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Here’s how you can help those impacted by the Cape Town fire

At the start of this week, firefighters in Cape Town, South Africa, contained a wildfire more than 24 hours after it broke out along Table Mountain. The fire is already being described as one of Cape Town’s worst blazes in recent years.

The fire began near Rhodes Memorial, spread to the Vredehoek area in City Bowl, and ended up at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Four helicopters and 250 city and volunteer firefighters worked to contain the flames through Sunday and into Monday. In the aftermath, South African National Parks estimated that 650 hectares of wildland and vegetation were destroyed across Table Mountain National Park.

Much of the park is home to fire-prone vegetation. In 2015, this vegetation contributed to a four-day wildfire that burned through 15,000 acres of land around Cape Town. In recent years, ecologists have urged national park officials to conduct more frequent prescribed burns in order to ensure flammable vegetation isn’t accumulating. However, residents who live along the foothills of Table Mountain have pushed back against prescribed burns because of the possibility of the destruction of their homes.

As high winds and dry conditions are exacerbated by climate change and hotter temperatures, Cape Town authorities are continuing to monitor the area for flareups. Thus far, firefighters have dealt with sporadic flareups in the Deer Park area, but have scaled back their resources since the fire has been contained. Parts of the Table Mountain National Park remain closed for safety and post-fire sensitivity purposes.

In addition to land, eleven structures, including six university buildings and the historical Mostert’s Mill, were damaged or destroyed. Across social media, people took to their feeds to raise awareness of what was razed in the fire’s path. The University of Cape Town’s famous, 200-year-old library and Jagger Reading Room were some of the landmarks caught in the fire.

“Some of our valuable collections have been lost,” UCT libraries director Ujala Satgoor said in a statement. “However, a full assessment can only be done once the building has been declared safe and we can enter the building.”

One valuable collection of note is an expansive African Studies collection consisting of 65,000 volumes, 26,000 pamphlets, 3,000 African films, and 20,000 other audiovisual items. Some works were incredibly rare, while others date back as far as the 1500s.

“An African continent, which has suffered several series of conquests, has been struggling to reconstruct its own history and particularly that which is documented,” historian and political analyst Somadoda Fikeni told TV news broadcaster Newzroom Afrika. “Therefore, any special collection that is frail, no longer available, or no longer printed very often tends to be priceless in terms of its heritage value and in terms of the knowledge project.”

While fires on Table Mountain are common, this is the first time the university was affected by flames. Residents based along the slopes of Table Mountain, including the suburb of Vredehoek, the three residential buildings of Disa Park, and 4,000 university students, were evacuated to local hotels on Monday. By Thursday, residents began returning to their homes and UCT students departed emergency accommodation sites, with temporary accommodation sites set up on-campus for those whose residence halls were deemed unsafe due to fire damage.  

Already, an outpouring of relief has begun to help firefighters and those affected, impacted, and evacuated. If you’re interested in helping, here are a few action items:

Protect yourself.

Stay indoors and encourage your friends, family, and pets to stay inside, too.

As you shelter in place, shut all windows and doors to keep any smoke out. This will protect your lungs and ensure there is breathable air.

In addition, be sure to stay informed by making sure you will be alerted if conditions worsen or if there are more needs in your community.

Consider opening up your home.

If it’s possible, provide shelter and homemade meals to those who were evacuated. Volunteering is also a way to help rebuild and respond to your community’s needs.


Water, food, energy bars, and eye drops can be donated to your local fire station. Cape Town-based nonprofits such as the Gift of the Givers Foundation, South African Red Cross Society, and the Volunteer Wildlife Service are accepting monetary donations and encouraging locals to donate blankets, clothes, and old furniture to homeless shelters and to those who have lost their homes. Animal shelters are also accepting pet beds, food, and kennels for those displaced by the fires.

With this wildfire causing insurmountable damage in Cape Town, it will be interesting to see if residents change their minds about prescribed burns. Many ecosystems benefit from controlled fires as they help to maintain the health of habitats by reducing extra vegetation and encouraging new growth.

As climate change continues to alter ecosystems, now is the time to demand action from leaders and implement strategies to protect the well-being of ourselves and the environment.

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Race Inequality

Here is your guide to using the right language to be an effective ally

With an increasing pressure to dismantle systemic racism this year, many advocates and social media activists emerged as allies of the Black Lives Matter movement. Yet, as a South Asian I realized just how complicit we all are in embodying, upholding, or colluding with White supremacy in our own consumption of racist language. We all don’t get the language of allyship fully right because our language inadvertently engages in microaggressions. Our words and expressions are the same as that of a racist bigot because they were born in the vernacular of White supremacy.

We are wholly complicit in the linguistic degradation of Black communities. Linguistic racism is a form of internalized racism, one that is propagated even by innocent tongues. Language perpetuates stereotypes and eventually violence.

There needs to be a fundamental shift in language if we are to be better allies:

  1. Probe color symbolism

Think of the words “black sheep”, “blackmail”, “blacklist”. Why does the most negative terminology have black associated with it? Why does White symbolize purity and positivity? When and where did this trend originate? Consider Martin Luther King Jr’s words:

“Somebody told a lie one day. They couched it in language. They made everything Black ugly and evil. Look in your dictionaries and see the synonyms of the word Black. It’s always something degrading and low and sinister. Look at the word White, it’s always something pure, high, and clean. Well, I want to get the language right tonight. I want to get the language so right that everyone here will cry out: ‘Yes, I’m Black, I’m proud of it. I’m Black and I’m beautiful!”

  1. Always capitalize the ‘B’ in “Black

In a watershed moment in June 2020, the Associated Press (AP) style guide clarified that: “the lowercase black is a color, not a person.” But using the lowercase term, you are using skin color and race as a qualifier of identity. But a capitalized Black indicates a “shared sense of history, identity, and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa.”

  1. Consider “nation,” “language group” or “ethnicity” instead of “tribe.”

Ever wondered why history books only use “tribe” in relation to Africans or Indigenous people and never in the context of Europe? Terms such as “tribe” deny the geographical reality of Africa as a vast and expansive continent, less than 20% of which is wooded. It also simply reinstates the stereotype of the continent, as a massive jungle inhabited by “primitive”, “uncivilized,” “cannibalistic,” “pagan, “savage” peoples as described by early colonizers.

  1. Use “African” countries rather than using “Africa”

Africa reduces an entire continent of diverse cultures into a homogenous monolith as perceived by the colonizer. It is a continent home to various sovereign nations.

  1. Avoid using the N-word at all costs

Even if your favorite rap song uses it, know that is a racial slur when used by anyone not of Black descent. So why is it okay for Black communities to still use it? The Daily Tar Heel points out that: “N-word is a classic example of the reclaiming of racist language through the subversion of its power. Essentially, when Black communities reclaimed this word, they flipped it on its head and used it as a tool of camaraderie to the point where the word lost its power over them.”

  1. Watch out for terms that seem objective, but are actually racist

The colonizers and enslavers used blatantly racist terminology such as “savages”, “beasts” and “backward”. In contemporary times, to suit the modern context, these notions of inferiority have taken a more subtle and clinical form. Now terms such as “culturally deprived,” “economically disadvantaged” and “underdeveloped” are used which deceptively signal status without addressing the reason behind it. Burgess suggests that the term “culturally deprived” be replaced with “culturally dispossessed”. And that term “economically disadvantaged” should be replaced by “economically exploited”.

When discussing slavery, bear the following in mind:

  1. Use “enslaved” rather than “slaves”

Slavery was not an inherent human condition. It was something that people were subjected to. Whilst “slave” carries some social stigma, “enslaver” automatically transfers the shame onto the party enforcing it.

  1. Use “freedom fighter” rather than “rebel” or “fugitive”

In the context of slave narratives, the commonly used words of “rebel” or “fugitive” carry negative connotations. They imply a person trying to disturb the social order and status quo, instead of emphasizing the reason for the fight: freedom.

  1. Use “enslaver” as opposed to “master”

While the term master wields undertones of social superiority, it also transmits the aspirational values associated with it. The word “enslaver” does away with such social hierarchies built upon slavery and instead calls it out for what it really was.

  1. Use “Forced reproduction” instead of “slave breeder”

The word “breeder” which is used in the context of animals, is highly derogatory and dehumanized the enslaved people. Such language that robs humans of their humanity ultimately legitimizes atrocities committed against the group.

  1. Use “activists” instead of “abolitionists”

“Abolitionists” reduces the scope and profundity of the work to the termination of slavery. Whereas, “activists” extends it beyond the antebellum period right into the civil rights movement. It is simply a more all-encompassing term.

  1. Use “Transatlantic slave trade” as opposed to “slave trade”

Slavery is an ancient institution and has unfortunately been around through many civilizations. When referring to the African-American community’s daunting history of being enslaved, it is important to clarify it as the “transatlantic slave trade”.

  1. Use “chattel slavery” not just “slavery”

Many academics now insist on distinguishing slavery from chattel slavery. The broad spectrum of slavery also includes by extension, indentured servitude, which refers to a contract between two individuals where one person works not for money, but the passage to America. It is important to not conflate it with chattel slavery that was a harsher and perennial form of owning an individual and their offspring.

The racist language that has historically been used to control and condemn Black people, can be reclaimed to uplift and liberate the community and its voices. Remember, deconstructing language and reclaiming it is an act of resistance in itself. The predominant vocabulary might not be successful in fighting off racism. In Audrey Lorde’s words, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”.

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Meet the 23 most badass goddesses ever

If your high school education was anything like mine, you learned a whole lot about Zeus and Poseidon somewhere between reading The Lightning Thief and Oedipus Rex. You probably caught on to a couple of the awesome goddesses in these myths (Hera, Aphrodite, Athena, we all had our favorite), but might not have known that there were more where they came from.
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It turns out that there’s a whole pantheon of incredibly cool and world-changing female figures in world mythology. We’ve found twenty-three that struck us as the most amazing examples of women in religion and legend. Without further ado, here are our favorite goddesses.

1. Tiamat

If you’re a fan of creation myths, Tiamat has got to be one of your favorite goddesses.

In the Babylonian Enuma Elish, Tiamat gives birth to the world’s gods and creates the earth–then she gets into a major battle with the other gods. Plus, her nickname is “chaos monster,” so that’s pretty legit.

2. Hel

We get our name for the underworld from this crazy cool Norse goddess. When the ancient Norse told each other to “Go to Hel” it literally meant “To go to the underworld” or “To go to see the goddess Hel.”

Did we mention that she leads an army of the dead during Ragnarok (the Norse apocalypse)?

3. Bast/Bastet/Basthet

All cat-ladies probably should have lived in Ancient Egypt. Then, they could have prayed to the cat goddess Bast for sensual pleasure, fertility, and health.

Goddess by day, Bast transformed into a cat at night to fend of serpents that sought to attack her father Ra.


4. Mazu/Tin Hau

Born Lin Moniang in 960, the goddess Mazu was said to have guided ships to harbor during her childhood. She continues to be worshipped across China and South Taiwan as a goddess of seafarers (pirates and storms beware!).

5. Atalanta

Raised by bears and hunters after her father abandoned her on a mountaintop, Atalanta became a feared virgin huntress. She eventually married Hippomenes after he beat her in a footrace (only because he distracted her with golden apples) and they had one son (but were turned into lions after disappointing Zeus).

Weird, right?

6. Mami Wata

African goddess of water Mami Wata represents and controls the spirits of the water. She’s often depicted as a mermaid and seen with snakes, and she’s as important to African diaspora communities.

If she isn’t badass, I don’t know who is.

7. Ixchel

We could tell you that there are goddesses more badass than Ixchel, but then we’d be lying. After all, her nickname is “the aged jaguar goddess of midwifery.” Wow.

She’s the goddess of both war and childbirth, so that’s more than a little cool in our book.

8. Princess Liễu Hạnh

If someone tells you that you’re definitely not allowed to worship a god or goddess, you know there must be something cool about them. Turns out, worship of Princess Liễu Hạnh was totally prohibited during the first years of the North Vietnamese Communist regime (but women have started worshipping her again since the 1980s).

Goddess of female emancipation and female power, Princess Liễu Hạnh was the daughter of the Jade Emperor, one of the four immortals, and a central figure in Taoism and other East Asian religions.

9. Ixcacao

Goddess of chocolate. Need we say more?

Ixcacao (or, Cacao Woman) was a Mayan and Meso-American goddess of fertility and agriculture (and, of course, chocolate).

10. Gaea/Gaia

Gaea is not just the earth goddess in Greek mythology, but the actual Earth as well. In Greek myth, she gives birth to the sky and sea, as well as all of the Titans and Giants.

11. Parvati

Wife of Shiva and mother of Ganesha, Pavarti is the Hindu goddess of love and devotion. Her love for her son Ganesha forced her husband, Shiva god of war, to find her son a new head when his was lost – leading to Ganesha’s appearance as a human god with an elephant head.

12. Pele

We have three words for you: Goddess. Of. Volcanoes. Pele’s creative and destructive powers allowed her to form the volcanoes that would eventually create the Hawaiian islands.

13. Tara

In Buddhism, the goddess Tara is not only a deity but also a Bodhisattva ( person who has reached enlightenment).

She’s often depicted as either the White Tara (goddess of health and peace) or the Green Tara (goddess of fertility and protection).

14. Yemaya

In Ancient Nigeria, Yemaya was the goddess of the river among the Yoruba people. But, when Africans were taken as slaves to the Americas, she became the goddess of the ocean and followed in their stories.

When you hold a seashell to your ear and listen to the roaring noises it produces, that is said to be the voice of Yemaya speaking to you.

15. White Buffalo Calf Woman

Among certain Native American tribes, White Buffalo Calf Woman taught her people to live in harmony with the natural world. Not only did she teach children to love and care for wild animals, but she also taught the people of the earth that they all came from the same beginnings.

16. Freya

Get excited again, cat-ladies, the Norse goddess Freya rode a chariot driven by cats according to ancient myth. Freya, goddess of love, sex, beauty, fertility, war, and death, also governed the afterlife in Fólkvangr (not Hel nor Valhalla, but a kind of in-between).

17. Isis

Goddess of nature and magic, Isis was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of children and the dead. With her brother Osiris, Isis gave birth to the falcon god Horus.

The annual floods of the Nile river are even tied to her: Ancient Egyptians believed that her tears flowed heavily in memory of the time when the god Set dismembered her brother.

18. Ostara/Oestre

Saxon goddess of dawn and spring-time, Ostara is often depicted with a hare, or rabbit, alongside her.

According to myth, when spring arrived late one year, Ostara felt guilty at the sight of a shivering bird and took that bird as her companion (giving him legs to avoid hunters and naming him Lepus).

19.  Gordafarid/Gurdāfarīd

In the Persian epic poem The Book of KingsGordafarid is a heroine who defeats Sohrab, the commander of the Turanian army, to protect her homeland.

In modern Iranian culture, Gordafarid continues to represent female bravery and wisdom.

20. Durga

Durga takes many forms as the mother goddess of Shakti mythology but is most well-known as the goddess of victory of good over evil. In some traditions, she’s even thought to be the basis for the goddess Pavarti: Durga is the warrior goddess version of the earth mother goddess Adishakti, and Pavarti is the earthly-version of Adishakti.

21. Ishtar

Ancient Sumerian goddess of love, war, sex, power, and fertility, Ishtar also appears in Aramean mythology as the goddess Astarte.

If you’ve seen photographs of the Ishtar Gate, then you know how influential Ishtar was across Ancient Near Eastern religions.

22. Banu Goshasp

Another favorite of Persian poetry, Banu Goshasp appeared in many Iranian epics like the Banu Goshasp Nama. In fact, the Banu Goshasp Nama is thought to be one of the oldest Persian epics about a warrior woman, and tells the story of Banu Goshasp’s journeys through Turan and India.

23. Itzpapalotl/Ītzpāpālōtl

It’s hard to find a goddess worthy of closing-out all these other incredibly female goddesses, but Itzpapalotl fits the occasion. After all, she was the Aztec skeletal warrior goddess who ruled Tamoanchan, home of human creation and infant mortality victims. Her nickname was even “Obsidian Butterfly”–pretty cool if you ask us.
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Even though we’ve all grown up in a patriarchal society where Jupiter and Shiva, Hercules and Ba’al come to mind before any female goddesses, there are plenty of rocking ladies in the land of mythology. Here’s to these literal goddesses!

Mind Mental Health Health

I cry at 3AM every night and record myself – here’s why

Trigger warning: Mentions mental health, eating disorders and suicide

“It’s a demon I tell you, a DEMON,” is probably the response I’d get if I told my mother that I cried everyday at 3AM. She would promptly tell me to open my bible and pray the mweyawetsvina, which is dark spirit in Shona, away. I’ve often wondered why avenues of science such as therapy, can’t co-exist with religion in matters of mental health.

My mental health began deteriorating when I was in high school. I stopped eating and assumed it was an eating disorder. In my eyes, that was manageable. There was a physical solution, all I had to do was eat. So, I did. Yet, each morsel of food I let into my body; I felt a violent rejection. So, eating became non-existent. Getting away with it was easy at first. I was a prefect, so I simply slipped in and out of the dining hall unsuspected.

At the peak of my disorder, I didn’t eat for three days.

Then, when I was on duty and calling out the register for lunch, and I dropped. Nearly 6 feet down onto the grey concrete slab below. My body had finally given out. I landed chin first, the flesh splitting in half, bone on full display. I got six stitches and a scar that I still sport to this day.

When I told my mom she simply said, “I told you, you should eat more.”

We never discussed it again.
It wasn’t the end of the problem, only the beginning. I wanted control. Not eating wasn’t because I thought I was ugly or hated myself. I wanted to feel control. So, when a teacher was assigned to watch me eat, I did so gleefully, because I knew when I got back to my dorm room, my two fingers would acquaint themselves with the back of my throat.

I was the happiest sad person you’d ever met.

I didn’t know who to talk to. When I talked to my siblings, they told me I was simply hypersensitive. So, that’s what I assumed. I was hypersensitive.

Happiness at times feels like a ghost unwilling to haunt me.

When I told my mom, I’d thought about suicide as a sweet escape, she said, “when thoughts like those come beat them with the bible Nesta.”

So, I decided to gather proof.

I thought if I could somehow prove how depressed I was she’d understand, she’d help me. Recently I have been waking up crying the emotional toll of online learning, Covid-19 and childhood traumas sinking their claws in at 3AM each night. My cries erupt through me like a stuttering earthquake, tears unrelenting and my lungs fighting for air. And when this happens, I turn on my phone and press record.

I press record because I want my mom to see my pain, to see that this sadness won’t leave me. That it isn’t an imaginary disease I’ve conjured up in my mind. It’s not a demon. But I also do it for myself. I tell myself, this may hurt now, but it won’t always hurt. I try to convince myself that one day I’ll look back on these videos and laugh.

I’ve stockpiled nearly thirty videos and I’m still waiting.

There’s a certain pretense upheld in the African culture. Everyone needs to see you happy, humble and successful. There’s no room for anything else. Emotions are a nuisance no-one wants to talk about or address in African culture. Mental health is like a dirty family secret, people think if they ignore it, then it does not exist.

Mental health is taboo in African culture. Although discussion surrounding depression and anxiety are on the rise it still can’t be said for many families. Conditions like schizophrenia or bipolar are still incredibly polarized. In Zimbabwe people who act outside of convention would immediately be called a mupengo, which translates to mad person. Families will probably distance themselves from these people for fear that they’ll be contaminated. Or a more popular option is locking them away from the public, so no-one thinks you’ve been visiting the witch doctor.

There aren’t enough studies about Africa and mental health. The few studies paint Africans as happy go lucky and devoid of mental illness. The study claimed that Africans couldn’t suffer from depression because their lives were ‘simple’. They didn’t have the multiplicity interlay of European lifestyles, that there was an absence of problems in African communities. The studies claimed in poverty happiness was found.

The study was held in 1963, when many European colonies were seeking independence. These studies were used to justify the continued oppression of African people. These broad sweeping generalizations made over five decades ago still affect African people today.

This is where this misconception was born. That all Africans are happy people. That all we do is dance in the sun, sing, and eat. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

When I hailed a taxi in England the driver an older white man with a thick Northern accent, immediately asked me where I was from. So, I told him I was from Zimbabwe and he promptly said, “Ah, lovely people, they are don’t complain one bit, they just keep going, always happy.”

These stereotypes are harmful. People think that we have no threshold for pain, but we feel everything deeply. Not only do Africans deal with historical trauma of colonialism, the racism, including issues of the diaspora who fail to integrate.

The field of psychology pertaining to African people needs to expand.

We need experts who’ll identify issues specific to mental health and African people. If we can find a solution and open a dialogue between our elders and equip ourselves with not only a bible but treatment. I believe we could address the issue head-on.

Living with severe depression is hard. Trying to convince those around you that you’re actually depressed, is harder. I’ve found that after years of self-soothing and untangling my own self-loathing at my ‘weakness’, I will survive. I will continue to chase that elusive ghost called happiness, no matter how long it takes.

Culture Life

The divide within the African diaspora won’t get us anywhere

When I was in elementary school,  another Black student told me that she and her family were simply ‘African’ and not ‘African American’ because her ancestors had never been enslaved. If you thought I, a fellow Black woman, was confused at that moment, imagine how puzzled our predominantly white classmates, who had already mentally grouped this Black girl and me as the same person, were.

I initially failed to understand what this student meant by her separation between recent African immigrants and North American Black descendants of the enslaved. But as I learned more about our history, over time, I began to comprehend what she meant. Throughout my life, this discourse would come up again and again.

Although we look the same in everyone else’s eyes, there’s still an “otherness” in our history and culture that, oftentimes, separates us.

I’ve been told by recent African immigrants that because I am a descendant of slavery, my ancestors and I are weak, whereas Africans are stronger because they had the choice to come to this country. I’ve heard Black slave descendants use coded language when referring to Africans, saying things that allude to them being “unkempt” and “savage”. I’ve seen them question recent immigrants’ intelligence, talk down to them, or insult their beauty.

I’ve felt this divide within our community and I’ve seen it with my own eyes.


But recently, the world has experienced a global reckoning that criticizes the ways in which we approach race, culture, and ethnicity. Since the inhumane death of George Floyd on Memorial Day of this year, industries across all boards have had their historic dirty laundry with racism, colorism, and sexism aired out for the world to see as the public has assertively held them more accountable than ever.

With this, I’ve taken the time to truly question my nationality within this country, and have further understood the power of unity within the African diaspora through identification.

First, it’s important to understand where the ill-feelings between us comes from. The tension and animosity between Africans and descendants of the enslaved in North America are traced back to both group’s individual experiences with migration, slavery, and colonialism. 


The Atlantic slave trade stripped enslaved Africans of our culture and left us to recreate a completely new one, which many present-day Black Americans identify with. And whether we understand it or not, American Black culture today has strong and direct influences from slavery that those who were never enslaved in America may not be familiar with.

African empires and kingdoms have had their own relationships with slavery but with completely different meanings. Writers Daivi Rodima-Taylor and Zadi Zokou describe it as “local socio-cultural patterns of clientage and adoptive kinship rather than a large-scale commercial enterprise.”

Africa, which is the second-largest and oldest continent in the world, has many different unique cultures within it too. Like anywhere, Africa’s complicated history has similarly been processed into a unique modern-day culture that African Americans just may not understand.

Our cultural differences are at the forefront when associating with each other. On both ends, there’s an attitude of othering and criticizing.

And despite completing an ancestry test that told me exactly where in Africa my ancestors are from, I still am confused culturally as to where and who I should identify with. It feels like a bridge that will never be crossed and something that slavery has taken from me forever.

If I’ve learned anything from the recent reignition of civil rights discussion though, it’s that the diaspora’s otherness won’t make us any better as we exist in this country together. When looking at each other internally, we may notice our differences, but to anyone else, we are simply Black.

It isn’t the slave descendants’ fault that they were forced to assimilate. But it also shouldn’t be pushed upon recent African immigrants to assimilate if they do not choose to. There is no blame to be given to those of us that are non-consensual foreigners to this land. We shouldn’t side-eye each other because we are unfamiliar with each other’s culture.

There’s no easy solution and even I don’t have the answers to this age-old discourse in the slightest. But in this introspective time for the world, I’ve rethought my identity and nationality.

For myself, as an American descendant of the enslaved, I hope to only be referred to as Black. I’ve made this decision because of the danger and separation that I think the identification of ‘African American’ holds within our community.

When we separate African Americans from African immigrants, we, in a way, recognize slavery as the qualification to be a *true* Black American. But slavery is not the sole definition of what makes me who I am. It creates a false qualification that is unattainable for African immigrants. ‘African American’ also does not include the entirety of the diaspora. I think of the term as a way to further push this “otherness” narrative and it can separate us from the diversity within our community, rather than embracing it.

So no, the other classmate in my elementary school may not have identified herself as African American, but now I don’t either. I’m Black (with a capital ‘B’) whose ancestors came from Africa. Slavery may have reinterpreted my culture, but it does not define the legitimacy of myself as a Black woman in America.

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Editor's Picks TV Shows BRB Gone Viral Pop Culture

Netflix’s ‘Blood and Water’ is the world’s latest obsession — with one big difference

“By discussing African history, perhaps more specifically the influence Darwin’s theory had on the apartheid regime, maybe we as South Africans can better understand and address the systems governing our country today.”

These were the words of Wendy Dhlamini, a character on Netflix’s new series Blood and Water. Her peers rolled their eyes in annoyance at her educated rant.

As frustrating (and downright irritating at times) as Wendy’s character proved to be throughout the show, this moment made my jaw drop.

South African thoughts, issues, cultures, and discourses were being displayed to an international audience… finally!

Blood and Water was only released just over a week ago, but the South African show has quickly gained international attention. It has climbed to Netflix’s Top 10 chart across many countries, including the US, the UK, and France, and has received great reviews.

We are introduced to the show’s main character Puleng Khumalo and her family as they are celebrating the seventeenth birthday of her missing sister, Phumele, who was kidnapped from the hospital soon after her birth.

The narrative may seem too intense for a teen mystery show, however, we South Africans are sadly no stranger to such occurrences of kidnapping.

It is a South African show about South African characters living their South African lives in South Africa.

A recent famous case was that of Zephany Nurse, who was abducted from the hospital she was born in at two days old. 17 years later, she was identified as the missing baby when her biological sister started attending the same school as she and people took notice of their uncanny resemblance.

Such is the case with Blood and Water.

Puleng attends a party where she meets Fikile Bhele, a teenage swimming star athlete who looks eerily like her and even shares a birthday with her missing sister. From there, the show sets out into a secret investigation by Puleng into Fikile’s true identity in order to heal her family from the trauma of losing a child and to exonerate her father; who was accused of selling Phumele into a human trafficking scheme.

The show has a meaningful and brilliantly written main plot.

But, unlike so many other shows under the genre of ‘teen drama’, Blood and Water tackles many hard-hitting, real-life issues such as human trafficking, inappropriate teacher-student sexual relationships, decolonization, the wealth gap and much more.

‘Blood and Water’ tackles many hard-hitting, real-life issues.

Through it all, the show remains distinctly South African, calling all the aforementioned issues into question in a South African context.

Take, for example, Fikile’s romantic relationship with her married swimming coach. In the same way, the main plot may have been inspired by Nurse’s real-life story, this subplot could have taken inspiration from the recent national scandal of a female teacher engaging in sexual activities with her male students at an elite school in Cape Town.

Another South African trope touched on in the show is the school system’s obsession with athleticism and how it is often prioritized over academics.

In the show, Fikile arrives late to class with the excuse of practice running late, and she and Chris, a fellow swimmer, get an extension on a class essay as it is the middle of a busy swimming season. As small of a discussion this may seem, fellow South Africans probably have vivid flashbacks to their schooling days where such a mindset was rampant.

Wendy justifiably points out that this is unfair, upon which the white female teacher responds, “It is what it is, Miss Shlamini.”

“It’s Dhlamini”, Wendy mumbles bringing us to another experience widespread in South Africa – the mispronunciation of one’s name (reminder: it is pronounced ‘Car-Jill’).

It may seem like on the sidelines of the movement, but supporting work by Black creators serves to amplify #BlackLivesMatter.

It may seem like on the sidelines of the movement, but supporting work by Black creators serves to amplify #BlackLivesMatter. Blood and Water is Netflix’s second African original series and has a majority Black cast. It is written and directed by award-winning South African filmmaker Nosipho Dumisa, a Black woman.

The show captures Cape Town in all its splendor, using their high budget to allow the world to see an Africa that might be a shock to some in the West, who are accustomed to very unflattering and limited depictions of the continent and its people. All of these factors work well together to present Blood and Water as what is possible if support was given to talented Black artists.

From the show’s largely South African soundtrack to its transition landscape shots of the beautiful ‘Mother City’, to even its rare bit of relatable humor in getting hung up on by home affairs, Blood and Water‘s magic lies in its commitment to its South African roots.

This is alluring: it is a South African show about South African characters living their South African lives in South Africa.

I can only hope that they remain faithful to such a unique approach rather than assimilate to attract a larger foreign audience.

After all, South African teens deserve on-screen representation as well.


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Editor's Picks World News Health News Coronavirus Science The World Policy

COVID-19 death counts have taught me that numbers are not reliable

As a Humanities student in a household full of Engineers, I have often had the Letters vs. Numbers debate. I always lost. Our whole society functions under a belief in Science and facts – things that can be proven. Someone’s word is never enough. In a certain way, numbers have become our new religion.

I believed in it too. I enjoyed the flexibility and subjectivity of my History and Literature essays but often envied the ‘simplicity’ of STEM subjects, where problems only had one right answer. However, the current pandemic has made me realize for the first time that numbers can be and are constantly manipulated, and we should not rely so blindly on them.

In a way, Science has becomed our new religion

Like many people, I am sure, I have been closely following COVID-19. It is pretty much the only topic being covered in newspapers at the moment. In particular, I have followed the famous curve that we so desperately need to flatten and checked its progress day by day, comparing different countries. The fact that I study in the UK but have my family in Spain allowed me to see how two different countries reacted to the pandemic and the numbers that they provided.

After being advised by my university to return to Madrid, I started receiving messages from many of my UK friends, worried about me and my family. ‘I hear that things are really bad over there’ they would say. ‘Well, aren’t they everywhere?’ I would think to myself. I would then turn on the news and hear the presenter state that  ‘Spain is the country that has suffered more COVID-19 deaths in relation to the size of their population’. And my question is: Are we?

“We don´t know where on the curve we are” said Francisco Moreno, head of internal medicine at Mexico City’s ABC Hospital.

I do not by any chance want to minimize the gravity of the situation that we are currently living. This is a horrible time and my country has been suffering incredibly. The fact that I find myself celebrating that yesterday there were ONLY 637 deaths is appalling. However, these statements and statistics are indeed relying on information that, when contrasted and researched, raises some questions.

For example, China’s mobile phone users have dropped by 21 million, making their COVID-19 casualty rates suspicious (3,331). Germany only counts COVID-19 as the cause of death if patients do not have other medical conditions, and France and Spain do not include patients that die outside the hospital nor make autopsies to certify the cause of death. Italy and South Korea have done enormous testing efforts, which have resulted in very high infection rates, particularly in comparison to countries that limit testing, such as Venezuela, who only tests people that have traveled internationally or have had contact with a confirmed infection. In fact, the rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Tokyo after the announcement of the delay of the Olympics has been considered suspicious by some media outlets. Nigeria identified in March over 200 people that were in contact with the first coronavirus patient in the country but only tested 33.

At the end of the day, calculations are made by people, and people make mistakes

Francisco Moreno, the head of internal medicine at Mexico City‘s ABC Hospital said that he feels like he is “walking blindly through the woods” because “the official number of cases isn’t real. We don’t know where on the curve we are.”

Most healthcare authorities across the globe are advising people that are symptomatic but do not have difficulty breathing to stay at home. This is a wise decision taken to keep hospitals from overflowing, but it directly affects the way that we put together infection statistics.

The infection rates and recovery statistics are the most affected by the advice to stay at home. The lack of testing and the fact that the virus acts affects people differently makes it likely that there are a lot more people infected that the numbers that we see on TV, but also that a lot more people are “cured” than those in official statistics. I know several people that had all the symptoms of the virus and were not tested because they did not need hospitalization. Healthcare systems are focusing on those people whose lives are at risk and that is important and necessary. However, it also means that the recoveries of people who stay at home while being sick are not included in statistics. The same goes for people that were asymptomatic and have no way of knowing if they have had the virus or not.

Numbers can be and are constantly manipulated, and we should not rely so blindly on them.

“Cases are bound to fall through the cracks,” stated David Flora, chief resident at a Caracas’ hospital. “And those cases that we skip create new cases that don’t meet the criteria either.”

We need to assume the flaws of the new myth that we have created: Science. Particularly Science as an all-knowing discipline. Just as we do with facts that we read and hear online, we need to contrast numbers. Because scientific knowledge can easily be manipulated, and statistics can very easily favor the person that created them. We need and should use Science, but without worshiping it.

At the end of the day, calculations are made by people, and there is no point in trusting numbers if you don’t trust the minds that obtain those results.

Policy Inequality

The Holocaust isn’t the only genocide that Germany needs to be held accountable for

When you think of a German-led genocide in the twentieth century, the Holocaust may come to mind. In all its ugliness, the Holocaust constituted a series of inhumane living conditions, brutal medical experiments, and other truly, truly horrific crimes against humanity. However, this also fits the description of the Herero-Nama genocide, which took place in German-occupied South-West Africa, now Namibia.

Unlike Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, the Herero and Nama people have not received reparations from Germany. You may have never heard of it, either. I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard of it until a few months ago either. This lack of recognition and education about the Herero-Nama genocide, unfortunately, seems commonplace in the West.

So, what happened? In January 1904, the Herero and Nama people attempted to lead a rebellion to overthrow German colonial powers twenty years after German colonized the region. Unfortunately, their attempts to gain sovereignty over their land were unsuccessful, and the Germans responded with intense violence. Thousands of Herero and Nama people were subsequently taken from their homes and shot. Those who survived this initial slaughter escaped into the Namib Desert, where German forces guarded its borders and trapped survivors. This genocide “resulted in the annihilation of approximately 80 [percent] of the Herero people and 50 [percent] of the Nama people.”

The German government has since apologized for the atrocities committed against the Herero and Nama people, but descendants of survivors have yet to see any financial compensation or the return of land.

The colonial legacy left behind by the German colonizers in Namibia is blatant. German is still recognized as a national language. White Namibians, the descendants of German colonizers, control 90 percent of the country’s land. Efforts by black Namibians to gain control of land where their ancestors lived before nearly being wiped out under German colonial rule have been unfruitful.

The experiences of the Herero and Nama people should be enough to receive reparations, including receiving control back over their ancestors’ land. The 1985 United Nations Whitaker Report on Genocide established that the atrocities committed against the Herero and Nama people at the beginning of the twentieth century qualifies as genocide, just like the Holocaust. Why, 40 years later, hasn’t Germany taken measures to adequately address this genocide when they often take responsibility for their crimes during World War II? 

Germany has given several lackluster excuses for its inability to provide reparations. The German government argued that because they had led development projects in and gave aid to Namibia, they would not need to give reparations.  The real reason, though, maybe attributed to implicit racial biases.  Predominantly white German leaders may have been quick to give reparations and apologize for the brutality of the Nazis because it affected white people living in Europe and conditionally white Jews. When it comes to violence on black and brown bodies in Africa, however, it’s a different story.

Herero and Nama people have continued to fight to receive reparations from Germany despite Germany’s reluctance to even entertain giving reparations. In 2018, a U.S. court heard the case from descendants of survivors of this genocide. They sued Germany for financial “reparations akin to those Jewish Holocaust survivors received after World War II” and for direct negotiations with Germany on how to figure out how to “reckon with colonial-era atrocities.” Unfortunately, in March 2019, a  U.S. judge dismissed this lawsuit, saying that “Germany was immune from claims by descendants of the Herero and Nama tribes.” On May 7 2019, however, lawyers representing the Herero and Nama Plaintiffs in New York filed a motion U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to have their case reviewed again.

Despite this setback, the Herero and Nama people have scored some victories in their quest to receive justice. In 2018, Germany returned the skulls of Herero-Nama genocide victims, (which were initially sent to Germany to conduct research on the racial superiority of white Europeans) back to Namibia. This success shows that the activism by Herero and Nama people to receive justice for genocide victims and survivors is working.

The Herero and Nama people deserve reparations for the genocide that their ancestors survived. Germany’s extremely delayed recognition of returning the skulls of genocide victims and even recognizing this genocide, alongside their refusal to give reparations, shows that we cannot expect them to reckon with the Herero-Nama genocide for the sake of doing the right thing. The activism that the descendants of survivors of the Herero-Nama genocide have done in an attempt to receive reparations deserves more international recognition and should not be in vain.

Note: A lawyer representing the Herero and Nama people in New York reached out to the writer after the publication of this article with information about the U.S. Court of Appeals filing. 

Science Now + Beyond

Ebola vaccine may offer hope to victims

Since the first case of Ebola, a type of hemorrhagic fever, was diagnosed in the late 1970s, the disease has periodically infected and killed thousands of people throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The disease can be highly infectious, and usually carries a mortality rate of 50%, making it an extremely deadly virus.

In March 2014, an outbreak of Ebola began in southwest Guinea, and it quickly spread to the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia. The outbreak was so widespread that it took two years before the last cases of the disease. In that two-year span, the outbreak had led to more than 28,000 cases of Ebola. Of those, more than 11,000 had died from their infection. The 2014 outbreak was the largest Ebola outbreak in history; however, new cases of the disease have now been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, meaning another large-scale outbreak is possible.

If you were keeping up with the previous outbreak of Ebola-like I was, you’ll know how scary the disease can be, and how quickly the virus can spread from person to person. It seemed like every day, there were more stories of people dying from the virus, and I really hope we do not have to witness thousands endure a similar outbreak. It’s devastating.

Thankfully, this time around, there is a vaccine that might be able to prevent the virus from spreading.

The vaccine is called rVSV-ZEBOV, and was developed by Merck, an American pharmaceutical company alongside the Public Health Agency of Canada. After the 2014 outbreak caused so many illnesses, the development of vaccines increased rapidly, and the rVSV-ZEBOV one has become the closest to being approved for widespread use.

The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine is already being deployed into the Democratic Republic of the Congo to be delivered to the contacts, and contacts of contacts, of anyone infected with Ebola. The vaccine will also be distributed to health workers and those responsible for conducting funeral services for victims, as those groups are often placed at high risk of infection through their close contact with the infected.

Although the World Health Organization reports that there are at least a dozen other Ebola vaccines currently in development, the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine is the only one of those that have gone through Phase III testing to determine its safety and efficacy in preventing the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Phase III is the part of vaccine development where the vaccine is tested on a large-scale and is usually the last phase before the vaccine is approved.

The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine was first tested during the 2014 outbreak, where it was distributed in Guinea to around 6,000 people. Of those vaccinated, none of them contracted Ebola, giving high hopes that this vaccine is super effective in preventing the virus.

However, there are still a few potential complications from the vaccine. It has only undergone one large-scale, real-world test, and, due to the nature of the outbreak in Guinea, a control group was not used, which means that the vaccine might not actually be as effective as it appears on the surface. Additionally, the vaccine must be stored within a certain temperature range, and there is still limited data on how efficient the vaccine will be if it is compromised. 

Although the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine requires more long-term testing, its initial deployment in the 2014 Ebola outbreak gave scientists very promising results. Researchers think it is likely that this vaccine will be able to prevent the Ebola virus from causing the serious loss of life as it has in previous outbreaks. 

The development of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine gives hope that Ebola might one day be eradicated for good.

Tech Now + Beyond

Michelle Obama sent me to tech boot camp and it opened up my eyes to a whole new world

Michelle Obama smells amazing. I could never put my finger on it, but when she hugged me with her incredibly toned arms, the first thing I thought was holy shit Michelle Obama is giving me a hug, and secondly, wow she smells so good. It was a sweltering Washington D.C. July afternoon but the First Lady seemed unbothered by the heat instead she brought inspiration, poise, and grace with her.

She was speaking on her Let Girls Learn initiative: “You all are here today because someone believed in you because someone gave you the chance to be everything you would want to be.”  That line stuck with me then and continues to remind me both that I am worthy of my opportunities, and so are the amazing people around me. But on that July afternoon, I was thinking, what did I want to be? Who believes in me? And what sort of girl do I have the potential to be? 

I asked myself these questions frequently, especially in moments of doubt. I was certain Michelle Obama, the Let Girls Learn Program, UN Foundation, and U.S. State Department got it all wrong when they decided to send me to Rwanda for a little over three weeks for a global, “women in STEM” or WiSci, program. It was a summer of is this really happening right now? Why is this happening to me? I don’t deserve to be here. That thought was on loop on the plane-ride from Portland to Chicago to Washington D.C. to Addis Ababa to Kigali. And on the bus from Kigali International to our compound at Gashora Girls Academy in Eastern Province, Rwanda.

But once I got to Rwanda, I was able to meet the 120 girls from eight African countries and from around the U.S… And after we shared a meal together, I realized, we’re all in this together. It was three hard weeks of tech boot camp and I started with zero coding experience. I worked alongside girls from Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya. While we had moments of cultural difference, misunderstanding, and frustration, we shared moments of brilliance, joy, and success. Together we learned C++, built Arduino models, and prototyped a solar-powered Wifi hotspot.

At the very end of my experience in Rwanda, I was able to present my tech-prototype to The First Lady of Rwanda Jeanette Kagame. I held my head high as I presented on the lack of internet access in developing areas (4 billion people do not have access to Wi-Fi), and the emerging technologies that can better connect people globally. As I sat on the plane from Kigali to Addis to Dublin to  Washington D.C, to Chicago and finally to Portland, I knew that not only did other people believe in me, but I believed in myself.

Three years later, I am at an all-female liberal arts college and pursuing a social science major. My experience in Rwanda (all thanks to Michelle Obama) working alongside 100 other girls, taught by a mostly female staff played a large role in my choosing a women’s college. While I have no intentions of majoring in computer science or engineering, learning C++ taught me a new way to solve problems. And learning about hardware and software made me more tech savvy so I could troubleshoot my daily technology problems. Being in Rwanda surrounded by girls from other countries showed me how global technology really is. And the friendships I cemented in Rwanda continue to grow and flourish.

Image description: From left to right, Sydney Baumgardt, Grace Wong (author) and Nell Shea watching the sunrise over lake at Gashora Girls Academy, Rwanda
Image description: From left to right, Sydney Baumgardt, Grace Wong (author) and Nell Shea watching the sunrise over lake at Gashora Girls Academy, Rwanda

Tech boot camps aren’t just for aspiring engineers and computer programmers, they’re for everyone.  Every single person can benefit from learning how to code, communication, and work together. I am where I am now because I believe in myself. And I believe in you, too! Next time you get the opportunity to take a risk, remember that it’s your chance to be everything you want to be.SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Music Pop Culture

‘Black Panther: The Album’ is the best superhero soundtrack – EVER

The excitement and anticipation for Black Panther are reaching new levels every day as we get closer to the release date (tomorrow!!!!). Amping it up even more (pun intended), is the soundtrack for the movie, Black Panther: The Album. The soundtrack curated by Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment features big artists like The Weeknd, Future, Khalid, Travis Scott, Vince Staples, James Blake, Swae Lee, 2 Chainz, SZA, and Anderson. Paak but also worthy and upcoming names like Jorja Smith and Zacari. It showcases four South African artists, Sjava singing in Zulu, Yugen Blakrok, Babes Wodumo, and Saudi.

[bctt tweet=”The album is so much more than just a soundtrack for a movie. It  exemplifies the same black self-sufficiency as portrayed by Wakanda in the movie.” username=”wearethetempest”]

The album is so much more than just a soundtrack for a movie. It excels in black storytelling and putting the African art, music, and culture at the forefront of a platform as big as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The album exemplifies the same black self-sufficiency as portrayed by Wakanda in the movie.

Undoubtedly the main attraction turned out to be the powerhouse collaborations found thorough this album. When the tracklist was revealed, I was most excited about the interesting collaboration between Khalid and Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee. “The Ways” a moody love song with its easygoing melody does not disappoint. Kendrick and SOB X RBE’s “Parademic!” has got everyone talking.

The soundtrack is also as proudly political as its movie counterpart. My favorite is “Seasons” by Mozzy, Sjava, and Reason which talks about police brutality, racism, and the corrupt justice system among many other things.

[bctt tweet=”The soundtrack is also as proudly political as its movie counterpart.” username=”wearethetempest”]

I cried when lil’ bruh died
Got high and watched the sunrise
Wiggle on ’em if it’s one time
They done hung all of my people
I love all of my people
I’m in the slums with all of my people
They tryna tell us that we all equal
We get no justice so it ain’t peaceful, yeah
They can bluff you, they can beat you
Paid attorney, we gon’ need it

The first song, “Black Panther” really sets the tone for what comes next in the rest of the album. Lyrics like these:

Sisters and brother in unison, not because of me
Because we don’t glue with the opposition, we glue with peace
And I’m still gon’ fuck up your organization if any beef
What do you stand for?
Are you an activist? What are your city plans for?

when paired with tribal drums, a soft piano tune and some more drums are guaranteed to give you goosebumps.  Lamar represents T’Challa and his heroic nature through these verses, which are completely contradictory to his aggressive verses in “King’s Dead” where he represents the antagonist, Erik Killmonger.

Another strong favorite of mine is “X” by ScHoolboy Q, 2 Chainz, Saudi and Kendrick Lamar. This track gets me pumped from the very first beat and only gets better from then onward.

(Image Description: A still from the music video for ‘All The Stars’. SZA is lying down on a multicolor patterned floor and looking up at the camera. She is surrounded by dancers dressed in pink feathers.) Via Youtube.

A week ago the music video for Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s “All The Stars” was unveiled. The video is an ethereal feast for the eyes with African-inspired visuals, traditional African clothing, and dancing. Lamar is seen sporting headscarves and walking through a forest with black panthers and SZA is serving looks with every outfit change in the video.

The soundtrack deserves to be kept on repeat through the run-up to the movie release on February 16.

You can have a listen right here:

The Tempest Radio Mixes Audio + Visual

INTRO TO AFROBEAT: Worldwide Takeover Mix

For generations, Western media has cast Africa as the dark continent in movies, books like The Heart of Darkness, on radio, and in magazines. Although images of poverty and endless war are still associated with Africa due to this history, modern African artists, writers,  musicians, and cultural creators are reclaiming this narrative. Afrobeat artists are at the cutting edge of creating media that reflects the complexities of life in Africa today. The tide is shifting: the continent is seen as rising and has become a source of inspiration for many, especially in the American music industry. From Drake’s collaboration with Nigerian artist Wizkid to Beyoncè using Yoruba spiritual references in Lemonade, African beats, dance, and visual ideas are slowly taking over the entire world. Join Tempest Fellows Beverly Wakiaga and Adelaide Agyemang as they break down the hottest jams in Afrobeat for all those new to the genre, including the massive hits long time listeners will recognize.

1. Antenna || Fuse ODG (Feat. Wyclef Jean)

Fuse ODG Antenna cover

This is the artist I think of when I think of the popularization of Afrobeat. The beats make you want to dance and let go of your stress. On top of that, the song features Wyclef Jean who is Haitian. Can someone say #PanAfricanism!

2. Bad || Tiwa Savage (Feat. Wizkid)


Two of the highest ranking African musicians joined forces and blessed the world with a song that lets everybody know, they are badder than bad. Tiwa’s declarations and Wizkids backing vocals make for the perfect “I don’t care what you think of me” turn up song.

3. Take Over || Kwamz & Flava


The dynamic UK based duo Kwamz & Flava  have a passion for African culture which they weave into all of their music. With their first break-out hit, the group is one of many stand out UK Afrobeat artists who are changing the game. Their music videos are international sensations, racking over 2 million views on one song alone.  Clearly, the takeover has already begun.

4. Marry Me || Falz (Feat. Yemi Alade & Poe)


Falz is one of the funniest rappers on the continent. On this song he takes on the pressures that women face to get married and how it affects him as a man. The storytelling is amusing and the video simply adds to the general cheekiness of the song.

5. Too Risky || Medikal (Feat. Sister Derby)

Medikal is a Ghanian rapper who comes in and out of the spotlight. Every time he releases new music, it makes you wonder where you’ve heard this unique flow before. Too Risky, featuring the fantastic female rapper Sister Derby was a 2016  fan favorite for its blending of Afrobeat and dancehall, and the fact that Medikal shouts out the hustle of local regions including Tema, Medina, Kumasi, and Takoradi by using thier slang throughout the song.

6. Fall || Davido

Davido Fall

From his dance song “Skelewu” to his romantic song “If”, Davido never fails to deliver. His latest  “Fall” is no different, his declarations that he has changed his player ways are not really convincing but the beat will get you. Plus one of his lyrics in the song is “money fall on you,” as a broke college student I encourage such positivity and pray that money will also fall on me .  

7. Enemy Solo ||  P-Square (Feat. Awilo Longomba)

Pretty much everything the Nigerian twin singers P-Square releases is an infectious hit, with expensive budgets and beats that withstand countless replays. This collaboration with Congolese legend Awilo Longomba was no exception. The song, sung in both Lingala and Pidgin is a celebration of triumphing over evil wishes or “Enemy Solo” (“Bad Enemy Smell” or “Bad Pelle” people) and having the courage to keep on succeeding no matter what or in this case who gets in your way.

8. Skin Tight || Mr Eazi (Feat. Efya)


With his tradermark slogan “Zagadat” Mr Eazi is a rising force in the African music scene. He combines Ghanaian and Nigerian influences to create songs that are super catchy. At one of  his concerts everyone was singing this romantic song word for word. By the end of the song you will be promising to never do your partner basa basa and to hold them like skin tight.

Because we love you, we compiled all your new favorite songs in one playlist. Enjoy!

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