Popular
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Turner.

(L-R) Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong'o speak onstage during the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California

Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira's 'Americanah' Series Axed Due to COVID-19

The 'Americanah' mini-series adaptation by Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira has been axed by HBO Max due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and scheduling conflicts.

According to Variety,the adaptation of the popular Americanah novel into a series has been cancelled entirely. The news comes after shooting for the production at the beginning of the year was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. HBO Max has decided that the project will no longer go forward after years of adaptation talks which secured a 10-part series with the television giant. Lupita Nyong'o and Dania Gurira were set to headline the project as both writers and executive producers.


Read: #EndSARS: These Videos of Protestors Singing Davido's 'FEM' Will Make Your Day

Written by famed Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah was set to be Adichie's first novel to be adapted into a series by an American television network. Nyong'o initially wanted to adapt the book into a film but in 2018, revealed that it would be turned into a series. Avid followers of Adichie's writing waited with anticipation for the Americanah series along with cinephiles hungry for more Black productions. Emmy award-winnerUzo Aduba and British-Nigerian actor Zackary Momo were set to join the cast and Nigerian-American director Chinonye Chukwu was set to helm the adaptation. The devastating news has dashed this stellar cast's dream of coming together and producing another potential cultural phenomenon.

Americanahis a 2013 Novel from award winning Adichie. It tells the story of Ifemelu, an opinionated young Nigerian woman who falls in love with her classmate, Obinze, when they're still in high school. As the military rule in Nigeria intensifies, Ifemelu heads to America to continue her studies. Obinze is set to follow but is denied entry following the 9/11 tragedy. He instead heads to London where he encounters the difficult life that comes with being an undocumented immigrant.

Nyong'o and Gurira met through Eclipse, a stage play written by Gurira and performed in 2016 in America. The duo, who are originally from Kenya and Zimbabwe respectively, have intimated on working on several passion projects that spotlight Black voices. Americanah is reportedly one of several female-led shows that have been cancelled. According to Vulture, Nyong'o apparently pulled out of the series due to scheduling conflicts early in the year before the coronavirus pandemic breakout.

Fans shared their views on the recent news on social media:





News Brief

Rising Star Khaid Shares New Single ‘Jolie’

Nigerian music newcomer Khaid comes through with a new love song.


Khaidshares "Jolie," an Afro-infused love song that marks his first music release for the year. The record is a rhythmic and melodic offering that is complete with an infectious hook and Khaid's captivating vocals. In the song, Khaid describes his admiration for a girl that he is pursuing, but equally expresses the challenge that he is having getting her attention.

At the age of 12, Khaid, who was born and raised in Ojo in Lagos, Nigeria, began to freestyle and shoot videos in the streets of Ojo, which is where he was eventually discovered and signed by Sydney Walker, the owner of Neville Records, and a prominent Nigerian comedian.

At the beginning of 2022, Neville Records announced Khaid as a new signee, and since then, he has continued to make waves in the Nigerian music industry. His debut single "With You," was released only eight days after the announcement, and went on to become a commercial success. The song became one of the country's top hits, which now has over 3.7 million views on YouTube and 5 million Spotify streams.

Khaid went on to a release a 6-track album called Diversity and continues to push the envelope at only 17-years-old. The young talent has an EP on the way in the near future, and was recently featured on Okay Africa's 12 Nigerian Artists To Watch In 2023.

Listen to Khaid's "Jolie" below

Politics
Image via Khaid/Listen Up.

12 Nigerian Artists to Watch in 2023

We highlight Nigeria’s best emerging talents set to make their mark this year.

Nigeria is in many ways at the forefront of the global African music movement. The country has given birth to Africa’s biggest stars, and continues to do so year on end. However, this isn’t limited to the globally-known, such as international artists like Burna Boy and Wizkid. Every big artist starts from somewhere, and every established act once had their breakout moment.

Every year Nigeria churns out a handful of potential stars in the early phases of their journey to stardom, who make their mark with singles and projects that establish them as talents to watch. From greenhorns making their official debuts to budding talents attempting to establish their first hit single runs, we’ve highlighted a number of emerging Nigerian acts with amazing potential that wield a solid chance of breaking out this year.

Check out our list of 12 Nigerian artists to watch in 2023 below.

Keep reading...Show less
News Brief
Photo by C Brandon/Redferns/Getty Images

Baaba Maal Releases New Single 'Agreement'

Senegal's Baaba Maal shares a new song ahead of his upcoming album, Being.


Renowned Senegalese singer and guitaristBaaba Maalhas shared a new single called "Agreement." The song is the fourth track on his upcoming album Being, which is slated to be released on March 31st, 2023.

"Agreement," a percussion-heavy record produced by Johan Hugo, fuses both ancient and modern rhythms, and continues Baaba Maal's ongoing musical quest to connect the past and the present, while making lasting cultural and emotional connections through music.

While discussing the record, Baaba Maal dissects the meaning of the song and explains that it draws inspiration from day-to-day relationships.

“Agreement is about the relationships you make in your life, whether they are with friends, musicians, neighbors, people you love,” says Baaba Maal. ”When you say to people, we are going on this journey through life together, through good times and bad, you should be very sure that you mean it.”

The Senegalese legend continues breaking down the meaning of the song by explaining it through a cultural lens.

“It’s based on a proverb from my community — to say no at the beginning to the idea that we will always be together is much stronger and more noble that beginning a relationship and then cutting it short later, maybe forty years later. Be mature enough to take seriously an agreement you make with someone about the future, about your souls being connected,” says Maal.

After a seven-year music hiatus, "Agreement" is one of Maal's new releases, and he will continue to share his music in the coming months with fans. In addition to releasing his upcoming album, the Poor-born icon will be performing at the Barbican in London, for the first time in 20 years on May 30th, 2023.

Maal'sBeing is a riveting extension of his pioneering, transcendent, and inspiring four-decade legacy that has blended the traditional and the innovative, the acoustic and the electronic over the years. For being, Maal reportedly partnered with long-time producer Johan Hugo, and recorded the body of work in Brooklyn, London and Senegal. Watch the visualizer for "Agreement" below.

Listen to Baaba Maal "Agreement" below.

Featured
Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images

A TV Show About Ethiopia's Queen Sheba is in the Works

During a presentation on at the Sundance Film Festival, Onyx Collective announced that a Queen Of Sheba drama is in the works.

Onyx Collective, which exclusively produces content for Hulu, announced that a scripted one hour series centered around Queen of Sheba is underway. Onyx focuses on highlighting the stories of people in underrepresented communities, and the upcoming series, called Sheba, will fall under that umbrella.


Inspired by a true story,Sheba will be a drama that highlights the story of Africa's most well-known queen and her quest to unite Ethiopia and fortify it as one of the most economically robust nations in the world. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series will highlight Makeda as she sojourns into a world of danger, marred with many twists and turns. Although Ryan Coogler—who has directed both of the Black Panther movies—is the executive producer for the drama, Chantelle Well, who is a writer on Yellowjackets, and Azie Tesfai, known for her role in Supergirl, will be involved in the creation of the film's roll out. (Tesfai is already the first Ethiopian person to portray a comic superhero.) In addition to working on Sheba, Tesfai is also working on The Chase for NBC. Onyx Collective, which debuted in 2021, is a Disney brand with a body of work that includes The Hair Tales, Reasonable Doubt, The Plot, and Unprisoned.

Although Wells will write the script for Sheba, it is unclear if Tesfai will also appear on-screen in addition to being an executive producer.

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

Tems Bags Oscar Nomination for 'Wakanda Forever' Song

Nigeria's renowned Temilade Openiyi, popularly known as Tems, scored a nomination at the 2023 Oscars for co-writing ‘Lift Me Up’, one of the songs on 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.'

Burna Boy, Asake, and More to Hit Afro Nation Portugal Stage

The Afrobeats music festival is set to bring the biggest names in Afrobeats and amapiano to the sunny Portuguese coast.

Through an Immigrant Story, Adura Onashile Brings a Mother's Love into Focus

The writer-director is making her first foray into feature filmmaking, with the intimate 'Girl,' which is debuting at the Sundance Film Festival.

Here Are All the Winners at the AFRIMA Awards

Davido, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Marwan Moussa, and more won big at the 8th AFRIMA Awards.

popular.

Milisuthando Bongela on Making A Film with Her Ancestors

The South African filmmaker's documentary feature, which is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, is a deeply personal film that touches on her life growing up in the Transkei, before it was incorporated into post-apartheid South Africa.