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Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: "Super excited to announce I've been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired."

He is among 175 scholars, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-sixth competition," says the Guggenheim.


Beginning in 1925, the prestigious fellowship awards "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts." This year's list like the others includes a group of fine artists, writers, photographers and more.

Past Guggenheim include renowned Nigerian writer Teju Cole in 2018 and Ghanaian filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu, who was awarded in 2015.

OkayAfrica spoke with Blitz back in 2018 about the power of creativity in rewriting African narratives. "Usually movies about Africa are very dystopian, more about survival mode," he said. "We never get a chance to break down our people. 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."

Congrats to the artist on this accomplishment. You can ceck out the full list of 2020 Guggenheim fellows here.

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South African rapper AKA, real name Kiernan Forbes, is reportedly in the process of brand evaluation. This, after the rapper publicly announced a temporary break regarding promotions with the New York-based vodka company, Cruz Vodka. The statement coincides with the ongoing investigations surrounding Anele Tembe's death, and a widely circulated video showing AKA allegedly attempting to break down a door to enter his fiancé's room.

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