News Brief

You Can Now Stream 'SEMBENE!' For Free on Vimeo For a Limited Time

From June 9 through June 12, stream the award winning documentary, 'SEMBENE!' on Vimeo for free.

DIASPORA—You can stream the award winning documentary, SEMBENE!, for free on Vimeo from June 9 through June 12. The global free stream is part of the project Sembene Across Africa, which is called "the largest community screening in history."


The film celebrates filmmaker Ousmane Sembéne, the "father of African cinema" who spent decades shaping a meaningful, visionary cinema for a newly independent Africa. More than 100 free screenings will be held in 38 African nations, along with other countries in the diaspora. Sembene Across Africa has set the ambitious goal of gifting the story of a real-life African hero to the communities that will most appreciate it.

“Vimeo has long celebrated and welcome stories from voices too often under-celebrated around the world and we’re excited to partner with the Sembene Across Africa in what will hopefully be the largest community screening in history," Peter Gerard, Vimeo’s GM, Entertainment Group, says in a press release. “By releasing the film for free on Vimeo, we can bring this powerful local African narrative about one of the continent’s earliest filmmakers to audiences around the world."’

Sembene Across Africa is motivated by Sembene’s desire—unfulfilled in his lifetime after 50 years of focused work—to return African stories to the African people. His works revisited history from African perspectives, called out corrupt leaders and celebrated what he called "the heroes of the everyday." Sembéne spent 50 years making films and writing books in a tireless and forceful attempt to reorient Africans after generations of colonization. Unfortunately, 10 years after his death, Sembéne—a true hero of cinema and of self-empowerment—remains unknown to most young Africans.

“Sembene Across Africa is designed to inspire anyone working for African progress,” Samba Gadjigo, the co-director of SEMBENE! and Sembéne’s official biographer, says. “Using the new tools of cultural empowerment—digital delivery, social media, grassroots organizing—we hope to share Sembéne’s powerful story across an entire continent, to the large audience that will appreciate SEMBENE! the most.”

Be sure to tune in via this link on Vimeo from June 9 through June 12 and watch the trailer in anticipation below.

Audio
(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Former President of Botswana Ian Khama Condemns Zimbabwean Government

Former Botswana President Ian Khama has condemned Zimbabwe's government and joined solidarity with #ZimbabweanLivesMatter.