News Brief

Yasiin Bey Permitted to Leave South Africa

Yasiin Bey, f.k.a. Mos Def, is finally allowed to leave South Africa following a successful apology to the Home Affairs Department.

Ten months since his legal woes began, Yasiin Bey, the artist formerly known as Mos Def, is now permitted to leave South Africa. Bey, whose legal name is Dante Terrell Smith, will leave the country Tuesday evening following a written apology to Home Affairs, which the department has accepted.


"[He] has unreservedly apologized to the Government of South Africa," Home Affairs explained in a statement. "The department is satisfied with the apology [and] will withdraw the charges against him."

Bey was arrested in January while attempting to leave South Africa using a document called a “world passport.” A week later, he revealed his plans to retire from music and acting at the end of the year and put out his final album. And while there’s still no word on a release date for the final album he promised, Bey has been using his time in Cape Town to record and release a steady stream of new tracks alongside his longtime collaborator and A Country Called Earth co-founder, Ferrari Sheppard, under their Dec. 99th moniker.

He confirmed his impending retirement last month, calling 2016 his “retirement party year.”

2016 may also be Bey's actual final party in S.A. Having been declared an “undesirable person” in terms of Section 30 of South Africa’s Immigration Act, he will not qualify for re-entry or admission to South Africa in the future, Home Affairs said in a statement. He may however apply for a waiver, for good cause, in terms of Section 2 of the Immigration Act of 2002.

News Brief

Yasiin Bey Debuted His New Project 'Negus'

The "sound installation" wont be released in digital or physical formats.

Yasiin Bey shared his new release, Negus, at Art Basel Hong Kong.

The artist formerly known as Mos Def's new music comes in the form of an 8-song "sound installation" that was recorded in London in 2015 and will be presented as an "Immersive live experience," a tweet from producer FunkinEven (Steven Julien) reveals.

Production on Negus was handled by Lord Tusk, Steven Julien and ACyde. It wont be available in digital or physical formats.

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Seun Kuti May Be Collaborating With Yasiin Bey & Nai Palm

The Nigerian afrobeat artist tells OkayAfrica he might have something in the works for an upcoming remix project.

Seun Kuti has just released his latest full-length album, Black Times, which features collaborations with Carlos Santana and Robert Glasper.

"Black Times is like an emotional state of mind," he tells OkayAfrica in an interview about the new record. "[It's] that moment when you understand your history from our own perspective, knowing who you are as a Motherland person in this world today."

In that same interview, Seun revealed another interesting bit of information. He's planning to do a remix album, presumably for Black Times, which will feature collaborations with none-other-than Yasiin Bey and Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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