News Brief

Celebrated Senegalese Artist, Issa Samb, Has Passed Away

Senegalese interdisciplinary artist, Issa Samb, also known as, Joe Ouakam, passed away yesterday at the age of 71.

Prolific Senegalese interdisciplinary artist, Issa Samb, also known as, Joe Ouakam (after the neighborhood his was born in), passed away peacefully yesterday. He was 71.


The painter, sculptor, performance artists, playwright and poet, was one of the co-founders of Laboratoire Agit'Art, a Dakar-based collective dedicated to revitalizing African art through the examining of international forms of artistic expression and schools of thought.

Samb studied law and philosophy at the University of Dakar before dedicating his life to the arts, reports RFI Africa. He was an outspoken critic of the commercialization of Senegalese art, and he was one of the first artists to openly critique the literary philosophy of Négritude.

According to French news outlet, Le Quotidien, the artists once vehemently called out mercantilism in the art world during a video interview. "The beauty of the world is art and culture," he said. "Now the so-called artists are selling this beautiful heritage left to us by our ancestors."

Samb's stand-out style and vibrant aesthetic made him a recognizable figure in his community and beyond. His home in Dakar is a city treasure that features a courtyard full of unique artifacts. It's known as a meeting place for artists and intellectuals, which will hopefully be preserved long after his passing.

In 2010 the National Gallery of Dakar exhibited a retrospective on the artist's life and career.

News Brief
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Dave's 'Psychodrama' Wins 'Album of the Year' at the 2020 Brit Awards

The British-Nigerian rapper took home the top prize moments after a performance during which he called the British Prime Minister a 'real racist'.

British Nigerian rapper Dave took home the top prize at this year's Brit Awards. His 2019 debut album Psychodrama, which was certified gold in just three months and went on to win last year's Mercury Prize, was awarded "Album of the Year".

However, it was Dave's performance prior to him receiving the award that really stole the show.

According to the BBC, the artist gave a fiery performance of his track "Black" wherein he added a new verse which called out the government and referred to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a "real racist".

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Shirazee is back with his latest single "Juju."

The new song sees the Benin-born singer-songwriter linking up with none-other-than Saint Jhn for a highly-addictive tune built on afro-fusion beat work. The striking new music video for "Juju," which was directed by Tiara Marei, follows Shirazee and Saint Jhn to New Orleans, Louisiana.

"This one is special to me 'cause the song was recorded at a time I needed to break a love-spell that I felt was put on me by a serious crush of mine [laughs]," Shirazee tells OkayAfrica. "Shooting this video in New Orleans, a city with historical ties to my Benin, was such a privilege and does so much justice to the song and theme.

"[I'm] looking forward to releasing new music this year and the first of two EPs called LOST is on the way and it's exciting," he adds.

For more on him, revisit our interview with Shirazee on his journey, taking risks and going independent. As you remember, Saint Jhn featured on Beyoncé and Wizkid's "Brown Skin Girl," one of our favorite songs last year.

Get into Shirazee and Saint Jhn's "Juju" below.

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It's no secret that Nigerians and Indians have one major thing in common: over the top weddings. The two cultures are basically neck-in-neck when it comes to beautiful, extravagant (emphasis on the 'extra') weddings, which is why many of us have often fantasized about attending a joint Nigerian-Indian wedding. The good news is that an upcoming romantic comedy, starring some of Nollywood and Bollywood's best, is here to indulge us.

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The rising actress played Gloria in the 2016 film, based on the life of Chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi, which also starred Madina Nalwanga, Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo.

Waligwa stood out in a scene in which she taught Phiona—who went on to excel in several international chess tournaments—the rules of the game. A pleasant presence on-screen, she delivered the memorable line: "In chess, the small one came become the big one."

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