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South Africa's Motswako Originator Khuli Chana Spends A Day Out In NYC With Okayafrica TV

South African "Motswako Originator" Khuli Chana spends a day out in New York City with Okayafrica TV.


South Africa's Khuli Chana (a.k.a. Khulane Morule) is the "Originator" of Motswako, a clan of proudly Mzansi rappers that rhyme in a mixture of Setswana, English and a number of other vernaculars. The Mafikeng born and bred emcee recently set out on a trip to the US to collect his first international award (for Best Male Southern Africa) at the African Muzik Magazine Awards in Dallas. When we found out he'd be making a stop in NYC we knew we'd have to document the Maftown King's New York minute. Thankfully Okayafrica TV had the chance to spend a day out with Chana as he embarked on a cross-borough photo shoot with NY-based photographer Gugu Lethu. It was a day filled with firsts– from his first time in an American diner (where he shared his New York dreams, like meeting Jay Z), to his very first encounter with Times Square (you can't even compare it to a "Joburg on steroids," he says). The cameras were also rolling when Chana opened up for the first time about his "situation" with South African police last October. Watch this and more in a Day Out With South Africa's Khuli Chana on Okayafrica TV below.

Producer: Allison Swank

Videographers:

Jake Remington, and Lance Steagall

(Collabo!)

Editor: Jake Remington

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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