Op-Ed
Video still via Twitter.

Off With Their Heads: Diversity Won’t Save the Royal Family’s Legacy

On the Royal engagement and why Africa never seems to catch a break.

During the Mau Mau uprising in 1950s, the British detained over one and a half million Kenyans in concentration camps. In these camps, men, women and children died of starvation, waterborne diseases and torture. The documents recording these atrocities were of course destroyed and the knowledge thereof hidden away because hey, long live the King!

Yesterday, news of Prince Harry's engagement to his girlfriend, the sexy paralegal Rachel Zane from "Suits," played by Meghan Markle, has created an epic media storm. This is normal for a royal wedding but the fact that Markle is of African American descent has had many people feeling all kinds of different ways.


The British royal family has ruled for the centuries and still are—sort of. In that time, they have colonized numerous African countries, murdered a great deal of Africans, disrupted and appropriated our cultures, initiated bloody wars, stolen our land, pillaged our resources and imposed on us their allegedly superior ways of doing things—the English way, good and proper.

Prince Harry has always been a bit of a "royal rebel." Unlike his brother William who has always borne the burden of taking the throne and thus having to tow the line, Harry has really been living his best life from chilling with the likes of Jay-Z and Kanye West to allegedly throwing naked parties with a dominatrix.

The dyed in the wool monarchists turn up their nose at the pair. He can do so much better than a young woman who is not only not British but, gasp, has ancestry from Africa.

Personally, I don't see how the monarchy itself is more moral than the African dictatorships that they so indignantly denounce. In 2017, why have we not gotten rid of this ridiculous notion of a lineage of blue blood in the same way we got rid of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution? Without all the gore, of course, but nonetheless they simply must go. The royal family is not a force for stability but rather a stunning representation of grievous class inequality. And so if anyone should be turning their nose up in disgust, it's certainly Markle and the rest of us as Africans who are still deemed not good enough to grace the lavish corridors of Windsor Court. Isn't that a load of BS?

I'm all for love: black love, interracial love, and everything in between. Harry deserves to marry whomever he wishes (Markle the same) and whether Markle has a black mother or not or hails from the jungles of Africa or not shouldn't matter.

So, while Markle is black, that doesn't mean the royal family's wrongs have now been righted and we can sweep everything that happened historically under grand Persian rugs. Not by a long shot. It runs far deeper than that. However diverse and 'forbidden' their love may be, it alone will never atone for the centuries of crimes against humanity committed by the royal family—no matter how dreamy their engagement photos may be. So let us not entertain the idea that it may or that it will. It. Will. Not.

What matters most for me, is whether this impending marriage will finally start a necessary and long overdue conversation. Perhaps not by Harry and Markle themselves but at least by the public at large as to the royal family's history of imperialism in Africa especially and its steadfast condescending perception of Africans in general till this day. I may be naïve but surely it's the uncomfortable and unavoidable white elephant in the room? I mean, it has to be. They'll be having tea with one of our own now.

News
Still from YouTube.

Diamond Platnumz & Rayvanny’s 'Mwanza' Has Been Banned In Tanzania

It's been deemed "too vulgar" to be played in the country.

Tanzania's national arts council, Baraza la Sanaa Tanzania (BASATA) has banned Diamond Platnumz and Rayvanny's latest single "Mwanza," and slapped the artists with a hefty fine due to its sexual content.

The board has ordered the label Wasafi Records to remove the track from all digital platforms, and it will no longer be played on the radio or in clubs in Tanzania, reports Kahawa Tungu. The popular song has over 2 million views on YouTube.

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Video
Sola. Image courtesy of the artist.

Watch Sola's Striking New Video For 'Save Yourself'

We premiere the new visual from the British-Nigerian artist.

Sola is an exciting new act coming out of the London scene.

The British-Nigerian artist makes music that she calls 'warped soul'—a blend of her deep vocals with experimental electronic production and influences from afrofuturism and her Nigerian heritage.

Sola mentions Nina Simone and Sade as her main vocal influences and credits the likes of Burial, Arca and Massive Attack as inspirations behind her dark and lush beats.

Today we're premiering the new Savannah Setten-directed music video for her single, "Save Yourself," which takes viewers through a black-and-white battle with ones inner demons, eventually coming out on the other side in renewed color.

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News Brief
William Kamkwamba at TED2014 at Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Ryan Lash.

Chiwetel Ejiofor's Directorial Debut Based on William Kamkwamba's Amazing Story Is Heading to Netflix

"The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" is due to launch in select theaters and on Netflix next year.

Just around this time last year, we got word that Nigerian-British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor would be bringing Malawian inventor William Kamkwamba's story to the big screen.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, his directorial debut, will be coming as soon as next year making its first stop at Netflix, Variety reports. The streaming service has obtained global rights with the exception of China, Japan and the U.K. (which BBC has the rights to).

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