News Brief

Mixed Reactions From South Africans as Ladysmith Black Mambazo Set to Collaborate with Jacob Zuma

Former President Jacob Zuma is dropping an album this year, and he plans to feature the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Former President Jacob Zuma announced late last year that he had plans of dropping an album comprising his rendition of some of his favorite struggle songs.


Zuma is perhaps the most charismatic president South Africa has ever had. He has entertained the nation with his impromptu jiving and singing at various gatherings and rallies during his tenure. And so, while it did come as quite a surprise that he announced plans of releasing a whole album, it wasn't exactly what South Africans deemed as being out-of-this-world.

Most recently, however, it was announced that the Grammy-awarded group Ladysmith Black Mambazo would be collaborating with Zuma on his album and that they even offered up their studio to him. This has been seen as a large boost for the former president's plans to break into the music industry.

Boost for Zuma's music career youtu.be

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a part of the créme de la créme of South African music. They are a male choral group who sing in the traditional style known as isicathamiya. They have been nominated for 19 Grammys thus far, and have gone on to win five. They have worked with music giants Johnny Clegg, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon and more.

Homeless is perhaps one of their most well-renowned songs. Watch a performance they did of the song a few years back.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Homeless Live www.youtube.com

However, South Africans have expressed mixed reactions to this recent announcement. While Zuma has insisted that the album is for the preservation of the country's heritage, opposition parties such as the Democratic Alliance (DA) have challenged the deal struck between Zuma and the local Ethekwini Municipality, citing that taxpayers' money cannot be used to fund Zuma's musical escapades under the guise of cultural preservation.

South Africans took to Twitter to express how they feel about Ladysmith Black Mambazo's plans to collaborate with Zuma. Not everyone is impressed.






"Zion 9, 2018" (inkjet on Hahnemuhle photo rag)" by Mohau Modisakeng. Photo courtesy of Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

South African Artist Mohau Modisakeng Makes Solo NYC Debut With 'A Promised Land'

The artist will present the video installation 'ZION' and other works centering on the "global history of displacement of Black communities" at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery in Brooklyn.

Renowned South African visual artist Mohau Modisakeng presents A Promised Land, his latest solo exhibition, opening at Brooklyn's Jenkins Johnson Gallery this month. This marks the New York debut of Modisakeng's ZION video installation, based on the artists's 2017 performance art series by the same name. It originally debuted at the Performa Biennial.

"In ZION the artist deals with the relationship between body, place and the global history of displacement of Black communities," reads a press release. "There is an idea that all people are meant to belong somewhere, yet in reality there are millions of people who are unsettled, in search of refuge, migrating across borders and landscapes for various reasons."

In addition to the video, the show also features seven large-scale photographs that communicate themes of Black displacement. From 19th century Black settlements in New York City, which as the press release notes, were eradicated to clear space for the development of Central Park, to the scores of Africans who have faced conflict that has led them to life as refugees in foreign lands.

Keep reading...
Rema in "Beamer (Bad Boys)" (Youtube)

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Tony Allen x Hugh Masekela, Sarkodie, Rema, Costa Titch x Riky Rick x AKA 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 and Apple Music here.

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

Keep reading...
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Netflix Launches 'Netflix Naija' and Announces First Nigerian Original Series

Netflix is stepping up its game in Nigeria.

After much anticipation, Netflix has announced its presence in Nigeria.

Yesterday, the streaming giant, which had been procuring Nigerian content throughout much of last year after acquiring Genevieve Nnaji's Lionheart in 2018, announced the arrival of Netflix Naija with a new Twitter account.

"N is for Naija. N is for Nollywood,"read the account's announcement tweet. "N is the 14th alphabet. 14 is also how many great talents you're looking at. N is for Netflix. But most importantly...hello, Nigeria!"

The tweet was shared along with a photo of some of the Nigerian film industry's most notable actors and filmmakers, including Banky W, Adesua Etomi, Kunle Folayan, Kemi Adetiba, Omoni Oboli as well as veteran actors Ramsey Nouah and Richard Mofe-Damijo and several others.

Keep reading...

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.