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President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda

Uganda Plans to Re-introduce its Inhuman 'Kill the Gays' Bill

Should the bill be passed in parliament, homosexuality will be punished by death.

Uganda is yet another African country with some of the most discriminatory laws as it pertains to members of the LGBTQ community. According to the Daily Mail, the government plans to bring back to parliament a bill called "Kill the Gays" which was rejected five years ago based on a technicality. With Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's support, the government intends to not only punish homosexuality with the death penalty but also criminalize those who are involved in its "promotion and recruitment". There has been tremendous backlash and condemnation of the news on social media.


Many activists and members of the LGBTQ community have expressed concerns that the bill will result in increased targeted violence and hate crimes. Pepe Julian Onziema, from Sexual Minorities Uganda, said that already three gay men and one transgender woman had been murdered in homophobic attacks this year alone.

Back in 2014, Uganda's constitutional court rejected the controversial bill on a technicality because it reportedly included the death penalty. However, the Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo, is certain that it will be passed successfully this time. In a statement, Lokodo said that, "Homosexuality is not natural to the Ugandans, but there has been a massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that." Lokodo went on to add that, "Our current penal law is limited. It only criminalizes the act. We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalized. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence."

Although in the past, international outrage over anti-gay laws has led to countries including the United States of America, Netherlands, Norway and Denmark as well as entities such as the World Bank, reducing their financial aid to the East African country, the Ugandan government says that is prepared for the backlash and will not "bow to a people who want to impose a culture which is foreign to us."

Music
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Roc Nation

Burna Boy, Tems, Zakes Bantwini, Eddy Kenzo & More Are Nominated For 2023 Grammy Awards

They are joined by Angélique Kidjo, Rocky Dawuni, Nomcebo Zikode and more African artists on the nominees list for next year's Grammy Awards.

The Recording Academy has released its list of nominees for the upcoming 2023 Grammy Awards show and several African artists have been given a nod.

Nigerian superstar Burna Boyand Beninese legend Angélique Kidjo are both nominated for Best Global Music Album.

Uganda's Eddy Kenzo, Ghana's Rocky Dawuni, South Africa's Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode, and Burna Boy are all in the running for Best Global Music Performance.

Nigeria's continually buzzing Tems is nominated for "Wait For U," her collaboration with Future and Drake, under the Best Melodic Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. Angélique Kidjo is also nominated for her Woman King song "Keep Rising" under the Best Song Written for Visual Media category.

African music has been taking center stage, and the recent nominations have further proven that the world is paying attention to the sounds coming from the African continent.

The 65th installment of the award show will take place on Sunday, February 5, 2023, at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. It will be exciting to see all of the honorees from the continent and how their hard work has paid off.

Last year, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Tems, Femi Kuti, Made Kuti, Angélique Kidjo, Rocky Dawuni, and Black Coffee were the African nominees.

Last year, Kidjo won an award for her 16th studio album Mother Nature, marking her fifth Grammy win. During a visit to Ghana earlier this year, Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, told reporters that the Grammys were considering an Afrobeats category. Mason said he had been meeting with important decision-makers in the genre to explore the possibility.

Scroll down to see the list of African artists nominated for the award show this year.

Check out the complete list of nominees here.

Best Global Music Performance

“Udhero Na,” Arooj Aftab and Anoushka Shankar
“Gimme Love,” Matt B and Eddy Kenzo
“Last Last,” Burna Boy
“Neva Bow Down,” Rocky Dawuni featuring Blvk H3ro
“Bayethe,” Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode

Best Global Music Album

“Shuruaat,” Berklee Indian Ensemble
“Love, Damini,” Burna Boy
“Queen of Sheba,” Angélique Kidjo and Ibrahim Maalouf
“Between Us … (Live),” Anoushka Shankar, Metropole Orkest and Jules Buckley featuring Manu Delago
“Sakura,” Masa Takumi

Best Melodic Rap Performance

“Beautiful,” DJ Khaled featuring Future and SZA
“Wait for U,” Future featuring Drake and Tems
“First Class,” Jack Harlow
“Die Hard,” Kendrick Lamar featuring Blxst and Amanda Reifer
“Big Energy (Live),” Latto

Best Rap Song

“Churchill Downs,” Ace G, BEDRM, Matthew Samuels, Tahrence Brown, Rogét Chahayed, Aubrey Graham, Jack Harlow and Jose Velazquez, songwriters (Jack Harlow featuring Drake)

“God Did,’ Tarik Azzouz, E. Blackmon, Khaled Khaled, F. LeBlanc, Shawn Carter, John Stephens, Dwayne Carter, William Roberts and Nicholas Warwar, songwriters (DJ Khaled featuring Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend and Fridayy)

“The Heart Part 5,” Jake Kosich, Johnny Kosich, Kendrick Lamar and Matt Schaeffer, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)

“Pushin P,” Lucas Depante, Nayvadius Wilburn, Sergio Kitchens, Wesley Tyler Glass and Jeffery Lamar Williams, songwriters (Gunna and Future featuring Young Thug)

“Wait for U,” Tejiri Akpoghene, Floyd E. Bentley III, Jacob Canady, Isaac De Boni, Aubrey Graham, Israel Ayomide Fowobaje, Nayvadius Wilburn, Michael Mule, Oluwatoroti Oke and Temilade Openiyi, songwriters (Future featuring Drake and Tems)

Best Song Written for Visual Media

“Be Alive” from “King Richard”; Beyoncé́ and Darius Scott Dixson, songwriters (Beyoncé́)

“Carolina” from “Where the Crawdads Sing”; Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)

“Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick”; Bloodpop and Stefani Germanotta, songwriters (Lady Gaga)

“Keep Rising (The Woman King)” from “The Woman King”; Angelique Kidjo, Jeremy Lutito and Jessy Wilson, songwriters (Jessy Wilson featuring Angelique Kidjo)

“Nobody Like U” from “Turning Red”; Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (4*Town, Jordan Fisher, Finneas O’Connell, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo, Grayson Villanueva)

“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from “Encanto”; Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter (Carolina Gaitán — La Gaita, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz & Encanto — Cast)

Arts + Culture
Photo: @Africanist

Finding Afrobeats In a White City

One writer's quest to find a space that felt like home after moving to Seattle.

I moved to Seattle, Washington right in the middle of the pandemic in December of 2020. The following summer Governor Jay Inslee announced the opening of restaurants and clubs. It was perfect timing for Seattle summer, but the challenge was finding a party or space where I felt at home, with people who looked like me. I wanted to find a place where vibes and community intersected while listening to afrobeats, somewhere I could go to every weekend. After asking around, I was told numerous times to check out The Afrobeats Party.

According to the 2021 US census report, Seattle's population is roughly 733,919 people, and only 7.1% of those people are Black or African American. With these statistics, when you think of Seattle, the first thing that comes to mind is not afrobeats. However, there's been a big movement brewing over the past years in the city, with Ghanaian-born, Seattle-based DJ Nayiram’s party catapulting afrobeats further into its musical consciousness.

The first time I attended The Afrobeats Party I went with some of my girls who had frequently been, but they did not prepare me for what I was about to experience. I didn't expect to stand in a line that wrapped around the block alongside, what seemed like, a sizable portion of the 7.1% of black people that live in Seattle. Once we eventually made our way inside Red Lounge, we were met with over 300 people singing Fireboy DML's “Peru” at the top of their lungs, as a sea of bodies were being taken on a musical journey. I was pleasantly surprised by how much energy there was in the room and the power afrobeats had on everyone moving to every beat.

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Sports
(Photo by Youssef Loulidi/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Morocco Advance to the Round Of 16 in the World Cup

Morocco join Senegal as the second African country make the knockout stages at Qatar 2022.

Morocco have officially joined the string of African countries who have been excelling at the FIFA World Cup.

By beating Canada, 2-1, the North African country finish at the top of their Group F, besting strong footballing countries like Belgium and Croatia, and advancing to the last 16 teams in the World Cup.

During the game against Canada, the Moroccan side strategically capitalized on its opponents' mistakes, especially those from Canadian defender Steven Vitória and goalkeeper Milan Borjan. At the height of the game, Vitória attempted to pass the ball back to Borjan at the same time that Youssef En-Nesyri was giving chase. Borjan left his net to play the ball but En-Nesyri’s seamlessness with the ball overpowered him and gave Hakim Ziyech the leeway to easily score a goal from a distance.

By half-time against Canada, Morocco was already in the lead, with strong indications pointing to the possibility that they would push through the knockout round. The win came with an eruption of celebration from fans who witnessed the team win at Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar.

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News Brief
(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Roc Nation)

Burna Boy Tops 2022 African Streams on Both Spotify & Apple Music

The Nigerian star dominated African streaming lists across both platforms.

On Wednesday, November 30th, Spotify announced its 2022 Wrapped campaign and personalized user experience. In line with that, the music streaming powerhouse also revealed the top songs, albums, and podcasts that dominated the playlists of its 456M listeners around the world.

With the rise of Afrobeats and Amapiano this year, also came the domination of some of Africa’s leading artists and based on the numbers that Spotify put out, Burna Boy was leading the pack. The African Giant dominated the list as The Top African Artist Streamed Globally, Top African Artist on Spotify, and Top Songs Streamed Across Africa ("Last Last").

Spotify's Top Breakout Artist in Africa this year was Asake and the Top African Songs Streamed Globally was the ever-present "Love Nwatiti" by Ckay.

Apple Music also released a list of the top songs and albums for 2022, and again, Burna Boy topped the list. The release of his sixth studio album Love, Damini generated massive critical acclaim and the leading single “Last Last” quickly a global anthem.

According to Apple’s analytics, the album was the most streamed on Apple Music Nigeria, Apple Music Ghana and Apple Music Kenya in 2022. It is also the third most streamed album on Apple Music South Africa in 2022.

According to Phiona Okumu, Head of Music, Spotify Africa, the Spotify Wrapped campaign is also an opportunity for African artists to continue to thrive both home and abroad.

“As always, we also have our Wrapped creator experience for podcasters and artists. With access to their own individualized Wrapped microsite experience, creators can dive into all the ways in which their fans listened this year. We are so excited to continue to support the growth of these artists globally and at home,” said Okumu.

The “Ye” singer has continued to push boundaries and like many of his successful peers in the African music scene, have shown the world that African music, art and talent can push global boundaries and make the world listen.

Following numerous sold out tours, including an eye-popping headliner show at New York’s Madison Square Garden, it is not difficult to see why the afrobeats heavyweight continues to thrive and put Africa as a whole on the map.

Graphic provided by Spotify.


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