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
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Six Things History Will Remember Kenneth Kaunda For

News of Kenneth David Kaunda's passing, at age 97, has reverberated across the globe. Kaunda, affectionately known as KK, was Zambia's first President from 1964 to 1991.

Following Nelson Mandela's passing in December 2013, Kenneth Kaunda became Africa's last standing hero. Now with his passing on Thursday, June 17 — after being admitted to the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka earlier in the week — this signals the end of Africa's liberation history chapter.

It is tempting to make saints out of the departed. The former Zambian struggle hero did many great things. He was, after all, one of the giants of the continent's struggle against colonialism. Ultimately however, he was a human being. And as with all humans, he lived a complicated and colourful life.

Here are six facts you might not have known about him.

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