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The Stories You Need to Know: Ghanaians at the National Spelling Bee, Quartz's List of 30 African Innovators and More

Ghanaians at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Quartz Africa's list of 30 African innovators and more.

SOUTH AFRICA—IndiePix Films, in a distribution partnership with Retro Afrika Bioscope has restored 48 vintage South African films—that were previously opposed under apartheid— with plans to re-release them on digital streaming services. The company plans to release 48 films for its "Vintage Afrika" collection, 20 of them are available now on IndiePix Unlimited, the company's signature streaming service. Read more on the re-releases here.


DIASPORA—Ghanaians have taken over this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The yearly competition brings out the best spellers, under 14, in the United States to compete for the title of champion speller. Below are some of the Ghanaian participants at this year's games.

DIASPORA—Quartz Africa has released its list of 30 African innovators. The inaugural list features artists, designers, social entrepreneurs, writers, activists and more from across the continent. Chimamanda Adichie, Akon, Trevor Noah, and Boniface Mwangi are some of the honorees.  Check out the full list, here.

KENYA— The country has official opened its new Chinese-funded railway, which runs between Nairobi and Mombasa. President Uhuru Kenyatta stated that the railroad marks a new chapter in the country's history, BBC reports.

Eventually, the country hopes to expand the line to help connect South Sudan, DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia to the Indian Ocean. The railroad costs 3.2 billion to build and the president has secured an additional 3.6 billion dollars to support the oncoming expansion.

 

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Stogie T Enlists Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and More, for ‘The Empire of Sheep’ Deluxe Edition

Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

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"Kata" single cover.

Listen to Tekno's New Single 'Kata'

The Nigerian artist and producer returns with a melodic banger just in time for the weekend.

Nigerian artist Tekno is back with his second single of the year, "Kata."

The heavyweight artist and producer delivers a melodic track that sees him singing about his devotion to his lover over drum-filled production from Phantom. The track features subdued vocals from. the artist, and a beat that's easy to move along to. The song follows the track 'Beh Beh' which he released earlier this year.

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Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

'Dhalinyaro' Is the Female Coming-of-Age Story Bringing Djibouti's Film Industry to Life

The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories.

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South African Jazz Artist Nduduzo Makhathini Releases Highly-Anticipated Blue Note Records Debut

Listen to South African jazz artist Nduduzo Makhathini's new album 'Modes of Communication: Letters from the Underworlds.'

South African pianist, composer, and healer Nduduzo Makhathini has released his Blue Note Records debut Modes of Communication: Letters from the Underworlds. The 11-track album is characterized by Makhathini's trademark piano keys, hissing percussions that collide with expressive vocals. As is always the case with Makhathini's work, spirituality is a huge part of the album deals with humans' connection to the ancestors and the spiritual realm.

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