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The lion sleeps tonight

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It's finally Friday, and for me that means family and reading (with a sprinkling of work here and the
 
July 20 · Issue #46 · View online
iAfrikan Daily Brief
It’s finally Friday, and for me that means family and reading (with a sprinkling of work here and there). Have a good one. - Tefo Mohapi

Today, The Lion King movie made its debut across the world to much acclaim. What generated even more hype in our parts of the world is the Beyonce produced official album for the movie titled “The Lion King: The Gift.”
Part of the reason why the movie is being so hyped is because of how realistic the animation looks despite the storyline not changing. However, it is not the animation that caught my attention but the irony that finally, African music artists will benefit from producing and making songs for the movie. Unlike a certain Solomon Linda who died a pauper despite rights to a song he wrote, produced and performed (Mbube, later renamed Wimoweh, only for it to be renamed again by an American who claimed to hold the copyright to “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) being sold to Disney and used in the original Lion King movie and subsequent theatre performances since.
Animation technology has come a long way since Walt Disney first started with hand drawings of Mickey Mouse. The latest Lion King movie is quite realistic looking despite being an animation. Source: The Walt Disney Company
The story of Solomon Linda is a heartbreaking one and presents many lessons on copyright law even in this Internet age. It also highlights the importance of of something we touched on in a previous issue of this newsletter titled “Narratives matter.” In it I wrote:
“Africans are generally (of course there are many exceptions to this) emotional investors and emotional owners of things with nothing legally binding to really prove that, that thing belongs to an African. It’s important to dismantle narratives sometimes, to scratch below the surface and really ask what some find an uncomfortable question: if this is said to be African, does an African own it? Do Africans benefit from this monetarily?”
Solomon Linda (far left) with his music band members.
This is exactly what happened to Solomon Linda. He wrote and performed a song which he titled “Mbube” (Lion), the song would somehow find its way to the USA where a pop band, because they had no idea what mbube was, would keep the same lyrics and melody only to replace mbube with “Wimoweh” (they made that word up, it doesn’t exist or mean anything). To cut a long story short and to avoid many spoilers because it would be great if you watched the Netflix documentary retelling Solomon Linda’s story (ReMastered: The Lion’s Share), Linda’s song would end up being sold to Disney without him seeing a cent.
ReMastered: The Lion's Share | Official Trailer | Netflix
What is even more interesting is how the version of the song finally sold to Disney, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, was a result of two American musicians and producers fighting in American courts over rights to a song none of them really composed.
As we celebrate African music artists such as Busisiwa, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Moonchild Sanelly, Anatii and more who made it onto the official The Lion King album, keep a thought for Solomon Linda and his family (and make sure you have ownership and contracts for your intellectual property).
Recommended
📷 A newly discovered flaw in Google Photos raises concerns around privacy. Specifically, Google Photos allows anyone with your shared link to view your photos, whether you shared with them or not. Link
📲 South Sudan now has its first ever mobile money service, m-GURUSH. It is the result of a partnership between the country’s Trinity Technologies and Zain Telecoms. Link
🦁 Disney has partnered with South African game animation studio Sea Monster, and retail giant Ackermans, to use 3D Augmented Reality for a more immersive in-store experience when customers shop for The Lion King movie merchandise. Link
Read This Book
Some things in life benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure , risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of this phenomenon as once observed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. As such, Taleb coined the word Antifragile and explained the phenomenon in a book of the same title.
As Taleb puts it, antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better. This property is behind everything that has changed with time: evolution, culture, ideas, revolutions, political systems, technological innovation, cultural and economic success, corporate survival, good recipes (say, chicken soup or steak tartare with a drop of cognac), the rise of cities, cultures, legal systems, equatorial forests, bacterial resistance … even our own existence as a species on this planet. Antifragility determines the boundary between what is living and organic (or complex), say, the human body, and what is inert, say, a physical object like the stapler on your desk.
By grasping the mechanisms of antifragility we can build a systematic and broad guide to non predictive decision making under uncertainty in business, politics, medicine, and life in general— anywhere the unknown preponderates, any situation in which there is randomness, unpredictability, opacity, or incomplete understanding of things.
Personally one of my favorite books, If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to read Antifragile. 
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
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