News Brief

The Stories You Need to Know

Get your daily fix of what's hot on the continent and the diaspora.

Arts and Culture:


DIASPORA— Zanzibar-born artist Lubaina Himid and Jamaican-British painter Hurvin Anderson have been shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize for excellence in art. The age restriction has been lifted this year, and for the first time ever, all of the nominees are over the age of 40. At 62, Himid is the oldest person to be shortlisted for the prize. Read more on the story here.

DIASPORA—Nigerian-born spoken-word poet, writer and mental health advocate, Bassey Ikpi will have her memoir published with Harper Perennial. The book will chronicle the challenges she’s faced as a black woman living with bipolar II disorder and anxiety. The book, entitled, Making Friends With Giants, is due out in Fall of 2018. Read more about its conception in this article by her collaborator, Eric Smith.

EGYPT— Saad Mohammed of Belqina, Egypt has spent the last three years writing, what he believes, is the largest Quran in the world. Mohammed has written the 700-meter book entirely by hand and is looking to submit it for the Guinness World Record, but he needs a little help doing so. Read the full story via BBC Africa.

DIASPORA— Prolific Nigerian artist Kehinde Wiley’s latest exhibition “Trickster” opens today (May 5) at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City. The show will run until June 17.

“In Trickster, Wiley explores the range of ways that artists engage with and draw from the world around them,” read a press release. “He employs the mythological trickster trope––existent in nearly every culture’s folklore––to not only examine how artists disrupt the status quo and change the way in which we think, but as a signifier of how people of color navigate both real and symbolic social boundaries inherent to their blackness.” Read the full press statement here.

Music:

NIGERIA—Wizkid has hinted at a new collaboration with Future for his upcoming album Sounds From the Other Side. ‘Big up the hommie big, Future! We got some heat on the way," he wrote in a tweet on Monday.

Wizkid is yet to announce a release date for his album, but according to Nigerian Entertainment Today, the project will also boast guest appearances from Alicia Keys, Sean Paul and Ty Dolla Sign.

SOUTH AFRICA— The All Africa Music Awards (Afrima) has partnered with the African Union (AU) for this year’s award show, with the mission of telling African stories through a showcase of the continent’s rich musical heritage. The plans for the show were unveiled on Tuesday (May 2) in South Africa.

The AU’s Head of Culture, Angela Martins, praised Afrima for its role in championing African arts on a global scale. “Afrima has been able to mobilise millions of people and renowned artists from the five regions of Africa,” she said. “Afrima celebrates artists, musicians, managers and producers. In 2016, it awarded and recognised the contributions that Manu Dibango, King Sunny Ade and Papa Wemba have made to African music.” Read the full story via the Independent Online.

Sports:

DIASPORA— Nike is developing a new sneaker design to help three of the world’s leading long and medium-distance runners break the 2-hour marathon barrier. Distance runners,  Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, and Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea and have been handpicked for the campaign and are currently taking part in test-runs to help develop the performance wear. You can read a full profile on the runners and the project via Runnersworld.com.

Politics:

SOMALIA—The youngest member of Somalia's cabinet, Abas Abdullahi Sheikh, was shot dead on Thursday after being mistaken for an Islamist militant, reports BBC Africa. The 31-year-old minister was killed by Somali forces in his vehicle, just outside of the presidential palace in Mogadishu. According to BBC Africa, Sheikh became Somalia's youngest MP in November and became a cabinet minister in February, when the country declared its new president, Abdullahi Mohammed Farmaajo.

Sheikh was born in Dadaab refugee camp before achieving political success, and was an inspiration to many young Somalis. Below is a short clip from TedxMogadishu of Sheikh answering the question, “what can you do for your country?”

popular
Still from YouTube.

Watch the Accompanying Visuals to Blaq Jerzee and Wizkid's New Track 'Arizona'

Blaq Jerzee takes his collaboration with Wizkid to the desert in this new music video.

Blaq Jerzee has just dropped his new collaboration with Wizkid titled "Arizona" along with the accompanying visuals.

The Nigerian superstars are definitely hitting the ground running and setting the pace for what fans can expect music-wise this year.

Keep reading...
Interview
Kel-P. Image courtesy of the artist.

Interview: Producer Kel-P On His Rise, Making 'African Giant' & More

We speak with the buzzing Nigerian producer about his influences, his extensive work with Burna Boy on African Giant, Wizkid, upcoming project with Future, and more.

For beatmaker Kel-P, the road to royalty seems inevitable. In just three years, the producer has managed to work with both Wizkid and Burna Boy, the latter of whom he helped in crafting his recently Grammy-nominated album African Giant.

Shortly following his work with Burna, Kel-P went on to collaborate with Wizkid on both "Ease Your Mind" and "Mine" from the recent SoundMan Vol. 1 EP, for which he seamlessly tapped into wider pallets such as jazz and reggae.

Now, Kel-P is searching further afield. With a constantly evolving sonic-offering and several collaborations with US artists on the way, the beatmaker has his eye firmly on foreign markets. We caught up with him to discuss his rise to afrobeats prominence, working on African Giant and SoundMan Vol. 1, Grammy nods and the recent interest in African genres beyond the continent.

Keep reading...
popular
Courtesy of Universal Music Group.

In Conversation with Daniel Kaluuya and Melina Matsoukas: 'This isn't a Black Bonnie and Clyde film—our stories are singular, they're ours.'

'Queen and Slim' lands in South Africa.

Melina Matsoukas and Daniel Kaluuya are everything their surroundings at the opulent Saxon Hotel are not—down-to-earth and even comedic at times. Despite the harsh lights and cameras constantly in their faces, they joke around and make the space inviting. They're also eager to know and pronounce the names of everyone they meet correctly. "It's Rufaro with an 'R'? Is that how you say it?" Kaluuya asks me as he shakes my hand.

Matsoukas, a two-time Grammy award winning director and Kaluuya, an A-list actor who's starred in massive titles including Black Panther and Get Out, have every reason to be boastful about their achievements and yet instead, they're relatable.

The duo is in South Africa to promote their recent film Queen Slim which is hitting theaters today and follows the eventful lives of a Black couple on the run after killing a police officer. It's a film steeped in complexity and layered themes to do with racism, police brutality and of course Black love.

We caught up with both of them to talk about just what it took from each of them to bring the powerful story to the big screen.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Keep reading...
popular
Installation view of Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara © The Metropolitan Museum of Art 2020, photography by Anna-Marie Kellen.

The Met's New Exhibition Celebrates the Rich Artistic History of the Sahel Region

'Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara' is an enxtensive look into the artistic past of the West African region.

West Africa's Sahel region has a long and rich history of artistic expression. In fact, pieces from the area, which spans present-day Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, date all the way back to the first millennium. Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara, a new exhibition showing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, dives into this history to share an expansive introduction to those who might be unfamiliar with the Sahel's artistic traditions.

"The Western Sahel has always been a part of the history of African art that has been especially rich, and one of the things that I wanted to do with this exhibition, that hasn't done before, is show one of the works of visual art...and present them within the framework of the great states that historians have written about that developed in this region," curator Alisa LaGamma tells Okayafrica. She worked with an extensive team of researchers and curators from across the globe, including Yaëlle Biro, to bring the collection of over 200 pieces to one of New York City's most prestigious art institutions.

Keep reading...

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.