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The Oscars have Disqualified 'Joy', a Film about Nigerian Sex Workers, Submitted for Best International Feature Film

Like Genevieve Nnaji's 'Lionheart', the film has reportedly been disqualified by the Academy because of too much English dialogue.

It seems films from Nigeria or films about Nigerians can't seem to catch a break at the Oscars. Just last week, Genevieve Nnaji's Lionheart was disqualified from the Best International Feature Film category of the Oscars because of too much English dialogue. The film was Nigeria's first ever entry to the Oscars—a historic moment. Similarly, Austrian filmmaker Sudabeh Mortezai's Joy, a film about Nigerian sex workers living in Vienna, has also been disqualified by the Academy in the same category, according to Deadline.


In a statement released on Monday by the Academy, they explained their decision saying:

"As we do every year, the Academy is in the process of reviewing the films submitted for the International Feature Film category to determine whether they meet our eligibility rules. The film Joy, submitted by Austria, was just reviewed and is ineligible because only 33% of the dialogue is non-English."

The Academy's response echoes what they previously said about Nnaji's Lionheart. The co-chair of the selection committee, Larry Karaszewski, said, "If you're submitting for something as important as an Academy Award, I would think you should look at the rules." He added that while the name of the award category had been changed earlier this year from "Best Foreign-Language Film" to "Best International Feature Film", the rules had not changed.

However, many have argued that while the Academy claims the name change was for "diversity" reasons, their dismissal of Lionheart and now Joy, still functions on the premise that "foreign" must mean "non-English" despite English being the official language of Nigeria. The portrayal of Nigerian characters in Joy is characteristically Nigerian with pidgin English and Igbo making up a natural part of the film's dialogue. However, the Academy feels it is not enough.

American filmmaker Ava Duvernay took to social media once again to criticize the Academy's decision.

Watch the trailer for Joy below.

JOY - Official Trailerwww.youtube.com

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

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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.

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News Brief
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Listen to Burna Boy Feature On Popcaan's New Song 'Aboboyaa'


Renowned dancehall artist Popcaan has released his album Great Is He, via OVO Sound, and it features none other than Burna Boy.


Jamaica's Popcaanhas shared his anticipated album Great Is He, and the body of work features Nigerian superstar Burna Boy on the track "Aboboyaa."

The album showcases the Jamaican musical giant's signature dancehall sound, while also exploring the depth of genre's versatility. In addition to featuring Burna Boy, Great Is He includes features from OVO Sound's boss Drake, Jamaica's Chronic Law, and Toni-Ann Singh, among others.

On "Aboboyaa," the two musical powerhouses merge their signature rhythmic melodies and intonations in a way that is both compelling to listen to on the first listen, and in turn inspires a second and third listen.

Ever since he released his debut album in 2014, Popcaan has become an international dancehall sensation, and his repertoire includes a list of impressive features.

His album Forever, which was released in 2018, debuted at number two on Billboard’s Top Reggae Albums. Commercially, Popcaan has made a mark on the music scene too. His last project FIXTAPE — which included “Twist & Turn,” the mesmerizing dancehall hit featuring Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR — has garnered over 191 million streams and continues to receive accolades from outlets like Pitchfork, who described the body of work as “a testament to his place at the forefront of the genre.”

"Aboboyaa" is not Popcaan's first international collaboration. In the past, the Jamaican icon has worked with several international music acts including Davido, Jamie xx, Young Thug, Gorillaz, Kano, Jorja Smith and a host of others. He also founded Jamaica’s annual Unruly Festwhich brings stars across the globe to experience Jamaican culture.

Listen to "Aboboyaa" featuring Burna Boy below.

Listen to Popcaan and Burna Boy's "Aboboyaa"

Music
Photo: Nabil Elderkin.

The Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Popcaan x Burna Boy, Bongeziwe Mabandla, Mr Eazi, Baaba Maal, Pheelz and more.

Every Friday, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column, Songs You Need to Hear. Here's our round-up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks.

If you like these music lists, you can also check out our Best Songs of the Month columns following Nigerian, Ghanaian, East African and South African music. If you missed them, check out our music lists for the Best of 2022 here.

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