#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

Music
Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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