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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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Harmonize, Diamond Platnumz, Burna Boy "Kainama" (Youtube)

The 20 Best East African Songs of 2019

Featuring tracks from Harmonize, Diamond Platnumz, Sauti Sol, Irene Ntale, Ethic, Vanessa Mdee and many more.

2019 was a year full of positive growth for East African music. It saw many artists from the region make the necessary strides to take East African music to the next level.

The launch of new independent imprints continued to develop a class of budding stars. Sauti Sol's new Sol Generation label, for example, boasts a stellar roster that includes artists like Bensoul and Nviiri the Storyteller, who have topped the charts this year. =Tanzanian bongo flava heavyweight Harmonize left Diamond Platnumz' WCB Wasafi records and set up his own independent imprint called Konde Gang Music Worldwide. This is a dramatic move from the bongo flava superstar but it's exciting to see what he and his new label will offer in the coming year.

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

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Nasty C. Photo: Sabelo Mkhabela.

Burna Boy, Nasty C, Stonebwoy, Nadia Nakai & More Win 2019 AFRIMA Awards

Check out the full list of this year's winners.

The sixth annual All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) took place last night at the Eko Convention Centre in Lagos, Nigeria.

The yearly celebration—not to be confused with the Afrikan Musik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) which took place in October in Dallas—recognizes African musical talent from various regions of the continent. Several big name artists took home awards during last nights ceremony, which was hosted by Pearl Thusi and Eddie Kadi. Many nominees also performed at the AFRIMA Music Village Festival which took place on ahead of the awards show.

Burna Boy had a major night, winning Artist of the year and Best Male Artist in West Africa, while Tiwa Savage won Best Female Artist in West Africa. Nigerian newcomer, Joe Boy won Best Artiste in African pop. Ghanaian artist Stonebwoy won in the "Best Artist in African Reggae, Ragga or Dancehall" category.

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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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