Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Moonchild Sanelly Slams South African Radios for Pulling New Single 'Askies' Off Air.

Moonchild Sanelly Slams South African Radio Stations for Pulling New Single 'Askies​'

'You're taking down a song that makes every woman, whatever their size, feel confident,' says Moonchild Sanelly to South African radio stations.

Recently, Moonchild Sanelly joined forces with amapiano duo JazziDisciples, FakeLove andMr JazziQ on the new single titled "Askies" (which translates to "sorry"). The song has been pulled from the air waves by several South African radio stations for reportedly being "too explicit" in its lyrical content. Moonchild Sanelly has shot back at radio stations and criticised the double standards they often hold when it comes to the representation of women in music.


In the song, Moonchild Sanelly raps about thunder-thighs, voluptuous breasts and big asses––features she says she wants women, young and old, to be able to embrace without shame. Since the track dropped, women have taken to social media to post videos of themselves dancing to the song in what is fast becoming a body-positive movement flying under the banner of #thunderthighschallenge.

Taking to Instagram, Moonchild Sanelly says, "How many women are objectified by men in songs and you play them on radio?" She continues saying, "How many international songs that you play that don't celebrate women but talk about women being objectified by rappers. How many? And now you're taking down a song that makes every woman, whatever their size, feel confident?"

The South African artist goes on to add that, "This is a song that makes our kids confident. This is the song that makes the mothers confident."

We're certainly behind any music that uplifts women in their glorious diversity.

Watch the full video of Moonchild Sanelly speaking below:


Listen to "Askies" on Apple Music:

Listen to "Askies" on Spotify:

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Watch the Trailer for 'Gangs of Lagos,' Amazon's First African Movie

Amazon's Gangs of Lagos will premiere on April 7th.

Nollywood is coming to Prime Video.

On Monday, the conglomerate announced that it would be releasing Gangs of Lagos, its first original African movie, on April 7th. The project, which is directed by renowned filmmaker Jáde Osiberu, features Nigerian stars like Tobi Bakare, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Chike Osebuka, Chioma Chukwuka, and Iyabo Ojo.

The movie will follow the lives of a group of friends as they navigate the bustling streets of Lagos.

In a press release, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, head of Nigerian Originals at Prime Video, described the movie as a story that highlights the importance of friendship and family.

"Gangs of Lagos is a unique story about family and friendship, against the action-packed backdrop and striking set pieces of the streets of Lagos,” Mba-Uzoukwu said. “As the first Nigerian Original to launch on Prime Video, Gangs of Lagos sets the tone and standard, with the authentically Nigerian storyline in a genre that is so popular around the globe, making it a movie for our audiences at home and abroad.”

Gangs of Lagos - Official Teaser | Prime Video Naijawww.youtube.com

Located on the country's southwest coast, Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria. Over the years, the vibrant city has become known for its bustling economy, eclectic culture, and rich history. The crime drama promises to showcase the nitty gritty rumble and tumble of Lagos, as well as the authentic elements that make it one of the most renowned cities in the world.

Ned Mitchell, head of African and Middle East Originals, Prime Video said that with the roll out, Prime Video was hoping to connect with original voices.

“At Prime Video, we are looking to work with original voices to create spectacular stories and events that audiences can connect with wherever they may be,”

Mitchell said. "Gangs of Lagos launching will truly be a global cultural moment that marks the beginning of a new era in storytelling, where audiences everywhere can see the full power of Nigerian and African voices and the depths of our continued commitment to the local TV and film industry.”
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Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images.

Costa Titch Was Just Getting Started

Following his tragic passing, we take a look back at the polarising South African rapper’s career.

AKA expressed that his and Costa Titchs joint album, You’re Welcome, helped take him out of a dark place after losing his fiancé in 2020. “He and I started just hanging out, and he brought me out of my shell, saying, ‘Come out, come make music again, come start performing again,’” AKA told HYPE Magazine two weeks before being shot and killed in Durban last month.

Costa Titch, who died a month later while performing on stage at Ultra Festival in Joburg, had met AKA through Riky Rick, who also passed away in 2022. AKA and Riky appeared on the remix to Costa Titch’s 2019 breakout hit “Nkalakatha”—and AKA they hit it off from then.

Breaking Through to the Mainstream

The “Nkalakatha” remix was Costa Titch’s knighting event. Following years of bubbling under, the New Wave (South Africa’s SoundCloud rap scene) pioneer had not just caught the attention of two of the biggest rappers in the country, but he was on a song with them.

Costa Titch had worked his way up from dancing with his homeboy Benny Chill while growing up in Nelspruit in the Mpumalanga province. Costa and his crew had a stint as Cassper Nyovests’ official dancers in the mid-2010s. But Costa Titch found himself being a recording artist after making music with Tumi Tladi (another South African rapper who passed on last year). Their thinking was that, in order for their dance videos to be played on TV, they needed to be accompanied by original music. When people fell in love with their music, the two rappers ran with it and Costa Titch started building his name in South Africa’s SoundCloud rap scene.

By the time of his death, Costa Titch had grown into an A-list South African artist. His breakout hit “Big Flexa” had gone viral through a TikTok challenge and a music video that had surpassed 40 million views. His lyrical approach to amapiano was reminiscent of Focalistic’s style. “‘Ke Star’ like Foca,” Costa rapped on the song which featured his early collaborator Alfa Kat alongside Sdida, Man T, C’buda and the duo Banaba Des.

Polarising Nature

While millions of fans danced to Costa’s viral hits, the critics were crying foul play at a white kid appropriating black culture. “I had a lot black friends and I connected with black people more,” Costa Titch explained in an interview with SlikourOnLife. “I’ve just been around African culture.” Costa Titch’s best friend growing up was the rapper Benny Chill with whom he remained close until he passed on. “I’m learning Zulu through making music,” Costa said at the time.

The game opened its arms to the young rapper. His debut album Made In Africa, which dropped in 2020, featured the likes of DJ Maphorisa, Sjava, Riky Rick, AKA, Boity, Boskasie, YoungstaCPT and a few other South African music stars.

Costa Titch’s music was catchy and allowed him and his dancers to give a lively show on stage. He also maintained the dance element in his music which was helpful in an era when fans connect with songs they can dance to on camera, becoming TikTok sensations in the process.

Explaining the joint album, AKA said the two of them had set out to make a “non musical project.” “We are living in the amapiano era. So we said how can we make amapiano without making amapiano,” he said. “We wanted to make TikTok songs… We didn’t wanna make long songs.”

Saving AKA’s Life

You’re Welcome hardly made a dent. The album wasn’t well-received by fans and its lead single “Super Soft” didn’t do much either. It also felt too soon for AKA to be making music after the controversial passing of Nellie.

To AKA, though, You’re Welcome meant a lot. He was introduced to Costa’s younger fanbase as the duo performed in spaces AKA wouldn’t normally give the time of the day. Costa Titch saved AKA’s life, but both rappers, unbeknown to anyone at the time, didn’t have much time left.

AKA passed on two weeks before the release of Mass Country, his comeback album which was led by the monster single “Lemons (Lemonade)” which featured Nasty C, a rapper AKA has invited to rap on stage in Durban many moons before Nasty became a superstar himself.

Costa Titch was only getting started. His career had just taken off. At this year’s Cotton Fest in February, Costa brought out Akon as a surprise guest. The Konvict Kulture head honcho announced a partnership between his company and the South African rapper. “I wanna inaugurate him into the Konvict Kulture family,” he said. A remix of “Big Flexa” featuring Akon followed a week after. Costa Titch was about to make the world his oyster. But the universe had other plans. He collapsed while performing at Ultra and was pronounced dead almost instantly.

Costa Titch was a polarising artist as, while some felt he was performing musical black face, those on his side felt he was just being a citizen of a post-racial South Africa where racial and cultural lines are blurred the way Mandela envisioned.

Others hailed Costa Titch as an icon, understandably so. “You were that white kid who stood out like a sore thumb because of how incredibly skilled, technical, intentional, creative, professional, disciplined, hardworking and wildly amazing you were as a multitalented dancer and choreographer,” wrote Bontle Modiselle, who also spent a long time in the thriving South African hip-hop dance scene of the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Costa Titch joins a plethora of popular South African musicians who have passed on in what seems like a purge of sorts. In the last two years South Africa has lost talents such as Riky Rick, AKA, Tumi Tladi, Mpura, Killer Kau, DJ Dimplez, DJ Citi Lyts, Mampintsha and DJ Sumbody, a majority of who were on top of their game and had exciting futures ahead of them in the game.

News Brief
Photo by Fabrice Mabillot.

Angélique Kidjo Will Receive 2023 Polar Music Prize

The Beninese icon will receive the prestigious award for her notable work in music, as well as her charitable work advocating for children.

Angélique Kidjo will be the recipient of the lauded Polar Music Prize this year.

The Beninese-born, five-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter has been announced as a recipient of the prize this year alongside Island Records founder Chris Blackwell and composer Arvo Pärt.

“My passion for music has always been unwavering,” Angélique mentions in a statement about being awarded the prize. “Being on stage for me is like being in paradise — it’s my sanctuary. It’s my place to link and to connect with my fellow human beings. That is something that I’m grateful for every day.”

The Polar Music Prize notes that they are honoring Angélique for her striking blends of West African and Beninese elements with R&B, funk, jazz, and more. They also note her work advocating for children as a UNICEF and OXFAM Goodwill Ambassador. Angélique also has her own charitable foundation, Batonga, dedicated to supporting the education of young girls in Africa.

Angélique has spoken with OkayAfrica several times about her albums like the recently Grammy-nominated Queen of Sheba alongside Ibrahim Maalouf and her last solo full-length album, Mother Nature.

“To be awarded the Polar Music Prize is humbling,” Angélique continues, “I have no words to say how important this is for me. It comes with a sense of responsibility that is bestowed upon me as an artist to continue to do great work. I will do my best to be a proud recipient of the prize through my work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, on behalf of the children, and as an ambassador of music, to help create a world in which we can all live in peace. Thank you so much for making me part of this prestigious prize, in such prestigious company.”

“Angélique Kidjo is an inspirational artist, she constantly explores and challenges and is one of the greatest singer-songwriters in international music,” adds Polar Music Prize managing director Marie Ledin in a press statement. “We are thrilled to be recognising her talent and shining a light on her important work with the Batonga Foundation.

Since it started in 1992, the Polar Music Prize has celebrated the achievements of the world’s inspiring music figures. The prize is presented in Stockholm, with each Laureate receiving approximately $57,000 in prize money.

Previous recipients of the Polar Music Prize include Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Miriam Makeba, Stevie Wonder, Elton John and more.

News Brief
Photo by Nipah Dennis.

VP Kamala Harris Signals US Should Invest in Africa

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has embarked on a three-country tour to reset economic relations between the United States and West Africa.

The United States’ Vice President Kamala Harris has embarked on a weeklong, three-country tour to Ghana, Tanzania and Gambia. The purpose of the trip is to reset the relationship between the U.S. and the three countries. The Biden administration would like to encourage American businesses to invest in African nations to compete with China’s and Russia’s growing economic footholds on the continent.

On Monday, Harris visited Ghana’s presidential palace, also known as the Jubilee House. She promised $100 million in U.S. aid to support Ghana and four other West African countries in curbing instability brought on by insurgencies in West Africa and the Sahel region.

"To help address the threats of violent extremism and instability, today I am pleased to announce $100 million in support of Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire and Togo," Harris said at the news conference with Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo.

This amount is in addition to the $139 million in bilateral support that the U.S. intends to provide to Ghana in 2024, according to Harris’ office and reported by Reuters.

Also involved in West Africa is the Russian private military contractor Wagner Group. The mercenary group with Russian state ties provides security assistance to African nations struggling with insurgencies like the ones Harris pledged assistance to combat. In exchange, Wagner secures agreements for Russia's African interests in natural resources, commercial contracts, and access to strategic locations, such as airbases or ports.

With regard to Wagner’s presence in West Africa, Akufo-Addo said, "It raises the very real possibility ... that once again our continent is going to become the playground for great power conflict.”

China has been heavily involved in Africa’s economy over the last two decades — investing in resources like mining, timber, and fishing, and building infrastructure. The Biden administration is aiming to encourage American competition by strengthening ties with African nations and promoting socio-economic development on the continent. The trip is also intended to fulfill the commitment that the administration made to African countries in the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in December of last year.

Politico reported that Harris’ visit carries high stakes and heavy scrutiny because her primary task will be to convince African leaders that the U.S. wants to invest in their economies earnestly.

The decades-long public perception has been that the African continent has become a playground for handouts and charity from western governments, a political and economic oversight the Biden administration has been attempting to rectify. Harris’ arrival in Africa marks the administration’s most recent efforts to achieve that.

Earlier this year, U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visited the continent, First Lady Jill Biden visited in February, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the trip earlier this month. President Biden plans to visit later this year.

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