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'They Will Have to Kill Us First' is Now Available to Watch Online

Malian music documentary 'They Will Have to Kill Us First' makes its online debut.

If you’ve been following our site over the past year, you may be familiar with They Will Have to Kill Us First. Perhaps you were even lucky enough to catch it in theaters.


Johanna Schwartz’s masterpiece of a documentary is finally available to watch online.

They Will Have to Kill Us First, which Okayafrica is an executive producer, documents the aftermath of the 2012 Islamic extremist takeover of northern Mali that saw musicians forced into hiding after all music was swiftly banned. Rather than laying down their instruments, Mali’s musicians fought back, standing up for their freedoms and using music as a weapon against the ongoing violence that has ravaged their homeland.

The musicians we meet in the film risk their lives to keep Mali’s musical tradition in tact. There’s the four young men who make up Songhoy Blues, the sensational ‘desert punk and blues’ band that made history last year as the first African band signed to Atlantic Records since 1972. The beloved “Nightingale of the North” Khaira Arby is a living legend who worked tirelessly to put on the first public concert in her hometown, Timbuktu, since the ban on music. Fadimata ‘Disco’ Walet Oumar is a renowned singer who advocates for the Tuareg women of refugee camps in Burkina Faso. We also see the heartwrenching story of Tuareg guitarist Moussa Sidi and his return home from exile.

The film’s soundtrack, composed by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and featuring contributions by Songhoy Blues, the late Malian legend Ali Farka Touré and his son Vieux Farka Touré, Toumani Diabaté, Bombino and more, was released earlier this year on Knitting Factory Records.

Rent or buy They Will Have to Kill Us First over at Amazon. The film is also available to purchase on DVD in the U.S. as of this week.

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Six Things History Will Remember Kenneth Kaunda For

News of Kenneth David Kaunda's passing, at age 97, has reverberated across the globe. Kaunda, affectionately known as KK, was Zambia's first President from 1964 to 1991.

Following Nelson Mandela's passing in December 2013, Kenneth Kaunda became Africa's last standing hero. Now with his passing on Thursday, June 17 — after being admitted to the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka earlier in the week — this signals the end of Africa's liberation history chapter.

It is tempting to make saints out of the departed. The former Zambian struggle hero did many great things. He was, after all, one of the giants of the continent's struggle against colonialism. Ultimately however, he was a human being. And as with all humans, he lived a complicated and colourful life.

Here are six facts you might not have known about him.

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