Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images/Getty Images.

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA- JULY 18: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Tol Mo Ass during the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards on July 18,2015 at the Durban International Conference Centre in Durban,South Africa. The MTV Africa Music Awards celebrate and honour the continent's talent.

BET Pulls Episode of 'Behind the Story with Pearl Thusi’ Amid Controversy

Following outrage at the scheduled interview of rape-accused comedian Tol Ass Mo on 'Behind the Story with Pearl Thusi', BET Africa has decided to pull the episode entirely.

BET Africa has found itself in the midst of controversy after announcing the upcoming guest on South African actress Pearl Thusi's show Behind the Story with Pearl Thusi. South African comedian, Tol Ass Mo, who was scheduled to be interviewed by Thusi alongside his wife Mome, is currently facing rape charges brought against him by actress and model Lerato Moloi, EWN reports. The television network recently announced that it has decided to pull the episode allegedly "out of respect for the current environment, legal proceedings and the basis of impartiality."


READ: Op-Ed: South Africans Are Fine With Muting R Kelly But Not Their Own Problematic Male Artists

Public outcry among South Africans on social media began shortly after Thusi tweeted a snippet of the recorded interview with Tol Ass Mo. In a statement released by Moloi, the actress and model details her alleged sexual assault at the hands of the comedian in 2014 while on set for a television production.

Moloi continues in her statement writing:

"I shared a bit of my silent experiences on social media in June 2020...In the past 2 month's (sic) I have been served with letters from his attorneys to remove my tweets...This culminated in an arrest warrant being issued against me and my subsequent imprisonment."

Given the alarming state of gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide in South Africa, and continued critiques that the government is simply not doing enough to protect victims of abuse, the interview became a major talking point. Individuals such as Rosie Motene and Simphiwe Dana have since come out in support of Moloi.

Many questioned Thusi's stance as an activist who reportedly supports women after she tweeted "...I'm an activist but that doesn't mean I'm a judge..." The actress went on to compare her situation with that of American broadcast journalist Gayle King who interviewed R Kelly last year. Thusi has since made this particular tweet unavailable under her now protected Twitter account. Below are screenshots of the tweet in question which were shared by a social media user.

Others, on the other hand, came to Thusi's defence. The actress has, however, not yet responded to the news of the interview having been pulled by BET Africa.


Music
(YouTube)

The Best Amapiano Songs Out Right Now

Featuring Aymos, Uncle Vinny, Blaqnick & MasterBlaq, 2woBunnies, Balcony Mix Africa, and more

It's only been few weeks in and 2023 is already promising to be one of the most impactful years for amapiano internationally.

The recent announcements of Uncle Waffles and Major League DJz being billed to play at Coachella and Tomorrowland, respectively, earmarks the continuing steady rise of amapiano on the global stage. Drake (who recently likened listening to Kelvin Momo’s music to a religious experience) included some ‘piano tracks in his DJ set at a listening session in NYC. After its introduction to the festival last year, Afrochella’s Piano People stage is also heading to Miami this coming May with the likes of Focalistic, Musa Keys, Vigro Deep and TxC expected to perform.

With that said, we introduce our monthly round-up, solely dedicated to amapiano. Here are the amapiano songs and music videos that caught our attention this month.

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Music
Image via Sheila Afari PR/Bongeziwe Mabandla.

The Best South African Songs Out Right Now

Featuring Bongeziwe Mabandla, Sjava, Tyla, Blxckie, Msaki, AKA x Khuli Chana, and more

Here are the South African music videos and new songs that caught our attention this month.

For more music lists, check out our Songs You Need to Hear This Week roundups and our regional monthly lists for Nigeria, Ghana, and East Africa.

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Film
Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Idris Elba Wants to Build a Film Studio In Tanzania

Renowned British actor Idris Elba is planning to open up a film studio in Tanzania, reports say.

Celebrated British actor Idris Elba is planning to open a film studio in Tanzania. The news was revealed by Tanzania's Director of Presidential Communications, Zuhura Yunus, during a press conference. According to Yunus, the plan for the studio was set in motion during Elba's meeting with President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


“Discussions on the project have just begun, and if successful, the project will help not only Tanzania but also Eastern and Central Africa,” said Yunus.

In the past, Elba, who is also an award-winning actor, filmmaker and musician, has made concerted efforts to be involved in, and contribute to the African entertainment industry. In the past, he has featured on songs with prominent African artists like D'banj, Drizilik, and Phyno, among others. Although he is a celebrated Hollywood actor, Elba has always stayed connected to the motherland and has made several efforts to represent his own Sierra Leonean and Ghanaian roots.

In an interview with South Africa's SA People News in 2022, the British movie star mentioned that he wants to shoot more films in Africa, as well as contribute in building and developing the future of the African film industry.

“Young Africans view me as a leader or a beacon. And I feel like I could bring something. So I’m keen to bring what I’ve learned in media and amplify it in Africa,” the Beast actor said at the time.

During the interview, the actor also mentioned that the continent deserved "real tender care."

“I’m really keen on the development of Africa. My parents come from Africa and more than anywhere in the world, I feel like that continent deserves some real tender care and love and thought.

Elba has historically represented Africa in powerful rooms that he has walked into

During the US-Africa Leaders Summit’s; Africa Digital Innovation Competitors event, he did not hesitate to place the importance of the African entertainment market at the forefront of his conversation.

“If there are any investors listening or watching today if you do not consider Africa as a viable investment, you’re not considering yourself or your future. Africa’s future is your own future and vice versa,” said Elba at the time.“We do not need aid anymore, we need innovation. We need partnership,” he added.

While there are no new updates on the move to build the studio in Tanzania, it seems as though the process is underway.

Music

The Best Ghanaian Songs Out Right Now

Featuring Sarkodie, Shatta Wale, Bisa Kdei, Darkovibes, Kelvyn Boy, and more.

We’re at the top of a brand new year, and you know what that means: brand new music!.Our favorite Ghanaian artists have already begun to stir things up with brand new tunes. From history-making collaborations to drill posse cuts, we bring you all the new heat from Ghana. Check out our picks of the best Ghana music of the month below.

For more music lists, check out our Songs You Need to Hear This Week roundups and our regional monthly lists for Nigeria, South Africa, and East Africa.

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