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South Sudan Has Reached a Breakthrough Peace Deal

The signing of the peace deal is considered a major step towards ending the five-year civil war—will it last this time around?

Citizens have taken to the streets of South Sudan to celebrate what is being called a "breakthrough" peace deal aimed at putting an end to the country's five-year civil war.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir signed a power-sharing deal with rebel leader Riek Machar in Khartoum, Sudan, legitimizing him by making Machar one of the country's five vice presidents.

Since the conflict began in a newly-succeeded South Sudan in 2013, millions of people have been displaced and tens of thousands have lost their lives, reports BBC Africa. The peace deal is being seen as a major step forward, as many previous attempts at peace have been unsuccessful.

The ruling party has named today an unofficial holiday and businesses in the capital are closed.


It's worth noting, that a similar peace deal was signed in 2015, but it failed the following year with Machar fleeing the country on foot. According to analysts at the BBC, this time around, the motivations for renewed peace are different. Stakeholders on both sides of the conflict see the potential benefits of reconciliation, as both sides are running out of money to support their agendas. There are also hopes, that the expressions of hope from citizens, will hold leaders accountable and deter them from breaking their agreement.

The South Sudanese people are expressing faith in their country despite past turmoil, by publicly celebrating the deal. There is an air of hope, that this peace deal will bring about real change in the world's youngest nation.


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Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

Photo Series: Vic Mensa's Pilgrimage to Ghana

OkayAfrica traveled with Vic Mensa as he visited his father's childhood home, Koforidua. Here's a behind-the-scenes look about what happened.

Back in December, American rapper Vic Mensa went on a pilgrimage back home. The rapper was in Accra, Ghana for his historic Black Star Line Festival, which he was co-hosting with longtime friend and fellow rapper Chance the Rapper.

But, on a hot day before the festival, the rapper traveled two hours from Accra to Koforidua to visit his extended family. There is a lot of history in Koforidua. Highlife trailblazer Chief Kofi Sammy grew up there. Not only was he founder of the famous Okukuseku International Band but Sammy also had a long and fruitful relationship with Afrobeat legend Fula Kuti.

He also happens to be Vic Mensa's uncle. And part of the reason Vic took this trip is to convince Sammy to join him on stage at the Black Star Line Festival in Accra, in front of 50,000 fans. However, while there, Vic made sure he had time to connect with his extended family.

It was a special, intimate moment. One OkayAfrica was lucky enough to witness firsthand. Check out our photo gallery of Vic Mensa's pilgrimage below.

Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

In December 2022, Vic Mensa took a trip to visit his uncle, legendary Highlife artist Chief Kofi Sammy. It’s about a two hour drive from Accra to Koforidua. A bit longer when you factor in Vic stopping for some of his favorite snacks.

Photo: Etan Comics

Ethiopia’s First Superhero Comic is Going Global

Etan Comics is launching a kids version of the kickstarter-backed title, which will be published in 11 languages.


After the successful release of their graphic novel, Jember, Etan Comics is teaming up with the non-profit Open Hearts Big Dreams (OHBD) to launch a special collaboration. Etan is working with the Seattle-based organization, which has produced over 700 bilingual early-reader titles, to turn Jember into a bilingual kids book that's based on the award-winning graphic novel.

The release of the book coincides with Black History Month, and will be launched in 11 different languages, including Amharic, Arabic, French, Greek, Igbo, Kiswahili, Spanish, and Wolayta. Jember was first published in hardcover format in October 2022, and after its release it garnered +$12K pre-orders on Kickstarter. The comic book is designed to help emerging readers build their reading confidence, and learn more about African cultures and languages. Created and written by Beserat Debebe, it was illustrated by Yonatan Solomon and Michael Okoroagha.

Jember is being turned into a bilingual kids book that's based on the award-winning graphic novel and will be available in 11 different languages.

Photo: Etan Comics

Beginning in mid-February, the books will be available globally on Amazon and IngramSpark. They will also be available at Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble, and in public libraries shortly after.

With the release of Jember, Etan Comics aims to make African stories accessible to global readers. The collaboration will also help Ethiopian children, who make up 40% of the Ethiopian population, to be empowered through the story, which speaks to the rich cultural heritage of the Ethiopian history.

With this development, Etan Comics has joined the growing list of new generation of African comic book creators who are sharing African culture through comics to engage readers with various parts of the continent's history.

(YouTube)

The Best Afrobeats Songs Out Right Now

Featuring Burna Boy, Joeboy, Pheelz, Kizz Daniel, Kelvyn Boy, Asake and more.

Afrobeats continues its path of domination as it makes waves across both sides of the Atlantic ocean and inserts its influences onto global pop music.

With the growing number of afrobeats releases coming out every week, we'll be rounding up the best new singles and music videos in the genre at the end of every month right here in our Best Afrobeats Songs Out Right Now list. Get started below.

If you missed it, check out The Best Afrobeats Songs of 2022.

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Vic Mensa's Homecoming

We traveled with Chicago rapper Vic Mensa as he went to Koforidua, Ghana to meet with his uncle, legendary Highlife trailblazer Chief Kofi Sammy.

Angélique Kidjo & Ibrahim Maalouf Connect Timeless Messages in ‘Queen of Sheba’

The iconic collaborators discuss their Best Global Music-nominated album ahead of the Grammy Awards and reveal lessons from their long years of music-making.

Ayanfe’s Scribbling Art Creates Beauty out of Imperfection

The Nigerian artist, who works across various media, found her voice through scribbling, and has now created a clothing brand to speak more to the values and ideals she holds.

Wande Coal and Olamide Team Up On 'Kpe Paso'

Nigeria's Wande Coal and Olamide share "Kpe Paso," a colorful, rhythmic display of Yoruba's cultural intricacy.

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The Best East African Songs Out Right Now

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