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Cinemafrique: Kenyan Political Thriller 'Veve,' The Golden Age Of Egyptian Cinema, A Namibian Retelling Of 'Icarus' + More

Okayafrica's Cinemafrique series looks at African film and TV news on Uzo Aduba's Emmy win, Kenyan political thriller 'Veve' and more.


Welcome to the latest installment of Okayafrica’s Cinemafrique series. Every other Thursday we highlight the latest film and television news from throughout Africa and the diaspora. This week we take a look at Kenyan political thriller Veve, a short film influenced by the Golden Age of Egyptian Cinema, a Namibian re-imagining of the classic Greek myth Icarus, Uzo Aduba's historic Emmy win, and films screening at this weekend's Chale Wote Street Arts Festival. Click on for the full scoop.

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(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Chinonye Chukwu Will Direct the First Two Episodes of HBO Max's Upcoming 'Americanah' Series

Here's the latest news surrounding the highly-anticipated limited series, starring Lupita Nyong'o, Uzo Aduba and more.

Nigerian-American director Chinonye Chukwu is set to helm the first two episodes of the upcoming limited series Americanah, starring Lupita Nyong'o.

Chukwu is the award-winning filmmaker, behind the critically-acclaimed film Clemency, which won the 2019 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, making her the first Black woman to win the award.

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Left: Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage via Getty. Right: Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic via Getty.

Uzo Aduba and Zackary Momoh to Star Alongside Lupita Nyong'o In Upcoming 'Americanah' Series

The 10-episode limited series, executive produced by Danai Gurira, will premiere on HBO Max.

News surrounding the upcoming limited series Americanahbased on Chimamanda Adichie's seminal novel of the same name— just got even more exciting. Uzo Aduba as well as British-Nigerian actor Zackary Momoh will star alongside series lead Lupita Nyong'o in the HBO Max series. Tony-winning actress Danai Gurira is the series' showrunner and the pilot writer.

Momoh will play Obinze, the love interest of the protagonist Ifemelu (played by Nyong'o), while Emmy-Winning Aduba will star as Aunty Uju, Ifemelu's "young aunt and confidant," according to Variety. The character is described as "a highly intelligent doctor, Uju left Nigeria under tumultuous circumstances and has resettled in America to build a better life for herself and her son Dike."

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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