News Brief

The African News You Need to Know: Beer, Mutiny and Zambians at Cannes

Five stories you should be following if you care about what's happening on the African continent.

Are you stuck in a media bubble of Trump updates and football scores? Below, we've got 5 recent stories you should know from the African continent. 


Big alcohol is poised to expand into Africa. Why this is bad news for health 

Two of the world's alcoholic beverage producers, SABMiller and AB Inbev are likely merging in a $103 billion deal to create a mammoth company that would basically control beer and alcohol production across the continent.

Do you like a cold Castle after work? That's SABMiller. A Mozambican Manica? A Tanzanian Kilimanjaro? That's all SABMiller. You get the point. This article from The Conversation warns against rising alcohol consumption on the continent from this merger and the social impact it could have.

Zambia considers moving capital to rural area: minister

In an odd twist, Zambia's planning minister has revealed a proposal to move the capital from Lusaka to a rural area in the center of the country.

"Within the next 10 years, you will not be able to conduct business in Lusaka because of congestion," national planning and development minister Lucky Mulusa told AFP.

"The city is over-crowded, and so the sensible thing to do is move the capital out."

Anyone who's dodged traffic on Cairo road will understand the sentiment. President Edgar Lungu's cabinet plans to discuss it in two week's time.

I Am Not a Witch director Rungano Nyoni: ‘The chief Whatsapped his people to find our star’

Speaking of Zambia, one of the highlights of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival this year according to The Guardian is from the Welsh-Zambian director Rungano Nyoni whose film—set in Zambia—satirizes witchcraft and tourism and has been charming audiences during the festival.

Ethiopia jails opposition politician for six years over Facebook post

Ethiopian opposition demonstrations in 2015 and 2016 resulted in 100s of deaths and more than 26,000 arrests. During that time, social media was largely curbed by the authoritarian regime. For one opposition politician who shared his anti-government views on Facebook, the crackdown means a sentence, pending appeal of six and a half years in jail.

Signs of more trouble in Ivory Coast as hidden hand saves mutineers

If you've been following the ongoing saga of Ivory Coast's uneasy peace over the last few years, it might have felt like the country was finally back to normal. But a strained relationship between the government and the army—made up primarily of former rebels who overthrew the Laurent Gbagbo regime in 2011—has Ivorians on edge. This Reuters report shows how a recent soldier mutiny had suspicious directions from powerful sources that hint at greater things at play than simply a pay dispute.

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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