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Photo: AIDA MULUNEH.

Seun Kuti, Bombino, Fatoumata Diawara, Soweto Gospel Choir & More Earn 2019 Grammy Nominations

And, yes, they're still calling it "world" music.

The 2019 Grammy nominations have been announced, and some of our African favorite artists have made the cut—though they've, once, again, mostly been constrained to the vague and reductive category of "world" music.

This year, four out of the five nominees for the category are of African descent, including Seun Kuti and his band Egypt 80 for Black Times, Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara for her album Fento, Niger-born Tuareg musician Bombino for the album Deran, and the Soweto Choir, who performed at OkayAfrica and Global Citizen's Next 100 Summit in Johannesburg just last week, earned a nomination for their album Freedom.

We're rooting for all of these musicians, but it's be nice if they weren't all lumped into one category, considering they all have very different sounds. We also hoped that with the massive cultural impact of afrobeats, that one of the genre's big names would have made the cut. It's clear that the Grammys remain behind on fully recognizing the talent coming from the continent.


Hip hop has been recognized in a major way this year with the two most nominated artists of 2019 being Kendrick Lamar and Drake with eight and seven nominations respectively. Lamar earned a Best Album nod for his work on the Black Panther soundtrack, which featured a slew of South African artists including Babes Wodumo, Yugen Blakork and more. It's the first album of the year soundtrack nomination since 2000, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The rapper earned four other nominations for the single "All the Stars," featuring SZA.

The Grammys lack of gender diversity has often been bought into question. In response, this year many of the biggest awards this year are dominated by deserving women artists, including Janelle Monáe, whose Dirty Computer earned an Album of the Year nomination.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z (The Carters) earned two nominations for best Urban Contemporary Album and best R&B album. Tiffany Haddish earned a nomination for Best Spoken World Album for The Last Black Unicorn.

The award show will air on February 10.

Check out the full list of 2019 nominees via Billboard.

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Photo by Burak Cingi/Redferns for Getty Images

Here are the African Artists Performing At Coachella This Year

DJ Black Coffee, Princess Nokia, Seun Kuti, Sampa the Great, and more will be hitting the stage at the 2020 edition of the music festival.

The line-up for this year's Coachella was recently announced and tickets for the first weekend in April have (unsurprisingly) sold out with pre-sale registration for the second weekend already under way.

The music festival will be headlined by American rock band Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean. African artists and those from the diaspora will be included in the plethora of international artists performing at arguably the biggest musical festival of the year.

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'Black Panther' movie poster.

US Government Accidentally Lists Wakanda as Official Trade Partner—The Internet Reacts

You can't make this stuff up.

On Wednesday night it was discovered that the fictional country of Wakanda (the setting of the 2018 blockbuster movie Black Panther) was listed on the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) tariff tracking list of free trade partners.

According to BBC Africa, the listing was discovered by a software engineer by the name of Francis Tseng, who stumbled upon the gaffe while conducting research for a fellowship. What's perhaps even stranger, is that the list included detailed information about items that had been traded between the US and a non-existent Wakanda, including donkeys, cows, fresh vegetables, covfefe coffee and more.

Tseng took to Twitter to share his findings, later telling Reuters that he was was confused after seeing Wakanda listed."[I] thought I misremembered the country from the movie and got it confused with something else."

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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