News Brief

Hundreds of Rescued Migrants Begin Their Journey to Spain After Italy Refused To Take Them In

630 "exhausted" migrants are finally making their way to Spain after Italy refused to allow a rescue ship to dock.

The Aquarius, a search and rescue ship carrying 630 migrants and had been stranded in the Mediterranean since Sunday, is now making its four day journey to Spain, CNN reports.


The ship was stranded between Malta and Sicily, after Italy's new populist government turned it away. The Aquarius had been carrying 120 unaccompanied minors and seven pregnant women. On Tuesday, 250 people were transferred to the Italian Navy's Orione, and 274 where transferred to the Coast Guard's Dattilo ship to alleviate the Aquarius.

Annelise Borges, a journalist for Euronews and NBC who was on board the Aquarius tells CNN that "everyone is extremely hot and very tired." She also describes the fear that the migrants were experiencing as "so present, so palpable."

The Aquarius has no showers or sinks for migrants on the ship, and the rescue workers rely on disinfectant spray to use for people's hands before their meals. On Tuesday morning, Italy sent some medical supplies to the Aquarius where 21 people where suffering from chemical burns from the mix of salt water and spilled fuel that had been in the rubber boats.

Italian far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had posted on Facebook, "VICTORY! 629 migrants on board of Aquarius ship, Spain-bound, our first goal has been reached!"

William Lacy Swing, the director general of the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM), also posted on social media, tweeting, "I fear a major tragedy if states start refusing to accept rescued migrants as was threatened."

The Aquarius will now dock in Valencia, which is 800 miles from where the ship had been stranded. While this avoids a larger crisis, it can hardly be described as a "victory" in the long run, since the Mediterranean remains the deadliest migration route in the world.

Photo by Samuel Martins via Afro Nation

Wizkid, Burna Boy, Megan Thee Stallion & More To Perform at Afro Nation 2022

The world's biggest afrobeats festival adds impressive international names to the roster.

Summer 2022 is gearing up to be the sweetest we've had in years. Adding to the excitement is Afro Nation's 2022 festival to be hosted in European beach haven, Portugal, this July.

As the second phase of lineup announcements reached fans this week, the musical festival seems to be covering all bases and genres. Big names including American R&B singer Chris Brown, rapper Megan Thee Stallion, Nigerian faves Wizkid, Burna Boy, and "Love Nwantiti" crooner CKay, and so many more promise to make this festival one worth spending three days on the beach for. UK breakthrough artists Pa Salieu, ShaSimone and masked phenomenon Midas The Jagaban have recently been announced as performers too.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo: Spark Creative

Meet the Ghanaian-British Designer Behind Janet Jackson's Latest Cover Look

For her most recent cover shoot, Janet Jackson donned a headpiece co-created by Ghanaian-British designer Chrissa Amuah, who tells us more about how she finds inspiration in her parents' homeland.

After rocking a LaviebyCK design by Cameroon's Claude Kameni in her 2018 'Made for Now' music video, Janet Jackson has turned to another talented African creative for her latest look. On the February 2022 cover of Allure Magazine, in which Jackson talks about executive-producing her documentary, Janet, the multiple Grammy-winning artist is pictured wearing an Ògún headpiece, co-designed by Ghanaian-British textile and furniture designer, Chrissa Amuah.

"I’ve always been a fan and respected her craft and work ethic,” Amuah told OkayAfrica. “For Ms Jackson to wear the Ògún in promotion of her new documentary sends a powerful message of enduring brilliance, integrity, and walking in the strength of our true voices.”

Of Ghanaian, Togolese, and Beninese heritage, Amuah was born to Ghanaian parents in London and draws inspiration from the Ghanaian Adinkra symbol in her work as the founder and Creative Director of AMWA Designs, a luxury homeware and interiors brand established in 2014. Making her international debut at the Milan Design Week, she gained worldwide acclaim in 2015, and a few years later, was named “Consumer and Luxury Rising Star” at the 2017 Black British Business Awards.

Keep reading... Show less

BRYAN THE MENSAH On His Debut Album ‘Road to Hastafari’

The Ghanaian rapper narrates the journey of his career in a candid debut laced with personal stories.

BRYAN THE MENSAH is one of the new school acts from Ghana who’s been doing it for a minute. Ever since the arrival of his debut EP in 2017, he was quickly recognized as one of the rising acts in the Ghanaian music scene with a fresh and unique sound—a contemporary rap act but one who fluidly moves between rap, pop, alternative, and fusions of the three, and does so effortlessly.

From then until now he's released four projects in total, all EPs including his critically acclaimed debut Friends with the Sun. His most recentwas 2020’s Not Going Outside, which saw the rapper employ the coronavirus pandemic as its underlying theme. Now, the rapper has decided to level up with the release of his debut album Road to Hastafari.

Bryan actually announced as early as five years ago in that he would be releasing his debut project in 2021, and just before the year came to an end he made good on that promise with an earnest, spirited offering.

As far as full-length projects from contemporary Ghanaian artists come, Road to Hastafari is in a class of its own. Twelve tracks long, with features by M.anifest, buzzing Ghanaian newcomer Black Sherif, Nigerian rappers A-Q and PsychoYP, and rising singer Titi Owusu, RTH is not the conventional African sound. Here, the self-assured rapper with a precise, melodic flow makes it clear that he’s not like anyone else, and he’s not trying to be.

But the album isn’t built on just sonics alone. Road to Hastafari is an album full of personal stories from the rapper that speaks to his journey so far, from family to his love life, and even tales of disrespect that he’s encountered in the music industry. And who better to tell those stories than the rapper himself? We invited BRYAN THE MENSAH to speak to us about his debut album, and the stories behind its creation.

Check out our conversation below.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

These African Films Scored 2022 NAACP Image Award Nods

A host of African talent has made the cut for the list of this year's NAACP Image Awards, which will take place as a socially-distanced affair next month.