Featured

Sierra Leone's Teen Tech Genius

15 year-old Sierra Leonean Kelvin Doe created his own battery to power his household in the response to the lack of electrical power in his hometown.


Kelvin Doe is only 15-years-old, with no official schooling; however, when he saw the widespread lack of electrical power in his hometown, he created his own battery to power his household. He also saw that young people like himself in Sierra Leone needed a voice and a place to express themselves, so he named himself DJ Focus and created his own FM radio transmitter and started a radio station from his home. Only a few weeks after we heard about the four teenage girls from Lagos that created a urine-operated generator, we hear about another incredibly smart teen reverse-engineering old pieces of technology to build a generator from scratch that powers his radio transmitter - uhmazing.

Kelvin's countryman, David Sengeh, a PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab (MIT), gave Kelvin the opportunity of a lifetime by making it possible for him to be invited as a visiting practitioner (the youngest to date) at MIT's International Development Program. For 3 weeks in September, Kelvin was exposed to a world that he has only ever dreamed off, but he handled it with the  same ease and curiosity as he did the old scraps of technology that he reversed-engineered. Kelvin and the girls from Lagos are making a strong statement about today's Africa and the outlook that young people have about Africa's future: it's theirs and they're facing it head-on. Watch Kelvin's story below.

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Interview

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.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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