#Okay100Women

ZANELE MUHOLI

OkayAfrica's 100 Women celebrates African women who are making waves, shattering ceilings, and uplifting their communities.

I had the pleasure of viewing South African artist Zanele Muholi's exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum last year. With her use of photography, short film and mixed media, Muholi invites us into the world of black lesbian and gay identities in South Africa. It is an intimate, honest, confrontational experience: I remember seeing a high wall decorated with the painful words of lesbian women who've been abused, assaulted and harassed for their sexuality, like a chalkboard filled with disheartening lessons. Lessons no one should have to learn.




There were portraits of newly wed lesbian couples, a blurry video of Muholi making love to her partner, their skin tones melting into each other like honey in tea, and a coffin—although I don't remember what it looked like, I remember how jarring it was, resting there while visitors chose to dismiss or interact with it.



Muholi, who is described as a visual activist, succeeds at expressing the beauty and burden of being queer, in a society that has such polarizing perceptions on the LGBTQIA community. Her work documents hate crimes against black lesbians in South Africa, as well as joyous and candid depictions of black lesbian life. She's received controversial criticism for her work and in 2012, her home was robbed—the thieves stole footage of crimes she documented. Being an activist-artist comes with its risks, but I am proud and moved that she continues to do the necessary work to enforce social and cultural change—and is being recognized for it.



-AA

News Brief
Photo: Single cover art courtesy of Emerald East

Rema Welcomes 2021 With New Single 'Bounce'

The Don Jazzy produced track reminds us of why the Nigerian singer-songwriter is topping charts.

Nigerian golden boy Rema took his time on deciding how to start of 2021—and we're glad he did.

The afropop hitmaker is out with his first project of the year, "Bounce", after stunning fans with word of an upcoming album, and the cooks in this kitchen have not disappointed.

Keeping it in the Mavin Records family, legendary producer Don Jazzy sprinkles his magic on the track, while undoubtedly motivating the young singer-songwriter to be his best self. And with this track being like nothing we've heard from Rema before, one could say Jazzy succeeded. "Bounce", fast-paced and fierce, is a love song dedicated to bewitchingly beautiful and blessed bottoms. The candid declaration and hip shaking beat are a force duo and we can't help but love it.

Of the single and collaboration with head honcho Don Jazzy, Rema says, "This record was inspired by the luscious and magnificent body of the African woman. Furthermore, I'm really excited about this tune because it's my first single with the legendary Don Jazzy."

Honestly, when you start the year off with a banger, you get to make songs about butts.

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