Arts + Culture

Fred Martins’ New Series Honors the Struggles of African Liberation

Nigerian visual artist Fred Martins' new series for Black History Month celebrates past African heroes who stood against colonialism.

In the spirit of Black History Month, Nigerian visual artist Fred Martins shares a new series commemorating the African struggles for freedom.


With Black and Freedom, Martins celebrates the “African heroes that stood against colonialism in Africa, although massacred in thousands and in millions, but they had tried to protect their lands, culture and people.”

Using butterfly imagery was intentional for Martins—they symbolize life or the soul in many African culture, he tells Design Indaba. The fists stand for power, bravery and unity.

“It all defines the suffering inflicted and the strength exhibited by the African ancestors who were ardent and concerned about protecting the future of Africa,” he continues for Design Indaba, “and the message they tried to communicate to the present and future Africa.”

He continues:

“A great number of Africans today have no real idea of what their past looked like. The culture, values and the great men and women that devoted their lives lighting a path for the people of today are unrecognized. The story of our ancestors resisting colonization should not be neglected, their bravery and mistakes should be revisited and taught in our schools so people know about the challenges that brought us to our knees and how they can be fixed. History is essential.”

This series honoring past heroes is another opportunity for Martins to teach through his work.

“Visual work is deep, powerful and controls the subliminal framework of the people. I hope that these works stir a hunger to know more,” he says.

To read more from his interview with Design Indaba, click here. Have a look at Black and Freedom below.

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Best Music of the Week: Maleek Berry, DJ Neptune x Runtown & More

These are the songs you need to hear this week.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.

Maleek Berry "Let Me Know"

Maleek Berry's excellent Last Daze of Summer EP is still banging pretty much everywhere. "Let Me Know" is the latest track off the EP to get the visual treatment. In the romantic clip, Maleek and the girl he has his eye on head to Cape Town.

DJ Neptune "Why" feat. Runtown

DJ Neptune comes through with "Why," the latest single off his upcoming album, G.R.E.A.T.N.E.S.S. The slow-burning tune features the man behind one of 2016's biggest songs ("Mad Over You"), Runtown, and was produced by Del B.

Kae Sun "Stalk"

Ghanaian-Canadian singer Kae Sun is back with a guitar-led dance jam in "Stalk." The new single is paired with a striking, nighttime forrest music video, filmed in his home of Montreal. "Stalk" is the lead track of Kae Sun's upcoming LP due next year.

RMBO x Peta Teanet

RMBO, the solo moniker of Tshepang Ramoba (BLK JKS), is readying the release of his upcoming EP. In the meantime, he's sent over this addictive remix of South African disco artist Peta Teanet. "Chachali Malindela" will light up any dance floor.

Ayo Awosika "You're The One"

Nigerian-American singer Ayo Awosika has played stages across the globe as Miley Cyrus' backup singer. She's now stepping out on her own with "You're The One," a sweet and beautiful love letter to Nigeria.

Yaa Yaa "Life" feat. FanteFante

Ghanaian singer Yaa Yaa has released the motivational and uplifting single "LIie," featuring FanteFante. The song's about shaking off life's troubles and pushing on ahead. Check it out above and grab it on iTunes here now.


Follow our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week.

Cape Town Hip-Hop Legend Jitsvinger Drops His First Project In 10 Years

Jitsvinger's latest EP is a mixture of boom-bap, jazz and Afrikaaps lyricism.

Cape Town musician Jitsvinger last released an album, Skeletsleutel, in 2007.

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Music
Zwai Bala produced most of TKZee's hits. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The 10 Best Kwaito Producers

Get to know the the 10 most notable old school kwaito producers.

"Kwaito will never die," tweeted the rapper Riky Rick about a week ago.

This was after he'd just released a new single called "Stay Shining." The song features fellow rapper Cassper Nyovest, alongside the Durban kwaito artist Professor, Alie Keys and the DJ duo Major League DJz.

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