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Afro-Brazil 2014: Pearls Negras' War Cry 'Guerreira'

Rio de Janeiro's Pearls Negras release new track 'Guerreira'


As we gear up for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil 2014, we’ll be taking moments to highlight some select Brazilian tracks that come across our desks. From capoeira music (an accompaniment to the sport) and maracatu to samba and the favela-bred baile funk, the influence of African cultures & sounds on the South American nation’s own arts is immeasurable. In our series Afro-Brazil 2014 we’ll be digging into a few of these ‘ritmos e batidas’ from Brazil.

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After making waves with last year's Biggie Apple mixtape, Brazil's Pearls Negras are gearing for world domination in this music video for "Guerreira." The teen rap trio — comprised of Alice, Jeni and Mari — rep their neighborhood to the fullest as they unleash rapid-fire Portuguese bars over a  heavy, staccato-bass beat that volleys between funk carioca, EDM and trap. Verdant hillsides and lush coastlines serve as a backdrop as Pearls Negras ride around their home of Vidigal, Rio de Janeiro promoting their battle cry single. We can't wait to experience more of their explosive sound and energy. Watch the video for 'Guerreira' and stream Pearls Negras' Biggie Apple mixtape below.

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Image supplied by Candice Chirwa.

In Conversation with Candice Chirwa: 'Menstruation is More than Just Bleeding for Seven Days.'

South African activist Candice Chirwa, the 'Minister of Menstruation', speaks to us about what a period-positive world looks like, the challenges menstruators face even in 2020 and her important advocacy work with QRATE.

It's 2020, and naturally, tremendous advancements have been made across various spheres of society. From the prospect of self-driving cars and drones delivering medicines to rural areas to comparatively progressive politics and historic "firsts" for many disenfranchised groups, we've certainly come a long way. However, in the midst of all that progress, there is still one issue which continues to lag behind considerably and consistently, particularly in less developed countries: menstruation.

Candice Chirwa is a young Black woman on a mission to fiercely change the disempowering narratives and taboos that still shroud the issue of menstruation. The 24-year-old South African activist, who is endearingly known as the "Minister of Menstruation" on social media, wants young girls and women to not only accept but embrace their bodies fully in a society that insists on speaking in hushed tones about a perfectly normal biological process. Both Chirwa's research and advocacy work with the UN and her award-winning NGO, QRATE, has focused on dispelling common myths about menstruating, removing the shame and stigma around it and giving menstruators the knowledge and tools they need to navigate their world through impactful workshops.

And when Chirwa isn't collaborating with Lil-Lets, one of the biggest sanitary product brands on the continent, or co-authoring a bad-ass book titled Perils of Patriarchy, she's dominating the TEDx stage and making sure that her audience, no matter how diverse or varied, leaves the room feeling comfortable and courageous enough to boldly shout the word "vagina".

We caught up with Chirwa to discuss what initially compelled her to become a "period-positive" activist, her continued advocacy work with QRATE and what kind of world she imagines for menstruators.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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The Nigerian Army Has Denied Opening of Deadly Fire on #EndSARS Protesters

Despite considerable footage depicting #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate having been shot at by security forces, the Nigerian military has denied that they were responsible.