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‘Black Panther’ Sells Out African Theaters

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Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER
Forest Whitaker as Zuri, Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther/T’Challa, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Danai Gurira as Okoye, and Letitia Wright as Shuri photographed exclusively for Entertainment Weekly by Kwaku Alston on March 18, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kwaku Alston � 2017 MVLFFLLC. TM & � 2017 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:By now, you are most likely aware that “Black Panther” has been a critical and commercial success. Eyder Peralta is NPR’s East Africa correspondent, and the movie’s record box office numbers got him wondering how the film is going over in the region where it is set. He went to a theater in Nairobi to find out.EYDER PERALTA, BYLINE: Even on a Wednesday night, the movie theater at the sprawling Garden City mall is packed. Hadijah Kyampeire and Shakira Ndagire Seruwagi put on fancy hijabs – golden with silver sparkles – to watch “Black Panther” a second time.HADIJAH KYAMPEIRE: It’s an amazing movie. Yeah, you come out inspired. You come out thinking you can do what you put your mind to, like, oh, good. I don’t know.

SHAKIRA NDAGIRE SERUWAGI: When it ended, we all felt like it shouldn’t have ended.

PERALTA: Kyampeire and Seruwagi are both computer programmers in their 20s, and what they loved is that, on screen, they saw the Africa of their dreams – a superpower named Wakanda harnessing the smarts and resources of an intensely beautiful continent. Not only that, but they saw women take lead roles in pretty much every aspect of a state.

KYAMPEIRE: It just makes me feel like we can do anything. And this is just the beginning. Like, the movie has just started a revolution.

PERALTA: And no matter where I turned, those were the exultations. Joseph Kitabe is wearing a dapper red hat and a black suit jacket. He crosses his arms in front of his chest.

JOSEPH KITABE: Wakanda forever (laughter).

PERALTA: He jokes that he’s heard this movie will mark a turning point for the black man, but then he turns serious. He’s happy, he says, just to come to the theater to dream for two hours.

KITABE: I mean, we’re just looking to have fun. Show us something nice. Lie to us but make us believe the lies. Believe how awesome an East African country would have technology better than all the world but then walk out of this cinema and realize that I’m still in East Africa and that is not the case.

PERALTA: “Black Panther” did get some criticism online. Most of it was about authenticity. Were the accents and languages right? Could an African monarchy really be benevolent and successful?

WANDIA NJOYA: It’s absolutely annoying because we are not allowed to imagine what exactly are we fighting for.

PERALTA: That’s Wandia Njoya, a professor of literature at Daystar University. She says that kind of criticism is too common on the continent. Too often, Africans are told to be pragmatic, to forget creative solutions and follow the well-worn paths laid out by the West.

NJOYA: And people who invest in thinking and imagining a new Africa are called irrelevant. They’re wasting their time. That’s not what Africa needs.

PERALTA: That’s why, to her, “Black Panther” is so refreshing because it allows Africans to dream big but also to debate just how an African utopia could work in a real-world context. Eyder Peralta, NPR News, Nairobi.

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Source: ‘Black Panther’ Sells Out African Theaters : NPR

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Award Winning Nigerian Singer Makes Nollywood Debut In Kunle Afolayan Film

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It is not unusual for musicians to try out their creativity in movies. However, it appears that the number of musicians switching to movies is growing. The recent addition to the long list is the sensational vocalist, Simi. The film titled ‘Mokalik’ (Yoruba pronunciation of Mechanic) is produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan.

After what seems like a long break from filmmaking, the veteran producer is set to thrill fans with Mokalik. The movie due for release this year will add to the growing list of movies from the veteran filmmaker. Kunle Afolayan took to Instagram to break the news with pictures of him and Simi with a caption,

It is Official. Simi @symplysimi is featuring in “Mokalik” a Kunle Afolayan film. ‘Jamb Question’ crooner, Simisola Ogunleye, aka Simi has accepted a role in Kunle Afolaya’s coming film. ‘Mokalik’ (Mechanic). The agreement was formalised on Sunday, at the filmmaker’s office, in Lagos.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The script and storyline

The script is a work of the award-winning screenwriter, Tunde Babalola. Babalola has become a sort of unofficial scriptwriter for the filmmaker. Afolayan has continued to release teasers of the movie. However, fans recently got a 2:23 minutes trailer of the movie.

Mokalik is a Yoruba comedy about an 11-year-old boy, Jaiye. His parents sent him to the mechanic workshop for a day to expand his worldview. When his father comes to pick him, Jaiye is stuck between taking the apprenticeship full-time and going home. The trailer also shows us his different experiences in the one-day apprenticeship.

Simi plays the role of a daughter to one of the buka owners. Jaiye develops a crush on her and we can see him asking if she can marry a mechanic. Starring alongside Simi are Faitha Balogun, Charles Okocha, Femi Adebayo and other Nollywood favorites. Inasmuch as fans are talking about the trailer, there is no official release date yet.

Simi’s journey to stardom

Only a few will know that Simi started her career as a gospel artist in 2008. However, she came to spotlight with the release of ‘Tiff’ in 2014.  So far, she has received a large number of nominations. Her latest album ‘Simisola’ won ‘The Headies Album of the Year’.

Simi also shared a voiceless video of herself seated side-by-side with Afolayan with the caption, “@kunleafo and a girl with a script she likes very much”. Simi’s role is a significant part of the plot. You can watch the trailer below.

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Netflix Will Release It’s First African Original Series in 2019 Starring This African Actress

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South African Actress Pearl Thusi

Netflix has ordered its first African original series, “Queen Sono,” a drama about a secret agent who fights crime while dealing with crises in her personal life. The series will launch globally in 2019.

“Queen Sono” stars veteran South African actress Pearl Thusi, who tweeted in an emotional video that she “cannot wait for…every woman on this continent, and actually on this planet, to meet Queen Sono.” Of the deal with Netflix, she added: “It’s going to change the game for every artist on this continent.”

ALSO READ: 5 Must Watch African Centered Movies Streaming on Netflix (January 2019)

The announcement came last month, barely a week after Erik Barmack, Netflix’s vice president of international originals, told a gathering in London that the company would begin commissioning original series in Africa starting in 2019.

Speaking about “Queen Sono” with South Africa’s Independent Online, Barmack said: “Taking talent like this and telling stories to the rest of the world puts Pearl in the same category as other strong female characters like Claire Underwood in ‘House of Cards’ and Jessica Jones.”

He added: “Over time, our roots will get deeper in Africa and South Africa, and we’re moving pretty quickly to that now, and plan to invest more in local content.”

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5 Must Watch African Centered Movies Streaming on Netflix (January 2019)

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We are tickled with excitement as more and more African stories make their way into streaming giant platforms like Netflix. As African stories are told by Africans, the world can take a sneak peak into our diversity.

ALSO READ:10 African Movies Streaming On Netflix (September 2016)

So with that said, let’s get right into it. Here is my short list of movies that you should check out this month. My picks are from 2017/2018 releases only, however, there are many more exciting movies from prior years that have been added to Netflix’s growing African Movie genre. I want to know what you think and if there are other notable mentions that I missed, please let me know. 

#1 – Lionheart: Released 2018 (Watch It Here)

This is Nollywood’s first ever Netflix original … AND it is really a BIG deal for the industry; Certainly one to watch. It is a refreshing story and worth making an evening of it.

  • Directed By: Genevieve Nnaji
  • Starring: Genevieve Nnaji, Nkem Owoh, Pete Edochie

Lionheart Synopsis

In order to save her father’s ailing bus company, competent but perennially overlooked Adaeze must find a way to work alongside feckless uncle Godswill, in the sharp and comically observed directorial debut from Nollywood star Genevieve Nnaji. 

Determined to fight her way to the top, but not wanting to go against her father’s wishes, Adaeze feels like the proverbial bus has left the station without her. She must quickly shift gears, however, when she and Godswill discover that Lionheart is running on fumes, financially. Together, the unlikely duo must come together to save the company and their family name. Sharply and comically observed, Nnaji’s film deals with the everyday sexism that saturates workplaces everywhere, and captures the delicate balance between honoring one’s family while finding the courage to strike out on one’s own.

Lionheart Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1ox7WLbQrQ

#2 – Sarah’s Notebook: Released 2018 (Watch It Here)

This is one of those impactful social dramas that will awaken the western conscience. The movie is in Spanish with English subtitles and takes you on a journey into the darkest sides of human nature.

  • Directed By: Norberto Lopez Amado
  • Starring: Belén Rueda, Marian Álvarez, Iván Mendes

Sarah’s Notebook Synopsis

Laura has been looking for years for her sister Sarah, who disappeared in the middle of the Congo jungle. Neither the NGO for which she worked nor the Embassy had news of her whereabouts… until a photo of a mining town in Eastern Congo appears with the blurred image of Sara. Without hesitation, Laura travels to Kinshasa ready to enter the territory of the warlords, leaving behind the differences that separated her from her sister.

She goes through an unsuspecting journey that reveals and reveals disturbing, violent and hidden backrooms of some great Western powers operating in Africa.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQrPyiBcjEM&t=13s

#3 – Catching Feelings: Released 2017 (Watch It Here)

This South African movie captures a South African couple’s relationship and life. It is a captivating ‘dramedy’ as someone put it certainly makes our list. What I like about this movie is that it takes you into what contemporary South African life could look like.

  • Directed By: Kagiso Lediga
  • Starring: Kagiso Lediga, Pearl Thusi, Andrew Buckland

Catching Feelings Synopsis

Catching Feelings is a dark romantic comedy which follows an urbane young academic and his beautiful wife, as their lives get turned upside down when a celebrated and hedonistic older writer moves into their Johannesburg home with them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPVEHBjTxnY

#4 – He Even Has Your Eyes: Released 2017 (Watch It Here)

This subtitled French movie uses humor to explore the racial, cultural and social challenges that come with interracial adoption. Thing is people have gotten ‘almost’ comfortable with the idea that white parents can adopt black children even though I suspect there are still raised eyebrows and challenges as these parents go about their business of raising their child. What is rarer to find are black African parents adopting white children and that is the backdrop of this movie which explores this topic with comedy while tackling very legitimate challenges and issues along the way.

  • Director: Lucien Jean-Baptiste
  • Stars: Lucien Jean-Baptiste, Aïssa Maïga, Zabou Breitman

He Even Has Your Eyes Synopsis

In their mid-thirties, Paul and Sali, a Parisian couple of Caribbean and West African origin, are happily married and the proud new owners of a flower shop. The only cloud on their horizon is the long wait to adopt a child. Just when the couple has given up hope, the adoption agency calls with good news. The couple’s new baby boy is six months old, his name is Benjamin, he’s beautiful, he has lovely blue eyes…and he’s white. Director and star Lucien Jean-Baptiste explores what race and ethnicity mean when it comes to being a family; where love is concerned, do they mean anything at all?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mNuKbk01ZA

#5 – Black Panther: Released 2018 (Watch It Here)

I want to believe that every one of our readers has watched this movie, but I suspect there are still a few that just didn’t care about all the fuss this movie made when it was released last year. Well I have it here to nudge you a little to check it out. It is now on Netflix so you don’t have to deal with any crowds and you can just immerse yourself in the story in the privacy of your home.

  • Director: Ryan Coogler
  • Staring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira
  •  

Black Panther Synopsis

After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and as Black Panther — gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk.

ALSO READ: The Looks That Afronized The Black Panther Hollywood Movie Premiere

What Are Your Favorites This Month?

Just so you know, there are some really good movies out there but for this short list, I didn’t go further than 2017 even though I was itching to. So please share some of your favorite movies.

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