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Idris Elba and Skepta Lead Line-Up for Manchester International Festival With New Stage Productions

Elba will debut "Tree," a play about life In South Africa after Nelson Mandela and Skepta will present the immersive rave experience 'Dystopia987."

Idris Elba and Skepta are set to debut exciting new stage works at the 2019 Manchester International Festival. The biennial arts festival, which takes place in the English city of Manchester, highlights original works from international artists.

Elba will debut Tree, a play which he co-wrote with the artistic director of London's Young Vic Theatre Kwame Kwei-Armah about life in South Africa "after Nelson Mandela," reports BBC Entertainment.The stage show is inspired by Elba's 2014 album Mi Mandela, and will combine music, dance and film to create a theatrical experience.


The actor, Producer and DJ, who played Mandela in the 2013 biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, spoke of his and Kwei-Armah's personal connection to the project. "[We] both experienced personal moments of healing connected with the country and we're starting to explore that together," BBC Entertainment quoted him as saying. "For me, an interesting part of the process is looking at the next part of the story; the new universe that sprung up after Mandela."

The show will debut at the festival next summer before heading to the Young Vic.


Grime star Skepta will present his immersive theatrical production Dystopia987, highlighting rave culture. Dystopia987 will see the artists performing alongside a selection of rappers in a show that he describes as "real life magic," reports NME.

The festival's director, John McGrath describes the production to NME:

[It's] somewhere between an immersive theatrical experience and a futuristic rave. The idea for Skepta is: what is the future of the space that has been called a rave over the years? Where might it be heading, and what kind of experience might that be?"

We're looking forward to seeing some of our favorite entertainers take their talents to the theatre stage. Manchester international festival opens on July 4 with a 8000 member orchestral performance from Yoko Ono, and runs through July 21.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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Photo: YouTube Screenshot

Watch Focalistic & Vigro Deep’s New Music Video For ‘Ke Star’

The 'Lockdown Level 1 anthem' has come to life through fire visuals.

South African artist Focalistic has released a music video to accompany his hit single, "Ke Star" featuring Vigro Deep.

The rising artist continues solidifying his place with his effortless skill of blending his hip-hop roots with a love for amapiano.

South Africans certainly loved it enough to let it into their homes. Social media users quickly began sharing videos of themselves dancing away their lockdown woes to "Ke Star," helping share the track all over the world.

Directed by Steezus in Focalistic's childhood stomping ground, Ga-Rankuwa, Zone 2, the artist mentions: "The video was to try to explain the song in its fullest form and more importantly tell a genuine South African story. We're pushing a movement and there has to be visual representation." He certainly is representing the nation with pride.


Watch the music video for "Ke Star" here.


Focalistic Ke Star (Official Music Video) ft Vigro Deep www.youtube.com

(Youtube)

The 9 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Olamide, Nasty C, Davido, Mr Eazi x Nicki Minaj and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here, Apple Music here and YouTube Music here

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Listen to Alicia Keys & Diamond Platnumz’ New Song ‘Wasted Energy’

The Tanzanian music icon and American star team up on the track from her new album, ALICIA.