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The King’s Horseman, Nigeria’s most famous play, is now a Netflix movie: what makes it a classic

The King’s Horseman, Nigeria’s most famous play, is now a Netflix movie: what makes it a classic

ELESIN Oba, the King’s Horseman is a new movie coming to Netflix. It is based on Nigeria’s most famous play, Death and the King’s Horseman, written in 1975 by Nobel Prize-winning author, activist and academic Wole Soyinka. Directed by the late Biyi Bandele, the film – in the Yoruba language – is generating global attention with a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Tunde Onikoyi, a lecturer in African literature and film, acted in the original play. We asked him what it’s about and why it still matters. Author BABATUNDE ONIKOYI, Researcher and Assistant Lecturer, University of Regina…
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Hadraawi: the most famed poet in Somalia, the land of the poets

Hadraawi: the most famed poet in Somalia, the land of the poets

MOHAMED Ibrahim Warsame Said, widely known by his childhood nickname Hadraawi, was one of the greatest Somali poets of all time. He was certainly the most famed Somali poet since the mid-1900s. He will remain the Somali poet of this century and beyond. As an adult, he was a prolific producer of poems and songs, a known soldier of the voiceless and a fierce voice of poetic political critique in Somalia, especially against the postcolonial elite who have ruled the country since independence in 1960. He was an advocate for peace in the war-torn country. Author MOHAMED HAJI INGIRIIS, The…
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Beyoncé has helped usher in a renaissance for African artists

Beyoncé has helped usher in a renaissance for African artists

BEYONCÉ has released her seventh solo studio album, titled Renaissance (2022). The album, an event in global popular culture, is the first of a three-part project by the US artist. Her previous outing, the visual album Black is King (2020), collaborated with a host of African artists. Renaissance pays tribute to black dance music and again features African artists, including Nigerian singer-songwriter Tems, who is having a global moment of her own. Author JAMES CHIKOMBORERO PARADZA, Doctor of Music Candidate, University of Pretoria In history, the renaissance era (from the 1400s) was characterised by the rebirth and renewal of culture…
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TV: A man with a Midas touch for telling African stories

TV: A man with a Midas touch for telling African stories

CLAUDE Grunitzky is an expert at turning simple ideas into compelling stories that leave audiences wanting more. That's a formula that saw him sell one of his early creations - Trace - (precursor to the widely popular Trace TV) in his 30s. His latest foray into African media, TRUE Africa, sees him doing the same while making his content widely accessible via podcasts. He keeps blazing trails.  Take his latest idea of telling the “simple things happening in Africa now". "There are a lot of young girls and women who are very active in STEM and programs created to help…
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MUSIC: Sa reedman’s new album is a revelation

MUSIC: Sa reedman’s new album is a revelation

People were listening to (Duke Ellington and Count Basie) at home because we felt this is our music and these are our black heroes. The attraction … was that the rhythms were more like our mbaqanga. Author GWEN ANSELL, Associate of the Gordon Institute for Business Science, University of Pretoria SO said the late South African jazz trumpeter Johnny Mekoa. He was describing how, in his 1950s childhood, Black South African jazz fans explicitly heard African roots (mbaqanga is a form of South African township jive) in the American jazz they played. That sense of shared cultural history has persisted,…
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From Congo to South Africa with (Rumba) love

From Congo to South Africa with (Rumba) love

FOR an artist with deep Congolese roots and proud cultural immersion, the inspiration of Rumba in an art show is not only a form of personal expression but a connection to other Africans who have embraced the dynamic ‘Rumbaism.’ "Rumba is part of my DNA. I was born and grew up in Congo [where] Rumba is our music, and I cannot escape from it; so as an African-based artist, I want to portray the continent positively, and Rumba allows me to do that," explained Johannesburg-based Congolese visual artist, Thonton Kabeya. Known for his work on "African cosmopolitanism" and his three-dimensional…
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Trace TV co-founder is a man with a Midas touch for telling African stories

Trace TV co-founder is a man with a Midas touch for telling African stories

LERATO MOGOATLHE, BIRD STORY AGENCY CLAUDE Grunitzky is an expert at turning simple ideas into compelling stories that leave audiences wanting more. That's a formula that saw him sell one of his early creations - Trace - (precursor to the widely popular Trace TV) in his 30s. His latest foray into African media, TRUE Africa, sees him doing the same while making his content widely accessible via podcasts. He keeps blazing trails.  Take his latest idea of telling the “simple things happening in Africa now". "There are a lot of young girls and women who are very active in STEM…
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Amapiano stars put South African dance music on the map

Amapiano stars put South African dance music on the map

SISIPHO SKWEYIYA SOUTH African musical export Amapiano has crossed borders and cultural barriers, reaching as far as Japan. To top female artists Kamo Mphela and DBN Gogo, who helped put the dance music genre on the map, it is about inclusivity. Mphela, 22, from Johannesburg's Soweto township, took a leap of faith four years ago and jumped into the world of Amapiano. Now she is a household name in South Africa and tours the globe. "Now we have our own sound. We don't have to act different anymore," Mphela said. DBN Gogo, 29, believes it is a responsibility to take…
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Netflix sues creators of alleged ‘Bridgerton’ knockoff

Netflix sues creators of alleged ‘Bridgerton’ knockoff

Netflix Inc on Friday sued the creators of an alleged unauthorized musical stage production of its popular period drama "Bridgerton," accusing them of copyright infringement after building demand for their knockoff on TikTok. The complaint was filed against Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear in the federal court in Washington, three days after a sold-out performance of "The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical" in that city's Kennedy Center. A lawyer for the defendants had no immediate comment, having yet to review the complaint. "Bridgerton," based on Julia Quinn's bestselling romance novels, attracted 82 million viewers in the first four weeks of the series debut…
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South African reedman Linda Sikhakhane’s new album is a revelation

South African reedman Linda Sikhakhane’s new album is a revelation

People were listening to (Duke Ellington and Count Basie) at home because we felt this is our music and these are our black heroes. The attraction … was that the rhythms were more like our mbaqanga. Author GWEN ANSELL, Associate of the Gordon Institute for Business Science, University of Pretoria SO said the late South African jazz trumpeter Johnny Mekoa. He was describing how, in his 1950s childhood, Black South African jazz fans explicitly heard African roots (mbaqanga is a form of South African township jive) in the American jazz they played. That sense of shared cultural history has persisted,…
Read More