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Nigerians React to VP Osinbanjo's 'Overhaul' of SARS After Public Outcry of Rampant Abuse

Many Nigerians are celebrating the reform, while some remain cynical.

Nigeria's acting President Yemi Osinbanjo has ordered an "immediate overhaul" of the country's notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) following wide-spread allegations of abuse and human rights violations.

In a press release, the Nigerian Police Force, stated that SARS will now be known as the Federal Special Anti-Robbery squad (FSARS), and appointed a new commissioner to oversee the imprint.

SARS became the target of the #EndSARS social media movement last December, when young Nigerians began recounting chilling, nearly fatal, incidents involving the anti-robbery squad. Nigerian rapper Falz depicted a typical run-in with SARS in his viral music video 'This is Nigeria."

Aside from calling for the overhaul, Osinbanjo took to Twitter to list resources for people who may have suffered at the hands of SARS, urging them to report their experience for further investigation.


Many Nigerians have expressed hope in these changes. Some are praising the sitting president for taking action, in the absence of Nigeria's notably slow-to-act leader Buhari, who is currently on holiday.






Folks are also recognizing one of the foremost leaders of the #EndSARS movement, Segun Awosanya, for his efforts in pushing for the abolishment of the group.

Not everyone is convinced that this new directive will truly bring about reform, however. It means nothing if the government doesn't put swift action behind it, and some are sharing messages that reflect a cautionary view.




Interview
Photo courtesy of the artist.

DJ Neptune Surveys the Sounds & Genres Running Africa In His New Album

Greatness 2.0 features an all-star cast of African artists and jumps from afrobeats to amapiano to asakaa, Ghana’s thrilling new take on drill.

Transitioning from a DJ to an artist is no small feat. Nigeria’s DJ Neptune has always had good ear for what the people want to hear, but in past years he's also shown his skill at assembling hitmakers to make a hit and earn a spot on any afrobeats playlist.

Neptune has been dotingly described as "Africa’s DJ Khaled" for his ability to bring the continent’s top names together in musical harmony. His 2018 debut album, Greatness: The Album, pulled from his extensive contacts and years of experience as one of Nigeria’s most influential radio personalities to create a star-studded compilation with features from Burna Boy, Davido, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Efya, Kizz Daniel and Olamide, to name a few.

In 2020, during the pandemic, DJ Neptune endeared himself with his intimate live sessions with Neptune Isolation Radio, where he constantly entertained people during the lockdown. After more than a decade as a DJ, and also one of afrobeats’ most influential personalities and curators, he has assembled some of Africa’s hitmakers for his sophomore album, Greatness 2.0, which he describes as “a playlist with Africa’s favorite artists.”

Artists on the truly pan-African project include Nigeria’s Mr Eazi, Rema, Patoranking, Yemi Alade, Stonebwoy, Joeboy, Omah Lay, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Laycon, Ladipoe, Blaqbonez, Cheque, Peruzzi, Bella Shmurda and Phyno, Ghana’s Stonebwoy and Kofi Jamar, Harmonize and Anjella from Tanzania, South Africa’s Focalistic; and UK rapper One Acen. Collaborating with Neptune on production are Magic Sticks, Dëra and MOG, among other afrobeats hitmakers.

Greatness 2.0 is a survey of the sounds and genres currently running Africa —from afrobeats to amapiano and asakaa, Ghana’s thrilling new take on drill.

In this interview, we speak with DJ Neptune about DJ culture in Nigeria, working with some of Africa's biggest superstars, and his new album.

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Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage

Watch Wizkid's Historic Performance at London's O2 Arena

The Nigerian superstar made history by being the first African artist to sell out three shows in a row during his Made In Lagos tour.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Wizkid's fourth studio album Made In Lagos has not left our sight (or eardrums) since its release in October 2020. Now, the album filled with record-breaking hits has gone on to bag the king of afrobeats another honor: Wizkid became the first African artist to successfully sell out London's infamous O2 Arena this year, boasting three consecutive sold-out shows this week.

High off of the global success and obsession with hit single "Essence," featuring Nigerian sweetheart Tems, Wizkid's European leg of his Made In Lagos tour sold out in 12 minutes (very Beyoncé of him) as fans geared up to hear their favorite afrobeats hits. The show itself was jam-packed with fireworks, high-energy performances, and guest appearances from some of our favorite Wizkid features.

In the line-up, we saw fellow Nigerian hitmaker Burna Boy show up on stage to perform a passionate rendition of their collab "Ginger," while a bright and sunny Tems lent her talent and time to perform their hit. British pop cutie Ella Mai turned out to perform "Pieces of Me" which features on Made In Lagos, while UK favorite Skepta made Wizkid feel at home, as the two stars pumped the crowd.

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Interview
Photo courtesy of Sony Music West Africa.

Mayorkun Is Back In Office

We speak with Mayorkun about his sophomore album, Back In Office, and why he had to step away from the scene for a while.

Mayorkun says he held down the lockdown — and he sure did. During the thick of the pandemic, the Nigerian star flourished, feeding the appetites of bored, music-hungry listeners whose favorites shied away from releasing new music in a period of uncertainty.

During that time, Mayorkun dictated music conversations and dominated charts with a slew of singles like "Geng," "Of Lagos" and "Betty Butter." He also provided the activation energy when called upon by colleagues for collaborations, fleshing out his dominance through various means.

At the turn of the new year, the Mayor of Lagos — as he’s fondly called — stepped away from the music scene to divert attention to his sophomore album. Back In Office comes three years after his debut and the new record showcases an elevation in Mayorkun’s artistry. The sonic framework is a cohesive blend of melodic flourishes and laidback drums with Mayorkun opening up about his struggles on songs like "Soldier Boy" and "Piece of Mind." One of the visible differences between his debut and this new record lies in the Nigerian artist's vocals and songwriting which have grown smoother, richer and deeper.

“I'd like to say growth,” Mayorkun tells me about what has changed about him in the last three years. “Because I wouldn’t have made these types of songs at that time. At that time, I wasn’t trying to experiment and I feel if you don’t, you won’t grow.”

Below, we talk about his hiatus, his new album, and the pressures that come with fame.

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The Omicron Variant Was Detected In Europe a Week Before It Was Identified In South Africa

Let's see how the world scrambles to backtrack on their blatant attempts at making COVID-19 Africa's disease.