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Obama Shares Summer Reading List Featuring African Authors Ahead of His Trip to the Continent

President Barack Obama's 2018 summer reading list includes a number of African literary classics.

Former U.S. president Barack Obama will embark on his first trip to the continent since he left office this week, where he'll visit his ancestral home of Kenya, before heading to South Africa to convene with the Obama Foundation Leaders and deliver the keynote address to mark Nelson Mandela's 100th Birthday.

As if we needed another reason to sorely miss the former leader, Obama has shared his latest summer reading list, ahead of his trip to the continent, with titles from some of Africa's literary greats.

"Over the years since, I've often drawn inspiration from Africa's extraordinary literary tradition," said the former head of state on his Facebook page. "As I prepare for this trip, I wanted to share a list of books that I'd recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa's best writers and thinkers—each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways."


The list includes foundational texts like Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart," which he called "a true classic of world literature," Neslon Mandela's "A Long Walk to Freedom, and A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong'o as well as more contemporary classics such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah and The Return by Hisham Matar, which he described as "a beautifully-written memoir that skillfully balances a graceful guide through Libya's recent history with the author's dogged quest to find his father who disappeared in Gaddafi's prisons."

You can see the full 2018 reading list below, via Barack Obama's Facebook page. Happy reading!

Photo by 2020HHA/Getty Images via Getty Images

Burna Boy's 'Destiny' Makes Biden-Harris Playlist as Inauguration Day Arrives

Burna Boy's 'Destiny' has been featured on the US presidential inauguration playlist which will usher into office President-elect, Joe Biden, and Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris.

Burna Boy's "Destiny" has reportedly been included in the US presidential inauguration playlist. The international Nigerian artist is the only African that features on the 46-track playlist which will usher in the 46th President of the United States of America, Joe Biden and his Vice President, Kamala Harris. The playlist was produced in partnership with Insecure creator Issa Rae's music label, Raedio. The playlist comes ahead of the inauguration ceremony which will be taking place later this evening. Burna Boy also featured on former President Barack Obama's Summer playlist in 2020.

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Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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Still taken from music video on YouTube.

Joeboy Shares Visuals for New Track 'Lonely'

Joeboy has dropped the music video for his latest track 'Lonely'. The endearing track features on his upcoming debut album 'Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic'.

Nigerian artist Joeboy has dropped the visuals for his latest track "Lonely". The new song features on his upcoming debut album Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic which is set to be released on February 4th of this year. The debut album is the official follow-up to Joeboy's debut Love & Light EP which he released back in 2019.
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