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.
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.
“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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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 reopened for International tourism on August 1st. Visitors will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.
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.
All nations can visit Rwanda, which reopened on June 17th. You must email your negative COVID-19 test to email@example.com 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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%.
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
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.
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.
Black is King or a marvelous narration of black pride that displays black beauty, strength and culture through Disney’s Lion king protagonist Simba, journey with the music of The Gift curated by Beyoncé. The film premiered the 31th of July on Disney+ and the next day on African platform like DSTV, Canal+ …
After getting amazed by these high quality visuals with dances, rhythm and researched aesthetics with the collaboration of our amazing creatives from African countries through direction, fashion and filming production we have to point out and show those references that made us lift up from our chairs.
The film was in work since 2019, proving again that Beyoncé’s NDA contracts have enough power to silence anybody. We’ve seen colors, Afrofuturism aesthetic but most importantly blackness through ages and all over the world.
Beyoncé represents an ancestor that will follow the young king into his trip and teach him about the circle of life and witness every moment of his ascending to be a king despite sadness, anger and lost of his own self, from his dreams, and his new accomplished life with Nala and their new baby. In this narrative Beyonce amplifies women gift to give life and show that women are in the center of the creation of the world.
Through African Tradition
The symbol of White
The first scene revolves around Baptism, like the birth of Simba in the circle of life. We can see ancestors, priests sagging and priestess with Calabasas washing children faces and feet, holding flowers and praying. In many African cultures white means “Purity” and also remind us of Komians women in Akan societies, these women considered as medium were able to be in contact with the spirit world and ours. They wore white, had nude feet and could see the future and always accompanies the King and royal family in their reign through protection and even afterwards, whe he passes.
The ceremony use body paint on the young king by his ancestors that solidify his status, and ritual of purification as young king, it reminds us of kaolin (White Clay) that is used in ritual and symbolize joy (Dan people with yangbah dance), peace and mourn, cultural ceremonies in Akan societies and all over west African tribes. Even the Fang of Cameroon and Myene in Gabon, the dead will cross the river of tears to become a spirit , in Gabon the Ogooue they use white clay also to represent ghosts.
But white is also refered in ancient Egypt as mourning, it symbolize death through mummification of passed pharaohs, shroud that can be seen in Nile video clip that represents “The king has died” after Simba’s naivety and fight against the image of funeral always symbolized by black in western societies.
The use of Calabasas is really symbolic, a non-edible fruit that grows in Africa and America that isused to create utensil, musical instrument (balafon, maracas, djembe), its round form is a symbol of cosmic energy and women that are the perfect recipient for holding life. For example in Yoruba’s Orisha myth, Odudua and Obatala merge like two half Calabasas form the universe and represent the duality of the creation of the world.
Snakes can be seen as evil creatures in western religious belief, but in many tribes in Benin, togo vodun, and even dogon tribe where they represent their past immortal ancestors, they are seen as sacred, protectors. The Nommo androgynous twins of dogon is a python.
African spirituality is rooted in animal source of power and image of spirit and are used to portrays divinity and venerence. We can see a bull head of batammaribain Benin and Togo, mursi women in Ethiopia, the bull was a symbol of fertility in ancient Egypt whose horns were worn by Hathor goddess of love, family and also by Odiani people of igbo.
Golden and Divine status
Many great scenes representing the masai jumping contest in suit From Kenya and Tanzania. We’ve seen lot of wraps display in plenty of scenes, represent symbol of marriage, status. The lip disc from east Africa, popular in Ethiopia, Chad, Mozambique and are symbol of social status too.
The Akan crown, golds and umbrella Ohenekyinnie that means authority over his people. Omo people in Ethiopia, Guere in cote d’ivoire, mastered the art of body painting as cultural expression in Africa and flowers head pieces.
Scenes about balance reminds of Maat one of the most known goddess in Egypt, without forgetting Gods in Vodun Liza and Mawu through he portrayal of good and bad, light and dark that cannot exist without one another.
Adinkra symbol, one of the first written languages from Akan (Most popular in Ghana), is represented in this scene, and this sign is a symbol of wealth, power abundance and solidarity.
Red ochre by Himba women in Naminia mixed with cow milk is used to to protect their skin from the sun, give them a beautiful rich hydrated skin. Their thick hair symbolize fertility. In the film they are symbolising duality of male female spirits/ancestors .
We can see art from the Ndebele of south Africa, Masai jewelries of kenya, celebration of love and return back to the values of motherland that is the real royalty, not the crown and artifacts.
This visual send us far than earth, but to the creation of the world through the Dogon people, a tribe living in west Africa (Mali, Cote d’ivoire…) that refused the arrival of islam and Christianity and have a belief deeply rooted into nature, celestial bodies as the universe and their knowledges of space, astronomy till this day fascinating modern day scientist. In their spirituality the universe was created by the Amma and this God created the earth who was a women and fertilizes her to creates Nommo an androgenous twin deities and its first inhabitants to represens duality. They even have masks that represent the movement of the sun called Sirige. Beyonce represents every celestial mentioned in their tale like the stars, the sun, Sirius, Comet, Black Hole, the pleiade seven sisters to portray how the dance of all these bodies created the world like the dogon speak of in their oral tradition.
We can see green man that represents water genie in Bambara, dogon, Azuza of west Africa (Ghana, benin, togo) pygme genie male, Congo with ireyi cult Toula in Niger, also created by the foam of the sea.
We can see Kanaga masks wore by the Awa society, a mask that is used in a ceremony called Dama and establish the connection between the earth and the sky to usher the sprits and accompany the dead into the spirit world that show this vision of the creation of the world to the young king and his ancestors portrayed by the stars. They always pay homage to their first ancestors like mufasa showing his ancestors to simba.
Representation of Black Beauties
In brown skin girl, The film is pushing Black girls and woman in Disney spaces and is a real statement on universial beauty that misrepresented in its film and Disney princesses. Those girls that beauty is and always have been undeniable through their versatility and diverse characteristics, the song praises darker skin in this colorist society, an ode to black beauty portrayed through Kelly Rowland, Naomi Campbell. She portrays young girls in contemporary princess outfit thinking about cendrillon ballroom, reference to Rapunzel with huge braided hair, Beyonce included herself as Rapunzel, to celebrate versatility in Afro.
We’ve Fulani braids, bantu knots , Nigerian hair scuplture, hair from Hamer people of Ethiopia, mangbetu with lipombo skull elongation which is a sign of beauty intelligence and power making us think about Nefertiti representing beauty through ages.
Beauty universiality and blackness through the world with south/east Asia where colorism is harsh and economy allow the commercialization and encouragement of bleaching.
African Women bodies
Busiswa wearing Isicholo of zulu, is celebrating african woman curves that have been demonized and sexualized all these years reference to Saartjie Baartman a south african enslaved woman that lived a terrible life because of racism. The hips movement like the earth reminds of assiko dance in Cameroon or dances in Congo that are centered on the hips.
African Spirituality and water (Like Fela says water no gets enemy)
Water is source of life, purification to baptize, regeneration and is important in the circle of life (Ships were seen as trip to the afterlife).
Its very important in African spirituality. We’ve seen her dance with water, on water (river) mazina maganda an Uganda dance to vibrate and bring life to the water. She pays homage to african deities that are connected with water , the orishas from Yoruba mythology, that she mentionned that accompanied the young king through his fight for enlightment, we can mention Yemaya (igbo) also Mami watta in Benin, Togo, vodun, Faro in mali link to Niger river and has a strong relationship with water through music reminds of blues,in saheli tribe where water is a necessity which they are always seeking for.. We remember that the Nile was the center that explain how African migrated through the whole continent, Abla Pokou that sacrified her child to save her people (Baoule myth), water has memory and recover the truth and hold our spirituality, water and woman share life that they give. In mali they have a strong relationship with water, nobody can exist without water. The image of African women taking charges on their head in calabases walking kilometers to get safe water from well or rivers for their family.
Through Lion King
In Mood 4 eva, we can see a display of eccentricity and careless and fantasy world that reminds African dictators through presidential wealthy mandate like Mobutu and Marie Antoinette in RDC with his cheetah famous hat. Its represent the famous phrase “Hakuna Matata” which is a celebration of life. The animal prints are here to remind us of the animals in Lion King the film, we have the morning report by Zazu reference with beyonce reading her morning paper, and the flamingo scene with synchonised dancers in the pool with pink. This dream will send Simba into a world where he will only see his fantasies that scramble his perspection of reality and build his illusion of happiness to ignore his worries.
We can see Beyonce in a tree as Rafiki in Already and others scene th Lion King’s fans will love.
Black is king is a counterbalance narrative towards the hate, incomprehension towards Black people in the world ! Lets seek wealth, real royalty that are not represented by monarchy but by our community values, knowledge and love for each other.
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.