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Chez Nous1 minute read

Kathleen Ndongmo

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African cuisine is a diverse, flavourful trip. Go on the journey with the itinerant host of Chez Nous as she eats her way across the continent and unearths mouthwatering delicacies and lunchtime staples.

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Feature News

The smiles associated with a homecoming

What the return of diasporan Africans means for the continent

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Cardi B was one of many Hollywood celebrities whom Ghana welcomed with open arms in 2019. Image credit: Olisa.tv

Ghana declared the year 2019 as “the Year of Return”, opening its doors for African-Americans, Afro-Caribbeans and other diasporan Africans to return to the continent and obtain citizenship if they so desired. In the past couple of months, that move has not only impacted the nation once referred to as “the Gold Coast” from a socio-cultural and economic perspective, it has also signalled a renewed wave of African consciousness that is slowly but gradually reverberating across other countries.

In terms of cultural dynamics, Ghana is currently experiencing a moment similar to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, a movement in the United States characterised by an increased interest in African art and culture at a time when racism and segregation – aided by legislation – still thrived in many parts of America. The major difference now is that this new wave is beyond a mere display of interest in “the motherland”, it has more to do with fully experiencing and getting immersed in African culture. According to observers, the dichotomy between Africans and those in the diaspora is slowly fading away, to the extent that diasporan Africans are gradually beginning to see that, in the words of the late reggae music legend Peter Tosh, “as long as you’re a black man, you are an African”.

In the final weeks of 2019, Ghana played host to more than a few high-profile celebrities, including comedian Steve Harvey, supermodel Naomi Campbell, actors Boris Kodjoe and Danny Glover, as well as musicians T.I, Cardi B and Ludacris. In a bold statement of endearment to African roots, Ludacris would go on to obtain citizenship of Gabon, a French-speaking West African nation.

Diasporan Africans trooped into Ghana in their numbers in 2019, leading to a 6.7% increase in the country’s GDP growth rate in the first quarter of last year. There was also a noticeable growth in the country’s private sector amidst the expansion of local businesses, and the influence of this socio-cultural shift on Ghana’s tourism industry is impossible to ignore.

Beyond economic figures, the influx of returnees from the diaspora also illustrates the power in numbers. Ghana’s Year of Return has proven to be a successful experiment, and it is hoped that more African countries follow in its footsteps.

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Entertainment

Veteran South African Musician Steve Fataar Is Dead

The guitarist of famed group, The Flames died at the age of 76.

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Legendary South African guitarist, Steve Fataar who was a member of the 60s group, The Flames has been reported dead.

The news was confirmed by Joey Fourie, a close friend of Steve’s and the owner of The Daily Music Show in Cape Town on Channel24 on Saturday, January 18.

“He passed on in the early hours of this morning after his gig at Zach’s. He came home and died in his sleep of lung complications,” he said.

According to reports, Fataar suffered from lung complications, although the exact cause of death has not yet been confirmed. The singer is however believed to have died in his sleep in the early hours of Saturday morning just a few hours after playing a gig at popular Durban venue, Zacks.

Steve Fataar playing the guitar (The Citizen)

Fataar was well-known for playing with his band, The Flames, best known for their 1967 hit record, ‘For Your Precious Love’.

The guitarist had been suffering from a breathing illness since 2014. In the same year, his music friends held a benefit concert on his behalf because of his health issues. The concert featured acts The Reals, The Hairy-Legged Lentil Eaters and Graham Boyle and Spider Murch.

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Burna Boy Makes Michelle Obama’s 2020 Workout Playlist

The former first lady and physical activity advocate hopes to inspire lots of exercising this year.

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Burna Boy’s ‘My Money, My Baby’ has made former U.S first lady, Michelle Obama’s workout playlist for the year. This comes just a few weeks after the African Giant made Barack Obama’s favourite music of 2019 list alongside Rema and Angelique Kidjo.

Michelle Obama disclosed this on Instagram on Sunday, January 19, in a bid to inspire people to stick to their new year goals and resolutions.

“It’s about that time when New Year’s goals and resolutions get just a bit harder to stick to. To offer a little inspiration, I want to share my go-to 2020 #WorkoutPlaylist with all of you. These songs always seem to give me that extra boost to get through my toughest workouts. What’s on your playlist? #IAmBecoming #SelfcareSunday,” she shared alongside the playlist.

‘My Money, My Baby’, the Burna Boy record that made it to the list is off the original motion picture score of Queen & Slim which was released in November 2019.

The other Nigerian on the list is Tobe Nigwe, a rapper based in Houston making strides with his message-laden music and distinct rhyming style. His song featured on the list is his 2018 release, ‘I’m Dope’ featuring David Michael Wyatt.

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