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Video: Njideka Akunyili's 'Everyday Stuff'

Nigerian artist Njideka Akunyili paints beautiful, thought-provoking and in demand collages.


Nigerian-born artist Njideka Akunyili's collage paintings are beautiful, thought-provoking and sell like hotcakes. She just wrapped up a year-long residency at The Studio Museum and to mark it, the folks in Harlem have uploaded a three-minute video interview. The US-based artist talks about what drives her work, how fellow artist in residence Meleko Mokgosi has influenced her visual narratives, and her choice to represent domestic and intimate scenes:

"I think of my work as capturing the very ordinary, just normal everyday stuff. But I think there is something beautiful and powerful in the things that happen daily, intimate situations, sensual situations. Things people don't get to see. I think there's a beauty in that..."

Akunyili's commitment to documenting the mundane situates her within a cohort of African writers and artists who eschew the 'big' narratives which for some time dominated African cultural production. Instead of taking war, famine, hunger or the 'postcolonial question' as themes, their work foregrounds individual lives and realities to reveal, in Teju Cole's words, 'a whole world of ongoing human experience that is often ignored or oversimplified'.

Check out her website and watch the interview below:

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Interview
Image courtesy of Sun-El Musician.

Interview: Sun-El Musician Is Going 'To the World & Beyond'

Thirteen years ago, Sun-El Musician left his home in the Midlands of KwaZulu Natal and dropped out of university to move to Joburg and pursue a dream that continues to unfold with To the World & Beyond, the much-anticipated followup to his debut album

Sun-El Musician almost didn't release the very song that made him the much-loved name he is in South African dance music. He sent "Akanamali" to three different sound engineers and still didn't feel it was quite ready to see the light of day. The song, which is about being broke, sat on his laptop for four months before his younger brother, Sandile, encouraged him to reconsider putting it out for others to hear.

"If it were up to me, I wouldn't have released 'Akanamali,'" Sun-El, real name Sanele Sithole, tells OkayAfrica. "I would have wanted it to be so extra perfect. I don't know what that means anymore, but once you touch a song, you feel like you could do better." Thankfully, with a little nudging from his brother, Sun-El let the song out into the world in 2017 to work its magic, earning him his place in the scene, along with three South African Music Awards, including Best Collaboration with Samthing Soweto.

Sun-El's reputation has been shaped by years of working with Demor Skhosana, who helped get him started in the industry, and producing tracks for the likes of Thiwe, Zakes Bantwini, and Shota. The self-taught Sun-El has put all he's learnt into a label of his own, El World Music, which counts Simmy and S-Tone, who both appeared on his debut album Africa to the World, among its roster. At the same time, he's teamed up with artist development company Platoon to increase the reach of his music.

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Listen To Sun-El Musician’s Sophomore Album ‘To The World & Beyond’

South African deejay and producer extraordinaire, Sun-El Musician drops 'To The World & Beyond', the follow-up to his widely successful 2018 debut, 'Africa To The World'.