News Brief

"We'd Stage the Whole Thing:" Cambridge Analytica Executive on Rigging Kenyan Elections

Two of the company's executives were caught on camera boasting about their involvement in tampering with the country's 2013 and 2017 elections.

On Monday, a report from UK-based news outlet, Channel 4 blew the lid on a number of illegal offenses committed by British data company Cambridge Analytica.

Amongst their many violations—which includes tampering with several elections around the world, bribing leaders, and even enlisting sex workers to entrap politicians—it's been discovered that the company also tampered with elections in Kenya in both 2013 and 2017.


Managing Director of Cambridge Analytica's political division, Mark Turnbull and chief executive Alexander Nix were filmed on camera revealing the role the company played in helping produce propaganda for the ruling party, led by president Uhuru Kenyatta.

In the video, shared by Channel 4, the two were secretly filmed boasting about tampering with over 200 elections around the world, in places like Sri Lanka, Nigeria, India and Argentina. Turnbull goes in detail about the extent of the company's involvement in Kenya in particular, admitting that they worked behind the scenes to help create messaging that would influence voters by painting Kenyatta in a positive light, while tarnishing the reputation of his opponent Odinga.

"We have rebranded the entire party twice, written their manifesto, done two rounds of 50,000 surveys," he can be heard saying around the 9 minute mark. "Then we'd write all the speeches and we'd stage the whole thing. So just about every element of his campaign."

Kenya's past election was rife with scandal, leading to an infamous election re-run initiated by opposition leader Raila Odinga, who accused Kenyatta of rigging the election. Kenyatta ended up winning the majority of the vote in both elections.

The company has denied the accusations, claiming that the footage was "grossly misrepresented," and that Cambridge Analytica does not condone or engage in entrapment, bribes or so-called 'honeytraps."

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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Interview

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.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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Music
(Youtube)

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Fireboy DML, Juls, Adekunle Gold and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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