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Egypt Bans Popular Street Festival Music Due to 'Promiscuity and Immorality'

Egypt's Musicians' Syndicate has banned the popular street festival genre 'mahraganat'—a fusion of grime, rap and electro—for allegedly going against the conservative country's moral code.

Egypt's Musicians' Syndicate has recently issued a ban on 'mahraganat' music, according to Egyptian Streets.

The popular street festival genre is a fusion electro, grime and rap, and originated among Cairo's poor during the 2011 revolution which saw the ousting of then president Hosni Mubarak.

The ban comes shortly after a well-known mahraganat singer Hassan Shakoush performed a song whose lyrics were perceived to be "promoting promiscuity and immorality".


This past Valentine's Day, Shakoush performed at a concert held at the Cairo Stadium and attracted at least 100 000 attendees. Unfortunately for him, his lyrics "I drink alcohol and smoke hashish" enraged the Musicians' Syndicate which prides itself in enforcing the predominantly Muslim country's moral code.

Hany Shaker, the head of the union of musicians, commented on the matter saying, "This kind of music which is loaded with sexual innuendo and offensive language is completely unacceptable. That's why we have pulled the plug on it once and for all." In another interview, Shaker also added that, "There is semi-consensus among society's classes about the bad situation of art and public culture because of the so-called mahraganat songs, which combine tempos of zar [exorcism sessions] and suggestive, immoral lyrics."

Egypt Independent reports that the ban prohibits mahraganat singers from performing publicly including during concerts, at live shows, clubs, restaurants, tourist facilities and schools. This is a huge blow to the genre which after becoming mainstream, has been dominating the country's music charts and other platforms including SoundCloud and YouTube.

One Egyptian named Marwa Helmycommented on the ban saying, "I think they're policing people's tastes. And this will only drive the genre into a direction that could make it even more extreme." Helmy added that, "There's no point in banning it because it's supremely popular."

Style
Photo: Adedamola Odetara

The Best Street Style from Chanel’s Debut Show in Dakar

From breezy silhouettes and bold colors to monochrome dressing, these were some of the stand-out looks from those attending the French house's Métiers d’art showcase.

There's a buzz in the Senegalese capital and an upbeat mood on the streets -- thanks in large part to Chanel unveiling its Métiers d’art collection on Tuesday. In the lead-up to the French luxury house's history-making show in Dakar, Dakar Fashion Week had just closed out with an all-white afterparty at the Phare des Mamelles, and a three-day cultural program to engage local creatives across art, film, and music captivated visitors and locals alike.

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Video
Photo courtesy of Red Bull.

Watch Red Bull's 'Uncredited: The Story of Afro Dance' Documentary

Red Bull TV's Uncredited: The Story of Afro Dance tells a story of Africa's unsung dance heroes.


Red Bull TV recently unveiled Uncredited: The Story of Afro Dance, a film highlighting Nigeria's vibrant and influential dance scene. The story highlights backstories and performances from several renowned and upcoming artists, including Kafayat "Kaffy" Shafau, who was one of the pioneers of Nigeria's Afro Dance, and the influence that it had on the Nigerian music scene and in African pop culture in general.

The documentary does a deep dive into the rich history of Afro-dance and its heritage while highlighting how Afro-dance has influenced the arts globally.

Afrobeats has become a global phenomenon, which has influenced viral TikTok dance trends seen across the world. Although the work of Afro Dance innovators has significantly contributed to the success of global music hits, many of its originators have been unsung. This documentary gives viewers an opportunity to give the iconic dancers their flowers for their numerous contributions to African music and pop culture.

\u200bStill from The Story of Afro Dance.

Still from The Story of Afro Dance.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

In conjunction with the documentary's release, from December 8th through 10th, the world's most celebrated dancers – including Liberian-Korean dancer David "The Crown" Staler – will take center stage at the Red Bull Dance Your Style World Final in Johannesburg, South Africa. During the event, over 30 countries will bring their best street dancers to the world's biggest street dance competition, which will welcome all street dance styles together, where they will showcase their creativity and expertise to impress the audience.

A segment of the documentary follows dancers to the national finals of the Red Bull Dance Your Style contest, which highlights the next generation of street dancers. Among them is Chibueze Blayke, who nearly gave up on a dance career, and members of Nigeria's viral Westsyde Lifestyle dance crew, BJ Miah and dancer Eromose-Ordia Tom-Tom.

While discussing the show, legendary Nigerian dancer Kaffy, known for her electric dance moves in a multitude of iconic music videos, said that the platform gave an excellent opportunity to rising talent. "I'm so happy when opportunities like this arrive," said Kaffy. "These young people are underserved with platforms, and that's what it is – it's just the beginning of unraveling greatness."

The Red Bull Dance Your Style World Final will stream live from Johannesburg on TikTok on Saturday, December 10, 2022.

Watch Uncredited: The Story of Afro Dance here

Film
Photo: Sundance Institute

Four Films We're Most Looking Forward to at Sundance 2023

These titles, selected from a record 4,061 feature submissions, make their premiere at the prestigious film event next year.

Last year's Sundance Film Festival gave us delights such as Nigerian American director Adamma Ebo’s debut feature, Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul, and Oliver Hermanus' Living, a moving retelling of the Kurosawa classic, Ikiru. It also saw the debut of Nikyatu Jusu's Nanny, which went on to win the fest's main prize. The Sierra Leonean American director's film, about an undocumented Senegalese woman who becomes a nanny to a wealthy couple on New York’s Upper East Side, stayed top of mind for many critics in the months that followed after its premiere.

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