News Brief

"For Africans, Homegrown Science Fiction Can Be a Will to Power:" Watch Nnedi Okorafor's Powerful TED Talk

The celebrated writer talks about the power of African Science fiction in a recently released Ted Talk.

"What if?" Is the simple, yet innately powerful question behind celebrated Nigerian-American author, Nnedi Okorafor's unforgettable talk from this summer at TEDGlobal in Tanzania.

In a talk entitled "Sci-Fi Stories that Imagine a Future for Africa," published earlier today on TED.com, the celebrated Nigerian-American writer, opens with an excerpt from her Biniti trilogy, in which she describes the lead character going off to attend university in another galaxy. Her reading carries her into a thoughtful reflection on the significance of African science fiction, and its potency as a political tool. "Science fiction is one of the greatest and most effective forms of political writing. It's all about the question, "What if?" says Okorafor.


The writer also touches on the term "Afrofuturism," which for her, is really "another kind of science fiction." She explains the difference between Afrofuturism and science fiction by using a straightforward octopus analogy.

Like humans, octopuses are some of the most intelligent creatures on earth. However, octopus intelligence evolved from a different evolutionary line, separate from that of human beings, so the foundation is different. The same can be said about the foundations of various forms of science fiction.

From there we learn that her passion for writing science-fiction developed during family trips to Lagos as a young adult, as a means of feeding her curiosity about things that most Nigerians found ordinary.

So I'm Nigerian-American. I was born to two Nigerian immigrant parents and raised in the United States, one of the birthplaces of classic science fiction. However, it was my Nigerian heritage that led me to write science fiction. Specifically I cite those family trips to Nigeria in the late '90s. I'd been taking trips back to Nigeria with my family since I was very young. These early trips inspired me. Hence the first story that I ever even wrote took place in Nigeria.

She ends her talk by reintroducing Udide the spider, a wise storyteller and the embodiment of the deep roots and untapped sociopolitical power of African science fiction. "For Africans, homegrown science fiction can be a will to power," says the writer.

Watch Nnedi Okorafor's full TED Talk below. For more on the prolific writer, revisit our in-depth interview with her from earlier this year, where she discussed mentorship and her upcoming HBO series.

MHD. Photo by OJOZ.

Listen to MHD's New Album '19'

MHD's second album is brilliant and reveals of a side of the young artist we haven't seen through versatile production and features from Wizkid, Salif Keita, and Yemi Alade.

MHD, the king of France's Afro Trap movement, has dropped his highly-anticipated second album, 19.

By now, you should know the story of the pizza delivery man turned French phenomenon, who's performed at the biggest stages like Denmark's Roskilde and California's Coachella. MHD's effortless mix of rap and afrobeats has solidified his place as the voice of a generation, gotten him two invites to France's presidential palace, l'Élysée, and a noteworthy reception when he arrived in Guinea.

The 19 tracks on the album and its title are an homage to the 19th arrondissement, the Parisien borough where he grew up and continues to dwell. This new record has all the potential to be just as successful as the 24-year-old's triple platinum debut and the Afro Trap series that catapulted his career.

19 includes features from the likes of Wizkid, Salif Keïta, Yemi Alade, Orelsan, Dadju, Stefflon Don and as well as production by Diplo, Stromae, Dany Synthé, Junior a la prod, DSK On The Beat, S2keyz and Heezy Lee. Unsurprisingly, the majority of these features were landed through simple social media direct messages—MHD has mastered the art of using YouTube and Instagram to his advantage in an internet age.

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Bobi Wine Set to Return Home to Uganda

Uganda authorities have already warned against welcoming rallies for the musician.

Bobi Wine is making his way home to Uganda after spending just over two weeks in the United States seeking medical treatment for injuries he sustained after being tortured while in military custody, he says.

The opposition lawmaker, who is currently out on bail following an alleged attack on President Yoweri Museveni's motorcade, shared the news on Twitter with a photo of himself at the airport this morning. "Headed Home," he wrote as a caption.

READ: "I'm Proud to Be Persecuted For the Truth:" Bobi Wine on the Fight for Freedom in Uganda

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News Brief

The Trailer for Faraday Okoro's Tribeca Film 'Nigerian Prince' Is Here

The film is due to hit U.S. theaters October 19.

The trailer for Nigerian filmmaker Faraday Okoro's debut feature Nigerian Prince is here, Shadow and Act reports.

We're a month away from the film landing in U.S. theaters and On-Demand since the film got acquired by Vertical Entertainment.

Revisit the synopsis below.

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