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Check Out Fela Kuti x Online Ceramics' New Merch Drop

The afrobeat legend's estate has repurposed, reinterpreted and rebirthed some of his most iconic album artworks through this new merch drop.

The Fela Kuti estate has brought fans a new collection of merchandise to honour and celebrate the legend of Fela.

In a collaboration with Online Ceramics, a US-based online clothing store, Kuti's most iconic album artworks (including V.I.P. and Excuse O) and images from the 1982 documentary Music is the Weapon have been reimagined and manifested into an assortment of t-shirts, tote bags and sweatshirts.

Yeni Kuti (Fela's daughter) was involved in the design and approval of all the merch from the part of the estate.

A portion of all proceeds are going to internationally recognised nonprofit organisation Global Citizen. Global Citizen's mission to end global poverty falls directly in line with Fela's message and that of the music made by his family. More recently, Femi Kuti performed at Global Citizen 2018 concert in South Africa.

Shop the collection here.


Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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