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Photo by Tseliso Monaheng.

This South African Jazz Album Is This Month’s Apple Music Spotlight

South African jazz musician Thandi Ntuli is featured on Apple Music's New Artist Spotlight for March for her new album Exiled.

Thandi Ntuli isn't a new artist. Exiled, her latest album, which was released last month, is her second release. Her debut album, The Offering, came out in 2014.

While Exiled features outstanding compositions from the artist, it's different to The Offering in that it features more vocals than its predecessor.


Exiled opens with a spoken word piece performed by Ntuli herself in which she speaks of past pains and healing, and the complications that come with that process.

Read: In Photos: Documenting South African Jazz With Tseliso Monaheng

This theme is dominant throughout the album. "The Void" builds up on the same narrative as the album's intro. Revered poet Lebo Mashile renders a spoken word piece after two minutes of another of Ntuli's brilliant compositions.

Mashile talks of damaged boys and the pain they cause women. She does this with the customary emotional intensity we have grown to expect from her.

Ntuli told the City Press last week:

"The goal has always been for me to be as honest as possible with my music because I have to live with these songs for the rest of my life."
"I wanted this album to sound like a more produced piece of work. I didn't want to take much away from the actual songs by having too many elements and digressions."

"It's Complicated, Pt. 1" sees Ntuli sing about a relationship gone wrong. It's an emotionally intense and reflective body of work—she sings, "Let me cry, release all of this pain/ if we to stay free to walk away," on the song "New Way."

"The album is called 'Exiled,' so I don't think anyone is gonna take the album expecting to dance," says Ntuli in the record's EPK, which was shot by Tseliso Monaheng.

Listen to Exiled below, and watch the EPK underneath.

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Still from Burna Boy's Tiny Desk concert video via NPR.

Watch Burna Boy's Mellowed-Out 'Tiny Desk' Concert

Watch the 'African Giant' run through some of his hits like 'Gbona,' 'Ye' and more for NPR's Tiny Desk concert series.

Burna Boy is the latest artist to grace NPR's famous Tiny Desk.

The Nigerian "afrofusion" star took to the set for a mellowed out performance of four of his biggest tracks. Getting straight to business, the artist opened his set with a toned down rendition of his single "Gbona" before heading into the socially-aware "Wetin Man Go Do." It's much calmer of a performance than we're used to seeing from the artist.

Next he performs a funky version of "Dangote," before rounding his set out with his magnum opus of sorts "Ye." He's backed by the band The Outsiders and vocalist Christina Matovu throughout.

Burna Boy has had a stellar year, releasing his seminal album African Giant, performing at Coachella and winning several awards—including 'Best African Act' at the BET Awards—in the process.

Check out his full Tiny Desk performance below, and revisit a recent Tiny Desk performance from British-Nigerian rapper Dave from last week and check out Burna Boy's okay acoustics performance of 'Anybody' from August.

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Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Sabelo Mkhabela.

Wizkid, Anatii Win Big at BET Soul Train Awards Alongside Beyoncé

The Nigerian and South African artists, respectively, won soul train awards for their contributions to 'Brown Skin Girl."

Nigeria's Wizkid and South Africa's Anatii both earned BET Soul Train Awards last night for their contributions to Beyoncé's hit song "Brown Skin Girl."

The song, which is an ode to dark-skinned women, was one of the standout tracks from Beyoncé's The Lion King: The Gift. It earned the "Ashford and Simpson Songwriter's Award" last night during the awards ceremony in Las Vegas. Wizkid is featured on the track and has a writing credit, while Anatii is credited as a composer along with Michael Uzowuru, and others.

The song was also nominated in the "Best Collaboration Performance" category.

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Simi in "Selense" (Youtube)

Watch Simi's Beautiful Music Video For 'Selense'

Premiere: Simi shares the upbeat new video for "Selense," a song about time which draws inspiration from classic highlife.

Nigeria's Simi comes through with the new music video for her recent single, "Selense."

The song, which sees her sing about using your time and years on this earth preciously, gets a beautiful new video that follows Simi's verses about different characters who may or may not be spending their hours in the best way.

The upbeat new music video, which was directed by Adasa Cookey, is getting premiered here on OkayAfrica today.

"'Selense' is a song about time," Simi tells OkayAfrica. "The song draws inspiration from classic African highlife. A timeless classic that is perfect for all seasons."

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Photo by Seyllou/AFP via Getty Images

France Returns a 19th Century Sword Back to Senegal

The sword belonged to a Senegalese anti-colonial struggle fighter Omar Saidou Tall.

France has returned a 19th century sword back to Senegal. The sword belonged to Senegalese Islamic scholar and anti-colonial struggle fighter Omar Saidou Tall. The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe recently handed over the sword to Senegal's President Macky Sall in a ceremony held in Dakar this past Sunday. The sword is now in the Museum of Black Civilizations of Dakar. The move comes after the Senegalese government's request for France to return more than 100 artifacts housed in French museums and France's President Emmanuel Macron subsequently commissioned a report entitled "The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics".

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