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#AllBlackWithADoek Pays Tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

These South African women are wearing headwraps in honor of Mama Winnie.

Thousands of South African women are paying tribute to the freedom fighter Winnie Madikizela-Mandela today by wearing black clothes and a doek, beret or headscarf. The anti-Apartheid icon, who passed away this week at the age of 81, often embraced big and boldly-coloured headscarfs.

The social media campaign #AllBlackWithADoek was initiated by South Africa's ruling political party, the African National Congress (ANC). This is part of a ten-day period of mourning period, which will conclude with Madikizela-Mandela's funeral on April 14th. Pictures of women, and even a few men, in their headgear have flooded Twitter, along with reflections on the impact of the legendary activist.


While Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is known to many as the wife of Nelson Mandela, she is a hero in her own right. They had only been married for four years when Mandela was banished to Robben Island, leaving Winnie to raise their two children alone. Sensing the power she held, the Apartheid government isolated Winnie, restricting her movements and infiltrating her inner circle with spies. For years, she was subjected to random raids in which her home was ransacked, which escalated to arrests, solitary confinement and torture. She famously recounted her experience in her book 491 Days: Prisoner Number 1323/69.

In spite of this, Madikizela-Mandela remained outspoken about the experience of black South Africans and what it would take to achieve freedom. She stood firm in refusing to compromise with the Apartheid government, even when this garnered criticism and anger from other members of the ANC, particularly after Nelson Mandela became President in 1994. Madikizela-Mandela's history with the ANC is complex at best. By the time of her death, she had become a controversial figure in certain ANC political circles. So, all eyes have been on the party to see how they choose to commemorate her.

Since her passing, ANC leaders have been accused of using Winnie's name to advance their own agendas. Even President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that Winnie would receive a state funeral resulted in a virtual eye roll from Twitter users.

Julius Malema, leader of opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), was not afraid to call out the ANC for the hypocrisy of associating with Madikizela-Mandela only after her death.

"...Those are the people who destroyed Winnie Mandela. They dissociated themselves with Winnie Mandela. We were with her. We were never ashamed of her," he said addressing a crowd in Soweto.

Malema remained friends with Madikizela-Mandela even after he left the ANC to start the EFF. His party marched through Soweto in their own commemoration ceremony this week. Malema's criticism extends to a larger debate over how Madikizela-Mandela will be remembered in South African history: too radical, or radical enough? Either way, the reaction to Mama Winnie's death on Twitter this week proves that she is a liberation hero worthy of commemoration.

Photo by Samuel Martins via Afro Nation

Wizkid, Burna Boy, Megan Thee Stallion & More To Perform at Afro Nation 2022

The world's biggest afrobeats festival adds impressive international names to the roster.

Summer 2022 is gearing up to be the sweetest we've had in years. Adding to the excitement is Afro Nation's 2022 festival to be hosted in European beach haven, Portugal, this July.

As the second phase of lineup announcements reached fans this week, the musical festival seems to be covering all bases and genres. Big names including American R&B singer Chris Brown, rapper Megan Thee Stallion, Nigerian faves Wizkid, Burna Boy, and "Love Nwantiti" crooner CKay, and so many more promise to make this festival one worth spending three days on the beach for. UK breakthrough artists Pa Salieu, ShaSimone and masked phenomenon Midas The Jagaban have recently been announced as performers too.

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Photo: Spark Creative

Meet the Ghanaian-British Designer Behind Janet Jackson's Latest Cover Look

For her most recent cover shoot, Janet Jackson donned a headpiece co-created by Ghanaian-British designer Chrissa Amuah, who tells us more about how she finds inspiration in her parents' homeland.

After rocking a LaviebyCK design by Cameroon's Claude Kameni in her 2018 'Made for Now' music video, Janet Jackson has turned to another talented African creative for her latest look. On the February 2022 cover of Allure Magazine, in which Jackson talks about executive-producing her documentary, Janet, the multiple Grammy-winning artist is pictured wearing an Ògún headpiece, co-designed by Ghanaian-British textile and furniture designer, Chrissa Amuah.

"I’ve always been a fan and respected her craft and work ethic,” Amuah told OkayAfrica. “For Ms Jackson to wear the Ògún in promotion of her new documentary sends a powerful message of enduring brilliance, integrity, and walking in the strength of our true voices.”

Of Ghanaian, Togolese, and Beninese heritage, Amuah was born to Ghanaian parents in London and draws inspiration from the Ghanaian Adinkra symbol in her work as the founder and Creative Director of AMWA Designs, a luxury homeware and interiors brand established in 2014. Making her international debut at the Milan Design Week, she gained worldwide acclaim in 2015, and a few years later, was named “Consumer and Luxury Rising Star” at the 2017 Black British Business Awards.

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BRYAN THE MENSAH On His Debut Album ‘Road to Hastafari’

The Ghanaian rapper narrates the journey of his career in a candid debut laced with personal stories.

BRYAN THE MENSAH is one of the new school acts from Ghana who’s been doing it for a minute. Ever since the arrival of his debut EP in 2017, he was quickly recognized as one of the rising acts in the Ghanaian music scene with a fresh and unique sound—a contemporary rap act but one who fluidly moves between rap, pop, alternative, and fusions of the three, and does so effortlessly.

From then until now he's released four projects in total, all EPs including his critically acclaimed debut Friends with the Sun. His most recentwas 2020’s Not Going Outside, which saw the rapper employ the coronavirus pandemic as its underlying theme. Now, the rapper has decided to level up with the release of his debut album Road to Hastafari.

Bryan actually announced as early as five years ago in that he would be releasing his debut project in 2021, and just before the year came to an end he made good on that promise with an earnest, spirited offering.

As far as full-length projects from contemporary Ghanaian artists come, Road to Hastafari is in a class of its own. Twelve tracks long, with features by M.anifest, buzzing Ghanaian newcomer Black Sherif, Nigerian rappers A-Q and PsychoYP, and rising singer Titi Owusu, RTH is not the conventional African sound. Here, the self-assured rapper with a precise, melodic flow makes it clear that he’s not like anyone else, and he’s not trying to be.

But the album isn’t built on just sonics alone. Road to Hastafari is an album full of personal stories from the rapper that speaks to his journey so far, from family to his love life, and even tales of disrespect that he’s encountered in the music industry. And who better to tell those stories than the rapper himself? We invited BRYAN THE MENSAH to speak to us about his debut album, and the stories behind its creation.

Check out our conversation below.

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