News Brief

Poet Koleka Putuma Has Been Appointed Theater Producer for Design Indaba

The Collective Amnesia poet will be joining what is regarded as the 'Cirque du Soleil' for intellects.

According to Bizcommunity, Design Indaba has appointed South African and playwright Koleka Putuma as their theater producer seeing that their annual conference takes place at the Artscape Theater and they want to have more unique moments there. Putuma took to Instagram yesterday to make the announcement to her fans.



Design Indaba focuses on online design publication and has an annual conference which centers on "design activism." The brand is run by Interactive Africa. Read more about it here.

Putuma has had success upon success following her explosive anthology Collective Amnesia which is in its eighth print run, unheard of for a collection of poetry in South Africa. The body of work has since been translated into Spanish and released by Flores Raras and been declared prescribed reading at South African universities.

The recent winner of a TEWOP poetry slam competition hosted by the University of Johannesburg, Putuma went head-to-head with fellow poet, Zéwande Bhengu and ultimately came out the victor. She gave an electric performance, clad in a dress with the national flag and a green doek which she then turned into a blanket midway in honor of Mgcineni Noki, one of the 34 miners who were gunned down in the tragic Marikana Massacre in August 2016. Noki became known as the 'man in the green blanket'.


Commenting on her new appointment, Putuma said:

"For the next few months, I hope to be a co-creator in magic-making and to be an accomplice in realizing the speakers' ideas and wishes. I am honored to be a part of the incredible brand and community of Design Indaba. I am looking forward to learning, to expanding my knowledge on the multiple industries of design, and to collaborating with all the minds, speakers, ears, hearts and eyes that are and will be part of making this dope explosion happen."
Music
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The 6 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring DJ Lag, Asa, LasGiiDi, Kaien Cruz, Imarhan and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases 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 and Apple Music here.

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Interview
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DJ Neptune Surveys the Sounds & Genres Running Africa In His New Album

Greatness 2.0 features an all-star cast of African artists and jumps from afrobeats to amapiano to asakaa, Ghana’s thrilling new take on drill.

Transitioning from a DJ to an artist is no small feat. Nigeria’s DJ Neptune has always had good ear for what the people want to hear, but in past years he's also shown his skill at assembling hitmakers to make a hit and earn a spot on any afrobeats playlist.

Neptune has been dotingly described as "Africa’s DJ Khaled" for his ability to bring the continent’s top names together in musical harmony. His 2018 debut album, Greatness: The Album, pulled from his extensive contacts and years of experience as one of Nigeria’s most influential radio personalities to create a star-studded compilation with features from Burna Boy, Davido, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Efya, Kizz Daniel and Olamide, to name a few.

In 2020, during the pandemic, DJ Neptune endeared himself with his intimate live sessions with Neptune Isolation Radio, where he constantly entertained people during the lockdown. After more than a decade as a DJ, and also one of afrobeats’ most influential personalities and curators, he has assembled some of Africa’s hitmakers for his sophomore album, Greatness 2.0, which he describes as “a playlist with Africa’s favorite artists.”

Artists on the truly pan-African project include Nigeria’s Mr Eazi, Rema, Patoranking, Yemi Alade, Stonebwoy, Joeboy, Omah Lay, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Laycon, Ladipoe, Blaqbonez, Cheque, Peruzzi, Bella Shmurda and Phyno, Ghana’s Stonebwoy and Kofi Jamar, Harmonize and Anjella from Tanzania, South Africa’s Focalistic; and UK rapper One Acen. Collaborating with Neptune on production are Magic Sticks, Dëra and MOG, among other afrobeats hitmakers.

Greatness 2.0 is a survey of the sounds and genres currently running Africa —from afrobeats to amapiano and asakaa, Ghana’s thrilling new take on drill.

In this interview, we speak with DJ Neptune about DJ culture in Nigeria, working with some of Africa's biggest superstars, and his new album.

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Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage

Watch Wizkid's Historic Performance at London's O2 Arena

The Nigerian superstar made history by being the first African artist to sell out three shows in a row during his Made In Lagos tour.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Wizkid's fourth studio album Made In Lagos has not left our sight (or eardrums) since its release in October 2020. Now, the album filled with record-breaking hits has gone on to bag the king of afrobeats another honor: Wizkid became the first African artist to successfully sell out London's infamous O2 Arena this year, boasting three consecutive sold-out shows this week.

High off of the global success and obsession with hit single "Essence," featuring Nigerian sweetheart Tems, Wizkid's European leg of his Made In Lagos tour sold out in 12 minutes (very Beyoncé of him) as fans geared up to hear their favorite afrobeats hits. The show itself was jam-packed with fireworks, high-energy performances, and guest appearances from some of our favorite Wizkid features.

In the line-up, we saw fellow Nigerian hitmaker Burna Boy show up on stage to perform a passionate rendition of their collab "Ginger," while a bright and sunny Tems lent her talent and time to perform their hit. British pop cutie Ella Mai turned out to perform "Pieces of Me" which features on Made In Lagos, while UK favorite Skepta made Wizkid feel at home, as the two stars pumped the crowd.

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Mayorkun Is Back In Office

We speak with Mayorkun about his sophomore album, Back In Office, and why he had to step away from the scene for a while.