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This Video Challenges You to "Get it Back"​

Throw off the constraints of western culture and embrace the richness of African tradition.

Sponsor content from Castle Milk Stout

Everyday we scour the continent for the latest in music and culture from African artists. And while style and innovation are in abundance, African creators are often overshadowed by their western counterparts. European language, culture and beauty still dominates African life both on the continent and abroad. Despite our rich traditions, African cultures are seen as second rate, something to be shed in favor of those of the west. With globalisation and international media intent on erasing what makes a place unique, it's up to us to stand up for what's ours.


In this powerful and poetic new video, a young man painted in western flags stands resolute but burdened looking down on his city until he falls, plunging into a deep pool of water representing a rebirth into African consciousness. Suddenly we see him as a young man, running through an unfinished building. Images of African pride set distinctly in a raw urban geography flash through his mind's eye. It tells the viewer that to be African and a city dweller is not a contradiction but something to be celebrated and cherished. This, too, is Africa.

Africanness it says, does not end at tradition but extends to our innovations, dreams and discoveries. To be a contemporary African means to embody all things: history and future, urban and rural, work and leisure. Our man, once suffering under the layers of eurocentric paint emerges cleansed from the water moments before sunrise, finally free—ready for the new day. This is how to "get it back" we're told. To radically reinvent. To cleanse. To know one's self.

How do you interpret the stories from this video and how have they inspired you to find your Africanness or, "to get it back." Tell us what are you doing to champion your African culture on social media with the hashtag #GetItBack?

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Photo by Polly Irungu

Photos: A Night of ‘Cocoa and Color’ at Okay Space for Tony’s Chocolonely and Joshua Kissi’s ‘Reframed’ Exhibition

The exhibition, currently showing at Okay Space Gallery, advocates for fair practices in the West African chocolate industry.

What happened when cocoa hero Tony's Chocolonely and creative wonder kid Joshua Kissi rolled up to the Okay Space on the same night? Chocolate-y magic and sweet enlightenment. The two entities have been working together on a project called REFRAMED: Cocoa and Color aimed at shifting the perspective on the West African cocoa farmers who make Chocolonely's delectable bars.

The project kicked off its first US exhibition with us at the Okay Space Gallery in early October, where brightly colored chocolate bars of all sizes covered the tables as attendees had their pick of a variety of Tony Chocolonely's chocolate. Anywhere you looked, there was chocolate and smiles. The only time folks stopped munching on chocolate was to take a bite of the fantastic cuisine—jollof rice, fried plantains and beef skewers—from Gold Coast Catering and plantain ice cream from Kelewele NYC. The room was packed with a diverse and wonderful crowd, excited to interact with Kissi's work and curious about learning how the chocolate brand was focused on empowering Africans and African economies. DJ GFlamee created the perfect atmosphere with tunes that highlighted the region and made a Thursday feel more like a Friday.

The highlight of the night, however, was a live Q&A session between Joshua Kissi and Dena White, Tony Chocolonely's head of marketing for the US. Kissi created the concept and took photos of the people in Ghana and the Ivory Coast working to create the chocolate the world adores. Together, they discussed the methods and importance of Tony Chololonely's fight to end slave labor in the cocoa industry. It was illuminating to have the session with the faces of those being honored surrounding us, looking on, being included in something that has long been swept under the rug.

While the chocolate has all been gobbled up, Kissi's striking photos will stay on display at the gallery until October 31st.

Check out some of the action from the event below, with photos by Polly Irungu.

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(Screenshot from video)

Patoranking Drops an Amazing Video For ‘Open Fire’

The Nigerian star treats the world to the reality-bending visuals for the upbeat track.

The Nigerian fusion artist has hit us yet again with arrestingly stunning visuals to accompany his emphatic, bombastic and infectious music. Last week, the talented Patoranking gifted the world with the video for the track "Open Fire" featuring Busiswa and we somehow didn't see it until today. Believe us, it is a classic case of "better late than never."

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(Photo by Emma McIntyre/BAFTA LA/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)

Daniel Kaluuya Is Producing a Live-Action 'Barney' Movie with Mattel

Yes, you read that correctly.

In a move that absolutely no one saw coming, Oscar-nominated actor Daniel Kaluuya is set to produce a live-action Barney movie in conjunction with Mattel Films. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the story.

Kaluuya will co-produce the film as part of his 59% production banner, which signed a first-look deal with Paramount back in May. Speaking on his involvement with the project and the impact of Barney & Friends, Kaluuya had this to say: "Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood. We're excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of 'I love you, you love me' can stand the test of time."

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(Photo Courtesy of the Artist)

Busy Signal Drops New Video for '100%' Featuring Afro B

Premiere: The Jamaican dancehall star and afrowave artist partner up for a comical new song and video.

Busy Signal has teamed up with Afro B for a fiery song and hilarious video for their new track, "100%".

Born and bred in Jamaica, Busy Signal's signature dancehall-reggae sound with an electronic lean is always a refreshing twist. His sound mixed with "Drogba (Joanna)" star Afro B's smooth afrowave style makes this new track, well, 100% dope.

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