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Mexican Government Returns Stolen Bronze Sculpture to Nigeria

Mexican customs officials thwarted an attempt to smuggle the ancient Yoruba sculpture into the country.

The Mexican government has recently returned a stolen bronze sculpture to Nigeria according to Vanguard.

The ancient sculpture was seized by customs officials at Mexico City Airport following an attempt to reportedly smuggle the artefact into the country.


The bronze sculpture itself is thought to be a 6th century relic from the southwestern Yoruba City of Ife and depicts a man in woven pants sitting cross legged and holding an instrument.

While it is still unclear how the artefact was obtained in the first place, Mexico's Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs Julián Ventura Valero says, "We oppose the illegal commercialisation of archaeological pieces, an important cause of the impoverishment of the cultural heritage of the nations of origin, since it undermines the integrity of cultures and, therefore, of humanity."

Several bronze artefacts ranging from a 19th-century cockerel from Benin City to an 18th-century Ethiopian crown have since been returned to their respective countries over the past few years. Often the result of looting during the colonial era, the governments of these African countries are now rightly demanding that these stolen pieces of significant cultural history be permanently returned to them and not offered on "long-term loans" as has often been the case.

However, thousands more of these invaluable artefacts from many African countries remain housed in museums across Europe. Revisit our interview with anthropologist and curator Niama Safia Sandy about the politics around the repatriation of African art here.

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The 8 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Femi Kuti, RIMON, Joeboy, Makhalanjalo, Tayc and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Watch Pa Salieu Make His US TV Debut With Performance on 'Fallon'

With the way the Gambian-British rap star is moving, 2021 is sure to be his year.

The excitement surrounding Gambian-British rapper Pa Salieu doesn't seem to be slowing down, as he has just further introduced himself to U.S. audiences. The buzzing artist made his U.S. debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon , performing hit "Frontline".

Three weeks in to the new year and UK based Salieu has topped NME's 100 Essential emerging artists for 2021 list, won BBC's Sound of 2021, and the list of accomplishments keep rolling in.

In his visually bewitching performance of "Frontline," a standout track off 2020's Send Them to Coventry, Salieu not only showed off his talents but his personality in the upbeat performance. At one point the rapper sang to viewers through a car, was joined on stage by some friends and their dogs, before ending his show front and center and glowing. The energy and vision that so obviously went into the performance is noted and appreciated. Who doesn't love to see people doing something they love?

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Photo: Courtesy of The Outside Organisation

Ayra Starr Shines Bright on Debut Single 'Away'

Mavin Records' new teenage signee comes through with her debut EP.

West African native and the newest Mavin Records signee Ayra Starr is fresh out of the gate and already getting tongues wagging. The 19-year-old has released her self-titled debut EP, starting with head bopper "Away."

Born in Benin and raised between Cotonou and Lagos, Nigeria, Starr's sound allows her versatility and distinctive styles to take center stage. Her new five-track EP exhibits strong examples of soulfulness and a diverse musical range that usually takes some years to master.

But, what can't African women do?

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MTV Africa Music Awards Announces Top 20 'Listeners' Choice' Finalists

Focalistic, Tiwa Savage, DBN Gogo and more score a spot on the nominees list for the 'Listener's Choice' award at the 2021 MAMAs.