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Summer Reading 2012


As music festivals fill our weekends for the next few months, here's to unwinding and relaxing in the summer sun...with a good book! Check out OKA's start of summer reading list.

First up is the debut novel of Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, Powder Necklace. A fascinating coming of age story about a young girl, Lila, who's mother sends her away to boarding school in Ghana. A journey through womanhood, family, and tradition molds young Lila and gives her a deeper understanding of life and love. Funny, sweet, and beautifully told, this story will warm your heart and leave you smiling long after the last page!

Teju Cole's debut novel, Open City follows Julius, a German-Nigerian graduate student, as he treks through the foreign streets of NYC during his residency at a psychiatric clinic. Through all of his encounters, relationships, and travels, this politically infused story grips the conscience and as the title implies, opens the reader to the experiences of New York.

Revered novelist, Bessie Head contrasts eloquently the struggle between holding onto tradition and allowing the need for progressive change in When Rain Clouds Gather. When Makhayo escapes imprisonment in his homeland of South Africa, he finds refuge with other exiled villagers as they struggle to improve farming methods amid the harsh climate (politically and atmospheric) in pre-independence Botswana. As visual as allegory can be, Head paints a picture of all our consciences in this novel.

For those of us with a shorter attention span, fear not. Here's a collection of twenty, just as enriching, stories from the continent. Edited by our beloved Chinua Achebe & CL Innes, this anthology includes (in 4 parts for each continental region) "Gentleman of the Jungle", "The Bride Groom" and "Certain Winds of the South". It's definitely a must have.

So chill some Rooibos Tea, find a cozy spot in the park or even a rooftop, and curl up to one of these novels...or short stories ;-). Happy Reading!

This Is the Best Music Video You'll See All Month

Cherrie boosts up Somalia & Mogadishu in her music video for "163 För Evigt," featuring Z.E.

Cherrie is a buzzing Somali-Swedish singer whose music we've previously premiered and featured in a Songs By Somali Singers & Rappers You Should Listen to This Summer.

The R&B artist recently dropped the amazing video for "163 För Evigt" ("163 Forever") and, despite her singing in Swedish, the track's been blowing up online across both sides of the Atlantic, being posted in several Instagrams, Tweets and everything in between.

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DJ Spinall's New Album Is A Star-Packed Afrobeats Party

DJ Spinall assembles afrobeats' biggest names for his new album, 'Dreams.'

For his third album, Dreams, DJ Spinall assembles some of afrobeats' biggest names.

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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