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Afrofuturist Artist Cyrus Kabiru Preserves the Memory of ‘Black Mamba’ Bikes on the Wane in Kenya

“The bikes need to have a story behind them.”

Little did we know that one of Africa’s leading Afrofuturists Cyrus Kabiru, best known for his tricked out “C-Stunner” specs fashioned from recyclable scraps collected around Nairobi, has another project that he’s been keeping under the radar.


According to Quartz Africa, Kabiru is making it his mission to preserve the memory of Africa’s "Black Mamba" bicycles. These classic roadsters, originating in India and named for their creeping approach on the horizon much like the venomous snake, have been on the decline as urbanization on the continent has made cars and motorbikes preferable modes of transportation.

Cyrus Kabiru Black Mamba bike via Quartz Africa

Still in what he considers the initial stages although the undertaking has been in the works for two years, the Kenyan breakout artist recognized at Quartz Africa’s Innovators Summit this week, has assembled 15 models of the two-wheelers from used bike parts and other discarded materials. Kabiru  exhibited documentary The End of Black Mamba at Smac Gallery in Cape Town last year.

Kabiru, filled with nostalgia for his father’s Black Mamba that he would wheel from door-to-door growing up in his bustling Nairobi slum as well as his grandfather’s untouchable model, is also collecting stories from family and others who share his fondness for Africa’s waning cultural fixture.

“I always say we here in Kenya never had visual art. We used to tell a story instead,” Kabiru says. “Now, I’m trying to make a story with an object. The bikes need to have a story behind them.”

Have a look at more of Kabiru’s far-out creations below, and be sure to watch the trailer for his documentary about the Black Mamba, above.

Cyrus Kabiru Black Mamba bike via Quartz Africa

Cyrus Kabiru Black Mamba bike via Quartz Africa

Cyrus Kabiru Black Mamba bike via Quartz Africa

Cyrus Kabiru Black Mamba bike via Quartz Africa

Cyrus Kabiru Black Mamba bike via Quartz Africa

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Boity's Hometown Takes Centre Stage In Her New Music Video

Boity has released the music video for her latest single 'O18's Finest' which features Maglera Doe Boy and Ginger Trill.

South African rapper Boity has finally shared the visuals for her latest single "018's Finest" featuring Maglera Doe Boy and Ginger Trill. The single comes off Boity's EP 4463, which dropped last December. Marked as a fan favourite "018's Finest" borrows from Boity's hometown dialing code. The 31-year-old rapper hails from Potchefstroom, affectionately known as Potch, a quaint town in South Africa's North West province. The music video highlights the lesser known aspects of hip-hop culture in the otherwise sleepy town.

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