Africa In Your Earbuds


Download an eclectic Africa In Your Earbuds mixtape from South African punk-dub ensemble BLK JKS.

South African punk-dub ensemble BLK JKS were basically the first African indie act to make it global. The quartet initially stomped their experimental-rock boots onto the scene with the four-track Mystery EP (2009), which led to a signing with independent imprint Secretly Canadian and a full-length release that garnered heavy praise from a number of major tastemaker publications.

For Africa In Your Earbuds #20 guitarist Mpumi Mcata crafts a mix as eclectic and uncompromising as BLK JKS' sound — with tunes ranging from a deep-bass remix of Marvin Gaye to cuts from Sinkane, DJ Mujava and Talking Heads. Mpumi explains it best, via e-mail:

This damn mix is a sketch of a few things that have been on rotation in and around the camp as the BLK JKS pre-produce LP2. It's a kind of mix between the music one vibes to socially and the intensely personal, i.e the stuff that contributes to a human being who they are — new and old, stuff well worth visiting and revisiting, sometimes sharing isn't overbearing.

All of these spirits progressive, adaptable, re-purposed and interchangeable, unpredictable, distinctly african souls, classic but not necessarily classical as i now so often like to say_ the kind of stuff you might hear on Invisible Cities Pirate Radio — look, you'll dig it if your the kind to smash a curve ball right out the park.

Thanks to OKAYAFR!CA for reaching out, keep up the great work and thanks to the team at Nobodies Business for letting me use their office to put this together and the inspiration.

Hear and download AIYE #20: BLK JKS below! As always, we tip our hat to Underdog for the cover art. For an in-depth look at BLK JKS read OKP senior editor Eddie STATS' feature story on The Fader.


1. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (Nit Grit Remix)

2. Saitana - Jenakuru

3. Tlokwe Sehomi - Masepalati

4. Sinkane - Jeeper Creeper

5. vampire9000 - Colours

6. Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)

7. Brenda Fassie - Weekend Special (Richard the Third's Italo Dub remix)

8. DJ Mujava - Mugwanti (Shooting Horses Remix)

9. Motèl Mari - Hold On Me

10. BLK JKS - Tselane (Tselan3 Dub Remix)

11. Christian Tiger School - Slip Into Something Uncomfortable

12. Mankunku - Before the Rain And After



Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.

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How CKay's 'Love Nwantiti' Became the World's Song

Nigerian singer and producer CKay talks to OkayAfrica about the rise of his international chart-topping single "Love Nwantiti," his genre-defying sound and the reasons behind this era of afrobeats dominance.