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Arts & Culture

Meet Our Host: the Lovely and Talented Tangi Miller



African Vibes magazine is rolling out the red carpet in style to celebrate its fourth anniversary of shining a positive spotlight on Africa and Africans. This year, hosting with Editor In Chief, is the beautiful actress/filmmaker .  Miller is best known for the role of the smart, spirited and stylish Elena Tyler on the J.J. Abrams hit show, “#.”

The Miami-native is also a two-time NAACP Image Award nominee for her work on the small screen, grabbing nods in 2002 for “Best Actress in a Dramatic Series” and again in 2005 for “Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie” for her work in “Phantom Force”. She was named as “one of the sexiest stars on television” by TV Guide, and Ebony Magazine dubbed her as one of the “most beautiful people of the millennium.”

She’s set to appear in the upcoming comedy, “#,” directed by Amber Benson and Adam Busch, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. And this spring, she stars in the romantic comedy, “#,” co-starring Malik Yoba (Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married”) with a supporting cast of  award-winning veterans, Guyanese-American  CCH Pounder and Obba Babatunde. Filmed in Miami and Los Angeles, “My Girlfriend’s Back” is an intelligent romantic comedy that chronicles the social and economic rise of Derek Scott (Yoba), and how the arrival of his ex-girlfriend (Miller) changes everything!

As an independent filmmaker, she has produced and starred in several independent films, including “After School,”  “#,” and “Love … & Other 4 Letter Words,” as well as  the upcoming release, “My Girlfriend’s Back.”

A Conversation with Tangi Miller

AV: Is it true that you weren’t allowed to watch television as a kid?
TM: Yes, my mother felt that television might be a bad influence on me and my brothers and sisters. (She is the eldest of five.)  She just felt like anything that wasn’t edifying God or anything that wasn’t speaking to your spirit in a positive was negative.

AV: How did you get into acting?
TM: Well, I began acting in stage productions while in high school. It was a wonderful outlet. It gave me a chance to release my feelings, my emotions, and have fun at the same time. It became a fun hobby.  I left Miami and majored in the more practical field of marketing at Alabama State University. It wasn’t until I realized that I spent all of my free time acting in theater productions that I decided to pursue an acting career after graduation. I realized that I wanted to figure out a way to make a living doing it because it made me so happy. I continued my studies and got a master’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of California, Irvine.

AV: As luck would have it, you landed one of your first gigs on the hit-show “Felicity,” created by uber-producer-writer  J.J. Abrams. How excited were you to land the job, playing Elena Tyler?
TM: It was a whirlwind because it was my first gig, and it was a BIG job for my first job. I was kind of blown away and thrown right into Hollywood almost immediately.

AV: How was it working with J.J. Abrams?
TM: I was very fortunate to work with such a talented visionary as Abrams, who at the time was very young in his career.  He was very open and welcoming of any suggestions and input. It was a pleasure to work with him. He also  gave me a blueprint of how I wanted to run my own production company, Olivia Entertainment.

AV: Yes, you’ve turned your attention to filmmaking. Why?
TM: I just wanted the chance to tell the stories I wanted to tell.

AV: You’ve produced several films, including “Hurricane in a Rose Garden,” a comedy, which centers around a Nigerian family. What was that like?
TM: I had a great time working on that film. The film is directed by Ime Etuk with Pascal Atuma, Yun Choi, Oris Erhuero.  It’s a comedy about what happens when the life of  a happily-married couple is suddenly interrupted and turned upside-down because of an unwelcome visit from a very traditional and opinionated Nigerian mother-in-law.

AV: Where does the title of the movie come from?
TM: Pascal Atuma came up with the title. I believe the “hurricane” represents the mother, and the “rose garden” symbolizes the relationship of the couple.

AV:  What message do you hope audiences will gather from the film?
TM: I hope people will see the love that the couple has for one another, and learn that despite cultural differences, we can learn from each other and make this world a better place.

AV: Did you experience any cultural differences working with Nigerians on the project?
TM: Well, yes and no. Ordering lunch on the set was a little different; (she laughs) but as artists, we all  wanted the same thing – a chance to flex our creative muscles.

AV: So what do you enjoy more – acting or filmmaking?
TM: That’s a tough one. I enjoy expressing myself as an actor and bringing life to a character. But, as a filmmaker, I loves taking a concept or an idea and bringing it to life on screen. It’s very satisfying and fulfilling.

AV: You’ve been involved with Africa in many ways including movies and African dance. What is it that draws you to Africa?
TM: I am drawn to Africa because I am African. Yes, I’ve been kissed by America, but there is no question where my ancestors came from. This fact alone constantly draws me to the Motherland. As a dancer, I became deeply entrenched into the African community in Los Angeles, and those connections and ties has brought me even closer to the Motherland.

AV: What are your thoughts on African fashion?
TM: I love the colors and the bold style in many of the designs. I am excited that contemporary African style is making an impact on fashion.  Styling with Western designers mixed with touches of African accessories — or vice versa — brings a new and fresh aesthetics to contemporary African style.

AV: Which designers do you usually wear?
TM: Of course, I have my favorite Western designers. However, in my travels to Africa, I like to buy headwraps and skirts, and incorporate them in my wardrobe. I really enjoy pairing a colorful African accessory with my jeans and t-shirts, blending fabrics for a new interpretation of American style. Since Korto Momolu’s appearance on “Project Runway,” I’ve been really impressed with her point of view on fashion with an African flair.  I also love her jewelry, and will be wearing some of her accessories at the anniversary event. I can’t wait!

AV: What made you decide to the “#” runway show?
TM: I love fashion! Plus, I’ve been blessed to participate in various fashion shows – showcasing the designs of African Americans, Latins and Europeans. This is my first time participating in a runway show, featuring African designers, and it’s so exciting and new.

AV: What kind of look will you be going for on the red carpet of the anniversary event?
TM: Well, I haven’t decided on a particular look per se, but I am going to rely on the styling efforts of a designer featured in the “I Wear African” fashion show. I would like to represent today’s African woman – a style that’s global and can be worn by anyone.  I’ve been flipping through African Vibes magazine for inspiration.

AV: What does the “I Wear African” mean to you?
TM: It’s an opportunity to wear, support and celebrate talented African designers and their contributions to fashion.

AV: You have come a long way from the days when you were not allowed to watch television. Since your success in film and television, has your mother changed her opinion about watching television?
TM: Yes, and she’s very proud of me!

To Learn more about Tangi, Visit http://www.tangimiller.com/

Watch a Clip from Hurricane in the Rose Garden: http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi690749977/
Register for African Vibes Magazine 4th Anniversary Event: The Celebration of Contemporary Africa in Hollywood, CA on Eventbrite

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Top 10 Most Popular Songs From Davido



Unlike many artists that base their success on the number of studio albums they have, Davido has just one. However, since coming into the music industry in 2011 he has not shown signs of slowing down. Each year he thrills fans with solo tracks or collaborations that quickly turn to an anthem. Here are 10 of Davido’s most popular songs.

  1. Fall

Not many critics gave Davido a chance when he released Fall in 2017. Fall was his second single for the year and a follow-up to ‘IF’. However, a few weeks after its release ‘Fall’ became the top pick for most celebrations, thanks to its comic love lyrics. With over 100 million YouTube views and platinum rank by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA), ‘Fall’ is by far his most popular song.

  1. If

Released in February 2017, ‘If’ has garnered over 77 million views on Youtube. The phrase ‘30 billion for the account’ has become a popular slogan in the country and beyond. ‘If’ also earned the singer awards like Best African Act (MTV EMA), Best Worldwide Act, and Artist of the Year.

  1. Aye

Aye is a love song. Released days before Valentine’s Day gave the song a head start. The lyrics which separates true love from materialism quickly caught the attention of fans. Davido went ahead to win the prestigious Headies song of the year award in 2014 for Aye. Aye has over 53 million views on YouTube.

  1. FIA

Davido fans will not forget 2017 in a hurry. Late in that year Davido released FIA which is another love song told in a comic way. Fia has also garnered over 59 million views on YouTube

  1. Skelewu

The popularity of skelewu cannot be separated from its unique dance step. At that time people were scampering to participate in what would have been tagged ‘Skelewu dance challenge’ today. Ace footballers like Samuel Eto’o and Emmanuel Adebayo were caught dancing to the song.

  1. Assurance

Davido is familiar with drama and keeps his love affair public. Earlier in 2018, Davido broke the Internet when he released the song ‘Assurance’ dedicated to his long-time girlfriend, Chioma. What thrilled fans the most is the Porsche with a custom plate number ‘Assurance’ the artist gifted his girlfriend. The song has over 36 million views on YouTube.

  1. Dami Duro

Full of energy and new in the industry, ‘Dami Duro’ was more of a statement of his intention. The song and its strong beat quickly became a major club song. The song also won the ‘Hottest single of the Year’ at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards.

  1. Back When

‘Back When’ is one of Davido’s breakthrough songs. It was the first off his debut album, ‘Omo Baba Olowo’. He featured established rapper, Naeto C on the track. The single won him the 2012 ‘Best Newcomer’ at the Kora Awards.

  1. Ekuro

Davido’s history of love songs began with Ekuro which was released in 2012. After making a hard entrance the previous year, Davido showed off his romantic side in Ekuro. The success of Ekuro paved way for other romantic hits.

  1. All of You

Davido used this track to pay respect to veterans like D’banj, P-Square, and 2baba who were already household names. Released in 2012, ‘All of you’ quickly became a hit.

Which of Davido’s songs do you like the most?

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Zambian Author Wins The Commonwealth Short Story Prize For Africa



Commonwealth Short Story Prize has announced the list of regional winners. Zambia’s Mbozi Haimbe is Africa’s regional winner. However, she is the second Zambian to achieve that feat. Haimbe won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for her short story, “Madam’s Sister”.

The last time someone from Zambia won a commonwealth story prize was in 2007. Ellen Banda-Aaku took home the Commonwealth Short Story Competition (now defunct) for her short story, “Sozi’s Box”. Reacting to the announcement, Haimbe said,

“I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected as the regional winner and feel privileged to contribute to Africa’s literary landscape. Although a social worker by profession, I have always considered myself a writer. Winning the regional prize validates my aspiration. I thank the judges, and give acknowledgment to Zambia, which remains deeply influential to my writing.”

A brief biography of Mbozi Haimbe

The story of Mbozi Haimbe is a reassurance that you can aspire any height irrespective of your background. Notwithstanding Haimbe was born and raised in Lusaka, Zambia she believed she could make it to the global stage. Consequently, her passion for writing led her to the University of Cambridge where she completed an Mst in Creative writing in 2018. Mbozi Haimbe is currently working on a short story collection inspired by African events. The summary of her Commonwealth Short Story Prize-winning story, “Madam’s Sister” says,

“The arrival of madam’s sister from London causes upheaval within the household but has an unexpected bonus for the guard, Cephas.”

Each regional winner will get £2,500. However, the global winner selected from the regional winners will get £5,000. Till date, only one African has been able to will the overall prize. Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi went ahead to win the overall prize in 2014 after winning the regional prize for her short story, “Let’s Tell This Story Properly”.

About the Commonwealth Short Story Prize

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is an annual award open from 1st September to 1st November every year. Authors from commonwealth regions are encouraged to submit unpublished short story between 2,000 and 5,000 words. Now in its 8th year, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize received a total of 5,081 entries. However, this was streamlined to 21 shortlists. Sixteen of the 53 British Commonwealth nations made it to the shortlist. Speaking about the regional winners, Caryl Phillips, one of the jurors for the 2019 competition said,

“The regional winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize explore a remarkably diverse range of subject-matter, including stories about war, love, abuse, and neglect. What unites the stories is a common thread of narrative excellence and dramatic intensity. The voices of a truly global cast of characters enable us to engage with, and recognize, universal emotions of pain and loss.”

Submission of entries for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize can be in Turkish, Tamil, Swahili, Samoan, Portuguese, Malay, Greek, English, Chinese, and Bengali. However, English translations of shorts stories in other languages are also eligible. The Digital Director and Online Editor and Granta, Luke Neima, said,

“This year’s Commonwealth Short Story Prize-winning stories showcase the short story in a range of guises, innovations of form that stretch but never exhaust the potential of the short story to address the regional and universal questions this gifted crop of authors seeks to address. These outstanding stories capture the breadth of talent writing today across the Commonwealth.”

Other regional winners

In total, there are 5 regions considered for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. This includes Africa, Asia, Canada & Europe, Caribbean, and Pacific. The other regional winners and their stories are;

  • Asian Winner: Saras Manickam from Malaysia for “My Mother Pattu”
  • Canada and Europe Winner: Constantia Soterious from Cyprus for “Death Customs”
  • Caribbean Winner: Alexis Tolas from The Bahamas for “Granma’s Porch”
  • Pacific Winner: Harley Hern from New Zealand for “Screaming”.

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TV and Movies

Nigeria’s Uzo Aduba Plays First Black Female Congress Member In Upcoming FX Series



Uzo Aduba, the Nigerian-American sensational actress will play Shirley Chisholm in upcoming FX series, ‘Mrs. America’. Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman to gain entry into the United States Congress. From 1969 to 1983, she represented New York’s 12th congressional district. However, this is not the only ‘first’ in her record. Breaking the news on her official Instagram page @uzoaduba she said,

“Telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Excited to share! Link in bio”

In 1972, Shirley Chisholm became the first black candidate to run for president of the United States under the Democratic platform. Joining Uzo Aduba in this epic series are Sarah Paulson, Rose Byrne, James Marsden, and Cate Blanchett.

A peek into Mrs. America

Mrs. America tells the story of how a group of conservative women fought for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Undoubtedly, this is one of history’s toughest cultural wars. Leading the war was Phyllis Schlafly, a role played by Oscar-winning actress, Blanchett. However, the culminating events changed the political landscape forever. It also led to the rise of the Moral Majority.

Dahvi Waller, the Emmy-winning producer will also be the executive producer of Mrs. America. Waller will share this role with Blanchett, Ryan Fleck, Anna Boden, Coco Francini, and Stacey Sher. The directors of the first two episodes will be Boden and Fleck. The duo is famous for co-writing and directing Captain Marvel. Mrs. America will premiere as a nine-episode series. However, there is no release date for the series just yet.

Uzo Aduba’s career and awards

Uzo Aduba came to limelight in 2007 after starring in ‘Coram Boy’. She is currently the first actress to win an Emmy in drama and comedy. She won the 2014 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy for her role in Netflix’s ‘Orange is the New Black’. The following year she won the Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. The other person to have won Emmy in comedy and drama is Ed Asner. However, these are not her only achievements.

Uzo Aduba has also won the SAG Award in 2015 and 2016 for Best Actress in Comedy. Three times, she has won the Best Ensemble in a Comedy (2015, 2016, and 2017). This is a rare opportunity to tell the story of past heroes to future generations.

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