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The Dying Nyau Masquerades of Malawi

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Nyau is a secret society of the Chewa, an ethnic tribe of the Bantu.

The Nyau consist of initiates that are regarded as mature members of the society. The Nyau society is made up of people from the Chewa and Nyanja people.

Whenever the Nyau performs with the mask, women and children run away into their houses because they are considered fierce representing male knowledge.

There are men that wear the masks and are considered as the spirits of the dead. And understandably as spirits, the masquerades may act with impunity and allegedly there have been attacks and deaths during performances in the past. But due to westernization, the activities of the Nyau has reduced.

This Nyau tradition is very old and dates as far back as the 17th century and their belief includes communication with the dead. And they also believe that God is present in every life form. They believe that God is both male and female. The male god is in the sky and the female is on earth.

Read also: Ancient village that predates pharaohs discovered in Egypt

The initiation of men into the secret society starts with the men living in a wooded grove where dead people have been buried in the past. They scare people who try to interview them by saying in their native tongue ‘you are now playing with fire you will get burnt’.

Typically, the Nyau perform their masked dances during burial ceremonies, memorials or during their initiations.

Girls are also initiated into this society, for them, it is called Chinamwali.

During the dance, each person represents the mask of the animals which they wear. There is a hierarchy in the different forms of structures worn and the wilder the animal the fiercer their performance.

Culture

Nigerian singing sensations, Wizkid, Tems, win 2022 BET Awards

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Nigerian music stars, Ayo Balogun and Temilade Openiyi, popularly known as Wizkid and Tems respectively, were the biggest African winners at the 2022 Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards ceremony, an annual award event to celebrate black excellence in music, culture and sports, held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, in the early hours of Monday.

The talented Nigerian songstress won in the Best International Act category, beating compatriot Fireboy, Dave from the UK, Dinos from France, Fally Ipupa from Congo, Little Simz from the UK, Ludmilla from Brazil, Major League Djz from South Africa, and Tayc from France, to clinch the coveted award.

While receiving the award, Tems, an advocate of women and girls’ rights, urged women to continue on their chosen path, as hard work usually pays off in the end.

“Thank you so much for this, thank you so much. It’s an honour… I mean, this is my first award show that I’m winning something and I just want to use this as an opportunity to speak to every single young, old, whatever, every single woman watching this, every single girl watching this at home. Where I’m from, things like this don’t happen,” the elated Tems said.

Wizkid also made history at the 2022 BET Awards when his super single ‘Essence,’ featuring Tems and Justin Bieber, won the Best Collaboration award and with that win, ‘Essence’ has become the first African song to win a BET Award, also making Wizkid the first Nigerian and African to win an award outside the Best International Acts category.

‘Essence’ dusted other songs in the category like ‘Every Change I Get’ by DJ Khaled ft Lil baby and Lil Durk; ‘Family Ties’ by Baby Seem ft Kenderick Lamar; ‘Whole Lotta’ by Bia ft Nicki Minaj; ‘Way 2 Sexy’, Drake ft Future and Young Thug, and ‘Kiss me More’ by Doja Cat ft SZA, to clinch the award.

Wizkid had previously won the BET Award when he featured on Beyonce’s ‘Brown Skin Girl.”

Before the win by Tems, other Nigerian acts who have won awards in the Best International Act include 2Baba, D’banj, Ice Prince, Wizkid, Davido and Burna Boy.

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Nigerian singer, Kizz Daniel’s Buga video breaks new bounds, hits 3.6 million views on YouTube in 48 hours

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Nigerian songwriter and music sensation, Daniel Anidugbe, popularly known as Kizz Daniel, has set a new record after the video of his successful single, ‘Buga,’ hit 3.6 million YouTube views just 48 hours after it was released.

The success of the video on streaming platforms also revealed that it had raked in excess of over N2.5 million during the same period while also trending at number two for music on the streaming platform.

The Buga music video was also the first from Africa to hit two million streams in 24 hours of its release on Thursday, according to music aficionados in the country.

Kizz Daniel who announced the release of the visual of the song on his verified Instagram page on Thursday, later took to the platform to share the good news.

“Wow!! 2m in 24hrs THANK YOU WORLD VA’22 #BUGA,” he wrote.

Before the release of the Buga video, Kizz Daniel had also announced that the audio of the song which was released in May, had recorded 17 million views on TikTok.

The popular Buga song which which featured another Nigerian star, Tekno, is now a raging like wild fire across the country and is taking the music world by storm with different covers and challenges attributed to it.

The song is currently number 8 on the top 10 Billboard’s U.S Afrobeats Song Charts and also became the first song to hit 1 million streams within 24 hours on Boomplay.

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