#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
Burna Boy performs at the Warner Music Group pre-Grammy party in Hollywood on January 2020. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Warner Music)

Burna Boy, Tinariwen, Michael Kiwanuka & More Nominated For 2021 Grammy Awards

The Nigerian star and Tuareg band are nominated in the newly named Best Global Music Album category.

The nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards are in.

The awards show, which will be hosted by Trevor Noah, will see some of the world's biggest artists up for categories like Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist.

As we previously wrote about, the Grammys have renamed the international category of Best World Music Album to Best Global Music, in an effort to reportedly make it more modern and inclusive.

In that new Best Global Music Category, Nigerian afro-fusion star Burna Boy is nominated alongside Tuareg desert rock group Tinariwen, NYC afrobeat outfit Antibalas, Brazilian-American Bebel Gilberto and British-Indian sitar player Anoushka Shankar.

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