Photo still via Youtube.

This Short Film Is a Striking First-Gen Tale Told Through a Regal Nigerian Mother

In Adeyemi Michael's "Entitled," we learn about his mother's take on being a first-generation Nigerian as she rides through Peckham on horseback in style.

As a first-generation Nigerian, I would be remiss to admit that the immigrant stories we hear from our parents and our elders can be taken for granted. I find myself asking them to repeat their tales of migration—which, for some, began when they were younger than most of us were when we left home for the first time—just so I can be sure to stay true to my roots and pass their experiences on to the next generation.

Nigerian-British filmmaker Adeyemi Michael has done just that in his new short film, Entitled. We see his mother ride through Peckham—which is home to the largest Nigerian community in the UK—on horseback in regal, Yoruba attire.

The film premiered on Channel4's short film vertical, Random Acts, where the synopsis reads:

What does the immigrant fantasy feel like? Adeyemi Michael reimagines his mother's idea of moving from Nigeria to Peckham in Entitled, a short film about leaving your country of origin. Riding a horse dressed in traditional Yoruba ceremonial wear, Abosede Afolashade, a first generation immigrant, takes to the streets of Peckham.

Watch it in full below.

Entitled reminds us that the struggles first-generation immigrants have in finding comfort in their dual identities is a phenomenon that we're not too far removed from. If our elders were able to thrive not forgetting where they come from while embracing the environments that raised them, then we can thrive, if not more, too.

Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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