News Brief

3 Gems We Learned from Issa Rae's Stunning ESSENCE Cover Story

The "Insecure" maven opens up about her rapid growth and transformation in the entertainment industry in ESSENCE's April issue.

Issa Rae's graceful cover of ESSENCE Magazine's April issue has truly made our day.

I mean, just feast your eyes on how breathtaking she looks (thanks to photographer Itaysha Jordan) with New Orleans as the perfect backdrop:


In her interview with ESSENCE, Issa opens up giving an introspective on how far she's come in her career—though with the success of Insecure and with shooting the upcoming romcom she's co-starring in, The Lovebirds, she's truly just getting started.

Here are three gems from her that stood out to us. Check out the full article here.

On focusing on what matters when navigating dating—her mind:

"I think a part of it just came from figuring out that the guys I like, I'm not their type. Learning that early on made me realize there's no point in valuing the physical, because it wasn't going to get me anywhere. So what can I control, and what can I bring to the table? How can I be valued in this way?"

On her legendary web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl:

"When you don't have much to do or you don't have plans on Friday night, you're making up a character who does. That was an outlet for me. I fantasized all the time about having a different life. And that manifested in creating characters and worlds and scenarios. I've definitely let my imagination run free."

On young girls who look like Issa now having someone to look up to in magazines:

"I just didn't imagine that [for myself]. So the fact that it happened is like, you just never f—ing know. And you should never discount anything. I think so many of us tend to be comfortable with what we're not and complacent with what we're not. You really don't have to be. I didn't solve world peace or anything—it's not like that. But something that felt so small and intangible ended up being tangible. And that's just the coolest thing in the world."

(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

The 10 Best HHP Songs Ranked

On the second anniversary of HHP's passing, we rank 10 of the South African hip-hop legend's best songs.

Jabulani Tsambo, popularly known by his alias HHP, was a pivotal part of South African hip-hop. Renowned for trailblazing the motswako sub-genre in the early 2000s, the rapper sadly passed away on October 24th, 2018 after a long and much publicised bout with depression.

During his active years, which span two decades (from 1997 to 2018), he was instrumental in breaking barriers and bridging the gap between kwaito and hip-hop in SA, from the late 90s to early 2000s.

He became a household name in the 2000s as he spearheaded the motswako movement, propelling it to the mainstream and solidifying his legendary status in the process.

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Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

How You Can Help Nigeria’s #EndSARS Protests

We round up some ways you can support the movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

Widespread protests against Nigeria's notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are becoming more of a revolution. The movement is an outcry from youths demanding a general reform of the country, majorly characterized by poor governance, with a focus on the harassment and assaults committed by SARS. The movement has been raging through the city of Lagos for the past three weeks, as protesters home and abroad have taken to the streets in masses to express their keen dissatisfaction.

Hashtags like #EndSARS, #EndPoliceBrutality, and #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria have brandished across all social media platforms to amplify the voices of the youth people fighting back. These hashtags have, in turn, gained traction with the help of celebrities like singers Rihanna, Demi Lovato, and Beyoncé, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and many others. Nigerian stars, Falz, Runtown, Tiwa Savage, Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, and many more also joined in the movement, as many of them took to the streets with placards.

To date, the peacefully protesting Nigerians' needs have not been met. With said needs not being satisfied as they demand justice for lives lost due to the brutal and corrupt practices of police officers.

We have rounded up some ways you can support this movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

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The 8 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Simmy, Made Kuti, Shane Eagle, Emel Mathlouthi, Amaarae and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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South Africa Makes Strides and Passes Same-Sex Marriage Law

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently passed the Civil Union Amendment Bill which seeks to protect the rights of same-sex marriage.