News Brief
Sauti Sol. Image courtesy of the band.

Finally! Sauti Sol & Nyashinski Come Together For New Single 'Short N Sweet'

Kenya's A-List musical acts team up for a smooth, acapella-driven love track titled "Short and Sweet."

Since announcing their forthcoming new LP, Afrikan Sauce, Sauti Sol have been serving the continent with back-to-back bangers.

After collaborating with rapper Khaligraph Jones for the nostalgic hip-hop-fusion track "Rewind" in March, the band is not showing any signs of slowing down. It only makes sense that their long-awaited fifth installment would feature another Kenyan A-list act, Nyashinski.

Following a long hiatus in the states, Nyashinski returned to the Kenyan music industry with a bang in 2016 with chart-topping singles like "Malaika" and more recently "Bebi Bebi."

"Short N Sweet" sounds like an organic and almost effortless product of a jam session between two of Kenya's finest musical acts.


The track is evocative of the early Sauti Sol days, with a strong acoustic instrumentation and acapella-driven background vocals.

We already love the versatile and bold approach the band has taken with this new album, and we will be counting down days to its release.


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Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

Kenyan Athlete Brigid Kosgei Set a New World Marathon Record

Kenyan athletes are on a record-breaking winning streak.

This past weekend, the 2019 Chicago Women's Marathon took place. Twenty-five-year-old Kenyan athlete Brigid Kosgei finished the marathon with a time of 2 hours, 14 minutes and 4 seconds, breaking the world record set sixteen years ago by Paula Radcliffe. Kosgei's impressive time was an entire six-and-a-half minutes ahead of Ethiopia's Ababel Yeshaneh who placed second ahead of Ethiopian runner, Gelete Burka, who then placed third, according to the BBC.

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Veteran Kenyan Writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o has Been Snubbed Again for this Year's Nobel Literature Prize

The 2018 and 2019 prizes have been awarded to Polish author Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian author Peter Handke respectively.

Veteran Kenyan writer, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, was pegged to win this year's Nobel Prize in Literature. Following a sexual harassment scandal that rocked the prestigious Swedish academy last year, the 2018 winner was not announced and hence the need to announce two winners today. In a recent announcement, Polish author and winner of the 2018 Man Booker International prize, Olga Tokarczuk, and Austrian author Peter Handke, were awarded the 2018 and 2019 prizes respectively. While there were several contenders for the prizes including Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, Canadian poets Anne Carson and Margaret Atwood, Gaudeloupean novelist Maryse Condé and French writer, Annie Ernaux, many had hoped that Thiong'o would walk away as one of the winners. This is after a commitment was made by the Swedish academy to increase diversity and move away from a "Eurocentric perspective of literature".

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Photo by Hamish Brown

In Conversation: Lemn Sissay On His New Book About Re-claiming the Ethiopian Heritage Stolen From Him by England’s Foster Care System

In 'My Name Is Why,' the 2019 PEN Pinter award winner passionately advocates for children in the institutional care system, and in turn tells a unique story of identity and the power in discovering one's heritage.

It took the author Lemn Sissay almost two decades to learn his real name. As an Ethiopian child growing up in England's care system, his cultural identity was systematically stripped from him at an early age. "For the first 18 years of my life I thought that my name was Norman," Sissay tells OkayAfrica. "I didn't meet a person of color until I was 10 years of age. I didn't know a person of color until I was 16. I didn't know I was Ethiopian until I was 16 years of age. They stole the memory of me from me. That is a land grab, you know? That is post-colonial, hallucinatory madness."

Sissay was not alone in this experience. As he notes in his powerful new memoir My Name Is Why, during the 1960s, tens of thousands of children in the UK were taken from their parents under dubious circumstances and put up for adoption. Sometimes, these placements were a matter of need, but other times, as was the case with Sissay, it was a result of the system preying on vulnerable parents. His case records, which he obtained in 2015 after a hardfought 30 year campaign, show that his mother was a victim of child "harvesting," in which young, single women were often forced into giving their children up for adoption before being sent back to their native countries. She tried to regain custody of young Sissay, but was unsuccessful.

Whether they end up in the foster system out of need or by mistake, Sissay says that most institutionalized children face the same fate of abuse under an inadequate and mismanaged system that fails to recognize their full humanity. For black children who are sent to white homes, it often means detachment from a culturally-sensitive environment. "There are too many brilliant people that I know who have been adopted by white parents for me to say that it just doesn't work," says Sissay. "But the problem is the amount of children that it doesn't work for."

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(Screenshot from "Every Woman" video)

Check out Cameroonian Crooner Vagabon’s New Ode to Female Power

The singer dropped a video for new single "Every Woman" today, shot by fellow Cameroonian director Lino Asana.

Cameroonian-born singer-songwriter Laetitia Tamko, better known as her stage name Vagabon, has been spoiling us with delights as of late. First, the crooner teased us with two singles, "Flood" and "Water Me Down" from her forthcoming sophomore album, Vagabon, a work she wrote and produced herself. And today, she surprised us with a new single and video for "Every Woman"—a track Tamko claims is the "thesis of the album," as per a press statement reported by The Fader magazine

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