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Babes Wodumo has Officially Dropped the Assault Charges Against Mampintsha

The troubled couple have reportedly agreed to receive relationship counselling.

South African gqom artist Babes Wodumo, real name Bongekile Simelane, has dropped the assault charges she'd laid against her boyfriend and fellow artist, Mampintsha, real name Mandla Maphumulo, according to News24. This comes after a warrant of arrest was issued by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) after the duo both failed to appear in court.


Since March, South Africans have admittedly experienced a roller coaster of emotions which has left many of them with divided opinions, particularly after Babes made a number of controversial decisions. After Mampintsha released the song "Khona Ingane Lay'ndlini" which referred to the incident of alleged abuse, Babes was later seen performing the song in a video that surfaced on social media and even went on to appear in the music video with both Mampitsha and DJ Tira.

Here's the Latest on South African Artist Babes Wodumo's Assault Case

The NPA has confirmed that the assault charges against Mampintsha have been withdrawn. Spokesperson for the prosecuting body, Natasha Kara, said, "The matter was finalized in that the charge against Maphumulo was withdrawn. This is because both parties adhered to the ADR [mediation] process they committed to."

Babes and Mampintsha have reportedly agreed to receive relationship counselling from the Family and Marriage Society of SA (Famsa), an organization that provides counseling, education and training to South Africans facing challenges in their relationships.

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Photo Credit: From For Maria Ebun Pataki

The Best Nollywood Films of 2022 So Far

Here are the best Nollywood films of 2022 so far. One note: we only took into account feature-length projects for our ranking, leaving out short films and documentaries.

There have been many developments that have pushed the Nollywood film industry forward and away from the traditional cinema route. This year, Netflix has released some more original Nigerian content, including the highly talked about Blood Sisters series. Amazon Prime Video, on the other hand, is gathering its collection of local Nollywood content in preparation for what is a huge launch later in the year.

While some may argue that the industry is moving forward very slowly — especially in comparison to years in the past — there’s still more room for growth. There were only a few Nollywood highlights during the first half of 2022. But the highlights were very strong and we feel confident about where the second half of 2022 will take us.

Here are the best Nollywood films of 2022 so far. One additional note: we only took into account feature-length projects for our ranking, leaving out short films and documentaries.

Dinner at My Place

The romantic comedies produced by Nollywood are well-known, and Kevin Apaa'sDinner at My Place is unquestionably one of the better ones. In this film, Nonso (played by Timini Egbuson) intends to pop the question to his girlfriend over dinner using an expensive ring that belonged to his late mother. Nonso ends up with the ring in the soup and receives an unexpected visitor, which alters the course of the enjoyable night he had planned.

Dinner at My Place, which was originally planned to be a short film, plays into the typical love clichés. Still, its engaging and has a fresh plot. And the standout performances are enough compensation for viewers.

For Maria Ebun Pataki

In Damilola Orimogunje’s debut feature film, the director decides to tackle postpartum depression, a topic which does not get enough representation, particularly through cinema. For Maria Ebun Pataki comes well armed with some of the things that make it a good watch, despite the difficult topic it touches on: there's a simple story, good camera work, and brilliant performances from actors Meg Otanwa, Gabriel Afolayan, and Tina Mba.

For Maria Ebun Pataki is currently streaming on Netflix.

King of Thieves

There has been an upsurge in epic Nollywood films over the past few years. And the story of bravery and betrayal told in King of Thieves stands out; this is one of the most exciting additions to Nollywood’s epics catalogue.

The blood-thirsty Ageshinkole, the main character in the film, wages a campaign of terror on Ajeromi’s kingdom, but there’s more to his madness than meets the eye. For over two hours, King of Thieves weaves a plot that is not perfect but has a lot going for it to keep viewers charmed till the end.

The Blood Covenant

Directed by Fiyin Gambo, The Blood Covenant tells the story of Eddy (Oluwatobi Bakre), Jite (Uzor Arukwe), and Osiano (Shawn Faqua) who are plagued by the struggles of everyday living in the bustling Lagos. These boys, together with an old classmate who turns rich overnight, are bound by a blood covenant which they made while in school and now have to deal with the consequences when a night of enjoyment turns out sour.

The acting in the film takes the cake for most of it with Arukwe and Bakre delivering some of their finest work here. It is also worthy to commend the subtle comedy, which works well sometimes to distract from the horror that hangs over the plot.

The Blood Covenant is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

A Simple Lie

Making films that stand out in Nollywood is nothing new for Biodun Stephen. This time around, she enlists Bisola Aiyeola, Kachi Nnochiri, Bukunmi Adeaga-Ilori, Bolaji Ogunmola, and other actors to do justice to her most recent comedy, A Simple Lie.

In this one, Boma (Bisola Aiyeola) is desperate for the attention of her ex-boyfriend, Xavier (Kachi Nnochiri), so much that she’d tell big lies to get him back. Her biggest lie causes a series of tragic occurrences that impact the lives of people around her and causes chaos throughout the entire film.

A Simple Lie excels as an engaging comedy film and holds the interest of the audience starting with an opening act that is amusing and simply fantastic.

Vanity

In Vanity, Ify (Jemima Osunde) is a young lady who moves to Lagos from Enugu after getting married to her husband, Kobi (Uzor Arukwe). While Ify is settling to life in the ‘big city’ as a newlywed, her husband expects her to get a job and contribute to the pool of funds for their growing family. Kobi is also very keen on her active participation, which leaves him overbearing most of the time.

Directed by Chukwuemeka Nwabunze, Vanity shines with great production, engaging storytelling and a stellar performance from Arukwe.

Ile Owo

For an industry that started off with a lot of horror movies, Nollywood tends to stay away from it regularly, sticking to its romantic comedy niche. It is why films like Dare Olaitan’s Ile Owo score cool points for existing — they’re new, different and hit a little close to the stories and beliefs we’re very accustomed to knowing.

In Ile Owo, we’re taken on a journey to meet Akanni Owo, a man who has everything but wants to live forever. He gets this for his descendants, however, there’s a steep price to pay for this to happen. While Ile Owo's opening act is fairly strong, much more is required to keep things moving forward for the duration of the show's 95 minutes.

The film features stars such as Efa Iwara, Immaculata Oko-Kassim, Sophie Alakija, Femi Lewis and Tina Mba.

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Maya Amolo Wants You to Embrace Love

We talk to the rising Kenyan artist about her new single "Foundry," finding love and her upcoming album.

Maya Amolo feels more confident than ever. With her debut album around the corner and having recently been named Spotify's Fresh Finds Africa inaugural artist, the 23-year-old Kenyan singer-songwriter has a lot to feel hopeful about.

“My brand was very much being a sad girl,” she shares, referring to her last project Leave Me At The Pregame. “I thought I was so edgy but I was comfortable with that being my brand. But once I willed myself out of that mindset, I realized that my music is way more wholesome. I make happy music and I enjoy singing about love.”

Following the success of her last single "Can’t Get Enough," Maya’s latest offering "Foundry" exemplifies her growth as an artist in full mastery of her emotions. To make the smooth-jam anthem, Maya collaborated with Kenyan producers Lukxrito and DJ IV along with upcoming Ugandan artist kalibwani who features on the track. With smoldering lyrics like “let me in the shadows of your mind tonight” and “killing me softly but it’s not a crime,” Maya’s honeyed vocals showcase the enchanting qualities of romantic love that sound sweet without feeling overly sugared.

Our conversation with Maya offers a glimpse at what’s inspired this new season of tenderness as we look forward to a project that’s posed to shape the sound Kenyan R&B for years to come.

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Photos Courtesy of Kweku Nimo

Meet the Ghanaian Author  Documenting the History of African Designers

We spoke with Kenneth Kweku Nimo, the author of Africa In Fashion: Luxury, Craft and Textile Heritage, about telling the history of the most accomplished designers from Africa.

For years, major highlights in the African fashion industry have gone undocumented — missing the mark for a much younger generation of people seeking information to reference during research purposes. However, books with a focus on African fashion, like Kenneth Kweku Nimo’sAfrica In Fashion: Luxury, Craft and Textile Heritage, are surfacing, and documenting leading African designers from the past, present, and future.

Ken Kweku Nimo is a Ghana-born, South Africa-based fashion author and researcher who’s been hugely influenced by the ample and immersive cultural scenes in the continent. He completed a first degree in Economics and Statistics, before starting a fashion-related business, and then establishing a digitized shop where he serviced schools and other institutions.

Seeking more challenging feats, Nimo went on to do his honors in a research-based fashion program, Fashion Merchandising at the then LISOF, now called STADIO. Since then, he’s gone on to work in fashion spaces like luxury flagship store Luminance and menswear brand Odrin. Through working in these spaces — and seeing glaring disparities between stocked international brands and local brands — Nimo asked questions that led him further down his education, where he obtained a Master's degree in Fashion Design from the University of Johannesburg.

Now, Nimo is using these experiences, his degree, knowledge of fashion, and observance, to help us understand, beyond the reins of academia, inept occurrences in the African fashion industry, through his book, Africa In Fashion: Luxury, Craft and Textile Heritage.

OkayAfrica spoke with him about his journey in fashion, why it was important for him to publish this book, what he’s found during his research, and more.

\u200bKenneth Kweku Nimo book red background

Photos Courtesy of Kweku Nimo

How did this journey start for you?

In between the time that I spent at these retail flagship stores and individual brands, I was meeting a lot of designers in SA. I’ll visit their studios and engage them. After completing my minute dissertation, I took it upon myself to understand what made these brands unique, and why they’re able to command this kind of value. Along the line, I went to Cape Town, where I visited some local designers to gather data. I’ll sit with them, ask very pertinent questions, and record. Unbeknownst to me, I was gathering data for the book.

Just when I was signing out in 2020, I was in a conversation with one of the designers, Lezanne Viviers, who has a brand called Viviers Studio. I told her that I was thinking of putting a book together and I was thinking of archiving it in a way. And she said, “that’s it!” I doubted it for a while, and she asked “who else?” That’s when I started picturing the idea of it. Sent synopsis to publishing houses and agents and it just started.

Africa In Fashion: Luxury, Craft and Textile Heritage book

Photos Courtesy of Kweku Nimo

If we bought the book, who are some of the designers we’d find?

The book is an attempt to reach out to African fashion history, and also to capture the contemporary scene. I did this in an interesting way. For example, with African fashion history, the reader isn’t put through a chronological analysis of African fashion history, but what I call the vectors that have shaped African fashion history. I touched on [slave] trade, both trans-Atlantic and trans-Saharan. I talked about globalization, colonization, and culture. For me, these are four of the most prominent elements that have shaped African history, and that makes the reading very interesting.

I also talked about the contemporary scene of designers contextualized by the evolution of African fashion from the 21st century. I attempt to recapture the designers that shaped African fashion from the early days of independence. Some of the names I talked about were Shade Thomas-Fahm, Alphadi, Kofi Ansah, and all these legends and luminaries who established an identity for African fashion.

I touched on textiles, their stories, and their origins, many of which are hardly explored. Even jewelry and embellishments, before capping it off with the works of contemporary designers who are making waves around the world. I called them the new wave of African designers like Lukhanyo Mdingi, Thebe Magugu, Tokyo James, Maison ARTC, Adama Paris, Bubu Ogisi, Mmuso Maxwell, Christie Brown, and a whole lot of them. To be honest, it was almost impossible to capture a lot of these brands into one volume.

What were the things you considered about these brands before reaching out to them?

I began off with a long list, and the primary criteria I looked at was global impact. After all, the book is supposed to be an inspirational book that is able to propel the next generation of designers. They have to see themselves out there. The brands have to be visible enough to do something unique, and these brands are where they are because they’re doing something unique.

I also looked at “stability”. You’d see that some of these brands may not be all over the news. But they have pulled through the test of time. It was therefore important for me to document brands that have been here for a while. If you read past books about African fashion, you’d see that some of the featured brands are no longer active or in the public domain.

We also considered brands that weren’t only here in Africa, but identified with us in other continents, and were displaced for whatever reason. For example, Imane operates from Paris, T-Michal is based in Norway, Mimi Plange is based in New York, and so much more.

Africa In Fashion: Luxury, Craft and Textile Heritage book in front of man's face.

Photos Courtesy of Kweku Nimo

It’s very interesting that you’d reference certain past books about African fashion. If you were asked what differentiates yours from others that have existed before now, how would you respond?

This book dips into the designer’s voice. It’s theirs. There’s a section of the African fashion industry from my perspective, then there’s theirs. You are listening to these designers. I allowed them to literally take over the book. The book takes you behind the glam of what they’re doing. For example, Adèle Dejak holds back no barrels and chastises designers for desiring to always have African designs look like "cheap cheerios." She used that term. This book is a book that literally allows them to speak directly to readers. That’s what distinguishes it.

This book also attempts to give a holistic take not only on their operations but on the contemporary African fashion scene. We talked about the economic dimension of the industry and its impact, emerging issues like retail, and everything that deals with how the African fashion industry is being shaped.

What do you hope that this book does?

I want this book to be on the shelves of as many schools and fashion institutions across the world. I want young aspiring African designers in Africa and the diaspora to look at this book and see themselves at the stage and beyond where most of these profiled designers in this book have gone.

I look forward to doing some more books on fashion and marginally broadly on African culture, which is very much underrepresented in literature.

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Who Runs The World? Tems!

The Nigerian singer's recent writing cred on Beyoncé's highly anticipated project 'Renaissance' and BET win solidify her spot in the big league.

Nigerian musical legend in the making Tems is one hell of a force. The singer-songwriter has had a fleet of accomplishments in recent months, showing off her star power and the waves her music has made on global music charts. This week alone saw Tems being revealed as one of the many writers to contribute to iconic American singer Beyoncé's seventh studio album 'Renaissance'.

This month, Tems became the first female Nigerian artist to accept BET's Best International Act award, at this year's award ceremony. The singer also collected the award for Best Collaboration on the behalf of colleague Wizkid on their "Essence" remix featuring Canadian pop star Justin Bieber.

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