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DRC Street Musicians Staff Mbongwana International In Studio

Staff Mbongwana International, the new band from ex-Staff Benda Bilili leader Coco, preview rehearsal material and announce plans for a summer 2014 tour.


Staff Mbongwana International is the latest project to come out of the split of DRC street band Staff Benda Bilili, the subjects of a Cannes-selected documentary focusing on group members' physical disabilities and unbarred DIY approach to making music. Staff Bilili's Coco Yakala Ngambali and Theo Nzonza Nsutuvuidi front the new afrofunk-rock outfit along with strong support from percussionist Randy Makana Kalambayi, who contributed to Staff Benda Bilili's sophomore album Bouger Le Monde. We recently spotted the new Staff incarnation is back in the studio and already previewing new rumba-influenced material. The band will be touring their forthcoming 1 000 000 C'est quoi? later on this year. In the meantime, check out a full acoustic rehearsal of their latest effort "Mandongo" and take a look at some shots from day one of recording below. For more from Staff Mbnwana International, catch this rehearsal featuring all original material performed in Kinshasa over here.

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Photo credit should read AFP via Getty Images

Former Nigerien President Mamadou Tandja Has Died

Niger's former President Mamadou Tandja has reportedly passed away at age 82. The Nigerien government has announced a three-day national mourning period.

ABC News reports that former Nigerien President Mamadou Tandja reportedly passed away this past Tuesday. The exact cause of death is unclear but reports indicate that the 82-year-old had been battling age-related illnesses for several years. The former head-of-state succumbed to his illness(s) in a hospital in Niamey, Niger. According to VoA, the Nigerien government officially called for the nation to enter into a three-day mourning period.

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South African Designer Thebe Magugu Becomes International Woolmark Prize Finalist

Multi award-winning South African fashion designer, Thebe Magugu, has been named as one of six finalists in the 2021 International Woolmark Prize.