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Legendary Nigerian Poet and Writer John Pepper Clark Dies

Renowned Nigerian writer and poet John Pepper Clark passed away this past Tuesday at the age of 85 after battling a short illness.

Nigeria poet, writer and Emeritus Professor of Literature, John Pepper Clark, has died at the age of 85. Clark had been battling a short illness when he passed away this past Tuesday, according to the Premium Times. The veteran writer was celebrated for his most famous works that used cultural autonomy as a weapon against colonial imperialism. His writings were considered political art that drew on the aesthetic of Nigerian culture.


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Clark, pseudonym J.P. Clark-Bekederemo, was born on the 6th of April 1935 in Kiagbodo, Nigeria. According to Britannica,he was considered one of "the most lyrical of the Nigerian poets, whose poetry celebrates the physical landscape of Africa. He was also a journalist, playwright, and scholar-critic who conducted research into traditional Ijo myths and legends and wrote essays on African poetry."

A well travelled scholar and observer of the times, Clarke's writing reflected his intellectual depth to play with reality and fiction. Famous for his much-eulogised poem "Ibadan". His extensive work included a Nigerian take on classical Grecian theatre with well known play "Song of a Goat". Clarke's vast accomplishments received the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award for literary excellence. President Muhammadu Buharirecently sent his condolences to the bereaved family.

"The President's thoughts and prayers are with the family of the departed patriot, the government and people of Delta State and the literary community in the country. The President's thoughts and prayers are with the family of the departed patriot, the government and people of Delta State and the literary community in the country."

Clark also worked as an information officer in the Ministry of Information, in the old Western Region of Nigeria, as features editor of the Daily Express in 1960 shortly after his graduation. He served as a research fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan. Before retiring as a professor of English at the University of Lagos in 1980, he was co-editor of the literary magazine, Black Orpheus.

Here are some tributes to Clark on social media below:





Photo: The Sundance Institute

In his Imaginative Debut Feature, Walé Oyéjidé Brings Together Elements of His Life’s Work

The Nigerian American director has long used the tools of his multi-hyphenate trade to expand the ways Africans are seen. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, 'Bravo, Burkina!' gives him a larger canvas on which to paint.

Whether it’s employing asylum seekers to model his designs or adding his flair to a piece of pivotal clothing that the late Chadwick Boseman wore in Black Panther, Walé Oyéjidé has always been about using whatever elements he can to push the ways Africans have traditionally been portrayed. What he hinted at in his short film After Migration: Calabria (available on the Criterion Channel), which tells the story of two refugees settling in Italy, he now gets to explore further in the feature debut, Bravo, Burkina!

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Baaba Maal Releases New Single 'Agreement'

Senegal's Baaba Maal shares a new song ahead of his upcoming album, Being.


Renowned Senegalese singer and guitaristBaaba Maalhas shared a new single called "Agreement." The song is the fourth track on his upcoming album Being, which is slated to be released on March 31st, 2023.

"Agreement," a percussion-heavy record produced by Johan Hugo, fuses both ancient and modern rhythms, and continues Baaba Maal's ongoing musical quest to connect the past and the present, while making lasting cultural and emotional connections through music.

While discussing the record, Baaba Maal dissects the meaning of the song and explains that it draws inspiration from day-to-day relationships.

“Agreement is about the relationships you make in your life, whether they are with friends, musicians, neighbors, people you love,” says Baaba Maal. ”When you say to people, we are going on this journey through life together, through good times and bad, you should be very sure that you mean it.”

The Senegalese legend continues breaking down the meaning of the song by explaining it through a cultural lens.

“It’s based on a proverb from my community — to say no at the beginning to the idea that we will always be together is much stronger and more noble that beginning a relationship and then cutting it short later, maybe forty years later. Be mature enough to take seriously an agreement you make with someone about the future, about your souls being connected,” says Maal.

After a seven-year music hiatus, "Agreement" is one of Maal's new releases, and he will continue to share his music in the coming months with fans. In addition to releasing his upcoming album, the Poor-born icon will be performing at the Barbican in London, for the first time in 20 years on May 30th, 2023.

Maal'sBeing is a riveting extension of his pioneering, transcendent, and inspiring four-decade legacy that has blended the traditional and the innovative, the acoustic and the electronic over the years. For being, Maal reportedly partnered with long-time producer Johan Hugo, and recorded the body of work in Brooklyn, London and Senegal. Watch the visualizer for "Agreement" below.

Listen to Baaba Maal "Agreement" below.

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Rising Star Khaid Shares New Single ‘Jolie’

Nigerian music newcomer Khaid comes through with a new love song.


Khaidshares "Jolie," an Afro-infused love song that marks his first music release for the year. The record is a rhythmic and melodic offering that is complete with an infectious hook and Khaid's captivating vocals. In the song, Khaid describes his admiration for a girl that he is pursuing, but equally expresses the challenge that he is having getting her attention.

At the age of 12, Khaid, who was born and raised in Ojo in Lagos, Nigeria, began to freestyle and shoot videos in the streets of Ojo, which is where he was eventually discovered and signed by Sydney Walker, the owner of Neville Records, and a prominent Nigerian comedian.

At the beginning of 2022, Neville Records announced Khaid as a new signee, and since then, he has continued to make waves in the Nigerian music industry. His debut single "With You," was released only eight days after the announcement, and went on to become a commercial success. The song became one of the country's top hits, which now has over 3.7 million views on YouTube and 5 million Spotify streams.

Khaid went on to a release a 6-track album called Diversity and continues to push the envelope at only 17-years-old. The young talent has an EP on the way in the near future, and was recently featured on Okay Africa's 12 Nigerian Artists To Watch In 2023.

Listen to Khaid's "Jolie" below

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