Culture

Costa Rica Just Elected Its First Black Female Vice President

Epsy Campbell Barr is the first black, female vice president in Latin American history.

Epsy Campbell Barr has just made history.

The Costa Rican economist, politician and author is the first black person and the first woman ever to become vice president in her country, and the first black woman to do so in Latin American history.

Campbell Barr, who is one of the founders of the ruling party Citizen Action Party (PAC) will be second in command to president-elect Carlos Alvarado Quesada won the election in a landslide victory on Monday. She previously ran for the position back in 2006, and she served in the legislature from 2002-2006, reports TeleSur.

"It would not be the first only in Costa Rica, but in Latin America," Campbell Barr proclaimed to CRHoy on Sunday. "It will be a responsibility not only to represent people of African descent but to represent all women and men in the country, a country that gives us all the same opportunities," she added.


Born in San Jose, Campbell Barr is a third generation Costa Rican of Jamaican descent, she is named in honor of her paternal grandmother who emigrated to Costa Rica from Jamaica.

Campbell Barr follows in the footsteps of Costa Rica's former high-standing political officials including Thelma Curling, the first Afro-Costa Rican legislator, Victoria Garron the first vice-president and Laura Chinchilla the country's first female president.

The vice president-elect has made it a point to highlight the role of women in fostering growth Costa Rica. Ahead of her win, Campbell Barr gave an address, urging her fellow citizens to support equality and inclusion. "I want to invite you to vote on April 1 to build an inclusive, transparent Costa Rica, a Costa Rica for all people, it is for us, it is for Costa Rica."

Zlatan "Zanku (Leg Work)" music video.

Is Zanku Set to Be the New Dance Craze of 2019?

Breaking down what could become the year's new dance craze.

With last week's release of the video for "Zanku (Leg Work)," Zlatan Ibile has consecrated himself as the originator of the newest dance craze in afropop.

The specific origin of the name 'zanku' is uncertain but the dance itself, says Ibile in this interview from December, is one he noticed from his visits to The Shrine in Lagos and refashioned into a trend.

The best zanku, so far, works best in beats combining repeated foot tapping or pounding, with hands held aloft, and finished with a flourish—a stylised thrusting of one foot as if to knock down a door. Variations include a faster footwork, mimicry of slicing and screwing hand motions and the brandshing of a white kerchief, all of which is done with vigour and attitude.

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WurlD. Image courtesy of the artist.

WurlD: Nigeria's Most Inspired Star?

We talk to the Nigerian artist about creating a sound that connects to the quintessential Afropolitan mind.

WurlD, the blue-haired singer with a killer voice and deep songwriting, is a wonder. His music sits at the intersection between African vibes and Western delivery. 2018 has been a huge for him, with a deal with Universal Music ensuring that his art has received consistency in release.

Born Sadiq Onifade, the Afro-Fusion artist has had an inspiring journey, moving from the streets of Mushin in Lagos, to the US, from where much of his music has been conceived. The complete creative embrace of that cross-cultural influence has become his strongest point, with songs such as "Show You Off" and "Contagious" offering a unique angle to his sound.

"Moving to America for me gave me the opportunity to learn music and I fell in love with songwriting," WurlD says of his influence. "Atlanta (where I lived) is a creative hub when it comes to songwriting and producing, some of the biggest songs in the world were produced in Atlanta, people round the world go to Atlanta to go meet producers and songwriters in Atlanta. There, I fell in love with music and songwriting."

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Still from YouTube.

France Still Doesn't Know How Racism Works and the Vilification of Nick Conrad Proves It

The French rapper is currently on trial for his music video "Hang White People," which depicts what life might be like if the racial tables were turned.

When the music video "Pendez les Blancs" ("Hang White people") by French rapper Nick Conrad was released, the backlash was intense. The video shows what life would be if black people had enslaved white people. "Hang white people… arm them and let them kill each other" Conrad raps. He is not the first artist to think about a life where Black people would dominate white people. Todric Hall's music video "Forbidden" and Malorie Blackman's novels "Noughts and Crosses" did it before. But in France, a country that still tries to stop Black people from organising as a community, Nick Conrad had to pay the price.

First, he received countless death threats and lost his job at a prestigious French hotel. Everyone, from French personalities to the government called him out. And then, two anti-racist and anti-semitism organizations, the LICRA and L'AGRIF sued him. His trial happened last week. French journalist Sihame Assbague was there to witness it, and what she reports is baffling.

To the prosecution, Conrad is encouraging his audience to kill white people. They believe that anti white racism or "reverse racism" is just as bad as any type of racism and that Conrad is using a "black supremacist language" with words like "queen" "king" when he mentions Africa. In their mind, once Black people stop trying to integrate and start organising themselves, it's just as bad as white people being racist. Ethnocentrism is dangerous.

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