News

A Devastating Mudslide Killed Hundreds in Sierra Leone and the Death Toll Keeps Climbing

A mudslide on the Outskirt of Sierra Leone claimed 312 lives and left 2000 people homeless.

SIERRA LEONE— According to the Red Cross, at least 312 people were found dead and 2000 people have been made homeless after a hillside collapsed in the Freetown suburb of Regent earlier today. The Sierra Leonean local TV station interrupted its scheduled broadcast to show devastating images of people looking for their loved ones amid the torrential mud.


The capital is in a state of emergency as the morgues have reached their capacity and the death toll continues to increase.

"It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble,” the country’s Vice President,Victor Foh, told Reuters. "The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken. We're trying to cordon [off] the area (and) evacuate the people," he added.

Sierra Leone frequently experiences floods.  In 2015, ten people were killed and thousands became homeless in floods caused by the monsoon rains. Areas like Regent which are populated by informal settlements are even more vulnerable to these heavy rains. is not unusual in Sierra Leone, where unsafe housing in makeshift settlements can be swept away by heavy rains.

 

 

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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