popular
Photo still via Amazon.

Here's How Africa and the Diaspora Inspired Donald Glover's 'Guava Island'

The Cuba-shot tropical thriller, starring Donald Glover and Rihanna, recently premiered on Amazon Prime.

Donald Glover premiered his highly-anticipated film Guava Island ahead of his Coachella performance this past weekend. An Amazon exclusive, the film was available to stream for free and is now still available for viewing via Amazon Prime.

The Cuba-shot film stars Glover, who plays Deni Maroon and the illustrious Rihanna, who plays his girlfriend Kofi Novia. What Amazon coins as a "tropical thriller," we follow Glover's character, local musician, and his determination to throw a festival for everyone to enjoy.


Guava Island is full of influences and notables from Africa and the Diaspora and we're here for it. It's also evident that Glover enlisted his close-knit crew of collaborators to pull this project off. The film was directed by Hiro Murai, who also directed his music video for "This Is America," was executive produced by Grammy-award winner Ibra Ake, who is of Nigerian descent, and was written by Glover's brother Stephen. Mobolaji Dawodu, GQ fashion director and Nigerian native, led the styling and costume designing of the film.

Guava Island - Clip: Deni and Kofi | Prime Video youtu.be

According to Vulture, Stephen was inspired by global (and black) cult classics, including Prince's Purple Rain, City of God, Black Orpheus and Touki Bouki, a 1973 film by Senegal's own Djibril Diop Mambéty.

Ake explains to Vogue that the styling and costuming in Guava Island is also inspired by the Diaspora to create the film's fictional, all-black world with Africa as the anchor. "The clothing was a huge palette for us to express ourselves and tell stories," he says.

For Dawodu, having Rihanna don a gele with her blue ensemble in the final scene of the film was a nod to his Nigerian aunties. "I saw a lot of women in my family in the head tie," he shares with Vogue, "so for Rihanna, a pop icon around the world, to wear a Nigerian gele, that's just amazing. It just pushes her whole outfit over the top. It's very powerful."

And now to the rest of the cast. We see Guyanese-British Black Panther star Letitia Wright play Yara, Kofi's best friend, who's pushes Rihanna's character to lighten up in the film. Nigerian-British actor Nonso Anozie plays Red Cargo, the eerie character whose family essentially runs Guava Island through fear and violence. Anozie may be a familiar face as he plated Xaro Xhoan Daxos in Game of Thrones.

Here's a clip featuring Glover and Anozie below.

Guava Island - Clip: Deni and Red I Prime Video youtu.be

Watch Guava Island here.

Video
Photo: James Kwan.

Watch Lady Moon & The Eclipse's New Video For 'Global Warning'

Just in time for Earth Day.

Brooklyn-based outfit Lady Moon & The Eclipse, who we've previously covered for their blend of R&B; and afrobeat, are back with the new single, "Global Warning."

The song and music video, which we're premiering today for Earth Day, is a head-nodder anchored by a heavy funk bass line and led by vocalist Lady Moon's (Ngonda Badila) lyrics about our drastically changing environment.

The new video for "Global Warning," directed by James Kwan, is a shape-shifting affair that cycles through colorful animated drawings and collage-like scenes of Lady Moon dancing in front of different habitats.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief

Ugandan Lawmaker and Activist Bobi Wine Has Been Arrested by Authorities—Again

The outspoken artist, activist and legislator was detained Monday after police shut down a recent concert of his.

Ugandan police have arrested artist, activist and legislator Bobi Wine, AFP reports.

He was detained Monday after police shut down a recent concert, where they fired tear gas at his supporters and fans, according to his wife Barbie Itungo Kyagulanyi. "He has been arrested in Busabala, where he was to address the media on the cancellation of his concert by the police," she says to AFP.

Keep reading... Show less
Audio

Listen to Larry Gaaga and Wizkid's New Single 'Low'

Plus, watch the track's new music video.

Larry Gaaga recruits Nigerian superstar Wizkid for his latest single, "Low."

The new song, which is produced by BlaqJerzee, pairs a sparse beat with smooth synth keys and Wizkid's delivery about keeping things "on the low."

It comes paired with a brand new music video, directed by Mr. Moe Musa, that shows Wizkid and Larry Gaaga in a pristine white room as they perform the song along with some company.

Larry Gaaga, the Nigerian music executive-turned-artist, has been churning out some hits and big time collaborations lately like the 2Baba-featuring "Iworiwo" and "Baba Nla," alongside Burna Boy, D'banj and 2Baba.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.