Events
DJ Spoko. Image: Fantasma.

Just Snares: A Tribute to Pioneer South African Producer, DJ Spoko

Join a tribute to DJ Spoko this weekend in Johannesburg and purchase a fundraising EP, with all proceeds going towards his three children.

On April 14, South African producer Marvin Ramalepe, better known as DJ Spoko, passed away.

DJ Spoko started producing on a PC as a teenager in Atteridgeville, a township outside Pretoria where he and his brother had moved to in order to find their father.

In the early 2000s, Spoko traveled to Soweto, where he fine-tuned his engineering skills under shangaan electro mastermind Nozinja. After returning home and setting up his own studio, Spoko helped craft the percussion pattern behind DJ Mujava's massive hit "Township Funk."

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Events

J. Cole's Lagos Performance and My Depression

After a suicide attempt, J. Cole became more than an artist to me. He was my life coach. One year later, he came to Nigeria.

"Why are you trying to kill yourself? What is so hard in the world that you want to end your life?"

I heard my rescuer asking as I sat on the waterfront, hot tears streaming down my face, mixing with the drops of water and ultimately dribbling into on my soaked clothes. I had tried to drown myself in Lagos that night in April 2017, and by some stroke of fortune, someone had dived right in to save my life.

At that moment, I wasn't grateful for the chance to see another day and breath the air. A part of me resented him for being a saviour, and not minding his business. Another part was filled with shame that I had let depression bring me to the edge of my humanity, and the final part was just bitterness from the pain. And so I sat on the floor and wept, while people gathered and gave me lots of advice and encouragement.

"Brother, there is so much to live for. And look at you, you are not poor. You are a fine young man," the voice of a lady hit me.

I returned to my office that night, and told my bosses that the resignation email I sent to them earlier was an error, withdrew it, and deleted all my parting letters to my friends and family. Not accomplishing a suicide felt like failure. I learned that day that rearranging the pieces of my existence back to how it was, was the morbid equivalent of a walk of shame. I did that walk of shame. On the drive back home in an Uber, I took the aux cord and played the first album that hit my mind.

It was J. Cole's 2014 Forest Hill Drive.

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Film
Still from "Nigerian Prince."

7 Must-See Films from This Year's Tribeca Film Festival

As the Festival kicks off today, we're highlighting the films we've got our hearts set on seeing.

The 17th Tribeca Film Festival begins in New York today, and we're spotlighting films that show Africa and the diaspora like you've never seen them before. From the Okavago Delta in Angola to the ballot boxes of Minnesota, these films aim to transport viewers through the continent and beyond, showcasing the diversity that exists in each person's story.

The Tribeca Film Festival was started 18 years ago, in the wake of 9/11. This year, the organizers are commemorating the spirit in which the Festival began, and celebrating the potential of the arts to make real change in societies across the world.

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