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LGBT Community Dealt Major Blow as Transgender Cameroonians Imprisoned

The Cameroonian government has sentenced Shakiro and Mouthe "Patricia" Roland to five years in prison and fined them heavily for 'attempting homosexuality'.

The Cameroonian government has reportedly sentenced two transgender Cameroonians to five years in prison this past Tuesday. Shakiro (real name Njeukam Loic Midrel), a popular internet celebrity in Cameroon and her partner, Mouthe "Patricia" Roland, were charged with "attempting homosexuality and fined heavily with the possibility of added jail time should they fail to pay. The couple had already been imprisoned in the two months prior to their trial commencing at the Bonanjo Douala magistrate's court.

READ: South Africans Confronted with Reality of Continued Homophobic Murders

The conviction of Shakiro and Roland is a major blow to the queer community of Cameroon. Additionally, the judgment comes shortly after an alarming report was released by Human Rights Watch last month and which highlighted the increasing persecution of the country's LGBT community.

Describing the societal impact of the recent judgement to News24, Alice Nkom, head of the Association for the Defence of Rights of Homosexuals, said the following: "It's a hammer blow. It's the maximum term outlined in law. The message is clear: homosexuals don't have a place in Cameroon." Nkom has vowed to appeal the judgement saying, "We will continue the fight before the court of appeal. This decision risks increasing violence against LGBTQ people."

While Angola may have officially enacted its new penal code against the discrimination of LGBT Angolans earlier this year in February, the reality of many queer people on the continent remains quite bleak. South Africa has been contending with several homophobic murders this year alone while LGBT+ Rights Ghana's new centre was raided and subsequently shut down by Ghanaian security forces.


Black Sherif, Africa’s Young Bright Black Star

We trail the Ghanaian superstar as he plays his first sold-out show in New York City.

“I leave my art to breathe. I don't apply no pressure,” Black Sherif shares one of his many philosophical principles with me in the OkayAfrica offices. The 21-year-old Ghanaian newcomer has only been professionally releasing music since 2019 but he has already become the youngest singer to win Artist of the Year at the 2023 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.

He reacts to the news with a boyishly shy grin: “It’s mad.”

Last October, his breakthrough album The Villian I Never Was cemented him as a rising talent to watch. The sonic palette of his debut showcased an eclectic fusion of drill, Afrobeats, reggae, and hip-hop. Critical acclaim abounded, as well as collaborations with the likes of Popcaan and Burna Boy.

For as long as the West has smeared Africa with allegations of archaic laws and culture, Black Sherif has become the young bright Black star of what has been derogatorily referred to as the “dark continent.”

Uniting the Diaspora

Three nights earlier I had the opportunity to witness his electrifying stage presence firsthand. Palladium Times Square, New York City — stop number one of Black Sherif’s headlining tour and a long way from Konongo. Usually, concerts will open with a lesser-known artist from the same label, this one had about 20 acts.

From Nigeria and Ghana to Liberia and New York City, the diaspora united on and off stage. No one quite knew when the main act would arrive but the audience was too pleasantly tipsy to notice how much time had passed. At one point it seemed like the hosts were plucking attendees from the audience to perform — a real communal affair. Still, the crowd became restless waiting for Blacko, whose name they cheered in between pulls of smuggled cigarettes and blunts. When he burst on stage with a raucous performance of “Kwaku the Traveller,” the security guards were too enraptured to catch those health code violations.

Even without the pyrotechnics, Black Sherif commanded the stage with the combined energy of the 20 preceding artists.

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Photo by Mohau Mannathoko on Unsplash.

Fun Places in Accra, Ghana to Visit This Weekend

From Happy Hour at Front/Back to “Special Sunday Mukaasie” at The Hangout, Accra is packed with places to have fun.

This week, relax and unwind with drinks and conversation at Front/Back’s Happy Hour, attend Oliver Twist Shack’s silent party, or make a quick trip to Kumasi for Praise Reloaded by Joe Mettle. Whatever your choice of fun is, here is a list of places to visit this weekend in Accra, Ghana.

Happy Hour at Front/Back

Front/Back is a club, bar, and restaurant that’s known as one of the most exclusive nightlife spots in Accra, and this week, they’re launching a brand new event - Happy Hour at Front/Back! Pass through from 6pm to 9pm for special discounts on Front/Back’s drink menu for your pre-weekend unwind.

Date: Wednesday, 7th June - Friday, 9th June, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Venue: Front/Back, Osu

'Think Pink, Go West' Museum Exhibition

The Institute Museum of Ghana is Ghana’s first contemporary art museum, and it’s the host to ‘Think Pink, Go West,’ the debut solo museum exhibition by Nigerian artist Samuel Olayombo. Curated by Fabiola Ondzouga, the exhibition highlights Samuel’s bid to examine the wider construct of gender roles and society’s complex relationship with masculinity through his art. Whether you're a collector, connoisseur, or just an appreciator of art, this event is for you.

Date: Thursday, 8th June - Saturday, 10th June, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Venue: Institute Museum of Ghana

Cost: Free

"Hush Hush" Silent Party at Oliver Twist Shack

This Saturday, Oliver Twist Shack will be hosting the second edition of Hush Hush - a silent party! In light of the current ban on noisemaking in Accra due to a traditional festival, Oliver Twist Shack have decided to bring back their signature silent party one last time before the ban is lifted. Bring your friends, rent a pair of headphones, and jam the night away in silence as the good people at Oliver Twist Shack provide all the vibes you need.

Date: Saturday, 10th June

Venue: Oliver Twist Shack

Cost: Free entry, GHS30 for headphones

Poetry Night at Porkyto's

Are you a lover of spoken word? “Fake Faces False Faces” is a night of poetry, music, and art, taking place at Portyko’s Restaurant this Saturday in Accra. Enjoy performances by some of Accra’s best spoken word talents, while enjoying treats from Portyko’s delectable menu.

Date: Saturday, 10th June

Venue: Portyko’s, Osu

Cost: Free

Central Region Daycation by The Get Out Ghana

Craving a getaway but don’t have time for a vacation? The Get Out Ghana has got you covered. Join them for their “daycation” to the Central Region this Saturday. There’ll be a myriad of activities, including kayaking, quad biking, soft archery, volleyball, board games, mini golf, and more. Book a slot now and join the bus from Accra for a day filled with fun!

Date: Saturday, 10th June, 8 a.m.

Venue: Departure from Accra Mall & West Hills Mall

Cost: GHS595

Praise Reloaded by Joe Mettle

Award-winning gospel singer Joe Mettle will be hosting his annual gospel music concert Praise Reloaded, this Sunday. The lineup is loaded with some of the best Ghanaian gospel stars as well as top Nigerian gospel singer Prospa Ochimana. If you’re a fan of gospel music and you don’t mind making a quick trip to Kumasi, this concert promises to be one for the books.

Date: Sunday, 11th June, 5 p.m.

Venue: CCC Kumasi

Cost: Ticket from GHS50

"Special Sunday Mukaasie" at The Hangout

The Hangout is a restaurant and bar located in the Spintex area of Accra and this Sunday, they will be hosting “Special Sunday Mukaasie”, a local cuisine buffet featuring all of Ghana’s beloved traditional delicacies. There will be a live band as well, so catch some vibes while eating to your fill this Sunday at The Hangout.

Date: Sunday, 11th June, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Venue: The Hangout, Spintex

Cost: GHS100

News Brief
Image via Getty

Egypt Expels Dutch Archeologists For "Afrocentric" Exhibit

The North African nation is unimpressed with the group's desire to "falsify history" by exploring the country's influence on Black musicians.

Authorities have banned a team of Dutch archeologists from continuing their excavation activities in the country's abundant Saqqara Necropolis.

On Monday, Holland's National Museum of Antiquities received an email from the head of foreign missions of the Egyptian Antiquities Service stating that the museum's "Kemet: Egypt in Hip-Hop, Jazz, Soul & Funk" exhibition is "falsifying history" with it's "Afrocentric" approach. Their punishment? The team, who has been working in Egypt's historical tombs since 1975, will no longer be granted access to the historical burial site.

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Music Brief
Image: YouTube screenshot

Watch: Black Sherif Praises Gob3, FC Barcelona, and More

The Ghanaian superstar recently stopped by our OkayAfrica offices to give us a closer look into what keeps him going.

What a joy it is to find out that Ghana's hottest export at the moment, Black Sherif, is a great guy, too. The "Kwaku the Traveller" songster recently stopped by the OkayAfrica offices to share his desire to travel to beautiful Namibia, the heartbreaking relationship he has with football, as well as a look into how he creates a successful hook.

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From Capetown to a Galaxy Far, Far Away: A South African Animation Studio Reimagines Star Wars

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AfroCuration is Bringing Untold Ghanaian Stories to Light

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Asake Will Headline A North American Tour This Summer

The blossoming Nigerian talent will be bringing his sold out show to American fans this summer.


New Research Out of South Africa Brings Us Closer To Understanding Ancient Human Species

The remains left by “Homo Naledi” informs us of their use of burial grounds, tribal paintings, and more.