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It's Been 1 Year Since the Grenfell Tower Fire Claimed the Lives of 72 People

The shell of Grenfell Tower was lit green to mark one year since the tragedy as memorials have been held all over London.

Today marks one year since a massive fire took over Grenfell Tower—a social housing building in west London—killing 72 people.

The remnants of the tower was lit green at 12:54 a.m., among other major landmarks around London, in remembrance of the lives lost, NPR reports. It was the moment when the first emergency call was made. A moment of silence was also observed midday.


The tragedy of Grenfell Tower brought to light the poor living conditions residents faced, the slow, distant government response they endured and a long overdue review of building materials in other public housing building across the UK.

The fire started on the lower floors and raced upward, while those trapped on the highest floors were forced to wave whatever they had to get people's attention, screaming for help. Grenfell Tower residents had filed complaints concerning the fire safety of the building only months before the diaster. The building was wrapped in a flammable siding rather than a fire-resistant alternative, according to NPR.

The survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have had a challenging time starting over because of delays in obtaining replacement housing, despite Prime Minister Theresa May promising the survivors that they would be rehoused within three weeks. BBC reports that only 83 households have been moved to permanent housing—that's fewer than half of those who were evacuated. According to the Kensington and Chelsea Council, the rest of the survivors are still in temporary housing.

As we learned the stories behind the lives cut short in the fire, Khadija Saye, a rising British-Gambian photographer, was among the victims along with her mother.

Her last photographic series, Dwelling: in this space we breahe, explored traditional Gambian spiritual practices and was shown at the 57th Venice Biennale. Her career as an artist was on the brink of flourishing.

Saye was trapped on the 20th floor, posting gut-wrenching Facebook statuses asking her friends and families for their prayers. She was 24-years-old.

Revisit Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri's poem dedicated to the memory of the victims below.

Our thoughts are with the Grenfell community as they continue to fight for justice.

Photo: Aisha Asamany

How Relocating to Ghana Helped Reinvigorate Jewelry Designer Aisha Asamany's Work

Moving to Ghana gave Aisha Asamany's luxury jewelry brand, inspired by Adinkra symbols that traditionally project strength, fearlessness, love and power, renewed verve to tell personal stories of her growing clientele.

In 2019, the government of Ghana made a global splash with its Year of Return initiative – the campaign sought to encourage the African diaspora to return home to the continent, specifically to Ghana.

Linked to the 400th year commemoration of the first recorded landing of slaves in the United States, it became a launchpad for the Ghanaian government to convince Black people around the world to permanently settle in the West African country.

Aisha Asamany, a corporate management consultant for high-profile UK financial institutions turned self-taught luxury jewelry designer was one of many who heeded the call, trading in the corporate life for a spiritual and an entrepreneurial journey – one of joy, appreciation, and representation in her fatherland.

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Music
Photo by Timothy Norris/Getty Images

Wizkid, Tems, Black Coffee & More Nominated For 2022 Grammy Awards

See the full list of African artists honored during Tuesday's nomination ceremony.

Next year's Grammy nominations are in and Africa showed up and out!

The 64th annual Grammy music awards are on the horizon, and Tuesday's nomination ceremony covered a lot of ground within the music industry. Not surprisingly, Wizkid's Made In Lagos (Deluxe) received a nod for Best Global Music album, with the stellar and globally adorned track "Essence" featuring Nigeria's Tems being nominated for Best Global Music Performance. Nigerian favorites Femi and Made Kuti's joint project Legacy+ received a nomination under the Best Global Music Album category.

Other notable nods include; Beninese singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo's collaboration with Nigerian powerhouse Burna Boy, as well her performance with American cellist Yo-Yo Ma received under the Global Music Performance category. South Africa's Black Coffee's album Subconsciously made its mark within the Best Dance/Electronic Music Album category with his own nomination, and Ghanaian artist Rocky Dawuni under Best Global Music Album.

The music ceremony will be hosted in Los Angeles, US on January 31 2022 and we're excited to see who snags the highly coveted awards during next year's ceremony. In the meantime, let us know on Twitter who you're excited to see perform.

Keep scrolling to see the full list of African artists nominated for next year's Grammy award ceremony.

Check out the full list of nominees here.

Best Global Music Performance

"Mohabbat," Arooj Aftab

"Do Yourself," Angelique Kidjo and Burna Boy

"Pà Pá Pà," Femi Kuti

"Blewu," Yo-Yo Ma and Angelique Kidjo

"Essence," Wizkid featuring Tems

Best Global Music Album

"Voice Of Bunbon, Vol. 1," Rocky Dawuni

"East West Players Presents: Daniel Ho and Friends Live in Concert," Daniel Ho and Friends

"Mother Nature," Angelique Kidjo

"Legacy +," Femi Kuti and Made Kuti

"Made In Lagos: Deluxe Edition," Wizkid

Best Dance/Electronic Music Album

"Subconsciously," Black Coffee

"Fallen Embers," Illenium

"Music Is the Weapon (Reloaded)," Major Lazer

"Shockwave," Marshmello

"Free Love," Sylvan Esso

"Judgement," Ten City

Photo: Mini Cho

Mini Cho and the Renaissance of African Surf Culture

Competitive surfing helped Mini Cho find his place in the world. Now he wants to bring other Mozambicans into the fold.

While competitive surfing may be relatively new for much of coastal Africa, the existence of wave-riding has always been embedded within the rich diversity of African cultures. The recently released book Afrosurf, explores the renaissance of African surf culture, and the communities that have cultivated it.

The origins of surfing are commonly associated with Polynesian and Hawaiian culture, but historians, like University of California history professor, Kevin Dawson, have collated documented evidence of the independent history of African wave-riding from as early as the 1640s.

Yet, the development of professional surfing has created a surfing culture that has been predominantly framed from a Western perspective.

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DJ Neptune Summons Lojay & Zlatan to Be Your 'Only Fan'

The Nigerian DJ is giving teasers from his forthcoming album, Greatness 2.0, which will feature a truly all-star cast of African talent.