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Wendy Shay in "Odo"

The 10 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month (August)

Featuring Bosom P-Yung, Wendy Shay x Kelvynboy, Kuami Eugene and more.

In August 2020, Ghana's most talented artists and producers came through as usual, and blessed us with several songs and projects that have been the soundtrack of our month. Debut projects, collaborations by former rivals, joint projects and more were dished out, so here we give you the cream of the crop. Check out our best Ghanaian songs of the month below.

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


Bosom P-Yung 'GyimiGyimii'

Ghanaian rapper and "Attaa Adwoa" hitmaker Bosom P-Yung came through with this brand new track to bless his fans in this month of August. The rapper hit the studio for this solo bop "GyimiGyimii," and it's definitely a potential hit.

Wendy Shay 'Odo' feat. Kelvynboy

Wendy Shay and Kelvyn Boy hook up for their very first collaboration, after their alleged beef due to Kelvyn snubbing Wendy at event. It looks like water under the bridge now, as they dish out this love tune titled "Odo."

Kuami Eugene 'Open Gate'

Ghanaian singer and Lynx Entertainment act Kuami Eugene scores his first solo hit of the year in "Open Gate." The upbeat Afrobeats song is also the lead single of Kuami Eugene's upcoming studio album, Son of Africa, and he dishes it out with a humorous video to match.

Medikal 'Odo' ft. King Promise

Medikal makes a revelation—the pregnancy of his recently wed wife Fella Makafui in the official video for this new banger "Odo." King Promise brings his magic to the table, transforming what could have likely been a run-of-the-mill Afrobeats song into something very special.

Dopenation ft Kofi Kinaata 'Thank God'

The twin musicians DopeNation drop this brand new song titled "Thank God" featuring the Fante rap phenom Kofi Kinaata. The 2020 SoundCity MVP Awards Group of the Year winners follow up their single "Ma Ye Fine" with this smooth collab.

MzVee 'Baby'

MzVee is putting in that work to get back on top, and it sure looks like it's paying off. She follows up her single with Mugeez "Baddest Boss" with this single and video, an easygoing ballad titled "Baby." Love and Afrobeats is always a winning combination, and this one is a winner for sure!

Izzik 'People Bore' ft. Pzeefire & OOSHA

Izzik sets out to prove that he is among the future of African music industry, as he serves his second project of the year titled Pandemic. With the current coronavirus pandemic halting the world's activities, Izzik named this mini EP Pandemic just to highlight the power he plans to hold in the music industry in years to come.

Kev & Grenade 'Like to Drip' ft. Blackway & E.L

Kev the Topic and Nana Grenade are the two halves of fast-rising musical group, Kev & Grenade, and they just dropped their debut collaborative album, titled "Utopia". Off the project is this blazing hip-hop joint titled "Like To Drip," a bar-heavy cut featuring rappers E.L and Blackway.

Tulenkey 'Link Up'

Ghanaian rapper Tulenkey comes your way with this afro-fusion record "Link Up." After the successful release of his conscious single "Corona," Tulenkey joins forces with MOGBeatz to serve this party banger.

Freda Rhymz 'Saucy' ft. Sista Afia 

This month, rapper Freda Rhymz settled her beef with SIsta Afia. A few days after settling their differences, Freda Rhymz teams up with Sista Afia on her new song titled "Saucy". Production credits for the tune go to Mix Master Garzy.

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


Interview
Image: Courtesy TIFF

Jenna Cato Bass is Capturing the Horrors of an Unhealed Nation

The film marks the South African director's third debut and stride towards making a name for herself in the international film circuit.

Ever since premiering her debut film, Love the One You Love, which won the Best Feature Film at the Jozi Festival in 2015, Jenna Cato Bass has been a name to watch on the international film festival circuit. Her 2017 feature, High Fantasy, was the first of her films to land on the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) lineup, followed by Flatland in 2019. Her latest offering, Mlungu Wam (Good Madam), debuted at TIFF in September of 2021 — marking her third time at the esteemed Canadian film event.

Often provocative, always thought-provoking, Bass' films have come to establish her as a director who looks at South Africa's youth, the lives they're living and the future that awaits them, with a nuanced, open-minded lens. For the first time in her career, Bass uses the genre of horror to dig into an enduring mark of the country's past — that of the fraught, complex relationship between madam and domestic worker, in Mlungu Wam (Good Madam). Set in Cape Town, the film follows the unusual, disturbing things that start happening when a young woman moves back in with her estranged mother, who is the longtime caretaker for a rich, white household.

Bass also co-wrote the film Tug of War (Vuta N'Kuvute), which became Tanzania's first film to be selected for TIFF this year, and she co-wrote Rafiki, which was Kenya's first film at TIFF in 2018.

She spoke to OkayAfrica about playing in a new genre and her hopes for African cinema.

Still from Bass's film Mlungu Wam Image: Courtesy TIFF


This story revolves around the relationship between a domestic worker and her 'madam.' What made you want to make a film about this subject?

When I make films, I like the concept to revolve around something that we all have in common - because, despite the many fractures in our society, these shared places exist. And in South Africa, we felt that everyone - in some way or another - has been deeply affected by domestic work and domestic workers, who are a keystone in our society's structure. Additionally, the 'maid' and 'madam' relationship is the ultimate symbol of race relations in South Africa - as well as how they haven't changed significantly, despite almost thirty years of democracy. So a domestic worker was the perfect character around which to centre a South African horror.

The genre of horror works really well to explore this subject and tell this story — when did you know it would be the genre you'd want to use?

The early stages of developing a film aren't always linear for me. I'll be thinking about a genre I'm interested in, and then parallel to that I'll have an idea for a story or a character, and later on, will realize that these pieces all fit together. In this case, I'd been wanting to make a horror film for ages, but hadn't found the right story… until I had the idea for Mlungu Wam, and I realized I was finally ready to try this genre.

What challenges did you face in making a horror?

It was my first time working in this genre, and it was intimidating because there's no saving you if you fail. We were also working on a very, very limited budget, so it wasn't possible to show as much as we'd like to - but then again, this story was all about the subjective and the unseen, so I did as much research and planning as we could, and just had to trust it would work.

Where did you film, and did that have any impact on the process at all?

We filmed in a house in Cape Town, in a gated community in the Southern Suburbs. The house and the environment had a major impact on the film - especially because we were also quarantining there for the full 7 weeks of rehearsal and shooting. The house was our set and our accommodation, so it was very intense, very claustrophobic, and very triggering for many of our team members.

How did you and co-writer Babalwa Baartman work on the story? You've included cast members in the writing process in your previous work — did you do that here too?

Mlungu Wam was made along similar lines to my first two films, Love The One You Love and High Fantasy, where we started with an outline, cast actors, then workshopped the characters collaboratively before completing the story breakdown and using improv for the dialogue. Babalwa and I had worked together using this method on a short film we made in 2019 called Sizohlala. She really understands the process, and it was a really rewarding experience exploring the story with her and our cast.

How did Kristina Ceyton, who produced the excellent acclaimed horrors The Babadook and The Nightingale, through Causeway Films, come to be involved in this film?

I had met Sam Jennings, who is also a producer with Causeway Films, several years ago at a festival. We really connected and kept in touch over the years, sharing our work, and hoping there'd be a chance to collaborate. So when we were developing Mlungu Wam, I pitched her and Kristina the concept and they were immediately supportive. It has been a massive pleasure working with them both.

Your films are known to venture into themes of identity and healing from the past — how does this film speak to that?

Mlungu Wam is definitely about this too - it's a story about three generations of women (actually four, if you include Tsidi's grandmother, who is an unseen character in the film), how they are haunted by the past and eventually refuse to remain chained any longer. Their healing is collective, linked to each other, and wouldn't be possible for them alone as individuals.

Still from Bass's film Mlungu Wam Image: Courtesy TIFF


You've been at TIFF before - how has your experience of it been this year, with it being a hybrid of virtual and in-person?

Things have been quieter and a bit harder to navigate, but the TIFF staff have done incredible work getting the festival off the ground, despite endless challenges. It has felt very surreal to be here, and a privilege - and inspiring too, that we can still get together to celebrate films, even though our world is in such a mess. We had over 200 (socially distanced) people at our last screening, and that was an amazing feeling.

Yours is one of few African films on this year's line-up - is there anything you'd like to see happen to try improve that?

Regarding African cinema, TIFF has a real range of films this year, across several sections. Compared to many other festivals, they seem really invested in supporting cinema from the continent. Of course, this could be better, but it's also an example to other festivals who claim there aren't enough African films, that this is clearly not the case.

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