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Photo credit should read KELVIN IKPEA/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Edun Akenzua (L) speaks with retired hospital consultant Mark Walker (R) holding two bronze artefacts he returned to the Benin kingdom during a ceremony in Benin City, Nigeria, on June 20, 2014. Two statues from among thousands of works of art looted by British soldiers in the 19th century have been returned to Nigeria, prompting calls for other "stolen" treasures to be repatriated. For more than a century, the artefacts from the "Benin Bronzes" collection had been in the family of retired medical consultant Mark Walker, whose grandfather was involved in a 1897 British raid in which they were taken.

The Netherlands Returns Nigeria's Centuries-Old Stolen Artefact

The Netherlands has returned to Nigeria a 600-year-old stolen artefact, the Ife Terracotta, which has been received by Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

According to The Guardian Nigeria, the Netherlands has returned a 600-year-old artefact to Nigeria. This comes after the artefact was reportedly smuggled using fraudulent papers through Ghana to the Dutch country. Netherlands ambassador to Nigeria, Harry van Dijk, handed over the Ife Terracotta to Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture. The repatriation of the small but "priceless" Ife Terracotta has been a long journey considering it was reportedly smuggled out of Nigeria in 2019.


Read: Black Activists Attempt to Remove Congolese Statue from Dutch Museum

According to Al Jazeera, the artefact was stolen from Nigeria's South Western city of Ile-Ife then smuggled into Ghana where the unnamed suspect then boarded a plane to the Netherlands. Africa CGTN reports that the Ife Terracotta was seized at customs at a Dutch airport where officials suspected that "the object might be illicitly imported" and alerted the antiquity protection office.

Following this news, Nigeria had to prove and appeal to the Dutch government that the artefact in fact belonged to the West African country. The long process ended when the Netherlands handed over the artefact to the Hague on November 2nd of this year. Nigeria received the artefact this past Thursday in a public ceremony.

Mohammed reportedly said that the hand-over was made public so that other countries would follow in the same manner and return previously stolen artefacts to African countries. Mohammed also expressed satisfaction and relief from the process saying, "It gives me profound joy to receive this very important antiquity, an Ife Terracotta…I am even more delighted that our efforts at pursuing the return of Nigerian antiquities, which we launched last November, have started yielding fruits."

The return of the Ife Terracotta reportedly coincides with the UNESCO's 50-year anniversary. Hundreds of Nigerian artefacts stolen during the pre-colonial and colonial period continue to be displayed in several European countries. Senegal is one country that is particularly militant about the return of stolen artefacts and have created hugely successful Museum of Black Civilisations for repatriated artefacts.

The Ife Terracotta has been placed at Nigeria's Conservation Laboratory where it will be cleaned and treated before being put on public display.

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(YouTube)

Wande Coal and Olamide Team Up On 'Kpe Paso'

Nigeria's Wande Coal and Olamide share "Kpe Paso," a colorful, rhythmic display of Yoruba's cultural intricacy.


Afrobeats veteran Oluwatobi Wande Ojosipe, popularly known as Wande Coal and industry heavy weight and YBNL boss, Olamide have collaborated on "Kpe Paso," a song that showcases their musical prowess and appreciation for Yoruba culture. In the record, the two artists, who have Yoruba backgrounds bring their renowned style to the forefront, with Wande Coal's signature vocals merging seamlessly with Olamide's sonics. The majority of the song is sung in Yoruba.

The majority of the song is sung in Yoruba, and produced by Nigerian record producer, Kel P Vibes. The music video was directed by Jyde Ajala.

This is Wande Coal's first single for 2023, and in the past the afrobeats icon has worked with Olamide on a record called "Hate Me." Their reunion on "Kpe Paso" showcases their rhythmic chemistry and lyricism.

Wande Coal has created a successful 17-year career that begun under the influence of Mo' Hits Records, a record label that was founded and led byD'banj and Don Jazzy. Ever since the release of his first album Mushin 2 Mo' Hits, the Lagos-born crooner has been on a career upswing ever since.

"Kpe Paso" is scheduled to be a part of Wande Coal's upcoming album Legend Or No Legend which will be released on March 30.

Watch the colorful music video for "Kpe Paso" below 

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Watch Burna Boy's Down-to-Earth Video For "Common Person"

The Nigerian superstar shares a memorable video for "Common Person," a creative visual presentation of Nigerian humanity amid the ebbs and flows of day-to-day life.


In Burna Boy's heart-warming music video for "Common Person," he shares a more vulnerable, likable version of himself that is often overshadowed by the limelight. The music video for the track off his critically acclaimed album, Love, Damini, showcases the global artist in an extremely down-to-earth and heart-warming manner.

Burna's new video further pushes the message of the song "Common Person": that one person is not better than the next, and despite his superstardom, he is a common person who has never forgotten his roots. In the music video, Burna can be seen interacting with residents of a working-class neighborhood, and partaking in every-day things that happen in several Nigerian working-class neighborhoods, including cooking and carrying buckets of water into the home. In several shots, the superstar is captured helping residents with car trouble kickstart their vehicle.

Ever since the release of Love, Damini, Burna Boy has continued to garner more success and international acclaim. Recently, he was nominated for Best Global Music Performance for the Gold RIAA certified hit, “Last, Last” and “Best Global Music Album” for his sixth studio album, Love, Damini at the upcoming 65th Annual Grammy Awards. Love, Damini, was also selected as a The New York Times’ Critics Pick , and described by OkayAfrica as "a story of victory, love, loss, pain and strength over a number of colorful musical influences." The music video for "Common Person" is a continuation of that story. Watch the video below.

Watch Burna Boy's music video for "Common Person"

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Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

Photo Series: Vic Mensa's Pilgrimage to Ghana

OkayAfrica traveled with Vic Mensa as he visited his father's childhood home, Koforidua. Here's a behind-the-scenes look about what happened.

Back in December, American rapper Vic Mensa went on a pilgrimage back home. The rapper was in Accra, Ghana for his historic Black Star Line Festival, which he was co-hosting with longtime friend and fellow rapper Chance the Rapper.

But, on a hot day before the festival, the rapper traveled two hours from Accra to Koforidua to visit his extended family. There is a lot of history in Koforidua. Highlife trailblazer Chief Kofi Sammy grew up there. Not only was he founder of the famous Okukuseku International Band but Sammy also had a long and fruitful relationship with Afrobeat legend Fula Kuti.

He also happens to be Vic Mensa's uncle. And part of the reason Vic took this trip is to convince Sammy to join him on stage at the Black Star Line Festival in Accra, in front of 50,000 fans. However, while there, Vic made sure he had time to connect with his extended family.

It was a special, intimate moment. One OkayAfrica was lucky enough to witness firsthand. Check out our photo gallery of Vic Mensa's pilgrimage below.

Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

In December 2022, Vic Mensa took a trip to visit his uncle, legendary Highlife artist Chief Kofi Sammy. It’s about a two hour drive from Accra to Koforidua. A bit longer when you factor in Vic stopping for some of his favorite snacks.

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Photo: Etan Comics

Ethiopia’s First Superhero Comic is Going Global

Etan Comics is launching a kids version of the kickstarter-backed title, which will be published in 11 languages.


After the successful release of their graphic novel, Jember, Etan Comics is teaming up with the non-profit Open Hearts Big Dreams (OHBD) to launch a special collaboration. Etan is working with the Seattle-based organization, which has produced over 700 bilingual early-reader titles, to turn Jember into a bilingual kids book that's based on the award-winning graphic novel.

The release of the book coincides with Black History Month, and will be launched in 11 different languages, including Amharic, Arabic, French, Greek, Igbo, Kiswahili, Spanish, and Wolayta. Jember was first published in hardcover format in October 2022, and after its release it garnered +$12K pre-orders on Kickstarter. The comic book is designed to help emerging readers build their reading confidence, and learn more about African cultures and languages. Created and written by Beserat Debebe, it was illustrated by Yonatan Solomon and Michael Okoroagha.

Jember is being turned into a bilingual kids book that's based on the award-winning graphic novel and will be available in 11 different languages.

Photo: Etan Comics

Beginning in mid-February, the books will be available globally on Amazon and IngramSpark. They will also be available at Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble, and in public libraries shortly after.

With the release of Jember, Etan Comics aims to make African stories accessible to global readers. The collaboration will also help Ethiopian children, who make up 40% of the Ethiopian population, to be empowered through the story, which speaks to the rich cultural heritage of the Ethiopian history.

With this development, Etan Comics has joined the growing list of new generation of African comic book creators who are sharing African culture through comics to engage readers with various parts of the continent's history.

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