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What's Up Africa: French Heroes in Mali??!! WTF??

Check out the latest episode of African political satire and sketch comedy series "What's Up Africa" hosted by Ikenna Azuike.

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In the latest episode of What's Up Africa Ikenna Azuike provides some necessary satire to the deployment of French troops in Mali, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki's outrageous revised retirement package and a brief shout-out to the musical genius that is Michael Kiwanuka. If others have shied away from finding some humor in the Mali conflict, this episode draws attention to the absurdity of complexity- our inability to actually identify the root cause of the conflict. According to Ikenna we have six choices of who to blame:

1. Islamist fundamentalists from Libya returned to Mali after the downfall of Gaddafi.

2. Legacy of Osama Bin Laden

3. The Touaregs

4. Coup led by Amadou Haya Sanogo

5. Amadou Toumani Toure (Deposed President)

6. A century of colonial rule and political economic and religious interference from the countries eager to establish a strategic foothold in West Africa (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Algeria)?

It doesn't sound funny- but trust us, there's definitely a chuckle or two in there. Be sure to check out this week's episode (above) of what is clearly a brilliant African political satire series.

Music
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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