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This Sudanese-American Student Landed a Major Modeling Contract After This Photo of Her Went Viral

19-year-old Anok Yai's homecoming photo took over social media, landing the young student a lucrative modeling contract.

Anok Yai was just hanging out with some girlfriends during Howard University's homecoming earlier this month, when photographer Steven Hall, approached her for a picture, she obliged. Afterwards, the 19 year-old posted the picture on Instagram, because that's just what you do when someone takes a bomb ass picture of you. Except when Yai posted her photo, it blew up almost immediately. Before posting the picture she had around 300 followers, she now has over 62,000. The viral photo currently has over 35,000 likes.


Once her photo went viral, the Sudanese-American student began hearing from various modeling agencies. She signed with Next Models on Tuesday.

The teen told the Washington Post about how her life completely changed after the picture was posted. She went from attending class on the regular to going on interview after interview with various modeling agencies. It's an extraordinary story, but one that also comes with a lot of pressure to deliver.

"And I was nervous because I had just gone from being a random girl living in New Hampshire to an Instagram-famous model. I wasn't sure if I could handle all the expectations."

Nonetheless, Yai is ready to start a new journey in the spotlight.

When [the Instagram post] got to a couple thousand and it just kept going higher and higher, I was surprised. And I was happy. I always wanted it to happen, but it was something I never expected.

The entire story is only a testament to the power of social media, and of course, melanin. Congrats to the young model!

Politics

#LGBTRightsGhana: Ghanaians Rally Support For the LGBT+ Community

Pro-LGBT+ advocacy in Ghana is at an all-time high as members of the community face public backlash.

The LGBT+ community in the West African country of Ghana is a fast growing group, but they are also highly marginalized. In recent times, the nation's LGBT+ population has faced increased backlash from members of Ghana's society who are opposed to the rights of the community. Many members of the community are forced to live secret or suppressed lives, as those who are open about their sexuality face discrimination and oppression in various forms and degrees, as a result of living in a society that lacks progressiveness and regard for basic human rights for all individuals regardless of sexual orientation.

At the moment both the backlash and the advocacy for the cause is currently at a climax, sparked by recent events concerning Ghana's LGBT+ support group and the public opposition against it by Ghana's society and the nation's government. Ghana's official LGBT+ support group, called LGBT+ Rights Ghana, established their headquarters in Accra on January 31, 2021. The office was intended to be a safe space and avenue of support for all LGBT+ Ghanaians. On February 24, 2021. the office was shut down by members of Ghana's national security force together with the police, on orders issued by Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, after the center became the subject of a furious public backlash.

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Image courtesy of artist.

Interview: In The Beginning Was Manana

Manana on his debut album 'In The Beginning Was The End', a relatable love story narrated backwards.

Ndumiso Manana had just purchased a microphone to complete his home studio setup when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a hard lockdown in 2020.

Unable to tour with his Seba Kaapstad family due to travel restrictions implemented as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, he did what many musicians in his circles, and around the world, were doing: he diverted his attention to something else.

In his case, the diversion led to one of 2020's most beguiling releases, In The Beginning Was The End, an album so perfect, so polished yet raw; so whole yet sparse; so sophisticated yet, strangely, relatable.

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Image via Flickr Creative Commons.

Several Cultural Figures Sign Petition Supporting Ghana's LGBT Community

Naomi Campbell, Idris Elba, Edward Enninful and several others have signed a petition calling on Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo to support and protect the LGBT community which is under continued targeting.

Several celebrities, cultural figures and allies, both on the continent and abroad, have signed a petition in support of Ghana's LGBT community. The petition comes after the country's first and only LGBT centre was shut down last week after a raid by security forces which was reportedly prompted by politicians and religious leaders calling for the closure of the centre barely a month after it opened its doors.

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New Fela Kuti Reissues & Box Set Are Coming This Year

Partisan Records has shared initial news of upcoming Fela 50th anniversary reissues and a new box set on the way.