US rapper Akon becomes owner of his Senegalese city namesake

Akon is best known for his rhythm and blues hits such as “Locked Up” and “Smack That.” (AFP)
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Updated 15 January 2020

US rapper Akon becomes owner of his Senegalese city namesake

  • The rapper named the city “Akon City”
  • Last week, government officials announced that Akon had pledged to invest in tourism in his native Senegal

DUBAI: American singer and songwriter Akon has become the official owner of an African city named after him.

“Just finalized the agreement for Akon City in Senegal. Looking forward to hosting you there in the future,” the star wrote to his 6.6 million Instagram followers.

Last week, government officials announced that the 46-year-old artist had pledged to invest in tourism in his native Senegal.

Best known for his rhythm and blues hits such as “Locked Up” and “Smack That,” the singer signed a deal with the west African nation’s state-owned tourism company SAPCO.

Alioune Ndiaye, SAPCO’s secretary-general, told AFP that the deal was a memorandum of understanding, so the size of the future investment was still unclear.

However, the tourism official pointed out that Akon planned to build a complex in the seaside village of Mbodiene, which is around 120 km south of the capital Dakar.

The rapper, whose real name is Aliaune Badara Thiam, spent his early childhood in Senegal but moved to the US at the age of seven, where he later rose to superstardom.


Dubai designer unveils opulent wedding dress that ‘takes a village’ to transport

Cinco has dressed A-list celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood and Ellie Goulding. (Getty)
Updated 20 January 2020

Dubai designer unveils opulent wedding dress that ‘takes a village’ to transport

DUBAI: Dubai-based fashion designer Michael Cinco took to Instagram to share his latest three-meter-long wedding gown, which according to his account, “takes a village just to transport.”

The crystallized wedding gown has a train of intricate petal layers with around 200,000 Swarovski crystals and was created for an Abu Dhabi-based bride. “The bride specifically asked me to create her dream wedding — a 50’s inspired Dior gown...So I made her dream wedding gown with a couture M5 touch on it,” the Filipino designer wrote on his Instagram account.

Cinco has dressed A-list celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Ellie Goulding and many more.