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Veteran Kenyan Writer Binyavanga Wainaina Has Passed Away

The prolific author and gay rights activist was 48.

The literary world is currently in mourning after the passing of Binyavanga Wainaina who, according to the BBC, is reported to have suffered from a short illness. The writer is perhaps one of the finest to come from Kenya and was well-known for his essay, How to Write About Africa, a humorous and tongue-in-cheek guide to writing about the beloved African continent.


In 2002, Wainaina was awarded the prestigious Cane Prize for African writing and went on to be named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2014.

In a tribute by his close friend and the renowned Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, she described Wainaina saying, "By publicly and courageously declaring that he is a gay African, Binyavanga Wainaina has demystified and humanized homosexuality and begun a necessary conversation that can no longer be about the "faceless other.""

Wainaina was fiercely unapologetic and open about his homosexuality at a time where homosexuality is still regarded as being criminal under Kenya's laws. In fact, the country's Supreme Court is set to deliver a historical ruling on the decriminalization of homosexuality in just two days.

Tributes have been pouring in on social media since the news of Wainaina's passing was reported.

Literature
Photo: Beowulf Sheehan

Poet Hafizah Augustus Geter Is Reclaiming her Story

Through her groundbreaking memoir, The Black Period: On Personhood, Race, and Origin, the Nigerian American author shares the many layers of her existence as the queer daughter of an immigrant.

"History was neither a marvel nor a mile marker, it was something we made every day between our hands." -- Hafizah Augustus Geter

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Music
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Roc Nation

Burna Boy, Tems, Zakes Bantwini, Eddy Kenzo & More Are Nominated For 2023 Grammy Awards

They are joined by Angélique Kidjo, Rocky Dawuni, Nomcebo Zikode and more African artists on the nominees list for next year's Grammy Awards.

The Recording Academy has released its list of nominees for the upcoming 2023 Grammy Awards show and several African artists have been given a nod.

Nigerian superstar Burna Boyand Beninese legend Angélique Kidjo are both nominated for Best Global Music Album.

Uganda's Eddy Kenzo, Ghana's Rocky Dawuni, South Africa's Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode, and Burna Boy are all in the running for Best Global Music Performance.

Nigeria's continually buzzing Tems is nominated for "Wait For U," her collaboration with Future and Drake, under the Best Melodic Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. Angélique Kidjo is also nominated for her Woman King song "Keep Rising" under the Best Song Written for Visual Media category.

African music has been taking center stage, and the recent nominations have further proven that the world is paying attention to the sounds coming from the African continent.

The 65th installment of the award show will take place on Sunday, February 5, 2023, at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. It will be exciting to see all of the honorees from the continent and how their hard work has paid off.

Last year, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Tems, Femi Kuti, Made Kuti, Angélique Kidjo, Rocky Dawuni, and Black Coffee were the African nominees.

Last year, Kidjo won an award for her 16th studio album Mother Nature, marking her fifth Grammy win. During a visit to Ghana earlier this year, Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, told reporters that the Grammys were considering an Afrobeats category. Mason said he had been meeting with important decision-makers in the genre to explore the possibility.

Scroll down to see the list of African artists nominated for the award show this year.

Check out the complete list of nominees here.

Best Global Music Performance

“Udhero Na,” Arooj Aftab and Anoushka Shankar
“Gimme Love,” Matt B and Eddy Kenzo
“Last Last,” Burna Boy
“Neva Bow Down,” Rocky Dawuni featuring Blvk H3ro
“Bayethe,” Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode

Best Global Music Album

“Shuruaat,” Berklee Indian Ensemble
“Love, Damini,” Burna Boy
“Queen of Sheba,” Angélique Kidjo and Ibrahim Maalouf
“Between Us … (Live),” Anoushka Shankar, Metropole Orkest and Jules Buckley featuring Manu Delago
“Sakura,” Masa Takumi

Best Melodic Rap Performance

“Beautiful,” DJ Khaled featuring Future and SZA
“Wait for U,” Future featuring Drake and Tems
“First Class,” Jack Harlow
“Die Hard,” Kendrick Lamar featuring Blxst and Amanda Reifer
“Big Energy (Live),” Latto

Best Rap Song

“Churchill Downs,” Ace G, BEDRM, Matthew Samuels, Tahrence Brown, Rogét Chahayed, Aubrey Graham, Jack Harlow and Jose Velazquez, songwriters (Jack Harlow featuring Drake)

“God Did,’ Tarik Azzouz, E. Blackmon, Khaled Khaled, F. LeBlanc, Shawn Carter, John Stephens, Dwayne Carter, William Roberts and Nicholas Warwar, songwriters (DJ Khaled featuring Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend and Fridayy)

“The Heart Part 5,” Jake Kosich, Johnny Kosich, Kendrick Lamar and Matt Schaeffer, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)

“Pushin P,” Lucas Depante, Nayvadius Wilburn, Sergio Kitchens, Wesley Tyler Glass and Jeffery Lamar Williams, songwriters (Gunna and Future featuring Young Thug)

“Wait for U,” Tejiri Akpoghene, Floyd E. Bentley III, Jacob Canady, Isaac De Boni, Aubrey Graham, Israel Ayomide Fowobaje, Nayvadius Wilburn, Michael Mule, Oluwatoroti Oke and Temilade Openiyi, songwriters (Future featuring Drake and Tems)

Best Song Written for Visual Media

“Be Alive” from “King Richard”; Beyoncé́ and Darius Scott Dixson, songwriters (Beyoncé́)

“Carolina” from “Where the Crawdads Sing”; Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)

“Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick”; Bloodpop and Stefani Germanotta, songwriters (Lady Gaga)

“Keep Rising (The Woman King)” from “The Woman King”; Angelique Kidjo, Jeremy Lutito and Jessy Wilson, songwriters (Jessy Wilson featuring Angelique Kidjo)

“Nobody Like U” from “Turning Red”; Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (4*Town, Jordan Fisher, Finneas O’Connell, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo, Grayson Villanueva)

“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from “Encanto”; Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter (Carolina Gaitán — La Gaita, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz & Encanto — Cast)

Sports

All You Need to Know About the African Teams at the World Cup

We break down how Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco, and Tunisia's national teams are looking ahead of the Qatar World Cup 2022.

African football has come a long way.

Egypt was the first African team to ever participate in a FIFA World Cup. They did it in Italy in 1934, where they only played a game, which they lost 4-2 to Hungary. Back then, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) didn’t exist, so the Pharaohs played two qualifier games against British Palestine.

CAF was eventually formed in 1956, but the World Cup would only see another African team in Mexico 1970, when Morocco qualified. Years later, Pelé, the legendary Brazilian player, predicted that an African team would win a World Cup before the year 2000, he was mocked mercilessly. For many, it was not an unlikely outcome, it was an absurd proposition.

And yet, African footballers have become more and more often part of the footballing elite, playing in the best leagues, and becoming some of the most famous players. While, still, only European and South American teams have won World Cups.

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Interview

Seni Saraki On Co-Producing the Nigerian Side of the 'Black Panther' Soundtrack

We speak with NATIVE's Seni Saraki who helped put together the Lagos arm of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - Music From and Inspired By.

Back in July when Marvel released its Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Prologue EP, led by Tems’ soul-stirring cover of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” the consensus among young, internet-savvy Africans was that the follow-up to 2018’s record-breaking Black Panther was shaping up to be seminal moment for African culture after years of gestation and ascending visibility in the western world.

The arrival of the full soundtrack has proved that the optimism felt at that time was not unfounded. In a sharp contrast to the Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack for the first film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - Music From and Inspired By is a full-on deep-dive into the pulse of African and Mexican popular music as we know it. Taking influences from these sources makes sense as the movie is primarily inspired by both Nigerian and Meso-american cultures and we get to see acts like Burna Boy, Fireboy DML, DBN Gogo, and CKay line-up on the musical accompaniment to one of the eagerly-anticipated releases of the year.

To get some perspective on how the African arm of the soundtrack came together, we spoke to The NATIVE’s editor-in-chief, Seni Saraki, who served as the soundtrack album co-producer for the Lagos arm of production, touching on his involvement with the project, its reception, and what he hopes its legacy might be.

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World Cup: Rating the Best (and Worst) Jerseys at Qatar 2022

With all World Cup kits now on the table, we rank the jerseys of the African teams and add in some international favorites too.