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Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri & Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Invade 'The Simpsons'

Nigerian literature invades 'The Simpsons' in a recent episode that references Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ben Okri.


In a recent episode of the The Simpsons, Homer is charged with looking after a Nigerian princess named Kemi (voiced by Mother of George actress Yaya Alafia) while her father and Mr. Burns discuss a uranium deal. Beyond the obvious jabs at Nigerian 419 e-mail scams, one of which Moe falls for, the episode largely steers clear of negative stereotyping and focuses on Princess Kemi's introduction to life in Springfield.

As a token of Princess Kemi's gratitude to Moe for serving as her guide during a tour of Springfield (soundtracked by King Sunny Ade's "Eni Binu Wa") she gifts him with, as she describes it, some of Nigeria's "most beloved, albeit depressing literature." The four books selected by Kemi come from literary luminaries Ben Okri, Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and include Adichie's 2009 short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck, Okri's Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road, Achebe's seminal work Things Fall Apart and his essay collection Home and Exile.

For more essential writings from African authors, check out our list of reader recommendations we compiled in celebration of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland earlier this month. Watch Nigerian literature invade The Simpsons in "The Princess Guide" below.

Audio
(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Ethic's Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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