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Harmonize in "Atarudi"

The 10 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Irene Ntale x Mr Eazi, Brian Simba x Vanessa Mdee, Harmonize, Sauti Sol x Nyashinski and more.

With a number of high-profile collaborations and exciting offerings from the new wave, August has been a month of quality and diversity.

Check out our selection of the best East African songs of the month below.


Harmonize "Atarudi"

Tanzanian afro-pop star Harmonize continues to assert his dominance over the East African music scene with a new single titled "Atarudi". In this track he sings poignantly about his wife who abandoned him and their daughter whilst assuring his daughter that her mother will come back.

Sauti Sol ft. Nyashinski "Tujiangalie"

Kenya's top band Sauti Sol released "Tujiangalie" this month, a socio-political themed song urging the Kenyan youth to start seeking solutions to the issues affecting the country through self-reflection. This is the sixth single from the band's upcoming new album, Afrikan Sauce, set to be released at the end of the year.

RIMON "Realize"

RIMON is the Amsterdam-based singer of Eritrean descent who broke into on the scene earlier this year with her debut single "Grace". The 21-year-old talent returned this month with a reggae-tinged soul track called "Realize." This groovy rendition has definitely got us excited for her forthcoming EP set to be released in November.

Elani "Heartbeat"

After a two-year hiatus, popular Kenyan group Elani is back with the first single off their sophomore album, Colours of Love. The new track, "Heartbeat," captures the attraction, joy, anticipation and confusion that come with a fresh romance.

Brian Simba ft. Vanessa Mdee & Michael Love "Silence"

Rising Tanzanian rap sensation Brian Simba just released his highly-anticipated single "Silence" and it features the East African diva herself, Vanessa Mdee, and newcomer Michael Love. Jamaa Flani will surely get you out of your seat with this upbeat dancehall-flavored tune.

Irene Ntale ft. Mr Eazi "Post Me"

Ugandan songstress Irene Ntale dropped the first single from her upcoming new album, Ntale Unchained, this month. "Post Me" features Nigerian heavyweight Mr Eazi and it has a catchy ring to it. The new album will consist of collaborations with other major African artists such as Banky W, Stonebwoy and Sauti Sol so let's keep an eye out for that.

Harawa "Trouble"

Ontario-based Kenyan-Malawian artist Harawa continues to push his interesting alternative R&B sound with "Trouble," a song which explores his relationship with a girl he knows is no good for him, but one he cannot stay away from.

Ykee Benda ft. Reekado Banks "Time Table"

Ugandan artists have really brought it this month. Popular singer, Ykee Benda, teams up with Mavin Records artist Reekado Banks for "Time Table," a dance-ready and modern afrobeats jam that will quickly get you hooked. We really love this Naija-Uganda collab!

Charly Na Nina "Komeza Unyirebere"

"Komeza Unyirebere" is a feel-good love song by top-flight female duo, Charly Na Nina, who continue to raise the bar in the Rwandan music scene.

Ayrosh & Ythera "Love, Respect, Repeat"

Kenyan folk-fusion artist Ayrosh links up with songstress Ythera for "Love, Respect, Repeat," a soulful and sultry performance that pleads to all lovers out there to show sincere love and respect to their partners.

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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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