Today, the South African Screen Federation (SASFED), supported by the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO), announced the establishment of a COVID-19 Film and Television Relief Fund in collaboration with Netflix to provide emergency relief to the hardest-hit workers in South Africa’s creative community.
The streaming service will donate over R8.3 million, which will be administered by Tshikululu Social Investment, who will screen the applications for eligibility as well as payout the funds to beneficiaries
“SASFED is delighted about the announcement that the Netflix Covid-19 Film and Television Relief Fund will provide relief for workers in the screen sector that were not eligible for other available relief funds. The SA economy has been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, said SASFED executive director, Unathi Malunga.
“The Netflix fund supporting the local film industry brings hope to struggling industry professionals. We hope other potential partners will follow Netflix’s example and support SASFED’s broader initiatives which offer assistance to industry professionals across the whole value chain – an initiative undertaken by industry, for the industry. SASFED applauds Netflix’ support of the local screen sector during the global crisis.”
Sisanda Henna, IPO co-Chairperson said: “Following months of extreme hardship for most of our sector, the IPO is overjoyed that Netflix is providing this desperately-needed relief for those most hard hit by the pandemic – the industry’s below-the-line freelancers to whom no other relief has been available.
“This is a clear demonstration of Netflix’s commitment to the sustainability of the South African film and TV production industry, and we welcome them – with wide open arms – as a partner in our broader efforts to support the screen sector.”
From 3 August the members of the creative community will be able to apply by filling out an online application at Tshikululu’s website (tshikululu.org.za) or mailing physical applications. The eligibility criteria will be posted on the website when applications open.
The South African TV and film community has been dealing with the effects this pandemic has caused to their livelihoods because of the continuous disruptions to local productions. Thank you to SASFED, with the support of IPO, for collaborating with us in our efforts to provide short-term relief to the hardest-hit workers from the local creative industry, who most need our support in these unprecedented times.
Dorothy Ghettuba, Netflix’s lead for African Originals
In March, Netflix announced a $100 million hardship fund to help the hardest-hit workers in the creative community across the world affected by the pandemic, which has since been increased to $150 million. The R8,3 million contribution in South Africa is part of this initiative
In Lesotho, a highland country surrounded by South Africa—an artist named Nthabiseng TeReo Mohanela takes discarded materials and transforms them into unique clothing and accessories. Teaching young people the benefits of recycling and re-creation, she calls her project “From Trash to Treasure.”
With TeReo’s work as a starting point, this short film showcases a broader spirit of reimagination among artists in Lesotho, who use creativity to respond to entrenched social problems: Filmmakers show the need to end child marriage. Musicians write songs about climate change. Farmers collect seeds to protect endangered tree species. Designers use fashion to preserve traditional Basotho culture and challenge common perceptions of Africa.
Profiling a variety of these innovators, “FROM TRASH TO TREASURE: turning negatives into positives” encourages us to take lessons from those who rethink, reuse, and reinvent in order to promote positive change.
Sampa the Great is a Zambian-born singer, songwriter and rapper who is poised to take a huge leap. The Melbourne-based artist has been on an upward trajectory since her 2017 mixtape ‘Birds and the BEE9’ was released on Ninja Tune subsidiary label Big Dada. A critically and commercially successful project, she landed the crown of Australia’s leading black female artist with its release. Influences of Lauryn Hill and Mos Def are weaved in throughout with both its soulful, jazzy theme backed up by introspective lyrical content.
We spoke to Sampa about her musical inspirations and what “home” means to her.
Photo credit: Michaela DutkovàWhat was your first experience with music?
I believe it was a kitchen party/bridal shower, when I was 7.
The women of our community were singing together and to me it was just the most beautiful thing I ever heard.
Hearing all their voices singing in unison, showed me how music can connect us all into one voice.
What was your childhood like?
I lived in Zambia till I was two, then my family moved to Botswana where I was raised in Gaborone . Most of my childhood and parts of my adulthood were spent in Africa between these two places.
My childhood was very expressive. We were taught by our parents to not be afraid of our voices or opinions. We also come from a family that loves to entertain and make people laugh, so it’s not a far stretch that the kids would turn out to be entertainers.
Our parents didn’t come from a wealthy background at all and had to work for a chance to send their children to school and university. No inheritance, no connection, nothing!
Being raised from a Bemba mom and Tumbuka father always reminded me of the legacy I come from, especially in a world that’s hell bent on tearing you down.
My upbringing was also a marriage of two cultures, as I was raised between the two countries and often would look for where I would fit in and which was home to me.
That small displacement was the basis of my recent project “The Return”, which in the grand scheme of things touches on the topic of displacement. Especially that which is felt by the African Diaspora.
My first introduction to hip hop was through my cousin Chewe Sunkutu. He played Tupac “Changes” to me on cassette tape. I was 8/9 years old.
When I heard it, it was basically spoken word with beautiful melody. I just thought it was the most beautiful expression ever. It was also huge way to communicate what I feel, through spoken word and music in the way that he did.
How has music been a coping mechanism for you during these times?
It’s been my comfort,.. you know?
It’s either my healing, my therapy, my voice or my comforter. When I feel lost, misunderstood, uneasy or broken music is my source or means to communicate.
It has always been for me.
What does Africa mean to you?
Africa to me is my origin. My beginnings.
As it has been to those who birthed me and those who birthed them, onwards.
Without that source I think we would seize to exist. Put lightly.
How did you think the time in Africa shaped you?
My time in Africa wasn’t a vacation. I’m from and was raised at home and it’s always my return when I come back from where I’m based.
What it has solidified is that home is the source for a lot in this world. Spirituality, Resources etc.
To know I come from that is a blessing.
Where do you find inspiration for your fashion style?
Lol. I believe it is a mesh of everything. I’m very eclectic when it comes to fashion sense. If it’s a statement we’re making it. Always comfortable and true to myself though.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is a cumulation of soul, Zambian folk, hip hop and spoken word. Places I’ve been and their influences/stories are also reflected in my music. Don’t think theirs one sure way to describe it really…
What has been the most memorable experience so far in your career?
My first shows at home! A big 360 for me, as that is were my dreams of being an artist were birthed. I have full intentions of my goal of building a music school at home. All resources,experiences I’m collating till this date is towards that final goal.
Home has always been the goal!
How did you break into the Australian Market?
I believe I brought something different to the industry, which was my particular story and perspective of where Im from and how I’ve lived..
You have travelled and lived in a number of different places. How has Hip-hop played a role in those moves and transition?
I’ve been to these places through the opportunity of Hip hop music. It’s created that for me and I will be forever grateful to the originators of this culture and it’s influence around the world.
So, Lockdown has been lifted and you’re allowed to invite any musician and they will accept the invitation. Who are you inviting?
Lauryn Hill please!
What’s next for you?
Visual Arts and Film.
I have always been interested in visually representing who I am and where I’m from. More so now it doesn’t necessarily have to be connected to music. Looking to venture more in that avenue.
What artist are you hoping to collaborate with in the near future
Lauryn Hill seems to be my answer for most. As well as Thandiswa Mazwai and Nathan Nyirenda and various rappers,musicians form Zambia.
Some great news to Africans who were worried about missing on Beyoncé’s new visual album ‘Black Is King’.
The much anticipated visual album was recently announced with an exclusive premiere on Disney+ (31 July 2020) which is not yet available anywhere in Africa
A distribution deal was announced to make ‘Black Is King’ available in the continent, including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Cameroon, Liberia, Burundi, Senegal, Togo, Somalia, Benin, Congo, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Gabon, Cape Verde and many more countries through MultiChoice Group’s M-Net and Canal+ Afrique.
Yes, that means fans will be able to watch the premiere on Dstv, with date and time to be announced.
The visuals will include local stars such as Warren Masemola, Connie Chiume, Nandi Madida, Moonchild Sanelly and Nyaniso Dzedze.
The visual album is curated by Queen B herself as a writer, director, and executive producer. ‘Black Is King’ was put together within a year and will reimagine lessons of “The Lion King” for an audience of “young kings and queens in search of their own crowns.
The news come with a new trailer which was premiered today. The new trailer provides a glimpse of some of the special guests in the film. They include models Aweng Ade-Chuol and Adut Akech, supermodel Naomi Campbell, Tina Knowles-Lawson, author and Lupita Nyong’o, singer Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams and JAY-Z, among others.
Check it out below:
Black Is King’ was in production for one year and features an impressive list of diverse voices on its creative team, including directors Emmanuel Adjei (the film “Shahmaran”), Blitz Bazawule (the film “The Burial of Kojo”), Pierre Debusschere (“Mine” and “Ghost” videos for Beyoncé), Jenn Nkiru (“BLACK TO TECHNO” film), Ibra Ake (creative director and producer on “This is America” video for Childish Gambino), Dikayl Rimmasch (“CACHAO, UNO MAS” film), Jake Nava (“Crazy in Love,” “Single Ladies,” “Partition” videos for Beyoncé) and co-director and long-time collaborator of Beyoncé, Kwasi Fordjour.
Nelson Mandela Day 2020: South Africa’s first black president, Nobel Prize winner and anti-Apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela’s birth anniversary, on 18 July, is observed as Nelson Mandela International Day across the world. Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) had dedicated his life fighting for human rights and he believed that everyone has the potential to make a difference in their communities for the world to be a better place. Mandela Day is an occasion for all to take action and inspire change
Here are 10 surprising facts you probably didn’t know about Nelson Mandela:
Mandela’s given name was Rolihlahla, which his schoolteachers were unable to pronounce. One of them started calling him Nelson after British admiral Horatio Nelson, and the name obviously stuck. Rolihlahla, by the way, means “pulling the branch of a tree
He began his long road to a college degree at the University College of Fort Hare in 1931. He was expelled for participating in a protest against the university’s policies. Mandela eventually received his law degree from the University of South Africa in 1989, during the last months of his imprisonment. He also received honorary degrees from more than 50 universities.
He, along with fellow ANC member Oliver Tambo, established South Africa’s first black law practice in 1952. His practice primarily worked in challenging apartheid laws, including South Africa’s “pass laws,” which required non-white citizens to carry documents authorising their presence in “restricted” areas.
He married a First Lady- Before tying the knot with Mandela on his 80th birthday, Graça Machel was married to Mozambique President Samora Machel. Her marriage to Mandela after her husband’s death means she has been the first lady of two nations.
He traveled under an alias- In 1962, he took on the alias David Motsamayi and secretly left South Africa for other parts of Africa and England to rally support for the liberation movement and the African National Congress (ANC); he received military training in Morocco and Ethiopia.
He was a master of disguise – Forced to go underground to evade the police, Mandela disguised himself as a chauffeur, a chef and a garden boy. “I would wear the blue overalls of the fieldworker and often wore round, rimless glasses known as Mazzawati tea glasses. I had a car and I wore a chauffeur’s cap with my overalls. The pose of chauffeur was convenient because I could travel under the pretext of driving my master’s car,” he wrote in his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom.
Mandela earned a bachelor’s degree while still in prison – Before Mandela was imprisoned, he had begun to study law at the University of Witwatersrand through correspondence. Mandela enrolled in the University of London’s correspondence program and received a Bachelor of Law degree, all while he was still in prison
Mandela remained on the US terrorist watch list until 2008- The US government placed the African National Congress on the list in the 1980s, when the organisation was firmly committed to armed resistance to apartheid. In 2008, after Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize the US removed ANC members from the terrorist list.
Nelson Mandela received many honours.- He received more than 695 awards, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. More than 25 schools, universities and educational institutions have been named after Nelson Mandela. At least 19 scholarships and foundations bear his name. He was awarded 115 honorary degrees and more than 95 sculptures, statues, or pieces of art have been made of him or dedicated to him.
Netflix has launched its Made by Africans, Watched by the World campaign, which showcases talent from across the continent involved in Netflix’s African Originals.
The company released a video featuring local stars, including Pearl Thusi (who starred as Queen Sono in the Netflix Original of the same name) and Ama Qamata (from South African Original Blood & Water). On a not so normal Monday in Johannesburg, Netflix gathered 18 eclectic creatives from across the continent to speak to and celebrate their stories currently on, and soon to be on the streaming platform in a moment captured on film, entitled, ‘Made By Africans, Watched By The World’. These visionaries and storytellers, who have been at the forefront of African content on Netflix.
“Our aim at Netflix is to have stories that are made by Africans to be watched by the world. We are focused on giving our consumers in Africa, and globally, authentic African content. Having all of these incredible voices in the same room, and on the same platform going forward, is something to celebrate,” Dorothy Ghettuba, who leads African Originals for Netflix, said in a statement.
“We’ve always had our stories told by others from the outside-in but this time, we get to tell our own stories from the inside-out,” she adds.
Ghettuba is a Kenyan filmmaker. Before her position at Netflix, she was the CEO of Spielworks Media — a media production company based in Nairobi.
Nao Serati, owner of NAOSERATI, a brand that specializes in unisex garments that explore the margins of gender, was tasked with the job of translating the importance of African creative stories through fashion for the campaign. “With some of the best African talent in one room coming together to celebrate African creativity, we knew we had to put African fashion at the forefront. To remain true to the messaging, we wanted to work with talented designers from the various countries where each of the creatives are from, ensuring we were being as authentic as possible. The direction for the styling had to be glamorous, fresh and rooted in Africa. Each of the creatives featured in this collaboration is so beautiful and dynamic that creating looks for each individual was a surreal experience,” said Serati.
Expressing his excitement to work with fellow creatives, Serati added “we as Africa are a world of our own. We tell stories through our craft. I was so inspired, as a designer myself, researching every country and its designers. I saw all the obstacles some of these designers had to overcome and I am humbled by the fact that they still see the beauty in our world and create the most moving work. We collaborated with each artist to ensure that each story worked and that they came together beautifully. Once the final firework went off, it was a defining moment for all of us”.
South African star of Catching Feelings and Queen Sono, Pearl Thusi, was dressed by Nao Serati and spoke enthusiastically about Netflix’s investment in the African continent. “Africa is so intriguing to the rest of the world as there really is nothing like the beat of the African drum. It resonates with everyone,” said Thusi. The writer of Mama K’s Team 4, Malenga Mulendema of Zambia was dressed by Viviers and said, “like any other storyteller across the globe, we are just trying to tell our stories and explore our lives and communities that we live in, so it’s incredible that Netflix gave us a voice to do so globally”. Genevieve Nnaji, Nigerian all-round creative, dressed by Andrea Iyamah, echoed this statement and said “It’s a good thing, especially for upcoming artists who want a chance. We have so many more stories to tell in this part of the world.’’
If you want to browse African content on Netflix, simply search for “Made in Africa”. This will bring up content that the streaming service has licensed from African creators, as well as African Originals.
The Best Travel Podcasts For Anyone Longing To Hit The Road Again. While travel may be on hold now and we don’t know exactly for how long. Satisfy your wanderlust for new places by listening to top rated travel podcasts that transport you through experiential narratives and uplifting travelogues.
We’ve gathered a list of travel podcasts from the perspective of Black travellers and expats
Here are five Black expat podcasts you should be following:
As the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues to disrupt the world, Global Citizen is using the power of music and advocacy to bring people together with One World: Together At Home.
Announced on April 6, One World: Together At Home is a global special virtual event curated in collaboration with Lady Gaga, premiering Saturday, April 18, in celebration and support of health care workers and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO).