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The Roots Of… The Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac and Jessica Williams Discover Their African Ancestry

Using a DNA test, the Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac and Jessica Willams discover their African Ancestry for Okayafrica TV along with Gbenga Akinnagbe.


In our latest installment of "The Roots Of…" series, comedian Wyatt Cenac and Comedy Central's The Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams swap saliva with a fuzzy piece of cotton to determine where in Africa – and what tribe – some of their ancestors may have come from. Hosted by The Wire's Gbenga Akinnagbe, Wyatt and Jessica embark on a brief discovery of their respective African Ancestry – what they learn takes them on a whirlwind trip to the Bronx ("the Cameroon of Manhattan") and teaches them about the meaning of "farm car penis husband" (hint: it's NOT a hipster band from Williamsburg). For the real reveal, watch below, and for more laughs, find Wyatt at this month's Shouting At The Screen ("The baddest 70's Blaxploitation! The loudest loud mouths! And a whole lot of drinking!"), and find Jessica guest starring on HBO's GIRLS when she's not suggesting that Bloomberg should have been stop-and-frisking white guys on Wall St.

If you haven’t yet seen our first episodes in “The Roots Of…” series, check here to watch The Roots‘ African ancestry revealed to ?uesto and Black Thought, here to check out Q-Tip‘s real tribe, here to see Flying Lotus trace his own soul makossa to the motherland, and here to see why Michael K Williams has the "Heart of a king, blood of a slave." You too can discover the country and even tribe where it all began: to get your own DNA test, check out our partners over at African Ancestry.

Videographers: Myo Campbell, Chinisha Scott

Sound: Greg Scott

Editor: Jake Remington

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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