News Brief

Twitter Recognizes Swahili—Finally

After years of viral hashtag movements and public outcry, Swahili has become the first African language recognized by Twitter.

Swahili has become the first and African language recognized by Twitter, and it's honestly about time.

The change comes after years of Swahili-speaking Kenyans, Tanzanians, Ugandans and Congolese users pushed for its recognition with hashtags like #SwahiliIsNotIndonesian and #TwitterRecognizeSwahili. Prior to its inclusion, Swahili was often mistaken for Indonesian on the popular app.

The language can now be translated into English, allowing millions of East African users, a chance to engage with content in a new way.


Kenyans are amongst the most active social media users on the continent, CNN reports. Young people in the country have often used Twitter to create viral hashtags and political memes.

The platform has been used by folks across the continent as a meeting ground for political discourse, celebration of culture, and even protest.

It only makes sense that Twitter would recognize the widely spoken language given its popularity amongst African users. Hopefully this leads to the inclusion of even more African languages as well. Maybe Amharic or Yoruba next?

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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