ghana also scored an impressive 3-2 win against South Korea. During the first half of the game, Mohammed Salisu scored a goal in the 24th minute and Mohammed Kudus scored in 34th minute. The third goal was secured by Kudus again, who made it in the 68th minute.

This year, four out of the five African countries represented at the World Cup have African coaches, a reality that has not been the case in previous years.

According to a report from The New York Times, four out of the five African coaches this year started their careers in European football. Senegalese-born Aliou Cissé and Cameroon’s Rigobert Song are two coaches who crafted out a career for themselves in the renowned English Premier League. Morocco’s Walid Regragui and Ghana’s Otto Addo also had successful international careers before they began their coaching career. Out of all the African coaches, Jalel Kadri is a the only coach who played for his home country of Tunisia.

Ever since the World Cup began in 1930, 13 African nations have participated in the World Cup, but only Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) have reached the quarterfinal, with none of the teams ever making it to the semi-final round, so it will be interesting to see what African teams cross that thresh hold this year.


News Brief
(Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Wizkid)

Wizkid Sets His Eyes On Yet Another Album

The Nigerian superstar teased a new album titled, SeiLess.

Just weeks after dropping his album More Love, Less Ego, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, popularly known asWizkid, is already teasing a follow up project.

On November 26th, the “Bad To Me” singer shared with fans on his Instagram story that he was working towards an upcoming album. According to the Afrobeats sensation, the name of the new album will be Seiless.

"New Album ‘SeiLess’," wrote the Afrobeats heavyweight, with a string of emojis.Although he didn’t share any other details about the project, it seems as though he is actively working to kickstart the creative process and go from there. Or it could all be a simple play on words for naysayers to say less.




The singer, who is known for his laidback disposition, told GQ in a French-conducted interview that before kickstarting a music project, he always starts with the name of the project, and hones in on being intentional first before anything else.

“When I know what I want to call the album and what I want to say, I start creating the music,” said Wizkid. “And most of the time, when I’m working on an album, there’s a moment where I give up on it. The most important thing is to be intentional. For Made in Lagos for example, I wanted people to know where I come from and who I am. With More Love, Less Ego, I want to share a message of love and make people vibrate. Love should be the greatest religion in the world. I believe that everyone can love each other, for real. My message is love one another and take care of your neighbor.”

The 32-year-old recently played a huge show at Madison Square Garden, becoming the second Nigerian artist to headline the renowned New York venue. His More Love, Less Ego tour will officially kick off on March 3, so it will be interesting to see if his new project will be available by then.

The show will debut in the south, with an opening performance at Houston’s Toyota Center. He will also stop in Dallas, Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, and other cities before wrapping up the tour on April 7, 2023.

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