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Interesting people from Africa


Africa is full of heroes who have made significant achievements and a huge impact not just in their countries or on the continent, but on the rest of the world. Find out who some of them are right here or add your entry.

Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam

The Senegalese-American hip-hop act stepped into the limelight in 2004 with the release of ‘Locked Up’, his first single from his debut album Trouble. Success has been meteoric ever since. He has gone on to produce 3 successful studio albums which have sold millions across the world. Also one of Hip-Hop’s business savviest: Co-owns Kon Live, an Interscope-backed record label which helped jumpstart the career of Lady Gaga and T-Pain; Also owns Konvict clothing. Maintains strong bond with home country, founded the Konfidence Foundation which promotes education and health causes in Senegal and elsewhere in Africa.

Source: Forbes Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa


Nolence Mwangwego

Nolence Mwangwego is a Malawian linguist who has invented a writing system mean for writing Malawian native languages. The system was invented in 1979. Nolence Mwangwego has published a book written in Chichewa thanks to his invention. The inventor asserts that his writing system is more economical than the Latin alphabet when writing down Malawian languages. Thus, the word "Malawi" which is currently written with 6 letters with the Latin alphabet is written with 3 symbols which stand for the 3 syllables: Ma-la-wi. The word "Mankhwala" which is written with 9 letters of the Latin alphabet is written with 3 symbols which stand for the 3 syllables: ma-nkhwa-la. 

According to Nolence Mwangwego, this writing system should bring cultural independence and identity to Malawians who will use it to innovate and invent in their native language. 

To compare, people who use the following writing systems: Hebrew, Hindi, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Greek, just to mention a few, are proud of them as they reflect their cultures and their countries are far more developed than Malawi [and the vast majority of Africans States]. In short, this script should help Malawians in decolonizing their mind in order to change their mind set which makes them believe that anything worth learning or using should come from the Western World. They will also learn to use this script to manage and exploit Malawi's abundant natural resources to develop the country further.



The First African to win a Nobel Peace Prize

Albert John Luthuli, the 1st African and person out of the Americas and Europe to be awarded the Nobel Peace prize. Luthuli was a teacher and politician who was President of the African National Congress in the 1950s and led the non-violent struggle for civil rights in South Africa. Luthuli was a great leader and in 1935 accepted the chieftaincy of the Groutville reserve for which he did not inherit but was elected for. Albert Luthuli is one of South Africa’s most admired political leaders, comparable in moral stature and international acclaim to Nelson Mandela.


The Dogon People

An ethnic group from Mali near the city of Bandiagra in the Mopti region. The Dogon are best known for their religious practices, dances, traditional ceremonies and their unique masks, sculptures and architecture. Different masks have different religious or traditional ceremonies attributed to them, these are at times performed for tourists depending on the masks they select. For this reason, the Dogon region is one of Mali’s major tourist attractions. Take a look at more pictures of the Dogon in our gallery here.


Lucky Dube

Never did another man look and feel so African. Lucky Dube was South Africa's best selling Reggae artist and one of the most successful international artists to come out of our continent. Before reggae, Lucky was a mbaqanga singer and released 6 albums of the genre. He used reggae to talk about the political situation in the country at the time and was the first ever artist to record a reggae album in South Africa, titled Rastas Never Die. Lucky released 22 albums, sold millions or records worldwide, won numerous local and international awards and is one of the most iconic African reggae artists to have ever lived. A memorial concert set to commemorate and celebrate his life is being held on November 10th in Zambia.


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