Popular

The UK has Offered to Give Ethiopia Back Its Stolen Treasures—On Loan

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has agreed to return artifacts taken from Ethiopia 150 years ago on a long-term loan.

The UK has agreed to "loan" Ethiopia back stolen treasures taken from the country 150 years ago.

Ethiopia filed a claim in 2007 asking that the UK return ancient artifacts and manuscripts taken in 1868 during the capture of Maqdala. These items include a gold crown and royal wedding dress, reports BBC Africa. Both items were taken from the mountain capital of Emperor Tewodros II in the area formerly known as Abyssinia and are currently held in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The Ethiopian government's claim was denied by the museum, but Director Tristam Hunt, suggested another solution: that the looted items be temporarily given back through a long-term loan.


"The speediest way, if Ethiopia wanted to have these items on display, is a long-term loan. That would be the easiest way to manage it," BBC Africa quotes him as saying. The items will be on display at the Victoria and Albert museum for their upcoming exhibit Maqdala 1868, which will display 20 separate artifacts to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle.

While The Guardian reports that the Ethiopian state and some supporters have been open to the deal, Hunt suggested that the ownership of cultural property is a complex one and that there is no one strategy that can be applied to the returning of items. "You have to take it item by item and you have to take it history by history. Once you unpick the histories of the collections it becomes a great deal more complicated and challenging," he told The Guardian.

We're not quite sure how complicated it is to simply hand these items back to their rightful owners, but we already know how colonizers operate. If you don't, just ask the homie Erik Killmonger.

News Brief
Album cover art.

Shekhinah Experiences 'Trouble in Paradise' in Her Latest Album

Shekhinah's highly anticipated sophomore album 'Trouble in Paradise' is a candid journey in overcoming heartbreak.

South African R&B and pop songstress, Shekhinah, has finally dropped her much anticipated sophomore album Trouble in Paradise. The 12-track project, which faced several delays in terms of its initial release date last year, is the official follow-up to Shekhinah's 2017 debut album Rose Gold and captures the evolution of her sound. Featured on the album are Una Rams, Luke Goliath and Bey T.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Season 2 of 'Life With Kelly Khumalo' Is Back

Much to the delight of fans, Kelly Khumalo recently announced that her wildly popular, SAFTA-nominated reality show Life With Kelly Khumalo will air from May 13.

Following the success of Life With Kelly Khumalo Season 1, which recently earned a South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) nomination for "Best Soap Structured Reality TV Show", the second season will soon be upon us.

Keep reading... Show less
Interview
Photo courtesy of Ransom Beatz.

Ransom Beatz Is Utilizing YouTube to Create Beats

The Abuja-based producer's YouTube channel, known for afrobeats, trap, and drill "type beats," has amassed almost 70,000 subscribers and over 10 million views. It's led him to produce for Dizzee Rascal, 6ix9ine, Runtown, and many others.

The place of producers in Nigerian music, and its recognition as a global phenomenon, is becoming a focal point of discourse. Like artists, Nigerian producers depict the creative ingenuity that abounds in the country. Amongst new generation talents like P.Priime, Telz and London is Ransom Beatz, who's staking his claim to the evolution of Nigerian music through unconventional means. The producer, born John Iyinbor, is wielding tech to carve a niche that'll hatch a breed of new generation talents.

Without enough tutelage to kickstart a career in music production, Ransom Beatz latched onto a YouTube-led approach, a path less treaded by Nigerian producers. Through this approach, he bases his beat production on user demand rather than mere intuition. To put it simply, he makes the type of beats people are searching for on YouTube. His rendition of "Beat My Meat" by Ugly God was a turnaround in his channel, garnering over 7 million views. "I didn't understand how well it performed until I checked my AdSense," he said. His YouTube channel, now known for afrobeats, trap and drill has since garnered almost 70,000 subscribers and over 10 million views.

Through YouTube, Ransom Beatz is collaborating with heavyweights across the world. In 2019, he produced "Goosebumps" from the comeback project of Nigeria's Runtown. In 2020, he alongside his crony Ramoon, also a [Moroccan] YouTube producer, made the beat for "Yaya" by US rapper 6ix9ine. He also produced "Smoke" by British rappers Big Tobz and Dizzee Rascal. Recently, he produced four tracks off Runtown's new project, Sound God Fest Reloaded, including "Mama Told Me" featuring Made Kuti.

The Abuja-based producer is earning his wings far away from Lagos, Nigeria's music hotspot. He debates the highly-perceived importance of the city in a producer's trajectory. "I strongly believe it's not about being in Lagos. I make music and get my sales from my room." In February, Ransom Beatz became the only Nigerian producer with over a million streams on Beatstars, a feat he says "validates the efforts I put into producing and driving traffic to my store".

Here, the producer delves into the burgeoning succession of Abuja as a buzzing city for music and infusing his tech and accounting knowledge with being a producer.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Tekno Recruits Mafikizolo in New Remix of 'Enjoy' & Music Video

Tekno has dropped the remix to 'Enjoy' featuring South African Afropop duo, Mafikizolo. The Nigerian artist has also shared the vibrant accompanying visuals for the remix.