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David Oyelowo on Nollywood at TIFF: ‘We Are Storytellers and We Are About to Be Number One’

David Oyelowo's excitement to share what Nollywood has to offer with the world sets the tone during the City to City: Lagos opening at TIFF.

Clad in slick, maroon and golden-yellow Angelina fabric, David Oyelowo is pretty hype that the City to City: Lagos opening at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is like one big long-lost Nigerian family reunion.


"This is the first time, in so long, I've been in a room with people who can say my name properly,” he says to the audience. “So I stand before you today as DAVID OYETOKUNBO OYELOWO.”

The City to City spotlight seeks to bring international cities to Toronto audiences. All eyes will be on eight films coming out of Nigeria’s cultural capital during this year’s TIFF—as they should be. Nollywood has been a mainstay for Nigerian film, and festival goers (and the world) will have the opportunity to see a sampling of impressive work from the $3.3 billion film industry.

“I have no doubt that this is the start of something absolutely fantastic for us, because we’ve been doing this for a long time—telling stories traditionally, filmically, poetically. We are storytellers by nature,” he continues.

In the clip below, you will see just that as Oyelowo weaves in impersonations of his father lamenting how people butcher his last name, how our parents give us that side-eye when we tell them we want to get into acting and how his experience living in Nigeria as a child and his Nigerian heritage shaped him to take his career with the utmost confidence.

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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