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'Chimurenga Chronic' Pan-African Gazette [Review]

'Chimurenga Chronic,' is a new quarterly Pan-African gazette featuring new voices in the latest art, opinion, photography and African news.


Writing about Africa has always been a fraught business. When we tell stories about the continent, Booker Prize-winner Hilary Mantel once observed, “we can’t speak without an imported frame of reference, carving up the years into the pre-colonial, post-colonial era: once upon a time in the golden age, once upon a time the dark ages that followed.” In each case the story of our everyday lives is curtailed towards simplicity and this in an issue the Chronic, a Pan-African quarterly gazette published by Chimurenga, seeks to rectify.

In his lucid essay for the Rhodes Journalism Review, ‘Diagnosing the Chimurenga Chronic,’ Cameroonian founder and editor Ntone Edjabe begins by asking the following questions: “In which ways do people live their lives with joy and creativity and beauty, sometimes amidst suffering and violence, and sometimes perpendicular to it? How do people fashion routines and make sense of the world in the face of the temporariness or volatility that defines so many of the arrangements of social existence here?” To be sure these are pertinent questions, the Chronic goes to some length to try and provide answers by employing a range of writing (reportage, memoir, essays, interviews) and visual (photography, illustrations) techniques.

Stacy Hardy (‘A brief history of monuments’) and Dominique Malaquais (‘Monumental failures’) write on the subject of monuments and how they fix contested histories in stone. In a no holds barred interview Jean-Pierre Bekolo Obama, the renegade Cameroonian filmmaker, advocates for the re-colonisation of his home country: “let’s face it: we’re in over our heads. We need the white folks to come back.” Elsewhere, Yemisi Ogbe writes a personal essay on ‘Nigeria’s superstar men of God’ and Paula Akugizibwe travels back in time to the 1970s in search of the sound which has taken over the Zambian Copperbelt: zamrock.

Far reaching in scope, the articles featured range from analysing systems of governance to investigating the business of crime writing in Nigeria, Kenya and India. “We have to write the everyday, every day” Edjabe concludes his essay and that perhaps, is the singular theme which threads through the Chronic.

Print copies of the Chronic are available here.

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Watch Solo’s Music Video for ‘Two by Two’

The video shows highlights from Solo's wedding.

This morning, Solo shared the visuals for "Two by Two," the lead single to the South African rapper's latest album C.Plenty.Dreams.

"Two by Two" features BETR Gang member, Solo's long-time collaborator and producer, Buks. "Two by Two" sees the rapper open up about his admiration for his wife and admits he will always seek guidance from his parents.

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Listen to Shane Eagle’s New Mixtape ‘Dark Moon Flower’

Shane Eagle's highly anticipated mixtape is here.

Fans have been waiting for the release of Shane Eagle's mixtape Dark Moon Flower since it was announced three weeks ago.. The South African rapper's project is finally live on all streaming platforms. The project is a follow-up to Never Grow Up., an EP Shane Eagle dropped in the last days of 2018. Shane Eagle released his debut album, Yellow, in 2017, and has been successfully running in his own lane ever since.

Dark Moon Flower, unlike the rapper's previous projects, is heavy on features. "It's a bridge between two worlds", Shane Eagle told Apple Music on the album's liner notes. "It shows that there's no measurable level of what you can achieve, just 'cause of where you're from."

Artists from the continent and abroad appear on the mixtape to assist Shane in telling his story. Each song on the project, says the 23-year-old, represents a year of his life. Nasty C appears on "PARIS," one of the strongest songs on the project, which is generally a great listen. Other guests include Santi, PatricKxxLee, theMIND, Bas and many others.

Shane Eagle - BLACK (Official Video) www.youtube.com


About the features, the rapper says:

"Even though it all ties in together, the whole project isn't just one sound. The production is so layered that each sound peaks depending on your mood. There are different textures because of the features and that gives it different moods. Like, "Whispering To the Moon" with The Hics just adds that pop of colour to the record. With my first two projects I had no features, I probably had one feature across my debut album and EP. Approaching these features was kind of like going outside and playing with my friends. I feature everybody off an organic process and I had to experience a real moment with you. These are some of my favourite artists in the world and I think it's just ridiculous that it all happened on my project. Then the producers. Some who've worked on some of the greatest projects like Forest Hills Drive or Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, alongside producers that worked on Yellow by Shane Eagle. Having them all on one project has some significance. This is basically me saying 'When I do features, look who I want to be around.'"

Dark Moon Flower sees Shane rapping about a range of topics, meandering between sentimental and egotistical. Speaking on the personal subject matter, the emcee says:

"Instead of letting my experiences become my downfall, I kind of use them as my strength. On songs like "Evolve", being able to scream and let that out means when I'm done recording it doesn't affect me. It's therapeutic, and being able to rap those lyrics empowers me and also empowers the listener at the end of the day. It does take something for me to create those records 'cause sometimes you need to say the right thing for someone to get the message. On 'Story Time' especially, the production is very hard and there's almost this futuristic way of telling a story. I'm tapping into that when I say 'I had to lose my father in order to find the keys to the cage.' So the thing that I lost actually gave me direction. I just tell my true life story and put it into the music, that's what's gotten me to this point."

Listen to Dark Moon Flower below:



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Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Nigerian Artist Ben Enwonwu's Painting 'Christine' was Recently Auctioned Off in London

The owner of the painting Googled the signature on the artwork and only then realized its enormous value.

The late Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu is considered the "Father of African Modernism". His 1974 painting of the Ife princess, Adetutu "Tutu" Ademiluyi, was dubbed the "African Mona Lisa" by veteran Nigerian author Ben Okri. The painting of the the young royal of Ife, an ancient Yoruba city in the south-western region of Nigeria, was discovered last year in a London flat after having disappeared for close to four decades. The artwork was then sold a few weeks later for a record-breaking USD 1.6 million More recently, his 1971 painting entitled "Christine", was auctioned off in London after the family who owed it Googled the signature on the painting and realized its enormous value.

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Still taken from YouTube.

Watch TOBi Perform 'Beige' on A COLORS SHOW

The Nigerian-Canadian artist performs his new laid-back single at the Colors Studios.

Nigerian-Canadian artist TOBi, born Oluwatobi Ajibolade, is a young and talented rap/soul musician on the rise. In May of this year, he released his debut album entitled STILL, a 13-track project which is an exploration of both joy and pain within male vulnerability. The debut album followed his 7-track mixtape FYi, which he released three years prior. Most recently, the artist released a single entitled "Beige" which he performed on A COLORS SHOW.

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