News Brief

Read Beyoncé’s Letter to Nelson Mandela Ahead of Her Performance in South Africa

Queen B pens a letter to Madiba.

Beyoncé recently shared a letter to late anti-Apartheid struggle hero and former South African president Nelson Mandela. In the letter, which can be read in its entirety on Queen B's official website, the R&B star recalls meeting Madiba for the first time in 2004 and visiting his cell in Robben Island where him and other struggle heroes were imprisoned by the apartheid government.


She also acknowledges the impact the life of Madiba has had on her, writing:

"Your kindness and gratitude for every experience, and your ability to forgive are lessons I have learned and will pass on to my three children. My entire family holds you in high regard."

The artist wrote that it's an honor for her to travel to South African this week "in celebration of you and your efforts to write so many wrongs." Towards the end of the letter, B writes:

"As we celebrate the Global Citizen: Mandela 100, honoring your centennial year, I promise you that we have made your dreams our own. Your work and your sacrifices were not in vain. I will cherish every moment shared in your presence and use the lessons learned from you as fuel to stir positive ideas and solutions."

Queen B and her rapper hubby Jay-Z will perform at the Global Citizen: Mandela 100 concert this Sunday, alongside the likes of Ed Sheeran, Cassper Nyovest, D'Banj, Femi Kuti, Pharrell, Sho Madjozi, Tiwa Savage, Usher and a few more.

Read Beyoncé's letter to Mandela here.

News Brief
Photo: Single cover art courtesy of Emerald East

Rema Welcomes 2021 With New Single 'Bounce'

The Don Jazzy produced track reminds us of why the Nigerian singer-songwriter is topping charts.

Nigerian golden boy Rema took his time on deciding how to start of 2021—and we're glad he did.

The afropop hitmaker is out with his first project of the year, "Bounce", after stunning fans with word of an upcoming album, and the cooks in this kitchen have not disappointed.

Keeping it in the Mavin Records family, legendary producer Don Jazzy sprinkles his magic on the track, while undoubtedly motivating the young singer-songwriter to be his best self. And with this track being like nothing we've heard from Rema before, one could say Jazzy succeeded. "Bounce", fast-paced and fierce, is a love song dedicated to bewitchingly beautiful and blessed bottoms. The candid declaration and hip shaking beat are a force duo and we can't help but love it.

Of the single and collaboration with head honcho Don Jazzy, Rema says, "This record was inspired by the luscious and magnificent body of the African woman. Furthermore, I'm really excited about this tune because it's my first single with the legendary Don Jazzy."

Honestly, when you start the year off with a banger, you get to make songs about butts.

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Photo courtesy of Mariama Diallo

Interview: Sincerely Ria Is Giving Guinean Fashion Its Flowers

And designer Mariama Diallo's NYFW debut celebrates the vibrancy and uniqueness of Guinea and its Fulani culture.

Guinea-born supermodel, actress, and activist Mariama Diallo is a face you've likely seen all over social media.

With modelling campaigns with the likes of Savage x Fenty by Rihanna, Kim Kardashian's KKW Beauty, and features in Vogue, Marie Claire, NYLON magazines, the model is commanding her space in the industry and making her way centerstage. And, Mariama's strong online presence and following has certainly made her a popular member of the global village too.

With the aforementioned achievements under her belt, the 28-year-old supermodel presented herself as an eager and excited talent within the fashion industry. Now, Mariama's talents and ambitions have attracted her to a role behind the scenes. And showing the power of intention, the role has already taken her to places she only dreamed of prior.

Debuting as the fashion designer of self-financed fashion line Sincerely Ria at this year's New York Fashion Week is but a peek into what the model has to show of herself and share with the world.

The new collection, The Oshun, celebrates not only female beauty and the many ways that it manifests itself but also the magic of womanhood. Named after Oshun, the African goddess of femininity, fertility, beauty, and love, the collection is wrapped within the warmth and divinity of its namesake. The brand follows an ethos of inclusivity, community, and the power behind being beautiful because you have decided to be. Challenging the notion that beauty is always to be accompanied by pain, Mariama and Sincerely Ria are celebrating the rejection of beauty and body standards and expectations.

The Oshun line is a nod to the opulence of Mariama's African heritage and Guinea's Fulani culture, with special attention to the use of brilliant colors, exciting designs, and stunning silhouettes. Motivated to be seen and to captivate, the emphasis on Black beauty within the clothing is certainly translated beautifully, however, stylistically available to all. Uniqueness is welcomed and encouraged. And like Mariama says herself, "You deserve to celebrate yourself unapologetically."

The line debuted at New York Fashion Week, very appropriately, on Valentine's Day of this year and love certainly was the theme. Already boasting a following of over 8,000, the brand's instagram account has shown nothing short of praise and excitement for what we've seen from Mariama, and for what's to come.

We spoke with the Guinean supermodel about the journey to Fashion Week and her love for and emphasis on community and shared experiences.

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(Youtube)

The 5 Best East African Songs of the Month (February)

Featuring Rayvanny, Siverstone Barz x Victoria Kimani, Spice Diana x Fik Fameica, and more.

The month of love featured an array of incredible releases from East Africa's pop royalty as well as promising newcomers.

Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Focalistic Shares Visuals For ‘Ke Star (Remix)’ Featuring Vigro Deep and Davido

Watch the music video for 'Ke Star (Remix)' by Focalistic, Vigro Deep and Davido.