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Video: Hope Masike 'Because of You' + 'Tioneo Shewe'

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“Growing up in Zimbabwe was one of the best things that happened to me. Much as I would have loved to (like many other people) grow up in a country with a better economy and better socio-political environment … I am who I am because I grew up in Zimbabwe,” says Hope Masike. The mbira-player and vocalist, a graduate from the Zimbabwe College of Music, is one of the most promising voices from the troubled country’s new guard of musicians. ”Where we come from is a definite determining factor of what inspires us” she adds.

Currently on tour in France to promote her second album, Mbira, Love and Chocolate, her sound – a fusion of mbira harmonies with influences ranging from jazz, blues and gospel – has been shaped by luminaries of Zimbabwean traditional music such as Forward Kwenda, Stella Chiweshe, Beula Djoko and Chiwoniso Maraire — the artist she most closely resembles. ”I also somehow fell hopelessly in love with jazz greats” she said. “My most inspirational happen to be the vocalists; like Rachelle Ferelle, Miss Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Fats Waller” and many others.

Watch her videos for "Because of You" (above) and "Tioneo Shewe" (below), a prayer to God asking him “to see his children and ease their suffering.”

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The first track features Niniola, who's made house music her mainstay, keeping her fashionably out of step with whatever is on-trend. "Thinking About Your Love" might be reminiscent of Kenny Thomas' 1991 song of the same title, but save for this phrase and accompanying melody, the song is very much Niniola's particular way of grafting Yoruba and Nigerian English onto South African house.

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Photo courtesy of Art X Lagos.

Art X Lagos: West Africa's International Art Fair Returns Bigger and Bolder

We catch up with Art X Lagos founder Tokini Peterside on what to look forward to as West Africa's international art fair returns November 3.

One of West Africa's largest art fairs, Art X Lagos, is back for its second installment with bigger and bolder offerings. The three day event running from November 3 to 5 will showcase contemporary African art from 15 countries and feature 14 galleries representing African artists on the continent and the diaspora.

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