Film

Marvel's First Nigerian Superhero, Penned by Nnedi Okorafor, Is Inspired by the Chibok Girls

The Lagos-based comic "Blessing In Disguise" introduces Marvel's first Nigerian superhero.

Last month it was announced that award-winning Nigerian sci-fi author, Nnedi Okorafor would pen a Lagos-based comic for Marvel, inspired by the over 200 Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014.


The comic, entitled "Blessing in Disguise" introduces Marvel's first Nigerian superhero, Ngozi to the Venomverse. She's a recurring character in the series, along with the series more seasoned favorites like Black Panther, Venom, Deadpool and more, reports Reuters.

The short story is the first Marvel comic to be set in a real African city. As we pointed out earlier today, Wakanda, where Black Panther is set, is not a real place.

Okorafor hopes that the character will resonate with readers, and inspire a spirit of tenacity in young girls.

"It was an important decision for me to base Ngozi on the one of the Chibok girls," Okorafor tells the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"They were normal girls who suddenly had to deal with a huge change in their lives...and their story of perseverance is so powerful," Okorafor adds. "Like many Nigerian girls, Ngozi comes in a small package but is strong-willed and determined."

Okorafor wrote the title in response to the lack of nuanced representation she found in the superhero world.

"I'm a huge Wonder Woman fan, but we can really push it further when it comes to diversity," she continues.

"I'm not just talking about race and sexual orientation, but about having a range of personalities with different desires, dreams and flaws. I don't only want to see badass female characters, I want to see much less predictable ones."

The latest Venomverse installment  is available now. Get a preview of "Blessing In Disguise" via Okorafor's Twitter, below.

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Tay Iwar. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Tay Iwar Is Nigeria's Hidden Gem

In a rare interview, the reclusive Nigerian singer and producer talks in-depth about writing and producing his new EP 1997, his forthcoming album Gemini and Nigeria's 'Alté' movement.

Tay Iwar wants some space. The word is the title of one of three songs on his new EP and also one that comes up during our interview, conducted via voice notes and texts on Whatsapp from his base in Abuja—a long way from Lagos which remains Nigeria's music hub.

The choice of the nation's quieter capital over the bustle of its music metropolis is a deliberate one for Iwar and one which fevers his reputation as a recluse and cult figure in Nigerian music circles. This especially happens among the subculture referred to as "alté"—an abbreviation of the word alternative which is used to denote the independent movement that is free from the flash and perceived vacuity of afropop. Precise definitions of the word vary but common denominators include introspection and melancholia, as well as trap and R&B.;

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Photo: Dancers of the Asociación Cultural Afro Chincha Perú via Wikimedia Commons

After Decades of Erasure, Afro-Peruvians Will Finally be Counted in the National Census

Despite an Afro-Peruvian cultural resurgence not a lot has been done to increase the population's visibility on a political level.

In 2009, Peru became the first Latin American country to issue an official public apology to its afrodescendiente population for centuries of "abuse, exclusion, and discrimination." Since then, many have criticized it as more of a symbolic gesture, especially for its failure to mention slavery. It was also seen as a way for the government to highlight Afro-Peruvian culture over making any substantive improvements to the material conditions of Afro-Peruvian communities.

Enter the census, which can play an important role in compelling the Peruvian government to address systemic inequality related to education, poverty, and health. Unfortunately, the last time Peru made a formal attempt to keep track of its African descended population via the census was in 1940.

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Watch Kuami Eugene's Vibrant Music Video "Meji Meji" Featuring Davido

This Ghanaian and Nigerian link up will make your day.

Ghana's Kuami Eugene has been an artist to watch—especially as he shows himself to hold his own on collab tracks.

The music video for his latest, "Meji Meji" featuring Davido, is here. Its upbeat vibe shines through as the two crooners go about their day in Ghana, singing sweet nothings to their love interests.

"Meji Meji" was produced by Fresh VDM, with the video directed by Twitch & Rex.

Take a look at the vibrant video below.

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