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Ghanaian-American Filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu Focuses On Rosa Parks & The Civil Rights Movement In 'Bus Nut'

Ghanaian-American filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu focuses on Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement in her latest short film, 'Bus Nut.'


Bus Nut is a new short film from Akosua Adoma Owusu that re-imagines the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott from the perspective of a young girl who is obsessed with buses. With this new work, the Ghanaian-American filmmaker shifts her focus away from the themes of African folklore and European colonialism, which she explored in Kwaku Ananse (2013) and Me Broni Ba (2009), to the injustices faced by African-Americans in the Jim Crow South. Running at just over seven minutes, Owusu makes use of an unconventional narrative structure in the experimental project, which stars An African City actress MaameYaa Boafo. The short film features archival footage from a 1980 educational video on public school bus safety spliced with shots of Boafo as the titular "bus nut" reciting snippets of press conference and interview audio given by Parks in the wake of her fearless act.

Bus Nut marks the first collaboration between Boafo and Owusu, who form part of the Ghanaian-American diaspora's new wave of women blazing the trail in film, theater and television. “I thought it was powerful,” Boafo said of the film, “to portray these two individuals - with words from the trial of why an innocent woman had no reason to leave a bus, and footage of a little girl who dreams of always being in one.”

Bus Nut is slated to debut on the film festival circuit later this month, competing for awards at the Oberhausen Film Festival in Germany, and at the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival. Keep up with Owusu and her latest festival run on Facebook.

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(Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: "Super excited to announce I've been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired."

He is among 175 scholars, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-sixth competition," says the Guggenheim.

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Nigerian Officials Drop Charges Against Naira Marley for Violating Coronavirus Lockdown Order

The Nigerian star was arraigned on Wednesday for attending a party at the home of Nollywood actress Funke Akindele.

Naira Marley has been pardoned by Lagos authorities, after being arraigned in Lagos for attending a party at the home of Nollywood actress Funke Akindele last weekend, which violated the city-wide lockdown.

According to a report from Pulse Nigeria, the "Soapy" singer and two other defendants—politician Babatunde Gbadamosi and his wife—were ordered to write formal apologies to the Government of Lagos, give written assurance that he will follow the ordinance going forward, and go into self-isolation for 14 days.

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Culture
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

6 South African Podcasts to Listen to During the Lockdown

Here are six South African podcasts worth listening to.

South Africa has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it looks like the period might just get extended. If you are one of those whose work can't be done from home, then you must have a lot of time in your hands. Below, we recommend six South African podcasts you can occupy yourself with and get empowered, entertained and informed.


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Photo courtesy of BLK JKS.

7 South African Punk Bands You Should Check Out

Here are some South African punk bands—old and new—that you should be listening to.

For many years, the punk scene in South Africa has been thriving through a hands-on DIY attitude in which bands can foster their own homegrown audience without relying on mainstream culture. Music festivals like Soweto Rock Revolution have played a big part in it. Bands like National Wake showed the way and TCIYF are following that path and making punk more relevant than ever in the country.

Here are seven South African punk bands you should check out.

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