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Okayafrica's Top 10 LagosPhotos

Okayafrica picks out the 10 most striking images on display at LagosPhoto 2014.

Nigeria's first and only international festival of photography, LagosPhoto, kicked off this past weekend in Victoria Island featuring the work of forty local and international artists from over twenty countries. For the fifth year in a row, the series welcomes the work of photographers who offer an alternative to what festival founder Azu Nwagbogu once identified as the dominant "Afro-Pessimistic" narrative of suffering and abject poverty usually portrayed in Western media. This year's theme is Staging Reality: Documenting Fiction, which according to LagosPhoto, "examines contemporary photographers working in Africa that toe the line between photography and truth, incorporating conceptual practices and performative strategies that expand traditional photographic approaches and techniques."


Among the artists featured are Moroccan pop-art photographer Hassan Hajjaj, British-Nigerian artist/curator Sesu Tilley-Gyado, whose digitally enhanced TIME magazine covers capture the multiplicity of African identities within a historical context, South African sculptor Mary Sibande and Nigerian photographer Jenevieve Aken, who both use their likeness to probe outmoded gender roles and the position of the black female body in Africa, and Zimbabwean multi-media artist Kudzanai Chiurai and his socio-political exploration of nation states through video, sound and performance. In the gallery above, we compiled ten of the most striking images now on display at the monthlong festival. Keep up with LagosPhoto on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and check out their official website for more information on presentations, workshops, and film screenings rounding out the exhibition.

LagosPhoto Festival runs from October 25th to November 26th in Lagos, Nigeria.

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7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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