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UPDATE: Was Nigerian Snapchat Star Bobrisky Arrested for Being Gay? Police Say No.

Idris Okuneye, also known as Bobrisky on social media, was arrested in Lagos—and it's still unclear why.

UPDATE (11/09/2017): Edgal Imohimi, Lagos State's Acting Commission of Police, says to Punch that no report was made against Nigerian social media influencer Bobrisky.

"I don't know about the arrest, and the command did not arrest him. He does not have any problem with the command. Ask him who arrested him," Imohimi says.

Sahara Reporters also spoke with lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria Festus Keyamo where he says Bobrisky can't be jailed for publicly admitting he is gay "unless caught in the act."

"Yes, it may amount to corrupting public moral when you go on social media to announce you are gay," he says to Sahara Reporters, "but we are talking about the law here and not sentiment and if we are talking about the law, the person has to be caught in the act."

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Here's our original report from Nov. 8 below:

Bobrisky, Nigeria's self-proclaimed male Barbie and social media influencer, has been arrested in Lagos, Nigeria, according to Sahara Reporters.

The internet, local outlets and blogs have been buzzing with speculation as to why Bobrisky, or Idris Okuneye, was arrested. However, many reports have been attributing the arrest to an admission he made Monday of being gay on social media.

If the allegations are true, he could face up to 14 years in prison if found guilty of homosexuality.

Other reports have also linked his arrest to a recent social media dispute Bobrisky had with entrepreneur Toyin Lawaniwhose assistant has since refuted the claim.

Linda Ikeji's Blog (LIB) reached out to Famous Cole, Lagos State Police PRO, who says he was not aware of such arrest. "Maybe he was invited for questioning or he went voluntarily to make a complaint," he says to LIB.

Since this news broke, Nigerians have been contentiously debating on whether LGBTQ people should be jailed. Many have been celebrating his arrest—which in turn exposes problematic and homophobic opinions for all to see.

Bobrisky has been able to utilize social media to be open and himself—one of the few safe spaces to be in a place that's deceitfully claims to be a progressive nation. He's ultimately a human being—and no person or government should determine how he's to live his life.

Many others agree.

Courtesy of Universal Music Group.

In Conversation with Daniel Kaluuya and Melina Matsoukas: 'This isn't a Black Bonnie and Clyde film—our stories are singular, they're ours.'

'Queen and Slim' lands in South Africa.

Melina Matsoukas and Daniel Kaluuya are everything their surroundings at the opulent Saxon Hotel are not—down-to-earth and even comedic at times. Despite the harsh lights and cameras constantly in their faces, they joke around and make the space inviting. They're also eager to know and pronounce the names of everyone they meet correctly. "It's Rufaro with an 'R'? Is that how you say it?" Kaluuya asks me as he shakes my hand.

Matsoukas, a two-time Grammy award winning director and Kaluuya, an A-list actor who's starred in massive titles including Black Panther and Get Out, have every reason to be boastful about their achievements and yet instead, they're relatable.

The duo is in South Africa to promote their recent film Queen Slim which is hitting theaters today and follows the eventful lives of a Black couple on the run after killing a police officer. It's a film steeped in complexity and layered themes to do with racism, police brutality and of course Black love.

We caught up with both of them to talk about just what it took from each of them to bring the powerful story to the big screen.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Installation view of Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara © The Metropolitan Museum of Art 2020, photography by Anna-Marie Kellen.

The Met's New Exhibition Celebrates the Rich Artistic History of the Sahel Region

'Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara' is an enxtensive look into the artistic past of the West African region.

West Africa's Sahel region has a long and rich history of artistic expression. In fact, pieces from the area, which spans present-day Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, date all the way back to the first millennium. Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara, a new exhibition showing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, dives into this history to share an expansive introduction to those who might be unfamiliar with the Sahel's artistic traditions.

"The Western Sahel has always been a part of the history of African art that has been especially rich, and one of the things that I wanted to do with this exhibition, that hasn't done before, is show one of the works of visual art...and present them within the framework of the great states that historians have written about that developed in this region," curator Alisa LaGamma tells Okayafrica. She worked with an extensive team of researchers and curators from across the globe, including Yaëlle Biro, to bring the collection of over 200 pieces to one of New York City's most prestigious art institutions.

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Sajjad's artwork for "Pull Up" from Burna Boy's African Giant. Courtesy of the artist.

Meet Sajjad, the Artist Behind Burna Boy's 'African Giant' Album Art

We sit down with the artist to talk about the art behind African Giant and his use of currency to creates collages that tell ambitious stories.

"Currency is something that for the most part doesn't exist," Sajjad tells me over a crackling phone line. It would have been hard to hear him if he didn't speak firmly. "It's all about trust. We trust that a bill is worth a certain value. That's what makes it real. It's an interesting duality play on something that's real but at the same time isn't."

This philosophy is what informs Sajjad's art. Using currency, the artist creates collages that tell ambitious stories about unifying countries. In 2019, he created the artwork for one of the best and most important albums to come out of the modern Nigerian—and African—music scene, Burna Boy's Grammy-nominated African Giant.

Sajjad got the idea to start using currency as an artistic medium in 2016, when stopping at a New York City bodega—"these little convenience stores on every corner that sell everything!"—where he saw that they had put up dollar bills on the wall from the first few people who had bought things there. It was at that moment something in him clicked and he realized how many powerful stories physical bills could tell and represent. Inspired by this, Sajjad began a journey of using currency and other mundane everyday objects to create art that tells a bigger story.

We sat down with the artist to talk about designing the album art of Burna Boy's African Giant, the power of currency and what the future holds for him.

Sajjad. Photo: Dan Solomito

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