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Cover Image for "Abantu/Before Humans" BLK JKS 2021 album.

BLK JKS' Latest Album  'Abantu/Before Humans' is a Sonic Ode to Pan-Africanism

South African punk band BLK JKS’ new album ‘Abantu/Before Humans’ is a must-listen.

The South African alternative band, BLK JKS, has returned with its latest album Abantu/Before Humans. The nine-track album is a sonic ode to the continent of Africa that offers a soul-lifting and punk-electronic experience. Abantu/Before Humans comes after the wildly successful 2019 single "Harare" which saw its music video released in April of this year.

Read: Listen to BLK JKS' New Single Featuring Morena Leraba

Abantu/Before Humans is a long and unapologetic poem that calls for the awakening of Africans to the atrocious ways of living under the capitalist labour force. "Harare" is a track which laments the unemployment plight of Lesotho citizens who have to strategically navigate crossing the borders between South Africa and Lesotho without a passport. The band is known for allowing the various instruments speak for themselves.

The third track "iQ (w) ira — Machine Learning Vol 1." is an enchanting and hypnotic single that requires deep listening. Drawing from childhood memories and games, "Mme Kelapile" on the other hand, captures melancholic longing for all things past. It is the "Mmao Wa Tseba — Nare/Indaba My Children" track that stands out, running for almost ten minutes and touting a smooth heavy bass underpinning rousing Sotho lyrics. The single also serves as a reference to the late traditional healer and internationally renowned philosopher, Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa.

Earlier in the year, the band also formed part of the brave group of artists called #AbahlaliBaseNAC who demonstrated outside South Africa's National Arts Council (NAC) after the government body was reportedly found to have misappropriated over 21 million U.S dollars. BLK JKS added their voices to the collective of artists who were calling for accountability.

Listen to Abantu/ Before Humans on Spotify.

Listen to Abantu/ Before Humans on Apple Music.


It's Official: British Vogue Has Made 2022 The Year of the African Model

The major fashion magazine's February 2022 issue features 9 gloriously Black and African models - and we can't get enough.

Sigh... The Black Woman.

Legendary fashion and lifestyle magazine British Vogue has set the tone and welcomed in a new era with their latest cover, celebrating Black women in all of their glory. In what is arguably their most diverse, Afro-centric issue to date, the February 2022 issue of the popular magazine features 9 glorious (and Black) African models. Their latest issue, which celebrates "The Rise of The African Model", features South Sudanese models Adut Akech, Akon Changkou, and Anok Yai, Ethiopian beauty Akway Amar, Senegalese-Italian Dibaa Maty, Nigeria's Jumbo Janet, Nyaguaa from Sierre Leone, Australian Abény Nhial, and American model Majesty Amare.

Photographer Rafael Pavarotti captured the group's beauty, and British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful's vision beautifully. On the cover, Enninful says, "I saw all these incredible models from across Africa who were just so vivacious and smart. These girls are redefining what it is to be a fashion model. He went on to speak about the soon-to-be-historic cover on his Instagram, writing, "No longer just one or two dark-skinned girls mingled backstage, but a host of top models took a meaningful, substantial and equal place among the most successful women working in fashion today. It means so much to me to see it."

Echoing Edward's words and highlighting the importance of having diverse models on both sides - the model and the viewer - model Adut told the fashion magazine, "When I first started modeling internationally... I would literally be the only Black, dark-skinned girl in the show. There were no Sudanese models, no African models," the 22-year-old model said, "Now, I go to a show and there are girls from my country, girls from Africa who look like me. So yes, there has been a huge change. It has gone from me being the only one at a show, to 15 or 20 of us. I'm just so happy that we are finally at this place. I was tired of always feeling out of place, and feeling like an outcast."

Social media lost it when the cover dropped, many sharing the emotional impact seeing so many Black models on an international cover has over them.

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Nigeria's Government Has Lifted Its Twitter Ban

We chat to two Nigerians working in media about the restoration of Twitter across the country.