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Vic Mensa is set to star in a film based on ProKid, a South African rapper

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Vic Mensa has been cast in yet another film. According to The Shadow League, the Roc Nation singer and activist will star in the hip hop drama African/American.

The film depicts the rise of South Africa’s hip hop movement and is based on the true tale of Mensa’s character, Sydney “Syd Money” Hall, and his collaboration with South African hip hop pioneer Linda “ProKid” Mkhize. It is set in South Africa amid the post-apartheid era and draws on both African and African-American experiences.

African/American focuses on the joint construction of ProKid’s critically acclaimed Heads and Tales album. Ruth E. Carter, a well-known costume designer, is directing African/American. Carter has worked as a costume designer on films such as School Daze, Coming 2 America, Do The Right Thing, Black Panther, and its upcoming sequel, but this will be her first excursion into producing.

“I am excited to tell this dynamic story about survival and cultural identities. African/American ignites the sense of right place, right time in a way that makes you believe that you can do anything you set your mind to,”

Carter told The Shadow League.

African/American is also a nod to ProKid, who died of a hemosuccus pancreaticus in 2018. Thabang Moloba, who recently starred in Netflix’s “Blood & Water,” is in talks to play ProKid alongside Mensa’s character Syd Money. Jamie Burton-Oare and Skye Dennis, who will also direct, wrote the script. The film will also be produced by Lanre Idewu, who worked on HBO Max’s “South Side.”

“African/American is one of the first projects of many more to come aimed at creating true collaboration across the continents for the purpose of bridging the African diaspora. It’s coming… you can feel it in the air. It’s not just a movie, it’s a movement,”

Idewu said

 

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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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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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