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Uganda's President Museveni Tells Miss World Africa She Shouldn't Wear 'Indian Hair'—Twitter Reacts

"I have encouraged her to keep her natural, African hair," said the president—but who asked?

Miss Uganda, Quinn Abenakyo, made her country proud earlier this month when she was crowned Miss World Africa during the Miss World Finals in China.

Following her win, the 22-year-old beauty queen was welcomed by President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday at the State House in Entebbe, where he congratulated Abenakyo, saying "she is the true definition of beauty and brains."

But because simply congratulating her on her achievement wasn't enough, the 74-year-old leader decided to take to Twitter to offer his unsolicited "advice" on how the beauty queen should wear her hair.

"Abenakyo is indeed a tall, beautiful Musoga girl," he wrote. "My only concern is that she was wearing Indian hair. I have encouraged her to keep her natural, African hair. We must show African beauty in its natural form."

If you're wondering who made Museveni and expert on black women's hair and beauty, or who asked for his views on Abenakyo's—the answer is no one. But the president is known for touting his unwarranted opinions on a regular basis.

Museveini's spokesperson Don Wanyama, attempted to clarify his statement about the beauty queen's "Indian" hair, and what he meant by his brash comments, telling BBC Africa: "Just look at the photo and you will see the type of hair. It's an unnatural wig, he was saying she should wear her natural hair."

Museveni is clearly out of place offering any opinion concerning positive representations of Africa, and especially sharing his two cents on how a woman chooses to carry herself.

Many online used the opportunity to take their own jabs at the hairless president.

The comments reopen a conversation around definitions of "African beauty," the policing of women's bodies—and why men continuously feel they have the right to do it—as well as the ways in which Eurocentric beauty standards affect women on the continent.

While the embracing of natural hair is undeniably beautiful and important, Abenakyo's decision to wear her hair otherwise, according to many of the best thinkers on the subject, does not take away from that, and it doesn't simply equate to a rejection of African beauty either. Black women's hair is versatile and choosing to wear our hair how we please—whether that be in braids, locs, weaves, wigs or afros—is an expression of our unique blackness in and of itself.

The beauty queen told BBC Africa, that for her its a matter of choice. And while she agreed with Museveni about "not trying to copy what the Western world does," the style in which she wears her hair is "50/50...depending on occasion and how I feel."

"No-one needs to define how you wear your hair and what you do," she added. "If you are comfortable, that is what matters."

While some agreed with Museveni, many Ugandans took to Twitter to defend Abenakyo and lambast the president:







(YouTube)

The 10 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Black Sherif, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, M3NSA x M.anifest, and more.

As the summer winds down releases have slowed down just a tad, but it's nothing to fear because a number of our Ghanaian music faves are in album mode, and it's only a matter of time before they let loose! In the meantime the rest of our faves have been steady dishing out that fire, making for another month of dope releases. Want the scoop? Check out the best Ghanaian songs of the month below!

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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(YouTube)

The 7 Best East African Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Nandy, Juicee Mann, Alikiba, Diamond Platnumz and more.

July featured an array of incredible releases from East Africa's pop royalty as well as promising newbies.

Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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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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Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.