Video

You Need To See This Eye-Catching Video Capturing 100 Years Of Kenyan Beauty

Take a trip down memory lane with Cut Video’s “100 Years of Beauty,” capturing a century of Kenya’s stunning beauty trends.

Cut’s video revisits East Africa again -- this time touching down in Kenya.


The 21st episode of the well-received Youtube series spotlights popular Kenyan hairstyles and beauty from 1910 until the present-day. The one-minute showcase, featuring model Keesee Andrea, sees her being transformed decade-by-decade from sporting a cropped ‘do paired with a traditional Masaai necklace to cornrows (let’s not call them box braids) to 80s glam -- complete with teased hair and luminous purple eyeshadow -- possibly making the late Prince a.k.a the “purple one” proud.

Accompanying the video is a Pinterest board that offers a glimpse of behind-the-scene takes and historical details of Kenya’s past such as Britain’s scramble for Africa and the Kikuyu Mau Mau movement, which inspired each style. Andrea’s 1970s look with a canary yellow headwrap pays homage to Kenya’s first lady Ngina Kenyatta, also affectionately called "Mama Ngina," who sophisticatedly epitomized the country’s post-independence. Also Andrea’s present-day look pays homage to “Queen of Katwe” and “12 Years A Slave” actress Lupita Nyong’o, who hails from Kenya and whose rise to fame perfectly encapsulates the emergence of Kenya’s young creatives.

Cut’s pivot back to the continent makes good on its promise to feature more African countries. “This isn’t the end to African beauty. This is just the first of many ways to talk about the diversity of the continent,” video researcher Karen Maniraho said when Cut previously highlighted a century of Ethiopia’s good looks.

Peep the video at the top of the post.

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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