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ALEXANDRA SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 27: Health workers conduct swabs with community member during intensified testing and screening on Freedom Day on April 27, 2020 in Alexandra South Africa.

Global Citizen's Upcoming Concert Will Support African Healthcare Workers

Global Citizen's upcoming 'VAX LIVE' online concert is set to raise funds for at least 6.5 million African healthcare workers to become vaccinated amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Global Citizen has recently announced its upcoming concert VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World. The online event, which will be broadcast on May 8th, will feature a number of artists from across the world who are set to perform as part of a massive fundraising effort for African healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will reportedly go towards a large-scale vaccination drive supporting at least 6.5 million healthcare workers in what the organisation has dubbed "dollars for doses".


READ: Burna Boy Highlights Relief Efforts Across Africa With 'One World: Together at Home' Performance

In a recent press statement, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa responded to news of the initiative saying:

" South Africa is fully behind this initiative to be part of a collective effort to recover after the devastating pandemic. The 'Recovery Plan for the World' is a good opportunity to get the international community working together to drive equitable access to vaccines for everyone, everywhere. Again, I urge world leaders to urgently free up excess supply for poorer countries. Today, the world is facing an unprecedented health, social and economic crisis. Now is the time to act in the interests of the whole world, now is the time to become truly global citizens."

The official artist lineup has not been released as yet and any African talent taking part in the concert being kept under wraps. However, American actress and singer, Selena Gomez, is set to host the online event which will be streamed in an extended edition on YouTube.

While several African countries have already started their vaccine rollouts, the sobering reality of vaccine shortages remains, exacerbated by intermittent pauses due to concerns about observed side effects in those who have received certain COVID-19 vaccines. Less than 2 percent of the 690 million vaccines administered globally have been in Africa. The push right now is towards African countries being able to manufacture their own vaccines.

Music

Somi Channels the Spirit of Miriam Makeba in Theater and Song

The jazz singer has long-admired the late Miriam Makeba, and through a stage production and an album of covers, shares that appreciation with the world.

Like many children of African immigrants of this generation, Somi grew up with the music of Miriam Makeba being ubiquitous around her. She can’t tell you exactly when she first heard Pata Pata or Malaika, or even when she first heard Makeba’s name, but, for as long as she can remember, the iconic South African singer has been part of Somi’s world. “She was always just the soundtrack to my life, in some way,” she tells OkayAfrica.

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Photo: Alex Proper

DRC's Libende Boyz Are Using Their Voices to Uplift Troubled Beni

The Congolese group goes beyond making music in its efforts to uplift the Beni area, which has been experiencing years of torment by extremist groups.

In eastern DRC, there is a martyred town. Beni, in North Kivu province, is where fighters from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan armed group that has pledged allegiance to ISIS, have been terrorizing the population for several years. Deaths and abductions number in the thousands. And despite the establishment of a state of siege with a military administration in the region since May 2021, as well as the arrival of Ugandan armed forces, there is every indication that this terror of almost daily ambushes and deaths in the area isn't about to end any time soon. In the midst of it all exists a group of Beni-based musicians doing all it can to raise the morale of the local population and uplift those in need.

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Film
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The 10 Best African Netflix Original Films

We sat through all of the African originals commissioned, produced or distributed by Netflix and bring you a list of the very best titles.

It can be a tricky preoccupation penciling down what exactly a Netflix Original means. Is it a project commissioned, and executive produced in house by the world’s biggest streaming giant? Yes. But it can also be applied to films funded independently and picked up later by Netflix at film festivals or licensed exclusively through other sources. In any case, films branded as Netflix Originals are usually branded with the streamer’s logo and distributed exclusively on the platform. In the spirit of Africa Day, we sat through all of the African Originals commissioned, produced or distributed by Netflix so far and bring you a list of the very best titles. In ascending order.

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Photo Credit: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Image

5 Artists We Discovered at Frieze New York

From Ludovitch Nkoth to Cassi Nomandi, here are five amazing artists we took note of at the 2021 Frieze New York festival.

The best way to start Summer in New York City is with Frieze New York.

Celebrating it’s 10th anniversary in New York, with a legacy partner Deutsche Bank, the three day art extravaganza brings artists, collectors, and cultural purveyors from all over the world to Midtown Manhattan at the Shed to enjoy the various mediums of art on display.

We took some time to uncover the fair, noticing the artists with rich cultures and poignant narratives that drove a resonating message for the audience.

Here are five amazing artists we took note of at the 2021 Frieze New York festival.

1) Ludovitch Nkoth

Young and talented, Nkoth, 28, is a trailblazer with the eyes of an old soul. His work was carefully placed next to Cassi Nomandi, bringing forth rich textures and deep colors ranging from reds, blues, and yellows. Originally from Cameroon, Nkoth is inspired by his immigrant experience, using his wand to paint pictures of the black immigrants crossing overseas in the water pulling inspiration from family history, tradition, and the legacy of colonialism. Success is here for the young artist with most of his work sold out and exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, and London.

2) Luiz Roque

Paying tribute to marginalized cultures, Luiz Roque’s film, S, was an outlier at the fair. A film encapsulated in a dim lit room at the corner of the walkway, it created a mysterious darkness that resonated with a few viewers, though many were jaunted by the artist’s rawness of sexuality and queerness. The film kept us curious on what the voguing and vivid imagery meant to Roque. The artist’s 20 year tenure is an exploration of race, class, politics, ecology, modernism, and science fiction.

3) Cassi Nomandi

Originally from Mozambique, Cassi Nomandi, 34, is a woman with a sharp vision yet subtle hands. With her work, she creates a trance of raw emotion and pleasure. Nomandi studied Cinematography at the Academy of Art University San Francisco. She exhibited her first show in 2017 which put her on the map. In 2020, Cassi was commissioned by Vogue Italia to create the cover art for the magazine’s January 2020 Issue, fusing her love for fashion, photography, film, and cultural anthology.

4) Sydney Cain

San Francisco native Sydney Cain, 31, is a mythical being with over a decade of experience creating and expressing herself through art. We spoke with Sydney briefly to learn how it feels to show at a big fair such as Frieze. “It’s exciting to share work in the east coast being from the Bay Area. I want the work to resonate across the diaspora,” Cain said.

Cain drew on her bloodline and ancestry tapping into the things unseen leaning from lightness to darkness, erasing, subtracting, shifting dust away to define clarity for what she wants to convey in her art. Her energy, while drawing her pieces comes from her courageousness to dive into beings of mortality, expressing things that are stuck here in America, spirits that have our back. She is set to start at Yale studying her MFA this fall.

5) Barbara Wagner

Walking into the fair is the beautiful photo compilation by Wagner, hailing from Brazil. The installation catches your eye because of the humans in the shot, real and authentic, Wagner does a great job of bringing the essence of brazillian culture into the person cast. The installation, In Search of Fifth Element, was a show stopper and gave viewers a real glance at the real people of brazil.

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The Stars of 'Blood Sisters' Talk About Becoming Netflix's Biggest Hit

We sat down with Ini Dima-Okojie and Nancy Isime, the actors who brought life to Sarah and Kemi, to talk about shooting Blood Sisters, acting in Nollywood, what's next, and more.

The 4 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Mavin Records, L.A.X, Moonchild Sanelly, Nissi, Major League and more.

Spotlight: Timi Nathus Is Making Digital Art Mainstream

The Nigerian artist NAZQUIAT is on a mission to make his futuristic collection of NFTs the norm in his home country.

Rwanda's Salima Mukansanga Sets Historic Sights On FIFA World Cup 2022

The Rwandan official has been named as one of the first female referees in history to officiate at the men's FIFA World Cup.

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It’s A New Dawn for Young Jonn

Young Jonn tells us why he switched to singing, dishes on his relationship with Olamide and provides all the details about his debut project Love Is Not Enough.