News Brief

Simphiwe Dana Shares New Insights About The Song She Wrote For Winnie Mandela

Simphiwe Dana talks about "Nokunyamezela" in new interview.

During the recording of her live album and DVD, The Simphiwe Dana Symphony Experience (2017), South African singer Simphiwe Dana performed a song she had written for the late apartheid struggle hero Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.


According to Dana, the song was written in 2015, and she went to Madikizela-Mandela's home to give her a personal invite to the album and DVD recording. She also sang her the song at her house.

The artist told the City Press in an interview last week:

"She expressed her gratitude and said she wouldn't miss the performance. I was grateful, but a part of me also knew that the chances of her not attending were quite high, given her frail health. When I was told that she was indeed coming and was actually in the audience before the show started, I was beside myself with joy, nerves and excitement."

The opening lines of "Nokunyamezela" go, "Wabuya etilongweni, wabuya wangena kwenye," which translates to that Mama Winnie left prison only to get into another prison.

Explaining those lines, she says:

"Post-1994, the public relations machine of the Nats [members of the National Party] finally found a way to silence her by accusing her of the murder of a black child of the struggle. Why were we so quick to believe that the mother of the nation was in the business of killing the very kids she got into tussles with apartheid police to protect? We persecuted her. The very people she had sacrificed so much to save."

Read the full interview on the City Press website.

(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
Photo courtesy of the artist.

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.