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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.

Image via Sheila Afari PR.

9 Black Electronic Musicians You Should Be Listening To

Featuring DJ Lag, Spellling, Nozinja, Klein, LSDXOXO and more.

We know that Black queer DJs from the Midwest are behind the creation of house and dance music. Yet, a look at the current electronic scene will find it terribly whitewashed and gentrified, with the current prominent acts spinning tracks sung by unnamed soulful singers from time to time. Like many art forms created by Black people all over the world, the industry hasn't paid homage to its pioneers, despite the obvious influence they have. Thankfully, the independent music scene is thriving with many Black acts inspired by their forefathers and mothers who are here to revolutionize electronic music. Here are a list of the ones you should check out:

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Kwesta Slams BMW South Africa’s Latest Advert For Using His Song Without Permission

Kwesta has called out BMW South Africa for blatantly using his song without his permission.

Kwesta has called out BMW South Africa for blatantly using his song without his permission and not crediting him. In a new advert promoting the new limited edition 330iS, BMW South Africa tapped into the BMW 3 Series' heritage in South Africa by using Kwesta's mega hit "Spirit". According to the artist, he wasn't contacted about the use of his song. The hip-hop super star took to Twitter to slam the German automobile manufacturer for their ad.

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Photo by Trevor Stuurman.

Interview: Thando Hopa Never Anticipated Acceptance in the Industry—She Anticipated a Fight

We speak to the South African lawyer, model, actress and activist about her historic Vogue cover, stereotypes imposed on people living with albinism and her work with human interest stories about vulnerable groups as a WEF fellow.

Vogue Portugal's April edition was a moment that caused everyone to hold their breath collectively. For the first time ever, a woman living with albinism was featured on the cover of the magazine in a sublime and timeless manner. Thando Hopa, a South African lawyer, model, actress and activist was the woman behind this historic first. It was not just a personal win for Hopa, but a victory for a community that continues to be underrepresented, stigmatised and even harmed for a condition outside of their control, particularly in Africa.

At just 31, the multi-hyphenate Hopa is a force to be reckoned with across different spaces. Through her considerable advocacy work as an activist, Hopa has and continues to dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about people living with albinism as well as changing what complex representation looks like within mainstream media. In 2018, Hopa was named the one of the world's 100 most influential women by the BBC. After hanging up her gown as a legal prosecutor after four years of working with victims of sexual assault, Hopa is on a mission to change skewed perceptions and prejudices when it comes to standards of beauty.

As a current fellow at the World Economic Forum, she is also working towards changing editorial oversights that occur when depicting historically underrepresented and vulnerable groups. The fellowship programme prepares individuals for leadership in both public and private sectors, and to work across all spheres of global society.

OkayAfrica recently spoke to Hopa to find out about how it felt to be the first woman with albinism to be featured on Vogue, the current projects she's working on and what's in the pipeline for her.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Uzo Aduba Snags 2020 Emmy Award for Role in 'Mrs America'

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