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'Ayanda,' A New Girl Power-Themed Coming-Of-Age Film From South Africa

'Ayanda,' a new girl power-themed coming-of-age film from South African director Sara Blecher, heads to South African theaters in October.


Ayanda is a forthcoming South African coming-of-age story whose title character embarks on a journey of self-discovery in the male-dominated world of auto repair. The film's synopsis describes Ayanda as a "21-year old Afro-hipster" who fights to preserve her father's auto repair shop from being sold eight years after his death. As she handles the business of reviving the shop, Ayanda must come to terms with her father's legacy and her own personal growth.

The feature uses the device of a film-within-a-film to offer a glimpse into a vibrant and diverse Johannesburg community of African migrants from across the continent while offering a meditation on gender stereotypes and human relationships. Ayanda, directed by filmmaker Sara Blecher (Otelo Burning), stars South African actress Fulu Mugovhani as Ayanda, and Nigeria's OC Ukeje (Confusion Na Wa) as her love interest, David. Rounding out the cast are Ntathi Moshesh, Kenneth Nkosi, Jafta Mamabola, Thomas Gumede, Sihle Xaba and Venessa Cooke.

Ayanda, which premiered last month at the Los Angeles Film Festival, was recently selected as the opening film of the 36th Durban International Film Festival. Watch the trailer, and see below for the film's official synopsis. Keep up with Ayanda on Facebook and Twitter.

"In a community vibrant with migrants from across the African Continent, against the backdrop of unspoken love, a young woman tries to navigate a path for herself. But this is a world where everything keeps shifting... Everything except the one thing that really does need to change. Ayanda and the Mechanic is a coming of age story of a twenty one year old Afro hipster, who embarks on a journey of self discovery trying to keep the memory of her father alive, when she's thrown into a world of greasy overalls, gender stereotypes and abandoned vintage cars in need of a young woman's re inventive touch who tries to reclaim what would've been, what could've been."

Ayanda opens in South African cinemas on October 2nd 2015.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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