popular
Cellou Binani/Getty Images

Several People Have Been Killed During Protests in Guinea

Guineans are protesting against changes to the constitution which will allow President Alpha Conde to run for a third term.

At least five people have died during protests in Guinea's Conakry and Mamou after police opened fire on them, according to Aljazeera. The protests come just after President Alpha Conde instructed his government to look into drafting a new constitution that will allow him to remain in power past the permissible two terms. Conde's second five-year term will come to an end next year but as is the unfortunate case with many African leaders, the 81-year-old is intent on running for office yet again.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Photo by Hamish Brown

In Conversation: Lemn Sissay On His New Book About Re-claiming the Ethiopian Heritage Stolen From Him by England’s Foster Care System

In 'My Name Is Why,' the 2019 PEN Pinter award winner passionately advocates for children in the institutional care system, and in turn tells a unique story of identity and the power in discovering one's heritage.

It took the author Lemn Sissay almost two decades to learn his real name. As an Ethiopian child growing up in England's care system, his cultural identity was systematically stripped from him at an early age. "For the first 18 years of my life I thought that my name was Norman," Sissay tells OkayAfrica. "I didn't meet a person of color until I was 10 years of age. I didn't know a person of color until I was 16. I didn't know I was Ethiopian until I was 16 years of age. They stole the memory of me from me. That is a land grab, you know? That is post-colonial, hallucinatory madness."

Sissay was not alone in this experience. As he notes in his powerful new memoir My Name Is Why, during the 1960s, tens of thousands of children in the UK were taken from their parents under dubious circumstances and put up for adoption. Sometimes, these placements were a matter of need, but other times, as was the case with Sissay, it was a result of the system preying on vulnerable parents. His case records, which he obtained in 2015 after a hardfought 30 year campaign, show that his mother was a victim of child "harvesting," in which young, single women were often forced into giving their children up for adoption before being sent back to their native countries. She tried to regain custody of young Sissay, but was unsuccessful.

Whether they end up in the foster system out of need or by mistake, Sissay says that most institutionalized children face the same fate of abuse under an inadequate and mismanaged system that fails to recognize their full humanity. For black children who are sent to white homes, it often means detachment from a culturally-sensitive environment. "There are too many brilliant people that I know who have been adopted by white parents for me to say that it just doesn't work," says Sissay. "But the problem is the amount of children that it doesn't work for."

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Lupita Nyong'o attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for THR)

Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Idris Elba and More Stun at the 2019 Met Gala

Check out some of the most fabulous "camp" looks from this year's Met Gala.

The annual Met Gala, known as "fashion's biggest night" took place last night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Costume Institute.

The yearly affair is known to bring out the biggest celebrities in the world for a night of fun, fundraising and over-the-top looks. This year was no different, especially since the theme was "camp," which is "a style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture," according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. As writer Jame Jackson points out in Buzzfeed, the camp aesthetic was created by black and LGBTQ communities before it became mainstream. Actress and writer Lena Waithe wore this statement proudly on her tailored blazer.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Watch Davido & Bombino Perform at Idris Elba's Wedding in Morocco

Elba personally requested performances from the Nigerian star and Tuareg desert rock guitarist.

Idris Elba tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend, Sabrina Dhowre, over the weekend in Marrakesh.

The couple exchanged vows on April 26 at the Ksar Char Bagh hotel. The celebrations were held over several days, as Vogue reports: "The celebrations have been spread out over three days. Friends and family attended a "colours of the Souk" themed dinner the night before the wedding at the Amanjena. On April 27, they... attend[ed] an all-white party at the Mandarin Oriental, which will emulate the atmosphere of a festival."

Other details have been coming out from the wedding, like the fact Sabrina Dhowre wore dresses by Vera Wang, while Elba wore a suit by British-Ghanaian designer Ozwald Boateng, and that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sent over a piece of art as a gift to the newlyweds.

One detail that hasn't quite made the rounds is about the music—and the fact that Elba & Dhowre's wedding featured performances from none-other-than Nigerian star Davido and Tuareg desert rock guitarist Bombino.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.