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The African Cities Reader


“Pick up any academic or popular publication that deals with urban life in Africa and be prepared to be overrun by caricature, hyperbole, stereotypes and moralistic hogwash,” declarers the preface to the first instalment of The African Cities Reader. “It is almost impossible to get any meaningful purchase on what is actually going on in the vibrant markets, streets, pavements, taxi ranks, hotel lobbies, drinking halls, clubs, bedrooms, rooftops, gardens, dump sites, beach fronts, river edges, cemeteries, garages, basements, and other liminal spaces of daily life and the imaginary.”

Published jointly by the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town and Chimurenga Magazine the reader is a “journal-like platform where Africans tell their own stories, draw their own maps and represent their own spatial topographies”. With submissions from writers such as Teju Cole (Open City), Chris Abani (Graceland) and Jonny Steinberg (Little Liberia) among others, the result is an extraordinary and exhilarating mix of reportage, history and self-writing. The complete first and second editions of The African Cities Reader are up for download.

 

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Image courtesy of ARRAY.

What to Watch at Home During Coronavirus Shutdown: ARRAY's New Digital African Film Series

The film platform, from director Ava DuVernay, is hosting a weekly movie-viewing experience for the "global online community of cinephiles."

If you're looking for African films to dive into while at home during the coronavirus outbreak, a new digital series from award-winning director Ava DuVernay's film collective ARRAY is a great place to start. The multi-media platform and arts collective is launching its #ARRAYMatinee series, and each film will be available for viewing here.

#ARRAYMatinee is a virtual movie-viewing experience that will screen a string of the collective's previously released independent films from Africa and the diaspora. The weekly series begins on Wednesday, April 1 with a viewing of the 2015 South African coming-of-age film Ayanda. "Viewers will take a cinematic journey to the international destinations and cultures featured in five films that were released via the ARRAY Releasing independent film distribution collective that amplifies that work of emerging filmmakers of color and women of all kinds," says the platform in a press release. To promote a communal viewing experience, viewers are also encouraged to have discussions on Twitter, using the hashtag #ARRAYMatinee.

The five-part series will run weekly until May 13, and also includes films from Liberia, Ghana, and Grenada. See the full viewing schedule below with descriptions from ARRAY, and visit ARRAY's site at the allotted times to watch.

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"Mafa Mafa" cover art.

Davido, Peruzzi, Dremo and The Flowolf Team Up for New Track 'Mafa Mafa'

Check out a new one from Davido's label DMW.

Now is a better time than ever to take in new music, and thankfully, some of our favorite artists have been delivering.

Nigerian stars Davido, Peruzzi, Dremo and The Flowolf inked up for the new collaborative track "Mafa Mafa," under Davido's record label DMW, which launched back in 2018. The song features mostly rapping as the artists trade verses back and forth in Yoruba. "Mafa" is a Yoruba saying that loosely translates to "don't pull it."

Davido originally teased the song with a short dance video shared last week.

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Cover art of "Banjo".

Watch Cameroonian Drag Artist Bebe Zahara Benet's New Music Video for 'Banjo'

Video Premiere: Bebe Zahara Benet releases the colourful visuals for her latest single 'Banjo' ahead of her upcoming EP 'Broken English'.

Cameroonian drag artist Bebe Zahara Benet has just released the colourful visuals to her latest single 'Banjo'.

The single, which features on her upcoming Broken English EP, is the follow-up to several EPs she's released in the past including Face and Kisses & Feathers as well as a number of singles including "Fun Tonite", "Get Fierce (Lose Yourself)" and "Starting a Fire".

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8 South African Albums & EPs to Stream While Staying Home

Let these South African releases from Bongeziwe Mabandla, Shabaka and the Ancestors, King Monada and others hold you down during lockdown.

This month saw a number of releases from South African artists. While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken money away from a majority of artists, this could be the best time for listeners to go through the new music that was released.

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