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Celebrated Coupé-Décalé Pioneer DJ Arafat Has Died from a Motorcycle Accident

The continent and the world has lost a true force who put the sounds of Côte d'Ivoire on the map.

DJ Arafat—a beacon of Côte d'Ivoire's coupé-décalé sound—tragically succumbed to his injuries from a motorcycle accident Monday morning, BBC Afrique reports.

Ivorian Public Radio-Television (RTI) says Maurice Bandaman, Ivorian Minister of Culture, confirmed his death, saying DJ Arafat, born Ange Didier Houon, collided into a car driven by a journalist from Radio Côte d'Ivoire Sunday night. He was not wearing a helmet.

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Culture

OkayAfrica Presents: 'The Adinkra Oracle' with Simone Bresi-Ando

We will be getting our lives with the help of our ancestors in this new monthly series featuring Simone Bresi-Ando's Adinkra Ancestral Guidance Cards.

OkayAfrica is proud to introduce The Adinkra Oracle—a new monthly series that's our answer to the horoscope craze that's taken over the internet.

As astrology enthusiasts consult the stars for guidance, why not consult our ancestors?

Simone Bresi-Ando is a Ghanaian-British PR expert, social commentator and activist who developed Bresi-Ando Tools For Living—a lifestyle hub providing 'tools for life' to help one get through the ups and downs utilizing what we already have, to manifest what we want.

One of her tools you'll be getting to know through this series is the Adinkra Ancestral Guidance Cards—a deck comprised of 44 Adinkra symbols to help you channel information, messages and direction from your ancestors using Adinkra symbols. As many may know, the Adinkra is an ancient language linked with the Akan people of Ghana and the Gyaman people of Ivory Coast.

Starting in August, Simone will give us an oracle reading from her codified cards and share what we need to hone into and keep in mind to have a fruitful month.

Watch below.

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Events

Magic System Performs a FREE show at SummerStage in Central Park on Sunday, July 28!

The celebrated Ivorian quartet will be joined by Smarty, Selma Uamusse and DJ Birane.

The Afropop quartet Magic System have been known for their high-energy performances since their founding in 1996 in Ivory Coast. This Sunday, the celebrated group will bring their "magical" vibes to NYC for a very special show at SummerStage in Central Park.

The group will perform songs from their extensive discography, which includes early hits like " Momo" from their debut album Papitou (1997) and the classic "1er Gaou," a remix of which–from French DJ & producer Bob Sinclar—helped break the group in France and ultimately, throughout Europe. They would later crack Billboard's European Top 100 with their 2006 LP Cessa Kié la Vérité. Their 2014 hit single "Magic in the Air" became a signature song of FIFA's World Cup.

They'll be joined by Burkinabe rapper Smarty, whose hit-making lyrics focus on societal issues facing the continent, Mozambican singer Selma Uamusse—a rising star whose musical talents span several soundscapes, from various African rhythms to soul and gospel, as well as Ivory Coast's DJ Birane.

The show is FREE to attend. See below for more information on the upcoming show, and don't miss out on seeing the legendary group in one of NYC's most iconic parks.


In Association with OkayAfrica
Sunday, July 28, 2019
3:00 pm - 7:00 pm (Doors open 2:00 pm)
For more information, please visit: https://cityparksfoundation.org/events/magic-system/
Travel
Photo by Audrey Lang.

Travel Diary: Audrey Lang Connects To a New Home Away from Home—Côte d'Ivoire

An OkayAfrica contributor captures her vibrant and on-the-go experience in Côte d'Ivoire's Abidjan and neighboring cities.

In OkayAfrica's latest Travel Diary, our contributor Audrey Lang shares her musings while exploring Côte d'Ivoire for the first time.

During a visit to Dakar, Senegal for the Biennale last summer, I met an advertiser and DJ named Lio. He excitedly described his impending move to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire and implored I make it my next stop on the African continent. Lio spoke of an invigorating creative scene in which he would thrive and I yearned to interact with the creatives telling its story so I could do the same. With little convincing, I obliged.

My desire to travel around the African continent is aimed at being able to refute a common media narrative that is often detrimental to its creatives and locals. Luckily, we are living in times where Africans far and wide are at the helm of a change in tide. Our stories are being told the right way—raw and unapologetically. They are as diverse as they are expansive. What is manifesting is nothing short of extraordinary.

Furthermore, because I am a second generation Cameroonian-American, travel is also aimed at connecting to a home I've never had the chance to live in, yet feels very much like it is mine. I am a product of an environment in which I was consistently reminded that despite the fact I live here, I am not from here. With time, I have learned that trips such as these are critical to forging a path in a world that so often attempts to dictate how you should identify and how this identity should make you feel. More often than not, my connection with heritage drives me.

Côte d'Ivoire is a West African country with idyllic beaches, a French-colonial legacy and a people who are friendly and warm. This country is honestly a gem that's heavily slept on.

From the moment I hop off the plane, I am moved by an ease. There is an air of not taking things too seriously. The doctors who administer my yellow fever shot jokingly offer to take me to get attiéké, alloco and garba (notable local dishes). The immigration agent who stamps my passport happily speaks on her phone about what appears to be a matter of no importance to her work.

Abidjan is a refreshing mix of post-colonial France and traditional culture. It's a sprawling metropolis with people very much on the go. I caught myself smiling at the locals' take on urban attire that reminds me of America.

The images I took engaging with the local landscape of Abidjan and some neighboring cities and towns do the best job of conveying just how lively the country is—check them out below.

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