Film

Cinemafrique: Lupita Nyong'o In 'Americanah,' Sophie Okonedo Wins A Tony, Uzo Aduba On Funny Or Die + More

The latest in Okayafrica's Cinemafrique features African film and TV news on Lupita Nyong'o, Sophie Okonedo wins at the Tony's and more.


Orange Is The New Black's Uzo Aduba on Funny Or Die

Welcome to the fifth installment of Cinemafrique, where every other Thursday we highlight the latest film and television news from throughout Africa and the diaspora. This week we take a look at Lupita Nyongo's forthcoming adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah, A Raisin In The Sun star Sophie Okonedo's Tony Awards triumph, Orange Is The New Black's Uzo Aduba stars in a Funny Or Die sketch, the Zanzibar International Film Festival gets underway this weekend, Spoek Mathambo's South African electronic music documentary, call for submissions for Udada Film Festival and Africa in Motion, Spoek Mathambo's Future Sound of Mzansi documentary on South Africa's electronic music landscape, and nominees for the Nigeria Entertainment Awards. Click on for the full scoop.

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Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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