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Blinky Bill in "Mungu Halali" (Youtube/VEVO)

The 9 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Harmonize, Blinky Bill, Mayonde, and Octopizzo,

Here is our selection of the hottest music that came out of East Africa in February. Get a lot more over at our Spotify and Apple Music curator pages.

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


Harmonize 'Afro Bongo' EP

Harmonize dropped what was easily one of our favorite songs of 2018 with "Kwa Ngwaru." The Tanzanian stars now continues his hit-making trend with the release of the new 4-track Afro Bongo EP. The new EP showcases Harmonize's impressive blend of bongo flava with afropop elements and features a top-tier list of collaborators like Burna Boy, Diamond Platnumz, Yemi Alade, and Mr Eazi. It looks like it's gonna be another good year for the Wasafi Records family.

Jux x Nyashinski 'In Case You Don't Know'

Tanzania's R&B heartthrob Juma Jux teams up with Kenyan superstar Nyashinski for "In Case You Don't Know," a beautiful serenade dedicated to all the lovers out there.

OCTOPIZZO 'Babylon'

Kenya's top rapper Octopizzo dropped a classic hip-hop track called "Babylon" this month. The song is part of Octopizzo's upcoming fifth studio album and it talks about how far he has come in his career and journey as an artist.

Blinky Bill 'Mungu Halali'

The soulful and groovy "Mungu Halali" has definitely been one of the most popular songs from Blinky Bill's debut album, Everyone's Just Winging It & Other Fly Tales. The semi-gospel beauty features talented Kenyan singers Sage, Sara Mitaru, Wambura Mitaru and Lisa Oduor-Noah. The new music video for the single sparks a lot of nostalgia, opening with the words of legendary veteran Kenyan media guru, Leonard Mambo Mbotela, "Je huu ni ungwana?" The heartwarming visual captures the essence of Nairobi—religion, art, family, hustle and more.

Bebe Cool 'Easy'

Uganda's dancehall king Bebe Cool returned this month with a new single titled, "Easy," that is all about good vibes and not taking life too seriously. The music video was shot in Hollywood by Sasha Vybez.

Trina Mungai & Mayonde 'Shika"

Kenyan songbirds Trina Mungai and Mayonde teamed up this month to deliver "Shika," a steamy single that encourages listeners to embrace their sexuality. The song and its sensual music video definitely got us in the Valentine's mood.

Yvan Buravan x Active 'Canga Irangi(Bimwe byawe)'

Although we are more used to Yvan Buravan's romantic R&B ballads, we still love his latest single "Canga Irangi," a dance-ready club starter featuring Active.

Darassa x. Marioo 'Chanda Chema'

Tanzanian rapper Darassa released "Chanda Chema" this month, an infectious bongo flava banger featuring Marioo.

Mayonde 'Chini Kwa Chini'

Kenyan singer Mayonde released "Chini Kwa Chini," the second single off the Project Purple EP. It's a song about living fully in the present moment and having fun. The EP pays homage to Kenyan pop and genge legends who paved the way for the new generation.


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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The 8 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Harmonize x Q Chilla, Aslay, Octopizzo, Rayvanny, Vanessa Mdee and more.

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

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

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Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

'Dhalinyaro' Is the Female Coming-of-Age Story Bringing Djibouti's Film Industry to Life

The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories.

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Stogie T Enlists Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and More, for ‘The Empire of Sheep’ Deluxe Edition

Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

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