News Brief

Sibabalwe Gcilitshana is the First Openly Queer Woman to Enter the Miss South Africa Pageant

The young officer of parliament is one of 16 finalists in South Africa's biggest annual beauty pageant.

The Miss South Africa pageant is the country's biggest annual beauty pageant. Thousands of young South African women from various backgrounds submit their applications to be considered for an eventual spot on the shortlist of 16 finalists. These finalists then go head-to-head for the crown and 1 million Rand (approximately USD 72 000) as well as entry into both the Miss World and Miss Universe pageants.


There have been exactly 62 Miss South Africa winners since the pageant was launched in 1956. Rolene Strauss, Anneline Kriel and Penelope Coelen went on to win the Miss World titles while Margaret Gardiner and Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters took home the titles at Miss Universe. Not until this year, have any of the contestants ever expressed that they are queer. Cape Town-based Sibabalwe Gcilitshana, who works as an officer of parliament, is the first Miss SA finalist to be openly queer.

Speaking about the groundbreaking moment, Gcilitshana says, "I'm very happy to be able to share what I think is an important aspect of my identity as also as a proud South African woman." She goes on to add that, "I hope that I can use the platform to just empower other young women who see themselves represented in me. I in no means intend to represent anyone else, I just have my experience and my truth to share."

The Miss SA pageant will take place on August 9th, Women's Day, at the Sun Arena at Time Square in Pretoria.


(Youtube)

9 Must-Hear Songs From Ghana's Buzzing Drill Scene

We give you the rundown on Ghana's drill movement, Asakaa, and the most popular songs birthed by it.

Red bandanas, streetwear, security dogs, and gang signs. If you've been paying any attention to the music scene in Ghana over the past few months, then by now you would have noticed the rise of a special hip-hop movement. The movement is called Asakaa, and it's the Ghanaian take on the Chicago-born subgenre of hip-hop called drill music. It's fresh, it's hot, it's invigorating and it's nothing like anything you've seen before from this part of the world.

The pioneers of Asakaa are fondly referred to by the genre's patrons as the Kumerica boys, a set of budding young rappers based in the city of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. They came into the limelight towards the end of 2020, and have been dropping banger after banger since then, topping several charts and racking up millions of views collectively. The rap is charismatic, the visuals are captivating, and their swag is urban. Characterized by Twi lyrics, infectious hooks, and sinister beats, the allure and appeal of both their art and their culture is overflowing.

"Sore," one of the benchmark songs of the movement, is a monster hit that exploded into the limelight, earning Kumerican rapper Yaw Tog a feature on Billboard Italy and a recent remix that featured Stormzy. "Ekorso" by Kofi Jamar is the song that took over Ghana's December 2020, with the video currently sitting at 1.3 million views on YouTube. "Off White Flow" is the song that earned rapper Kwaku DMC and his peers a feature on Virgil Abloh's Apple Music show Televised Radio. These are just a few examples of the numerous accolades that the songs birthed from the Asakaa movement have earned. Ghana's drill scene is the new cool, but it isn't just a trend. It's an entire movement, and it's here to stay.

Want to get familiar? Here we highlight the most prominent songs of the Asakaa movement that you need to know. Here's our rundown of Ghana's drill songs that are making waves right now. Check them out below.

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News Brief
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Listen to Berri's Infectious Afropop Single 'Fire'

The emerging singer makes a confident debut.

Emerging singer and Big Brother Records artist Berri, real name Agada Blessed, kickstarts his foray into the Nigerian music space with his debut single "Fire."

Produced by Dir. X, the mid-tempo tune sees Berri make a bold statement that he's here to stay, and that nobody can kill the "Fire" within him to make great music. Berri poured his whole heart out on this inaugural track, connecting and creating dope musical chemistry with the producer.

At just 16-years-old, Berri's debut comes at a time when young artists in Nigeria are becoming a great force to reckon with. As he joins that league, the multi-talented singer has started on a great note with "Fire." He sings "oil dey my head" over the mid-tempo pop beat, a bold declaration of his unwavering belief in himself.

Stream "Fire," available for streaming and download on all digital stores worldwide.

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Cedric Nzaka Debuts Photographic Coffee Table Book

Kenyan photographer, Cedric Nzaka, has announced that his coffee table book 'Everyday People Stories' will be released this March.

The prolific Kenyan photographer Cedric Nzaka has reportedly announced that his new coffee table book Everyday People Stories will be published this March. The publication of the book follows Nzaka's decade-long career in South Africa that has seen him photograph everyday people in the urban areas of Johannesburg as well as high profile people including Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, American rapper, Rick Ross and Nigerian singer, Davido.

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Interview: Amarafleur Has Stopped Caring

With the release of her debut EP '... And Then I Stopped Caring', South African R&B and soul singer Amarafleur signals a newfound self-confidence in her music.