News Brief

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.

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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Music
(YouTube)

The 7 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Olamide, Lady Donli, Omah Lay, Adekunle Gold, Falz and more.

Here are the best and most noteworthy Nigerian tracks we had on repeat this month.

Follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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The 10 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Black Sherif, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, M3NSA x M.anifest, and more.

As the summer winds down releases have slowed down just a tad, but it's nothing to fear because a number of our Ghanaian music faves are in album mode, and it's only a matter of time before they let loose! In the meantime the rest of our faves have been steady dishing out that fire, making for another month of dope releases. Want the scoop? Check out the best Ghanaian songs of the month below!

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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