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LOVY LONGOMBA RETURNING TO KENYA – 16 YEARS LATER

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Lovy Longomba, one half of the renowned Kenyan group Longombas, has returned home after a 16-year absence. This comes after the terrible death of his twin brother and partner from their award-winning music duo, which released popular songs including “Vuta Pumz,” “Dondosa,” “Piga Makofi,” and “Shika More.” Since leaving Kenya nearly two decades ago, the singer-songwriter and three-time Grammy-nominated record producer has lived in Los Angeles with his brother.

Lovy’s melancholy return to his hometown comes on the heels of Christian Logomba’s death after a long illness. “I returned home in honor of my brother Christian,” Lovy adds. This journey was planned to happen this year for me and him, but God had other ideas.”

Many people are wondering whether Lovy will release new songs or share previously unheard material. “Because my partner is no longer here with me, it will take some time for me to work on music again,” he explains. I need to get better. Even when he couldn’t record, Christian continued to write with me. We have so many tunes that I’m thinking of releasing them at some point.” He does, however, declare that he is still interested in working with other Kenyan artists when the opportunity arises.

Lovy will meet with family and friends in Kenya to pay their respects to Christian. He’ll also be giving interviews with Longombas’ devoted followers, sharing details of Christian’s final moments and wishes. “It’s just overwhelming,” Lovy says of the outpouring of love and support his family has received since Christian’s death. “Christian stood for his love of God, family, and music,” he continued, “and I must confess that the love we have received has so far healed us.” His distinct voice, like that of my late father Lovy Senior, will live on in Kenyan hearts forever.”

Longombas’ sound is a blend of contemporary hip hop with a tint of Soukous, which is greatly influenced by their Congolese heritage. “There are so many [wonderful and shared] memories because me and Christian have been inseparable to this point,” Lovy adds of their glory days, “but one of my favorite memories will always be the excitement he had when we finished composing and recording our debut song “Dondosa.”

The acclaimed dynamic duo had a successful music career in Kenya, working with other pioneering voices of popular Kenyan music in the 2000s under the Ogopa DJs label and their imprint Bad Man Camp. Deux Vultures, Mr Googz, and Vinnie Banton were among them.

Looking back, Lovy is happy of the impact Longombas had on the Kenyan music business at a pivotal time: “We pioneered and transformed the sound of indigenous music.” When it came to acting and stage appearance, we set the bar so high.”

The album CHUKUA, their final studio release before moving to America, was met with a warm reception across the region, winning the Best East African Album title at the 2006 Tanzania Music Awards. Other accolades include Best East African Group at the Kora Honors Africa (2005), as well as a memorable sweep at the Kisima Music Awards (2006), which included Best Group (Kenya), Boomba Group, Best Song “Vuta Pumz” (Kenya), and Social Responsibility awards.

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CULTURE

Top 20 Best African Songs 2021

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The year 2021 has been a fantastic one for African musicians and the music business in general. This is the year that Wizkid’s Essence charted in the top 50 of Billboard’s top 100 and also featured on Obama’s 2021 Playlist. Ruger, a Nigerian breakout musician, got the globe bouncing with his song “Bounce,” which became a global hit, and if you’re in Nairobi, or really anywhere in Africa, you’ve probably heard Tanzania’s Zuchu’s song “Sukari,” which has over 59 million views on YouTube as of this writing, making it one of the year’s most popular videos. As the year draws to a close, these are the finest African songs of 2021. (more…)

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Netflix and UNESCO Are Looking For The Next Generation of African Filmmakers  

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Netflix and UNESCO have teamed up to establish an innovative short film competition in Sub-Saharan Africa called “African Folktales, Reimagined.” The competition’s winners will receive industry training and mentoring, as well as a US$75,000 production budget, to create short films that will premiere on Netflix in 2022 as a “Anthology of African Folktales.”

One of the competition’s main goals is to find fresh perspectives and provide young filmmakers from Sub-Saharan Africa global exposure. We want to identify the most daring, witty, and surprising retellings of some of Africa’s most beloved folktales and share them with entertainment enthusiasts in over 190 countries across the world.

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It is important that the film sector acts to ensure the voices of Africa are heard, by supporting the emergence of diverse cultural expressions, putting forth new ideas and emotions, and creating opportunities for creators to contribute to global dialogue for peace, culture and development.

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General

The tournament, which will be run by Dalberg, will run from October 14th until November 14th, 2021. Each of the six winners will get a US$75,000 production grant (via a local production firm) to create, shoot, and post-produce their films with the help of Netflix and industry mentors, ensuring that everyone engaged in the production is fairly compensated. In addition, each of the six winners will get a cash prize of $25,000 apiece.

APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN: ANIMATION TRAINING FOR EAST AFRICAN WOMEN

Both UNESCO and Netflix agree on the importance of promoting and sharing varied local stories with the rest of the globe. They recognize that many aspiring filmmakers struggle to get the resources and exposure they need to fully realize their potential and advance their creative careers. This competition aims to address these difficulties and provide a platform for African storytellers to showcase their work to a worldwide audience.

This alliance will also assist to create long-term jobs and stimulate economic growth, contributing to the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, a set of goals aimed at ending global poverty in all of its forms by the end of this decade. This film festival will also contribute to the reduction of disparities by allowing access to global markets and ensuring decent working conditions. All of these are important targets for the 2030 Agenda.

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CULTURE

Afrotape to Focus on it’s Community

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Today marks 3 years since Afrotape was formed. What began as a platform for artists’ services has evolved into a youth brand that will be the leading voice on African culture. It’s been a fascinating and challenging journey, full of invaluable experiences and life lessons that have shaped us into the people we are today. (more…)

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