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Musician overwhelmed by first ever African performance in Sheffield dreams of British collaboration – Yorkshire Live

A musician who migrated to the UK from Germany about five years ago has described the moment he walked out to perform at a show in Yorkshire for the first time as an overall overwhelming shock, and says he is now on a mission to collaborate with British musicians.

Mcdonald Sheldon, 29, from Birmingham, says he has big plans to collaborate with a UK artist and create a global hit song. Mr Sheldon, who goes by the stage name Qounfuzed has since earmarked festivals and concerts he wishes to headline in the near future.

He said: “A few years from now I want to be able to perform at big festivals and concerts. For example the Glastonbury Festival and Wireless Event.”

Read more: Yorkshire mum who models lingerie on Facebook hits back at concerns for kids

Qounfuzed, who has been performing at African themed festivals in the UK since 2017 had never been booked for a show in Yorkshire before. But, all that changed when he was slotted in for a main event perfomance at a Sheffield family barbecue sponsored by financial transfer giants Worldremit.

The show, held on Sunday June 12 at the Transport Sports Club in the city, began at 2.00pm and was attended by over 250 families. Although it was not officially noted as an African get together, with posters inviting all nationalities, McDonald Sheldon, who goes by the stage name Qounfuzed, told Yorkshire Live that Zimbabwean nationals dominated the event.

Quonfuzed, 29, is a Zimbabwean born but UK based musician who has fallen in love with Sheffield.
Quonfuzed, 29, is a Zimbabwean born but UK based musician who has fallen in love with Sheffield.

Qounfuzed described the turn out as huge. He said: “I didn’t expect to see so many Zimbabweans in Sheffield but I was shocked to see that the turn up was actually quite huge and most people had also travelled from different towns and cities.

And Qounfuzed, a multiple award winning musician and guitarist who says his music is a reflection of his lifestyle has amassed over 98 million streams on various music platforms, but is now looking to penetrate the English market. He said: “I came to the UK more than 5 years ago and I do like most things here except for the weather and most people are really polite and friendly in most places that I have been to.

“I think UK is a very diverse country with a mixture of different people and cultures. I love the fact that I am still able to connect and engage with different people through my music and my aim is to make music that caters for everyone be it black people or white people and bring everyone together.

“I am inspired by other Africans who are collaborating with UK artists and making music that everyone can vibe to no matter what race or background. Hopefully soon I can get to collaborate with an English artist and make a hit.”

Qounfuzed, who was born in Zimbabwe moved to Germany and lived there for sometime, before moving to the UK. Outside of music, he plays social football, and spends most of his time watching cricket.

And, Qounfuzed says he has not been able to get Yorkshire out of his mind since his June perfomance. He said: “I enjoyed performing in Yorkshire it was a different environment as it was my first time performing there. I would love to revisit Sheffield and probably do my usual night performance this time around as I performed during the day at the BBQ event as it was a family show.”

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How Black women and queer communities are shaping the future of African electronic music – Mixmag

What many of the perpetuators of toxic practices need to understand is that powerful men are not the ones who will determine the future of Africa’s music industry. More and more women are taking up positions of power in dance music and the industry at large, changing the landscape for the women around them. Women doing tireless work behind the scenes, such as Eva DXB who founded the UAE’s first amapiano scene at Urban Black Events and is now partnered with Universal Music; Zimbabwean-South African Jackie Queens who offers ear, shoulder and stage to women across the content at her company Bae Electronica has earned the industry’s respect as an artist, manager and educator; Kenya’s Faiza Hersi of Soul Headquarters offers a strong alternative to male promoters in Nairobi; Apple Music’s Athandiwe Ntshinga who ideated the African dance music stable Isgubhu, is exponentially growing dance-artist’s international reach; not to mention music managers and moguls Thuli Keupile, Sibu Mabena, Kamo Mailula, Janice Phiri, Reba Shai and Zethu Gqola who have all made their presence felt internationally. African women who were once considered “difficult,” “stuck up,” or “pretty girls won’t can’t DJ” are taking high-powered positions as curators, editors, label bosses and agents.

Tendai Kathemba is a Zimbabwean-born advocate and wellness counsellor based in Cape Town, South Africa, specialising in gender dynamics and holistic mental health, which is particularly difficult to navigate for Africans operating in a world governed by Western influence.

“It is encouraging that Black African women have been, are and continue to re-define themselves and re-imagine different narratives as we carry on the baton from our ancestors,” she says. “It is important to remain critical thinkers as African women, especially in light of feminist movements that exist largely to serve white women, and embodies Western ways of being. As Africans we have a history that has been intentionally and systematically suppressed over centuries by Western civilisation. Many of our African ancestors lived in matriarchal communities, where women were held in high regard and not viewed as threatening and/or inferior to men, however, it is not to say Africa existed in utopia and gender dynamics did not exist. Both feminine and masculine energies (which everyone has) have existed as a duality since the beginning of life. There is no separation. Both are equal and need each other. They do manifest and impact differently, and if we can get to a point of honouring nature, learning from it and recognizing that these power dynamics which have resulted in gender wars are on the whole unnatural and alien, will ultimately destroy us all if we don’t take time to understand who we truly are.”

Whatever your ideas or tastes are about who should do what, when and how, we must remember why dance music exists for Africans, both past and present. Our music far surpasses entertainment, and carries our understanding of who we are, from the superficiality of our skin through to the depths of our bloodlines reaching across generations. Drumbeats that originated on the continent aeons ago were uprooted and dragged across the ocean, our sense of self embedded in our chants and melodies as Africans became enslaved on foreign lands; nestled, nurtured and rebuilt in warehouses for the weary and brought to prominence by the bold, finally finding their way back to Africa when its people needed freedom and acceptance more than ever. It’s music that is meant to unify, liberate and express. Our drum beats, chants and melodies offer a collective experience that is not meant to keep others out and chosen ones in; it’s a chance for the marginalised to find safety and kinship, to cultivate a fullness of living; a chance to remember our pioneers and encourage new voices to speak our futures into existence. A chance for everyone who loves music and is able to move and be moved to “come one”.

We may not see the improvement we need in this lifetime as progress happens so slowly, but conversations like these create community, and communities share the load while keeping each other moving, dancing toward the future we know our music can bring us to. The only way we can make these ideas real is if we damp down the noise and use this moment to fight the silence in harmony – with ourselves, each other and the masculine and feminine energies we all possess.

If you or anyone you know needs someone safe and understanding to talk to about your similar experiences, feel free to contact Tendai at tendai@abantulives.com.

Shiba Melissa Mazaza is a freelance writer, follow her on Instagram

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British Council, BHC and Paoa FM brings new UK music to the Happy Isles – Solomon Star

It is here, new, hot and happening on Paoa FM at 12 noon this Saturday 13th August 2022. The British Council’s Selector Radio, an hour of new UK Music on each show.

Every Saturday Selector Radio willshare the best new UK music with the world. They play music from any artist, any band and any genre as long as it’s new and exciting. Each week Selector puts together an eclectic playlist of music and artists who are leading the way in UK music.

Presented by BBC Radio 1 Xtra’s Jamz Supernova, it is an insight to the bubbling underground scenes from every corner of the UK. Each week’s show features guest interviews with emerging artists or exciting people in the music industry. The show also provides a gateway to music beyond the UK with features from countries where the show is broadcast, dipping into the key sounds emerging around the world.

Selector is broadcast to over 30 countries around the world including Cuba, China, Zimbabwe, Ukraine, Slovakia, Spain and Mexico and has a global audience of over 4 million listeners.

In Solomon Islands Selector will be broadcast on Paoa FM. It is the largest FM radio station in the Solomon Islands, broadcasting to two-thirds of the country’s population. They play top hits, including Reggae, and local stars. Paoa FM covers Guadalcanal, Malaita, Central, Russell provinces and parts of Isabel and Makira Ulawa provinces.

With Selector Radio launching this Saturday, you can now listen to UK music at 12pm Saturdays each week besides Paoa FM’s usual top of the Hour news bulletins each day to keep up-to-date with the latest news in Solomon Islands.

British High Commissioner to Solomon Islands and Nauru, His Excellency Thomas Coward said:

“I can’t wait to hear new UK music in Solomon Islands. Music has the power to bring us together and this is a celebration of the friendship between the UK and Solomon Islands.”  

British CouncilDirector for Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific, Natasha Beckman said:

“We are delighted to share the best of new music from the UK here in Solomon Islands. I hope we can use this to do more to connect with each other through arts, culture and creativity.”

Ahead of this Saturday’s launch and the first ever show, Paoa FM’s General Manager, an excited Joel Samuel Lamani said:

“We are so excited to have this programme on Paoa FM. Connecting us to the UK, keeping us up to date with what the people in the UK are listening to.

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Seven Charged in Brutal South Africa Gang Rape – VOA Africa

The National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa says at least 14 men out of dozens arrested face rape charges in an attack on a group of women who were making a music video earlier this month.

A court on Wednesday charged seven men in connection with the gang rape, prosecuting authority spokeswoman Phindi Louw Mjonondwane told VOA, adding that seven more would face rape charges tomorrow.

They are all part of the 80 men initially arrested in a major police sweep following the incident, she confirmed.

The women had been making a music video two weeks earlier in the mining area of Krugersdorp outside Johannesburg when they were attacked by a group of masked, armed men.

Mjonondwane said all of those charged with rape were foreign nationals, including from Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

“Seven accused appeared at the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court facing charges ranging from multiple counts of rape, sexual assault, contravention of the immigration act, as well as robbery with aggravating circumstances,” she said.

Many of those arrested are believed to work as illegal miners, known here as zama-zamas. The incident has sparked anger in local communities, as well as xenophobia, with mobs attacking the zama-zamas.

Police had said they would use DNA kits to try to identify the alleged attackers from among those rounded up, as well as a police lineup. However, Mjonondwane would not comment on how those charged had been identified.

Despite having a very high rate of rape and gender-based violence, South Africa — which celebrated Women’s Day on Tuesday — was shocked by the brutal attack.

Police recorded more than 36,000 rapes in fiscal 2020-21.

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