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Ugandan Musician, Ziggy Wine, Dies From Injuries After Being Abducted and Tortured

The artist, who was kidnapped in July, was a close friend of Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine and a supporter of the resistance movement, People Power.

Ugandan musician Allinda Michael, better known as Ziggy Wine—a close affiliate of opposition leader and musician Bobi Wine—has died after being abducted and tortured, BBC Africa reports.

The artist, who was signed to Bobi Wine's Firebase Crew music label and was a firm supporter of the People Power movement, was kidnapped on July 21 while he was on his way to a recording session in Kampala. He was found a week later with several injuries, including a missing eye and two fingers. He died at Mulago Hospital in Kampala on Sunday night.

Police say they have launched an investigation into his death. Given his association with People Power, both Bobi Wine and the late artist's family allege that the abduction may have been politically motivated, reports BBC Africa. Bobi Wine recently announced that he will run for office in 2021, challenging President Yoweri Museveni's 33-year rule.

READ: Bobi Wine is Officially Running for the Ugandan Presidency in 2021


"Our friend Ziggy Wine could not make it. He passed on last night—succumbing to injuries sustained after a horrendous encounter with kidnap & torture," wrote Bobi Wine in a message of condolence shares on Twitter. "Very painful! He joins other countless Ugandans. As we mourn him, we resolve to work even harder to end this. Rest well brother."

The artist, who recently announced that he will run for office in 2021, challenging President Yoweri Museveni's 33-year rule, also released a statement via Facebook on what he referred to as "the unexplained [kidnappings], torture and murder of several #PeoplePower supporters & other political activists."

Several Ugandan fans and supporters have shared heartfelt messages online in remembrance of the artist, with many also decrying what appears to be a new wave of state-initiated violence against Ugandan citizens who dare to speak out against Museveni.





Photo: Trevor Stuurman

Ghanaian Designer Steve French On The Influence of Cartoons & Earning A Gucci Fellowship

He's been designing fashion since 2015, but Steve French doesn't mind how long people take to notice his work - just as long as they notice.

Steve French personifies the thought that unwavering faith in one’s talent and capabilities can open doors. The Ghanaian fashion designer, stylist and illustrator didn’t make the initial top 10 for the 2019 Gucci Design Fellowship program but the organizers ended up expanding the list to include him because of his aptitude.

Launched in March 2019, the program is part of the luxury fashion brand’s initiative to offer opportunities to underrepresented designers, and to promote cultural exchanges between people from different backgrounds. The fellows get to learn from the Creative Director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele, and his team for a year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, French’s class shifted, and they began their fellowship in March this year.

“The 11th designer from Ghana [French] was a decision taken today,” stated Marco Bizzari, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gucci, about the decision to add French to the mix, as reported on fashion website, WWD. “The team didn’t want to let him go.”

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Music
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The 6 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring DJ Lag, Asa, LasGiiDi, Kaien Cruz, Imarhan and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Interview
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DJ Neptune Surveys the Sounds & Genres Running Africa In His New Album

Greatness 2.0 features an all-star cast of African artists and jumps from afrobeats to amapiano to asakaa, Ghana’s thrilling new take on drill.

Transitioning from a DJ to an artist is no small feat. Nigeria’s DJ Neptune has always had good ear for what the people want to hear, but in past years he's also shown his skill at assembling hitmakers to make a hit and earn a spot on any afrobeats playlist.

Neptune has been dotingly described as "Africa’s DJ Khaled" for his ability to bring the continent’s top names together in musical harmony. His 2018 debut album, Greatness: The Album, pulled from his extensive contacts and years of experience as one of Nigeria’s most influential radio personalities to create a star-studded compilation with features from Burna Boy, Davido, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Efya, Kizz Daniel and Olamide, to name a few.

In 2020, during the pandemic, DJ Neptune endeared himself with his intimate live sessions with Neptune Isolation Radio, where he constantly entertained people during the lockdown. After more than a decade as a DJ, and also one of afrobeats’ most influential personalities and curators, he has assembled some of Africa’s hitmakers for his sophomore album, Greatness 2.0, which he describes as “a playlist with Africa’s favorite artists.”

Artists on the truly pan-African project include Nigeria’s Mr Eazi, Rema, Patoranking, Yemi Alade, Stonebwoy, Joeboy, Omah Lay, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Laycon, Ladipoe, Blaqbonez, Cheque, Peruzzi, Bella Shmurda and Phyno, Ghana’s Stonebwoy and Kofi Jamar, Harmonize and Anjella from Tanzania, South Africa’s Focalistic; and UK rapper One Acen. Collaborating with Neptune on production are Magic Sticks, Dëra and MOG, among other afrobeats hitmakers.

Greatness 2.0 is a survey of the sounds and genres currently running Africa —from afrobeats to amapiano and asakaa, Ghana’s thrilling new take on drill.

In this interview, we speak with DJ Neptune about DJ culture in Nigeria, working with some of Africa's biggest superstars, and his new album.

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