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Accra's Chale Wote Street Art Festival Takes Over Jamestown [Gallery]

Photos of West Africa's largest arts festival Chale Wote Street Arts Festival, which took place in Accra on August 23rd and 24th.

The fourth edition of West Africa's largest independent public arts festival, the Chale Wote Street Art Festival was held in Accra this past weekend. An estimated crowd of over 10,000 descended on the historic port city of Jamestown over the course of the annual two day celebration organized by alternative arts outfit Accra [dot] Alt to enjoy live street painting, art installations, boxing showcases, graffiti murals, experimental theater, fashion parades, spoken word, extreme sports, live music and more. Founded in 2010, Accra [dot] Alt has been leading the charge in Ghana's creative arts renaissance, and Chale Wote is the crown jewel in their expanding roster of dynamic cultural programming. Held under the theme Death: An Eternal Dream Into Limitless Rebirth, the festival was also host to over 200 locally and internationally-based visual artists, poets, filmmakers, vendors, photographers, DJ's, and performance artists each with their own diverse interpretations of the festival's vision. Peep the gallery above for a sampling of the vibrant artistry that was on display during the festival. Check out Accra [dot] Alt's Facebook and Instagram pages for more photos.

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7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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