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Cynthia Erivo Scores Two Oscar Nominations

The British-Nigerian actress is the only person of color to receive a nomination for acting this year and moves one step closer to receiving the coveted EGOT.

The wait is finally over as the 2020 Oscars nominations have just been released.

Cynthia Erivo has landed an impressive two nominations and is the only person of color to receive a nomination for acting at this year's Oscars. The first nomination, in the category of "Best Lead Actress", is for her stellar performance in the Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet with the second nomination, in the category of "Best Original Song", for "Stand Up"—the soundtrack to Harriet.


Erivo's Oscar nominations come not long after she cancelled her scheduled performance at this year's British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards following the controversial all-White nominations list.

While on the issue of a glaring lack of diversity at prominent awards shows, the actress may now become the second Black actress to win an Oscar for a lead role since Halle Berry's historic 2001 win and the 11th Black actress to be nominated in the same category in the Oscars' entire 92-year history, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Additionally, Erivo now moves one step closer to becoming the youngest individual to receive the coveted Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (EGOT). Should Erivo bring home the Oscar, she would also become the first to do it within just four years—yet another historic moment.

Speaking at the 2020 Critics Choice Award, the actress described what winning an Oscar would mean to her saying, "I don't even know if I have the words. It would mean the world. It really would." She went on to add that, "It's insane and weird and crazy, and also to be even thought of in that way. I like the idea of being a 'breakout' at this point in my career because it means that I can really keep going."

The glitzy Oscars' ceremony will broadcast live from Hollywood's Dolby Theatre on February 9th. You can read the full Oscars nominations list here.

Interview
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Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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