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Photo: Kyle Weeks.

Watch Baloji's Debut Short Film 'Kaniama Show'

"A fictional satire about the collusion of State and media powers in an unidentified African country."

Baloji is a leading force in his space.

For years, the Congolese-Belgian artist has paired his unique blend of soukous, hip-hop and pop elements with sharp critiques about the power that governments, industries and technology have over societies—particularly across Africa.

Recently, Baloji release his latest album, 137 Kaniama, a 12-song record which offered potent commentary on, among other issues, how today's cellphone culture is making all of us zombies. That album is going to be re-released its originally-intended form of a one-track single as Kaniama: The Yellow Version tomorrow.

The new release is paired with a 22-minute short film that takes a satirical look at the shady ties between state and media with the backdrop of a '70s Soul Train-esque TV show.


"My first short film, Kaniama Show, [is] a fictional satire about the collusion of State and media powers in an unidentified African country," Baloji tells OkayAfrica. "The film is built as a Sunday afternoon variety show, with a set stuck in the 70s that underscores an unwillingness to change. The cast includes Eriq Ebouaney (Raoul Peck's Lumumba), Bwanga Pilipili, Martha Daro Canga, and Eric Kabongo."

"Kaniama Show received numerous awards at festivals despite its unusual and disconcerting form. It is a great pleasure to finally bring this film to a wider audience," he continues. "On May 3 the album Kaniama: The Yellow Version comes out on Bella Union, released in its original concept form as a long-play single track. It is an album that unfolds throughout 72 minutes, with two unreleased bonus remixes (feat. Poison Mobutu, Gael Faye)."

Watch our premiere of Baloji's Kaniama Show short film below and check out some film stills underneath.

'Kaniama: The Yellow Version' is out tomorrow, May 3, on Bella Union.

Baloji - Kaniama show (Short film) youtu.be

Film stills. Photo: Yaqine Hamzaoui.

Film stills. Photo: Yaqine Hamzaoui.

Film stills. Photo: Yaqine Hamzaoui.

Film stills. Photo: Yaqine Hamzaoui.

Film stills. Photo: Yaqine Hamzaoui.

Film stills. Photo: Yaqine Hamzaoui.

Film stills. Photo: Yaqine Hamzaoui.

Film stills. Photo: Yaqine Hamzaoui.

Film stills. Photo: Yaqine Hamzaoui.

Film stills. Photo: Yaqine Hamzaoui.

Film stills. Photo: Yaqine Hamzaoui.

Film stills. Photo: Yaqine Hamzaoui.

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Listen to 10 Great Songs From Johnny Clegg

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Yesterday, it was confirmed that South African musician, Johnny Clegg, passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Understandably, heartfelt tributes have been pouring in ever since. Long before it was cool (or even legal) to be in close proximity to blackness and anything attached to it in South Africa, Clegg, a white man, was doing just that. That is exactly why he was given the endearing title of South Africa's "son of the soil."

Growing up during Apartheid, Clegg was taught how to speak the Zulu language by a domestic worker named Charlie Mzila. In his teenage years, his appreciation for the Zulu culture continued and he soon learnt the traditional dance styles known as isishameni and also learnt how to play the Maskandi guitar. Clegg's music was a beacon of light during a very dark time in South Africa's history and his songs about Nelson Mandela (at a time where songs were banned for merely mentioning the name of the late statesman and other key struggle activists) brought the country together.

It is irrefutable that a music giant has fallen. However, Clegg leaves behind a wealth of music featuring other great South African artists and groups such as Zakwe, Brenda Fassie, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Juluka/Suvuka, among several others. His music undeniably brought South Africans and people all around the world together.

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Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

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Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Beyoncé Wore These 2 African Designers in Her Music Video for 'Spirit'

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As we draw even closer to Disney's The Lion King opening in theaters this week, Beyoncé continues to lead the way with her new music video for "Spirit"—the first single off of the film's album she produced and curated, The Lion King: The Gift.

Shot in the Havasu Falls in Arizona's Grand Canyon, Beyoncé and her legion of beautiful dancers are one with nature and its various elements as she beckons us to be brave and hear the calling of spirit. As we noted when she announced the album, the track opens with a call and response in Swahili that translates to "Long live the king": Uishi kwa mda mrefu mfalme—uishi kwa.

Keeping our eyes peeled for African influences in the music video, it's evident that is seen in the choreography. We even spotted our extended fam with the afrobeats moves—the AVO Boys: Stephen Ojo and Caleb Bonney—as two of her dancers in the video.

Beyoncé continues to also give a nod to African talent through the looks she donned in "Spirit" styled by her mainstay, Zerina Akers.

Take a look at the two African designers she wore in the video below.

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