Film: Africa Movie Academy Awards Winners

Last night in Lagos, the winners of the Africa Movie Academy Awards, also known as the "African Oscars," were announced. Unsurprisingly, South Africa and Nigeria, the continent’s present-day cinematic superpowers, came away with the lion’s share of the prizes: twelve for the former and ten for the latter. Of those twelve, four went to How to Steal 2 million (trailer below), a magnificent film noir which took home best director (Charlie Vundla), best film, achievement in editing, and best supporting actress (Terry Phetto).

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Two others tied for second place with three awards each: the Nigerian Adesuwa and Man on Ground (trailer below), a stylish treatment of xenophobia in modern South Africa, whose capturing of the Special Jury Prize represents an acknowledgment on the part of critics and the public of the enormous work that country has done to promote African cinema in recent years. Despite the great hopes laid on Otelo Burning, nominated for multiple awards and widely considered one of the year’s great films, it won in only two categories, Achievement in Cinematography and Best Child Actor (Tsepang Mohlomi).

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With regards to films from the Diaspora, there were few surprises. The two great successes were Touissant L'Overture (the protagonist of which, Jimmy Jean-Louis, was the festival’s presenter) and The Education of Auma Obama, which respectively garnered Best Diaspora Feature and Best Documentary in Diaspora.

AMAA is continuously growing, with 328 entries from all across Africa in 2012, up from 220 in 2011. Dr. Asantewa Olantunji, director of programming of The Pan African Film Festival, headed this year's jury, which included June Giavanni, programmer for Planet Africa at The Toronto International Film Festival; Keith Shiri, founder and film curator at the London festival, Africa at The Pictures; Dorothee Wenner, a curator at The Berlin Film Festival; Shaibu Husseini, an actor, dancer and The Nigerian Guardian arts journalist; Steve Ayorinde, editor-in-chief of The Daily Mirror; Ayoko Babu, executive director of The Pan African Film Festival; Dr. Hyginus Ekwuazi, a film scholar and critic; and directors Berni Goldblat and John Akomfrah, OBE.

Here is the Full Winners List:

Short Film - Braids on Bald Head (Nigeria)

Best Documentary - African Election (Nigeria/Germany)

Best Diaspora Feature - Toussaint L’Ouverture (France)

Best Documentary in Diaspora - The Education of Auma Obama (Germany)

Best Diaspora (Short Film) - White Sugar In a Black Pot (USA)

Best Animation - The Legend of Ngog Hills (Kenya)

Best film by an African Living Abroad - Mystery of Birds (USA/Nigeria)

Achievement in Production Design - Phone Swap (Nigeria)

Achievement in Costume Design - Adesuwa (Nigeria)

Achievement in Make-up - Shattered (Kenya)

Achievement in Soundtrack - Alero's Symphony (Nigeria)

Achievement in Visual Effects - Adesuwa (Nigeria)

Achievement in Sound - State of Violence (South Africa)

Achievement in Cinematography - Otelo Burning (South Africa)

Achievement in Editing - How To Steal 2 million (South Africa)

Achievement in Screenplay - Ties that Bind (Ghana)

Best Nigeria Film - Adesuwa (Lancelot Imasuen)

Best Film in an African Language - State of Violence (South Africa)

Best Child Actor - Tsepang Mohlomi (Ntwe), Otelo Burning

Best Young/Promising Actor - Ivie Okujaye (Alero), Alero's Symphony

Best Actor in a supporting role - Fano Mokoena (Man on ground)

Best Actress in a supporting role - Terry Pheto (How to steal 2 Million)

Best Lead Actor - Majid Michael (Somewhere in Africa)

Best Lead Actress - Rita Dominic (Shattered)

Best Movie - How To Steal 2 million (South Africa)

Best Director - How To Steal 2 MillionCharlie Vundla

Special Jury Prize - Man On Ground – South Africa / Nigeria


Introducing OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020 List

Celebrating African Women Laying the Groundwork for the Future

It would not be hyperbole to consider the individuals we're honoring for OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020 list as architects of the future.

This is to say that these women are building infrastructure, both literally and metaphorically, for future generations in Africa and in the Diaspora. And they are doing so intentionally, reaching back, laterally, and forward to bridge gaps and make sure the steps they built—and not without hard work, mines of microaggressions, and challenges—are sturdy enough for the next ascent.

In short, the women on this year's list are laying the groundwork for other women to follow. It's what late author and American novelist Toni Morrison would call your "real job."

"I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else."

And that's what inspired us in the curation of this year's list. Our honorees use various mediums to get the job done—DJ's, fashion designers, historians, anthropologists, and even venture capitalists—but each with the mission to clear the road ahead for generations to come. Incredible African women like Eden Ghebreselassie, a marketing lead at ESPN who created a non-profit to fight energy poverty in Eritrea; or Baratang Miya, who is quite literally building technology clubs for disadvantaged youth in South Africa.

There are the builds that aren't physically tangible—movements that inspire women to show up confidently in their skin, like Enam Asiama's quest to normalize plus-sized bodies and Frédérique (Freddie) Harrel's push for Black and African women to embrace the kink and curl of their hair.

And then there are those who use their words to build power, to take control of the narrative, and to usher in true inclusion and equity. Journalists, (sisters Nikki and Lola Ogunnaike), a novelist (Oyinkan Braithwaite), a media maven (Yolisa Phahle), and a number of historians (Nana Oforiatta Ayim, Leïla Sy) to name a few.

In a time of uncertainty in the world, there's assuredness in the mission to bring up our people. We know this moment of global challenge won't last. It is why we are moving forward to share this labor of love with you, our trusted and loyal audience. We hope that this list serves as a beacon for you during this moment—insurance that future generations will be alright. And we have our honorees to thank for securing that future.


The annual OkayAfrica 100 Women List is our effort to acknowledge and uplift African women, not only as a resource that has and will continue to enrich the world we live in, but as a group that deserves to be recognized, reinforced and treasured on a global scale. In the spirit of building infrastructure, this year's list will go beyond the month of March (Women's History Month in America) and close in September during Women's Month in South Africa.

100 women 2020

Burna Boy 'African Giant' money cover art by Sajjad.

The 20 Essential Burna Boy Songs

We comb through the Nigerian star's hit-filled discography to select 20 essential songs from the African Giant.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2012 with his chart-topping single, "Like to Party," and the subsequent release of his debut album, L.I.F.E - Leaving an Impact for eternity, Burna Boy has continued to prove time and again that he is a force to be reckoned with.

The African Giant has, over the years, built a remarkable musical identity around the ardent blend of dancehall, hip-hop, reggae, R&B, and afropop to create a game-changing genre he calls afro-fusion. The result has been top tier singles, phenomenal collaborations, and global stardom—with several accolades under his belt which include a Grammy nomination and African Giant earning a spot on many publications' best albums of 2019.

We thought to delve into his hit-filled discography to bring you The 20 Essential Burna Boy Songs.

This list is in no particular order.

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Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

'Dhalinyaro' Is the Female Coming-of-Age Story Bringing Djibouti's Film Industry to Life

The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories.

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Stogie T Enlists Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and More, for ‘The Empire of Sheep’ Deluxe Edition

Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

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