Brian Obara

About the Author Brian Obara

Brian Obara is a recovering lawyer-turned-writer based in Nairobi.

This Is what winning looks like: Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, the winner of the inaugural Africa Food Prize. (Photo: Kanayo Nwanze)
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Dr. Kanayo Nwanze: Can we be really proud as Africans when millions of our people go to bed hungry every day?

If you’re looking for unsung African heroes working outside of the limelight to move the continent forward, you shouldn’t look any further than Dr. Kanayo Nwanze. The Nigerian is the winner of the inaugural the Africa Food Prize, a US $100,000 award created to recognise Africans leading the way in improving food security on the continent. Dr Nwanze said it was a shame that millions across the continent still go to bed hungry and dedicated his prize to women for their contribution to agriculture in Africa

All eyes on us: Ann McCreath has a knack for bringing out the inner magic in people through her fashion line. Just ask the members of Kenya's female rugby team. (Photo: Emmanuel Jambo)
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Interview: If you are passionate about the new Africa then wear African-made fashion

Kenyan fashion house KikoRomeo under its visionary founder and Head Designer Ann McCreath has helped put African fashion on the map for more than twenty years. KikoRomeo, is the biggest name in fashion in Kenya, McCreath’s adopted home, and the brand just had its best showing yet at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Johannesburg. In her first ever interview with This Is Africa, McCreath opens up about her brand’s continental ambitions, the state of the fashion industry in Africa and why leaders on the continent really need to start walking the talk when it comes to promoting “brand Africa”

Many hats: Mark Kaigwa speaking at a past event. Besides being a sought-after speaker, he is also an author and entrepreneur. (Photo: Mark Kaigwa collection/Evernote)
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An interview with Mark Kaigwa: Digital soothsayer and proud Pan-African

As the founder of one of Africa’s premier digital research companies, Mark Kaigwa knows a thing or two about what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur in Africa. Kaigwa has successfully steered Nendo, a consultancy outfit based in Nairobi, to survive the headwinds that sink so many startups. His grasp of the continents’ digital scene has earned him an exalted place among the new crop of African digital soothsayers. Germany’s Deutsche Welle, no less, dubbed him a “digital pioneer on a new African landscape”. In his first ever interview with This Is Africa, Kaigwa opens up about why it’s important to be a happy warrior if you want to survive the perils of the startup world, explains why it’s on Twitter that the world is at its flattest and why he is looking forward to Thursday’s This Is Africa launch

Many Uber drivers in Nairobi say the app has turned them into virtual slaves. (Photo: Edith Honan via https://twitter.com/edithhonan)
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“We should not be Uber slaves in our country,” say Uber taxi drivers in Nairobi

Uber, the American taxi hailing up, seems to be quickly running out of friends in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. After a bumpy start to the roll out of the app in Nairobi, the app is now facing protests from within the ranks of the drivers it has recruited for slashing fares by 35%. Safe to say, it is not a good look when your own turn against you. Does Uber have a future in Africa if customers like it but taxi drivers can’t wait to get rid of it?

President Jacob Zuma with his clothes on. Artist Ayanda Mabulu prefers a less dressed up version of the President for his work. (Photo: Linh Do via https://www.flickr.com/photos/lmdo/)
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TIA room for debate: “Corrupt of not, paint Zuma with his clothes on” Vs. “Zuma deserves to be painted naked!”

A naked President Jacob Zuma? Not art! No thanks! That was the reaction many of you had to a piece we published earlier this week about controversial paintings by South African artist Ayanda Mabulu. Many readers, however, think President Zuma had it coming. In fact, a lot of you feel the paintings are a visceral depiction of the frustration many South Africans feel about Zuma’s presidency. Other posters were just impressed by the level of “free speech” South Africans get to enjoy, saying the paintings would earn the painter a stint in jail – or worse – in their own countries. Is south Africa the “freest” country in Africa?

Please free my husband: Jean Bigirimana’s wife Godeberthe Hakizimana  has made a teary appeal to the people holding her husband. (Photo: Video still via Iwacu news/YouTube)
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“We live in fear, think of me, my family and my children,” pleads wife of missing Burundian journalist Jean Bigirimana

Burundian journalist Jean Bigirimana has been missing for almost two weeks now. He is believed to have been kidnapped by state agents. His present whereabouts are unknown. President Pierre Nkurunziza nurses a grievance against Bigirimana’s employer Iwacu newspaper. The government accuses the independent newspaper’s director, Antoine Kaburahe, of taking part in last year’s failed coup. Bigirimana’s family, friends and colleagues now fear for the worst

Koffi Olomide's status as an iconic musician is slowly being overtaken by his troubles with the law.(Photo: Olomide/Facebook)
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Koffi Olomide arrested in Kinshasa over assault on dancer in Nairobi

Congolese singer Koffi Olomide has had rotten luck lately and things aren’t looking they are about to change. Days after his concert in Nairobi, Kenya was cancelled and his swift deportation from the East African country, he’s now been arrested in Kinshasa, Congo to face assault charges. Images of the popular singer in handcuffs and being manhandled by officers are currently doing the rounds on social media. Its been enough to make some of his fans to say “let the man be”. So is this what justice looks like or are authorities being too hard on Olomide?

Swift Justice: Koffi Olomide was arrested outside a popular TV station in Nairobi,Kenya on Friday night. He was deported on Saturday morning. (Photo: Video still via YouTube/Citizen TV)
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Not on our soil: Kenya deports Koffi Olomide following assault on female dancer

Kenya has put popular Congolese musician Koffi Olomide on a flight back to the DRC after a video was released on Friday showing him physically attacking one of his female dancers at Nairobi’s JKIA Airport. Authorities were forced to take the action after a massive outcry on social media. Kenyans are saying the swift action shows that the country will not condone gender based violence no matter the popularity of the attacker. They say a line has been drawn

A former senior employee has quoted Donald Trump as saying black people can't help but be lazy. (Photo: Gage Skidmore via https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/)
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Trump: Black people are lazy, it is not anything they can control

Is Donald Trump a racist hiding in plain site? The Republican Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election has said some things in the past that suggest that he is either (at best) not the biggest fan of black people or (at worst) a rabid racist. What happens when you put a closeted racist in power in the world’s most powerful country? Africa and the world may find out in a couple of months