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Mankind. Photo by CJ Pixels.

This Is What the First Edition of the 'Hand-Forged in Kenya' Music Series Looked Like

'Hand-Forged in Kenya' kicked off to an epic start in Nairobi.

OkayAfrica, Bateleur Brewery and The Alchemist Bar joined forces to launch a new live music series, Hand-Forged in Kenya, that is focused on showcasing rising Kenyan talent to fans both locally and globally.

The first edition took place on Saturday, April 6, at The Alchemist Bar in Nairobi and it was a night to remember. Nairobians showed up in the hundreds to support their local talent and it was a beautiful scene to witness.


Songstress Ru.BY kicked off the night, which was curated by our Nairobi-based contributor Camille Storm, with an incredibly lively performance that included throwback Kenyan classics as well songs from her latest Hey There EP. Her captivating stage presence had many rushing to the dance floor in no time and she set the pace for the rest of the night.

Fox Elijah and his band, BLK GLD RPLK, later enthralled the audience with a mind-blowing hip-hop-meets-reggae fusion set. Alternative-pop duo Mankind shut the house down when they performed their hit single "Take and Go" for fans that had been yearning to see the duo play live for the first time.

It was difficult to leave the dance floor once Mix Master Lenny took over the decks—and he kept the party going 'til the early morning. What an epic start to what is looking to be a very exciting music series. All video and photography by Craig Mumo Kilili (CJ Pixels).

Check out how it all went down in the clip below!


Ru.BY. Photo by CJ Pixels.

Ru.BY. Photo by CJ Pixels.

Fox Elijah. Photo by CJ Pixels.

Fox Elijah. Photo by CJ Pixels.

Mankind. Photo by CJ Pixels.

Mankind. Photo by CJ Pixels.

Mankind. Photo by CJ Pixels.

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Lupita Nyong'o Releases Debut Children's Book 'Sulwe,' an Ode to Dark-Skinned Kids

The actress says she wrote the book to help children learn to "love the skin they're in," pulling from her own childhood experiences with colorism.

Lupita Nyong'o's highly-anticiapted debut children's book, Sulwe is finally here.

Sulwe is all about self-love, the protagonsit is inspired by the actress herself (and even wears a dress the same that's the same shade of "Nairobi Blue" as the one she wore to the 2014 Oscars).

The book was illustrated by Vashti Harrison, who colors its pages with whimsical drawings of young Sulwe. Here's an official description of the book:

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

The actress has been promoting the new book with several interviews and appearances. Last week, she appeared on BBC Newsnight where she spoke openly about her experience growing up in a world that places more value on lighter skin and Eurocentric features. "Colorism is the daughter of racism," said Nyong'o.

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Kenyan athletes are on a record-breaking winning streak.

This past weekend, the 2019 Chicago Women's Marathon took place. Twenty-five-year-old Kenyan athlete Brigid Kosgei finished the marathon with a time of 2 hours, 14 minutes and 4 seconds, breaking the world record set sixteen years ago by Paula Radcliffe. Kosgei's impressive time was an entire six-and-a-half minutes ahead of Ethiopia's Ababel Yeshaneh who placed second ahead of Ethiopian runner, Gelete Burka, who then placed third, according to the BBC.

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Video: Mr Eazi On How He's Helping Young African Artists Grow

In 'Moments With: Mr Eazi,' the buzzing Nigerian star tells us about Banku music, being a serial entrepreneur, and how he's been pushing young African artists through his emPawa initiative.

Mr Eazi stopped by our offices in New York City during a packed round of promo around his new emPawa platform.

The Nigerian star sat down with OkayAfrica and spoke in-depth about his early days, how his friends all pooled money to help him get started, how his famous 'hat' look came about, the blend of Ghanaian & Nigerian sounds that make up Banku music and more recent things like collaboration with J Balvin and Bad Bunny.

Watch our Moments With video with Mr Eazi below.

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The 14 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Asa, Patoranking x Busiswa, $pacely, Vagabon, Shane Eagle and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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