African Dance: Between the Continent & the Diaspora

This is a short video created for one of our classes to show the similarities in contemporary dance in African & African American cultures. It looks at dances like azonto, the Harlem shake, eskista, hit the Quan, gwara gwara, & others. We’re posting it in hopes that it can be a resource for others.

Episode 23 Promo

Deeply Indebted

The well known rapper SHAD is another Kenyan artist who has defied the odds. SHAD was born in Kenya in 1982 but was raised in London, Ontario. His parents moved their family to Canada when he was just a year old. His parents were Rwandan so he grew up knowing a lot about his culture. The stories that his parents told him about their life and hardships in Rwanda always stuck with him. In an interview SHAD said “My mother continuously instilled in me a sense that my life, my presence, and my personal integrity were all rooted in a history—a history of Rwandan people who were (and are) full of goodness, complexity, dignity and fortitude.” Continue reading “Deeply Indebted”

Fena-menal

Fena Gitu is a well known controversial rapper and singer from Kenya. Growing up in musical household she grew to have a love for music. At 23 years old she has managed to make an impact on her society. She is a free spirit who clearly doesn’t care about how society says women should act.

Society says that women should dress and act a certain way. Fena Gitu has unique sense of style. You can see through they way that she dresses that she is defying gender norms. Gitu can be seen wearing vests, button ups, and a ties. Women wearing skirts and dresses is what is accepted in Kenyan society. Continue reading “Fena-menal”

From the Slums to Fame and Inspiration

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Background

Henry Ohanga is a youth activist and hip hop artist. You may not know him under this name but by the end of this blog you will know who he is not only by his born name but also his more known stage name, Octopizzo. Octopizzo was born in Kibera. Kibera is is a division of Nairobi Area, Kenya, and neighborhood of the city of Nariobi. Kiberia is the largest slum not only in Nairobi but in Africa period. But this talented artist has come very far. Octopizzo is a not a man of just one talent he is a rapper, activist, and also an actor. He founded the C.B.O, youth group Y.G.B (Young, Gifted, and Black) of Artist for Refugees with UNHRC, and also the Octopizzo Foundation. The Octopizzo Foundation is a not-for-profit. Another accomplishment he has gained is being the ambassador/representer for awareness on violence against women and girls. Continue reading “From the Slums to Fame and Inspiration”

Episode 21 Promo

Next month’s episode of the podcast will be available March 1 and will feature an interview with South Africa’s Yugen Blakrok.

African Battle Cry

Video taken at the African Battle Cry held in December 2017 in Cape Town by Heal the Hood.

Promo for Episode 14 of the Hip Hop African Podcast

Trinity International Hip Hop Festival Video p.1

DJ Lesson w/the Legendary DJ Ready D

This video was taken in July 2016 at a taping of the Ready D show in Cape Town, South Africa. Ready D is a legendary DJ in South Africa and was a member of the pioneering rap group Prophets of Da City. In the video Ready D provides a lesson in the different hip hop DJ styles.