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(Photo courtesy of DAT Films)

Watch a New Documentary on Ghana’s DJ Katapila

PREMIERE: The Ghanaian DJ is known for blending techno and asafo music to create a style that is entirely his own.

No longer one of Ghana's best kept secrets, the world is about to learn of the singular musical stylings of DJ Katapila. The DJ and singer, born Ishmael Abbey, has developed a unique sound that got the attention of label Awesome Tapes from Africa manager Brian Shimkovitz and catapulted his career to international realms.


Now,with the help of DAT Films, he has a short documentary to tell the story of where he comes from and what kind of music he makes with the world. According to the filmmakers, "DJ Katapila's sound is an insane bass-heavy hybrid of traditional hiplife from Ghana's coast and Detroit techno. For the last 20 years, Katapila has been blasting his unique sounds all over Accra, from house parties to funerals, inspiring generations of Ghanaians to get up and dance like they were born to."

Named after the Caterpillar (or Cat) machines—the ubiquitous line of yellow construction vehicles at every building or demolition site—DJ Katapila is relentless in his work ethic and has various abilities to entertain. Coming from Jamestown, one of Accra's most notorious neighborhoods, DJ Katapila uses music to, in his words, educate people, and he does that through entertainment. Katapila blends a mix of techno beats with Ghana's coastal rhythms and melodies to create a sound that is lively, pulsing. He then chants, raps or sings in Twi, English and Ga to relay lessons he's learned on the streets and in his life. He's hoping that these messages, delivered in this fashion, can inspire change and action in a country that is developing quickly.

Watch our premiere of the film below to get a sense of Accra's techno scene, the intensity of DJ Katapila's music and to see the celebration unfold at a funeral in Gbawe while Katapila himself plays to honor the lost.

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Joseph Otisman and Cynthia Dankwa as Kojo and Esi. Photo by Ofoe Amegavie via 'The Burial of Kojo's' Kickstarter page.

'The Burial of Kojo' Is Ghana's First Golden Globe Entry

Blitz the Ambassador's debut film is being considered for the Best Foreign Language Film nomination at the 2020 Golden Globes.

Blitz Bazawuke, also known as Blitz the Ambassador's critically-acclaimed directorial debut The Burial of Kojo is officially in the running for a Golden Globe nomination, making it the first Ghanaian film ever to be considered for a nomination.

The musician, writer and director took to Twitter on Friday to share the news along with a picture of the list of contenders for the Golden Globe's "Best Foreign Language Film" award, which also includes Senegal's Atlantics (which is also in the running to become the first Senegalese film nominated for an Oscar) and Malawi's The Boy Who Harnessed Wind. Ninety-five films from 65 different countries are being considered for nomination in the category.

READ: In Conversation: The Cast & Crew of 'The Burial of Kojo' On Representation, Power & Filming in Ghana

The mystical and visually striking movie, which premiered at the Urban World Festival in NYC last year, tells the story of two brothers through the eyes of its young protagonist Esi, played by Cynthia Dankwa. The film takes viewers on a surreal journey exploring family bonds and the complexity of life and death. "Usually movies about Africa are very dystopian, more about survival mode. We never get a chance to break down our people," the director told OkayAfrica in an in-depth interview last year. "We just end up with a war, and in a war you can't show nuance in family relationships—the film is about survival. The hardest thing to do is humanize a people that has little history in cinema. Hopefully this film brings father and daughter closer, especially back home."

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Image courtesy of artists.

Watch Kojo Funds and Banx & Ranx Get Caught In a 'Traffic Jam' In Their New Music Video

Check out the lively, Accra-shot video for their new collaboration.

Ghanaian-Dominican artist Kojo Funds links up with Canadian production duo Banx & Ranx for their upbeat new single "Traffic Jam."

The collaborators headed to Accra for the song's lively music video, which sees them caught in a traffic jam like no other. The traffic jam turns into more of a block party as colorfully dressed dancers take over the streets and everyone turns up. The video was directed by popular afrobeats video director Meji Alabi.

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Deaan Vivier/Foto24/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Miss South Africa Wants Men to Write Love Letters to Women to Fight Against Gender-Based Violence

Unfortunately, there's nothing stopping abusive men from writing these love letters too.

South Africa's newly crowned Miss SA Zozibini "Zozi" Tunzi has launched a "HeForShe" campaign which aims to tackle the alarming rates of femicide and gender-based violence in the country. The campaign, which is in partnership with the South African arm of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), wants South African men to step up and join the collective fight against abuse. However, the campaign has been criticized by many because of the way in which it wants men to step—by writing love letters to women. The campaign has divided South Africans, particularly those on social media.

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Romain Chanson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Gambian Beauty Queen Fatou Jallow's Movement Against Sexual Assault Gains Traction

After publicly accusing former President Yahya Jammeh of rape, young women under the #IamToufah banner are standing against sexual assault in the country.

A few months ago, former Gambian beauty queen Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow publicly accused former President Yahya Jammeh of rape. The 23-year-old alleged that Jammeh had raped her following her refusal of his marriage proposal during his time in office back in 2015. Under the leadership of current President Adama Barrow, The Gambian government established the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) which is now investigating human rights violations during Jammeh's tenure. Jallow, who is testifying at the commission, has spurred a movement where young women are taking a stand against sexual assault in the country under the #IamToufah banner.

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