News Brief

John Boyega Is Set to Executive Produce UK Fantasy-Horror, 'A Spriggan'

This is the second film to be produced under the Nigerian-British actor's company, UpperRoom Productions.

John Boyega will add another executive producer credit to his growing list of accomplishments outside of acting after his company, UpperRoom Productions, landed its second film post-Pacific Rim.

He's set to executive produce A Spriggan, a UK fantasy-horror from writer and director Keir Burrows, along with producer Josephine Rose, Deadline reports.

The film, which taps UK folklore, tells the story of a recently widowed mother who visits her father's isolated hotel only to discover a sinister folklore presence haunting the land.


A Spriggan is in the process of casting, as Boyega is currently shooting Star Wars IX.

"I'm really excited to be joining A Spriggan and the team behind it," he says in a statement. "In my producing projects, I'm looking for film-maker driven, world-building, cinematic pieces, and have found in Josephine Rose another producer who shares that creative vision and commercial ambition. We're looking forward to working with Keir Burrows to explore the monsters of real-life through a dark, twisted, fairy-tale world of the Spriggan."

Back in April, Boyega returned to his native Nigeria ready to look for the same with filmmakers and creatives from his homeland. We're still keeping an eye on any developments from his search.

"I'm very much interested in original, Nigerian stories," he says in an interview with CNBC Africa. "I grew up on Nollywood—the first Nollywood movie I ever watched was Blood Sisters with Genevieve Nnaji and...it's a chance for me to develop these stories, merge Nollywood with Hollywood; connect to artists here."

Revisit the full interview here.

Interview
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Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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Interview

Interview: Made Kuti Talks Afrobeat, Activism & Family Legacy

We speak with Made about his debut album and the part he's playing in keeping the Kuti heritage alive.

It's all about happiness for Made Kuti. He wants to spend his entire life making music and living contentedly while doing so. This is why he is living above pressures, people's expectations of what the legendary Fela's grandson should look like and the kind of music he should be making.

"My goal is to attain internal happiness and I know that this can't come externally. It can't come from what people think of me and it can't come from me searching for other people's approval and I understood that long ago."

While he was alive, Fela Anikulapo Kuti—the legendary creator of the afrobeat genre—had bragged multiple times about his immortality and how he would never die. Many had understood his claim to be literal, when he in fact meant that his work and legacy would forever be remembered. Proof of this is a joint album project by Femi Kuti and Made Kuti, son and grandson of the man who is arguably the greatest musician to have emerged from the African continent.

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RODGER BOSCH/AFP via Getty Images.

'Africa Is a Country Radio' Spotlights Cape Town in Latest Episode

Hosted by Chief Boima, the latest episode from 'Africa is a Country Radio' explores Cape Town's vibrant music scene from rapper YoungstaCPT to Cape Malay choral music, jazz and more.

Africa Is a Country Radio has shared its latest episode which puts Cape Town into the spotlight. The theme for the show's current season is port cities. Having explored the Black Atlantic and the Black Indian Ocean in their previous episodes, this latest episode positions Cape Town's history and so-called Cape Malay culture in the middle. The show is hosted by Sierra Leonean-American music producer and managing editor of the publication, Africa Is a Country, Chief Boima and also features two additional guests.

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Veteran South African Journalist Karima Brown Has Died

Tributes have been pouring in for journalist, political commentator and activist, Karima Brown, who has recently passed away from COVID-19.