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Five African writers shortlisted for Caine Prize, Stormzy helps fan pay for Harvard and more.

DIASPORA—Three Nigerians, a South African and a Sudanese writer have been shortlisted for this year’s Caine Prize for African Writers.


Nigerian writers, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Chikodili Emelumadu and Arinze Ifeakandu have each earned nominations for their works, which were 3,000 to 10,000 each. Sudan's Bushra al-Fadil, whose work was translated from Arabic to English and Magogodi oaMphela Makhene from South Africa are also nominated.

Read more about this year’s Caine Prize nominees, here.

DIASPORA—British-Ghanaian grime heavyweight, Stormzy made a crowdfunding donation of 9,000 (GBP) to help Fiona Asiedu, a student at Oxford, continue her education Harvard. The musician made the donation after Asiedu, reached out to him on Twitter, and helped her reach her intended goal of 12,000 (GBP) before her four week deadline.

Read the full story here.

DIASPORA—The Billboard Awards are this Sunday (May 21) and Nigeria’s very own, Wizkid is up for seven awards, including “Top R&B Song,” “Top Selling Song” and “Top Collaboration,” for his work on Drake’s “One Dance.” Check below to see all of Wizkid's nominations, and here for the full list of 2017 nominees.

ETHIOPIA—Yonatan Tesfaye, an Ethiopian opposition leader, has been found guilty of “encouraging terrorism” through Facebook statuses which he wrote in December of 2015. In his posts, Tesfaye accused the government of using “force against the people instead of using peaceful discussion.”

It was ruled that his statements did not fall within the parameters of “free speech.” Tesfaye faces up to 20 years of imprisonment. Read more, via BBC Africa.

DIASPORA—Chuck Davis, the artist credited with introducing African forms of dance to America, passed away on Sunday (May 14) at the age of 80. The cause of his death has not been released

Davis was the director of the African American Dance Ensemble and the popular Dance Africa Festival, which takes place every Memorial Day weekend in Brooklyn. Davis started the festival 44 years ago in May of 1977. Read more on Davis’ life and career, here.

 

Interview

Interview: TOBi Is Making Unapologetic Soul Music

We talk to the Nigerian-Canadian artist about his latest project ELEMENTS, his creative process, mental health and more.

It's a big year for music, and in the midst of many good drops from the motherland and beyond, we caught up with Nigerian-Canadian singer/songwriter TOBi to discuss his recently released 10-track project ELEMENTS.

ELEMENTS is a fusion of old-school soul, contemporary rap sequences, clever lyrical symbols & metaphors. and melancholic vibes which reference TOBi's Nigerian heritage through afrobeats, the reality of his life and the state of the world today. The compilation features production from Nigerian producer Juls on "Dollas and Cents" and "Made Me Everything and Shine."

Below, we also discuss his creative process and passion for mental health with the announcement of an exciting collaboration. "I'm attracted and curious about so many things in life that I can't help but bring [them] into my world and craft," the multi-genre artist says.

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Comedian Munya Chawawa Signs Major Deal with Atlantic Records

Zimbabwean-born, UK-based comedian Munya Chawawa, known for his hilarious online skits, has recently signed a lucrative deal with Atlantic Records.