Arts + Culture

Rihanna's Super Inclusive Makeup Line Is Finally Here

Rihanna's 'Fenty Beauty' makeup line dropped this morning and it's all about glamor and inclusion.

In case you somehow missed it, Rihanna launched her long-anticipated Fenty Beauty line this morning, and the only thing we can say, as of this moment, is that we wished it had dropped sooner.


The fact that the line is by one of the world's biggest pop icons is far from the only thing that makes it stand out. The singer's emphasis on diversity and inclusion when developing the line is another major draw.

Rihanna announced the official release of the line earlier this week, with a promo video that she shared on Instagram. The short features some of our favorite African "it" models like Australian-Sudanese model Duckie Thot and Somali-American Halima Aden, who became the first model to wear hijab on the cover of Vogue back in June.

The teaser features a noticeably diverse group of models, with various skin tones. In fact, Fenty Beauty's full foundation collection boasts 40 different shades—meaning that the needs of brown and black women were actually made a priority for a change.

Hear Rihanna talk about why catering to a wide range of skin tones was important to her in the video below.

The official Fenty Beauty launch went down yesterday in Brooklyn and a slew of beauty editors, bloggers and models were in attendance. Folks looked ravishing to say the least.

"Lemme help you with that glow" #KILLAWATT 💫

A post shared by Fenty Beauty By Rihanna (@fentybeauty) on

Yesss queen 👸🏾 Stay WINNING 💄💋❤ @fentybeauty @badgalriri @fentyxpuma

A post shared by Duckie Thot (@duckieofficial) on

In-depth product reviews haven't quite rolled in yet—the line literally launched hours ago—but it looks like we can expect one from none-other than popular Nigerian beauty blogger, Jackie Aina pretty soon.

Screenshot from Jackie Aina's Twitter.e

We're pretty much ready to give Rihanna all our coins on blind faith though. From what we've seen so far the line looks stunning, and a makeup line like this is a breath of fresh air in a mostly white-dominated beauty industry.

Rihanna wears products from her new line on the cover of this month's issue of Elle. See her four covers below and check out some behind the scenes footage from her shoot!

Fenty Beauty is available now.

This New Musical Explores the Life of 'Fela Kuti and the Kalakuta Queens'

"Nobody ever talks about the 27 wives."

A new musical by Nigerian arts mogul, Bolanle Austen-Peters dives into the life of Fela Kuti and his relationship with the Kalakuta Queens—the 27 women he married in a single ceremony in 1978.

In a new video from the BBC, Austen-Peters give us a look into the production process, and tells us more about why she wanted to focus on the story of the Kalakuta Queens, who also acted as dancers for the musician, in particular.

"It just occurred to me that nobody ever talked about the 27 wives that he had. And I wondered who they were? I wanted to understand what informed their decision to marry one man, and what drove them. You know, what was their passion?" Watch the full video below.

Fela Kuti and the Kalakuta Queens is currently showing at the renovated Terra Culture Arena in Lagos, which Austen-Peters founded back in 2003.

We spoke to Austen-Peters back in August about her mission to promote Nigeria's arts and culture scene and about producing the West End's first Nigerian musical, Wakaa!. Revisit our interview with her here.

Fela and the Kalakuta Queens deserve all the shine!

Maleek Berry's Bob Marley Cover on BBC Radio 1Xtra Is Everything

His rendition of "Turn Your Lights Down Low" will smooth out your day.

Maleek Berry's newest cover is surely going to help get you through hump day.

The crooner and producer performed a wavy rendition of Bob Marley's "Turn Your Lights Down Low" on BBC Radio 1Xtra, a solid week after he dropped his highly anticipated EP, First Daze Of Winter.

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Illustration by Nathi Ngubane.

The Humorous Politics of South African Funerals

South African funeral etiquette is uh—unique.

There is perhaps nothing more tragic than death as much as it is the one constant of life itself. Funerals are sombre events meant to mourn the passing of a loved one and understandably so. In spite of this, I have ironically experienced tremendous humour at black South African funerals especially and I know many black Africans will be able to relate. For those of you who are curious to know what happens exactly at these funerals, keep reading.

Can I also get some of that beef stew?

Illustration by Nathi Ngubane

Black South Africans go to funerals for pretty much the same reason they go to weddings: for the food. If there is a long queue at a funeral (reminiscent to the one you'll find on election day), you can best believe it's for food. You will often hear: "That's not enough chicken, dear" and "I'm taking a plate for Albertina as well" (they're really not). Oh, and did I mention that people always make sure to bring their own lunch boxes to take away food when they go?

That Merc over there? Yeah, I just got it yesterday.

Illustration by Nathi Ngubane

Black South Africans are particularly fond of ensuring that everyone at the funeral sees or at least hears about their latest material acquisitions, be it a new car, the R5000 wristwatch they're wearing or the house they just bought. It's terribly funny to hear how people will go from "You know he was such a great guy, what a loss" to "You know I remember how he helped me pick out my new Merc. It's parked over there." I suppose what better way to show off how well you're doing than at a funeral right?

The professional mourners and the art of being extra

Illustration by Nathi Ngubane

At funerals, there are always those whose mourning fast becomes somewhat of a theatrical performance. 'Can you see me?' they seem to be asking as they roll wildly on the floor, tear at their clothes and fall over the feet of others. Ironically, it's almost always those who are the least related to the deceased. When this happens (and it almost always does), you're never quite sure whether to continue grieving the deceased or to attend to them instead.

I didn't see you at the last funeral though

Illustration by Nathi Ngubane

Black South Africans go to many funerals. Be it a close relative or the friend of the mother of a cousin twice removed—black people are there. And so if you're met with a cold shoulder from relatives you haven't seen in a while, they're probably angry at you for not attending one of those funerals. What's worse, unless you yourself were close to death, no excuse is deemed valid. This is when you smile and politely excuse yourself to go and grab some food.

This is the sister to that other aunt from your father's side

Illustration by Nathi Ngubane

Funerals are large events and so because you can't possibly know everyone, from those coming from the suburbs to those coming from the village, it's always safest to assume that everyone is a relative of some sort. You will meet an aunt you last saw when you were in diapers and be expected to not only remember who she is but where exactly she fits into the family tree. Again, this would be a great time to go and grab some more food.

Black people don't leave wills, they leave bills

Illustration by Nathi Ngubane

Chris Rock was right on the money when he said the above. It is commonplace to see those whom the deceased owed money unashamedly attend the funeral. In fact, they are often the ones who demand to be served the most food (see how it's always about the food?) and pretty much anything else for that matter. I'm sure many would even repossess the deceased's casket if they could.

We had a great time at the funeral

Illustration by Nathi Ngubane

"How did the funeral go?" South Africans will ask this question and unfailingly so. Amusingly, they will ask it in the way they would ask how a trip to the mall or a holiday to another country went. They want specific details. I'm never quite sure what to say. Do I comment on the style of the casket, whether the food was cooked well or if there was any drama? I mean we just buried a person so on a scale of one to ten, I'd say it wasn't too great hey – but that's just me.

Anytime is drinking time

Illustration by Nathi Ngubane

So what do South Africans do after the funeral is over and done with? They open up the bottles of alcohol of course. We've even come up with a legitimate term for it , the 'after tears'. After the last tear has fallen, the first sips of alcohol begin. And so when you see the once dignified uncle stumbling about, it's really not the grief overwhelming him; it's probably just the whiskey.

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