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This Couple is Creating a New Line of Frozen West African Meals

Chicago-based couple Perteet and Fred Spencer have signed a deal with Whole Foods to produce frozen traditional West African meals.

Forget the frozen pizzas and TV dinners. Americans now have the opportunity to explore the numerous flavours of West African cuisine. Chicago-based couple Perteet and Fred Spencer have signed a deal with American company Whole Foods to produce a new line of frozen traditional West African meals. The Spencers are the founders of AYO Foods, derived from the Yoruba term meaning "joy", and wanted to bring some of their favourite recipes to locations where they feel West African cuisine especially is still underrepresented, Travel Noire reports.

READ: Here Are 50 of the Best African Foods From Across the Continent

Speaking about the major deal with BLACK ENTERPRISE, Perteet says the following:

"Our home has always been a gathering point for friends and family because we love the joy that is born out of those special moments together. None of these moments happen without a great meal. As we thought about building a business together, nothing inspired us more than using our strong industry experiences to create these moments for others by sharing some of our family's favorite recipes that were under-represented in mainstream grocery stores."

The new line of frozen meals is set to be made available in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and in the Chicago-based grocery store, Green Grocer. While the recipes to be included in the new line have not as yet been revealed, AYO Food products including Jollof rice, egusi soup and cassava leaf soup may just be a part of it.

OkayAfrica's Kiratiana Freelon writes, "When it comes to African restaurants, Chicago is no Paris or London, where fancy eateries and humble spots coexist." Freelon goes on to add that, "Chicago's African restaurants are all still family-run businesses that to tend cater to Africans seeking an affordable taste of home." Revisit our previous Diaspora Eats series here.

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The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Fireboy DML, Juls, Adekunle Gold and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Film
Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty.

Michaela Coel Joins the 'Black Panther' Sequel Cast

The upcoming film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is shaping up.

The sequel to the Oscar-winning Black Panther is only due to debut in July of 2022, but the production is well on its way.

The latest news out of the camp is that Michaela Coel, of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum fame, has officially joined the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Her character details are still under wraps but according to Variety, Coel has already joined director Ryan Coogler at Atlanta's Pinewood Studios, where production started in late June.

Coel joins original cast members Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, Florence Kasumba, and Angela Bassett all reprising their roles. Following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel reportedly chose not to recast the role of T'Challa.

Read: How Michaela Coel's 'I May Destroy You' Makes Space For Black Creators

"It's clearly very emotional without Chad," Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige mentions. "But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."

Michaela Coel's highly-lauded 2020 series I May Destroy You — which she wrote, directed, produced and stared in — received four Emmy nominations.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for wide release on July 8, 2022.

Meet Duro Arts, the Man Behind Your Favorite Afrobeats Album Covers

We talk to the Lagos-based digital artist about his work with Olamide, Phyno, Falz and more.

Duro Arts has found himself illustrating the cover artwork for a new wave of Nigerian musicians. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Oluwadurotimi Bolaji Idowu started digital art in 2010, at a time where afrobeats music was still grasping its feet. Now, 11 years later, he has made covers for heavyweight hitmakers like Peruzzi, Phyno, Olamide, Zlatan, Oxlade, and Davido.

We caught up with Duro Arts on a Sunday afternoon over Zoom. He took the call from Accra, Ghana, where he's currently working. We talked about his journey as a digital artist, his portfolio, creative process, and the changes he'd like to see in the creative industry.

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Series Producer Bonga Percy Vilakazi Is Big On Telling Progressive Stories

The award-winning South African writer and producer cut his teeth in the TV industry washing and drying make-up sponges. Today, he's responsible for entertaining millions of soapie lovers on the African continent.