News Brief

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South Africa scrapping visa requirements for Africans, the Nigerian student who graduated college at just 18 and more.

DIASPORA—At just 18 years of age, Nkechinyere Chidi-Ogbolu is one highly accomplished academic. The Nigerian-born teen, who graduated high school at the age of 14, recently graduated, magna cum laude, with a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Howard University. Now she's off to pursue a doctoral degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of California.

“I didn’t think graduating at 18 was a big deal,” she told Howard’s student publication, the Hilltop. “But, when everyone else said they were proud of me, I felt emotional to get recognition from so many people.”

“I want to help fix illnesses like Ebola and other diseases – major or minor,” she said. “I want to help people in Nigeria.” Read the full story here.

SOUTH AFRICA—The South African government is working to lift visa requirements for all African foreign nationals entering the country by 2018, reports News 24. The plan to scrap visas for travelers from the continent was outlined by The Department of Home Affairs as part of the African Union’s most recent agenda.

“South Africa fully supports the vision of an Africa where its citizens can move more freely across national borders, where intra-Africa trade is encouraged and there is greater integration and development of the African continent," read a statement by The Department of Home Affairs. Read more on this via News 24.

NIGERIA—For the first time ever, lawmakers in Nigeria’s National Assembly have openly published their yearly budgets and salaries. The numbers further confirm the astounding wealth gap between government officials and average Nigerian citizens.

This comes as a response to the #OpenNASS campaign, which calls for increased accountability and transparency within the Nigerian government. Visit Quartz for more on this story.

DIASPORA—France's newly elected president, Emmanuel Macron will visit Mali next week. It will be his first trip to the African continent as president. Macron plans to meet with military troops involved in France’s “Operation Barkhane mission,” currently underway in the Sahel region.

Frances former president, Francois Hollande, visited Mali in January for a security summit. Read more on this, here.

SOUTH AFRICA—Mandla Hlatshwayo, a 40 year-old  South African actor, was shot and killed on Sunday night, after he tried to confront a group of men in a pub in Soweto who had robbed women of their cell phones.

Many on social media are reacting to the news of Hlatshwayo’s death on Twitter using the hashtag #RIPMandla. The incident has sparked a conversation about the need for reform in order to lower the country's murder rate, which, according to BBC Africa, exceeds 50,000 killings per year.

SOUTH AFRICA— The murder of 22 year-old, Karabo Mokoena, who was killed last month by her boyfriend, ignited a heated debate on Twitter about domestic and gender-based violence in South Africa. The country currently has highest number of women who are murdered at the hands of their partners in the world.

People have participated in the conversation using the hashtag #MenAreTrash, but many men have argued that the use of the phrase is an unfair generalization. OkayAfrica contributor Rufaro Samanga, challenges this notion and thoughtfully breaks down the meaning of the #MenAreTrash hashtag here.

News Brief
Burna Boy performs at the Warner Music Group pre-Grammy party in Hollywood on January 2020. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Warner Music)

Burna Boy, Tinariwen, Michael Kiwanuka & More Nominated For 2021 Grammy Awards

The Nigerian star and Tuareg band are nominated in the newly named Best Global Music Album category.

The nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards are in.

The awards show, which will be hosted by Trevor Noah, will see some of the world's biggest artists up for categories like Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist.

As we previously wrote about, the Grammys have renamed the international category of Best World Music Album to Best Global Music, in an effort to reportedly make it more modern and inclusive.

In that new Best Global Music Category, Nigerian afro-fusion star Burna Boy is nominated alongside Tuareg desert rock group Tinariwen, NYC afrobeat outfit Antibalas, Brazilian-American Bebel Gilberto and British-Indian sitar player Anoushka Shankar.

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