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Black Activists Attempt to Remove Congolese Statue from Dutch Museum

A group of Black human rights activists, who want to reclaim stolen African artefacts from European museums, have been arrested after reportedly attempting to remove a sacred Congolese funeral statue from a Dutch museum.

A Black activist group, led by Congolese born Mwazulu Diyabanza, has been arrested after they livestreamed the removal of a Congolese funeral statue from Afrika Musuem in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Diyabanza spoke on behalf of the group which is reportedly part of a movement that aims to reclaim artefacts from European museums stolen during colonisation.


READ: Mexican Government Returns Stolen Bronze Sculpture to Nigeria

The activist group paid to enter the museum and then went on to record the action. Security guards then allegedly watched the human rights group as they removed the Congolese funeral statue. The police were subsequently alerted by security as they did not want to damage the statue in the midst of a row with the group. Diyabanza and group members were then arrested and handcuffed a few minutes after they existed the museum.

Diyabanza's actions coincide with recent news that Belgium has finally agreed to return Congolese Patrice Lumbamba's tooth to his family after years of petitions by his daughter, Juliana Lumbamba. The tooth is the only remaining body part of Congo's first fearless Prime Minister who was murdered in a coup on 17 January 1961. "The two front teeth were taken away by Belgian police officer Gérard Soete, then based in the Congo, who was involved in the grim, almost ritualistic disposal of the deposed Congolese prime minister's body and that of his associates," writes Percy Zvomuya of New Frame.

The rise in police brutality in cases such as those of George Floyd and Jacob Blake have resulted in increasing calls for justice for Black people under the Black Lives Matter movement. Reclaiming sacred artefacts from museums is part of the call which French President Emmanuel Macron committed to in 2017 saying that France would return items of cultural heritage to sub-Saharan Africa.

In June of this year, Diyabanza and five group members were arrested for stealing a similar funeral artefact from a Parisian museum. The group face up to seven years in prison and a fine of €100,000. Diyabanza has created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the fine. Diyabanza also stated that the act was "part of the recovery of our artworks that were all acquired by looting, robbery, violence during Belgium's rule of the West African country.

European countries have historically returned artefacts on their own terms. Ethopian artefacts were returned by Queen Elizabeth in 1965 and in 2017, the British Museum entered into talks to return artefacts to Nigeria and Benin.

In 2002, Saartjie Baartman's bodily remains were returned to South Africa 200 years after the Khoisan woman was exhibited as a "freak show" because of her naturally curvaceous African anatomy. The refusal by colonizing countries to return indigenous artefacts is yet another depiction of political power and the deliberate act to maintain colonial power hundreds of years after its end.

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Watch Wizkid and Tems Perform Their Global Hit 'Essence' Live on Fallon

Take a look at the Nigerian stars' latest stop, as they take their chart-topping Grammy-nominated single around the world.

Nigerian singer and songwriter WizKid was joined by fellow Nigerian pop sensation Tems this week, to perform the duo's smash hit "Essence" live on The Tonight Show: Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The single, off of Wizkid's 2020 Grammy-nominated masterpiece Made In Lagos, was also nominated for a Grammy in the Best Global Music Album and Performance categories respectively. Due to the travel restrictions recently imposed on African countries because of the latest COVID-19 variant, the soulful rendition was performed from an empty stadium, instead of live from Fallon's New York City studio.

Made In Lagos has not left the charts since its release in October 2020, and the success continues to rain in for Wizkid, as the afrobeats star's project recently made history. During his European leg of his Made In Lagos tour, the singer was honored by London's infamous O2 music arena for being the first African musician to sell out 3 shows in a row.

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After being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Art Basel Miami returned in person to celebrate the arts, bringing many viewers from around the world to the city for a 3-day event at the Miami Convention Center. Hundreds of art purveyors filled the building for a time of conversation, art, and inspiration – all while adhering to this yea's mask-wearing requirements. The city of Miami bubbled as hotels, restaurants, and bars were the epicenter of entertainment, boasting lavish parties with celebrities from across the country taking part in the action.

An artist who caught our attention was Serge Attukwei Clottey from Ghana, who presented his work at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel titled, The Bodies Left Behind. Clottey, who’s best known for repurposing plastic Kufuor gallons in his artwork as a means of exploring issues like global warming, water scarcity, and other environmental issues, staged a month-long exhibition, in partnership with the hotel. It allowed the artist and his team to further dive into the issue of global warming and water scarcity, throughout the hotel. The exhibition left guests of the hotel curious about his work.

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Nigeria’s LONDON Is Producing Afro Sounds of the Future

With a fresh Grammy nod and production work for big names like Wizkid, Rema, Johnny Drille, Ayra Starr and Tiwa Savage, the young beat smith's career is as bright as ever.

You may have heard his tag on your favorite afrobeats hits, it's so catchy that producers from other parts of the world have attempted to steal it.

Kaduna-bred star hitmaker LONDON is known for his futuristic and innovative fresh take on afrobeats. With bangers like “Gyrate” by Wizkid, “Koroba” by Tiwa Savage and “Soundgasm” by Rema under his belt, it’s crazy to think his journey as a music producer only started in 2018.

Born Michael Ovie Hunter as an only child in London, England to a Hausa mom and British dad, then raised in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria, producer LONDON’s journey into music production isn't exactly far-fetched. He started out with a passion for graphic design before experimenting with keyboards and drums at his church, where he recorded melodies to impress his friends at school. Like many Nigerian artists, LONDON got his start making music at church where many of his family members were heavily involved in the choir . He first downloaded Fruity Loops Studio software on his laptop in 2018 but he felt discouraged because couldn’t figure out how to use it. After hanging around his friend's studio and several Youtube tutorials later, LONDON finally understood the whole music production ‘thing.’

LONDON’s early compositions caught the attention of veteran Nigerian music producer BabyFresh, the architect behind some of Nigeria’s biggest afro pop hits in the past decade such as “‘Allover” by Tiwa Savage, “Problem” by Reekado Banks and “Adaobi” by the Mavins. He took him under his wing and taught him the tricks of the trade in music production. This brought LONDON closer to the Mavin Records family where Baby Fresh is an in-house producer, ultimately leading to his big break in the industry.

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A LÁOLÚ Artwork of Breonna Taylor Is Up For Auction​

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