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Ethiopian artist, Julie Mehretu breaks African art-sale world record

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Ethiopian-born artist, Julie Mehretu has broken the record for the highest sale price of any work by an African artist at an auction.

The US-based artist broke her own record when her abstract painting, “Walkers With the Dawn and Morning”, sold for $10.7m (£8.6m) at an exhibition at Sotheby in New York.

According to the organizers of the auction, Mehretu’s piece features ink and acrylic on canvas and takes its name from a 1920s Langston Hughes poem.

The auction saw two bidders competing for the artwork with the price gradually edging higher and higher and finally went for $9.5m, but the final cost took it to the record-breaking sum of $10.7m.

Mehretu was also the previous record holder at $9.3m which was set last month.

The 52-year-old Mehretu was born in Ethiopia and moved with her family to the US in 1977 when political strife was at its peak in the country.

From a humble beginning, Mehretu has grown to become one of the most prominent names in African contemporary art world.

In 2005, Mehretu painted “Walkers With the Dawn” and “Morning” as part of an exhibition which created an instant response to Hurricane Katrina and its impact on the US city of New Orleans.

Earlier this year, Mehretu was chosen to create BMW’s next Art Car and her work will be painted onto a BMW car that will be part of the “24 Hours of Le Mans” race next year.

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Mali’s ‘King of Kora’ Diabate passes on at 58

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Mali’s most celebrated artiste, Toumani Diabate, popularly known as “King of Kora,” has passed away at the age of 58 following a brief illness.

According to an announcement from his family on social media, Diabate, a renowned master of the Kora which is a traditional West African stringed instrument, died on Friday at a private clinic in Bamako, the capital of Mali.

His son, Sidiki Diabate, who is also a musician, made the announcement on his Facebook page with the words:
“My dear dad is gone forever.”

Diabate was an accomplished musician whose contributions were recognized for bridging the gap between ancestral traditions and modern music, making a lasting imprint on Mali’s cultural landscape.

Local media said Diabate who was born in 1965 into a family of griots, was deeply rooted in Mali’s rich cultural heritage, serving as a guardian of the nation’s oral histories and traditions.

“Throughout his career, Diabate was celebrated for his extraordinary skill and innovative approach to the Kora,” a Malian tabloid wrote in a tribute.

“His ability to seamlessly blend traditional Malian music with contemporary influences earned him acclaim both in Africa and internationally.

“His contributions were recognized for bridging the gap between ancestral traditions and modern music, making a lasting imprint on Mali’s cultural landscape.”
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Jesus never raised the dead nor healed the sick, Ghanaian actor Majid says

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Jesus never raised the dead nor healed the sick, Ghanaian actor Majid say

Veteran Ghanaian actor, Majid Michel, has raised a storm after stating that Jesus Christ did not raise the dead or healed the sick during his earthly ministry.

The thespian-turned-pastor, who made the assertion in a thought-provoking sermon about Christianity, said contrary to widely held beliefs, Jesus Christ neither personally healed any sick person nor raised the dead, despite these acts being credited to him in biblical teachings.

Michel, who cited some of the known miracles attributed to Jesus Christ, said:

“Do you know Jesus never healed the sick nor raised the dead? Jesus never let the blind see.

“Do you know what Jesus said? ‘I do nothing by myself. As I see the Father do, I do.’ In other words, I am Jesus, I have a will, but I will not use my will; only the will of my Father I came to do,” he said.

Going further to buttress his points, the multiple award winning actor said:

“If the devil had gotten Jesus to turn that stone to bread without asking his Father’s permission, he had gotten him to sin and that is what you call sin—separation from God, independence from God.

“When you throw your own plans and make your own decisions without consulting the Father, you have sinned.”

The “Crime To Christ” actor also emphasized that the Christian religion, Islamic religion, and other religions are actually some of the world’s biggest problems, noting that all religions have a history of perpetrating violence and some inhumane acts, and suggested that people should distance themselves from being religious.

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