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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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South African Actress Thuso Mbedu Lands A Lead Role In Hollywood’s Amazon Series

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Thuso Mbedu at the 2018 International Emmy Awards show in New York

South African sensational actress, Thuso Mbedu has made history by becoming the first South African actress to land a lead role in a Hollywood TV series. Consequently, the 28-year old actress will be playing the role of Cora in the TV series ‘The Underground Railroad’. The premiere will be later this year.

Barry Jenkins, the award-winning director took up the challenge to direct the series. Jenkins is also the co-writer of Moonlight, an Academy Award-winning film. Reliable reports hint that Jenkins will be the director of all the eleven episodes. Each of the episodes has a one-hour duration. Subsequent announcement about the cast and project by Variety Magazine said,

“The cast will be led by Thuso Mbedu as Cora, with Chase W. Dillon as Homer and Aaron Pierre as Caesar. The project was first set up more than two years ago, on the heels of Barry Jenkins’s Oscar win for the film Moonlight, with Amazon officially ordering it to series last June.”

A sneak peek into cast and story

‘The Underground Railroad’ is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead. The Underground Railroad is a 2016 publication that tells the story of Cora. Thuso Mbedu will be playing the role of Cora, a young slave girl working on a cotton plantation in Georgia. However, Cora faces rejection among Americans and her African peers. A slave, Caesar, arrives from Virginia and beckons on her to join him on the Underground Railroad. Cora seizes the opportunity to escape with him.

The historical significance of The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad has a historical significance. It is not just a metaphor but a network of engineers, secret tunnels and tracks underneath the Southern soil. The Underground Railroad also has a network of people who aid fugitives to escape to the North of Canada. One of the key figures in the Underground Railroad network is Ohio’s John Fairfield, an abolitionist and former slave.

Fairfield became famous for employing inventive techniques to help fleeing slaves make it to Free-States. However, Fairfield is not the only one in this practice. Another key figure in this practice was Levi Coffin. The Quaker aided over 3,000 slaves. Harriet Tubman accompanied over 300 slaves on a perilous journey to freedom.

Mbedu’s reaction

Mbedu shot into the spotlight with her role in ‘Generations: The Legacy’. However, her role as Winnie in ‘Is’thunzi’ earned her two International Emmy Award nominations in 2018 and 2019. The gorgeous actress took to her Instagram page to share good news. She shared a picture of her and three other characters followed by a long outpouring of gratitude and emotion.

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My thumb and neurons are failing me right now so I'll just do as most South Africans do when this happens: I GOT THE JOB!!!! It was such an amazing process and experience. Like, true story, just prepping to audition for this role made me grow so much. It's such a blessing and honour to tell this story… Again, words fail me so I'll stop there for now. Read the full article on @variety .com #chapter27 #becomingthepromise God of creation There at the start Before the beginning of time With no point of reference You spoke to the dark And fleshed out the wonder of light And as You speak A hundred billion galaxies are born In the vapor of Your breath the planets form If the stars were made to worship so will I I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made Every burning star A signal fire of grace If creation sings Your praises so will I God of Your promise You don’t speak in vain No syllable empty or void For once You have spoken All nature and science Follow the sound of Your voice And as You speak A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath Evolving in pursuit of what You said If it all reveals Your nature so will I I can see Your heart in everything You say Every painted sky A canvas of Your grace If creation still obeys You so will I – @hillsongunited

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South African actresses like Pearl Thusi and Terry Pheto are big names in Hollywood TV series. However, none has ever played a lead role. There seem to be a lot of accolades coming out of South Africa. A few days ago, Manthso by Palesa Mokubung made history as the first African fashion brand to land a global collaboration with H&M. This is not an individual success but a collective national success.

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Famous Talent Show Comes To East Africa

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East Africa Got Talent

The famous TV series ‘Got Talent’ is coming to East Africa. Tagged ‘East Africa Got Talent’, the show will seek to identify exceptional talent in the region. The show which is the brainchild of Simon Cowell’s SYCOtv Company is now featured in over 50 countries across the globe. Cowell is famous for his strict judgments in the initial seasons of American Idol. However, Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent are the most famous. A statement from Safaricom’s Chief Customer Officer, Sylvia Mulinge read,

“The famous ‘Got Talent’ reality TV series is coming to East Africa! We are on location at Movenpick to launch the series, as we announce our title sponsorship for East Africa’s Got Talent. We are happy to announce our sponsorship of this iconic show which has been lauded as one of the world’s most successful reality TV franchise.”

The host for inaugural East Africa Got Talent

Anne Kansiime

The hilarious comedian Anne Kansiime has been named the host for the inaugural edition of the show. The show will search for the best talents across Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Some of the talent-acts the judges will be on the lookout for are comedians, dancers, singers, and more. The audition is open for anyone with any form of talent irrespective of age. In a message shared on her social media, Kansiime said,

“Oooh Ninjas, am struggling to contain this excitement. I doubt there is an Emoji I can use to illustrate it. This is it; “The famous ‘Got Talent’ reality TV series is coming to East Africa. Yes, as “East Africa’s Got Talent”. Am so happy and excited to announce my association with this iconic show which has been lauded as the world’s most successful reality TV franchise as the Host.”

A preliminary audition will hold across the four countries in major cities between from May 11 to 26. However, those who are successful will head to Nairobi, Kenya where they will perform in front of judges. They will compete until the semifinals where six people will compete for $50,000. The screening of the show is scheduled to begin in August. However, the show will have ten episodes besides the semifinal and final. The last two stages will be aired live.

The most successful reality TV

The episode of Got Talent was on June 21, 2006. Twelve years on, the show is coming to East Africa. The Guinness World Records on April 2014 named the show the ‘World’s Most Successful Reality TV Format’. South Sudan and Burundi are part of East Africa but omitted from the list. However, there is no formal statement restricting them from participating.

Those who cannot make it to the pre-audition venues can still participate online through www.rapidblue.formstack.com. Alternatively, you can record your act in a one-minute video and send it to the WhatsApp number +254 (0)703 437 903 with your name, age, and country.

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Art

Check Out The Song That Took ‘Song Of The Year’ At The 2019 NAMA

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It was a night of glitz and glamor on Saturday 13th April 2019 at the Harare International Conference Center for the 18th National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA). Celebrities and dignitaries were spotted at the center in scintillating outfits. There were musical performances by music stars like Enzo. However, the climax of the event was the award of plaques in different categories for outstanding works.

The music category always draws the most attention. However, this year had lots of surprise entries. The gospel sensation, Mai Patai was voted the best in the People’s Choice category. Patai recently broke the jinx in the Coca-Cola Radio Zimbabwe Top 50 by becoming the first woman to make it to the top three. Another female gospel musician whose hard work continues to pay off is Janet Manyowa. Manyowa won the Outstanding Female Musician award.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwe Artists Unite To Raise Funds For Cyclone Idai Victims

A Battle For Experience And Fame

One of the keenly contested categories at NAMA is the Outstanding Male Musician. Three superstars Baba Harare, Enzo Ishall and ExQ contended the award. However, many believe the ‘Nzenza’ crooner ExQ’s longevity and experience set him apart from his competitors. It was double honors for ExQ as his album ‘Tseu Tseu’ won the Outstanding Album. Although losing out of this category, Enzo’s hit track, ‘Kanjiva’ won the ‘Song of the Year’. Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style Enzo said,

“It is such a great honor to receive this award which I dedicate to my son and I would like to thank friends, family, and my fans as well as my producers for supporting me.”

Surprise Name On The Award List

Long John

One of the surprise names on the NAMA Award list was Long John, a rib-cracking comedian. Not many saw this coming. From John’s reactions, it is obvious he did not see it coming too. The vibrant comedian took to his Facebook to share his joy.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m in shock. I’ve never won anything in my life. But today I am so happy to announce that I’ve just Won the Outstanding Comedian Award. This is so unreal. I even have a certificate and everything. Thank you so much, everyone, for your support #VillageBoy.”

List OF NAMA Award Winners

Spoken Words Award

  • Outstanding Poet: Likhwa Ncube
  • Outstanding Comedian: Learnmore “Long John” Mwanyenyeka

Literary Arts Awards

  • Outstanding First Creative Published Book: Gather the Children by Batsirai Chigama (Ntombekhaya Poetry)
  • Outstanding Children’s Book: The City Girl by Elisha July and Tendai K. Rudanda (Pass-Point Publishers)
  • Outstanding Fiction: Mazai Emheni by Daniel Mutendi (DanTs Media Publishing)

Theatre Awards

  • Outstanding Actor: Teddy Mangawa in Ukama
  • Actress: Qeqeshiwe M’thembo in The Hostel
  • Outstanding Theatrical Production: Ukama by Savanna Trust
  • Outstanding Director: Lloyd Nyikadzino for Zandezi

Dance Awards

  • Outstanding Female Dancer: Vein N Alfazema in Black Sheep
  • Male Dancer: Martin Chabuka in 100% Afro
  • Outstanding Dance Group: Real Flex Dance Group directed by Martin Chabuka
  • Outstanding Choreographer: Macintosh Jerahuni and Chaleen Chimara – Iwe Neni Tinebasa

Visual Arts

  • Outstanding 2 Dimensional Work: The Demolition by John Kotze
  • 3 Dimensional Work: Zvirimudombo by Shelton Mubayi
  • Outstanding Mix Media Work: The Watchman and the Fence by Greg Shaw
  • Outstanding Exhibition: The Grotesque by Alan Sibanda and Talent Kapadza

Film and Television Awards

  • Outstanding Actor: Eddie Sandifolo as Clive in Bhachi
  • Special Mention: Admire Kuzhangaira – in Death and Other Complications
  • Outstanding Actress: Tendaishe Chitima as Anesu in Cook Off
  • Outstanding Music Video: Dzamutsana ft. Jah Prayzah produced by Vusa Hlatshayo (aka Blaq)
  • Outstanding Screen Production (Television Series): Kuchina The Genesis directed by Blessing Gatsi
  • Special Mention: Gaza directed by Ben Mahaka
  • Outstanding Screen Production – Short Film: Bhachi directed by Shupai Kamunyaru
  • Outstanding Screen Production – Full-Length Film: Cook Off directed by Thomas Brickhill

Media Awards

  • Outstanding Journalist – Print: Fred Zindi – The Standard
  • Television: Patience Nyagato – ZTV
  • Radio: Babongile Sikhonjwa (aka uMrifiti) – Sky Metro FM
  • Outstanding Online Media: Capitalk

Music Awards

  • Outstanding Female Musician: Janet Manyowa
  • Male Musician: Enoch “ExQ” Munhenga
  • Outstanding Album: Tseu Tseu by ExQ
  • Outstanding Song: Kanjiva by Stephen “Enzo Ishall” Mamhere
  • People’s Choice Award Winner: Mai Patai

Special Awards

  • Artist in the Diaspora: Danai J. Gurira
  • Outstanding Promoter: Unplugged Zimbabwe
  • Arts Personality Award of the Year: Mokoomba
  • Arts Service Award: The Standard Newspaper
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Charles Mungoshi

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