to be African, to be Woman, to be Creative, to be Fashionable, to be Intelligible, to be Beautiful.....to be IMARA

imara by Mshana

imara by Mshana is the canvas and the pages on which I curate and display the life I wish to create for myself and others. I explore there my passion for fashion, present my literally inspired visual arts, write my visual arts inspired written works, share my linguistics, travel diaries, show my finding comfort in food, and heck, whatever else I feel like... Welcome and enjoy!

Knew Music from a legend in the making, Sir Damini Ogulu a.k.a Burna Boy

Official Album Cover Art

Official Album Cover Art

Intentional living for me includes being very mindful of what you take in. I love words and consume them a tone; consequently, I am particularly picky when it comes to the type of things I allow to befall my ears. Those things get straight to my soul! So, as much as I am a music fanatic, only a few songs make it to my playlist. 

My most sacred playlist is called Knew Music. Knew Music is a carefully curated collection of music that adds knowledge that ’isn’t yet familiar but speaks to what you already know is right in your heart. Like scripture, the songs in the playlist reveal something new each time you hear them. 

The most recent additions to the list -rightfully so- is the entire African Giant album by Burna Boy. It literally took me only one listen to the records to know they deserve a spot in “knew music.” Honestly, I’ve always been a fan of Burna Boy. I have had his music in my dance music playlist for ages. But, never did I ever imagine he would have a place in Knew Music next to the likes of Somi and Sjava. But this 19 song album is a lyrical and musical masterpiece that fits right in with the rest of these artists. The melodies, the words, the themes, the delivery… I am honestly feeling ashamed for having slept on Burna Boy’s musical journey. 

List of the album tracks from my Spotify screen. Can you spot a fave?

List of the album tracks from my Spotify screen. Can you spot a fave?

Sir Damini Ogulu -the dude has earned the title in my books- preaches in this album! He says, “you were African before you became anything else” in Spiritual. That statement is practically a middle finger to anything that creates hyphenated African-ness. From Inferiority complexes to systemic oppression. The song that bears the name of the album African Giant is an echo of the Afropolitan sentiments that dominate the African renascence discourse today. He also draws inspiration from the likes of Fela and incorporates the masses’ favourite African diaspora voices making this afro-fusion-album an advocate for pan Africanism and a remarkable statement of Afro-optimism. And let us not forget the direct stab against neocolonialism and corruption in Another Story and Collateral Damage, respectively. 

The rest of the songs

The rest of the songs

Perhaps I am just excited and ascribing too many deep meanings to this album. But one would be amiss to think or insinuate that there wasn’t much thought put into this album. This man has outdone himself! Now the bar is set really high to be honest. If this is how African musicians intend to start showing up in their music, they are undoubtedly setting themselves up for greatness, and I am absolutely here for it! Oh Burna Boy, what a delight to watch your ascent into legend status!


Have you listened to this album? Are you a fan of Burna Boy’s music? Tell me about it!