News Brief

South African Western 'Five Fingers for Marseilles' Lands in U.S. Theaters This September

See a glimpse of the striking visuals from this film in the trailer here.

South Africa's Five Fingers for Marseilles is set to premiere in U.S. theaters beginning Friday, Sept. 7, through distributor Uncork'd Entertainment.

The epic western film was shot on location in the North-Eastern Cape village of Lady Grey. It's also filmmaker Michael Matthews' directorial debut and Sean Drumond's screenwriting debut.

Five Fingers for Marseilles combines the socio-political threads found in the western film genre, stunning visuals shot through panoramic widescreen lensing and a blockbuster case of South African talent who give powerful and nuanced performances.


The synopsis reads:

The residents of the colonial town of Marseilles are under the thumb of police oppression and only the young rebels known as the Five Fingers are willing to stand up to them. Their battle is just, until Tau kills two policemen and flees the scene. The remaining rebels disband while the banished Tau resorts to a life of crime.

Twenty years later, now known as feared outlaw The Lion of Marseilles, he is released from prison. He returns home, desiring only peace and to reconnect with those he left behind. The battle for South Africa's freedom has been won, and former comrades-in-arms are in prominent positions as mayor, police chief, and pastor. But it quickly becomes clear to Tau that Marseilles is caught in the grip of a vicious new threat — and he must reconstitute the Five Fingers to fight frontier justice.

Standing against former allies and new enemies, the re-formed Five Fingers saddle up and ride out, and put their lives at risk to save their beloved Marseilles.

Watch the trailer below.

The film stars Vuyo Dabula, Hamilton Dhlamini, Zethu Dlomo, Kenneth Nkosi, Mdudzi Mabaso, Aubrey Poolo, Lizwi Vilakazi, Warren Masemole, Dean Fourie, Anthony Oseyemi, Brendon Daniels and Jerry Mofokeng.

Five Fingers for Marseilles made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and was also screened at various film festivals around the world.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Interview

Ayra Starr Is Ready to Take Off

We talk to the rising Nigerian star about growing up between Cotonou & Lagos, meeting Don Jazzy and how she made her explosive debut EP.

When Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe—now better known as Ayra Starrwas in university, she was often complimented for her vocal skills. "I would just be singing and people would be like you have such a great voice,'' she tells OkayAfrica over a Zoom conversation. Because of this, her friends kept telling her to consider recording covers of songs to share on social media. Ayra refused—not to make the videos, but to post them—because she was shy.

Eventually, she allowed her friends to share her covers on their own social media channels. Ayra would try to stay away and not keep track of people's reactions to them, but each time she would fail and end up going to the comments section, she'd be surprised at the overwhelming support. ''The first time I did a cover it was crazy, people just went mad. I was shocked, like 'wow, people really like the music.'''

The support that helped her the most in deciding to pursue music full-time, however, was that of her mother. ''My mum would call me from home and be like 'Oyinkansola, do music''' Ayra remembers. ''She would say, 'music is for you', 'God wants you to do music.' She would even check up on me to ask if I had posted on social media.''

Arya Starr's childhood was soundtracked by the musical greats of the time—Tuface, Wande Coal, Tope Alabi. Being born into a musical family also helped. ''Everybody loved music. It was a musical home, and I listened to a lot of different types of sounds. From there I joined the choir when I was like eight or ten," Ayra says.

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Loyiso Gola Details His Upcoming Netflix Special in New Interview

Loyiso Gola details 'Unlearning', his upcoming debut Netflix Special, a first for an African comedian, in new interview with GQ South Africa. "I consider 'Unlearning' a special piece art," he says.

Accomplished South African comedian Loyiso Gola's Unlearning is coming on Netflix on the 23rd of March. The stand-up comedy special is the seasoned comic's first on the streaming platform. It will also be the first solo stand-up Netflix Special. Gola made his first appearance on Netflix in 2018 on the streaming platform's Comedians of the World series alongside fellow South African comedians Tumi Morake, Loyiso Madinga and Riaad Moosa.

Gola recently detailed the special in his GQ South Africa covert story. The special was recorded in one of the country's grandest art galleries, Cape Town's Zeitz MOCAA. He shared his reasons in the interview:

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