Film

Here's What 'Generation Soweto' Has To Say About The Xenophobic Attacks In South Africa

Young South Africans speak on the xenophobic attacks in South Africa in an exclusive clip from Nisa Ahmed's 'Generation Soweto.'


Bongiwe Neema Nousé

Generation Soweto is a forthcoming documentary about millennials in South Africa. The brainchild of Los Angeles-based veteran producer and first-time documentarian Nisa Ahmed, the film looks at youth culture in South Africa through the eyes of four creatives and entrepreneurs in Cape Town and Johannesburg, including Neema Nousé, the 23-year-old Joburg-based blogger behind Nousé LifestyleKearan Fourie, a 30-year-old tour guide and aspiring restaurateur in Soweto, and women's lifestyle blog Sleepless In Soweto's Twiggy Moli (Tshepang Modisane) and Sedi Ramone (Lesedi Ramonyane), also 23.

Today, the filmmakers bring us an exclusive clip from Generation Soweto. In it, the four young South Africans share their experiences with a number of social issues in their home country, most prominently the recent wave of xenophobic attacks.

"You're kind of shocked, because you're like, 'shit, that's down the road from my house,'" Twiggy Moli says about the attacks on foreign nationals that spread to Johannesburg in April. "I think with the attacks, what was bizarre, I think for our generation, because we're exposed to people from other countries and other cultures, we don't understand why you would hate someone else that is not South African," she adds later in the clip.

"Going to university where you're a part of the minority in a country where you're the majority, it's challenging," says Neema. "Going on to campus and walking around with my afro, there's a lot of side-eyes going on and a lot of questions. Even from black people, which I find so weird, because you would think something like an all natural hair texture is seen as revolutionary, which is so weird to me."

"We want to be somewhere where we're accepted," Twiggy Moli comments. "Where I can wear my Doc Martens and not have to wear like super high heels and have like the longest weaves to be accepted into the areas."

"We're trying to co-exist in a space where we can just be unapologetic about who we truly are," Neema says.

Watch the exclusive clip from Generation Soweto above. The film is currently campaigning on Ingiegogo to raise funds to complete production.

Keep up with 'Generation Soweto' on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the film's official site.

Tshepang Modisane and Lesedi Ramonyane

Kearan Fourie

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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