Links this week: Lesotho inauguration, deaths of African footballers, and more on Kenya’s elections

RIP Ivorian footballer Cheick Tioté, pictured here in an August 2009 photo. (Jordy1983/Wikimedia Commons)

Here are a few of the things we shared in this week’s episode that featured a conversation with Dr. Kennedy Opalo (@kopalo) on the upcoming Kenyan elections:

Lipolelo Thabane, the estranged wife of Lesotho’s prime minister, Thomas Thabane, was shot dead last week. Ms. Thabane was only 58, and she and her friend were travelling home when they were attacked by an unknown assailant. Nevertheless, Thabane’s inauguration continued as scheduled on Friday, when he was officially sworn into office. For more background on Lesotho’s recent elections and the political climate there, check out last week’s episode with Michigan State University historian Dr. John Aerni-Flessner (@LesothoJohn).

Following up on last week’s report about Ivorian footballer Cheick Tioté’s death while training in China, there is news that Tioté’s body is being flown home to the Ivory Coast where a private funeral will be taking place for the honored soccer player.

After Tioté’s death, the BBC ran a piece titled, Are African footballers more likely to die on the pitch? In it, they share some data on deaths of footballers while playing or training and these preliminary results are disturbing: “…while Africans make up 17% of the world’s footballers, they account for nearly 40% of the known deaths.” Of course, this is not peer-reviewed research and is based on Wikipedia data on footballers, but it raises important questions about health disparities in sport that we hope will lead to deeper inquiry.

Congratulations to Dr. Adia Benton (@Ethnography911) for winning the Rachel Carson Prize for book HIV Exceptionalism, which she talked about us with in Episode No. 20. The Carson Prize is awarded for a book-length work of social or political relevance in the area of science and technology studies. In their award to Benton, the selection committee wrote, “HIV Exceptionalism provides a powerful way of understanding the effects of global health policy on the lives of those who are its nominal beneficiaries. As a political intervention, it will inform struggles for a health policy that better reflects the desires and priorities of those beneficiaries.”

For folks who want a weekly deep dive into the Kenyan elections, check out a special edition podcast called Kenya Election Watch with BBC journalist Dickens Olewe (@DickensOlewe). The latest episode released on Wednesday discusses an audit that exposes inaccuracies in the voter register and whether the high cost of electricity in Kenya could be driving away international investors. Kenya Election Watch is also taking listener questions, so if there’s a campaign claim you want verified, be in touch with Dickens Olewe and the BBC team. There are three episodes of Kenya Election Watch currently online, with more being added weekly.

Also related to the elections in Kenya this August, read this piece in the Monkey Cage at The Washington Post by Dr. Jennifer Brass (@jennifer_brass). The piece is titled: Kenyans will vote in August. Why are NGO-government relations an issue? In the piece, Dr. Brass writes about her book, Allies or Adversaries: NGOs and the State in Africa, which she talked about with us in Episode No. 17.

If you liked the song we featured in this week’s episode, “Winning is Life” by Just a Band (@justaband), check out one of Kim’s favorite Just a Band songs/music videos, “Ha-He” (2010):

Here are a few other links you might be interested in:


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