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In Photos: A Glamorous Evening at The South African Premiere of 'The Lion King'

Here's what happened at the premiere and screening of the highly-anticipated film.

Last night was the South African premiere and official screening of The Lion King which took place in Johannesburg at The Country Club. Similar to the Hollywood and London premieres, it was a star-studded affair complete with truly inspired "Winter African Chic" ensembles and glamor galore.


The premiere kicked off with the red carpet event and saw celebrities such as AKA, Loyiso Bala, Lebo Mashile, Enhle Mbali, Masechaba Ndlovu and Tresor (among many others) dressed to the nines and bringing the heat in what was admittedly a cold Winter's evening. Of course, the stars of the film itself, the incomparable Dr John Kani who played Rafiki, choirmaster Khaya Mthethwa and the charismatic music composer Lebo M, all attended the premiere and mingled jovially with the invited guests in what was an undeniably good time with great vibes.

The late President Nelson Mandela's wife and humanitarian, Graça Machel, was also in attendance with her family.

Following the red carpet, came the actual screening of The Lion King which occurred out in the open. Guests settled into their seats and quickly bundled themselves up in the complementary blankets provided. Perhaps one of the most special moments of the evening was the rousing performance by Lebo M when he sang the iconic opening soundtrack to the film, "Nants Ingonyama Bagithi/Circle of Life" accompanied by an equally rousing choir. Leaving the stage and walking towards the guests with his booming voice reverberating in the viewing area, Lebo M once again showed us why he was the perfect man for the job when it came to the music of the film.

There was singing, ululating and cheering from everyone and this continued as Dr John Kani took to the stage following Lebo M's performance to speak about how proud he was to have been a part of an incredible production. He also added that when his grandchildren asked him how he had decided to spend his 67 minutes for Mandela Day (July 18th), he'd tell them that he had gathered everyone who had attended the screening, as a grandfather often does, and told them all an incredible story about ingonyama—a lion. The heartfelt embrace between him and Lebo M was confirmation of the humanity that The Lion King, 25 years later, has had not only on Africans but the world over.

It was a night to remember and definitely worth braving the cold for. Take a look at what happened at the premiere with the images below:

Music composer, Lebo M

Television and radio host, Masechaba Ndlovu


Actress, Connie Chiume


Choral director, Khaya Mthethwa

Tresor and his partner Langa Mngoma

Model, Blue Mbombo

Television host, Maps Maponyane

Actress, Enhle Mbali

Musician, Busiswa

Video
Photo: Ben Depp.

Watch Yilian Canizares & Paul Beaubrun's Beautiful Video For 'Noyé'

"Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Yilian Canizares and Paul Beaubrun connect for the serene "Noyé," one of the highlights from Canizares' latest album, Erzulie.

The Cuban singer and Haitian artist are now sharing the new Arnaud Robert-directed music video for the single, which we're premiering here today.

"Noyé is a song that comes from our roots," Yilian Canizares tells OkayAfrica. "Inspired by the energy of love. The same love that kept Africa's legacy alive in the hearts of Haiti and Cuba. We wanted to do a stripped down version of only the essential pieces from a musical point of view. Something raw and beautiful where our souls would be naked."

The striking music video follows Canizares and Beaubrun to the waters of New Orleans, the universal Creole capital, where they sing and float until meeting on the Mississippi River.

"Noyé is a cry of love from children of African descent," says Paul Beaubrun. "Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Watch the new music video for "Noyé" below.

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Watch the First Episode of Flame’s Documentary Series ‘Welcome To My Life’

Flame takes fans behind the scenes in his new documentary series.

From interviews to smoking sessions, performances, studio sessions and a visit to the hair salon, Flame gives fans a glimpse into his life and adventures.

The South African hip-hop artist and producer shared the first episode of an ongoing documentary series titled Welcome To My Life. The first episode, which he shared today, shows Flame and his affiliates—the likes of Ecco, Mellow and others—going about their business.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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