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Ellen DeGeneres is the Latest White Celebrity to Take a Picture With Smiling 'African' Children

This is getting old, no?

It's a familiar narrative at this point, you know the one: a bright-eyed, maybe even well-meaning, white person travels to "Africa"—no need to name the specific country, of course—for a trip. While there, they make sure to snap pictures with the poor "African" children—remember, no country specificity necessary—to show the great work that they're doing, how life-changing the trip was, and how empathetic they've now become to the suffering of others.

Ellen DeGeneres is simply the latest white celebrity to take part in this tired practice. The talk show host travelled to Kenya and Rwanda last week, in support of her foundation, the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund. While there she met with Rwanda's president Paul Kagame, took part in a mountain gorilla excursion with the Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund, and posted several images of herself enjoying nature and other types of wildlife.


However, one photo in particular is receiving tons of backlash. In the image, which DeGeneres posted on Tuesday, she is surrounded by several children in a rural setting. She didn't specify which country she was in, of course, but wrote "Thank you to all of the amazing people I met on my trip, who helped make it so special," as a caption for the photo.

People, aren't feeling it, to say the least, and are calling her out for posting what many consider overt "poverty porn" and a poster image for "voluntourism."

Folks have been responding to the image on social media, with many arguing that despite whatever Ellen's intentions might have been, the image only reinforces hackneyed tropes about the continent, which are in no way beneficial.

Really though, when will white folks learn?








Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie

Meet Four Women Pushing Ivorian Art Forward Through Photography

These young and emerging female photographers from Côte d'Ivoire are shaking up Abidjan's art scene.

There's been a tremendous amount of awe-inspiring art coming from the African continent lately. Photography is no exception. It is one of the most powerful tools used in changing the way in which the West perceives Africa and its diaspora and perhaps the reason why contemporary photography is thriving.

The female gaze is paramount to the way in which the aforementioned visual stories are told and the female photographers here are using their camera lenses to give us glimpses of lands, peoples, histories, and futures unknown. Their individual experiences and perspectives are widening the scope of what is believed to be Côte d'Ivoire. Within the country's capital, Abidjan, there's a creative scene that seems to have sprawled up out of nowhere yet is so rich in its offerings.

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Interview
Photo courtesy of Darey.

Meet Nigeria’s All-Female Bikers Club, Featured In Darey's Latest Video

Darey collaborates with all-female bike riders to reimagine a pandemic-free world in the new video for "Jojo."

In 2017, when Jeminat Olumegbon, an events manager in Lagos, set up the Female Bikers initiative (FBi) with her friend, Nnenna Samuila, the objective for the organisation was to facilitate some form of education for Nigerian women. "A bunch of us, bike riders, came together because we knew when we ride we draw attention to ourselves so we used that as a form of communication starter, especially in rural areas," Olumegbon, code-named Speed Diva, tells OkayAfrica via a phone call. In the three years since the initiative has been in operation, it has started a number of programs aimed at confronting socio-cultural barriers set against women in Nigeria but none is more resonant than the group's campaign against breast and cervical cancer.

"We found out that a lot of women die of breast and cervical cancer in Nigeria and they shouldn't be dying because there are preventive measures but lack of knowledge is what is really killing us," Olumegbon says. According to Nigeria's Cancer Control Plan, breast and cervical cancer are the most prevalent forms of cancer in Nigeria, disproportionately affecting women. And the Female Bikers initiative, a scion of D'Angels Motorcycle Club, Nigeria's first all-female bikers club, is working hard to get women tested early.

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(Youtube)

Watch Wizkid’s New Music Video For ‘Smile’ Featuring H.E.R.

The Nigerian star dedicated the new video to his three sons: Bolu, Ayo and Zion Balogun.

Nigerian musical heavyweight Wizkid released his latest track today. The song, titled "Smile," features Grammy award winning US singer/songwriter H.E.R.

The track coos sounds of unconditional love and the things we do for it. It features Wizkid and H.E.R. going in over an infectious beat.

This comes as Wizkid fans await the release of his delayed fourth album, Made in Lagos. We're sure they'll be more excited than ever after getting this new single.

"Smile" follows Wizkid's latest release Soundman Vol. 1 EP, which came out late last year and featured the likes of Chronixx, DJ Tunez and more.

Listen to Wizkid and H.E.R.'s "Smile" below.

Update: Watch the newly released music video for "Smile" below. The Nigerian star dedicated this new Meji Alabi-directed music video to his three sons: Bolu, Ayo and Zion Balogun.

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Interview: Sam Soko is the Kenyan Director Behind Sundance Hit, 'Softie'

We meet filmmaker Sam Soko who has made a stirring documentary about the Kenyan protest leader Boniface Mwangi