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What's Up Africa: A Ugandan Media Taster

What's Up Africa tackles the Ugandan media as Ikenna explores freedom of expression amongst different media facets throughout the country.

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Ikenna is still in Uganda, and in this episode of "What's Up Africa" he gives us a quick peek into Uganda's Media. Enjoying, but also looking beyond Ikenna's comedic voice, it's pretty clear that he wants to explore freedom of expression amongst different media facets throughout the country. His first stop is The Kampala Sun where he speaks to editor Raphael Okollo. According to Okollo, The Kampala Sun has expanded rapidly in a short period of time, but he also admits that there's a limit on how much the tabloid is willing to express when it comes to politics- he's not too pressed about it as he notes that sometimes people just want to laugh. Ikenna's second stop is the UBC (a government funded broadcast) where he speaks to Jane Kasumba, a prominent female sports presenter. Their exchange is pretty funny especially when Ikenna tries and fails to get her to criticize the president. Ikenna's last stop is Capital FM 91.3 and alas, he finds the only space where the radio hosts aren't bashful about sharing their political opinions- or getting a bit loud.

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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