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What’s #Trending in the Entertainment Industry – February Edition

Oliver Mtukudzi’s management team has confirmed that ‘Abi’angu 2’, the album which the music icon was working on when he passed, will be released.

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Image: The late Oliver Mtukudzi

Hazel Lifa

MUSIC

Late Music Legend Oliver Mtukudzi’s Posthumous Album Coming Soon


It’s been 2 years since Africa lost legendary musician Oliver Mtukudzi, fondly referred to as ‘Tuku’ by his fellow Zimbabwean countrymen. His music has helped generations mourn, celebrate and just get through life. It seems the music man is not done sharing his talent, as Oliver Mtukudzi’s management team has confirmed that ‘Abi’angu 2’, the album which the music icon was working on when he passed, will be released.  The name of the album comes from the Shona – Chikorekore dialect, and it means friends.

Image: The late Oliver Mtukudzi


The album will consist of 14 tracks, and will bring Mtukudzi to an impressive 68 released albums under his belt. While details are yet to be divulged on which artists are featured on the album, or song titles, fans have been promised that the album should be out by the first quarter of 2021.


MTV Africa Music Awards 2021 Postponed

Image: MTV Africa Music Awards 2021 Flyer


The MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) ceremony for 2021 has been postponed. MTV Base Africa tweeted, “We will keep fans updated as we have more news”, leaving fans without a reason as to the postponement. The awards ceremony was scheduled to take place in Uganda on the 20th of February. Media reports suggest that the cancellation was due to the country’s current political tension and allegations of abuse of human rights by the Ugandan government.


A news conference was held shortly after the MAMA announcement was made by Ugandan-musician-turned-politician and opposition leader, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, known by his stage name, Bobi Wine, where he stated, “I am glad MTV is also seeing it and acting in respect of all the rights of artists. It would be such a shame for the MTV Music Awards to be held in Uganda under gunpoint.” It is unknown if the awards will still be held in Kampala, but MAMA voting is still on-going.

Image: Bobi Wine


IBALI Calling Africa’s Youth To Arms with Latest Single

Image: IBALI


Cameroonian World Music Artist & Political Rights Activist, IBALI, is looking to make serious changes in 2021 with his new single, ‘Revelation’. The song intends to spotlight poor governance and empower the youth to push for meaningful change across Africa. IBALI refers to the single as “a trumpet call for the youth of Africa to rise up and stand for their right to define their future.” The single explores poor healthcare and leadership among other issues, in a blend of Afrobeat, Jazz and Makossa, and has a music video that speaks volumes.


TV / MOVIES


Black Panther Sequel

Image: Black Panther


The late Chadwick Boseman gave life to arguably one of the most loved superheroes Marvel has cinematically brought to us to date. Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa cemented his position as an actor, and makes it impossible to imagine anyone else playing the King of Wakanda. Last year Disney announced that it wouldn’t be recasting for the role of T’Challa, which left us wondering how the sequel would go on without the leading character.

The sequel will be exploring the world of Wakanda and the rich characters introduced in the first film under the direction of Ryan Coogler. According to the president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, “Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story.” Feige also addressed Computer Graphics (CG) rumours stating, “We’re not going to have a CG Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa…”. Black Panther 2 is to hit theatres on July 8th, 2022.


Real Housewives of Durban Breaking Showmax Records

Image: The Real Housewives of Durban


For most of us, it is hard to admit to liking reality television; which is exactly why it makes for an excellent guilty pleasure. The Real Housewives of Durban (RHOD) premiered exclusively on Showmax on the 29th of January, and didn’t waste time with the drama. The show took the streaming service’s number one spot, breaking all previous first-day viewing numbers for the platform’s other shows.


“We know our reality fans come for the drama and if you’re looking for fireworks, the first episode of RHOD has it all, so we’re not surprised to see it break records”, states the head of content at Showmax, Candice Fangueiro. Looks like the ladies of Durban are bringing the heat.


African Superhero Universe Comes to Life

Image: Youneek Studios African Superheroes


YouNeek Studios has secured a deal to develop an animation series of a world of superheroes and fantasy stories based on African history and mythology. The project is definitely trailblazing as it follows the tone set by the Black Panther comics and movies, as it looks to African influences to paint the wonder of superheroes and fantasy animation, in a context that African or other groups of the black race can see representations of themselves.

YouNeek Studio founder, Roye Okupe stated, “This is an unprecedented time for stories inspired by African history and culture. Our mission has always been to empower African creatives and storytelling. We’ve done it successfully in the comic book industry, and we’re excited at the opportunity to do it in the animation space.”

BOOKS


The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Darè

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Darè


The book follows the life of fourteen year old Adunni, a girl who against all odds strives for a better life out of the poverty she was born into. The novel documents her trials as she fights for her ‘louding voice’ in a world that constantly tells her she is nothing. The novel is an instant New York Times Bestseller and a promising page-turner.

Riot Baby Written by Tochi Onyebuchi

Riot Baby Written by Tochi Onyebuchi


The novel is a mix of history and science fiction that tells the story of Ella who has the power of seeing the future, and her brother Kev who seeks to protect her from this power, as it could destroy her. The book begins with Kev’s birth as the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles ensue, setting the tone for the book’s portrayal of the African American experience. The novel is the winner of the 2020 New England Book Award for Fiction.


A Particular Kind of Black Man Written by Tope Folarin

A Particular Kind of Black Man Written by Tope Folarin


The novel gives us a glimpse into the life and confusion that follows Tunde, son to Nigerian parents living in Utah, U.S.A. The story is described as a beautiful and poignant exploration of the meaning of memory, manhood, home, and identity, as seen through the eyes of a first-generation Nigerian-American.

PODCASTS

Sadza in the Morning

Sadza in the Morning Podcast


The self-proclaimed result of when you let two extremely broke dudes with beards that don’t connect near a microphone. Hosted by King Kandoro and Nick Titan, the podcast touches on a variety of topics from politics, to talk current affairs. The Zimbabwean duo delivers their show with a dash of comedy that hits the spot.

https://iono.fm/c/3181


Marketer Mashero Marketing Podcast

Marketer Mashero Marketing Podcast


Working with the motto, “#GetRecognized”, the podcast aims at providing free marketing tips and insights and is hosted by Kudakwashe Mashero. Mashero’s podcast offers a vital service to the little guys who are talented but stifled by the marketing strategies of big companies. If you are looking to work on your brand or boost your business image, then this is the show for you.

https://anchor.fm/marketer-mashero-podcast

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Entertainment

What’s Trending In The Entertainment Industry – April Edition

Africa just can’t help itself this year as our artists continue to give the international scene a run for its money.

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Focalistic Spotify Ad on Times Square Billboard

Hazel Lifa


TV & MOVIES

Air Conditioner
The film is Angolan director/co-writer Fradique’s first fictional feature. It follows Matacedo and Zezinha, a security guard and housemaid, as they try to retrieve their employer’s air conditioner. The film was featured in the 31st Annual Cascade Festival of African Films that virtually ran from February 5th to March 10th of 2021.

air conditioner movie trailer

HERO: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life and Times of Mr. Ulric Cross
The film documents not only the impressive life but the times in which Ulric Cross lived (1917- 2013). The historic drama highlights the forgotten role the World War II hero and lawyer played in the fight for Independence that occurred in Africa in the late 1950s to early 1960. The film was also featured in the 31st Annual Cascade Festival of African Films.

HERO: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life and Times of Mr. Ulric Cross movie trailer

MUSIC

Africa Shines at 2021 Grammys

Image: WizKid and Burna Boy

2021 Grammys were definitely a huge nod to African talent. Despite the pandemic complicating things, the 63rd Grammy ceremony was definitely one for the books. We had, I believe, the first-ever African, Trevor Noah, host the ceremony.

Then, history was made as Burna Boy proved that the second time is a charm, as he won Best Global Music Album for ‘Twice as Tall’. WizKid kept the party going with his win for Best Music Video for his track, Brown Skin Girl alongside Beyoncé.

Moroccan Rapper El Grande Toto

Image: El Grande Toto

In a country that flat out disapproves of rapping, sparking controversy not only on a social scale but in academic spaces as well, Moroccan rapper El Grande Toto has managed to gain considerable traction and support for his work. El Grande Toto is probably the most streamed rapper on the Moroccan rap scene, with about 20 million people listening to his music across the globe on the streaming service Spotify.

Formally known as Taha Fahssi, El Grande Toto has managed to grab fans’ hearts on such a scale mainly due to social media, as the rap scene in Morocco is still on the rise. “Moroccan rappers are working hard, Moroccan producers are working hard, Moroccan engineers are working hard, everyone here is working, we work like crazy. We don’t have the adequate industry; things are starting to grow now,” El Grande Toto states.

While he raps in his native tongue and no one at Asante could understand his lyrics, the rhythm and flow are impressive. One of his most popular songs Pablo and HORS SÉRIE are a good place to start for new fans.

Africa in Times Square Billboard

Image: Sho Madjozi Youtube Ad on Times Square Billboard

Africa just can’t help itself this year as our artists continue to give the international scene a run for its money. Having a billboard in Times Square is a big deal hands down for anyone; on average, Times Square gets about 300 000 visitors a day, talk about ‘all eyes on you’!

African acts like Sho Madjozi, Lady Du and Focalistic have appeared on billboards in Times Square this year, shining bright and representing. Lady Du and Focalistic’s billboards were for a Spotify ad showcasing hottest African talent. Sho Madjozi and her dance crew are on a YouTube Music’s Black Voices billboard.

BOOKS

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Emezi gives us a unique book that offers us the experience of the protagonist, as we see him through the people around him as they deal with his death and look back at his life. Once in a while, the author gives us a glimpse of Vivek from the grave as he deals with how people misunderstood him. Through Vivek’s story, the novel deals with topics like culture, identity and family to name a few.

Imperfect Arrangements by Frances Mensah-Williams

Imperfect Arrangements by Frances Mensah-Williams

The novel looks at the trials and tribulations of three best friends in Ghana. The author gives us a front-row seat to the obstacles that come with friendship, relationships and love.

A Girl is A Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

A Girl is A Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

A coming of age story that centres around Kirabo, a girl growing up in Uganda during Idi Amin’s dictatorship. The novel follows Kirabo as she finds herself without her mother; simultaneously looking at folktales and traditions, and how they affect women in a patriarchal society.

PODCASTS

Chicken and Jollof Rice
The show gives us the perception of first-generation African-Americans who are a blend of African and African-American experiences. The podcast strikes a balance of serious and light-hearted tone as social issues of all kinds are addressed.

Knowledge Bandits

A podcast that aims at giving a spotlight to the successful, game-changing entrepreneurs of Africa. Arum Galadime, the host and producer of the podcast states, “…with the right mentorship, advice, work ethic and motivation, anyone can achieve a certain level of greatness.”

Good Things Guy

Image: Good Things Guy Podcast


A show with a difference that aims at only spreading good vibes. The podcast grew from a blog with the same premises to what it is today. Brent Lindeque focuses on bringing only good positive news to his listeners in a world where the bad seems to be taking centre stage. A podcast that uplifts as it reminds listeners it’s not all bad.

https://player.fm/series/good-things-guy-2333133

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Entertainment

The Senseless Loss of Zimbabwean Actress, Anne Nhira

Anne was attacked while descending a mountain where she had gone for morning prayers with her brother Juan.

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The Late Anne Nhira

Hazel Lifa


2021 claims yet another African talent that was Anne Nhira. Nhira was an actress, model, talent manager and film producer who found success in the early 90s through her role as Vimbai on the Zimbabwean hit soapie, Studio 263. Nhira succumbed to injuries sustained during a robbery in Bedford View, South Africa on the 11th of March 2021.

According to Nhira’s brother, Juan Nhira, “She sustained injuries on her chest area, rib cage and back during a robbery on Monday afternoon (8th March) in Bedford View, South Africa. She was only 38years of age.” Anne was attacked while descending a mountain where she had gone for morning prayers with her brother Juan.

Nhira featured in projects like South African film, ‘The Rapist’, popular soapie, ‘Zabalaza’ and soapie, “Ndafunga Dande” where she got to take part in the behind-the-camera aspect of production. Staying true to her musical upbringing, Nhira tried her hand at music in 2013 with her single, ‘The One’.

She worked up a storm in 2017 when she publically criticized the Zimbabwean Ministry of Tourism for hiring Zodwa Wabantu to perform at the Harare International Carnival. Nhira managed to get the respective authority’s attention, which led to Zodwa losing the job. Nhira also launched Anne Studios International, a company that specialises in talent scouting and management.

The Government of Zimbabwe has granted Anne a state-assisted funeral because of her immense contributions in the arts industry.

Nhira’s death is one of those acts of senseless violence that didn’t need to end in death. Go well Anne, we appreciate all the fond memories you afforded us through your work, particularly on Studio 263.

#RIPAnneNhira

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Entertainment

What’s #Trending In The Entertainment Industry – March Edition

Sha Sha has landed a feature on the soundtrack album of the highly anticipated sequel to Coming to America, dropping on the 5th of March 2021 when Coming 2 America premieres on Amazon Prime.

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Image: Coming 2 America Soundtrack Cover

MUSIC

Spotify coming to Africa

Image: Spotify Logo

Spotify announced it would be expanding into over 80 countries, and over 30 of those countries are in Africa. The company said it would be launching content and features that will grow over time, as part of its on-going commitment to create a borderless audio ecosystem. The markets include Burundi, Lesotho, Rwanda, Madagascar and Zimbabwe among others. The expansion will put Spotify’s reach at around 173 countries, and will come with the addition of 36 languages to the platform.

Spotify’s announcement comes a year after Apple music announced a similar move of expansion, a focus on the African markets was also expressed. Whatever the story is we love the usually ignored African demographic is finally getting the attention it deserves.

SAMA 2021 Entries Breaking Records

Image Source: East Coast Radio

The South African Music Awards (SAMAs) has seen a substantial increase in entries for its 27th edition. Reaching well over 1,000 entries, the call for submissions started in November 2020 and closed on January 31st, 2021. A notable increase in entries can be seen over the years with this year’s 1,163 a world away from last year’s 802. The Best Collaboration category received the most submissions at 170 entries. The vetting and judging processes are underway; we will hear those who made the shortlist in April.

“We are humbled that the industry has voted in overwhelmingly great numbers that they believe the SAMA has a place in their careers and the industry they operate in” stated Nhlanhla Sibisi, CEO of the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA).

Sha Sha to Feature on Coming 2 America Soundtrack Album

Image: Zimbabwean musician, Sha Sha

The Queen of Amapiano has landed a feature on the soundtrack album of the highly anticipated sequel to Coming to America. Sha Sha is to feature on one of the soundtracks with South Africa’s Tellaman and Nigeria’s Oxlade. The album is titled, Rhythms of Zamunda: Music Inspired by Coming 2 America, and will feature other African artists like Tekno, Prince Kaybee, Tiwa Savage and Fally Ipupa. The album will drop on the 5th of March 2021 when Coming 2 America premieres on Amazon Prime.

MOVIES/TV

Loads of African Acts Nominated for Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards

Image: Nigerian Comedian, Emanuella

Comedienne, Emmanuella and the Ikorudu Bois have been nominated for the 2021 Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards. The Nigerian acts are under the African social media star category. A huge deal for these kids as they have been nominated alongside heavy hitters like South Africa’s Bonang and Kenya’s Elsa Majimbo.

The virtual awards ceremony will air on the 14th of March and hosted by Nickelodeon veteran, Kenan Thompson. Voting is on-going on Nickelodeon worldwide, good luck guys!

Judas and the Black Messiah

Image: Judas and the Black Messiah

The film is an American biographical drama that looks at the story of Fed Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in the late 60s. The biopic is centred on William O’Neal’s disloyalty to Hampton. The film has been praised by critics for the acting and directing, and it’s available to watch on HBO Max.

You Will Die at Twenty

Image: You will die at twenty

You will die at 20 is a Sudanese drama that follows the existence of a boy who was told he would die when he reached the age of 20 by a holy man in a remote village. Directed by Amjad Abu Alalal, the film was selected as the Sudanese entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards, but it was not nominated. It was the first time Sudan had made a submission in the category. It was initially released on January 8th, 2020 in France.

BOOKS

At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop

At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop

The book looks at the experience of Alfa Ndiaye, one of the many Senegalese men that fought in WW1 for the French. The novel details Alfa’s quest for German blood triggered by witnessing his friends die horrific deaths during the war. The story explicitly conveys the horrors and consequences that many African soldiers faced fighting for colonial powers.

Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah

Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah

The novel reiterates the experience of colonialism on not only nations but individuals. The book explores the effect of colonialism from; the African characters who kill their own in the colonizer’s name, to the Africans who are punished for the colonizers’ education like Afiya. The novel was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

Set during Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia. At the heart of the story is a house girl named Hirut who is on the verge of joining the war. Her interactions with other characters in the book give the reader an understanding of the height of the brutality, from rape to violence. The book shines a light on the forgotten female soldiers of Ethiopia.

PODCASTS

Talking Heads

Based in Cape Town, this podcast is a platform to identify, showcase and create opportunities for African thought leaders. The show focuses on giving centre stage to everyday impressive Africans making a difference whether in their communities or on a global scale. An interesting podcast if you are into the future of Africa as we navigate the global environment.

Afropop Worldwide

An award-winning podcast dedicated to music from Africa and the African dispora. It is hosted by African personality, Georges Collinet. The show offers African flavour from South Africa to Senegal to Cuba, and around the world some more. The podcast goes an extra mile further giving its listeners live concert recording of greats like Kanda Bongo Man, and an opportunity to meet starts and newcomers on the African music scene. Looking to get lost in African music? This show is the best place to start.

Bad Missonary Podcast

Hosts, Gret Glyer and Prince Inglis bring together their wildly different pasts to answer questions about life in Africa and the biggest news in Malawi and the US. With one coming from a privileged upbringing and the other poverty, you can be sure opinions and perspective dissimilarities will make for an interesting listen.

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