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Vanessa Mdee "Wet" scene.

The 9 Best East African Songs of the Month

Listen to the best East African releases of the month featuring Diamond Platnumz, Harmonize, Vanessa Mdde, Octopizzo and more.

As far as East African music goes, certainly April has been no joke!

Stiff as the competition has been, here's a roundup of our favorite tracks of the month.


Harmonize ft. Diamond Platnumz "Kwa Ngwaru"

WCB Wasafi continues to reign over East African music with "Kwa Ngwaru," a bouncy and infectious collaboration between Tanzania's biggest stars.

Rema and Ykee Benda "Whistle"

Ugandan superstars Rema and Ykee Benda caught everyone off guard this month with their new track, "Whistle." The heart-warming afro-pop song is accompanied by a colorful music video directed by Sasha Vybz and talks about lovers who are enjoying each other's company

Geosteady ft. Korede Bello "I'm Into You"

You've got to love these cross-border collaborations we are getting from East African artists these days. This month Ugandan R&B singer Geosteady premiered his song "I'm Into You," which features Nigerian pop star Korede Bello. With its catchy chorus and cheesy lyrics this song can easily charm its way into your playlist.

Vanessa Mdee ft GNako "Wet"

East Africa's afro-pop queen Vanessa Mdee turns up the heat with her latest single "Wet" which featuresGNako. The fiery dancehall-tinged track is accompanied by an exuberant music video which was directed by Justin Campos in Tanzania.

Eddy Kenzo ft. Harmonize "Pull Up"

Uganda's Eddy Kenzo dropped his well-received Biology album almost a year ago but now the "Jubilation" hit maker returns with a brand new single "Pull Up," which features Tanzanian sensation Harmonize. The track has a seductive beat and the East African heavyweights blend Swahili and Luganda lyrics seamlessly.

Mbosso "Picha Yake"

This month Wasafi records latest signee, Mbosso, delivered "Picha Yake", an emotionally driven bongo flava song surrounding the singer's agonizing heart break.

Otile Brown & Sanaipei Tande "Chaguo La Moyo"

Fast-rising Kenyan artist Otile Brown and seasoned songstress Sanaipei Tande have us swooning with their new romantic duet "Chaguo La Moyo," which is looking to be a staple at many Kenyan weddings this year.

Sheebah "Beera Nange"

Sheebah is one of East Africa's most consistent artists, and she's well-loved for always pushing the boundaries in Uganda's music scene. Although her music is usually more upbeat, she shows off her mellow and romantic side with "Beera Nange," a sizzling single which literally means "be with me".

Octopizzo "Noma Ni"

"Noma Ni" is the latest single off Octopizzo's brand new album, Next Year. The Kenyan rapper shows off his skills spitting effortlessly over a laid-back trap beat. The song was mastered by Chris Athens who has worked with well-known rap stars like Rick Ross, Jay Z and Nas. The album as a whole is looking like a huge step in the right direction for Kenyan rap.

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Nandy & Sauti Sol in "Kiza Kinene."

The 7 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Nandy x Sauti Sol, Ethic Entertainment, Mbosso, Alikiba x Aslay, Chris Kaiga and more.

Both the new wave and the A-Listers really brought the heat this month.

Here are our favorite East African songs of September.

For more EA hits, follow our new East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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The 6 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Nyashinski, Vallerie Muthoni, Tetu Shani, Irene Ntale and more.

Here is our selection of the hottest music that came out of East Africa in August.

Follow our new East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Cellou Binani/Getty Images

Several People Have Been Killed During Protests in Guinea

Guineans are protesting against changes to the constitution which will allow President Alpha Conde to run for a third term.

At least five people have died during protests in Guinea's Conakry and Mamou after police opened fire on them, according to Aljazeera. The protests come just after President Alpha Conde instructed his government to look into drafting a new constitution that will allow him to remain in power past the permissible two terms. Conde's second five-year term will come to an end next year but as is the unfortunate case with many African leaders, the 81-year-old is intent on running for office yet again.

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Photo by Hamish Brown

In Conversation: Lemn Sissay On His New Book About Re-claiming the Ethiopian Heritage Stolen From Him by England’s Foster Care System

In 'My Name Is Why,' the 2019 PEN Pinter award winner passionately advocates for children in the institutional care system, and in turn tells a unique story of identity and the power in discovering one's heritage.

It took the author Lemn Sissay almost two decades to learn his real name. As an Ethiopian child growing up in England's care system, his cultural identity was systematically stripped from him at an early age. "For the first 18 years of my life I thought that my name was Norman," Sissay tells OkayAfrica. "I didn't meet a person of color until I was 10 years of age. I didn't know a person of color until I was 16. I didn't know I was Ethiopian until I was 16 years of age. They stole the memory of me from me. That is a land grab, you know? That is post-colonial, hallucinatory madness."

Sissay was not alone in this experience. As he notes in his powerful new memoir My Name Is Why, during the 1960s, tens of thousands of children in the UK were taken from their parents under dubious circumstances and put up for adoption. Sometimes, these placements were a matter of need, but other times, as was the case with Sissay, it was a result of the system preying on vulnerable parents. His case records, which he obtained in 2015 after a hardfought 30 year campaign, show that his mother was a victim of child "harvesting," in which young, single women were often forced into giving their children up for adoption before being sent back to their native countries. She tried to regain custody of young Sissay, but was unsuccessful.

Whether they end up in the foster system out of need or by mistake, Sissay says that most institutionalized children face the same fate of abuse under an inadequate and mismanaged system that fails to recognize their full humanity. For black children who are sent to white homes, it often means detachment from a culturally-sensitive environment. "There are too many brilliant people that I know who have been adopted by white parents for me to say that it just doesn't work," says Sissay. "But the problem is the amount of children that it doesn't work for."

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