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Marvel's First Nigerian Superhero, Penned by Nnedi Okorafor, Is Inspired by the Chibok Girls

The Lagos-based comic "Blessing In Disguise" introduces Marvel's first Nigerian superhero.

Last month it was announced that award-winning Nigerian sci-fi author, Nnedi Okorafor would pen a Lagos-based comic for Marvel, inspired by the over 200 Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014.


The comic, entitled "Blessing in Disguise" introduces Marvel's first Nigerian superhero, Ngozi to the Venomverse. She's a recurring character in the series, along with the series more seasoned favorites like Black Panther, Venom, Deadpool and more, reports Reuters.

The short story is the first Marvel comic to be set in a real African city. As we pointed out earlier today, Wakanda, where Black Panther is set, is not a real place.

Okorafor hopes that the character will resonate with readers, and inspire a spirit of tenacity in young girls.

"It was an important decision for me to base Ngozi on the one of the Chibok girls," Okorafor tells the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"They were normal girls who suddenly had to deal with a huge change in their lives...and their story of perseverance is so powerful," Okorafor adds. "Like many Nigerian girls, Ngozi comes in a small package but is strong-willed and determined."

Okorafor wrote the title in response to the lack of nuanced representation she found in the superhero world.

"I'm a huge Wonder Woman fan, but we can really push it further when it comes to diversity," she continues.

"I'm not just talking about race and sexual orientation, but about having a range of personalities with different desires, dreams and flaws. I don't only want to see badass female characters, I want to see much less predictable ones."

The latest Venomverse installment  is available now. Get a preview of "Blessing In Disguise" via Okorafor's Twitter, below.

Audio
(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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