News

The Stories You Need To Know: South Africa’s Name Might Change, Fraud In Mining Sector Costs Tanzania $84 Billion, And More

SA Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa says he will lobby for the ANC to consider changing the country’s name to Azania and other stories.

SOUTH AFRICA–Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa says he will lobby for the ANC to consider changing the country’s name to Azania. Read the full story here.


EGYPT–An agreement for the capital Cairo to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia passed an Egyptian parliamentary committee on Tuesday. Read the full story here.

TANZANIA–Fraud in the mining sector since 1998 has cost the country $84 billion, according to an investigating commission. This was blamed on foreign companies failing to declare revenues. Read the full story here.

ZIMBABWE–According to News24, the Zimbabwe Communist Party (ZCP) says it’s working towards the “equal sharing of the country's wealth,” after it “successfully” held a meeting of its steering committee members in Midrand over the weekend. Read the full story here.

 

Music

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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