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Tyla beats Burna Boy, Davido, Asake, to win Best African Music Performance category at Grammy Awards

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South African “Amapiano” star, Tyla Laura Seethal, simply known as Tyla, made history on Sunday when she won the inaugural Best African Music Performance category at the 2024 Grammy Awards.

At the star-studded awards ceremony held at the Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California, USA, Tyla trounced Nigerian stars – Davido, Burna Boy, Asake, Olamide and Ayra Starr – to take home the golden gramophone for Best African Music Performance which was a new category at the 2024 GRAMMYs, for her single, “Water.”

African entertainment connoisseurs had tipped either Davido, Asake or Burna Boy to take home the award in inaugural year of the category due to their stronghold on Afrobeats and the global appeal of their songs in 2023.

With Asake and Olamide getting their nominations for “Amapiano”, Ayra Starr for “Rush”, Burna Boy for “City Boys”, and Davido featuring Musa Keys with “Unavailable”, many had not looked past any of the five Nigerian stars picking the gong.

But the 23-year-old South African female rapper surprised all by beating off competition from the more established Nigerian acts.

The “Best African Music Performance” was one of three brand new categories debuting at the 2024 Grammy Awards, along with Best Alternative Jazz Album and Best Pop Dance Recording.

Culture

Rema’s ‘Calm Down’ breaks US record with one billion streams

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Nigerian Afrobeats sensation, Divine Ikubor, popularly known as Rema, has broken another music record after his hit song, “Calm Down”, became the first African song to earn one billion on-demand streams in the United States.

According to American Music Stats Company, Chart Data, “Calm Down” earned over one billion on-demand streams in the US in a new compilation of streams on different musical genres.

Since its release in 2022, the single has garnered attention even with its remixx featuring Selena Gomez, soaring to number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a feat rarely seen for Afrobeats tracks.

The single was also the first Afrobeats song to top the American radio chart, making it the first song in its category to achieve this and in turn, making Rema the first African artiste to achieve such feat.

“This is phenomenal for the Afrobeats community and Africa at large,” Chart Data wrote on X.

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Culture

UK returns looted historic Ugandan artifacts on a three-year loan

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The University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom has agreed to return 39 traditional Ugandan artefacts which were looted from the country over a century ago.

However, the return of the artifacts would be for an initial loan period of three years, similar to a deal the UK government struck with Ghana.

The objects to be returned include tribal regalia, delicate pottery and abstract carvings the Ugandan people once held in high esteem.

Speaking on the return of the historical objects, Mark Elliot, the senior curator at Cambridge University said:

“These objects have been away from home for so long, now is the time that they come back and it’s the time to research the history of these objects, to research their contemporary significance and to help make decisions about their future.

“Really importantly, this is research that could be done in Cambridge but it shouldn’t be done in Cambridge, it should be done here and it should be led by Ugandan people.”

The Cambridge University had acquired most Ugandan artifacts as donations from private collections, and many were given by an Anglican missionary active in Uganda after the nation was made a British protectorate in 1894.

“There was a lot of plundering Africa and so Africa being plundered, it’s not that they only took gold,” Jackline Nyiracyiza, Ugandan Government Commissioner in charge of Museums and Monuments said on the return of the artifacts.

“They took gold and associated heritage and so a part of the gold, I would say, that they removed from Africa, is the cultural heritage because they were spreading the gospel of Christ and so they did not want anything associated with traditions.”

Nyiracyiza added that Uganda’s agreement with Cambridge is renewable, allowing for the possibility of a permanent loan and perhaps local ownership.

“We have a variety of objects that have been brought from Buganda (Bantu kingdom within Uganda) and I have seen and I would be seeing these objects, most especially. I shouldn’t say it. Most especially ‘Omulamula’ (or) ‘Ddamula (a traditional stick or sceptre handed to the Kingdom’s prime minister by the King) for the Katikiro (Buganda Kingdom’s prime minister), that is the most fascinating object I have seen,” Nyiracyiza explained.

“These items represent a small fraction of about 1,500 Ugandan ethnographic objects that the British University owns.

“The African Union aims to have a common policy on the return of looted cultural property,” the Minister said.

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