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The Side Eye: Reliving The Colonial Past


Big thanks to the blog Africa is a Country for tuning us into these two side eye stories of folks rehashing colonial fantasies. The first is a temporary hotel in London modeled after Joseph Conrad's boat in his novel "Heart of Darkness." You know, the novel that has eternally coined The Congo as the 'dark heart of Africa' in the popular imagination - "Dr. Livingstone, I presume," and all that. The story on Blackbookmag.com says the design was one of 500 submitted for a contest by Living Architecture... which raises the question: really? There wasn't one other design in 500 with a more progressive politics than effing 1903?

The second story is about a dude, DeWet Du Toit, in the Western Cape in South Africa who lives out his fantasy in a loin cloth, claiming to be the real life Tarzan. He cares for wild animals, and judging from the picture, has a few black servants, we mean 'employees.' These romanticizations of a colonial past are so whack! They definitely speak to a gross desire still present in the world for 'adventure' in the 'exotic' lands of Africa.Read the full story here.

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Photo courtesy of xNasozi.

#BuyBlack: 25 Black-Owned Businesses to Check Out on Black Friday

Our 2017 guide for you to #BuyBlack this Friday.

This is our first gift guide in the run-up to the holidays. Keep checking for more lists of great African products here. And for more ideas check out the Okayafrica Shop.

It's yet another year when America officially begins the holiday season on Thanksgiving tomorrow—a "celebration" that, for most folks, is a great day to spend time with family and to eat your fill.

For those that venture into the mission that is Black Friday shopping (kudos to you), it may be worth taking that moment to put your money where your mouth is and spend your coins on black-owned businesses.

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Music
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Kommanda Obbs Favors ‘the African Dream’ Over Western Standards On His New Single ‘Mabelebele’

Listen to Lesotho rapper Kommanda Obbs' latest single.

The music on renowned Lesotho rapper Kommanda Obbs' latest single "Mabelebele" is largely inspired kwaito. For his vocals, the rapper opts for a more melodic style on the track.

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Photo: Daniel Dorsa.

The Black Indie Artist You Need to Listen to This Month: Vagabon

Vagabon is special.

This new series will feature the most exciting independent and alternative artists from Africa and its diaspora. Black artists are complex and multidisciplinary. Twice a month, we'll introduce the hottest, boldest musicians out there that you need to listen to.

Special people have the hardest time. They see so much, are aware of so much. And indeed, Vagabon is special.

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