News Brief

The Stories You Need to Know: Nigeria's Wealth Inequality, Ugandan Sim Cards and More

From Nigeria's billionaires to Ugandans getting their sim cards verified, here are the stories you need to know.

DIASPORA—The New York Times has come under fire for referring to Sarah Baartman, an enslaved South African woman from the 1800s who was forced to perform in freak shows due to her large buttocks as "a Kim Kardashian of another era."


The glib comparison seemed distasteful to many readers. Several took to social media to call out the publication.

NIGERIA—A new Oxfam report, highlights the tremendous wealth gap in Nigeria. The report, entitled Inequality in Nigeria, points out that the combined wealth of the country's five richest men ($29.9 bn) is enough to end poverty in the nation.

Read more on this story here.

DIASPORA—A new report by Vice, reveals that the U.S. is leading more than 100 "shadow" missions across the African continent. The deployment of American troops in Africa has increased swiftly since 2006, when only 1 percent of deployments were based in the continent, by 2016 the number jumped to 17 percent. The U.S. isn't the only country with ongoing military involvement in Africa. Yesterday, we took a look at six times France has intervened in Africa in recent years.

Read the full story, here.

UGANDA—Ugandans are expressing relief on social media, after the government decided to extend the deadline for nationwide sim card verification. The government demanded that all Ugandan's verify their sim cards using a valid form of ID in an attempt to tackle crime in the country. They initially gave citizens 7 days to confirm the validity of their sim cards, before extending the deadline to a month.

Parliament has now signed a petition to extend the deadline further, as several Ugandans reported not being able meet the requirement because they lack state-issued identification.

 

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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