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Left: Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images; Center: Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage; Right: Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix

Trevor Noah, Lupita Nyong'o, Cynthia Erivo & Mati Diop Nominated for 2020 Critics Choice Awards

Check out the full list of 2020 nominees for the 2020 Critics Choice Awards.

This past Sunday, the full list of nominees for the 2020 Critics Choice Awards was announced.

Among the nominees are South African comedian and host of the The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, for his Netflix comedy special Son of Patricia, Lupita Nyong'o for her role in the horror film Us, Cynthia Erivo for her role in the Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet and French-Senegalese filmmakerMati Diop for her film Atlantics.


Just after scoring a Grammy nomination in the category of "Best Comedy Album" for his Netflix stand-up special Son of Patricia, Noah has now been nominated for a Critics Choice Award in the category of "Best Comedy Special". Joining him on the list is Nyong'o whose nomination is for "Best Actress" for her role in the Jordan Peele horror film Us. Her nomination comes just after she recently took home the win for "Best Lead Actress" in Us at this year's New York Critics Circle Awards.

Additionally, Diop's Atlantics, a "ghost love story centering themes of migration" which was picked up by Netflix, also won "Best First Film" at the New York Critics Circle Awards and has now been nominated for "Best Foreign Language Film" at the 2020 Critics Choice Awards.

Erivo features on the list in the same category as Nyong'o for her role in Harriet. Just yesterday, the actress was nominated for a Golden Globe for the same role.

The Critics' Choice Awards are set to take place on January 12th 2020.

To see who else is on the list of nominees for both film and television, check out the full list below.

MOVIES

BEST PICTURE
1917
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Parasite
Uncut Gems

BEST ACTOR
Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory
Robert De Niro – The Irishman
Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Adam Driver – Marriage Story
Eddie Murphy – Dolemite Is My Name
Joaquin Phoenix – Joker
Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems

BEST ACTRESS
Awkwafina – The Farewell
Cynthia Erivo – Harriet
Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story
Lupita Nyong'o – Us
Saoirse Ronan – Little Women
Charlize Theron – Bombshell
Renée Zellweger – Judy

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse
Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes
Al Pacino – The Irishman
Joe Pesci – The Irishman
Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Laura Dern – Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit
Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
Florence Pugh – Little Women
Margot Robbie – Bombshell
Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Julia Butters – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Roman Griffin Davis – Jojo Rabbit
Noah Jupe – Honey Boy
Thomasin McKenzie – Jojo Rabbit
Shahadi Wright Joseph – Us
Archie Yates – Jojo Rabbit

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
Bombshell
The Irishman
Knives Out
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Parasite

BEST DIRECTOR
Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story
Greta Gerwig – Little Women
Bong Joon Ho – Parasite
Sam Mendes – 1917
Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie – Uncut Gems
Martin Scorsese – The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story
Rian Johnson – Knives Out
Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won – Parasite
Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Lulu Wang – The Farewell

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Greta Gerwig – Little Women
Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony McCarten – The Two Popes
Todd Phillips & Scott Silver – Joker
Taika Waititi – Jojo Rabbit
Steven Zaillian – The Irishman

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Jarin Blaschke – The Lighthouse
Roger Deakins – 1917
Phedon Papamichael – Ford v Ferrari
Rodrigo Prieto – The Irishman
Robert Richardson – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Lawrence Sher – Joker

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Mark Friedberg, Kris Moran – Joker
Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales – 1917
Jess Gonchor, Claire Kaufman – Little Women
Lee Ha Jun – Parasite
Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Bob Shaw, Regina Graves – The Irishman
Donal Woods, Gina Cromwell – Downton Abbey

BEST EDITING
Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie – Uncut Gems
Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker – Ford v Ferrari
Yang Jinmo – Parasite
Fred Raskin – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Thelma Schoonmaker – The Irishman
Lee Smith – 1917

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Ruth E. Carter – Dolemite Is My Name
Julian Day – Rocketman
Jacqueline Durran – Little Women
Arianne Phillips – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson – The Irishman
Anna Robbins – Downton Abbey

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP
Bombshell
Dolemite Is My Name
The Irishman
Joker
Judy
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Rocketman

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
1917
Ad Astra
The Aeronauts
Avengers: Endgame
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
The Lion King

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Abominable
Frozen II
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Missing Link
Toy Story 4

BEST ACTION MOVIE
1917
Avengers: Endgame
Ford v Ferrari
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Spider-Man: Far From Home

BEST COMEDY
Booksmart
Dolemite Is My Name
The Farewell
Jojo Rabbit
Knives Out

BEST SCI-FI OR HORROR MOVIE
Ad Astra
Avengers: Endgame
Midsommar
Us

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Atlantics
Les Misérables
Pain and Glory
Parasite
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

BEST SONG
Glasgow (No Place Like Home) – Wild Rose
(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again – Rocketman
I'm Standing With You – Breakthrough
Into the Unknown – Frozen II
Speechless – Aladdin
Spirit – The Lion King
Stand Up – Harriet

BEST SCORE
Michael Abels – Us
Alexandre Desplat – Little Women
Hildur Guðnadóttir – Joker
Randy Newman – Marriage Story
Thomas Newman – 1917
Robbie Robertson – The Irishman

TELEVISION

BEST DRAMA SERIES
The Crown (Netflix)
David Makes Man (OWN)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Pose (FX)
Succession (HBO)
This Is Us (NBC)
Watchmen (HBO)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us (NBC)
Mike Colter – Evil (CBS)
Paul Giamatti – Billions (Showtime)
Kit Harington – Game of Thrones (HBO)
Freddie Highmore – The Good Doctor (ABC)
Tobias Menzies – The Crown (Netflix)
Billy Porter – Pose (FX)
Jeremy Strong – Succession (HBO)

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Christine Baranski – The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Olivia Colman – The Crown (Netflix)
Jodie Comer – Killing Eve (BBC America)
Nicole Kidman – Big Little Lies (HBO)
Regina King – Watchmen (HBO)
Mj Rodriguez – Pose (FX)
Sarah Snook – Succession (HBO)
Zendaya – Euphoria (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Asante Blackk – This Is Us (NBC)
Billy Crudup – The Morning Show (Apple)
Asia Kate Dillon – Billions (Showtime)
Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones (HBO)
Justin Hartley – This Is Us (NBC)
Delroy Lindo – The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Tim Blake Nelson – Watchmen (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Helena Bonham Carter – The Crown (Netflix)
Gwendoline Christie – Game of Thrones (HBO)
Laura Dern – Big Little Lies (HBO)
Audra McDonald – The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Jean Smart – Watchmen (HBO)
Meryl Streep – Big Little Lies (HBO)
Susan Kelechi Watson – This Is Us (NBC)

BEST COMEDY SERIES
Barry (HBO)
Fleabag (Amazon)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Mom (CBS)
One Day at a Time (Netflix)
PEN15 (Hulu)
Schitt's Creek (Pop)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Ted Danson – The Good Place (NBC)
Walton Goggins – The Unicorn (CBS)
Bill Hader – Barry (HBO)
Eugene Levy – Schitt's Creek (Pop)
Paul Rudd – Living with Yourself (Netflix)
Bashir Salahuddin – Sherman's Showcase (IFC)
Ramy Youssef – Ramy (Hulu)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Christina Applegate – Dead to Me (Netflix)
Alison Brie – GLOW (Netflix)
Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Kirsten Dunst – On Becoming a God in Central Florida (Showtime)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep (HBO)
Catherine O'Hara – Schitt's Creek (Pop)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag (Amazon)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Andre Braugher – Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)
Anthony Carrigan – Barry (HBO)
William Jackson Harper – The Good Place (NBC)
Daniel Levy – Schitt's Creek (Pop)
Nico Santos – Superstore (NBC)
Andrew Scott – Fleabag (Amazon)
Henry Winkler – Barry (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
D'Arcy Carden – The Good Place (NBC)
Sian Clifford – Fleabag (Amazon)
Betty Gilpin – GLOW (Netflix)
Rita Moreno – One Day at a Time (Netflix)
Annie Murphy – Schitt's Creek (Pop)
Molly Shannon – The Other Two (Comedy Central)

BEST LIMITED SERIES
Catch-22 (Hulu)
Chernobyl (HBO)
Fosse/Verdon (FX)
The Loudest Voice (Showtime)
Unbelievable (Netflix)
When They See Us (Netflix)
Years and Years (HBO)

BEST MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Brexit (HBO)
Deadwood: The Movie (HBO)
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)
Guava Island (Amazon)
Native Son (HBO)
Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)

BEST ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Christopher Abbott – Catch-22 (Hulu)
Mahershala Ali – True Detective (HBO)
Russell Crowe – The Loudest Voice (Showtime)
Jared Harris – Chernobyl (HBO)
Jharrel Jerome – When They See Us (Netflix)
Sam Rockwell – Fosse/Verdon (FX)
Noah Wyle – The Red Line (CBS)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Kaitlyn Dever – Unbelievable (Netflix)
Anne Hathaway – Modern Love (Amazon)
Megan Hilty – Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)
Joey King – The Act (Hulu)
Jessie Mueller – Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)
Merritt Wever – Unbelievable (Netflix)
Michelle Williams – Fosse/Verdon (FX)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Asante Blackk – When They See Us (Netflix)
George Clooney – Catch-22 (Hulu)
John Leguizamo – When They See Us (Netflix)
Dev Patel – Modern Love (Amazon)
Jesse Plemons – El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)
Stellan Skarsgård – Chernobyl (HBO)
Russell Tovey – Years and Years (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Patricia Arquette – The Act (Hulu)
Marsha Stephanie Blake – When They See Us (Netflix)
Toni Collette – Unbelievable (Netflix)
Niecy Nash – When They See Us (Netflix)
Margaret Qualley – Fosse/Verdon (FX)
Emma Thompson – Years and Years (HBO)
Emily Watson – Chernobyl (HBO)

BEST ANIMATED SERIES
Big Mouth (Netflix)
BoJack Horseman (Netflix)
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Netflix)
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Netflix)
The Simpsons (Fox)
Undone (Amazon)

BEST TALK SHOW
Desus & Mero (Showtime)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
The Kelly Clarkson Show (NBC)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC)

BEST COMEDY SPECIAL
Amy Schumer: Growing (Netflix)
Jenny Slate: Stage Fright (Netflix)
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons (ABC)
Ramy Youssef: Feelings (HBO)
Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby (Netflix)
Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia (Netflix)
Wanda Sykes: Not Normal (Netflix)

Featured
Photo Credit: From Taamaden

10 Upcoming African Films to Look Forward to in 2022

From Nigerian thrillers to South African documentaries, here are 10 African films we are looking forward to in 2022.

The glitzy and glamorous Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) recently returned for its 43rd edition. The eight day festival, which took place in Durban (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa), featured an embarrassment of riches on the program, from around the world. The festival is a good indicator of what we can expect from African cinema for the rest of 2022.

The 10 films on this list were all screened at the festival. These films managed to stand out for reasons that have been explained below. (One of those films, Robin Odongo's Bangarang from Kenya, won the Best African Feature Film award at DIFF.)

Do not miss these movies when they come to a theater or streaming platform near you.

1960 (South Africa)

This pleasant, King Shaft directed period musical centers a heroine who may have been inspired by the life of the late South African icon Miriam Makeba. 1960 opened the Durban festival this year and set the tone for what would come after. Lindi (played by both Zandile Madliwa and Ivy Nkutha) is a singer who in her twilight days digs back into her past to shed light on the murder of an apartheid-era police officer when his remains turn up in Sharpeville some six decades after the infamous massacre of 1960.

African Moot (South Africa​)

There are plenty reasons to be hopeful for the future of the continent. According to Shameela Seedat’s African Moot, the educated youth are leading the way. This fly-on-the-wall documentary follows a group of bright law students who are participating in the annual African Human Rights Moot Court Competition. Seedat, a human rights law specialist turned filmmaker, heads to the University of Botswana with her subjects. Her film details the interesting ways the students approach the fictional case of a people crossing fictional African borders to escape oppression.

​Bangarang (Kenya)

Inspired by true events, Robin Odongo’s chaotic feature expounds on an earlier short film. Bangarang’s protagonist, Otile (David Weda) is a graduate of engineering who has failed to secure decent employment a decade after university. He makes a meagre living as a bike rider instead. When election violence erupts after the disputed Kenyan presidential elections of 2007, an embittered Otile leads rioters on the streets of Kisumu. Before long, he is on the run from the law, accused of murder.

Collision Course (Nigeria)

A frustrated young man collides with the brutal power of the police force. Can a tormented official stop the descent into carnage? The third feature length title from Nigerian director Bolanle Austen-Peters (The Bling Lagosians, The Man of God) is a propulsive thriller set over the course of 24-hours. Starring Daniel Etim Effiong and Kelechi Udegbe, Collision Course digs into the underbelly of urban crime, law enforcement gone rogue, and the desperate victims that suffer the consequences.

The Crossing (La Traversee) (Burkina Faso)

After years in Italy, Djibi returns to his native Burkina Faso and begins to mentor a group of young people whose sole purpose is to leave for Europe. Djibi prepares them for this crossing through a tasking physical and intellectual program that helps bring them personal achievement and may end up neutering their resolve to migrate. Can he make this difference? Irène Tassembédo’s social drama embraces the complicated nature of the immigration experience.

Lesotho, the Weeping Motherland (South Africa)

Told interchangeably between South Africa and Lesotho, this Lwazi Duma-directed documentary engages with the effects of climate change on the agricultural sector, a key income earner in the region. Duma follows Khethisa Mabata as he attempts to revive his father’s farm. The film uses Mabata’s personal story as an entry point into the larger national crisis that has taken Lesotho from a thriving food basket to one suffering extreme drought.

Skeletons (South Africa)

Conceived as an experiment in theatre-making during the COVID-19 lockdowns, this magical realist expression was re-written for film and now sits somewhere as a hybrid between theatre and film. Set in the heart of the Maluti mountains, Skeletons grapples with the issue of land and ownership as told through the lives of four characters. In an environment of scarcity, these four people wrestle to break free from the vicious cycle of oppression. Skeletons confronts notions of home, belonging, and identity.

Streams (Tunisia)

Amel, a married Tunis factory worker is imprisoned on charges of adultery and prostitution following an assault. Upon release, she attempts to put back the pieces of her life and reconnect with her teenage son whose life was derailed by the scandal. Director Mehdi Hmili comments on the decay, contradictions, and hypocrisies of contemporary Tunisian society with this engaging drama about the breakdown of a working-class family and the state’s unwillingness to protect the vulnerable.

Taamaden (Cameroon)

In Taamaden, Mali-born filmmaker Seydou Cissé paints a uniquely intimate portrait of immigration and zeroes in on spirituality. Taamaden, which is the Bambara word for traveler or adventurer, presents two different points of view. The first is that of Bakary, a young Malian preparing for yet another attempt at crossing over to Europe. The other is a motley crew of West African immigrants struggling to survive in Spain. They are united by their ties to their spiritual clairvoyant.

You’re My Favorite Place (South Africa)

Jahmil X.T. Qubeka (Of Good Report, Knuckle City) is one of the most exciting and original cinematic voices on the continent. His latest, which closed the Durban film festival, is a change of pace attempt that also carries some of Qubeka’s slick imprint. On the last day of high school, the young heroine of You’re My Favorite Place and her three friends embark on an unforgettable road trip. They steal a car and head to the remote Hole in the Wall, a landmark that according to Xhosa legend, enables communication with the dead.

Featured
Photo Credit: Adedamola Odetera

An Inside Look Into the Underground Queer Party Scene in Nigeria

As a result of the laws and law enforcement bodies in the country, queer nightlife in Nigeria is shrouded in secrecy and has been forced to go underground.

A few minutes before midnight on a June evening, there was a line of people attempting to gain access to an unmarked apartment block in Lekki Phase 1 — a suburban neighborhood in Lagos State. To the uninitiated, it was a regular house party in the heart of Lagos Island, which is populated with young people in their 20s. For the attendees who had a flier on their phones and a passcode on their lips, this was an event they had looked forward to for weeks. When they arrived at the doors, they were all asked for a passcode which transported them into a vibrant pulsing party which had drag queens walking across the room and men in shorts that barely went past their crutches gyrating on other men while afrobeats blared. Welcome to queer nightlife in Nigeria where, on weekends, apartments turn into gay clubs, barred with passcode-guarding doors to protect against homophobes.

Party people hugging each other

Secret house parties, discrete raves, and clubs are now becoming increasingly popular amongst young queer Nigerians.

Photo Credit: Adedamola Odetera

Across the country, especially in the big cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, lounges, clubs, and bars dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community have started sprouting despite legislation that makes it illegal for them to exist. In 2014, the Nigerian government passed the highly controversial and homophobic Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. Despite the name, the law would go on to criminalize many other aspects of queer existence and not just marriage between people of the same sex. The far-reaching law criminalized queer social spaces, groups that advocate for queer rights, and even individuals advocating and supporting queer rights. The law also went on to prescribe a prison term that could go up to 14 years for those who were found guilty of these crimes in southern Nigeria. However, in Northern and mostly Muslim Nigeria, where Shariah law takes pre-eminence, these crimes could lead to death by stoning. While there isn’t an extensive record of people being found guilty for these crimes in Nigeria, these laws emboldened many homophobic mobs who took the laws into their hands and would beat individuals who they identified as queer and destroy spaces and parties that they suspected were hosted by or for queer people. One of the most infamous instances was a 2018 case where 57 men were arrested at a party in Lagos under the suspicion of being initiated into a gay club. While this particular case garnered significant press coverage as the men were made to go to trial, it is far from being the only case of its kind. It is fairly common for the police to raid suspected queer parties to arrest everyone in sight — often with little to no proof of the suspects being gay.

As a result of the laws and law enforcement bodies in the country, queer nightlife in Nigeria has been forced to go underground. Bars and clubs are left behind for parties in apartments. Recent years have seen a resurgence in the public profile of queer nightlife in Nigeria — partly thanks to a rise of resistance against oppressive systems within Nigeria that have been supported and have originated on social media, more queer people are becoming brave and open about queer nightlife in Nigeria. Secret house parties, discrete raves and clubs are now becoming increasingly popular, especially amongst young queer Nigerians. Creative collectives like hFactor and Pride in Lagos have pushed the narrative even further by organizing pride-specific events and raves in Lagos over the last few years.

Man making out with man

"‘‘I had been to clubs before but this was different. There was a freedom I didn’t feel in other parties."

Photo Credit: Adedamola Odetera

‘‘My first time at a queer party in Nigeria was in 2021. A friend invited me to a hFactor event and It was such an experience,’ Peju, a 23-year-old bisexual man tells OkayAfrica. ‘‘I had been to clubs before but this was different. There was a freedom I didn’t feel in other parties. Guys were grinding on guys, girls were flirting with girls. There wasn’t a need to pretend to be something I’m not.’’

However, attending these events comes with specific risks. Guests often took precautions — attending the parties with friends, letting their friends who weren’t there know where they were at and confirming there were accessible exits at all times. For many of these attendees, they may have never had to use those themselves but they know of people or at least have heard of people who have had to. Tamuno, a 31-year-old gay man, tells me of a near-capture experience when he had gone to a party in Port Harcourt in 2020.

‘‘There was this party that happened weekly. It became kind of popular and more queer people started coming. What we didn’t account for was that neighbors had realized it was full of queer people,’ Tamuno said. ‘‘One day, we were all at the party and they surrounded the house. Some of us managed to escape, others weren’t as lucky. I wasn't lucky.’’ Tamuno recounts that after being taunted and shamed and then stripped to their boxers for a relatively long time, the police then came. ‘‘The police coming to carry us was what saved us because then my brother, who I called, was able to bribe them to let us go. Whenever I think about what would happen if the police hadn’t come, I experience a full body shudder.’’

a group of people taking photos

Organizers have to find ways to limit people who can gain access to these parties.

Photo Credit: Adedamola Odetera

To help combat this, organizers of these events prioritize security and the safety of their guests. It is important that attendees feel safe from homophobic attacks from civilians and the armed forces. To achieve this, organizers have learned to deploy multiple guards.

‘‘Everyone’s safety is a priority to me and this means that multiple channels of security are constantly put in place to help safeguard our guests.’’ Kayode Timileyin, one of the organizers of Pride In Lagos tells OkayAfrica. ‘‘The first of which is the fact that all our events are only by a registration and verification process. Also, external security guards are made available. Lastly, we go all out to look for a real safe space.’’

It doesn’t end at just verifying the identities of the guests. Organizers have to find ways to limit people who can gain access to the location. This might mean generating a password only verified guests are given or keeping the exact location — and sometimes even date — a secret and only given to the verified guests. For these organizers, these security measures are put in place, not against potential miscreants or robbers but instead to keep off the police force and homophobes.

woman wearing black smiling

Despite dangers, the queer nightlife scene is bustling and thriving.

Photo Credit: Adedamola Odetera

The underground nightlife scene in Lagos is bustling and thriving — despite the laws that criminalize it and the constant danger. This illustrates the spirit of resilience amongst queer Nigerians who choose to reach for any semblance of freedom they can find even if it is on the dance floor for just a night.

‘‘My experience getting arrested traumatized me. It scared me. I was getting beaten, and paraded and I was so scared that they would kill me. But they didn’t so of course, I’ll party again," Tamuno said. ‘‘I still go to these parties and I’ll still keep going. It’s not that I’m scared. It’s just that when I’m on the dance floor surrounded by other queer men, I feel like my true self. I feel happy. I feel content. And that’s what I want out of life. If I die because I am seeking that, that’s fine.’’

a group of friends taking a photo

More queer people are becoming brave and open about queer nightlife in Nigeria.

Photo Credit: Adedamola Odetera

Interview
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Kelvyn Boy On Becoming One of Afrobeats’ Leading Stars

The Ghanaian singer narrates how his latest single "Down Flat" has accelerated the trajectory of his career.

Kelvyn Boy is one of the leading afrobeats hitmakers from Ghana. Since his official debut in 2017 under singer Stonebwoy’s record label imprint Burniton Music Group, the talented singer, songwriter, and performer has consistently dished out hit after hit. From the sentimental midtempo ballad “Na You” to the gritty afropop cut “Mea” to his Mugeez and Darkovibes-assisted smash hit “Momo”, with every new release Kelvyn Boy has established his profile as one of the West African nation’s top afrobeats acts.

Fast forward to January 2022, Kelvyn Boy drops his most recent single “Down Flat," an infectious afrobeats single produced by Nigerian producer KullBoiBeatz, and the song has been immensely successful. “Down Flat” has held the number one spot on Apple Music’s “Top 100: Ghana” playlist, hit number 10 on Billboard’s “Worldwide Digital Song Sales” chart, just a couple of out several other accolades the song has landed in the few short months since its release.

The effect of the song’s success has already kicked in, with the singer in London, United Kingdom as I speak to him, which is one of the early stops of his current world tour. “Down Flat” is currently the biggest song of his career so far, and even Kelvyn Boy himself didn’t see it coming. “Some of the great things that happen are unpredictable and unplanned. I didn’t really see it coming” he explained. “Everyone believes in himself or herself. I have that belief and that feeling already when I’m making every song. If it’s not right, I won't sing it. But I didn’t see it coming as quick as it did, and I didn’t know it would get to this level. I knew it was gonna be big, but honestly it got out of hand.”

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Interview

Interview: Director K Is Making Historic Music Videos For Afrobeats & Beyond

The 28-year-old director behind the "Essence" music video (and many more) tells us about his come-up, inspirations and working with the biggest stars in the game like Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido, and more.

African music is sprouting into dominance with the upswing of genres such as Amapiano and Afrobeats across dance floors, day parties, festivals, and gatherings across the globe. Among the ranks of directors curating the visual interpretation of African music; Director K, born Qudus Olaiwola, is an oft-tranquil figure that has charted a lane separate from his contemporaries.

Starting off in the perpetually bristling clusters of Surelere, Lagos, Nigeria as a phone repairer at his uncle’s workshop, Director K’s curiosity shoveled him into believing he could shoot videos on his iPhone. “I used to go super crazy on iPhones, I used to make iPhones do stuff that you couldn’t normally do,” he tells OkayAfrica nostalgically.

Raised in the hovels of Shitta, Surulere, and Lagos — home to Afrobeats trailblazer Wizkid—Director K found a neighborhood artist called C.O. Decoast, and tested his hands at music video directing off the lens of his iPhone. “It wasn’t anything big. It was just something in the hood that I shot with a few people."

Now, in the parking lot of a lush apartment in Lekki, Lagos, Director K regales me with stories of his journey while walking me towards a modest swimming pool. The Creative Arts dropout has had his work nominated for Video Of The Year at the Soul Train Awards, and he has won an NACCP Image Award and Best Music Video at Nigeria’s most-prestigious awards show, The Headies.

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Moroccan-Belgian Photographer Mous Lamrabat’s New Exhibition Captures the Necessity Of Peace

We spoke to Moroccan-Belgian photographer Mous Lamrabat about his new exhibition, "Blessing from Mousganistan," and the themes within his work.

Interview: Ajebo Hustlers Are Port Harcourt’s Latest Cherished Export

We talk to the rising duo about breaking into the Nigerian mainstream with hit tracks like "Symbiosis," "Barawo," and "Loyalty," and their upcoming project, Bad Boy Etiquette 101.

Listen: Mádé Kuti Pleas For 'No More Wars' In Latest Single

The Grammy nominated singer-songwriter blends easy listening with a powerful message in his first drop of 2022 so far.

Fireboy DML On Embracing His Inner 'Playboy,' Stepping Outside & Learning to Let Go

On Playboy, Fireboy moves further away from his previous records and embraces the mainstream afrobeats sound hinted in recent hits like "Peru" and "Bandana." We sit down with the Nigerian star to talk about his new album.

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Spotlight: NK Is The Future and Star of His Own Show

We spoke with the 18-year-old visual artist about creating art from his surroundings and empowering his generation.