News Brief
Sauti Sol. Image courtesy of the band.

Listen to Sauti Sol's Politically-Charged New Single 'Tujiangalie' Featuring Nyashinski

The new single calls out for self-reflection and change.

Following up to their massively successful single "Short & Sweet," Sauti Sol have released a new politically-charged track called "Tujiangalie," which means "let's look at ourselves."

The socially conscious song heavily addresses issues of corruption and tribalism while urging Kenyan youth to stop fighting on Twitter and start seeking solutions to the issues affecting the country through self-reflection.


"For our latest release we thought about the world right now and the number of persistent issues plaguing it," writes Sauti Sol in a statement accompanying the lyric video.

"These things are hardly ever solved and we are consistently shortchanged. So we considered, how can we address these frustrations? None of us are perfect. None of us are exonerated. We have all contributed to and benefited from the flawed systems. But, change is a result of possibility. If we all decide to personally act towards building a world we are proud to live in, then it will become a reality."

This is the sixth single off the band's forthcoming album Afrikan Sauce and it has already brought about a lot of positive feedback from Kenyans on the internet. It's great to see the band using their art to spread such an important message.

Listen to "Tujiangalie" by Sauti Sol featuring Nyashinski below.

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Ivana and Jessica of VanJess. Photo: Madeleine Dalla

Davido, Nasty C, VanJess, Vanessa Mdee, Sauti Sol & More to Preform at Essence Fest 2019

This year's lineup is 🔥.

The Essence Fest line up has just been announced, and it features some of our favorite artists from the continent.

The annual summer festival takes place on 4th of July weekend in New Orleans, and is one of the largest black festivals in the nation. This festival will celebrate its 25th year in 2019, with 25 experiences throughout the weekend.

Nigerian megastar Davido, who recently set a major record for Nigerian pop with his hit single "Fall" is set to perform during this year's festival. Sibling R&B duo VanJess will also be performing.

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Listen to Sauti Sol's New Album 'Afrikan Sauce'

Featuring collaborations with Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Vanessa Mdee, Nyashinski and many more.

Sauti Sol have been teasing their album, Afrikan Sauce, for a minute now.

We've already heard standout tracks like "Melanin," featuring Patoranking, "Short & Sweet"—which was one of our Best East African Songs of 2018 selections—and "Tujiangalie"alongside Nyashinski.

Well, the Kenyan Afro-pop band's 13-track Afrikan Sauce album is officially out today and features additional collaborations with Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Vanessa Mdee, Yemi Alade, Khaligraph Jones, Bebe Cool, Mi Casa, Toofan, Jah Prayzah, and C4 Pedro.

Sauti Sol has called the Afrikan Sauce project an "art and cultural exchange" with big names from across Africa.

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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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