From sport to music and with only less than two weeks into 2019, these individuals are making Africa proud already. For the African continent that is steadily gaining prominence beyond prevailing negative narratives of poverty and conflict, the following stars demonstrate that Africa’s strength lies in its people and their diverse talents.
- Burna Boy
Nigerian musician Damini Ogulo known by his stage name Burna Boy will be making his debut at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April. Coachella is one of the world’s most famous and profitable music festivals. With hits such as “Ye” and on “The Low”, Burna Boy has performed sold out shows and therefore definitely deserves his place at Coachella.
With Ariana Grande and Childish Gambino headlining and performances from Idris Elba, the 1975 and Solange, this is truly a proud moment for the African performer and a sign that African music and culture is now present and appreciated in exclusive spaces.
- Mr Eazi
Along with Burna Boy, fellow Nigerian musician, Mr Eazi will also be performing at Coachella. Mr Eazi, who at 16 re-located to Ghana for education has popularity among Nigerian and Ghanaian audiences. Mr Eazi calls his signature music blend, “Banku music” which mixes the energy of Nigerian Afro beats with delivery that is inspired by the chilled out vibe of life in Ghana. During his career he has been nominated and won awards including the Next Rated Artiste award at the 2016 Headies in Nigeria.
- Omara “Bombino” Moctar
The Nigerien singer-song writer and guitarist has become the first person from Niger to be nominated for a Grammy. His music is inspired by The life and spirit of the Niger desert and his people, the Taureg. The Taureg are nomadic people found in the Sahara and Sahel regions. For years the Taureg fought for independence and orchestrated protects in Niger and Mali. Bombino spent his childhood on the move. He began to play guitar at the age of 12 while he and his family were in exile in Algeria following the Taureg rebellion in Mali and Niger. When tensions cooled his family returned. He was unfortunately forced to flee again in 2007 when second the Taureg rebellion occurred. When the fighting ended, he celebrated by performing at a concert for peace in Agadez, the largest city in Niger.
Bombino has toured the world, recorded several albums and with his guitar travels across the world, to speak about his culture and the importance of peace and education.
- Mohamed Salah
The Egyptian Liverpool forward was named African Footballer of the Year for the second time in a row.
Salah helped his team Liverpool reach the 2018 Champions League final against Real Madrid in which he unfortunately suffered a shoulder injury. He regained fitness in time and represented his country Egypt at the World Cup.
- Rami Malek
The Egyptian American won the Golden Globes for best actor for portraying Freddy Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
Malek rose to the spotlight through his role as Elliot Anderson in Mr Robot for which he won a Critics’ Choice Award and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
These individuals demonstrate that African culture and talent is now readily welcomed onto international stages. This is positive and will open doors for others who hope to share their talents globally.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.
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