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What Does the Congo Think About Apple's iPhone Announcement

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Apple's announcement yesterday was a major buzz kill. The new iPhone will only be a version of the current 4th generation, and won't be shatter-proof (we know a lot of you are walking around with busted iPhones). We wonder what folks working in the coltan mines in the Congo, where 80% of the world's supply of this mineral can be found, thought about Apple's unsatisfactory announcement. For them, it's probably just another day on the job (we use the word "job" loosely because that would imply compensation for work done - which is not always the case).

For those who don't know, coltan is one of the key minerals used in the iPhone's circuit board, as well as the inner workings of many other electronics including computers.  It is also what Adam Hochschild has described as one of four main reasons for ongoing deadly violence in the Congo. So much violence in fact, that it has been coined the 'blood mineral' - joining the ranks of the 'blood diamond.' In addition to the violence, working conditions in the mines can be also be deadly. We're not here to preach, but it's always good to be reminded of the price others pay for our technologies. For more information on how our cell phones fuel the war, check out the documentary Blood in the Mobile by filmmaker Frank Piasecki Poulsen.

To support efforts for peace in the Congo, check out Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Oxfam.

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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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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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