News Brief

Barbie Just Released Its First Hijab-Wearing Doll In Honor of ​Olympic Fencer

Barbie released the new doll as part of its Shero Collection honoring groundbreaking women.

Barbie has unveiled its latest doll today, in honor of U.S. fencing Olympian, Ibtihaj Muhammad, who became the first athlete from the country to compete while wearing hijab at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The new doll is part of Barbie's "shero" collection, inspired by trailblazing women "who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls," says production company Mattel.

"Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented," said Sejal Shah Miller, Barbie's vice marketing representative in a statement. "By honouring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything." Matel joins other major brands like Nike, which announced the launch of the sportswear "Pro Hijab" back in March.

Muhammad took to Twitter to share her excitement about the release of the doll, and explained why the creation of a hijab-wearing Barbie, is a major milestone for her and the young girls who will be inspired by it.

Other dolls in the Shero line include one of award-winning director Ava Duvernay, and celebrated ballet dancer Misty Copeland.

Muslim women who choose to wear hijab are making major strides in a number of industries, in June, Halima Aiden became the first women to wear hijab on the cover of Vogue.

Music

Listen to Femi Kuti's New Song 'As We Struggle Everyday'

Femi explains: "'As We Struggle Everyday' is about how hard people work everyday to make ends meet and still go to vote corrupt politicians into power who are meant to be in jail."

Femi Kuti shares his new single, "As We Struggle Everyday," the latest drop from the upcoming double album Legacy +, a joint endeavor with his son Made Kuti.

"As We Struggle Everyday" is a politically-charged afrobeat tune about people having the voting power to hold their 'leaders' accountable, but often failing to do so. Throughout the song, Femi sings "As we struggle everyday We try to find a better way See these leaders wey suppose jail Na him my people dem dey hail."

Femi explains: "'As We Struggle Everyday' is about how hard people work everyday to make ends meet and still go to vote corrupt politicians into power who are meant to be in jail."

Legacy +, which is due out February 5 from Partisan Records, includes a full album by Femi titled Stop The Hate and an album by his son, Made, titled For(e)ward. The pair have previously shared the singles "Pà Pá Pà" and "Your Enemy" off the upcoming release.

Listen to Femi Kuti's "As We Struggle Everyday" below.

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Music

The Sounds of Somali Supergroup 4 Mars

A seminal anthology of 4 Mars, a 40-member Somali supergroup formed in 1977, is coming out via Ostinato Records.

In 2019, Ostinato Records became the first label granted access to the grand Archives of Radiodiffusion-Télévision de Djibouti (RTD), a vault of secrets and stories from East Africa. Below, Ostinato Records founder Vik Sohonie writes about their new release, Djibouti Archives Vol. 1: Super Somali Sounds from the Gulf of Tadjoura.

In 1977, on the eve of independence of the Republic of Djibouti, a small country on the Red Sea in East Africa, a densely packed archive was pieced together in a quiet corner of the national radio. Over the years, it became a premier but largely unknown African archive housing thousands of master reels and cassettes of the finest East African sounds.

It has endured fires and theft of invaluable recordings. Those scars linger on the delicate films of quarter-inch reels and cassette tapes. It remains one of the most expansive, well-maintained archives in Africa—but also one of the most restrictive. For decades, the archive remained off-limits to foreign entities of any kind.

In 2019, after negotiations spanning many years, Ostinato Records became the first label granted access to the grand Archives of Radiodiffusion-Télévision de Djibouti (RTD), a vault of secrets and stories—from East Africa, Somalia, Ethiopia, and of course Djibouti itself.

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21 Amapiano Songs By Artists From Outside South Africa To Stream Right Now

21 amapiano songs from Nigeria, the UK, Mozambique, Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania to stream right now.

By now, it's an open secret that amapiano is being produced outside of South Africa where it originates. Nigerian producers and artists, mostly, have embraced the sound and are creating and releasing their own interpretations of amapiano and amapiano-inspired songs.

The songs have resulted in cross-cultural sounds and collaborations that, in their own way, serve to unite, celebrate and foster an exchange of the electrifying music scenes that exist throughout the continent. As a result, these fusions have seen a number people casually refer to them as "Afropiano, Afro-amapiano etc" or "gengepiano" (gengetone with amapiano).

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President Joe Biden Ends Trump's Muslim Travel Ban

President Joe Biden has done away with the 2017 Muslim travel ban enforced by the former Trump administration. The travel ban included several African and Middle Eastern countries.