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Nelson Freitas in "Goofy." Image courtesy of the artist.

The 16 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Lady Donli, Mdou Moctar, Boddhi Satva x Nelson Freitas, Shirazee x Saint Jhn, YoungstaCPT, Naira Marley 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.



Lady Donli 'Corner' feat. VanJess & The Cavemen

Nigerian singer Lady Donli, returns with a new song and music video "Corner," a standout from her 2019 album Enjoy Your Life, featuring VanJess and The Cavemen. The smooth, highlife-tinged song, contains a bold message that address several of the issues currently facing Nigerian women, including the recent #SexForGrades scandal, which exposed lecturers at various universities who were sexually assaulting their female students. The video, directed by Shaun Kalu, does the same, as it opens with a group of women leading a protest in Nigeria's capital. Later the video shows them taking part in several subversive activities to defeat male perpetrators.

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Boddhi Satva & Nelson Freitas 'Goofy'

Boddhi Satva and Nelson Freitas come through with the new music video for "Goofy," a highlight from Freitas' latest album, Sempre Verão. The track sees the Central African Republic producer, known for his 'Ancestral Soul' house style, connecting with the Cape Verdean singer for a highly-addictive and undulating production that will transport you to the dance floor.

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Mdou Moctar 'Ibitlan'

Celebrated Nigerien-born, Tuareg musician Mdou Moctar returns with the blazing new single "Ibitlan." The psychedelic track sees the artist delivering electrifying guitar riffs in the Tuareg tradition. He sings passionately throughout the track, which as the artist notes, is a love song describing his lover's beauty.

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Shirazee 'Juju' feat. Saint Jhn

Shirazee is back with his latest single "Juju." The new song sees the Benin-born singer-songwriter linking up with none-other-than Saint Jhn for a highly-addictive tune built on afro-fusion beat work. The striking new music video for "Juju," which was directed by Tiara Marei, follows Shirazee and Saint Jhn to New Orleans, Louisiana.

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J Molley & Ka$hCpt 'Narco'

J Molley and Ka$hCpt unleashed a collaboration which has since gone viral. The two South African hip-hop artists go back and forth about living the life you and I only see in series and movies, with a chorus that goes: "Run his pockets take his weed like a narco/ I am god gifted and I am in god mode/ Lighting rockets smoke alone I don't pass hoe/ Only come out in the night like it's dark mode."

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SomaDina 'Five Stages' 

19-year-old newcomer SomaDina comes through with the confident Five Stages EP, which follows her going through the stages of grief through its five songs. It's a captivating drop from a new name that we're gonna be keeping tabs on—and you should too. "Blame Game" is the highlight for us but the whole thing is worth checking out.

Five Stages is available now

Rema x Becky G 'Dumebi' Remix

Last year, the buzzing Rema released his four-track debut EP Rema. While the lead track "Iron Man" featured on the Obamas' summer playlist, "Dumebi" became arguably the one of the most popular Afropop singles of 2019 and resulted in an internet craze. Rema is back this year with a remix of the hit single and recruits Becky G to produce a fire collaboration.

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The Big Hash 'Amnesia'

As promised, rising South African lyricist The Big Hash has released a new singe. "Amnesia" is somber in both form and content. It kicks off with a muffled sample that lives under moody pads and prominent bassline on the beat that was produced by Elizee. It's the perfect atmosphere for the artist to pen a heartfelt song to a woman who's breaking up with him.

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Antibalas 'Fight Am Finish'

Pioneer NYC afrobeat ensemble Antibalas is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the release of their latest album, Fu Chronicles. The new album takes listeners to older pre-gentrification days in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, when the band was formed out of lead singer Duke Amayo's kung fu dojo. The new music video for album highlight, "Fight Am Finish," a song that about being ready for our daily battles and ultimately overcoming them. The music video was filmed in between Badagry and the New Afrika Shrine in Nigeria, as well as Grand Street in Brooklyn.

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CKay 'Love Nwantiti' Remix feat. Joeboy & Kuami Eugene

Ckay connects with the highly-buzzing Joeboy and Ghana's Kuami Eugene for the addictive new remix to "Love Nwantiti," one of the standouts from his sophomore EP, Ckay the First. The new remix comes accompanied by a music video directed by Naya Visuals.

ByLwansta 'The Bike Song'

ByLwansta shared "The Bike Song" last week. The song is a single from his upcoming EP SPIJØNGET (Chapter Two), which will be released on the 28th of February. "The Bike Song" details a robbery which the young rapper was a victim of in the Joburg CBD. The visuals, which are minimalist, show ByLwansta—well, you guessed it—riding a bike. The clip consists mostly of performance scenes from the emcee, who's expression goes beyond words but facial expressions, antics and mem-worthy poses.

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Zinoleesky x Naira Marley 'Caro'

Zinoleesky has just dropped his debut track "Caro" under his new record label, Marlian Records. He teams up with Naira Marley on the fun and upbeat ode to women and love while also dropping the accompanying visuals too. In "Caro", the duo seamlessly feeds off of each other's energy as they rap about beautiful women, money and love. Produced by Rexxie, the track is a classic uptempo Afrobeat number with a pretty laid-back rhythm that makes the track itself an easy listen.

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YoungstaCPT 'For Coloured Girls'

In his latest music video, YoungstaCPT appreciates Coloured girls—the visuals showcase different Coloured women of varying ages, from different parts of Cape Town and other parts of South Africa. Some of the faces are familiar—you'll spot the writer Raisa Fisher, the dancer Tarryn Alberts and a few other familiar faces. A majority of them are just ordinary women and young girls that the emcee felt like shining the light on to appreciate brown women.

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pH Raw X 'Sense Experience & Ekeyoto'

Accomplished South African hip-hop producer pH Raw X has crafted hits and classics for some of the country's biggest and most respected artists such as AKA, Sho Madjozi, Reason, Khuli Chana, Maggz and many others. Since circa 2017, though, pH Raw X started releasing solo music as a rapper and singer after appearing on some songs by the artists he has produced for. His latest project is titled Sensei Experience Ekeyoto, and has 14 songs that showcase his skills behind the mic and the boards. Assisting him on the project are legends such as Ootz the Afronaut and Riky Rick, among the new wave—the likes of Una Rams, Sho Madjozi, Berita, Ricco and J Molley all appear on the project.

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Wisdom feat. Marvy 'Stay'

Nigeria's Wisdom connects with Marvy for the new love song "Stay," which features lyrics in English and Yoruba. Get into it above.

Saudi 'The Drip's Leak'

South African rapper and singer Saudi just released a new mixtape. The 13-track project is titled The Drip's Leak and features some of Saudi's affiliates such as Ranks ATM, Sims and Emtee, most of who are part of the African Trap Movement (ATM), a collective Saudi co-founded alongside Sjava and Emtee.

Find out more

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



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Darkovibes

The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Sarkodie, Cassper Nyovest, Elaine, Darkovibes, Stogie T, Phyno, C Natty, 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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Audio

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Juls, Busiswa, Davido, Nasty C, Olamide, Ethic, Bobi Wine 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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Photo courtesy of CNOA

These Colombian Civil Rights Activists Are Fighting to Make Sure Afro-Colombians are Counted in the Census

When 30 percent of Colombia's Black citizens disappeared from the data overnight, a group of Afro-Colombian activists demanded an explanation.

It was the end of 2019 when various Black organizations protested in front of the census bureau—The National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (DANE)—in Bogotá, Colombia to show their dissatisfaction about what they called a "statistical genocide" of the black population. The census data, published that year, showed 2.9 million people, only 6 percent of the total population of the country, was counted as "Afro-Colombian," "Raizal," and "Palenquero"—the various terms identifying black Colombians.

For many years, Afro-Colombians have been considered the second largest ethno-racial group in the country. Regionally, Colombia has long been considered the country with the second highest number of Afro-descendants after Brazil, according to a civil society report.

Why did the population of Afro-Colombians drop so drastically?

Afro-Colombian, Black, Raizal, and Palenquero civil-rights activists protesting erasure of Afro-descendants in front of the census bureau.

Last year, a crowd of activists gathered in Bogota to protest what they saw as erasure of Black communities in the Colombian census.

Photo courtesy of CNOA

In the latest national census report from 2018/2019, there appeared to be a 30.8 percent reduction of the overall group of people that identified as Black, Afro-Colombian, Raizal, and Palenquero, as compared to the 2005. After this controversial report, an Afro-Colombian civil rights organization known as the National Conference of Afro Colombian Organizations (CNOA), officially urged DANE to explain the big undercounting of the black population.

This wasn't a small fight. Representatives who hold the special seats of Afro-Colombians in Colombia's congress asked the census bureau to attend a political control debate at the House of Representatives in November 2019 to deliver an accountability report. "The main goal of doing a political debate was to demand DANE to give us a strong reason about the mistaken data in the last census in regard to the Afro population," said Ariel Palacios, an activist and a member of CNOA.

At the debate, the state released an updated census data report saying that, almost 10 percent of the Colombian population—4.6 million people out of 50.3 million—considers themselves Afro-Colombians or other ethnicities (like Raizal, and Palenquero). But despite DANE trying to confirm the accuracy and reliability on the latest census report it was clear that, for a variety of reasons, Black people were missed by the census. The state argued that their main obstacles with data collection were related to the difficulties of the self-recognition question, as well as security reasons that didn't allow them to access certain regions. They also admitted to a lack of training, logistics and an overall lack of success in the way the data collectors conducted the census.

How could they have counted Black populations better?

Afro-Colombian, Black, Raizal, and Palenquero civil-rights activists playing drums in front of the census bureau.

Drummers performing during a protest against the Colombian census bureau's erasure of Afro-Colombians from the 2018 census.

Photo courtesy of CNOA

These arguments were not reasonable for the civil rights activists, partially because the state failed to properly partner with Afro-organizations like CNOA to conduct or facilitate extensive informational campaigns about the self-identification questions.

"CNOA has worked on self-recognition and visibility campaigns among the Afro community and this census ignored our work," says priest Emigdio Cuesta-Pino, the executive secretary of CNOA. Palacios also thinks that the majority of Afro-Colombians are aware of their identity "we self-identify because we know there is a public political debate and we know that there is a lack of investment on public policies."

That's why it is not enough to leave the statistical data to the official census bureau to ensure that Afro-Colombian communities are fully counted in the country. And the civil rights activists knows that. They made a big splash in the national media and achieved visibility in the international community.

Thanks to The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a human rights organization, Palacios traveled to D.C to meet with Race and Equality institution and a Democratic Congressman. "We called for a meeting with representative Hank Johnson to talk about the implementation of Colombia's peace accords from an Afro-Colombian perspective but also to address the gross undercounts of its black population," says Palacios.

For the activists at CNOA, the statistical visibility of the Black population is one of their battles. They have fought for Afro population recognition for almost two decades. "Since the very beginning CNOA has worked on the census issue as one of our main commitments within the statistical visibility of the Afro-Colombian people," says priest Cuesta-Pina. Behind this civil organization are 270 local associations, who work for their rights and collective interests.

The activists want to raise awareness on identity. Because according to Palacios, "In Colombia, there is missing an identity debate—we don't know what we are. They [the census bureau] ask if we are black, or if we are Afro-Colombians. But what are the others being asked? If they are white, mestizo or indigenous?" Palacios believes that for "CNOA this debate is pending, and also it is relevant to know which is the character of this nation."

Afro-Colombian Populations and the Coronavirus

Afro-Colombian, Black, Raizal, and Palenquero civil-rights activists use mock coffins and statistics to protest erasure of Afro-descendants

Colombian civil-rights activist insist that undercounting Afro-descendants can have a real impact on the health of Afro-Colombian communities, especially during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

Photo courtesy of CNOA

Even though the state recently "agreed with to give us a detailed census report" and make a different projection with the micro data, says Palacios, now with the Covid-19 emergency, CNOA and the government has suspended all meetings with them, including cancelling a second congressional debate and the expert round table meeting to analyze the data.

Unfortunately, it is exactly in situations like the Covid-19 emergency where data analysis and an accurate census report would have been useful. According to the professor and PhD in Sociology Edgar Benítez from Center for Afro Diasporic Studies—CEAF, "Now it is required to provide a reliable and timely information on how the contagion pattern will spread in those predominantly Afro regions in the country and what is the institutional capacity in those places to face it," says Benítez.

He adds that this information is "critical at the moment because the institutional capacity is not up to provide it at the current situation". That's why the Center for Afro Diasporic Studies plans to work with DANE information from the last census. According to Benítez, "We are thinking of making comparisons at the municipal level with the information reported in the 2018 Quality of Life Survey, in order to have a robust and extensive database as possible on the demographic, economic and social conditions of the black, afro, Raizal and Palenquera population in Colombia."









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Nigerian Officials Drop Charges Against Naira Marley for Violating Coronavirus Lockdown Order

The Nigerian star was arraigned on Wednesday for attending a party at the home of Nollywood actress Funke Akindele.

Naira Marley has been pardoned by Lagos authorities, after being arraigned in Lagos for attending a party at the home of Nollywood actress Funke Akindele last weekend, which violated the city-wide lockdown.

According to a report from Pulse Nigeria, the "Soapy" singer and two other defendants—politician Babatunde Gbadamosi and his wife—were ordered to write formal apologies to the Government of Lagos, give written assurance that he will follow the ordinance going forward, and go into self-isolation for 14 days.

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