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Record-breaking bids for African art, South Africa's #NotInMyName anti-domestic violence protests and more.

DIASPORA—Artwork by African artists earned record-setting bids at the Sotheby's fine art auction in London, BBC Africa reports.


Earth Developing More Roots by acclaimed Ghanaian artist El Anatsui sold for just under a million dollars, while Sunflowers by South African painter Irma Stern was bought for $540,000.

The next highest bid was for Yinka Shonibare's Crash Willy at $290,000.

 

NIGERIA—A single Chibok girl was able to escape Boko Haram and return home on Wednesday (May 17), says presidential advisor Femi Adesina to the BBC. She was reportedly found by Nigerian troops.

Eighty-two girls returned home earlier this month after a negation was brokered by the International Rescue Committee.

SOUTH AFRICA—A social media campaign in South Africa is urging men to get involved in a protest to help address gender-based violence in the country. #NotInMyName is the hashtag being used to gather South African men for a demonstration at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Saturday (May 20).

The call to action comes in response to the pervasive killings of South African women, often at the hand of their partners. Last month, 22-year-old, Karabo Mokoena, was killed and set on fire by her boyfriend. The incident ignited a conversation about gender-based violence around the hashtag #MenAreTrash.

NIGERIA—Protestors have taken to the streets of Abuja to urge the government to act on behalf on Nigerians currently imprisoned in China.

According to a letter from organizers at the Black African Reorientation and Development Organization, "over 6,000 Nigerians are currently in various Chinese prisons. The facts show that over 55% are unlawfully and illegally being incarcerated."

Read more on this via BBC Africa.

UGANDA—A Ugandan entrepreneur, wants to take the Ugandan sport of kwepena to the Olympics. The sport which translates to "dancing" is widely played by Ugandan youth and involves a soft ball being thrown at opponents similar to the way dodge ball is played. If

The man behind the mission, Simon Tumukunde, has worked to formalize the game by creating official rules and guidelines.

“We looked at kwepena as a traditional game that was played years and years back by our grandparents – and, maybe, by the little girls right now – and we realized that it’s a game that is also overlooked," he told Urban Television.

We were like: I think we can redesign this game! I think we can add a few things to make it professional.”

Read more about this story here.

 

 

 

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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