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Cassper Nyovest. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

The best music of the week featuring Yemi Alade, Cassper Nyovest, Burna Boy, Reason, Blinky Bill, Bucie, 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 OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.


Cassper Nyovest ‘Sponono Sam’ Featuring Shwi Nomntekhala

From Cassper Nyovest's upcoming album Sweet and Short, comes a new single titled "Sponono Sam." The song features legendary maskandi duo Shwi Nomntekhala. Nyovest and the duo croon passionately about their chosen ones over acoustic guitar and accordion squelches. "Sponono Sam" could become a pop sensation—we can see radio eating this one up.

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Yemi Alade 'Oga' and 'Open, Close'

Yemi Alade is back with two catchy new songs that are sure to get dance floors packed. "Oga" and "Open, Close" are both produced by Edgar and continue a strong year in which the Nigerian star has dropped standout singles like "Heart Robber" and "Oh My Gosh"—and, of course, headlined OkayAfrica's "Mzansi Heat and Naija Beats" concert in New York City.

Read: 7 Reasons Why Yemi Alade Is a Music Video Icon

Burna Boy 'On The Low'

Burna Boy comes through with another feel-good song and music video. After dropping the sultry hit "Gbona" back in September, the "afro-fusion" star delivers once again with "On the Low," produced by Kel P. Burna slows things down on this one, singing about his affection for a special girl in his life. The love song is a different pace than we're used to hearing from the artist, but just as enjoyable nonetheless.

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Reason 'Azania'

In April, one of South Africa's most potent lyricists, Reason, released the first single to his then-upcoming sixth album Azania. The Swizz Beatz-produced track of the same name was to set the tone for the album. In his sixth studio album, the South African lyricist does a lot of reflecting and the two themes that stand out are Reason's faith and sympathy.

Read: Reason Preaches the Gospel and Sides With the Downtrodden On 'Azania'

Blinky Bill 'Don't Worry'

Blinky Bill dropped his long-awaited debut album, Everyone's Just Winging It And Other Fly Tales, last month and it's clearly been well received by fans in Kenya and all over the world. His latest music video for the hard-hitting single "Don't Worry" was filmed in Detroit and directed by his usual collaborators Osborne Macharia, Andrew Mageto and Kevo Abbra. Blinky prances around Detroit's Heidelberg Project—an outdoor art installation created to support the surrounding area's community—lighting up the vibe of this aggressive song.

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Bucie 'Rebirth'

South African singer and songwriter Bucie has a new album. Rebirth, which the artist says is her last release, features a pan-African guest list of heavyweights including the rapper Kwesta, SA singer Thabsie, Nigerian singer Yemi Alade, Zimbabwe's Mr Kamera, house artists Black Motion, Mpumie, DJ Mshegaand Mobi Dixon. Rebirth is a great deep house album you should be partying to this festive season.

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Yanga 'Scars'

Yanga Sobetwa became the champion of the 14th season of Idols SA. The 17-year-old singer from Delft, Cape Town was the youngest contestant of the season. The artist recently released a music video for her latest single "Scars (All Over Me)." In the song, the artist croons about a lover who left her distraught from heartbreak. The video, which was filmed by the company Call Back Dreams, shows the artist dressed in all black walking in slow motion among drum majorettes who are dancing in the background.

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Wizkid & R2Bees 'Supa'

Wizkid and R2Bees have previously connected on big songs like "Tonight" and "Slow Down." The Nigerian star and Ghanaian duo recently revisited their tried and tested musical chemistry in the new single, "Supa," which was produced by Killmatic. "Supa" builds on a minimal beat work and sparse-yet-addictive melodies to deliver a solid song about love and lust. The single now has a brand new music video, directed by Babs Direction, which follows the crew to the beach.

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Falana 'Ride or Die'

Falana couldn't let the year wrap up without making a statement. The Toronto-raised Nigerian singer recently dropped the music video "Ride or Die"—her first single in 4 years—directed by Daniel Obasi. The track highlights Falana's ability to stay in the pocket with afrobeat's elements of live instrumentation and catchy melodies, all the while making is clear that she's a loyal lover.

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D'Banj and Cassper Nyovest 'Something for Something'

D'Banj and Cassper Nyovest have been teasing their collaboration for a minute. The single, titled "Something For Something," just dropped, accompanied by a video. "Something For Something" is catchy, and will sure pack dance floors in Nigeria and South Africa during the festive season.

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Tiwa Savage 'One'

Tiwa Savage has had an eventful 2018, and to round it all out, the singer has dropped her latest single "One" for our listening pleasure. The track, sung mostly in Yoruba, is a spiritual ballad that sees the singer expressing gratitude for her success and flexing her honeyed vocals atop light, slowed-down production.

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Afro B 'Melanin'

Afro B is coming off the heels of his banger "Shaku Shaku" to grace us with his last single of 2018 containing a message that should remain a constant reminder. The Ivorian-British hitmaker links up with producers Team Salut for "Melanin"—a 'pon pon' ode to black women and their beautiful skin. In the stripped-down single, you'll hear Afro B croon over his beautiful black woman and their love that can't be beat.

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Te'Amir 'Abyssinia Rise'

Te'Amir is a Los Angeles-based drummer and producer who tours and records with soul singer Aloe Blacc. In addition to that, he's played with many musicians from LA's unique hip-hop, soul and jazz scenes such as Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and others. In his latest EP, Abyssinia Rise, Te'Amir continues to explore his Ethiopian heritage. He expertly blends electronic beats with traditional Ethiopian samples to create lively soundscapes that draw you in right away.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week.


News Brief
Andrew Aitchison/Getty Images

South Africans are Reacting to the Constitutional Court's Ruling on Spanking

Not everyone is happy that spanking is now unconstitutional.

Yesterday, South Africa's Constitutional Court ruled that the spanking of children is now unconstitutional. The ruling upheld a previous ruling by the High Court back in 2017, that criminalized spanking after a father beat his 13-year-old son "in a manner that exceeded the bounds of reasonable chastisement". Parents or guardians can no longer use the common law defense of "reasonable chastisement" should they be charged with assault for spanking their children. While many South Africans as well as children's rights activists and organizations have welcomed the ruling, others have rubbished it entirely.

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AKA is Taking His Orchestra Show to Durban

AKA will be performing in Durban with The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra.

It seems AKA's Orchestra on The Square, which took place in Pretoria in March this year, was the first in a series of shows.

Supa Mega is taking the show to Durban on the 2nd November at the ICC Arena in Durban. The artist will be assisted by The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, which is widely regarded as one of Africa's premier orchestras. A number of surprise guests will join Supa Mega on the night.

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Mike Hutchings/Getty Images

Here's What the South African Government has Promised to Do About Gender-based Violence

They have pledged 1.1 billion Rand towards the fight against gender-based violence.

Over the past two weeks, South Africans took to the streets to protest against the rise in gender-based violence and violence towards children. These protests were in response to the horrific rape and murder of several young women, one after the other. Students at various universities across the country organized marches and vigils in while others marched to the parliament buildings in Cape Town and more recently at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the protesters outside the parliament buildings and promised that the government would respond swiftly to the rising war on women. Yesterday, Ramaphosa called for a joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces to discuss the way forward, News24 reports.

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Cover of Isha Sesay's 'Beneath the Tamarind Tree'

'Beneath the Tamarind Tree'—an Excerpt From Isha Sesay's Book About Remembering the Chibok Girls

Read an exclusive excerpt from the Sierra Leonean reporter's new book, which offers firsthand accounts of what happened to the girls while in Boko Haram captivity in an attempt to make the world remember.

Below is an excerpt from the seventh chapter in Sierra-Leonean journalist and author Isha Sesay's new book, "Beneath the Tamarind Tree," the "first definitive account" of what took place on the ground following the abduction of 276 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in 2014.

Continue on to read more, and revisit our interview with the reporter about why it's important for the world to remember the girls' stories, here.

***

"We should burn these girls!"

"No, let's take them with us!"

"Why not leave them here?"

The men were still arguing, dozens of them trading verbal blows while Saa and the other horrified girls looked on. None of the men seemed particularly troubled by the fact that the lives of almost three hundred schoolgirls hung in the balance. Amid all the yelling, the girls had been divided into groups. Each batch would burn in a different room in the school buildings that were aflame just a few feet away. Tensions were escalating when a slim man with outsize eyes suddenly appeared. Saa had never seen him before. Like many of the insurgents, he too looked young and was just as scruffy. But when he spoke, tempers seemed to cool for a moment.

"Ah! What are you trying to do?"

"We wanted to burn them!"

"Why not take them with us, since we have an empty vehicle?"

His suggestion triggered a fresh round of quarreling. The same positions were expressed, and the newcomer continued to calmly repeat his idea of taking the girls with them, till he finally got his way. The girls later discovered his name was Mallam Abba. He was a commander.

"Follow us!" the men shouted.

None of it made any sense to Saa. Why? To where? As the insurgents shuffled her out of the compound, she felt as if her whole life were on fire. All Saa could see was the ominous orange glow of flames consuming every one of her school buildings. With every step, the fears within her grew. She struggled to make sense of the competing thoughts throbbing in her head. This isn't supposed to be happening. The insurgents had asked about the boys and the brick-making machine; they'd systematically emptied the school store, carrying bag after bag of foodstuffs and loading all of it into the huge waiting truck. With everything now packed away, Saa had thought the insurgents would simply let the girls go home. After all, that's what had happened during their previous attacks on schools—they'd always let the schoolgirls go, after handing out a warning to abandon their education and strict instructions to get married. Saa had simply expected the same thing to happen once more, not this.

She scanned the crowd of faces surrounding her; the creased brows and startled expressions of the others made it clear that everyone was equally confused. Whatever the turmoil they were feeling, they kept it to themselves. No one said a word. Saa fell into a sort of orderly scrum with the men corralling and motioning her forward with their guns, each weapon held high and pointed straight at the girls.

Saa and Blessing moved in unison, along with the hundreds of others, snaking along in the dark through the open compound gate, past the small guard post usually occupied by Mr. Jida, which now sat empty. Yelling came from nearby Chibok town. Saa could smell burning, then heard the sound of gunshots and people running. It was bedlam.

Just beyond the compound walls sat a crowd of bushes. As she and the men moved out into the open, Saa felt their thorns spring forward, eager to pull at her clothing and scratch and pierce her body. Careful not to yell out in pain, she tried to keep her clothes beyond the reach of the grasping thicket with no time to pause and examine what might be broken skin.

Saa retreated into herself and turned to the faith that had anchored her entire life. Lord, am I going to die tonight, or will I survive? Desperate to live, unspoken prayers filled her mind and she pleaded, repeatedly, God save me.

She was still praying as they walked down the dirt path away from the flaming school. The shabby-looking men with their wild eyes gave no explanation or directions. They simply motioned with their heads and the sweep of their rifles, making it clear to keep moving. As the reality began to sink in, Saa felt her chest tightening. Her heart was going to beat its way out of her body. But she couldn't allow herself to cry or make any sound. Any kind of display would make her a target, and who knew what these men might do?

The insurgents walked alongside, behind, and in front of her; they were everywhere. Every time Saa looked around, their menacing forms filled her view. Initially, all the girls were steered away from the main road and onto a rambling path overgrown with bushes; the detour was likely made in an attempt to avoid detection.

Parents lining up for reunion with daughters (c) Adam Dobby


***

This excerpt was published with permission from the author. 'Beneath the Tamarind Tree' is available now.

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