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Deeper Than The Headlines: Biafra, Football, Victoire Ingabire + More

Deeper Than The Headlines: Biafra, Football, Victoire Ingabire + More African news stories.


1."Biafra: A People Betrayed"

By: Kurt Vonnegut

This week's Deeper Than the Headlines begins with a little history lesson. Did you know that back in 1979 acclaimed American writer Kurt Vonnegut wrote a piece about Biafra? Neither did we (Thanks to Tolu Ogunlesi for re-tweeting this). Biafra has been in the media a lot lately, particularly due to Nigerian author Chinua Achebe's new book "There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra," which has been a controversial piece of work to many. Vonnegut's piece is certainly interesting as he aims to "tell about an admirable nation that lived for less than three years." We don't want to give too much away but it's always powerful to engage with history as more and more is discussed- especially in terms of Biafra, through what many would agree has been a long period of amnesia.

2. African Viewpoint: Kicking Racism On and Off the Pitch

By: Farai Sevenzo

In the BBC News series, "African Viewpoints" Farai Sevenzo discusses the hot topic in Europe at the moment, and what seems to be always and forever- football and racism. For some context: earlier this month as an attempt to combat racism on the field and to be an example to the fans, football players in the UK were meant to wear a "Kick Racism Out of Football" t-shirt, and certain black players including Reading striker Jason Roberts and Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United protested by not wearing the shirt as they felt the movement was far from adequately addressing the real issue at hand. Sevenzo writes a compelling piece addressing the fact that sadly it seems racism is here to stay in Europe, and not just within the institution of football. His discussion of colonialism as necessary to understanding the dynamics of how race works within football in Europe is particularly insightful.

3. Touchy Subject: Rwandan Opposition Leader Ingabire Jailed For Discussing Ethnic Rifts

By: Jacey Fortin

We've seen a lot of headlines this week discussing Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire. However, glancing at the headlines most articles have yet to delve into the larger issues surrounding Ingabire and the political realm in Rwanda. Jacey Fortin writes for International Business Times and explores the Ingabire sentence through the difficulty Rwandan's face in talking about ethnicity. Fortin notes that part of Ingabire's lack of popularity in the government is her quest to problematize conceptions of the Hutu as perpetrators of genocide as many innocent Hutu's were also murdered unjustly. As the title of the article suggest, it is indeed a "touchy subject" but we suggest taking a look to perhaps better understand Ingabire's sentence in terms of Rwanda's political history and present.

4. Muslim Brotherhood Trains Women for Parliament

By: Yasmin Abu Khadra

We've all heard promises like this before. Egypt's ruling party, The Muslim Brotherhood has started to implement new programming to address the poor political participation of women in Parliament. Check out this short BBC video to hear from some of the women in training, and a spokesperson for the party adamant that this program is not a ploy to improve their image. It all sounds nice, but when you see headlines like this coming from the same party, it's hard not to be a little bit skeptical of what this means for gender equality in the nation as a whole.

5. You See, Nigerians Are Like That

By: Tolu Ogunlesi

For some comic relief at last, we suggest checking out Tolu Ogunlesi's piece for YNaija. Ogunlesi describes his recent flight to Lagos, and gives us a slightly snarky anthropological break-down of how to understand Nigerians by how they travel. Example: "You see, Nigerians are full of BS like that. Make that ignorance-flavoured BS." Check it out, it's funny, and definitely has many airs of truth to it!

Be sure to check back for next week's spread!

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Image via Wikimedia Commons

Nollywood Actress, Funke Akindele, Arrested for Throwing Party During Coronavirus Lockdown

Naira Marley, who was also in attendance, has also turned himself in according to local reports.

Star Nigerian actress, Funke Akindele, and her husband, rapper JJC Skillz, were arrested on Monday after hosting a party at their home which violated Lagos' coronavirus lockdown order.

The actress came under fire over the weekend, when footage of a party she threw for her husband's birthday began circulating on social media. The clips showed several people, including fellow Nollywood actress Eniola Badmus and Nigerian rapper Naira Marley, gathered inside of Akindele's Lagos home. According to a report from Pulse Nigeria, Marley also turned himself in on Monday for attending the function and will be arraigned.

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"Kata" single cover.

Listen to Tekno's New Single 'Kata'

The Nigerian artist and producer returns with a melodic banger just in time for the weekend.

Nigerian artist Tekno is back with his second single of the year, "Kata."

The heavyweight artist and producer delivers a melodic track that sees him singing about his devotion to his lover over drum-filled production from Phantom. The track features subdued vocals from. the artist, and a beat that's easy to move along to. The song follows the track 'Beh Beh' which he released earlier this year.

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Justice Mukheli. Courtesy of Black Major/Bongeziwe Mabandla.

Interview: Bongeziwe Mabandla's New Album Is a Calm Meditation On Relationships

We speak with the South African artist about his captivating new album, iimini, love cycles, and the unexpected influence of Bon Iver.

"I've been playing at home for so many years and pretending to be having shows in my living room, and today it's actually happening," Bongeziwe Mabandla says, smiling out at me from my cellphone as I watch him play songs on Instagram Live, guitar close to his chest.

Two weekends ago, Mabandla was meant to be celebrating the release of his third album, iimini, at the Untitled Basement in Braamfontein in Joburg, which would no doubt have been packed with some of the many fans the musician has made since his debut release, Umlilo, in 2012. With South Africa joining many other parts of the world in a lockdown, those dates were cancelled and Mabandla, like many other artists, took to social media to still play some tracks from the album. The songs on iimini are about the life and death of a relationship—songs that are finding their way into the hearts of fans around the world, some of whom, now stuck in isolation, may be having to confront the ups and downs of love, with nowhere to hide.

The day before his Instagram Live mini-show, Mabandla spoke to OkayAfrica on lockdown from his home in Newtown about the lessons he's learned from making the album, his new-found love for Bon Iver, and how he's going to be spending his time over the next few weeks.

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Lueking Photos. Courtesy of emPawa Africa.

Interview: GuiltyBeatz Proves He's Truly 'Different'

The Ghanaian producer talks to us about his debut EP, Different, the massive success of "Akwaaba," producing for Beyoncé and more.

GuiltyBeatz isn't a new name in the Ghanaian music scene. A casual music fan's first introduction to him would've likely been years ago on "Sample You," one of Mr Eazi's early breakout hits. However, he had scored his first major hit two years before that, in the Nigerian music space on Jesse Jagz' and Wizkid's 2013 hit "Bad Girl." In the years to come, the producer has gone on to craft productions for some of Ghana's most talented artists.

In the years to come, the producer has gone on to craft productions for some of Ghana's most talented artists, having worked with the likes of Efya, Pappy Kojo, Sarkodie, R2Bees, Stonebwoy, Bisa Kdei, Wande Coal, Moelogo and many more over the last decade. The biggest break of the talented producer's career, however, came with the arrival of his own single "Akwaaba".

In 2018, GuiltyBeatz shared "Akwaaba" under Mr Eazi's Banku Music imprint, shortly afterwards the song and its accompanying dance went viral. The track and dance graced party floors, music & dance videos, and even church auditoriums all around the world, instantly making him one of Africa's most influential producers. Awards, nominations, and festival bookings followed the huge success of "Akwaaba." Then, exactly a year later, the biggest highlight of his career so far would arrive: three production credits on Beyoncé's album The Lion King: The Gift.

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