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Afrikan Boy Explores His Dual Nigerian-UK Identity In The Visuals For 'MIA'

Nigerian-Londoner Afrikan Boy explores his dual cultural identities in the video for "MIA," the latest single off The ABCD LP.


Nigerian-Londoner Afrikan Boy comes through with the new music video for The ABCD single "MIA," an acronym for "Made In Africa." The track sees Afrikan Boy and bandmate Adio West exploring the relationship between the rapper's Nigerian heritage and United Kingdom roots over an infectious synth melody. Speaking on the single's backstory, Afrikan Boy writes:

"'Made in Africa' for me is one of the special tracks on my album. The inspiration behind the track was inspired by my realisation that if I didn't learn more about my language 'Yoruba' from where I'm from Nigeria then I couldn't have a conversation with my relatives back home. This track also talks about having dual cultural identities being made in Africa and born in the UK and my experiences growing up as an Afrikan boy in the London schooling system. [The] message for this song is simple KNOW THY SELF!"

You can find "MIA" on Afrikan Boy's The ABCD LP alongside previous singles "Y.A.M.," “Dear Mama” and “Hit Em Up.” For more, revisit our Okayafrica TV episode of The Questions with Afrikan Boy. Catch the Nigerian-London rapper on his current European tour dates (listed underneath), including a couple of shows supporting Nneka. Watch Afrikan Boy's music video for "MIA," premiering here, below.

Afrikan Boy European Tour Dates

Friday 17 The Harley, Sheffield, UK

Saturday 18 April Start The Bus, Bristol, UK

Sunday 19 April Supporting NNEKA Stocznia Klub B90, Gdansk, Poland

Monday 20 April Supporting NNEKA Proxima, Warsaw, Poland

Friday 1st May Bloomsbury Bowling London

Wednesday 13th Algiers Festival Algeria

Saturday 16th May Great Escape Festival Brighton

Sunday 24 May Afro-Pfingsten Festival, Winterthur, Switzerland

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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