News

Here Is How Kenyans On Twitter Are Responding To CNN's Coverage Of Obama's First Presidential Visit To Kenya

Kenyans on Twitter are using the hashtag #SomeoneTellCNN in response to CNN calling Kenya a "hotbed of terror" ahead of Obama's Nairobi trip


After a few weeks of anticipation, President Barack Obama is headed to Kenya this week for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi. The trip marks the President's first time visiting his father's country of origin since coming into office.

CNN set off a national conversation amongst Kenyans on Twitter (#KOT) today when they referred to the country as a "hotbed of terror." "President Barack Obama is not just heading to his father's homeland, but to a hotbed of terror," a CNN web report read (that opening line has since been edited to say "a region that's a hotbed of terror"). The report went on to quote Rand Corporation security analyst Seth Jones, who suggested that although an Al-Shabaab attack on the President himself was unlikely, the group would look for more vulnerable "soft targets." Said Jones, "What's most likely is not an attack against a U.S. government official like the President, but an attack that happens while the President is there."

Using the hashtag #SomeoneTellCNN, Kenyans have been using their 120 characters to mobilize against the network. In addition to the wave of tweets from around #KOT, Kenya's Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery referred to the broadcast as a "sustained campaign" to portray Kenya in bad light, according to Daily Nation. “This announcement is based on lies. It demonstrates heightened irresponsibility by the media network and smacks of arrogance," he told journalists at Harambee House in Nairobi.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

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This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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