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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.

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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Listen to Tems' New EP 'If Orange Was A Place'

The buzzing Nigerian is also announcing her signing to Since '93/RCA Records and her placement as Apple Music's Up Next artist.