News Brief

At Last: Banky W. Is Tying the Knot—See the Photos Here

Check out some stunning photos from Banky W and Adesua Etomi's marriage introduction ceremony.

NIGERIA—Naija R&B singer and actor, Banky W., and his fiance, Nigerian actress, Adesua Etomi—who recently co-starred in the Netflix movie The Wedding Party—had a real-life love union of their own on Saturday (May 6), with an incredibly grand marriage introduction ceremony.


The wedding announcement was a long time coming for 36-year-old Banky W, so folks were rightfully excited to hear the news.

The couple shared some stunning photos from the ceremony over the weekend, and in true Nigerian fashion—they went all out.

Celebrity friends and family were in attendance to celebrate and many shared pictures of the lovely couple— clad in maroon and white—on social media.

View some of the photos below.

No vex ohhh if you're tired of the pictures. I'm not 😂😭😍😘 #BAAD2017

A post shared by Banky W. (@bankywellington) on

...and they thought this day would never come 😁 But first of all.. introduction #BAAD2017

A post shared by Banky W. (@bankywellington) on

Lemme introduce my bride she's Mrs W. Don't mean to trouble you... LOL 😁🕺🏽😍😘

A post shared by Banky W. (@bankywellington) on

Mr & Mrs Wellington. Twice. Lol #BAAD2017

A post shared by Banky W. (@bankywellington) on

Last week the couple shared open love letters with one another via Instagram. Banky shared the story of how the couple’s relationship took off back in 2015. “I was smitten by your grace, aura, and beauty,” wrote the musician. Check out the heart-warming posts below.

Dear Susu (part 1) We crossed paths 2 or 3 times since 2012, but I wasn't paying enough attention. Destiny was staring me right in the face and I was too caught up in my own hustle and paper chase, to know it. In June 2015 however, God brought you my way again, and this time, I really SAW you. I was smitten by your grace, aura, and beauty. So smitten infact, that even though I didn't get to say a word to you that day (because you were seated far across the room), I immediately called my best friend @captdemuren and told him I'd found my next girlfriend. LOL. He laughed. I asked one or two people about you.. your manager Isioma, who I'd worked with previously, and then I did some research myself. Googled you, stalked your instagram.. the whole 9 yards, and the more I found out, the more you seemed like a breath of fresh air. Now I personally don't like being "hooked up", so I decided to approach you myself by sliding into your DM a few days later. Introduced myself, made some silly attempts to make you laugh, told you I planned to become your biggest fan, and asked if we could be friends. Thank God you laughed at my silly jokes, and thank God you graciously agreed to become my friend. At the time, I was COMPLETELY lying about only wanting to be friends, by the way.. but I figured it was a safe place to start. Since that DM, I've spoken to you pretty much every single day for almost 2 years. Sometimes, in the morning, at night and in between. We clicked instantly, and you quickly became one of my favourite people on earth, and one of my closest friends. It got to the point where my day wouldn't quite feel right without speaking to you. I needed your friendship. I needed, and still need, the bond we share. It completes me. I knew pretty early in the process that I wanted to spend forever with you. Prayed about it fervently. But it took you FOREVER (okay fine.. maybe a year and a half or so) to see things my way. But I kinda knew all along.. I was just waiting for you to catch up. (To be continued pls read part 2)

A post shared by Banky W. (@bankywellington) on

Dear Susu (part II) In that time, I got engaged to you in my "made for you" music video... and by pure coincidence, we both got cast to get married in the wedding party movie.. but all the while we were the very best of friends. I guess, in our case, real life will now imitate art. I'm not sure what the future will bring, but I'm completely sure that I am ready to face it with you by my side. I pray that God continues to build me into the kind of man that you deserve. I love you Susu.. I feel safe and at peace with you. You mean the world to me. Thank you for agreeing to be my lover and best friend. Thank you for agreeing to be my wife. PS: The timing of this may make some people think this is promo for another video, or a movie. It isn't. Ironically, everyone who has seen us together in art, or in life, always insists that we have amazing chemistry. I guess you can say we have been hiding in plain sight. I fell in love with an Actress. Now my life is a movie. In February of 2017, I asked Adesua Tolulope Oluwaseun Etomi to be my wife. She said Yes.

A post shared by Banky W. (@bankywellington) on

Interview
Image: Courtesy TIFF

Jenna Cato Bass is Capturing the Horrors of an Unhealed Nation

The film marks the South African director's third debut and stride towards making a name for herself in the international film circuit.

Ever since premiering her debut film, Love the One You Love, which won the Best Feature Film at the Jozi Festival in 2015, Jenna Cato Bass has been a name to watch on the international film festival circuit. Her 2017 feature, High Fantasy, was the first of her films to land on the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) lineup, followed by Flatland in 2019. Her latest offering, Mlungu Wam (Good Madam), debuted at TIFF in September of 2021 — marking her third time at the esteemed Canadian film event.

Often provocative, always thought-provoking, Bass' films have come to establish her as a director who looks at South Africa's youth, the lives they're living and the future that awaits them, with a nuanced, open-minded lens. For the first time in her career, Bass uses the genre of horror to dig into an enduring mark of the country's past — that of the fraught, complex relationship between madam and domestic worker, in Mlungu Wam (Good Madam). Set in Cape Town, the film follows the unusual, disturbing things that start happening when a young woman moves back in with her estranged mother, who is the longtime caretaker for a rich, white household.

Bass also co-wrote the film Tug of War (Vuta N'Kuvute), which became Tanzania's first film to be selected for TIFF this year, and she co-wrote Rafiki, which was Kenya's first film at TIFF in 2018.

She spoke to OkayAfrica about playing in a new genre and her hopes for African cinema.

Still from Bass's film Mlungu Wam Image: Courtesy TIFF


This story revolves around the relationship between a domestic worker and her 'madam.' What made you want to make a film about this subject?

When I make films, I like the concept to revolve around something that we all have in common - because, despite the many fractures in our society, these shared places exist. And in South Africa, we felt that everyone - in some way or another - has been deeply affected by domestic work and domestic workers, who are a keystone in our society's structure. Additionally, the 'maid' and 'madam' relationship is the ultimate symbol of race relations in South Africa - as well as how they haven't changed significantly, despite almost thirty years of democracy. So a domestic worker was the perfect character around which to centre a South African horror.

The genre of horror works really well to explore this subject and tell this story — when did you know it would be the genre you'd want to use?

The early stages of developing a film aren't always linear for me. I'll be thinking about a genre I'm interested in, and then parallel to that I'll have an idea for a story or a character, and later on, will realize that these pieces all fit together. In this case, I'd been wanting to make a horror film for ages, but hadn't found the right story… until I had the idea for Mlungu Wam, and I realized I was finally ready to try this genre.

What challenges did you face in making a horror?

It was my first time working in this genre, and it was intimidating because there's no saving you if you fail. We were also working on a very, very limited budget, so it wasn't possible to show as much as we'd like to - but then again, this story was all about the subjective and the unseen, so I did as much research and planning as we could, and just had to trust it would work.

Where did you film, and did that have any impact on the process at all?

We filmed in a house in Cape Town, in a gated community in the Southern Suburbs. The house and the environment had a major impact on the film - especially because we were also quarantining there for the full 7 weeks of rehearsal and shooting. The house was our set and our accommodation, so it was very intense, very claustrophobic, and very triggering for many of our team members.

How did you and co-writer Babalwa Baartman work on the story? You've included cast members in the writing process in your previous work — did you do that here too?

Mlungu Wam was made along similar lines to my first two films, Love The One You Love and High Fantasy, where we started with an outline, cast actors, then workshopped the characters collaboratively before completing the story breakdown and using improv for the dialogue. Babalwa and I had worked together using this method on a short film we made in 2019 called Sizohlala. She really understands the process, and it was a really rewarding experience exploring the story with her and our cast.

How did Kristina Ceyton, who produced the excellent acclaimed horrors The Babadook and The Nightingale, through Causeway Films, come to be involved in this film?

I had met Sam Jennings, who is also a producer with Causeway Films, several years ago at a festival. We really connected and kept in touch over the years, sharing our work, and hoping there'd be a chance to collaborate. So when we were developing Mlungu Wam, I pitched her and Kristina the concept and they were immediately supportive. It has been a massive pleasure working with them both.

Your films are known to venture into themes of identity and healing from the past — how does this film speak to that?

Mlungu Wam is definitely about this too - it's a story about three generations of women (actually four, if you include Tsidi's grandmother, who is an unseen character in the film), how they are haunted by the past and eventually refuse to remain chained any longer. Their healing is collective, linked to each other, and wouldn't be possible for them alone as individuals.

Still from Bass's film Mlungu Wam Image: Courtesy TIFF


You've been at TIFF before - how has your experience of it been this year, with it being a hybrid of virtual and in-person?

Things have been quieter and a bit harder to navigate, but the TIFF staff have done incredible work getting the festival off the ground, despite endless challenges. It has felt very surreal to be here, and a privilege - and inspiring too, that we can still get together to celebrate films, even though our world is in such a mess. We had over 200 (socially distanced) people at our last screening, and that was an amazing feeling.

Yours is one of few African films on this year's line-up - is there anything you'd like to see happen to try improve that?

Regarding African cinema, TIFF has a real range of films this year, across several sections. Compared to many other festivals, they seem really invested in supporting cinema from the continent. Of course, this could be better, but it's also an example to other festivals who claim there aren't enough African films, that this is clearly not the case.

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