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Uganda's President Museveni Tells Miss World Africa She Shouldn't Wear 'Indian Hair'—Twitter Reacts

"I have encouraged her to keep her natural, African hair," said the president—but who asked?

Miss Uganda, Quinn Abenakyo, made her country proud earlier this month when she was crowned Miss World Africa during the Miss World Finals in China.

Following her win, the 22-year-old beauty queen was welcomed by President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday at the State House in Entebbe, where he congratulated Abenakyo, saying "she is the true definition of beauty and brains."

But because simply congratulating her on her achievement wasn't enough, the 74-year-old leader decided to take to Twitter to offer his unsolicited "advice" on how the beauty queen should wear her hair.

"Abenakyo is indeed a tall, beautiful Musoga girl," he wrote. "My only concern is that she was wearing Indian hair. I have encouraged her to keep her natural, African hair. We must show African beauty in its natural form."

If you're wondering who made Museveni and expert on black women's hair and beauty, or who asked for his views on Abenakyo's—the answer is no one. But the president is known for touting his unwarranted opinions on a regular basis.

Museveini's spokesperson Don Wanyama, attempted to clarify his statement about the beauty queen's "Indian" hair, and what he meant by his brash comments, telling BBC Africa: "Just look at the photo and you will see the type of hair. It's an unnatural wig, he was saying she should wear her natural hair."

Museveni is clearly out of place offering any opinion concerning positive representations of Africa, and especially sharing his two cents on how a woman chooses to carry herself.

Many online used the opportunity to take their own jabs at the hairless president.

The comments reopen a conversation around definitions of "African beauty," the policing of women's bodies—and why men continuously feel they have the right to do it—as well as the ways in which Eurocentric beauty standards affect women on the continent.

While the embracing of natural hair is undeniably beautiful and important, Abenakyo's decision to wear her hair otherwise, according to many of the best thinkers on the subject, does not take away from that, and it doesn't simply equate to a rejection of African beauty either. Black women's hair is versatile and choosing to wear our hair how we please—whether that be in braids, locs, weaves, wigs or afros—is an expression of our unique blackness in and of itself.

The beauty queen told BBC Africa, that for her its a matter of choice. And while she agreed with Museveni about "not trying to copy what the Western world does," the style in which she wears her hair is "50/50...depending on occasion and how I feel."

"No-one needs to define how you wear your hair and what you do," she added. "If you are comfortable, that is what matters."

While some agreed with Museveni, many Ugandans took to Twitter to defend Abenakyo and lambast the president:







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Watch Wizkid and Tems Perform Their Global Hit 'Essence' Live on Fallon

Take a look at the Nigerian stars' latest stop, as they take their chart-topping Grammy-nominated single around the world.

Nigerian singer and songwriter WizKid was joined by fellow Nigerian pop sensation Tems this week, to perform the duo's smash hit "Essence" live on The Tonight Show: Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The single, off of Wizkid's 2020 Grammy-nominated masterpiece Made In Lagos, was also nominated for a Grammy in the Best Global Music Album and Performance categories respectively. Due to the travel restrictions recently imposed on African countries because of the latest COVID-19 variant, the soulful rendition was performed from an empty stadium, instead of live from Fallon's New York City studio.

Made In Lagos has not left the charts since its release in October 2020, and the success continues to rain in for Wizkid, as the afrobeats star's project recently made history. During his European leg of his Made In Lagos tour, the singer was honored by London's infamous O2 music arena for being the first African musician to sell out 3 shows in a row.

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Photo: Matteo Prandoni and BFA

A Ghanaian Artist Brought A Boat To This Year's Art Basel Miami

Serge Attukwei Clottey installed a traditional Ghanaian fishing boat into a Miami hotel to create a deeply immersive and impactful sound sculpture experience.

After being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Art Basel Miami returned in person to celebrate the arts, bringing many viewers from around the world to the city for a 3-day event at the Miami Convention Center. Hundreds of art purveyors filled the building for a time of conversation, art, and inspiration – all while adhering to this yea's mask-wearing requirements. The city of Miami bubbled as hotels, restaurants, and bars were the epicenter of entertainment, boasting lavish parties with celebrities from across the country taking part in the action.

An artist who caught our attention was Serge Attukwei Clottey from Ghana, who presented his work at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel titled, The Bodies Left Behind. Clottey, who’s best known for repurposing plastic Kufuor gallons in his artwork as a means of exploring issues like global warming, water scarcity, and other environmental issues, staged a month-long exhibition, in partnership with the hotel. It allowed the artist and his team to further dive into the issue of global warming and water scarcity, throughout the hotel. The exhibition left guests of the hotel curious about his work.

Clottey made a huge statement by presenting the western traveler’s effects on Africa and its coastline in a luxurious space. He spoke to OkayAfrica about why he chose this subject matter.

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Nigeria’s LONDON Is Producing Afro Sounds of the Future

With a fresh Grammy nod and production work for big names like Wizkid, Rema, Johnny Drille, Ayra Starr and Tiwa Savage, the young beat smith's career is as bright as ever.

You may have heard his tag on your favorite afrobeats hits, it's so catchy that producers from other parts of the world have attempted to steal it.

Kaduna-bred star hitmaker LONDON is known for his futuristic and innovative fresh take on afrobeats. With bangers like “Gyrate” by Wizkid, “Koroba” by Tiwa Savage and “Soundgasm” by Rema under his belt, it’s crazy to think his journey as a music producer only started in 2018.

Born Michael Ovie Hunter as an only child in London, England to a Hausa mom and British dad, then raised in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria, producer LONDON’s journey into music production isn't exactly far-fetched. He started out with a passion for graphic design before experimenting with keyboards and drums at his church, where he recorded melodies to impress his friends at school. Like many Nigerian artists, LONDON got his start making music at church where many of his family members were heavily involved in the choir . He first downloaded Fruity Loops Studio software on his laptop in 2018 but he felt discouraged because couldn’t figure out how to use it. After hanging around his friend's studio and several Youtube tutorials later, LONDON finally understood the whole music production ‘thing.’

LONDON’s early compositions caught the attention of veteran Nigerian music producer BabyFresh, the architect behind some of Nigeria’s biggest afro pop hits in the past decade such as “‘Allover” by Tiwa Savage, “Problem” by Reekado Banks and “Adaobi” by the Mavins. He took him under his wing and taught him the tricks of the trade in music production. This brought LONDON closer to the Mavin Records family where Baby Fresh is an in-house producer, ultimately leading to his big break in the industry.

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A LÁOLÚ Artwork of Breonna Taylor Is Up For Auction​

Proceeds from the auction of LÁOLÚ's piece, alongside a George Floyd sculpture, will benefit non-profit organizations set up by the Taylor and Floyd families.