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Senegalese-Born Sibeth Ndiaye Named Government Spokeswoman In France

Her appointment has been called "a strong endorsement of diversity" by President Macron, but some are skeptical.

In a series of cabinet changes made by France's President Emmanuel Macron ahead of the European Parliament elections, Senegalese-born media advisor Sibeth Ndiaye has been given the prestigious title of government spokeswoman.

Born in Dakar, 39-year-old Ndiaye is the first person of African-descent to hold the position. She became a French citizen in 2016 when working as communications advisor for Macron's presidential campaign, Yahoo News reports. Ndiaye comes from a family of politicians, her mother was president of Senegal's Constitutional Council.

Ndiaye has been dedicated to the president since, reportedly telling a French newspaper that she'd be "perfectly comfortable lying to protect the president," according to BBC Africa. Though she later denied making the statement, incidents such as these have made her a target for criticism in opposition circles.

READ: Why Harassing Powerful Black Women Is Fair Game In France


"France has given me a lot. Today, it's my turn to give something back," she said during a handover ceremony in which she took over the role previously held by Benjamin Griveaux, who resigned last week to run for mayor of Paris.

She also praised her family for helping her and her sisters "break glass ceilings."

"Her nomination is a strong endorsement of diversity in a high-profile job, a promotion and a sign of the president's trust," said Philippe Grangeon, one of Macron's top advisers of Ndiaye's promotion.

Ndiaye is the second Senegalese-born woman to hold a prominent title in the French government. Senegalese-born politician Rama Yade, who held several positions in former right-wing president Nicolas Sarkozy's cabinet.

President Macron, who visited Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya on a three-day tour earlier this month, has drawn criticism for France's increasing military presence in West Africa. His true commitment to diversity has come into question before, and again following the appointment of Ndiaye.

Minorities, specifically black women in France continue to face difficulties rising to high political positions, and when they do they are often subject to harassment.

Nonetheless, many online are celebrating Ndiaye's new appointment.



(YouTube)

The 10 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Black Sherif, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, M3NSA x M.anifest, and more.

As the summer winds down releases have slowed down just a tad, but it's nothing to fear because a number of our Ghanaian music faves are in album mode, and it's only a matter of time before they let loose! In the meantime the rest of our faves have been steady dishing out that fire, making for another month of dope releases. Want the scoop? Check out the best Ghanaian songs of the month below!

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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(YouTube)

The 7 Best East African Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Nandy, Juicee Mann, Alikiba, Diamond Platnumz and more.

July featured an array of incredible releases from East Africa's pop royalty as well as promising newbies.

Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.