There’s no denying that Africa has some of the most talented musicians in the world. By making hit after record-breaking hit, these artists have proven that the continent’s musical talent stacks up against the best in the world. There’s just one problem: too many top artists seem to be promoting the warped impression that true beauty only comes in one form: light/white skin. Is this a wrong-headed marketing ploy or are these artists truly blind to the negative body image attitudes they are promoting?
Just more than half a century ago, in the Belgian Congo, a baby was learning his first words, words that would grow into music and diffuse from Kinshasa into the veins of Africa’s dance floors with its soft melody, rhythmic cadences and hot guitar riffs. That baby grew up to become Papa Wemba – Le Pape de la Sape, Kasai Nightingale, King of Rhumba, a master of his art and musical genius.
The colonial administrators of Rhodesia left their imprint in the names of streets, places, hospitals, schools and rivers. Many of these were deemed controversial and offensive by the new majority government that took over in 1980. Changes were swift.
Africa has lost one of its great writers, renowned Nigerian author, Elechi Amadi, popularly known for his debut masterpiece, The Concubine, which is widely considered his magnum opus. Amadi was born in Nigeria in 1934 and passed away on the 29th of June 2016. He was 82 years old. Amadi, indeed leaves an indelible mark and a great legacy, which will continue to inspire African writers. May he rest in perpetual peace.
Sex education on the continent is blind to the realities of its many young people, Kagure Mugo argues. It’s time to get real and to help them stay safe.
Rising French music star, Jain, and Nigerian musician Femi Kuti collaborate on an afrobeat remix of her hit single ‘Come’.
African entrepreneurship is certainly on the rise and a Kenyan start-up, Enda Athletic (Enda means “go” in Swahili) has designed and developed world-class running shoes, which are inspired by the country imponderable greatness in running. We certainly hope Kenyan athletes will be sporting the debut Enda Iten running shoe in the foreseeable future.
The Nile Project is a collective of African musicians from eleven countries along the Nile River. They have performed at venues around the world, using music to unite the people of the region and bringing attention to its socio-political and ecological problems.
This Is Africa recently did a simple experiment. We did an image search for “African children” on Google. The results were eye-opening especially when compared to Google searches for “American children” and “European children.” While the other two searches yielded images of cheerful, happy children, the image search for “African children” turned up many disturbing images of starving, distressed and yes, even gun-toting minors. Is this the real Africa or does Google need to play an active role in changing how the world sees the continent?