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Berlin Museum to return hundreds of skulls of prominent East Africans to ex-colony

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The Berlin Museum authority has concluded plans to return hundreds of human skulls of prominent citizens from former German colony of East Africa after having researched their origin for several years, the museum management said on Wednesday.

Hermann Parzinger, the president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, an authority that oversees many of Berlin’s museums, including the Museum of Prehistory and Early History, said in a statement that during extensive research at the city’s Museum of Prehistory and Early History, scientists examined 1,135 skulls.

Out of the figure, 904 skulls could be assigned to areas in present-day Rwanda, 202 to Tanzania and 22 to Kenya while the origin of seven of the skulls could not be assigned.

“The clear objective of provenance research on human remains is to restitute them to the countries concerned,” said Parzinger.

“We are ready for immediate restitution and are now waiting for signals from the countries of origin,” he added.

According to Parzinger, a vast majority of the skulls originate from burial sites, especially cemeteries or burial caves, but partly also from local execution sites and in some cases also from executions by Germans.

“The human remains examined belong to the anthropological collection of about 7,700 skulls that the museum authority had taken over from Berlin’s Charité hospital in 2011.

“Due to the size of the collection and the diversity of its geographic origin, it has not been possible to examine all skulls yet,” he added.

In the days of colonial rule, most of East Africa was a German colony which included present-day Burundi, Rwanda, parts of Tanzania, and a small region of Mozambique.

In recent years, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation has made efforts to return several human remains and artifacts that were stolen by Germans and other European colonialists in the past and ended up in Berlin collections.

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Nigerian first class traditional ruler, Ooni of Ife, makes Hollywood debut

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Nigerian first class traditional ruler, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has made an incursion into the movie world when he recently made a historic debut in a new Hollywood flick titled “Take Me Home.”

The revered King who played a unique role in the movie that succinctly befits his throne as the custodian of Yorubaland, said his role helped to further accentuate and brings royalty, honour and authority to the silver screen.

Produced by renowned produced by Yoruba historian and filmmaker Dotun Taylor, the film, “Take Me Home” centres on the quest for originality and identity.

According to Taylor, the movie “tells the story of an American girl who became possessed after wearing an African masquerade costume that was stolen during a tour in Ile-Ife.”

“In a bid to save her life, her entire family, guided by the promises of two African immigrants, embarked on a journey that would land them in hot waters.”

“As the spiritual and traditional leader of the Yoruba people now saddled with the responsibility of making supplications to God and the Òrìṣà on behalf of his people, Ooni boldly depicted the rich culture of the Yorubas and its relevance in the western world.”

The epic movie also features top Hollywood actors like Dave Sheridan, Amber Rivette, Felissa Rose, Meji Black, and Nollywood actors Abdullateef Adedimeji and Bayo Bankole (Boy Alinco) among others.

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Uganda Grammy nominee, Eddy Kenzo, using music to pave way for deprived kids

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Ugandan musician and first Grammy Awards nominee from the country, Eddy Kenzo, says he is using his music and status to pave the way for deprived kids in the East African country.

Kenzo who grew up as an orphaned and homeless kid, recounted his story on Thursday, said he used to struggle to persuade DJs to play his songs, but now, is using his success to offer hopes that even the poorest person can triumph.

Kenzo, whose real name is Edrisah Musuuza, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Global Music Performance, said he has only one goal which is to “broadcast his culture to the world.”

“I try to use my culture and what I know to sell to the world. I sell the language that I speak, I sell the music we do here locally and I modernize it and put out the sound that comes from where I come from and it goes global,” the Grammy nominee told entertainment reporters.

Despite growing up underprivileged, Kenzo said he pursued his dreams and made a name for himself with his hit single “Stamina”, which grew to become one of the most popular songs in Africa and dominated the airwaves for months.

And despite his meteoric rise to stardom, Kenzo says he hasn’t forgotten his humble beginnings and is keen to pave the way for others like him.

Through his label Big Talent Entertainment, he now mentors Kampala’s disadvantaged youth to develop their musical talent.

Thirteen years after his big break, Kenzo is en route to take home a Grammy for “Gimme Love”, his 2022 Luganda-English song where he featured US musician Matt B.

“I love who I am, I love promoting who I am. I had to let him do what he does, but I had to make sure that I bring in myself in my own way. I started doing my Luganda and I taught him some of the pass, I told him to do it.

“And then this is what we did. And the message “Gimme Love” it’s all about giving love. Nothing could be better than that,” Kenzo said.

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