This Month in Music- March 2018

I’ve skipped a month of this but here we go- enjoy my March playlist!

Nairobi, Kenya

Track List

Streets of Africa- Burna Boy

Kwani Iko Nini- Blinky Bill

Tenderoni- Tolani ft. Skales

My Humps- Black Eyed Peas

Lover- Muthoni Drummer Queen

Imara- Frederic Gassitta ft. Vanessa Mdee

Never Be The Same Again- Mel C

Leave (Get Out)- Jojo

Wait- Maroon 5

Rewind- Sauti Sol ft. Khaligraph Jones


© Tessy Maritim

#faves: A Colors Show

Nairobi, Kenya

Music shows on YouTube are aplenty. But A Colors Show caught my eye and ear with a fusion of minimalist aesthetics and fresh sounds from (usually) lesser known artists. It’s a goldmine for good music!

Enjoy my FAVOURITE picks below (in no particular order). I’ve also stringed these videos into one playlist here for your ease.

Artists I’d love to see on The Colors Show:

  • Simi
  • Jorja Smith
  • Erykah Badu
  • Sonder
  • Burna Boy


© Tessy Maritim

This Month in Music (January 2018) ft. Jaden Smith, Jorja Smith and Jidenna

Nairobi, Kenya

January is coming to a close- thank God! Here’s what I’ve been listening to all of this month. Enjoy!

Track List

Let Me Down- Jorja Smith ft. Stormzy

Fast Car- Tracy Chapman

Naked- James Arthur

Rehab- Rihanna ft. Justin Timberlake

Boomerang- Jidenna

George Jeff- Jaden Smith

Run Me Dry- Bryson Tiller

Said- Nasty C and RunTown

I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Seeb Remix)- Mike Posner

Easy to Love- Bucie ft. Heavy K

No Drama- Tinashe ft. Offset


© Tessy Maritim

This Month in Music (December 2017)- ft. Simi, SZA and Stormzy

Limuru, Kenya

A playlist from the last couple of months to close the year! Enjoy!

Track List

Joromi- Simi

Thanks 4 Nothing- Nilufer Yanya (A Colors Show)

Suzie Noma- Muthoni Drummer Queen

Turn Me Good- Wyclef Jean

Midnight- DJ Maphorisa ft. DJ Tira, Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly

You Sang To Me- Marc Anthony

Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)- Erykah Badu ft Common

The Story of O.J- Jay-Z

The Way Life Goes (Remix)- Lil Uzi Vert ft. Nicki Minaj

Nana- Mi Casa

Blinded By Your Grace Pt. 2- Stormzy ft. MNEK

Perfect (Symphony)- Ed Sheeran ft. Andrea Bocelli

Go Gina (Vevo LIFT)- SZA

Mat Za Ronga (Remix)- Tunji ft Khaligraph Jones


© Tessy Maritim

This Month in Music (October 2017)

Underground, London

Happy new month, friends! Here are the songs that took me through October. Enjoy.

Track List

Spirit- Kwesta ft. Wale

China Love- Victoria Kimani ft. R.City

Green Light- Cuppy and Tekno

Spice Girl- Amine

Nightshift- Commodores

Escape- Enrique Iglesias

Figures- Jessie Reyez (A COLORS Show)

Come Close- Common ft. Mary J. Blige

Big Kids- B.o.B ft. CeeLo Green and Usher

Big For Your Boots- Stormzy


© Tessy Maritim

October Debrief (Audio Post)

captured in Nandi County

Introducing my monthly ‘Debrief’ in which I subject you to a little ramble about how my month went. Basically, new format to my previous ‘Thank You’ posts!

I hope you enjoy it! Press play, below:

References made:

  • Tetu Shani– find him on Instagram and check him out on YouTube
  • MatchMentor– would love to see you there! Please come or share with someone you know who could benefit from the event. Link here with all the details on the mentors, sessions and how to get tickets.


© Tessy Maritim

This Month in Music (September 2017)

Music is such a central part of my life so I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate it into my blog. From this month, I’ll be sharing a monthly playlist with you- a curation of what I’ve been listening to. Music that’s made me smile, think, cry and dance. Some old tunes, some new.

Queen Alia International Airport, Amman

Happy new month, friends! Here are the songs that took me through September. Enjoy.

Track List:

Magic (Medley)- Maleek Berry

That’s The Way It Is- Celine Dion

What Lovers Do- Maroon 5 ft. SZA

My Love is Your Love- Whitney Houston

Overnight Celebrity- Twista

Angel- Shaggy ft. Rayvon

Versace on the Floor- Bruno Mars

You Gotta Be- Des’ree

Acapella- Kelis

Seduce Me- Ali Kiba

Faithful- Me’Shell Ndegeocello

Million Voice- Muthoni Drummer Queen



© Tessy Maritim

This Month in Music (August 2017)

Music is such a central part of my life so I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate it into my blog. From this month, I’ll be sharing a monthly playlist with you- a curation of what I’ve been listening to. Music that’s made me smile, think, cry and dance. Some old tunes, some new.

Have a listen, let me know what you think.

 Track List: 

Too Fast- Sonder

Holy- Jamila Woods

Got Til it’s Gone- Janet Jackson

Teenage Love Affair- Alicia Keys

Lovestar- Common

Remember the Rain- Kadhja Bonet

Rendezvous- Craig David

Rivals- Usher ft. Future

Papa Lolo- Mose Fan Fan

This Kind Love- Patoranking ft. Wizkid

Rara- Tekno




© Tessy Maritim

This is a Thinkpiece on #MTVMAMA2016

I spent my evening attending the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) 2016 vicariously through (a bad) livestream, Snapchat, my Twitter timeline and Instagram stories. I have many thoughts. Here they are.


Stylish Red Carpet Moments 

#MTVMAMA2016 Red Carpet … Watch Live #Africa to the ? styled by @boogymaboi

A photo posted by TheHighest (@sarkodie1) on

I love a clean, classic look, exemplified here by Sarkodie in this simple button down shirt and black cape.

Celebrating African Music with MTV hosted by The City of Joburg. #StuurmanStyleDiary #MTVMama2016

A photo posted by Trevor (@trevor_stuurman) on

No-one does eccentric menswear like my Instagram Crush, Trevor Stuurman! Yum.

Red Carpet…. Dress: Marchesa Shoes: Tom Ford Styled by @iamhdiddy #MTVMAMA2016 #Host #MTV #RedCarpet

A photo posted by Bonang Matheba (@bonang_m) on

I love this velvet black Marchesa dress on Bonang- she’s always fly.

All the #mtvmama2016 red carpet action ??? ? @gabimbele

A photo posted by MAJESTY MAGAZINE SA (@majestymagsa) on

Sizwe Dhlomo giving us serious Mobutu vibes. Fire emoji(s).


Sauti Sol’s Win

Congratulations to our fave boy band on clinching the coveted Best Group award!


Yemi Alade’s Clapback to President Buhari 

A week ago we heard Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari saying his wife “belonged to his kitchen and his living room and his other room” after she criticised his political judgment in an interview with the BBC. There’s been widespread condemnation of his remarks from across the continent and Yemi Alade added her voice to the conversation during her speech for Best Female Artist.

And women don’t forget, we are not only good in the kitchen, good in the living room and good in the other room; we are also good at anything we want to be.”

Yaass Yemi. Yaaass!

Domez (a sheng word; short for the english word ‘domestics’; synonymous with problems/issues)

No Papa Wemba tribute?! 

The show also featured a beautiful tribute to Kwaito legend Mandoza, who passed way in mid-September following a long battle with cancer. As I watched the tribute, I couldn’t help but recall Papa Wemba’s death earlier this year and wonder- no Papa Wemba tribute?! They could surely have flown in DRC’s finest Fally Ipupa or organised for a group of artists from across the continent to sing a medley. At the very least, a slideshow or video montage! Papa Wemba is indisputably one of our continent’s most iconic artists. What a shame that a platform of this magnitude had no semblance of honour for his legacy.

Tour d’Afrique

In 2009, I accompanied my Mom and sisters to the MAMAs when it came to Nairobi. The show was in its’ second year and was seemingly making its way to a new location somewhere on the continent every year. But from 2014, the show has remained within South Africa’s borders. Clearly if Africa was a country, that country would be South Africa (or Nigeria, to be honest)There are probably valid reasons for this- South Africa’s entertainment scene (and economy, in general) has been one of the biggest on the continent. Both the breadth and depth of the industry (not just musicians, but producers, media personalities, designers, models) far exceeds most of the continent. It’s also probably cheaper for Viacom Networks (MTV’s holding company) to host in South Africa, because they won’t have to keep shuttling their staff up and down the continent. 

Still, a brand that prides itself in celebrating contemporary music from across Africa shouldn’t be firmly rooted in one region of the continent. MTV Base should lend it itself to broader calls for cross-continental collaboration by using the award show as a platform for celebrating travel, music, fashion and tech in different regions of the continent. And although this would be an expensive endeavour a) MTV’s probably got the money,  b) If they don’t, there are big brands who I’m sure would jump at the opportunity to use the appeal of entertainment as an entry point to other markets on the continent.

If we can host the World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali (2016) and Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi (2015), then we know that there are venues across the continent that have the capacity to host a couple hundred entertainers and a few thousand fans.

Local (Band$) Brands

Looking at the list of this year’s sponsors, I wish there were more homegrown African brands investing in platforms like the MAMAs. Money is not a problem (Hi Aliko Dangote, Strive Masiyiwa, Mohammed Dewji, Tony Elumelu & friends). I would love to see Elumelu’s Africapitalism embrace underserved but promising sectors such as entertainment. The private sector too often overlook the entertainment industry by failing to recognise and understand how pop culture shape Africans’ current and future imaginations.


Nonetheless, the brilliant Alex Okosi and his team at Viacom Networks do a phenomenal job putting this show together. Well done!


© Tessy Maritim

Thank You, Summer Sixteen

Life moves quickly. So swiftly, that it’s easy to miss the things, people and events that make life worthwhile. I’ve decided to create a new section of my blog, to share, appreciate and reflect on each month.

I’m so sad that I haven’t had the chance to reflect monthly in the way I intend to on this blog since February! In light of this, I’ll group the entire summer and reflect on the past few months in one post. I’m grateful for:

  • Completing my Dissertation– This has been a very difficult few months for me. I went to Kenya at the start of the summer to carry out fieldwork for my dissertation but things didn’t really unfold in the way that I had hoped. So when I got back to Edinburgh to start putting the research in order, I was very confused. I had to refocus, add new concepts, remove other things. I really couldn’t see how I’d make it through the summer. Everything seemed so large and impossible. I had guidance from my supervisor which was incredibly helpful. But the real battle for me was convincing myself that I could do it. In prayer I would say, if I can only make it to the end of today- just today. And if I could do that, I knew tomorrow would take care of itself. I broke down the months to weeks, and the weeks to days, because that was as far as I could see myself. Slowly, the days built on each other and I found myself at the end of a week. Progress. Another week. And then another. One month, finally. As the months passed, one piece of my work connected to the next and it just fell in place slowly. I feel so stretched by the experience and I’m truly a bigger person for it. To be at the end of that journey gave me peace and an incredible gratitude to God for carrying me through. My help comes from You.
  • Intentional Self-Care– One of my resolutions this year was to religiously replenish myself, so this summer was held together by daily doses of very intentional self-care. I read poetry. Did a lot of colouring. Cried when I needed to (which if you know me was often, lol). Took some days off. Talked to God. Necessary.
  • Friends– I am so so grateful to have shared these past few months with my friends. It was so great to lean on each other and find solace in a mutual struggle. Love you’zzzzz.
  • Views– Every season of life has a soundtrack and this summer I found myself listening to Views. I’m not even that big of a Drake fan but somehow found myself drawn to his music. My favourite tracks are: RedemptionFaithful, Fire & Desire and my absolute favourite, U With Me? (which is actually a sample of DMX’s ‘How’s It Going Down‘). For what a difficult summer it’s been, Views has been a great companion.
  • Pitch It/My Nairobi– This summer, The Arena also had it’s first edition of Pitch It! As a team, it was incredible to see what we worked on finally come to life. But as always, there’s room for us to make improvements. A few years ago a friend told me, “Errors accumulate in the sketch and compound in the model. But better an imperfect dome in Florence than cathedrals in the clouds“. I’m guided by this and look forward to working with the team to building a better dome! You can check out this and this for a glimpse of what went down on the day.
  • Watching Friends & Family’ Win– This summer was also very special for a few of my friends and family who achieved milestones in different areas of their lives. Although I wasn’t able to celebrate with all of them, I made a toast for each of their achievements from my desk at the library. Very celebratory, I know.
  • Dakar in Edinburgh– Last week I went to witness the magic that is Senegalese music legend, Youssou N’Dour! It was such a great gig, I was so moved and inspired. The crowd was also amazing and made the experience even more meaningful.

Despite it seeming like a long, never-ending low season, this summer will be special and memorable for me. I’m carrying forward so many lessons and I’m at peace with where I am now.


Summer glow captured by my friend, Anne | Manchester, England

Love You and Thank You, Summer Sixteen!


© Tessy Maritim