News Brief
Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP via Getty Images.

Political activist and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement, Nnamdi Kanu, wears a Jewish prayer shawl as he leave his house in Umuahia, southeast Nigeria, on May 26, 2017, to meet veterans of the Nigerian civil war, whose 50th anniversary will be commemorated on May 30. The war was triggered when the Igbo people, the main ethnic group in the southeast, declared an independent breakaway state, the Republic of Biafra.

Nigerian Authorities Arrest Biafran Leader Nnamdi Kanu

After labelling the Indigenous People of Biafra a 'terrorist organisation', the Nigerian authorities have arrested its leader Nnamdi Kanu.

Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has recently been arrested by the Nigerian authorities. Authorities have labelled the separatist movement a "terrorist organisation", according to reports, because of their desire for part of southeastern Nigeria (formerly Biafra) to break away from the rest of the country. Kanu is reportedly being held in the capital city of Abuja where he is awaiting trial. He currently has 11 charges levelled against him including "engaging in subversive activities."


READ: Biafra: Nigeria Has Failed To Learn From Past Mistakes

Following Kanu's disappearance back in 2017, his whereabouts have been unclear till now. The Guardian reports that he was initially arrested in Nigeria in 2015 but then fled the country after being granted bail in 2017. According to the Attorney General and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami, Kanu was apprehended through "collaborative efforts of the Nigerian intelligence and security services," Reuters reports. Additionally, an attorney for the IPOB, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, has released a statement on social media calling on the Nigerian government to ensure Kanu's safety as well as a "fair hearing/trial which is his constitutionally protected right."

The IPOB and Kanu, have continued to observably agitate the Nigerian government and especially, President Muhammadu Buhari. At the beginning of this month, President Buhari tweeted that "those misbehaving" would be dealt with in "the language they will understand" — a reference to security challenges in South-East Nigeria. After the tweet was deleted, Nigeria went on to issue a nationwide and controversial ban on Twitter, with threats of imprisoning citizens circumventing the ban.

Over the past years, and before his recent arrest, Kanu was broadcasting from his Radio Biafra station in London. In this way, he kept the spirit and the ideal that is Biafra, a separate and sovereign territory for Igbo people, alive and burning back home. The Biafran War of 1966 saw the murder of at least 30 000 Igbo people as a result of ethnic cleansing and the death of over a million people as a result of starvation. It remains the most divisive event to happen in Nigeria post-Independence.

Music
Photo: @Olapixels via Moves Recordings.

Get to Know Nigeria's New 'Cruise' Sound

A new, hyper dance style is bubbling out of Nigeria thanks to TikTok.

A frenetic sound has emerged from Lagos that pulses as the language of the streets. Despite inducing frenzied dancing at parties and across social media it remains a genre with no real name, mostly made on cheap PCs and ripped music software. Even many of those producing it do not care what it's called, no matter how excited they are to send dancers into electric-jolting fits.

London-based independent record label, Moves Recordings, have compiled their favorites of these tracks that ring out at a delirious BPM and they have dared to call it "Cruise."

It's music that exists as the intersection between class and social media and like punk or house before it, it's created by those whose lives are all but too immediate.

An explosion of youth-driven fast-tempo dance music may not be the signal for significant change in the disparity between rich and poor in Nigerian society, but thanks to TikTok, this music has not only burst out from the streets to blaze out across a nation. With help from the Nigerian diaspora from Ghana to the USA, the sound that has also broken worldwide, giving a voice to the voiceless in the slums of Lagos

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Music
(YouTube)

Watch: Asake Takes Us To School in New Video for Hit 'Organise'

The surprise drop sees the Nigerian superstar continue to raise the bar and share his talents with the world.

Finally!

Nigerian singer and songwriter Asake surprised fans with visuals to his global hit "Organise," from his debut album Mr. Money with The Vibe. The creative powerhouse teamed up with longtime collaborator and director TG Omorito bring a lively reminder as to why the world can't get enough of Mr. Money.

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Sports
(Photo by via Getty Images)

The Other African Footballers in the World Cup

There are five African teams in the World Cup, but there are at least 54 players on other teams who were either born in Africa, or have African ancestry.

Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia are the five African teams in the World Cup in Qatar, but there are at least 54 players on other teams who were born in Africa or have African ancestry.

This is, of course, the result of the African diaspora, the movement of people from the continent towards the rest of the world. But the stories of how African players or their families got to the other side of the world are not always so stereotypical as one might imagine. The world cup, besides a month of football, is also a way to find out about how humans move through the world. Here are a few:

One of the most talked about stories in this tournament is that of Breel Embolo, who was born in Yaoundé, Cameroon, but represents the Swiss national team and refused to celebrate after scoring against his country of birth last week. Embolo scored the only goal in the 1-0 Switzerland victory. It was the first goal he ever scored in a world cup, and the video of it went viral. But it wasn’t because of his technique, it was because he refused to celebrate.

Embolo moved to France when he was six years old because his mom, who had separated from his dad, went to study there. She met a Swiss man and married him, and the family eventually moved to Switzerland when the now Monaco forward was still a kid. So when he scored for his adopted country against Cameroon, he decided to stop and hold his arms up while his teammates celebrated around him.

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Arts + Culture
Photo: Courtesy Wangechi Mutu and Vielmetter Los Angeles, taken by Robert Edemeyer

A Massive Exhibition of Wangechi Mutu's Work Is Heading to the New Museum

A specially-commissioned art piece from the Kenyan-born, Brooklyn-based artist will be part of the major overview of her work.

In what is set to be one of the largest showings of the artist's work, the New Museum in New York will present “Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined,” from March 2 – June 4, 2023. The art works will cover the entire museum, occupying the three main floors, including the lobby, and the building’s glass façade, where a new piece that's been commissioned will be displayed.

Earlier this year, eight of Mutu’s sculptures were installed at the Storm King Art Center in upstate New York, showcasing her current practice in earth and bronze material.

Mutu’s upcoming New Museum exhibition is curated by Vivian Crockett, Margot Norton, Allen and Lola Goldring and Ian Wallace. According to the curators, “Intertwined” will chronicle Mutu’s recent sculptural development, and connect it to her long standing expression and exploration of the legacies of colonialism, globalization, in African and diasporic cultural traditions.

The upcoming exhibition will highlight some of Mutu’s earlier art, as well as her most recent artistic outputs, which are primarily made from Nairobi-sourced wood, soil and bronze.

“Intertwined” will give art lovers the opportunity to see and appreciate the thematic progression of Mutu’s work, and get a sense of how New York-based art institutions have influenced the scope of her artistry over time.

Different floors at the museum will carry various parts of Mutu’s multi-dimensional work. The second floor, for example, will draw connections between the artist’s collage-based practice and her work in sculpture, including 'Yo Mama' (2003), originally commissioned by the New Museum in 2003 for the exhibition “Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.”

This exhibition on the second floor will also underscore some of her more recent work, which experiments with collages in corporeal, mechanical, and botanical forms. The third floor will continue to explore the fluidity of Mutu’s work and how her pieces have evolved over time.

The fourth floor will tie a collection of Mutu’s collages from the 'Subterranea' series (2021–22) with her most recent large scale bronze art.

In a statement, Crockett said Mutu’s work has wrestled with themes and complex artistic principles that make it even more important for the future of art as a whole. “Mutu’s work has long been characterized by a sense of permeable boundaries and hybridity, invested in the complex encounters of bodies, sites, and structures. Her work grapples with contemporary realities and proffers new models for a radically changed future informed by feminism, Afrofuturism, and interspecies symbiosis,” said Crockett.

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