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okay acoustic: Watch Baaba Maal Perform 'Kalaajo' and 'Mbaay Mbaay'

For our latest episode of okay acoustic, the Senegalese icon performs soothing renditions of two of his songs.

Senegalese legend Baaba Maal is largely known for his soaring voice and delicate acoustic compositions.

For his most recent album, The Traveller, Baaba Maal teamed up with producer Johan Hugo to create a modern combination of Fulani vocal melodies with electronic pop beats. Last year, the Senegalese star took a turn towards the film industry, essentially becoming 'the voice' of Wakanda for the highly-successful Black Panther movie and its soundtrack.

For our latest episode of okay acoustic, Baaba Maal performs soothing, stripped-down renditions of two of his songs, "Kalaajo" and "Mbaay Mbaay."

Watch below.


okay acoustic: Baaba Maal www.youtube.com


Credits:
Producer: Greg Poole
Music recorded and mixed by: Gabe MG
Audio: Pro Audio Connection

Camera: Sam Henriques, Greg Poole

Edit: Israel Nava

News Brief

Akon Confirms Agreement For His New City In Senegal, 'Akon City'

It's official, Akon is developing a new city in Senegal.

Akon is developing his own city in Senegal.

The musician and entrepreneur confirmed the signing of the agreement for Akon City earlier this week in an Instagram post. "Just finalized the agreement for AKON CITY in Senegal. Looking forward to hosting you there in the future," he wrote.

Akon had previously talked about his plans to launch a "Crypto City" in Senegal which would run on his own cyptocurrency, AKoin.

He's also been working on initiatives like the Lighting Africa Project, which aims to bring electricity to homes in West Africa through solar power.

Akon explained his plans in more detail last year in an interview with Nick Cannon: ""It's all renewable, the Akon-tainment solar city," he mentions. "It's a 10-year building block so we're doing it in stages. We started construction in March and stage two is going to be 2025."

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Photo: Tjeerd Braat. Courtesy of Marieme.

Watch Marieme & Melanie Faye's Beautiful Acoustic Video For 'Be The Change'

A vibrant, stripped-down new video for the highlight track from her Marieme EP.

Senegalese singer-songwriter Marieme has been revisiting songs from her self-titled EP for a new visual project.

"Be The Change," one of the standouts from that Marieme EP, is an uplifting composition about holding ourselves accountable for our actions. The Senegalese artist is now sharing a new and alluring acoustic video version of that song accompanied by Melanie Faye, which we're premiering here today.

"'Be The Change' is a song I wrote with Danny Burke that was a part of my debut EP," Marieme tells OkayAfrica, "This song is very special to me because I know it gives people hope. I am guilty of saying I'm going to do something and never do it, even if it's beneficial to humanity. We all need reminders to do better, and be held accountable to our words and intentions. It has become a sort of anthem and call to action for some and I'm grateful for that, because it means people are listening and are ready."

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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