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Sauti Sol. Image courtesy of the band.

The 10 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Harmonize, Cherrie, Victoria Kimani, Alikiba and many more.

The first half of the year has been incredible for East African music. Without limiting themselves to native sounds, artists like Diamond Platnumz, Harmonize and Sauti Sol continue to push forward an infectious brand of globally appealing East African pop music that we cannot get enough of.

May might be over but these songs are forever, take a look at our best picks of the month.


Ali Kiba "Mvumo Wa Radi"

After some time away from the spotlight, Ali Kiba's surprise come-back was definitely worth the wait. He released "Mvumo Wa Radi," an addictive bongo-flava love track that is aimed at introducing and promoting his new business venture, the "Mofaya" energy drink.

Victoria Kimani "Wonka"

Kenyan afro-pop diva Victoria Kimani just dropped Afropolitan, the first project released under her own independent imprint, Kimani Music. The pop-fueled 7-track EP will have you hooked with its steamy opening single, "Wonka." The songstress isn't afraid to turn up the heat a little bit as she delivers a raunchy jungle-inspired music video to go along with the song.

Harmonize ft. Sarkodie "DM Chick"

Tanzania's man of the moment, Harmonize, followed up his massive hit single "Kwa Ngwaru" with a more mellow, R&B sound. He teams up with Ghanaian superstar, Sarkodie, and previous collaborator Krizbeatz, for "DM Chick," a song about having an Instagram crush.

Cherrie - Det Slår Mig Ibland

Swedish-Somali R&B singer, Cherrie, returned in May with a poignant new single "Det Slår Mig Ibland" from her upcoming sophomore album Araweelo. According to the singer, the song is a testament to her strength as a woman. Its accompanying music video is a visual representation of love, sisterhood and freedom and it was shot and directed in Cape Town, South Africa by Simone Yemane.

Rayvanny & S2kizzy "Pochi Nene"

Wasafi Records sensation, Rayvanny, and Tanzania's hip-hop mastermind, S2kizzy delivered a bongo-trap bop called "Pochi Nene". This hustler's anthem is pure flames and you will easily find yourself jamming to it.

Read: 7 Bongo-Trap Songs You Need to Hear Right Now

Otile Brown "Mungu Wetu Sote"

Otile Brown is undoubtedly one of Kenya's fastest-rising artists right now. After releasing the smash hit "Chaguo La Moyo" last month, the talented singer is not letting us catch a break. He returns with "Mungu Wetu Sote," an infectious feel-good song that celebrates life and success.

Fik Fameica & Wembley Mo "Sconto"

Uganda's favorite hip-hop star Fik Fameica dropped an upbeat street-hop anthem, "Sconto" this month. The energetic club-banger is a collaboration with popular Ugandan dancer Wembley Mo, and it is already infecting the masses.

Sauti Sol ft. Nyashinski "Short and Sweet"

Kenya's biggest musical acts, Sauti Sol and Nyashinski, joined up for an acapella-driven love song "Short and Sweet," the fifth single off the band's highly anticipated "Afrikan Sauce" LP.

Nandy "Ninogeshe"

Tanzanian pop princess Nandy continues to do what she does best with "Ninogeshe," another romantic bongo-flava track. With her charming vocals and the traditional style production, this song has a timeless feel.

Marina ft. Harmonize "Love You"

Rising Rwandan pop-star Marina collaborates with Tanzania's finest for a contagious afro-pop rendition called "Love You."

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Photo by Lana Haroun

From #FeesMustFall to #BlueforSudan: OkayAfrica's Guide to a Decade of African Hashtag Activism

The 2010s saw protest movements across the continent embrace social media in their quest to make change.

The Internet and its persistent, attention-seeking child, Social Media has changed the way we live, think and interact on a daily basis. But as this decade comes to a close, we want to highlight the ways in which people have merged digital technology, social media and ingenuity to fight for change using one of the world's newest and most potent devices—the hashtag.

What used to simply be the "pound sign," the beginning of a tic-tac-toe game or what you'd have to enter when interacting with an automated telephone service, the hashtag has become a vital aspect of the digital sphere operating with both form and function. What began in 2007 as a metadata tag used to categorize and group content on social media, the term 'hashtag' has now grown to refer to memes (#GeraraHere), movements (#AmINext), events (#InsertFriendsWeddingHere) and is often used in everyday conversation ("That situation was hashtag awkward").

The power of the hashtag in the mobility of people and ideas truly came to light during the #ArabSpring, which began one year into the new decade. As Tunisia kicked off a revolution against oppressive regimes that spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook played a crucial role in the development and progress of the movements. The hashtag, however, helped for activists, journalists and supporters of causes. It not only helped to source information quickly, but it also acted as a way to create a motto, a war cry, that could spread farther and faster than protestors own voices and faster than a broadcasted news cycle. As The Guardian wrote in 2016, "At times during 2011, the term Arab Spring became interchangeable with 'Twitter uprising' or 'Facebook revolution,' as global media tried to make sense of what was going on."

From there, the hashtag grew to be omnipresent in modern society. It has given us global news, as well as strong comedic relief and continues to play a crucial role in our lives. As the decade comes to a close, here are some of the most impactful hashtags from Africans and for Africans that used the medium well.

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Screenshot from the upcoming film Warriors of a Beautiful Game

In Conversation: Pelé's Daughter is Making a Documentary About Women's Soccer Around the World

In this exclusive interview, Kely Nascimento-DeLuca shares the story behind filming Warriors of a Beautiful Game in Tanzania, Brazil and other countries.

It may surprise you to know that women's soccer was illegal in Brazil until 1981. And in the UK until 1971. And in Germany until 1970. You may have read that Sudan made its first-ever women's league earlier this year. Whatever the case, women and soccer have always had a rocky relationship.

It wasn't what women wanted. It certainly wasn't what they needed. However, society had its own ideas and placed obstacle after obstacle in front of women to keep ladies from playing the game. Just this year the US national team has shown the world that women can be international champions in the sport and not get paid fairly compared to their male counterparts who lose.

Kely Nascimento-DeLuca is looking to change that. As the daughter of international soccer legend Pelé, she is no stranger to the game. Growing up surrounded by the sport, she was actually unaware of the experiences women around the world were having with it. It was only recently that she discovered the hardships around women in soccer and how much it mirrored women's rights more generally.

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Convener of "#Revolution Now" Omoyele Sowore speaks during his arraignment for charges against the government at the Federal High Court in Abuja, on September 30, 2019. (Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Images)

Nigerian Activist, Omoyele Sowore, Re-Arrested Just Hours After Being Released on Bail

Sowore, the organizer of Nigeria's #RevolutionNow protests, was detained by armed officers, once again, in court on Friday.

Omoyele Sowore, the Nigerian human rights activist and former presidential candidate who has spent over four months in jail under dubious charges, was re-arrested today in Lagos while appearing in court.

The journalist and founder of New York-based publication Sahara Reporters, had been released on bail the day before. He was arrested following his organization of nationwide #RevolutionNow protests in August. Since then, Sowore has remained in custody on what are said to be trumped-up charges, including treason, money laundering and stalking the president.

He appeared in court once again on Friday after being released on bail in federal court the previous day. During his appearance, Sowore was again taken into custody by Nigerian authorities.

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(Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage via Getty)

Listen to Wizkid's Surprise New EP 'Soundman Vol. 1'

Wizkid treats fans to new songs featuring Chronixx, DJ Tunez and more—just ahead of 2020.

Wizkid is back. The Nigerian pop star surprised listeners early this morning with the unannounced release of a new EP, Soundman Vol. 1.

Though Wizkid has released a couple of singles this year, fans had been awaiting a new drop and more extensive project from the artist. With it being so close to the end of the year, it didn't look like we'd get a new body of work from the artist till 2020, but he proved otherwise when he took to Twitter at the wee hours of the morning to quietly share streaming links for the new project.

He also announced that a second EP, Soundman Vol. 2, would drop sometime before his highly-anticipated upcoming album Made In Lagos (MIL).

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