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After amassing incredible $80m net worth, music icon, Akon, now devotes time to African causes

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African-American music icon, Aliaune Thiam, known in the entertainment world as Akon, has always been one star who has refused to forget his African roots throughout his illustrious career, and had been dedicated to making life better on the continent.

And after amassing a whopping $80 million net worth, the Senegalese-born Akon has decided to devote his resources and time for African causes and not just in his home country.

Back in 2015, Akon had said in an interview that the reason for his dedication to African causes was because the charities that are currently on the continent did not always help the people they claimed to help.

“One thing I’ve realized about Africa is that only the organizations that involve Africans themselves are successful,” he had said.

“A lot of corporations that come with their own policies and try and implement them in Africa fail horribly.

“The advantage we had is that all three founders (of his charity) are Africans, so we were able to navigate through each country a lot faster.”

Over the years, Akon has used his success as a musician to lobby for positive change throughout Africa and his vision has helped provide new opportunities for Africans from all walks of life.

Since 2015, Akon, a Platinum-certified star and five-time Grammy award nominee has done so much more for Africa than most charities have for decades, providing electricity for mo 1000 households across the continent and in the process, being able to light up the land through affordable renewable energy with the power of the sun.

One of Akon’s charity, Akon Lighting Africa, are now installed in 14 African countries and, for the first time ever, a number of households, villages, communities, schools, and health centers that are located in rural areas are all now connected to electricity – all thanks to Akon’s desire to make a difference.

Akon also has various charities he runs and supports across Africa which includes the Konfidence Foundation, his own charity for underprivileged children in Africa.

Other charities and foundations he supports are the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Clothes Off Our Back, Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, NoVo Foundation, ONE Campaign and Peace One Day.

Culture

Eight years after, abducted Nigerian schoolgirls recaptured by French artist in art exhibition

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Eight years after their abduction while preparing for the West African School Certificate examination in a school in Chibok town in the Nigerian state of Borno, an exhibition of sculptures representing the school girls was displayed by a French artist, Prune Nourry, at the an exhibition in Lagos on Tuesday.

The emotional exhibition which held at the Art Twenty-One at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Suites in Nigeria’s commercial capital, showed sculptures of the heads of the famous ‘Chibok Girls’ who were kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents in 2014.

According to Nourry, the exhibition which is billed to travel round the world to raise awareness on the plight of some of the girls who are still in captivity, is a collaborative effort between of the Obafemi Awolowo University where he is a professor, and the families of the over 250 Chibok girls who were kidnapped by the terrorists.

On display at the exhibition titled “Statutes Also Breathe,” were 108 sculpture heads by Nourry and art students of the OAU Fine and Applied Arts department, inspired by the ancient Ife terracotta heads.

“The heads so much evoke memory of the narrative/works on the Igbo Landing in Georgia, where Igbo slaves decided to drown with their masters rather than live as slaves in US,” Nourry said at the unveiling of the exhibition.

According to Nourry, the exhibition is to remember the Chibok girls as the works are “symbols of their agony which also signify love for the girls.”

“The idea is to travel the world with the army and to show all the heads that personify the Chibok missing girls. It is also an opportunity to talk about girls’ education around the world.”

“When I heard about the Chibok girls for the first time, I was travelling with a work, an “Army of girls” called the “Terracotta daughters” in China, and I heard about the Ife heads.

“As a sculptor, it was my dream to go someday to Ife and work with the clay,” she explained.

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Tunisia’s spicy sauce, Harissa, makes it into UNESCO Cultural Heritage list

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Tunisia’s popular spicy sauce, Harissa, has been added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) cultural heritage list at the 17th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which ended in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, on Sunday.

In a statement announcing the listing, the UN agency said the spicy sauce was chosen because of the “skills, knowledge, and culinary and social practices” which passed the examination at the testing level

Harissa which is one of the most popular spice in the North African country, is made by drying chili peppers in the sun before splitting them, removing their stalks and deseeding.

The chili peppers are then washed, ground and seasoned with salt, garlic and coriander using a pestle and mortar or a manual meat mincer.

Harissa is used regularly in the country and is a culinary tradition, according to UNESCO.

The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted at the 32nd General Assembly of UNESCO on Oct. 17, 2003, to protect the world’s intangible cultural heritage.

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