The Stories You Need To Know: Pope threatens to fire Nigerian priests, South African Poet Releases First Album In Over A Decade, And More

Pope threatens to fire Nigerian priests if they don't obey him and accept local bishop appointed by then-pope Benedict XVI, and other stories from the continent.

NIGERIA–Pope Francis is giving Nigerian priests in the diocese of Ahiara 30 days to write a letter promising obedience to him and accepting local bishop appointed by then-pope Benedict XVI. Or else, they’ll be fired. Read the full story here.

SOUTH AFRICA–South African renowned poet Lebo Mashile has released an album with musician Majola titled Moya. The poet last released an album in 2004, Lebo Mashile Live. Read interviews the two have done with the City Press, Independent Newspapers and the Sunday Times about the album.

Download the album here.

LIBYA–Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of late Libyan president Moammar Gaddafi, has been released after more than five years in detention. He was detained in 2011, when his father was removed from power and assassinated. Read the full story here.

TUNISIA–Tunisians marched to be allowed to eat and drink in public during the fasting month of Ramadan. They protested against the arrest of people who choose to eat and drink in public during the fasting season. Read the full story here.




6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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