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#JusticeForGiovani, Cape Verde Demands Answers in the 'Barbaric' Death of 21-Year-Old Student In Portugal

Luis Giovani dos Santos Rodrigues, a Cape Verdean student living in Portugal, died on New Year's Eve after succumbing to injuries from an attack ten days earlier, which many believe was racially motivated.

Cape Verdeans are demanding answers in the "barbaric killing" of 21-year-old student and musician Luis Giovani dos Santos Rodrigues in Portugal last month.

According to various Portuguese reports, Rodrigues was allegedly attacked by a group of men while leaving a party at a local bar on December 21. According to the Portuguese newspaper Contacto, witnesses say a group of about 15 men approached Rodrigues and two of his friends armed with belts, sticks and other weapons. The report goes on to say that Rodrigues was beaten and left unconscious with bruises to his head. He spent 10 days in the hospital before succumbing to his injuries on December 31.


Rodrigues had moved to the town of Bragança less than two months earlier to attend the Bragança Polytechnic Institute (IPB), where he was studying Digital Game Design, according to a statement from the municipality of Mosteiros, where he was from. He was also known as a talented musician, who played piano at his childhood church in the Cape Verdean Island of Fogo.

He was a member of the band Beatz Boys, and was described as one of the "most promising artists in Mosteiros."

Jovem estudante mosteirense de 21 anos morre em Portugal vítima de espancamento www.youtube.com

According to Time 24 News, The Cape Verdean Embassy in Portugal has called for an autopsy and a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding Rodrigues' death. Cape Verde's President Jorge Carlos Fonseca, has also stated his involvement in seeking answers around Rodrigues' "brutal death."

Janira Hopffer Almada, the president of the opposition African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde, shared a post on Facebook calling for justice in Rodrigues' case and urging citizens to take up the cause of fellow Cape Verdeans living in Portugal. "It's time to stop and analyze the real situation of students and our community in Portugal," she wrote. "We have a duty to be more present."

Star Cape Verdean musical artist Nelson Freitas weighed in as well, sharing an image of Rodrigues by the artist Gualter Monteiro on his Instagram with the caption "We want justice!"

Artwork by Gualter Monteiro

"We deeply regret the barbarous assault that resulted in the death of a Cape Verdean student in Bragança," said the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, "Those responsible will be identified and brought to justice."

Many online believe that racial discrimination in Portugal played a role in Rodrigues death, and some have stated that the incident should be investigated as a possible hate crime.

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Fabolous in "Choosy"

Davido, Fabolous & Jeremih Connect For 'Choosy'

Watch the music video for their new single, shot in Cape Verde.

Fabolous drops his latest single and music video for "Choosy," a new song that sees him linking up with Nigerian star Davido and Jeremih.

The new track, which was produced by Hitmaka and Swiff D, is built on light guitars and afrobeats-inspired beatwork. which brings to mind past hits like "Unforgettable" and "2AM."

Jeremih kicks off "Choosy" and handles chorus duties, while Fabolous pops in-and-out with his verses. Davido comes in around the 3-minute mark of the video to deliver a romance-filled verse that interpolates his much-played opening line from "If."

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Photo: OJOZ. Courtesy of Mayra Andrade.

Mayra Andrade Is Bringing Cape Verdean Music Forward

We talk to the singer about her latest album, Manga, which offers a fresh pop take on Cape Verdean sounds.

Mayra Andrade is something of a musical mermaid. Now living in Lisbon, the Cape Verdean pop singer firmly plants one half of herself in her mother island while the other swims into sounds from beyond. Her fifth and most recent album, Manga, released in February, is a fresh take on old styles.

Andrade has always lovingly trespassed the stodgy borders of traditional Cape Verdean music. Manga takes it further, hitting up the ranks of West African pop and Lisbon's Afro-Portuguese dance music for inspiration. It's gorgeous and minimal, sing-able and danceable for any body. Manga also reminds Cape Verde of something that it – and the wider world—sometimes forgets: that it's an African country interwoven with its neighbors.

Cape Verde's traditional music is global, but its pop music rarely reaches outside the Lusophone world. Mayra Andrade, sharpening her country's cutting edge, should be counted as one of the best pop artists in West Africa, not just Cape Verde. As she says, her latest album Manga is speaking to her fans like nothing else in her 19-year career. The recent video for her song "Pull Up," shot in Paris and Dakar, features dance crews whose brazen moves mirror the message: "Let me be free to be what I really am."

Andrade spoke with OkayAfrica at the Atlantic Music Expo in Praia, Cape Verde, the day before her first homecoming concert for Manga.

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The Gorillaz Enlist Fatoumata Diawara for New Track 'Désolé

A stunning collaboration that we didn't even know we needed.

The Gorillaz enlist none other than Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara for their latest single "Désolé," the second single from the hit-making British band's Song Machine installation project.

"Making Désolé with Fatou was a real moment for me, you know," the band's drummer Russel Hobbs is quoted as saying in a statement via Pitchfork. Désole translates to "sorry" in French, but despite it's apologetic title, the song is a laid-back groove, elevated by vocals from lead singer Damon Albarn and Diawara, who sings in English, French and Bambara.

"She's an African Queen," Russel adds. "This lady made the song what it is, beautiful, like life. What can I say about Désolé? They say sorry is the hardest word, but that's not true.... Try saying antidisestablishmentarianism with a mouth full of gluten free cronuts on a speed boat without licking your lips."

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Diamond Platnumz and Tanasha in "Gere" (Youtube)

The 7 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Diamond Platnumz x Tanasha, Sauti Sol, Rayvanny, Sheebah, Victoria Kimani and more.

February has been dominated by familiar voices in East African music.

Here are our picks of the best East African songs of the month featuring Diamond Platnumz, Sheebah, Rayvanny and more.

Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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