News Brief

This Emotional Film Showing a Glimpse of Lisbon's Afro-Portuguese Music Scene Is a Must-See

'Pai Nosso' is a stunning short doc about young people caught in the diasporan drift between Angola and Portugal.

Pai Nosso, a short film directed by Clayton Vomero, introduces us to 23-year-old DJ Firmeza—a Lisbon-based Angolan producer and DJ whose family emigrated to Portugal in the 90s.

DJ Firmeza, whose real name is Cilio Manuel, discerns grief and faith as the film follows him around Quinto Do Mocho, a notoriously rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Lisbon.

Although the community is improving, the young people are caught up in Portugal's alarming youth unemployment crisis—DJ Firmeza is an example of how music can be a way out, as his work reaches millions of listeners on the internet.

"Firmeza represents a growing generation of youth left on their own to decide their place in the world," Vomero says in a statement. "The memory of his father, the musical talent that speaks for itself, and the neighborhood that is his home are integral parts of the film and the 23-year-old man that is Firmeza. I think this concept of self is something that speaks to many people now. We have our memories, our self-worth, and our friends, and not much else."

The film provides an emotional and personal look into the artist's life, where he talks about the recent passing of his father, his struggles with mortality, and his belief and faith in God and himself, and his hope for his future.

"One day I wish that I could show him that we are here," Firmeza says of his father in the film. "That we've become someone like he wished so many times. You see, they emigrated for us. I wish he could know I'm doing the right thing in return."

Watch Pai Nosso, produced in collaboration with The FADER, below.

Interview

Amadou & Mariam Forever

We talk to the legendary Malian duo about their rich past, songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities.

Amadou & Mariam don't require an introduction.

The couple has been making Afro-blues music for over 35 years, drawing inspiration from their home of Mali, for over 35 years.

Their 1999 albumSou Ni Tilé sold 100,000 copies. In 2005, their album Dimanche à Bamako won the French Victoire de la Musique prize for Best World Music Album of the year and the BBC Radio 3 Award for Africa. It also went platinum in France after selling over 300,000 copies. The duo have performed with U2, Coldplay, Blur and many others.

We caught up with them below for a conversation about their rich past, their songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities, ahead of the duo's performance at the upcoming London Jazz Festival 2021.

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Music
Image: Ian Watts

The New Fela Kuti Box Set is Curated by Femi Kuti & Chris Martin

And they said the perfect holiday gift doesn't exist...

Fela Kuti's 50th anniversary reissues released this year have reminded us why his status as a legend continues to ring true.

Through the year, Partisan Records (the homes of Fela's catalog) has released a number of special reissues, and now Vinyl Box #5 is set to drop just in time for you to be named the coolest gift giver in your friend group. The highly-anticipated fifth installment of vinyl reissues was co-curated by Fela's son, Nigerian afrobeat ambassador Femi Kuti and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

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Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A Year After #EndSARS, Nigerian Youth Maintain That Nothing Has Changed

Despite the disbandment of the SARS units, young Nigerians are still being treated as criminals. We talk to several of them about their experiences since the #EndSARS protests.

On September 12th, Tobe, a 22-year-old student at the University of Nigeria's Enugu Campus was on his way to Shoprite to hang out with his friends when the tricycle he had boarded was stopped by policemen. At first, Tobe thought they were about to check the driver's documents, but he was wrong. "An officer told me to come down, he started searching me like I was a criminal and told me to pull down my trousers, I was so scared that my mind was racing in different ways, I wasn't wearing anything flashy nor did I have an iPhone or dreads — things they would use to describe me as a yahoo boy," he says.

They couldn't find anything on him and when he tried to defend himself, claiming he had rights, one of the police officers slapped him. "I fell to the ground sobbing but they dragged me by the waist and took me to their van where they collected everything including my phone and the 8,000 Naira I was with."

Luckily for Tobe, they let him go free after 2 hours. "They set me free because they caught another pack of boys who were in a Venza car, but they didn't give me my money completely, they gave me 2,000 Naira for my transport," he says.

It's no news that thousands of Nigerian youth have witnessed incidents like Tobe's — many more worse than his. It's this helpless and seemingly unsolvable situation which prompted the #EndSARS protests. Sparked after a viral video of a man who was shot just because he was driving an SUV and was mistaken as a yahoo boy, the #EndSARS protests saw millions of young Nigerians across several states of the country come out of their homes and march against a system has killed unfathomable numbers of people for invalid or plain stupid reasons. The protests started on October 6th, 2020 and came to a seize after a tragedy struck on October 20th of the same year.

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Meet Uyi Omorogbe: TikTok's Resident Menace and Founder of Clothing Brand NASO

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