News Brief

South African Rower Beats Cancer and Wins Team SA Third Rio 2016 Olympic Medal

Team South Africa just picked up its third medal of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

We’re less than a week in, and Team South Africa just picked up its third medal of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. Rowers Lawrence Brittain, 26, and Shaun Keeling, 29, took home silver in the men’s pair this afternoon with a time of 7:02.51, beating out the third-place Italian pair by just over two seconds. New Zealand came in first with a time of 6:59.71.


Brittain’s road to Rio was bumpy, albeit insanely inspiring, to say the least. In October 2014 he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He’d been living with the condition for two years before undergoing six three-week cycles of chemotherapy. In February 2015, he completed his final chemo session. From then on, his focus was back to rowing.

To say Brittain’s kicked cancer in the ass is an understatement. Less than 18 months since his last dose of chemo, he’s an Olympic medalist.

Brittain and Keeling’s showing brings South Africa’s Olympic medal tally to three. Swimmer Cameron van der Burgh picked up SA’s first medal of Rio 2016 on Sunday when he placed second in the men’s 100m breaststroke. The following day, Chad Le Clos earned his third-career Olympic medal with a second-place finish in the men’s 200m freestyle.

OKA TV

Amaarae Breaks Down Her Hits In OkayAfrica's New Video Series 'Decoded'

In Decoded, our favorite African artists dive deep into their music, lyrics and share notable behind-the-scenes moments.

We're launching Decoded, our brand new pop-up style video series featuring the latest, buzzing African artists' music and influences.

We kick things off with Ghanaian-American singer-songwriter-producer Amaarae who has been making waves with the release of her debut album, The Angel You Don't Know.

In our first-ever Decoded episode, Amaarae breaks down hit songs like "Trust Fund Baby", "Jumping Ship" with Kojey Radical as well as her Southern rap musical influences. She also mentions being inspired by an op-ed that she penned for OkayAfrica in 2019, and her mother's role in helping her coin the album title The Angel You Don't Know.

When all is said and done, Amaarae just wants to give other young women "an option not to have to be the archetypal female African artist, and give them an opportunity to expand all of their possibilities, explore all the different genres, and still be successful and get this money." Amen to that!

Check out our first episode of Decoded with Amaarae below.

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