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Bunce Island in Sierra Leone, 20 miles up the Sierra Leone River, and a few miles north of the capital Freetown, was home to one of the most profitable slave trading operations in West Africa. Established in 1670 by English slave traders, it was the largest British slave castle on the Rice Coast where tens of thousands of African slaves were shipped to North America and the West Indies.

It was part of the over sixty slave-trading forts on the West African coast. The island was majorly operated by two companies one after the other — the Gambia Adventurers and the Royal African Company of England — from 1670 to 1728. It flourished during private management by a consortium of London firms from 1744 to 1807. Slave trading ceased on the island in 1808 after the slave trade was abolished but the trading fort was totally abandoned in 1840 and has been uninhabited since.

The selection of slaves from the Rice Coast, which stretches from Senegal right to Liberia through Bunce Island, was not random. In fact, Africans were particularly targeted on account of their skills – rice cultivation.

South Carolina, which became one of the wealthiest states in North America with an economy based on rice cultivation, benefited the most from these enslaved Africans from the Rice Coast. Nearby Georgia also insisted on using slaves from this region. At the time, during slave auctions in Charlestown (now Charleston), South Carolina, Savana and Georgia, slave selling advertisements specifically mentioned slaves from the Rice Coast or Bunce Island to assure buyers that they would get experienced hands. Buyers would then be willing to pay more for them.

Rice cultivation in America saw an uplift as more and more African captives were shipped from Bunce Island to work on rice farms.

Naturally, tracing descendants of enslaved Africans in the diaspora is quite cumbersome. However, slaves from Sierra Leone’s Bunce Island who are indigenes of the West African country can directly be traced to the Gullah peoplein the United States.

According to UNESCO, the Gullah community in South Carolina and Georgia still retain traditions in food, names and stories that draw heavily from their Sierra Leonean roots.

What makes the story of Bunce Island different from the likes of Goree Island in Senegal and The Elmina Castle in Ghana is that it became “the only instance where Africans were particularly targeted for buying and selling on account of their skills,” according to UNESCO.

Food Migration: Foods Brought To The Americas By Enslaved Africans

Also, US Independence was negotiated, in part, between Bunce Island’s British owner, Richard Oswald and an affluent rice farmer and slave dealer in South Carolina called Henry Laurens.

Laurens served as the business agent for Bunce Island in Charlestown right before the American war of independence. When the war began, Laurens was made President of the Continental Congress. He was then captured by the British and bailed by his friend Oswald.

When the war ended, Laurens was one of the American Peace Commissioners who negotiated the United States’ independence under the Treaty of Paris. His British counterpart and friend Oswald headed the British negotiating team that led to the independence of the U.S.

Today, remains of the once very busy port that can be seen are the bastions, walls of the merchants’ quarters, the gunpowder magazine, and the gate to the slave house.

The remoteness of the island has helped in its preservation as there is no human interference. Nonetheless, a severe local climate has contributed to the degradation of the elements. Lastly, wild growth of vegetation in and around the ruins and coastal erosion are the biggest threats to the preservation of the site. 

The African experience is a global struggle, we do not feel at ease outside the continent, and our only place on earth that we call home is overexploited, our lives threatened, making our existence a daily survival for us all.

Neocolonialism, bad governance, corrupted leaders, we had it all and today we want to say that we deserve better as a group. Africa has been lively these past days, from people creating hashtags and invading streets to fight against police brutality, rape, child trafficking, feminicide and more.

 

MOYO AFRIKA : This article aim is to allow us, African, to own our narratives, and stop wanting western Medias to portray our problem through their lenses with the negative perspectives that it comes with. Now we will talk together about what’s happening right now in every African countries fighting for changes till this day together, so that we can understand each other and be at the same level of information. Every country is represented by one of its citizen, to highlight whats happening with their experience and they have responded to 7 questions that will structure this conversation. Lets start now, what is happening right now among our folks?

 

1) What’s happening in your country right now ? 

Namibia : Namibia is experiencing a wage of cross-country protests calling for a State of Emergency to be declared for Sexual-Gender Based Violence in the country. The movement is youth led & is primarily powered & represented by young, mostly black women all around the country. The protests were sparked by the murder of Shannon Wasserfall; a young Namibian women from Walvis Bay that was killed by a friend & buried in a shallow grave. Her remains were discovered months after there was uproar on social media for Shannon to be found, with young women mobilizing to get the authorities and the community to get Shannons whereabouts.

Nigeria : Nigeria has been experiencing a very high level of police brutality from the Nigerian police force especially the SARS department. People have taken to the street to protest for the government to put and end to it but after 11 days of peaceful protest it was hijacked by hoodlums and that followed a massacre of peaceful protesters by the Nigerian army where over 15 people were killed. The weakest link (the impoverished are now out looting and destroying properties. )

Ps. This is not related to the Peaceful Protests across the country. But like the xenophobic time when Nigerians got word that their fellow countrymen were getting killed, these weakest links, used it as an opportunity to loot major stores and create chaos. They are the same ones the government uses to steal ballot boxes during elections.

Liberia : Rape have increased 50% during the pandemic. About 600 cases was reported between January to June in Liberia. President George Weah declared a state of national Emergency.

Zambia :  For the past 5 years we’ve been dealing with a rise of police brutality , opposition political victimization at hand of our president , and corrupt leaders that have put us in debt of of $10bn.

South Africa : A lot, every single day we hear reports about a missing girl child or a woman. There’s a rapidly growing human trafficking syndicate in South Africa right now. If it’s not missing reports it’s rape and/or murder. There is a 6-year old girl named Amahle Thabethe that has been missing for nearly two years now with no trace. A day doesn’t go by without me thinking about her.

Cameroon : A conflict between the government and the english-speaking minority of NW AND SW Cameroon, known as the anglophones, has left over 4,000 dead and 900,000 people displaced. Villages have been burned down, schools have been attacked, people have been assaulted and kidnapped and men, women and children have been killed. Roughly 855,000 children are out of school and 1 in 3 people are in need of aid.
The Anglophone crisis in the #1 most neglected displacement crisis in the world according to the norwegian refugee council and Genocide Watch has declared Cameroon to be in stage 8 and 9 out of the 10 stages of Genocide. Stages 8 and 9 are Persecution and Extermination.

Ethiopia : In Ethiopia, the Oromo people are being raped, murdered, tortured, and thrown into prisons. The schools that were once shut down due to COVID 19 were opened up to become makeshift prisons that house people that oppose the government, and they are at high risk of contracting COVID 19 because they are in close proximity of each other. All this has occurred under Abiy Ahmed, who is no longer officially a prime minister as of October 5th. He jailed all of his opposition and has recently charged highly influential opposition leaders with false claims of terrorism. His military has no qualms about raping young children and women. Abiy Ahmed and his administration needs to be held accountable. He is a dictator.

Uganda : Police are killing and maiming people in Uganda for speaking out against corruption. Museveni is running again and if he wins this will be his 4th DECADE in office. Started during the COVID lockdown, they were violently enforcing curfews and hurting people unnecessarily

Cote d’Ivoire : The country is aiming to its elections after 10 years passed with the current president. After saying himself that he wasn’t going to be the next president, he decided after the death of one of his party member that unfortunatly died and was the one that was going to run for president, he will replace him. Now after days of contestations, bus destroyed, he still is running for president. The opposition maintain that « there won’t be elections in Côte d’Ivoire » and those events reminds us a lot of the crisis that happened ten years ago .

 

2) How are you feeling, watching this heated situation in your country ? 

Nigeria :  I feel weak, defeated, depressed and angry to watch all this happening in Nigeria. After watching the vague and emotionless speech of the president , almost everyone felt defeated. Like our requests fell on deaf ears. And people died for nothing, but we are encouraged by our fellow men who are still carrying out the peaceful protests in other parts of the state where there’s no curfew/ or other countries.

Namibia : We are emboldened by the fact no one else besides young people in the country being interested in actualizing substantive change, leaving us little room but to do it ourselves. Maybe of the young people had never done activism work before, so many were traumatised and are experience mild PTSD, but there is some psycho-social support offered to the protestors to help deal with the after effects. For me personally I am proud of all the civic engagement that is being re-imagined and re-introduced into our shared experience as Namibians.

Liberia : I’m really heartbroken and upset. Upset that our young girls are going through things like that. Also upset that I’m not back home to help as much as I want to. The only thing I can do is share awareness as to what is happening back home!

Zambia : Heart broken , in the last 2 weeks I have witnessed my father Chishimba Kambwili an opposition party leader , NDC president be wrongly convinced , and this morning witnessed my mother and my sister brutally handled by the police and on prisoned. Multiples videos have been shared all over social media , also a video of a NDC sympathizer also being brutally handled by Zambian police. To see anyone go through what we see on our phones , especially your family is the hardest thing to be previewed to. It’s so saddening.

South Africa : I don’t think there are any words that would best describe the exhaustion, fear and anger I have been feeling since September 2019. I sometimes feel like there’s no point in fighting when it’s quite evident that there might not be any changes, but we need to continue to get up and fight for our rights.

Cameroon : As a Cameroonian who was born in the united states, I feel angry because the future of Cameroon is being stripped away from us. If things were diffrent and I was born there I would not be able to have oppurtuntes I have today. Of course America is far from perfect but what is happening to the youths in Cameroon is unacceptable. The goverment soilders are mainly youhts, the amba boys are youths, people affected by violence the most are youths. The future of the world lies in africa and its so fustrating seeing all these leaders like paul biya in african countries throw the future away in exchange for more power

Ethiopia : I feel helpless because all I could do is raise awareness to the situation while having people here trying to dismiss what’s going on in Ethiopia.

Uganda : I’m feeling sad. I first heard of the SARS situation which is pretty similar and I thought it was horrible. To know similar things are happening in my own country is disheartening and heartbreaking

Cote d’Ivoire : I feel helpless, and disappointed, it seems like we’re moving backwards everytime, and every elections in this country rhymes with negativity like xenophobia and fear of a crisis

3) Is it the right time to say Africa needs better leaders and public services?

Nigeria : Yes, it’s safe to say that now is the right time Africa needs a better leader and public service because a lot of youths are now more woke and educated and we want and seek a better life like what our counterparts in other continent have in their. We need accountable leaders. No one should hold so much power at the top. It needs to be decentralized.

Namibia : Yes it can be said that. Young people in Africa have a different more interesting and nuanced idea of what it means to be african and live on the continent. we want to see our dreams actualized and our lives dignified. being passive and complicit in the plunder and pillage of our inheritance is not going to bring us the equality, justice and dignity for all that we require. I think more and more african youth are realizing that we cannot wait for elections to institute change, we must call for it all the time, everyday, with every breath we draw.

Liberia : Yes this has going on for awhile I think we need to evaluate and get rid of all those corrupt politicians and the only to be able is if we as the starts taking position in the government.

Zambia : Most definitely , we’re tired or our leaders turning a blind eye to civilians being killed and beaten. We’re tired of our leaders stealing from us and leaving our countries in debt. We’re tired of our leader aimlessly practicing dictatorship. Because that’s what it is. We’ve suffered enough , we’ve prayed , we’ve cried. When will enough be enough. Our public services are meant to protect us , not beat us and kill us. Wrongfully arrest us on false pretenses.

South Africa :  The time to say this has long passed. It should have happened years ago. Many people living in almost all parts of Africa have been enduring pain and suffering from the hands of their leaders for years now. The imperialism has been going on for way to long and it should be stopped.

Cameroon : YES the time has never been better. The fact that this is a common trope amongst countless African countries makes some people believe that africans are corrupt. but really the common denominator is colonialism. “Independence” was a cover up and most leaders are puppets to france and britain. Independence was built for resources to be taken from these countries for as long as possible. Take a look at china which was a developing nation in the 1960s, they had the ability to trade, and run their own government with minimal outside meddling. now they are a “super power”. while the chineese government is highly controversial, my point is colonianlism never helped africans and it actually hindered our growth. eventually we would have formed into nations with our own names made with our own borders and started nations without having to give away our natural resources to europe,
when a leader speaks out against europe, they are painted as the bad guy and forced out of office. Look at Lumumba from DRC and what they did to him. They replaced him with a leader that they could control.

Ethiopia : 100% there needs to be real democracy !

Uganda : I think it’s obvious we need new leadership. It’s not right that some of our leaders have been in power for decades. Corruption runs so rampant and people can’t even speak out about it without fear of being killed or hurt. That’s disgusting and what’s the point of an election if it’s going to be rigged or Tampered with?

Cote d’Ivoire : It’s always the right time to call out our leaders on their lack of humanity and consideration for their own people. We deserve a better treatment and they need to treat us as they said when they wanted our voice to be elected.

4) Who created those movements ?

Nigeria :No one created the #EndSARS Movement. We all had just gotten to breaking point and decided to do something about it. Although, a man called ‘segalinks’ likes to take credit for starting it some years back, as he used to be the one Young people call when they have been unlawfully arrested and about to be extorted. 

Namibia : The #ShutItAllDownNamibia movement has no leaders and is lead by the people, in this case the youth of Namibia.

Liberia : The movement started with protesting from back home in Liberia and other Liberians in the US

Zambia :  A Few or us Zambians in Twitter , it was created after a video circulated of my mother and my sister being brutally handled.

South Africa : Like most movements, it was created on social media most likely Twitter.

Cameroon : The Anglophone crisis Movement in Cameroon has evolved at the end of 2016 after the government arrested anglophone leaders, blocked the internet for 3 months and deadly measures during a curfew.

Ethiopia : The #OromoProtests movement was started by the Oromo youth in Ethiopia.

Uganda : I’m not quite sure, but seems Stella Nyanzi started the movement when COVID started bc the government wasn’t giving out food or other assistance. She was arrested for “inciting violence”. I’m not sure if these protests are a combination of frustration with COVID and political unrest or they’re two different things

Cote d’Ivoire : We all create and spread our messages on social media but is it going somewhere ? Are people hearing it? Nobody seems to care.

5) What has to change ?

Nigeria : Everything. As at today, the SARS men are still out and back to their usual way despite the IG of police announcing their disbandment which he has done not less than 3 times in past years. The police clearly needs to be reformed. Our security status is currently on zero. Instead of security, we get extortions and being framed for crimes. to be very candid, nothing has changed, even though the government has disband the SARS unit and has created another one called SWAT they recruited the same members of the SARS unit .. so it’s clear that NOTHING has changed.

Namibia : The violent attitudes and dispensations that Namibian men display towards their fellow women and girl children. We are calling for there to be nation wide condemnation of the sexual violence against women and children and want the government to invest money, time and effort into re-educating the entire nation on the matter of SGBV.

Liberia : Nothing have changed except the National emergency that The President called for.

Zambia : Everything has to change , the current public service training needs to be completely abolished , leaders need to be held accountable for corruption. Judges , ministers even current presidents all need to be investigated

South Africa : Everything, but it should start with our leaders. They know, they are very much aware of what is happening in their countries, but they choose to turn a blind eye on what’s happening. If they were taking time to listen or just do what’s right cause they know what they need to do most of the issues we are facing in Africa would be non-existence. We are just asking for basic human rights and not to be killed.

Cameroon : We need the violence to end first and foremost before any real change is made. This crisis has crippled the economy of NW and SW impacted students, children, business owners, peoples well being, security and more. After the violence is ended there needs to be a serious talk about restructuring how the govermnet works so no matter who is in office abuses of power can never happen again. We also need to hold government, military and armed seperatists who are responsible for crimes against humanity responsible. Lastly we need to give the voice back to the people of SW and NW cameroon and let them decide whether or not they want to ceceed to become a federation or remian with la republique.

Ethiopia : Fair elections, the release of all political prisoners, the rapes and killing of Oromo people, justice for Oromo people amongst many other

Uganda : People need to be able to speak their mind and air their grievances to their government. Otherwise what’s the point of having one? People should not be criminalized for who they lobe or what they wear or who they support.

Cote d’Ivoire : I will be honest, we need another system that will fit us and protect enough our people from situations like this.

6) What are you doing right now to ensure your voices are heard?

Nigeria : I’ll keep sharing right information on my social platforms. We currently have a curfew so no going out. Also our new strategy is trying to see how to reach out to the “impoverished and tools for the government’s dirty work for us to re-educate them that they deserve better. A video I posted on my page is to the so called “thugs” from someone who speaks the language they speak.  I try as much as possible to campaign and promote the movement online with the hastag #endsars
I also try to educate the illiterates amongst my community about what the protest is mostly all about
I have donated to the cause financial
I have also provided free food at the protest grounds

Namibia : The activists in the last few days have had consultations with the President and the Minister of Gender to map a way forward. Just today the activist met with the Police Chief, staff from the Correctional Services, the City Police and other instruments of the state that can help shape a friendlier policing culture that willactually protest women and children in the country. Great strides are being made and we are in consultations with the government on most of our demands, the information is shared with the greater movement and the work that we need to do to help change the entire nature of the situation, we are ready to do.

Liberia : I’m posting on my social media and spreading awareness so that people take it serious. I’m making petitions to help out.

South Africa : There’s an online publication that I founded, Culture Club, that is run by myself and a group of friends. Activism is one of our subject matters, I try to write as much as I possibly can about the gender-based violence, police brutality and everything else to raise awareness.

Cameroon : We are creating as much content as possible so people understand the essence of what is going on and what a solution looks like. We want to eliminate misconception about what is going on and remained an unbiased voice for revolution. We are encourging the cameroonian diaspora to get involved and support cameroonians on the ground the best they can

Ethiopia : Constant protesting, emailing representatives to get America to stop funding the Ethiopian government, phone banking, releasing infographics.

Uganda : I’m using social media to spread the word about what is going on
situations like this.

Cote d’Ivoire : Right now we are sharing information and spread the awareness across the globe.

7) What words can you say to each other ? 

Nigeria : The entire continent is bleeding from bad governance and sheer wickedness. I hope our voices don’t fizzle out before change comes. People should be educated more on the harm the cause rape victims, and the government should also put very high penalty for rape perpetrator if found guilty
There should be more awareness program for rape victims to speak up rather than stay silent

Namibia : That we really seriously need to reflect on the psychological, spiritual, generational and physical cost of living at grave-sites and murder scenes. Africa is a place where a lot of dignity has been stolen by colonialism, apartheid and the systemic abuse and disenfranshisement of our people. Once we enter this reflection honestly we are amble to find the voice to say “never again” and mean it. The blood line of the country lies in our bodies, so if the change starts from within, it can flow through the rest of the nation state, changing the status quo from the inside out. This reflection of what it means to have dignity justice and equity for all is really what will set us free once we have understood the humanity of each and every african roaming this beautiful and magnificent globe.

Liberia : I am at loss of words. I can only say to my fellow that they should keep spreading awareness you don’t have to be from a country to help spread awareness on what’s going on. And I hope that everyone is taking care of third mental health and it’s okay to take a break from social media . Get your thoughts together and come back stronger. It’s very saddened and it’s just pure wickedness what they’re doing in those other countries

South Africa : We are all in this together, we are all fighting the same battles and we should carry on fighting hopefully one of these days change will finally be brought upon us.

Cameroon : The future is in AFRICA we the youths must fight for the future we want to see. no longer will we accept goverments who dont put us first. Lets not compete with eachother to get our voices heard, we are stronger when we fight together. Etritrea, Nigeria, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Mobamzique, Namibia, Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, South Africa, Cote D’Ivore, Mali, Togo, Guinea, and any other african country going through a struggle that we dont know about, #JusticeForCameroon stands with you! #JusticeForAfrica

Ethiopia : Keep fighting for your rights as a human being, the prayer of the oppressed will be answered.

Uganda :The world is watching. Africans are waking up and the revolution is being televised. Things are bad, from Nigeria to South Africa to Congo. But we will all get through this. Change is necessary and it’s on its way.

Cote d’Ivoire : We better stand together and respect each other. Its time for us to be more connected, but i am deeply in pain about the situation around Africa today, and at the same time happy that we stand for a change, and a change is gonna come.

HUGE THANKS TO the one that have contributed to this article, your words made this article, and made this conversation more impactful.
From Nigeria with ( Twitter : @Oyinlolu_a , @Ohisaoje)
Namibia with Keith Vries from Windhoek ( Twitter: @Keithing_things) an anti-police brutality and Namibian Genocide recognition activist, freelance journalist and poet,
Liberia with (Twitter : @lillies__flower)
Zambia with ( Twitter : @mutaa_x)
South Africa ( Twitter: @Mukondi_
Cameroon with the media on Instagram : Justiceforcameroon managed by Makunde, he works for open dreams organizations and education NGO that focuses on the cameroon youths giving them scholarships abroad and a safe place to study.
Ethiopia with (Twitter : @hvmdiya)
Uganda with ( Twitter : @yourfavekylie)
Cote d’Ivoire with ( My self)
Ps: Congo and Guinea are in our hearts and prayers right now.
Thank you for reading and following this group chat, if you want to participate to this conversation please contact us on our mail box or on our instagram : Moyoafrika, and tell us about your feelings, and the current situation in your country.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in the serenity of Jos Plateau. Beautiful mountains. No ethnic divide. As pupils and students we lived on mangoes, tomatoes, oranges, guava, raw sweet potatoes and carrots. We were never hungry because Jos Plateau people had a philosophy that as long you’re entering a farm to source for what you will eat, it was not trespassing.

Jos is also hugely cosmopolitan as a result of the tin mining that occurred during colonial times so

It seems as if a new audience is about to get introduced to Nollywood. What would you like them to know?

The Nigerian film industry is huge and have been serving audiences with compelling stories since the birth of what we now know as Nollywood. I’d like people to know that the industry is getting bigger and better and apart from the big feel-good films we are serving the world, there are other filmmakers they should research and look out for their films. Filmmakers like Abba Makama (Green White Green, The Lost Okoroshi), Nodash Adekunle (The Delivery Boy), CJ Obasi (Hello, Rain), Ishaya Bako (4th Republic), etc, are making enthralling alternative cinema.

When and how did making movies become an integral part of your life?

I was still in film school when I made the short film Mummy Lagos, which is probably Nigeria’s only entry into the Berlinale Talent Campus. That was 2006. The film was such a hit at the festival that a writing mentor asked me if I wanted to work with the BBC. They were coming into West Africa for a big-budget series. This was Wetin Dey.

He linked me up with the iconic John Akomfrah and David Lawson of Smoking Dogs. I had an interview, they saw my sample and that was that. I got into the industry after working on such an important series.

In 2010, as greenhorn filmmakers without a real producer, we applied for the Hubert Bals Fund film grant from theNetherlands and got a digital production grant to make Confusion Na Wa.

The film went on to win Best Film at the AMAAs in 2013 as well as the Jury Prize at the prestigious Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. As I mentioned earlier, it was one of the very first films from Nigeria to be picked up by Netflix and was a reference point for modern African studies in some American universities. Making that film was important to my growth as a filmmaker.

How long have you been directing for?

I started working professionally since 2006 on BBC’s Wetin Dey. I shot my first film in 2010 with funding from Hubert Bals Fund of International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film was not released until 2013 where it went on to win Best Film and Best Nigerian at the 2013 Africa Movie Academy Awards, the biggest accolade for our homegrown cinema. It also won 2014 Jury Prize at the Pan African Film Festival in LA. So directing for me has been for 14 years now but I have only three released films- Confusion Na Wa, The Lost Café and Oloture.

What has been the general reaction to your new film “Oloture” in Nigeria?

Released worldwide on Netflix on the 2nd of October 2020, Oloture became Nigeria’s first major international crossover film, consistently staying in the top 10 of diverse countries like France, Brazil, Iceland, Oman, Israel, Kenya, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, Jamaica and over two dozen countries. After a few days of release, it peaked at number 7 worldwide on the planets biggest streaming platform. Such a incredible attention for an African film.

The reaction in Nigeria has equally been massive. Oloture was number 1 for two consecutive weeks! Most people who saw the film recommended it to their friends and also came on social media to talk about sex trafficking and how Nigeria and the international community should take the issue serious. It has been one of Nigeria’s most talked about films, ever.

 

Is it a true-life story? What propelled you to bring attention to that specific story?

Yes it is loosely based on a true life story inspired by a premium times report and as it is written at the end of the film, other investigative journalists around the world as well.

What would you like viewers to take away from this film?

The international menace of sex trafficking is still huge out there and we need people to channel the anger of how the film ends towards policy makers who have the power to raise awareness and also protect these ladies.

John Boyega has sign a deal with Netflix to produce a slate of non-English language films focusing on West and East Africa

The impact of Netflix on African Filmmaking?

In 2016, Reed Hastings said the most exciting thing about global Netflix is finding local storytellers and giving them a platform. That’s it. We now have a platform to showcase authentic African stories to millions beyond the continent as is the case with Oloture.

 

What would you say are the biggest triumphs and challenges of the Nigerian film industry?

The Nigerian film industry is a huge global phenomenon and we continue to make giant strides internationally but we have our challenges especially filmmakers who are pushing to tell compelling third cinema stories.

The irony, is sometimes I have to go all the way to Europe to source for money to make a movie because there isn’t a funding body here..

Confusion Na Wa got funding from Netherlands. The Lost Café, produced by Regina Udalor, had support from Norway and France. I have been clamouring for a National Endowment Fund for Arts, an independent federal agency that will fund, promote and strengthen the capacity of artistes by providing opportunities in Artsparticipation.

Investing one naira in the intellectual development of a Nigerian could augment the national revenue more than one naira invested in another field. Many countries provide that opportunity for their filmmakers and I think Nigeria needs to look at that model.

Are there any filmmakers who have particularly influenced your work?

Diverse filmmakers have inspired me but the works of Gaston Kabore, the late Idrissa Ouedraogo, Abderrahmane Sissako, Fernando Meireless and Alfonso Cuaron greatly appeal to me.

What are some of your Favorite African films?

I love Gaston Kabore’s Wend Kuuni and  Buud Yam, Djo Munga’s Viva Riva, Fernando Meireles’ City of God, Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men and a host of other third cinema films.

 

Along with REMA & more.

The nominations for the 2020 MTV EMA (MTV Europe Music Award) are finally out and this time we have African stars on the spotlight.

“The 2020 MTV EMAs is one of the biggest entertainment stages in the world and this year’s African nominees are undoubtedly making their presence felt globally,” said Monde Twala, senior vice president and general manager of ViacomCBS Networks Africa.

“This affirms our commitment to ensuring that we continue to celebrate our diverse talent on international platforms. Congratulations to all our African nominees on this achievement.”

It’s without a doubt that Master KG is picked for the success of his worldwide anthem Jerusalema. Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa see the nod for owning the South Africa’s music scene pushing the Amapiano wave further.

This year’s list seems to be the most contested, African giant and 2019 MTV EMA winner Burna Boy is nominated yet again. Fellow Nigerian rapper, Rema at the age of 20, has also secured a spot. Afrobeats artist Sheeba from Uganda is the only female featured on the list for her song “Nakyuka”. Gaz Mawete is last on the list and flies the banner for Democratic Republic of Congo.

Jerusalema” featuring Nomcebo Zikode has collected over 150 million views on YouTube, countless remixes made from Italy, Germany and Brazil. As if “Jerusalema” was not hot already, a remix featuring Burna Boy was released this year. Master KG released the song in 2019 and it instantly became a hit for its unique Limpopo sound and it was propelled by social media through the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge which saw the whole world participate.

“Jerusalema” is currently the most shazamed song in the world and is being adapted into a short film to celebrate the success of the song and South Africa’s heritage. The nomination is another step to the ever rising success of Jeruselma.

The MTV EMAs will be broadcasted live on the 8th of November 2020 exclusively on MTV and MTV Base. Vote for your favourite African Act here.

Check out the full nominees list below and on MTV EMA.

Best Video
Billie Eilish – everything i wanted
Cardi B – WAP ft Megan Thee Stallion
DJ Khaled – POPSTAR ft Drake starring Justin Bieber
Karol G – Tusa ft Nicki Minaj
Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande – Rain On Me
Taylor Swift – The Man
The Weeknd – Blinding Lights

Best Artist
Dua Lipa
Harry Styles
Justin Bieber
Lady Gaga
Miley Cyrus
The Weeknd

Best Song
BTS – Dynamite
DaBaby – Rockstar ft Roddy Ricch
Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now
Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande – Rain On Me
Roddy Ricch – The Box
The Weeknd – Blinding Lights

Best Collaboration
BLACKPINK, Selena Gomez – Ice Cream
Cardi B – WAP ft Megan Thee Stallion
DaBaby – Rockstar ft. Roddy Ricch
Justin Bieber – Intentions ft Quavo
Karol G – Tusa ft Nicki Minaj
Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande – Rain On Me
Sam Smith, Demi Lovato – I’m Ready

Best Pop
BTS
Dua Lipa
Harry Styles
Justin Bieber
Katy Perry
Lady Gaga
Little Mix

Afropunk Goes Virtual For This Year’s Festival

Best Group
5 Seconds of Summer
BLACKPINK
BTS
Chloe x Halle
CNCO
Little Mix

Best New
BENEE
DaBaby
Doja Cat
Jack Harlow
Roddy Ricch
YUNGBLUD

Biggest Fans
Ariana Grande
BLACKPINK
BTS
Justin Bieber
Lady Gaga
Taylor Swift

Best Latin
Anuel AA
Bad Bunny
J Balvin
Karol G
Maluma
Ozuna

Best Rock
Coldplay
Green Day
Liam Gallagher
Pearl Jam
Tame Impala
The Killers

Best Hip Hop
Cardi B
DaBaby
Drake
Eminem
Megan Thee Stallion
Roddy Ricch
Travis Scott

Best Electronic
Calvin Harris
David Guetta
Kygo
Marshmello
Martin Garrix
The Chainsmokers

Best Alternative
blackbear
FKA twigs
Hayley Williams
Machine Gun Kelly
The 1975
twenty one pilots

Video for Good
Anderson .Paak – Lockdown
David Guetta & Sia – Let’s love
Demi Lovato – I Love Me
H.E.R. – I Can’t Breathe
Jorja Smith – By Any Means
Lil Baby – The Bigger Picture

Best Push
AJ Mitchell
Ashnikko
BENEE
Brockhampton
Conan Gray
Doja Cat
Georgia
Jack Harlow
Lil Tecca
Tate McRae
Wallows
YUNGBLUD

Best Virtual Live
BTS – Bang Bang Con: The Live
J Balvin – Behind The Colores Live Experience
Katy Perry @ Tomorrow Land – Around The World
Little Mix – UNCancelled
Maluma – Papi Juancho Live
Post Malone – Nirvana Tribute

 

PLANET AFROPUNK: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE IS BLACK is set for October 23-25

As people rally across the world for Black liberation, AFROPUNK, the world-renowned festival and movement, is using technology this year to bring together the largest virtual gathering of the worldwide Black creative community in one, curated online space for the first time in its 15-year history. The festival will be free, and attendees will have the opportunity to donate to organizations such as Black Futures Lab, Color of Change, Movement for Black Lives, Equal Justice Initiative, Fair Count, and The Bail Project.

The festival will feature “digital destinations” including interviews and lectures from Black voices, an immersive art gallery, an exploration of Black hair “through the eyes of creators, innovators, visionaries and artists,” and socio-political discussions about prison reform, the criminal justice system, and systemic racism. Festival-goers will also be offered access to curated menus from Black-owned restaurants in North America.

With this year’s festival taking place just ten days before the US 2020 presidential election, the intent of these conversations will be to bring momentum to community engagement, find collective solutions to long-standing issues affecting the Black community and to, most of all, encourage the AFROPUNK community to vote.

Burna Boy Will No Longer Be Performing At Afropunk 2019

PLANET AFROPUNK will create new ways to experience the next generation of Black creativity, music and culture through the support of this year’s many partners, who will power AFROPUNK’s iconic digital destinations, alongside BOSE, who will be fueling the music for AFROPUNK’S festival on the Pink Stage.

PLANET AFROPUNK’S 2020 line-up will be announced in the coming weeks and will feature headline artists from around the world.

The festival will be streamed at PLANETAFROPUNK.com with exclusive content on Facebook Live from October 23 to October 25.

 

John Boyega announced he is stepping down as a brand ambassador for the British cologne company Jo Malone after he was cut out of the Chinese version of a commercial he originally conceived, directed and starred in.

“I have decided to step down as Jo Malone’s global ambassador. When I joined the brand as their first male global ambassador last year, I created the short film we used to launch the campaign. It won the Fragrance Foundation Virtual awards 2020 for Best Media Campaign,’ he tweeted on Monday.

The original commercial, titled “London Gent,” showed Boyega walking around the Peckham neighborhood in London and featured a predominantly Black cast.

“Their decision to replace my campaign in China by using my concepts and substituting a local brand ambassador for me, without either my consent or prior notice, was wrong. The film celebrated by personal story — showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family,” Boyega wrote.

John Boyega has sign a deal with Netflix to produce a slate of non-English language films focusing on West and East Africa

“While many brands understandably use a variety of global and local ambassadors , dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone,” Boyega’s statement continued. “It’s back to back but I assure you this will be dealt with swiftly. I don’t have time for nonsense. We press on and strong. Stay blessed people.”

Jo Malone issued a public apology to Boyega after reshooting his commercial and recasting him with Chinese actor Liu Haoran in the new version.

“John is a tremendous artist with great personal vision and direction. The concept for the film was based on John’s personal experiences and should not have been replicated,” the brand toldThe Hollywood Reporter.

The Jo Malone debacle was not the first time Boyega has been removed for promotional material in China. Back in 2015, a Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster for China left out the actor and co-star Oscar Isaac.

 

‘Telling The Told and Untold’ by Tshego Paledi

If you’re looking for something different and interesting to binge-watch on YouTube, then Tshego Paledi’s Telling The Told and Untold true-crime web-series should be next on your watchlist.

The 20-year-old Wits student has decided to start a web-series which is mainly focused on the striking and conspicuous crime cases in South Africa’s history

Paledi sits in front of her camera to narrate and dive into details around murder cases, missing persons, serial killers and massacres, also showing archival footage from most of those crimes.

Some of her popular coverage includes the SA’s most-wanted serial killer; Ananias Mathe, the 2015 Van Breda murder case, and the case of slain police Constable Francis Rasuge.

 

What inspired you to start the crime series?
I’ve always been interested in crime whether it’s listening to podcasts or watching documentaries, YouTubers, series. So as I would watch my favorite true crime YouTubers, I noticed that they wouldn’t cover South Africa and that there weren’t any SA true crime YouTubers either. I just thought it would be something new and different for SA Youtube.

What would like people to grasp and learn from your content?
I think it’s just important for people to know that there is [a] crime that happens in SA. A lot of people watch true crime and think that SA is excluded from that, and we’re not.

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How do you pick which case to cover next and how do you prepare for that?
I have my own list of cases and I do take suggestions as well. So usually I would just pick any case from the ones that I have listed but also depending on what’s going on, I’ll pick cases that are relatable. For example, throughout the month of August, which is Women’s Month, I covered gender-based violence cases only. This was to keep people’s stories alive and their names known but also to show people that something that happened 2 decades ago is still happening

I prepare for cases by doing a lot of research, so I read news articles, I watch documentaries and in some cases, I do find court documents. So throughout the week, I’ll the case and on Saturdays, before I film – I sit with my mom and I practice what I’m going to say and how.

 

What’s the future plan for the series?
I‘ve actually never thought about, for me it’s just always been about enjoying covering cases, continuously improving my content and hopefully making my subscribers happy

Head over to YouTube to watch Tshego Paledi’s Telling The Told and Untold true-crime web-series.

Source: Yomzansi

 

Many African nations are starting to reopen airports, remove curfews, and slowly resume international tourism.

Most countries in Africa have been very strict on containing the spread of the virus, with most of them going into complete lockdowns earlier this year. That means nobody in and nobody out. Now that case numbers are relatively low across the continent, some nations have already reopened, with others making plans on how to reopen responsibly

Here are the countries on the continent that are currently open to tourism.

Burkina Faso

Although land and sea borders are currently closed, commercial flights have resumed. International travelers will have to present negative COVID-19 test results 5 days before arriving.

Travelers will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

This African country reopened its borders on August 15th and visitors will be required to present negative COVID-19 cases within 3 days of arriving.

Travelers may have to quarantine and get tested again after arriving.

Egypt

Egypt opened its borders on July 1st to travelers. Upon arrival, visitors are expected to have a valid visa, wear face masks, complete a health declaration card, provide proof of health insurance, and complete a temperature check.

Ethiopia

When visiting Ethiopia, travelers are expected to provide proof of negative COVID-19 test results taken within 5 days of arrival. A 14-day quarantine will also be required as well as being tested again when arriving.

If visitors don’t have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, a mandatory quarantine will go into effect at an Egyptian government designated hotel for 7 days at the expense of the traveler. A test will be administered at the end of the 7-day quarantine.

Ghana

Starting September 1st, Ghana will open its borders to international passenger flights. Travelers will have to show negative COVID-19 test results taken within 3 days of arriving as well as being tested at the airport upon arrival.

Land and sea travel will still be prohibited.

Kenya

Kenya reopened for International tourism on August 1st. Visitors will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.

Liberia

July 1st marked the reopening of Liberia’s borders. Visitors will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival as well as a health and temperature check upon arrival.

Rwanda

All nations can visit Rwanda, which reopened on June 17th. You must email your negative COVID-19 test to lab@rbc.gov.rw within 3 days of arrival as well as print a copy of the email to show to customs when arriving.

Visitors will be tested again after arriving.

Sao Tome and Principe

Visitors arriving in Sao Tome and Principe will have to be tested and quarantined for 14 days in addition to showing a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival.

Senegal

Senegal reopened its international borders on July 15th but land and sea borders are still closed. When arriving in Senegal, visitors will have to complete a health declaration form as well as provide a negative COVID-19 test taken less than 7 days from departure.

Seychelles

Seychelles opened its borders on June 1st and are accepting visitors from ‘low’ and ‘medium’ risk countries.

Travelers will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival.

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Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone reopened its borders on July 22nd but land borders are still closed. In order to enter, visitors must complete a travel authorization card, have a valid visa, show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 3 days of arrival, and pre-pay for testing upon arrival.

Tanzania

There will be no quarantine in place for travelers to Tanzania but visitors will have to go through temperature checks, wearing masks, and social distancing.

Togo

Visitors must complete an online immigration form prior to arriving and show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival.

Tunisia

Tunisia reopened it’s international borders on June 27th and is allowing visitors from certain countries to enter with no testing or quarantine while others will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 3 days of departure.

Zambia

All nations are able to visit Zambia as long as proof of a negative COVID-19 test is provided.

 

 

A highly-effective all-female anti-poaching ranger unit called the Akashinga is protecting wildlife and revolutionizing the fight against illegal trophy hunting.

We’re on a mission to scale our community-driven conservation model, empowering disadvantaged women to restore and manage a network of wilderness areas as an alternative economic model to trophy hunting.

Since being founded in 2017 as part of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), the Akashinga (meaning The Brave Ones in the Shona language) helped reduce elephant poaching in Zimbabwe’s Lower Zambezi Valley by a whopping 80 percent.

Damien Mander oversees combat training; the team he leads is thought to be the world’s first all-women ranger unit protecting a nature reserve (Credit: Rachel Nuwer)

Many of the women join the program for stability and income, completely transforming their lives for the better. They are trained and equipped just like most armies, and hold their positions with pride.

In an interview with Elle, two of the army’s sergeants detail the lengths that poachers will go to, including using cyanide to kill the animals or even encountering the women with weapons when confronted.

Despite the dangers associated with their position, the women have been able to make hundreds of arrests in the last few years, and have helped bring down the elephant poaching rate by around 80%.

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To learn more about the work of the Akashinga, you can visit the International Anti-Poaching Foundation’s website.

 

 

Johannesburg-based Studio Yezi, an animation studio founded by Thandiwe Mlauli, has announced its first project in development – which will also be South Africa’s first independently produced and women-led afro-animation, with Mlauli acting as producer, director and showrunner. The production, titled SOLA, will comprise a series and accompanying short film

SOLA is an action-adventure, fantasy and coming-of-age series about the adventures of a girl named Sola who experiences her magic awakening in a world where magic is dangerous and deadly

Sola
Sola

Per the company’s website, “Yezi” is short for “inkanyezi,” which means “star” in isiZulu. The development and animation shop intends “to be a symbol of hope and light, we intend to serve the world with our storytelling.”

As the studio’s founder, Mlauli is already carving out a unique space in the South African animation and entertainment industries that focuses on heart-warming local stories, diverse narratives and character representations, as well as nurturing and developing fresh local talent.

Having graduated with a BFA in Producing for Film & TV from the New York Film Academy, the studio founder spent time in Los Angeles studying the international animation game by attending workshops like the first-of-its-kind Black Women Animate Bootcamp in 2018, and returned to her home country having built a network of like-minded creatives all over the globe.

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Studio Yezi – true to Mlauli’s driven and creative nature – has launched an ambitious global fund-raising campaign (#MakeSOLAHappen) to complete production on the SOLA series and shorts. Having already begun the development process thanks to independent funding efforts, Mlauli and her team are giving everyday South Africans and lovers of representative storytelling all over the world an opportunity to invest in a project set to make a mark not only in local animation but international territories too.

To learn more or to make a contribution that will help the production team, cast and developers move closer to getting SOLA on national and international screens, visit www.studioyezi.co.za.