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Still from "Us" trailer.

Lupita Nyong'o, Trevor Noah, Ncuti Gatwa and More Nominated for 2019 MTV Movie Awards

We know who we're voting for!

The nominations for the 2019 MTV Movie Awards have been announced, and much like last year when Black Panther dominated the show, and the year before, when Get Out did, some of our favorite performers and projects have the potential to sweep this year's awards.

Namely, Lupita Nyong'o, who has been nominated for two awards for her striking performance as Red in Jordan Peele's Us. The Oscar-winner is nominated for both "Best Performance" In a Movie and "Best Villain." Us has also been nominated in the Best Film category. The actress shared a video showing her getting into character as Red on social media upon hearing the news. "I wonder which character the villain nom is for," she wrote.



Trevor Noah has also earned a nomination for Best Host, for his work on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

Rwandan-born newcomer Ncuti Gatwa, who plays the standout, openly gay Nigerian character Eric Effiong on Netflix's coming-of-age comedy Sex Education, has been nominated for "Best Kiss" as well as "Breakthrough Performance."

The actor shared his excitement over the news on Twitter:

We're rooting for all of these very deserving talents! The MTV Movie Awards are determined by the fans, so head here to vote for your favorites, and check out the full list of nominees below.

2019 MTV Movie Awards Nominees:

BEST MOVIE

Avengers: Endgame

BlacKkKlansman

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Us

BEST SHOW

Big Mouth

Game of Thrones

Riverdale

Schitt's Creek

The Haunting of Hill House

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A MOVIE

Amandla Stenberg (Starr Carter) — The Hate U Give

Lady Gaga (Ally) — A Star is Born

Lupita Nyong'o (Red) — Us

Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury) — Bohemian Rhapsody

Sandra Bullock (Malorie) — Bird Box

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SHOW

Elisabeth Moss (June Osborne/Offred) — The Handmaid's Tale

Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) — Game of Thrones

Gina Rodriguez (Jane Villanueva) — Jane the Virgin

Jason Mitchell (Brandon) — The Chi

Kiernan Shipka (Sabrina Spellman) — Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

BEST HERO

Brie Larson (Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel) — Captain Marvel

John David Washington (Ron Stallworth) — BlacKkKlansman

Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) — Game of Thrones

Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) — Avengers: Endgame

Zachary Levi (Billy Batson/Shazam) — Shazam!

BEST VILLAIN

Jodie Comer (Villanelle) — Killing Eve

Joseph Fiennes (Commander Fred Waterford) — The Handmaid's Tale

Josh Brolin (Thanos) — Avengers: Endgame

Lupita Nyong'o (Red) — Us

Penn Badgley (Joe Goldberg) — You

BEST KISS

Camila Mendes & Charles Melton (Veronica Lodge & Reggie Mantle) — Riverdale

Jason Momoa & Amber Heard (Aquaman & Mera) — Aquaman

Ncuti Gatwa & Connor Swindells (Eric Effiong & Adam Groff) — Sex Education

Noah Centineo & Lana Condor (Peter Kavinsky & Lara Jean) — To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Tom Hardy & Michelle Williams (Eddie Brock/Venom & Anne Weying) — Venom

REALITY ROYALTY

Jersey Shore: Family Vacation

Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta

The Bachelor

The Challenge

Vanderpump Rules

BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE

Awkwafina (Peik Lin Goh) — Crazy Rich Asians

Dan Levy (David Rose) — Schitt's Creek

John Mulaney (Andrew Glouberman) — Big Mouth

Marsai Martin (Little Jordan Sanders) — Little

Zachary Levi (Billy Batson/Shazam) — Shazam!

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE

Awkwafina (Peik Lin Goh) — Crazy Rich Asians

Haley Lu Richardson (Stella) — Five Feet Apart

Mj Rodriguez (Blanca Rodriguez) — Pose

Ncuti Gatwa (Eric Effiong) — Sex Education

Noah Centineo (Peter Kavinsky) — To All the Boys I've Loved Before

BEST FIGHT

Avengers: Endgame — Captain America vs. Thanos

Captain Marvel — Captain Marvel vs. Minn-Erva

Game of Thrones — Arya Stark vs. the White Walkers

RBG — Ruth Bader Ginsburg vs. Inequality

WWE Wrestlemania — Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair

BEST REAL-LIFE HERO

Alex Honnold — Free Solo

Hannah Gadsby — Nanette

Roman Reigns — WWE SmackDown

Ruth Bader Ginsburg — RBG

Serena Williams — Being Serena

MOST FRIGHTENED PERFORMANCE

Alex Wolff (Peter) — Hereditary

Linda Cardellini (Anna Tate-Garcia) — The Curse of La Llorona

Rhian Rees (Dana Haines) — Halloween

Sandra Bullock (Malorie) — Bird Box

Victoria Pedretti (Nell Crain) — The Haunting of Hill House

BEST DOCUMENTARY

At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal

McQueen

Minding the Gap

RBG

Surviving R. Kelly

BEST HOST

Gayle King — CBS This Morning

Nick Cannon — Wild 'n Out

Nick Cannon — The Masked Singer

RuPaul — RuPaul's Drag Race

Trevor Noah — The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

MOST MEME-ABLE MOMENT

Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club — The Lilo Dance

Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood — Ray J's Hat

RBG — The Notorious RBG

RuPaul's Drag Race — Asia O'Hara's butterfly finale fail

The Bachelor — Colton Underwood jumps the fence

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Photo still courtesy of YouNeek Studios.

The Official Trailer for 'Malika: Warrior Queen' Is Here

Malika surely means business in the clip that sets the scene for YouNeek Studios' newest animated pilot.

After much anticipation, the new trailer for Malika: Warrior Queen, starring Nollywood's own Adesua Etomi, is finally here.

In the trailer, we already see the Warrior Queen fearlessly stand up to defend her people against enemies who have set their sights on seizing her expanding empire of Azzaz. Facing threats of invasion by foreign cultures, Malika now has to decide how to fight a war both inside her kingdom and outside of it.

"War is coming," she declares.

Malika: Warrior Queen was executive produced by Niyi Akinmolayan of Anthill Studios. The series has been three years in the making, with a two-part comic series already available for reading; and even more so in line with YouNeek Studios' mission to create stories inspired by African history, culture and mythology.

Joining Etomi in the cast are Femi Branch, voicing Chief Dogbari, Deyemi Okanlowon, voicing the WindMaker and King Bass, Blossom Chukwujekwu as Abdul and Sambassa Nzeribe, voicing General Ras.

Check it out below.

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All photos courtesy of Remi Dada

Afropreneurs: Meet the Designer Reinventing Nigerian Workspaces

Remi Dada's Spacefinish is shaking up design to create futuristic work environments for African companies

In the digital age when a fancy rectangle in our pockets can find us whatever we want, customize it and deliver it to our door, it's odd that the same thought process isn't also applied to physical space. Why does every parking lot feel exactly the same? Can waiting rooms be designed to make time pass more quickly? How can we bring these new standards of personalization into the areas where we live our lives?

Nigerian designer, Remi Dada, is doing just that. With both architecture and business degrees, Dada started his career in tech working in user experience and product marketing–eventually ending up at Google Nigeria. Once he started working in the office however, Dada didn't find it to be an environment that sparked inspiration or productivity. It felt more like rooms with tables and chairs rather than a place that nurtured new, progressive ideas. Luckily, the perfect project presented itself: redesign the office. Dada jumped at the opportunity to meld his practical knowledge in user experience with his love of design and architecture–and the result turned some heads.

Thus Spacefinish was born, a pioneering design company based in Nigeria that works with companies to transform ordinary office space into beautiful and functional environments that increase productivity and employee satisfaction. I spoke with Dada about the purpose of Spacefinish, the importance of design in the workspace and the unique properties of designing in Nigeria for Nigerians. Read on for insights from the design entrepreneur on the impact of spaces and what the future holds for the company.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Nereya Otieno for OkayAfrica: In your experience, how important is workspace environment in Lagos? How is it viewed?

It hasn't been prioritized. A lot of employers do not invest heavily in their employees and you can see that in work spaces all over the world. Now, people are also beginning to understand that high-performing employees–especially millennials–want to work in a space that inspires them and with people who inspire them. Right now in Nigeria it is still very new.

We've been able to measure how companies have been performing prior to us renovating their space and afterwards. What we've seen consistently is that our spaces help with employee retention, they help with collaboration and they help with inspiration. One important thing that we always measure and that we try and add to our design is what we call 'PIC.' PIC is the measure of productivity, innovation and collaboration–now we can track that within a workspace. These three key things are the pillars of how we create better work spaces.


A sketch showing plans for a space in the PwC Experience Centre, Lagos.

With that data, it's probably pretty simple to pitch Spacefinish to a company. But what was it like in the beginning to try and sell the first Spacefinish idea outside of Google? You're essentially coming into a stranger's space and saying 'you're doing this wrong.'

True. We were very lucky in that the first space we did was a Google office. It's Google. Everyone aspires to have a workplace like Google and people visiting the office were curious about how a space like that could exist in Nigeria. So there was a lot of interest but no commitments. Our first real commitment came from a company called Andela, a tech startup aspiring to be like the spaces you see in Silicon Valley. But they were looking to create a space just to meet their capacity and meet their head count, that was all. They thought they wouldn't be able to afford what we'd done for Google.

I went and pitched for them to do something different instead of creating the standard, generic workspace that we've all seen. Then I took our approach: connect the expense and cost of that project to the potential output of the team working there and how that could affect the company's bottom line. When we do that, it becomes an easier conversation to have. Once we are able to connect with the key decision makers and give them metrics they actually care about—like it's not about having a pretty space but about having a space that will allow people to achieve their short and long-term goals—they tend to be more receptive.

A meeting room at the Google offices in Lagos.

Do you feel like a bit of a disruptor or trouble maker?

I would say when we started we didn't feel like a disruptor. For me, it felt very natural because it was in line with what I was hired for and the world I was coming from. When you work at Google, you tend to live in an innovation bubble. So we didn't feel like disruptors while it was happening, but when we got people's reactions—the industry's reaction—then we realized that what we were doing was actually groundbreaking and very new to that part of the world.

Okay. And then what do you do after that? You just keep poking at that nerve?

Yeah. [Laughs] So what happens after that is the floodgates open up and we start to see a lot more demand than we can handle as a company. That gave me the confidence to quit my job at Google and do this full time. We are now starting to figure out how to do it to the best of our capacity at the same level, and sometimes surpassing, what our peers are doing across the world.

What do you find is the most important element within the workspace? How does Spacefinish highlight that?

People are the most important element in the workspace. One CEO said that his team was very unruly—weren't well composed. There is a mentality that we all subscribe to, especially coming from Nigeria where you see people at the local airports not obeying the rules. But those same people, as soon as they land in Heathrow, they're suddenly very compliant. They're the same people. The only thing that changed is their environment. New spaces can cause people to change their behavior—they morph into the space. For that client, the leadership was very happy that their team members began acting in the way they wanted them to act when we changed the space. The psychology of the whole thing is very interesting. That's why we take a human-centered approach to design, with a lot of qualitative and quantitative research before we begin.

View of the Vibranium Valley warehouse workspace in Lagos.

I'm originally from California and I grew up in Silicon Valley–it's a very peculiar place simply because of the concentration of resources. There are surely different challenges for a developer in Nigeria versus one in Silicon Valley. What is the most unique thing for you, after all your travels and experience, that makes designing for Nigeria special?

That's a really good question. You rarely find imagery of inland Africa that is progressive and modern. The first time in recent times was the Black Panther movie and that's why it was so huge. Kids could see a different version of what Africa could be in their collective imagination. I'm making this correlation because that is what I think is different for us, from a design standpoint. For example, the Google office in Nigeria looks very Nigerian. It has a lot of cultural nuances and it is locally relevant to the region, however it is a very sophisticated and modern space with all the right technology. There's videoconferencing, micro-efficiency, access control and security but with the backdrop of an African space. When people see that, it feels very fresh and new and there is so much content that we can use to inspire–from artwork to traditions–and we infuse all those things in to the spaces we're creating.

Do you have a favorite space you've done?

All the spaces we've done have been fantastic. But I think my favorite to date is the PwC office, it is an innovation hub and a huge cultural departure for PwC. They are more or less known as a rigid, stoic brand and they wanted a space that defied all of those things. So we created an innovation hub that was super, super, super futuristic and the first of its kind in West Africa. Anyone who knows interior fitouts understands that lines are straightforward but curves are complicated. This space has a lot of curves. That's difficult to do anywhere in the world but 10 times more complicated in Nigeria because we just don't have access to the right tools and technology that you will find elsewhere. But it came out very well and that has been my most exciting space so far.

A look at the PwC Experience Centre, Lagos

Was it also the most challenging?

It was, yes, because of the design ideas we wanted to achieve. We have things like revolving doors that were inspired by the hobbits' shire in Lord of the Rings and a single workstation that extends across the entire space. There are a lot of lights, floating elements and Nsibidi—an ancient African writing system that we used to create a new language. The artwork is very deep and gives a timeline of different instances in Africa where technology has inspired innovation. It was a very involved and challenging project. But we do the challenging things because we feel it allows us to move forward and push boundaries.

Sure. It's exciting for you and everyone you work with but also, I'd say, for the local contractors and artists doing the artwork.

You know, that is something that we do differently. Most architecture firms just design but we design and build. We do that because, when we started, no one in the market really understood what we were doing. We were asking for materials that didn't exist so we had to create our own. Also, everything we do is local, we don't import anything–which can be an even bigger challenge. But we want to know that we are helping to build industries here in Nigeria, we want to help fix the lack of resources in this part of the world. We could import but it doesn't help the community and economic infrastructure in the long run.

A meeting room in Vibranium Valley

I think the first time our impact hit me was when we were building a place called Vibranium Valley. That's been our biggest project so far: a 2,000 square meter office that was built in a massive warehouse. I went there on a Wednesday one day and we had over 200 people working in the space. And for the first time I was like, "Wow, we really have the ability to create jobs as well." It put things in context for me.

Are there any plans to venture outside of offices and corporate workspaces with your human-centered approach? Classrooms, waiting rooms, etc.?

We are actually about to embark on our first non-office project. We are designing and building the interior of two international airports in Nigeria: Lagos and Port Harcourt. Two very massive projects that we couldn't say no to because...no one says no to international airports [Laughs]. So it's a good way to toss us into things outside of the workspace. So everyone should come fly to Nigeria and check it out when we're finished.

Catch Nereya on her Instagram here.

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Still from 'Harriet' trailer.

Watch Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman In the Moving New Trailer for 'Harriet'

The highly-anticipated biopic about the life of the iconic freedom fighter is due out on November 1.

Back in 2017, it was announced that Tony-winning actor and singer Cynthia Erivo would be taking on the role of the iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman in the upcoming biopic Harriet. We've been anticipating its release ever since, and today, the trailer for the buzzed about film has finally arrived.

The moving and climactic trailer sees Erivo delivering a convincing performance as Tubman. The film follows the hero's journey from escaping slavery to becoming a legendary abolitionist and freedom fighter. Here's the official description of the film via Shadow & Act:

Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
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