News Brief
Poster for the documentary Lazarus. (Courtesy of Johan Hugo)

Watch the Award-Winning Documentary About Lazarus, Malawian Street Musician Turned Global Music Activist

The musician uses his music as a platform to fight for the rights of people with albinism like himself.

Lazarus. His name came from the blisters and burns he suffered as a newborn on his parents' backs as they worked in the fields. As an albino in Malawi, his parents didn't have any sunscreen or protection—the other children didn't need it. From physical pains like that one to mental and emotional difficulties, Lazarus Chigwandali has endured much in his lifetime and has since dedicated his life to using music to fight against the persecution of people with albinism. You can now watch that journey as a documentary, entitled Lazarus, was made available to the public yesterday via The New Yorker.


People with albinism are often hunted in the region as some believe that limbs, body parts or deaths of those with the condition are magical and to be used for witchcraft. It makes everyday life isolating and dangerous for people with it. The film tells the intersection of three characters: Ikponwosa Ero, independent expert for the United Nations on the enjoyment of human rights by people with albinism; Johan Hugo, a seasoned and reputable producer known for his work with Baaba Maal, Mumford & Sons and in The Very Best; and, of course, Lazarus—his music the connection between all three.


From left to right: David Darg, Johan Hugo, Lazarus, Bryn Mooser. (Photo courtesy of Johan Hugo)


When Hugo traveled to Malawi to meet and hear Lazarus in person, he hoped to at least record some of his music, but he also brought two friends in tow. Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning director David Darg and producer Bryn Mooser. They were able to capture the essence of Lazarus' story, the beauty of his music (which has kind of an upbeat-early-ska-punk-rock vibe with an African twist), the power of his message and his journey from street busker in Lilongwe to music activist performing around the world. It's a tale of darkness and triumph, earning an Official Selection showing at Tribeca Film Festival and Best Documentary Prize at Hollyshorts. Watch it below and stream his debut album Stomp on the Devil.


News Brief
Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images.

Black Coffee Is on a Mission to Raise Funds for Coronavirus Relief

The South African musician is raising funds in an effort to donate a million rands to organizations fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.

DJ Black Coffee is on a mission to help raise funds for organizations fighting to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

Having already raised R90 000 (approximately USD 5000) in just five days for the government's Solidarity Fund, the South African artist wants to raise a total of 1 million rands (approximately USD 55 000), according to reports by TimesLIVE.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Veteran Somali Musician Ahmed Ismail Hussein Has Died

Considered one of the founding fathers of contemporary Somali music and affectionately known as 'Hudeydi', the musician has passed away from the coronavirus at age 92.

Veteran Somali musician Ahmed Ismail Hussein has passed away at the age of 92 according to reports by the BBC.

Considered one of the founding fathers of contemporary Somali music, the musician passed away in London, England, after having tested positive for the coronavirus.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
(Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Rejoice! WhatsApp Places New Restrictions on Chain Messages to Fight Fake News

To combat the spread of misinformation due to the coronavirus outbreak, users are now restricted from sharing frequently forwarded messages to more than one person.

The rise of the novel coronavirus has seen an increase in the spread of fake news across social media sites and platforms, particularly WhatsApp—a platform known as a hotbed for the forwarding of illegitimate chain messages and conspiracy theories (if you have African parents, you're probably familiar). Now the Facebook-owned app is setting in place new measures to try and curb the spread of fake news on its platform.

The app is putting new restrictions on message forwarding which will limit the number of times a frequently forwarded message can be shared. Messages that have been sent through a chain of more than five people can only subsequently be forwarded to one person. "We know many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful," announced the app in a blog post on Tuesday. "In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public moments of support for frontline health workers."

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief

Sarkodie Hits Hard With His Latest Single 'Sub Zero'

The Ghanaian heavyweight rapper shows up with the fire bars over an Altra Nova-produced beat.

Sarkodie has dropped a new aggressive track in the shape of "Sub Zero."

"Sub Zero" follows the star Ghanaian rapper as he throws back criticisms that have come his way from other rappers with his own ice cold flow. The new track was produced by Ghanaian beatmaker Altra Nova and mixed by PEE On Da BeaT.

"Sub Zero" follows Sarkodie's turn-up single "Bumper," which dropped bak in February.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.