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Vanessa Mdee. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The 8 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Khaligraph Jones, Mbosso, Amaal, RIMON, Vanessa Mdee, and more.

These are the tracks shaking up East Africa right now.

Here is our selection of the best East African songs of January featuring Mbosso, Vanessa Mdee, Otile Brown, RIMON and more.


Vanessa Mdee x Distruction Boyz x DJ Tira x Prince Bulo 'That's For Me"

Tanzanian pop RnB star Vanessa Mdee delivers a gqom-infused banger in "That's For Me," a brand new collaboration with with DJ Tira, Distruction Boyz and Prince Bulo. This one's gonna get you on the dance floor immediately.

Mbosso "Tamu"

Wasafi Records artist Mbosso keeps up the momentum of his 2018 smash hit "Hodari" with yet another tasty single called "Tamu." We can already tell the Tanzanian crooner is keen on dominating the bongo flava scene this year.

RIMON "dust"

RIMON broke into the scene last year with her debut single, "Grace," a soulful RnB track that gets you hooked with its nostalgic feel. Her debut EP, BBYGIRL FOCU$, was released last November and its newest single, 'dust', is the kind of ear candy you need for the new year.

Amaal "Not What I Thought"

Amaal is a Somali-Canadian singer whose latest offering, "Not What I Thought," has us entranced. In her new single, the Toronto-based songwriter pairs hazy R&B; soundscapes with melancholic lyrics about a relationship that's come to an end.

Otile Brown "Samantha"

Kenyan singer Otile Brown has definitely taken advantage of the publicity from his dramatic relationship with socialite Vera Sidika last year. His consistency has been impressive and he has dropped back to back bangers since last year. His latest one "Samantha" is already topping Kenyan charts.

Khaligraph Jones x Ycee "Gwala"

Kenyan emcee Khaligraph Jones begins his 2019 with the video for another big single from his newest album Testimony 1990. "Gwala" features Nigerian act Ycee and it is an energetic trap banger with a catchy chorus.

Professor Jay x Victoria Kimani "Woman"

This month, bongo flava veteran Professor Jay dished out yet another massive single called "Woman" which features Kenyan songstress Victoria Kimani. The emotional song sends the message of respecting and appreciating the women in our lives.

Eddy Kenzo "Body Language"

Last year popular Ugandan singer Eddy Kenzo dropped a new album titled "Roots," celebrating his 10th year in the music industry. His latest single from the album is "Body Language" is a dance-ready pop track and a scorcher on the Ugandan charts.




Photography by Andile Buka.

5 South African Photo Books to Check Out

Here are some South African photo books on apartheid, jazz and Black life to familiarise yourself with.

While image-making, along with image archiving, have taken different forms over the years — advancing in tandem with photography's multiple technological advancements particularly in recent times — the idea of a compilation of images is one that is hard not to romanticise.

Photo books are cool. They look dope on the coffee table, they inspire curiosity, and they are reliable records of memory. They also make for great collector's items; and this is why we wiped the flimsy dust setting on some of our favourite photo books to get you started — should you be interested in finding and/or adding more.

This is but a cursory list of photo books from my own collection, directed mainly at the curious. For a thorough rundown of the history of photobooks in South Africa, have a look at the SAHO website's

Timeline of South African Photographic Books and Exhibitions

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South Africa's Zozi Tunzi Takes Her Final Bow

Clad in an exquisite Xhosa gown and headwrap, Zozibini Tunzi handed over her Miss Universe crown as her unforgettable reign comes to an end.