COVER STORY

#Culture |
7 Africans Living
As Transgender People

Featuring Cleopatra Kambugu from Uganda, Audrey Mbuga
from Kenya, Cleo from Benin, Titica from Angola, Kim from Burundi
Miss SaHHara from Nigeria and Lea Mokobe from South Africa

Photo: Copyright © 2017 by Mikael Owunna.

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#Culture | 7 Africans Living As Transgender People

cOVER Story

Nigerian novelist and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said in an interview with Channel 4 News “I think the whole problem of gender in the world is about our experiences. It’s not about how we wear our hair or whether we have a vagina or a penis. It’s about the way the world treats us, and I think if you’ve lived in the world as a man with the privileges that the world accords to men and then sort of change gender, it’s difficult for me to accept that then we can equate your experience with the experience of a woman who has lived from the beginning as a woman and who has not been accorded those privileges that men are.”

Her position for disagreeing with the fact that the issues of women and the issues of trans women are the same has exposed her to serious backlash from those who felt that Adichie was not equipped to speak about the trans women experience because she knew nothing about it. Being right into International Women’s Month, it would be appropriate to talk about women and the experience of those we probably fail to take into consideration every day.

The issue of trans people is still a sensitive topic in virtually all African cultures, however, there are African people having different trans experiences all over the continent. Africa is definitely not ready for a trans integration yet - we have a seriously hard time wrapping our mind around anything else than heterosexuality, although other African sexual habits are obviously too atypical and must never be normalized – still, there are some Africans bold enough to challenge societal rules regarding gender and sexuality.

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#SoHip | French Montana 'Famous' Video Also Shot in Africa


For PAPER Magazine August 2017 digital-only cover story, Moroccan rapper French Montana did a photoshoot in his homeland against the backdrop of the iconic blue city of Chefchaouene.
Montana admitted he thought that blue city was fake until he saw it with his own eyes. As a shout out to North Africa, Montana announced he would be shooting the video for his track “Famous” in this blue paradise. This is actually a great idea considering he drew on his Moroccan roots with Arabic-style beats on the song.
During PAPER Magazine photoshoot, Montana definitely brought that Arabic swag with eccentric pieces and head wraps.



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#Music | Aya Nakamura, an afro-centered vibe into French-style grooves


Fresh out of a French hot pocket, Aya Nakamura is just another indicator of what RnB is about nowadays. Back 2 years ago, this French-Malian songstress planted her flag with stunningly poised and an afro-centered vibe into French-style grooves.

Her recent music releases, from her "Journal Intime" album, are both dazzlingly underground and furiously fresh. From building on a mellow afro-pop background as in “Angela” to posing low notes over a fluid rhythm on “ProblΓ¨mes” feauturng MHD, Aya already imposed her signature input.

On "Comportement," through a sonically dense cream, she weaves in and out of a pounding polyrhythmic background. Other tracks bring enough texture to congratulate Nakamura for this freshman push. We still can’t say she is the next “Oumou Sangare”. Aya might have excelled on this fab track, which wears well the name of the legendary Malian diva as title, a proud dedication to Bambara music as a whole, with rich Kora rifts melting over bluesy intervals. But with such a beautiful voice, Aya doesn’t take any vocal risk and we wonder whether she’d rather rap-sing than really sing her ass out. We were expecting savage R&B climaxes. But it was just half-assed and brought out no certain emotion.



#Culture | Zodwa Wabantu Or Is It the Kardashian Effect?


They call her Zodwa Wabantu and she describes herself as a dancer, MC and socialite.
Known for her body confidence, she is proud of her curvy body and isn’t a fan of underwear. As a socialite, Wabantu makes appearances in clubs and parties, and dances the night away while sporting something probably too skimpy for normal people.

Zodwa Wabantu recently had social media buzzing over the outfits she sported during one of South Africa’s biggest events. Indeed, she wore high slit dresses that were a bit too scandalous for most. On why she chose to wear such revealing numbers, Wabantu just said she picked the styles that were fashionable and comfortable for her. She wants to send a specific message which is the fact that women have imperfections such as stretch marks and cellulite that must be celebrated. After all, Zodwa seems to be loving being natural, from her hair to very light make up, when she chooses to wear make up at all.

With the birth of social media, we encounter more and more women who come out of different platforms showing off their body and getting paid to just have fun and take pictures. Kim Kardashian, as one of the first women to popularize the socialite activity in this millenium, it is safe to say even Africa is becoming a product of the Kardashian effect. Interestingly enough both Wabantu and Mrs. West speak the same body confidence language to the point where they both shared fully naked pictures of themselves on social media.

Such behavior always leave some perplexed. Is this really empowering to women or tragically misleading from African values?







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