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Five African writers shortlisted for Caine Prize, Stormzy helps fan pay for Harvard and more.

DIASPORA—Three Nigerians, a South African and a Sudanese writer have been shortlisted for this year’s Caine Prize for African Writers.


Nigerian writers, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Chikodili Emelumadu and Arinze Ifeakandu have each earned nominations for their works, which were 3,000 to 10,000 each. Sudan's Bushra al-Fadil, whose work was translated from Arabic to English and Magogodi oaMphela Makhene from South Africa are also nominated.

Read more about this year’s Caine Prize nominees, here.

DIASPORA—British-Ghanaian grime heavyweight, Stormzy made a crowdfunding donation of 9,000 (GBP) to help Fiona Asiedu, a student at Oxford, continue her education Harvard. The musician made the donation after Asiedu, reached out to him on Twitter, and helped her reach her intended goal of 12,000 (GBP) before her four week deadline.

Read the full story here.

DIASPORA—The Billboard Awards are this Sunday (May 21) and Nigeria’s very own, Wizkid is up for seven awards, including “Top R&B Song,” “Top Selling Song” and “Top Collaboration,” for his work on Drake’s “One Dance.” Check below to see all of Wizkid's nominations, and here for the full list of 2017 nominees.

ETHIOPIA—Yonatan Tesfaye, an Ethiopian opposition leader, has been found guilty of “encouraging terrorism” through Facebook statuses which he wrote in December of 2015. In his posts, Tesfaye accused the government of using “force against the people instead of using peaceful discussion.”

It was ruled that his statements did not fall within the parameters of “free speech.” Tesfaye faces up to 20 years of imprisonment. Read more, via BBC Africa.

DIASPORA—Chuck Davis, the artist credited with introducing African forms of dance to America, passed away on Sunday (May 14) at the age of 80. The cause of his death has not been released

Davis was the director of the African American Dance Ensemble and the popular Dance Africa Festival, which takes place every Memorial Day weekend in Brooklyn. Davis started the festival 44 years ago in May of 1977. Read more on Davis’ life and career, here.

 

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Photo courtesy of xNasozi.

#BuyBlack: 25 Black-Owned Businesses to Check Out on Black Friday

Our 2017 guide for you to #BuyBlack this Friday.

This is our first gift guide in the run-up to the holidays. Keep checking for more lists of great African products here. And for more ideas check out the Okayafrica Shop.

It's yet another year when America officially begins the holiday season on Thanksgiving tomorrow—a "celebration" that, for most folks, is a great day to spend time with family and to eat your fill.

For those that venture into the mission that is Black Friday shopping (kudos to you), it may be worth taking that moment to put your money where your mouth is and spend your coins on black-owned businesses.

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Music
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Kommanda Obbs Favors ‘the African Dream’ Over Western Standards On His New Single ‘Mabelebele’

Listen to Lesotho rapper Kommanda Obbs' latest single.

The music on renowned Lesotho rapper Kommanda Obbs' latest single "Mabelebele" is largely inspired kwaito. For his vocals, the rapper opts for a more melodic style on the track.

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Photo: Daniel Dorsa.

The Black Indie Artist You Need to Listen to This Month: Vagabon

Vagabon is special.

This new series will feature the most exciting independent and alternative artists from Africa and its diaspora. Black artists are complex and multidisciplinary. Twice a month, we'll introduce the hottest, boldest musicians out there that you need to listen to.

Special people have the hardest time. They see so much, are aware of so much. And indeed, Vagabon is special.

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