News

Summer Reading 2012


As music festivals fill our weekends for the next few months, here's to unwinding and relaxing in the summer sun...with a good book! Check out OKA's start of summer reading list.

First up is the debut novel of Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, Powder Necklace. A fascinating coming of age story about a young girl, Lila, who's mother sends her away to boarding school in Ghana. A journey through womanhood, family, and tradition molds young Lila and gives her a deeper understanding of life and love. Funny, sweet, and beautifully told, this story will warm your heart and leave you smiling long after the last page!

Teju Cole's debut novel, Open City follows Julius, a German-Nigerian graduate student, as he treks through the foreign streets of NYC during his residency at a psychiatric clinic. Through all of his encounters, relationships, and travels, this politically infused story grips the conscience and as the title implies, opens the reader to the experiences of New York.

Revered novelist, Bessie Head contrasts eloquently the struggle between holding onto tradition and allowing the need for progressive change in When Rain Clouds Gather. When Makhayo escapes imprisonment in his homeland of South Africa, he finds refuge with other exiled villagers as they struggle to improve farming methods amid the harsh climate (politically and atmospheric) in pre-independence Botswana. As visual as allegory can be, Head paints a picture of all our consciences in this novel.

For those of us with a shorter attention span, fear not. Here's a collection of twenty, just as enriching, stories from the continent. Edited by our beloved Chinua Achebe & CL Innes, this anthology includes (in 4 parts for each continental region) "Gentleman of the Jungle", "The Bride Groom" and "Certain Winds of the South". It's definitely a must have.

So chill some Rooibos Tea, find a cozy spot in the park or even a rooftop, and curl up to one of these novels...or short stories ;-). Happy Reading!

Music

11 Rwandan Artists You Should Be Listening To

Musicians like Bushali, Kivumbi King, Rita Ange Kagaju, and Alyn Sano have been putting their mark on the ever-changing Rwandan soundscape.

The current landscape of modern Rwandan music is more dynamic than ever before, from updated versions of traditional folk sounds to the recent 'KinyaTrap' phenomenon that has permeated playlists across the country. For decades, Rwandan airwaves have been dominated by international hits — and by a handful of established Rwandan superstars — but now, as the country continues to develop and diversify, so does its musical setting, with new and different sounds ascending from the hills. The past five years have seen the emergence of an army of young artists eager to reclaim their languages (Rwanda has four official languages) and identity, interlacing their music with influences that stretch far and wide.

Here are 11 artists that have emerged in the past five years to put their mark on the ever-changing Rwandan soundscape.

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