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Blitz the Ambassador's Debut Film Is a Story of Love, Betrayal & Illegal Gold Mining

'The Burial of Kojo' follows Ghanaian brothers Kwabena and Kojo, whose misfortunes and decisions brew into a vengeful and tumultuous narrative.

Samuel Bazawule aka Blitz the Ambassador is far more than a musician, lyricist and dapper suit-wearer—he's on a mission to tell eclectic, fantastical stories on Ghanaian life and love.


The TED Fellow is known for creating music videos that transport us to magical and mysterious settings, follow eccentric characters and brim with emotion and wonder. Now, he's taking his creative vision one step further with his film The Burial of Kojo: a magical realist tale of betrayal, love, sibling rivalry and gold.

The Burial of Kojo follows brothers Kwabena and Kojo, whose misfortunes and decisions brew into a vengeful and tumultuous narrative. After Kojo causes a car accident that kills Kwabena's bride, Kwabena is determined to avenge her by killing Kojo.

Knocking Kojo unconscious, Kwabena buries him in a mineshaft to die. It is up to Kojo's wife Ama and Detective Koomson to find Kojo before he meets his demise.



Inspired by true stories of Ghanaians risking their lives to mine for gold (galamsey), Blitz and cinematographer M ichael Fernandez wanted to craft a film that personalizes, instead of victimizes, this illegal act.

"Instead of centering the issues, I centered the people, which is seldom done when Hollywood makes films about Africa," he says. "Our objective was to capture the beauty, even when the circumstances weren't beautiful." Curating and capturing this beauty was no easy feat—the 600 frame storyboard is hand drawn by Blitz himself, who wanted to ensure his vision was brought to life as he imagined.

Besides telling an exciting tragedy and showcasing the beauty of Ghana and Guinea, Blitz and Fernandez created a telenovela within the film that parallels the lives of the characters. Telenovelas are a hit in Ghana, which makes this juxtaposition even more compelling to the tale, meta in its function, and playful to watch.

After an intensive 23-day shoot filled with car burning and mine diving, The Burial of Kojo is now in post-production mode. Blitz is raising money for music, editing and marketing on Kickstarter, and he hopes this will inspire more Ghanaian artists to self produce extraordinary projects—even if getting funding is difficult. Just recently, the Kickstater reached its goal of $75,000, but Blitz is looking to surpass that goal.



The Burial of Kojo looks and feels like something that stepped out of a daydream - or, for Kojo, a nightmare. We hope Blitz achieves his monetary goal so that we can see the film in its entirety. After all, the best dreams are the ones that come true.

Learn more on how to support The Burial of Kojo here.

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Courtesy of the artist

Meet Musa Okwonga, Poet, Musician and Activist Standing Up Against Xenophobia One Line At A Time

We talk to the artist about leaving London, being a migrant and resisting Germany's resurgent fascist movement.

A German TV channel recently announced a TV debate on whether Germans should still be allowed to say the N-word.

One of the announced panelists was Frauke Petry, the former leader of the AfD—a German far-right party that recently got 14 percent of the vote in local elections. Petry openly called for the return of Nazi-era terminology in public. This issue might have remained hidden for anglophones if it wasn't for the British writer, poet and activist Musa Okwonga who called out the TV channel on his Twitter account. Eventually, they cancelled the show.

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Sports
Via CONIFA

At This World Cup, Players Risk Imprisonment to Compete

What you need to know about the CONIFA World Cup, the football tournament for breakaway nations.

The ConIFA World Cup, the global football tournament for unrecognized nations, and football associations not affiliated to FIFA, is about to begin its third edition. The championship will kickoff on 31 May in Sutton, Greater London, where the Barawa FA team will act as host.

Barawa FA, named after the port city of Barawa in southern Somalia, represents the Tunni and Bravanese people who live there, but it also represents the wider Somali diaspora in the United Kingdom. So, even though the tournament will be played in England, this will be the most African ConIFA competition to date, with not only an African member hosting and heading the organizing committee, but with two other African teams taking part in the competition: Matabeleland and Kabylia.

This will be the largest edition of the ConIFA World Cup so far, with 16 teams playing in 10 stadiums—seven in Greater London, two in Berkshire and one in Essex. In contrast, the previous edition, held in Abkhazia—a separatist region of Georgia—in 2016, featured 12 teams in two stadiums; while the inaugural edition, held in Lapland—a region encompassing parts of northern Sweden, northern Norway, northern Finland and north-western Russia inhabited by the Sami people—in 2014, only featured one stadium and 12 teams. It will also feature the largest number of African teams so far, as only two participated in 2014 (Darfur and Zanzibar) and 2016 (Somaliland and Chagos Islands).

The tournament has also raised its profile. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power announced it will be sponsoring the tournament, probably seizing the opportunity to take bets on the tournament, which will occur between the end of national European leagues and the beginning of the FIFA World Cup in mid-June.

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Events
Photo by Farah Sosa.

Here's What Amplify Africa's Inaugural Afro Ball Looked Like

The awards event was a celebration of excellence and ambition in the African community.

On Saturday, May 19, the Los Angeles Theater Center in downtown LA became a mecca for idealists and dreamers from the African diaspora.

The casual passersby would've been greeted with an effusion of bold prints, intricate headwraps and color coordination—the likes of which had not been seen since their favorite 90s music video (or church, or a wedding for some of us). And though the festivities might have vaguely resembled a film set—as is all too common downtown—this moment wouldn't be rehashed months later in a movie or television show. Attendees were flocking to Amplify Africa's inaugural Afro Ball. With the support of BET International, Buzzfeed, OkayAfrica, the GEANCO Foundation and more, Afro Ball lived up to its name as a "for Africans, by Africans" awards event, celebrating excellence and ambition in our community.

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