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Sahle-Work Zewde Becomes Ethiopia's First Female President

The former diplomat was chosen for the ceremonial role in a unanimous vote by parliament on Thursday.

In yet another history-making move, Ethiopia's parliament has chosen former top diplomat, Sahle-Work Zewde as the country's new president, making her the first woman to serve in the position and the only current female head of state in Africa.

Her appointment comes after the landmark decision, spearheaded by reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed last week, to appoint 50 precent of Ethiopia's cabinet positions to women.

President Zewde was sworn in by a unanimous vote during the second Special Joint Session of Ethiopia's two houses of parliament on Thursday, reports Al Jazeera. She takes on the largely ceremonial position, following the unexpected resignation of former president Mulatu Teshome.


During her speech in parliament the new head of state urged members to work towards peace in the nation, especially for the sake of women. "I urge you all, to uphold our peace, in the name of a mother, who is the first to suffer from the absence of peace."

Zewde has served in several high-level diplomatic positions throughout her career. She was the head of the UN office to the African Union immediately before her appointment. Prior to that she head of peace-building in Central African Republic for the UN, and she served as an ambassador for Ethiopia in Senegal and Djibouti, according to BBC Africa.

"In a patriarchal society such as ours, the appointment of a female head of state not only sets the standard for the future but also normalises women as decision-makers in public life," wrote the prime minister's chief of staff, Fitsum Arega on Twitter.

The symbolic decision is being celebrated by Ethiopians and international observers, who are expressing pride at the progress being made in the country's political sphere towards gender inclusion.











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The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Fireboy DML, Juls, Adekunle Gold 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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Film
Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty.

Michaela Coel Joins the 'Black Panther' Sequel Cast

The upcoming film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is shaping up.

The sequel to the Oscar-winning Black Panther is only due to debut in July of 2022, but the production is well on its way.

The latest news out of the camp is that Michaela Coel, of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum fame, has officially joined the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Her character details are still under wraps but according to Variety, Coel has already joined director Ryan Coogler at Atlanta's Pinewood Studios, where production started in late June.

Coel joins original cast members Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, Florence Kasumba, and Angela Bassett all reprising their roles. Following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel reportedly chose not to recast the role of T'Challa.

Read: How Michaela Coel's 'I May Destroy You' Makes Space For Black Creators

"It's clearly very emotional without Chad," Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige mentions. "But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."

Michaela Coel's highly-lauded 2020 series I May Destroy You — which she wrote, directed, produced and stared in — received four Emmy nominations.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for wide release on July 8, 2022.

Meet Duro Arts, the Man Behind Your Favorite Afrobeats Album Covers

We talk to the Lagos-based digital artist about his work with Olamide, Phyno, Falz and more.

Duro Arts has found himself illustrating the cover artwork for a new wave of Nigerian musicians. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Oluwadurotimi Bolaji Idowu started digital art in 2010, at a time where afrobeats music was still grasping its feet. Now, 11 years later, he has made covers for heavyweight hitmakers like Peruzzi, Phyno, Olamide, Zlatan, Oxlade, and Davido.

We caught up with Duro Arts on a Sunday afternoon over Zoom. He took the call from Accra, Ghana, where he's currently working. We talked about his journey as a digital artist, his portfolio, creative process, and the changes he'd like to see in the creative industry.

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Series Producer Bonga Percy Vilakazi Is Big On Telling Progressive Stories

The award-winning South African writer and producer cut his teeth in the TV industry washing and drying make-up sponges. Today, he's responsible for entertaining millions of soapie lovers on the African continent.