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South African Artists are Against Burna Boy Performing at Upcoming 'Africans Unite' Concert

This reportedly comes after the 'African Giant' got into a heated Twitter exchange with rapper AKA during South Africa's xenophobic attacks.

Burna Boy is set to take the stage at the "Africans Unite" concert alongside Kwesta, Jidenna and Busiswa(among several others) in two weeks. Part of the proceeds of the concert will be donated to the victims of South Africa's recent xenophobic violence towards African foreign nationals in an effort to bring everyone together. However, South African artists are reportedly against Burna Boy being a part of the lineup following his heated Twitter exchange with rapper AKA.


The Tshwane Entertainment Collective recently wrote a letter to the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, wherein they urge him to prevent Burna Boy from performing in the country citing a number of reasons:

"We first inquired to the minister and to the department to say, what is this all about? How is this happening? How are you guys supporting this? Then further to that we asked how are you supporting an event that also includes... so not only are you failing us with funding but you are also supporting an event that includes an artist who has threatened violence to fellow South African artists."

Watch the Tshwane Entertainment Collective speak more on the matter to eNCA below:

SA artists call for a boycott of Africa Unite concertyoutu.be

During South Africa's xenophobic violence, major Nigerian artists including Tiwa Savange cancelled their scheduled performances in the country. Burna Boy then took to social media and announced that he would never set foot in the country until the government had put measures in place to prevent the violence. Admittedly, there was a lot of fake news doing the rounds. However, after YCee pulled up an old tweet that AKA had posted a while back about losing a soccer match to Nigeria, everything went haywire.

AKA has said that Burna Boy should apologize to him and "prove" that he is indeed the "African Giant".

News Brief
Photo Credit: Getty

South African Protests Breakout Over Uganda’s Anti-LGBTQ+ Law

South Africans swarmed the streets of Pretoria and Cape Town to protest Uganda’s recent LGBTQ ban.

A crowd of South Africans swarmed the streets of Pretoria and Cape Town to protest Uganda’s new controversial law concerning the LGBTQ+ community on Friday (March 31). During their protest on Friday, South African allies called on Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni, not to sign off on the law.

According to Reuters, there were about 100 at the demonstration at Pretoria, which took place outside the United Nations Information Centre. Papa De DeLovie Kwagala, one of the protesters on the scene, and Ugandan LGBTQ rights activist said:

"World leaders should put pressure on Museveni to not sign the bill because it's not only a Ugandan issue, it is an African continent issue."

South Africans protest Uganda's anti-LGBTQ lawwww.youtube.com

Earlier in March, Uganda lawmakers passed a law that would make it illegal for people to openly claim to be affiliated with the LGBTQ+ community. Although Uganda is one of the numerous African countries that have declared same-sex relationships illicit, it would be the first country to legally ban identifying as LGBTQ+.

If it is set in motion, Uganda’s new law will subject members of the LGBTQ+ to closer scrutiny, and life imprisonment. The East African country’s legislature will also target people who aid and abet homosexuality.

South Africa has had a long history of LGBTQ+ activism. In 1994, it became the first country in Africa—and the fifth in the world—to legalize same-sex marriage. In spite of its allyship, South African LGBTQ+ members also face discrimination and violence.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of protests by the LGBTQ+ community in South Africa. In 2021, members of the community spoke out about the increasing homophobic attacks that they were receiving.

Music Brief
Image courtesy of We Talk Sound

Davido's 'Timeless' is Getting Rave Reviews on Social Media

The Nigerian singer's first full project in three years has reminded fans why he's one of the best in the game.

Nigerian Afrobeats champion Davidoreleased his highly anticipated fourth studio album Timeless on Friday, and the world is already eating it up. The singer-songwriter's project has set numerous records in the less than 24 hours since its release, namely being the first African album to hit No. 2 on Apple Music's Top Albums chart, as well as hitting over seven million streams in the 20 hours since it was released on African-focused Boomplay.

The 17-track album boasts a variety of features and sounds that highlight the journey the singer has taken over his 11-year career and has pleased fans across the spectrum and the world. Davido called on Beninese legend Angelique Kidjo, Nigerians Asake, The Cavemen, as well as new Davido Music Worldwide signees Morravey and Logos Olori to bring life to the well-received album. Musical comrades Lojay, Ckay, Mayorkun, and more have all taken to their socials to share their support for the singer and his delectable release.

When the album dropped, the singer reached out to his fans via Instagram writing: "At long last – WE are back. The journey from my last album to this album has been a whirlwind, to say the least. I recall sitting and staring over the ocean not too long ago, wondering if I could get here again, after all I’ve been through… but with your love and support, we made it. I’m not sure what comes after this but I wanted to give you my heart, soul, and energy. Today I present you “TIMELESS". ⏳"

The singer's release set the internet ablaze as fans shared their reactions with each other online

Art
Image courtesy of Oyinkansola Dada/Okra Agency

Oyinkansola Dada Is Mastering The Art of Discussing Art

OkayAfrica sat down with the Nigerian lawyer and gallerist to discuss the blossoming African art scene and the ingenuity it offers the world at large.

At just 26 years old, Oyinkansola Dada is creating the art world of her dreams.

Named one of Forbes’s 30 under 30 in its 2023 Arts & Culture category, the young Nigerian gallerist is stoking the flames of the international art world as she spotlights African artists, and marches the continent’s blossoming creative scene to center stage. Dada is a full-time solicitor, and part-time gallerist living in London after having moved there from Lagos, Nigeria to pursue a law degree at King’s College London. While waiting to convert to training as a Solicitor, Dada moved back to Nigeria to surrender to the energy of homecoming and explore Nigeria’s emerging art scene.

Now, the emerging art mover and shaker is connecting continents, both in person and through her online art publication, DADA Magazine, an art collector’s dream dedicated to highlighting the unfathomable talent found in the motherland.

A woman holds a copy of DADA Magazine and stands in front of a painting in a gallery. Image courtesy of Oyinkansola Dada/Okra Agency

POLARTICS and a London law degree

Dada began her ascent into the art world in 2015, when she started her online art blog POLARTICS, while in her second year of law school. “It became a very fundamental part of how things grew into what they’ve become,” she told OkayAfrica. “I wrote about art, politics, and the literature that I was reading and just sort of shared my thoughts on the things that I liked. And then I’d post it." The exposure saw Dada seek out more opportunities to engage with the art world by attending exhibitions, shows, and museums to get a keener understanding of the people behind the creations. Perhaps one of the most underrated gifts that exploring art can give is the tendency to trigger a rediscovering of self — something that Dada can speak to. “It was also a very important time in my life because I started to understand Blackness and my identity,” she said. “Moving to London after living in Nigeria, and what that felt like, and really understanding my place in the world. That was the beginning of everything.”

This introduction was enough to inspire Dada to use her experience to carve out physical space for all of the Black and African creators she connects with along the way. Presently, DADA Museum’s first manifestation sits in London on a temporary basis. “We don’t have to hold the space all year long. So, it’s not quite permanent, but it’s still a physical space,” the gallerist said. Next on the agenda is carving out a permanent gallery in Lagos to fully embrace and house Nigeria’s buzzing art scene. The benefits of an online gallery are great, but, as Dada puts it, “With art, a lot is lost by looking at images”. The young solicitor’s recipe for prioritizing community engagement and support seems to be one made for success. Dada’s bi-continental experiences have given her a certain advantage— assimilating to the needs of two markets and cultures that undeniably bleed into one another.

Spending time between the two bustling cities guided and championed Dada’s decision to create a physical space in Lagos, hopefully opening up later this year. The city is home to a community of artists that has galvanized Dada’s desire to emerge fully into developing and nurturing the talent that is so often overlooked. “It just feels like home to me,” she says, “It’s more personal.” And the importance of community sits at the heart of Dada’s “why”, as the gallery owner explains, “Apart from selling art or finding collectors, physical spaces and exhibitions are sites of engagement and for building community. I think for an artist to grow, both in their practice and in their career, it's very important for them to engage with people in person and let them see the work with their own eyes. London presents chances for expansion because there’s a lot happening in terms of market activity. Although there are amazing artists in Lagos, we also need international exposure.”

DADA Magazine

Staying close to her roots ingrained in the internet, the curator launched DADA Magazine in December 2022, highlighting the maturation and artistic exposure that Dada has experienced since her first online-based project POLARTICS. “I thought there was a gap, in terms of art magazines and representation of Black artists, and I wanted to fill it.” Dada favored extending the conversations beyond seasonal exhibitions, creating a community of engaged audiences who could interact with one another all year round. “It’s something that anybody can buy, at any point,” Dada said. “I also wanted some sort of knowledge bank and archive for younger collectors and art enthusiasts that are trying to figure out and demystify the art scene. It’s not a magazine that’s hard to understand or too critical.”

The relationship between African artists and the internet has been shown to be mutually beneficial. Having an online presence offers interconnectedness and the ability to be discovered outside of an artist’s own space, something Dada has witnessed firsthand. The discovery of new cultures and artistic approaches isn’t just set for international audiences, either. Africa is home to a myriad of styles, ideologies, and crafts, and Dada continues to learn and grow alongside her company in understanding the range and reach. “It has been eye-opening to experience things that are just so different from where I’m from and to be able to travel. It’s been good to come out of the bubble of what I understand. I think a lot of times people think that their reality is the only one that exists.”

A DADA Magazine cover. Image courtesy of Oyinkansola Dada/Okra Agency

Dada bases a lot of her work and outreach and an inherent desire to build community

Her wildest dream for the continent and industry lies in something that comes naturally to Africans — community. To center ourselves and rid Africans of the historically compromising act of participation. A world where artists on and from the continent can be self-sufficient, with the support of institutions that affirm creators, collectors, and galleries in their pursuit of personal and professional success. Too often, African stories of triumph become stronger the further away you get from home. Although Dada is still a full-time lawyer, the decision to pivot toward the art world did not initially sit well with her family. “In the beginning, there wasn’t any support, so I had to do a lot of it on my own, with the assistance of any other artists who were willing to take a chance. I would have liked to get an art degree, but it just wasn’t a possibility.” And then, the Universe stepped in: “I got funding from the firm that I was working with while at law school. I was able to save money and plant the first seeds of the business. That’s how I was able to get started otherwise it wouldn’t have been possible.”

Arguably, rejecting creative education or careers is a common theme within generations of Africans. And it makes sense. Many are forced to make those choices based on survival, not passion. However, as institutions grow – in both funding and their ability to offer serviceable degrees and experiences – so will the tolerance for those who are artistically inclined. “It needs to be seen as something that’s valubale,”, Dada says. “An actual career path. Then, I think people would be more incentivized to let their children do it.” As we continue to see ourselves in positions of power and leadership, the reality of what is achievable widens for those who look like us.

Issue #1 of Dada Magazine is available for £29.95.

A DADA Magazine cover showing a man painted gold.

Image courtesy of Oyinkansola Dada/Okra Agency

Photos
Image courtesy of the artist via Usher Nyambi

Spotlight: Prudence Chimutuwah Is Narrating The Rise of the 21st-Century Woman

We spoke with the Zimbabwean contemporary artist on adding color to the rise of female empowerment and commanding attention.

In our 'Spotlight' series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists, and more who are producing vibrant, original work.

In our latest piece, we spotlight Zimbabwean painter and collage artist Prudence Chimutuwah. The mixed media art and collage enthusiast centers her creativity around the empowerment of African and Black women as we continue to make strides toward true freedom. Navigating a patriarchal system and ultimately strengthening their capacity to grant resilience and joy to the world around them, Chimutuwah's artistic depictions of the female form offer a hopeful glimpse into a bright, woman-centric future. In her early years, the artist gained inspiration from prominent and fellow Zimbabwean female sculptors Seminar Mpofu and Colleen Madamombe, choosing to major in painting and sculpture at the National Gallery Visual Arts School in Harare as a result. Chimutuwah's career has taken her to exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates, France, Nigeria, South Africa, and more, winning numerous awards along the way, including from the Zimbabwean National Merit Awards (NAMA) and The Delta Gallery Foundation of Art and Humanities. In 2019, Chimutuwah sold out an entire collection to one sole collector, on her opening night. Since then, the collagist continues to highlight and honor the women around her and the ways in which they choose to exist in the world.

We spoke with Chimutuwah about demanding attention, engaging your audience, and believing in a future worth fighting for.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Can you tell us about the project that first inspired you to create?

The first project that inspired me to create was an exhibition called 'Purple Rhythm' by a Zimbabwean artist named Calvin Chimutuwah -- my husband. It included his paintings and some of my mixed media artworks, and it was about celebrating the streets and people of Harare. It sold out! Which pushed me into exploring my own work further.

What are the central themes in your work?

My work is about the emergence of the 21st-century woman as she steps out, and up to take charge in spaces seemingly dominated by males. My body of work exists to narrate, describe and inform the audience about the evolving world of women, and how we exist in patriarchal societies.

Where do you seek inspiration and how does it find you?

I’m informed and inspired by the everyday lives of women; their economic aspirations, desire for spirituality, need for attention, and energy for hustling. Witnessing all of this around me inspires me to tell their stories through my work.

What do you believe sets African artists apart from the rest of the world?

I believe that African artists mainly draw their inspiration and narratives from their own experiences and stories which then gives their work more depth. It's a form of storytelling.

Can you talk about your use of colors and accessories?

I am fascinated with bright colors. I use neon pigments a lot as they command a presence and compel one to look. Colorful African textiles dominate my women’s attire, as it's where I feel most at home. I paint my subjects in portraiture, fully figured and naturally expressing themselves in engaging looks and poses. I focus my art on the joy of being an African woman.

What’s something you wish someone told you at the beginning of your journey?

I wish I had a better understanding of the fact that being a creative is a full-time job that requires a lot of work and focus.

Image courtesy of the artist via Usher Nyambi

Zimbabwean contemporary artist Prudence Chimutuwah

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Davido Releases His Highly-Anticipated ‘Timeless’ Album

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