Audio
Sho Madjozi "John Cena"

The 19 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Sho Madjozi, Odunsi, Sarkodie, Mr Eazi, Fuse ODG, Santi 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 new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.


Sho Madjozi 'John Cena'

South African hip-hop/pop artist Sho Madjozi stopped by the A COLORS SHOW studios in Berlin, Germany. In front of a turquoise backdrop, the artist performed her new song "John Cena." She slid through the performance with the customary vigor that is now synonymous to the artist. Obeying the gqom beat's orders, Madjozi gyrated, showing off her personality and light footedness (she even did the infamous vosho dance).

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Odunsi 'Wetin Dey/ Better Days' Ft. WANI

Odunsi (The Engine) comes through with the music video for "Better Days" and "Wetin Dey.""Better Days" is a hazy production helmed by P2J. The guitar-flanked track features vocals from singer-songwriter WANI, who we've previously covered. The hip-hop-leaning "Wetin Dey" samples a classic tune from Nigerian underground rap pioneers Ruff Rugged & Raw, which was also titled "Wetin Dey (Omukeke)."

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Jorja Smith 'Be Honest' feat. Burna Boy

Burna Boy links up with British singer Jorja Smith once again, for her new single "Be Honest," the first since the release of her memorable debut album Lost & Found. The sultry, afropop-inspired track sees Smith singing cheekily about a lover atop rhythmic production. On "Be Honest," the artist is experimenting with a more upbeat and percussion-heavy sound. Burna Boy joins in on the song's third verse, offering his Pidgin and Patios-tinged flow.

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Fuse ODG 'Cool Down' ft. Olamide, Joey B, Kwamz & Flava

Popular Ghanaian MC artist Fuse ODG is back with a new music video for his collaborative record "Cool Down." The track features several rappers including Olamide, Flava, Joey B and Kwamz—who all take turns to deliver their own freestyles atop the song's salsa-inspired production. For the music video, the artist took a creative approach, launching the #SelfieCypherChallenge, using vertical, self-recorded clips of each artist living their best lives as they perform their verses.

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YoungstaCPT 'Old Kaapie'

YoungstaCPT has just released yet another single off of his debut album 3T. "Old Kaapie," produced by the super producer trio Ganja Beats, has just been treated to visuals to highlight it. "Old Kaapie" sends a message of encouragement to Coloured people to shed off the stereotypes placed on them by society, and take over the world. As YoungstaCPT raps on the first verse: "This is something that you need to hear aloud/ Brown mense, the world is ours/ But those in power never will allow"

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Sarkodie 'Do You' ft. Mr Eazi

Ghanaian heavyweight Sarkodie teams up with Mr Eazi on this new single "Do You." This is the third single in his upcoming album campaign due later in the year.

Santi 'Raw Dinner' (The Movie) feat Kida Kudz

Santi has taken his already memorable music video offerings to another level, releasing a short film as the music video for his latest single 'Raw Dinner," featuring Kida Kudz from his debut album Mandy and the Jungle. Constantly drawing inspiration from the Nollywood horror films of the '90s—which he also referenced heavily in the video for last year's "Freaky"—the artist produced an 8-minute short with dark and stunning imagery.

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Swae Lee 'Won't Be Late' ft. Drake, Produced by Tekno

Rae Sremmurd's Swae Lee drops two new singles today, "Won't Be Late" featuring Drake and "Sextasy." "Won't Be Late" is notably produced by Nigeria's own Tekno. The new single is built on a mid tempo, afro-fusion-inspired beat, filled with claps, and light keyboard chords. As well as production, Tekno also gets a writing credit on the new song. You can hear his input when Drake sings lines like, 'Ikebe, pressing on me heavy' and 'Bakasi, moving on me wassy.'

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Lazarus 'Moyo Wanga'

Lazarus is a rising artist from Malawi who's fighting for social change for people with albinism in his country, and across Africa. He just released his debut album, Stomp On The Devil, which blends traditional Malawian styles with modern folk, all shaped by Lazarus' past as a street musician. The new music video for "Moyo Wanga" released alongside Extinction Rebellion. The video, directed by Johan Hugo, follows Lazarus as he performs at home in Malawi, as well as across New York City, through rotoscoped footage.

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Nonso Amadi 'Go Outside' ft. Mr Eazi

Nonso Amadi is a Toronto-based musician cooking up his own blend of afro-fusion by mixing influences from his Nigerian background with elements of RnB, soul, pop and much more. The 23-year-old artist just dropped his latest release, Free, a 6-song EP which features appearances from Mr Eazi on the memorable lead single "Go Outside."

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Tems 'Try Me'

Rising Nigerian artist Tems shares the visuals for her addictive new single, "Try Me," The new video, directed by Demola Falomo and produced by Ladder, Lex and Booker, tells a story of a band of misfits held against their will for being different to the norm.

DJ Jimmy Jatt ft. Mr. Eazi & Skales 'Halima'

Mr Eazi, Skales and pioneering Nigerian DJ Jimmy Jatt have linked up for a new track to close out the summer. "Halima" opens with Mr Eazi delivering passionately sung lyrics about the woman of his dreams. He also provide's the song's catchy chorus. Fellow Nigerian artist Skales joins in on the second verse, matching Mr Eazi's passionate energy for his lover. The track was produced by none other that Guilty Beatz.

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Amadou & Mariam + The Blind Boys of Alabama 'Bamako to Birmingham'

Malian duo Amadou & Mariam collaborate with the Grammy-winning Blind Boys of Alabama on two new singles "Bamako To Birmingham" and "Two Cultures, One Beat."

Yemi Alade 'Home' & 'Give Dem'

Yemi Alade is readying the release of her forthcoming studio album Woman of Steel. Ahead of that, the Nigerian star has shared to new singles, "Home" and "Give Dem," as well as cover art and tracklist. "Home" is the album's opening track, which features fuji-inspired production by Vtek. The song sees her her delivering strong vocals as she sings about being "at home" with her lover. "Give Dem," is a more upbeat offering, produced by Krizbeatz that sees the artist sharing swaggering lines atop a fiery, danceable beat.

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Ras Nebyu 'Days Later'

Ethiopian-American Ras Nebyu, a member of the Washington Slizzards collective, drops his latest visual for "Days Later" from his Uptown Lion Walkin LP. The new music video was shot throughout various parts of Ethiopia.

Priddy Ugly & Bontle Modiselle 'Bonita'

Priddy Ugly and Bontle Modiselle, known collectively as Rick Jade, made an announcement of their pregnancy today. The couple has been together for a decade, too. To make their anniversary celebration and pregnancy announcement even more special, the duo released a video for a new single titled "Bonita." The video was shot in an art gallery by Priddy Ugly's regular video director, Nkululeko Lebambo aka Armsdeal (of CideFX Films).

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K.O & Nandi Madida 'Say U Will'

K.O and Nandi Madida follow-up their 2014 smash hit "Skhanda Love" with "Say U Will." The song features Nandi's spacious vocals and K.O's swaggering rhymes, just like the previous one. "Say U Will" is a song about lovers surrendering and promising to be there for each other.

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Stiff Pap 'NNNEWWW'

Stiff Pap is a duo from Cape Town consisting of the producer Jakinda and the rapper Ayema Problem. With their latest EP titled Stiff Pap Radio, the group take a leap forward. Their debut EP Based on a Qho Story, was lean in nature owing to the overt gqom influence on the project. On Stiff Pap Radio, however, Jakinda intensifies their production and Ayema Problem's writing goes further than the fun raps.

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Just G, Ranks ATM, Sims '3 Way'

If you've been following the ATM (African Trap Movement) gang closely, then you know a joint project from three of its members—Just G, Ranks ATM and Sims—has been a long time in the making. 3 Way is a 10-track mixtape consisting of songs performed by the trio collectively, including the lead single "M.I.A," which has been out for a few months. The only guests on the project are two of ATM's founding members Emtee and Saudi, who appear on the songs "Where Would I Be" and "Silent Night."

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




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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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Wizkid in "Ghetto Love"

The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Wizkid, Stonebwoy x Teni, Thabsie, Sampa the Great and a classic Funána compilation.

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 new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Sowetan/Getty Images

South Africa has Ruled that Spanking Children is Now Unconstitutional

The judgement was unanimous.

Back in 2017, the South African High Court ruled that it was illegal for parents or guardians to spank their children i.e. use corporal punishment in the home setting. The ruling arose after a father allegedly beat his 13-year-old son "in a manner that exceeded the bounds of reasonable chastisement". Today, the Constitutional Court has upheld the High Court's 2017 ruling and declared that the spanking of children is a violation of the constitution.

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Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Nigerian Women Have Taken to the Streets to March Against the Serial Killing of Women

"The women in Port Harcourt no longer feel safe," the protesters say.

Hundreds of Nigerian women have taken to the streets in protest of the the spate of murders that have taken the lives of eight women in various Port Harcourt hotels thus far. Dressed in in black clothing and holding placards denouncing the femicide in a scene quite similar to the protests led by South African women last week, Nigerian women are demanding that the police as well as the government do more to protect the women living in Part Harcourt especially. The BBC reports that the police have arrested two individuals who are thought to be suspects in the killings.

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