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Watch the Accompanying Visuals to Blaq Jerzee and Wizkid's New Track 'Arizona'

Blaq Jerzee takes his collaboration with Wizkid to the desert in this new music video.

Blaq Jerzee has just dropped his new collaboration with Wizkid titled "Arizona" along with the accompanying visuals.

The Nigerian superstars are definitely hitting the ground running and setting the pace for what fans can expect music-wise this year.


Listen to "Arizona" on Apple Music or Spotify.

"Arizona" is a fun, mid-tempo banger which sees the duo's individual performances seamlessly flowing with one another.

The visuals which are shot in the desert, have both Blaq Jerzee and Wizkid navigating sand dunes on quad bikes. It's a straightforward video depicting the two artists just vibing out while surrounded by endless stretches of golden sands. Directed by Nelsonegh, whose continued aerial shots in several scenes add to the expansive feel of the location, the music video aligns well with the core themes of the song itself—hustling, chasing money and getting high.

The new track comes after the duo's previous collaboration titled "Blow" on Wizkid's 2019 EP Soundman Vol. 1 which was released late last year. The surprise project dropped just before the new year and left fans with some great music to carry them through the festive season.

Wizkid has since announced that the follow-up to that EP, Soundman Vol. 2, will drop sometime before his highly-anticipated upcoming album Made In Lagos (MIL).

Watch the music video for "Arizona" below:

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The 4 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Black Sherif, Omah Lay, Focalistic, L.A.X 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.

If you like these music lists, you can also check out our Best Songs of the Month columns following Nigerian, Ghanaian, East African and South African music.

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(Photo by Fatma Esma Arslan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Dak'Art Biennale Returns

The Dakar Biennale, one of the continent's largest cultural events, is back after the pandemic for its 14th edition.

The 14th edition of Dak’Art opened last Thursday, after a four year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Previously, every two years, members of the international art world descended upon Dakar for its month-long Biennale. This year, Senegal’s teranga, or culture of hospitality, welcomes close to 300,000 visitors back and the city of Dakar serves yet again as a colorful backdrop for a meeting of minds.

The Dakar Biennale, dubbed Dak’Art, is one of the continent’s largest cultural events. Created in 1989 to celebrate literature, crafts, and visual arts, this form of the Biennale centered around contemporary African art has existed since 1996. Dak’Art has two unique parts: an IN, comprised of artists who adhere to the year’s theme, and an OFF, for those who do not. Where artists who show for the IN have works that can be found in national buildings like the Ancien Palais de Justice, Museum of Black Civilizations, Museum of African Art, and National Gallery, the myriad of artists who partake in the OFF show their off-beat works everywhere else in locations from hotels to restaurants to embassies to libraries to bus depots to beaches to galleries.

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Photo Credit: Rashad McCrorey

How a Black American Became the Tourism Chief of Elmina, Ghana

We spoke with Rashad McCrorey, the Tourism Chief of Elmina, about what the title represents, his identity as a Black American integrating back into Africanness and the state of the Black diaspora.

The first time Rashad McCrorey was in Ghana, it was in January 2015. Visiting the West African country wasn’t planned. His school in the U.S., Drew University, where he was getting his Masters in Theology, had a course titled “Cross-Cultural Experience” that prepared him to go to Cameroon. But the Ebola outbreak at the time had disrupted the itinerary.

McCrorey then proposed Ghana to the group leader. There was no report of the virus there. Further, there was the appeal of Ghana as a haven for Black Americans historically, linking Civil Rights struggles and anti-colonial efforts in Africa. The political movement of Pan-Africanism opened Ghana to the Black diaspora. At a young age, McCrorey’s father told him stories about Africa, featuring rulers, spirituality, and culture.

When he arrived for the first time, at 35, Ghana exceeded his expectations. Little did he know that years later, he would be enstooled as a chief in Elmina, a town located south of Ghana that reverberates with a dark history. The castle of Elmina was a passage that offloaded enslaved Africans into the ships during the slave trade. What kept McCrorey rooted in this town was the community he found.

McCrorey launched his tourism company Africa Cross-Culture, a nod to his course title, in 2016. As a tour operator, he organizes trips to African countries like Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Uganda and Ghana. With the government initiative of Ghana’s Year of Return in 2019, the country has been using tourism as a tool for cultural diplomacy and national branding. Last month, he was bestowed as chief of tourism. He’s the first person to hold such a title.

OkayAfrica recently spoke with McCrorey about what the title represents, his identity as a Black American integrating back into Africanness, and the state of the Black diaspora.

Rashad McCrorey crown

Photo Credit: Rashad McCrorey

Any Black person could have been enstooled as Chief of Tourism. Why do you think you were chosen for this title?

The royal family and the village of Iture explained that their desire to make me one of their chiefs was based on my consistent presence in the family and in the community. When I moved to Iture in May of 2020, I joined the royal family. I did my traditional naming ceremony, which many Black Americans take part in when they return to Ghana. But, I also took it a step further than many other Black Americans. In addition to already living in the community, I immediately began attending the monthly family meetings.

I have paid all my family monthly dues. I paid all my funeral dues in addition to any contributions needed to support. I visit our king and family members weekly. I help in the community, attend events and even have disagreements in the subtowns as nothing is ever always perfect. When you live somewhere and interact with people consistently for close to two full years conflicts will arise, but our conflicts have brought us closer, created boundaries, and helped us develop a sense of trust and mutual respect. They continued to explain to me they didn't want to give me a ceremonial, non transferable stool such as developmental chiefs with the titles of Nkosuohene or Impuntuhen.

These titles at any given time one can be destooled and moved on from. When meeting with the Omanhen of Elmina Nana Kojo Condua Edina VI, he also spoke of my reputation as one of the first Black Americans in the Town of Elmina to have seemed to have chosen to fully integrate himself with the community. In return he has made me a part of the Ednia Traditional Council.

What are your duties in this role?

In terms of my title of Nserahwehen, or “Tourism Chief,” I have a successful tourism company where I take clients to different countries in Africa. Iture is the first subtown of Elmina. You can’t get to Elmina Town, or Elmina Slave Dungeon from the Accra-Takoradi Rd. without going through the village of Iture. The location is ideal for tourists and visitors. Hospitality centers such as One Africa and Mable’s Tables are staples in the African American community in the United States.

I have been sharing that tourism is more than just taking guests from one place to another. Tourism is planning, budgeting, marketing, branding, security, research, people management and more. With over 10 years of event planning experience this is a stool that I have been groomed for.

\u200bRashad McCrorey camel

Photo Credit: Rashad McCrorey

What made you come to Ghana during a pandemic?

I was already in Ghana when the pandemic arose. I arrived in Ghana February 27th 2020, for a tour group where I was hosting Americans for Ghana independence day festivities. Once news of the pandemic broke out in the United States and travel bans and border closings started to take place around the world, I decided to stay and not return home.

Did you start your tourism company before or after you came to Ghana?

I started my tourism company after my second trip to Ghana in March of 2015. I was previously a relatively successful New York City event planner. When deciding what business I wanted to invest in while in Ghana I said to myself, if I can get 30 to 50 people a week to party in New York City, I can get 30 to 50 people a year to visit Mother Africa. I came up with the idea in 2015, started working on the business in 2016, and hosted my first trips to Ghana and Egypt in 2017.

The Elmina Castle is historically known as a holding passage for enslaved Africans who were shipped to the Americas. How does it feel to be in close proximity to this significant place?

I have mixed feelings about being enstooled in a town with such a dark history. Elmina is historically known as the first place in West Africa that the Europeans colonized. Elmina slave dungeon is also known as the oldest and largest slave dungeon in West Africa. To have such an important role in a place where many of my ancestors had their worst nightmares take place, I feel honored and blessed to know that I am someone who firmly honors them and have all the best interest at heart to turn this former dark hole into a beacon of light for their descendants to return home to.

There’s a sentiment amongst some Black Americans that part of the revenue from hosting the Year of Return in 2019 by the Ghanaian government wasn’t directed to helping Black American communities. Their grievance is that it was used only to better the Ghanaian economy. In your opinion, is this a reasonable complaint?

Yes, it is a reasonable complaint. As Black Americans we are constantly looked at by other races and groups of people as cash cows. There is a secret financial war over the “Black dollar’’ that Ghana is also taking part in by their amazing outreach to Black Investors. It is up to the Black American community both home and abroad to not only advocate for more opportunities to leverage our money in other countries but also to create more business and opportunities in the states where we can practice group economics and develop more black owned businesses and resources.

Do you have a strategy for building positive, community-building relationships between Africans and Black Americans?

I believe communication and patience are the most important practices we can have during these early stages in our integration with each other. I consider 2019 the first official year where there is a boom in tourism and migration to the continent of Africa in these massive numbers. This is the first time in history an African country is a mainstream option for Black Americans to visit and move to. We are a multiplicity of different cultures fusing together. If we choose not to express patience and communication with each other many disagreements could spiral out of control and irreconcilable differences could occur. I believe the government, chiefs, community leaders need to meet with diasporan community leaders, investors and key people of influence in order to assure all parties involved get their needs met.

Do you miss America and do you ever think of going back to your family?

As we speak I'm currently home in New York City. I have been home for two weeks and will be returning to Ghana within the next month. Part of my position of Chief of Tourism is to bring Black Americans and diasporas home to Africa and in this case Ghana. So returning home to the United states to campaign, network and build relationships is a key part of my duties. Yes I miss my family very much. I miss my mom, my two girls, my family friends and I plan on visiting my father’s grave while I'm in the states.


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Photo Credit: David Malan for Getty

10 Ethical African Fashion Brands to Support This World's African Day

For World’s Africa Day, OkayAfrica spoke with a number of ethical brands that are pioneering sustainability in the African fashion industry.

Over the last couple of years, there has been a push for fashion brands to be more sustainable and ethical with its practices. Although ethical fashion brands have continued to emerge across the American and European continents, many would argue that sustainable practices have been a part of the African fashion industry since before it became trendy. Crocheting, recycling and upcycling, sustaining of traditional crafts, hand weaving, and more have been a part of the African fashion industry for years.

Before now, a number of African brands have been doing its due diligence and putting in the work to ensure that their production and manufacturing follows a more ethical and sustainable route. For World’s Africa Day, OkayAfrica spoke with a number of these ethical brands that are pioneering sustainability in the African fashion industry.

Ajabeng Ghana (Ghana)

Ajabeng Ghana is an ethical fashion brand founded in 2018 by Travis Obeng-Caster. The brand's regular ethos follows Afro-minimalism and the creation of clothes that are easy to wear. The brand caters to people who associate wholly with minimalism, African arts, and culture. “Ajabeng is a Ghanaian unisex brand birthed at the crossroads of minimalism and contemporary African art and culture," Travis-Obeng tells OkayAfrica. "We use these two seemingly unrelated themes to create an aesthetic that conveys both the purity of minimalism and the vibrancy of African culture. We experiment with both feminine and masculine design elements to create an aesthetic that is as experimental as it is conservative."

Margaux Wong (Burundi)

Founded by Margaux Rosita, Margaux Wong is a sustainable jewelry brand based in Burundi. Since 2001, the brand has continued to use materials such as cow horns, brass, and other locally sourced sustainable materials to innovative accessory designs. “The Margaux Wong is an experimentation of my lifelong experience on this earth. It showcases the beauty and opulence of something that is beautifully handmade," Rosita said. "I love a timeless piece of jewelry, and it’s what I’m trying to share with the world. We basically showcase artistry, longevity, timelessness, and a new perspective on luxury."

Vanhu Vamwe (Zimbabwe)

“We do refer to ourselves as a brand, but we’re more of a revolutionary community that embodies creatively through the eyes of the most honest parts of ourselves," Zimbabwean founder Vamwe tells OkayAfrica. "We have often identified our works as objects rather than handbags, as we’re interested in the idea of our community having their own interpretation of what their purchases are."

Nkwo (Nigeria)

“We are mindful of the harmful impact that running a fashion business has on the planet and on the people."

Nkwo is a Nigerian sustainable brand founded by veteran designer Nkwo Onwuka in 2007. The brand is known for resource recovery and transformation of material waste into reusable products. “We use innovation as a tool to guide us as we work our way towards total zero waste garment production," Onwuka said. "Our methods of waste reduction pay homage to Africa's rich textile craft tradition and so it is a means of promoting our culture and heritage in a way that also respects the environment and is relevant to the world we live in today."

Abiola Olusola (Nigeria)

Eponymous label Abiola Adeniran-Olusola is a Nigerian sustainable brand founded in 2017. Adeniran-Olusola has worked with major fashion houses like Givenchy and Lanvin, since graduating with a BFA in fashion design from Istituto Marangoni Paris in 2015. “We focus on using sustainable materials in making our clothes, so we mainly use just cotton, silks and linens," Adeniran-Olusola said. "We work with craftsmen and women across the country in bringing our ideas to life. Our brand is easy, fresh and makes you feel cool."

Shekudo (Nigeria)

Founded and refocused by Nigerian-Australian Akudo Iheakanwa in 2017, Shekudo has become a household name for artisanal crafts and accessories in the continent. It’s become a brand that encapsulates culture, craftsmanship, heritage, sustainability and empowerment. “We try to showcase our local traditions and techniques through our fabrics and local resources like metals, leather, glass and bronze," Iheakanwa said. "We utilize what we can from our local environment into our designs and create products that can be appreciated not just locally, but across the world."

Maliko (Nigeria)

Maliko is shoe brand that uses handcrafted techniques of production. "With Maliko, we’re exploring different artisanal techniques that we can find in the continent,” Ebuka Omaliko, founder of the Nigerian footwear brand, tells OkayAfrica. “Our shoes are made in small batches. They’re ethically made. We focus duly on fair wages and ensure that people get the value of what they do.”

Hamaji Studio (Kenya)

Hamaji Studio is a brand inspired by everyday East African charm, nature, and people. The Kenya-based Hamaji, which means "nomad" in local Swahili, was founded by Louise Sommerlatte in 2017 and has since grown to be one of the continent’s most sought ethical brands. “Hamaji is a brand created around preserving ancient textile traditions and nomadic handcrafts. It’s a narrative of different stories and threads interwoven together to give clothing that tells a story, and supports local crafts people,” Sommerlatte tells OkayAfrica. “We only use natural fibers on our textiles and natural ingredients on our dyes."

Larry Jay Ghana (Ghana)

Ghana-born Larry Jafaru Mohammed first started the Larry Jay brand as an accessories line in 2012, before rebranding into a clothing line in 2016. Larry Jay caters his clothes for the fashionably conscious and individuals who have love for indigenous African fashion. “The brand is generally inspired by Nature, Various African Cultures and Arts," Jay said. "Our designs exude an understated style and emphasizes ‘tradition and comfort’. It is vintage, with details and innovations that echo our West African heritage.”

Viviers Studio (South Africa)

Based in South Africa, and founded by Lezanne Viviers, the Viviers Studio brand — which was founded in 2019 — has gone on to be one of the most sought after ethical brands emerging from South Africa. Their pieces are grounded in quality and integrity, intended to become unique heirloom pieces. “To us, the energy of the hand involved in the making of each item, is the highest form of luxury,” Viviers tells OkayAfrica. “We always attempt to sustain the ability for our team to continue with our work in a beautiful way, by having a positive impact on humanity, as well as on Mother Earth. Sustainability is a day-to-day approach."

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